For many people, Christmas means presents, turkeys, Father Christmas and maybe even Jesus. For me, my favourite part has always been the lights. And maybe Mariah Carey’s all-time best song (no, not Dream Lover).
This year, the Arcades are looking as gorgeous as ever, with an array of lights to really heighten the festive cheer of the shoppers inside. I think the Morgan and Royal Arcades have really gone all out this year, and a visit to Cardiff this December wouldn’t be complete without a wander through the arcades to check them out.
It’s actually been quite a while since I strolled into the beautiful shop that is Joie de Vivre in the Royal Arcade. I’d first noticed the shop back in April when it was still a work in progress. Gazing through the windows as the shop took shape, I knew it would be a place that I’d want to photograph as soon as possible.
I popped into the gorgeous little Saswa shop in the Royal Arcade last week to have a chat with one of the owners, Liam, and to drool over the beautiful jewellery on display… and I suppose to take a few snaps too while I was at it.
Liam is a bit of an arcade veteran, having worked in it for over 15 years. Starting off in Cameraland just a couple of doors away, he joined Saswa a few years ago. The shop was set up in 2001 by Yashira, who gives it her name. Well sort of, it comes from her little brother being unable to say her name properly.
The shop originally sold hippy type stuff but the owners found it wasn’t really working for them and changed to the gift/jewellery/general niceness route after a little while. Today the shop stocks great worldwide and local brands while also sourcing unique pieces that you won’t find anywhere else.
Next time you’re looking for a little trinket or two for a present (or for yourself!) I’d advise you to pop in, there’s a great selection and I’ll certainly be heading there when I want something a little bit unusual (necklaces with real flowers in anyone?).
Before I ramble on too much, make sure you check out the Saswa website to find more information about the shop and its stock and enjoy the pictures below, and there’s a few more over at this Flickr set. As always, comments, feedback and suggestions very much welcome.
One of my absolute tip-top favourite things about the arcades is the stunning architecture. When you look up something magical happens. It’s a real wow moment, and I still get it even after seeing them probably thousands of times. I took some photos in the Morgan Arcade a few months back when it was dark. They were pretty good, but when the sun is shining and the sky is blue, a whole other dimension comes alive.
I don’t need many words to introduce this post. Just enjoy the photos.
And don’t forget to check out these other wide-angle photos: