Cardiff Life - Issue 257

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ISSUE 257 / JULY 2022 / £3








































See globally acclaimed artist Frank Schroeder’s work at Blackwater Gallery, Cardiff. Turn to page 21 for more


es, Cardiff may be known for its rugby, entertainment, castles and indie businesses, but it’s also one of the fastest growing tech cities in the UK – just call us the Welsh Silicon Valley (or Silicon Valleys, perhaps?). So, on page 13 we get to know a handful of businesses at the cutting edge of innovation and technology – get ready for robots, self-driving cars, earthquake simulators and jaw-dropping ventures. We also bring you: a mini guide to the best-loved local spas and wellbeing hubs (page 44); a look inside the city’s newest boutique hotel, Parador 44 (page 49); a spotlight on our very own Summer Party at The Botanist, our favourite annual event, (page 54); and, as part of our new Cardiff Life Experiences feature, you’ll see me taking on a day in the life of a canine carer at Dog’s Trust Cardiff (page 32). There’s a whole lot more, too, including a bumper What’s On calendar (page 22), and chats with two talented chaps: the newly crowned 100m champion sprinter Jeremiah Azu, who lives in Rumney (page 66); and Stephenson Ardern-Sodje, who takes on the starring role in The Lion King, at Wales Millennium Centre this summer (page 31). We also bring you all of our regular sections, from food to property, and education to arts – not forgetting the gorgeous creation splashed on our front cover, which comes from the award-winning, world-renowned expressionist Frank Schroeder, who tells the incredible story of his turbulent life through his art, which you can see at Blackwater Gallery in the Bay (page 21). Enjoy! #CardiffTogether, always


wyrach bod Caerdydd yn enwog am ei rygbi, ei hadloniant, ei chestyll a’i busnesau annibynnol, ond mae hefyd yn un o’r dinasoedd sy’n tyfu gyflymaf yn y DU o safbwynt technoleg – mi allech ein galw’n Gwm Silicon Cymru (neu’n Gymoedd Silicon, efallai?). Felly, ar dudalen 13, rydym yn dod i adnabod llond dwrn o fusnesau sydd ar flaen y gad o safbwynt arloesi a thechnoleg – byddwch yn barod am robotiaid, ceir sy’n eu gyrru eu hunain, efelychwyr daeargrynfeydd a mentrau sy’n torri tir newydd. Rydym hefyd yn darparu canllaw sydyn i’r sbas a’r canolfannau lles lleol mwyaf poblogaidd (ar dudalen 44); yn cynnig cipolwg ar du mewn Parador 44, sef gwesty bwtîc mwyaf newydd y ddinas (ar dudalen 49); ac yn rhoi sylw i’n Parti Haf ni ein hunain yn The Botanist, ein hoff ddigwyddiad blynyddol (ar dudalen 54). At hynny, yn rhan o’n herthygl reolaidd newydd Cardiff Life Experiences, byddaf yn treulio’r diwrnod yn gofalu am gŵn gyda changen Caerdydd o’r Ymddiriedolaeth Cŵn (ar dudalen 32). Mae gennym lawer mwy ar eich cyfer hefyd, gan gynnwys calendr llawn dop o ddigwyddiadau (ar dudalen 22) a sgyrsiau â dau ddyn talentog: y gwibiwr Jeremiah Azu, sy’n byw yn Nhredelerch ac sydd newydd gael ei goroni’n bencampwr 100m (ar dudalen 66), a Stephenson ArdernSodje a fydd yn serennu yn The Lion King yng Nghanolfan y Mileniwm dros yr haf (ar dudalen 31). Mae ein harlwy hefyd yn cynnwys yr holl erthyglau arferol, sy’n amrywio o rai am fwyd ac eiddo i rai am addysg a’r celfyddydau – heb anghofio’r greadigaeth hardd ar y clawr blaen. Cafodd ei chreu gan Frank Schroeder, y mynegiadwr arobryn a glodforir yn fyd-eang, sy’n defnyddio ei waith celf, y mae modd ei weld yn Oriel Blackwater yn y Bae, i adrodd hanes anhygoel ei fywyd cythryblus (ar dudalen 21). Mwynhewch! #CaerdyddYnghyd, bob amser


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

Issue 257 / July 2022


13 ALL HANDS ON TECH An insight into local businesses at the

cutting edge of innovation and technology

31 ONE TO ONE Chatting with the star of The Lion King at Wales

Millennium Centre, Stephenson Ardern-Sodje

32 CARDIFF LIFE EXPERIENCES We spend a day in the shoes

of a canine carer at Dogs Trust Cardiff


21 ARTS INTRO Expressionist Frank Schroeder’s work is at

Blackwater Gallery 22 WHAT’S ON Arts, shows and events, it’s all going on in Cardiff 54 SCENE Papping some of the most popular events locally – can you spot yourself ?




35 TAKE IT OUTSIDE Garden furniture with decks appeal 36 EDITOR’S CHOICE Botanical picks from local shops


39 TASTY BITES A handful of news morsels for you to chew on 40 RESTAURANT REVIEW Cheese overload at The Old Cottage 42 JANE COOK Our foodie columnist spills the tea


44 HIT REFRESH Five local spas and healing hubs


49 PROPERTY NEWS New builds and new openings 50 SHOWCASE A design-led Cyncoed home is on the market


63 CARDIFF WORKS News and views and brilliant businesses 64 CARDIFF LIFE AWARD WINNERS 2022 FOR Cardiff


on women’s safety in the city


9 SPOTLIGHT Just a handful of feel-good stories 29 WYBURN AND WAYNE Our columnists have been out and

about again

53 GETTING SCHOOLED Victoria Bond talks education 60 TRAVEL A Laugharne coastal escape 66 CARDIFF LIVES Jeremiah Azu is ready to compete for Wales at

the Commonwealth Games

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, Megan Gaen and Victoria Bond Commercial manager Mark George mark. Business development 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:



ON THE COVER Rainbow Day, a creation by globally acclaimed artist Frank Schroeder, whose work is being exhibited at Blackwater Gallery in Cardiff. See page 21 for more.

Celebrating great love stories since 1937 Unparalleled love. Certified happiness. Celebrate a summer of love.



SEE YOU SWN Cardiff’s Sŵn Festival has announced its return – featuring one of the first-ever Welsh language bands to perform at Glastonbury. Following Cardiff hosting this year’s BBC 6Music Festival, Sŵn Festival will return to the city from 21 – 23 October full-scale for the first time since 2019. “This year, Cardiff centre will host over 120 artists across nine venues,” says PHOTO BY NADINE BALL ANT YNE


PERIOD PIECE Ahead of Plastic Free July, Cardiff-based Time of The Month TOTM, a top UK sustainable period care brand, recovered the equivalent of over a million plastic tampon applicators from the ocean. In the UK alone, 1.3 billion plastic tampon applicators are thrown away every year, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature report named period products the fifth most common single-use plastic found in our oceans and on our beaches. For every cardboard tampon applicator sold by TOTM, the brand has committed to recovering the equivalent weight in ocean plastic by supporting social enterprise Plastic Bank. After working with Plastic Bank for seven months, the company has already recovered the equivalent of 1.67 million tampon applicators, saving 5,034kg of plastic, the equivalent of eleven grand pianos. TOTM’s entire range of menstrual products are designed to reduce waste by using naturally absorbent certified organic cotton in place of rayon or plastics. For more:

Clwb Ifor Bach and Sŵn Festival live manager Adam Williams. “Booking the line-up is always such a pleasure and we are still somehow amazed by how many new artists there are each year.” Tickets on sale now;


• BC Camplight, who will bring us their biggest headline show to date in the capital, armed with an eclectic array of gnarly synth-pop and ‘50s rock’n’roll. • Adwaith – a Welsh language indierock group who became one of the first-ever bands to perform in Welsh at Glastonbury. • Panic Shack, hometown heroes, who will continue their breakout 2022 with razorsharp indie-punk anthems galore. • The array of Welsh talent also includes: Aderyn, Breichiau Hir, Lemfrek, Ogun, Plastic Estate, Sweet Baboo, Yxngxr1, HMS Morris, Mellt, Eädyth and Izzy Rabey.


Menstrual products from Cardiff’s TOTM, the UK’s number one sustainable period care brand

Hometown heroes Panic Shack will perform at Swn; above: Welsh language indie-rock group Adwaith became one of the first-ever bands to perform in Welsh at Glastonbury

Dennis Rollins is a chosen one



The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD) has honoured key distinguished artists and welcomed them to the College community as Fellows. The Honorary Fellows are: • Sarah Alexander, chief exec of the National Youth Orchestra • Nicola Benedetti, violinist and founder of the Benedetti Foundation • Paule Constable, Olivier award-winning lighting designer • Gareth Evans, film director, screenwriter and action choreographer • Anthony Matsena, performer, director and choreographer • Kel Matsena, actor, writer and dancer • Dennis Rollins, trombonist and educator They join RWCMD’s prestigious list of Fellows, awarded each year to artists who have achieved distinction in the creative and performing arts industries, building inspiring relationships with the College and its work. For more: PHOTO BY KIRSTEN MCTERNAN I CARDIFF LIFE I 9


Cardiff is the first Welsh city to be named a Tree City of the World

Cardiff is the first Welsh city to be named a Tree City of the World in recognition of Cardiff Council’s Coed Caerdydd tree-planting programme. Tree Cities of the world, founded by non-profit conservation and education organisation the Arbor Day Foundation, aims to create more green spaces in urban areas by recognising cities that do it well.

Music has just been made more accessible to young people in Wales


Fifteen local organisations have received £140k of grants to address barriers to music for young people in Wales. Atsain is a new fund working to add music to the lives of young people who experience obstacles, such as geographical issues, identity or background, and is backed by Youth Music thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, and Anthem Music Fund Wales. For more:

THE 15 INCLUDES: Disability Arts Cymru, which will launch The Pathways to Music project to bring together young disabled and Deaf people across Wales. Media Academy Cymru, which will be establishing monthly music masterclasses, to be delivered across South Wales. Trac Cymru, which will be supporting marginalised young people to articulate their experiences using the folk traditions of expressive storytelling. South Riverside Community Development Centre, which will be launching a multi-cultural, multi-generational project involving drumming, singing and instrumental workshops in Riverside, Cardiff. Sound Progression, which will be launching a series of workshops to improve progression routes for young people aged 10-25 years.


There have been 20,000 new trees planted in the first six months of an ambitious 10-year project to create an urban forest in Cardiff. The Coed Caerdydd project forms part of Cardiff Council’s response to the climate emergency. Working with local communities, the first season of planting has seen new community orchards planted, wet woodland sites created, important species restored, and hundreds of trees donated to households, community groups and schools. For more:

Cardiff’s Hijinx is one of the ventures that has been supported






Through its Film Exhibition Fund, Film Hub Wales has awarded £70,000 in National Lottery funding to 13 independent cinemas and film festivals – from Cardiff’s Hijinx Unity Film Festival, to The Windrush Caribbean in Newport. The funds will enable Welsh communities to reconnect through film while supporting their local venues. With unity in mind, screen stories from Wales and across the globe, plus special events and workshops, will explore what it means to be Welsh.

BIRDS EYE VIEW July – December At Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff, and a number of community screens in the capital, Birds Eye View will develop Reclaim the Frame (RtF) with the support of a Cardiff-based Impact Producer, to bring more film events by women and non-binary filmmakers in Cardiff. KOTATSU JAPANESE ANIMATION FESTIVAL September – October This festival will screen films at Chapter in Cardiff, among other Welsh venues, along with online workshops and Q&A sessions. You’ll also find a Manga Comic Café (a free Japanese comic-reading area) at each venue and in local cafés. MEMO ARTS CENTRE September – December Events at Memo, in Barry, range from curriculum-themed screenings with schools, to baby-friendly sing-a-longs, weekend family films and activities to support parents, guardians, carers, disabled and neuro-divergent audiences. I CARDIFF LIFE I 11




riverless vehicles, self-adapting robot machines, earthquake simulators and virtual operating tables – the list of innovative projects and creations from businesses in and near Cardiff is tremendous. The city is buzzing with invention and computer-coded wizardry – from fintech, biotech and healthtech companies, to app builders, designers and tech retailers. Here we delve into a world of technology.


