The best thing about living in Cardiff is that there are so many different areas within the city and they all have their own character. It’s almost like living in more than one place!
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For sewing supplies my first point of call would be City Rd. Butterfly Fabrics (79-81 City Road) can only be described as a fabric emporium, they have every type of fabric that you can think of, plus a big table at the back where you can peruse patterns. Only a few doors down is the cutely named Crafty Sew & Sew (67 City Road), which has a great selection of sewing notions as well as some yarns, fabrics & ribbons. The charity shops on city road and Albany Road are also always worth a look for a good bargain. For paper crafts, artist supplies and general crafting miscellany check out Inkspot (The Old Church, Clifton Street) which is in a converted church. The City Arcades also host some great bead shops like Claire Grove Buttons and Crystals & Ice Bead Shop.
Milgi (213 City Road) run a craft/vintage market on the 1st Sunday of every month, that’s great for when you first start selling. They also run a £1 jumble sale on the 3rd Sunday of the month, if you need to clear out to make space for more craft stuff.
The Arcades are a warren of little independent shops and cafes in the heart of Cardiff. Castle Arcade is particularly pretty with its high arched glass roof. I love getting lost in here and stumbling on a quirky second hand bookshop or vintage shop that I haven’t seen before. Cardiff Fashion Quarter (CFQ) is also great for inspiration, it’s been open since Christmas and as well as having a great graffiti frontage, has loads of stalls selling handicrafts and vintage clothes.
It’s pretty compulsory to have your photo taken in front of Cardiff Castle and under the Welsh flags on St Mary’s Street. You can also strike a pose with a Dalek and Homer at rhe fancy dress shop in Duke Street arcade. Cardiff Bay is also great place for photos; you can snap the Wales Millennium Centre (Bute Place) with its imposing writing as well as the Norwegian Church (Harbour Drive) and any boats on the Bay.
Cardiff has loads of inspiring architecture. The city is peppered with beautiful buildings like Cardiff Castle and the City Hall, which is guarded by a dragon! Next door to the City Hall is the National Museum Cardiff, where I always take visitors to gaze at the basking shark and other curiosities in the natural history section.
Eat & Drink
There are so many great restaurants in Cardiff it’s hard to choose! I love the handmade falafels in pittas from the Falafel Café (38 Woodville Road), for tasty food on the go. I also always take visitors to Mina’s (43 Crwys Road) to try out the Lebanese food. When I’m shopping in the arcades I go to Coffee Barker (55 Whitchurch Road) for delicious handmade soup, which comes with a door step sized wedge of bread.
Cardiff has a thriving crafting community. I’m a member of Cardiff Crafty Crew, we meet every Tuesday evening in 33 Windsor Place for knitting, crochet and a good natter. There are loads of other craft groups in the city who you can find through a quick search on Facebook or Ravelry.
Cardiff has loads of great parks. Bute Park is great to chill out in on a sunny day, you can sit on the grass and craft with great views of Cardiff castle. Or if you get bored, walk or cycle up the Taff trail and watch the salmon jumping at black weir.
Calon Yarns (380 Cowbridge Rd) run workshops on everything from spinning to alterations and have sofas in their shop where you can hang out and craft. Milgi have also been known to run craft evenings or just chill out and eat tasty vegetarian food in their cute yellow café.
See Something Special
Any Doctor Who fans will have to make the pilgrimage to Cardiff Bay. See ‘The Hub’, Torchwood’s secret head quarters and the shrine to Ianto Jones. Stroll along the bay to visit the Doctor Who Experience and have your photo taken with the Tardis. The bay also has loads of restaurants and bars for when you’re tired out after all that site seeing. On the outside of Cardiff is St Fagan’s - The Museum Of Welsh Life. It’s an outdoor museum, so on a nice day it’s gorgeous to stroll around, looking at the historic Welsh buildings and working farm. You can also chill out with a picnic in front of St Fagan’s Castle.
Take Home A Souvenir
A welsh love spoon is a very unusual and pretty souvenir or gift. They were originally given to girls as a symbol of intent to marry, kind of like an old fashioned engagement ring. Now people give them for all sorts of occasions such as Valentine’s Day, anniversaries and christenings. And of course if you visit Cardiff you must try out Welsh food. Welsh cakes are like wonderful sugary flat scones. Get them warm from fabulous welsh cakes in Cardiff Bay.
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