Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Bute Park, Cardiff

We are in Bute Park / Parc Bute, Cardiff, on a walking tour of the city.

Previously, I left you at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD) on North Road, on the edge of Bute Park. Yesterday, the RWCMD was bustling with its new intake of students. Lunchtime specials were a tomato, red pepper and truffle soup; chicken, ham and mushroom pie; fish pie; and a pasta and tomato gratin.

You can enter Bute Park and Arboretum from North Road next to the RWCMD during daylight hours. Cross the bridge over the feeder stream and turn left. This area of Bute Park is called Cooper’s Field. After a short distance, take the right fork in the path. This curves across the park through the trees (with the giant warthog emerging from the ground on your left).

Although Capability Brown originally landscaped Bute Park in the late eighteenth century for the first Marquess of Bute, the park in its present form is the result of landscaping done in the late nineteenth century for the third Marquess of Bute. The arboretum was created in 1947, when the existing trees were supplemented by a diverse planting of species. There are now many Champion Trees (e.g., trees noted because of their size, rarity or historical significance), which are pointed out on guided walks organized by Cardiff City Council.

Among the events held in Bute Park is the Royal Horticultural Society’s Spring Show. The show was in its eighth year in 2012.

Just before the footpath reaches the River Taff, turn to your left:

Summerhouse Kiosk
Bute Park and Arboretum, Castle Road, CF10 1BJ
The Summerhouse / Tŷ Haf is a coffee shop and sandwich bar that, despite its name, is open all year round; serving take-away with plenty of outdoor seating, some of it under a covered veranda. Yesterday, there were cyclists, walkers and parents with young children taking a break and enjoying the winter sunshine.  Serves breakfast; sandwiches, paninis and baguettes with a wide range of fillings; salads; jacket potatoes (e.g., chili con carne filling); flowerpot muffins and home-made cakes. Current best deal is for cake with a hot drink. Does a good trade in ice cream during the summer (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. June 2011).

The Summerhouse was built in the style of the original Bute Summerhouse, designed by William Burges (architect to the third Marquess of Bute), which was removed in the 1970s and is now in the National History Museum at St Fagans.

The footbridge across the River Taff by the kiosk takes you to Sophia Gardens (on a different part of our tour). You can also catch the Water Bus near here, which takes you down the River Taff to Cardiff Bay. The service was not running yesterday due to high flow levels on the river.

Walk past the Summerhouse, toward the Millennium Stadium and the city centre. One of the city’s best herbaceous borders runs alongside this footpath (visit again next spring or summer), with the river a short distance away on the other side.

The Gorsedd Circle you will see on the lawn to your left was erected here in 1978, after that year’s National Eisteddfod; although I believe the large flat central stone (Logan stone) may date from the 1938 National Eisteddfod.

The building by the exit to Castle Street is the West Lodge:

Pettigrew Tea Rooms
West Lodge, Bute Park and Arboretum, Castle Street CF10 1BJ (2023 5486)
The West Lodge was built in the 1860s. It was recently restored by the Bute Park Restoration Project, with funding from Cardiff Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund. David Le Masurier opened a traditional tearoom in the building in late March 2012 (just in time for the RHS Spring Show). David chronicled the stages, from leaving his previous job until the café’s opening, on a popular blog: I Want to Bake Free. There have been many satisfied customers since; this morning Pettigrew Tea Rooms was ranked #1 of 511 restaurants in Cardiff on Tripadvisor (98 reviews). The Tea Rooms are named after Andrew Pettigrew, Head Gardener to the third Marquess of Bute, who landscaped Bute Park from 1873.

I stopped by yesterday for a pot of Earl Grey tea and a large slice of carrot cake (see photos). The cakes are home-made and taste every bit as good as they look. The tea menu includes  Assam, Lapsang Souchong, green teas, chamomile, white peony and pink rosebuds, lemon and ginger and, for the real connoisseur, Darjeeling 2012 First Flush from Selim Hill Estate (“bright taste, a floral aroma with a smooth finish and a hint of musk…”).  There is a typical range of coffees, luxury hot chocolate, and the Fentimans range of soft drinks (including their classic ginger beer). Tearoom Classics (cakes and tea) include a Welsh version with bara brith, and the de luxe Pettigrew Afternoon Tea has just been given a seasonal make-over.

