A caper to Cardiff

June 23rd 2015


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…


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.


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.


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…


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


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


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


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.


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.


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


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!

Comments (15)

  • Hannah Haworth

    June 24th 2015 at 6:00 am

    Oooo this is great. I’m debating about going to Cardiff this autumn so it cool to get a feel for the place from your blog. I loooove the look of this coffee place. Well have to add it to the list of we end up going. Great post.

    1. katie

      June 25th 2015 at 10:09 am

      Yeah Waterloo Tea was great, I’d definitely have lunch there next time!

  • Kelsey

    June 24th 2015 at 10:14 am

    Beautiful, I want to do some more home visits. Cardiff is somewhere I’ve gone for events but only in the evenings and then gone again. Maybe I’ll have to look into a weekend break there.



    1. katie

      June 25th 2015 at 10:08 am

      It’s a very nice daytime-wandering sort of city, with all the little arcades, markets and cafes.

  • Camille

    June 24th 2015 at 1:02 pm

    This seems like such a lovely city. To be honest, I know so little about travel in Wales. It’s one of those places that makes it to the list of where you want to go one day, but you’re not quite sure what you’re going to do when you get there. Thanks for giving me some insight!

    Silly Medley: Lifestyle and Travel

    1. katie

      June 25th 2015 at 10:07 am

      I know extremely little about Wales! I hear it’s got some lovely stretches of coastline, worth looking into for another trip…

  • Mr&Mrs Blogs

    June 24th 2015 at 1:37 pm

    It looks gorgeous (and great for young kids – we have two)- definitely on my list for a weekend break!
    Thanks for all the tips.


  • Bronwyn

    June 24th 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Ooh! What a gorgeous city. I was there once for just 2 days and did the traditional “touristy” places but didn’t get a lot of time to enjoy any cafes and bars. Thanks for the tips for the next time I make it to Wales!

    1. katie

      June 25th 2015 at 10:06 am

      We were there for just 24 hours! I always go for food and coffee over tourist sites, ha ha. Makes you see a more real side of the city sometimes.

  • Sarahmia

    June 25th 2015 at 11:28 am

    Aww, it’s so nice to see people enjoying the city that I live in! You picked some great spots :)

  • Bailie @ The Hemborg Wife

    June 26th 2015 at 10:29 am

    That iced coffee seems worth the trip alone!

  • Lolly

    August 21st 2015 at 4:10 pm

    Definitely worth a visit to the Pembrokeshire coastline. It’s breathtakingly beautiful.
    Great review of Cardiff. It’s heartwarming to see positive commentary about the place I hold so dear x

  • mei

    September 3rd 2015 at 7:26 am

    Beautiful city and lovely photos! The food also looks yummy :)


  • Jithin Samuel

    October 11th 2015 at 7:33 am

    Katie , Amazing thanks for this post really lovely pics

  • Angharad

    April 5th 2016 at 5:30 pm

    Lovely post! I’m so glad you enjoyed Cardiff, it’s a great city. If you’d like to read more about what Wales has to offer then you may like to read my blog :) http://www.welshandwonderful.com

    Angharad x

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