This Pontcanna-registered technology institute specialises in creating tech to perform or simplify complex tasks. Their self-driving technology is designed to support people by fetching and carrying items large and small. Their flagship product is their Kar-go Delivery Bot, Europe’s first street-legal driverless vehicle, but the car itself is just one part of the company’s self-driving system. The academy has designed and built all the software, the operating system and a mobile Command Station, from which they can monitor their vehicles and even drive them remotely. Their top project… The first of its kind in the UK, Kar-go is a fully electric, self-driving autonomous delivery vehicle, with space for 24 parcels. It’s designed to offer a green, cost-effective solution to the ‘last-mile problem’ – this is the high costs and labour usage attributed to the last phase of a parcel’s delivery, in which it is dispatched from a depot to the recipient. Current delivery methods involve a high price associated with meeting the constantly growing demand for same-day or next-day deliveries. The company focuses on developing technology to help people solve real problems and the technology has now been used to run errands

to support RAF personnel on the UK’s largest air base, and to deliver medicines to homes during the pandemic. Now, they’re working on using their vision technology to detect and analyse faults in the road, helping to solve the pothole problem. How does Kar-go work? A receiver places an order for a delivery, the sender then loads the Kar-go vehicle, utilising its advanced package swap internal robotics system that reduces the need for a human-contact handover of the parcel, with the receiver able to collect the parcel directly from the rear of the vehicle via a secure touchpad interface. The receiver places their order via a web interface and is notified that the parcel has been dispatched and Kar-go is on route. Within 30 minutes, Kar-go notifies the receiver that the parcel is outside of their requested delivery address and they can collect it. Pontcanna, Cardiff;


Cardiff Metropolitan University’s International Centre for Design Research, PDR, is a design and innovation research hub, established in 1994. Ranked as the leading design centre in the UK and one of the top 25 globally by the prestigious iF World Design Index, it has won more than 50 major international design awards. Their varied work in the surgical and medical fields includes: developing new design methods for devices used to correct facial deformities; and surgical and prosthetic design including bespoke 3D-printed titanium implants. Their life-changing medical work… Their collaboration with Morriston Hospital’s Maxillofacial Laboratory team has resulted in hospital patients being offered the chance of immediate facial prosthesis reconstruction following surgery, easing the impact of losing part of the face and offering a viable alternative to surgical reconstruction, which is not always desired or possible.

BELOW: Kar-go is Europe’s first street-legal driverless vehicle; OPPOSITE PAGE, LEFT TO RIGHT: Kar-go delivered medicines to homes during the pandemic; The Academy of Robotics’ Command Station



The team, led by professor Dominic Eggbeer, uses computer-aided design (CAD) to develop facial prosthetics. For example, in the case of surgical removal of all or part of the nose, they are able to use haptic CAD to develop nasal prostheses by digitally sculpting contours that blend seamlessly into the surrounding anatomy with thin edges that flex with facial expressions. Recent innovations mean that the resulting digital models can be rapidly manufactured, so that patients are now offered a temporary prosthetic nose immediately after surgery. This eases the impact of losing a nose and creates a transition to the definitive prosthesis fabricated further along in the recovery process. Cardiff Met University;


This animation studio in Cardiff Bay helps businesses across the globe share their stories and brands. They’ve worked with Benesse Corporation in Japan, Reebok in South Africa, Sky Italia and plenty more locally too. Co-founders Patrick Hathaway and Matthew Creed tell us more…

“It’s Europe’s first street-legal driverless vehicle” BIG LEMON Based in Caerphilly, it’s a small group of people with a big mission: delivering ‘tech for good’ web development and digital products that create positive change, focusing on projects that make the world a better place in some way and change lives. “Designing and building meaningful digital products that empower others to deliver positive change is at the heart of what we do,” says Sam Wheeler, co-owner. Some of their projects include: The world’s first carbon data tracking app; digital products supporting school-leavers to find their vocation; empowering university students to change their habits and save energy; and an app that allows care workers to spend more time with kids.

Fill us in on Jammy Custard… Our speciality is creating narrative-driven animations for the private and public sectors that engage the audience and keep key messages in their minds. What’s the background? We were college friends who decided to set out on our own straight out of university. We both came from creative backgrounds and the combination has always proven to be a potent mix. Originally, Jammy Custard was a creative agency, but the demand was in animation. Now, 11 years later, we spend our days crafting stories that matter. What are you working on locally? We’re proud to be working on projects that will help give a voice to people who don’t usually have one; we’re particularly proud of a short film we’re creating with young people from Rhondda Cynon Taf and RCT Youth Services, telling their views on the world and the future. What are the company’s biggest achievements to date? Animating Peter Crouch’s face is definitely up there, as is being commissioned for our first video game. Bute Street, Cardiff Bay; I CARDIFF LIFE I 15


PDR specialise in surgical and prosthetic design, including bespoke 3D-printed titanium implants


At this centre of discovery, science and technology, you can get hands-on with over 100 exhibits, from earthquake simulators, and virtual operating tables to a hurricane machine and operating an underwater deep-sea ROV. Lesley Kirkpatrick, Techniquest’s CEO, tells us more… Describe it in a nutshell for us… We’re an educational charity that works with schools and the public, where visitors can explore the world of science and technology in a fun and memorable way. What’s its background? Techniquest is one of the longest established Science Discovery Centres in the UK and came into being in 1986 as the dreamchild of Professor John Beetlestone and his colleagues from Cardiff University. We aim to share our passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with the widest possible range of people: from toddlers and primary school children through to teenagers and now, with our Science Capital extension, adults of all ages too. In what ways is Techniquest having an impact on the local area or the wider world? Hundreds of thousands of people have visited us over the last 36 years and many have been inspired to take on careers in STEM, partly through the curiosity and love of STEM subjects that have been sparked by visits to the centre. We also aim to be a voice of science that visitors can trust, through discussing the science behind topics in the media, such as climate change and coronavirus. Hopefully we can play a part in dispelling misconceptions and allowing our audiences to have a better understanding of the science behind the headlines, to make better future decisions for themselves and those around them. Any collaborations with other local businesses? We’ve recently collaborated with the DAPTEC team at Cardiff


“They develop new design methods for devices used to correct facial deformities” Metropolitan University, Cardiff Council and Yard to create an exhibit that’s currently operating in our Environment Zone – taking live data from the island of Flat Holm and giving it a visual interpretation at the centre. In the past, we’ve also worked with CS Connected to develop an exhibit that highlights the use of compound semi-conductor technology in our everyday lives. We’re now also working very closely with Pugh’s Garden Centre to help us with a pilot project we’re running to transform our East Terrace into a Sensory Garden for the summer. But probably the largest project we’ve worked on with a local business in the last few years would be the creation of the Science Capital extension itself. The team at HLM Architects did an amazing job on the development of the new space, the Science Capital, which has given a whole new lease of life to Techniquest and enables us to reach out to far more visitors than we could have dreamed of in the past. What is its biggest achievement to date? This has to be securing the £5.5m of funding for the Science Capital and delivering this ambitious project despite the pandemic, which resulted in Techniquest closing for 14 months. Surprise us… You can now get married at Techniquest! We’ve been granted a licence this year to perform the ceremony as well as host the receptions now, and we held our very first wedding in June of this year. How many people can say they’ve been legally married in a Science Discovery Centre, I wonder? Cardiff Bay;


Cardiff-based Yoello is one of the UK’s fastest-growing FinTech start-ups, which has recently been named as a Tech Nation FinTech 4.0 Rising Star, joining a prestigious list of alumni including Monzo, Deliveroo and Revolut. It’s an app-less mobile order and pay solution for hospitality; customers simply scan, order and pay. Sina Yamani, CEO, tells us more… Tell us about the business… Yoello’s goal is to improve payments from cash or traditional card payments into QR code-led customer journeys. For hospitality as an example, customers can order and pay from the comfort of their table via their smartphone. This helps venues run more efficiently and frees up time for staff so they can focus on providing a better experience for customers. Customers pay through the usual payment types as well as Yoello’s own instant pay option that is completely free for merchants, enabling them to accept payment from their customers without any transaction fees. Since launching our mobile order and pay product in July 2020, we now support thousands of businesses across the UK enabling them to reopen and operate in a new age of technology-led service that has been borne out of the pandemic. Where did the idea come from? The idea began back in 2018, when it became clear to me the hospitality and retail industry was lagging behind in terms of digital innovation. There was a huge opportunity to improve and streamline the sector through mobile technology, not least because of the fact we’re heading towards a cashless society. As with everything in business, those that get ahead will have the advantage. Techniquest offers over 100 interactive exhibits for children and adults

OUR TOP 5 FAVOURITE EXHIBITS AT TECHNIQUEST • Hurricane simulator • Diving Deep, operating an underwater ROV • Virtual operating table • Interactive Sandbox • Earthquake simulator

We’ve experienced exponential growth since the first version of our product went live in 2020, now working with over 1,000 merchant partners across the UK and processing nearly £100m of revenue through our order and pay solution. The team has expanded from a close-knit group of seven to over 50 employees. In what ways is the company having an impact on society? We’re giving operators the power to improve their customer experience and reduce the burden of unnecessary transaction fees, which all goes to supporting their bottom lines. Beyond that, companies like Yoello are accelerating the transition away from cash and card towards mobile payments. It’s clear to me that cards will eventually become redundant— especially when you look at places like China, where over 95 per cent of transactions are made via QR codes.

TECHNOLOGY Any collaborations with other local businesses? You’ll probably have used Yoello’s tech at a number of city venues, from Depot, to Corporation Yard, to pubs like the Four Elms and Queen’s Vaults. We’re also supported by Cardiff-headquartered Hodge Bank, who have been instrumental backers to our success. What is your biggest achievement to date? Hitting a million registered users in the UK has been our biggest milestone. We now have over 1.5m people who have benefited from Yoello’s payments. Tell us some good news… We’ve recently expanded into New Zealand, marking the seventh international territory to be using Yoello. Surprise us… This is my first job! Greyfriars Road, Cardiff;


This Pontcanna-based venture crafts bespoke branding and website designs through collaborative, creative thinking. Founder Cassie Mai Aspden tell us more… Tell us about the business… Every brand starts with a great story. We specialise in designing your unique image that truly captures the personality and vision of your

business, we then craft your new brand into a beautifully designed website. We are proud to be supporting a diverse range of companies – interior designers, opticians, bakeries, even woodland burials. What’s the story behind it? We began in 2020 with the ambition to support local businesses during the pandemic. Businesses quickly started to realise the benefits and importance of having an online presence, and we wanted to help make that happen. How important is online presence for businesses? Many businesses either don’t have a website, or have one that may be outdated and doesn’t truly reflect the character and brand of the business. Websites are used to determine the quality and standard of a company; it’s a key contributor as to whether people will invest their time and money. We can’t overlook the importance of this, and so, by building a strong online presence, through high-quality visuals, an authentic brand identity and a captivating website, we help businesses thrive. Pontcanna, Cardiff;


The brainchild of Penarth-based Richard Lee, this new hospitality booking app aims to help businesses and event planners connect more easily. It already has local venues such as The Tramshed and Cardiff Golf Club registered, as well as meeting rooms in places like BizSpace and Cwrt. Musicians, such as Kaysha Louvain and the Archives, as well as caterers like Foxy’s Deli are also on board. Richard tells us more…

below and opposite page: Hundreds of thousands of people have visited Techniquest over the last 36 years

“Get hands-on with over 100 exhibits, from earthquake simulators to virtual operating tables ”



Westbourne School, in Penarth, is increasingly recognised as a leader in tech, with students creating 3D printing robotic fingers, building their own calculators, and learning the principles of coding from Year 3. Stuart Ayres, the school’s director of online learning tells us more…

Tell us about the venture… Over the years, I have seen friends and family spend hours on the phone calling different venues, sending emails to suppliers and browsing the web for relevant results to try and find availability for certain dates or a certain number of people. I never understood why there wasn’t an app available where people could search for their party requirements with various venues and services in their locality at once. That’s when I struck on the idea to create my own. You planned to launch it last year, but the pandemic got in the way… Yes, we released it two months ago instead. We have worked even harder to develop Venyu into a more sophisticated platform which will enable venues and events services to optimise their revenue, connect with complementary businesses and streamline their day-to-day operations, including the booking and organisation process. So, it’s an app that not only helps party planners, but also hospitality venues and event services too. Penarth; find them on the Apple app store and Google Play store

DELIO Since 2015, this Cardiff business has been at the forefront of digitally transforming the private markets landscape. Their aim is to help a broad range of financial institutions to connect their clients with private investment opportunities quickly, transparently and compliantly.

