Cardiff Life - Issue 249

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ISSUE 249 / LATE JANUARY 2022 / £3



elcome to our new issue! In this edition, we have dedicated a rather large section (starting on page 11) to what’s new in the city – from Gareth Bale’s golf bar, and a tiny restaurant opened by a Gordon Ramsay-trained chef, to a Soho-born fashion space. Cardiff is teeming with bold, bright ventures and we’re looking forward to seeing what the year brings, and indulging in all of it. And, talking about newness, on page 45 we bring you a fierce debate between interior designers and estate agents as to whether to ‘move or improve’. Sell up and have a fresh start, or revamp your living spaces? Which team do you think came out on top? We have a lot more besides waiting for you… there’s the (front cover-worthy) Tiny Planets of Cardiff photography series, presenting a new perspective on the city (p.21), as well as interviews with: Strictly champ Ore Oduba who’s bringing his talents (and heels) to The Rocky Horror Show (p.28); wildlife cameraman and presenter Gordon Buchanan MBE who has been filming all things wild and wonderful for 30 years (p.31); and Welsh rapper – and the new ambassador for Independent Venue Week – Mace the Great (p.66). And if writing all of those features and getting to call it a ‘job’ wasn’t reason enough for us to smile, we also have an exciting bit of news to share. Our next mag is – drum roll please – our 250th issue! We can’t wait to press ‘publish’ on that one! We’ve come a long way since that very first issue hit the city. And 15 years later we’re still going strong and are still committed to championing and celebrating local businesses, places and people in this fantastic city. Our 250th anniversary issue – a bumper-sized beast (our biggest in years) – is in itself a huge milestone for us, but to be able to mark our anniversary after such a tumultuous time in the industry (and the world) feels epic. Thank you so much for all your support in helping us to get to where we are – whether you’re a reader, an advertiser, a contributor, a behind-thescenes-er, an attendee or sponsor at our Awards, or even an Instagram follower – it has all helped to hold us in a strong position to keep doing what we love to do. Thank you! #CardiffTogether, always


roeso i’n rhifyn newydd! Yn y rhifyn hwn, rydym wedi neilltuo adran eithaf mawr (sy’n dechrau ar dudalen 11) ar gyfer datblygiadau newydd yn y ddinas – bar golff Gareth Bale; bwyty i 12 cwsmer, sydd wedi’i agor gan gogydd a gafodd ei hyfforddi gan Gordon Ramsay; ac emporiwm ffasiwn Japaneaidd. Mae Caerdydd yn frith o fentrau dewr a disglair, ac rydym yn edrych ymlaen at weld arlwy’r flwyddyn hon a mwynhau pob agwedd ohono. Ac o sôn am bethau newydd, ar dudalen 45 ceir dadl ffyrnig rhwng cynllunwyr tai a gwerthwyr tai ynghylch beth sydd orau – adnewyddu tŷ neu symud tŷ? Codi pac a dechrau o’r newydd, neu ailwampio eich cartref presennol? Pwy enillodd y ddadl, tybed? At hynny, mae gennym lawer o bethau eraill i’ch difyrru… cyfres o ffotograffau Planedau Bach Caerdydd (sy’n haeddu ei lle ar y clawr), sy’n cynnig cyfle i weld y ddinas o safbwynt hollol wahanol (ar dudalen 21), a chyfweliadau â’r canlynol: Ore Oduba, un o bencampwyr Strictly, y bydd ei ddoniau (a’i sodlau) i’w gweld yn y Rocky Horror Show (ar dudalen 28); Gordon Buchanan MBE, y dyn camera a’r cyflwynydd rhaglenni am fywyd gwyllt, sydd wedi bod yn ffilmio rhyfeddodau byd natur ers 30 mlynedd (ar dudalen 31); a’r rapiwr o Gymru – a llysgennad newydd yr Wythnos Lleoliadau Annibynnol – sef Mace the Great (ar dudalen 66). Ac os nad yw’r cyfle i ysgrifennu’r holl erthyglau hyn, a galw’r cyfan yn ‘waith’, yn ddigon o reswm i ni wenu mae gennym newyddion cyffrous i chi hefyd… Ein rhifyn nesaf – sŵn ffanffer os gwelwch yn dda – fydd ein 250fed rhifyn! Allwn ni ddim aros i bwyso’r botwm ‘Argraffu’! Mae llawer o ddŵr wedi mynd dan y bont ers i’r rhifyn cyntaf ymddangos yn y ddinas yn 2007. A 15 mlynedd yn ddiweddarach, rydym yn dal i fynd o nerth i nerth ac wedi ymrwymo o hyd i hyrwyddo a dathlu busnesau lleol, mannau lleol a phobl leol yn y ddinas wych hon. Mae ein 250fed rhifyn ynddo’i hun yn garreg filltir arbennig i ni – bydd yn rhifyn swmpus (yr un mwyaf ers blynyddoedd) – ond mae gallu dathlu’r garreg filltir honno ar ôl cyfnod mor gythryblus yn hanes y diwydiant (a’r byd) yn deimlad epig. Diolch o galon i chi am eich cymorth i’n helpu i gyrraedd y man hwn heddiw – p’un a ydych yn darllen y cylchgrawn, yn hysbysebu ynddo, yn cyfrannu iddo, yn gweithio y tu ôl i’r llenni, yn mynychu neu’n noddi ein seremoni wobrwyo, neu hyd yn oed yn ein dilyn ar Instagram – mae’r cyfan wedi bod o gymorth i sicrhau ein bod mewn sefyllfa gref i allu parhau i gyflawni’r hyn rydym yn dwlu ei wneud. #CaerdyddYnghyd, bob amser

The Club House is one of 50 new local businesses on page 11

LISA EVANS Follow us on Twitter @CardiffLifeMag Instagram @cardifflifemag I CARDIFF LIFE I 5

Issue 249 / Late January, 2022 ON THE COVER Womanby Street in 360: one of local photographer Damian Chidgey’s ‘Tiny Planet’ captures. Turn to page 21 to see more


11 NEW BIZ ON THE BLOCK 50 of the newest local

launches (and ones to watch)

31 ONE TO ONE Gordon Buchanan is coming to Cardiff

on his 30 Years in the Wild tour 58 COME FLYCardiff Airport’s hottest destinations for 2022



21 360 VISION The Tiny Planet photography series 26 WHAT’S ON Arts, shows and events, it’s all going on

in Cardiff


28 BIG INTERVIEW Ore Oduba stars in The Rocky Horror

Show at Cardiff’s New Theatre

53 SCENE Some of the city’s top recent events – can you

spot yourselves?


35 FASHION NEWS Closet Case opens in Royal Arcade 36 SUSTAINABLE STYLE Meet the family behind luxury

womenswear brand Out of Sync, in Lisvane

38 EDITOR’S CHOICE Love is in the air, so here’s some

Valentine’s gift inspo


41 RAD RECIPE One from the Bar 44 boys’ new cookbook 43 FRESH AND NEW Jane Cook talks foodie openings


45 MOVE OR IMPROVE Two sides debate the ‘renovate

or relocate’ conundrum


63 CARDIFF WORKS News and views and brilliant

local businesses

65 CARDIFF LIFE AWARDS Getting ready for another

huge celebration on 31 March!


8 SPOTLIGHT Just a handful of feel-good stories 33 WYBURN AND WAYNE Our columnists have been out

and about again

61 GETTING SCHOOLED Victoria Bond talks education 66 CARDIFF LIVES Cardiff rapper Mace the Great


Editor Lisa Evans Managing editor Deri Robins Senior art editor Andrew Richmond Graphic design Megan Allison Cover design Trevor Gilham Contributors Nathan Wyburn, Wayne Courtney, Jane Cook, Simon Button, Emily Ball, Victoria Bond Advertising manager Mark George Account manager Claire Hawkins Production/Distribution manager Sarah Kingston sarah. Deputy production manager Kirstie Howe Production designer Kirstie Howe Chief executive Jane Ingham Chief executive Greg Ingham Cardiff Life MediaClash, Carriage Court, 22 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. 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:





The 10 acts include: Sorry Stacy (Cardiff), Mali Hâf (Cardiff) and Fig (Caerphilly)


Wales’ leading talent development venture, Forté Project, has relaunched for 2022 with a full-scale Wales-wide project for the first time, starting with 10 new acts. The newly chosen music acts from across Wales – including plenty from Cardiff – will gain crucial skills, industry knowledge and perform their music live at a series of unique events across the country. Forté Project was established in 2015 and has nurtured over 70 young music creators aged 16-25, including Owina Felstead, Alex Stacey, Eädyth and The Honest Poet. THE LOCAL Many have since gone on to become internationally FORTÉ ACTS acclaimed songwriters signed FOR 2022 ARE to national record labels, Artshawty, Sorry Stacy, performed across the world, Kitty, and Mali Hâf (all gained national radio exposure based in Cardiff) and Fig from Caerphilly. and won multiple awards. For more:


Welsh Language Music Day ambassador Huw Stephens


Music fans in Wales and beyond will celebrate the annual Welsh Language Music Day – Dydd Miwsig Cymru – on 4 February 2022, a day which honours all types of music being made in the Welsh language. With the live industry feeling the long-term impact of covid closures, 2022’s Dydd Miwsig Cymru will pay tribute to the independent music venues – often found at the heart of Welsh communities – that have been home to decades of Welsh language gigs and ‘miwsig memories’. “Welsh language music gigs happen in every nook and cranny of the country, but artists and promoters need venues to be able to perform,” says BBC presenter and Dydd Miwsig Cymru ambassador Huw Stephens. “Miwsig gigs are a welcome place for anyone, even for those who don’t speak the language.” Dydd Miwsig Cymru is part of the long-term vision to see a million people speaking and using Welsh by 2050. For more:


Independent Venue Week (IVW), a celebration of music and entertainment venues around the country, has announced Cardiff rapper Mace the Great as its Welsh ambassador for 2022. Each year, IVW celebrates hundreds of independent venues, many of them in Cardiff. The initiative shines a huge spotlight on the grassroots ecosystem within the live music sector, which has experienced the toughest couple of years in its history. This is an ecosystem which not only includes the venues and the people that own, run and work in them, but also artists, managers, crew, the kit, merch, ticketing, tour transport companies and the fans. “Being able to announce our plans for #IVW22 [31 January – 6 February] is just brilliant on so many levels,” says Sybil Bell, founder of Independent Venue Week. “To see so many venues, artists and gig-goers excited about the return, in person, of the UK’s biggest celebration of live music in grassroots venues is absolutely fantastic. There is such an overwhelming desire to see everybody, on and off stage, safely packing out these brilliant venues with some of the best talent in the world and enjoying the best of our arts and culture up close.” See our interview with IVW’s new Welsh ambassador, Mace the Great, on page 66. For more: Independent Venue Week runs from 31 January to 6 February


