Cardiff Life - Issue 164

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Food/Arts/Entertainment/Shopping/Property ISSUE 164 / MARCH 2017 / £3













‘IT’S YOUR DECISION BUT OUR REPUTATION’ Windsor Road, Penarth, CF64 1JG | 029 2070 7090

editor’s letter / Issue 164 / MARCH 2017

16 HAPPY VALLEY Reasons to love the Vale of Glamorgan

Vale tales Rolling countryside, picturesque villages, a stunning coastline, attractions galore, independent shops and cafés, etc etc – there’s so much to love about the Vale of Glamorgan. And given that it was recently voted the happiest place in Wales (according to figures by the Office for National Statistics), it’s just another reason to love it a little more. We take a long overdue road trip to see what’s what – see page 16 and get re-acquainted. As you’ve no doubt noticed from this month’s bold, colourful cover, we’re in thrall to inspiring abstract painter Gillian Ayres, too. Ahead of a major new show at National Museum Cardiff – the largest exhibition of her work ever seen in the UK – we profile one of Britain’s most unique and renowned artists; turn to page 34 for more. Also this issue, we feast on pintxos at Curado, Cardiff’s new Spanish deli/bar; offer suggestions for Mother’s Day pressies; and put radio gal Polly James in the ‘Cardiff Lives’ spotlight; all that, and seven pages of society pics. Go on, have a nose...

Mynd am dro i’r fro Ardaloedd o gefn gwlad godidog, pentrefi prydferth, arfordir hardd, atyniadau niferus, caffis a siopau annibynnol ac ati – mae cymaint i’w hoffi am Fro Morgannwg. Ac o ystyried ei bod wedi dod i’r brig mewn pleidlais yn ddiweddar i ddarganfod y lle hapusaf yng Nghymru (yn ôl ffigurau’r Swyddfa Ystadegau Gwladol), dyna reswm arall i ni ddwlu ychydig bach yn fwy ar y Fro. Rydym wedi bod yno am dro o’r diwedd i weld beth yw beth – ewch i dudalen 16 i ddod i adnabod yr ardal o’r newydd. Rhaid eich bod wedi sylwi, o glawr trawiadol a lliwgar y mis hwn, ein bod ni hefyd yn hoff iawn o waith ysbrydoledig yr arlunydd haniaethol, Gillian Ayres. Cyn i’w sioe newydd o fri, sef yr arddangosfa fwyaf erioed o’i gwaith yn y DU, agor yn Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Caerdydd rydym yn rhoi sylw i un o arlunwyr mwyaf unigryw ac enwog Prydain; ewch i dudalen 34 i gael gwybod mwy. Yn y rhifyn hwn hefyd rydym yn mwynhau pintxos ym mar/deli Sbaenaidd newydd Caerdydd, sef Curado; rydym yn cynnig ambell awgrym ar gyfer anrhegion Sul y Mamau; ac rydym yn rhoi sylw i’r seren radio Polly James yn yr adran ‘Cardiff Lives’. Ar ben hynny, mae gennym saith tudalen o luniau o ddigwyddiadau crand. Ewch i fusnesa... Velimir Ilic Editor Follow us on Twitter: @CardiffLifeMag


MAIN FEATURE 16 Vale of Glamorgan Explore the happiest place in Wales – fact!

OPINION 14 A Man’s World “Truly horrendous” – Rhys gets on his bike


M EET T H E T EAM Editor Velimir Ilic Managing editor Deri Robins Senior art editor Andrew Richmond Graphic design Megan Allison Cover design Trevor Gilham Contributors: Hugo Ball, Jamie Rees, Jane Cook, Katie Kissoon, Rhys Williams, Andrea Callanan, Mark Sutton Advertising manager Mark George Deputy advertising manager Claire Hawkins Account manager Ian Fernando Commercial director Steve Hawkins

THE ARTS 27 Arts Intro There’s a revolution going on at Ffotogallery

28 What’s On All the key dates for your cultural calendar

Production and distribution manager Sarah Kingston Deputy production manager Christina West Production designer Kirstie Howe

34 Gillian Ayres Don’t miss the abstract painter’s largest ever showcase at National Museum Cardiff

Chief executive Jane Ingham Chief executive Greg Ingham

37 Film Preview Feast on world cinema at the Wales One World (WOW) Film Festival

Cardiff Life, MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW; 01225 475800,, @The MediaClash

SHOPPING 42 Editor’s Choice Don’t even think about forgetting Mother’s Day. . .

46 Fashion It’s all about the ruffle this season

FOOD 51 Food News What’s cooking on the local restaurant and foodie scene

© All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without written permission of MediaClash.

55 Recipe Thai-inspired seared scallops, from The Market Place

BUSINESS 75 Business Insider Digital Cities Cardiff, Inspiretec and Cardiff Life Awards news


52 Restaurant

82 Property Showcase

Will pintxos purveyors Curado impress Jane Cook?

A plush, contemporary apartment at Cefn Mably Country Park

DEPARTMENTS 7 Spotlight Your heads-up on the hottest cultural news in Cardiff

60 Snapped This issue’s most glamorous party people

90 Cardiff Lives

About MediaClash We’re a Bath-based publisher, creative agency and event organiser Magazines Our portfolio of regional magazines celebrate the best of local living: Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter and Salisbury. We also publish foodie mag Crumbs. (, @ CrumbsMag) and wedding title Vow (@VowMag). Agency From the design and build of websites to digital marketing and creating company magazines, we can help. Events We create, market, promote and operate a wide variety of events both for MediaClash and our clients Contact:

It’s that Polly James off the radio! On the cover See this and other paintings by Gillian Ayres at National Museum Cardiff


Scott Wroe Hearing & Ear Care Clinic | 10 Royal Buildings, Penarth CF64 3ED | Telephone 02920 707760

C A R D I F F: I T S L I F E A N D T I M E S



Matt Callanan: “Each of the 403 good things I do will be genuine and authentic”

Comedian Eddie Izzard to perform his Force Majeure 333 show in three languages at Cardiff’s Glee Club The show will see the multilingual star deliver his set in German, French and English on 20 March, with individual tickets available for each language. It will mark the first time the legendary Izzard has ever graced a Glee stage. “To have Eddie appear at The Glee is something of a dream come true for us, a real coup,” said The Glee’s owner, Mark Tughan. “He’s one of the all-time greats – someone who’s been at the top of his game for decades, who just keeps pushing boundaries.” Tickets for the Force Majeure 333 shows are on sale now – see for more (if there are any left!)


WE MAKE GOOD HAPPEN Cardiff-based filmmaker Matt Callanan’s ‘good deeds’ project goes viral

Eddie Izzard: comedy tour de force

Inspired by the idea of doing 403 good deeds after he met his all-time hero Bill Murray at George Clooney’s house – where he was filming a documentary on social causes, as you do – We Make Good Happen seems to have taken the UK by storm. Buzzing from meeting Bill, Matt bought a scratch card and won £20, then used that £20 to take a Big Issue seller shopping for food. Clearly overwhelmed by Matt’s generosity, the seller, from Romania, proceeded to give Matt a massive hug and repeatedly tapped his chest, saying “My brother, my brother.” Emotionally moved and inspired by this – and inspired by his dad, who was always doing good things in the community – Matt had the idea of doing 403 good deeds to leave as a legacy for his one year-old boy. We Make Good Happen is now open to everyone to collectively achieve 12,000

good deeds/acts of kindness for others. The latest part of the project is the #Tenner4Good concept, where Matt hid 20 £10 notes in locations around Cardiff (each connected to a charity or good cause) for people to find – the only rules were that they couldn’t spend the money on themselves, and they had to do some good with it. The ensuing publicity from that saw Matt appear on BBC Breakfast, BBC 6 Music and BBC Radio Wales, in the national press, and he was even trending on Twitter. He’s been filmed for BBC Three’s Amazing Humans series, too. “Each of the 403 good things I do will be genuine and authentic,” said Matt. “If it makes people smile or makes their day a bit better, then great – job done. And if it inspires anyone else into acts of kindness for other people, then that’s a good bonus.” For more: I CARDIFF LIFE I 7



THE NEXT CHAPTER Chapter Arts Centre announces live music series ChapterLive

The Bug Club fancied a quick game of musical statues

Continuing its partnership with established promoter Jealous Lovers Club, Chapter is putting on a series of live shows entitled ChapterLive, promising music from around the UK, Europe and further afield, with regular free gigs at its Caffi Bar. Upcoming performances include The Bug Club and Rob Lear (24 March), Joe Kelly and Joe Bayliss (14 April), Blind River Scare and Tom Crow (28 April), Bryony Sier and The Reardon Smith Lecture (12 May), and Tendons (26 May). “It’s great to be working in partnership with Chapter, to deliver a platform for exciting emerging artists to take the stage there,” said Connor Cupples from Jealous Lovers Club. “The ChapterLive series is a great way to discover brilliant new acts and find new favourites.” For more:

in time and stop even sooner that would be pretty sweet.

SEVEN DEADLY SINS Our occasional mini Q&A with visiting and local performers – this month, comedian STUART GOLDSMITH bares his wicked soul… LUST: Who or what do you find yourself lusting after today? Vintage Adidas track tops. I’m terrible at shopping but I’ve realised if I obsess over one specific thing then it makes the whole shebang less stressful. GREED: What should you be cutting down on (non-food and drink!) I’d love to cut down on ‘having been a smoker in the past’. I stopped years ago, but if there was some way I could go back


GLUTTONY: What one thing could you happily eat or drink until you burst? The unbelievable backstage catering rice pudding on the Jack Whitehall tour. I’m doing five support slots for this huge tour show, and if I were to do six I’d be dead from delicious creamy gluten. SLOTH: What should you be really putting your back into right now? Research for my Comedian’s Comedian podcast. I’ve got some massive comics coming up to interview about their creativity, and they’ve released hours and hours of DVDs that I need to know backwards, in order to properly challenge their concept of their very selves. WRATH: What/who makes you angry? Swimming. I always considered it the mark of adulthood that no-one can force you to go swimming anymore, then you have a baby and suddenly there’s no arguing – you’ve got to go and get all stupid and wet every week. ENVY: Who are you jealous of? People who are either so confident or

so stupid that they experience absolute certainty about their own decisions. PRIDE: What’s your proudest achievement? My baby. He’s been sick on my fiancée twice now, both times at the exact second a photo was taken. Great timing – that’s my boy! Stuart Goldsmith plays Chapter on 16 March. For more, see or


HELLO, PETAL Floral spectacular RHS Flower Show returns to Cardiff in April, with a host of themed gardens and features to spark the imagination, embracing Wales’ ‘year of legends’ RWCMD’s recent production of Falstaff (photo by Kirsten McTernan)


HIT THE RIGHT NOTE Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama announces the launch of its international opera school, in association with Welsh National Opera The fully-integrated opera school will provide a unique training environment across all disciplines of opera performance and production – from singers and instrumentalists to conductors, directors, répétiteurs, stage managers and designers. “The immense value to the company of working with the Royal Welsh College is a no-brainer,” said David Pountney, artistic director of WNO. “As a worldclass opera company, we need the best possible access to emerging talent, and there is no better way to gain that than by working directly with the growers. “The benefits flow both ways – the close involvement of a professional opera company has the potential to add significant depth and relevance to the training.”

