Friday, 28 February 2014

High Street Arcade, Cardiff

On this walking tour of Cardiff, we are entering the High Street Arcade, from the St John Street entrance. The High Street Arcade was constructed in 1885, to a design by Waring and Jones. We are back in the Castle Quarter. Keep left past a right fork into Duke Street Arcade, where the arcade bends to the left, past Hobos period clothing and The Joke Shop. Just beyond the bend, on your right:

The New York Deli
19 High St Arcade CF10 1QR (2038 8388)
The New York Deli was established in 1990 by US-born Harriett Davies. Above a rustic wooden bench in the arcade, the US flag flies. Inside you’ll find a carving of a Native American and, upstairs and down, some urban New York art I believe was painted by her son. The New York Deli is a place to come if you are very hungry, as some of the hoagies (long bread roll) and bagels they serve are not for the faint-hearted. The ‘White House Special’, their largest hoagie contains turkey, ham, pastrami, coleslaw, Swiss cheese and mayonnaise; I had mine with the Reggae Reggae sauce option. The bread choice is bagels (white or cinnamon raisin), sliced wholemeal or light rye, and the hoagies. Other favoured ingredients include abundant cream cheese, cheese (Swiss, cheddar, Brie, provolone, Philadelphia), bacon, and smoked salmon. You can make combinations up to suit your particular taste. Take-away and eat in, with popular regular and student discount schemes. Soup is back, apparently, with a bagel. There are typically queues outside the door at lunch time (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. June 2013).

Across the arcade:

Sophie’s
16 High Street Arcade CF10 1BB (2037 2352)
La Crêperie de Sophie was founded as a company in Llantwit Major in 2008 by Loïc Moinon, who named it after his wife Sophie.  After four years of mobile catering, at farmers’ markets, festivals, corporate events and weddings, they opened their first static location, in Cardiff’s High Street Arcade, in July 2012, to sell their authentic French crepes. Within the past few weeks there has been a rebrand and a change of name, to Sophie’s. There is more emphasis on the paninis, baguettes, galettes, cakes and other lunch and take-away options. There’s still a good selection of sweet and savoury crêpes, served in the downstairs lounge and the row of tables outside in the Arcade. On a previous visit, we went for some crispy and light savoury crêpes:  ‘Cocorico!’ (chicken breast, brie, cranberry sauce, rocket salad and balsamic dressing) and ‘L’Italienne’ (Parma ham, mozzarella, sundried tomatoes, pesto, rocket salad). Other savoury crêpes on the menu include ‘The Barn’ (with free range egg), ‘The Farmyard’ and ‘L’Atlantic’ (with smoked salmon).  The sweet crêpe selection includes ‘The Brittany’ (with banana, home-made Caramel Breton, crushed biscuits and “Chantilly” cream), while other typical ingredients include chocolate, Nutella spread, fresh fruit, nuts, cream and liqueurs. ‘Sophie’s – A Love Story’ combines Belgian chocolate (or Nutella or Caramel) with fresh strawberries, cream and flaked almonds. Sophie’s is licensed and serves cider and wine with your food order (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. Nov 2011).


Staying on your left, Price’s Sweet Shop (14 High Street Arcade) is now closed.  The unit is now incorporated into the recently opened:


Barker Tea House
8-14 High Street Arcade CF10 1BB (2034 1390)
Opened on 20 Dec 2013 and already established as a firm favourite with the city’s tea drinkers, Barker Tea House builds on the success of the Barker Coffee House in the Castle Arcade (which opened in 2009 as an addition to a clothing shop that it has now all but replaced). The Tea House offers around 60 loose leaf teas, home-made cakes, breakfast and lunch, along with luxury hot chocolates, milk shakes and coffee (if you’ve come to the wrong Barkers!). They have hit on a café style that is a perfect fit to the historic arcades, which involves a melange of heritage furnishings including ornamental and functional tiles, lights, fans, William Morris-style wallpaper, period cups, bowls and plates, and mirrors.  I had lunch there earlier today, and ordered a pot of fragrant smoky lapsang souchong, from the top 10 tea menu (that included black, green and herbal teas).Tea comes in stylish black metal teapots, with milk in little glass milk bottles. I had a very tasty smoked salmon salad, which included herbed soft cheese, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, salad leaves, olives, red onion, French vinaigrette, lemon slices, and a glass of coleslaw topped with a walnut (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Jan 2014).