NEW BUSINESSES The Ivy Asia, Cardiff, will have its own distinct design and will look rather different to its sister restaurant in Chelsea (pictured), but one thing it’ll definitely be is beautiful…

TOP 50 Here are 50 new launches in the city and beyond – from a 12-seater restaurant and a speakeasy, to a burlesque brunch bar and a self-care sanctuary By Lisa Evans I CARDIFF LIFE I 11


he beauty of Cardiff is that there are always new businesses, shops and restaurants springing up; it’s a city sparkling with independents and colossal names alike. And despite the pressures the last two years have brought, Cardiff has shown its resilience and powered on, gifting us new launch after new launch. Here are 50 of our top picks…


Nordik Kitchen After being in the food industry for 12 years, Shane DaviesNilsson is pursuing his life-long dream of owning his own restaurant. Nordik Kitchen is set to open in October in Cardiff, with location TBC. The food will take inspiration from Shane’s memories spending time with his Mormor (Swedish grandmother), his year living in Iceland, and spending time in Denmark. @nordik_kitchenrestaurant


NEW BUSINESSES Rosa’s Thai Café Rosa’s is opening its first Welsh café, on Church Street, in the coming weeks. Kaya Kafe Dubbed Wales’ largest breakfast/ brunch Instagram café, Kaya Kafe opened at the end of 2021 on City Road, Roath. Here, traditional British cuisine is infused with classic Arabian flavours, and the décor has been designed with specific backgrounds for influencers – think hanging flowers, mood lighting and photo walls. Kafe Makasih Award-winning street food trader Makasih will open its first permanent home in Cardiff. Kafe Makasih, set to open at the end of January, is new to Woodville Road in Cathays, on the former site of the Early Bird, and is a brunch café and evening bistro with Malaysian influences. @makasihstreetfood

left and above: Kaya Kafe is considered Wales’ largest Instagram brunch café; top: Nordik Kitchen will open later this year

Fat Hippo The burger chain is set to replace the site of Bub’s Bar and Kitchen, which announced that it would be closing its doors at the end of January. Mrs Potts Chocolate House This chocolate-filled independent café opened its doors in November 2021 on St Mary Street, offering sweet treats including sharing dipping platters and cookie sandwiches. THE CLUB HOUSE The Club House is coming soon to Cardiff Bay. The new relaxed dining bar/restaurant will be located in the heart of Mermaid Quay. It’ll be in a high-profile, 9,000 sq ft two-storey unit – complete with a balcony area overlooking Tacoma Square and Cardiff Bay – previously occupied by S.A. Brain & Co’s Salt Bar. The Club House will be The New World Trading Company’s second venture in Cardiff, as it also operates The Botanist in the city centre.


ALIUM The Humble Onion restaurant (based in Dinas Powys) has announced a new venture for the Pumphouse in Barry. Alium, a restaurant and speakeasy, is planned to open in March 2022, taking over the space that was previously The Hang Fire Southern Kitchen.

Kindle Cardiff It takes brave owners to open an outdoor-only restaurant with the colder months ahead, but it paid off for Deb and Phill Lewis, who opened their sustainable eatery Kindle in September last year and have been serving customers their ‘fire food’ under the stars ever since. Sibling Back in September, brother and sister Georgie and Will Thomas opened coffee shop and wine bar Sibling, in the Roath area of Cardiff.

The Club House is coming to Mermaid Quay soon; this Club House picured is their sister site in Plymouth

“The balcony will be overlooking Tacoma Square”

“The Ivy Asia will serve theatrical drinks alongside a tantalising menu”

RIGHT: Tidy Kitchen’s first retail store will open at Museum Place; FAR RIGHT: Treats at Mrs Potts Chocolate House

Ffloc At the end of 2021, Ffloc, which specialises in single-origin coffee and iron-grilled cheese sandwiches, opened its doors on Cowbridge Road East. Wyndham Cafeteria Last November saw this new all-day breakfast spot open in Wyndham Arcade replacing longstanding trader, Servini’s. @wyndhamcafeteria TIDY KITCHEN COMPANY This Cardiff-based start-up has expanded from private catering towards a new ‘grab-and-go’ business model which will invite customers to pick up a wide range of luxury, healthy, and freshly assembled meals from Tidy Kitchen’s first retail store. It will open in spring at Museum Place in the city. www.thetidykitchen



The Ivy Asia, Cardiff, will have its own unique interior, but here’s how its gorgeous sister restaurant – The Ivy Asia, St Paul’s – looks, just to whet your imagination…

THE IVY ASIA The Ivy Asia, at St David’s Cardiff, opens this spring. Following the launch of The Ivy Asia in St Paul’s and in Chelsea, the new restaurant and bar, part of The Ivy Collection, will serve theatrical drinks alongside a menu of tantalising Asian dishes.



YET MORE NEW FOODIE HOTSPOTS… • Kurò, fine dining restaurant, Albany Road • Double Zero Pasta, The Hayes, St David’s Centre • Glory Stores, provision shop and private dining, Roath • Bruno’s, Portuguese bakery, Roath • Alex Gooch, artisan bakery, Whitchurch Road • Don Don Yatai, Japanese café, Ely • Bun Headz, a street food joint, Cathays • Barcareto, inspired by the bàcari of Venice, Church Street • Auntie Anne’s, fast food, St David’s Centre • Blend, coffee shop, Grangetown • Ty Melin bakery, Wellfield Road

CUSTOM HOUSE Work to transform the wellknown Custom House in the city centre is under way. The Grade-II building is to be redeveloped into one of the biggest hotel and restaurant schemes ever seen in the city. Back in March 2021 it was announced that Aviva Investors agreed to fund the 20-storey hotel, bar, and restaurant scheme at the site at the bottom of St Mary Street.

Coffi Lab Hot on the heels of opening Coffi Lab, a dog-friendly café, which opened on Llandaff High Street late last year, they’ve confirmed a fifth site will launch in Whitchurch at some point soon.

CORA Chef Lee Skeet – who trained under Marcus Wareing and Gordon Ramsay before becoming head chef of the Michelinstar restaurant Hedone in London – opened his first permanent restaurant, in Cardiff, in January. Called Cora, after his daughter, it follows the success of his 40 Days, 40 Nights pop-up restaurant above Pontcanna’s Milkwood Café, where Cora is now situated. Cora will serve a set tasting menu of seasonal produce to just 12 guests each service.

Waterloo Tea Independent tea specialists Waterloo Tea opened their fifth site, on Whitchurch Road, in September. It’s one of the largest independent importers in the UK and even its food menu features tea infusions (we highly recommend the Welsh Rarebit with Yunnan tea, leeks and smoked cheese).



top: Cora opened in mid-January; middle: Small plates at Kindle; bottom left: Inside The Glory Stores; bottom right: Outside-only dining at Kindle I CARDIFF LIFE I 15

clockwise from top left: Gareth Bale’s

mini golf bar Par 59 will open in spring; NQ64 is an old-school arcade bar; Venue Whitchurch has recently launched; Gin Ne Sais Quoi gin bar is expanding to Cardiff


Flight Club Plans have been revealed for a new ‘social darts’ bar, called Flight Club, on St Mary Street. The concept sees the classic pub game given a “supercharged” modern makeover, combined with food and cocktails. Heidi’s Bier Bar This Scandinavian beer hall is set to open its doors on Mill Lane soon. The three-storey ‘partybar’, which describes its offering as ‘Après-ski all year round’, will be at the site of former nightclub SODA and will be complete with beer towers, music, table dancing ‘Oktoberfest-style’, staff in traditional Tyrolean dresses, and even nail-driving contests. Par 59 Wales and Real Madrid star Gareth Bale’s city centre mini golf bar and restaurant will open in the spring at the site of the former

Liquid / Life nightclub in St Mary Street. The concept is the result of a partnership between Bale’s company Elevens Group LTD and The DEPOT, one of Wales’ most successful, independent entertainment brands. Expect three nine-hole golf courses, a billiards room, plus plenty of food and drink. Venue Whitchurch This live music, street food and cocktail bar opened last September in the Whitchurch area of Cardiff. NQ64 This arcade bar launched on St Mary Street in November, making its debut in Wales following five other launches across the UK. Combining neon graffitisplattered artwork and retro arcade games with local brews and game-themed cocktails, the bar transports its guests back to the early days of video gaming. GIN NE SAIS QUOI The popular Swansea bar and kitchen is set to expand into the centre of Cardiff and will offer late nights and live music alongside food and copious amounts of gin. The branch is set to take over the space that was previously occupied by Carluccio’s on Mill Lane, and looks likely to open this year.


TONIGHT JOSEPHINE Popular, and ever so sassy, cocktail, brunch and events bar Tonight Josephine is set to open in Cardiff in March. It already has four sites, in London and Birmingham – with its burlesque bottomless brunch always selling out – and it now plans to move its glitter and neon into the former Charleston’s Steakhouse premises on Caroline Street, although it’s not yet 100 per cent confirmed.



Neighbourhood Bedrooms On Tudor Street, above the Neighbourhood Kitchen, you’ll find Neighbourhood Bedrooms, a trio of spacious, stylish boutique bedrooms, which opened late last year, offering a unique stay in the capital. The Parkgate Hotel This new luxury hotel, within touching distance of the Principality Stadium, opened in October, redeveloped from two historic civic buildings – the former Head Post Office for Cardiff and the city’s old County Court on Westgate Street. Echoing all the elegance and PARADOR 44 A luxury nine-bed boutique hotel is being created above Asador 44 on Church Street, by the Bar 44 folks; it’s set to open in June.

glamour of its historic setting, this chic new spot to meet, eat and relax is part of the exclusive Celtic Collection. The skyline view of the city from its spa is our favourite part. No. 73 The team behind Coffi Co opened a boutique hotel in the heart of Pontcanna last September. As the venue is a Coffi Co Lounge, it also has a bar and restaurant. Sant Ffraed House Due to open this summer, Sant Ffraed House in the picturesque market town of Abergavenny, will be a new go-to for Welsh weddings. The Grade-II Queen Anne period property has been transformed by the renowned wedding venue specialists The Oldwalls Collection and is set within 14 acres of Welsh countryside.

top: Neighbourhood Bedrooms; middle: Sant Ffraed House;


bottom: The Parkgate Hotel I CARDIFF LIFE I 17


“Corp Market provides a home for some of Cardiff’s favourite independent businesses” above: Corp Market is a hub for indies; below: Shelflife radical bookshop has moved to Corp Market


Floris The Cardiff-based stationery brand joined St David’s Centre last November. Floris matches eco-friendly credentials with aesthetically pleasing designs. Its journals, notebooks, notepads, and even pens are created using sustainable materials – from recycled paper and vegetable oil-based inks, to biodegradable plastics and vegan alternatives to leather.



