Tag Archives: shopping

A guide to local Christmas shopping in Cardiff

Cardiff is a hot bed of creative craft folks and entrepreneurs who are making their hobbies their day job. Why not keep it local year and get your Christmas shopping from local friendly makers and creators. The lovely Twin Made have created a handy guide and list of local markets to help you Sleigh your Christmas Shopping!

Here are some upcoming Christmas craft markets happening in and around Cardiff:

The Christmas Makers Market at The Paget Room, Penarth – Sunday 11th November

Ichi Artisan Winter Market 2018 –  St Catherine’s Church Hall, King’s Road, Pontcanna – Saturday 17th November

Snapped Up at The Printhaus, Canton – Saturday 17th November, Saturday 8th – Sunday 9th December

Little Otter at The Paget Rooms, Penarth – Sunday 18th November

The Bone Yard, Canton Cardiff – Saturday 17th November, Saturday 8th – Sunday 9th December

WOW Women of the World Festival at Chapter Arts Saturday 24th November to Sunday 25th November

Rhiwbina’s Handmade Market – Rhiwbina Memorial Hall – Sunday 25th November

Xmas Market at The Sustainable Studio – Saturday 1st December

Etsy Made Local at The Tramshed – Sunday 2nd December

Oh So Festive at Chapter, Canton – Saturday 8th December

The Christmas Makers Market – Saturday 8th December at St Catherine’s Church Hall, King’s Road, Pontcanna

 For those that have everything

Gah, those tricky people who give you no hints and appear to have everything they need:

How about a gift voucher from Twin Made, this will also be perfect for anyone who is asking for a sewing machine, get them a gift voucher to attend a workshop and get crafty in the new year.

Twin Made are at The Bone Yard, in Canton, Cardiff.They host creative workshops, sell craft supplies and equipment hire and much, much more.

Follow @Twin_Made twitter, and Twin Made Instagram and Twin Made Cardiff Facebook.

Stitch City is run by Alex Hughes in Penarth. Stitch City makes a variety of recycled and stitched products including vintage map notebooks and badges, recycled fabric earrings and embroidered cushions.

Find them online: www.stitchcity.etsy.com or at the following markets this Winter: Ichi Artisan Market in St Catherine’s Church Hall, Rhiwbina’s Handmade Market in Rhiwbina Memorial Hall & Etsy Made Local in Tramshed

Go follow Stitch City- @Alex_stitchcity Twitter and @Alex_stitchcity Instagram

A perfect stocking filler from Stitch City

Alice Hawthorne located in Cardiff city centre is a designer and signwriter

Alice designs and creates: from gold leaf glass signs to posters to branding and graphic design.

Pieces are created in her Cardiff based studio and each of the signs painted and gold guided pieces and created from scratch and made to order. As a graphic designer her skills of type/layout/colour work perfectly in creating bespoke and unique items. The items in the store are a perfect reflection of her style and character from quirky posters for your home to hand crafted gold signs that are something completely different.

Online: www.aliceartwork.co.uk/shop or https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/aliceartworkdesign

Or in real life at Snapped up Market on Saturday 17th November and the Little Otter events in Penarth in November.

Go follow on Facebook aliceartworkdesign & Instagram:@aliceartwork

Stocking filler: A hand crafted gold leaf letter.

Free Range Frames is a one woman show with Kath making bespoke picture frames. The frames are made from bare wood with an added finish. This can be painted, wood stained, gilded and customisable to the client’s specifications.

Shop online and find out more about Free Range Frames – www.freerangeframes.co.uk, Stocking filler: A gift voucher, pop in to see Kath to get yourself one.

What a 2018! Why not treat the stressed out person in your life to a relaxing massage! Yurt in the City is a calm oasis run by Marcos Martin-Suarez. Yurt in the City offer a range of holistic therapies including: massage and Reiki from their beautiful yurt in the heart of the city. They also provide all manner of interesting workshops including yoga, meditation classes, mother and baby massage and gong baths to name some.

Find Yurt in the City at the The Bone Yard, Cardiff

Online at: www.yurtinthecity.co.uk and www.wildwoodtherapies.com

Go follow Yurt in the City on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/yurtinthecity/

https://www.facebook.com/WildWoodTherapies/

Instagram yurt_in_the_city

A perfect stocking filler would be – A gift voucher available from: http://yurtinthecity.co.uk/marcos-suarez/

We all could do with being a little fitter, right? RIGHT? Why not head to Accomplish Fitness Studio – Wellbeing and fitness studios. Run by Natt Summers, the multi hyphenated:

Author, Mindset Coach and Founder of Accomplish Fitness Studio

Find Accomplish Fitness at The Bone Yard and online at www.accomplish-fitness.co.uk

Go follow: @accomplishfitness_cardiff and @natt_summers

Stocking filler: Millie and Pink hairbands.

All that glitters and shines is probably made by these excellent folk:

 Lesley Peate of Lesley Jane Jewellery is based at The Bone Yard, Canton, Cardiff.

Lesley make and sell copper, silver & enamel jewellery and small copperware items. She also run beginners enamelling and metal jewellery workshops in her shipping container studio.

Find Lesley online: folksy.com/shops/LesleyJaneJewellery or at her studio at The Bone Yard, on first Saturday of the month and at the Bone Yard Christmas.