Organised by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in partnership with Cardiff Council, this year’s show will take place from 7-9 April, at Cardiff’s beautiful Bute Park. Encouraging visitors to embrace this year’s magical, mystical theme – and experience the rich history of Welsh legends and their connection to the surrounding landscape – featured show gardens will include Chris Myers’ homage

to Blodeuwedd, a mythical woman made from flowers who, legend has it, was turned into an owl as punishment for trying to murder her husband. Other features include giant wicker bug sculptures, demos, workshops, bushcraft and live animals, plus wildlife-themed children’s activities including den-building, tree-climbing, and a children’s trail. “Last year’s show, with its Dahl-inspired themes, proved such a hit, and we wanted to

come back with something equally as impressive to wow show-goers,” said show manager Rose Gore-Browne. “The Welsh myths and legends theme is certainly set to create some really imaginative showstoppers. There really will be something for everyone, with even more exciting plans to be announced very soon – watch this space!” For more:

The RHS Flower Show: Bloomin’ marvellous

For more:,


ROARING SUCCESS Welsh schoolgirls land leading role in Wales Millennium Centre’s new production, Tiger Bay: The Musical

Local schoolgirls Ruby Llewelyn and Louise Harvey will star in major new production, Tiger Bay: The Musical

Plucked from an open audition process, Louise Harvey, 9, from Rhiwbina and Ruby Llewelyn, 11, from Llantrisant, will share the part of Ianto – an orphan boy who is really a girl, dreaming of a better life – in Tiger Bay: The Musical. Louise and Ruby will take to the WMC stage for their starring roles in November, following two months of rehearsal and preview performances at Artscape Opera House in Cape Town, South Africa. “I was so shocked when I got offered the part, as it was my first audition,” said Louise, who attends Ysgol Y Wern in Llanishen. “I’m very excited to visit South Africa. I can’t wait to start the official rehearsals and meet the rest of the cast!”

Tiger Bay: The Musical will bring to life the rich cultural history that helped shape Cardiff as a city. The role of Ianto is pivotal to the storyline as it explores intergenerational and class relationships in the early 1900s, when Cardiff Bay was one of the busiest, most multi-cultural ports in the world. “We held open auditions in Butetown to give local talent a really good chance of attending,” said Graeme Farrow, WMC’s artistic director. “Finding Ruby and Louise is a gift, and will help us tell the awe-inspiring story of Tiger Bay with authenticity and passion.” Tiger Bay: The Musical is at Wales Millennium Centre from 14-25 November. For more: I CARDIFF LIFE I 9


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DO THE RIDE THING Rhys gets on his bike...


y first confession… You may remember reading in the January edition that one of my New Year’s resolutions was to start doing Bikram yoga. A couple of people have since asked me how it’s going, and I can only hang my head in shame – I have become one of the 92 per cent of people who fail to fulfil their resolutions. I still have plenty of time left in 2017 to change this, mind you! One thing I have been doing, however, is training on my Wattbike in the house. It was a Christmas present from my wife, Liz, although to call it a present would be pretty questionable. Anyone who has trained on a Wattbike will agree that it has to be the most sadistic workout machine, created in the pits of lactic acid hell – it is truly horrendous. But the professional rugby player in me still craves that feeling of endorphins racing and muscle fatigue that you get from really emptying the tank. Some of you will know that dark place I am trying to describe. It is only when you get to that place that your character is really tested and you learn a lot about yourself, but once you are there, it is so rewarding. Or am I talking absolute nonsense?

Ever since finishing rugby, I have struggled to fill that void and find something that gives you that same exhilaration. Training with my old team-mate and current Cardiff Blues strength and conditioning coach Robin Sowden-Taylor is the only time I have come close to it – getting that same

THE WATTBIKE IS A SADISTIC WORKOUT MACHINE, CREATED IN THE PITS OF LACTIC ACID HELL exhaustion from working out, along with the banter of a rugby environment. But as my body gets older, I’ve realised I need to change the way I train, so Robin, who also runs Ion Fitness in Llanishen, has always pushed me to do more high intensity training. In the busy modern world we live in, it definitely suits me and my lifestyle. And that hellish piece of equipment means I can get up at 6am and do a good 40-minute blast before my daughter is up at 7am. It also means I can eat all the foodie delights that

Deliveroo, Cardiff and my good wife can feed me with! Hopefully, it’ll be beneficial as the nights get lighter and I get out on my actual bike – I’ve already signed up for the Velothon and the Tour de Gwent. We are very lucky in Cardiff to have so much variety on our doorstep. I can go west from Pontcanna and through the lanes into the Vale of Glamorgan and all the way to Southerndown. Or I can go north, up the likes of Caerphilly mountain and Castle Coch, or through RCT and up to the infamous Rhigos and Bwlch mountains for some climbing, or east and along the flats of Newport. The last time I went out for a spin, it was great to see so many other cyclists out, giving the unspoken nod of the head and raise of the hand, and I was lucky enough to see the blur of Geraint Thomas speed past. Hopefully, with a few more sessions on that sadistic Wattbike, I might even stand a chance of staying close to our Olympic hero. Maybe I could become his domestique... Rhys Williams is an ex-Wales and Cardiff Blues rugby star, now commercial director at the club. For more, see


VALE and HEARTY Independent shops and businesses, great places to eat, picturesque villages, rolling countryside, a stunning coastline and more – the Vale of Glamorgan is an indulgent treasure trove, just begging to be explored By H UG O BA L L

Llanerch Vineyard, in all its glory (photo by Owen Mathias)





s much as we’re content to exist in our Cardiff bubble, with its abundance of arts, culture, food, shopping etc, there’s nothing better on a clear, sunny day than a gentle pootle along the A48 through the Vale of Glamorgan, with its pretty, well-to-do villages, breathtaking scenery and unspoilt coastline – a wealth of treasures, just waiting to be discovered/ rediscovered. It’s no surprise that the Vale was recently named the happiest place in Wales (according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics). So if you haven’t been recently, then it’s time to get re-acquainted... w I CARDIFF LIFE I 17


Just a few miles from the centre of Cardiff, Penarth is great for meandering through treelined streets and lovely parks and gardens that handily link the seafront with the town centre. Whatever the weather, a slow amble up (or down) the splendid Esplanade, with its beautifully restored Victorian pier – with gallery, café and cinema – and views across the Severn estuary, is always welcome. From here, an attractive coastal path leads out to Lavernock Point, where Marconi received the first radio transmission over water from Flat Holm island. And nearby Cosmeston Lakes Country Park, which boasts a variety of habitats and rare, diverse plant and animal species over 200 acres of land and water, is a popular family day out. Culture-wise, Ffotogallery, located at Grade I-listed Turner House, and home to a wide range of photographic exhibitions, is always good for a spontaneous visit. A bustling and thriving little town, Penarth teems with inspiring indie shops and businesses. Award-winning jeweller Anne Morgan’s contemporary jewellery gallery, for example, showcasing her own work alongside collections by other renowned designer/makers, and gift shop Dear Doris, with a panoply of quirky, hand-picked items and accessories. Design-led home and gift



store Hamptons (and its sister outpost Shore, on the Esplanade) is another one; their Blue Pelican Café is many locals’ port of call for breakfast, brunch, and afternoon tea, as well as being the Sunday roast venue of choice. As we’re talking food, Penarth isn’t short of options: from newly-Michelin-starred fine dining destination Restaurant James Sommerin, to Bar 44’s phenomenal, authentic Spanish tapas (branches in Cardiff city centre and Cowbridge, too) and Mint & Mustard’s spicy, Keralan-style, innovative Indian food, the town continues to draw diners from far and wide. On a less formal tip, the fine, artisan teas at Waterloo Tea, sourced from around the world, are second-to-none. And local institution Foxy’s Deli & Café is as popular as ever for drop-in coffee, breakfast or lunch. For ultimate relaxation, pampering and more good food, luxury boutique hotel Holm House has everything you need to fully switch off, recharge and indulge. Located on Marine Parade – Penarth’s millionaire’s row – with stunning views of the Welsh coastline, the hotel’s spa offers various packages and signature treatments, plus a stylish restaurant, open to residents and nonresidents alike for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.

Penarth’s restored art deco Pier Pavilion houses a gallery, cinema and café



Food-wise, there are some great pit-stops to factor into your Vale road trip. Straddling the border of Cardiff and the Vale at Culverhouse Cross is The Longhouse, a lovely, cosy 17th century watering hole-cum-modern rustic gastropub, run by chef/owner Andy Aston – think feasting food prepared with heartfelt soul, imagination and flair. And we all know Barry for its popular golden beaches and seaside amusements, but at the town’s beautifully restored Grade II-listed building The Pumphouse, you’ll find Hang Fire Southern Kitchen, known for its southernstyle barbecue food, cooked low and slow, and Academy Espresso Bar, serving all-day breakfasts, cake and great coffee. There’s lots of space, it’s brilliant for families, and we love the industrial-style decor – plenty of Instagram opportunities there... w

Art on a plate: fine dining at Michelinstarred Restaurant James Sommerin I CARDIFF LIFE I 19

Gibson & Bond

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OUT OF TOWN The Vale Resort: Now that’s what you call a golf course...


Then there’s Cowbridge, the ‘capital’ of the rural Vale. Steeped in history, a bit posh (yep, there’s a Waitrose) but with an easy-going vibe, this boutiquey, characterful market town has a relaxed, down-to-earth charm. The High Street boasts an array of independent shops, florists (including newbie Sara Caroline floral design), vintage and antiques emporiums, and top-notch fashion boutiques – E91 stocks stylish womenswear from contemporary labels such as Joseph, Duffy and Vince; family-owned boutique Jon Ian has designer clutch bags and shoes; and L’Armoire’s racks are adorned with bright outfits and accessories by Day Birger et Mikkelsen, American Vintage and others. The recentlyopened King Fox will see the fellas right for a few choice threads, too. The town itself is a great base for sightseeing; just a few miles down the road are the beautiful Grade I-listed Edwardian gardens of National Trust-managed Dyffryn House, and nearby are the magnificent ruins of Old Beaupre Castle, a former medieval manor house. If historic ruins are your thing, you’ll definitely want to have a nose around the impressive remains of 14th-century St Quentin’s Castle at Llanblethian, too. The Physic Garden is another gem, free for






all to enjoy. Discreetly tucked away just off the High Street, it really comes alive in spring and summer, with an array of fragrant medicinal plants and herbs in bloom – the perfect spot for a quiet lunch. Above all, Cowbridge really punches above its weight for food. There’s the aforementioned Bar 44, Arboreal’s wood oven-baked pizzas are the bee’s knees (roast lamb and pomegranate – the business!), and stylish stop-off Oscars offers contemporary twists on comforting classics. If you’re in town on a Sunday, lunch at The Market Place (rolled, braised and roasted belly pork with all the trimmings? Mmm...) is pretty hard to beat. And family-run deli Elephant & Bun has a wonderful range of continental and Welsh produce, cured meats and cheeses. Ale and food house The Hare & Hounds, located in nearby Aberthin, is another favourite, serving impeccable, imaginative fare made from locally sourced ingredients. Making a weekend of it? A stay at boutique B&B/vineyard Llanerch Vineyard in Hensol, with its luxury rooms, excellent Cariad restaurant and Angela Gray’s acclaimed cookery school, and is a must. And golfers are truly spoilt for choice – both the Vale Resort in Hensol (with its prestigious, Grade I-listed Hensol Castle) and Cottrell Park in St Nicholas boast magnificent 18-hole courses. w I CARDIFF LIFE I 21


The ancient town of Llantwit Major, gateway to the Glamorgan Heritage Coast, is worth a little visit, too. An ancient seat of learning for the Welsh saints, almost every period of history has left its mark here, from Iron Age hill forts to fine Tudor buildings and Saint Illtud’s Church, one of the oldest Christian sites in the UK, described by John Wesley in 1777 as “the most beautiful [and] spacious church in Wales.” While you’re here, do pop into friendly local boozer The Old Swan Inn – with characterful 12th-century architecture, a newly-refurbished bar area and a roaring fire, it welcomes drinkers and diners alike. Just down the road is imposing medieval castle St Donat’s, now a popular wedding venue. Within its grounds, housed in a 14th-century tithe barn, lies the striking St Donat’s Arts Centre, with a year-round programme of cinema, exhibitions, festivals and live shows, and great views out to the coast beyond.





