The Season of Giving: Arcades at Christmas

The Season of Giving: Arcades at Christmas

Ah, Christmas. The season of giving. Except, as we all know, there will always be someone in each of our lives that is notoriously difficult to buy presents for. ‘Oh, you don’t have to get me anything’- oh, but we do.

For the indecisive aunts, the over-polite in laws, and the completely ambivalent mates in your life, we’ve created a list of some of our favourite gift shops in Cardiff city centre. With everything from perfume to board games to personalised jewellery, you’re bound to find something special.

duke street arcade

For those in your life who love a bit of sparkle, try Emma Kate Jewellery for something slightly out of the ordinary.  Jeweller Emma-Kate Francis, who trained in silversmithing at University College of Art, London, creates beautiful jewellery collections, incorporating inspirations from flora, fauna, and romance iconography.

There’s even the option to sit down for a consultation, to create a beautiful piece of bespoke jewellery- perfect if you’d like your gift to a loved one to be even more special.

Emma-Kate has designed for prestigious clientele such as the Victoria and Albert museum, and acclaimed jewellery retailers Jersey Pearl, so you can rest assured her work will be both high quality, and well-received.

Find her studio in the lofty balconies of Castle Arcade, just above Coffee Barker.

emma kate jewellery

Nothing says Christmas quite like a family board game. If you’re a bit tired of the annual family arguments over Monopoly, have a go at one of the countless board games Rules of Play offers.

As the ‘home of tabletop gaming in Wales’, the amazing staff at Rules of Pay can recommend a game for just about anyone, from the complete novice all the way up to the most experienced of players. They also cater to every genre- from horror to adventure to family games, or even just the classics.

You can find them in Castle Arcade, next to Princes & Paupers and opposite Science Cream.

If you’re looking for a gift that sparks nostalgia, you’ll probably find it at Galactic Attic.

Specialising in vintage toys, collectables and pop culture items, it’s a great place to find special and one-off items for the comic book, movie or franchise fans in your life. Best of all, their stock is ever changing thanks to their buy and sell system, so keep an eye on their Facebook page for more additions to the shop.

If you’re looking for a niche item and you’re not sure where to start, they offer great advice and a wealth of contacts to try, so sourcing that special gift might be easier than you think.

You can find them in High Street Arcade, near the intersection with Duke Street Arcade.

If it’s beautiful smelling gifts you’re after, wander down Dominion’s Arcade and have a look in Cartref a Gardd, purveyors of Welsh-influenced fragrances and body products.

Sample the deliciously silky hand and body lotion, spritz yourself to sleep with their lavender linen spray, or douse yourself lavishly with one of their signature Welsh scents.

Best of all, many items are available for refilling at a discounted price, meaning they can be enjoyed by even the most eco-conscious beneficiary.

You can find them at the end of Dominions Arcade, next to Bute & Co Coffee House.

shop owner of cartref a garedd

If you’re giving a gift to someone who likes to know where their gift came from or is trying to do their bit as an ethical shopper, it’s worth popping into Ganesha Handicrafts.

Selling handmade items and jewellery, ethically sourced by the owner from India and Nepal, you can find gifts at any price point, that anyone would love.

Take a look at their sustainably-sourced amber jewellery, their Himalayan salt lamps, or any of their handmade clothing range, found in Royal Arcade, opposite Uncommon Ground.

If you know someone that needs a laugh, or has a vaguely inappropriate sense of humour, take a peek at the gift offerings from Scribbler.

Infamous for their controversial greetings cards, their hilariously cheeky selection of gifts range from politically themed stress balls, sweary- patterned socks and downright rude novelties, all the way up to something even your Nan would be happy to receive.

Pair it with one of their hilarious cards and watch the tears roll down their cheeks- hopefully from laughing.



For all the foodies in your family/friends/office, have a look in Wally’s Deli for some delicious stocking additions, located in the Royal Arcade.

Peruse their great selection of Christmas pantry fillers, and stock up on artisan cheese, cured meats and olives for that after-dinner Christmas evening feast.

If there’s something specific you’re after, the staff are well versed in their range of stock, and more than happy to point you in the right direction.

If you’re looking for some Christmas drinks or a special bottle of something, try their sister store, Wally’s Liquor Cellar, in Castle Arcade, with one of the finest selection of alcoholic beverages Cardiff has to offer.

wallys deli

Give the gift of Cardiff's Arcades

A Gift Card FOR Cardiff can be spent in over 80 businesses across Cardiff including many based in the arcades and is available in values from £5 to £500. From shopping sprees to steak dinners the gift card covers all kinds of Cardiff experiences and lets locals and visitors alike explore new elements of this great city, the City of Arcades.

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