Forget going for a meal in a chain restaurant or going to see a rom-com at the cinema, try one of these unusual ideas to keep the romance alive in your relationship or to get a new relationship off to an interesting and exciting start…
Wander around beautiful gardens and historical buildings
The St Fagans National Museum of History is an open-air museum with about 40 buildings from all over Wales and its various periods in history. There are picturesque gardens and a farm, old fashioned shops and activities too. It’s a good few hours covered, and there’s lots to see to keep conversation flowing.
St Fagans. Phone: 0300 111 2333
Go to the world’s oldest record shop
One for music lovers: Cardiff is home to the oldest record shop in the world, Spillers Records. It was founded in 1894 by Henry Spiller and has moved around a bit. Currently it resides in Morgan Arcade. It stocks a huge selection of music on CD and vinyl and holds gigs there on occasion.
27 Morgan Arcade, Cardiff. Phone: 029 2022 4905
Go to a speakeasy bar
The Dead Canary is a hidden speakeasy-style bar which is perfect for a hot date. It does beautifully presented old-fashioned cocktails and takes its speakeasy theme just as seriously. Find it down a lane in the city centre and look out for the canary cage above an unassuming door. Ring the bell to be ushered into a low-lit vintage-style bar where you’ll be shown a seat and helped to choose a drink based on your favourite flavours and spirits.
Barrack Ln, Cardiff, +44 29 2023 1263
Grassholm Island from our Mabinogion inspired menu, with Velho Barreiro cachaca, ancho Reyes verde, celery, cucumber, basil, Tabasco and lime . . . . . #thedeadcanary #tdc #deadcanary #cardiff #cardiffbars #bar #speakeasy #prohibitionbar #bestbar #cocktails #cocktail #cocktailporn #grasshopper #Mabinogion
Go to an antiques market and have tea on its roof terrace
Jacobs Antiques is a treasure trove of antiques, vintage clothes, jewellery and home furnishings spread across three floors. Its just on the outskirts of the city centre and once you’re down exploring, you can go to its café for a tea and a cake – which you can take to the roof terrace.
W Canal Wharf, Cardiff, CF10 5DB, +44 (0) 29 2039 0939
Go to cabaret night
Porter’s bar and venue is a haven for those interested in fun and slightly unusual events – there’s cabaret, crazy gold, a mini old-school cinema, bands, comedy nights and more.
Harlech Court, Bute Terrace, Cardiff. Phone: 004429 2125 0666
Have a laugh
Glee Club is in Cardiff Bay and has big comedy acts on the bill on weekends and touring bands during the week.
Tacoma Square, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff. Phone: 0121 693 2248
Go to a science museum at night
This interactive science centre has hands-on exhibits, science theater shows and stargazing in a digital planetarium. After Hours is an evening event just for adults where you can enjoy the museum and have access to a bar.
Stuart Street, Cardiff. Phone: 029 2047 5475
Go to a restaurant doubling as rehabilitation for prisoners
The Clink aims to challenge perceptions and reduce the chance of its staff, all of whom are serving prisoners of Cardiff’s prison, becoming repeat offenders. It is a charity initiative which works – reducing re-offending by 41%. Plus it has been named among the top restaurants in the country.
HMP Cardiff, Knox Rd, Cardiff. Phone: 0044 2920 923130
Go to a pleasure park
Barry Island is not actually an island but a seaside resort, complete with its own rides, arcade games, promenade, beach and food stalls selling freshly made doughnuts. It’s the perfect place for a date, according to many an American movie.
Go to an outdoor film screening in castle grounds
Luna Cinema does film screenings of classics like Grease in the grounds of Cardiff Castle.
Cardiff Castle Phone: +44 029 2087 8100
Go to an oasis above the city
A heavenly oasis above the city awaits in this hidden jewel of Cardiff Castle. Once you get inside the castle go to Bute Tower, where a spiral staircase takes you up to a decadent rooftop garden with lush plants, colourful tiles and water features.
Cardiff Castle Phone: +44 029 2087 8100
Go for scientific ice cream
At Science Cream, the ice cream is made using liquid nitrogen. The space has a laboratory feel: The staff wear goggles and lab coats to make up your ice cream right in front of you. Flavours include brown butter caramel, dulce de leche and peanut butter and chocolate.
28 Castle Arcade. Phone: 029 2037 2391
Feed fish in an indoor jungle
At Cardiff’s Roath Park there is a conservatory. It’s a beautiful and humid indoor jungle with a large pond in the middle where you can feed fish (buy some food for them on the way in) and watch the huge colony of terrapins.
Roath Park Botanic Gardens, Cardiff, +44 29 2233 0235
Visit a Victorian pier
Penarth is a seaside town. It’s the perfect place for a romantic walk along the pebbled beach and best followed by fish and chips on the pier.