Other food available at lunchtime includes soups; sandwiches (including a finger sandwich collection); ploughman’s, farmer’s and fisherman’s lunches; and salads. Cups, plates and décor are old and characterful with a Victorian and Edwardian feel. There’s a gift shop next door, and additional seating in a room upstairs that doubles as an art gallery. The Pettigrew Tea Rooms are open 9am-4pm Monday to Friday, 9.30am-5pm Saturday, and 10am-4pm Sunday (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good.  May 2012).

The gates to Bute Park close half-hour before dusk. Therefore, during the winter the park closes relatively early (yesterday it was 3.45pm). This affects access to footpaths running through the park (to the annoyance of bicycle commuters) and entry to the Summerhouse and Pettigrew Tea Rooms (which may therefore close earlier at this time of year). If you do get locked in, then head for where we started at the RWCMD and go through the exit-only turnstile.

From the Pettigrew Tea Rooms, exit the park through the arch and turn left. Walk along the famous Animal Wall, which was carved by Thomas Nicholls and was originally erected in 1880 in front of the castle. It was restored in 2010. Toward Cardiff Castle: pelican, anteater, racoons, leopards, beaver, vulture, hyena, wolf, baboons, sea lion, bear, lioness, lynx, and a pair of lions (on the gates by the clocktower).

Entry is free if you are only visiting the café and gift shop, otherwise buy a ticket to visit the grounds and castle (or get a Cardiff resident's Keycard for free entry to the grounds).

Cardiff Castle
Castle Street CF10 3RB (2087 8100)
This site was first fortified by the Romans in the first century AD. The Norman Keep is still impressive, and you get good views from the top. Once through the main door, turn right for the Bute Café (and the gift-shop). The cafe serves good-value breakfasts (9-11am), and a range of sandwiches, light lunches and specials (11.30am-3pm); as well as teas, coffee and Welsh cakes throughout the day. Yesterday’s specials were steak and ale pie and a risotto (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. August 2012).

I highly recommend a tour of the castle, which takes in the ornate gothic rooms designed by the architect William Burges for the third Marquess of Bute. The Banqueting Hall is still in demand as a banqueting venue, for civic and corporate events, wedding receptions and parties (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. March 2012).

The Great British Cheese Festival
Cardiff Castle CF10 3RB
The Great British Cheese Festival has been held inside the walls of Cardiff Castle every September since 2008. It claims to be the biggest cheese market in Britain, with over 400 cheeses on offer. In addition to the Big Cheese Market, where you can sample most of the cheeses, there is a Best of British Market selling other food and drink products. A programme of workshops, talks and demonstrations runs through the weekend, along with entertainment (on the council’s mobile bandstand). The evening before the festival, the industry’s British Cheese Awards are held (in 2012 they were in the National Museum of Wales).

From the Castle entrance, walk back along the Animal Wall to the bridge over the River Taff, with Cardiff Arms Park and the Millennium Stadium over the road to the left (we will be on the other side of Castle Street later on the walking tour). I’ll see you next time across the bridge, on the other side of the River Taff.

Previously, on the walking tour:
Cathays Park

Cathays Terrace

Salisbury Road

Woodville Road

Crwys Road

Wellfield Road

Albany Road

City Road

See also:
Cardiff Castle Wartime Tunnels

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Cathays Park, Cardiff

We are in Cathays, Cardiff. Previously, I left you walking across the railway bridge on Corbett Road from Cathays Terrace. At the road junction, turn left down Park Place / Plas Y Parc.

On both sides are departments and offices of Cardiff University. On your right you will pass The Centre for Professional Legal Studies, Psychology (with the pattern of ceramic disks), Biosciences, Biomedical Sciences, Chemistry, and the Main University Building.

