Cats and Birds: February’s Art Gallery Highlights in Cardiff

Culture vulture Catrin Greaves rounds up Cardiff’s art gallery highlights for February. Take it away, Catrin!

Nature’s Song, National Museum of Wales, Cardiff

The museum hosts a stunning display of traditional Chinese bird and flower paintings, the first time this collection has been seen in the UK. Nature’s Song traces the development of this art form from the late Ming dynasty (late 16th century) to contemporary interpretations from recent decades. Bird and flower paintings showcase the talents of poets and calligraphers, as well as painters, and the exhibition emphasises the symbolic and spiritual meaning of bird and flower motifs.In the exhibition, you can learn about different  techniques used by painters and calligraphers to create these stunning artworks. This is an exciting opportunity to sustain links between Wales and China: the exhibition has been created in collaboration with China Three Gorges Museum in Chongqing. On until 23 April.

Nature’s Song: Chinese Bird and Flower Paintings


Telling Tales: Anna Noel, Craft in the Bay


Anna Noel is inspired by how animals accompany humans throughout our lives. Based in the Gower, Anna takes inspiration from the animals she grew up with: From fairy-tale figures and imaginary friends to trusty companions and beloved pets. Noel creates charming ceramic figures, set to populate the Craft in the Bay from  21. January 2017 – Sun, 5. March.

Telling Tales – Anna Noel

Power in the Land, Bay Art

The artist group X-10 present the outcome of two years of collaboration,  where they examined the  closure and decommissioning of Wylfa on Anglesey, the last nuclear power station in Wales.Through  video, photography, sound, sculpture, and  installation, the artists respond to this event and question the future of nuclear power and attached environmental concerns. Merging art, science and technology, the show adds new questions and thoughts to the nuclear debate. On from 18 Feb – 17 March 2017.

Participating artists include,  – Ant Dickinson, Bridget Kennedy, Jessica Lloyd-Jones, Chris Oakley, Teresa Paiva, Tim Skinner, Robin Tarbet, Alana Tyson, Annie Grove-White, Helen Grove-White.


Power in the Land

Last Chance to see…

Artes Mundi 7

Don’t miss the Artes Mundi exhibition at the National Museum of Wales and at Chapter, which finishes on February 26. Cardiff-based organisation Artes Mundi is best known for its biannual exhibition and prize, and emphasises how art reflects what it means to be human in contemporary society – it is the largest cash prize awarded for the arts in the UK and one of the most significant in the world.

This year’s exhibition brings together the work of shortlisted artists from Lebanon, Angola, Algeria, the USA, Ghana and Wales. It showcases work in a variety of media, including film, installation and performance art. Pop into the galleries for a free guided tour (2pm daily at the museum, and on request at Chapter), and keep an eye out for free family drop-in activities over February half term, which will examine themes inspired by the artists’ work, including costume, storytelling and gardens.

Artes Mundi 7



Catrin Greaves works as a tour guide and workshop facilitator at the National Museum of Wales. She moved to Cardiff after studying Anthropology in Belfast, and enjoys singing ina  choir and doing embroidery

Green Man headliners announced! PJ Harvey, Ryan Adams and Future Islands bring the party!

Great news, party people – the Green Man headliners have been announced for the 15th birthday, and they are looking GOOD!

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This year we celebrate Green Man on 17 – 20 August, and check out the headliners – and these are three acts you can ONLY SEE at Green Man this year – they aren’t playing any other UK festivals!

PJ Harvey will be playing the Mountain Stage, ten years since she last played in Wales. Bring the noise!

Ryan Adams brings moody, devilish journeys through country music and Americana to the Black Mountains.

Future Islands – the crazy silky groovemasters bring their madness to Wales for the first time ever!



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Other news: two time Mercury nominated soulmaster Michael Kiwanuka returns to GM for the third time to transfix with his panoramic, soul-stirring exaltations from last year’s number one record. Following 2016’s triumphant return with new album ‘Flotus’, we welcome the magisterial melancholy of the legendary Lambchop. Also Conor Oberst– the man behind the much-loved Bright Eyes – will be getting your stirring up misty-eyed moments and Angel Olsen returns following a clean sweep of critical adulation for 2016’s ‘MY WOMAN’.

