The Rugby Groud Guide

Cardiff blues - Eating, Drinking and Sleeping

 

Cardiff : The City and Bars


Cardiff is Europe’s youngest capital. It was only in 2005 that it celebrated its centenary as a city, and its 50th year as Wales’ capital. Before 1955, the Principality’s governing city was London. Little wonder the Welsh summon up so much sound and fury when playing their neighbours from the other side of Offa’s Dyke.

Cardiff is the geographical opposite of London. It is so centrally defined as to be almost a village, and this makes for a unique atmosphere during big match weekends. You will not get lost in the madding crowd: you are that crowd.

Cardiff has been smartened up considerably in recent years, without losing any of its distinctive character. The Millennium Centre is a proud new addition to the Cardiff bay skyline.

The lively mix of restaurants and bars in Cardiff Bay is unrecognisable from the drinking dens that existed here in the days when the harbour was full of ships being loaded with coal mined inland. These ships delivered their precious cargo throughout the world, and sailors from all nations would call into Cardiff creating a rough-and-tumble area around the harbour. Many of the sailors liked the city and its people so much they stayed, resulting in today’s vibrant mix of cultures.

The millennium Stadium is located in the city centre. Near to the stadium is the gothic Cardiff Castle adjoining Bute Park. Those who enjoy Impressionistic art should be sure to visit the National Museum.

Victorian and Edwardian shopping arcades make Cardiff a pleasant place to shop regardless of the weather. The Café Quarter is located just to the south of these covered arcades.

 

Getting around Cardiff

 

All sights in the city centre, including Millennium Stadium, are within easy walking distance. The Bay Express shuttle bus runs every 10-15 minutes between Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay to central Cardiff at Queen Street station. There is also a regular train service from Queen Street to Cardiff Bay.

 

Tourist Office:

16 Wood Street , in city centre

The Tube, in Cardiff Bay

 

Rugby Bars

Old Arcade

Church Street

029 2021 7999

A famous old Cardiff pub that dates back to 1844 and is decorated with all kinds of sporting memorabilia.

Try and visit on a non-match day to really see the décor, which includes an old-fashioned mahogany bar, and a rear lounge bar complete with its original mirror.

 

Queens Vaults

29 Westgate Street

029 2022 7966

Queen Victoria over the entrance looks away disapprovingly, as well she might given the noise during a match.

Located a few yards from Gate 4 of The Millennium Stadium, it does a roaring trade with special prices on pub food and beer several days a week.

 

The Goat Major

33 High Street

029 2033 7161

Lovely old and unspoilt pub, with a black and white timbered frontage, dark wood panelling and comfy leather sofas.

Welsh dishes are on the food menu and every Wednesday they have a lively Welsh night.

 

The City Arms

10 Quay Street

029 2022 5258

Opposite stadium Gate 2 of The Millennium Stadium is this black and white pub with a bright red dragon above the door.

On match days it’s more crowded here than it is inside the stadium. There are two big screens to watch the sports action if you didn’t get a ticket.

 

La Tantra

31 Westgate Street

029 2039 9400

This hip Turkish themed bar located near Gate 4 of The Millennium Stadium is a pleasant change from the old-fashioned Cardiff pubs. Downstairs, Club Tantra is popular with local celebs, including rugby players and Charlotte Church.

 

 

Restaurants near the Millennium Stadium

 

Topo Gigio

12 Church Street

029 2034 5903

www.vendittogroup.co.uk/topogigio.htm

Book on match days

Credit Cards accepted

With a lively authentic Italian atmosphere, Topo Gigio is a popular spot with players and other celebrities whose photos and magazine cuttings line the walls.

The menu offers home-made pizzas and fresh pastas, and also a selection of fresh fish.

 

Champers

61 St Mary Street

029 2037 3363

Book on match days

Credit Cards accepted

This incongruously-named Spanish tapas bar is located south-east of the Millennium Stadium near the edge of Cardiff’s Café Quarter. The dark interior could be found anywhere in Spain, with a long bar filling one side of the room and a good tapas menu.

 

Las Iguanas

8a Mill Lane

029 2022 6373

www.iguanas.co.uk

Book on match days

Credit Cards accepted

In the heart of the Café Quarter is this incredibly colourful and popular Latin American bar/restaurant. Deadly cocktails too.

 

Shopping for the Rugby Fan

 

Eden Park

34 St. Mary Street

029 2038 8407

www.eden-park.com/cardiff

Established in 1987 by French rugby players Franck Mesnel and Eric Blanc , who had added a pink bow tie to their club kit for a French Championship Final. The chain is known for its quality wearable fashions with a strong rugby theme.

 

Shop Rugby

8 Duke Street

Cardiff CF10 1AY

029 2039 5522

www.shoprugby.co.uk

Opposite Cardiff Castle, and a short walk from the Millennium Stadium, this is a stop for any rugby fan. They stock a wide range of jerseys and boots as well as t-shirts, track suits and rugby souvenirs, not just for Welsh clubs but for clubs worldwide.

 

 

Updated August 2013

 

 

Copyright Miles & Miles Publishing 2013

 

 

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