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Guidebook for Cardiff

Nick & Jo

Guidebook for Cardiff

Food Scene
This wonderful deli on the doorstep offers basics such as bread, milk, coffee, fresh veg as well as delicious local cheeses and other deli scrumptiousness. The "Penylan Preserves" are delicious - especially the raspberry and amaretto jam!! Open 10 - 6 Tues - Sat, 10 - 4 Sun. Closed Mondays.
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Penylan Pantry
72 Kimberley Rd
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This wonderful deli on the doorstep offers basics such as bread, milk, coffee, fresh veg as well as delicious local cheeses and other deli scrumptiousness. The "Penylan Preserves" are delicious - especially the raspberry and amaretto jam!! Open 10 - 6 Tues - Sat, 10 - 4 Sun. Closed Mondays.
If you're looking for a good curry house, look no further! The Himalaya hits the spot with the usual's as well as some house specialities. Takeaway or eat in. Friendly staff. Good price.
Himalaya
24 Wellfield Rd
If you're looking for a good curry house, look no further! The Himalaya hits the spot with the usual's as well as some house specialities. Takeaway or eat in. Friendly staff. Good price.
Hidden in a back street, they sell bread (obviously!), rolls, croissants, pan au chocolat, sausage rolls, muffins, cakes. Good value. Open at very early hours until lunchtime, Monday - Saturday.
Allen's Bakery
Hidden in a back street, they sell bread (obviously!), rolls, croissants, pan au chocolat, sausage rolls, muffins, cakes. Good value. Open at very early hours until lunchtime, Monday - Saturday.
The best fish and chips in Cardiff. The large size chips serves our family of four!! It's easy to over order. Open every day.
Albany Fish Bar
26 Albany Rd
The best fish and chips in Cardiff. The large size chips serves our family of four!! It's easy to over order. Open every day.
Joe's Ice Cream - originally from Swansea, and in more recent years have expanded east to Cardiff. The vanilla ice cream is made on the premises. Best anywhere. Good even on a rainy day - yummy!!
Joe's Ice Cream
69 Wellfield Rd
Joe's Ice Cream - originally from Swansea, and in more recent years have expanded east to Cardiff. The vanilla ice cream is made on the premises. Best anywhere. Good even on a rainy day - yummy!!
This is a B.Y.O. pizza and pasta restaurant. They also have a wine list. Tasty and unusual pasta dishes, kids menu and delicious pizza. We usually need to book on weekends 029 2048 0161. Closes at 9.30pm.
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La Vita
5 Wellfield Road
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This is a B.Y.O. pizza and pasta restaurant. They also have a wine list. Tasty and unusual pasta dishes, kids menu and delicious pizza. We usually need to book on weekends 029 2048 0161. Closes at 9.30pm.
A pleasant walk through the park will bring you to Waterloo Gardens Teahouse. Good for unusual teas and award winning coffee. Cakes are delicious too! They also do afternoon tea - if you have a big appetite! This place won Best Cafe in the UK in 2009 (BSA Awards) and is regularly listed in National media 'Top 10' cafes and recognised Europe wide. Open 7 days a week until around 6pm.
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Waterloo Tea (Pen Y Lan)
5 Waterloo Gardens
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A pleasant walk through the park will bring you to Waterloo Gardens Teahouse. Good for unusual teas and award winning coffee. Cakes are delicious too! They also do afternoon tea - if you have a big appetite! This place won Best Cafe in the UK in 2009 (BSA Awards) and is regularly listed in National media 'Top 10' cafes and recognised Europe wide. Open 7 days a week until around 6pm.
The award winning Brod is over the other side of Cardiff, but if you're after deliciously authentic Danish pastries and wonderful bread cooked on the premises, this is the place to go. (It's also run by our neighbour, Betina)
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Brød – The Danish Bakery
126 Wyndham Cres
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The award winning Brod is over the other side of Cardiff, but if you're after deliciously authentic Danish pastries and wonderful bread cooked on the premises, this is the place to go. (It's also run by our neighbour, Betina)
This hidden gem is worth the effort. It's located in Splott and the prices are much cheaper than say Penylan Pantry. In fact, they supply the bread to Penylan Pantry and you can buy it here for half the price. They also make Nata Tarts (Portuguese custard tarts), supplied to outlets all over Cardiff - but this is where they first came from. Great value, busy place, full of locals getting their caffeine fix. Sometimes hard to park nearby.