With a whole load more eye-catching propositions – like 6Music’s album of the year from jazz wizards BadBadNotGood, a DJ set from long time GM pal Jon Hopkins, the ever excellent Field Music, Julia Jacklin and much, much more added to the bill, our birthday bash is shaping up to be a real corker already.

We’ve still got a Thursday night headliner tucked away up our sleeve, plus plenty more amazing acts (including a party-starting programme of After Dark DJs) to be announced.

Stay tuned for more news!

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Green Man 2017 takes place in the beautiful Brecon Beacons from Thursday 17th to Sunday 20th August, putting glorious musical performers in the most magical of settings. With 10 unique areas, there are whole worlds to explore – from late night, frisky goings-on in the Far Out field, to the best in Comedy and Literature in Babbling Tongues, over one hundred beers and ciders in The Courtyard to beaker-fizzing experiments inEinstein’s Garden, and loads, loads more besides, there’s no better place to dive in and see where you end up.

Line-up in full:

PJ Harvey, Ryan Adams, Future Islands, Michael Kiwanuka, Lambchop, Conor Oberst, Angel Olsen,BadBadNotGood, Jon Hopkins (DJ), Field Music, This is the Kit, Julia Jacklin, Fionn Regan, The Big Moon, Richard Dawson, Melt Yourself Down, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Laura Gibson, Sunflower Bean,Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band, Jessica Pratt, Karl Blau, Grumbling Fur, LVL UP, Shame, Wolf People, Big Thief, Gill Landry, Michael Chapman, Doomsquad, Deep Throat Choir, Girl Ray, Gaelynn Lea, Warhaus, The Orielles,

We’re big fans of Green Man: find out more from before

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Absolutely Fabulous Vegan Fayre, Plasnewydd: A Cruelty Free Food Community

Ab-Fab Vegan Fayres have been running for a while now, going from strength to strength. In a way, it has become a bastion for the growing vegan community in Wales and Cardiff – it is events like this that keep alternative culture alive. Ab-Fab is more than a lifeline for the vegan community, it is representative of a growing movement in Wales and Britain. The food, crafts and cosmetics on offer, too, were creative and – food-wise – incredibly scrumptious.


Plasnewydd Community Centre proved to be an appropriate space for the Fayre. The space was small, but properly utilised by the highly-varied stalls that filled up the community centre. The room was bursting with conversation, laughs and well-timed “mmms” when someone took a bite of something. The atmosphere was one that was welcoming and inclusive for vegans and non-vegans alike. The stalls were incredibly varied (although cake-heavy, which isn’t so much a problem as it is a solution to a lot of life’s problems) at affordable prices. We didn’t get a chance to try everything, but what we did try gave further evidence that vegan food can be creative and satisfying to the palette.

Vegan Pizza Co. were our first stop. The Cardiff-based pizza slappers have been gaining a strong reputation in Cardiff and for good reason. The pizzas ranged from £6 to £8 which was great value for the quality of the pizza. The pizza crust was strong, the pizzas were well-topped and the vegan cheese was nothing short of a miracle – the cheese, truly, was indistinguishable from its curdled milk cousin. Cardiff Pizza Co. truly are doing great things with pizza and we’re praying that – eventually – they move from pop-up to establishment.


The next stop was The Welshman’s Lunch who had a variety of vegan cakes, chutneys and tea on offer. We sampled (and bought without hesitation) their avocado chocolate cupcake which was – again – a work of vegan magic. The flavour was strong, sweet, unique and dangerously moreish. We then stopped by Peace & Bake who sold a variety of sweet loaves, brownies and cakes (you can see a theme emerging here). A brownie and a banana bread was on the menu and these, too, were dangerously moreish


Mr. Nice Pie and Jack Bakes were next and offered enough savoury pie goodness to end your pie cravings forever. Mr. Nice Pie’s Thai green curry pie was immense and unlike anything we’ve tried before. Jack Bakes spinach tartlet, too, struck a fine balance to satisfy the palette.

