5 Gift Ideas from Independent Businesses in and around Cardiff

If, like me, you’re on the hunt for some unique Christmas presents in and around Cardiff this year, then you only have to wander amongst the gorgeous Christmas Markets, the Victorian Arcades, Castle Emporium or Cardiff Market and you’ll be spoilt for choice, and that’s even before browsing online.

If you don’t know where to start and you’re looking for some giftspiration, I’ve got five suggestions for you from some wonderful independent businesses.

I could have gone on forever but I’m super busy.

You know, eating the chocolate decorations off my Christmas tree whilst watching It’s A Wonderful Life.

1.Cute and dainty sterling silver jewellery from Lushchic Jewellery

103 Bute St, Cardiff CF10 5AD

Shop here

Browse lush chic Instagram page here

If you or someone you know is a fan of cute and quirky sterling silver jewellery, then look no further!

Lushchic Jewellery specialises in eye catching trinkets which are girly, distinctive and affordable.

I personally love the sterling silver and pearl cat ring which I think would look great on it’s own or stacked with other rings to create your own unique combination.

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I was lucky enough to try out the new Winter Range with matching bracelet, earrings and necklace sets inspired by classic Victorian Christmas decorations including christmas trees, ornate baubles, snowflakes, poinsettias, ginger bread men and bells.

The heart snowflake necklace is my favourite- so detailed, pretty, dainty and sparkly- and nothing says Christmas more than swarorvski crystals.

And guess what, the kind guys at Lushchic have offered to take part in a giveaway- share my blog post on Facebook or Twitter for a chance to win this little beauty, usually worth £47! Bonus points for following Lushchic on Instagram.  Perfect gift for any age (if you’re not too tempted to keep them for yourself to wear to your Christmas doo that is!)

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Follow the link below to enter the giveaway.

I want a snowflake necklace!

Shop the full range here and give them a little follow on Insta to feast your eyes on these twinkly treats!

2. Sassy succulents from Secret Garden Florist

Store in Victorian indoor market selling fresh blooms for bouquets and functions, plus delivery.

St. Mary’s St, Cardiff CF10 1AU

Shop their website 

Follow them on instagram

What pinterest worthy office desk or dresser is complete without a succulent?!

Pop on in to the Secret Garden Florist located in Cardiff Market to pick up a succulent or two, or if you’re feeling super sassy…a glitter succulent! I KNOW?!

For the more traditional amongst us, they make the most beautiful  Christmas wreaths and lots of other blooming gorgeous gifts.

3. A Christmas Hamper from Wally’s Deli

38-46 Royal Arcade, Cardiff CF10 1AE

Browse the website here

Follow them on Instagram here

One of my  favourite go to places for gifts all year around but especially at Christmas time,  and of many others as exemplified by the crowds that flock to this store in the beautiful Royal Arcade for their Christmas goodies.

Just stepping foot inside the store is guaranteed to give you the Christmas feels- the hustle and bustle and delicious aroma will transport you straight to an Austrian Christmas Market. 

Create your own hamper choosing from a wide selection of gourmet continental foods including cold meats and salamis, cheeses, fresh bread, olives preserves, condiments, herbs and spices, chocolates and ales.

Heads up; they also have a new shop, Wally’s Liquor Cellar, which is situated in the Castle Arcade in Cardiff, as they had run out of room to display the ales, wines and spirits in the deli itself. 

Or if the choice is simply to much, pick up a ready make hamper or gift set and then treat yourself to a coffee in the Kaffeehaus upstairs. 

4. Homeware from Bodlon

12 Park Rd, Cardiff CF14 7BQ

Yr Hen Lyfrgell, Working Street, The Hayes, Cardiff CF10 1BH

Shop here

Follow on instagram

With an established extensive online range under it’s belt, Bodlon opened a gift shop and cafe in Whitchurch a few years ago and now has a second home in the Old Library in the heart of the City Centre.

Bodlon are passionate about selling contemporary Welsh goods, from kitchenware to candles, cushions, pottery and other locally sourced treasures, you’ll be able to find a gift for everyone, from an under £10 secret santa challenge to beard soaps and waxes to fluffy sheep door stops.

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5. Vibrant prints from Yorath Designs

Shop here

Instastalk here

So this lovely lady is based out of Swansea, but I did say in and around Cardiff right?!