Portuguese Bakery
118 Clifton St
This hidden gem is worth the effort. It's located in Splott and the prices are much cheaper than say Penylan Pantry. In fact, they supply the bread to Penylan Pantry and you can buy it here for half the price. They also make Nata Tarts (Portuguese custard tarts), supplied to outlets all over Cardiff - but this is where they first came from. Great value, busy place, full of locals getting their caffeine fix. Sometimes hard to park nearby.
This restaurant is our favourite in Cardiff. Delicious, top quality food, really friendly attentive service. It's a £10 taxi ride or a drive away but worth the trip. Booking necessary at weekends. Lunch menu around £21 for 3 courses inc. 1 glass of wine. Well worth the slightly higher price point than other places.
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Milkwood
83 Pontcanna St
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This restaurant is our favourite in Cardiff. Delicious, top quality food, really friendly attentive service. It's a £10 taxi ride or a drive away but worth the trip. Booking necessary at weekends. Lunch menu around £21 for 3 courses inc. 1 glass of wine. Well worth the slightly higher price point than other places.
Best pizza in walking distance. The ingredients are well sourced, and you can tell! Booking essential Friday and Saturday.
Anatoni's Traditional Neapolitan Pizzeria Ltd
Best pizza in walking distance. The ingredients are well sourced, and you can tell! Booking essential Friday and Saturday.
Our favourite city centre restaurant. This was the very first Thai restaurant in the UK outside of London and is still family run. Quite traditional setting. The food really is exquisite. Some of it is very spicy. Try the soft shell crab (spicy) and the morning glory (veg side dish).
Thai House
Our favourite city centre restaurant. This was the very first Thai restaurant in the UK outside of London and is still family run. Quite traditional setting. The food really is exquisite. Some of it is very spicy. Try the soft shell crab (spicy) and the morning glory (veg side dish).
Japanese - very authentic and more than just sushi. They have a wide varied menu, including plenty of noodle and rice dishes. A short walk from the house.
The Ichiban Sushi & Noodle Bar Japanese Restaurant
167 Albany Rd
Japanese - very authentic and more than just sushi. They have a wide varied menu, including plenty of noodle and rice dishes. A short walk from the house.
Drinks & Nightlife
Family friendly. Usually busy with a good atmosphere. Good for a drink or some tapas. Would probably go somewhere else for food other than breakfast which is good. OK value.
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Juno Lounge
14 Wellfield Road
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Family friendly. Usually busy with a good atmosphere. Good for a drink or some tapas. Would probably go somewhere else for food other than breakfast which is good. OK value.
OK for a beer or a glass of wine with friends. Similar to Juno Lounge though a little less family friendly.
Pear Tree
OK for a beer or a glass of wine with friends. Similar to Juno Lounge though a little less family friendly.
Old fashioned Brains pub within 15 minutes walking distance. Good local beer. Not really family friendly, though there is a small garden at the back.
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Albany
105 Donald Street
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Old fashioned Brains pub within 15 minutes walking distance. Good local beer. Not really family friendly, though there is a small garden at the back.
Sightseeing
Cardiff Castle is OK - but there are other older, more interesting Castles outside of Cardiff (e.g Caerphilly) which we'd recommend over this one. There is a reasonably priced family friendly cafe inside.
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Cardiff Castle
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Cardiff Castle is OK - but there are other older, more interesting Castles outside of Cardiff (e.g Caerphilly) which we'd recommend over this one. There is a reasonably priced family friendly cafe inside.
The former docks have been redeveloped and Mermaid Quay is now a great spot for an afternoon stroll, a look at the boats and to see some of the sites made famous by Dr Who. There are loads of restaurants and bars. It's a family friendly spot. We love to stop by the "Fabulous Welshcakes" shop (14 Mermaid Quay) and buy a bag of the warm freshly made Welshcakes - they have some unusual flavours, like chocolate orange and white chocolate as well as traditional. If you're looking for somewhere to drink a beer in the sun, try World of Boats - it's a bit quirky and a great sun-trap which most people in Cardiff don't know about.
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Mermaid Quay
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The former docks have been redeveloped and Mermaid Quay is now a great spot for an afternoon stroll, a look at the boats and to see some of the sites made famous by Dr Who. There are loads of restaurants and bars. It's a family friendly spot. We love to stop by the "Fabulous Welshcakes" shop (14 Mermaid Quay) and buy a bag of the warm freshly made Welshcakes - they have some unusual flavours, like chocolate orange and white chocolate as well as traditional. If you're looking for somewhere to drink a beer in the sun, try World of Boats - it's a bit quirky and a great sun-trap which most people in Cardiff don't know about.