The true unsung hero of the fayre was Global Fusion Creole Vegan Bakery. A variety of sweet loafs were on offer, £2 for a slice and £4 for a loaf. There were some truly original loaves on offer, but we settled for the mango bread (something we’d never seen before) and were not let down by the sweetness of the bread for our breakfast the next day.


In addition to the above, there were stalls offering crafts, make-up and cosmetics, along with food stalls we had to miss out on due to full stomachs. We’ll provide a list to all the stalls on offer below, so be sure to check them out as they were all so passionate about their food and crafts.

What stuck out most as we left Ab-Fab in a glucose-induced high was the accommodating nature of it all. A false narrative that veganism is militant has been concocted in recent years, but the truth about veganism is that it is accommodating for all – this was simply a group of people who were trying to make good food without hurting animals. What is there to hate about that? The next fayre is on the 25th in Penarth, so please head on down there whatever your dietary description because this event – along with the lovely organiser Sue Thomas – deserve all the support they can get. You can follow their next event here on Facebook.

Food Stalls:

Babita’s Spice Deli-Indian & Asian Food

Global Fusion Creole Vegan Bakery

Angela Feane-Vegangela Rose Bakery (Sweet Potato mild curry pasties & fabulous vegan cakes)

Vegan Pizza Co

Vic’s Vegan Bakes

Peace and Bake

Mr Nice Pie

The Welshman’s Lunch

Jack Bakes

Animal Rescue Stalls:

Greyhound Rescue Wales

FAUNA-VIKKI FAUNA-Wildlife Rescue & Animal Rights

Welsh Horse and Pony Group

Homeless Cats Cardiff

RozMogz Cat Rescue

Hillside Animal Sanctuary

Gifts & Crafts:

Ahh Lovely-Tracey & Cally

Venla Valve-Moon & Bear Shop



Skincare, Healthcare & Beauty:

IUVO Skincare


Selina Wells-Hyfryd Skincare

Tropic Skincare & Makeup


All you need is … a love-inspired recipe for Saint Dwynwen’s Day!

To celebrate St Dwynwen’s Day on 25 January this week, we’ve invited Lia from Lia’s Kitchen to create a love inspired recipe for us …  

Dwynwen is the Welsh patron saint of lovers, and to celebrate this very time of the year when love is in the air (if “love” means hanging out inside eating and drinking lovely things because it’s cold outside) we encourage you to follow this recipe for Greek chocolate-coated caramel almonds … excuse us while we wipe the drool off the floor …

All you need is love… and Greek chocolate-coated, caramel almonds

Love is all you need! At these times when our world is going through global change on a large scale it is really important to celebrate love and all that is good around us. I hope a small, sweet treat will help you shift your mood to happy. This is my easy and delicious recipe for Greek chocolate and caramel coated almonds – a sweet something to help make it all better.


My excuse to celebrate love (and chocolate) is our own Welsh Lady patron of love, St Dwynwen. We have a lady for our love angel here people, how is that for woman power? Even though St Dwynwen’s story is a sad one (she never got the chance to be with the love of her life) she seems to have remained a beacon of hope and positivity. Her most famous saying is: ‘Nothing wins hearts like cheerfulness.’

So, I invite you to use St Dwynwen’s day (25 January) as an opportunity to think about all the things you love in this world and to show your love to all those important to you, as early as three weeks before Valentine’s day! Love your friends, your family, that special hunk or goddess in your life. Love your community, your environment, the good things in this world, like millions of people coming together to send messages of grounded positivity and strength to each other through the global marches in January 2017. And, of course love good sustainable food!

My recipe for chocolate and caramel salted almonds is an all-time Greek favourite. It is easy and quick to make as a token of love and appreciation to those you love (including yourself). You can have so much fun with this recipe by mixing various nuts and seeds, and even dried fruit together. You can use different specialty salts and spices to add your own bespoke flavour. And it is a healthy snack too (if not abused). Below is my basic recipe using almonds. Enjoy!