Follow Lesley Jane jewellery: www.facebook.com/LesleyJaneJewellery

Stocking filler: Cherry Red Enamel Heart Earrings: https://folksy.com/items/5954181-Cherry-Red-Enamelled-Heart-Earrings

Lydia Niziblian is a resident at The Printhaus in Canton, where she deisgns and makes bespoke and one of a kind pieces of jewellery in gold and silver.

You can find her online at: www.niziblian.com or in real life at the Snapped Up Market at The Printhaus and the Rhiwbina Handmade Market. Or visit her studio by appointment – email lydia@niziblian.com to arrange.

Follow Lydia and her jaw dropping work on: www.facebook.com/niziblian or @lydianiziblian on instagram

A perfect stocking filler – Gift voucher; can be used against ready-made and bespoke items and start at £10

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/577541867/lydia-niziblian-jewellery-gift-voucher

Rhian Kate Makes works in the centre of Cardiff, designing and making handmade contemporary Jewellery, using a range of different materials to make unique jewellery inspired by the moon the solar system and geometric shapes.

Find Rhian Kate Makes online: https://www.rhiankate.co.uk

Or at the following markets: The Makers Market, Penarth Paget Rooms, Penarth’s Handmade Market, The Paget Rooms, Penarth, Rhwbina’s Handmade Market, the memorial Hall, Etsy Made Local, The Tramshed, The Local Artisan Pop Up, High Street Arcade, Cardiff.

The Makers Market, Pontcanna, St Catherine’s Church Hall.

Stocking filler; Tinymoon earrings £15: https://www.rhiankate.co.uk/product-page/tinymoon-earrings

Fizz Goes Pop works from The Printhaus in Canton creating the most beautiful laser cut and resin cast jewellery.

Go shop the Fizz Goes Pop collection at: www.etsy.com/fizzgoespop,

Or go visit Fizz Goes Pop at Frome Independent Market, The Makers Market in Penarth, Paper Dolls in Birmingham, Sustainable Studio Market, The Printhaus Snapped Up Markets and Native Makers Plymouth.

Go give Fizz Goes Pop a follow on Instagram: instagram.com/fizzgoespop, facebook.com/fizzgoespop

A great stocking filler would be these beautiful stud earrings: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/640659517/geometric-earrings-stud-earring?ref=shop_home_active_25

Baked By Lou makes beautiful handmade small batch jewellery and ceramics in Cardiff.

Go shop online at Etsy.com/Bakedbylou notonthehighstreet.com/Bakedbylou Or go say Hi to Lou at Snapped Up Market and Oh Sew Festive at Chapter..

To keep up with all these beautiful creations go Follow BBL on: Instagram is @baked.by.lou and Twitter is @bakedbylou

Stocking filler: Lucky dip dangles for £15! https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/560227130/lucky-dip-dangles-statement-baked-by-lou

For the bearded one in your life:

Old Faithful run by Gareth Daniels in Merthyr/Penylan, make and sell Unisex & Men’s Organic, Natural Skincare. Gareth is qualified aromatherapist and his products are made from organic oils, butters, essential oils & herbal extracts. The Old Faithful brand is developing in a masculine unisex direction and this gentle masculinity matches the natural scents to their products.

Find Old Faithful on line: www.oldfaithful.co

Twitter and Go follow Old Faithful on Instagram – @oldfaithfulco

Facebook www.facebook/oldfaithfulco

Purchase a perfect stocking filler right here :

Old Faithful Gift Boxes – https://oldfaithful.co/collections/all/products/gift-boxes

Shopping for Kids

Having Children around at Christmas really does make it more magical and fun, so why treat them this year to some beautiful and unique gifts:

Hayley McGhan is creator of the brand Zac & Bella, Handmade Children’s clothing and accessories. They also have a full family range of Christmas pjs on sale (includes the dog!)

Shop online at www.zacandbella.com use code FSP17 for free collection from Barry.

Or Shop at: Annie & Lolo, High Street, Barry. The Local Artisan Pop Up, High Street Arcade, Cardiff.

Find them at these local markets: The Makers Market in Pontcanna and Penarth.

Rhwbina’s Handmade Market and Etsy Made Local at The Tramshed

Follow Zac and Bella:

Https://instagram.com/zac_and_bella

Https://facebook.com/zacandbella

Stocking filler

Personalised hair bows, 2 pack £5.75.

https://www.zacandbella.com/product-page/christmas-bow-clip-set

You can find Little People Store in Rhiwbina Village they stock clothing, toys & gifts for 0-4 year olds, most of which are organic and fair trade.

Shop online at: www.littlepeoplestore.co.uk

Or pop to the shop: 14a Beulah Road, Rhiwbina Village CF14 6LX 10-4pm, Thursday to Saturday or The Makers Market in Penarth

Go follow them on Instagram: @littlepeoplestoreuk, Facebook facebook.com/littlepeoplestoreuk, twitter @little_peopleuk

A perfect Stocking filler from Little People Store is:

Santa Claus is coming to Cardiff £3.99

https://littlepeoplestore.co.uk/collections/christmas/products/santa-claus-is-coming-to-cardiff

In Rainbows is the colourful creations on Becci Booker, created in her home studio in Barry, Wales

In Rainbows designs and makes kids home decor and other quirky pieces for the home, from: faux animal heads, cushions, banners and plant pot holders. All inspired by animals, colour and 80s patterns.