TEN This art gallery was established in 2010 in the city centre, but was recently relocated to the gallerist’s own home in Roath. Last September saw its public reopening inside a converted Victorian coachhouse at the rear of Cat Gardiner’s family home.

CORP MARKET In Canton, a historic Cardiff pub has reopened after six years in an exciting new format. Formerly known as The Corporation, the establishment has been transformed into a new hub for independent traders. The new Corp Market now provides a home for some of Cardiff’s favourite independent businesses – including Wine Fiend, Little Green Stores, The Barber Room Cardiff, Khione Deli, Twin Made and Shelflife bookshop – with a bar and coffee shop at the centre of the indoor space. The venture, which has been developed with community and sustainability in mind, builds on the success of The Corporation Yard street food market, which the Corp’s doors open onto.

NEW BUSINESSES LOVE LIVE LIGHT HEALING HUB This Pontcanna-based wellness hub, set to open in January, is a self-care sanctuary, offering a variety of alternative holistic, Ayurvedic and scientifically backed healing therapies, from sauna pods and infrared yoga, to cacao ceremonies, pressotherapy massage and guided meditation, as well as a healthy café bar. www.lovelivelight

above: Closet Case stocks global designer brands; left: Believe it or not, this is painted on the back of a designer coat from Closet Case

Geek Retreat This one’s described as a haven made for geeks by geeks. Geek Retreat has landed in Morgan Quarter offering everything from games and superhero movies to anime and sci-fi, along with an in-store café known for its Supershakes.

Closet Case New to Cardiff’s Royal Arcade is Closet Case, a fashion concept store which houses global brands. London, Dubai and Cardiff are its only three sites. See page 35 for more. Adamo Gallery Showcasing a diverse portfolio of original and limited-edition artwork, Adamo Gallery opened back in October at Morgan Arcade. Rituals Making its debut in Wales, wellness and lifestyle brand Rituals launched its flagship new store at St David’s in December. The store features home, bath and body products, designed to turn everyday routines into meaningful rituals. n

Arena Caerdydd will be the biggest event space in the city

ARENA CAERDYDD A hybrid planning application has been submitted for the multi-million-pound regeneration of Atlantic Wharf. Phase one of the masterplan will see the delivery of a new 17,000-capacity arena – the city’s largest – which will bring the world’s best events to Cardiff. It’s anticipated that the construction of the new arena will start in autumn. I CARDIFF LIFE I 19

THE ALB ANY GALLERY EXHIBITION OF POSTERS in association with Goldmark Gallery

14 January - 5 February 2022 Artists’ posters are a great way to own affordable works and some of the leading 20th century artists are represented in this exhibition including Picasso, Chagall, Hockney, Miro, Braque and Matisse. View the exhibition on our website 74b Albany Road, Cardiff, CF24 3RS | T: 029 2048 7158 | E: Gallery open: Tuesday - Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 11am-4pm |


The Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay

ROUND THESE PARTS Local photographer Damian Chidgey’s specialism is using a 360-degree camera to create ‘Tiny Planet’ pictures of Cardiff, presenting a new perspective on the city. Turn over to see more… I CARDIFF LIFE I 21


he defining quality of any busy city is, of course, its people. So, to have seen an apocalypticesque Cardiff, devoid of souls during the first lockdown was as eerie as it was incredible. Areas which usually would be heaving with locals, tourists, art-seekers, shoppers, lunchers and the like were completely cleared out. It’s these abandoned but absorbing scenes, as well as those from later lockdowns, which make up Llandaff-based photographer Damian Chidgey’s ongoing body of work. His ‘Tiny Planet’ series captures popular, yet predominantly peopleless, areas of the city and its surrounds with a 360-degree camera, offering globe-like scenic snapshots. Here we chat.

Tell us about your Tiny Planet series, Damian…

I’m always interested in new creative photographic techniques. I’d seen a few examples of tiny planet photography over the years – occasionally on TV shows like Taskmaster – and I’d always wanted to have a go. So during the first Lockdown of 2020 I had the time to research the subject. I bought a second-hand 360-degree camera and started to take it out on my morning walks. The combination of a city almost empty of people and the surreal nature of the tiny planet effect really inspired me. I was also getting amazing feedback from my friends and family that made me think I was on to something different and special. I’ve been shooting them ever since.


“The surreal nature of the tiny planet effect really inspired me”


And you’ve been into photography for a long time?

Yes, since I was a teenager; I got my first proper camera for my 18th birthday and I then went on to complete a degree in photography in the mid 90s. I mainly specialised in still life and polaroid. But 360-photgraphy now has your heart?

I’m interested in the artistic possibilities of photography rather than a simple documentary approach, in the ability of photography to transform the world we see in to something different. The use of a 360degree camera is probably the most extreme example of this transformative process. It literally allows you to remake the world you see in to a new one. I’m still amazed by being able to photograph two sides of a scene at the same time and then stitch them together in the same image. I’ve also started using the camera to create virtual tours for businesses. Where can we see your work?

I sell calendars, prints and postcards through my website, and Halls of Llandaff also stock my calendar. In the past, my work has been used on a few book covers and national magazines; the most memorable was a book called Ill Effects, about the media, which included an essay by Mark Kermode. What are your favourite photogenic spaces in and near Cardiff?

We are so lucky in Cardiff to have so many beautiful parks and buildings on our doorstep. I live in Llandaff and love the area around the Cathedral; I also really like Pontcanna and The Civic Centre. Cardiff Bay has a great mixture of new and old architecture that really lends itself to my style of photography too. this page, clockwise: Cardiff Library, Castell Coch and Womaby Street

opposite page, clockwise: Roath Park, Cardiff Bay Barrage, and Wales Millennium Centre

For more: / @damianchidgey I CARDIFF LIFE I 23


EVERY HOME HAS ITS OWN E: | @hernandcrabtree



From 22 January onwards

Rag’n’Bone Man will headline DEPOT in the Castle this summer

Always check Covid-19 restrictions and instructions with venues before your visit



THE LION THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE Direct from London, the smash-hit production of C.S. Lewis’ classic is coming to Cardiff. Wales Millennium Centre;


FIREMAN SAM: SAVES THE CIRCUS Join Sam, Penny, Elvis, Station Officer Steele and Norman in an all-singing, dancing, action-packed show. You can become a fire-fighter cadet and then watch the magic of the circus. St David’s Hall;

Until 22 January

7 – 12 February

THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW Ready to thrill you with fun and naughty moments, Richard O’Brien’s legendary rock ‘n’ roll musical, The Rocky Horror Show returns to Cardiff as part of a sell-out worldwide tour, having been seen by over 30 million theatregoers. See page 28 for more. New Theatre;

12 February

BAMBOOZLE Expect magic and mind-reading from world-class magician and entertainer Jasper Blakeley at this over 18s show. The Small Space, Barry;

4 March

WALK LIKE A MAN West End Jersey Boys star Michael Watson has been announced as the new lead of Walk Like a Man, the multi-award-winning fan favourite featuring music from the Four Seasons. Tramshed Cardiff;

12 February

THE KOOKS Celebrating 15 glorious years of Inside In / Inside Out, The Kooks hit the road to perform their iconic debut studio album in its entirety, alongside other career-spanning tracks. Motorpoint Arena;

16 February

FLO & JOAN: SWEET RELEASE Multi-award-winning musical comedy duo (and sisters) Flo & Joan are climbing out of their pits, armed with a piano and percussion section to bring you a brand new show of their critically acclaimed songs and comedy. The Sherrman Theatre;

24 February

DUCKS LTD Propelled by a fondness for boundless jangle-pop, Toronto’s Ducks Ltd is a duo – Tom McGreevy and Evan Lewis – that operates with the dynamism of a full band. Clwb Ifor Bach;


21 February

21 – 23 February

THE TIGER WHO CAME TO TEA Direct from the West End, the Olivier-Award-nominated show, The Tiger Who Came to Tea returns on tour. The doorbell rings just as Sophie and her mummy are sitting down to tea. Who could it possibly be? What they certainly don’t expect to see at the door is a big, stripy tiger! New Theatre;

FESTIVAL WORLD TOUR The festival features the world’s best adventure films, telling highadrenaline stories of extreme journeys into the wildest corners of the planet. Audiences can expect inspirational characters, remote scenery and spectacular cinematography up on the big screen. St David’s Hall;

ART/ EXHIBITIONS Until 5 February

23 – 24 February

ORIGINAL ARTISTS’ EXHIBITION POSTERS Included in this exhibition are posters by Georges Braque, Bernard Buffet, Marc Chagall, Raoul Dufy, David Hockney, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Henry Moore, Pablo Picasso and many more. Artists’ posters have always been popular, and in recent years have become incredibly sought after. Their appealing design, relative scarcity, and their built-in history and contextual background with the exhibition they were attached to have meant these prints continue to entice buyers around the world. The Albany Gallery;


Until 5 February

TOM THUMB Come and join tiny Tom on his very big adventure! Outwitting his parents and an ogre, Tom shows everybody that even though he is small he is still mighty. The Sherman Theatre;

22 February



above: Tiny Tom Thumb is on a very big adventure at The Sherman Theatre; left: Multi-award-winning musical comedy duo Flo & Joan are in town; right: Don’t miss Albany Gallery’s famous-posters exhibition

2 – 4 May

SARAH THWAITES Martin Tinney gallery commences their 30th anniversary year with an exhibition of new work by three landscape painters: Richard Barrett, Daniel Crawshaw and Sarah Thwaites. Martin Tinney Gallery;

Wales-wide project with Chapter as lead venue partner, with a number of other arts venues supporting it. It will be led by Jonny Cotsen, deaf actor/ artist. Chapter Arts;

Until 13 February

1 and 2 April

HUMAN CONDITIONS OF CLAY This exhibition explores how humanity is expressed through the material use of clay artworks that carry a human trace and presence. Chapter Arts;

Until 3 April

ART IN THE BAR The current Art in the Bar exhibition is by Sarah Taylor Silverwood, a visual artist who works with drawing. She makes public art works, animations, books, exhibitions, sculptures and textiles. Love Bugs, at Chapter, is the story of a busy landscape where creatures come together in scenes of intimacy, creativity, craft and industry. Chapter Arts;


HEAR WE ARE This project will focus on further developing a culture within Wales that encompasses the voices of deaf artists, their work, performances and productions. It’s a two-year

LATER IN THE YEAR RHOD GILBERT: THE BOOK OF JOHN It has been a while, but the multiaward-winning Welsh comedian is back, with a brand-new live show. In a seven-year break from stand-up, a lot has happened to Rhod. And just when he thought he’d hit rock bottom, he met a bloke...called John. This show sees Rhod raw, personal and brutally honest; no more lies, no more nonsense. Wales Millennium Centre;