Ingredients (makes 12 chocolate almond bites)

  • 100g dark chocolate (or chocolate of your choice)
  • ½ tsp coconut oil (optional)
  • 140g almonds
  • Halen Mon vanilla salt (optional)
  • Salt Odyssey smoked salt (optional)
  • Zest of one mandarin
  • Pinch of allspice
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 5 tbsp. water
  • Baking paper

Preparation (2 hours including chilling time)

  1. In a non-stick pan roast the almonds in medium heat until slightly browned. Then take off the heat.
  2. Mix the water, icing sugar and a pinch of your preferred specialty salt in a small cup (if using) and pour over the almonds. Stir mix well and return to medium heat until they are caramelised.
  3. Prepare your bain-marie to melt the chocolate, by adding boiling water to a pot, placing it on a hob (medium heat) and placing a heat resistant glass bowl (Pyrex) on top. The bottom of the pot should not touch the water.
  4. Add the chocolate broken in small pieces and stir until it melts. Add another pinch of the second specialty salt in the chocolate, if you are using salt.
  5. Add the almonds to the chocolate mixture, remove the bowl from the bain-marie, and set aside to cool down for a few minutes.
  6. Layer a baking sheet with some baking paper (non-stick).
  7. Spoon a tablespoon of the mixture on the baking paper until the mixture finishes.
  8. Grate the zest of one mandarin on top of the chocolate almond bites. Add a pinch of ground all spice over the chocolate bites, if you are using spices.
  9. Chill the chocolate almond bites for at least two hours, preferably in the fridge.
  10. You can wrap the chocolate almond bites in (coloured) aluminium foil to preserve freshness, particularly if you are making more than one batch.
  11. You can use a mixture of nuts, hazelnuts and pistachio nuts work really well. The ratio of nuts to chocolate is almost 1 unit of chocolate to 1.4 of nuts. If you are using dried fruit you can double the amount.
  12. Occasionally, I add a hint of mandarin juice or rum or cognac in the melted choc for that extra layer of flavour.

To find out more about more about Greek food join one of Lia’s Kitchen intimate cooking classes on 3 and 10 February. Lia will be introducing participants to Greek Kitchen basics but will also be sharing Greek flavours and recipes that are not yet widely known in the UK. You can book online here or contact Lia for more information at

Lia Moutselou mugshot

Lia Moutselou is a self-taught chef who has lived in the UK and abroad for the past twenty years. She runs Lia’s Kitchen and through it pop-up food events, cooking classes and social enterprise projects around the world. She inspired by Greek food, sustainability and world flavours, from her second home of Wales and places she has lived at and visited over the past two decades. For more information visit her Lia’s Kitchen website.

Meet Lia on social media: Lia’s Kitchen Facebook  /  @LiasKitchen  /   Lia’s Kitchen Instagram.

Want to find out more about St Dwynwen’s Day, including how to download this awesome card? Head for the Visit Wales website


Entrepreneurialism, Creativity and the Nature-Nurture Debate

This is a piece put together by Lucy Thomas, Course Leader in BA Music Business at University of South Wales. She published it before Christmas on her LinkedIn and has very kindly allowed us to republish.


Finding myself with some rare time over Christmas I have taken the opportunity to write up a post inspired by some unknown family photos my mum recently shared with me. For the last few years I have been musing concepts of entrepreneurialism, creativity and the nature-nurture debate. It is not my favourite word and I’m not sure exactly what it means, but roughly it’s about new ventures and ideas. The attached photos were a wonderful discovery and have gone some way in confirming my thoughts.

Is entrepreneurialism something that can be taught or is it more of an innate, sixth sense that individuals are born with? Do some people just have the X Factor for new business generation? Obviously, most skills can be learned to some extent, but it is apparent that there are “natural entrepreneurs” who thrive in new landscapes. The traits of individuals wired this way are evident from a young age and at the very heart of it, I see the motivation as creativity and social connectivity. Interaction, expression, the bringing together of things is the driver and pleasure here. It is often the norm for profit to be the secondary result of an excellent service or product. An affirmation of value and not always the main focus as non-entrepreneurs may think.