You can go shop at: Etsy Bristol, Made in Bristol and The Cardiff Artisian pop up shop

Pick from these grat Stocking Fillers from In Rainbows:

Narwal: https://www.etsy.com/listing/592187399/felt-narwhal-narwhal-head-animal-mount?ref=shop_home_active_33

Mountain Garland https://www.etsy.com/listing/593573487/mountain-garland-bunting-wall-art?ref=shop_home_active_22

Shop online: https://etsy.me/2DWFFoPKathy Clark makes Hand Made Costumes in Rhiwbina. They are beautiful costumes designed for kids, made for parents.

Christmas market: Etsy Made Local Cardiff, at Tramshed.

Follow us: @handmadecostumeshop

A great stocking filler – Personalised Kids Rhino Costume https://etsy.me/2L2QkAi

Helen Smith aka Nellys Treasures is a colourful resident of The Printhaus in Canton. Making, and designing interior decor and gifts for children

Go shop online: www.nellystreasuresuk.etsy.com,

Ot head to the following markets to check out her beautiful work: Snapped Up and Etsy Made Local

After purchasing all these great stocking fillers, we need to get a stocking to put it all in and Nellys Treasures make the most beautiful and fun animal faces and character stockings that children will cherish. Get them here:

https://etsy.me/2NOXQQE

Barney & Beau in Pontcanna is a kids lifestyle boutique.

They stock design led modern products for kids and the home. Stocking majority female/women indie brands, sustainable products, the greenest toy companies and children’s book offering promotes female empowerment, kindness and diversity.

Visit their shop in Pontcanna or at these markets: The Makers Markets in Pontcanna & Penarth.

Online at www.barneyandbeau.com

Follow them: @barney_and_beau

A perfect stocking filler would be this a Little Light Company Little Light Cloud.

https://www.barneyandbeau.com/product/a-little-lovely-company-little-light-cloud/

Spotted Peach is Katie Wilcox located in Cardiff Bay. Katie creates baby clothing, hair bows, felt ball garlands, Christmas wreaths and frames.

Shop online: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SpottedPeach

Go give Spotted Peach a follow here:

www.facebook.com/Spotted-Peach

www.instagram.com/spottedpeach

A perfect stocking filler from Spotted Peach: Christmas Hair Bows

 

For the homebody:

GeetLush is actually based outside of Cardiff, nestled in the Valleys… but travels well.

A fledgling small business, GeetLush creates Art, Interiors and Wearables. Expect handpainted delights, plenty of colour and something for everyone.

GeetLush joins her fellow crafty buddies at markets such as the monthly one at The Bone Yard, Canton.

Follow  www.etsy.com/uk/shop/GeetLush, www.instagram.com/geetlush/, www.facebook.com/geetlushshop/

A perfect GeetLush Stocking Filler: Cute little kawaii Christmas pots. https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/651306083/teeny-tiny-kawaii-cute-face-santa-father?ref=shop_home_active_2 or join GeetLush to create your own at The Etsy Made Local Christmas Market at The Tramshed.

Blasus Succulent Emporium is a Plant Shop and soon to be coffee shop, which you can find at The Bone Yard  Cardiff.

Blasus:grows and sells plants of all varieties and plant related gifts and homeware

Go find them on Instagram @blasus_succulent_emporium

A perfect stocking filler from Blasus would be a – Potted mini succulent or cactus

Kathy Clark makes handmade costumes in Rhiwbina. They are beautiful costumes designed for kids, made for parents.

Shop online: https://etsy.me/2DWFFoP

Christmas market: Etsy Made Local Cardiff, at Tramshed.

Follow you: @handmadecostumeshop on Facebook or Instagram

A great stocking filler – Personalised Kids Rhino Costume https://etsy.me/2L2QkAi

How about some wearable art?

Then go take a look at Jodie Johns’ work, hailing from Bridgend, creating body positive artwork with hand painted clothing and accessories. Jodie Johns regularly collaborates with other artists to create t-shirts.

Go shop online at: jodiejohns.com or in real life at The Bone Yard monthly market on Saturday the 3rd November.

Or go give them a follow on Instagram: @jodiejohn_s

Stocking Filler: Anything from their accessories page would make a cute little stocking filler, but what would really be a winner is the hand painted tote bags.

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‘Just a card’ can help keep Cardiff’s creative businesses alive

Running a business as a designer, maker, independent gallery or shop is really hard in any economic climate, but especially this one. The Just A Card campaign encourages people to support these creative enterprises by buying anything, however small- even ‘just a card’. The wonderful Charlotte from our favourite creative business Twin Made has written a quick round-up of Cardiff’s local creatives and their ‘Just a Card’ items.

Twin Made

Twin Made is a creative workshop that and sells crafts, supplies, clothing homeware and lots more.

Just A Card item: We have a range of postcards, which are scans of our original embroideries. These are just £1 each or 5 for £3. We do a happy dance everytime we sell something, however small!

Where to buy: The Bone Yard, Canton, Cardiff & www.twinmade.etsy.com

Home by Kirsty

Home by Kirsty is in a small but perfectly formed coach house in Roath. The shop brings you homeware by leading British and Welsh designer-makers who share a clean, contemporary aesthetic. From Tom Pigeon prints too Buddy & Bear’s amazing kids tableware.

