Sunday, 17 August 2008


12 Wharton Street, Cardiff [map]

What was once the worst-named bar in Cardiff - Is It? - has since gone all decadent Baroque, with its dark woods, maroon upholstery and fake chandeliers.

But it's had a general spruce up too. The toilets are far more salubrious than they used to be.

Despite its modest exterior, Barocco is unexpectedly spacious inside, with extra seating tucked around the back of the ground floor and a generously sized upstairs area too.

There's a reassuring selection of lagers on tap, including Heineken, San Miguel, Peroni and local favourite 45.

Thanks, it seems, to our visit coinciding with speedway at the Millennium Stadium, all the drinks were served in plastic glasses, which lowered the tone slightly. Although it's better than being glassed by some cranked-up motorbike fanatic high on petrol fumes.

For some reason - possibly the dramatic yet gloomy interior - Barocco feels more like the sort of place that you'd stop off at on the way to somewhere else, rather than staying in for the duration.

It's all well and good pretending that you're in 17th century Rome. But you wouldn't want to spend all night there.

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