On the left on this stretch of Park Place (recently rebranded “the student high street”) are Personnel and various administrative offices, Career Services, Park Place Fitness Centre, and the Students Union Building.

48 Park Place CF10 3LU
Branch of the coffee shop chain. Sandwiches and hot beverages: eat in and takeaway (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Sept 2011). There is also a Costa Express next door inside the Student Union Building.

Cardiff University Students Union
47a Park Place CF10 3QN
Refectory dining and fast-food outlets inside the building (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Sept 2011).

29 Park Place CF10 3BA (2023 1252)
Bacchus Bar and Lounge opened in 2012, for brunches, light lunches and evening meals. The current menu features tapas, along with sandwiches, burgers, flatbreads, steak and fries, fillet of sea bass and fries, lasagne, harvest vegetable casserole and other dishes; with tarts, waffles and traditional puddings among the desserts. This Brains-owned bar was formerly The Cardiff Arts Institute (until 2011), and before that Incognito (to around 2009). Very handy for the National Museum of Wales across the road (Food Hygiene Rating 3: generally satisfactory. July 2011).

Park House
20 Park Place CF10 3DQ (2022 4343)
The Park House Club hosts events on a number of floors (e.g., corporate and weddings). Earlier this year, the members-only club opened to the public. Its destination restaurant is The Park House. Head Chef Jonathan Edwards focuses on British food and sources many ingredients from Wales. Dishes are elaborately and distinctively constructed. There is a Gourmet Tasting Menu. The current a la carte menu includes Kelmscott Pork and Loch Fynne scallops (with Charles Macloed black pudding, Spanish chorizo, sherry caramel), Roast saddle of Breconshire Venison (with pancetta, violet potatoes, braised salisfy, red cabbage, chocolate), Carver Creedy Duck (with caramelized chicory, sweet potato, vanilla puree, curly kale, bonbon), Roast pumpkin and Wiltshire truffle risotto, and Highland short horn beef tarka dhal. The basement bar is called Vanilla (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. Nov 2011).

The Park House was originally called McConnochie House and was designed in 1874 by the architect William Burges (who also rebuilt Cardiff Castle) for the chief engineer of Bute Docks James McConnochie. To publicize the restaurant’s opening in 2012, the owner wrapped a giant red ribbon and bow around the Grade 1 listed building, without planning consent. The council eventually got the ribbon removed, but the label remains.

Park House is not to be confused with The Park Hotel, whose restaurant is The Social, which is also on Park Place, but on the other side of Boulevard de Nantes and Stuttgarter Strasse (on a different part of our walking tour).

Instead of crossing the busy road, turn to your left (where the road is called Stuttgart Strasse) and walk the short distance to St Andrew’s Crescent, which forms an oval around Eglwys Dewi Sant. The traffic goes clockwise, but we will walk anticlockwise past the Martin Tinney Gallery (18 St Andrew’s Crescent). The gallery is currently holding its 20th Anniversary Exhibition (until 24 Nov), with works by Gwen John, Sir Kyffin Williams, Ceri Richards, John Piper, Mary Lloyd Jones and other notable Welsh artists.

Just past the gallery, you will be on St Andrew’s Place. Turning right here will take you under the railway line to the start of Salisbury Road (where we have already walked on this tour).

Turn left:

Coffee a gogo
8 St Andrews Place CF10 3BE (2023 2723)
This coffee shop opened in 2012 and serves deli-style food at lunchtimes and through the afternoon; sandwiches, soups, salads, light lunches and coffee to go. Takeaway (although there are a few high stools by the window). Artisan bread is supplied by Allen’s Bakery in Roath. There is another Coffee a gogo outlet in Whitchurch, and the owners also operate in The Promised Land (a nearby bar). I grabbed a coffee here on route to the Museum and found the place to be friendly and the service efficient.

You can buy your coffee in a local independent coffee house like this or head further into the city to get one from a US-based multinational that uses every loophole in the book to avoid paying tax in the UK. It’s a tough call.