I opened in 2014 in Cardiff City Centre, last summer I shock the businesses up due to massive over heads + changing shopping habits in Cardiff City Centre and relocating to the coach house in Roath. I run the business on my own being the shop assistant, visual merchandiser, Social Media the list is endless…. BUT I love it!! Shop in store (Thurs- Sat 10-6) + online.

Just A Card item: This Together Forever card (£3), and this beautiful magazine (£10).

Where to buy: 64a Glenroy St Roath  CF37 1SU OPEN Thurs- Sat 10-6 or homebykirsty.com 24/7

KA Graphic Design

Kirsty is a freelance designer that sells cards and prints. She also creates custom goodies, from wedding invites to season brochures.

Just a Card Item: You’re How Old?’ birthday card (£2.60).

Where to buy: www.kagraphicdesign.co.uk or in Not Socks again (Penarth) / Quirkey HQ (Pontypool)

PIPES Beer

PIPES makes and sells awesome craft beer. They specialise in their unique take on classic and contemporary styles from around the globe.

Just A Card item: Bottles of beer for take away (£3-£3.80 each. 5% discount on 6 bottles. 10% discount on 12 beers). Or £4 pints to drink in!

Where to buy: 183A Kings Road, Pontcanna and pipesbeers.co.uk

Not Socks Again

We sell quirky gifts, bespoke gift hampers and locally made gifts and cards.

Just A Card item: Cwtch/Bear Hug greeting cards by Folio (a Cardiff based company). £2.99 each.

Where to buy: 1 Windsor Terrace, Penarth or  www.notsocksagain.com

Baked by Lou

Lou designs and makes handmade jewellery and accessories

Just A Card item: I have a colourful range of A5 Giclée Art Prints from £6.

Where to buy: www.bakedbylou.etsy.com

Flamingos Vintage

We are a weigh and pay kilo store with branded concessions and also a functioning gallery and workshop space that we use for hosting events. Our goal is to offer accessible, sustainable and stylish clothing and accessories that we have carefully selected from all over the world.

Just A Card item: Any of our lightweight items… a blouse, t-shirt, hat or belt! They’re around £3 each!

Where to buy: Capitol Shopping Centre, Cardiff

Nelly’s Treasures

I design and make interior items for children’s rooms. I’m a textile designer/illustrator/ printmaker – lots of different things! I love creating illustrations I can make into cushions and art prints alike. All a bit cute and a bit quirky generally with lots of colour!

Just A Card item: I make cards with some of my favourite illustrations including this ‘go get em tiger’ design(£9), which is one of my favourites.

Where to buy:  www.nellystreasures.com

GeetLush

I paint anything I can get my hands on… canvases, plant pots and items I make from air drying clay. I make art, interiors and wearables.

Just A Card item: These A6 abstract prints – just £1.50!

Where to buy: geetlush.com

Fizz Goes Pop

I make colourful and fun jewellery out of laser cut plastic and plywood. I base my designs around floral and folk patterns but take a lot of inspiration from geometry.

Just A Card item: These geometric earrings (£11).

Where to buy: Fizz Goes Pop The PrintHaus, 70a Llandaff Road, Canton, Cardiff, CF11 9NL, instagram.com/fizzgoespopwww.fizzgoespop.etsy.com

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New zero-waste store aims to make ripples in Cardiff

You might have spotted the super exciting Kickstarter campaign for a new zero-waste store in Cardiff called rippleAs you know, we LOVE small actions that turn into big changes. So today, Sophie Rae – the kick-ass woman behind the idea – tells us all about her amazing concept…

Sophie Rae KickstarterRipple, Cardiff’s first not-for-profit zero-waste store, has launched a Kickstarter to bring the shop to the city in time for a new wave of conscious consumers.

Inspired by the independent community of Cardiff, ripple founder and Cardiff native, Sophie Rae, launched the crowd funding campaign on 16th July at fellow not-for-profit business Big Mooose Coffee.

Pledgers have shown their support in vast numbers, with the campaign reaching 25% of its target within 72 hours! Here’s why you should back the project too:

So, what’s ripple about?

It’s simple really. Ripple is all about conscious consuming; from food to fashion choices. We think everyone deserves the chance to shop more ethically. When one person makes a change, everyone else pays attention, because ripples create waves. That, and you know… plastic.

Ripple_KickstarterCampaign_09 (1)

What’s wrong with plastic?

Don’t misunderstand us, we’re not anti-plastic. It’s a material that’s saving lives and has a much-needed purpose worldwide.

But single-use plastics? Yeah, they suck. BIG TIME. Plastic bags, water bottles, coffee cups, straws, packaging, wet wipes, sanitary products… the list is endless and it’s getting longer.

The ugly truth

By 2050, it’s estimated there will be more plastic than fish, in our world ocean. Studies estimate that 8 million tonnes of plastic waste is dumped into the ocean each year and by 2025, that’s set to double.

Worried yet? Us too. Plastic packaging accounts for an eye-watering fifth of the cost of your weekly shop. What if you could shop package free? Well, we’d all be saving a lot of money and precious resources.

refillable containers at ripple

So what is a zero-waste store?

