The first Welsh Beatbox Championships are set to take place in The Full Moon Club on Saturday 17 January. The championships are part of Cardiff’s Free For All Festival.
The Free For All Festival will be taking over The Full Moon and Moon Club on Womanby Street in Cardiff city centre for the entirety of January. The festival celebrates hundreds of blossoming local artists in a series of daily gigs and live performances throughout the month.
The Free For All Festival is the largest free entry festival in Cardiff and Bristol, and takes place each year in January. The festival offers the perfect opportunity to get out and enjoy local artists whilst enjoying something free and a little different to the ordinary.
The Beatbox Championships, which are a part of the festival, are the first of their kind to take place in Wales. The day will see local Welsh artists go head to head where the they will battle it out for the winning title.
The following artists will be performing live on the day, battling for the title spot:
Gavin Beatbox TyTe
Jayy Scorch Underwood – the 2014 Irish Beatbox Champion
Mr Phormula (Looping Set)
DJ Alkemy & DJ JB
Following the championships, from 7pm there will be an open mic night for anyone who fancies trying their hand at some beatboxing themselves. The local DJ’s and underground artists will then continue the party long into the night for those that want to let their hair down.
For more information, check out The Free For All Festival’s Facebook page, have a look at their events calendar, or visit their website for a full list of the free events taking place throughout the month of January.
If your looking for that perfect little cosy, relaxed and intimate bar to spend an evening with friends, then Face 11 located on Cathays Terrace is the place to be.
With an extensive cocktail menu featuring delicious concoctions of everything from mojitos to tequila sunrises to their very own quirky ‘Big Screen Inspired cocktails’.
These fun alcoholic indulgences include specials such as; ‘Jedi Mind Trick’ inspired by Star wars, ‘The Heisenberg’ from Breaking Bad, and one of our particular favourites, ‘Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster’ inspired by Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy.
Face 11 also offers a delicious menu made with fresh ingredients that are as locally sourced as possible to support local traders and Welsh farmers.
One of Budget Boutique’s favourite items on the menu is Face 11’s famous selection of stone baked pizzas which are made from scratch using their very own recipe and hand made sauces and dough.
Face 11 is popular among the local residents and students for its Open Mic Thursdays and its monthly comedy nights featuring Piste Off Comedy.
The latest Comedy Night, which was a Christmas themed special, took place on Tuesday 16 December, so Budget Boutique went a long to get into the festive spirit.
The comedy night features a number of comedians from the local area and from other areas of the UK.
Their acts offer a variety of comedic styles and combined with the intimate nature of the venue, they can really engage the crowd and be sure to get you laughing, whether its at them or yourself.
For such a high quality of comedy and entertainment, for free and in such an intimate venue, this really is a no-brainer and a must to add to your diary.
Face 11’s Open Mic Thursday has been a real success and has also helped create Face 11’s charity album, Unplugged Sessions, which has been raising money for Cancer Research Wales. The album features artists that have sung in the weekly open mic night and covers a wide range of genres, ages, sexes and cultures to make it as diverse as possible.
The Open Mic Thursday is particularly successful with 6 to 7 new acts performing every week and with 3 to 4 of those returning to play again.
The charity album launch took place on Saturday 6 December with a live music event, featuring the artists from the album.
Mathew Hinton, the director at Face 11 said, “We have sold over 60 copies of the album and it is still on sale behind the bar and will be on sale each week at the open mic night.”
The artwork for the album was designed by Justin Oldham owner of Valkyrie Tattoo Studio located on Crwys Road in Cathays.
“For a small and locally brewed album, it has been very successful and we are extremely proud of what we have achieved,” Mathew said. “We will most definitely be producing another album next year and we are very excited about it already.”
The album and its wonderful work for charity has been recognised by the First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, and its success was unveiled at Cancer Research Wales’ Christmas Ball, which took place on Thursday 11 December.
So if you are looking to support a local charity and get something good as a gift this Christmas, the album is still available to buy from the bar for just £6, and it is also available to buy and download now on iTunes.
If you want to check out some of the wonderful unsigned talent Open Mic Thursday has to offer, here are a few clips from previous events.
With the upcoming festivities presenting the most costly time of year, Budget Boutique Cardiff has been scouring the city for the best way to support local businesses and enjoy this magical time of year without empty pockets.