How does the school excel when it comes to technology and innovation? In 2021, we were added to the illustrious EdTech50 list of organisations and individuals shaping the future of education in the UK, and we were the only school in Wales to be a finalist for Best Use of Tech in the TES Schools Awards 2022. We were also one of the first schools in Wales to use artificial intelligence to enhance learning. An innovative tech partnership enabled us to deliver a ground-breaking online learning platform backed by AI and the latest thinking in neuroscience. We also launched a state-of-the-art global careers and university research platform. Over recent months we have embedded 3D design and printing into our curricula, with children in Prep creating chess pieces; while Year 8 are designing and 3D printing robotic fingers, controlling their movement using Raspberry Pi computers programmed using the Python programming language. What do young people learn in a tech/IT class these days? We aim to inspire all students to engage with the global possibilities of tech, which firmly aligns with the school’s STEM focus. Students learn the basic principles of coding from Year 3. In the lower years they learn about iteration, selection and sequencing using Scratch and Sphero robots, and in our Senior School students are largely fluent in Python by the time they reach Year 9. In the past, students have built their own calculator, an AI-driven letter identifier and a personal room alarm. How important is tech in school – whether that be the actual lessons you offer, or the technology in the school itself? Very, and its influence is increasing as we interact digitally with our overseas schools more and more regularly. It is essential that students are able to programme fluently to give them a head start in their future careers, and that they can see and imagine how intelligent products are conceived, designed and built. n Penarth; I CARDIFF LIFE I 19


BREAKING THE SILENCE A new exhibition at Cardiff Bay’s Blackwater Gallery showcases a powerful collection of works from award-winning, globally acclaimed expressionist Frank Schroeder. Standing at the forefront of the modern neo expressionist and abstract expressionist movements, Frank is recognised alongside fellow contemporaries such as Jean Michael Basquiat, Anselm Kiefer and Julian Schnabel. Bold and unafraid, his work often steps across aesthetic genres. With expressionism at the forefront, we also see elements of brutalism weaved throughout his canvases in his use of bold shapes and lines to compose

the background architectural narrative for his figurative elements. He tells the story of his turbulent life through his art. Frank’s family moved to the Ivory Coast where he suffered through the First Ivorian Civil War. In 2004, his gallery in the Ivory Coast was ransacked in the aftermath of the revolt and all his pieces were destroyed. He retreated to an inner creative world he describes as “dark and sometimes near death”. See Breaking the Silence until 15 July at Blackwater Gallery, Pendeen House, Cardiff; I CARDIFF LIFE I 21

Aqua Park Cardiff is back in the Bay

WHAT’S ON 8 July onwards

PLAYS/SHOWS On now, until 30 July

A SUMMER CELEBRATION A Summer Celebration at Sherman Theatre includes UpRoar festival, showcasing the work of the Sherman’s Introduction to Playwriting participants: Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood, and Treasure Island, brought to life by Sherman Youth Theatre and Sherbets. Sherman Theatre, Cathays;

13 July

FASHION SHOW: REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE Marie Curie Cardiff Fundraising Group presents a fashion show to celebrate and support local charity shops. St Andrew’s Church Hall;

23 July – 28 July

THE WORLD HARP CONGRESS Led by artistic director Catrin Finch, the world’s best harp players perform in Cardiff. Over 500 delegates and nearly 300 performers will attend this first World Harp Congress at St David’s Hall, St Fagans Museum and the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. Various venues;



Every Friday and Saturday

COMEDY NIGHTS Treat yourself to an evening of award-winning comedy! Four stand-up comedians will keep you laughing until Monday. The Glee Club, Mermaid Quay;


IBIZA CLASSICS Global dance music legend Pete Tong brings Ibiza Classics to the city, with special guests Becky Hill and Beverley Knight. Cardiff Castle;

16 July

CARDIFF CRITICAL CREATORS FUNDRAISER Critical Creators present a fundraiser in aid of UHW Hospital Critical Care Unit, with music from Icantdie, Bridge the Divide and Ellie Thomas. Womanby Street;

16 July

THE SMYTHS More than a tribute, The Smyths, recreates he sound and spirit of The Smiths. The Globe, Albany Road;

20 July

HAIM: THE ONE MORE HAIM TOUR A long-awaited return for Californian sisters, Haim. The band is ready to perform their biggest UK shows to date. Motorpoint Arena, city centre;

30 – 31 July

GLASTONBARRY FESTIVAL Expect 21 tribute acts – from Queen and Stevie Wonder to Blur, The Beatles and Tom Jones – over one weekend. Romilly Park, Barry;

Every Thursday

HAVANA FIESTA The Salsa party night is back! Get ready for Latin dance line-ups, Salsa, Bachata and Reggaeton hits until 1am. Revolucion de Cuba, The Friary;

FOOD & DRINK 16 – 17 July

BIG CRAWFISH BOIL Following the success of the Neighbourhood Kitchen’s first sell-out Louisiana-style Crawfish Boil, they’re hosting it again! Expect a feast on crawfish, corn, smoked sausage, red potatoes, and a vegan menu too. Tramshed, Clare Road; and

All summer, various dates JACOBS ROOF GARDEN In the roof garden retreat, you’ll find wine club tastings, rooftop cinemas, DJ sets, and sunrise Pilates and Yoga classes hosted by Studio S. W Canal Wharf, Cardiff;


COCKTAIL CLUB MASTERCLASSES Put your shaking skills to the test with an infamous cocktail masterclass in this new-toCardiff venue. The Cocktail Club, St Mary Street, Cardiff;


where you can expect sprays, jets and a tipping water bucket – has reopened for the summer. Victoria Park, Cardiff;


THE MEADOWS This farm village retreat offers an interactive animal experience with pygmy goats, micro pigs, miniature sheep, alpacas, meerkats, emus, peacocks, geese, rabbits, guinea pigs, reindeers and more. Caerphilly;


ALPACA MY BOOTS An hour outside Cardiff, trek with an adorable gang of fluffy alpacas (that you walk on leads!) while taking in stunning natural views. Brecon Beacons;


Dinosaur World Live is at the New theatre in July left: Frank Schroeder’s work is at Blackwater Gallery now


Every Sunday

On now, until 15 July

INDIE SUPERSTORE Outdoor markets, supporting local independents in South Wales. The Bone Yard, Canton; Instagram: @indiesuperstore

BREAKING THE SILENCE A powerful collection of works from expressionist Frank Schroeder. See page 21 for more. Blackwater Gallery, Pendeen House;

Every Sunday

MAMMA MIA! BOTTOMLESS BRUNCH Grab your dancing queens and come together for the naughtiest nuptials of the century. Say ‘I do’ to freeflowing bubbles, beer and cocktails, a mouth-watering brunch and a day of show-stopping shenanigans. Tonight Josephine, Caroline Street;

FAMILY & KIDS 29 – 31 July

Every week

RIVERSIDE FARMERS MARKETS More than 100 farmers and small producers sell food and drink across three regular markets every week: Rhiwbina Farmers Market on Fridays, Roath Farmers Market on Saturdays, and Riverside Farmers Market on Sundays. There is also a monthly market at St Fagans and pop-up markets at Cardiff Met University, and The Riverside night market takes

place on the last Wednesday of the month. Across Cardiff;

Every Friday and Saturday

BEER AND STREET FOOD Head down to Bridge Studios for an outdoor afternoon of beer and street food, courtesy of Flowerhorn Brewery and Mr Croquewich. The Bridge Studios, Western Avenue; Instagram: @boneyard_bridgestudios

MOUNTAIN VIEW RANCH Here you’ll find Wales’s only Gruffalo Trail, as well as outdoor trampolines, a fairy forest, a hobbit hill, zip lines and a dragon’s nest. Heol Penybryn, Blaengwynlais, Cardiff;


VICTORIA PARK SPLASHPAD It’s back! The popular Splashpad –

GWEN JOHN PAINTINGS AND DRAWINGS This Gwen John (1876-1939) exhibition of paintings and works on paper is an exciting one. Gwen is now considered to be Wales’s finest 20th century artist and one of Britain’s most important artists. Martin Tinney Gallery, St. Andrew’s Crescent;

On now, until 30 July

DINOSAUR WORLD LIVE Do you dare to experience the dangers and delights in this roarsome interactive show for all the family? New Theatre, Park Place;

Most Fridays and Weekends

On now, until 16 July

JON POUNTNEY: WALES AT THE SEASIDE / CYMRU AR LAN Y MÔR Themed on scenes of coastal Wales – from cinematic landscapes and familiar structures to ice cream vans and nostalgia-inducing tourists tat – we are transported to summer days at the seaside. TEN Gallery, Roath;

On now, until 30 July

I WANT TO BELIEVE Ellie Young’s solo exhibition combines humour, the absurd and popular culture to delve into deeper human experience through exposure of the mechanics of manipulation via media and fictional versions of ‘The Truth’. Cardiff MADE, Lochaber Street, Roath; I CARDIFF LIFE I 23

WHAT’S ON On now, until 29 August

DAVID HURN: SWAPS Throughout his career as a documentary photographer, Hurn has amassed his private collection by swapping works with other photographers. Contains images of a sexual nature. National Museum Cardiff, Cathays Park;


WATER SPORTS Whether you fancy a spot of family white water rafting, gorge walking, hotdogging (inflatable kayaking) or SUP, head down to CIWW. Cardiff International White Water;


ICE SKATING Get your skates on and take to the ice with the whole family. Our favourite session is the Friday Night Ice Party, Fridays from 8.15pm. Ice Arena Wales, Olympian Drive;


23 – 24 July

PENARTH OPEN GARDENS TRAIL The 26th Annual Penarth Open Gardens Trail – raising funds for The Children’s Society Charity – will see a variety of gardens opened up for everyone to enjoy, including courtyard, cottage and community gardens, allotments, and Cosmeston Medieval Village Garden. Across Penarth; Facebook: Penarth Open Gardens

30 July – 14 August

FOREVER FLOWERS DISPLAY City Hospice Forever Flowers campaign invited supporters to purchase a limited-edition handmade sunflower to remember loved ones. The unique and lasting tributes will now feature in a striking floral display. Cardiff Castle;

Every Friday

BINGO LINGO Cardiff, brace yourselves. This is one of the city’s biggest and wildest Friday nights out. They’ve taken bingo, shaken out the dust and turned it into one exhilarating, raving-mad event.

DEPOT; Curran Embankment;

Throughout July

CARDIFF CASTLE GHOST TOUR Join Dark Wales Tours and explore this majestic castle at night where you will discover the incredible history of the Castle from its Roman origins, its transformation into the magical fantasy castle it is today and of course the many strange ghostly phenomena that have been reported here for many years. Cardiff Castle;

Year round

COIN, COAL AND CHEERS A new tourism experience has been launched by three of the region’s leading attractions. Hensol Castle Distillery, the Royal Mint Experience and A Welsh Coal Mining Experience at Rhondda Heritage Park have joined forces to create a new package which provides an action-packed day out for tour planners. Various venues;


FEELS LIKE SUMMER A one-day festival featuring music from Billy Ocean, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Bloco B Sama, Mr Motivator and more, with street food, a kids’ fun zone, rides, a Pimm’s and prosecco bar and a wellness retreat. Bute Park; Instagram: @flsummeruk

7 August

WELSH VEGAN FESTIVAL Expect all-vegan stalls selling world foods and quirky clothes and accessories, while guest speakers engage you. Tramshed, Clare Road;

8 August

DENIS COLEMAN If you like happy songs about sad subjects, book your tickets. Clwb Ifor Bach, Womanby Street;

18 – 21 August

GREEN MAN FESTIVAL Wales’ biggest festival will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year. Cate Le Bon joins headliners Michael Kiwanuka, Beach House, Metronomy and Kraftwerk. The Black Mountains;



Mel C will be at DEPOT in the Castle Find cocktail masterclasses at the newly opened Cocktail Club


20 August

SHANGRI-LA OPEN AIR PRESENTS: LF SYSTEM Taking over DEPOT’s new outdoor space is one of the UK’s hottest house acts, LF System. DEPOT; Curran Embankment;

25 August

PAW PATROL LIVE The pups share lessons for all ages about citizenship, social skills and problem solving. Motorpoint Arena, city centre;

14 November

BIFFY CLYRO The alternative rock trio are going back on tour! Motorpoint Arena, city centre;

29 August

BUTETOWN CARNIVAL The Butetown Carnival parade will make its way along the waterfront area of Cardiff Bay with various performance stops along the way, before arriving back at the Centre ready for outdoor live music. Outside Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay;

2 October

WIZZ AIR CARDIFF HALF MARATHON The iconic road race around the city is back for its second time this year. Cardiff;

21 – 23 October

SWN FESTIVAL This award-winning multi-venue music festival, which has been running since 2007, is based entirely in Cardiff’s city centre. Opening night takes place at Tramshed, with the BC Camplight playing their biggest Welsh headline show to date, as well as Panic Shack, Lime Garden and transatlantic alt-rock duo, Prima Queen. Various Cardiff venues;

From 1 December

CHRISTMAS AT BUTE PARK Tickets are on sale for this year’s Christmas at Bute Park event. Planning is underway and tickets are expected to sell quickly this summer in the lead up to the breath-taking festive festival of light – the biggest Wales has ever seen. n

OUR OWN VERY SPECIAL EVENT 18 November (Nominations now open!)

