Cardiff Life - Issue 215

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Food/Arts/Entertainment/Shopping/Property ISSUE 215 / SPRING 2020 / £3
















t’s a leap year, and while I won’t be asking anyone to marry me (page 26), because one husband is enough thank you, I am pondering what to do with that extra day. I could buy a new house, like the gorgeous Old St Mellons property that graces our cover, and is explored on page 60. But I’ve remembered I’m not rich, so maybe I could be king for a day and go wandering around a few of the castles in and about Cardiff (page 20). What’s appealing to me quite a lot, I have to be honest, is indulging in a few of the best of Welsh goodies we’ve rounded up for our shopping edit on page 34. There’s also Cardiff foodie tour to consider on page 30, and to mark pancake day on 25 February, we’ve been tossed a foolproof recipe from a local chef on page 37. Whatever you do, make your 29 February count, and we’ll see you in three weeks.


ae’n flwyddyn naid, ac er na fyddaf yn gofyn i neb fy mhriodi (gweler tudalen 26) gan fod un gŵr yn ddigon, diolch yn fawr, rwyf wrthi’n ystyried beth y dylwn ei wneud â’r diwrnod ychwanegol hwnnw. Gallwn i brynu tŷ newydd, tebyg i’r un hyfryd yn Llaneirwg sydd i’w weld ar y clawr ac yr ydym yn rhoi sylw iddo ar dudalen 60. Ond rwyf newydd gofio nad wyf yn gyfoethog! Efallai y gallwn fod yn frenin am y diwrnod a mynd i grwydro o amgylch rhai o gestyll Caerdydd a’r cyffiniau (tudalen 20). A dweud y gwir, un peth sy’n apelio’n fawr ataf yw mwynhau rhai o’r nwyddau hyfryd o Gymru yr ydym wedi’u crynhoi ar gyfer ein herthygl am siopa ar dudalen 34. Gallwn hefyd ystyried y daith o amgylch Caerdydd i’r sawl sy’n dwlu ar fwyd (ar dudalen 30), ac i ddathlu diwrnod crempog ar 25 Chwefror mae cogydd lleol yn cynnig rysáit syml i ni ar dudalen 37. Beth bynnag yw eich cynlluniau, gwnewch rywbeth i’w gofio ar 29 Chwefror. Welwn ni chi ymhen tair wythnos.

SARAH MOOLLA Follow us on Twitter @CardiffLifeMag Instagram @cardifflifemag I CARDIFF LIFE I 3

Issue 215/Spring 2020 COVER A very new home in Old St Mellons (page 60)


11 INTRO Eternal Beauty filmed in Cardiff is being

screened at Chapter

12 WHAT’S ON Arts, gigs, shows and comedy, it’s all

going on in Cardiff


20 CASTLES Stories and secrets of a few local castles 26 ENGAGEMENTS Where to make that leap year



30 FOODIE TOURS A wander around Cardiff’s green,

cuisine scene

37 RECIPE Get flipping with this pancake recipe from

local chef Michael Coggan




34 EDITOR’S CHOICE Lush local produce with which

to celebrate St David’s Day


40 GREAT ESCAPES Our reviewer finds East Devon

is a heavenly place


49 CARDIFFWORKS News, views, and inspiring

interviews with the region’s professionals

57 CARDIFF LIFE AWARDS Meet the 2019 winners of

the Creative category, Cardiff Pottery Workshops


60 SHOWCASE Falling for an Old St Mellons home


8 SPOTLIGHT Dyffryn Gardens, the TEDxCardiff

line-up, and a new exhibition comes to Cardiff

17 WYBURN & WAYNE The boys are back and out on

the town

44 SCENE Party on people! 47 MUM’S THE WORD Andrea Byrne talks about

preparing to return to work, post-Jemima

66 CARDIFF LIVES Meet the coolest, nicest Lord

Mayor ever, Daniel De’ath

Editor Sarah Moolla Ed’s photo by Louis Smith / Managing editor Deri Robins Senior art editor Andrew Richmond Graphic design Megan Allison Cover design Trevor Gilham Contributors Rachel Jefferies, Nathan Wyburn, Wayne Courtney, Elsie Chadwick, and John Mather Advertising manager Mark George Account manager Samantha James Production/Distribution manager Sarah Kingston Deputy production manager/production designer Kirstie Howe kirstie.howe@ Chief executive Jane Ingham Chief executive Greg Ingham Cardiff Life MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW 01225 475800 @The MediaClash © All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without written permission of MediaClash. We’re a Bath-based publisher, creative agency and event organiser Magazines Our portfolio of regional magazines celebrates the best of local living: Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter. We also publish foodie mag Crumbs (, @CrumbsMag). 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: I CARDIFF LIFE I 5


HeadQuarters, not just for men HEADQUARTERS HAIR TRANSPLANTS CLINIC is keeping ahead of the game


ark Smith has worked tirelessly in the hair loss industry since 2011 and decided to train Jan 2018 in scalp micropigmentation. Within just six months Mark had been nominated as a finalist six times across five events worldwide. Mark then went onto to win gold in five awards. Including World’s Rising Star, World’s Best New Artist, UK Best Scalp Artist. Mark was even ranked 3rd in the UK at the MPUK19 conference, after being up against the experienced powerhouses of the scalp micropigmentation industry. And just last year Mark picked up an award at the local NI beauty Excellence Awards for specialist Salon/Clinic to watch in 2019. Now two years in Mark has an extensive portfolio featuring a wide range of applications for scalp micropigmentation. It can be used to: • Create a shaved head of hair look for men or for folks suffering from Alopecia Totalis or Universalis. • To add density through thin hair for both men and women • In combination with a hair transplant to increase the look of density • To mask various kinds of scars on the scalp, be it medical or accidental. A common treatment is to camouflage hair transplant scars in both FUE and FUT procedures. • To treat various forms of alopecia including stable Alopecia Areata which present as random bald spots on the scalp Mark, who has now teamed up with HeadQuarters Hair Transplant Clinic, says “I always want to be one step ahead of the competition where possible and this means being


inventive, innovative and energetic. Headquarters clinic is all of those things and more. From the energy and efficiency of the owner, Xavier Rush to the innovative thinking of their skilled surgeon, Dr Ted Milan.” After meeting the team Mark clicked with them right away. “Having a strong connection in terms of our synergy, their core values and quality control, I felt this was a great fit. And the banter is good craic!” says Mark. Mark will now be in Cardiff on a fortnightly basis starting 25 February. He says, “The most rewarding part of my job is helping men and women who suffer with hair loss. For many years and there were always some that I had to sadly turn away until recently when I discovered Scalp Micropigmentation as a solution back in 2016. This treatment was a missing alternative that many men and women can now take advantage of. “I feel so privileged that every day, these men and women place their trust in me to provide this treatment for them. It is such a rewarding feeling to see the change I am making in people’s lives. People are literally transformed in front of my eyes and I see self-esteem and confidence return immediately. There’s nothing like it.” ■

Discreetly located on Charles Street in Cardiff, we honour full patient confidentiality. You can fill out a two-minute booking form on our website or give us a call. tel: 029 2009 9385 b x

ABOVE: before RIGHT: after

CASE STUDY FEMALE This woman suffered with female hair loss for many years. Trying everything from visiting hair loss specialists to trying various hair loss products and potions with limited to no success. The main cause of distress is seeing through the skin tone of the scalp through thin hair. This client would spend around an hour each day trying to mask or camouflage the thinning areas, taking up a lot of time and often causing further stress. She would also use products to fix or hold the hair that were also damaging. This client then had scalp micropigmentation treatment to give the illusion of more density. This really helped solve many problems, because the client could no longer see through to the scalp and in turn stopped using all the damaging products. This also meant she got time back in the mornings to go about a normal day without the stress of her hair loss.


SPOTLIGHT Everybody’s talking about…

A WHOLE NEW LIGHT Visitors to Dyffryn Gardens in the Vale of Glamorgan were able to see the Victorian mansion and Edwardian gardens flooded with light and colour during the December and January evenings. Highlights included the vine walk, the dramatically-lit rockery, and illuminated trees, from the 500-year-old oak to a snow-effect lighting scene amongst the beech trees. Kate Simons, the visitor experience manager of the National Trust who organised the event, says, “This was the first time visitors were able to experience Dyffryn Gardens lit up after dark and it was a huge success with more than 20,000 visitors. We are looking forward to next year already with big plans to add to the display.” For more:

Visitors enjoyed the enchanted trail Dyffryn Gardens was illuminated during December and January

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Professor Kate Ardern; TedxCardiff organiser Richard Strudwick; Gina Rippon and Judah Armani



The line-up of speakers for the return of TEDxCardiff, which starts 1 March at Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media and Culture, has been unveiled. They include Juha Kaakinen – CEO of Finland’s largest non-profit housing provider, Y-Foundation; Gina Rippon – professor of cognitive neuroimaging; Judah Armani – founder of InHouse Records; Professor Kate Ardern – director of public health for Wigan Council; Jon Alexander – co-founder of the New Citizenship Project; and Cathy Hawley – architect in urban form and sustainable development. TEDxCardiff organiser Richard Strudwick says, “We’ve specifically chosen a number of influential speakers who have been involved in projects that could have a positive impact on a city like Cardiff. We’ve got a stage full of doers who want to inspire you to think, and maybe even act, differently.” For more:


top: The Fortress of Königstein Castle from the North painted 1756-8, by Venetian master painter Bernardo Bellotto bottom: Ubbergen Castle painted about 1655 by Aelbert Cuyp, one of the leading Dutch Golden Age painters



