Paper, pens and poetry

They say love is a letter written on pink stationery. Well, what about letters written on other sheets of coloured paper? What do they represent?

Walk into the Pen and Paper in the Royal Arcade, the largest stationary retailer here in Cardiff, and you may be able to find out.

This store is a haven for those with a penchant for paper in all shapes, sizes and forms.

From diaries and Filofax’s for the super organized souls to journals and notebooks for those who only prefer the occasional scribble.

Paperblanks are beautiful writing books renowned for their intricately designed covers. The covers depict anything from traditional 17th century motifs to art nouveau inspired elements, such as the one pictured in the photograph below.

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In a mood to share your deepest thoughts and secrets with someone? Then forget instant messaging, the writing sets and notecard collections with floral emblems could turn out to be your new best friend. Coupled with matching envelopes for a cohesive touch, the sets scream elegance and sophistication for just under £5.

However, vintage and art deco postcards are also on hand should you opt to pen a quick ‘hello’ to someone faraway..

There are also greeting cards, retro themed calendars, gifts in a tin and plenty more trinkets to surprise a family member, a lover, a colleague or a friend. They are as quirky as ‘sock monkey in a tin’, affordable and fun.

 

The list goes on. What you write says a lot about you. But what you write on may convey a whole lot more. So forget writing texts for now. Go on a little paper chase and choose to write some poetry instead.

 

 

 

 

 

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Meet me at the Wyndham

It stands alone. But it stands proud. The Wyndham Arcade is the oldest of the city’s arcades. Perhaps not as flamboyant as the other arcades, perhaps not as loud, yet every inch as grand.

It’s Edwardian architecture sets it apart from the crowd. Currently home to 10 independent retailers, if you’re looking to rent a commercial space or be a part of the arcade family, then hurry, there are two units currently available for leasing.

Wyndham Arcade

Space to let

 

Rick, the co-owner of Rebel Rebel, a body piercing an alternative living store in the court, shares his story: “This store has been around for 28 years, in three locations in the arcade. We love our customers. Some of our regular customers happen to be family members of our original customers, while we also have some tourists returning to the store after an year or more.”

Rebel Rebel smells of insense sent down by the Gods, and is a myriad of colour, and other quirky and eclectic finds. The owners will gladly spare some time to chat and share their exotic tales.

Bellisimos role in the arcade, is to make clients look and feel beautiful. Just as its name suggests. Sparkling white interiors and dazzling chandeliers whisk you away to cleansing rituals, skin care routines and treatments, designed to make you feel Hollywood good. Kiera from Bellisimos Aesthetics says, “The arcades should definitely be the ‘go to’ place in Cardiff even though they are currently not, because they are a part of the city’s soul – quaint and charming.”

Foodies have lots of options to choose from at the Wyndham – be it Ask Italian, Bills family restaurant, Servini’s café or the Waterloo teahouse.

The Hilton Hotels often boast that their slogan “Take me to the Hilton” is so well-known that it has been used by travellers for well over a century.

But when in Wales, opt for local culture and heritage. Besides, “Meet me at the Wyndham” has far more finesse, wouldn’t you agree?

Get your Christmas brew on

December weather. Also known as, the perfect time to curl up in a cozy cafe with a good book and your favourite mug of coffee, tea, hot chocolate or cocoa.

While Cardiff’s arcades look especially radiant, tis the vibe in its corridor’s quaint cafes that squeals Christmas.Red throws, clinking cups, happy chatter, marshmallow toppings, the smell of roasted Arabica beans and an occasional “laugh out loud” fill the Victorian courtyards with winter sweetness.

Some of the cafe’s are even offering seasonal brews to spice up the ambience.

At the Boardroom Coffee Shop in Duke Street Arcade, all hot Christmas drinks come laced with whipped cream, delicious toppings like toffee apple, mint, salted caramel and Irish cream as well as a dash of glitter! Don’t worry, although the gold dust sparkles, it is edible. Each festive drink will set you back £3 pounds.

If it’s tea you crave (maybe tea is more your cup of tea?), then the Waterloo Tea Room in Wyndham Arcade offers a pot of a light and flavorful Christmas blend for £3. London Fog, is another hot creation made with a combination of Earl Grey, dried lavender, vanilla syrup and milk, and again a cup is yours to enjoy for only £3 pounds.

As a surprise pressie, the barista and manager, Kasparas will also add a signature Christmas tree art on any latte of flat white ordered during the season.

Erica Henderson, a foodie and lifestyle blogger who has visited the tearoom this season says, “Waterloo tea rooms is a gorgeous, modern place to relax and enjoy a vast selection of fine teas. The interior exudes a quaint air of relaxation with a friendly and genuine team at hand. Their kindness and care is reflected in their efforts to support the community and of course, their cakes are extremely delicious!”

Wally’s Kaffeehaus, located on the top floor of Wally’s deli in Royal Arcade has many  speciality beverages on the menu. These include kirsch hot chocolate for £3.25 and a mug of gluhwein for £3.95.

Fancy a cup of cheer this Christmas? Then head on down to the arcades for the most decadent brews, this side of town.