As you’re right near the Glamorgan Heritage Coast, the Vale Trails (10 coastal and inland walks right across the beautiful Vale of Glamorgan, designed to get families into the great outdoors – see are a great way to explore. Try the eight-mile Ogmoreby-Sea walk (there’s also a shorter four-mile taster version), with wonderful natural views such as the Merthyr Mawr sand dunes, Dunraven Bay, Ogmore Castle, and more. Or go for the nine-mile Glamorgan Heritage Coast trail, with cliffs, nature reserves and ancient churches offering spectacular sights along the way. Ramblers will love it! For more:,

Popular wedding venue of choice, St Donat’s Castle (photo by Aga Tomaszek)


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Transform your smile with dental implants Whether your teeth are damaged, or you just want to see them looking their brilliant best, dental implants are a great way to restore your smile


nlike dentures, crowns and bridges, dental implants involve using a titanium post to anchor a replacement tooth, which means they’re long-lasting, and look and feel completely natural. And with 10% off dental implants at The Parade Specialist Dental Centre in Cardiff (when booked before the end of March), there has never been a better time to transform your smile. Samuel Crane, a 65-year-old property developer, had difficulties with his teeth since a childhood accident, and these problems grew worse over time. Several teeth started to come loose, including four front teeth. “I was unhappy with my teeth for a number of years,” Samuel said. “My work involves meeting lots of different people, and with my teeth the way they were, I had very little confidence. I eventually decided to do something about it.” Following a recommendation from a friend, Samuel went for a consultation at The Parade Specialist Dental Centre, where he and his dentist discussed the options available to him for improving his smile.

Dr Adrian Binney

Samuel’s treatment was carried out by Dr Adrian Binney, an implant surgeon and periodontics specialist at The Parade, and clinical lecturer in restorative dentistry at Cardiff Dental Hospital. Adrian holds a prestigious Fellowship in Dental Surgery from the Royal College of Surgeons, and has been with The Parade since 1997. Adrian said: “It’s so rewarding to be able to help give people their confidence back, and I was very pleased to hear that Samuel was delighted with his new smile.”

“I was given information on all of the possible treatments and costs, which allowed me to make my own decision about what was best to do.” Having decided that dental implants were the right treatment for him, Samuel had a total of five teeth replaced by implants over the space of 18 months. “The treatment went very smoothly and was very comfortable, which says a lot coming from someone who never used to like going to the dentist. “I feel so much more confident in the way my teeth look and feel now – it was the best money I have ever spent. “I now make sure that I look after my teeth with regular visits to The Parade for check-ups and hygienist appointments. I live in Aberystwyth, but whenever I’m in Cardiff I book an appointment. They’re absolutely brilliant and I would highly recommend them to anyone.” Situated in the heart of Cardiff, The Parade Specialist Dental Centre is the only multispecialist private dental practice in Wales, and we pride ourselves on our exceptional level of clinical care. Our cutting-edge dental

specialists offer treatments including implants, teeth whitening and straightening, and even complete smile makeovers. We offer flexible opening hours to suit your schedule, and our staff are always keen to give all patients a warm and friendly welcome. Our newly-refurbished practice provides a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere, which we believe is essential to a fantastic patient experience. You are warmly welcome to join us for drinks and nibbles at our upcoming open evening (7pm, Wednesday 8 March), to experience the new-look practice and meet the dental team.

To enquire about our services, call us on 02920 481486, or drop in and see us at 23 The Parade, Roath, Cardiff, CF24 3AB I CARDIFF LIFE I 25



Diffusion, Ffotogallery’s biennial citywide celebration of world-class international photography, returns from 1-31 May with an extensive, exciting programme of exhibitions, events and activities. Themed around ‘revolution’, the festival will examine, via photography and lens-based media, dramatic and wide-reaching technological, political, social and cultural changes to our way of life over the last 100 years. There’s a lot going on, including work by Marcelo Brodsky, a leading Argentine artist and human rights activist. In 1968 – The Fire Of Ideas (pictured above), Brodsky’s archival images of student and worker demonstrations around the world are carefully annotated by hand, in order to deconstruct what lay behind worldwide social turbulence in the late 1960s. But it’s just the tip of the iceberg; as a platform for contemporary photography, Diffusion looks to be as cool and insightful as ever. For more:, I CARDIFF LIFE I 27

3 March – 3 April

Stewart Lee returns to Cardiff with more brilliantly delusional rants; Seanmhair, a brutal and epic encounter; work by artist Shani Rhys James is at Martin Tinney Gallery

Plays/Shows/ Performance 14 -1 8 M ARC H

THE RED SHOES Acclaimed choreographer Matthew Bourne’s adaptation of the Academy Award-winning movie and Hans Christian Andersen fairytale, the intoxicating story of one girl’s dream to be the greatest dancer in the world. Wales Millennium Centre; 14 M ARC H -1 APRI L

SEANMHAIR A chance meeting between two children leads to a terrible reckoning in Hywel John’s brutal and beautiful play, suffused with raw, epic romance and guttural urban poetry. The Other Room at Porter’s;

2 3 - 2 5 MA RCH

THE FAR SIDE OF THE MOON Typically beautiful, enigmatic production by renowned director Robert Lepage, telling the tale of two estranged brothers brought together by their mother’s death. Wales Millennium Centre; 2 4 MA RCH- 8 A P R IL

KILLOLOGY Gary Owen’s bruising and exhilarating encounter, in which a controversial gaming experience sees players living out their darkest fantasies. Sherman Theatre; 2 8 MA RCH- 1 A P R IL

CIRQUE BERSERK! Contemporary circus-style thrills, skills and stunts. Wales Millennium Centre;


3-8 AP R IL

RENT: THE MUSICAL Bruce Guthrie’s landmark musical, the story of a group of impoverished young artists struggling to survive in New York in the thriving days of Bohemian excess. Wales Millennium Centre;

Comedy 6-7 MAR C H

RICKY GERVAIS The inimitable loudmouth hits the road to “moan about everything in the world, from the most privileged position imaginable.” Motorpoint Arena; 8 MAR C H

RUBY WAX: FRAZZLED! Funny, insightful thoughts,

based on her bestselling book A Mindfulness Guide For The Frazzled. Sold out – you know the usual drill... Sherman Theatre; 26 MAR CH

STEWART LEE: CONTENT PROVIDER More brilliantly delusional, provocative, anti-populist shtick from the Comedy Vehicle fella. Wales Millennium Centre; 2 AP R IL

RICHARD HERRING: THE BEST Stewart Lee’s old mucker picks favourite routines from his 12 one-man shows, from his deconstruction of the genealogy of Christ to some of the best knob jokes in the business. St David’s Hall;

W H AT ’ S O N


Other 8 M ARC H

IGNITE CARDIFF DELUXE Borne out of the regular bimonthly speaking event, a series of 12 five-minute talks from members of the public on anything and everything. Wales Millennium Centre;

Music 5 M ARC H

TAMARA STEFANOVICH Brilliant, captivating Yugoslavborn pianist. Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama; 1 6 M ARC H

GLORIES OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH Taking place at Llandaff Cathedral, the Royal Welsh College Chamber Choir presents Tchaikovsky’s Liturgy of St John Chrysostom and Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil – choral music of utterly profound beauty and soulshaking emotion. Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama; 1 6 M ARC H

SINFONIA CYMRU An uplifting programme from the Cardiff chamber orchestra, featuring work by Mozart, Prokofiev and Nyman, under the baton of world-renowned conductor Gábor Takács-Nagy. Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama; 1 7 M ARC H

PETER HOOK & THE LIGHT The New Order legend performs his former band’s seminal Lowlife and Brotherhood albums. Tramshed; 1 7 M ARC H

THE XX The trio take their glossy new album, I See You – pure, crisp pop, adorned with spine-tingling crescendos – out on the road. Motorpoint Arena; 1 8 M ARC H

DILLIE KEANE From gorgeous songs of love to songs of disgraceful filth, the Fascinating Aïda founder

Renowned director Robert Lepage’s typically beautiful and enigmatic The Far Side Of The Moon, at Wales Millennium Centre

promises to break your heart, mend it again and have it sent to the cleaners for pressing. Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama; 2 3 MA RCH

CAMILLE O’SULLIVAN Dramatic, intense interpretations of songs by Bowie, Waits, Cave, Brel, Radiohead et al by the charismatic singer, storyteller and performer. St David’s Hall; 2 5 MA RCH

ALASDAIR ROBERTS Revered Scottish folk musician and singer, with intimate songs of beauty, charm and wonder. Chapter; 2 5 MA RCH

GEEK MUSIQUE All-day event featuring music from the worlds of sci-fi and cult TV, with BBC National Orchestra of Wales and iconic music/sound effects ensemble The Radiophonic Workshop. St David’s Hall; 3 0 MA RCH

AMBER ARCADES Dreamy, esoteric pop melodies from the highly-tipped Dutch chanteuse. Clwb Ifor Bach;

31 MAR C H

HAILEY TUCK American jazz singer with a uniquely captivating voice that sits somewhere between Billie Holiday, Regina Spektor and Ella Fitzgerald. Wales Millennium Centre;

UNTIL 3 1 J ANUARY 2 0 1 8


BACON TO DOIG: MODERN MASTERPIECES FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION Featuring work by prominent 20th-century British artists and sculptors, including Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Barbara Hepworth, David Hockney, Grayson Perry and more. National Museum Cardiff;


18 MAR CH - 1 1 J U NE

MAGGIE BROWN, SIAN MCGILL AND STEPHEN JOHN OWEN New paintings from the established gallery artists. Albany Gallery;

THESE ROTTEN WORDS Exploring the physicality of communication via painting, sculpture, photography, sound and moving images. Chapter; 29 MAR CH - 2 AP RI L


POWER IN THE LAND Artists respond to the conundrums of nuclear power. BayArt; UNTIL 1 AP R IL


SHANI RHYS JAMES New work by the leading figurative painter. Martin Tinney Gallery; UNTIL 23 AP R IL

EXPERIMENTICA 2017 Chapter’s annual programme of contemporary live/performance art, in all its genre-defying, experimental glory. Chapter;


NATURE’S SONG Traditional Chinese flower/bird paintings, spanning 600 years. National Museum Cardiff;

DOCTOR WHO EXPERIENCE Experience mind-blowing special effects, face up to Who baddies and fly the TARDIS through time and space. Closes this summer, so be quick! Porth Teigr, Cardiff Bay; w I CARDIFF LIFE I 29