Cinnamon Sticks
6 High Street Arcade CF10 1BB (2132 0270)
Cinnamon Sticks is a new vintage shop, with an upstairs tea room to match. They serve hot beverages, cakes, buns, salads, wraps and sandwiches, with an emphasis on vegan and vegetarian options. If you like  your tea serving in antique cups, then High Street Arcade is definitely the place for you.

Carry on to the end of the Arcade, with Atlantic Coffee at the entrance on the High Street (on the High Street leg of this tour). The building on the High Street containing the Arcade entrance is surprisingly ornate.

 
Turn around and walk back to where the short Duke Street Arcade branches off. We will be walking along Duke Street and Arcade next time.
 
Previously, on the Walking Tour of Cardiff:
Church Street and St John’s Street
Cardiff Market
Wharton Street and Trinity Street
Morgan Arcade
Royal Arcade
The Hayes
The Old Brewery Quarter
Caroline Street
Mill Lane and Wyndham Arcade
St Mary Street
High Street
Castle Arcade and Castle Street
Womanby Street and Quay Street
Westgate Street
Riverside
Cathedral Road
Pontcanna 2
Pontcanna 1
North Canton
Cowbridge Road East 3
Cowbridge Road East 2
Cowbridge Road East 1
Bute Park
Cathays Park
Cathays Terrace
Salisbury Road
Woodville Road
Crwys Road
Wellfield Road
Albany Road
City Road
 

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Church Street and St John's Street, Cardiff

Previously on this Walking Tour of Cardiff, I left you on the corner of Trinity Street and Church Street / Strys Yr Eglwys, in the shadow of St John’s Church. Down the left-hand side of Church Street:


Cornish Bakehouse
11 Church Street CF10 1BG (2066 5041)
Established in St Ives in 1990, the Cornish Bakehouse specialises in traditional-style Cornish pasties. The company has around 15 shop outlets in the UK. The range of meat pasty fillings includes steak, chicken, spicy chicken, roast lamb and mint, beef and stilton, pork and apple; vegetarian options include country vegetables, spicy vegetables, and broccoli, cheese and sweetcorn. Things do not stray too far from the traditional. The Cornish Pasty was awarded EU Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status in 2011. To qualify to be a ‘Cornish Pasty’, the product must follow a traditional recipe and have a traditional look, and be made in Cornwall.  In a previous blog post, I compared Cornish and Welsh pasties. Since that post, the Pembrokeshire Pasty & Pie shop in Cardiff has closed (though the original shop in Tenby is still open). My thesis then was that Cornish pasties were a known quantity, based on familiarity and provenance, whereas pasties marketed from elsewhere were not constrained by tradition and had more freedom to experiment (for better or worse, though I liked the direction in which the Pembrokeshire Pasty & Pie Co have taken the pasty - flakier, less pastry and still with the use of local produce). As a footnote, you might argue that, in general, traditional food items endure better those employing “modern twists” that are more likely to come and go with fashion (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Jan 2013).

10 Foot Tall
11a-12 Church Street CF10 1BG (2022 8883)
I know this more as a live music venue; you can find some good bands playing in the upstairs Rock Room. This bar (established in 2008) serves tapas and lunches. A current two meals for £12 deal operates from 12 noon to 5pm, with menu items such as marinated steak ciabatta, smoked haddock fish cakes, steak and chorizo burger, and aubergine and goat’s cheese stack burger.  Cocktails are a speciality. There are club nights, and rooms in this multi-story location can be booked for private parties. Popular with students, so they say (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. Sept 2011).

Old Arcade
14-15 Church Street CF10 1BG (2021 7999)
The Old Arcade is a traditional and characterful Brains pub. There’s the full range of Brains cask ales on tap and the typical Brains pub food menu. Food is served 11.30am-6pm Mon-Sat and noon-4pm Sun. It was one of the first pubs in the region to have 3D TV sports coverage (Food Hygiene Rating 3: generally satisfactory. June 2013).