What has led me to this point has been my own experiences coupled with observations of my oldest son and his friends over the last few years. From the age of about six he genuinely loved nothing better than setting a stall up in the front garden so he could sell, barter, exchange and most of all interact. We then moved to the coast and things got really exciting when the sun shone, people were thirsty and there were tourists. We literally had camper vans pulling up outside and kept running out of stock.

Some young children would rather eat coal than talk to a stranger, or tout a new idea, but our boy just loves to hustle. Fast forward to his dads Street Food projects there is a smoothie stall being incubated along with growing frustration that he’s only 10 and can’t go it alone just yet. We have neither encouraged or discouraged, he’s just been running with his own plans and I have learned that this is the way it is with kids. They have their own ideas no matter what yours are.

Just recently we found these photos of my Great Grandfather’s shop in Pentre selling all kinds of things including bikes and records. I love the way it’s called “W Wiltshire – Athletic, Cycle, Gramophone, Wireless and Electrical Depot”. Anyone who knew the record shop I had for 21 years in Cardiff called Catapult will probably laugh at the many similarities between my business and his, despite the hundred years or so age gap. After completing law school the path I choose at 24 was not that of a solicitor, but an unknown one in self-employment and dance music. Catapult was a launchpad for a label, events, DJ school, lecturing, fashion line and community venue. There is no set career path once you go it alone and this is the best bit.


There can be misconceptions in the ways these “going aloners” or entrepreneurs are perceived and it is particularly difficult for creatives to connect with concepts of business and profit, almost as it if devalues the authenticity of their work. An ugly monster of commercial manipulation, materialism or some such other hideous proposition. The reality is that all new ventures are exciting start-ups to be explored whatever the context and this includes creative projects, music and art. The art of business in itself is an imaginative process; an adventure where you dig deep to collaborate, diversify, adapt and ultimately survive.

Increasingly I see the entrepreneurialism term popping up in the educational sphere and indeed it was a Foundation Degree in Music Industry Entrepreneurship that drew me to the University of South Wales in 2012 and precipitated a career change in lecturing. I found it amazing that people could actually gain qualifications in this sector and was curious to decipher the curriculum processes. What I have found are innovative, transferable skills and environments where you can test things out, including yourself. There are definitely natural entrepreneurs engaging with the process, as well as more reluctant innovators, who sometimes find out to their surprise that they like this stuff.

I am aware that this is a very personal account, really just scratching the surface on a subject I’m keen to research further. Very interested in feedback and shared experiences.


Footnote Jan 2017…. Since writing this post a number of people have been in touch (thank you) with information about W.Wiltshire, including this advert from the Rhondda Leader Newspaper 1917. This has enabled me to date more accurately and I’m blown away that Catapult and Wiltshire’s shops co-existed over a hundred years apart! I love the tone of the advert; the way in encourages saving money by riding bikes in a bid to push the brand. Entrepreneurialism and Wales are in my blood more than I know.

Thanks Lucy! Looky here for more info on the excellent University South Wales BA Music Business course


Cardiff photographers! Check the Buzz Photography Competition 2017

This is for the snappy snappers among you – pay attention fools, as throughout 2017 Buzz Magazine are holding a photography competition in association with Ffotogallery. The winner each month will be featured as the magazine’s Facebook and Twitter cover photos, AND be featured in an upcoming exhibition.

Each month there is a new theme (see the list below) – photographers are invited to take 5-10 images as part of an album related somehow to the theme.

Grab your camera – whatever kind you have – and get creative. Then submit it for everyone to see. The remaining themes for the year are listed below. To be included, send your entries (5-10 images) to Buzz by the 20 of each previous month (for example, the February entries will need to be in by 20 January – so get a move on!):

February Issue Legends
March Issue Wales
April Issue Music
May Issue Festivity
June Issue Excess
July Issue Summer
August Issue Oddities
September Issue New Beginnings
October Issue Humans
November Issue Comedy
December January Issue Resolution

Email your images to to enter your work, along with your name, email and contact number. Winners will be informed a week after submission if you are one of the winners that month.


