We got back yesterday from our weekend in Cardiff. Thanks to all here who gave us information and tips.
Our train arrived Saturday morning at 9:35 and we could see our hotel from the station. We walked over and were able to check in right away, so dropped off our stuff and went out to explore. That day was pretty much spent wandering around the city center, shopping in the Arcades and Queen Street, eating and drinking. We did see the Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday on a Saturday???) revellers and walked by the area in Bute Park where the event was going on, but avoided most of it. We came to the conclusion that our Good Pub Guide wasn't sending us to the best pubs and began to rely on the Brains ad on the back of our sightseeing bus brochure! Some nice ones that we visited were Goat Major and the Cayo Arms. The Prince of Wales (in the guide) was in a great old theater, but was a Wetherspoons pub. We tend to think pubs in that chain are more like family chain restaruants and frequently avoid them if there's something better around! Dinner that night was in the Brewery Quarter at a Mexican place called Chiquito's. The food was ok, but not great Mexican cuisine.
Sunday, we were up way too early and had trouble finding a place for breakfast. We ended up with a breakfast roll (fry up on a bun) at Bwyty Hayes Island Snack Bar since it seemed to be the only place open before 9 am! At 10, we bought tickets for the Hop on/off bus and did a complete loop. Then we went into Cardiff Castle and took the tour there. The Victorian era rooms were really beautiful in that over the top way. After that, we got back on the bus to go down to the Bay area. We had a drink at Terra Nova, but (on Jim's recommendation) didn't eat there! We had lunch at the Bosporus, a Turkish restaurant built out over the water. Very nice food there. We went to the Packet pub for a drink before hopping back on the bus to the center of town. We hit a few more pubs and ended up eating at Thai Edge in the Brewery quarter.
Monday morning we were up too early again and had breakfast at Starbucks (I know! Not much else open before 9). We spent a leisurely time reading the paper, then back to the hotel to check out and catch a 10:30 train.
All in all, we enjoyed ourselves. It was a pretty spur of the moment trip and I think it was a good way for us to spend a weekend!