To help the people of Cardiff pass on plastic, ripple will offer over 120 bulk wholefoods and encourage customers to bring their own containers, jars, tubs and bags to refill every time they shop. And because the team believe in treating every creature with kindness, they’ll be be stocking the best natural and cruelty-free home and beauty products too, from eco laundry detergent to shampoo, soap and washing-up liquid.

There’s even going to be some sustainable homeware and ethical fashion thrown in for good measure. Think bamboo socks and organic cotton underwear!

Sophie tell us:

I watched Blue Planet II in 2017 and was deeply shocked to see the devastating harm humans are having on our planet. Since then, I’ve felt pretty ethically queasy. My zero-waste journey started not long after, I’ve been making small changes to help lighten my personal plastic footprint.

The campaign is helping create sustainable foundations for ripple, so our impact can be bigger and bolder than we could have ever imagined on our own. It really is a  community project, led by the people of the city.

I hope ripple will change the way Cardiff consumes, so that we can turn Wales’ capital into a true green city. That’s what ripple is all about:making small, sustainable changes to help create a bigger impact.

Ripple_ToteBag-Kickstarter (1)

Ripple’s Kickstarter campaign will close at 11:59pm on Sunday 29th July, when the target of £30,000 must be reached or no funding will be released.

To help entice supporters to pledge, ripple has collaborated with local independent businesses to offer rewards, including zero-waste starter kits, Hot Pod Yoga class passes and ethical accessories from Cardiff-based fashion brand Maykher.

To support the campaign, find the pledge page here or follow ripple’s
journey across social media at Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

kickstarter tickets (1)

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We love Canton – our fave spots for food, drinks, arts, fitness and shopping

UPDATED 31st AUGUST! While one half of We Are Cardiff is a proud Cardiff Bay-er, the other half lives in Canton. As Cardiff is so small, we always take it for granted that everyone knows all the nice places to eat and drink. But we met someone the other day who didn’t know Canton beyond Chapter, so we thought we’d do a little round of our favourite spots in Canton (and slightly beyond) that you may not know about.
We’re assuming here that everyone knows the well-established big hitters of Chapter, Bangkok Cafe, CalabrisellaIchiban, Got Beef, Kimchi, Chai StreetTime and Beef and The Lansdowne. Have we missed any off this list?

St Cannas, 42 Llandaff Road @stcannas

This place has quickly become our new local since it opened in April. Run by the lovely James, he keeps us busy between free beer Fridays, delicious local ale, food popups from the likes of Pettigrew Bakery, Bearded Tacos and Great Eggspectations, pianos, games, dogs, babies, artwork and general warm, friendly lovely amazingness. We have SO MUCH love for this tiny micropub! (photos from @stcannas/@sarahchew1/ @pettigrewbakes)

Clwb Iechyd Da gym, 317 Cowbridge Road East http://www.iechyd-da.net/  @gampfaiechydda

Hidden away beside a mobile phone shop opposite Peacocks, we stumbled upon this place after moving to Canton. For £25 a month (no contract), you get access to a super friendly gym (run by the wonderful Mered), with a great selection of weights and cardio equipment and a fantastic selection of classes (no extra cost). From fitness pilates to to circuits, they also run socials and competitions. AND Mered let me rig my trapeze in the studio! What a hero.

Vivo Latino, 147 Cowbridge Road East www.vivolatino.co.uk@vivolatinocdf

It’s easy to miss Vivo Latino at the city end of Cowbridge Road, but it’s a great spot for big groups or a quick cocktail. When it first opened, we decided that their nachos are THE BEST in Cardiff. The staff are super lovely, the decor is cool and the drinks are great.

Crafty Devil Brewing, 16 Llandaff Road @craftdevilbrew

This place is a three-in-one: brewery, bottle shop and bar! The CD boyz make their own beer in Canton (I’m reliable informed it’s cracking stuff, especially the Mikey Rayer) the bar has a great atmosphere and they now have a big screen and Sky Sports out the back for SPORTZ. (photo from @craftdevilbrew)

Dusty Knuckle pizza, 70 Llandaff Road (inside Printhaus) @dusty_knuckle

Again, another hidden gem! If you wander through the Printhaus gate on Llandaff Road of an evening, you’ll find this oasis of tasty food and booze. Since they moved here about a year ago, it’s hard to get a table in the semi-outdoor restuarant. The pizzas are spectacular, with adventurous combinations and perfect dough. The environment is so special, and the staff are banging too.

Printhaus, 70 Llandaff Road, @ThePrinthaus

Speaking of Printhaus, we couldn’t miss those guys off our list. Printhaus is an independent creative community based in Cardiff, offering artists’ studios, screenprinting workshops and event space. We’ve all taken workshops here, from bookbinding to screenprinting, and their frequent artists’ markets are ideal for presents, interior decor and art. Super friendly classes are a great way to try out different skills for a day, You can see their upcoming courses here. (photo from @ThePrinthaus)

The Bone Yard, Rear of 35a Romilly Crescent http://www.theboneyardcardiff.co.uk/  @boneyardcardiff

The Bone Yard is a collection of fitted-out shipping containers in an old scaffolders yard at the back of the Printhaus. These colourful little boxes are home to myriad of creative, wonderful people and businesses including: Therapy at the Bone Yard, Free Range Frames, Twin Made, England Designs, Ffwrnes Pizza, Yurt in the City and Magpie Gallery among MANY more. So if you’re looking for a therapist, handmade books, galleries, craft classes, pizza, frames or regular markets and events – GO FIND IT!