Ffotogallery are offering winners:

  • £100 voucher for one of their photography courses (not eligible with block booking discount)
  • A Diffusion Festival goody bag (tote bag, Looking for America publication, limited edition box of postcards and a Ffotomatic gift box)
  • A signed copy of our new publication Garden State | Corinne Silva published by Ffotogallery and The Mosaic Rooms London
  • A selection of Ffotogallery six limited edition photography publications

Established in 1978, Ffotogallery are the national development agency for photography and lens based media in Wales. Ffotogallery deliver new artistic programmes which are challenging and accessible, featuring the best Welsh and international contemporary work in photography and lens-based media, run accredited photography and digital courses, and are the lead agency for Diffusion Cardiff International Photography Festival.

For more info on this year’s competition, visit Buzz Photography Competition 2017.

Good luck!

Big wheel in Cardiff Bay



We Are Cardiff: Blogging talk / workshop at USW

You guys! Okay so it’s super last minute but our founder/self facilitating media node Helia Phoenix is giving a talk/workshop tomorrow at the University of South Wales.

It’s part of the BA Music Business course but she’ll be talking about using digital platforms for various things – social media / blogging / marketing / storytelling / content production, as well as discussing the current landscape re traditional news and media …

There’s a lot to fit in. Not gonna lie. Plus a lunch break. But we’ll get it done!



“We Are Cardiff’s mission to create and share interesting stories about culture, arts and people took them on wondrous journey that has resulted in 50k followers, a published book and prestigious awards. Hear how strategic digital marketing played a crucial role in the blogs success, straight from the horse’s mouth.”


That is all.




A Freshers’ Guide to Cardiff

Student journalist Ellie Philpotts writes a guide to Cardiff – for freshers!

Big wheel and Pierhead building, Cardiff Bay

Here at We Are Cardiff, it’s fair to say we’re fans of … Cardiff. Some might even say we are Cardiff. Not even just those of us writing away, although the name kind of suggests that. The beauty of Cardiff is that we are all Cardiff – the people make the city what it is. Whether you’re in your first term at Cardiff University, Uni of South Wales, Cardiff Met or the like, or have never strayed further than the Welsh capital in all your years, you’re sure to appreciate that Cardiff is full of friendly faces.

While lots of people come together in forming Cardiff, right now we’re focusing on one group of Cardiff’s people – new students. Now it’s November, you’ll have had a couple of months’ prime time to work your way around it, but it’s still early days compared to how long you’ll be here, so here are Ellie’s top tips on how to make the best of this exciting city.

Cardiff’s Best Places for Coffee

Alliteration isn’t the only thing Cardiff and coffee have in common. They also happen to compliment each-other perfectly. So if you’re in urgent need of a generous dose of caffeine to tackle your 9am or are after a more leisurely location to whittle away a South Wales Sunday, you’ll have plenty to choose between.

The city centre may be the obvious hive of activity, and sure enough, there’s more than enough to satisfy shoppers, sightsee-ers, tourists or residents who double as coffee fans – think Milk & Sugar; The Plan; Coffee Barker; Pettigrew Tea Rooms; Garlands; Little Man

But as impressive as each of these are, Cardiff’s coffee scene isn’t restricted to the centre. Walk a little further afield and you’ll stumble across these:

These are to name just a few!

Cardiff’s Best Places for Student Shopping

Rose Street Flea Market – another alternative shopping location for a student budget

If you wish it was socially acceptable to place ‘Shopping’ in the ‘Interests’ section on LinkedIn, you’re in luck living in Cardiff. As with any city, the big names line the centre, most notably Queen Street; St Mary Street and Queen’s Arcade, but the Arcades trailing through the city are certainly unique to Cardiff. Bookworms, foodies, vintage lovers, fancy dress fans, bargain hunters or just those who fancy a good hair cut all unite. Other hidden gems include Jacob’s Antiques; Castle Emporium; and an array of quirky charity shops in areas such as Cowbridge Road East and Albany Road.

