Friday, 15 February 2013

Places I Like to Hide: Coffee Barker

I've battled with myself over whether to blog about my favourite local places, but after quietly stewing on it for a few days I decided to do it- for the benefit of all you lovely people, obviously. I'll be sharing my Cardiff secret hideaways with you as and when I find them.

After years of over exposure to Starbucks and Costa, and as loyal as I am to Starbucks and their red cups during the biting months of winter- the obvious draw back is that chain coffee shops lack the charm of locally established brews, along with the hefty price tag of what is actually an average tasting coffee.

Coffee Barker lies in the Castle Arcade of the City Centre, and I was brought to this coffee shop about a year ago with a friend. When I started working in the city in October there were few places I could go for a moment of reflection without the hustle of the city's sometimes boisterous inhabitants, and I returned here for coffee. It is rarely empty, so choose your timing wisely.

With exposed brickwork d├ęcor and a delicately chosen pick and mix of plush leather seats, it incorporates the quiet charm of the arcade with the sophisticated edge of a corner coffee shop one might find in New York City. The exterior is adorned with quaint tables and chairs accompanied by homely tartan blankets, and the inside boasts a variety of lunch choices and sugary treats. Next on my Barker Bucket List is the Cherry Tiffin.

Coffee Barker has already established itself as a popular coffee shop in Cardiff City Centre, but I found that although it seemed as though every time I was there it was busy, that hardly anybody in my social circle knew about it. Both a blessing and a curse, as I can hide there when the world becomes to much- but a curse as I feel it would be a cardinal sin to not introduce everyone I know to this staple cafe. Letting you in on my little secret means I'll no longer be able to avoid you all, but there is no mood that cannot be solved by the warmth of a hot chocolate from this place. So a top tip, if you've recently annoyed me and find me in there, buy me a muffin or I'll bite you.

Going to Coffee Barker is like going home. You don't need to talk to anybody, you don't feel the pressure to be anything, you just need to be there.

Side note: Enjoy a White Hot Chocolate from Coffee Barker, but don't forget who sent you there- I'll accept flattery as gratitude.