CARDIFF PROPERTY AWARDS Nominations are open for our Cardiff Property Awards 2022. Businesses ranging from architecture firms and developers to estate agents and interior designers are encouraged to enter. The Awards, celebrating the dynamic local property sector, will take place at Mercure Cardiff Holland House, Cardiff.

DEPOT has opened a new space for music events

TOP 10

Our pick of the most exciting events coming up in the city

1On now, until 30 July

CARDIFF OPEN AIR THEATRE FESTIVAL: EVERYMAN 22 The largest open-air theatre festival in Wales, is back. Expect theatrical events from a Shakespeare comedy, to a much-loved British sitcom, to a cult-favourite musical. Sophia Gardens, Cardiff;

2On now, until 27 August

THE LION KING This worldwide theatrical phenomenon has been experienced by 100 million people globally and is still drawing sell-out crowds in its 20th year. Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay;


On now, until 18 September

AQUA PARK CARDIFF Bigger, better, wetter ‘n’ wilder than ever before, Wales’s biggest Aqua Park has returned. The floating obstacle course features slides, trampolines, monkey bars and blast bags.Cardiff Bay;

629 – 31 July

ADVENTURE CINEMA At the UK’s largest touring outdoor cinema, expect to see an eclectic mix of classics, musicals, big blockbusters and family films. Bute Park and Arboretum;

713 August

FIM SPEEDWAY Britain’s biggest indoor motorsport event is set to make a blockbuster return to Cardiff, celebrating its 20th year in the Welsh capital. The FIM British Speedway Grand Prix is fast and furious family fun. Principality Stadium; Westgate Street;

827 – 28 August

PRIDE CYMRU’S BIG WEEKEND Wales’s biggest celebration of equality and diversity will host over 50,000 people to celebrate the LGBT+ community over two days. There will be three stages, a mile-long parade and family fun. City Hall Lawns, Cardiff;

8 – 10 July


93 September

9 July


1015 September

LEZ DIFF Cardiff International Lesbian Film & Arts Festival has opened in the city. Chapter Arts, Canton;

DEPOT IN THE CASTLE Rag ’n’ Bone Man will headline at Cardiff Castle this summer, joined by Faithless, Melanie C and Toploader. Cardiff Castle;

CLASH AT THE CASTLE – WWE The first major stadium event from WWE in 30 years. Principality Stadium; Westgate Street;

LIAM GALLAGHER The Oasis frontman will bring his solo tour to Cardiff for an outdoor gig. He will be supported by ‘90s indie legends The Charlatans. Alexandra Head, Cardiff Bay; I CARDIFF LIFE I 25



Known for its epic events and open evenings, its chic new café and of course, its remarkable and unexpected artworks – not often available locally – BLACKWATER GALLERY is a true hive of activity and a much-loved community hub




ith views that look across to The Senedd, The Pierhead building, and the outstretched landscape of the Penarth Marina, Blackwater Gallery boasts an impressive location, capturing beautiful sunlight from the bay that illuminates the exquisite original artwork inside. Established in 2019, Blackwater Gallery is fast becoming known for its inspirational exhibitions and open evenings. With a forward-thinking passion for providing a platform for new and emerging art, Blackwater also looks to provide a space for expressive contemporary works, the likes of which are not often available in Cardiff. Upon entering the gallery, visitors are welcomed by the gallery’s bold urban architecture. With exposed beams and concrete pillars, the gallery pays a visual homage to the original industrial landscape of ‘Tiger Bay’ docks at the turn of the century. The walls of Blackwater Gallery are an ever-changing landscape of contemporary artwork. From large-scale canvases conveying themes around perceptions of time and distortion, boxed frames holding swathes of heavy impasto oils depicting a nude figure, through to small collections of delicate sketches fervently etched out in charcoal. As an artist-led gallery, Blackwater is passionate in its ideas of creating a unique space that

combines both emerging art, with that of internationally recognised artists looking to push the boundaries. Recently opened, the gallery has been working closely to create its latest community space ‘Coffee @ Blackwater’. An open-plan area nestled inside the gallery itself, Coffee @ Blackwater offers barista-prepared coffee and a selection of speciality loose leaf teas, as well as a beautiful array of seasonal cakes that are locally produced. The new space forms part of the gallery’s mission and ethos of providing a new and progressive art space in Cardiff. It’s here that visitors can enjoy the art on display, while engaging with others in a communal environment. It’s in this way that the gallery hopes to ignite new discussions and conversations around the artwork, while also facilitating workshops and communityled events to further explore these creative conversations. The gallery has an exciting schedule of exhibitions and events lined up throughout the summer months, including an exhibition of work from their latest ‘open call’ which saw artists from across the UK submit a diverse spectrum of work for exhibition around the theme of ‘objects’. An upcoming exhibition also sees the gallery work closely with ‘Her Mark’ a programme of projects, events and support for women and those who identify as women. The exhibition will explore landscape, memory and visual storytelling.

Their current exhibition ‘Breaking the Silence’ is available to view until 15 July and showcases the work of globally acclaimed expressionist Frank Schroeder, and awardwinning UK sculptor Craig Hudson. n

For more information: (029) 2034 9819 I CARDIFF LIFE I 27




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)


“Our Pride In Roath event was a huge success”

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


et’s kick off this edition of our column with a huge welcome home for the king of Wales, our Sir Tom Jones! What a show he gave supporting The Stereophonics, back on home turf at The Principality Stadium! We attended the first of the two evenings, and Sir Tom appeared overcome and emotional as he sang certain songs of growing older and of course Green Green Grass of Home. Absolute icon. It’s been show after show in the capital of late. Theatre-wise, we’ve been busy; we attended The Play That Goes Wrong at the Wales Millennium Centre, which was cheekachingly funny. Quite literally, everything did go wrong to the point the whole stage fell apart – great entertainment.

Also, over at the New Theatre, Chicago came to town! It starred the incredible Brenda Edwards and Lee Mead, both of whom received personal artworks from Nathan, which they adored. St David’s Hall gave us a treat too: the phenomenal Lea Salonga performed two hours of absolute belters, from her Disney classics (she originally voiced Mulan and Jasmine) to Broadway favourites and unique takes on modern pop hits. That woman can SANG! In more serious news, 40 years of the Terrence Higgins Trust was marked with a celebration evening down at The Senedd, where officials and First Minister Mark Drakeford announced the action plan going forward for ending transmissions of HIV here in Wales. The occasion was also marked with an unveiling of a new portrait, created by Nathan, of young 17-year-old Terry Higgins,

made using red and green stamps of the THT heart logo. That’s hopefully going to end up in the St Fagans Museum collection for everyone to see. Our Pride In Roath event was a huge success. We put on two days of live entertainment down at St Andrew’s Coffee Court, with a belly dancer, a rock singer, and a drag act. What more could you wish for? Well, there were stalls, street food and much more where that came from. It was an amazing community weekend, full of love and celebration for our amazing LGBT+ community in Roath and its LGBT+ run businesses in the area. A true safe space for all. Bring on the next one I hear you say? Watch this space. Lastly we’d like to thanks all at MediaClash and Cardiff Life for a wonderful Summer Party on the gorgeous rooftop Terrance of The Botanist. Jay Page and his team at The Botanist always know how to host an incredible bash there, which is of course why they’re forever booked up. Here’s to many more celebrations this summer. Cheers! About our columnists: Nathan Wyburn is a pop culture artist who uses non-traditional 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 in Cardiff. Follow them on social: @wyburnandwayne / @wyburnwayne I CARDIFF LIFE I 29


COLIN CARRUTHERS, CLAIRE LOVELL, NIA MACKEOWN 8 July - 30 July 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 |

Chatting with Stephenson Ardern-Sodje, who takes on the starring role in Disney’s The Lion King, at Wales Millennium Centre in July and August By Sophia A Jackson


e made his West End debut in Hamilton before going on to star in As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest on stage, and also in Breeders for Sky, opposite Martin Freeman. And now, he leads the UK tour of The Lion King in the role of Simba; here he tells us about it… When did you get your first big break? I was singing in a choir and somebody posted in the WhatsApp group that Hamilton the Musical (London) was having open auditions, so I sent a video of me singing and rapping and got called in and got a recall. Then another recall and they gave me a week to learn 12 songs, which was kind of crazy. I was at work with my headphones in and spending all day listening to the soundtrack. I got down to finals but they said because I’d never done anything else before, professionally, they weren’t sure if it was the right time for me. Then they asked if I would consider training. So, because of the specificity of Hamilton with the lyrics and rapping they sent me to the Royal Academy of Music. It was a one year Master’s and I did the first two terms and then somebody in Hamilton needed


Stephenson as Simba; top right: The actor says this is the role of dreams

to go on paternity leave so I graduated early and they pulled me out to be in the show. I made my West End debut covering Hamilton, which was great. What are some of your earliest memories of going to the theatre? I grew up in a little town called Shrewsbury and we had a small theatre in town. I remember these shows with these amazing people doing amazing things – it felt like they were from another planet. When did you catch the acting bug? I’ve been acting for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I was one of the only non-white kids in my school, which makes you stand out. I was very energetic; I was curious and it was a nice way to channel that energy. It was a way for people to understand me. How does it feel to be playing such a much-loved role as Simba? It feels incredible. It feels unreal. I saw the show for the first time and I was blown away. I was about 10 years old, and, with so many people, I grew up with the film. I think for every young black boy – and the same with every young black girl who looks at Nala – it is the role. It’s the role that you see yourself represented in. To be able to step into those shoes – I feel like a torch bearer. It feels epic in the truer sense of the word. What does The Lion King mean to you? I am half Nigerian, and Nigerian culture is vibrant and it’s very loud and very emotional. Music is such a big part of Nigerian culture alongside community and family. This show represents so much of that to me. There are of course lots of Africa-inspired sounds and there’s beautiful traditional African music interwoven with the amazing modern score but there are so many moments

of real Black joy that you don’t really see anywhere else in the West End or many other places in theatre. For me, it kind of does feel like a reconnection with that side of my family. What methods did you put in place to bring out the vulnerability, naivety and innocence of playing Simba? Some people might look at the show and think Simba is your usual Disney prince because he’s very confident. Actually, he does have a lot of vulnerability, self-doubt and self-criticism. Really, it’s something that all of us feel.There’s a lot of vulnerability in me, and I think it’s actually a really perfect role to come back from the pandemic with, because Simba starts in the place that I’m starting, too. A place of uncertainty, of retesting things with the body, the voice, the mind in terms of whether or not we can still do what we thought we could do.