Cardiff’s Best Lunches

A delicious bagel from the New York Deli

Studying is hungry work, but you don’t need to demolish your student loan to have a good lunch. The cheap and cheerful crème de la crème in the city centre span from New York Deli, High Street Arcade’s legendary take on the Big Apple (fruits don’t actually always feature in the Hoagies and bagels); The Real Italian Pizza Co (the authentic pizzeria recently set up camp on Church Street having expanded out of Bath); Nata & Co, a charming Portuguese bakery opposite the castle but also found in Splott and the Bay; and 29 Park Place, a colourful and fun welcome addition to Park Place, otherwise known as Cardiff University’s Student High Street.

Meanwhile, the Roath/Cathays border offers its fair share of good grub if you’re not up for venturing too far from student territory – highlights include The Pot’s quaint sister branch, Arty’s Kitchen; Anna-Loka, Cardiff’s first 100 per cent vegan cafe; and New York Diner, the new (York) kids on the City Road block who know how to serve up a mean burger and milkshake combo.

Cardiff’s Best Nightlife

Good times at Buffalo

With something (or multiple events) on every night of the week, ‘bored’ soon becomes axed from the Cardiff student’s vocabulary. From Bump ‘n’ Grind at legendary bar Buffalo to the somewhat iconic Live Lounge and the chain of nationwide-recognisable clubs like Glam and Pryzm, there are plenty of opportunities to belt out some 90s classics, but on the quirkier end of the spectrum are Clwb Ifor Bach; Chapter; Dempsey’s and Millieu’s Spoken Word nights.

Cardiff’s Best Parks

Spring in Cathays Park, Doug Nicholls

Not many cities can say they’re in such close proximity to what more resembles the middle of nowhere. And even if they could, we’re still going to praise Cardiff’s park culture. You’ve probably by now tracked down Cathays Park (right next to Cardiff University), just a stone’s throw from Bute Park, but did you know it’s not just under the shadow of the castle? One of the UK’s largest parks, it covers 130 landscaped acres, leading all the way towards Llandaff down the Taff Trail.

Meanwhile, Roath Lake is the heart of the community-centric suburb of Roath, with its stunning botanical gardens beautiful whatever the season. If you’re feeling brave enough in summer, rent a pedalo, or hibernate in Terra Nova cafe if the Cardiff rain is doing its usual thing.

Trek slightly further out though and you’ll find Canton’s Victoria Park; the grounds surrounding St Fagans Museum; or abandon the constraints of inner Cardiff altogether and reach Cosmeston Lakes to the south of attractive seaside town of Penarth; the Knap proving Barry is so much more than Gavin and Stacey; the Brecon Beacons’ peaks and waterfalls; or the Bay’s Barrage walk.

As rambling should be reserved to South Wales’ actual countryside, I’ll wrap it up now – but all in all rest assured that if you’re new to Cardiff you’ve made the best decision. With a thriving cultural scene; opportunities all round; the prime balance between nature and urbanisation and the chance to try your hand at skills you wouldn’t have ever thought of, Cardiff has it all.

Need any other inspiration? We Are Cardiff’s archive probably houses something worth reading…


Ellie Philpotts Ellie Philpotts is a student at Cardiff University studying English Literature, Journalism and Media. She is  a teenage-cancer survivor; is obsessed with travelling, and her favourite cities outside Cardiff are being Sydney, NYC, Nashville and Paris. Her ‘likes’ also include general Britishness, cups of tea, exploring, attempting to write songs, journalism, Italian food, finding new places, going out for dinner and taking photos – of everything. She is not a fan of maths, mashed potato, narrow minded people, her phone constantly running out of memory for photos, or people who are mean about Taylor Swift. Follow her blog or Instagram.

On the sesh

Today we’ve got a mini feature, around the work of photojournalist Aiyush Pachnanda. Aiyush is focusing on Cardiff and its vibrant night scene for a current project …  



“I am from London but moved to Cardiff to study photojournalism at the University of South Wales,” says Aiyush. “I chose to study this because I want more than just a photo, I want to portray the story behind the photo.”