24 April

BLONDIE One of the most influential bands to emerge from the NY punk scene are touring for the first time in four years. Iconic front woman and song writer Debbie Harry, guitarist and conceptual mastermind Chris Stein, and powerhouse drummer Clem Burke, get back on the road, along with long standing band mates bassist Leigh Foxx, guitarist Tommy Kessler and keyboardist Matt Katz-Bohen. Motorpoint Arena;

Saturday night at DEPOT in the Castle is always followed by a full day of family-friendly fun on the Sunday, making for an epic weekend of good music, good food & good times. Cardiff Castle;

LITTLE MIX – CONFETTI TOUR Pop superstars Little Mix will tour their latest incredible album, Confetti, and will be singing their greatest hits. Motorpoint Arena;

23 November

26 – 28 May

ED SHEERAN Ed returns to Principality Stadium for three gigs as part of his + – = ÷ x tour. Fans will get to see him perform an array of tracks off his upcoming album live for the first time. Principality Stadium;

7 July – 27 August

THE LION KING Set against the majesty of the Serengeti Plains and to the evocative rhythms of Africa, Disney’s The Lion King is a worldwide theatrical phenomenon. It has been experienced by 100 million people globally and is still drawing sell-out crowds at London’s Lyceum Theatre in its 20th year. Wales Millennium Centre;

9 – 10 July

DEPOT IN THE CASTLE One of Britain’s most successful artists of the past decade, Rag ’n’ Bone Man, whose first hit single Human was released in 2016, will headline a Saturday night set at Cardiff Castle this summer. The annual, two-day festival DEPOT in the Castle, based in the iconic surroundings of the castle grounds, has seen previous headliners such as Kaiser Chiefs, Tom Grennan, Ella Eyre, Clean Bandit and The Fratellis. A sell-out

PETE TONG IBIZA CLASSICS Global dance music legend Pete Tong has announced the return of Ibiza Classics with a new show for 2022. With long-time collaborator and conductor Jules Buckley, and The Heritage Orchestra plus a whole host of special guest DJs and vocalists, Ibiza Classics has firmly cemented itself as part of the live music calendar becoming the world’s most iconic classical electronic music event. Motorpoint Arena;

31 March 2022

THE CARDIFF LIFE AWARDS We cannot wait to invite hundreds of you back to our extra-glam red-carpet extravaganza. Nominations (which are free to submit!) are open until 10 February on our website, and there are sponsorship opportunities ready to be snapped up. To find out more about sponsorships, contact: or For more, see page 65. City Hall; I CARDIFF LIFE I 27

Ore Oduba plays squeaky-clean Brad Majors on stage

In another dimension, with voyeuristic intention: The Rocky Horror Show comes to Cardiff’s New Theatre in February. Here we chat with one of its stars, Ore Oduba By Simon Button and Lisa Evans



“We’re all just waiting to be unleashed”


above: Ore with on-stage fiancée Haley Flaherty; left: Stephen Webb as Frank-N-Furter

castle proves to be an inhibition-shedding experience? “I think there’s a lot of Brad in me and in a lot of people,” he says. “It’s the idea of being kind of caged animals, because we all have a lot of reservations and inhibitions and things we hold back. We’re just waiting to be unleashed.” Doing theatre feels like things have come full circle for Ore, since one of his proudest moments was when at age 13 he won the school drama prize for his performance in the musical Seven Golden Dragons. “At secondary school I did every production under the sun,” he says. “It was only when I went to university that I turned my attention to broadcasting, but Strictly reminded me ‘Oh my gosh, I love being on stage’. “On the surface doing musical theatre now might seem like a big change-up but when I look back to where I felt happiest and most comfortable when I was younger it was always on stage. In many ways it’s kind of what I always wanted to do. After Grease and Curtains, Rocky Horror is another step up in my so-far short musical theatre career and a lovely chance for me to do something liberating, fun and a little bit different. Since it premiered in 1973 at The Royal Court’s Theatre Upstairs, the show has grown into a worldwide phenomenon and has been seen by over 30 million people worldwide who turn up for what is the ultimate guaranteed party. It has always been on Ore’s radar, “It’s one of those things you grow up knowing about, and we did The Time Warp at every school disco or wedding. “It’s pure escapism. You leave your troubles at the door and you’re taken into a world that’s nothing like the real one. In addition to iconic music and brilliant dance numbers, it’s just such a feel-good show.” The Rocky Horror Show plays Cardiff’s New Theatre between 7 – 12 February; / I CARDIFF LIFE I 29



uess the show: its audience members don fishnets, stilettos, suspenders and red lipstick. That’s it. You don’t need any more clues; you already know it’s The Rocky Horror Show. Richard O’Brien’s cult musical phenomenon – which celebrates its 50th anniversary next year – is on its way to Cardiff’s New Theatre in February. Do you have your participation props at the ready? Are your memorised vocals on point? Have you limbered up for the dance routines? Ore Oduba, possessor of the coveted Strictly glitterball trophy, certainly has his dancing shoes at the ready to play squeaky-clean Brad Majors on stage. In the risqué and riotously funny show, prim and proper Brad and his fiancée, Janet Weiss, inadvertently cross paths with mad scientist Frank-NFurter and his bunch of outrageous followers. Cue fun, frolics, frocks and frivolity, classic songs like The Time Warp and Sweet Transvestite, and Ore in various states of undress. “Theatregoers are gagging for a great night out,” says the jiving champion. “They’re desperate and clawing at the walls, and this show is the perfect remedy to everything we’ve all been through. People want to laugh and be uplifted and to be able to forget about everything for a couple of hours. It’s all about ‘leave your inhibitions at the door – we haven’t got time for that’.” He was quick to say yes when the offer to play Brad came in, although he did consult with his wife first. “It’s such an iconic show and so wellloved,” he says, “but I thought ‘I wonder what my wife is going to say about audiences seeing me in stockings’. I needn’t have worried because what I’d forgotten is that Rocky Horror is one of her and her family’s favourite shows of all time. She was beside herself. She also started chuckling at the idea of me being on stage in just my briefs for the early part of the show, then coming out later in stockings and high heels.” Can he relate to the nerdy character whose visit to Frank-N-Furter’s


ONE TO ONE present – all I wanted was to be outside, and the classroom was torture. I was a daydreamer, and I always knew I was never going to work in an office. I’d see the scallop divers, and I’d think: that’s a really good way to spend your working life. And David Attenborough was a huge inspiration to you, wasn’t he? I grew up in the late 70s and 80s, and Attenborough’s documentaries were big on the telly; I devoured them. I thought my admiration for him could go no higher, but then I met him, and it soared even more.

Gordon Buchanan’s 30 Years in the Wild anniversary tour is coming to Cardiff


One of the most prominent wildlife presenters and filmmakers working today, Gordon Buchanan’s 30 Years in the Wild anniversary tour is coming to Cardiff in February. Here he tells us about his meeting with a wolf pack, his close call with tigers, and worrying about the state of the world...


ordon Buchanan’s journey is a remarkable story to tell. Having produced some of the most popular wildlife programmes on the BBC, we have been able to see his passion for the animal kingdom and the unique ability he has for presenting hidden creature-filled worlds to audiences. For the first time, Gordon will

be taking a look back at his 30 years working both behind and in front of the camera, with his month-long tour stopping at Cardiff’s St David’s Hall. This will be a rare opportunity to discover his landmark stories, including the life-or-death variety. Has there always been adventure in your heart, Gordon? School didn’t do it for me; academically, I wasn’t really

The story behind you getting into making nature films is rather bonkers, isn’t it… Yes, I went right in at the deep end. I was 17, and working in a restaurant at weekends to earn a bit of money, and the husband of the owner was a cameraman. He was going to Sierra Leone for 18 months to make a film about the animals in the Gola Rainforest, and he asked me if I wanted to come along as his assistant. I knew nothing about what it involved, and I had no idea really what I was getting into, but I knew it was the sort of life I wanted, and I never wavered from that belief. So having never been abroad – or even on a plane – there I was a month after leaving school, setting off for a year and a half on the other side of the world.

in Canada; it’s really remote, there are no people there. I got to meet a pack of wolves who had no preconceptions whatsoever about humans. Another incredible moment for me was seeing polar bear cubs emerge into the world for the first time. They’d been in their winter den, under the snow, for the first four months of their lives, and I was there to see them coming out into the daylight. Another amazing time was the two years I spent living in Brazil, travelling up the Amazon by boat. I remember the incredible sense of awe at being in the last great wilderness on the planet. You don’t shy away from putting yourself in harm’s way; have you ever found yourself in life-or-death situations? I’ve been chased by bears, tigers and elephants – but not all at the same time – and, let me tell you, that’s when you discover how fast you really can run.

“I’ve been chased by bears, tigers and elephants – but not all at the same time”

That’s intense! How was it? While it was definitely the best break I ever had, those 18 months were tough going. I was so young, and being so far from home was hard. But I knew it was the way forward, I knew it was an incredible opportunity, and I knew I’d be able to build on it and move into the life I’d love. And you certainly grabbed that life by the horns. Tell us, what are your best moments so far? A few years ago I was working with Arctic wolves on Ellesmere Island

We wouldn’t want to find out! And you often face these dangerous situations while alone in remote locations… Yes, sometimes it’s me completely on my own; when you’re trying to witness something that requires great sensitivity, that’s the best way to do it. How have wild landscapes changed over the years you’ve been watching them? Thirty years ago, we simply didn’t realise the impact human beings were having on wildlife. Now we understand that so much better, and I’m acutely aware of it in every way – from my own carbon footprint to changes that need to be made by governments across the globe. We’re losing animals before we even knew their species existed – that’s a tragedy. See Gordon at St David’s Hall Cardiff on 6 February; I CARDIFF LIFE I 31


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


ith everything that’s been going on, that ‘limbo’ feeling you only really get in the days after Christmas and before New Year, where you don’t know what day it is, has gone on a little longer than usual this year. Anybody feeling the same? We have, however, kept as busy as ever! At the end of our last Cardiff Life column, we promised to catch everyone up on both our Panto debut, and our Dragged To Church event. So here goes. Having been their ambassadors for so long, we were absolutely honoured to have starred in Kinetic School of Performing Arts’ first ever pantomime! It was the classic Cinderella with a twist, well several twists actually. We of course were the evil (refusing to be called ugly) step sisters, but we cameoed it as Eddy and Patsy from Ab Fab – who we are often compared to due to our regular antics around Cardiff; it seemed fitting.