“For every young black boy, it’s ‘the’ role” How have you approached the process of learning to move like a lion? What was an illuminating experience was my final round of auditions, they brought the Simba mantle (the headpiece) in and they asked me to put it on and it is both metaphorically and literally heavy. It feels weighty and it feels unbalanced. But the moment that you centre yourself and the moment you find the balance within, you can’t help but lift your chest and bring your body up because you have to have that. I put it on and was a bit like Bambi on ice. They gave me a minute and I found my footing and my physicality. I suddenly felt like a lion. Why should people come to see The Lion King at the Wales Millennium Centre? Because places outside of the West End rarely get to see a show of this size, scope and scale. It is a truly epic performance that still features such a touching and personal story. We’ve come through a really difficult time, we’ve had so much uncertainty, so much doubt and sadness in our lives and The Lion King is a show about joy, release and community. n

See The Lion King from 8 July until 27 August at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff; I CARDIFF LIFE I 31







As part of our new Cardiff Life Experiences series, Lisa Evans was invited to be a canine carer for a day at Dogs Trust Cardiff Pooch photography by Charlie Sumpton


his was supposed to be a story of a day in the life of a dogs’ home carer, but it turned into a story about the day I fell in love. His name was Moses; he was a tall, blonde, handsome chap with a cheeky smile, ruffled hair, an athletic build and eyes to get lost in. And he was a Lurcher. He was the final dog I met during my day-long visit to the Dogs Trust Cardiff, and it was an overwhelmingly wholesome feeling of knowing you’ve met the one. With my mentor, Tabitha, I walked Moses to the beach paddock – one of the many enclosed secure play plots where pups can run free and have one-on-one time with their carers. “He won’t bat an eye if you offer him a treat,” said Tab. “But watch what happens if I squeak this toy.” With a sudden tilt of the head, it was as if a switch had been flipped, and he went from his professional self – showing me polite smiles, giving paw, and nuzzling into my neck – to


complete puppydom, doing zoomies through the sand pits. “I need him,” I said to Tab with tears in my eyes, and she told me that his potential adopter was supposed to collect him today but never showed. Fate, surely? I went home that night and set out on a mission to convince my husband to agree to let me have another man in my life. I accomplished the goal! We researched the Lurcher breed, and stayed up most of the night talking excitedly, knowing that Moses was our boy. Sadly, this is tale of love and loss. The next day, after a few work meetings I couldn’t wait to get out of the way, I started writing an email to Tabitha to tell her the glorious news; but at that same moment, a picture popped up on Instagram captioned: “Today marks the 200th adoption so far this year. We just waved goodbye to Moses who went off into his forever home today.” And there he was, smiling his beautiful smile, cuddling into his new dad. Although my heart is still sore, I’m so happy to have met him; the whole experience of

clockwise, from left: There he is, Moses – the one who got away; big man Arthur; the very moment Lisa fell in love


Dogs Trust, alongside Wild in Art and Peanuts, organised the recent eight-week Snoopy arts trail in the city, featuring giant Snoopy sculptures, which were dotted around Cardiff’s parks and popular spaces. At the end of its run in June, the 38 giant artist-decorated Snoopys were auctioned off at an event in The Coal Exchange, raising over £156,000 for Dogs Trust. It was hosted by renowned auctioneer Charles Hanson; and James Middleton, brother of the Duchess of Cambridge, was the guest of honour. “It has been absolutely fantastic to meet some of the dogs at Dogs Trust Cardiff,” says James. “I was so impressed by the facilities and the dedication of the staff who are totally committed to each and every one of the dogs. It is heartbreaking that so many dogs find themselves in need of new homes, but they get everything they need while they are waiting to find new families.”


• Wales has the largest stray dog population in the UK. • According to a recent Dogs Trust survey, an estimated 56,000 dogs are abandoned a year. • Wales has the biggest concentration of commercial dog breeders in the UK, and, sadly some are profiting from puppies while the mothers are poorly treated and kept in terrible conditions. • As puppy farming is rife in the South Wales region specifically, Dogs Trust decided to situate their new centre in Cardiff.

working at the home opened up a new chapter for me, because I know now that I’m ready to take on the challenge of dog ownership. Because, it is a challenge, isn’t it? Unless you manage to stumble on an already trained, perfectly behaved, silent, chilled out, nonshedding, undemanding pooch who can be left alone, never needs to be brushed or trimmed, is never ill, and never needs to go to the vet. The average owner spends £1,875 per year – on food, holiday boarding, grooming, health and the like – and then there are the physical demands to factor in too. It’s a big decision, and that’s one of the reasons so many dogs are surrendered to rehoming centres – especially in Wales, which has the largest stray dog population in the UK, and where tens of thousands of dogs are abandoned every year – because owners often underestimate the undertaking.

Feisty Paris and Nicole

It’s sad to see the centre full to capacity with homeless hounds, but the exceptional living environment really surprised me. I’ve visited many a rehoming centre in the past – it used to be something I’d do every Saturday, to get my hit of cuteness as I was so painfully aware I couldn’t be an owner due to working long hours out of the house. Dogs Trust is unlike any of them. It’s been designed with dog welfare in mind, and is the equivalent of a five-star allinclusive resort complex, complete with staff who properly adore and are dedicated to their guests. All the dogs are inside the main building for a start; no cold kennels here – they even have underfloor heating. There’s also a hydrotherapy suite, where injured dogs can be rehabilitated in water, or where those in their golden years can get a bit of light exercise on


• It’s a new rehoming centre, having only ‘officially’ opened in June after pandemic setbacks, but it has been rehoming dogs since last July. • It’s spread over eight acres. • There are 78 kennels, with underfloor heating. • There are many different suites for specific purposes, including: physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, grooming, puppy rearing, and veterinary facilities. • There’s a dog school, which extends to the public too. • It’s the 22nd rehoming centre for Dogs Trust, and the second in Wales. • All dogs are neutered, microchipped and vaccinated before being rehomed. • They have a non-destruction policy, and will never put a healthy dog to sleep.

The massive site is a stick’s throw from Cardiff Bay

the hydro treadmill; plus, there’s a vet clinic on site, and a physiotherapy suite to meet rescues’ recovery needs (some are found in awful states). There’s also a specialist puppy-rearing suite, with a whelping room for pregnant mums, and a dog school too. Impressively, there are even Real Life Rooms – spaces designed and decorated to look like the inside of regular houses, with working washing machines, sofas, TVs, rugs, doorbells, and letterboxes – which ready the dogs for their adoptive lives in home environments and all the strange noises and objects that come with them. My main job for the day was to take everyone on individual walks and playtimes in the eight acres of land, complete with sensory and mentally enriching varied terrains to explore. Of the 20 exercise paddocks, Teletubby Hill was my favourite space, featuring specially landscaped mounds and peaks just for joy’s sake. I was concerned that my day-in-the-life would be based around kennel cleaning and picking up poo – ‘get the intern to do it’ types of jobs – but they spared me the messy chores and let me focus on boosting the dogs’ wellbeing – so it was a day of tickles, throwing balls, giving treats, enjoying long walks, and getting to experience love at first sight. Bliss. ■ Dogs Trust Cardiff, Nettlefold Road;


• The centre is often looking for volunteers to walk the dogs. • You can donate your pre-loved items: treats, toys, towels and bedding. • You can choose a dog to sponsor. • Could you give a dog a temporary home? You might be a perfect match for their dog fostering programme. • You could help fundraising efforts by contacting: • And of course, you could adopt. I CARDIFF LIFE I 33


Outdoor fire pit, £1,500, from Athena Interiors, Cwmbran;

Garden Trading bistro set, £140 from Leekes, Newport Road, Cardiff;

Rome and Sydney furniture and accessories, from £79, BoConcept Cardiff, Grand Arcade, St David’s Centre;


Fingers crossed the Welsh weather stays as balmy as it has been in recent weeks; our gardens are calling to us right now, and furniture with luxe lounging and al fresco feasting potential is on our radar, along with plush outdoor accessories. We discovered these beauties on our local shopping spree… Garden Trading Richmond Bench, £175, from Leekes, Newport Road, Cardiff;

Lounge garden chair set, £480, from Athena Interiors, Cwmbran; I CARDIFF LIFE I 35

INDOOR WATERING CAN, £15 Treat your houseplants, terrariums and hanging pots to a drink from this stylish vessel. From Lisa Valentine Home, Penylan;

BORNEO EMERALD WALLPAPER, £65 PER ROLL Keep palm and carry on. From Graham & Brown, available at W J Gardner, Cardiff;


Whether you’re wearing it, enhancing your home with it, or you just like to admire it, the botanical print is going nowhere. Here’s our pick of biophilic buys from local shops ORCHID LARIAT NECKLACE, £220 A tropical summer statement accessory made from laser-cut leather. From Anne Morgan Jewellery, Penarth;

REUSABLE MENSTRUAL PAD, £9.95 We love sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic items. From Tabitha Eve, Pontypridd;

JUNGLE FOLIAGE CANVAS, £150 Escape into the muted shades of lushness in this artwork. From Athena Interiors, Cwmbran;

BOTANICAL FERN POT, £9.50 Because every plant deserves a delightful home. From John Henry Flowers, Wellfield Road;

RUBY SHOO SHOES, £59.99 Vintage-look heels adorned with a cute corsage. From A G Meek, St David's Way, St David’s Centre;



FABERGE CLOVER SURPRISE LOCKET, £11,400 Featuring heritage yellow gold diamond and turquoise guilloche enamel. From Laings, The Hayes, St David's, Cardiff;

STORAGE JAR, £29.99 Serious cottagecore vibes. From West Hampton, Penny Lane, Cowbridge; TREE OF GRATITUDE, £445 A collaborative piece between Kealey Farmer and the followers of her artworks. The background to the piece is adorned by quotes submitted to Kealey by contributors. From Adamo Gallery, Morgan Arcade;

OUR GREEN PLANET, £2,750 A Frank Schroeder creation, using acrylics and dried sticks. From Blackwater Gallery, Pendeen House; www.blackwater

MEADOW FLORAL BLOUSE, £40 A lightweight, feminine design – a ‘jeans and a nice top’ top. From Box Edit Boutique, Goodsheds, Barry;

DRIED FLOWER DIFFUSER, £32 Bloomfull marries together dried flowers and lasting scent within handpoured reed diffusers. From Bloomfull, Rhiwbina;

JOULES BOTANICAL CUSHION, £24 Plump, pretty and pleasant. From Leekes, Newport Road, Cardiff; I CARDIFF LIFE I 37




The Cocktail Club is shaking things up in Cardiff


LGBT+ provisions store and dining room The Glory Stores has launched a Bollinger loyalty scheme – the first in Wales. The Roath-based team of wine and champagne experts have joined up with the Embargo App, a wallet for eco-friendly, paperless loyalty cards, to reward their customers. For every glass of Bollinger purchased, customers will receive a stamp. Three stamps will gift them a free coffee while six will gift them a glass of Bollinger. “We are finding more and more that our customers are coming and wanting to treat themselves,” says Shaun Houcke, owner of The Glory Stores. “It can be on a Friday after a busy working week or for a special occasion like a birthday or bridal party. Our customers have supported us over the last 18 months, and this is our way to say thank you, and what better way than a free glass of Bollinger?”


From London to Cardiff, the award-winning cocktail bar The Cocktail Club landed in St Mary Street at the start of July, bringing with it impressive drinks, crazy bartenders and tunes to dance the night away to. In the lead up to the launch, a variety of events have drummed up excitement in the city. There’s been everything from the appearance of The Cocktail Club Wagon, a DJ truck providing a portable party around the centre; to the team taking to the streets on Ovo Bikes handing out freebies; and a cocktail ice lolly truck. At the bar – in the former Karma Club, next to Par 59 – you can expect boozy brunches on Saturdays, special occasion packages, and cocktail masterclasses.