W H AT ’ S O N

National Dance Company of Wales will present new work at Sherman Theatre

Book Now


1 5 APRI L


WILKO JOHNSON Former ‘duck-walking’ Dr Feelgood guitarist, enjoying a new lease of life after recovering from terminal cancer. Tramshed; 2 8 -2 9 AP RI L

THE GREEN HOUSE/ PROFUNDIS An evocative double bill of new contemporary work from National Dance Company Wales. Sherman Theatre; 1 9 -2 6 M AY

VALE OF GLAMORGAN MUSIC FESTIVAL The UK’s only classical music festival dedicated to the work of living composers, featuring work by John Adams, Krzysztof Penderecki, Graham Fitkin, plus an international line-up of artistes and musicians. Various venues; 1 3 O C TO B E R

LULU Make way, pop royalty coming through! The biggest tour to date from the acclaimed singer, promising a show full of hits, new tunes and the songs that have influenced her incredible career. St David’s Hall;

WALES v IRELAND RBS Six Nations, kick-off 8pm. Principality Stadium; SATU RDAY 1 1 MAR C H

CARDIFF CITY v BIRMINGHAM CITY Sky Bet Championship, kick-off 3pm. Cardiff City Stadium; SATU RDAY 1 1 MAR C H

CARDIFF DEVILS v DUNDEE STARS League, face-off 7pm. Ice Arena Wales;


CARDIFF CITY v IPSWICH TOWN Sky Bet Championship, kick-off 3pm. Cardiff City Stadium; SU N DAY 1 9 M AR C H

CARDIFF DEVILS v FIFE FLYERS League, face-off 6pm. Ice Arena Wales;


CARDIFF DEVILS v BELFAST GIANTS League, face-off 7pm. Ice Arena Wales;


WANT MORE? Sign up now for the Cardiff Life newsletter As editor of Cardiff Life, there’s nothing I love more than drawing your attention to this great city’s choicest events, places and people. To keep readers fully updated and clued-up about what’s happening in Cardiff, we send out a free Friday email newsletter, packed with news, tips and special offers. (Please note: no way will we share your data with any third parties. We’re just not like that!) So if you’d like a friendly hello from us in your inbox as the weekend beckons, please sign up today:




A major new exhibition at National Museum Cardiff celebrates the bold and colourful work of Turner Prizenominated painter GILLIAN AYRES, one of the leading abstract artists of her generation By H UG O BA L L


eaturing over 40 pieces made from the early 1950s to the 1980s, the exhibition at National Museum Cardiff – the largest showcase of Ayres’ work ever seen in the UK – offers a unique insight into the untold story of how much Wales influenced the revered abstract painter’s life and art. Taking visitors on a reverse chronological journey, it starts with work made when she was living and working in North Wales in the 1980s, through a period of stylistic change in the 1960s and 70s, and ends with her pioneering abstract works from the 1950s; typically, thickly-painted, vivid colours are manipulated into gestures and patterns using brush, fingers and paint squeezed directly from the tube. Now 87, she continues to produce a considerable body of vibrant work. “The dramatic landscape of North Wales occupies an important role in Ayres’ own experience of Wales,” says Melissa Munro, curator of the exhibition. “The large, heavily textured canvases of the 1980s ‘Welsh period’ have become her most recognised and critically acclaimed paintings, and it’s wonderful to have so many of them together on display here.”

Gillian Ayres is at National Museum Cardiff from 8 April to 3 September. For more info, see 34 I CARDIFF LIFE I

(Clockwise from below) Cumuli, 1959; Brood, 1962; Lure, 1963; Dance of the Ludi Magni, 1984; all images © courtesy Gillian Ayres




(Clockwise from left) The Future Perfect, Shadow World and The Black Hen

WORLD VIEW This month, Chapter presents the Wales One World (WOW) Film Festival, a celebration of the wonderful diversity of global filmmaking – bringing the very best of world cinema to Cardiff By JA M I E R E E S


resenting the ‘Voices of Resistance’ season, WOW features powerful films that hope to provoke audiences not just to watch the films but to take action, too. There are 13 movies in the season, from 10 different countries across four continents – truly, a global film festival. I’ve picked one from each continent to give a little flavour of what’s on offer... From the USA comes Shadow World (12A, 17 March; includes post-screening panel Q&A), a smart, hard-hitting look at the global arms trade, the vast sums of money made from it and the corruption that it creates. Fascinating interviews reveal the shocking realities of Britain’s central role in this dirty trade, in the hope that if we better understand what goes on, we can create a better future. Representing Asia is a 2015 Nepalese production, The Black Hen (Kalo Pothi, 12A, 18 March). Despite belonging to different castes and social creeds, Prakesh and Kiran are best friends.

The boys devise a plan to make some money by raising a hen and selling its eggs. But when Prakesh’s father sells the hen, the boys’ friendship is put to the test as they set out to retrieve their prized bird. Deftly

WALES ONE WORLD HOPES TO PROVOKE AUDIENCES INTO TAKING ACTION mixing moments of humour and tragedy with engaging performances in the beautiful backdrop of the Himalayas, this is one of the best films in the festival. Next up, representing Europe, is Tomorrow (Demain, PG, 19 March), one of three French films on show. With a real feelgood factor, it’s a great introduction to foreign language film for anyone who is yet to experience

one. A documentary about how to reinvent agriculture, energy, the economy, democracy and education, it sheds light on initiatives that are already working, and offers solutions to our ecological crisis that are accessible to everyone, putting the power in the hands of the world’s citizens. Could this be the emergence of a brighter tomorrow? There are three films from South America, too; Chile, Columbia, and a delightful comedy about the limits of language in Argentinian film, The Future Perfect (El Futuro Perfecto, PG, 19 March). As a young Chinese migrant in Buenos Aires, finding a job and learning Spanish are Xiaobin’s first priorities, and both bring with them the dilemmas of human relationships, in this delightfully original comedy of manners that builds a fascinating exploration of the stories we live by. Wales One World Film Festival runs from 17-19 March at Chapter, 40 Market Road, Canton, Cardiff; Tel: 02920 304400,, I CARDIFF LIFE I 37


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Cardiff Metropolitan Cathedral Choir & Orchestra A Major Sequence from

Handel Messiah Directed by Dominic Neville

Tuesday 21 March, 1:00pm St David’s Hall, Cardiff The girl and boy choristers are pupils at St John’s College, Cardiff

Tickets £6 / £7 Box Office: 029 2087 8444

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Variations on a theme. Oil on canvas. Lorna Wilson

You won’t hold up the weather. Mixed Media. Judy Stephens

Stardust collage. Mixed media on board. Janine Wing

Cheer up sales. Mixed media on paper. Sera Knight


CELEBRATING INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY. SHOW NOW ON. The Old Probate Registry, Cardiff Rd, Llandaff, Cardiff CF5 2DQ. T : 029 20554469 E : Open Tuesday–Friday 9.30-5.30 Sat 10.00-4.00












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Apron, £16 It’s not like your dad needs an excuse... From I Loves The ’Diff;

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WHEN the GOING GETS RUFFLE From flirty to feminine, and classic to contemporary, give your spring wardrobe an edge with one of this season’s key themes – embrace the ruffle!


he chicest way to rock the ruffle for SS17 has to be on the sleeve, whether you go for a bell sleeve style, or an off-the-shoulder number. If you’ve never worn ruffles before, the ultimate beginner piece is MICHAEL Michael Kors’ Georgette polka dot tiered dress – sure to make heads turn, wherever you wear it. If your work wardrobe needs an update, the perfect way to incorporate the trend is to choose just one key ruffle piece. There are so many gorgeous, standout options around – try the Lin Lyos silk dress from All Saints, or the equally sophisticated Somerset by Alice Temperley blouse at John Lewis. Paired with a timeless pair of nude court shoes, you can hit the town straight from the office! For a truly contemporary look, rock the traditional ruffle with a utilitarian edge – we adore All Saints’ Sora Nevin floral dress; pair with a killer pair of boots and your favourite biker jacket. And if you’re looking for something striking to wear with your go-to jeans, you can’t go wrong with Vivienne Westwood’s stylish, Leopard balloon blouse. All items available at St David’s Dewi Sant in Cardiff at the time of writing. To keep up to date with the latest trends, news and offers, see St David’s on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter (@StDavidsCardiff) or at 46 I CARDIFF LIFE I

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Students serve up a hospitality dinner with Cardiff’s award-winning The Clink restaurant

Asador 44 co-owners Owen and Tom Morgan: “We want to showcase our passion for Spanish food”

A TASTE OF SPAIN Building work starts on new Spanish restaurant Asador 44, the latest venture from the owners of Bar 44 Here’s the latest update on new Spanish concept restaurant, Asador 44, from Bar 44 co-owners and brothers, Owen and Tom Morgan. The first restaurant of its kind in Wales, and based on the northern Spanish-style of chargrilling the finest meat, fish and vegetables over charcoal and wood, the new venue promises an inclusive communal dining experience, with an in-house sommelier and a cheese cave... yep, a whole room dedicated to cheese.

Angela Gray at her cookery school, at Llanerch Vineyard

Cardiff Metropolitan University’s Hospitality Management students recently served up a delicious feast at an annual industry/education dinner, held at the university’s SA Brains hospitality suite in collaboration with award-winning city restaurant, The Clink. Based at HMP Cardiff, The Clink is staffed by prisoners working towards various City & Guilds NVQs, with the aim of gaining employment in the hospitality industry on their release. On the night, head chef Sebastien Vanoni mentored and worked with two prisoners from The Clink and Cardiff Met students. The experience provided students with an authentic, hands-on experience of working in a professional restaurant, and the menu included savoury baked cheesecake with thyme shortbread and cranberry relish; poached and roasted chicken with puy lentils, salsify and glazed carrots, with a thyme jus; and a dessert of Cox’s apple and comice pear tarte tartin with clotted cream. “As an organisation wholly dedicated to training, we were so pleased to collaborate on this event,” said Jason Lawrence, general manager of The Clink in Cardiff. “The event provided both the students at Cardiff Met and our prisoners in training a great opportunity to showcase their skills. We wish all students who took part all the best in progressing their careers.” For more:,

“It’s a project driven by our passion and enthusiasm,” said Owen. “We want to offer something new and very authentic, showcasing all we know about Spanish food and culture, and to share our passion with our customers, offering them the really special dining experience that Asador cooking brings.” Asador 44 is expected to open by mid-March – follow @Asador44 on Twitter for updates

Students Charlotte Beech, Mpande Kampengele and head chef Sebastien Vanoni

GRAY DAYS Plenty going on at Angela Gray’s Cookery School at Llanerch Vineyard in Hensol... As usual, there’s an array of spring and summer courses available to book now. We like the sound of the Mediterranean Kitchen (7 May), where Angela teaches you how to make porchetta, hot-smoked on the barbecue for lunch – delish! – alongside a plethora of other one-day courses, skillbuilders, lunch clubs and chef nights. And if you’re stuck for Mother’s Day pressies

(see our *ahem* gift guide on page 42), you can always buy your ma a cookery school voucher, so she can treat herself to her session of choice. For something a little more instant, you’ll also find lots of inspiring recipes on her website, too – the pork, chorizo and white bean hotpot is calling... For more: I CARDIFF LIFE I 51




