Cafe Citta doesn’t look like much, it’s a tiny restaurant seating around 30 people located on Church Street, next to the old Berlins nightclub (remember the drinks roulette? More Barcardi Breezers than you could shake a stick at!).
I’ve eaten there a couple of times but G never has. I expect he was sick of hearing me go on about it, so we booked a table for my birthday meal last Saturday.
For starters we shared the Polenta Con Dolcelatte (£5) – slabs of corn maize topped with melted dolcelatte cheese.
For the main course I went for my favourite Linguine alla puttanesca with prawns (which I think was around £11) while G had the ricotta pizza (Again it was around the £10 mark) made fresh in their wood fired pizza at the open kitchen at the back of the restaurant.
It would’ve been a travesty not to go for dessert; a Tiramisu for me and an Affogato for G.
Cafe Citta is a proper family-run Italian. Don’t expect any airs or graces; staff are lovely and friendly, food absolutely delicious, decor cluttered and if you want to use the loo, you’ve got to go outside to the office next door! But this all adds to its charm.
For three courses each, a large glass of wine and a beer the bill was still only £45. Bargain.
We’re so lucky when it comes to shopping in Cardiff. We have an amazing city centre with a mix of almost all the best-loved high street brands (I still get a bit of a thrill when I walk into John Lewis. Seriously) but if you know where to look, you can find some wonderful independent shops too, which set us aside from every other city centre in the UK.
Most of these independents can be found in Cardiff’s beautiful Arcades or tucked away in places like Cardiff Market. Although it’s great to wander around Cardiff’s nooks and crannies, sometimes I am a lazy shopper. I need to get in, grab what I need and get out! Actually that’s being an effective shopper rather than lazy, isn’t it? So that’s why it’s great to see more independent shops popping up in St Davids Arcade, alongside the bigger chains.
I first visited Bricks at Home last Christmas, when they were holding a pop-up at a different location in Cardiff. I loved their mix of Lego-inspired artworks and homewares.
Bricks at Home is the brain child of Andy Morris, a financier-turned-artist. He creates quirky Lego-themed artworks, inspired by artists like Damien Hirst and Andy Warhol. Perfect for the kids and big kids in your life.
Bricks at Home also sell smaller, more affordable home wares such as prints, cushions and knick-knacks like Lego-shaped jewellery boxes, key rings and pencils. Much of it sourced from independent Cardiff-based designers.
The Bricks at home shop will shortly be moving from its current location in St Davids but is planning more pop ups in the future. And in the meantime you can buy on their website www.bricksathome.com
Next up was a visit to Ushi’s. I was already familiar with Ushi’s in Cowbridge and Wellfield Road and love their quirky gifts and homewares. I especially enjoy visiting at Christmas time to stock up on some unique festive decorations.
Ushi’s in St Davids is stocking slightly different products, mainly clothes and accessories, alongside a small home decor offering.
The clothes are mostly independent designers you can’t get on the high street and they’re definitely capitalising on their spot opposite The White Company and Coast.
I’ll be honest that the clothes aren’t exactly my style but I spotted a few summer pieces that my Mum and Auntie would love and a gorgeous summer hat that I’m going to go back and have another look at.
Ushi’s pop up in St Davids will stay open until at least the summer.
If you love independent shops here are some of my other favourites around Cardiff
Wally’s Deli, Royal Arcade (A Cardiff Institution; stocking food from Europe and America and a deli counter featuring the best olives ever)
Milgi Market, Cardiff Indoor Market (Veggie salad bowls and treats)
Greek dips at the Hellenic Eatery / Hulk Smash! at the Early Bird / Anniversary meal at Cen at the Celtic Manor / Vanilla Pannacotta at our anniversary lunch at Porro, Llandaff / A couple of locally-produced beers from Pipes and the Roath Brewery and / Blas y Mor pizza at Dusty Knuckle / nurturing yoga at the hot pod / Lightning on a grey day in Cardiff / Veggie Hula burger at The Grazing Shed