The alleyway alongside The Old Arcade takes you to a side entrance into Cardiff Market (see previous Walking Tour of Cardiff post).

At 17 Church Street, a unit previously occupied by The Works discount bookshop, Applejack Bars Ltd have a put planning application in for a late-night bar, with a provision for live music.

Harvester
18-19 Church Street CF10 1BG (2066 5605)
There are around 200 Harvester restaurants in the UK, with 14 in Wales. St John’s Harvester was a bit of departure for the family-friendly Harvester chain when it opened in 2011, being one of the first to benefit from a rebrand that saw them shift to city centres, rather than just their usual edge of town locations, with take-away being a big thing for the first time. The menu has been adapted slightly, with breakfasts, light lunches, salads, and options that lend themselves to being taken-away. However, the main thrust of the menu remains the same, with steaks, gourmet burgers, spit-roast chicken, unlimited salad bar visits with mains, and their combo platters; for those occasions when you really need chicken, pork, prawns and pineapple rings on the same plate (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. June 2013).

Church Street ends at St Mary Street, with a Greggs we have already encountered on that street. Turn around and walk along the northern side of the street back towards the church:


Truffles
3 Church Street CF10 1BG (2021 0242)
Truffles breakfast house and café opened in 1984. For the past 30 years, this independent restaurant has been offering the good people of Cardiff traditional British food, including all-day breakfasts, lunch and early dinner; with brunch, grills, sausages and mash, fish and chips, pie and chips and other café favourites. We stopped in at Truffles last week for lunch, to escape the driving rain and gales, and focussed in on the Welsh specialities. My partner had the Glamorgan sausages, which came with jacket potato and salad. I had the Welsh rarebit, with bacon and mushrooms; they also do a ham and pineapple Welsh rarebit (what the ?) and a veggie one with tomatoes. The plates are massive, the food delivers and the service is friendly. There’s background music harking back to the 1950s and a more elderly clientele than the Harvester across the (pedestrianized) road (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. June 2013).


Café Citta
4 Church Street CF10 1BG (2022 4040)
Café Citta is a small family-run Italian café, pizzeria and restaurant. It’s the real deal and one of the most authentic places to go for pizza in Cardiff. The pizza is delivered fresh from a wood-fired oven. There are also pasta dishes, seafood, Bruschetta, and meatballs. It is highly regarded for quality of food and value for money on Internet review sites. However, it is a small intimate space and, as we discovered recently, you are advised to book a table! (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. June 2013).

FYEO
5 Church Street CF10 1BG (2022 6600)
For Your Eyes Only is a chain of strip club bars (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. March 2011).

The empty unit at 8 Church Street was previously occupied by a very short-lived locally-owned “fast food” Italian restaurant called Italigo.

The location 9-10 Church Street was for many years occupied by Positano, a well-regarded Italian restaurant. There was a short-lived Italian-American restaurant there subsequently, but that unit is also currently empty.


Turn right at the end and enter St John's Church through the churchyard:

The Tea Spot@ St John’s Church
St John’s Church, Church Street CF10 1GJ
Just inside the church porch, take the stairs up to the left to the small The Tea Spot café, which serves hot beverages and home-made cakes. In the summer, you can take these out into the pleasant churchyard and garden (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Oct 2013).

St John’s Church is well-worth a visit. Originally the site of a Norman chapel, though the present church dates from the fifteenth century. The guide book available inside gives a potted history and interesting details on the stained glass, oaken screens, reredos, and other treasures. At the base of the shafts bearing the chancel roof are carved heads, including those of St John the Baptist, St Paul, St Dyfrig, and the Cardiff fisherman and martyr Rawlins White.

Carrying on round past the church, into St John’s Street:

Tair Pluen
10 St John’s Street CF10 1GL
Mae Y Tair Pluen yn dafarn Gymraeg. Traditional pub food is served, with a current promotion for very cheap food deals on Tuesdays.