Cross over St Andrew’s Place and walk towards the railway underpass. Turn left up leafy Park Grove (though the leaves are falling).

Pen and Wig
1 Park Grove CF10 3BJ (2037 1217)
A traditional-style pub that serves food from 11am (an hour for late breakfasts), through lunchtime and dinner until 10pm. Classic pub meals (e.g., scampi and chips, ham with 2 eggs and chips, chicken tikka masala), pies (e.g., boozy beef, fish pie, chicken and mushroom), grills, sandwiches, burgers, jacket potatoes and desserts. The Pen and Wig hosts live music. You can leave by the back door (do pay your bill) and through the large beer garden (Food Hygiene Rating 3: generally satisfactory. Sept 2011).

The Pen and Wig is owned by the Stonegate Pub Company (over 540 pub/bar venues across UK), whose brands include Yates, Slug and Lettuce, Scream, Classic Pubs, Local Pubs, and Great Traditional Pubs. The Pen and Wig is one of their Great Traditional Pubs. Scream pubs in this part of Cathays are The Woodville and Gassy Jacks, while The Mackintosh is a Local Pub.

The backdoor of Bacchus is opposite the back door of the Pen and Wig. Turn left back to St Andrew’s Place along the service road, and then right to Park Place. Cross the road and walk to the front door of the National Museum of Wales.

National Museum and Gallery of Wales
Gorsedd Gardens CF10 3NP (2057 3000)
The National Museum / Amgueddfa Cymru officially opened here in 1927. Today, there is a coffee shop in the main atrium with seating that serves sandwiches and cakes. The Oriel Restaurant is downstairs, serving hot lunches, snacks and sandwiches from 10am to 2.30pm, Tuesday to Sunday. Hot food usually includes soup, fish and chips, pasta dishes, burgers, jacket potatoes and Sunday roast lunches. Catering is by Digby Trout Restaurants. Don’t miss the Artes Mundi 5 exhibition (until 13 Jan 2013); other highlights at National Museum Cardiff include the Impressionist and Modern Art galleries and the Origins gallery (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Aug 2012).

The Gorsedd Gardens outside the front of the museum and City Hall next door were both established in 1905, the year Cardiff became a city. The druidic stone circle dates from the National Eisteddfod held on this site in 1899. In Real Cardiff (Seren, 2002), Peter Finch notes that the stones came from the cliffs of Penarth and when they were moved from their original site where City Hall now stands they were re-erected in the wrong order. Today, the benches around here are a prime spot for eating lunchtime sandwiches. I must also note the colourful seasonal flower beds, beautifully maintained by Cardiff City Council in Cathays Park (in Gorsedd Gardens, Friary Gardens and Alexandra Gardens).

The annual Winter Wonderland is currently setting up in Gorsedd Gardens (22 Nov to 13 Jan 2013). There will be a large bar and café in a white tent beside the Admiral Open Air Ice Rink. The mulled wine is always welcome.

Turn up Museum Avenue, between the museum and City Hall, where you will find Alexander Gardens to your left.  At the heart of this garden is the National War Memorial (dedicated to the fallen of two World Wars). There are other war memorials around the garden, including the Falklands War Memorial and one dedicated to the International Brigade who fought in the Spanish Civil War. The photo below was taken on Sunday (Remembrance Day).

At the far end of the gardens you will be on College Road. Turn left. You will see a wooden-clad building at the end of the road. Cross North Road (the start of the A470) at the lights.

Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD)
North Road, Cathays Park CF10 3ER (2034 2854)
Founded in 1949, the RWCMD gained a fantastic new extension in 2011 that includes a concert hall, theatre and café bar. The café bar opens for food at lunchtime and in the evenings before performances. A range of sandwiches and light snacks, but I recommend the specials: a limited number of hot main meals. It can change in the blink of an eye and you never know what will be on the menu before you arrive, but I have always left very satisfied after a meal there (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Dec 2011).

I’ll meet you here next time, for a walk through Bute Park.

