At Octavo’s Book Café Bar and Wine Bar, you’re able to feed the body too.
Two months after opening in Cardiff Bay, Octavo’s is developing an excellent reputation for its food.
The book café is the brainchild of Hazel Cushion, the founder and Managing Director of independent publisher Accent Press.
She said: “It felt like an extension of what we were doing. I’ve thought for some time that Cardiff Bay needed a book shop, and there has been a recent resurgence in the popularity of printed books.”
In recent years, the rise of e-books and e-readers like Kindles hit independent book stores hard.
Now, though, with the rising popularity of printed books, book shops are making a come-back. However, many are also offering other reasons to visit to maximise their chances of turning a profit and surviving.
For Octavo’s, that other reason to visit is the excellent food.
Octavo’s, which was opened by romance novelist Katie Fforde in June, provides a relaxed atmosphere for those wishing to browse for a book, have a refreshing drink, or have a bite to eat.
Ms Cushion said: “We have a seasonal menu using locally-sourced produce. Our most popular dishes are our chip buckets which go very well with a glass of wine or a beer.
“Our home-made quiches and soups of the day are also very popular with our customers.”
Octavo’s chip buckets have a tasty blend of different seasonings. You can choose from rosemary, garlic and sea salt, parmesan, parsley and thyme, chilli, paprika and Cajun spice, and barbecue seasonings.
The book café currently has a post-work offer for those visiting between 4.30pm and 6.30pm – a free glass of wine, bottle of Peroni, or bottle of Fentiman’s soft drink with one of its gourmet chip buckets.
The weekend brunch menu also popular, and special themed gourmet nights are promised in the 40-seater café.
The clientele is a mixture of residents and office workers, and Octavo’s has become the heart of its community on West Bute Street.
Alongside its popular food menu, Octavo’s runs meditation sessions, a writer’s group, book signings, poetry surgeries, family events for parents and youngsters including baby and toddler story time, an art group, a bridge club, and woolly Wednesday knitting sessions.
Authors including Steve Howell, who wrote the sporting thriller Over The Line, and historical novelist Carol McGrath have given talks at Octavo’s.
Romance author Milly Johnson will be visiting the book café in November.
The aim is for Octavo’s to become a creative hub within its community. It’s an ambitious plan, but it’s already paying off.
Octavo’s won the title of book shop of the month in a competition run by National Book Tokens just three weeks after it opened. The shop also offers book tokens under the national scheme.
Ms Cushion said: “We won that because of the diverse events we have at the book café.”
Find out more about Octavo’s and its upcoming events here:https://www.thebestof.co.uk/local/cardiff/business-guide/feature/octavos-book-cafe-and-wine-bar