Cardiff is known for the castle that’s open to the audience, the glamorous waterfront of Cardiff Bay, the Millennium Music Hall, its two universities, Dr. Who, the nearby Brecon Beacons and a plethora of adorable tea houses, live music venues and art centres. All very interesting, but they can’t be the reason why Cardiff is one of the UK’s most popular stag and hen do destinations. Let me introduce you to the naughty side of the ‘Diff.
POLE DANCING WORKSHOP – Many students of both universities in Cardiff use weekly pole dancing lessons as a fun way to get in shape, and while I lived in the Diff, I decided to join them. There are several venues and teachers in the city, but I especially recommend Sminxie’s classes on Mondays and Thursdays at Passion (63-65 City Road). Sminxie is a bubbly lass from the Valleys who trained with the best pole dancers in the world and judged major pole dance competitions in the UK. She’s willing to train blokes as well, but only if there are enough men interested to set up a male-only group. You can also book Sminxie for a workshop to spice up your hen party. For more information, find Sminxie’s School of Pole Dance on Facebook.
LIFE DRAWING – Have a crack at drawing the male and female nude models of the Cardiff Life Model Collective. For a fiver, you can gawp at their birthday suits for an hour and a half while developing a steady hand for drawing. There are 4 drop-in sessions a week, and every session features models of both genders. On Monday 5.30pm, a small group of artists gathers in the Yurt of the arty farty Milgi Lounge (213 City Road ). On Tuesdays, you can join them again at 5.30pm and 7pm at 10 Feet Tall (11a-12 Church Street). If you still haven’t seen enough, there is a session at the Downstairs Bar of the Nos Da Studio Hostel (53 – 59 Despenser street) every Thursday at 8pm. If that isn’t kinky enough for you, you can always take them up on their bare-as-you-dare-challenge.
BURLESQUE NIGHT – If there’s one thing hot in Cardiff, it’s Burlesque. Women of literally all ages and shapes line up for the courses and workshops by performer, choreographer and artistic director Miss Foo Foo la Belle. Foo Foo’s specialties range from chair dancing to making burlesque accessories and she regularly organizes spectacular shows including comedians, musicians, bands, poets and of course show girls. You ought to be able to buy tickets at the door, but they do tend to sell out quickly. Find Foo Foo on Facebook to discover the theme, date and venue of her next show.
GLEE STAND-UP COMEDY – It’s not cheap, but if you’re looking for a special night out, stand-up comedy at the Glee Comedy Club in Cardiff Bay is your safest bet. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, they present four hilarious acts from the top of the comedy circuit, from household names to the new kids on the block. The audience are seated at tables and encouraged to have dinner during the show, but I don’t recommend it. There are much nicer, less expensive restaurants in the area such as all-you-can-eat Cosmo’s right next to Glee Club or Bosphorus Turkish restaurant on the pier.
HOOTERS – Probably the most popular employer for female students. Pretend that you’re going for the food, have your picture taken with the waitress instead of by the waitress and leave a more than generous tip. You can find Hooters on Mary Ann Street.
Originally published January 2012 at TravMonkey