From hummingbirds, to ice creams, flamingos to pineapples, cacti to rubber ducks, and more recently added to the collection, a rosy red robin, these colourful motif prints would make the perfect present.

Each print is derived from an original acrylic lovingly hand painted by the talented Helen Yorath herself; the colour motif in the centre of a crisp white frame would  add a pop of colour to any wall, desktop or bookcase. 

Buy one and turn any old desk in to a fresh instagrammabe workspace #deskgoals.

Where is your favourite local independent place or website to buy those special gifts?

 

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5 Gift Ideas from Independent Businesses in and around Cardiff

5 of my favourite coffee stops in Cardiff City Centre

If, like me, the time distribution of your Christmas shopping trip  in Cardiff is essentially 5% shopping, 10% panicking about shopping, 75% coffee stops and 10% cake  (quick maths), you’ll know that finding the perfect pit stop or two for that caffeine hit is an essential, and possibly the most important and enjoyable part of your day.

To help you with this critical decision this Christmas season, fear not, I’ve prepared a quick guide to my favourite coffee stops in Cardiff City Centre- you’re welcome.

 

  1. The Little Man Coffee Company

Ivor House, Bridge St, Cardiff CF10 2EE

Leave the hustle and bustle of St David’s 2, onward past the sparkly lightening bolt, and there, across the zebra crossing next to the Traders Tavern is The Little Man Coffee Company.

The vibe is always relaxed, with the smell of coffee (usually sourced from local Welsh Roasters) and the sound of funk and soul music in the air.  The food menu offers a selection of classics with a twist, from toasties to colourful salads and, most importantly, they have a breakfast bar filled with fruit, cereals, breads for toasting, and Pop Tarts  for less that a fiver.

 

2. Coffee Barker 

Unit 13, Castle Arcade, Cardiff CF10 1BU

Situated in the Castle Arcade, this quirky little coffee shop is the perfect spot to sink in to a comfy armchair and cwtch up with a cuppa.

If you’re unable to find a a seat inside amongst the eclectic decor, don’t worry, you’re sure to find a spot in the seating area outside, where you can settle down at a candle lit table,  pull on a blanket and watch the shoppers pass you by under the beautiful Christmas lights.

Oh, and the coffee is great too!

If you really want to treat yourself, grab an ice cream in sister cafe,  Barker Gelato.

And they’re not going to stop at coffee and ice cream….soon, you’ll be able to grab a swift one at the new Gin and Juice bar if you’re looking for something stronger to take the edge off!

3. Hard Lines

Castle Emporium, Womanby Street, Cardiff, CF10 1BS

Cardiff Central market, Unit 25, Cardiff CF10 1AU

Grab a speciality coffee to go from Hard Lines as you weave through the hustle and bustle of Cardiff Market or search for unique treasures at the vibrant Castle Emporium.

The shop in the Cardiff Market sports a retro pink coffee machine and neon lights, whilst the shop in Castle Emporium sells newly released vinyls alongside your caffeine hit.

Both shops pride themselves on their passion for providing great single origin coffee.

4. Uncommon Ground

10-12 Royal Arcade, Cardiff CF10 1AE

Nestled near the St Mary’s Street entrance of the busy Royal Arcade, Uncommon Ground is definitely a hipsters’ paradise (and I for one am not going to complain about that!)

The vibe is really laid back and  friendly and the shop itself has so much character with an industrial feel, from it’s exposed brick to the copper kettles and lights hanging in the window.

The in-house roasted coffee is insanely good- possibly my favourite flat white!

Uncommon ground is the perfect place to meet with friends, or to sit in the window, read a book and watch the world go by.

5. The Plan

28-29, Morgan Arcade, St Mary St, Cardiff CF10 1AF

The Plan is often said to serve the best range of coffees in the city centre, and not only that, it has arguably stolen the ideal spot, taking pride of place in the heart of Morgan Arcade, spanning two floors at the cross junction between the 2 branches of this Victorian building.

If you’re lucky enough to grab a much coveted seat, allow the expert baristas to recommend a cafetiere….and you might as well have some Eggs Benedict whilst you’re there too- shopping is hungry work!

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What’s your favourite coffee shop in Cardiff City Centre? 

I’d love to hear your recommendations.

 

 

 

 

5 of my favourite coffee stops in Cardiff City Centre