Treasures and trinkets to satisfy your curiosity

From bits and bobs to adorn your shelves to experimental foods and beverages, Cardiff is home to some curious little shops that will leave you pondering on them for days. Here of some of Cardiff’s most curious treasures.

1. Claire Grove Buttons

This tiny curiosity shop is home to little treasures that will brighten not only your clothing but your day. With thousands of beautiful buttons to choose from, some handmade, some imported from the far reaches of the earth (and in so many colours too), you are certain to find something to please. Look out too, for Claire’s range of photo cards of sweetly bizarre and fantastical scenes built of food and tiny people.

Discover the science of ice cream with your little ones, and be sure to sample their unique flavours

2. Science Cream

Science flasks and liquid nitrogen clouds tumbling from mixing bowls in a shopping arcade is quite a draw. Double that with knowing the end result will be made to order ice cream, and you have Science Cream. Part theatre, part amazement, it’s worth repeat visits as new flavours are introduced often.

3. Vom Fass

With attractively presented bottles of spirits, oils and vinegars, everything displayed at Vom Fass looks inviting. Living up to its claim as a sweetshop for grown-ups, they have regular taster evenings with cookery demonstrations and some deliciously helpful hints on cocktail-making. The best bit is being able to taste and sip plenty of yummy samples.

4. The Bear Shop

Something of a Cardiff institution, The Bear Shop does not actually sell bears but is instead, a fabulously aromatic tobacconists. Bruno, the bear in question, is a 200 year old resident who has been keeping watch over the shop for more than a century. As well as pipes and Cuban cigars, the fine gentleman can stock up on the very best in grooming wares, as well as whisky, pens and hip flasks.

5. Cardiff’s many Joke shops

The city has a surprising number of Joke shops scattered throughout the arcades, with many doubling up as fancy dress stockists too. Perfect for students looking to source a costume for one of your many themed nights out, and with fantastically varied possibilities for Halloween, you’l be sure to find something to get you into character in the capitals best costume stores. It’s reassuring to know that you can get just about anything from a Spiderman costume to fake teeth at a moment’s notice.

Jane Oriel moved to Cardiff 15 years ago, fell in love with the city and never looked back. Jane reviews gigs and events in Cardiff, loves vintage and the Cardiff music scene. Browse all posts from Jane.