Here is a sneak preview of some of the places and events we think you should be involved with this Christmas:
Or listen here:
Charity Shops & Vintage Shops
Cardiff has a great variety of vintage shops and charity shops on offer, particularly on Albany Road in Cathays, which are featured in the map below.
The Cardiff Fashion Quarter, situated on Womanby Street, sells vintage and retro clothing and home furnishings from local and independent traders for you to indulge in. Find something unique and thoughtful whilst supporting your local businesses.
If you get tired as you shop, the fashion quarter also has a miniature library and bookshop. Minotaur Books features comfy chairs and a rather robust bulls head mounted onto the wall.
If money is particularly tight, why not browse some of the charity shops and keep an eye out for some gifts for loved ones whilst supporting your local charities and helping those in need.
You could even donate on behalf of someone else this Christmas. Dogs Trust UK runs a Hope project for the homeless and their dogs. They provide Christmas Hampers for Hounds containing dog collars, leads, coats, blankets, treats and toys to over 140 homeless organisations across the UK.
Last year the charity delivered parcels to 1040 dogs but this year requests for parcels from homeless shelters has increased by 12% and demand has doubled since 2010.
Clare Kivlehan, the project manager at Dogs Trust Hope Project, says, “Everyone knows that the bond between a dog and its owner is a strong one, but for homeless people their dog can often be there best friend.” For these homeless dogs, a gift of a Christmas hamper can make someone’s Christmas.
The Christmas Market which sets up shop on St Johns Street each year offers a collection of over 100 predominantly Welsh small businesses and traders.
The stalls sell a variety of handmade gifts, decorations, jewellery and food, creating a festive shopping experience for browsers as they support local trade and produce this Christmas.
One of the event organisers, Jane Hall, says,“The Cardiff Christmas Market has been organised and run by a small local independent company, for the past 20 years.”
“We are committed to providing the best platform possible for our people to display, demonstrate and sell their original work,” she continues.
Why not indulge in some mulled wine and bratwursts for a quick refuel during your Christmas shopping.
We went out into the market and got involved in the sights and smells, see how we got on:
Victorian Arcades and Market
On the other hand, Cardiff’s beautiful Victorian market and historic arcades offer an alternative to the high street, filled with charm, character and independent local businesses.
However there has been a drastic decline in people passing through them. According to a report published in October 2014 by Cardiff City Council, only 10% of the 90,000 visitors to Cardiff’s high street each week are visiting the market.
Alan from Kelly Records believes that this is because not enough is being done to promote the market and the arcades and many traders, such as Dawn who works on the market bread stall, feel isolated.
But these vintage shopping areas are key to the cities heritage and can offer not only good quality local food and drink at a competitive price, but they can also offer unique and individual gifts that could not be found on the high street.
Open Mic and Comedy Nights
Open mic and Comedy nights are an opportunity to experience local talent and enjoy an evening out with friends. There are a broad spectrum of pubs and bars across the city that hosts them during the week.
Stewart Hume, 22, host of the open mic night at Gassy Jacks, said, “It’s a great place for musicians to trial run new material and it’s a chance to see a diverse range of genres of music for free.”
“You can get anything from spoken word to jazz to singer songwriters to classical,” he adds. “And that was just last night!”
Free Open mic nights can also raise money for good causes. On Saturday 6 December, Face 11 hosted a charity album launch in a free event to raise money and awareness for Cancer Research Wales.
Face 11’s Cancer Research Wales charity album, ‘Unplugged Sessions’, features musicians and singers of all ages, genders and genres, from all across the city and Wales.
All of the artists featured on the album have played in Face 11’s weekly open mic night which takes place on Thursdays.
Mathew Hinton, the director of Face 11 and one of the project managers for the album, said, “We have sold 60 copies so far at £6 an album and we will continue to sell them behind the bar and at the open mic night throughout the year.”
MAtt has said that this will become a yearly album and Face 11 are very excited for the next one already.
“Personally, I am really pleased with the project and I think that it has been really worthwhile – especially as it is raising money for such a good cause,” he continued.
Living Room Concerts
Living room concerts see locals invite touring musicians into their homes for one night to perform to a small and intimate crowd in their living room.