Cathays Terrace
Salisbury Road
Woodville Road
Crwys Road
Wellfield Road
Albany Road
City Road

See also:
Rebranding of The Cardiff Arts Institute
Cardiff Arts Institute
Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama

Note: The Cardiff area code is 029.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Cathays Terrace, Cardiff

We are in Cathays, Cardiff, on a walking tour to explore the city’s food culture.

In a previous post, I left you at The Woodville on Woodville Road after a walk around the Senghennydd Road and Salisbury Road area.

The roads here by The Woodville do not intersect for traffic: you’re either on Woodville Road turning south into Senghennydd Road or on Cathays Terrace turning westward across the railway bridge on Corbett Road (where we are heading shortly).

Turn the corner at The Woodville. We’ll be walking up your right-hand (the eastern) side of Cathays Terrace (with the even numbers) and walking back on the other side.

A short way up:

Embassy Café
Cathays Youth and International Centre, 36 Cathays Terrace CF24 4HX (2037 3144)
It’s all vegan food in this not-for-profit café (money feeds back into the Community Centre of which the café is a part). Yesterday lunchtime, the soups (£3) were Spicy red lentil and Tuscan chickpea. The mains (£5) were Root vegetable quinoa salad and Embassy tofu Burger. I had the tofu burger (photo below), which came with potato wedges and was pleasingly spicy. The café is also open during the afternoon, serving coffee, teas, baguettes and home-made cakes and chocolate brownies. There is a garden with outdoor musical instruments, where you could sit if it was sunny. Inside the Youth Centre is a 200-capacity hall, an upstairs recording studio and other facilities; while a monthly Film Club meets in the Embassy Café once a month after the café closes at 6pm (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. May 2012).

Further along on your right, just before the Flora Street junction:

The Flora
134-136 Cathays Terrace CF24 4HY (2040 5039)
The Flora Hotel was formerly a Brains pub, but has fairly recently come under new management. Pub food is available from midday to 6pm; currently promoting a two meals for £8 offer. Pub quizzes, karaoke and other entertainment (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. Nov 2011).

A short way up Flora Street, Cafelito has closed for busines.

Further up Cathays Terrace, on your right:

Cathays Liberal Club
Cathays Terrace CF24 4HS (2022 0906)
A Brains bar; also lounge with occasional entertainment and a games room. The sign outside says that this is “a non-political club”. Make of that what you will.

If you carry on up the hill, you will reach the junction of Cathays Terrace with Pentyrch Street, Whitchurch Road, Fairoak Road and Crwys Road. You’ll see the fine Cathays Library building opposite, behind which is the start of Cathays Cemetery. We have been here before when we walked up and down Crwys Road.

Either at the Liberal Club or the end of the road, cross over to the other side of Cathays Terrace for the walk back:

105 Cathays Terrace CF24 4HU (2022 8221)
This Mexican and Mediterranean restaurant, on the corner with Hirwain Street, specializes in tapas and pizza. Licensed and also offering shisha. The window display annouces it was an Echo Food & Drink Award winner in 2008 (Food Hygiene Rating 1: major improvement necessary. Feb 2012).

Across the side-road and opposite The Flora:

Premier Shop and Save
103 Cathays Terrace CF24 4HT
Convenience store (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. Nov 2011).

Further down, with the red signage:

Adam’s Fish Bar and Punjabi Balti House
93 Cathays Terrace CF24 4HT (2022 7427)
Until fairly recently Adam’s Fish Bar was essentially a fish and chip takeaway, but reflecting a city-wide decline in demand for fish and chip suppers it has diversified (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. Oct 2011).

Cross Treherbert Street:

Jones & Jones
83 Cathays Terrace CF24 4HT
Jones & Jones is a café serving breakfast, lunch, sandwiches, cakes and coffee. This is also HQ for Mrs Jones Catering: an independent catering and buffet service offering a range of sandwich platters, breakfasts, afternoon teas, and seasonal menus. The unit was formerly a Grab and Go (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Oct 2011).

