On this walking tour of Cardiff, I previously left you outside the Old Library building at the top of The Hayes. Walk north up St John’s Street, and with the corner of Cardiff castle opposite, turn right into pedestrianized Queen Street / Heol y Frenhines. This is one of Cardiff’s busiest shopping streets.
If you tell people about the interesting buildings along
Queen Street you might get a funny look. That’s because at street level it
looks like any other pedestrianised high street in the UK, with the generic
shop fronts of familiar UK-wide chains. Therefore, I have pointed the camera toward
the street art and the upper parts of buildings to capture the more Cardiff-specific parts of Queen
On the near corner:
2 Queen Street CF10 2BU
Cornershop convenience store (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very
good. April 2012).
At the entrance to Queen Street is the statue of Aneurin "Nye"
Bevan, founder of the National Health Service (link to an account of his life
below). The statue was made by Robert
Thomas in 1987, who was subsequently commissioned to do a series of sculptures
along Queen Street.
Across the road, and one the other corner:
3a Queen Street CF10 2AF
Basement dining (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. June 2013).
Back on the other (south) side of the street:
There used to be a plaque commemorating Robert Drane (who once
owned a Chemist shop here) on the wall where Thomas Cook is now. This was bronze
plaque originally, but was replaced by a slate plaque put up by Cardiff Naturalists’
Society in July 2000. It is no longer there. I would welcome any information
regarding the whereabouts of this plaque.
There is a slate plaque on the north side of Queen Street (no
11) commemorating Eric L Dutton MBE, and the community work he did in the city,
which was unveiled in July 2002.
13 Queen Street CF10 2AQ
Founded in the early 1990s, this is the original chain of £1
discount stores. Poundland has around 520 shops in the UK, and in the wake of
Woolworths demise, it and its many £1 shop competitors have expanded rapidly to
colonise every high street. Food producers make special sizes so Poundland can
sell them for £1. For example, Walkers crisps sell in multiples of 6 or 12 in
mainstream supermarkets, but Poundland sells five-packs. Rather than keep
quoting from the recent excellent article in New Statesman, I have given a link
to it below (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. Jan 2014).
12-14 Queen Street CF10 2BU
(Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. May 2014).
20-22 Queen Street CF10 2BU
This used to be called Chopstix Noodle Bar. Like Chopstix,
it serves stir-fry oriental food in waxed boxes. You can eat in on two dining
levels (“over 100 seats”) or take-away (Food Hygiene Rating 2: improvement
necessary. May 2013).
Opposite the Queens Street Arcade entrance:
15 Queen Street CF10 2AQ
Convenience store and one of several examples in central Cardiff illustrating how the major supermarkets are moving back onto city centre
high streets (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. March 2012).
29 Queen Street CF10 2PB (2039 5074)
Pillars Restaurant and Coffee Shop is a Cardiff institution.
The kids taken by their mothers here during shopping breaks are now here with
their own children. British food, from buffet-style serving counters.
Breakfasts, cold selection, hot selection, vegetarian and children’s menu. Hot
selection includes roast chicken, casserole, curry, and fish and chips
Good-value food in large portions (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. Feb 2013).
At the entrance to the Dominions Arcade, look inside. Of the
several food businesses operating in the arcade in recent years, only one
Sandwiched in the
2 Dominions Arcade CF10 2AR
(Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. June 2013).
Opposite on the south side of Queen Street:
46-48 Queen Street CF10 2GQ
Just down the pedestrian cul-de-sac of Frederick Street /
3 Frederick Street CF10 2DB
(Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Dec 2011).
Continue along Queen Street:
British Home Stores
50-54 Queen Street CF10 2AF
(Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. Feb 2012).
On your right is the entrance to St David’s shopping centre
(a previous location on the walking tour. Opposite the entrance to St David’s
is Ann Summers (51 Queen Street).
36-38 Queen Street CF10 2RG
Boots the Chemist has increased the space it gives over to ‘meal
deals, and other lunchtime food and drink options in recent years (Food Hygiene
Rating 5: very good. Oct 2010).
Marks and Spencer
72-76 Queen Street CF10 2XG
Café and Coffee Shop at front on first floor, visible within
the modern glass extension (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. Nov 2011) and Food to
Go on the ground floor (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. March 2013).
As you walk down Queen Street, you will encounter other sculptures
by Robert Thomas (1926-1999), including Mother and Son, The Miner and (just
around the corner in Churchill Place) The Family. There are information boards
near these, if you wish to find out more.
At the corner with Charles Street:
78 Queen Street CF10 2GR
"Seats 120 upstairs" (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Feb
Across Queen Street is the start of Park Place, which we
will explore later. Then:
91 Queen Street CF10 2BG
Churchill Way is off to the right here.
The short-lived New York Milkshakes was here on the north
side (105-107 Queen Street CF10 2BG) late summer 2012 for about a year.
109 Queen Street CF10 2BH
A stall selling fresh fruit in the entrance to the alley (Food
Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Feb 2014).
125 Queen Street CF10 2BJ (2037 3622)
The largest of the Starbucks on Queen Street, with outdoor
seating (Food Hygiene Rating 4: good. Feb 2014).
127 Queen Street CF10 2BJ
(Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. May 2012).
129 Queen Street CF10 2BJ
One of the older supermarket located in the city centre - it never left
(Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. July 2013).
The Capitol Centre (CF10 2HQ) on the final south block of Queen
Street opened in 1990. It’s owned by the Moorfield Group. Fashion stores have
been the mainstay, with H&M anchoring. A Virgin Megastore used to be prominent
in the building’s prow, and this is now an Easygym.
Food-related businesses in The Capitol Centre:
(Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Nov 2012)
The Gourmet Spaniard
(Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. July 2013).
Soho Coffee Co
Pret a Manger
(Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. March 2013).
This café on the first floor is currently promoting ‘superfood’
smoothies and juices, with ingredients including spirula algae, almond milk,
goji berries, beetroot and South American maca root, to entice health-conscious people coming
out of the Easygym (Food Hygiene Rating 5: very good. Jan 2013).
The Capitol Centre went through a period of decline, with
competition from the extended St Davids Centre, but has been revitalised over
the past couple of years with the opening of a Tesco Metro, the arrival of more
coffeehouses and the announcement just this week of
the reopening of the original cinema that closed in 2001 (see link below).
I’ll see you outside the front door next time.
‘In for a pound’ by Sophie McBain. New Statesman 23-29 May
Cinema to reopen in Capitol Centre
Previously, on the Walking Tour of Cardiff:
St David’s 3
St David’s 2
St David’s 1
Arcade and Duke Street
and St John’s Street
Street and Trinity Street
Mill Lane and
and Castle Street
Street and Quay Street
Road East 3
Road East 2
Road East 1