Manglas Spice of Life, 587 Cowbridge Road East, @manglasspice

We were lucky enough to check Mangla’s out in the first week of trading, and since then she has brought a burst of spice and happiness to the top of Cowbridge Road (opposite Victoria Park). Her exceptional skills as a cook are matched by her hosting and effervescent personality. It’s an Indian vegetarian restuarant, but also has great reviews on the vegan site HappyCow.net. Read Mangla’s story on WalesOnline!

The Dough Thrower, 591 Cowbridge Road East @thedoughthrower

We literally only tried this place out yesterday, after hearing our buddies RAVE about it. It DID NOT disappoint! It’s just a few doors up from Mangla’s, and sports a fresh and modern interior that overlooks Vicky Park. Bedecked with houseplants and trendy lighting, the open kitchen churns out incredible pizzas with unusual toppings like cashew cream with spinach, and tasty-ass starters like dough sticks with a tomato dip and HUGE green, lemon infused olives. Smashing staff, great Poretti beer on tap and kid-friendly. They are planning to expand the menu to include meatballs, and are starting Prosecco Sundays…. I don’t know that it involves, but I’m in.

Pettigrew Bakery, 595 Cowbridge Road East @pettigrewbakes

YOU LIKE BREAD AND CAKES AND MERINGUES THE SIZE OF A CHILD’S SKULL? Yep, us too. The Pettigrew tea gang have built a baked empire of tastiness and long may it spread! Their innovative pop-ups (like pinxtos at St Cannas) are a fantastic way to sample their goods if you’re too lazy to walk up Cowbridge Road.

Falafel Wales, 122 Cowbridge Road East @falafelwales

It maybe not the trendiest, newest place on Cowbridge Road, but if you want super fresh, really cheap, tasty Middle Eastern food, this is the place.

Thompson’s Park, Romilly Road

We are always surprised how many people don’t know about this beautiful park that sits quietly between Canton, Victoria Park and Pontcanna. The beautifully kept lawns, gardens and trees are set across a gentle hill, and the field at the top has a great view across the city.

Canton Cobbler, 236 Cowbridge Road East http://www.cantoncobbler.co.uk/

And so, to end, a classic. If your heels break 5 minutes before leaving for a party- they’re there. If you need a new key cut after an scuffle with a metal-eating wolf- they’re there. If you’ve realised that you don’t have anything but Converse to get married in- they’re there. Cheap, reliable, excellent quality, AND they have a great logo.

ADDITIONS – 31st August

We had lots of suggestions for additions to this list, so here goes:

The Bee & Honey, 63 Clive Road http://www.thebeeandhoney.co.uk/ @thebeeandhoney

Image courtest of http://sswales.com/

This place only recently opened and we haven’t had the chance to visit yet. But, judging by the people who recommended it, we should head over soon! It’s a deli and cafe, and sells a wide range of goodies from freshly baked artisan breads and marinated olives to Welsh cheeses and homemade jams and pickles. The cafe menu looks fab too, we can’t wait to check it out!

Canton Grows Wild community garden, Lansdowne Road @cantongrowswild

Since its establishment up a few years ago (we covered it here), this beautiful little patch of life has matured into something fabulous. They throw garden parties and gives Canton and Riverside residents a chance to get their hands dirty by volunteering.

Park View Cafe, 571 Cowbridge Rd http://parkviewcafe.org.uk/ @parkviewcafe

Another recommendation from a lovely reader: Park View Cafe is just opposite Victoria Park, run by “lovely people and good food and very affordable prices” in the words of Aivi! We were sold already, but the cafe is also a social enterprise- it supports trainees with learning disabilities, who may struggle to find regular employment, to give them the confidence and skills to find work.

Cardiff Print Workshop, Market Road (opposite Chapter) 

Sally Williams left us a comment about the print workshop (unfortunately we couldn’t find a working website or Twitter account). She said “Cardiff print Workshop has a gallery and small workshop [..]  It’s open every Saturday from 10.00 to 3.00. They sell original prints, handmade books, cards etc. All of the work is made by members and are original prints that have been either etched, embossed, litho or relief printed. The work is really high quality and they do classes! Watch for the latest dates and times pinned up on the front window.”

I’ve never been in there even though I live on the next street – one to put on the list!

La Creperie De Claudie, 1 Victoria Park Road West https://www.facebook.com/lacreperiedeclaudie/

Image: tripadvisor

How could we miss this out?! Beautiful crepes and waffles, in a stunning location. Amazing service too! We’ve been reliably informed that the milkshakes are banging.

Fair Dos, 10 Llandaff Rd https://www.fairdos.com/ @fairdoscardiff

Image: http://peartreelife.blogspot.co.uk/

Lovely little Fairtrade shop- selling everything from food to candles!

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Cardiff Indoor Market – the Christmas gift buying challenge!

The challenge: 32 people to buy Christmas gifts for on a £300 budget! Can it be done? Cardiff Indoor Market enthusiast Jade Tambini tells us that yes, it can! 

cardiff indoor market by jeremy rees

This blog is all about my experience challenging myself to do a full Christmas shop at Cardiff Market with just £300 to spend.

