Vintage restyled: Cardiff’s Castle Emporium

Cardiff Castle Emporium general outside shotFor the past two years, the old converted cinema opposite Clwb Ifor Bach was home to Cardiff Fashion Quarter, the go-to place for vintage clothing and knick-knacks. While it had a lot to offer fashionistas, it was perhaps quite limited, both in its offering and the layout of the space.

Relaunched by new owner James Morgan-Rees, CFQ has transformed into The Castle Emporium. While some of the old traders remain (Rock-ola Reborn, Eagle Eye Vintage, AMARAS), there is a new range of stalls, i.e. a whole lot more vintage-gem-hunting to get excited about.

We took a walk around the Emporium, snapping some of the independent businesses that have set up shop.

Cardiff Castle Emporium aerialThe view from the first floor – the colourful stalls are a treat for the eyes

Cardiff Castle Emporium candle tinsRoughneck Candles recycle pocket sized tins by turning them into kitsch homeware

Cardiff Castle Emporium minotaur booksJust some of the bookshelves at Minotaur Books, who stock everything from popular poetry to obscure dystopian literature

Cardiff Castle Emporium Al's Musique BoutiqueCardiff Castle Emporium bow ties suitcase Cardiff Castle Emporium horse whiskyAl from Al’s Musique Boutique poses alongside vintage clothing and accessories for gentlemen

Cardiff Castle Emporium mario kart yoshi playstation 2Cardiff Geek Party‘s shop houses games memorabilia, retro consoles and stacks of bargain computer games

Cardiff Castle Emporium Super Mario Bros gaming stationWe’ll be heading back here for the Mario Tournament. There’s a different game leaderboard each month; Matt’s hoping he gets a chance to show off his Crash Team Racing expertise

Cardiff Castle Emporium vegan chocolate cake Cardiff Castle Emporium vegan snacks chocolateSo many yummy treats at Simply V, including marshmallows, wagon wheels and chocolates – and they’re all vegan!

Cardiff Castle Emporium vintage clothes Rock-olaCardiff Castle Emporium vintage jumpers Cardiff Castle Emprium shelves of bric a bracFor fans of upcycling and vintage fashion, there are stacks of menswear, womenswear and accessories to dig through

With the rejuvenated vintage haven sitting firmly at the top end of Womanby Street, it makes what is already a culturally busy passageway even more exciting. Take a stroll winding around the Emporium then down to Urban Tap House; you won’t be disappointed.

Know any other great spots in Cardiff for finding vintage treasures? Comment below or tweet your suggestions @Creative_Hacks.

Amy sig

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Eight classic retro video games that make great Christmas presents

IMG_7184Retro video games make thoughtful and nostalgic Christmas presents. Get them pre-owned and they’re also more affordable than the next gen games that Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo want you to splurge on.

Have a scroll through this list of timeless titles; you’re bound to find one that will make a killer stocking filler for the gamer in your life.

1. Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped

crash3Travelling through time, Crash rides dinosaurs and battles giant space robots, encountering iconic bosses like Dingodile and Dr N. Gin along the way.

2. Mario Kart 64

mariokart64The spiny blue shell: a blessing when you’re in last place, a curse when you’re winning.

3. Pokémon Red and Blue

pokemonscreenshot1Beating the heck out of Gym Leader Brock with your newly acquired Squirtle never gets old.

4. Rayman

raymanaltOne of the first games everyone had for Playstation, and one of hardest games to complete without cheating.

5. Croc: Legend of the Gobbos

crocHelp to save the pompom-like race of Gobbos from sadistic green-skinned baddie Baron Dante and his annoying underlings. How? By storing everything in a tardis-like backpack and smacking everyone in the face with your tail.

6. Lylat Wars

rsz_1lylatwarsOr Starfox 64 if you’re American. Choose your path through the solar system to stop the evil monkey overlord Andross from taking over. Your teammates are a sassy falcon, a reckless toad and a repetitive rabbit. DO A BARREL ROLL!

7. Spyro The Dragon

rsz_spyro-artisanMy all time favourite game! Spyro’s mission is to save 80 other dragons who have been trapped in crystal by Gnasty Gnorc, a gnome/orc hybrid with a bad attitude.

8. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Zelda2Widely considered the best Nintendo game ever, take control of Link and travel around the enchanting kingdom of Hyrule, learning songs on a magical ocarina to change the course of time and defeat the evil Ganondorf.

I know I’ve missed loads of incredible old games off this list, so if there’s one you think deserves to be on here, be sure to leave a comment below or tweet us @Creative_Hacks!

Matt