Folly rebuilt on old remains by the Marquess of Bute (also house in grounds of Cardiff Castle). It looks like a fairy princess castle. Interesting tour.
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Castell Coch
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Folly rebuilt on old remains by the Marquess of Bute (also house in grounds of Cardiff Castle). It looks like a fairy princess castle. Interesting tour.
One of the oldest streets in Cardiff, Womanby Street is now the centre of a vibrant independent music scene in the City, centred around Clwb Ifor Bach, Moon Club and Fuel.
Womanby Street
One of the oldest streets in Cardiff, Womanby Street is now the centre of a vibrant independent music scene in the City, centred around Clwb Ifor Bach, Moon Club and Fuel.
Arts & Culture
This museum is free and has many grand masters and family friendly exhibits. Some fab temporary exhibitions including Artes Mundi and Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Check their website for the latest. https://museum.wales/cardiff/ Closed Mondays.
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National Museum Cardiff
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This museum is free and has many grand masters and family friendly exhibits. Some fab temporary exhibitions including Artes Mundi and Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Check their website for the latest. https://museum.wales/cardiff/ Closed Mondays.
This museum of Welsh life is a full day out. Buildings from all over Wales have been painstakingly taken down and rebuilt brick by brick in the grounds of the original historic house and estate. Helpful, informative staff. Includes a mill, a farm, a row of shops, a row of houses, a working mens hall among other things. Good cafe with kids options. Really interesting! Free entry.
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St. Fagans National Museum of History
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This museum of Welsh life is a full day out. Buildings from all over Wales have been painstakingly taken down and rebuilt brick by brick in the grounds of the original historic house and estate. Helpful, informative staff. Includes a mill, a farm, a row of shops, a row of houses, a working mens hall among other things. Good cafe with kids options. Really interesting! Free entry.
This is your chance to go down a real mine and experience what it would have been like. The ex-miner guides are great story tellers and bring the place to life. The pit head baths within the museum are interesting and documents the history of mining from the perspective of the miners and their families. Part of Blaenavon World Heritage Site. Closes promptly at 5pm. Best to arrive no later than lunchtime to leave enough time. 50 minute drive time. Free entry.
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Big Pit National Coal Museum & More
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This is your chance to go down a real mine and experience what it would have been like. The ex-miner guides are great story tellers and bring the place to life. The pit head baths within the museum are interesting and documents the history of mining from the perspective of the miners and their families. Part of Blaenavon World Heritage Site. Closes promptly at 5pm. Best to arrive no later than lunchtime to leave enough time. 50 minute drive time. Free entry.
Interesting museum with Roman baths and amphitheatre - only about 20 minutes drive from here. Caerleon is a pretty village to have a wonder around too.
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Caerleon Roman Fortress Baths/ Caer a Baddonau Rhufeinig Caerllion
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Interesting museum with Roman baths and amphitheatre - only about 20 minutes drive from here. Caerleon is a pretty village to have a wonder around too.
Parks & Nature
A great walk (or jog) from the house - follow the river just beyond the church behind the house towards Roath Lake (to the right). Once there, you'll find an excellent children's park, a busy cafe (with fabulous cakes) and icecream. Don't forget to bring something to feed the ducks and swans! During the summer you can also take a boat on the lake. There is a conservatory (on the 'other' side of the river, near the rose garden) where you'll find huge carp and terapins - it's something like £1 entry fee - it's a good bolt hole on a cold day!!
Roath Park Playground
36 Lake Rd E
A great walk (or jog) from the house - follow the river just beyond the church behind the house towards Roath Lake (to the right). Once there, you'll find an excellent children's park, a busy cafe (with fabulous cakes) and icecream. Don't forget to bring something to feed the ducks and swans! During the summer you can also take a boat on the lake. There is a conservatory (on the 'other' side of the river, near the rose garden) where you'll find huge carp and terapins - it's something like £1 entry fee - it's a good bolt hole on a cold day!!
Interesting pretty park, close to the City Centre, behind Cardiff Castle and adjacent to the River Taff. You can hire bikes in the park.
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Bute Park
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Interesting pretty park, close to the City Centre, behind Cardiff Castle and adjacent to the River Taff. You can hire bikes in the park.
The views from the top of Pen y Fan on a clear, sunny day are amazing. It's about 50 mins drive away and takes around 2 hours to walk to the top and back from the car park. This is doable with kids - we've done it with ours when the youngest was 7. Not recommended if the weather is bad. Wear appropriate clothing - it can be cold and windy at the top! Take your own food and snacks - there are snack bars in the car park, but they're not that great and often have long queues.