Curado Great pintxos, hand-carved jamón, craft beers and more – there’s lots to love about Cardiff’s exciting new Spanish deli and bar By JA N E C O OK Photo s by JA K E MOR L E Y


hen my friends ask where I’m going for dinner and I tell them Curado – Cardiff’s newest deli/bar/ tapas restaurant – many of them look at me blankly; they haven’t yet heard of it. When I tell them the location (the old Burger King restaurant on Westgate Street), they know the spot and look a little bemused. But it’s precisely this transformation from dingy fast food restaurant into something altogether more sophisticated that hits you when you first walk through Curado’s doors. Now, instead of boring old burgers, you can have authentic pintxos (‘small snacks’, served on pieces of bread), bocadillos, craft beer, handcarved jamon and more. But let’s first go back to the beginning. Any self-respecting foodie who has visited Aberystwyth or Narberth will have heard of Ultracomida, the miniSpanish café/deli chain known for its authentic, artisan Spanish foods and wines, and it’s the same team behind the new Curado Bar. It’s all very casual, with no reservations or bookings taken. The idea, they say, is to be able to drop in anytime for beer and pinxtos, just like they do in northern Spain. I’m in the mood for something more substantial than a bar snack when I arrive after a busy day, so I pull up a stool at the long, metal-topped bar and receive not one, but three different food menus to examine – one for pintxos, one for deli plates of meat, cheese and salads, and one for cooked dishes straight from the kitchen. The focus here is firmly on simple, ingredient-led food that speaks for itself. I order a selection of dishes from all three menus. First up, the tabla iberica arrives – a wooden board laden with slices of melt-in-the-mouth, hand-carved salchichón iberico, sobrasada iberica and jamón ibérico de bellota, the



latter produced from free-range pigs that roam oak forests along the Spanish border, eating only acorns. I snack on this with a side of hot, slightly crisped slices of potato served with a spicy, salty sauce (the ubiquitous patatas bravas), and wash both down with a small glass of Er Boqueron, a refreshingly crisp, artisan Spanish beer made with Mediterranean seawater, produced by La Socarrada brewery in Valencia. The pairing is spot-on – it feels like you’re on holiday. If beer isn’t really your thing, choose from a selection of expertly-sourced Spanish sherries, wines and gins – the staff are very knowledgeable about each one. This includes the lip-smackingly floral Siderit Hibiscus gin, which I have mixed with a Vichy Catalan tonic water. When my drink arrives, it’s in a huge glass spiked with peppercorns and a cinnamon stick; dangerously drinkable and delicious it is too, and it isn’t long before I’ve ordered another. I vow to pick up a bottle from the deli at the back of the restaurant to take home with me. Back to the food: I order the secreto iberico a la plancha – a delicious garlic and thyme-marinated cut of iberico pork served with lemon, aioli and Basque peppers – and bite into it whilst it’s still sizzling; it’s perfectly crispy on the outside, but with a succulent tender middle. On the deli menu, I’m intrigued by a section comprising entirely of tinned seafood, so to finish, I snack on zamburinas en salsa de vieira (queen scallops in onion and paprika sauce). They arrive in said packaging, with the lid peeled back and a novelty cocktail fork provided. I scoop up a couple and add them to my pan con aioli y aceite (bread served with olive oil and garlic mayo). After all of that, I can’t manage another morsel. When I first heard there was a new tapas restaurant coming to Westgate Street, I was apprehensive. With the lovely Bar 44 just a few doors down, I didn’t see how the two could compete. Now, having visited both and seen the commitment to quality in each, I realise that whilst they both channel a laid-back, Spanish way of eating, they each possess a distinct charm of their own – one that Cardiff already seems to be embracing with a passion. Now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s another quick beer (and more pintxos) with my name on it at the bar...

DINING DETAILS Curado Bar, 2 Westgate Street, Cardiff CF10 1EB; Tel: 02920 344336, @CuradoBar Opening hours Tues-Thurs noon-11pm, Fri-Sat noon-11.45pm (closed Sun and Mon) Prices Snacks £2, most tapas between £5-£8 Vegetarian choice A few decent options Child-friendly? Families are welcome, but space can be tight Wine list Excellent, independently-sourced and unavailable anywhere else in Cardiff Service/atmosphere Fast and friendly service. Busy, especially at weekends, but no bookings taken – just find yourself a space! I CARDIFF LIFE I 53



THAI & MIGHTY A tasty, Asian-inspired dish from MATT EALES, head chef at The Market Place in Cowbridge

Seared scallops with sesame and coconut risotto cake

(Serves 6)


fter visiting Thailand a while ago, I was hugely inspired by all those Asian flavours. So we’ve taken some of those ideas and added this new scallop dish to our menu. The dish, featuring our own distinct fusion of exotic flavours, is one of my current favourites and one of our most popular starters. Ingredients: 18 scallops, roe off For the sesame and coconut risotto cake: 125g risotto rice 400ml veg stock 200ml white wine 50g dessicated coconut 1 chilli, thinly sliced 1 tbsp garlic, chopped 1 tbsp ginger, chopped 1 spring onion, chopped 1 tbsp sesame oil 1 tbsp butter 2 tbsps sesame seeds, to cover Handful fresh coriander, chopped For the shallot, lime and peanut dressing: 125ml light soy sauce 200ml water 60ml sesame oil 60ml olive oil 80ml sugar 1 tbsp chopped garlic 1/2 tbsp ginger, chopped 1 tbsp cornflour 1 chilli, thinly sliced 1 tbsp lime zest 4 shallots, sliced 100g peanuts, chopped

Method: For the sesame and coconut risotto cake: 1. Bring the risotto rice to the boil in the veg stock and wine, then turn down the heat and simmer for approximately 15 minutes, or until rice is nearly cooked and the consistency thickens. 2. Add all the other risotto cake ingredients (except the sesame seeds and the coriander). 3. Cook the risotto for a further two minutes, allow to cool down a little, and spread into a cling film-lined plastic container (so it's around one inch thick). 4. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top, press lightly onto the top of the risotto cake and chill well in the fridge (for at least two hours before serving). 5. Next, make the shallot, lime and peanut dressing. In a pan, add half (100ml) of the water, plus the soy sauce, sesame oil, olive oil, garlic, ginger and chilli, then bring to the boil, and continue boiling for two minutes.

6. Add a little water to the cornflour to make a paste, then add this to the boiling dressing while whisking – this will stop the oil separating from the soy sauce. 7. Put the sliced shallots, lime zest and peanuts into a bowl, and pour the hot dressing over the top. Adjust the dressing by adding extra water if it's too salty, or extra cornflour if it isn't thick enough. 8. Cut the risotto cake into thick, fingersized strips and gently fry each side until warmed through. 9. Add a bit of butter and oil to a hot frying pan, season the scallops, and sear them for about a minute and a half on each side. 10. Serve with the risotto cake and spoon over the warm dressing. To decorate, scatter with fresh coriander leaves. The Market Place, 66 High Street, Cowbridge CF71 7AH; Tel: 01446 774800, I CARDIFF LIFE I 55

Reach the best in the west Affluent, active and influential and just a call away


26th March | 12pm-6pm | 3 courses £30 STARTERS Tomato & white bean soup, basil pesto, fresh focaccia (v)(gf)(n) Smoked haddock & spinach tart, soft boiled egg & cress salad Ham hock & parsley terrine, rarebit on toast, tomato chutney (gf) Ox cheek, horseradish croquette, mustard jus, caramelised onion,wild garlic gremolata Wild mushroom ragout, soft polenta, hazelnuts & chervil (v)(gf)(n) Potted cockles, bacon & laverbread, toasts, Caesar dressed salad (gf)

MAINS Roast topside of Welsh beef, roasties, Yorkie pud, red wine jus & Sunday veg (gf) Slow cooked lamb, crispy belly, glazed shallot, roasties & Sunday veg (gf) Roast tender loin of Welsh pork, braised pig cheek, apple tart, crackling & roasties Roast breast of chicken, mini chicken & hock pie, Sunday veg, red wine jus Welsh beef brisket, roasties, Sunday veg, yorkie pud & red wine jus (gf) Roast cod, wild garlic,confit tomato, courgette & peas, garlic oil, roasties & Sunday veg (gf) Butternut, spinach & lentil pithivier, glazed shallot, roasties, Sunday veg, veggie gravy (v)

PUDS Longhouse sticky toffee pudding, toffee sauce, vanilla ice cream Coconut panna cotta, pineapple salsa, tropical fruits,rum syrup (gf) Classic crème brulee, marshmallow, candied hazelnuts, honeycomb (gf)(n) Snickers fondant, dolce de leche parfait, mousse, tuile, peanut praline (n) Glazed apple tarte tatin with a jug of cream Welsh cheese board, chutney, frozen grapes, apple, walnut & biscuits (gf)

Longhouse, The Tumble, St Nicholas, Cardiff CF5 6SA Reserve A Table: 02921 157754

Mark George 01225 475800

P R O P E R T Y adve r tisi n g f eat u r e

It’s All About the Orangery Lifestyle Based in the Vale of Glamorgan, Vale Orangeries specialise in designing and building bespoke living spaces, tailor-made to their clients’ specifications


e all need our own space – somewhere to relax, enjoy our home comforts and spend quality time with family and friends. Look no further: husband and wife team Dean and Leanne Edmonds are dedicated to providing the space you need. Their company, Vale Orangeries, based in the Vale of Glamorgan, specialises in designing and building bespoke extensions. “An orangery is a great way to extend and create a seriously stylish addition to your home," says Leanne. "There are various design packages available including bi-folding doors, recessed lighting options, underfloor heating, home entertainment solutions and an interior design service to help with those allimportant finishing touches."

Dean adds: “If you’re not sure exactly what you want, we can help. We offer a free consultation and design service, and have numerous orangery show-homes throughout South Wales available for inspiration and ideas. “Having a living space built to your specification is a dream for many – and a reality for our clients. There is no need to concern yourself with architects, planning or building control as this is all part of the package. The only planning we want you to worry about is where to put your sofa – but we can even help with that, too!” If you're thinking of an extension, but want something different or need inspiration, call Dean or Leanne on 01446 746353 to discuss how a Vale Orangeries orangery can work for the way you live.

Dean & Leanne Edmonds

n ig eeDestion Fronalulta rs ns Pe Co


More adventures in party-going

SNAPPED! AC ROS S CA R D I FF, O N E S H I N D I G AT A T I M E Aimee Morgan, Rhys Morgan, Becky Reid and Natalie Sweetman

IT’S A MYSTERY Top chefs from across the UK cooked up secret menus for Chefs’ Night Out, an exclusive foodie fundraiser that recently took place at St David’s Hotel in Cardiff Bay. The evening raised an astonishing £140,000 for Welsh children’s hospice charity, Ty Hafan. For more: @chefsnightoutuk,

Kate Walters and Stephanie Davies

Roger Harry and Hywel Griffith Co-organiser David Loosemore Dorian Bowen and Stephen Terry

Stuart Rees, Claudia Le Gros and Peter Reilly



TREE CHEERS! Events, creative, content and communications business Orchard celebrated its move to a new city centre HQ with a housewarming shindig for over 300 clients, suppliers and friends. “We’re really proud of our new city centre base,” said Orchard’s Tim Powell. “It reflects Cardiff’s flourishing creative industries sector, and is a fitting home for a company shortlisted for a Cardiff Life ‘Event’ Award.”