Near the end of the road, set back on the junction with Maindy Street is a Lidl (one of around five in Cardiff).

Just before the bridge, nearly opposite The Woodville:

1 Cathays Terrace CF24 4HS (2039 6700)
Coffee house and sandwich bar close to university buildings, so popular with students on a tight schedule. This family-run business opened in 2001. Eat in or takeaway. Sandwiches (baguettes, wraps etc.) with a wide range of fillings to choose from; jacket potatoes, salads, muffins and home-made cakes (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. May 2012).

Follow the road around to the right, over the railway bridge, where Cathays Terrace becomes Corbett Road. I’ll see you next time at the top of Park Place.


Previously, on the walking tour of Cardiff:

Salisbury Road:

Woodville Road

Crwys Road

Wellfield Road

Albany Road

City Road

Note: The Cardiff area code is 029.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Salisbury Road, Cardiff

We are in Cathays, Cardiff, on a walking tour of the city.

In a previous post, I left you at The Woodville on Woodville Road. Follow the road around, staying on this side of the railway line. The road is now called Senghennydd Road. We will be walking down this road, and exploring the area around the Salisbury Road and Sherman Cymru.

This post also concludes a strand on this blog called ‘Handy for the Sherman’. Most of the establishments listed here are indeed handy for pre- or post-theatre dining and refreshment.

A short distance down, on your left, where Miskin Street joins Senghennydd Road:

Baguettes and Bagels
158 Miskin Street CF24 4AS (2066 7778)
Sandwiches: takeaway and delivery (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. Nov 2011).

Further down, on your right, is Cathays railway station; then the Student Union Building, which straddles the railway line. There are food outlets inside the building, including one on this road:

The Magic Wrap
Student Union Building, Senghennydd Road CF24 4YE
Takeaway: sandwiches and snacks (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. June 2012).

Next door:

Sherman Cymru
Senghennydd Road CF24 4YE (2064 6900)
The Sherman Cymru theatre reopened in February 2012, after extensive redevelopment. The old café is gone, but there is a greatly improved lobby/atrium area with a café bar. The menu focusses on freshly-made, locally-sourced food, with vegetarian options. Lunchtime: baguettes and soup, with coffee and cake throughout the day. Evenings: tapas, typically served as a three-dish deal (e.g., Championes ajulo, Albondigas con salsa rojo, patatas ali-oli). An interesting development is for certain shows to have their own themed food, for instance, during the recent Afrovibes Festival a food stall sold African dishes such as seafood pepper soup and okra stew.

Carry on down Senghennydd Road, to the junction at the start of Salisbury Road, just before the road goes under the railway toward the City Centre. With your back to the bridge, start walking along Salisbury Road:

On your right (even numbers) on this first stretch of Salisbury Road:

20 Salisbury Road CF24 4AD (2022 2888)
Independent sandwich shop and sandwich delivery service; all types of sandwich, jacket potatoes, salad boxes and more (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. May 2012).

Tesco Express
Salisbury Road CF24 4AD
Recently-opened branch of Tesco’s version of a 'corner shop'.

62 Salisbury Road CF24 4AD (2025 1007)
Noodlebox serve noodles and other Far Eastern style fast-food. Eat in, on refectory-style tables, and takeaway (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Nov 2011).

Ramon’s Café
64 Salisbury Road CF24 4AD  (2039 0391)
Long-established and traditional café, Ramon’s is particularly noted for its large breakfasts (the café was previously called Ramon’s Breakfast Bar). Also serves lunchtime meals, including curries and pasta dishes. Owner Garth Badman courted publicity earlier this year by offering “the UK’s largest breakfast”; £17 and over 8,000 calories (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. Nov 2011).

This big breakfast forms part of a wider Cardiff trend for Man vs. Food eating (see also The North Star, The Sizzle and Grill steakhouse etc.). The whole gluttony as competitive sport concept is not really my thing. However, I should note, “doggie bags” are typically provided to reduce food wastage.

