“The photos make Cardiff look lovely. Is it ?” asks Dave.

Everywhere (nearly) is lovely, Dave. You just have to look harder is some places.

Cardiff Bay, the castle and the Brains pub tiling would be my highlights. But it was this arcade just off High Street that impressed, giving Leeds Victorian Arcade a run for its money (albeit without the free Camden lager).

All gone posh now

This isn’t the Cardiff I fell in love with in 1994 after seven pints of Brains Bitter and seven Cambridge goals at Ninian Park.  That was colourful, shabby and very bitter.

Now it feels like a capital city, but at its core it’s still a working town with useful shops.  Unlike, say, Cambridge.

And some pubs that look like people use them for drinking rather than posing.


The Flute & Tankard is just off Queen Street, the main shopping strip and a few yards from the New Theatre where we saw John Barrowman in panto in 2011; a deeply traumatising event for two of our family who had only seen him in Torchwood before.

A touch of Hull

As is the way in 2018, there’s more bag-in-box flavoured ciders than handpumps, but the Yeovil turns out to be the beer of the day (NBSS 3.5) anyway, which may tell you something.  Perhaps I enjoyed the music here more than at the Queen’s Vaults, most of it seemed to come from 2018.


But it was deathly quiet, and views may vary on the seating.

Pouffes in Cardiff City colours

Then a LONG walk along Newport Road where my foot started to hurt.  It took me an hour and a stop in Tim Hortons to realise I had a stone (a Welsh stone) in it.

The Four Elms (top) looks wonderful, tucked away near Splott with weird art all over the walls opposite.

Art or advertising ?

It must be the most improved pub or something, probably bringing back real ale for the first time since Gareth Jenkins touched down.

It was busy, boisterous and not boring.  There was a big Christmas function on; everyone over 18 was drinking Stella.

I went for the beer with the paper label. It’s got black felt tip on it and appears to be called “Blorenge“.  I am a fool.

Don’t go for the one with the paper label

It tasted like cider, it was so fizzy.  I hadn’t the heart to take it back. I hope the pot plant enjoyed it.

Pleasingly local

Anyway, Timbits, stone removal, phone recharge, regroup.

Tim Horton – Timbits out of sight

Then head west.  Or is it east ?


      1. – and a Greggs and a couple of Brains pubs and the Brewhouse, which is as much a club as a pub but very nice, so it’s far from the worst high street in Britain.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. “a deeply traumatising event for two of our family who had only seen him in Torchwood before.”

    I can well understand that. 😉

    “Pouffes in Cardiff City colours”

    Pouffes? No comment. 😉

    “It took me an hour and a stop in Tim Hortons to realise I had a stone (a Welsh stone) in it.”

    Someone should tell Simon to check the back of his knee. 🙂

    “tucked away near Splott”

    I thought that was a typo. 🙂

    “and appears to be called “Blorenge“.”

    I’ve climbed to the top of that. Near Abergavenny if I recall (stayed with relatives there; have a story as well!). 🙂

    “I hope the pot plant enjoyed it.”

    Good grief. You’re back to doing that? 😦

    “Anyway, Timbits, ”

    Good man. Proper spelling. 🙂



  2. Which of our many Arcades were you comparing it with? I don’t think we have any with low ceilings like that one, although it does look very nice. The Crimble tree in the Victoria Quarter wouldn’t fit down that alleyway on its side.


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