One of the most impressive examples of 18th century landscape painting, The Fortress of Königstein Castle from the North (1756–8) by Venetian master painter Bernardo Bellotto, is currently on display at National Museum Cardiff until 10 May as part of a UK-wide tour by the National Gallery, London. It is displayed alongside a selection of European Old Master paintings from the collections of National Gallery, London and Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, in the exhibition called Imagine a Castle. As part of the interpretation of the exhibition, local schoolchildren have been invited to explore what castles meant to them and to respond imaginatively to Bellotto’s painting. David Anderson, director general of Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, says, “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the National Gallery in celebrating the acquisition of one of the most significant European view paintings. Wales is often called the land of castles so it is fitting that we display this fine acquisition here for the first time in Wales.” For more:

Pupils from Kitchener Primary visit Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum of Wales I CARDIFF LIFE I 9


LITTLE TREASURES 13th February - 7th March

A collection of small works by more than 30 artists View the exhibition on our website 74b Albany Road, Cardiff, CF24 3RS | T: 029 2048 7158 | E: Gallery open: Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm, Sundays and Bank Holidays 11am-4pm


THE LOCAL SCENE The filming of this BAFTA Cymru film Eternal Beauty by director Craig Roberts, which stars David Thewlis, Billie Piper and Penelope Wilton, took place in and around Cardiff, Port Talbot, and Roberts’ birthplace of Newport. It tells the story of Jane, played by Sally Hawkins, who after being dumped at the altar, has a breakdown and spirals into a chaotic world, where love (both real and imagined) and family relationships collide, with both poignant and humorous consequences. The screening of Eternal Beauty at Chapter on 12 February is followed by a Q&A with both the writer and director Craig Roberts, and the producer Adrian Bate; I CARDIFF LIFE I 11

WHAT’S ON 7 February – 13 March

The Beauty Parade tells the tale of secret spies and silent killers


this unflinching story about life, death and hope. Sherman Theatre;

LES VÊPRES SICILIENNES Based around true events which occurred in Sicily in 1282, Hélène seeks justice for her murdered brother, as revenge, revolution, confusion and betrayal signal a massacre that will destroy them all, in Verdi’s grand opera. Donald Gordon Theatre;

A MURDER IS ANNOUNCED The residents of Chipping Cleghorn are astonished to read an advert in the local newspaper informing them that a murder will take place this coming Friday at Little Paddocks, the home of Letitia Blacklock. The group gather at the house at the appointed time, when the lights go out and a gun is fired. Enter Miss Marple to find the killer. New Theatre Cardiff;

8, 15 & 22 February

10 – 11 February

LLYFR GLAS NEBO As the deadly dust settles after a nuclear apocalypse, Rowenna and her children Siôn and Dwynwen are facing a world where signs of life are quickly disappearing in

11 – 15 February

27 February



joins the world’s best adventure film-makers and explorers as they push themselves to the very limits in the most remote and stunning corners of the globe. Witness and be amazed by epic humanpowered feats, life affirming challenges and mind-blowing cinematography. St David’s Hall;

29 February

AGRIPPINA Enjoy in the real time The Met’s production of Handel’s tale of intrigue and impropriety in ancient Rome featuring mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato as the controlling, power-hungry leading lady, as it is broadcast live across the globe. Cineworld Cardiff;

1 March

CHWARAE A Welsh language production for children that tells the story of a young boy who goes on a journey experiencing different worlds of play, be they imaginary, found online, or in the real world. Chapter;

5 – 14 March

THE BEAUTY PARADE The tale of three ordinary women who were plucked from obscurity and parachuted behind enemy lines. These falling women, spiralling through the dark became saboteurs and silent killers. Sent to spy, to eavesdrop, to encourage the spilling of secrets. The project’s code name? The Beauty Parade. Weston Studio;

WHAT’S ON about being young and finding your way, with music that connects. Cardiff Tramshed;

23 February

1975 The Manchester four piece have had a phenomenal rise to fame over the past few years, with this tour being the first full production shows of their new acclaimed fourth album. Notes On A Conditional Form. Motorpoint Arena;

2 March

above: Elijah Hewson, Robert Keating, Ryan McMahon and Josh Jenkinson make up the Dublin band Inhaler left: Singer Eve will be part of the The Blast Off Tour happening onw 2 March below: The feats of Nina Williams can be seen at Banff festival coming to Cardiff on 27 February

THE BLAST OFF! TOUR Promises to be a blast with names such as Shaggy, Nelly, Salt N Pepa, DJ Luck & MC Neat, Eve, Mya, and Blu Cantrell. To read our quick chat with Shaggy turn to page 15. Motorpoint Arena Cardiff;


3 March

7 February

DYDD MIWSIG CYMRU – WELSH LANGUAGE MUSIC DAY A day of Welsh language music starting with performers at St David’s shopping centre. There’s also a three-floor takeover with music from Papur Wal, Los Blancos, and Ynys at Clwb Ifor Bach;

12 February

4 March

BETH HART When the Grammy Awardnominated blues-rock star sings in her inimitable Californian drawl; clocks stop, hearts dance and neck-hair tingles. St David’s Hall;

JAMES ARTHUR On the back of his third album, the former X-Factor star who has more than 22 million monthly listeners on Spotify, is on a nationwide wide tour. Motorpoint Arena Cardiff;

14 February

MONEY FOR NOTHING Money for Nothing are four talented musicians from Cardiff who in 2000 who formed a tribute to one of the world’s premier rock bands – Dire Straits. The abundant energy and the excellence and musicality of their performance has won them a legion of fans and much praise. St David’s Hall;

15 February

THE BIG GIG Then three Cardiff music finalists from the semi-finals have proceeded to the grand final on 15 February at Clwb Ifor Bach. Prizes include a coveted spot on the bill at this year’s Sŵn Festival.

18 February

INHALER The Dublin quartet make songs

HEART AND SOUL: A MOTOWN, RNB AND SOUL CELEBRATION Conducted by David Mahoney, The Novello Orchestra and a host of guest singers deliver classics from legends such as Al Green, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Tina Turner, and Earth, Wind & Fire. Donald Gordon Theatre;

6 March

WHITNEY HOUSTON HOLOGRAM TOUR With state-of-the-art technology and production featuring a live band, dancers, and background singers, Whitney fans can relive her majestic talent and enjoy her classic hits including I Will Always Love You, and I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me). Motorpoint Arena Cardiff;

COMEDY 13 February

LA VOIX Expect side-splitting comedy, huge vocals, incredible musicianship, mesmerising impressions of the world’s biggest divas and buckets full of energy. Sherman Theatre; I CARDIFF LIFE I 13

WHAT’S ON 1 March

JAYDE ADAMS Multi-award winning comedian Jayde Adams embarks on her debut nationwide tour, The Ballad of Kylie Jenner’s Old Face, which sees this ‘Successful Independent Woman Person’ exploring what it means to be a feminist in 2020, whilst wearing a black jumper. Chapter;

26 February

LLOYD GRIFFITH Comedian, choirboy and (still) aspiring goalkeeper Lloyd Griffith recently sang at the grand opening of Joe Lycett¹s kitchen extension, is a TV regular, and has an incredible knowledge and passion for UK’s cathedrals. Glee Club Cardiff;


CLAUDIA WILLIAMS The Welsh artist’s wonderful paintings and pastel drawings usually reflect the domestic world of children and grandchildren, family gatherings, and seaside trips. Martin Tinney Gallery;

Until 1 March

AUTUMN PHOTOGRAPHY SEASON Focusses on the work of the world’s most influential photographers August Sander (1876-1964) and his captivating People of the Twentieth Century project, and Bernd and Hilla Becher: Industrial Visions which brings together 225 photographs by two of the most significant artists of the twentieth century. National Museum Cardiff;

Until 1 March

AELWYD – TOWARDS A CONTEMPORARY WELSH INTERIOR Aelwyd is Welsh for hearth – a word synonymous with home. Through their material, making, story or use, the objects in this exhibition explore a deep-rooted sense of belonging and home. Fifteen makers, all from or living in Wales, create handmade items that are a pleasure to live with. Craft in the Bay;

Until 4 May

MARTIN PARR IN WALES Martin Parr, one of the most influential and prolific photographers working today, has always been drawn to Wales, having lived just over the border in nearby Bristol for thirty years. This exhibition brings together, for the first time, works that explore different aspects of Welsh life and culture, including male voice choirs, coal mining, and the seaside. National Museum Cardiff;

Until 10 May

IMAGINE A CASTLE Wales is often called the ‘land of castles’ and with over 600 of them, and many renowned artists have used the motif of the castle as a way to represent Wales’ wild, majestic, and romantic landscapes. This touring exhibition, which is supported by Art Fund, of five paintings from the National Gallery, London, will complement and highlight the rich and diverse representations of castles in the museum’s existing collections. Amgueddfa Cymru– National Museum Wales;

Until 2021

MISSION: PLANET EARTH Embarking on a mission through time and space, this virtual reality journey shows what Wales was like millions of years ago, including the sighting giant bugs, and dinosaurs. Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Cardiff;


above: Comic Jayde Adams brings The Ballad of Kylie Jenner’s Old Face to Chapter on 1 March left: Simon Laurie’s Gin and Limes is on display at Albany Gallery as part of the Little Treasures exhibition below: The paintings of Claudia Williams can be seen at Martin Tinney Gallery until 27 February



The Met’s production of Handel’s Agrippina comes to Cardiff on 29 February

13 February – 7 March

LITTLE TREASURES This is a group exhibition themed around ‘small-in-size’ paintings. The carefully curated collection will feature a variety of mediums from contemporary artists who include Pamela Kay, Ann Oram, Gwyn Roberts,Rosa Sepple, and the still-life and landscape painter Simon Laurie. Albany Gallery;