On your left (odd numbers) on this first stretch of Salisbury Road, starting opposite Dough:

Al-Sheemal Food Store
15 Salisbury Road CF24 4AA
Convenience food store (Food Hygiene Rating 1: major improvement necessary. May 2012).

19a Salisbury Road CF24 4AA
Sandwich bar. Possibly closed for business at this location? The main Pasha outlet is in Clare Road (Food Hygiene Rating 1: major improvement necessary. May 2012).

23 Salisbury Road CF24 4AA (2019 8712)
Independent café opened in spring 2012 by owners Lewis and Laura Tucker, who previously worked in the glossy magazines industry. This location, on the corner of Salisbury and Llantwit Street, was formerly a furniture shop. Tucker serves breakfast and lunch. Brazilian coffee, with locally-soured and homemade cakes a feature. The café is licensed. You can also browse their collection of recent fashion magazines (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. April 2012).

The Family Fish Bar
25 Salisbury Road CF24 4AA
Takeway: Fish and chips (Food Hygiene Rating 1: major improvement necessary. May 2012).

Salisbury Superstore
31 Salisbury Road CF24 4AA
Convenience food store. Not to be confused with a Sainsbury’s Superstore (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. Feb 2012).

33 Salisbury Road CF24 4AA (2022 4837)
Greggs the Baker, with bread baked on the Treforest Industrial Estate, Pontypridd (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Nov 2010).

Café 37
37 Salisbury Road CF24 4AA
Breakfast Bar and Café (Food Hygiene Rating 3: generally satisfactory. May 2011).

We are at the angled junction with Miskin Road. Opposite you’ll see the Lowther Road underpass to Richmond Road. Staying on the left side:

The Chicken Cottage
1-3 Miskin Street CF24 4AP
Take-away: Fried chicken is their speciality (Food Hygiene Rating 1: major improvement necessary. Nov 2011).

Koko Gorilaz
7-9 Miskin Street CF24 4AP (2034 1767)
Thoroughly modernized large pub, one of several Scream pubs in this area that are firmly aimed at the student market (actually, that could apply to most of the places listed in this post). Food in the evenings is self-service buffet and it has a global theme: Indian, Mexican, Thai, Chinese and British dishes. Food in Kitchen and Zebra Lounge, with a Shisha Lounge upstairs. Stage upstairs in the Attic: a live music venue. Recent promotion for “tequila-flavoured beer” speaks volumes (Food Hygiene Rating 1: major improvement necessary. June 2012).

Cross Miskin Street:

T & A Donner Kebabs
4 Miskin Street CF24 4AQ (2066 6677)
Take-away: kebabs and other fast-food (Food Hygiene Rating 1: major improvement necessary. June 2012).

Keep left up this second section of Salisbury Road.

Gassy Jacks
39-41 Salisbury Road CF24 4AB (2023 2608)
A Scream pub: catering mainly for students. Beer, burgers and big-screen sports. Student discounts. Basic pub food menu (Food Hygiene Rating 3: generally satisfactory. Nov 2011).

Fortune House Cantonese
43/45 Salisbury Road CF24 4AB
Chinese takeaway (Food Hygiene Rating 1: improvement necessary. May 2012).

49 Salisbury Road CF24 4AB (2034 4807)
Mexican restaurant and takeway. Open in evenings only; order food at the bar. Chimichangas, enchiladas, burritos, tacos, paella, grills, tequila, large hats on the wall, large portions; in fact, pretty much everything you might want from a Mexican restaurant in Cathays (Food Hygiene Rating 3: generally satisfactory. June 2011).

On the other side of Salisbury Road along this second stretch, starting opposite Gassy Jacks:

Café Sunrise
94 Salisbury Road CF24 4AE (2039 0391)
Lebanese-owned café open for breakfast, brunch and lunch. Coffee house with vegetarian Middle Eastern food, including pitta and falafel, houmous, baba ganoush, tabbouleh and pastry/honey sweets (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. Oct 2011).

City News
96 Salisbury Road CF24 4AE
Newsagent with some convenience food (Food Hygiene Rating 1: major improvement necessary. Oct 2011).

