Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Cardiff Market

Cardiff Market, also known as Cardiff Central Market and Cardiff Indoor Market, opened in 1891. It was designed by William Harpur and consists of a large wrought iron shed running from the back of the Market Buildings on St Mary Street through to Trinity Street.

There are currently seven butchers (around the outer walls), six fruit & vegetable stalls, several bread and cake retailers, along with a fishmonger, a cheese stall, and imported food and spice stalls. There are also seven cafés and snack bars. If you want fresh local produce in Cardiff from independent retailers, look no further. You also know that you will be buying from stallholders who have expert knowledge of their subject and produce. It is difficult to do all the food stalls in Cardiff Market justice here, but I offer this as an introductory guide to the market.

The present layout divides the Market into 265 units; though these are typically occupied as units of 2 or 4 by today’s larger stalls (originally there were 349 stalls). On the ground floor there are around 60 businesses arranged along both side walls and on both sides of four aisles, while an upstairs balcony that runs all around the building houses around 10 businesses. Each of the three central areas between the aisles is split into three blocks. The Manager’s office (2087 1214) is in the clock tower at the centre of the building. The market is open 8.00am to 5.30pm Monday to Saturday.

On this Walking Tour of Cardiff, we enter Cardiff Market from Trinity Street (though the main postal address for the market is St Mary Street where the other main entrance is located). There are two stalls in the Trinity Street entrance hall. To your left:

E. Ashton (Fishmongers)
200 Cardiff Central Market CF10 1AU (2022 9201)
This fishmonger’s stall has been here since the market first opened in 1891. It was originally owned by the Adams family. The Ashton family have been selling fish for five generations, originally from a shop in Penarth and since the 1950s from this stall in Cardiff Market. Ashton’s sell a large variety of fish and shellfish on their marble slabs, including fish species you don’t often see. There’s also rabbit, poultry and a range of more unusual meats. This morning I bought some Welsh bass, which is currently being promoted. This stall is part of Ashton’s large local business operation, which supplies many restaurants in the region with fish and shellfish (Food Hygiene Rating 2: improvement necessary. July 2013).


Seymore Fruit and Vegetables
197-201 Cardiff Central Market CF10 1AU
Although called ‘Sullivan’s Fruit & Veg’ over the stall, this fresh fruit and vegetable stall is currently owned by M. Seymore, who also operates another stall in the Market (138-142). Lively sales banter and seasonal bargains are the order of the day.

Go through the inner doors, past the stairs on both sides to the gallery. Turn right to the stalls on the outer edge:

The Celtic Corner
41-43a Cardiff Market CF10 1AU
This café in the corner, owned by C. Carroll, has seating across the aisle (unit 93) and is always busy when I’m in Cardiff Market. Apparently, ‘Bovril is back’ (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. Jan 2013).

Continue down this far side, past pots and pans, tools and wool:

A&S Griffiths
19 and 21 Central Market CF10 1AU (2039 7669)
A&S Griffiths (also known as A.W. Griffiths) Butcher and Danish Bacon Specialists. Also has a stall on the opposite side of the market (18-20 and 22-24), both locations selling a range of meat and poultry, including Welsh lamb, burgers, hams and faggots (Food Hygiene Rating 3: generally satisfactory. Sept 2013).

Perkins and Sons
15 and 17 Central Market CF10 1AU (2022 4494)
Also known as R.T. Perkins butcher. Range of meats, again with a focus on local produce (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. June 2013).

You can exit the market here via a side door that takes you toward Church Street.

Walk around the bottom end of the first aisle, past all the wigs, and start walking up the second aisle. On your right at the end, at the start of the central row of stalls opposite the entrance to St Mary Street:

The Market Munch Box
145 and 148 Central Market CF10 1AU
Take-away serving coffee/teas, sandwiches and hot baguettes. Today’s specials included roast pork, stuffing and apple sauce filled baguettes and bologna pasta (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. Oct 2013).

On your left:

The Continental
49, 51, 99 and 101 Central Market CF10 1AU
This snack bar and take-away lunch was formerly called Cose Cosi (Food Hygiene Rating 1: major improvement necessary. June 2013).

Fresh and Simple (Market Deli)
53, 55, 57, 59, 103, 105, 107 and 109 Central Market CF10 1AU (2034 5165)
Fresh fruit and vegetables counters on both sides at the end of this first block of stalls, including a section of more exotic fruit and vegetables (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Oct 2011).

The other side of the aisle, at the end of this first block of stalls:

The Bread Stall
155-156 and 158 Cardiff Market CF10 1AU (2022 6941)
Fresh bread (cobs and bloomers), sandwiches, Welsh cakes, and other cakes (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. Feb 2013).

On the very central block of the ground floor:

Cardiff Bakestones
163 and 165 Cardiff Market CF10 1AU
Welsh cakes and offer traditional cakes freshly-cooked on their large bakestone (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. June 2013).

At the end of this central block, which is underneath the clock tower:

167 and 170 Central Market CF10 1AU
Clancy’s is a recent addition to Cardiff Market, opening in Jan 2013. Impressive range of chilli peppers and spices in glass jars, alongside herbs. Vegetarian and vegan street-food and cakes, including halloumi and spicy snacks; today’s special is lentil daal.