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Pen y Fan
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The views from the top of Pen y Fan on a clear, sunny day are amazing. It's about 50 mins drive away and takes around 2 hours to walk to the top and back from the car park. This is doable with kids - we've done it with ours when the youngest was 7. Not recommended if the weather is bad. Wear appropriate clothing - it can be cold and windy at the top! Take your own food and snacks - there are snack bars in the car park, but they're not that great and often have long queues.
The best beaches are a 1.5 hours drive away, but worth the trip on a sunny day to the Gower. Head for Three Cliffs or Rhossilli Bay.
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Gowerhalvön
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The best beaches are a 1.5 hours drive away, but worth the trip on a sunny day to the Gower. Head for Three Cliffs or Rhossilli Bay.
Great spot for bird watching, or just hiking around the flat trails, finishing with a play in the park for the kids. Run by the RSPB, there is a good cafe and shop with fun trails for the kids to do. Free entry.
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Newport Wetlands Reserve
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Great spot for bird watching, or just hiking around the flat trails, finishing with a play in the park for the kids. Run by the RSPB, there is a good cafe and shop with fun trails for the kids to do. Free entry.
See where Gavin and Stacey was filmed, enjoy fish and chip take aways and ice-cream. A bucket and spade kind of place with amusement arcades, rides, crazy golf, trampolines, etc. This is the closest beach at around 30 mins drive time. The sea is at the end of the severn estuary, so can be a bit silty, but OK if you don't want to go in it! Mind the seagulls if you're eating. They like to steal your food!
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Ynys y Barri/Barry Island
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See where Gavin and Stacey was filmed, enjoy fish and chip take aways and ice-cream. A bucket and spade kind of place with amusement arcades, rides, crazy golf, trampolines, etc. This is the closest beach at around 30 mins drive time. The sea is at the end of the severn estuary, so can be a bit silty, but OK if you don't want to go in it! Mind the seagulls if you're eating. They like to steal your food!
Essentials
The nearest place to get a good quality bottle of wine or proper beer. Need I say more?
The Bottle Shop
4 Pen-Y-Lan Rd
The nearest place to get a good quality bottle of wine or proper beer. Need I say more?
The nearest little Sainsbury's convenience grocery store.
Sainsbury's Local
97-99 Albany Road
The nearest little Sainsbury's convenience grocery store.
The nearest large supermarket. A 5 minute drive away, but stocks everything, including clothes.
Sainsbury's Petrol Station
The nearest large supermarket. A 5 minute drive away, but stocks everything, including clothes.
Waterloo Gardens Foodstore is a very small convenience store, adjacent to the Post Office - this is where I'd go for the odd bit of top up shopping - milk, tinned bits and bobs, beer, chocolate, etc. Handy, and a nice walk through the park.
Waterloo Gardens Post Office
3 Waterloo Gardens
Waterloo Gardens Foodstore is a very small convenience store, adjacent to the Post Office - this is where I'd go for the odd bit of top up shopping - milk, tinned bits and bobs, beer, chocolate, etc. Handy, and a nice walk through the park.
Getting Around
Need a taxi? Phone Dragon on 029 2033 3333 Dragon have an app - search for Dragon Taxi Cardiff. It's the red and yellow logo.
Dragon Taxis Cardiff
5 Martin Rd
Need a taxi? Phone Dragon on 029 2033 3333 Dragon have an app - search for Dragon Taxi Cardiff. It's the red and yellow logo.
The best BUS STOP to take into the City Centre is opposite the Penylan Library and Community Centre, about 5 mins walk from here. All buses from the stop OPPOSITE the community centre will take you into the city. (buses going up Penylan Hill take you out of the city) Buses leave every 7 / 8 minutes and it takes around 12 minutes to get into town (depending on traffic).
Penylan Library and Community Centre
The best BUS STOP to take into the City Centre is opposite the Penylan Library and Community Centre, about 5 mins walk from here. All buses from the stop OPPOSITE the community centre will take you into the city. (buses going up Penylan Hill take you out of the city) Buses leave every 7 / 8 minutes and it takes around 12 minutes to get into town (depending on traffic).
The City bike rental Nextbike is available via a phone app. The nearest bike station to home is at Penylan Library or near Waterloo Tea. It costs £1 for half an hour.
Nextbike Bike Station
The City bike rental Nextbike is available via a phone app. The nearest bike station to home is at Penylan Library or near Waterloo Tea. It costs £1 for half an hour.