22 February

WALES V FRANCE Third round of the Six Nations, kick off 4.45pm. Principality Stadium;

22 February

CARDIFF DEVILS V GUILDFORD FLAMES League, face off 7pm. Viola Arena, Cardiff International Sports Village;

25 February

CARDIFF CITY V NOTTINGHAM FOREST Sky Bet Championship, kick off 7.45pm. Cardiff City;

28 February

THE HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS The world famous Harlem Globetrotters, featuring some of the most electrifying athletes on the planet, bring their spectacular show Pushing the Limits World Tour to the UK. Motorpoint Arena Cardiff;

29 February

CARDIFF CITY V BRENTFORD Sky Bet Championship, kick off 3pm; Cardiff City;

6 March

CARDIFF DEVILS V SHEFFIELD STEELERS League, face off 7.30pm. Viola Arena, Cardiff International Sports Village;


14 – 22 February

ALEXANDRA’S ENCHANTED GARDEN Take a magical journey around Alexandra Park as it comes to life at dusk with art installations, lighting displays, and stunning soundscapes. Alexandra Park, Penarth; n

Shaggy, the Jamaican reggae musician singer, DJ, and actor, has had four UK number one singles to his name including It Wasn’t Me and Boombastic. On 2 March, he’s performing at Motorpoint Arena with The Blast Off! Tour, alongside big name dance stars including Nelly, Eve, Salt N Pepa, and DJ Luck & MC Neat. Tell us a little about The Blast Off! Tour. And how are you feeling about performing in Cardiff? I just think, with the amount of amazing records these guys have got, it’s just going to be a really, really great night. I’m also looking forward to returning to Cardiff and sharing the stage with these great artists – it’s going to be good vibes in the city and a fun party for sure! Your music career has spanned close to three decades, what do you find is your biggest motivation to keep making music and keep performing? I just do music because I’m really not good at anything else! Honestly, you don’t want to see me kick a ball. Trust me, it ain’t pretty! I’m still writing songs that have relevancy within dancehall, and I also write for other people. It’s just like a hobby for me – for me, music is just like air, and it’s just kind of what I do. I don’t have any aspirations to be any mogul or have riches – I just want to play music and be happy, that’s it.

You recently won a Grammy with Sting for your joint album 44/876. Did you see that coming? We went into the studio to do one song, and then we realised that we had a lot in common on many levels, and that turned into a friendship, which then that developed into an album. We just couldn’t get enough of each other and the way we make music, and the laughs and the fun, so we just said, ‘We’re gonna take this show on the road.’ That’s kind of what attracted us to working together, the fact that no-one was really expecting it, and everybody would be sitting there thinking, “What the f*** is it?” because Sting and Shaggy on paper looks really weird! You have a military background – is that something that has always stayed with you? I was in the first Gulf War, so I know all about that. I don’t think you’re going to go through any war without having some sort of trauma, it just comes with it. I’m in a position where I can do a lot of work with the military, even as far as doing concerts for them and doing shows in Bosnia and Germany. I do a lot of work with Home Base, which is a charity for the military to combat invisible wounds. I also do work with Chain Of Hope who do cardiac operations for babies in third world countries. For more: www. I CARDIFF LIFE I 15

WYBURN & WAYNE Move over Ant & Dec. Make way Edina & Patsy. Stand aside Batman & Robin. Our dynamic duo are in town and they’re here to give us the low down on the Cardiff high life

Talking about a resolution


on’t judge us okay, but we’re barely weeks into 2020 and we’ve already failed our New Year’s resolutions. They were only mini ones because we didn’t want to over commit! One of the mini promises to ourselves was that we promised to just take things a little easier this year. Last year we did reach the point of exhaustion, but have we learned our lesson? Nope. Instead we’ve already been to lots of gorgeous events, embarked on many, varied work projects, and have loads more in the pipeline.

It’s a tricky thing for us to get the balance right because we enjoy everything we do so much. The charity events are so rewarding, celebrating our amazing city is our passion, not to mention the food and parties... they are always great, and we hate to say no! We’ve decided to take on board a new motto for this year – ‘you can sleep while you’re dead!’ Being honest, we probably shouldn’t bother making any resolutions anyway. January always starts with a bang and is taken over by Wayne’s birthday antics, and this being his 45th

Nathan creating art on ice

“We’ve already failed our mini New Year’s resolutions”

Wayne with Jo Alexander as Dolly Parton

With Agit, owner of Soraztro Greek restaurant

year, was no exception. Not only did we manage a two-day trip to Dublin to catch up with an old friend, but we fitted in a karaoke party, a huge birthday bash at The Golden Cross featuring a very special guest, Dolly Parton! Not the real one of course, but a wonderful tribute named Jo Alexander. She was a ‘hoot y’all’ as she’d say. However, the highlight for Wayne was being welcomed to Wellfield Road’s newest Greek restaurant Soraztro. The owner Agit is a lovely guy and generously looked after us for a beautiful sit down meal, and delicious drinks around a long table, with good friends. Perfect. We often talk about how incredible it is in Roath, where we reside, and we aren’t shy to say it once again and explain why we love it so much. It’s that perfect mixture of residents and ever

changing students, we’ve got the gorgeous scenic Roath Park Lake on our doorstep, and then there’s the lovely indie shops. Plus every type of restaurant you can think of from pizza and sushi to new vegan venues. Nathan also had an exciting art project where he created art on ice for the very time. The Viola ice rink, which is home to the Cardiff Devils in Cardiff Bay, kindly let him use their ice rink to paint and create huge portraits of the Dancing On Ice contestants Ian ‘H’ Watkins and Matt Evers. It was an exciting challenge for Nathan, and the end results were pretty n-ice! To keep up to date with the Radio Cardiff DJs Wyburn & Wayne follow them on Facebook, Twitter @WyburnWayne and Instagram @wyburnandwayne I CARDIFF LIFE I 17


Where there's a will Georgia Evans of BERRY SMITH LAWYERS offers advice on what happens when no will has been made


hear that the intestacy rules (which deal with the estate of a person who dies without a will) are about to change – how will this affect people?

A: Firstly, what does intestacy mean? When a person dies without leaving a valid will, their assets must be distributed according to specific rules; a person who dies without a will is said to have died intestate. The estate of anyone who dies without a will who is in a marriage or civil partnership with no surviving children, will pass entirely to the surviving spouse or civil partner without any other relatives receiving anything. Currently, if a person dies without a will leaving a spouse or civil partner and children, the surviving spouse or civil partner currently inherits £250,000 plus 50 per cent of the remainder of the deceased’s assets, the children receiving the other 50% in equal shares. As of 6 February this year this changes, and a surviving spouse or civil partner will receive £270,000, together with the half share of the remaining estate,

the other half passing to the children in equal shares. Georgia Evans, a solicitor in the Private Client team at Berry Smith says, "Despite these changes, which do increase the entitlement for surviving spouses and civil partners, the rules are not as far reaching as many people believe the law already is or should be. 'They do highlight how important it is for everyone to make a will to ensure that their individual’s wishes are carried out when they die. 'The intestacy rules, while making matters somewhat better for spouses or civil partners, still state that any children of the relationship will inherit one half of the residue of the estate upon reaching the age of 18, rather than at an age where many people think they would be more responsible e.g. 21 or 25. By making a will, these sorts of issues can be dealt with and you can also cater for any other relatives, friends or charities that you may wish to benefit. 'I can only emphasise how important it is that everyone has a valid will drawn up, after having taken professional advice.' n

Georgia Evans

If you would like to discuss making a will, please contact us on 029 2034 5511 or

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE VISIT US ONLINE AT:WWW.VALEVETCENTRE.CO.UK Cardiff: 233 Cathedral Road, Pontcanna, Cardiff, CF11 9PP. E-mail: | Phone: 02920 004007

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

Cardiff Life team 01225 475800

Barry: 7/8 Ty Verlon Ind Est, Cardiff Rd, Vale of Glamorgan, CF63 2BE. E-mail: | Phone: 01446 739739

From towering turrets to amazing moats, Rachel Jefferies explores the history of a few local, glorious castles 20 I CARDIFF LIFE I





“Loyalty to the crown was to prove its undoing”

s the Imagine A Castle exhibition comes to Cardiff (turn to page 8), we pay homage to a few of our own local castles. Whether standing, ruined, or restored, each are a representation of the nation’s past and contested identity. Whether it’s the Normans’ conquering or the English invading, these castle walls have their secrets and stories.


With a 2,000-year history under its belt, Cardiff has been a Roman fort, a Norman stronghold, and also Victorian gothic masterpiece created for one of the world’s richest men. The original motte and bailey castle was built in the late 11th century by Norman invaders on top of a 3rd century Roman fort. It was commissioned either by William the Conqueror or by Robert Fitzhamon, the Norman conqueror of Glamorgan, and formed the heart of the medieval town of Cardiff. Then in the 19th century, architect William Burges created a medieval dream-world for the 3rd Marquess of Bute, and the results are simply breath-taking with opulent interiors, rich with gilding, elaborate wood carving, murals and stained glass. During World War II, extensive air raid shelters were built in the castle walls which could hold up to 1,800 people. When the 4th Marquess of Bute died in 1947, he left the castle to the City of Cardiff, and today it is run as a tourist attraction.


heart of the medieval town;

below: Castell Coch built in 1081


main image: Cardiff Castle was the

Built in 1081 by John Crichton-Stuart, the 3rd Marquees of Bute (yes him again – with money to burn obviously). It was to protect the newly conquered Cardiff town and to control the Taff Gorge route, and consisted of three circular towers – the keep, the kitchen tower and the well tower. The castle was occupied by Gilbert de Clare in 1267, a man who held the Lordship of Glamorgan. After his death, the castle was passed on to his widow Joan. I CARDIFF LIFE I 21


Gilbert de Clare, also known as Red Gilbert due to the colour of his hair, built Caerphilly Castle in 1268-1290 to conquer Glamorgan and to control new territory such as Castell Coch. It is surrounded by artificial lakes, which were considered to be the ‘most elaborate water defences in all of Britain’, and at 30 acres is the second largest castle in Britain.



