4-5 Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff, CF10 5FQ

Once home to Cardiff’s thriving 19th-century coal exchange, step back in time and soak up the rich and riveting history of this iconic Welsh landmark with a culinary experience you’ll treasure at the recently opened Culley’s Bar & Restaurant. Located within the impressive and imposing Exchange Hotel, with its grand gothic exterior complete with eye-catching columns, arched windows, and charming ornate details, celebrate the building’s forgotten but fascinating history within the carefully resurrected walls of this magnificent and must-visit hotel and restaurant.

Taking its name from, and inspired by, the legacy of local philanthropist and entrepreneur Richard Palethorpe Culley, an iconic figure who secured a catering contract with the Coal Exchange to work in the lavish Coal Exchange Restaurant where he wined and dined the Welsh coal industry’s many influential guests and self-made millionaires, Culley’s Bar & Restaurant more than lives up to Richard Palethorpe Culley’s legendary charisma and is truly a venue he’d be proud to give his name to.

As soon as you step into the sympathetically restored, atmospherically lit, and spacious dining area, you’ll instantly be put at ease. Every inch of this venue has a story to tell, from the original exposed brick work and huge iron girders to the moody industrial light fittings and comfortable, old-fashioned leather seating, this slice of the past is as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the tastebuds – there really is nothing quite like it. Unpretentious but exuding graduer, luxurious whilst still managing to be fun and adventurous, one visit here simply isn’t enough to take everything in – you’ll be eagerly planning your next visit as soon as you step out of the doors.

We were lucky enough to experience this one-of-a-kind dining destition for ourselves over the weekend and were enthused by the exceptional service and culinary journey we were taken on. Culley’s talented head chef Keith Clash understands what makes modern British dining so brilliant and is passionate about choosing only the finest locally sourced and seasonal produce available to craft an enticing menu full of choice. Working with the finest suppliers in the region, the menu is inspired by Cardiff and its surroundings, regually changing with the seasons in order to always offer its returning guests something new to savour and swoon over.

The moment our dishes were presented to us by the stylishly dressed, friendly, and attentive waiting staff, we couldn’t wait to tuck in. Ordering the sensational slow-cooked pork belly accompanied by sticky puy lentils with carrot and anis puree, calvados apples and jus and the sumptious Abergavenny lamb rack with Pomme Anna potato, baby veg, lamb, and port jus, we couldn’t have asked for two more delicious or satisfying main courses. Elevating humble ingredients with flair is what Culley’s does best and every mouthful was nothing short of culinary heaven.

To finish, we were helpless to resist the delightful dessert menu, drawing our eyes in with a dreamy choice of comforting classics. The warm pear and almond tart with ginger clotted cream and pear crisps was just what was needed on a cold winter’s day and their signature Culley’s bara brith bread and butter pudding served with rum-soaked raisins and custard was a revelation, sending our senses shooting back to cosy days around the family dinner table in our youth, enjoying lovingly prepared, home-cooked desserts the way they were meant to be.

Simply put, we couldn’t recommend R.P. Culley & Co at The Exchange Hotel more highly. If you’re in Cardiff and want to be taken on a culinary journey you’ll never forget, make sure you carve out the time to experience this blast from the past for yourself.

Read more about Culley’s over on their website, follow their social media pages, or read our review in our Cardiff Food & Drink Guide here.

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Food & Drink Guides is the UK's largest publisher of regional restaurants guides. Find over 13,000 reviews on our website foodanddrinkguides.co.uk

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