“My favourite thing about Cardiff has to be how compact everything is, coming from London everything is just so far away from each other and just having the ability to walk from one end of the city to the other is great. I also love the nightlife of course. I fell in love with night life culture, ever since I arrived and as photojournalism student I just wanted to document that, photograph what I see and the people I come across.”


aiyush_pachnanda_on_the_sesh-13  aiyush_pachnanda_on_the_sesh-11  aiyush_pachnanda_on_the_sesh-09  aiyush_pachnanda_on_the_sesh-07 aiyush_pachnanda_on_the_sesh-06

To see more of Aiyush’s work, visit YoSnaps.


LOVE, CARDIFF – WORLD PREMIERE – and you can take part!




Love, Cardiff is the story of our city’s past, present and future told through the personal accounts of our City Road communities. The customers in the barbers and take-aways pass each other on the street. The staff in the grocers, the sex shop, and the funeral directors sit side by side on the bus. The residents of City Road make their way home, every passer-by, every person an extraordinary story.

Love, Cardiff is a community production that explores the stories that lie behind the faces of those who live, work and play along this vibrant city road.

Do you have a City Road story?

If so, get in touch. Your story may be the inspiration we are looking for to help us build our performance, exhibition and archive. Please contact the Love, Cardiff Team on 02920 646980 or email The Community and Engagement Team at the Sherman Theatre create projects about you, our citizens, together telling the story of our community, our capital city.

‘To have the whole community in a play made entirely of their words was incredible.’ (Waulah Cymru Committee Member on the Sherman Theatre’s Community Production of Home)





My Body Welsh – A Rumination on Welsh National Identity

In a world where nationalism has become muddied by dangerous right-wing rhetoric, it is easy to forget about the metaphysical merit of searching for one’s own national identity. Often, it is a discovery laden with history, language, surprise and – most importantly – growth. Welsh national identity, too, is made particularly interesting  by the complicated amalgamation of Welsh and Anglo culture which has left Wales – particularly the South – iridescent. Despite this, the sense of community in Wales is as prominent as our valleys and our stories. Pontio, Invertigo Theatre Company’s and The Conker Group’s newest offering, My Body Welsh, is a play that concerns itself with these issues of national identity, and more with creative aplomb:

“MY BODY WELSH is a playful, part-bilingual, one-man mystery adventure. Weaving stories, histories, sounds and language, performer Steffan Donnelly transports his audience into a slippery world of small-town myth-making. Accompanied by a live soundscape artist creating sounds both with and in front of the audience, the show creates community in its telling, leaving us wondering the extent to which national identity is built upon stories.”

The play weaves its way through the infamous streets of Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch and into the minds behind small town myth-making and culture building. The play asks if “There’s more to being Welsh than having the accent, isn’t there?”, and it’s up to you to attend and find out the answer. The play is on tour at the moment and will be arriving in Cardiff at Chapter Arts on the 13 / 14 of January. This looks like a real treat, so be sure to grab your tickets for My Body Welsh here at Chapter, if you fancy it.




Roath Park short film, La Volonte, by Dylan Mears

Before Christmas we were contacted by a filmmaker called Dylan Mears. He’s currently doing his A-levels, but wanted to share a little film he’d made. I watched it and thought it would make the perfect inspiration for you to get outside and get active after Christmas indulgences!

The film is mostly set in Roath Park. Here’s what Dylan says about it:

“I’m from Cardiff, and since the age of three I’ve loved going to Roath Park Lake, hence why the majority of the film was shot there. I made the film after a very testing time of GCSEs, and my main objective with the project was to motivate people and offer the message that you take out what you put in this life.”

“I’m currently studying AS Economics, English, and Psychology at Fitzalan. Inspiration comes from everywhere and anywhere but mainly the natural beauties such as the dawn and dusk, and just the varying propensities in everyday people.”
Well good luck Dylan – and all of you budding filmmakers, writers, artists, airplane pilots, army cadets, teachers, opera singers – whatever it is you want to do, get out there and do it!
For my part (in case you think these are empty words), my life resolutions are to finish the g*& d%$&* novel I’ve been flapping about with the past two years and to blog more on my personal blog. And stop eating so much shite and exercise more. And call my parents more.
Good luck to us all!
Find our more about Dylan and his work: