If you haven’t heard yet, Cardiff’s High Street has recently welcomed a new bar addition, as Nest 23 has opened its doors to the people of Cardiff, to serve up your tipple of choice. With some wonderful neighbours including PennyRoyal and Gin and Juice, I was very excited to be invited to the launch of Cardiff’s newest cocktail bar to see what it had in store for us, especially as it’s said to have links with the Hashery, a restaurant which I love.
With a lovely exterior beautifully lit by candles to mark its arrival on the castle side of town, Nest 23 has taken up residence in the former Bowles and Sons at No 23 storefront. As an independent bar looking to establish itself and make a mark on the city, it was interesting to see all of the additional touches the owners had put in place to truly make it their own and to create a relaxed and cosy environment for all of its prospective customers. And with 2-4-1 drinks every day from 5pm until 8pm, it’s very obvious that Nest 23 is setting itself up to be the ‘bar to be seen at’ for your after work drinks and early weekend drinks, or ‘pres’ shall we call them.
On arrival, guests were greeted with a complimentary glass of prosecco which had the potential to be ‘pimped’ with fresh fruit available at the bar, meaning that guests could tailor their drinks to their liking – quite a thoughtful and clever touch. I decided to keep my drink au naturel prosecco but if I could do it all again, I would have included strawberries if only for the Insta-worthy shot.
However, as well as prosecco, Nest 23 had on offer a large selection of gins, rums and vodkas. But as it was a school night and well, just because I like them, I decided to stick with my ever favourite cocktail, the Espresso Martini. Sadly, I missed the 8pm deadline for 2-4-1 but I still ordered one for myself and one for my boyfriend who had joined me for the evening. On the first attempt, the cocktails went a little awry but these were swiftly remade and the fault was noticed before the glasses even touched the bar. To me, this move was quite noticeable not because the first batch went wrong, but because the staff cared too much about the quality of the drinks to present me with something that wasn’t quite to their liking. On the second attempt, despite not looking picturesque, our drinks tasted delicious – this move from the bartender has guaranteed that I’ll be back to try another drink, another day.
Jam-packed with journalists, fellow bloggers and general Cardiff folk buzzing with energy and conversation, the entertainment of the evening came in the form of an acoustic guitar player and singer. Including songs from the Beatles, Fleetwood Mac and ABBA, it was really hard not to sing along, which I did of course, but not too loudly because no one wants to hear that. But I was a big fan of his song choices for the evening and I felt that it fitted perfectly with the tone of the launch.
Also on offer here are some grazing boards, including ‘picky’ food likes olives, cheeses, meats and grapes to help curb your hunger and pair with your beverage of choice. As we had eaten prior to the event, we didn’t try much of these but did help ourselves to a few of the olives, a snack which I’m happy to eat with pretty much any alcoholic drink. But I would love to come back and try one of these boards for ourselves in full.
The launch event was an overall success, with countless people in attendance to show their support and catch an early glance of the newest addition to the independent Cardiff food and drink scene. I think it could be a nice venue to visit for casual drinks with friends where you can get cosy and have those much-needed catch ups, especially when taking advantage of the 2-4-1 offer in the evenings. I look forward to visiting again to see what kind of vibe this bar creates as it establishes itself in our lovely city.