A new hospitality strategy, aiming to provide a new generation of skilled hospitality staff in Wales, has been launched by UKHospitality Cymru – the voice of Welsh hospitality. ‘Fixing the crisis: a framework for collaborative action across the sector’ examines all aspects of the industry’s labour needs, including recruitment, skills and training, people’s working lives, hospitality’s image as a sector in which to work, and the infrastructure to support employees. The workforce strategy seeks to help plug the sector’s 170,000 UK jobs gap “For the past five years UKHospitality Cymru has bridgebuilt between industry, providers and government support and agencies, directly setting up the first ever Wales Hospitality and Tourism Skills Partnership,” says David Chapman, executive director of UKHospitality Cymru. “We have a united team in Wales, excited to take on one of the industry’s most serious recruitment challenges ever, and this valuable new document will be the industry’s route map for further gains.” There’s a hospitality crisis in Wales, and its ready to be fixed

The Glory Stores has launched Wales’s first Bollinger loyalty scheme I CARDIFF LIFE I 39


Lisa Evans visited the newly reopened Lisvane pub where she reached a new level of indulgence


heese is as addictive as hard drugs, apparently; I read an article about it a few years ago and never related to something more. It can activate the brain’s opioid receptors and leave you needing more. Why am I telling you this? Because when I visited The Old Cottage – which recently reopened after an extensive makeover – I ordered camembert, halloumi, brie, feta and mac and cheese, and consumed two days’ worth of calories in two hours. This review may need a trigger warning. In picturesque Lisvane, the much-loved dining and drinking spot has had a cool-yet-cosy, contemporary revamp, complete with a brand-new bar, feature booths, a fresh upstairs area for private dining, and touches of luxury throughout. As for the menu, it’s inspired by


modern world-food trends, with plenty of Asian influences as well as a focus on premium grill dishes... and plenty of cheese. To start, the husband and I shared an oozy baked camembert, topped with truffle honey, pine nuts and pumpkin seeds, which we heaped into our faces using toasted artisan bread slices as mini shovels. We even ate the entire rind, scraping at the parchment paper for prized golden sticky bits. My cheese-based choices, as you know, didn’t end there; eschewing the conventional starter-main-dessert structure, I went for a medley of small plates and sides next: sweet chilli halloumi fries, panko-breaded brie with apricot and ginger chutney, feta and chilli king prawns, mac and cheese, and, for good measure, Szechuan pepper tempura squid, and pan-fried wild scallops. And yes, that was all for me; stop judging already. Your man settled on a steak after shilly-shallying over


“With my eight-dish banquet, I managed to consume 4,000 calories in one sitting” the maple-glazed rotisserie pork belly and the dirty burger saturated with beef dripping sauce. I didn’t hold it against him, that was a tough choice. The 28-day-aged 7oz fillet was a lean, tender, delicate hit and was perfectly rare, as ordered, and he followed it with sticky toffee pud and honeycomb ice cream. As much as my inner turophile fancied the white chocolate cheesecake trio for dessert, I felt as if I’d reached my fromage frontier for the evening, and so I went for the cinnamon churros. For the first time ever, there was leftover sauce by the time I was done; slow clap for The Old Cottage on that one. Churro-to-sauce ratios are normally pretty disappointing, and I find myself having to eke out a minuscule dip; but it’s a very different story at this pub, where they give you two actual saucepans (petite ones, of course) filled with hot toffee, and melted Belgian chocolate. Gold star. There was a problem, however. See, the menu helpfully notes the calories of each dish. Now, that’s ideal for a diner who orders, say, the Nocellara olives to start, the hoisin duck stir fry for main, and the lemon posset for dessert; they’re coming in at around the 500-calorie mark for three courses. Then there’s me, with my eight-dish banquet, managing to consume just shy of 4,000 cals in one sitting. Mind you, there was leftover churro sauce, so let’s knock a couple of hundred off the total to curb my concern, yeah? So for those who like to indulge without reminders of their gluttony, please avoid looking at that bit of the menu, and for diners following disciplined summer-body regimens*, you can track what you eat and be thrilled to realise that the pasta, curry, burger, and – happily for me – all the cheese-based small plates, have fewer calories than the salad bowl. Winning. *Reminder: every body is a summer body; never feel the need to change! n

DINING DETAILS Where The Old Cottage, Cherry Orchard Road, Cardiff, CF14 0UE; 029 2076 5961; Food Fresh flavours and ingredients inspired by modern world-food trends Plant-based options There’s a dedicated vegan menu Dinner prices Starters £2.95 – £12.95; mains and small plates £5.95 – £54.95; dessert £5.50 – £8.95 Drinks A two-page wine list and an array of cocktails and gins Head chef Michael Wright, who has been with the pub for two years The look Stylish and charismatic What else A great outdoor space to delight in al fresco dining and sundrenched cocktails I CARDIFF LIFE I 41





Incredible southern fried oyster mushrooms from Gaz Oakley’s ‘Nana O’s’ vegan pop-up at Neighbourhood in Riverside. Crispy homemade hash browns topped with rosemary and pecorino, from the Friday night small plates menu at Milkwood, Pontcanna. A super creamy raspberry and strawberry cone from Calabrisella Gelato in Canton.



clockwise from top left: Oyster mushrooms a Nana O’s; Cava at Parador 44; Parador 44; deliciousness at Matsudai Ramen; a Calabrisella treat; Matsudai Ramen’s James; Whitecastle Vineyard tasting; Milkwood’s hash browns



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…

couple of weeks ago, I was treated to a first look at Parador 44, the gorgeous new boutique hotel from the owners of Bar 44. Situated on Quay Street above their Asador 44 restaurant, the rooms were utterly gorgeous, but I fell head over heels for the rooftop sun terrace – a guest-only perk. I can’t think of a better place to escape from the chaos of the city centre with a cold glass of cava! Find out more at @parador44. I also bagged myself an invite to a wine tasting event with Monmouthshire’s White Castle Vineyard, to celebrate Welsh


Wine Week. Hosted in the tasting room at Fine Wines Direct on Penarth Road, I learned that Wales (or, a few very clever people in Wales) can really make a mean Pinot Noir. To find out about future tasting events, give @finewinesdirect a follow. Over the last few weeks, I’ve also been working closely with James from Matsudai Ramen on getting his first ever bricksand-mortar restaurant ready for opening. Matsudai at the Bank will open in Grangetown at the beginning of August, serving up hearty bowls of ramen with handmade noodles and authentic toppings. There are some incredible guest chefs and

events to announce over the next few weeks; keep an eye on @matsudairamen for all the details. Plus: a new way to drink wine is coming to the city centre this summer. The Cardiff Wine Passport will cost £25 and will allow you to claim a different ‘wine flight’ in six independent bars around the city centre. Bars and restaurants who’ve signed up to stamp your passport in return for a ‘wine flight’ include Bar 44, Bacareto, Curado Bar and Kindle. To find out more, follow @cdfwinepassport For more: | @janechicomendes|

IN TREATMENT Hit refresh at five of our favourite local spas and healing hubs

The Parkgate Hotel’s sixth-floor spa




SPAS hether you want to submerge to the neck in a bath-warm pool while gazing out over the landmarks of the city, or slip into a fluffy robe and sip fizz with friends in a private relaxation room, or cover yourself in medicinal chakra muds inside a herbal steam temple, these spas and wellness hubs have you covered…


One of the city’s most exclusive wellness destinations, The Spa at The Parkgate Hotel is cocooned in a stunning boutique setting, with views as far as the eye can see from its sixth-floor elevation. Unwind in the contemporary relaxation space, featuring a striking hydrotherapy infinity pool, a bubbling spa bath, heated volcanic zones, a sauna and steam room, and massaging water showers, while enjoying the epic city skyline vista over the Principality stadium, Cardiff Castle and beyond. Also, you can enjoy the finest luxury treatments from Elemis, an innovative and global British skincare brand with over 30 years of expertise, and immerse yourself in a range of experiences designed to release the pressures of everyday life. One of the most popular treatments: The herbal steam temple – a 45-minute experience for up to two people. Enter the temple for a traditional cleansing ritual; apply medicinal chakra muds to the body and face while inhaling steam infused with pure herbs to cleanse, soothe and detoxify. The ritual ends with a warm rain shower. Westgate Street, Cardiff;



“Enter the temple for a traditional cleansing ritual”

The Vale Spa, part of the luxurious Vale Resort, set in 650 acres of stunning parkland, is the largest spa in Wales, providing a host of therapeutic and holistic treatments in a unique countryside setting. Its philosophy is to combine your chosen treatments with total relaxation time, to give you a full body-and-mind Outside at The Vale experience. Whether you stop by Resort Spa for an hour or two, or immerse yourself in a spa weekend, a visit there is the ultimate escapism. It offers five relaxation zones, each with a bespoke design. If your idea of heaven is a comfy sofa and a handful of the latest glossy mags, then hit the ‘chill-out’ zone; for something more relaxing, surround yourself with the soothing sounds of the ‘water’ zone, with its comforting water beds and calming water features; if you want to shut off completely, head to the Moroccan-inspired ‘sleep’ zone where shimmering lanterns and sumptuous quilts will provide an ideal environment to doze. Not forgetting the main facilities, including the 20-metre pool, whirlpool bath, steam room and sauna. Did you know? The Vale Resort has been named the best resort spa in Wales for fifth year running, by The World Travel Awards. Little extras: Their new gin distillery, housed in the cellars of Hensol Castle, is now open. Spa goers who want to add a little something extra to their stay can add on a tour of the distillery with gin tastings or even distil their own bespoke bottle of gin in the gin school. Hensol Park, Vale of Glamorgan; I CARDIFF LIFE I 45




Spa at St. David’s offers a range of luxurious and holistic face and body treatments which have been individually designed. They use high-quality products from ishga and La Rue Verte, which blend the potency and power of organic raw ingredients with an advanced bioscientific approach to skincare. Along with their 11 treatment rooms, relaxation room, and gym, there are hydrotherapy pools which provide soothing water therapies. Walk through the water corridor to stand beneath the swan-neck fountains, relax on the bubbling waterbeds, or sit in the spa bath allowing the water jets beneath the surface to massage your body and stimulate circulation. Their 15-metre exercise pool offers gorgeous views over Cardiff Bay, and the dry-heat sauna will help rejuvenate the skin, relax your muscles, ease joint pain, improve blood flow and detoxify your body. Did you know? It’s the first spa in Cardiff to offer pioneering CBDbased treatments. Their skincare offering from La Rue Verte uses safe, active ingredients from the cannabis sativa plant. They’ve also incorporated reflexology body mapping, where CBD balm is applied to targeted areas, promoting homeostasis. Havannah Street, Cardiff;


Whether you are looking to achieve your fitness goals in their state-of-the art gym, get energised in their group exercise classes, relax in their UV-filtered pool, or pamper yourself with a luxury treatment; Laguna Health and Spa, at Park Plaza Cardiff, will help you find that moment of pure tranquillity or invigoration. The inner-city spa provides an escape away, featuring a 20m pool, a steam room, a jacuzzi bath, chilled poolside loungers and nine indulgent treatment rooms, two of which have dual room facilities. Their ‘all about you’ spa packages allow guests to create their own special spa day experiences; a wide choice of treatments can be chosen from, with a dining option such as breakfast, afternoon tea, a twocourse lunch, or dinner in Laguna Kitchen and Bar. There are also group packages – for special occasions such as hen parties or birthdays – which offer a private relaxation room, fizz, afternoon tea, and massages and facials all round.



The 15-metre pool at the Spa at St. David’s

Take a load off at Laguna Health and Spa


“It’s the first spa in Cardiff to offer pioneering CBD-based treatments” Their Pevonia products, which are locally produced, use natural marine and botanical ingredients combined with technologically advanced formulas that deliver highly visible results. Some of the most popular treatments: The pineapple crème fraîche wrap; the aromatic moor mud back treatment; and the youth renew hydra-glow peel facial. Greyfriars Road, Cardiff;



Infrared healing yoga at Love Live Light Healing Hub

At this oasis of healing and wellbeing, you’ll find a vast variety of alternative holistic, Ayurvedic and scientifically backed healing therapies – from private infrared sauna pods and infrared healing yoga, to pressotherapy massage and guided meditation suites. Rico and Tess are the owners of the new venture; having lived and travelled in Bali for six months in search of alternative healing therapies for what could’ve been a career-ending injury for sportsman Rico, the idea of the Love Live Light Healing Hub was born. They’ve connected and partnered with over 200 healthy food, drink, and supplement companies and brands, which include some of the world’s most advanced alternative healing therapies and devices. Expect monthly workshops and events on breath work, sound and energy healing, cold therapy, cacao ceremonies and more. Did you know: They also have a healthy daytime café bar, where you’ll find refined-sugar-free and gluten-free delicacies along with an array of botanical elixirs and juices. n Pontcanna Street, Cardiff; I CARDIFF LIFE I 47



A new development is set to become Lisvane’s most prestigious address

At the end of June, Parador 44, a new boutique hotel inspired by Spain, opened in the heart of Cardiff. It offers an authentic taste of Iberia and is said to be the first food-focused luxury hotel in the capital. The full-service hotel is owned and run by three Welsh siblings – Tom Morgan, Owen Morgan and Natalie Isaac – who are also at the helm of Bar 44, Asador 44 and Mercado 44, and are all Hispanophiles. The hotel sits above Asador 44, their Northern Spanish grill restaurant, which has now pivoted to operate as a full hotel restaurant with Spanish breakfasts and à la carte meals being offered. With nine en suite rooms, each individually designed, Parador 44 is tucked away from the urban hubbub and offers an Andalucian outdoor terraza, a residents’ lounge with an honesty bar full of Spanish drinks and snacks, and lightflooded suites. The £1.178M transformational development was made possible by Cardiff Council funding, with the assistance of the Welsh Government’s Transforming Towns Loan funding. Quay Street;

LISVANE LUXURY A new development of 23 homes in the heart of Cardiff’s most sought-after postcode is expected to become one of, if not the most, prestigious addresses in Lisvane. Beaufort Park is a scheme of four- and five-bedroom detached houses by Edenstone Homes, a Welsh housebuilder with a reputation for constructing highquality homes in some of the most desirable locations in Wales and South West England. The exclusive development is already under construction and the first 10 homes have now been launched for sale. They are generously proportioned with some properties extending to over 4,200 sq ft. The layouts have been thoughtfully designed to provide the best in contemporary living, including family areas, studies, dressing rooms and home

entertainment rooms. Each property will be finished to an exceptional premium standard, with a suite of branded appliances in the custom kitchens, stylish bathrooms and statement staircases. “The launch of Beaufort Park follows the sell-out success of neighbouring Beaufort Gardens, a similarly magnificent development to which we have already welcomed a number of discerning homebuyers,” says Edenstone Homes sales director Adele McCoy. “Beaufort Park has already attracted a good deal of interest and on the back of this we have agreed four sales off plan. We are excited to introduce the scheme to the market, working with Savills, and look forward to welcoming interested buyers to the development with a new sales centre due to open in July.”