David Mahoney (Only Men Aloud) and Jo Popham (Glamorgan Construction)

Kevin Sutton (Davies Sutton Architects), Matt Wordley (Orchard), Dave Hughes (Connected), Amber Heavisides (Centrica)

For more:

Rachel Jones (Arts & Business Cymru), Jim Carpenter (Orchard) and Jackie Quantock (JQ Consulting) Tim Powell (Orchard) with Sam Cole, Sarah Davis and Karen Thomas (all Barclays)

Georgia Lewis and Jamileh Tufail (Principality Building Society)

Scott Taylor (Orchard) with Beth Clee, Jo Wimborne, Rohanne Sanders and Claire Mabbett (all University of South Wales) I CARDIFF LIFE I 61


CREATIVE T YPES Creative Cardiff’s quarterly ‘Show & Tell’ event took place recently at Porter’s bar, giving a platform to some of the exciting creative people and projects in the city. For more: Photos by Laura Jayne Photography (

Louisa and Samuel Mallett

Nick Davies and Sarah Philpotts

Sam Wheeler, Kirsty Patrick and Bernie Plain Amy Pay, Matt Ayres and Dan Spain

Marie Phillips, Ed Barker and Nic Pimlott

Sara Pepper and Edwina Williams-Jones I CARDIFF LIFE I 63

The Whites Dental Centre Assisting your dental needs. Dr Pamela White BDS GDC 52754 Dr Matthew White BDS GDC 52753 Ian Seddon BDS GDC 64868 (Practice Limited to Dental Implants) The Whites Dental Centre in association with Seddon Dental Implant Practice Ltd. 3 Station Road Radyr, Cardiff CF15 8AA

Tel 02920843658

Limited to private practice.


BID UP! Local business people attended the official launch of the Cardiff Business Improvement District (BID) – giving businesses a stronger influence on how the city centre is managed – at One Central Square, to find out more about the scheme’s new initiatives. For more:

Jon Day (Cardiff Council), Mo Aswat and Shirley Sturzaker (Mosaic Partnership)

Phil Bale (Leader, Cardiff Council) and Simon Phillips (Chair, Cardiff BID)

Mark Miller (JD Pubs), Carolyn Brownell, Emily Cotterill (Cardiff BID) and Dewi George (Prince of Wales) John Coomber (Primark), Elaine Mills (Cardiff Council) and Paul Williams (City Centre Management) Margaret Waters (Park Plaza), Michael de Wildt (Marriott), Claire Martin and Emma Dalton (Clayton Hotel)

Owen Davies (Mosaic Partnership), Donald Gray (Darwin Gray) and Hugh Bowden (Bowden Jones) I CARDIFF LIFE I 65


LEGAL EAGLES After a busy two years establishing itself in the city, the Cardiff office of law firm Clarke Willmott LLP celebrated its second anniversary with a party at The Yard, attended by employees, clients and special guest, Wales rugby international Ryan Bevington. For more:

The Cardiff office team with Clarke Willmott CEO Stephen Rosser (centre)

Hopkin Joseph (Watts and Morgan) with Ryan Bevington

Carys Sherwood (Clarke Willmott), Aled Jenkins (Bruton Knowles) and Andrew Lucas (RPS Group)

Laurie Jefferies (Clarke Willmott) and Mike Fenwick (Broomfield)

Neil Ham and Clare Titchener (Clarke Willmott)


Sian England (Thomas Carroll) and Clare Gregory (Clarke Willmott)



Alt-rock trio Chroma at The Castle Emporium

Music-lovers across the country came together to celebrate Dydd Miwsig Cymru, a day dedicated to showcasing the best Welsh language music from the past 50 years. Fronted by radio presenter and new music champion, Huw Stephens, gigs, events, installations and exhibitions were held all over Wales, including performances at Clwb Ifor Bach, Tramshed and The Castle Emporium in Cardiff. For more:

Legendary Welsh singer/songwriter Bryn Fôn

Cardiff folkie The Gentle Good, aka Gareth Bonello

Dydd Miwsig Cymru ambassador Huw Stephens

Alternative/indie band Yr Eira

Post-folk quartet Adwaith I CARDIFF LIFE I 69

We can see you now, gin and tonic in your hand, jobs finished for the day and half an hour until family and friends come around for the first BBQ of the summer… but where are your guests going to be sitting?


You’ve worked hard to get your garden season ready and your perfectly pruned plot deserves some shiny new furniture to really set it off. That’s why we’ve been working very closely with one of the world’s largest furniture manufacturers to hand-pick a brand new furniture range totally exclusive for you, our customers, to with this year. This tailor-made range has been named in homage to the country we love, Wales with sets including the ‘Whitchurch’, ‘Glamorgan’, ‘Anglesey’, ‘Flintshire’ and ‘St David’s’. All of our brand new furniture is professionally hand-crafted from completely environmentally friendly, recycled materials and come with a 5 year manufacturing warranty. The 6-stage finishing process guarantees scratch resistance, weather proofing and rust-proofing and best of all, it’s all waiting to be seen by you right now, right here in the garden centre!

For a sneak preview of some of the brand new sets making their 2017 debut or for more information, visit our website Pugh’s Garden Village, Ty Nant Nurseries, Morganstown, Radyr CF158LB | 02920 848 000 We look forward to guiding you around our new furniture show room located in the main garden centre shop on your next visit. We’re a social bunch! @pughsgarden


e President of Sales for North comments: “After establishing tuzzi store in Cardiff Bay in i Italia brand has evolved into offering not only upholstery s first love, but also bedroom, and lighting. We have decided 850 sqm store in the north of ase Natuzzi as the harmony lighted and privileged to be UK partners, the Mynett family, nate and intuitive knowledge ket. Under their guidance we e best products for the new de our most innovative models man sectional, which combines d metal finishes and frame c, and also more mainstream for retail park environments.” Pasquale Natuzzi

AUTHENTICALLY MADE IN ITALY SINCE 1959. All sofas, beds, furniture and accessories are designed and manufactured in Italy, through the skill and know-how of Natuzzi Italia’s master craftsmen. It all started in 1959, when Pasquale Natuzzi - Chairman of the Group opened his first workshop. Today, Natuzzi is synonymous with leadership in the furniture sector worldwide.


Each Natuzzi Italyexpands product is createdwith by a supply The retail development of the Italian brand a second store in Wales


he Natuzzi Italia brand, renowned for its high quality furniture and interior accessories, is a firm favourite UK Agent and Natuzzi Store with Cardiff consumers, who were We are very excited to open delighted to learn the Italian company ng Day in our home town and was opening a new store in the Welsh ales, to offer the consumer a experience and bring capital. a touch The new Natuzzi Italia store in Cardiff heir homes.” opened its doors on 26th December 2016 under retail manager Liz Mynett, joining the company’s established Cardiff Bay store – home to Natuzzi’s successful high end collection - as its second Welsh offering. Situated across 850 square metres in Cardiff Gate Retail Park, the store showcases a wide selection of room set displays and is one of A typical Natuzzi Italia store interior Natuzzi Italia’s largest stores in the UK. Visit Natuzzi Store Cardiff Gate, CARDIFF Gate Retail Park, Dering Road For more details contact the store telephone 029 2073 3331

Natuzzi Italia store Cardiff Bay

or visit


chain that is controlled at every stage. Design, production, quality control and endurance tests all take place in our own factories. Leather upholstery, wood and padding are processed and In made in compliance with all thestores totaldirectly, the Group has over 1,100 relevant environmental and labour laws.

worldwide with almost 40 points of sale in the UK, with further expansion planned as part of a major growth initiative for 2017. Synonymous with Italian artisan creativity, Natuzzi Italia embodies the search for harmony between furniture, objects and spaces, creating design solutions of unparalleled quality in collaboration with internationally recognised designers and crafted by specialists in leather, fabrics and wood. This new store encompasses the Italian philosophy of living with design-led, comfort-driven sofas, tables, chairs, storage units, coffee tables, dining tables, beds and accessories in cleverly curated roomsets.


All sofas, beds, furniture and accessories are designed and manufactured in Italy, through the skill and know-how of Natuzzi Italia’s master craftsmen. It all started in 1959, when Pasquale Natuzzi – chairman of the Group – opened his first workshop. Today, Natuzzi is synonymous with leadership in the furniture sector worldwide.


Each Natuzzi Italy product is created by a supply chain that is controlled at every stage. Design, production, quality control and endurance tests all take place in our own factories. Leather upholstery, wood and padding are processed and made directly, in compliance with all the relevant environmental and labour laws.



QUOTE OF THE ISSUE Tramshed is hosting a music and digital day on 17 March, as part of CDW


GOING DIGITAL BBC Academy and partners launch Digital Cities Cardiff – an exciting week of free workshops, keynotes, masterclasses and networking events to enhance digital skills and promote collaboration across the creative sector in Wales Running from 13-17 March at The Tramshed, Digital Cities Cardiff – run by BBC Academy and partners BBC Wales and Google Digital Garage – is offering bespoke events in the heart of the city centre, from practical, hands-on workshops and masterclasses through to digital surgeries and exclusive keynotes; expect a busy week packed with inspiration, imagination and creative collaboration. For creatives, it’s an opportunity to get clued up on digital trends, the latest technology and the inside track from industry leaders,

offering lots of sage advice on how to get digital content commissioned, produced and distributed to audiences. The week will comprise three themed and specially tailored days for the television production, arts and music industries; keynote speakers, inspiring topics and easy networking at 5pm each day; and The Digital Garage @Google, where you can boost your digital knowledge with free courses on everything from web analytics to social media. “We’re really excited to be

hosting the Digital Cities Cardiff week at the Tramshed,” said Iain Tweedale, Tramshed Tech’s director. “Digital technology is transforming the creative industries and Cardiff is right at the heart of these changes. “We’ve lined up some fantastic speakers and practitioners from the broadcasting, arts and music industries. If you want to find out what’s happening and meet the movers and shakers, this is definitely the place to be.” For tickets:

“I WOULD SIT IN KIRSTY YOUNG’S SEAT AND INTERVIEW CASTAWAYS…” Ooh, who fancies the Desert Island Discs gig? Find out on page 79…


That’s how many square feet of business space could be built by developers Persimmon Homes at a proposed new community site at Creigiau, alongside 1,500 homes, a primary school, a 1,000space park-and-ride facility and a transport interchange. For more:

Got a business news story for us? Email I CARDIFF LIFE I 75




Our pick of the most exciting, intriguing and important local business stories happening right now…

TECH THE BOX Cardiff-based technology group Inspiretec – consisting of travel technology companies Comtec, Eysys and Sequence – has announced a major investment by entrepreneur Hayley Parsons, who sold her stake in price comparison service GoCompare for £44 million. The businesswoman, who has previously featured on a list of Britain’s Top 100 Entrepreneurs, will join forces with Simon Powell, founder of Comtec and Inspiretec, following a period of significant client wins and project deliveries for the group. “Hayley will not only join us as a major stakeholder, but her experience and business acumen will be highly valuable in driving Inspiretec forward,” said Simon. “With the technical, creative and business expertise within the group as a whole, we plan on further developing our footprint across the world. We already serve upwards of 150 clients in over ten countries. Our focus is now on growth, and Hayley’s experience of growing companies will stand us in good stead.” For more:



Hayley Parsons with Huw Morgan, Simon Powell and Matt Wakerley from Inspiretec


Jay Stallard, Sarah Smith and Lee Flavin from RateSwitch

A unique online mortgage comparison service launched to help millions of homeowners across the UK reduce their monthly payments has been valued at £1 million, following significant pre-launch investment by Finance Wales. Founded by experienced Cardiff-based mortgage adviser Lee Flavin, alongside business partners Jason Stallard and Lyanna Tsakiris, RateSwitch offers homeowners the chance to regain control of existing mortgage costs with minimal hassle by finding competitive loyalty deals from the UK’s leading lenders online, completely free of charge. Said CEO Lee: “It’s been a long-held


mission of mine to not only raise greater awareness of the unnecessary costs standard variable rates (SVRs) bring, but to provide homeowners with a tangible solution to the problem, so we’re absolutely delighted to be partnering with Finance Wales on this. “We’re very excited to join the current wave of start-ups striving to simplify complex processes within the mortgage industry, and believe our existence will go a long way towards helping homeowners save money on their mortgage quickly, and with minimal hassle.” For more:

STAR SPA Capturing the essence of the Mediterranean, the fourstar Vale Resort in Hensol has added British luxury spa brand Temple Spa to its existing range of more than 50 traditional and holistic spa treatments. Incorporating natural botanical and high-quality ingredients to invigorate mind and body, the Vale Resort’s spa is the only place in South Wales to offer the high-end collection of massage and facial treatments to its customers. “Partnering with Temple Spa was a very easy decision for us,” said the Resort’s Stephanie Metson. “Whether it’s the Red Carpet Miracle facial to get you ready for your next big night out, or the indulgent Champagne and Truffles Deluxe Treatment, our collaboration with Temple Spa is sure to give our customers the feelgood factor.” For more:


“Can I move yet?”



