The Prince of Wales, Cardiff

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The Prince of Wales, Cardiff


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Review of "The Prince of Wales, Cardiff"

published 07/04/2006 | welshgal17
Member since : 26/02/2005
Reviews : 63
Members who trust : 52
About me :
♥ thank you for reading and rating! more reviews coming soon! shocked I got money from the premium fund - thanks ciao!! ♥♥
Pro cheap prices on food and drink, nice atmosphere
Cons lack of staff
very helpful

"Treated like royalty"

map of location of pub

map of location of pub

If you come to Cardiff by bus or train it is most likely that the first pub/bar you will notice when you leave the station is the Prince of Wales.

On my every visit to Cardiff I used to walk past the big, impressive looking building on my way into the city centre and now that I've become a resident of Cardiff (and since I've become able to legally drink alcohol!) I decided to give it a try.

The Prince of Wales is located conveniently in the centre of town, a neighbour to many other clubs, pubs and bars that reside on Wood Street and St Mary Street.

The pub is part of the J.D.Wetherspoons chain, renowned for buying old derelict buildings and converting them into some of the grandest public houses ever seen. Some of the buildings they have converted include theatres, banks, cinemas, post offices and even a funeral parlour!

A bit of interesting History of the building
The Prince of Wales building originally opened as the New Theatre Royal in 1877. In 1914, a finance failure led to the closure of the theatre, another disaster followed later on in the year in the way of a fire. It reopened in 1920 as The Playhouse, but again failed as a business. The building re-opened and changed its name to the Prince of Wales in 1936 and thrived. After 20 years it closed again and reopened as a cinema showing sex films. In 1999, it was taken over by
J.D.Wetherspoons and became the present day business, a public house - The Prince of Wales.

As mentioned above, the Prince of Wales is in a prime location, easily accesible by anyone from any part of town. It has the great advantage(and disadvantage) of being a stones throw away from the Millenium Stadium - meaning on a match day, you may be a while getting served for that pint! It is a place for celebration and commiseration (depending on how wales performed that day - mostly the latter!) and you cannot beat the atmosphere on a match day.
The location is a great plus for weary shoppers and also to waste some time when you are waiting for your coach, bus or train to come in as it is right on top of the station - although I don't recommend drinking too much!

If I was impressed by the outside of the building, then I was absolutely amazed by the inside.
There are 3 entrances to the pub - the front one used more frequently than the other two side entrances.
The pub is huge, and I was astounded at the amount of space there was there, with tables, bars and comfy chairs as far as the eye could see and a huge grand staircase leading to a sea of dining tables, with a 100 foot high ceiling and a jaw-droppping backdrop. The buildings previous role as a theatre lent some of its beauty and granduer to the establishment by preserving its upper balcony seating on view to all the diners, providing a good topic for conversation.

Talking of talking - this isn't one of those pubs where you have to scream and shout to have a conversation. There is no ear-splitting music here, as with all other Wetherspoons outlets. I found this wonderful as I could talk freely and have a good conversation with everyone around me - also I found the atmosphere was much nicer and no ringing in your ears at the end of the night!

The upstairs area is principaly for dining but also has a large bar for those who just want a drink (or two!) There are hundreds of tables up here so you'll nearly always find a seat. Some tables overlook the front and side of the building and provide great views of the city outside although sitting further into the pub you get the spectacular view of the balcony seating of the old theatre and the stonework above the bar.

Ok, so back downstairs, the look is like a large traditional modern pub, with a very large bar filled with really helpful, friendly staff who are excellent at their job- the service has always been quick and I have never had to wait long for a drink. There is also lots of seating, spaced out perfectly so you never feel squashed or like you are being intruded. The chairs themselves are really comfortable and match the décor - rich colours and materials to match the grand look of the remaining theatre.

Like any other Wetherspoons pub they offer quality and good value for money with any of their food and beverages. What you'll find here is the same as any other of the Wetherspoons pubs but this way you know you are getting quality food as the competition in Cardiff is huge, what with the Brewery Quarter across the street and any number of Indian, Chinese and Italian restaurants that reside along Queen Street.
The menu is straightforward and to the point, and although they do not offer a wide range of meals - just the basic something and chips mostly - this seems to work for them. I went along one evening with a friend and we both had the fish and chips with an excellent deal of 2 meals for £6! I wondered whether the price would reflect in the quality of the food but no - the food was delicious! I think this deal runs all day, everyday - what a bargain!
In addition to the normal menu they also hold special clubs on certain nights of the week, which anyone can join and get a meal and a pint for just a few quid. I have yet to go to one of these but I hear the Curry Club is always well attended. The Clubs are as follows:
Steak Club on Tuesday night
Chinese Club on Wednesday night
Curry Club on Thursdays night

Onto the drinks. These are always well priced, and for a poor student like me is heaven! There are always deals on the alcopop bottles i.e. smirnoff or vk, normally priced at about a pound, drawing in practically the whole student population of Cardiff.
Their prices are always displayed on a board next to the bar, with comparisons to other pubs showing just how cheap they really are. Practically all drinks are under £2 and the cocktails were fab - under £5 for a pitcher I think!
They also sell real ales which are not my cup of tea but may appeal to others.

Although the pub has not gone completely non-smoking yet, there is a designated non-smoking area for those who want to get away from the smoke. Although I don't think they allow smoking in the dining area - I cant remember anyone smoking in the area when I was there.

The Prince of Wales is one of my favourite places to go at night. It serves as a good meeting place and starting point before I move on to boogie the night away but also is a really good place to spend all night chatting and laughing (when you get so drunk you cant stand!) away with friends.
The design of the place is really gorgeous and really impressive. The staff are great and the service is really quick and efficient.
The only problem is, is that because of its location, it gets very busy evening time and at the weekend although as I say, you do get served very quickly even when busy.
Give it a try if you're passing - if not, just come and visit anyway!

Oh- just forgot the opening Hours for The Prince of Wales (although may be longer after 24hr licensing laws have come in)
Sun-Thu 9am-midnight; Fri/Sat 9am-1am

Website just incase you want to have a look:
Thanks for reading!
© Welshgal17

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Comments on this review

  • S.Bate published 16/01/2007
    Haven't spent time in Cardiff for some while but I did visit briefly a couple of years ago and had a nice glass of wine in there. Wetherspoons are great if you like experimenting with real ales.
  • pennypete published 26/07/2006
    Great review, covered all angles, I go here regular, and is usually our starting point for a night out, but there is no music, great if you want a chat though! Maybe see you in there one night! Penny
  • stepho222 published 16/04/2006
    good review stephaniexx
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Product Information : The Prince of Wales, Cardiff

Manufacturer's product description


Product Details

City: Cardiff

Type: Pub


Listed on Ciao since: 06/02/2006