Parador 44, Cardiff’s first foodie boutique hotel has opened


Nominations are now open for our very own Cardiff Property Awards 2022. Businesses ranging from architecture firms and developers to estate agents and interior designers are encouraged to enter. The Awards, celebrating the dynamic local property sector, will take place at Mercure Cardiff Holland House on 18 November. I CARDIFF LIFE I 49


A look inside a design-led contemporary home in an exclusive gated development in the heart of Cyncoed By Evelyn Green 50 I CARDIFF LIFE I


esigned by award-winning architects, Loyn & Co, Nant Fawr Court in Cyncoed represents an innovative step in housebuilding which has fully embraced the desire for light and space within the family home. It’s an exclusive development of just four ultra-modern, design-led, contemporary homes in a rare woodland-edged gated courtyard, and one of the homes has just come on the market. Entered into via a dramatic vaulted hallway, the bright airiness is immediately apparent. To the ground floor is a large dining hall with a modern staircase, and a high-specification kitchen with a dreamy island. To the far end of the house is a sleek living area with sliding doors to the garden and a window overlooking, wait for it, the indoor nine-metre swimming pool. Upstairs, there are five bedrooms – the master boasting a walk-in wardrobe and en suite bathroom –


HOUSE NUMBERS Where Nant Fawr Court, Heol Esgyn, Cardiff, CF23 6JY Guide pride £1,999,950 Square foot 6,183 Bedrooms 5 Bathrooms 4 Outside A stream, a lawn and several plush seating areas Parking An ample driveway and a double garage with electric doors Agent Savills Cardiff, 2 Kingsway, CF10 3FD;; 02920 368 900

as well as three roof terraces. Outside, you are surrounding by nature, with a stream, lawn and several plush seating areas. Cyncoed is a highly sought-after Cardiff suburb with a host of handy shops, cafés and parks nearby. Roath Park Lake is only a short walk away, as is Cardiff Golf Club. “The brief for a low-density housing scheme set within a secluded site in the Cyncoed area was for four unique dwellings that responded sensitively to each other as well as the surrounding context,” says the team at Loyn & Co. “The response to this brief was driven by the character of the site itself. The mature wooded surroundings to the southern boundaries created a sense of natural enclosure, which, coupled with the presence of the Nant Fawr stream, gave the site a more rural than suburban feel. This was a rare and valuable opportunity for a new housing development in this area of the city. “The site strategy was subsequently conceived as a group of houses, visually connected by a shared

architectural language and a single principal material, to give the scheme a sense of unity and coherence, rather than adopting the more common ‘stand-alone’, plot-based approach that was typical of speculative residential development at this time. “The four houses were organised around a series of courtyards, with interlinking garden walls promoting a strong connectivity between the inside and outside spaces. The design of the houses themselves has been sensitively handled in terms of their massing and architectural language to form a restrained aesthetic, of simply proportioned elements within a natural environment. “The high-level of glazing exploits the views beautifully and creates a light and airy interior. The path of the sun was carefully considered in the layouts, too, and privacy with neighbouring properties has been maintained.” This one’s well worth an in-person look, for sure. I CARDIFF LIFE I 51

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


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

Cardiff Life team 01225 475800

School may be out for summer but a little holiday learning can be beneficial long term


Swots it all about?


Should the school summer holidays be about switching off or swotting up?

have a vivid memory from my childhood of seeing a ‘Back to School’ sign in the window of Woolworths on the first day of the summer holidays. Surely new pencil cases have no place in the ice cream o’clock hours of July. Not according to the National Literacy Trust who say the impact of the big six-week brain slowdown can be ‘huge’. It is especially important to combat summer learning loss post-Covid, say experts, when the last thing catch up plans need is the chance to put their feet up and slap on the Factor 50. A major study in the US recently found that pupils can lose up to 34 per cent of the

previous year’s learning gains in the holidays, and students who lose ground in one summer are twice as likely to also lose ground in subsequent summers. So far, so summer killjoy. I have to caveat the study by saying holidays in the States are much longer than ours. It’s not unusual for pupils to break up in June and go back in September. But due to our linear examination system, British kids can feel under more academic pressure, and it’s no

wonder parents’ Facebook feeds are already full of adverts for bootcamps with FOMO-sounding names like Uplevel Academy and Summer Success. The heat is very much on. Recently the former head of Ofsted, Sir Michael Wilshaw, threw his weight behind proposals to cut the school summer holidays. Many teachers say the ‘feast or famine’ approach is unhelpful and also out of sync with modern working parents’ schedules. There should be shorter terms with

“Pupils can lose up to 34 per cent of the previous year’s learning gains in the holidays”



Don’t fear using tech for good. iPads and mobile phones have become the modern bogeyman but 15 minutes a day swiping through a maths app like Doodle Maths or parlezing a bit of Français on Babel via Audible is a brilliant way to keep young minds engaged.


Research shows children who read daily outside school are five times more likely to read above the expected level for their age. Even at GCSE and A level, extracurricular reading is shown to impact on speed of processing and general concentration levels. Try and use the routine-free days to set up a new habit and stealthily introduce that reading-beforebed slot.


Use the longer days to timetable some kind of PE. A recent study that sampled 400 British school children found that kids can lose up to 80 per cent of the physical fitness they build up over the busy school year during time off. Think about rewarding (aka bribing) a set amount of time moving each day which will keep their grey matter boosted with feel-good, think-good endorphins too.

more frequent breaks to keep kids’ brains topped up. By the time those of you with pre-schoolers are preparing for A levels, I can’t help thinking the six-week break will seem as outdated as using an abacus to extract a square root. For now, should you help your child swot up or switch off? Just as I advise parents choosing between two schools to go with their gut (sorry not sorry for the lack of science), I’d heed logic here. If you have a child entering Y6, Y11 or Y13 with serious concerns about a particular subject; then yes, use the summer to do some ‘proper’ work. It’s a sprint; not a marathon. For the rest, I’d look at ways to keep things ticking over without feeling like there’s an Ofsted inspection looming. Something is always better than nothing. Light and shade. Bikinis in August with an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny bit of September thrown in. Victoria Bond is founder and 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 53



Jane Cook and Vicky North

Taking it all in Gemma Roberts, Chloe Pugh, Sarah Clifford, Nikki Williams and Donna James

Sam Hoy, Alistair Hoy, and Nathan Scott Howe Abbie Heasley, Nathan Stokes and Louise Morgan


Our summer parties are back! We haven’t been able to host one for three years (thanks, pandemic), so it felt wonderful to be back out in the sun, with a prosecco in hand, chatting and laughing away with many of our contributors, advertisers and supporters. We held it in June on the rooftop of The Botanist in Cardiff this time around, and what glorious weather we had for it. The Botanist buffet was dreamy, the tunes from DJ Jordan Brown were on point, and the in-person company was divine too. Photos by Owen Mathias Photography

Clare Havard and Jen Dugdale


Alice Ojeda, Catherine Smith and Howard Smith Richard Field, Jackie Delvea, Juliet Gamlin, Annie Kelly, Jemma Ajax, and Olly Smith


Good vibes The sun was shining, the weather was sweet

Listening intently to our speeches

Lynda Rees, Jo Prosser, Katie Imperato and Justine Bullock



The Cardiff Life team (Lisa Evans, Kate Griffiths, Steph Dodd, Annie Kelly and Mark George) with The Botanist’s Jay Page (centre) Wayne Courtney and Kim Pedlar

Tom De Val and Jessica Leigh Jones

Selena O’Neil-Smith and Nathan Wyburn I CARDIFF LIFE I 55


The castle grounds were packed Asha Jane


Barracwda, an Afro Brazilian percussion band

The Tafwyl Festival returned to Cardiff Castle in June for two days of live music, literature, drama, comedy, art and food. Thousands of people immersed themselves in the free annual event which aims to promote Welsh language and culture. Homegrown talent took to the stage – from indie-rock band Sŵnami to post-punk band Adwaith – and the grounds were dotted with street food traders, artists and creatives. Photos by ffotoNant / Tafwyl

What a feeling





Meinir Gwilym

Glain Rhys

The downpours didn’t stop anyone Partying into the night


Thousands of people visited

N’famady Kouyaté

Tara Bandito I CARDIFF LIFE I 57

Chris Duffy, Leanne Waring, Nicola Rylett-Jones and Sian Lloyd Kara Bassett, Rosie Moriarty-Simmonds, Meg McNamme and Stuart Castledine

Darran Evans, Patrick Allchurch and Carol Hall

Sir Chris Evans


Prof. Sir Chris Evans OBE was the keynote speaker at Cardiff Business Club’s latest gathering in June at The Hilton. The Port Talbot-born internationally renowned scientific entrepreneur worked every day from March 2020 until late 2021 developing his own highly accurate lateral flow and PCR tests and sourcing thousands of high-quality ventilators and medical equipment for the NHS and several other countries. His work made a huge contribution around the globe. Photos by Richard Bosworth


Michael Jones, Mark Boughey and Stuart Price

Susan James and friend

An exciting event took place recently at Anne Morgan Jewellery in Penarth. It celebrated the launch of a new collection from We Dream in Colour, a black-owned, self-funded independent jewellery line designed and handmade with a focus on sustainability. Anne and her team welcomed customers into the gallery for an evening of browsing, drinks and canapés, as well as a raffle for Brain Tumour Research with prizes donated from local businesses in Penarth. Photos by Kate Williams

Ashleigh Duthie-Anstee and Kate Rees Anne Morgan


Bethan Cartwright

Rebecca Burt



Babylon Summer Solstice was held on the longest day of the year at DEPOT Cardiff. The afternoon-to-evening event boasted some serious festival vibes and featured the best in house, disco and garage plus glitter, glitter and more glitter. It took over a brand-new space at DEPOT where more events are soon to be announced. Photos by Sin Hart Photography I CARDIFF LIFE I 59


Lisa Evans holes up in a luxury lodge at Dylan Coastal Resort in Carmarthenshire, just over an hour’s drive from Cardiff Photography by Adam Lynk

To infinity


S clockwise: The hillside lodges offer a spectacular viewpoint; the £7.5M spa; hot tub on the deck


