Cardiff is where that sensational Welsh produce you never knew about converges on dining tables in myriad innovative ways. Think Welsh lamb from the nearby hills, Cardigan lobster, Conwy mussels, samphire from South Wales’ sandy coastline and feisty cheese from Hafod, one of Wales’ original certified organic dairy farms. Cardiff also has one of Britain’s standout microbrewery scenes.
With such fertile land and sea all around, almost everywhere champions local produce. The dilemma is where to try it: a Michelin-starred seaside restaurant, a sumptuous city mansion, a hip joint where rehabilitated prisoners will serve you your meal, and more.
This cosy place in the Castle Arcade is a cheese shop, restaurant and deli delivering everything from chutneys to chocolates, but its strongest suit is cheese: 150-odd varieties, with Welsh, French, Italian and Spanish variations especially well represented. But true ‘gastronauts’ (as Madame Fromage calls those with a penchant for its superb produce) should indulge further: at the cheese and wine tasting events or the restaurant. At tables scattered between treat-stacked shelves, sample a menu featuring cheese and charcuterie platters, perhaps a grilled French goat cheese, or halloumi and chorizo salad; it depends what tantalising fare is in that day.