Believed to be one of the first ‘mock’ Tudor castles to be built in Wales, it was constructed in 1626 by Sir Thomas Morgan. King Charles I spent two nights here in 1645. In 1785 it was destroyed by a fire, but was rebuilt by the heir, Godfrey Charles Morgan. However once the Morgan fortune dwindled in 1935, the castle was effectively abandoned. At the start of World War II, it was taken over by the British Army, under whose control in 1941 it was destroyed by another fire. The entire estate was sold onwards as farm land, with the castle left as a decaying ruin, as it still is today.


The Norman de Londres family built Ogmore Castle in 1106 and it is thought to be the oldest Norman keep in Glamorgan. It was built with a deep ditch around the inner ward, which is designed to fill with sea water during high tide. It was inhabited by William de Londres, one of the legendary Twelve Knights of Glamorgan who followed Robert Fitzhamon the Norman conqueror of Glamorgan. When the castle was attacked by the Welsh, William was forced to flee and his butler, Arnold, protected the castle and was later knighted for his efforts. It has also been used as a court of justice and a prison, and in the early 13th century, a second floor was added for private apartments.

above: Raglan Castle is designed to both intimidate and impress;


below: Monmouth Castle has remained under continuous military occupancy

“King Charles I spent two nights here in 1645” RAGLAN CASTLE

Raglan was first constructed in the 1430s by the Welsh nobleman Sir William ap Thomas, the Blue Knight of Gwent. Designed to impress as well as intimidate, the large hexagonal keep is known as the Yellow Tower of Gwent, with the stone arches designed to descend missiles on attackers. Under various earls of Worcester, Raglan was transformed into a magnificent country seat with a fashionable long gallery and one of the finest Renaissance gardens in Britain. But loyalty to the crown was to prove its undoing – despite a garrison of 800 men and one of the longest sieges of the Civil War, it fell to parliamentary forces and was deliberately destroyed. Among the looted treasures was a piece of Tudor wooden panelling which, after being discovered in a cow shed in the 1950s, is now displayed in the visitor centre.


Red Gilbert is responsible for Caerphilly Castle


William FitzOsbern, the 1st Earl of Hereford, created this as a border castle to protect the Norman invasion of Wales in 1067. Located at the crossings of the River Wye and River Monnow, it is the birthplace of Henry V. Other illustrious inhabitants have included Simon de Montford, 6th Earl of Leicester; Edmund Crouchback, Earl of Lancaster, and the son of Henry III. The castle was damaged and changed hands three times before being refurbished by Great Castle House in 1875, and becoming the museum and headquarters of the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers Militia, now known as the senior Territorial Army regiment. This makes it one of the few British castles still in continuous military occupancy. n For more:



”Darling, slow down, I know Porto is amazing, but there’s something I need to ask you?”

*As we’re a forward thinking bunch at Cardiff Life, this guide can actually be used by any person believing themselves in love and pursuing matrimony, and on any day of the year

A ladies-a-leaping guide* to where and how to propose this 29 February By Elsie Chadwick


OVER THE MOON AND OVER THE SEA! Cardiff is a beautiful backdrop to romance of course, but with Cardiff Airport on our doorstep, you could be flying high… NEW YORK CITY

The Big Apple is a great location for that perfect proposal: sunset on top of the Empire State Building; a helicopter ride above the city or a quirky rooftop bar under the stars.


The Rockies in Colorado provide a gorgeous ‘say yes’ setting. The national park boasts endless snowy peaks, glistening glacial lakes and lush forests.


This charming Portuguese city is ideal to pop the question – choose between the beautiful Baroque architecture, the narrow winding streets, a rooftop bar overlooking the city lights, or a sunset beach stroll.


No-one’s going to say no once you’ve applied the backdrop of a boutique beach-side villa, sunset massages, incredible beaches and the most delicious food. For more:

“Do you think the waiter is near enough to have captured the moment?”


old on to your bonnets ladies – it’s a leap year and tradition has it you can propose on 29 February. This anomaly is thought to date back to the 5th century, when legend has it, an Irish nun called St Bridget complained to St Patrick that women had to wait too long for their suitors to propose. So a deal was struck and St Patrick decreed 29 February, which happens every four years, was when women were allowed to get down on one knee and pop the question. There was a caveat though, women either have to wear breeches or a scarlet petticoat while proposing. If the man said no he was obliged to buy her a pair of gloves so she could hide the embarrassment of not having an engagement ring. To try and spare these blushes, we asked our local experts for a few rules of the engagement. First up, where to go down on bended knee? Emily Brown, the wedding and special event coordinator of five-star voco St David’s Cardiff in Cardiff Bay, says, “When deciding on a place to ask the question, you need to think of somewhere personal to the both of you – maybe the place you met or had your first date. If it’s a venue, don’t be afraid to ask a member of staff to take some sneaky pics for you.” Dan Jones, general manager of Holm House, the luxury boutique hotel in Penarth, suggests booking a mini-break, “Proposing on a mini-

break may seem a cliché, but it’s a classic option for a reason. What could be more romantic than an intimate boutique hotel tucked away in a picturesque location? You can plan it properly and have the champagne on ice for when they’ve said yes. And if you keep it local, it means you can easily return to celebrate your many anniversaries.” What about the ring– should we bother beforehand? Jeweller Emma-Kate Francis says, “Your other half will appreciate the time and effort you’ve made to go that extra mile to create something so unique and special for them. “However if you’re not confident of size or style, I have had clients give a proposal ring, usually in silver, and then return as a couple to choose the ring together. Also, the actual proposal could be made with a personalised bangle or a bottle of wine with a cork – and put a £1 coin with the year on, in the cork as a lovely memento.” And the deal on engagement parties – yay or nay? Emily thinks why not. “Your engagement party could be a sneak peek of what your wedding theme could be. But do keep that in mind, the people invited to your engagement party will expect an invite to your wedding day!”

“Women have to wear breeches or a scarlet petticoat while proposing”

For more:;; I CARDIFF LIFE I 27

Take a Loving Welsh Food tour around Cardiff and you get to ‘sea food’

T BEST FOOD FORWARD Love your food? Love Cardiff? Then a foodie tour of Cardiff is worthy of double the love By John Mather


o mark St David’s Day you could just load up on Welsh cakes and bara brith and stay sofa-bound, which we would applaud. However, if you want to celebrate the city, consume some traditional cuisine and burn a few calories along the way, then a food tour is the way to go.” Loving Welsh Food, which recently celebrated its fifth year and was founded by Sian Roberts, offers Cardiff tasting tours calling into specialist food producers, retailers and the Cardiff indoor market. The menu includes a variety of delicious Welsh tastings including continental meats, cheeses, cockles, laverbread and beverages at Cardiff’s Indoor Market, Pettigrew Tea Rooms, Wally’s Deli and Bar 44 among others, and taking in key landmarks such as Cardiff Castle and Principality Stadium along the way. They have also recently introduced the Green Food Tour of Cardiff (see right). Sian explains, “Cardiff has a great variety of ecofriendly pubs, cafés, restaurants and shops and it was great to showcase that aspect of what’s on offer here in the capital city of Wales.”


Following the new Green Food Tour Iechyd Da, Whitchurch offers an ecofriendly shopping experience. The retailer’s aim is to reduce waste, eliminate single use plastic and to stock good healthy products that are ethically and sustainably sourced at competitive prices. Owner Alwen Marshall tells the group a little about the history of the store, and then offers a cup of Welsh Brew Tea or Poblado Coffee and delicious samples, including sourdough bread and honey from Rhiwbina and Cardiff, vegan chocolate, biscuits, and a selection of local vinegars.



The Heathcock Pub in Llandaff is the next tasting stop for a mouthwatering mixture of bacon, laverbread, cockles and mussels from Penclawdd, and a tasting of Glyndwr wine from Cowbridge, in the Vale of Glamorgan. Guy Ennever, the owner, explains the daily changing, seasonal menu, where everything is made from scratch, using the very best produce that the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff have to offer. The Heathcock has a great relationship with local farmers and producers, sometimes offering their produce in return for great beer and food.

