If you want to experience Hell visit an Irish bar in Cardiff: hen parties gyrating on the dance floor; old men watching the spectacle; young men in tight white t-shirts fresh from the gym; a couple arguing; bouncers breaking up fights. I watched it all from the centre of the dance floor, wishing to be anywhere but there, wondering why I didn’t fit in. Could it be that I was too sober, too boring, too old? I’ve pondered this for the last two days and, as crazy as it sounds, it really upset me but I’ve come to realise that I’m content. Long gone are the days when I drink so much I can’t remember getting home. So where do you go if you’re a tourist in Cardiff and don’t want to get drunk or you choose not drink at all. I’ve compiled a list of ten cool places to go. Let me know what you think.
1. End your day the Soulful Sunset way
A sober after work knees up with soulful tunes and vibes, yoga, delicious snacks and tasty mocktails. A party that fills you up instead of wiping you out.
Facebook: Soulful Sunrise
2. Enjoy a mocktail at Lab22, winner of best themed menu in the 2018 Imbibe awards
With a prevalence towards the different and daring Lab22 are constantly striving to push the boundaries of mixology. They don’t want anyone to miss out on the fun so they’ve created ‘Light Particles’: a selection of mocktails and low ABV drinks. They’ve got some great names such as ‘Science & Religion’, ‘Country Track Collins’ or if you fancy the exotic – ‘Eastern Medicine’. My favourite place to go to in Cardiff if my friends want to drink.
Location: 22 Caroline Street, Cardiff, CF10 1FG
Facebook: Lab 22
3. Flex your competitive muscles at a board game café
With over 600 games and knowledgeable staff to help you earn how to play them, Chance and Counters is the perfect pace to escape and relax with friends. They have a seasonal menu including specific vegan and gluten-free menus.
Location: 23 High Street (upper floors), Cardiff, CF10 1PT
Facebook: Chance and Counters Cardiff
4. Watch a performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama
Ranked by the Guardian University Guide as the UK’s leading drama school for the fourth time this venue showcases the country’s most talented performers.
Location: Castle Grounds, Cathays Park, Cardiff, CF10 3ER
Facebook: Royal Welsh Colle of Music & Drama
5. Take in the view across Cardiff and as far as Weston-Super-Mare from the top of Garth Mountain
Also at the top are four Bronze Aged burial mounds which date from roughly 2000 BC. Technically not a mountain but a hill, it featured in the Hugh Grant film The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain.
Location: Pentyrch, Cardiff
6. Escape Rooms
A real-life escape game which requires 2-6 players to work together to find hidden clues and solve puzzles to escape one of six themed rooms before the one hour timer runs out. There are a lot of objects, codes and hints to find. You have to think quick, think smart and work as a team if you want to make it out in time.
Location: 119, St Mary Street, Cardiff, CF10 1DY
7. Relax the evening away at a yoga class in Tramshed
Tramshed Studio is a beautiful venue with a wide selection of yoga, dance and fitness. All regular classes are drop in so there’s no need to book ahead. My favourite is Yin Yoga – I come out of there all dreamy and relaxed.
Location: Tramshed Studio, Pendyris St, Cardiff, CF11 6BH
8. Watch a performance, take in some art or watch a film in Chapter
Chapter is a multi-artform venue that presents, produces and promotes international art, live performance and film and has been going for the last 40 years. If you want to see something different to what’s in the main stream cinema this is the place to go. Plus, they have a café serving lovely food using seasonal Welsh ingredients.
Location: Market Road, Canton, Cardiff, CF5 1QE
9. Adventure golf
Did you know that you can play golf in Cardiff’s St Davids shopping centre? Well…ok…mini-golf. ‘Tackle the Tropical Trail’ and ‘Ancient Explorer’ are the two indoor, 18-hole mini-golf courses. No need to book just turn up and tee-off. They also have a café serving food and mocktails so you can celebrate your hole-in-one in style.
Location: Level P3 St David’s Dewi Sant, Cardiff CF10 2EL
Facebook: Treetop Adventure Golf Cardiff
10. Enjoy a sunset supper and spa at Laguna, Park Plaza
Escape from the stresses and pressures of everyday life and relax in the tranquil surroundings of the spa by evening and enjoy a 2 course dinner in the Laguna Restaurant. Situated within the Park Plaza Hotel the Laguna Health & Spa is a luxurious spa designed to offer an escape from the stress and pressures of everyday life.
Location: Greyfriars Road, Cardiff, CF10 3AL
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