The dreaded C-word. You’re going to hear it a lot in the next few weeks whether you like it or not. It’s best to embrace it rather than shudder at the thought of its mentioning. Just as we’re putting out the coals on our beautiful Indian summer we’re turning our attention to Christmas. For some, it can be a logistical nightmare with office dos, family outings, beers with mates or an intimate evening with the other half. Fear not, our Christmas dining guide should see you well- prepared and sufficiently sated through the festive season and beyond.
Restaurant James Sommerin -
The Esplanade, Penarth.
A winning combination of stunning food and seafront scenery, Restaurant James Sommerin (RJS) is, in short, one of Wales’ best restaurants. The proof? RJS was recently named Restaurant of the Year by the AA and bagged a coveted Michelin Star. If you really want to impress your nearest and dearest, this is your destination.
Call: 029 2070 6559,
Stradey Hotel - Llanelli.
Set in a stunning position above the Gower Peninsula, the Stradey Park Hotel is the perfect location for a refreshing festive walk by the sea followed by a stunning dinner - or Sunday lunch - or, as their website promises, a gentlemen’s tea. The perfect escape from Christmas in the city.
Call: 01554 758171,
Ten Mill Lane
- Mill Lane, Cardiff.
Ten Mill Lane’s mantra is great cocktails, great staff, great people. We definitely concur. Although located in the heart of Cardiff ’s party strip, Ten Mill Lane’s underground setting gives it the feel of an exclusive speakeasy. The cocktails vary from the classic to the bespoke. Hardened party-goers will be pleased to hear Ten Mill Lane is open from 5pm - 6am every day throughout December.
Call: 029 2115 1015,
Oscars of Cowbridge
- High Street, Cowbridge.
Oscars in Cowbridge is something of a culinary institution in the Vale of Glamorgan and certainly an any time of day affair. From breakfast to dinner, they’ve got it covered. The variety is key too with plenty of choice with meat, veggies and gluten-free dishes on offer. On the drinks front, we recommend the jam mojitos - a few sips will leave you both satisfied and rosy-cheeked.
Call: 01446 771984,
- Romilly Crescent, Cardiff.
Located on the cusp of Pontcanna and Canton, Arbennig (Welsh for distinct or unique) certainly lives up to its billing. It’s a smorgasbord of the finest Welsh produce with Porthgain crab from Pembrokeshire and Pant-ysgawn goats milk cheese from Abergavenny. Keeping with the homely feel, bilingual staff are ready to take your order in either Welsh or English. Perffaith!
Call: 029 2034 1264,
Clayton Hotel Cardiff
- St Mary Street, Cardiff.
Clayton Hotel Cardiff is an excellent base for your festive activities. Even if you don’t have any plans to venture out, the hotel’s restaurant and bar offer some of the best panoramic views of Cardiff (so you can keep a good eye on the shenanigans below).
Call: 029 2066 8866,
Facebook: Clayton Hotel Cardiff
- City Road, Cardiff.
In a survey by The Times, Troy Restaurant was ranked as one of the top five kebab restaurants in the UK. The meat is cooked over an open ‘Ocakbashi’ charcoal pit, not vertically rotating on a spike. Throw in some tasty meze dishes and aromatic breads and this is anything but a stop-off for the late night boozing brigade, it’s a real Turkish delight.
Call: 029 20499 339,
- Mermaid Quay, Cardiff.
All those bloated calories can take their toll over
the festive period. At Yakitori#1, you can go carte blanche on the menu without staring nervously at your waistline. Using only the freshest ingredients from sustainable sources, expect the best sushi, grilled meats, fish, rice and noodles that Cardiff has to offer.
Call: 029 2049 5050,
Facebook: 1Yakitori |,
- Stanwell Road, Penarth.
A collaboration between designer Alex Mules and chef Stephen Gomes (yes, him of Moksh fame), Etc... Penarth is a great fusion of style and taste. Part cocktail bar and part restaurant, Etc... Penarth is all about providing a high-end gastronomic experience. We recommend going all out and trying the sensational five course Chef ’s Tasting Menu.
Call: 029 2009 0060,
- Mill Lane, Cardiff.
Another Mill Lane favourite, Pitch is the destination for alfresco diners in the summer months. Fear not, there’s plenty of warmth inside this classy Cardiff eatery. Owner Ben Browne sources all his produce locally so expect some top beef and lamb cuts. However, the fresh mussels from Pembrokeshire are our personal favourite.
Call: 029 2022 8882,
- Wellfield Road, Cardiff.
First opened as a Chai house, Chai (formerly Chaihics) spread its culinary wings and offered Indian styled bistro to its customers. Dishes are made from scratch daily by chef Pramod Nair (whose glittering CV includes 5 star Indian Hotels and cooking for royalty), bringing a regal touch to this excellent eatery.
Call: 029 2049 5975,
Shake Shack -
St David’s Centre, Cardiff.
Christmas is about enjoying good food and drink. However, if a traditional Christmas feast turns your stomach, do things your way. Shake Shack serves up some of the juiciest burgers in Cardiff. Although American in concept, they’ve added a nice local touch, teaming up with Celt Experience Brewing and Tiny Rebel Brewing Co.
Call: 01923 555173,
Mermaid Quay, Cardiff.
The brainchild of award-winning chef Stephen Gomes, Moksh is as far removed from a traditional curry house as it gets. The dishes reflect the chef’s background and his travels through India and Asia with a menu full of Goan influence that blends traditional flavours with contemporary presentation. Stephen’s racked up some impressive silverware, picking up the title of Best UK Indian Chef three times in the Cobra Good Curry Guide – a clear indication he’s a champion of both innovation and taste.
Call: 029 2049 8120,
- Wood Street, Cardiff.
Sometimes, all we want on a cold winter evening is a bratwurst and a well kept German lager. Cardiff Bierkeller has become our German culinary haven since opening last year. It is all genuine nosh too; the bratwursts are imported in from the Motherland and the beers are some of the most varied and lip-smacking Cardiff has to offer. Wunderbar!
Call: 0845 533 3000,
cardiff Facebook: BierkellerCardiff
The Meating Place
- St Mary Street, Cardiff.
The Meating Place is a contemporary grill house that’s located in the heart of Cardiff city centre. The unique selling point is their mixed meat skewers, hooked in front of diners for them to prize away the goodness. Served with couscous, roasted vegetables and yogurt dips, this dining experience allows you to create your own delicious, bespoke kebabs. The Meating Place cook up the treats, you decide how to pull them all together.
Call: 029 2022 4757,
The Kestrel Inn
- Brecon Road, Nr Crickhowell.
For some, Christmas is the ideal opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. The Kestrel Inn is perfect for those seeking a quiet and cosy Christmas. The food is mostly inspired by the Mediterranean but there is a traditional menu in place for Christmas. We recommend booking a room and taking in the splendour of the Brecon Beacons.
Call: 01874 731044,
- Penylan Road, Cardiff.
At Il Pastificio expect a menu bursting with delicious Italian flavours and an innovative approach to pasta. Even the pickiest of diners can request their own special bespoke pasta dish if they call the day before their booking.
Call: 029 2049 4138
- St Nicholas, Cardiff.
Cardiff ’s newest gastro pub, The Longhouse is a stunning setting for Christmas food and drinks. This 17th century Longhouse (hence the name) is full of original features and offers superb views over Cardiff. As their Twitter handle exclaims, expect great food, great drink and great times. For more on the culinary offerings at The Longhouse, check out our review further on in the mag.
Call: 029 2115 7754