“Profits from bigmoose are used to help the homeless” clockwise from top: It’s an obvious ‘say cheese!’ moment; Welsh cockles and mussels on laverbread; cheers to sampling Welsh wine at The Heathcock; enjoy local cider at The Cottage


Wild Thing, Grangetown is where the group enjoy a glass of mulled apple and pear juice and the most heavenly beetroot and apple cake. All of the cakes are baked fresh every morning and are vegan and refined sugar-free. Lauren Saunder, founder of the plant-based café, sits down for a chat with the group to talk about the story behind the business. Aside from being vegan Wild Thing Grangetown and Wild Thing Cathays, have social goals. They believe that healthy food shouldn’t be a privilege and their daily soup is a ‘pay what you can’ dish. They also run projects in the local community to fight food poverty including nutrition and cooking classes, a community kitchen, and educating around healthy eating on a budget. The group pay a living wage and provide work placements for those who are socially excluded.


bigmoose coffee co. runs like a normal coffee shop selling epic coffee and amazing food, but its profits are used to help homeless and other disadvantaged people get back into work and society. This very busy café in Queen Street was started by owner Meg in order to make more of a difference to people’s lives. For more: I CARDIFF LIFE I 31

LOSSIN DANT MINTS, £4.50 These hard boiled individually wrapped mints have been handmade in Wales by Brays since 1867 and come in a beautifully embossed tin From Fabulous Welshcakes Castle Arcade, 44 Castle Arcade, Cardiff;

PURE WELSH HONEY, £3.99 This family run business has been producing Welsh honey including clear honey, set honey, and cut comb honey, for more than 40 years From Beanfreaks, 3 St Mary Street, Cardiff;


RED OF HEAVEN, AMERICAN RED ALE, £2.95 A real ale made by the eco-friendly family run brewery Bluestone Brewing who use water filtered down through the Bluestone Hills From Madame Fromage, 21 Castle Arcade, Cardiff;

To celebrate St David’s Day on 1 March, we’re looking local for a few treats

TANGERINE MARMALADE WITH CHAMPAGNE, £2.95 At their jam factory on the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales, the Jones family has been making award winning sweet preserves and savoury condiments since 1966 From National Museum Cardiff;


THE LITTLE WELSH CHOCOLATE CO. DARK CHOCOLATE, £4.50 Hand crafted bars are made using the finest organic chocolate, enriched with organic essential oils and natural locally sourced ingredients. From Elephant & Bun Delicatessen, 31 High Street, Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan;

ED’S CHOICE ED HOW TO SPEAK WELSH MILK CHOCOLATE BAR, £3.50 Made by the North Wales-based Gwynedd Confectioners who have been making novelty Welsh sweets for over 20 years. Learn while you eat. From Shop Wales, 9 St John Street, Cardiff;

SHEPHERDS WELSH BISCUITS, OATY BISCUITS / BISGEDI CEIRCH, £2.75 Inspired by the wild landscape of Snowdonia, these oat biscuits are made with butter and vanilla flavour for a deep, rich taste. From Shop Wales, 9 St John Street, Cardiff;

DRAGON’S BREATH, APPLE JELLY WITH CHILLI, £3.70 Ingredients are freshly sourced from maker Clare William’s own allotment or from local independent businesses, then hand chopped and stirred to make the jams, marmalades, curds and chutneys. From Penylan Pantry, 72 Kimberley Road, Cardiff;

WELSH CAKE WEDDING FAVOURS, PRICES START AT £1.95 EACH Make your St David’s Day party extra special with handmade, freshly griddled Welsh cakes. From Fabulous Welshcakes Cardiff Bay, 14 Mermaid Quay, Mermaid Quay, Bute Street, Cardiff;

SKYBORRY POMMAGE, £14 Cider hand harvested fruit from an orchard in between Hay on Wye and Bredwardine and produced organically. From Wright Wines, Castle Arcade, Cardiff; I CARDIFF LIFE I 35



We’ve got one of the best pancake recipes ever thanks to the voco St David’s chef Michael Coggan – you’d batter believe it Serves 4 Planning a pancake extravaganza for Shrove Tuesday on 25 February? If not, why not? The joy of a pancake is how flipping easy it is. Simple ingredients, super quick to make and you can top it with whatever takes your fancy. To help us decide we turn to Michael Coggan, the head pastry chef at voco St David’s Cardiff, and former Bake Off The Professionals contestant, who ‘lent’ us his favourite pancake recipe. “Pancakes was one of the first dishes I was taught when training in pastry,” says Michael. “My head pastry chef used to tell me, the thinner the pancake the better the restaurant.” “The reason I choose this saucy suzette recipe is because it’s one of the most classic pancake desserts you can have – it’s so easy to make yet packed with amazing flavours.”

Crêpe ingredients 150g caster sugar 120g plain flour 250ml whole milk 25g butter 3 eggs

Suzette sauce ingredients 150g caster sugar 35g butter 30ml Cointreau 25ml whisky or brandy 150ml fresh orange juice

Crêpe method 1 Warm the milk with the butter to around blood temperature, do not let the milk come to the boil. 2 Pour the milk over the flour and sugar and whisk until smooth. 3 Add the eggs and give one final whisk then leave to rest in the fridge for 1 hour. 4 Place a crêpe pan or frying pan on the stove on a medium heat. Lightly oil the pan then add enough mix to just cover the bottom of the pan. Cook for roughly 1 minute then flip and cook very lightly on the other side. 5 Fold the crêpes into quarters and leave to one side whilst you prepare the suzette sauce.

Sauce method 1 Place the sugar in a heavy bottomed pan and let it melt to a golden caramel. 2 Once you have reached the desired colour remove from the heat, add the butter to the pan and mix quickly before placing pack on the heat, then add the Cointreau to the pan letting the alcohol flambé. 3 Repeat this step with the whiskey before finally adding the orange to the pan. 4 Cook for about 2 minutes to thicken and reduce slightly. To finish 1 While the suzette sauce is hot, add the already prepared crepes back into the pan. 2 Completely cover the crêpes in the suzette sauce. Serve immediately with either vanilla ice cream or Chantilly cream. For more: voco St David’s Cardiff, Havannah Street, Cardiff, CF10 5SD. tel: 029 2045 4045; I CARDIFF LIFE I 37


Where girls learn without limits Since 1860 at HOWELL’S SCHOOL, LLANDAFF GDST, we’ve been encouraging our girls to believe that nothing is beyond their reach


t Howell’s School this summer, 73 per cent of all GCSE grades were A*–A, 52 per cent of all A-level results were A*–A grades, and 80 per cent of all grades were A*–B. A Howell’s girl is free to be herself – to be ambitious, to be competitive, to be creative, to be a sports captain or a geek, or a clown. Our girls mature into young adults in a culture free from gender bias, encouraging them to believe that nothing is beyond their reach or consideration. All this develops a self-confidence and resilience that stays with them throughout their lives. There is research currently that shows girls’ confidence starts to decline at the age of eight years old. Howell’s ethos ensures this doesn’t happen, and instills in the girls the confidence they need for a successful future. We delight in watching them grow to become more assertive and willing to take risks, to ask questions, and to make mistakes. At Howell’s School, Llandaff GDST, girls’ thrive in a single-sex environment where academic achievements are always celebrated, and these


go hand-in-hand with co-curricular activities that inspire and challenge them. From playing chess to performing in a rock band, debating current affairs to playing cricket, we believe that education doesn’t stop when the bell rings at the end of the school day. Our five-acre site has an incredible feeling of space for a city centre school, with significant green space, a swimming pool and sports complex with modern pavilion and floodlight, all-weather pitches. Our fleet of school mini buses brings in students from Cowbridge, Penarth, Newport, and across Cardiff. n

To discover what makes Howell’s so special, book your place at one of our open days;

DEVON IS A PLACE ON EARTH …and a very hospitable one at that as Sally Land discovers




riving in the inky wintery dusk, we wound our way through the wild Devon countryside. With the wind gusting around our car, the rain hammering down and floods all around, the day felt less than inhospitable. But as we rounded Larkbeare Grange’s sights, a sense of anticipation took over as the warmly lit bed and breakfast came into view. From the friendly hosts, Charlie and Julia Hutchings, to the delicious home baked scones everything about Larkbeare Grange is cosy to its very core. My husband and I were lucky enough to spend two nights at this comfortable and most delightful bed and breakfast in East Devon. Over the weekend we sampled some of the best food Devon has to offer and did our best to walk off the hearty meals in the day. Whether you are a foodie, a budding historian, or simply love the outdoors, this corner of our beautiful island has plenty to offer. Set between Exeter and Honiton, Larkbeare Grange is a rather fine Georgian country house, surrounded by mature orchards, green fields and an impressively immaculate croquet lawn.

“I’ve never been as tempted by every menu option”

opposite, clockwise from top: The beautiful setting of Larkbeare Grange; Larkbeare Grange owners Charlie and Julia Hutching in their apple orchard; The Five Bells serve up local venison loin with poached pear, damsons, dauphinoise potatoes and seasonal greens; a gorgeous suite at the welcoming Larkbeare Grange this page, top to bottom: Butter poached cod with brown shrimps, fennel and dill from Jack in the Green; chef Charlotte Vincent of The Five Bells; lemon and pine nut mille feuille, white chocolate sorbet from Jack in the Green