Mark’s Foods
171, 169, 174, 172 Central Market CF10 1AU
This ‘world food stall’ established in 2009 moved to this bigger location (from the stall now occupied by Clancy’s) about a year ago. It sells a wide range of imported foodstuffs, including olives, sundried-tomatoes, vine leaves, nuts, berries and dried fruit, alongside Mediterranean sweets (e.g., Turkish delight and licorice) and honey-drenched baklavas.

Opposite the Trinity Street entrance:

Yeates Confectionary
179 and 182 Central Market CF10 1AU
Yeates Confectionary, formerly R. Litton, sells pick-and-mix sweets (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Jan 2012).

Walk down the third and final aisle, from the Trinity Street end:

The Cheese Stall
94, 96, 144 and 146 Central Market CF10 1AU (2066 6603)
Cheese and Deli stall owned by K. Kemble, selling a good range of Welsh cheeses, and is also a sandwich shop. Eggs for sale.

M. Seymore
138, 140 and 142 Central Market CF10 1AU (2038 2020)
Fruit and vegetables.

At the end of this first block:

Coffee Central
82, 84, 132, 134 and 136 Central Market CF10 1AU
Formerly Jazzy Jackets, this is a modern-looking take-away for coffee/teas and snacks (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. June 2013).

Judy Griffin
76, 78, 80, 126, 128, 130 Central Market CF10 1AU
Judy Griffin’s fruit and vegetables stall, which may be operated by Yeates (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Oct 2011).

60, 62, 74, 110 and 112 Central Market CF10 1AU
M. Yeates sell a wide range fruit and vegetables, including exotic fruits. In fact, Cardiff Market is generally the first stop for fruit and veg that are a little out of the ordinary (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Oct 2011).

Market Deli
54, 56, 58, 104, 106 and 108 Central Market CF10 1AU (2066 6603)
Range of delicatessen produce, including hams and corned beef, pies and pasties, Scotch eggs (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. June 2013).

Turn at the St Mary Street end and come back down the fourth and final aisle. On the outer side:

K. Blackmore & Sons
Stalls 2, 4 and 6 Central Market CF10 1AU (2039 0401)
Someone was ordering three whole pig heads when I walked past this morning. Great hunks of steak, also venison, wild rabbit and a range of marinated meats, such as goat curry, Greek-style lamb shanks, Singapore chicken, spicy pork and one just labelled ‘bloody hot’ (Food Hygiene Rating 3: generally satisfactory. Oct 2010).

Market Deli
8, 10 and 12 Central Market CF10 1AU
Range of meats produces including sausages, across the aisle from the other Market Deli stall location. Indian and other ready meals are made at this stall (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. June 2013).

Along the outer row of stalls:

Gary Anthony
14 and 16 Central Market CF10 1AU (2038 7900)
Butcher. Gary Anthony also has a stall on the opposite side of the market. Good range of meats on offer (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. June 2013).

A&S Griffiths
18, 20, 22 and 24 Central Market CF10 1AU (2039 7669)
Also known as A.W. Griffiths. Butcher with good range of hams, bacon and other meats (Food Hygiene Rating 2: improvement necessary. Sept 2013).

A. Morgan
26 and 28 Central Market CF10 1AU
Also known as A.J. Morgan: Butcher (Food Hygiene Rating 3: generally satisfactory. March 2011).

Gary Anthony
30, 32 and 34 Central Market CF10 1AU (2038 7900)
Another traditional butcher with excellent range of produce (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. June 2013).

J. T. Morgan
36, 38, 40, 42, 44 and 46 Central Market CF10 1AU (2038 8434)
Butcher, focussing more on pre-packed meat products (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. Jan 2013).

Take the steps up to the balcony by the Trinity Street entrance. Once you are facing into the market, go around anti-clockwise, past the toy shop, aquarium suppliers and electrical goods stalls to:

237, 239 and 241 The Balcony, Central Market CF10 1AU
Woody’s Café has seats along the balcony and in the unit next to the counter. Breakfast and lunches, mainly burgers and other fry-ups. A giant panda walks along the balcony edge (Food Hygiene Rating 2: improvement necessary. June 2013).

Around past The Pet Supermarket, and between the two sets of stairs down to the St Mary Street entrance:

The Gallery Café
213, 215 and 217 The Balcony, Central Market CF10 1AU
The Gallery Café, with Donnelly’s Café on the signage, serves breakfast and lunch, including burgers, hot dogs and pies. Seating along the balcony and in a unit by the counter (Food Hygiene Rating 3: generally satisfactory. June 2013).

Keep walking around, past the life-size plastic Elvis Presley (he’s still for sale):

Kelly’s Records
212-232 The Balcony, Central Market CF10 1AU (2037 7355)
This record business, established in 1969 by Ed Kelly and still in the family, is a terrific place to browse through second-hand vinyl, CDs and DVDs.  Kelly’s Barbers is within this block of stalls (218, 220).

Next door:

The Bull Terrier Café
234, 236, 238, 240, 242 and 244 The Balcony, Central Market CF10 1AU
This is the largest café in the market, with seating on both sides of the counter and along the balcony. Big on breakfasts (as are all the market cafés). Lunches include faggots, chips, and a range of other snacks and fry-ups. Today’s specials included roast pork and turkey, chicken curry, and meatballs on pasta (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. June 2013).

Carry on past Petworld, go down the stairs, and exit to Trinity Street. 

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