These quirky gigs are free and originated in London in 2009 under the name of Sofar Sounds and their is a rising scene in Cardiff.
Budget Boutique went to their first living room concert on Friday 28 November to seeJosh Savage as part of his UK tour in Colwinston, near Cowbridge.
Josh said , “It’s a frequent occurrence to find your singing drowned out by people talking over you in pubs, especially when you are starting out.”
Josh’ s velvety tones captivated a diverse audience made up of a variety of people from all walks of life.
“My songs are personal and I love living room gigs,” he added. “I can really connect with the audience and get to know the fans who love and support my music.”
If quirky and independent stores and clothing are your thing, then Cardiff Fashion Quarter is the hidden gem just for you.
Some may say that vintage is a little cliche, but for unique and individual clothing and home furnishings that are sure to make you and your home stand out from the ordinary, The Fashion Quarter, situated on Womanby Street just past Cardiff Castle, has a wide variety of styles from across the decades, creating something for everyone.
Many of the stores and traders within the Fashion Quarter are creative independent businesses. Local labels sell their items here and by stepping off of the high street and experiencing something a little different from the usual busy and overcrowded stores, you will not only get high quality goods that are unique and interesting, but you will also be contributing to keeping local business alive and thriving, which is crucial in the current economy.
The Fashion Quarter also hosts a number of events throughout the year and encourages locals to support their local businesses whilst getting creative with their wardrobes.
The Fashion Quarter’s upper level is currently undergoing a renovation, but the lower level is still open and even features a miniature library for a quick shopping rest stop from the winter winds.
There is set to be quite a party and re-launch for CFQ when its upper level reopens in the near future, so keep on the look out.
A revolutionary restaurant that infuses steaks with contemporary art is opening in Cardiff in the New Year.
Steak of the Art creates a quirky backdrop for steak lovers with a gallery that showcases and sells quality and affordable art.
The restaurant will be opening on Churchill Way in Cardiff in the New Year and will create 25 new jobs for the area and operates under the mantra “HOT STEAK. COOL ART.”
Steve Bowen, a classically trained chef and entrepreneur, came up with this new and interesting concept. The store is the second of its kind to open, with the other located in Bristol.
The restaurant will serve ingredients sourced from local Welsh farmers and the West Country as well as locally brewed Welsh beer, aiming to provide the highest quality dining experience.
The restaurant decor and interior itself is a form of art in itself, with unusual, bold and interesting art concepts built into the layout and design. This is not just a restaurant it is an experience and indulgence for the mind and the belly.
Laurence Phillips, a representative for the restaurant says, “To be a part of Cardiff’s booming food scene is very exciting. We can’t wait to show people our take on a great meat out while enjoying some fantastic art.”
Check out Steak of the Art’s new mouth watering Christmas menu from their Bristol store and get a taste of what they are about.
The restaurant will be opening in January, so be sure to get down and experience something different.
For more information and for updates and photographs of the new stores progress, visit Steak of the art’s Facebook page or tweet them at @SteakArtCardiff
Based in Launceston they sell indigenous breeds of British cattle, like Red Devons, Angus, Dexters, Herefords and Galloways to some of the best restaurants in the UK.
Make your home unique and on trend this Christmas with a spot of up-cycling
Green City Events are hosting up-cycling workshops of Saturday 29 November at Bute Park Education Centre. Not only is this the perfect opportunity to get creative and have a bit of fun with the pritt-stick, but it is also extremely cheap and economical.
In the morning there will be a practical and hands on session with hints and tips on how to make the perfect christmas decorations and accessories to brighten up your home, with a twist. Everything is made with everyday household waste making it cheap and environmentally friendly.
Create your own baubles and bows, unique wrapping paper with a personal touch for your loved ones or beautiful and interesting wreaths for your front door.
In the afternoon session there will be a practical session on up-cycling gifts, teaching you how to make beautiful and unique gifts and jewellery for your loved ones from everyday house hold junk that usually clutters your cupboards and mantle piece.
The full day of workshops costs just £30 or each session is £20 each. All of the materials for the gifts and decorations are provided within the workshop, so all you need to do is bring yourself along and gets hands on.
There will also be a variety of warm spicy drinks and tasty snacks to keep you fuelled as you get creative.
