A joint venture between Cardiff nightspot Ten Mill Lane and S.A. Brain, The Flora pub in the heart of Cathays has been re-energised into a hip new spot for students and young professionals. It’s been reported that a six-figure sum was stumped up to breathe new life in this tired watering hole and on entering the premises, it’s certainly a world away from its former self.
There are fun, quirky touches throughout. A swirling, technicolour motif dons one wall whilst another showcases a series of graffitied portraits. A pair of upright model ships sit proudly on a shelf. These random touches within the decor create interesting talking points.
As our visit was made on a Friday evening, my dining partner and I agree we need some cocktails to see in the weekend. She orders the Flora Fizz - a combination of Beefeater gin, elderflower, cucumber and apple juice which is a refreshing hit of both sugar and citrusy goodness. I opt for the dauntingly named Major Lazer - a booze-heavy concoction of Tequila, Prosecco, banana liqueur and lime. It is delicious, but one is certainly more than enough otherwise a major hangover will be served up next.
Most cocktails can be purchased for a fiver, but those not looking for a heady mixer have plenty of other choices with a decent selection of ales, ciders and lagers on pump and a good list of wines and soft drinks too.
To eat, my dining partner and I order a pair of starter plates to go alongside our mains. The lamb meatballs are tender and fiery with a mint and honey yoghurt bringing a welcoming coolness to the dish. The chicken breast goujons are deliciously crispy and accompanied by a tangy BBQ sauce, they speedily evacuate the plate.
For mains, my dining partner’s mac’n’cheese is a hearty combination of gooey cheese, soft macaroni and a generous layer of crunchy breadcrumbs. My hash of the day is the perfect belly-warming tonic on a brisk autumnal evening. A mix of chunky chorizo, roasted vegetables, new potatoes and scattered with herbs and olive oil, it is rustic in appearance but big on flavour. All mains are priced very reasonably under £7. If you’re looking for some excellent food and drink that won’t bust the bank, The Flora is your destination.