Guide to Cardiff: Arcades & Independent shops

Cardiff has been home for a few years now and I really love it. It has to be one of my favourite cities as it has a good mix of bustling center with plenty of shops but also with plenty of green space and places to visit. I’ll be dedicating quite a few posts to places around the city, and a few nearby. Here’s the first of them, enjoy!


Entrance to Castle Arcade opposite, as you might expect, Cardiff Castle

Today, having spent the majority of the last week indoors, me and little Pip finally spent an afternoon out of the house. Armed with some Christmas spending money, we headed for my favourite shopping destination; Cardiff’s many Victorian shopping arcades. They are filled with gorgeous little cafes and brilliant independent shops selling all manner of good stuff.

My favourite place to grab something to eat or spend a couple of hours with my notebook and a hot chocolate is Cafe Barker, where the decor is fabulously vintage and the food is delicious. I particularly recommend the goats cheese and sun dried tomato paninis. As an added bonus, they sell a good range of Fentiman’s drinks, which myself and the husband love. Much better than regular fizzy drinks, they come in old fashioned-looking glass bottles and a variety of yummy flavours – from Cherrytree cola to Rose Lemonade, which tastes pretty much like liquid Turkish Delight!


We love many of the shops in the arcades. Wally’s Deli is a brilliant place to pick up all manner of cheeses, cold meats and lots of continental treats, while Hubbard’s Cupboard has some beautifully handmade homewares and a good stock of vintage clothing. I think our current favourite shop is Rules of Play, found in the Castle Arcade and selling a vast array of board and dice games. A couple of  Pip’s Christmas presents came from here and she’s already got her eye on a few other games. However, today’s purchase was for myself and the husband to enjoy – Ticket to Ride, Europe edition (look out for a review in a later post!). We love board games in the Appletree household; it’s a great way to get some screen-free family time together.

If you live in Cardiff or are planning a visit, the arcades are definitely worth a look – or more like an afternoon if you’re anything like me!


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