Phoebe Grinter – Columnist
As it is officially the most wonderful time of the year, I decided to create a modernised, Cardiff-esque rendition of the classic 12 Days of Christmas.
On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
A partridge in a pear tree
Head into town and treat yourself to my favourite cocktail at Be at One. Appropriately named ‘Livin’ on a Pear’– made with Absolut Pear Vodka, Prosecco Santomé, chocolate, pear, lemon and meringue – is the perfect cocktail to help you shrug off those winter blues. Fruity, festive and full of booze, this limited-edition cocktail is only around for holidays, so be quick. It’s the perfect cocktail to get you feeling merry this Christmas.
On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Two turtle doves
Cardiff sadly can’t offer you turtle doves, but it can offer you Turtle Bay on St. Mary’s Street. With 2-4-1 cocktails at happy hour and 24/7 Caribbean party vibes, Turtle Bay is the perfect place to celebrate this festive season. Warm up on chilly Cardiff nights with a little heat, a lot of spice, and a dash of island spirit.
On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Three French Hens
Three French hens sounds like my Chicken Cottage order on a Wednesday night when the Fam Fish queue is too long. If that’s not enough mid-week chicken, The Woodville’s ‘Wing Wednesday’ is enticing for a student on a budget with each wing only costing 25p. Winner winner chicken dinner.
On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Four Calling Birds
Forget four calling birds and try 400 of them squawking, shitting, and spreading rubbish around Cathays on bin day. But where’s the fun in a walk to uni without having to dodge decaying food, takeaway boxes and shards of glass?
On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Five Gold Rings
A bit of a cop out for gold rings, but the churros from Cardiff Christmas Market are close enough. These golden, sugar-coated, cinnamon-sprinkled, chocolate-dipped pieces of heaven are worth their weight in gold.
On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Six Geese a Laying
Cardiff sadly can’t offer you six geese a’laying but if you’re feeling boujee this Christmas, head to Revs and you can get the next best thing: Grey Goose Vodka. This spenny vodka will have you diving deeper into that overdraft, and after seeing off a bottle you’ll be a’laying face down on the dancefloor.
On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Seven Swans a Swimming
Up there with Lidl and Juice, Roath Park is one of favourite places in Cardiff. A walk around the lake on a rare sunny Cardiff day is unbeatable. You’ll see plenty of swans a-swimming and other wildlife enjoying the lake and surrounding gardens.
On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Eight Maids a Milking
Coco Gelato on Woodville Road will satisfy your every dairy need. From signature sundaes and waffles to freak shakes and crepes, Coco Gelato has got it all. With every flavour ice cream you can imagine, and with no combo too outrageous, head to Coco Gelato for a treat.
If you’re looking for something a bit more special, Cardiff is also home to Wales’ first and only liquid nitrogen ice cream parlour, Science Cream in the Castle Arcade. Their ice cream is made fresh to order with liquid nitrogen, and you can watch as your ice cream is frozen right in front of you.
On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Nine Ladies Dancing
Nine? More like 900 crammed into Live Lounge after the SU reaches full capacity at 9pm on a Wednesday. Luckily, we are spoilt for choice for places to boogie in Cardiff. Depending on your music taste and what vibe you’re after, Cardiff has something for everyone. Smack Fridays at Story, the Cuban experience at Revolución de Cuba, Clwb Ifor Bach for DJ events, and Tiger Tiger if you are really really desperate.
On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Ten Lords a Leaping
In Cardiff you’ll find your lords a-leaping in the form of a rugby players. With the Welsh favouring the oval ball to the round, this national love affair with the game is intense and intoxicating. The home of Welsh rugby is located in Cardiff and every match-day thousands of passionate and expectant supporters make their way to the Principality Stadium to see the boys play. Raw, raucous, and rowdy, there’s nowhere else to be on match-day. With Wales vs. England matches always creating a next-level buzz, head into town, grab a pint, and be sure to leave your England shirt at home.
On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Eleven Pipers Piping
You’ll find more than just pipers piping if you take in a show by the Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra. Founded by their current conductor Michael Bell in 1982, 37 years and over 330 concerts later, Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra continues to flourish and impress. The orchestra is widely recognised as one of Wales’ foremost non-professional orchestras with a reputation for a wide-ranging repertoire.
On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Twelve Drummers Drumming
You don’t need twelve drummers drumming when you have enough talent and personality in one man: Cardiff’s Jolly Green Drummer Cliff Banev. If you’ve been to Cardiff city centre you will have most definitely seen the famous Jolly Green Drummer busking in his usual spot on Queen Street. Easy to spot in his trademark pea-green suit – embroidered with his signature slogan ‘Peace, Love, and Drums’ – Cliff is a genuine entertainer who clearly loves his work. He encourages his audience to get involved and is often struggling to be seen amidst a huge crowd.
May your Christmas be as sweet, as warm, and as full of alcohol as your mulled wine.