Real SFX, winners of the Creative category at last year’s Cardiff Life Awards – will they win again?

New Principality Building Society CEO, Steve Hughes




The winners have been chosen, the judges have decided – and all will be revealed at this year’s glittering Cardiff Life Awards on Thursday 16 March at City Hall! As we went to press, excitement was mounting ahead of the big night, with a massive surge in ticket sales and new associates joining. And Twitter went properly berserk with the grand reveal of finalists and so many happy companies displaying photos of their ‘Finalist’ stickers. “Cardiff companies put so much into these Awards,” said Steph Dodd, events manager for MediaClash, Cardiff Life’s publisher. “We’ve never had so many nominations nor such careful entries – which made the job of our judges even harder! We’re confident that they’ve made excellent choices and just can’t wait until all is revealed in a just few days! “If you want to be there on what will be a very special Cardiff evening, please do move

fast as tickets look like selling out. Just imagine winning a Cardiff Life Award – and not being there!” The Cardiff Life Awards will be a terrific celebration of Cardiff at its very best, hosted by irrepressible rugby legend Nigel Owens and featuring various surprises on the night. Our roster of sponsors includes headline sponsor Cardiff Airport, plus Stills, Cardiff Blues, Martyn Prowel Solicitors, Parkhouse, Chapel 1877, Park Plaza, WSET, Genero and Capital FM. And our associate sponsors are Vetro Recruitment, Slater & Gordon, Cardiff & Vale College, Leekes and Real SFX. Oh, and hair partner Goji is offering all Cardiff Life Awards finalists 20% off until Awards night – what a snip! See for full details of the Awards. For those who can’t attend on the night, there’ll be copious updates on Twitter: @CardiffLifeAwds

Principality Building Society has announced the appointment of Steve Hughes as its chief executive officer (CEO). Steve, who joined the Society in 2011, is currently the group finance and transformation director, and has 25 years’ corporate experience in manufacturing, retail and financial services. “I am delighted to announce Steve as our new CEO,” said Principality chairman, Laurie Adams. “His commitment to our mutual values, invigorating leadership, financial and commercial acumen will help ensure he builds on the Society’s success.”

HOT PROPERTY Independent commercial property specialists Cooke & Arkwright have announced the appointment of five graduate surveyors, taking its headcount to over 60. The Cardiff-based firm has recruited Caryl Howell, 24, Dominic Garner, 24, Gabriel Davies, 22, Thomas Rees, 23 and Rhys Price, 29, as part of the firm’s commitment to identifying and developing rising stars in the commercial property market.

FIGURE IT OUT Paramount Interiors has appointed Scott Hazledine as finance and IT director as it continues to grow its share of the UK office design and fit-out market. A graduate civil engineer, and with many years’ experience of working in senior finance positions within the construction industry, he will sit on the management team at Paramount and will be responsible for the company’s finance and IT functions.


Cardiff’s Capital Quarter is now home to around 1,000 employees

BIZ WISDOM PLAN OF ACTION Got a great new business idea but don’t know how to put it into practice? ANDREA CALLANAN, voice expert and founder of inspireMe, advises on how to make a viable plan – and get your business started


JUST CAPITAL With new office buildings in Cardiff being driven by local developers, MARK SUTTON, partner at property consultants Knight Frank, explains how quickly the mixed use Capital Quarter is changing 2008 doesn’t sound that long ago, but in the development of Capital Quarter in Cardiff’s city centre, it feels like a lifetime. Eight years ago, Capital Quarter simply didn’t exist, until local developer JR Smart acquired the 10 acres of prime real estate, with the vision of extending the Central Business District and creating a new city centre campus of over one million square feet – home to an everincreasing Cardiff workforce. Ideally situated with easy road access that avoids city centre congestion, and a new pedestrian link to St David’s shopping centre and John Lewis, it has become a

popular location with occupiers moving into the city. Eight years on, Capital Quarter continues to build momentum and is now home to 1,000 employees. No 1 is full and home to tenants including Finance Wales, Network Rail, Alert Logic and WSP, while No 2 was completed in the summer of 2016 and is almost fully let, with occupiers such as Public Health Wales and Opus Energy already settled in the building. So... will your business be next? For more:,

In the business start-up phase, ‘time’ is your best friend. Getting your business plan in place will save time and give you clarity. Sounds a bit daunting? Start by mapping out your idea on a big piece of paper, just like a mind map. Use the who/why/what/where/when/how model to note down every aspect of your idea: What’s the overall concept? Who is your business targeted at? What are your aims? Who will run the business? Who are your competitors? Why are you creating the business? What is your purpose or ‘why’ for starting up? What support do you need? Where are you going to conduct your business – online, or from a physical space? When are you going to launch? And most importantly, how are you going to make your business work? Now you have the bare bones of your plan. Write it up in a recognised format so you can communicate your idea to people who you want to support you. You can easily find free business plan templates on the internet, or use some of the following valuable resources to help you and give you what you need... Business Wales ( supports businesses at all levels in Wales – see their ‘starting up zone’; Google Campus (campus. co) is fantastic for new businesses; and Simply Do Ideas ( is an amazing online resource supporting the development and growth of early-stage business ideas. Your bank will also offer a wealth of support, as does the IoD (Institute of Directors,, The Princes Trust ( and various other organisations in Wales and UK. Online groups like Cardiff Start ( are invaluable, too. Ask for mentors and advisors to support you – people love the energy of new ideas and if they believe in you, they are often happy to champion you. Above all, take action. Believe in yourself and go for it – you’ll never know if you never try. Remember that big oak trees grow from the tiniest of acorns. Let us know how you get on! inspireMe are a Cardiff-based engagement and self-development company that offer UK-wide team-building and training. For more info, see



DEBORAH THOMAS The founder of The Wedding Speech Genie – it does what it says on the tin – on her professional acting background and public speaking as a life skill Tell us more about what The Wedding Speech Genie offers... A series of coaching classes for any wedding speech-maker, whether it’s the bride or groom, father of the bride, best man or maid of honour. The service includes beginner through to advanced packages which include writing, editing, refining and delivery of the speech. What’s your background? I’ve acted professionally in theatre for 14 years whilst working as a public speaking and presentations skills coach within the corporate sector. I also teach part-time at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and give yoga classes in the evenings. What was the inspiration behind TWSG? Realising the huge need – and potential – to support people on the most important day of their lives. It’s one thing to present to your colleagues at work, it’s another to stand in front of the people you love most and not crumble. Why should people use a speech coach? Ultimately, you’ve got one shot to get it right on the day and to stay captured in people’s memories long after the event. Don’t underestimate the time, practice and rehearsal time needed to withstand the emotion you may meet on the day. Let your speech be remembered for all the right reasons! What’s your top tip for someone planning their wedding speech? Breathe! But breathe right – then you’ll conquer any nerves. Also practice out loud every day in the mirror, until it becomes second nature.

In your experience, what’s the most common wedding speech faux pas? What you think is ‘appropriate’ and ‘funny’ speech material may not be to everyone’s taste. Learn to edit! How’s business at the moment? Brilliant. Love is all around and the wedding season is about to commence. The importance of public speaking as a life skill is being prioritised from classroom to boardroom to registry office. Why is Cardiff such a good place to work? Geographically, it is gold – Cardiff is where I was born and raised but I worked for many years between London, India and New York. Coming home and seeing this city transform into the vibrant hub it is now fills me with pride. The warmth of its people is what makes it. What do you enjoy the most about what you do? I help people find their voice – my job gives every individual the chance to speak with confidence and passion. What a wonderful way to earn a living! Who has been your main professional or career influence? People everywhere working hard at what they love. Finding their gift and giving it their best shot – courage and humility always inspire me. Who do you admire most in business? My father, Peter Thomas – he’s fearless, brilliant and generous. He taught me the value of hard work and self-belief.

Deborah Thomas: “I help people find their voice”

Greatest professional achievement? I am about to do it in California this spring! An exciting collaboration with an internet-based business – the finer details are still in motion. How important is social media to you? As it is for every thriving business now, where access, identity and communication are vital. Ultimately though, I’m a face-to-face woman. If you weren’t working in your current role, what other field would you be in? I would sit in Kirsty Young’s Desert Island Discs seat and interview castaways. What do you do in your spare time? My spare time is preferably spent in my mother’s kitchen with good wine, food and family, dancing with my nieces and nephews or planning a weekend chasing the sun with pals. Favourite place for business lunch or dinner in Cardiff? There’s a few, but to talk business at Bar 44 works well. Finally, surprise us with a little-known fact about yourself… I laid a dancefloor and hung a mirrorball in my house before I bought a bed. For more:

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Secure your dream home... ...with a VIP Part Exchange at Crest Nicholson’s Penarth Heights


verlooking Cardiff Bay in the vibrant maritime town of Penarth is Crest Nicholson’s final phase of three and fourbedroom contemporary homes at Penarth Heights. If you’re looking for an exceptional home, then this development is for you! The elegant four-bedroom Eden property is ideal for families looking for a larger home in the Cardiff area. Spread over three floors, the ground floor of this luxurious home features an open-plan kitchen/dining room, with double

“PENARTH BOASTS IDYLLIC WALKS AND CHARMING BOUTIQUES” French doors allowing natural light to flood in. Also on this floor is a utility room and spacious bedroom, perfect to use as a guest room when friends and family come to town. On the first floor is an expansive living

room, boasting luxurious interior features, with French doors leading to a balcony with stunning views of Cardiff Bay. When it comes to space, you don’t have to compromise as this home also features three further large bedrooms including two en-suites on the second floor, with the master also boasting a dressing room. Why not use Crest Nicholson’s VIP Part Exchange scheme to secure your new home? Crest Nicholson could become your chain-free cash buyer, taking the stress out of moving. Guiding you every step of the way, with regular updates and professional guidance throughout, Crest Nicholson will even pay your agents’ fees plus cover the cost of your removals. The picturesque town of Penarth was last year voted as “one of the best places to live in the UK”, by The Sunday Times, with leisure facilities and an array of excellent schools nearby. The town also boasts charming boutiques and idyllic walks in one of the region’s top country parks. If you’re the exploring type, then Cardiff’s sporting events, bars, restaurants and shops are all right on the doorstep.