The first thing that struck me about my decision to do my full Christmas shop at Cardiff Market this year, was the absence of stress and overwhelming panic that usually consumes me in the lead up. I’ve always been one to plan our day out in order to do the full shop in one day (much to my husband Paul’s terror). So the thought of getting it all done in one go at the market felt just wonderful!

I’ve spent a lot more time at the market recently buying lunch, fresh produce and more and have been won over by the variety of stalls there, fallen in love with the atmosphere and I’ve gotten to know loads of the amazing traders during my visits too. If you’ve not been to the market before, it’s hard to put into words how it feels to spend an afternoon browsing, bantering and buying, all I can say to describe it is that it’s a little bit like being transported to another time and place, sheltered from the world outside, like a safe haven almost to give you space to think, be and enjoy shopping.

In preparation for the shopping trip, I pled with my Facebook friends to let me borrow a ‘grannie trolley’ to make the day a more comfortable experience. Since we’ve got 32 loved ones on our huge Italian/ Irish direct family list, I couldn’t think of any other way. Amidst the mocking of my apparently ‘uncool’ idea, I managed to get hold of a shopping bag on wheels ready for a knockout day of shopping!

Without further ado, here’s a breakdown of some of the gifts I picked up during my four-hour shopping session, to get Christmas all wrapped up for under £300. I was joined by my mum and our family friend’s daughter, Heidi 12, who was super cute running around talking to all the traders, we were also later joined by Paul, my hubby!

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Mum and Heidi at Lovely Crockery

Note; if you are in my family please stop reading since you will likely find out what we’ve bought you for Christmas! That includes you, Paul!

  1. Bath bombs, soaps and candle sets from Luvely Bubbly

Julie is the loveliest lady you’ll meet, she has so much knowledge on the different products available at the stall and will talk to you about the person you’re buying for, suggesting recommended products to suit their personality and what they like.

For my brothers’ girlfriends I picked out raspberry swirl bath bombs and fruity glitter hand soaps. For my sister-in-law and my dad’s girlfriend the bath bomb, candle and soap boxes were perfect and at just £10 and £12.50 depending on which one you choose, were great value for a lovely gift! The candle and mini soap bag pictured is just £5!

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I also picked up some soaps for my mother in law. The stall has so many different types of soap whether it’s funky jelly baby flavour, parma violets, rhubarb and custard (they all literally smell like the sweets!) or natural more earthy organic smells that suited my mother-in-law’s taste really well.

  1. Asian delights from Lovely Crockery

I spent just over £60 in Lovely Crockery but I can’t begin to tell you how incredible Su’s products are and I got so much for my money. First, I bought these adorable bunny feet egg cups for my two nieces, they were only £3 each, can you believe?

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This bunny feet egg cup was just £3

I also picked out this gorgeous Japanese rice pattern tea pot for my mum which was only £13 and a pack of traditional teas.

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I bought my nana these super cute compact mirrors and lipstick holders, she’s always loved things like this so I thought they were perfect.

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I also bought her this lovely ‘cwtch’ mug! Since my family are all up north in Leeds and Pontefract I thought it was a nice choice to remind her of me in Wales.

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I also picked out bits and pieces for various little additional gifts for my my sister, mum, mother-in-law and sister-in-law which varied from under £1 to a few quid.

Browse Lovely Crockery’s range.

  1. Christmas Cards and wrap from JC Morgan cards

What I love most about JC Morgan’s card stall is the variety. I’ve always loved sending cards that match my family set. It’s hard to find cards like ‘Nana and Grandad’ and ‘to mum and her boyfriend’ and I always enjoyed receiving very specific cards like ‘to my granddaughter and her boyfriend’ before me and Paul got married, it just feels so much more personal. You just can’t get these old classics with the stunning verses inside in many place anymore either, and the prices are incredible here! Lots of people don’t like cards but my mum and nana especially always revel in reading the verses so it’s nice to pick some special ones!

Most of the cards I picked up were less than £1.50, the price they should be. I do love Marks & Spencer cards too, I’ll be honest, but they carry a big price tag for a card and supporting a local independent feels really nice. They are so helpful there, I couldn’t find a card I wanted and the guys there were going through all the drawers and finding me everything I needed. I also picked up wrapping paper, cellotape and gift tags.

cardiff indoor market xmas gifts

Half way through the trip my lovely husband popped in and took trolley responsibility – as you can imagine, he was delighted to be dragged around for the last hour of shopping!

  1. Festive boxes from Cheese Pantry

My favourite thing about the new Cheese Pantry stall that’s opened at the market, aside from Melissa and Jo the lovely gals working there, oh and the daisy bell, is the delicious cheese samples always available to try on the counter! My husband picked out three festive cheese boxes for our aunty and uncle and a couple of his closest cousins.

With delicious cheeses, hot Christmas chutney’s made locally by Penylan Pantry, and some crackers to compliment, we’re sure our relatives will be really pleased with their gifts!

On Melissa’s advice, we popped the cheeses in a tupperware to go in the fridge and have kept the boxes aside ready to prepare with some lovely ribbon we were given to gift wrap them! The gang there are so helpful, really worth a visit either for gifts or for a Christmas day cheese board!