•D ylan Coastal Resort offers some of the most exclusive holiday homes in Wales. • The fully furnished lodges are priced from £350,000, available as two or three beds, each with two bathrooms, vaulted ceilings, walk-in wardrobes and fitted kitchens. • Owners can exclusively retain their property or to sublet it through the resort’s letting programme. • This offers a potential £25k rental return, or by part occupying and part subletting, a possible £17k income can be recouped, letting your lifestyle pay for itself. There are also finance options available. • The residences benefit from a concierge service, 24-hour security and owner discounts across the resort. • The resort is run by Luxury Lodges, which owns four exclusive resorts across the UK – from Cornwall to the Lake District. • Luxury breaks are also available at

ometimes, all you want to do is climb into your private hot tub on your secluded hillside lodge deck, with a glass of champagne in hand, looking out over miles of mesmerising, shifting seascape while the sun kisses your cheeks. The great thing is, you don’t even have to get on a plane to arrive at this dreamlike destination, because it’s down the road, just over an hour from Cardiff, in Laugharne. The luxury getaway in question is the Dylan Coastal Resort, where, as well as your own hot tub, you’ll find a world-class spa on your doorstep. Inside the £7.5M Milk Wood House Spa, my personal favourite feature is the bath-warm, bubbling infinity pool – the best bit of which is that the front wall is only chest height, so you’re open to the elements while sinking into those endless vistas over the Taf Estuary. When I tell you I soaked, unmoving, for hours, I’m not overstating. There’s a second pool too, if you fancy a proper swim, as well as a tepidarium, a herbal steam room, themed showers and a state-of-the-art Technogym. The husband and I were treated to massages while at the complex: one of the invigorating variety, and one using hot poultices. Mine was the latter; I was left thoroughly exfoliated by the little pouches’ textured surfaces, and I was dizzy after the deeply transporting rhythmic skin-on-skin full body rub-down, from which I woke myself up with the tickling graze of a snore, three times. It’s great not to have to get back in the car after a spa experience like that – when your head feels like a cloud and your limbs feel like a children’s party dessert (jelly, that is). All you have to do here is click your fingers (metaphorically of course; we shan’t be rude to staff) and be chauffeur driven in a buggy back

to your lodge, which is a mere five-minute walk away, but still feels like too much of an exertion in that moment. Back at the dwelling, everything was primed and poised ready for a self-catered night in; we could have cooked a slap-up meal in the pristine kitchen, eaten at the dining table, and then settled down on the L-shaped sofa to watch a Netflix flick, but, again, that would have been a lot of effort, so off to the restaurant it was. The mezzanine Milk Wood House Bar and Restaurant and its sea-view terraces relieved us of cooking duties, and nourished us with its ‘wellness cuisine’, focused on locally sourced seafood and rustic, wholesome pizzas. The hot smoked salmon risotto was so divine that it’s now on my family’s weekly meal circuit, where it will remain forevermore. Whenever I put together an unbiased review, I do try to include constructive criticism; and I have a big one: I was made to leave after my stay was over. Can you believe that? That didn’t feel quite fair; I wanted to stay put and make it my home address. Too much to ask, apparently. I would have had a great neighbour, too; Lions’ and Wales’ rugby star Alun Wyn Jones – their ambassador – became one of the first owners at Dylan Coastal Resort, which he enjoys with his family. Endless access to your own lodge is certainly appealing; I can imagine coming home from work on a Friday after a stressful week and making the spontaneous trip down to Laugharne for the weekend to recharge, in my own little picturesque corner of South West Wales. A future purchase to mull over, for sure.

“Look out over miles of mesmerising seascape”

The Dylan Coastal Resort, Laugharne Park, Laugharne, Carmarthen, SA33 4SG; I CARDIFF LIFE I 61


LAND TRANSACTION TAX When buying a house, it is no secret that there is a lot to contemplate. Even after you have completed on your purchase, there are still a few tasks that need to be ticked off the to do list. One includes your Land Transaction Tax (LTT). Georgia Evans of BERRY SMITH LAWYERS tells you all you need to know...


TT replaced Stamp Duty Land Tax in Wales in 2018. LTT is an amount of tax you need pay if you have purchased a property or a piece of land. You must pay this amount of tax within a 30-day period from the date of completion, your Solicitor can deal with this for you, or you can process the LTT yourself. How much LTT will I have to pay? The amount of LTT that you have to pay will depend on several factors which include; if the property you have purchased is residential or not, how much you paid for your new property and if the property you are purchasing will be a second home. You have to pay LTT if you purchase a property or piece of land that is over a certain amount in Wales. These thresholds are where the tax begins to apply. The thresholds are; £180,000 if you

purchase a residential property, and if you do not own any other property. Or £225,000 for a nonresidential property or piece of land (Gov.Wales). The LTT rates and bands are set out by the Welsh Government. Essentially, the more a property costs, the more LTT you are going to be required to pay. The best way to check how much LTT you are likely needed to pay is by looking at the Gov. Wales tax calculator. Higher rate of LTT? Regarding residential property, there are two rates of LTT; the basic rate and the higher rate. The higher rate adds an additional 3 per cent to the basic rate chargeable. You will have to pay the higher rate if you have purchased a residential property that is worth £40,000 or more, and if you own another property anywhere in the world, or other properties. If you buy the property with

another person who owns a second property, the higher rate will apply. If you are married, or in a civil partnership and your partner already owned a property, but you did not own any property, you would still need to pay the higher rate of LTT. What if I buy a new home before selling my current home? You will still have to pay the higher rate but reclaim that additional LTT if you sell your current main residence within 3 years of buying the new one. n

If you would like any further information, please contact Georgia Evans on 02920 345 511 or

It’s the city’s business

CARDIFFWORKS Jessica Hayward


Law firm Clarke Willmott has boosted its Cardiff office team with two new members of staff: Tariq Azim joins the corporate banking team, and Jessica Hayward joins the commercial property team.


Cardiff-based Austin Partnership – a well-known consultancy with a reputation for restoring and repurposing historic buildings, such as Goodsheds in Barry, and St Fagans National Museum of History – has transitioned into an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). It will now be owned by 10 of its technical staff.



The first of its kind in Wales, Yellow TSE opened in Cardiff’s Morgan Quarter in June. The plastic-free, zero-waste department store, work space, café and paperless shopping experience uses state-ofthe-art QR technology, never before been seen in Wales, meaning you can browse and buy your refillable goods with ease.

Tamsin Ford, founder of Yellow TSE

Cardiff achieves its third purple flag accreditation

PURPLE REIGN FOR Cardiff has announced the successful renewal of Cardiff’s Purple Flag accreditation after showing for a third time that the city has a diverse, safe, and enjoyable offering between the hours of 5pm-5am. Led by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM), Purple Flag is a scheme that recognises excellent city centre management at night, similar to the Blue Flag for beaches and the Green Flag for parks. Commenting on the city’s pubs and bars, the assessors said, “They are overwhelmingly well-run to Purple Flag standards, and increasingly offer entertainment, either by music or by ‘competitive socialising’ such as golf, or even axe throwing.” Recent investment into al-fresco dining has contributed to Cardiff’s diverse leisure and

hospitality offering with the assessors saying, “A positive and creative approach has been adopted in retaining and expanding the outside seating spaces in many premises, which has proven popular with customers, enhanced accessibility and contributed to a positive ‘vibe’ in the city centre.” Overall, Cardiff has responded well to the unique challenges of the pandemic, creating a solid platform for sustainable recovery. “Cardiff has demonstrated significant resilience,” added the assessors. “The clear resurgence of enthusiasm and optimism from front line staff, business owners and partnership leadership demonstrate the effectiveness of the hard work and shared objectives in recent times.” For more:

DRIVING FORCE The most significant recent study into car ownership across UK regions has revealed Cardiff as having the highest proportion of underused cars. The same study highlights transformational benefits from expanding Car Club schemes in Cardiff, with up to 2,400 underused private vehicles able to be taken off the road. The study – conducted by leading transport consultancy Steer, on behalf of European mobility champion Bolt, comes as the cost of owning cars continues to rise, some estimating by as much as a fifth, alongside

fuel prices hitting record highs. Around 5,000 Cardiff households have either one or two cars with a total mileage of under 5,000 miles. These households have the highest propensity to switch from private ownership to pay-per-trip Car Clubs. The study indicates that 240 more Car Club vehicles are needed in Cardiff – the city currently has less than 50. About Bolt Bolt is ride-hailing app that has 100 million customers in 400 cities – including Cardiff, where

Bolt founder Markus Villig

it was introduced last year. The company seeks to accelerate the transition from owned cars to shared mobility, including ridehailing, shared cars and scooters, and food and grocery delivery. For more: I CARDIFF LIFE I 63



The FOR Cardiff team; Carolyn is second from the left

CARDIFF LIFE AWARDS 2022 FOR CARDIFF – the city’s Business Improvement District (BID) – won our Civic Award at The Cardiff Life Awards 2022. Here we speak to Carolyn Brownell, associate director, who has worked in BIDs across the UK for the last 12 years CIVIC WINNER SPONSORED BY

voting yes by number, and 94 per cent yes by rateable value. Where did you go from there?

Tell us about FOR Cardiff…

FOR Cardiff represents businesses in Cardiff city centre by delivering projects, campaigns, and events that enhance Wales’s capital. What the story of its beginnings?

It was originally established in 2016, but 2021 was a momentous year for us. In July 2021, Cardiff businesses voted in favour to renew FOR Cardiff for a second five-year term, giving the green light to £7.5million worth of investment for Cardiff. We had the most successful ballot result for a Business Improvement District (BID) in Wales with 91 per cent

In 2021, we consulted with our 750 business members on what they’d like to see over the next five years. This process is essential but very intensive for the team, particularly during a pandemic where so many businesses had other (understandable) priorities. Following our member feedback, we created a new business plan with three core pillars: Enhance, Deliver and Represent. In our second term, we will deliver ambitious projects such as: making Cardiff the UK’s first Equality City; bringing public art to the city centre, making diverse culture accessible; introducing new environmental projects and greening Cardiff through pocket parks; and establishing a university internship scheme.


What major positives has FOR Cardiff experienced?

We have led on many bold and innovative projects such as: The international-award-winning City of Arcades brand which promotes Cardiff as a destination by harnessing the beauty of our historic arcades; re-opening St. John’s Gardens and creating a community space through live music and interactive light installations; bringing awardwinning events to Cardiff like The Daff Trail on St David’s Day 2019. How does FOR Cardiff work to keep local people safe?

We introduced the Safe Places network and app to Cardiff following the tragic murder of Sarah Everard. It allows those feeling intimidated, scared, or vulnerable to quickly find a nearby business that can offer assistance.

“WE INTRODUCED THE SAFE PLACES NETWORK AND APP TO CARDIFF FOLLOWING THE TRAGIC MURDER OF SARAH EVERARD. IT ALLOWS THOSE FEELING VULNERABLE TO QUICKLY FIND A NEARBY BUSINESS THAT CAN OFFER ASSISTANCE” We also launched Cardiff’s first Women’s Safety Network to give women a voice and create change through partnership working. Since 2016, our dedicated Night Marshal team has helped over 500K people return home safely. We also provide free training to employees in first aid, mental health and fire safety. Tell us about a recent collaboration with another local businesses…

Our entire business model is focused on collaboration and partnership, but recently we worked with St David’s Dewi Sant to bring the Nick Jr Tour to Cardiff. Thousands of families raced around finding characters from Paw Patrol, Blaze the Monster Machine and Simmer and Shine. The feedback we’ve received was fantastic. For more:



Talk with us about sponsorship: • Connect with leading Cardiff property businesses, across all sectors • Benefit from a multiple channel marketing campaign, reaching thousands • Stand out amongst your peers at this prestigious, unique event For details:

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“I’ve just come back from the British Championships, which I won”

JEREMIAH AZU We chat with the Rumney-based sportsman and newly crowned 100m champion Sprinter Jeremiah Azu, who lives in Cardiff, will compete for Wales at the Commonwealth Games this summer. Last month, the 21-year-old became the British 100m Champion in a supercharged time of 9.90 seconds at the UK Athletics Championships. He’s the first Welshman to win the UK title since the great Ron Jones won it back in 1969. Tell us about your biggest career highlights...

I won the European Under 23s in

2021. It was massive because two years before, in the European Under 20s (when I was 17), I was injured in the final. So to come back – and after the pandemic – was a really big deal. I’ve just come back from the British Championships, which I won. I had it on my lock screen on my phone since last year – ‘2022 British Championship’ – but to achieve it? I’m so grateful! How are you feeling about competing at the Commonwealth Games this summer?


I’ve never been before so it’s a big milestone. Obviously, it’s not just athletics, it’s a multi-sport event so the atmosphere will be electric. I can’t wait. I think I could make the final. And once you’re in the mix, nothing ever goes to script. Obviously to come away with a medal would be amazing. What are your biggest goals?

My ambition is to make the Olympic finals and win medals – medals are more important to me than records because records can always be broken. What’s your first sporting memory?

I remember sports day at primary school when I was about 10. I think I was beaten by a boy called Ellis John – he was really quick! How long have you lived in Cardiff?

I was born in the Netherlands but I moved here when I was four. I live in Rumney. What’s your favourite local spot?

I tend to head down to Juno

Lounge on Wellfield Road after training – they do a really good breakfast. And how do you like to spend your days off in Cardiff?

I like to go to the cinema with my girlfriend – I love anything with action and adventure. I went to see the Buzz Lightyear film last week, I loved it. I also like to play pool; there’s a local place on Penarth Road. I’ve been going there with my little brother for the last three months, it chills me out but I still get really competitive. What’s something not many people would know about you?

I sing in church most Sundays. Surprise us…

When I first learnt how to talk, I was speaking Dutch. I can still speak a little bit. I can also understand Twi which is spoken in Ghana and I can speak it a little. I also love to cook – I like to learn recipes from my mum. My favourite thing to cook is rice balls in a peanut soup. n Instagram: @jeremiahazu