The whole cast and crew worked so hard and we were lucky to have four sold-out shows over two days at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. Word of advice, though, practice, practice, practice if you’re going to be walking in seven-inch heeled boots! Dragged To Church 4 ‘Goodness Sake’, was our fourth annual Christmas fundraiser with a difference in December. It was a phenomenal success. The aim of the evening was to raise essential repair funds for St Andrew’s URC in Roath. This year we had more Drag Queens than ever, and even a Drag King [shout out to Justin Drag]. There were also special deliveries from the equalities minister and Stifyn Parri. Both BBC’s The One Show and ITV Tonight were in attendance filming the event and collated wonderful segments for their shows, which further exposed the wonderful efforts of the church and its fundraising through us. We raised £5,000 that night, the most in one event we’ve ever raised, and it continues online as always. In

Dragged to Church raised £5,000 for St Andrew’s URC in Roath

“Dragged To Church was a phenomenal success”

Wyburn & Wayne’s #FreshStart appeal

Our favourite duo as the evil step sisters in Cinderella

2018, the show even won Event of the Year at the Cardiff Life Awards! Thank you as always for everyone’s support, and with the news of Dragged to Church being made into a movie by Keeping Faith actress Eve Myles, it can only grow! At the church, we also held several events under the restrictions at the time, including a Caribbean night with Bar Dros Dro and famous chef Earl’s Kitchen, and also a musical evening with Leighton Rafferty and friends – a percentage of funds going towards the church fund. Boxing Day also saw us host our annual festive curry for those alone or at a loose end at the time of year. With more people attending than ever, it’s clear there’s a need to speak and reach out to those alone. January means one thing, a new beginning; therefore, we launched, for the second year running, our #FreshStart appeal where people can buy essential toiletries off our Amazon wish list, send them directly to us, and we package them

into parcels for the wards that need them in the hospitals. As Wayne works for the NHS, he knows first-hand how tough it can be – with lonely patients, self care, and also the restrictions imprinting on family visits. These #FreshStart items go a long way; everyone deserves these items and we know your donations make a huge difference to both the mental and physical wellbeing of the people that need them. We are so excited for 2022; we have major plans for our Coffee Court at St Andrew’s, our show on Radio Cardiff, and our column here with Cardiff Life. Happy New Year, all! About our columnists: Nathan Wyburn is a pop culture artist who uses nontraditional mediums such as Marmite, beans, soil and fake tan; and Wayne Courtney is a healthcare support worker at University Hospital of Wales. They are also Radio Cardiff DJs with their own show, and they run St Andrew’s Coffee Court. Follow them on social: @wyburnandwayne / @wyburnwayne I CARDIFF LIFE I 33

Try something new


Meet some new people

TABLE TENNIS IS A SPORT FOR EVERYONE! Cardiff City Community Table Tennis Club is Cardiff’s only dedicated full-time Club for players of all ages and standards who want to learn, play and complete in a social and friendly environment.

The Coaching team, headed by Nathan Thomas (Level 3 Coach), offer individual and group sessions that cover the full spectrum of ages and abilities, plus Pay as You Play tables for hire. They know how important it is to have fun, as well as improve!

All players - beginners & advanced, disabled & nondisabled, older & younger are welcome. Whatever your Table Tennis ambitions are, our Coaches will help you realize them.

Snacks and drinks available | Free parking After school sessions available | Competition opportunities THE TEAM AT CCCTTC LOOK FORWARD TO WELCOMING YOU TO THE CLUB! To book and pay for a session please email: Want some more information? Visit:


BACK TO BACK New to Cardiff’s Royal Arcade is Closet Case, a fashion concept store which houses global brands from European, Japanese and Asian designers. The business started in Soho, London, around 25 years ago; then, five years ago, it expanded to Dubai. And in late 2021 it came to our fair city. London, Dubai and Cardiff are its only three sites. “When Closet Case came to Dubai, I was working there at the time, as a designer with personal clients, and I was introduced to the company director, Bobby Chehrazi,” says Jacob Salley, fashion director. “I introduced

him to the idea of Cardiff as a ‘sleeping giant’ and mentioned how the city had been calling out for something in the direction of his store and brand mix. With Bobby’s extensive knowledge in the industry and my knowledge of fashion and Cardiff, we decided it would be a good relationship to open a store in the city. “Our customers are generally those looking for something different and special from designers such as Rick Owens, Mastermind, Juun J, Acne Studios, Yohji Yamamoto, Undercover and Issey Miyake.

We will introduce womenswear in the upcoming seasons. “The Undercover coats [pictured] are in collaboration with painter Markus Alessio. Every season they chose a new artist; the last collaborative collection was funnily enough inspired by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas; we have some archival pieces available.” Undercover painterly print coats, from £1,008.93, from Closet Case, Royal Arcade, Cardiff; I CARDIFF LIFE I 35


Lisvane-based fashion brand Out of Sync talks sustainability, confidence, and running a family business By Emily Ball Photography by Digichemistry Studio

The Out of Sync trio: sisters Meg and Kate with mum Jackie


FASHION Out of Sync produces tailored feminine pieces


ere we chat to the Lewises, the family behind Cardiff-based luxury, sustainable womenswear brand Out of Sync. At their studio in Lisvane, sisters Meg and Kate, alongside their mum Jackie, create limited-edition collections with investment pieces designed to express individuality. Meg tells us more…

How would you describe the style of Out of Sync? It’s quite an alternative feminine style. None of the three of us are ultra-feminine; we don’t really go towards floral dresses, but we love tailored, darker fabrics – still feminine, but in a different way. Our artistic vision is to ensure that you stand out from the crowd. When designing, who do you imagine wearing your clothes? We always picture someone who’s really confident, who’s independent – a woman who lives freely but not neglectfully. What I mean by that is she cares about style, but also the origin behind the clothes. Is the fashion industry doing enough to be sustainable? Sustainable fashion just needs to be the new norm. Customers should expect it, and it’s how brands should operate. At the start, we actually found it really hard to find sustainable fabrics, so I hope the fashion industry can develop, because, at the beginning, sustainable fabrics were very basic. It’s just got to be something that’s non-negotiable, for both consumers and companies.

“We design for confident, independent women who live freely but not neglectfully”

In what way is Out of Sync a conscious fashion brand? We believe that the future of fashion is in sustainable fabrics, good quality craftsmanship and local, ethical manufacturing. We use end-of-roll fabrics that would normally end up in landfill when producing our collections. This also means that our collections are limited in size, reducing the chances of someone else wearing the same outfit as you. Any smaller remnants are used to produce scrunchies, and further smaller offcuts are donated to art schools. We are aiming for complete sustainability and get one step closer with each collection we create. Our future goals include owning our own factory in Wales, providing training and creating local employment opportunities.

What’s it like being in business with your family? We count ourselves very lucky to be able to work as a family. We bring all our individual ideas together, which kind of makes Out of Sync, because we’re all from different generations and we’re quite different from each other. When we produce something, we try to find a happy medium for all three of us, and so we hope a lot of people can relate to the clothes because three different perspectives go into the designs. One of your new collections is called Interrupted. What can you tell us? We had a lot of fun designing this through lockdown. The reason it’s called Interrupted is that we were just going along our path of normal life and then out of nowhere a pandemic hit. We were inspired by this change in direction, so the fabric changes in direction. We used eyelets to twist and then we put in details like poppers, so you see the line of the garment going straight and then it’s suddenly interrupted. For more: I CARDIFF LIFE I 37

VINTAGE RECLINING NUDE PRINT, FROM £10 By Cardiff artist Laura Hickman Sell. From Cynefn;

MEN’S STAG T-SHIRT, £40 For he’s a jolly good...fallow. From Illustrate, Morgan Arcade, Cardiff;

CALLA LILY ROSE STUDS, £109 Oh so delicate and pretty. From Emma-Kate Jewellery, Cardiff;


Yes, a bunch of roses from the petrol station would do, but why not think outside the chocolate box this year? Here are some of our favourite Valentine’s gift ideas you can pick up locally...

BARRY ISLAND PINK GIN, £39.95 Infused with pink grapefruit, rosemary, raspberries and peppercorns. From Barry Island Spirits Co, Barry; www.barryisland

ROSE PETAL BATH BOMB, £5.50 Tub life. From Authentic House, Splott;

ROUGH RUBY RING, £890 A unisex Justin Duance design. From Anne Morgan Jewellery, Glebe Street, Penarth;

SELF LOVE VALENTINE’S GIFT BOX, £17.95 Filled with body scrub, lip scrub and a glittery bath bomb. From Mallows Beauty, St David’s Cardiff;


HANDBAG, £14.95 A two-in-one clutch and cross-body. From Zia Boutique, Mermaid Quay;


BOUQUETS, FROM £50 Hand-tied designs in the Forbesfield house style. From Forbesfield, High Street, Barry;

FABERGÉ HEART SURPRISE PENDANT, £9,600 This concealed-heart Heritage pendant is a masterpiece of delicate art. From Laings, St David's, Cardiff;

SHOWER ESSENTIALS GIFT SET, £28 A pomegranate trio of body wash, shampoo and conditioner. From Cole & Co, Whitchurch Road;

WOMEN’S DIAMONDSET LEATHER WATCH, £720 This gift shouts ‘I love you big time’ (not literally). From Clogau, St David’s, Cardiff;

CHOC ON CHOC’S CHOCOLATE PROSECCO AND STRAWBERRIES, £16.99 Just don’t try to drink the solid chocolate bubbly, OK? From Hamptons, Ludlow Lane, Penarth;

THE POSITIVE PLANNER WELLNESS JOURNAL, £21 Featuring daily writing and wellness activities. From Sadler Jones, Barry;

GATITO LOCO, RIOJA, £12 Fresh and lively, with a juicy, smooth finish. From Glory Stores, Upper Kincraig Street, Cardiff;

ROLL TICKETS, £1 One kiss per token, to be handed out at will. From Flying Tiger Copenhagen, St David’s; I CARDIFF LIFE I 39

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

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

Newport: Unit 1 & 2 East Market Street, Newport, NP20 2AY E-mail: Phone: 01633 927927


CREMA CATALANA TART Bar 44 Cardiff’s Owen and Tom Morgan share a sweet recipe from their new book, Tapas y Copas

Serves 10–12 Ingredients 800g double cream Zest and juice of 3 oranges 1 cinnamon stick 2 tbsp icing sugar 300g egg yolks (about 15 in total) 250g caster sugar For the sweet pastry 700g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing 300g icing sugar 160g egg yolks (about 8 in total), saving the whites to make chewy meringues or a classic sour cocktail 1kg plain flour, plus extra for dusting Method First make the pastry. Beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl until smooth and almost white. Gradually add the egg yolks and

then the flour. It is important not to overmix; just mix until the flour is combined and a dough forms. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas mark 4. Grease a 25–30cm loose-bottomed tart tin with some softened butter, then line it with baking parchment. Lightly flour a surface, then roll out the pastry until it’s the same thickness as a 50p. Use it to line the prepared tin, then trim off the excess with a knife. Wrap the leftover pastry in cling film and freeze for another day. Line the pastry case with a sheet of crumpled baking parchment (crumpling makes it easier to fit), then fill it with dried rice or beans. Blind-bake for 20–25 minutes, until golden brown. Lift out the parchment and rice, then brush the pastry case with the beaten egg to seal it. Return it to the oven for 2–3 minutes, then set aside. To make the filling, put the cream, orange zest

and cinnamon stick into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn the heat off and set aside while you place the icing sugar and orange juice in a separate pan, bring them to the boil, then reduce to a syrup that coats the back of a spoon. Stir this into the cream mixture and allow to infuse for an hour. Place the egg yolks and caster sugar in a bowl and whisk well. Pour this over the infused cream mixture, then remove the cinnamon stick and mix well. Preheat the oven to 110°C/90°C Fan/Gas mark 1⁄4. Sit the pastry case, still in its tin, on a baking sheet. Pour in the cream mixture, then transfer to the oven. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave to cool inside it with the door open. I CARDIFF LIFE I 41