Upon arrival we were ushered into the lounge where a roaring fire crackled away and soon Julia produced the most delicious tea, complete with home-made jams and scones. We immediately felt our shoulders relax and enjoyed a couple of hours reading and chatting by the fire. Finding The Five Bells pub in the nearby village of Clyst Hydon was easy and after a short ten minute drive, we arrived at the picture postcard beauty. The thatched pub comes complete with a massive beer garden and pretty lavender pathway approach. We enjoyed a hearty meal – crayfish thermidor for me, and seared scallops for the husband, followed by duck and venison respectively. The Five Bells is certainly a destination I would recommend if you enjoy both pub classics and more refined daily specials. And this is a pub that knows how to support local business with almost all the drinks selection sourced from nearby producers. That night we slept like we used to before children came on the scene – with neither of us stirring until 9am – unheard of for the past ten years. And I’m still dreaming of Charlie and Julia’s breakfast, home pressed apple juice, fruit compote, their own freerange eggs, locally produced bacon, sausages, and home-made

croissants, and a wide selection of home-made jams. They certainly deserve the countless awards they have won for their sustainability. After breakfast the rain showed no sign of easing, but we were determined to explore the coast. It’s not everyday that you have the Jurassic Coast on your doorstep after all. Dressed in waterproofs head-to-toe we headed to the coastal village of Beer determined to inhale some bracing Devonshire fresh air. First we enjoyed delaying tactics in Dolphin Antiques – a proper Aladdin’s cave stuffed full of curios – and then whiled away more time in a lovely art gallery as the rain continued its worst outside. Incredibly though, as we stepped outside unable to hide from the inclement weather any longer, the clouds started to break and within 20 minutes, we were taking off layers in the warm sunshine. It was the first dry period for five days. And how we were rewarded. We completed a circular walk from Beer to Branscombe along the cliffs and back again, taking a slightly different return route which led us more inland. The 9.6 km walk is varied and includes a cliff top, beach, and valley sections. While the route is moderately demanding, with several steep sections, it is absolutely worth the effort, with spectacular views out over the sea. And make sure you take in the Hooken undercliff path, which winds through chalk pinnacles and abundant wildlife, and is stunning. At the Branscombe end you’ll see the legendary 13,500 kilogram anchor of MSC Napoli, which was grounded on the beach in 2007 and brought the village to a standstill. Branscombe itself has two lovely pubs, a couple of welcoming cafés, and an awardwinning forge. That night we had a table at The Jack In The Green at Rockbeare, another stone’s throw from the B&B. This pub is well known across the whole of the South West – and with good reason. The food, the atmosphere, and the service were all absolutely spot on. Every dish was so enticing we struggled to choose our meals – I’ve never been as tempted by every menu option. The dishes were beautifully presented and bursting with flavour. I was treated to a very generous and perfectly cooked monkfish, while my husband was delighted with his delicious partridge. Landlord Paul Parnell’s passion was very clear and infectious. Our evening at The Jack In The Green really was the perfect way to end our heavenly weekend in East Devon.

STAY AND DINNER DETAILS Larkbeare Grange rooms from £125, Five Bells,starters from £6.95, mains from £14.95, Jack In The Green, starters from £6.50, mains from £23.50, I CARDIFF LIFE I 41



Mark Douglas, Matt Wiltshire and Aled Phillips

Suzanna and Chris Carpenter All That Soul provided the entertainment

Laura Meacham, Dana Johnson, Sarah Meacham, Gemma Morris and Abi Phillips


Rachel Jones, Alfie Jones and Rob Jones

Cardiff's Exchange Hotel was the venue, and actor Clare Hingott the host, for the recent annual ball of the hospice charity, Tŷ Hafan. Along with a three course dinner, an auction hosted by Paralympian Mark Colbourne MBE, and live music from All That Soul, guests heard moving speeches from those who have benefitted from the charity’s work. The night raised an incredible £94,412.30. Pictures by Rhodri Harries

David Loosemore, Vicky Harry, Ruth Loosemore and Roger Harry Guests from Capital Law


Guests from Nuvias Unified Communications and sponsors of the evening

Claire Rees and Rosalind Watkins


Joe Ledley (centre) with friends

Josh Navidi, Ellis Jenkins, Ben Thomas, Lloyd Williams, James Botham and Owen Lane Hywel Butcher and Matthew Osbourne


November saw the opening of The Ivy Cardiff which was attended by more than 500 people. It was an evening of cocktails and canapés with entertainment from local saxophonist Jack Mac, tunes from DJ Scarlett, along with ivy-adorned performers and fire breathers. Pictures by Matthew Horwood

Bartender serves up cocktails DJ Scarlett

Kelly Reardon-Brown and Jay Page


The girl’s on fire! Saxophonist Jack Mac

Mollie Davies and Caitlin Woodland

Trailing Ivy was a recurrent theme I CARDIFF LIFE I 45


Andrea, Lee and Jemima enjoying a stroll around the Bay

Jemima bubbles over with joy knowing her mum will continue to attend Monkey Music

HERE IS THE NEWS Andrea gives us the headlines about her imminent return to work


s Jemima turns one and starts developing a whole range of new skills, there’s a new milestone heading our way that heralds new emotions in the Byrne household. It’s the end of my maternity leave and time to return to anchoring the news. Practically, of course, it has involved some military level planning in terms of putting together the childcare jigsaw. Perhaps my biggest triumph in the master plan so far is that I’ve managed to factor in continuing to take her to Monkey Music classes – a very important fixture in Jemima’s baby diary.

“Part of my responsibility is to encourage aspiration in my daughter”

Emotionally though, it’s all about letting go. For Jemima – quite literally – as she plucks up the courage to take her first unaided steps. But also for me, metaphorically, having grown so accustomed to being her main carer and protector over the month, I know I have to make that step mentally and learn to trust and relax in the knowledge she will be well looked after in my absence. Thankfully ITV is a very forward-thinking organisation and Lee is a very supportive husband, and with their considerable strength, this in turn gives me courage and confidence. However, as all parents will know, it’s a transition that is harder than you imagine. In a speech I made recently to Women In PR Cymru, a network to empower, inspire and support women in the communications sector across Wales, I compared it to attempting to step on to one of those airport travelators whilst sporting heels, carrying a wriggling baby, logging on to a laptop and taking a conference call. After all, work has been

moving along without you, and you have to try to pick up where you left off, almost as if nothing has changed. But, in reality, everything has. What’s important to me, though, is setting an example for Jemima. I may be returning to work as a mum with responsibility for another little human but, for me, part of that responsibility is to encourage aspiration in my daughter. As I step back on the travelator and into the studio, my hope is my next era in broadcasting to be just as exciting, challenging and rewarding as my first. Meantime, with all these changes imminent, making the most of family time has been even

more of a priority than usual. Lee and I have been getting out and about showing Jemima the Cardiff sights, albeit in the inclement winter Welsh weather. I am forever grateful for the time I’ve been able to have off with Jemima. But by the time you read this, my life will be more about choosing headlines, rather than playtimes. I’ll be back in the studio, back in your living rooms and back in my second home, with my second family, at ITV. I’m looking forward to hearing those words, ‘Andrea to the studio, please!’ For all the latest Baby Byrne updates follow Andrea on Twitter @byrney15 and on Instagram @andreabyrnetv

Andrea with Women in PR Cymru founders, Rachel Moss and Laurian Hubbard I CARDIFF LIFE I 47

It’s the city’s business

CARDIFFWORKS Film buff and funnyman Paul Merton helps celebrate the National Lottery’s investment in the arts

A train’s last journey is captured in Swansea, Victoria Pontardulais Railway

Bonus balls

Since the National Lottery’s launch 25 years ago, Cardiff’s art scene is one of the winners Since the first ever draw on 19 November 1994, the National Lottery has raised more than £6.4 million each month for good causes in Wales, for the Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan community. This includes £31.7 million invested in Wales Millennium Centre. More than £12.7 million has been invested in over 670 film-related projects in Wales since 1994, including independent films and community film clubs. To help celebrate this, and the lottery’s 25 year anniversary, the British

Film Industry and comedian Paul Merton unveiled an online archive of more than 10,000 films from all over the UK, along with the ‘Top 10 most watched films you have never heard of in Wales.’ Cinematic gems included Swansea, Victoria – Pontardulais Railway, a record of one of the last train rides from Swansea’s Victoria Station to Pontarddulais before it closed in 1964, and Snow Llanelli, a home movie which shows Llanelli in 1982 as a winter wonderland as

snow covers its streets, and icicles hang from the roofs of buildings. Paul, who is also an amateur film historian, says “The films have captured the imagination of the British public and amassed an incredible 75 million online views. They are a wonderful way to get lost in our history and heritage for an hour, or even a day. I love it, and all thanks to those pink tickets at newsagents.” For more: | I CARDIFF LIFE I 49

OVER THE FINISHING LINE The all-important finalists for the Cardiff Life Awards have now been revealed with Cardiff’s social media going into overdrive with the Cardiff community congratulating those deserving businesses making the shortlist. And as the excitement continues to ramp up ahead of the glittering event at Cardiff’s City Hall on 19 March, the much-coveted tickets, which are available now, are expected to sell fast. Steph Dodd, event director at MediaClash, Cardiff Life’s publisher, explains, “In previous years,

finalists have secured remaining tickets within minutes of their release.” Steph advises those interested in going to, “keep your eyes peeled as the latest position will be updated via Twitter @CardiffLifeAwds, and also email.” Before the big night, all finalists are invited to a special Sponsors’ and Finalists’ Reception Kuku Club on 24 February. Steph says, “This offers a great chance to meet fellow finalists for social business networking beforehand.” For more: Sarah Price is a two-time Chelsea gold medal winner

SEEDS OF CHANGE Finalists get ready to take centre stage

BUSINESS GROWTH Cardiff’s Robertsons Solicitors has taken additional offices to accommodate its growing Family Law and Specialist Property teams. To mark the occasion, the firm, which has been in the city for over 100 years, recently held a launch to showcase its new office space at 26 Windsor Place. “It’s an exciting time,” says Sian Turvey who heads up the Specialist Property department. “Windsor Place is a convenient location for our clients and it sits within what is traditionally recognised as the legal heart of Cardiff.” For more:

Robertsons Solicitors celebrate their Windsor Place expansion


The charity Horatio’s Garden, that creates beautiful gardens in NHS spinal injury centres, is building one of its award-winning horticultural spaces in the Welsh Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Centre, which is based in Llandaff’s Rookwood Hospital. The garden, which is due to open in summer 2021, will be designed by twotime Chelsea gold medal winner Sarah Price in collaboration with an architect. Professor Charles Janczewski, interim Chair of the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board says, “I firmly believe that the garden will bring immense benefit to our patients both physically and psychologically.” The cost of the groundworks has been covered by Cardiff & Vale Health Charity, whilst the National Garden Scheme has pledged £150,000, and to meet the £800,000 needed to create Horatio’s Garden Cardiff, the charity has launched an appeal. For more:

Sarah’s vision for Horatio’s Garden Cardiff


Make a start with Sam


Cardiff School of Management student Sam Cockrell was recently recognised at the Wales Start Up Awards for his entrepreneurial effort called Startupza. It is a not-for- profit organisation he has founded that helps young people start up their own business. Sam, who is also the secretary of Cardiff Met’s LGBT+ society, says, “We collaborate with Welsh businesses to provide mentoring and coaching for our members, as well as access to professional advice and funding.”