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  1. Healing stones from Rocks and Clocks

My dad’s mum Grandma Angela is the sweetest, kindest lady you’ll ever meet. She’s very spiritual and has always prayed every night for everyone in our family, 30 direct cousins strong, as well as lighting candles in church for people when they need extra support. She’s had a difficult year with her mobility and some setbacks in her health and while she’s back on top form I wanted to pick out some healing crystals for her from Rocks and Clocks.

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I also picked up an incense set and a stress busting crystal for my friend who has a very busy job! The lady who works there consults on the different healing crystals and it’s really interesting to look at them and see which one’s you’re drawn to. She even cleanses them of other energy so they are brand new for you, in a special bowl before you take them away.

Cardiff Indoor Market

Lucky for us we have Christmas dinner all cooked and prepared for us, since my mother-in-law is the best you can get! If I wasn’t I’d have certainly been back this week to the butchers, fruit and veg stalls and fishmongers for my meats, vegetables and smoked salmon! Bakestones are selling gorgeous freshly baked Christmas cakes too which smell make the market smell like Christmas day even now!

All in all, a fantastic and stress free experience. My trolley was packed full when I got home ready to wrap and pop under the tree! I was on budget too with change for a Welsh Cake from Bakestones!

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As I left, I had been so in my own world that I hadn’t realised it had been pouring it down ALL day, so I even picked up a brolly for my walk back to the train!

Thanks for reading and Merry Christmas!

Follow Jade on Twitter @jadetambini

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Cardiff A-Z: Q is for Queen Street

Katie Hamer continues her A–Z series with revelations about Cardiff’s history. 

 

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Queen Street during a busy lunch hour

There’s more to Cardiff’s central thoroughfare than meets the eye. For instance, did you know that it only became known as Queen Street relatively recently? Perhaps you did –clever you – give yourself a pat on the back if you knew that already!

Well, it certainly came as a surprise to me, and so I decided to investigate further. I uncovered a fascinating history, of which I hope you will enjoy reading.

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A seagull enjoys a bird’s eye view of the street

The obvious question to ask is, if the main shopping street hasn’t always been called Queen Street, what did it used to be known as? In order to answer this question, I will pose another question that is apparently a well-known pub quiz question:

“What are the five towns of Cardiff?” The answer to this question is Butetown and Grangetown, which are still in existence, Temperance Town and Newtown, which disappeared during the first half of the twentieth century, and finally Crockherbtown, whose main road we now know as Queen Street.

Crockherbtown, often abbreviated to Crockerton, means simply “the town of the crock herbs”, a name that is thought to be Saxon in origin. The area gained its name from a 13th Century order of Franciscan Monks known as the Grey Friars, who would trade herbs from the town’s East Gate (now demolished this gate was situated where the Principality Building Society currently has its headquarters).

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The headquarters for Wales’ Principality Building Society

It is perhaps hardly surprising, when you think about it, that Queen Street gained its new name in honour of Queen Victoria. The change took place in anticipation of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Year of 1887. It heralded in a new era for the thoroughfare; one that saw domestic dwellings replaced by retail outlets.

All that remains of the original name for the place is the Wetherspoon’s pub, ‘The Crockerton’ on Greyfriars Street, and its back alley, Crockherbtown Lane, which has featured as a film set for television series Doctor Who.

The newly named street became the crowning feature of the Victorian era of high street commerce. Shoppers could arrive in their droves via the renamed Cardiff Queen Street rail station to enjoy a new feature of the industrial age: leisure time.

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An eye-catching window display

Standing in the middle of the now-pedestrianised shopping street, I can easily imagine the excitement and novelty that visitors would have experienced in that Victorian era. Even today, this street is an exciting and vibrant place to shop. Any day of the week you will find street artists and musicians, market stalls and fun fair machines to entertain the children.

Every day, many, many people pass along this main shopping street, yet despite this, there is undeniably a community spirit to the place. In order to explain what I mean, I will reiterate the challenge as set up by Dicmortimer’s blog:

“A [Cardiffian] standing on the same spot in Queen Street for 10 minutes is guaranteed to see someone they know from the chain of links that is Wales.  Try it.” Go on, I dare you, and if you do, feel free to post the results in the comments section below.

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A panoramic sweep of the West end of Queen street from Cardiff Castle

While you are still contemplating this challenge, I hope you will also enjoy looking at my gallery.

If I’ve made you curious and you want to know more about the history of this important street, you can find further information here:

Dicmortimer’s Blog

Cardiff History

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Time doesn’t stand still in Queen Street
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The street is tidy with flowers blooming all year round
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A dragon motif which is prevalent in Queen Street

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Queen Street at the heart of bilingual Wales
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The Lloyds Bank building displays ornate carvings
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Pedestrianisation has made way for many ‘seating islands’
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A statue of an un-named miner
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An outdoor cafe culture even during the winter

 

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An interesting mural that is worth stopping and admiring
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St John’s towers over the shops as seen from the top end of Queen Street

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Tourist information is readily available
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‘Green’ commuting such as cycling is encouraged
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Aneurin Bevan watches over as volunteers petition to secure the future of the NHS for which he is the founding father
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The view of Cardiff as seen from the Aneurin Bevan statue

 

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