FEELING THIRSTY? Independent, sustainable wine merchants Wine Fiend have now moved into a bigger unit at the Corp Market in Canton. Their first wine-tasting event of 2022, focusing on Italian wines (with nibbles from Khione Sicilian Deli) takes place on 29 January.

clockwise from top left: Sustainable

wines from Wine Fiend; Cora is above Milkwood; The Humble Onion have announced a new venture; Exotic delights from Rosa’s Thai Cafe; Kafe Makasih has taken over the former Early Bird Café site in Woodville Road



Our columnist, good food fanatic, local blogger and indie foodie PR guru JANE COOK has her finger on the pulse when it comes to what’s new and tasty in the city…

saw my first snowdrop this week, poking through the dead leaves in the corner of my neighbour’s garden. I can’t tell you how happy it made me. Those first tentative signs of new life always make me feel so excited for the year ahead. And if, like me, you plan to eat and drink lots this year, there’s a lot to look forward to. First up, Lee Skeet’s Cora is now officially open. This teeny 12-cover restaurant, situated above Milkwood in Pontcanna, is now a permanent fixture following on from the success of Lee’s ’40 days and 40 nights’ pop-up last year. Chef Lee – who has previously cooked with big name chefs – has stated his ambition to earn the city’s first Michelin Star. Next up, the owners of popular indie restaurant The Humble Onion have announced a new venture for the Pumphouse in Barry (previously occupied by The Hang Fire Southern Kitchen). Chef Antonio Simone’s

new seasonal restaurant and speakeasy, called Alium, is planned to open in March 2022. British Street Food Award winners Makisah have also taken on a new challenge and will be taking over the former Early Bird Café site in Woodville Road. With plans to offer a Malaysian twist on daytime brunches and evening bistro meals, you can keep up with the opening plans at @makasihstreetfood. And finally, Thai food is really having a moment in the city centre – with popular Thai tapas chain Giggling Squid confirming plans to join the recently opened Busaba Eathai (in the Brewery Quarter) and the independent Malai Thai (on Caroline Street). Rosa’s Thai Café will also be opening its first Welsh outpost on Church Street in the coming weeks. Tasty! For more: | @janechicomendes I CARDIFF LIFE I 43



Brought to you by the makers of your city Property Awards BATH PROPERTY AWARDS


Please email to find out more on how you can get involved




Should you stay or should you go? On these pages, you’ll see the ‘renovate or relocate’ debate unfurl between two sides: in the red corner we have the property agents, and in the blue corner are the interior transformers. Is it prime time to move, or should you stay put and improve? Here we let the experts battle it out… Dining in style: furniture by BoConcept I CARDIFF LIFE I 45


rom simply needing more space to wanting a more modern home, the ‘move or improve’ quandary is one we all have to face. Which side do you land on? Would you rather stay put and make the most of what you have? Or start fresh in one of Cardiff’s trendiest neighbourhoods?


If you don’t feel like budging from your home, but, at the same time, you’re not entirely happy with it, here home renovation whizzes tell us how to fall back in love with our spaces and how to revamp them in ways that work for our unique lifestyles....

Fresh perspective

POV: you’re in sitting in your house, you love the area, there are great schools close by, and it’s handy for commuting, but the downsides are that the cramped kitchen is poorly thought out, there’s no storage anywhere for the muddy football kits for the kids, and the freestanding bedroom cupboards are all bursting at the seams. Moving to a bigger house suddenly seems the easier solution, but maybe just rethinking the space you have, planning out better storage, or turning that formal dining room that you ‘keep for best’ into a home office, will give you exactly the space you need and save you the expense and trauma of moving. The above is how Ceri Hill, design director at Chalkhouse Kitchens on Bessemer Close, sees it. “It’s never easy to visualise your own home objectively, so asking a professional to come in and review the space with a fresh eye will always lead to options that you would never have considered,” she says. “It may be as simple as adding beautifully fitted cupboards in the hallway, with space for shoes, rucksacks and coats, all neatly hidden out of sight, or taking down an internal wall to open up your kitchen. When a client tells us, ‘There’s nothing much we can do about the layout’, it’s the challenge we thrive on!”

above: A 3D visualisation of one of Di Oro Interiors’ luxury renovations;

right: Contemporary Danish furniture from BoConcept at St David’s Centre


PROPERTY Space out

People today seem obsessed with having more space when, really, we often just have too much ‘stuff’ and aren’t making the best use of the room we already have; that’s Kate Fryer’s opinion, anyway. Kate is the founder of Khaya Studio, based in Roath Park, which specialises in redesigning the interiors of properties to make them work for the owners’ unique lifestyles. “We reimagine the layout of the house and rearrange furniture to improve flow and correct balance,” she says. “As soon as I walk into a space I can instantly feel if it is unbalanced or if the proportions of the room aren’t working. Using colour, light and texture we are able to transform the way homes feel. “Think out of the box about what you can do to improve the look and functionality of your property. Don’t assume that an extension will necessarily fix all your problems – think about changing the layout within the house or changing the uses of the rooms; consider moving walls and doors to improve the flow of the house or to bring more natural light in. Clever storage solutions can make a huge difference, too – include full-height cupboards in your kitchen, use beds with drawer storage, and maximise the space under your stairs.”

Money, money money

“Moving home comes with a magnitude of extra costs that aren’t budgeted for,” says Cassie Jones, brand manager at Sigma 3 Kitchens, Cardiff, who is all for improving your own abode instead of abandoning it for a huge fee.“Staying where you are allows you to remain in the neighbourhood that you love, within the grounds you have already built your life, and create the next chapter within the same four walls. Esther Milardi, design director at Di Oro Interiors, in Lisvane, agrees, adding, “As house prices continue to soar, moving is a very expensive luxury. Instead of squandering your money on an inflated house price, stamp duty, valuation fees, solicitors, estate agents and removal costs, it might be wiser to invest your money to increase the value of your asset. Save yourself the stress of packing, and focus on the exhilarating joy that comes when the renovation, done to your specifications, has taken place! “We improve homes by reconfiguring the layout, creating more spacious areas and ingenious storage solutions,” she continues. “We are experts at designing extensions that allow seamless transitions between old and new. Our clients fall back in love with their homes and are amazed at the return for their investment.”

“When a client tells us ‘There’s nothing much we can do about the layout’, it’s the challenge we thrive on!” I CARDIFF LIFE I 47

above: Keep it pure and simple with styling from BoConcept; right: A sleek home cinema design, by Di Oro Interiors

Pump up the value

The best advantage for staying put is being able to increase the value of your home while you’re living in it, thinks Lianne Okotie, sales manager at BoConcept, a contemporary Danish design furniture showroom based in St David’s Centre. “Take your time on renovating your home and make the space work for you,” she says. “The great thing about staying where you are is you won’t have any moving pressures, and you won’t have to pack up your entire life. “Remember, when moving, you are often exchanging problems as well as houses,” she says. “What bugs you about your home may be fixed, but you may encounter more unforeseen irritations if you move.” Cassie Jones, of Sigma 3 Kitchens, puts forward her opinion on adding value to your home, saying, “While planning a kitchen remodel is not a quick or easy task, the benefits delivered to your home can vastly outweigh the cost,” she says. “Making a list of tasks that happen in your kitchen, or ones you wish to happen, allows you to understand what is achievable within your home’s footprint. “Smart design can do wonders for making a house feel bigger and function better,” she adds. “The difference between a nice kitchen and a dream kitchen is a lot to do with clever planning and understanding how the space needs to work. We make light work of such a daunting task.”



A recent residential project by Glen Thomas Architecture in Penylan

Building on potential

In the view of Glen Thomas, at Glen Thomas Architecture (GTA) in Penylan, the decision on whether to move or stay depends entirely on the ‘potential’ of your home and the surrounding land. “GTA offers a free consultation to establish any opportunities for development and we sometimes undertake a feasibility study to assist homeowners in this decision,” he says. “Many period properties in Cardiff have had several lean-to add-ons for toilets, utility rooms or PVC conservatories to the rear of the ground floor over the years. Our ‘rationalisation’ approach is always to demolish these and relocate the utility functioning rooms into the central zone of the house, which can enable open-plan living. “A recent project we did [pictured above] saw the kitchen/diner/ lounge situated to the rear, utilising the full width of the property facing the garden, with full-height sliding glass doors. Additional glass doors through the internal rooms ensured an abundance of daylight would enter the core of the house. This transformed the previous network of small dark rooms, into larger, light-filled, visually connecting rooms. From the inside, the clients achieved a larger and more contemporary, functional house, without the need to move.”

“Smart design can do wonders for making a house feel bigger and function better” I CARDIFF LIFE I 49



Onto the second part of the debate: why move house? And why is now the best time? Here, local property agents share their insider experience and shine a spotlight on the trendiest areas in the city to live...

“Cardiff is projected to be one of the UK’s fastest growing cities over the next 20 years, and it comes as no surprise,” says Mike Baillie at Hern & Crabtree Cardiff. “Many new developments, businesses, and booming hospitality hang-outs are making their way into the Welsh capital, and trendy local suburbs boast the best of both worlds, being close to the city centre while maintaining a rural charm. As Cardiff continues to grow, the suburbs will only increase in value. They’re fantastic places to settle down and invest in.”

Early birds

“Staying put is just so last year, quite literally,” says Mike Baillie, director at Hern & Crabtree Cardiff. “January: the month of New Year’s resolutions, lifestyle changes, and a nationwide influx of gym memberships. It’s also the perfect month to get your house on the market and begin the moving process. “Capitalise on eager buyers looking to kickstart the new year with ambitious changes; take advantage of hungry agents that are fully rested after the festive season; and beat the fierce spring-time competition, by moving at the start of the year. This will help you stand out from the crowd; it’s a less-saturated time of year for the housing market, where supply is low but the demand for change is high.”