Owain Glyndŵr
10 St John’s Street CF10 1GL (2022 1980)
This Stonegate pub has a good range of Welsh ales on tap, including Rhymney, Otley, Felin Foel, Brain’s and Vale of Glamorgan ales, in the traditional bar. There is also a more modern lounge/dining area. There’s an extensive pub food menu. It is one of the oldest pubs in Cardiff and, according to cardiffpubs.co.uk, was called the Mably Arms (or possibly the Buccaneer) in 1731, becoming the Kemys Tynte Arms, The Tennis Court and The Buccaneer before being named after the 15th-Century Welsh freedom fighter. It looks like it could do with some TLC and recent tripadvisor food reviews are not encouraging (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Jan 2013).

Pass the entrance to the High Street Arcade:

Burger King
13-16 St John’s Street CF10 1GL (2039 5000)
This large Burger King is one of three in Cardiff City Centre (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Oct 2011).

Opposite:

Caffé Nero
3 St John’s Street CF10 1GJ
There are three Caffé Nero coffee shops in this small part of Cardiff – see also Duke Street and Trinity Street (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. July 2013).

Greggs
4 St John’s Street CF10 1GJ
Sandwich shop (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Jan 2013).

Next time we will be entering the High Street Arcade. See you then.

Previous post on pasties:
http://sfnottingham.blogspot.co.uk/2011/01/cornish-vs-welsh-pasties.html

Previously, on the Walking Tour of Cardiff:

Cardiff Market
http://sfnottingham.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/cardiff-market.html

Wharton Street and Trinity Street
http://sfnottingham.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/wharton-street-and-trinity-street.html

Morgan Arcade
http://sfnottingham.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/morgan-arcade-cardiff.html

Royal Arcade
http://sfnottingham.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/royal-arcade-cardiff.html

The Hayes
http://sfnottingham.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/the-hayes-cardiff.html

The Old Brewery Quarter
http://sfnottingham.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/the-old-brewery-quarter-cardiff.html

Caroline Street
http://sfnottingham.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/caroline-street-cardiff.html

Mill Lane and Wyndham Arcade
http://sfnottingham.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/mill-lane-and-wyndham-arcade-cardiff.html

St Mary Street
http://sfnottingham.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/st-mary-street-cardiff.html

High Street
http://sfnottingham.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/high-street-cardiff.html

Castle Arcade and Castle Street
http://sfnottingham.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/castle-arcade-and-castle-street-cardiff.html

Womanby Street and Quay Street
http://sfnottingham.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/womanby-street-and-quay-street-cardiff.html

Westgate Street
http://sfnottingham.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/westgate-street-cardiff.html

Riverside
http://sfnottingham.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/riverside-cardiff.html

Cathedral Road
http://sfnottingham.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/cathedral-road-cardiff.html

Pontcanna 2
http://sfnottingham.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/pontcanna-2.html

Pontcanna 1
http://sfnottingham.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/pontcanna-1-we-are-leaving-canton.html

North Canton
http://sfnottingham.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/north-canton.html

Cowbridge Road East 3
http://sfnottingham.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/cowbridge-road-east-3-llandaff-road-to.html

Cowbridge Road East 2
http://sfnottingham.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/cowbridge-road-east-2-wyndham-crescent.html

Cowbridge Road East 1
http://sfnottingham.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/cowbridge-road-east-1-cathedral-road-to.html

Bute Park
http://sfnottingham.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/bute-park-cardiff.html

Cathays Park
http://sfnottingham.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/cathays-park-cardiff.html

Cathays Terrace
http://sfnottingham.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/cathays-terrace-cardiff.html

Salisbury Road
http://sfnottingham.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/salisbury-road-cardiff.html

Woodville Road
http://sfnottingham.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/woodville-road-cardiff.html

Crwys Road
http://sfnottingham.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/crwys-road-cardiff.html

Wellfield Road
http://sfnottingham.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/wellfield-road-cardiff.html

Albany Road
http://sfnottingham.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/albany-road-cardiff.html

City Road
http://sfnottingham.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/city-road-cardiff.html