The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama has announced Tim Rhys-Evans MBE has been appointed as its new director of music, joining in April. Tim, best known as the founder and artistic director of The Aloud Charity, says, “Music and the performing arts are so central to us as a nation and I will be committed to ensuring that excellence is at the core of everything we do, enabling us to shine even more brightly on the world stage.”

Sean is on the team


Sean Rolinson recently became a qualified solicitor with Martyn Prowel Solicitors. Sean studied law at Aberystwyth University and then started as a paralegal at Martyn Prowel Solicitors in 2015. Director James Lynch says, “Sean has gone from strength to strength and is now an indispensable member of the firm.”

Wales’ young students debate climate change UN style

CURRENT CLIMATE Young people from all over Wales gathered at the Senedd in Cardiff to debate climate change in front of Ministers, Assembly Members and representatives from the Future Generations Commissioner’s Office. The MockCOP event, modelled on the UN’s conference for climate change, was organised jointly by Cardiff-based climate change charity Size of Wales and the Welsh Centre for International Affairs (WCIA), with

expansion of the programme supported by the ScottishPower Foundation. Eluned Morgan, Minister for International Relations and Welsh Language, who opened debate procedures on the 21 November, says, “MockCOP is a fantastic platform for young people to engage with the serious issue of climate change and consider their views from a global perspective.” For more:

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Tom, Ben, Lucy, Ruby and Kayla join Working Word

WORD UP! Working Word, the Cardiff and London-based PR agency, is marking its 20th anniversary with record revenue growth and an increase in staff. The five new appointments, Ben Sims, Kayla Moyes, Ruby Goom, Lucy Wilkinson and Tom Booth, has meant the firm, whose clients have included the Homeless World Cup, National Assembly for Wales, Food and Drink Wales, now has 20 employees.

Operations director Caroline Holmes says, “Reaching 20 employees in our 20th year feels apt and all five new appointments each bring something new and exciting to our ever-growing team. We’re determined to make Working Word the best place to work in the industry, retaining and developing talent by producing exciting work for clients that we care about.” For more: I CARDIFF LIFE I 51


“MY OWN PLACE IS THE LAST JOB WE’RE GOING TO DO” Do you think it is this approach that has ensured its long term success? We could never understand how the big national carpet chains got away with charging such high prices. We discovered that they pay extortionately high rent and their buying practices are horribly inefficient. What’s more, their business models are based on high margins, high prices, and relatively low volume.

Andrew Graham

The director of Carpet Castle reveals how his father’s ‘pile it high and sell it cheap’ approach 50 years ago, became the secret to the Cardiff retailer’s success Tell us a little about Carpet Castle – what is the company’s background?: My dad set up the company almost 50 years ago in 1971. He started with very little money but a lot of hard work and determination. Whilst working as a sales rep for a paint manufacturer he spotted a gap in the market for discounted DIY products. This pre-dated the likes of B&Q and was quite revolutionary at the time. The company’s philosophy was a sort of ‘pile it high and sell it cheap’ approach that really took off.

When did carpets come into play? In 1980 the company transitioned into carpet retail but applied the same strategy of buying in huge quantities and passing the savings on to the customer. Although the company has grown to become South Wales’ largest independent carpet retailer, the core strategy still endures. Even to this day our main business revolves around clearing out top brand name carpet factories of huge quantities of stock at bargain basement prices.

How did Carpet Castle address that in its own business model? We felt that finding a cheap site, buying in huge volumes, and giving people an amazing bargain would give us a big advantage. It’s worked really well because our customers know we offer a way to buy the same brands they’ll see in the big national chains, but at a fraction of the price. Tell us a little about the Carpet Castle team… We have a great team working with us in the store. Our manager Dai is exceptionally good and the rest of the boys are fantastic too. We hire slowly, handpicking each member of staff because we don’t want to bring in anyone who might damage our culture. The guys are all down to earth, hardworking and customer-orientated. What are the first things you look to ask when helping people at Carpet Castle? We don’t like to use the intrusive ‘salesman’ type approach. We let customers wander around our huge warehouse and browse by themselves. Of course, the staff are on hand to offer advice if needed but we find the vast majority of customers like just browsing. Lots of our customers tell us that they find our approach quite refreshing.

How would you describe your own approach to work? Just put the customer first. If in doubt, just think what is best for the customer. It’s pretty simple really. I never benchmark against anyone else. I just think we should continually aim to improve our offering. If you’re trying to be the best at something it doesn’t make sense to benchmark against other organisations because they may be pretty bad at what they’re trying to do. What do you particularly love about your job? I’m surrounded by great people and being a private company, we have the freedom to experiment with our competitive strategy which is really fun. Any moment you have been particularly proud of? The success of our artificial grass business. We entered that particular market about four years ago with no knowledge whatsoever and we’re now the market leader in South Wales. How does being Cardiff-based help your business? Cardiff is the perfect size of city for running a business. It’s large enough to attract top talent but small enough that everyone knows each other. What is your own home and office like for carpets and flooring? My own place is the last job we’re going to do. We’ll always put our customers first.

For more: Carpet Castle, Nantgarw Road, Caerphilly CF83 1BW. tel: 029 2088 4951; I CARDIFF LIFE I 53


“I BELIEVE THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A BAD IDEA” Our clients are a varied bunch, from high end retail, office and executive suites to social housing. Who makes up the W2C team? Our team at W2 are a fantastic hard-working, fun-loving group of people with a range of technical skills ranging from design and planning, and practical skills.

Dave Brown

He’s played rugby, does standup comedy, and he trained as an engineer – meet the managing director of the building design and construction firm W2 Construction Are you originally from Cardiff, or nearby? I was born in Newport, brought up in the Gwent Valley Newbridge, then Risca and Caerleon, and moved to Cardiff in 1995 whilst playing rugby for Cross Keys RFC. What were you doing before W2 Construction? I am an engineer by trade and studied at Nottingham University and in later years completed a management degree whilst running a small business. I was an engineer in a factory until the age of 33 then I became a salesman for a London

based company where I helped build a very successful business before then branching out and setting up my own business. Tell us a little about W2 Construction – what is the company’s background? W2 Construction came about in 2017 as a result of selling building products into industry and that developed into a service company delivering solutions to the commercial and trade industry. How might you describe your key clientele?

How does being Cardiff-based help your business? Cardiff is the most fantastic city for the expansion of our company because of its attractive and diverse cultures including its business development strategies with some of the most forward thinking companies in the world. How has the business grown over recent times? For W2 Construction, over the last 24 months, we have specialised in multiple project management, 3D design and industry leading technology. This is down to people that I have employed to support and build W2. The best tools for growth are always to employ people who are better than you in their area of expertise. What are the first things you look for when starting a plan? We want to understand in infinite detail what the clients brief is and what they are trying to achieve. We then will deliver a full turnkey package offering the best comprehensive solutions. Any advice to someone who would like to do similar? Always have a plan and seek advice from as many experienced people as you can before embarking on your

exciting new business life. The best part of setting up and running your own business is meeting new people, making friendships, and being able to create endless opportunities. How would you describe your own ethos to your work? My ethos is to tackle everything head on treat and people as I like to be treated . I also believe there is no such thing as a bad idea. What is your own office like? Our offices are currently undergoing redevelopment. So right now we are making the most out of our temporary space with our very own high end showroom where we can entertain our clients and suppliers and show exactly what we can offer. Any immediate plans for W2C in the pipeline? W2Construction have submitted plans to build our own state of the art offices with a complete new build office block and showrooms. We are also looking to expand our business this year with some exciting new additions. What’s the one thing about you that would surprise people? People would be surprised to hear that I am only 20 stone in weight and I love doing stand-up comedy.

For more: W2 Construction, 556 Llantrisant Road, Penycoedcae, Pontypridd CF37 1PL. tel: 01443 853258; I CARDIFF LIFE I 55

CARDIFFWORKS left to right: Sarah and Kelly are thrilled with their Award


Directors Sarah Symonds and Kelly Campbell on the importance of their business winning an Award CREATIVE WINNER Congratulations! How did you both celebrate when you won the Award?

As soon as we had composed ourselves, the first thing we did was let all our wonderful members know that we had won. We couldn’t wait to take the Award into the studio and show everyone. Tell us a little about Cardiff Pottery Workshops Foundation – what is its background?

and make something on the potter’s wheel with our family ceramics class. Helping to tackle loneliness in the over sixties with our ‘tea and pottery’ class every Friday morning, partially subsidised by the studio. We have also enjoyed opening our studio to scout groups, Princes Trust youth groups, and schools. Does being in Cardiff benefit the work you do?

Cardiff is a wonderfully creative city which we both love. There is an incredible heritage here that the pottery is part of keeping alive.

It started with a rolling pin, a foldaway table and a big dream! And by Kelly in 2016 who held evening classes in a hired-out school hall. The business grew and we took on a space at the Sustainable Studios. And now?

We are one of the largest and highly equipped studios in Wales offering membership, artists spaces, morning and evening classes, weekend workshops, personal tuition and team building events. What drives the company?

The studio strives to make pottery accessible for all. Encouraging parents and children to come along


Any collaborations with other local businesses?