“Now is a great time to lock into a long-term mortgage while rates are at a historic low,” says James Thomas, associate director in residential sales for Savills Cardiff. “We are in an upward-moving market still and values in Wales are predicted to grow by 18.2 per cent over the next five years – well above the UK average – so getting in at this stage could mean you benefit from positive capital growth.” “One of the benefits of buying a new home is that prices are fixed,” adds Claire Turner, head of new homes for Savills Cardiff. “In the current market, which has been driven by high demand and considerable competition, this may be a particular comfort. There is also a level of ease and practicality that many appreciate, in terms of the buying process, and the home itself, which tends to be lower maintenance and with the security of a 10-year warranty. And, given recent concern over climate change and energy costs, the efficiency of a new-build is quite compelling.”



Market values

above: Cathedral Gardens, Pontcanna – first occupations spring/ summer;

left: New community Plasdwr, north west Cardiff, will eventually see the development of up to 7,000 new homes

“It’s the perfect month to get your house on the market” PLASDWR

“For first-time buyers, newer communities, such as Plasdwr, are well worth exploring,” says Claire Turner at Savills Cardiff. “Plasdwr is a new community being created in north west Cardiff and will eventually see the development of up to 7,000 new homes, as well as shops, offices, four schools, pubs, restaurants, health centres and a leisure centre. Known as Cardiff’s ‘garden city for the 21st century’, the new development will sit within acres of green space, providing a healthy, semi-rural setting. The first developments are starting to take shape with a number being ready to move into.”

Hot property

If the ‘move’ argument has swayed you, here are the top areas to consider relocating to… • “Some of Cardiff’s most sought-after suburbs include Llandaff, Pontcanna, Lisvane, and Penylan,” says Mike at Hern & Crabtree. “These quieter affluent areas remain very close to the city centre but still have their own communities with great schools, independent restaurants, and fantastic outdoor recreational spaces. • “The fringes of the city centre, Pontcanna and Llandaff are great places to move into and remain very popular,” agrees James Thomas at Savills. “Schooling is an important consideration for families and, as such, the areas surrounding the most popular high schools have seen huge demand and strong price growth, which is set to continue. Cyncoed, Penylan, Lisvane, Whitchurch and Rhiwbina are some of the key suburbs where there is good-quality housing and excellent school catchments.” • “Pontcanna has seen a great deal of activity recently,” adds Claire Turner at Savills. “A perennially popular place to live, it has benefitted from several high-quality new developments offering apartments and townhouses.” n So who do you think wins the ‘move or improve’ debate on these pages? Will you stay or will you go? Whatever your decision, do it boldly! I CARDIFF LIFE I 51





Never miss an issue of Cardiff Life – get your own copy posted to you on the Friday the magazine comes out Get yours for £30 for UK subscriptions (17 issues)



Jim Turner and Richie Dav

New City Sound Natalie Pemberton, (suave) guest, Natalia Green and Claire Reape

Charlotte Franks, Hannah Evans, Sophie Harries, Hannah James, Kylie Glassar and Olivia Chapman Cherelle Kerr


Aimee Jay Sax

One of the latest ClubBrunch events in Cardiff was held at The Botanist to celebrate Beaujolais Day 2021. The over-21s ‘ultimate bottomless brunch’ event featured free-flowing tipples along with a meal, DJ, and live entertainment. ClubBrunch's Botanist events are monthly, with larger-scale events taking place at other local venues such as Portland House. Photos by Yony photography

Connor Walll, Lucy Jamieson, Thomas Parry, Terrence Turner, Emma Turner, Stephanie Turner, Shakira Obaid, Natalie Williams, Dale Williams and Sam Mathias

Harrison Cole and Gavin Crothers I CARDIFF LIFE I 53

Leaving with quality haircare gifts

Salon owners Tristan and Giovanna McCarthy with Beverly and James Clark Artistic stylist Jacqui with her happy client

Top tips were shared


Yume Hair & Beauty Salons held two special events in late 2021. The first, (pictured on the top half of this page) was a launch party for Yume’s newest salon, on Senghenydd Road in Cathays, where guests shared bubbly and ate nibbles from The Bagel Place while receiving complimentary hair styling and goodies, including products from the sustainable natural beauty brand Davines. Their second event (pictured on the bottom half of this page) was Yume’s birthday party, celebrating the 15-year anniversary of their business, located in Fidlas Road, Rhydypenau. Their long-standing clients, many of them who have been visiting Yume for over a decade, were treated to a celebratory bash where they were able to relax and try out products, and then left with plenty of gifts. Happy 15th anniversary!

Clients relaxed and tried out products

Photos by Aleksandra Dul

Joanne Smith


Stylist Lauren was handing the goodies out to customers


Heather Carter and Nathan Pithers

THE COSMETICS HUB At the end of 2021, The Cosmetics Hub, on Clarendon Road, Cardiff, held its launch party. The new clinic is run by Dr Becky, a GP and doctor who has been providing non-invasive cosmetic treatments for nearly a decade. Small changes, she says, can be significant, making a huge difference to self-esteem and confidence. At the launch, guests had the chance to see treatment demonstrations in an informal setting with drinks and nibbles. Photos by Aleksandra Dul

Hayley Church, Hannah Evans and Sofe Potter Huw Carter, Rebecca Lanning, Lucy Kirtley and Holly Carter

Rachel Whitehurst and Cath Hicks Dr Rebecca Carter Thomas

Rowena Clee and Jess Fairclough I CARDIFF LIFE I 55


Sophia Homayoonfar serving Bab Haus delights Ashley McMath Stephens and Helen Molitika of Box Edit

When shopping makes you smile Charlotte Archibald of Welsh Womens Aid


A pre-Christmas ‘shop the look’ Girls’ Night Out event was held in Goodsheds, Barry, where guests – all armed with 10 per cent discount passes – mingled, sipped Prosecco, indulged in Bab Haus Mex’s street food, and shopped ’til they dropped at The Box Edit Boutique, Annie & Lolo and The Goodwash Company. All ticket sale proceeds went to Welsh Women’s Aid, and £1,400 was raised for the charity overall. Photos by Abigail Apollonio

Shopping at Annie & Lolo Caroline James



Nathan Wyburn, Jenny Jones, Steve Speirs, Wynne Evans, Polly James, Wayne Courtney and Jason Mohammed

Bute Park was alive with lights and lasers

Lucy Owen

Lisa Evans and Jacob Brown

The festive joy was palpable

CHRISTMAS AT BUTE PARK A breath-taking festival of sparkles, lasers and fire, Christmas at Bute Park was the biggest festive light trail Wales had ever seen. The park was taken over by dazzling optical displays, magical installations, flickering flames, an enchanting starlit boulevard, mirror balls and music, as well as locally sourced street food and mulled wine. Originally due to run into January, the event had to shut its doors as of Boxing Day due to new Covid rules. “We loved very moment of producing the trail,” say the team. “We worked hard to bring some Christmas cheer to our beautiful home at Bute Park. A further 40,000 people were expecting to visit us after Christmas, and we know the blow [of closing early] will felt by many. Here’s to a fantastic event next year.” Jason Mohammed and guests Wynne Evans

Xxxxx Captivated by the magic I CARDIFF LIFE I 57



Cardiff Airport’s newest airline, Wizz Air, will jet into Cardiff this spring, bringing with it low-cost flights to sunny hotspots… By Lisa Evans

f you’re craving a holiday (and at this point who isn’t?!) things are looking good for 2022, as you’ll now be able to reach many of your favourite sunsoaked destinations direct from Cardiff Airport. Here’s a look at the getaways you can escape to with Wizz Air…


LANZAROTE With its year-round warm weather, geological formations and many beaches, the island is not just home to spectacular nature and landscapes resulting from its many volcanoes, but it also offers a wealth of restaurants and vineyards. Flights launch on 8 April, starting from £44.99


TENERIFE For those looking to discover some hidden gems, the rock pools of Garachico present the perfect adventure, where visitors can navigate rock formations and footpaths to spend the day swimming in crystal-clear water. Elsewhere, La Orotava, a historical town with cobbled streets, traditional architecture and authentic tapas, is one not to miss. Flights launch on 8 April, starting from £17.99


ALICANTE The port city offers a lively beach holiday, a city break or a quiet coastal retreat. The beaches hold the main draw, with a range of activities such as windsurfing, snorkelling, and sailing ready to keep visitors busy. Don’t miss out on visiting the Castle of Santa Barbara, one of the largest fortresses in Spain, offering panoramic views of the city and coastline. Flights launch on 9 April, starting from £35.99


PALMA DE MALLORCA The capital city of Mallorca is known for


its historical sites, galleries, and restaurants. Dating back to the 13th century, it’s full of medieval streets and baroque churches, which make for a stunning backdrop to the burgeoning neighbourhoods and buzzing nightlife scene. Flights launch on 9 April, starting from £35.99


FARO The capital of the Algarve is an underrated city and often passed through by tourists, despite its pristine beaches, energetic nights, and picturesque old town. Expect a culturally rich city brimming with historical sites such as Faro Cathedral, the 19th century Arco da Vila archway, as well as popular museums. The 20 beaches that surround the city are surprisingly quiet and visitors shouldn’t skip the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa (saltwater lagoons). Flights launch on 9 April, starting from £35.99


LARNACA Situated on the southernmost coast of Cyprus, this vibrant city brims with history and culture. Whether it’s discovering the city’s medieval castle, scuba diving through the underwater artefacts, or enjoying authentic Cypriot cuisine, Larnaca is perfect for history buffs, adventurers and foodies alike. Flights launch on 10 April, starting from £53.99


CRETE Known for its old towns and excellent hiking, Crete is the largest of the Greek islands, offering a paradise of balmy weather, fresh cuisine, and clear blue sea. No trip would be complete without visiting the city of Heraklion, a small metropolis where travellers can get lost in its bustling streets. Escape the crowds and head to the Samaria Gorge Trail, an unforgettable hike through the mountains, or

visit the breath-taking Elafonissi beach. Flights launch on 13 June, starting from £26.99


CORFU Expect an eclectic mix of beautiful scenery, historical sites, and lively nightlife. The atmospheric Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a magnificent 14th century Old Fortress and an array of ancient churches. Spend a leisurely afternoon wandering the cobbled streets and enjoying fresh Mediterranean cuisine before spending the evening at one of the live-music bars. Flights launch on 16 June, starting from £44.99


SHARM EL SHEIKH Surrounded by crystal-clear waters, rugged mountains, and spectacular desert landscapes, Sharm is an ideal destination for travellers longing for a relaxing getaway. Home to some of the world’s most famous diving spots, don’t miss the chance to explore the submerged wrecks and vibrant coral reefs before relaxing on the beautiful Red Sea beaches. Flights launch on 1 November, starting from £80.99. GOOD TO KNOW…

Passengers who add WIZZ Flex to their booking have the option to cancel their flight up to three hours before departure without any cancellation fee and get 100 per cent of the original fare immediately reimbursed in airline credit. Those who have opted for the basic fare can cancel or rearrange their booking for a fee. If Wizz Air cancels a flight, passengers are entitled to 120 per cent of the original fare in airline credit, or a full refund to the original payment method, or the option to rebook for free.