Mama Mia/Light of Bengal
98 Salisbury Road CF24 4AE (2022 7242)
The long-established Light of Bengal Indian takeaway now shares a unit with a Southern Fried Chicken style takeaway that opened in 2011. Not to be confused with Mamma Mia on St Mary Street (Food Hygiene Rating 2: improvement necessary. Oct 2011).

Mama’s Kebab House
100 Salisbury Road CF24 4AE
Take-away: kebabs, pizza, and burgers (Food Hygiene Rating 2: improvement necessary. Sept 2011).

Golden Dragon
108 Salisbury Road CF24 4AE (2064 4400)
Chinese takeaway. Next door is a Chinese food store (Food Hygiene Rating 2: improvement necessary. Sept 2011).

Spice Corner
116 Salisbury Road CF24 4AE (2038 8447)
Indian restaurant on the corner of Salisbury Road and Rhymney Street, with takeaway and delivery service. The licensed restaurant serves traditional Indian food, with Tandoori, Balti and other curry styles (Food Hygiene Rating 3: generally satisfactory. Jan 2012).

Cross Rhymney Street. Salisbury Road turns into Coburn Street here:

Aegean Turkish Home Cooking
2 Coburn Street CF24 4BS
Aegean Turkish Home Cooking (Hamiyet Karadeniz) opened in summer 2012 (in the corner unit formerly occupied by Ramon’s New York Deli) and serves breakfast, snacks, and Turkish and Greek meals (Food Hygiene Rating 1: major improvement necessary. Sept 2012).

Cross Coburn Street and on the sharp corner with Wyeverne Road:

Vulcan Lounge
2 Wyeverne Road CF24 4BH (2023 1669)
The Vulcan Lounge is a stylish student-area pub, revamped a couple of years ago by The Chameleon Group (who also own The North Star, The Potted Pig, The Meating Place, Mocka Lounge and Crystal Lounge in Cardiff). It was formerly a “spit and sawdust” drinkers’ pub called The End. The menu features grills, pasta and pizza (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. June 2012).

You may see alternate spellings of this road’s name. For instance, The Chameleon Group, based in nearby Richmond Road, in their print and online promotional material spells ‘Wyeverne’ variously as ‘Wyvern’ and ‘Wyverne’, which has promoted confusion about the actual name of the road.

Across the road from the Vulcan Lounge:

Chicago Bulls
1 Wyeverne Road CF24 4BG (2038 3507)
Takeaway: kebabs, burgers, pizza, fish and chips (Food Hygiene Rating 2: improvement necessary. July 2011).

Walk up Wyeverne Road:

On your right, at the Thesiger Street junction:

Zem Zem
12-14 Wyeverne Road CF24 4BH
The Zem Zem or Zeman Continental Food Store sells Mediterranean and other imported foods (Food Hygiene Rating 1: major improvement necessary. April 2012).

Continue up this side of the road, across Fitzroy Street and past the Cathays Conservative Club:

K & C Store
60 Wyeverne Road CF24 4BG
Food store (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. Oct 2011).

Just here, take a short detour up Mundy Place:

The Mackintosh
12 Mundy Place CF24 4BZ (2064 9061)
The Mackintosh Hotel (or ‘The Mackie’ as it is apparently known to its regulars) is a large traditional pub, serving basic budget-price pub food (Food Hygiene Rating 2: improvement necessary. June 2011).

Return to Wyeverne Road. Opposite at the junction with Mundy Place:

Ba Rooba
97-99 Wyeverne Road CF24 4BG (2037 3528)
Bar-Lounge-Diner, serving Mediterranean food. Appears to be closed at present.

Carry on to the end of Wyeverne Road, where it joins Woodville Road. You are now back where we started - at The Woodville.


Woodville Road

Crwys Road

Wellfield Road

Albany Road

City Road

There is a terrific programme of theatre and other shows at Sherman Cymru:

Handy for the Sherman (selected posts):


Café Sunrise

Note: The Cardiff area code is 029.