A caper to Cardiff

Cardiff

I spent a very lovely 24 hours in Cardiff with my mum this weekend! Honestly, I didn’t really know what to expect from Wales’ capital city but I was pleasantly surprised, and not just by the weather – check that perfect blue sky…

Cardiff

One thing I didn’t know is that Cardiff is filled with these charming Victorian shopping arcades. They run like little mazes through the city, connecting the usual chain-filled high street and shopping centres with little independent delis, boutiques and cafes.

Cardiff

The Foursquare app did me proud with some great recommendations for food and coffee. We had a gorgeous wholesome lunch at the Plan Cafe in Morgan Arcade. Anywhere that gives me a spicy veggie chilli with piles of cheese and avocado is A-OK by me.

Cardiff
Cardiff

Superb tapas and cheese at Bar Fortyfour. The kindly waiter firstly coerced us into having dessert which turned out to be the best sour cherry cheesecake ever, and also pointed us in the direction of Waterloo Tea where we headed soon after…

Cardiff

.. and I had this gem of an iced coffee. The lunch sandwiches looked pretty epic, too.

Cardiff
Cardiff

We didn’t pay to go into the castle grounds, but took a very nice pre-dinner walk through the adjoining Bute Park.

Cardiff
Cardiff

The richly-planted herbaceous border running alongside the river was a particular highlight.

Cardiff

We stayed at the Park Plaza hotel, who kindly offered me a chance to review their Sunday spa break. Yes, that meant that along with a delicious dinner and superb breakfast (gosh, but I love a hotel breakfast), we got a beautifully relaxing massage and use of the pool and gym during our stay. Excellently located right by the park and castle and just north of the main shopping street, Queen Street, it was a perfect base for exploring the city.

Cardiff
Cardiff

On Monday morning we hit the streets again, visiting the central indoor market. I was especially taken with Clancy’s stall crammed with exciting jars of spices and chillies – brought back a few treats for Josh.

Cardiff

Even found a brilliant fabric shop, Butterfly Fabrics – huge and a super range of prints, patterns and snuggly knits.

Cardiff

A final stop for a coffee and homemade Welshcakes at Uncommon Ground in Royal Arcade before catching the train home. It’s always a treat to get out of London and explore a new bit of the UK, and now I’m pleased to have ticked our nearest capital off the list.

Thank you to the Park Plaza for putting me and my mum up for the night!