Online parents’ evenings have been welcomed by all

Lessons from lockdown The pandemic changed school life. But are there parts we want to keep?



s we begin a new year in the classroom, the only thing that is certain about education in 2022 is that nothing is certain. The current target is for exams to go ahead this summer but we all know the world has got an A* in Plan Bs. The most shared post on School Guide’s social media pages last year was a graphic created by a teacher that helped parents track back to the last time their child had a ‘normal’ school year. Over half a million mums and dads interacted with a post that clearly resonated deeply in terms of loss. Not just time lost in the classroom but in the lunch hall, on the football pitch and, most importantly, with their friends.

This graphic tracking the last normal school year was the most shared on School Guide’s social media

But there were positives that came with the ‘new normal’ too. Many parents’ priorities have shifted from obsessing over academics to a focus on their children’s wellbeing, especially the social experiences that school enables. Pastoral care and mental health provision has shot up parents’ must-have lists for choosing a school. Likewise, respect for teachers has soared as we battled with home-schooling and motivating our children to actually learn anything. On a practical level, there were lockdown innovations that many mums and dads actually preferred, such as online parents’ evenings and virtual open days. Some of us thought that our children being assessed by teachers was a jolly good idea, and, while the Department for Education insists that testing two years of learning during one hour in a boiling hot exam hall is ‘the fairest way’, a growing number of educators are calling for an overhaul of a system. It could be that the pandemic is presaging the type of curriculum and skills we’ll need for a future in which resilience, critical thinking, leadership, courage and bold decision-making are valued above learning by rote. Furthermore, as pupils adapt to

working on screens, the head of the UK’s biggest exam board, AQA, says it’s a matter of ‘not if, but when’ in terms of all school tests being taken on computers with GCSEs and A level exams potentially moving entirely online as soon as 2025. Schools themselves, long criticised for being slow to change and adapt, were initially forced to improve online learning platforms and have gone on to embrace them. While online learning can never replace the benefits of pupils being physically present in front of a teacher, blended learning has opened up opportunities beyond the classroom. Art teachers in Swindon now take Year 9 to the Museum of Modern Art in New York at the touch of a button; and digital dissections have revolutionised access to biology labs. Last, but by no means least, can we find any lockdown silver linings for our children? It would be wrong to not highlight how much our children have had to give up to protect our health service and their families. Obesity levels are at a record high, and absence rates show children who do not have covid continue to regularly miss school. But of what is new, do we want anything to endure? If I were to make a word cloud out of the conversations I had with hundreds of head teachers last year, one word would stand out: resilience. Generation snowflake, super delicate and afraid to fail, has learnt that bouncing back is a superpower. Yes, life throws us lemons, and, no, mum and dad don’t have all the answers. But the youngest members

PARENTS’ TOP THREE PANDEMIC KEEPERS 1. Online parents’ evenings Private, accessible and less stressful than battling for a car park space in the rain and dashing from classroom to classroom with seconds to spare between appointments. Long live the Zoom Boom. 2. Spotlight on wellbeing A long overdue shift from obsessing over academics to a focus on mental health and well-being. 3. Descheduling (aka JOMO not FOMO) Sadly, lockdown stopped after-school activities but it also gave families the chance to redress the balance and dial down the perpetual taxi service. The Joy Of Missing Out is replacing the Fear Of Missing Out.

of our society have learnt the meaning of an age-old adage: this too shall pass. Victoria Bond is founder & CEO of School Guide, an easy-to-use website that helps parents discover exam results, catchment maps and parent reviews for all their local schools For more: I CARDIFF LIFE I 61



LOADING The conference for entrepreneurs from MediaClash is returning… June 30 2022





It’s the city’s business


Roy Williams


Roy Williams OBE has joined the Royal Welsh College in Cardiff as Writer in Residence. He’ll be writing a play, teaching playwriting, and contributing to the department’s Creative Forum.

ON THE SAME PAGE The founder of leading Cardiff Financial Planning firm UNIQ Family Wealth, Marline Outrim, has published her second book, Cascading Your Wealth. In it, she provides top tips and advice on how people can manage their money as well as navigate the complexities of passing wealth through generations.

The UK’s first ever consumer-owned wind farm has been built in South Wales

POWER TO THE PEOPLE Construction has been completed on the UK’s first ever consumer-owned wind farm, in South Wales. Run by Ripple Energy, the UK’s first clean energy ownership platform, the Graig Fatha wind turbine, in Coedely, will enable customers to own their own clean, affordable power and take control of their zerocarbon future. Rather than being owned by Ripple, 907 owners contributed £2.2m for the Graig Fatha wind turbine. Ripple estimates that those involved will see average annual savings of around 25 per cent on their energy bills across the turbine’s 25-year lifespan, with over 80 per cent of members buying enough shares to power their entire homes’ consumption through the power

generated by Graig Fatha. “This is a huge moment for us,” says Sarah Merrick, CEO of Ripple Energy. “Thanks to the 907 Graig Fatha members, we have built the UK’s first wind farm to be 100 per cent owned by the customers it supplies. Every person who had purchased shares is a member of something very special. Ripple’s pioneering project demonstrates the success of a consumer ownership model in wind which can be replicated across the country. As the UK government continues to push for new green initiatives to help reach our net zero goals, we are proud to support consumers directly to fund cheap, clean renewable energy in a simple way.” For more:


Congratulations to Mike Baynham who has joined property and construction consultancy Gleeds as associate director in Cardiff.


Cardiff-based bilingual econursery Nestlings Nursery, is on a mission to help refugee families, who are new to the capital, in need of childcare. They’ve partnered with charity Oasis Cardiff to offer new migrant families in need a space for childcare. For every 30 places filled per day at Nestlings, the business will be offering a free place per day to a family in need. For more:

Andy Sutton and James Williams at Sero

ZERO HERO A multi-million investment has been secured by Cardiff-based energy technology and services company Sero. The £5.5m investment, from Legal & General and Hodge, will support the transition to net zero across the residential housing sector. “The challenge of upgrading existing housing stock is growing as the urgency of solving the climate emergency becomes greater,” says James Williams, CEO at Sero. “Improving the energy efficiency of homes can provide longterm economic benefit and comfort to residents, as well as reducing carbon emissions. This investment therefore is a huge milestone for Sero as we grow and bring new products to market to help the UK in its delivery of net zero.” For more: I CARDIFF LIFE I 63

NEW AWARD: SUSTAINABILITY The Sustainability Award is open to any local company or organisation which has been thoughtful in the year about its approach to sustainability. Enter now if you have something to shout about!


Imagine your name being called out as a winner at the Cardiff Life Awards 2022. First step: nominate yourselves!


THE DETAILS WHAT: The Cardiff Life Awards 2022 WHERE: City Hall, Cardiff WHEN: 31 March WHY: To celebrate the very best local businesses and organisations in Cardiff, The Vale and surrounding areas WHO: Any local businesses, charities or establishments can enter to win. Look above for the categories that can be entered – you can enter into multiple categories, too. HOW TO NOMINATE: Enter for free over on our website Nominations close soon, on 10 February.

TICKETS The tickets and tables are on sale now on our website. We would advise grabbing them early, as the Awards sell out every year!

Last chance to enter!

The Cardiff Life Awards are coming up but you’ll have to be quick if you want to enter – nominations close on 10 February! Go go go!


here’s only a couple of weeks left to enter your business to win at The Cardiff Life Awards! The ceremony is now just around the corner (31 March) and we cannot wait to see hundreds of you again at City Hall to celebrate the great and good people and businesses in Cardiff. Even though the Awards have been running since 2014, we are still consistently overwhelmed at the sheer brilliance of the nominations we receive. This city never ceases to amaze us. The event has sold out every year since we founded it, and it’s always, always a night to remember. In-keeping with tradition, expect glitz, glamour, music and 450 people coming together for a huge celebration of the top businesses in Cardiff. Nominate yourselves now!


Don’t delay, nominate your business for an award! It’s free to enter so there’s nothing stopping you. The 10 February deadline is mere moments away… hurry hurry! Enter on our website:

Nigel Owens, our host


Nigel Owens will be taking to the stage as our host once again! The former international rugby union referee, who currently holds the world record for the most test matches refereed, hosted our 2019 Awards, where he was very Nigel Owens, cheerfully yomping off piste as the whim took him. More of the same this year please, Nige!


Scan this to see the Awards!

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“Some of my best performances to date have been in Cardiff’s Clwb Ifor Bach”

MACE THE GREAT Cardiff rapper Mace the Great has been announced as the new Welsh ambassador for Independent Venue Week, at the end of January… Independent Venue Week (IVW), which takes place 31 January – 6 February, has announced Cardiffbased grime and hip-hop artist Mace the Great as its Welsh ambassador. IVW supports the survival of the UK’s beloved independent venues that not only give artists their first breaks, but also serve as inclusive cultural hubs within our communities. For 2022, IVW will be partnering with Dydd Miwsig Cymru to celebrate, champion and promote Welsh Language Music and the many venues and spaces it sings from across Wales.

Here, we chat with Mace the Great… Take us back to the beginning; when did music first enter your life?

I started making music at 14 years old. I’ve always had a love for it, but the main reason why I got into music was just because I saw my friends doing it, and that inspired me to do the same.

Did independent venues help with your journey?

Definitely. They gave me the opportunity to perform my music live to people who enjoyed it most; some of my best performances to date have been in Clwb Ifor Bach in Cardiff.


What are some of your other favourite indie venues in the city?

CULTVR LAB, The Moon and The Globe to name a few. Did you grow up in Cardiff?

Yes, born and bred in Cardiff; been here all my life. My favourite areas are: Splott, because I grew up there; Cardiff Bay; and the city centre. How important do you think music is for Cardiff, and for wider Wales?

It’s massive; there are so many talented creatives all around Wales. I’d encourage people to support indie venues because not only do they give musicians like myself opportunities, but they bring people together for a good cause and give a sense of community. I’m really excited to be IVW’s Welsh ambassador and bring something different to the table, especially music of black origin. Would you say this is a critical year to show support during IVW?

Most definitely. I feel we need to

come back as strong as possible after the struggle venues have been through. What are some of your proudest moments?

Being IVW’s Welsh ambassador; collaborating with Cardiff City FC and having my song used for the 2021/2022 kit launch; headlining Sŵn Festival; having my project My Side of The Bridge nominated for the Welsh Music Prize 2021; and being the first Welsh rapper to ever be invited to SXSW [South by Southwest Festival]. Three artists you’d like to invite to dinner?

I’d choose Stormzy, Lauryn Hill and Kanye West. n /





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