Cardiff and vintage, yes really! Usually associated with rugby, rolling hills and more than its fair share of beer, Wales is hardly a vintage-lovers Mecca. Or is it? Rachel England uncovers some surprising vintage finds in the Land of the Red Dragon. Cardiff’s main shopping stretch offers all the usual high street stores; a large H&M, an enormous Primark, a massive Topshop, and the sheer variety within each ensures plenty of vintage-esque bargains can be had. But get off the beaten track and the Welsh capital offers plenty for the authentic vintage fan. Forever Vintage, in Cardiff’s affluent Penarth area, is a veritable dressing up box of gorgeous Thirties and Forties dresses, shoes, jewellery and head pieces, and all reasonably priced. Owner Melanie Rhoden has been fascinated with antiques and vintage clothing since she was a child. “It’s a bit different to my old job,” she laughs. “I used to do social work! But I love it, even if it has taken over my life.” She even confesses to judging holiday destinations by their vintage shopping potential. “My nieces asked me to go to Italy with them,” she says. “And the first thing I thought was, ‘Oh! I wonder what the shopping will be like’.” Melanie’s all-consuming love for vintage apparel is apparent in the layout of her shop; the most beautiful dresses on display with carefully matched shoes, wedding gowns hung resplendently on the walls, pieces of jewellery catching the light and twinkling wherever you look – all ensuring that Forever Vintage is a must-visit for Wales’ vintage lovers.