Prices for a four-bedroom Eden start from £470,000 – visit our sales and marketing suite, open daily between 10am and 5pm, to discuss your options with one of our sales advisors. For more info, please call 02920 020247, email penarthheights@ or visit www. developmentspenarthheights/ I CARDIFF LIFE I 81







A peek inside an immaculate, contemporary three-bedroom apartment in an exclusive parkland development at Michaelston-y-Fedw By K AT I E K I SSOON I CLIFTON CARDIFFLIFE LIFE I I 113 83




here’s high-spec, and there’s high-spec, and this plush contemporary apartment, located at Cefn Mably Country Park, an exclusive and conveniently located select development set in approximately 15 acres, definitely hits the heights – and it’s just six miles outside of Cardiff, with easy access to the M4 via the residents’ private entrance at junction 30. Your. Own. Private. Entrance. Off. The. Motorway. That’s when you know you’ve truly arrived. Steeped in history, Cefn Mably House was originally the seat of the Kemeys family until the early 20th century. Although the Grade II-listed property was redeveloped about 14 years ago, into 13 stylish luxury apartments, most of the original features have been retained and restored. Entered via a courtyard, Apartment 2 is on the ground floor. As you go in, you’re greeted by a substantial entrance hall, wooden flooring and bespoke fitted storage. At the end of the hall is a sitting/TV room, overlooking the surrounding gardens, while the formal living room has windows to both front and rear, and a gas fire with stone surround and slate hearth. There’s a sleek, modern, German-built kitchen too, with high-gloss units, Corian worktops and a Corian-topped central island. Integrated appliances include a Neff hob with extractor, Neff double oven, microwave oven, coffee machine, warming drawer and fridge, plus space and plumbing for a washing machine, tumble dryer and fridge freezer. Further round, there’s a dining room with windows to the front and rear. The master bedroom, meanwhile, has its own highspec, en-suite wetroom, with ceramic-tiled floor, underfloor heating, rainwater shower and um, bidet, 84 I CARDIFF LIFE I

Cefn Mably House, where luxury and style go hand-in-hand...

HOUSE NUMBERS 2 Cefn Mably Park, Michaelston-y-Fedw, nr Cardiff




reception rooms




and there are two further bedrooms, one of which is currently being used as a dressing room. And the modern main bathroom has only recently been installed to – you guessed it – a very high spec. Further benefits include a gated area and garage, plus an additional parking space out front.

private communal garden

£535,000 guide price

For more info, contact Savills, 12 Windsor Place, Cardiff CF14 1DJ; Tel: 02920 368930,

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*We cover the whole of Cardiff with regular visits or just one off cleans*

Enquiries: Telephone: 07976 591127

Sunny Bank, Heol Goch, Pentyrch Sunny Bank was originally built in 1810 as three cottages and was sympathetically converted around 1890 into one property currently providing a unique detached double fronted character house, with award winning gardens of approximately one third of an acre. This charming family home includes four bedrooms, two with ensuites and five principle reception rooms. With impressive period features this private home boasts considerable character including a truly charming solid stone Inglenook style fireplace within the main lounge (21’0 x 14’0) and exposed wood beams, pretty French style shutters, replacement double glazed sash cord style windows, cornice ceilings, traditional pine panel and farmhouse internal doors, and a wonderful pillared veranda terrace which overlooks the private south facing gardens. Both the formal dining room and the separate sitting room each feature period fire places the sitting room being equipped with a log burner, whilst an 19 FT long family room leads to a well fitted quality kitchen and breakfast room (18’11 x 17’6), and a private orangery (19’2 x 13’6) with a clear glass roof. French doors open onto a courtyard garden with double gates that lead to the side drive, and an attached former stone built stable and boot room provide excellent versatile storage space. The property benefits gas heating (combi boiler replaced in 2007) with panel radiators and wet system UNDERFLOOR heating feature within the kitchen and the orangery whilst the entrance hall benefits electric UNDER FLOOR heating. A new fitted utility room has been re-modelled recently with stylish Corian work surfaces, and a downstairs cloak room includes a stylish modern white suite with granite surround. The property includes all mains services and well concealed solar panels which allow for excellent savings on the utility charges. The first floor comprises four bedrooms; three with delightful elevated views across the rear gardens and over the surrounding area, and the master suite includes both an ensuite shower room and an ensuite dressing room/walk-in wardrobe (7’3 x 4’6). There is also a guest bedroom with an ensuite shower, whilst a family bathroom adequately serves the remaining bedroom accommodation. An extension has been added around 10 years ago, connecting the outbuildings to the main property. There are still original outbuildings with the house that were used for stables, carriage storage and a waiting room for the villagers using the horse drawn carriage to and fro the village. Original features such as the bread oven, salting slab & wash boiler are in still in situ. The dining room was also extensively frequented by the Home Guard during World War 2, and used as an armoury and for meetings. The house over the last 30 years has been harmoniously adapted to suit an active family, with a secure large garden, stable and tack room. A summer house, pond, vegetable patch, numerous seating areas and lawn are also set within the grounds. The garden also features in the Charity Village Open Gardens annually and the NGS (Yellow Book).

For sale with PA Black Whitchurch Branch 02920 612328


St Aubyns, Broad Close Lane, Llancarfan St Aubyns is a large five bedroom detached double fronted modern country residence, built 31 years ago for the current owners and commanding outstanding panoramic views across rolling green fields open countryside. This unique capacious family home is approached by a private gated dual access drive leading to a triple garage and a detached stable block with paddocks. The property is being sold with approximately 16 acres of clear uninhibited land, ideal for a growing family seeking equestrian facilities with an aspect unspoilt by development. Set within delightful manicured gardens and grounds this truly spacious home provides four large principle reception rooms, each with wonderful views, and three which open onto a wide pillared veranda which enjoys a south facing aspect with considerable privacy. The property benefits PVC double glazed windows, oil fired heating with panel radiators and a modern boiler (replaced in 2002), mains electricity, mains water supplied from a water meter located in Broad Close Farm, cess pit drainage, and fully paid off solar panels which currently provide a yearly rebate of £2300. Set within an exquisite location just a few minutes¹ drive from the delightful village of Llancarfan this impressive modern residence must be seen! The accommodation comprises an entrance porch, a large entrance reception hall (29’8 x 11’11), a ground floor shower room, a fitted open plan kitchen & breakfast room (21’10 x 16’8) and a separate utility room. The four reception room include a capacious lounge (27’9 x 16’9) inset with an Inglenook style fireplace, double glazed patio doors and a corner picture window boasting stunning views. There is also a large games room (19’6 x 12’0), a formal dining room and a further sitting room also equipped with a corner picture window with relaxing views across the surrounding fields and woodland. The first floor comprises five double sized bedrooms and two bathrooms, one ensuite to the spacious master bedroom (18’6 x 13’10). Outside the stable block includes five separate losseboxes with one currently being used as a tack room, leading to a fenced paddock/small ménage, whilst the in and out gated entrance drive benefit electric gates. A most spacious modern country house which benefits Cowbridge High School catchment, with local children collected by bus from Llancarfan Village!

For sale with PA Black Cowbridge Branch 01446 772857





orn and bred in Cardiff, Polly is part of the award-winning breakfast show team on Capital South Wales. A familiar name and face, she’s also an accomplished public speaker, voiceover artist and club DJ – a real gal about town, no less...

Where’s home, and what makes it special? I live in Cardiff Bay. It’s the first house I bought and I love being in such an incredible community of people who absolutely adore their city. You’re part of the award-winning breakfast show team (with Matt Lissack and Geraint Hardy) on Capital South Wales – was it always your ambition to work in radio? No, I thought my path would be in sports. I’ve always had excess energy (as you might tell by listening to me on-air!), so I started working in promotions and it led me into radio. As soon as I walked into a studio, something clicked. Why do you think the dynamic is so good between the three of you? We’re all genuine mates. On-air, apart from the fact we are all bloody bonkers, we have different personalities that work well for the show. Favourite thing about working on the show? I’m doing my dream job in my home town – it’s a laugh, constantly. With myself, Matt and Geraint, there are no holds barred. The stuff we talk about off air is nuts, and I think that builds a sense of trust and great friendship. We get to do awesome things together – meeting celebs, trying out new places in Cardiff, hosting rugby radio shows in the pub! Any juicy gossip on Matt and Geraint? Matt is a gay man but would turn for Scarlett Moffatt and Jesy from Little Mix, and Geraint is straight but would turn for Beckham! If you could get up on your soapbox about a particular issue, what would it be? When they put a football match on the telly over Eastenders, that ruins my evening! Matt would have a long list of things – he LOVES a rant. On a serious note, I hate bullying, negative humans and people who just don’t encourage others. Boo to you! Most famous person you follow on Twitter? My mum – she is God! How do you relax? Siam Spa in Whitchurch is the absolute bomb when it comes to Thai massaging. I like my sofa and trash telly, too. Proudest moment so far? When my nephew and god-daughter were born 24 hours apart. And the Arqiva Best Breakfast Show award (second time we’ve won) – it was just unreal to be recognised by your peers. I was ecstatic!


POLLY JAMES The Capital South Wales breakfast show host dishes the gossip and reveals her derrière-related party trick What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you? The boys say, “You can’t really embarrass Polly”. I’m too open, I think.

Which piece of music always sends a shiver down your spine? Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley is the most hauntingly beautiful song in the world.

When did you last cry? I cry at everything! TV shows, movies, songs...

Karaoke choice? Matt and I do a mean version of Barcelona by Freddie Mercury.

Dream dinner party guests? Jared Leto, Fred Durst and Shirley Bassey – apparently she grew up on my street. If push came to shove, what would be your final meal of choice? Paté with lots of bread and butter, Chinese takeaway with all the sides, and chocolate fountain and marshmallows to finish.

Must-watch television programme(s)? ‘Transformation’ programmes, Designated Survivor on Netflix is a beaut, and Easties, of course! If you had a superpower, what would it be? Invisibility. Best thing about Cardiff? The people and the arcades in the centre.

If your nearest and dearest had to describe you, what would they say? My best mates on WhatsApp say nuts, honest, loving, thoughtful, impulsive and outgoing.

Favourite shops in Cardiff? Love the vintage shops popping up everywhere.

Who would play you in a film about your life? Cameron Diaz, please!

Locally, where do you like to eat and drink? Madeira is totally unreal. And I live a street away from The Pitch in the Bay – they know my order as soon as I walk in the door.

Guiltiest pleasure? I really fancy Tim Roth. And I love 80s music and The Simpsons. Most important lesson life has taught you? Live life to the absolute fullest. Work hard, party hard, be nice and don’t sweat the small stuff. What’s on your bookshelf at the moment? Lots of music bios – I’m a nosy bugger and like reading people’s stories. Musicians always have rad lifestyles.

Secret or favourite Cardiff spot? I love the Bay, all the way from the barrage to the Clarence Embankment, and the history of the docks and all the old buildings. I think the new Exchange Hotel will be a palace when it opens. Surprise us with a little-known fact... I can pick up a piece of paper with my bum.

For more: @PollyJames - 02921 202 190. 122 Cowbridge Road West, Cardiff, CF5 5BT