We launched our ReFire pottery classes for people who suffer with depression and anxiety back in April 2019. This was in collaboration with Platfform (previously known as Gofal) whom helped us with our funding application and also spreading the word. What jobs were you both doing before Cardiff Pottery ?

Kelly was a senior art technician in Cardiff Metropolitan University for more than 15 years, alongside teaching a number of outreach programmes and evening classes at Cardiff Met. Sarah was a garment technician for a busy value retailer, ensuring good practice and health and safety within factory environments in the UK and Far East. She then became a designer, heading ladies’ knitwear, jersey, and maternity. Is there someone in business that you admire and try learn from?

We both come from creative backgrounds and find our admiration in other artists. The Austrian-born British studio potter Lucie Rie (1902 – 1995) is a favourite of ours. She would start

each piece with fresh enthusiasm. She was quoted as saying ,‘To make pottery is an adventure to me, every new work is a new beginning.’ What are the immediate plans for Cardiff Pottery?

Over the next year we will be settling into our new premises and continuing to grow our membership. We will have enough space for 80+ members, along with artist spaces and new creative businesses such as My Mwg under our roof. How do you see the studio developing in the future?

The studio is one of a kind due to the excellent facilities we hold, the supportive and friendly community we have built, and the passion to encourage anyone to come and engage with clay. The studio continues to grow and we have ended our financial year in profit. We will now take steps to expand the business and set up in larger premises allowing the business to continue to flourish. For more: Cardiff Pottery Workshops Foundation CIC Company, Unit 12 Llandough Trading Estate, CF11 8RR. tel: 0747 822 3611; I CARDIFF LIFE I 57

MAES Y T CROCHAN Rachel Jefferies explores a luxe, light, and contemporary Old St Mellons home


hey say home is where the heart is. Well, that couldn’t be more true when you picture yourself living in our latest find. Druidstone Road will steal your heart alright. Just a 16 minute drive from Cardiff city centre, this luxury property is full of potential and is more than just the average home. A place made with both total comfort, and a homely security in mind, this property Maes Y Crochan (which translates as Cauldron Field), sits proudly on the prestigious Druidstone Road which is located in Old St Mellons. The stony path and driveway, edged neatly with its generous front lawn, will lead you to the architectural delight with an exterior of wood, positioned next to perfectly imperfect stone, and juxtaposed with a neat concrete finish. Built in 2014, this six-bed house suggests a luxurious lifestyle throughout. Walk through the large wooden front door, and you’re immediately welcomed by swathes of natural light flooding the glass panelled walls, and the sculptural white marble stairwell. It’s a thoughtful and intelligent layout, designed to bring an uplifting ambience and airiness into the stunning space, and the end result


means the entrance is one of the property’s most breathtaking features. As you move through the build, you’ll discover the clean, modern, bespoke kitchen, fitted with a luxury marble island unit and high bar stools – which not only provides ample work surface space for whipping up that dinner party special, but also doubles up as a beautiful breakfast bar. Cooking in this kitchen will be stress-free thanks to its generous storage, cupboards, and floor space, plus the integrated Miele appliances help too. The kitchen is fully equipped with a fullsize fridge/freezer, a built-in coffee machine unit, a floor-toceiling wine cooler, as well as a stylish glass wine cellar set into one of the walls. The raised ceiling is bordered with LED lights, adding depth to this contemporary kitchen. Natural light pours in from the large windows that afford a view of the gorgeous landscaped gardens. This property’s hosting potential is a dream. All four reception rooms have an individual purpose, whether it be entertainment in the games room, movies in the TV room, relaxation in the bar area, or entertaining in the dining room or garden – whatever the occasion, whoever the guests; this is a home to share and create memories in.

The property includes six bedrooms: four located on the first floor, three of those with en suites, and the guest bedroom suite and WC on the ground floor. Upstairs, along with the bedrooms, you’ll also find an impressive landing area that leads to the sixth bedroom/study with mezzanine, gym and a family shower room. If that’s not enough wow-factor for you, let us assure you there’s even more to come. We’ll let you into a little secret: ask for details about the planning permission for a swimming pool and leisure complex...we’ll say no more. This beauty is borne of beauty, and is located in the semi-rural surroundings, with hill top scenery, and brilliant views of Old St Mellons. The striking greenery and woodland nature that encircles the building and beyond is the picture-perfect setting to wake up to, especially during a crisp, early morning sunrise. Old St Mellons village itself features great amenities, including Oakfield Primary School, St Mellons Parish Church, local grocery shops and pubs/cafés, as well as the nearby Llanishen train station. Anybody who’s lucky enough to make this Old St Mellons property, their new home, can be sure of a happy space. n

HOUSE NUMBERS Bedrooms 5 Bathrooms 5 Mezzanine 1 Guide price £1,999,950 Built 2014 For more: I CARDIFF LIFE I 61 Prestige homes from Peter Alan

Mill Road, Lisvane ÂŁ650,000 EPC = E pa black Llanishen 02920 618552

Detached four double bedroom house with exceptional large and lovely private corner gardens with extensive opportunity to extend. Downstairs cloak room, gas heating, PVC double glazing, spacious lounge, formal dining room, separate study, 18ft kitchen & breakfast room, sun room/ conservatory, stylish modern family bathroom. Superb investment opportunity as venors have obtained full planning permission to build a further separate detached three bedroom home within the side gardens. Double length garage, single garage, private entrance with parking for three/four cars. No chain. Outstanding opportunity rarely available, must be seen. Prestige homes from Peter Alan

Ty Gwyn Road, Rhiwbina ÂŁ475,000 EPC = D pa black Llanishen 02920 618552

Large and impressive detached double fronted bungalow occupying a prominent position level walking distance to Rhiwbina garden village. Stunning open plan 23ft x 18ft modern kitchen, dining room and family room, formal lounge, luxury shower room/wet room, separate stunning family bathroom, three double size bedrooms, gas heating, PVC double glazing, private dual access in and out drive, fully enclosed and private surrounding gardens with lawns and sun terrace, garage. Ideal property for a retiring couple providing contemporary living space and room for the grand children. Must be seen!


“I love everything about Cardiff. Everything. I could kiss the soil” I originally came to Cardiff to visit a friend. It was a

DAN DE’ATH He can DJ, loves Cardiff, knows Pete Doherty, and he also happens to be the Lord Mayor of our city Dan De’Ath is the 115th Lord Mayor of the City of Cardiff, and the first of black heritage. He grew up in Warwickshire, where he worked in the museum and heritage sector before moving to Cardiff to work at the National Assembly for Wales, and then the National Museum Cardiff. In 2012 he served as a Cardiff Council cabinet member, and in 2014 become Deputy Lord Mayor of Cardiff, and in 2019, the Lord Mayor. I grew up in Bedworth, a de-industrialising mining town in the West Midlands.

The Valleys very much remind me of it. I was raised by my mother and was very close to my grandparents. When I was 14, we moved to Nuneaton. I was an only child with a fertile imagination, a rich inner world. Bookish in a non-academic way.

I swung from disliking school to being a bit ambivalent about it. I enjoyed sixth form

but I found school a bit grey and institutional. I can’t really remember what I wanted to be when I grew up. I think we had little to no career advice – we just fumbled our way out into the labour market.

I went to school with Pete Doherty from the Libertines.

His father was in the army and they were stationed at an army barracks on the edge of town and he just appeared in class one day, He seemed very charismatic and worldly-wise. Pete and I were both very into indie music. He taught himself

to play guitar and was keen on forming a band. I was the lead singer and we wrote the lyrics together. We used to practice in the drummer’s loft conversion.


glorious balmy summer and there was blossom on the trees. Everyone seemed so happy and attractive, and there were lots of lovely people with nice white teeth, sitting outside restaurants drinking wine and smoking Silk Cut. I immediately fell in love with the city. I ended up getting a job here and moving down just a few months later.

Being Cardiff’s first black Mayor and, as far as we can tell, the youngest person to ever hold the office, has

ethnic minority soldiers killed during the world wars. They weren’t allowed to take part in any victory marches, and were treated shockingly badly. My partner, Rebecca – the Lady Mayoress – is a criminal defence solicitor and lecturer

in criminal law at Cardiff University. We have four children between us, aged four to 14.

I recently did a DJ set at The Lord Mayor’s Rave, which was

meant I’ve wanted to do it slightly differently – pep it up a bit. I’ve tried to get out into parts of the city and into communities that the Mayoralty hasn’t traditionally been associated with.

an event we organised at the Old Library in town to raise money for this year’s Lord Mayor’s charities – Welsh Woman’s Aid and BAWSO, which works in partnership with local Welsh authorities to provide support for victims of abuse.

The best moments in the role have been meeting young people. I’m trying to visit

I still enjoy live music and am very taken with a new Welsh band called Panic Shack –

as many schools as possible, especially primaries in areas like Butetown and Grangetown, to talk to the pupils. A recent report found that by the age of seven, children are already facing limits on their future aspirations in work because of ingrained stereotyping about social background, gender, and race. It’s a fight to keep some kids’ horizons open and tackle ingrained assumptions.

I was involved in a lot of Black History Month events and

2019 was the centenary of the Cardiff Race Riots, so there was a lot of interesting stuff going on as a result. Last year also saw the unveiling of a monument in Cathays Park to black and

they’re frighteningly good. One of my favourite bands are The Shop Girls, who are from Cardiff. I’m also really into Big Joanie at the moment who are fantastic. I live in Roath, which is the area of the city I represent on Cardiff Council. I love it,

there’s always something going on, there’s a real buzz about the area, it’s an interesting part of the city – lots of energy. I love living in the city. I love Wales and I love Welsh people. I love everything about Cardiff. Everything. I could kiss the soil. n

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