For more information about this up-cycling event go to Green City Events Facebook Page, tweet them at @greencityevents or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
This annual food fair showcases exclusively local welsh produce from independent and passionate businesses from all around Cardiff and the surrounding area.
There will be a variety of craft stalls selling handmade gifts. The food fair will be selling food and drink from locally brewed cider and ale to vegetarian treats, salted meats and indulgent chocolatiers and cheeses.
Rebecca Clark from Green City Events says that the fair has been a great success in the past as it offers Christmas shoppers a local and ethical alternative to shopping on the high street.
Not only can this save you pennies and get you some interesting and unique gifts and foods to indulge in at Christmas, but it also helps to sustain local businesses and supports the local community.
“It’s a chance for local producers to showcase their tasty produce on home turf and be proud,” Rebecca claims. “Chapter is always keen to support start up food businesses and give the new guys a chance.”
To get a flavour for the Festive food fair from previous years have a look at the YouTube video below.
The stall holders, so far, that will be at the Festive Food Fair 2014 are as follows:
Buffalo Bar offers sophisticated and quirky luxury at an affordable price
For a sophisticated but quirky setting as the nights draw in and the cold winter chill sets in, Buffalo is the perfect Mecca for those evenings where you just need to relax and let your hair down.
Situated on the edge of Cardiff’s bustling city centre, Buffalo Bar runs under motto of ‘Eats, Beats and Treats’ without taking on too much of a student vibe.
With a Buffalo loyalty card and an extensive and luxurious cocktail menu with 2-4-1 deals every night of the week until midnight, this unique little gem provides the perfect setting for an affordable night with friends.
Indulge in a timeless classic such as a Long Island Iced Tea or try something a little different with a Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri. For a pick me up, why not be even more adventurous and try a Espresso Martini to kickstart your night and revitalise your energy.
Buffalo is also a hot spot for local and touring live bands and DJs, with its award winning live music space upstairs and its chilled vibe that takes over the bar into the very early hours of the morning.
Mingle with old friends, or make new ones whilst enjoying the quieter side of the Cardiff nightlife scene, but do not be fooled as this quirky little bar comes alive as the hours pass.
Buffalo also has a delicious menu with light snacks and main meals ranging from £5 to £12 offering something for everyone.
For those who like to get out and about and try new things, the Norwegian Church Arts Centre in Cardiff Bay is the perfect little stop off to indulge your mind and body in culture, exercise or some fabulous sugary treats.
The architecture of the Norwegian Church Arts Centre itself is a poignant reminder of the days when Cardiff was one of the greatest sea ports in the world. The church, built in 1868, used to be a haven for Scandinavian seamen and throughout history has had its walls filled with various paintings and artworks and this has continued right up to the modern day.
Now the church stands as an arts centre, sports venue and cafe for locals and visitors alike. If your having a dilemma about where to meet a friend for a catch up or just need some tranquility and fresh sea air, then this is the perfect little spot for your afternoon thoughts.
Inspire your mind with a free visit to the Dahl Gallery located in the eves of the building. The gallery showcases work by local artists and students as well as touring exhibitions that visit Cardiff.
‘Aasobe Design Studios Exhibiton’ at the arts centre is currently displaying some of the best visionary artists from the industry including Ahmed Salahuddin, Penelope Rose Cowley and Kathyrn Edwards. The art work is colourful and bold and is intended to open the mind of the viewer beyond the mundane of every day life. This particular exhibition is open from 11.oo-16.00 daily and is running between 3 November and 9 November.
Get fit and into shape with the weekly exercise classes that take place in the hall of the Norwegian Church. Find your zen and inner balance with Yoga on Monday lunchtimes from 12.30-13.15 and Tuesday evenings from 13.30-18.30 or 18.45-20.00 for the small sum of £6.
For something more vibrant and active why not give Zumba a go in this beautiful setting for £5 on Monday evenings between 17.30- 18.30. For more information conctact Sharon Davies on 0750447539.
If you just fancy a coffee and a scrumptious cake or light lunch, then Cafe Norsk is the perfect spot for an afternoon catch up with friends.
Sit out on the decking and take in the beautiful view of the Bay and the industrial skyline of Cardiff’s thriving city centre
The arts centre are also hosting a ‘Boutique Gifts Market’ in the lead up to the Christmas festivities. Keep an eye out for a future post on the market.