The Woodville, Cardiff – Contemporary Pub Grub

As a former Cardiff University student, I hold fond memories of The Woodville pub in Cathays (of what I can remember, at least!); memories of drunken pub golf escapades, fancy dress parties and chilled out pub quiz nights. It was always somewhere I’d associate with having a good time, as opposed to somewhere I’d go for lunch or dinner.

A few months ago, however, The Woodville underwent a huge revamp and with it came a shiny new food and drink menu. Featuring all-day breakfasts, wraps, bagels, jackets, burgers, meaty mains and sharing platters, the emphasis is on contemporary comfort food classics. I decided to go along and try it out for myself, along with a friend.

Inside, the pub has been given a fresh lick of paint and decorated with everything from pop art and post-it notes, to printed clipboards and vibrant neon lighting featuring affectionate Welsh phrases like ‘cwtch’ and ‘where you to?’

The Woodville pub, Cathays

Cwtch neon signage at The Woodville pub, Cathays

The new drinks menu includes a range of classy cocktails and indulgent milkshakes at student-friendly prices. With a good balance of Sailor Jerry’s spiced rum combined with lemon juice, apple juice, ginger syrup and soda water, the Ginger Apple Cooler (£6.45) tasted like a toffee apple and did a great job of quenching my thirst on what was a fairly warm day. Meanwhile, James sipped on one of The Woodville’s ‘hard shakes’ – the Honey Monster (£5.95). A creamy concoction of vanilla frappé with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, this had a strong taste of whiskey which was too overpowering for our liking.

Cocktails at The Woodville, Cathays

As we slurped our cocktails, we nibbled on a bowl of frickles (£2.45); tangy pickled gherkins fried in a crispy breadcrumb coating. These were would be the perfect match for a pint of lager or beer.

Fried pickles at The Woodville, Cathays

My main of southern fried chicken and chips (£5.95) consisted of three large, tender chicken goujons in crunchy breadcrumbs, accompanied by a smoky BBQ dip, crispy skinny fries and a delicious homemade slaw of red cabbage, carrot and spring onion in a lime and ginger sesame seed dressing.

Southern fried chicken and chips at The Woodville, Cathays

Meanwhile, James devoured the ribs and wings (£10.95); a meat feast including half a rack of melt-in-your-mouth pork ribs smothered in an irresistible BBQ sauce, with six well-sized BBQ chicken wings, two crispy onion rings, skinny fries and homemade slaw.

Ribs and wings at The Woodville, Cardiff

Feeling full after our mains, we decided to share a dessert. I’d heard about The Woodville’s freakshakes before and I couldn’t wait to try one out for myself, so we ordered just that. As our freakshake approached the table, our eyes widened and we let out a chorus of oohs and aahs. A glass tumbler was filled with thick vanilla ice cream and chocolate fudge cake milkshake, with Smarties stuck around the edge of the glass using Nutella. The milkshake was topped with a slab of fudge cake, a double chocolate chip cookie, squirty cream, mini marshmallows, candyfloss and lashings of rich chocolate sauce. The whole thing tasted sinfully good, although it was a good thing we were sharing, as I don’t know how I would’ve got through one of these by myself after such a big meal. This was actually only the regular version; there is a larger size available for £12.95!

Freakshake at The Woodville, Cathays

On the whole, we enjoyed our meal at The Woodville. If I was served the same dishes at a restaurant I would expect the food to be of a higher quality, but for affordably priced pub grub, it certainly hit the spot. I’d go back just for another freakshake!

The Woodville
1-5 Woodville Road,
CF24 4DW
(029) 2039 7859
The Woodville Pub, Cathays, Cardiff

I was invited to The Woodville as a guest and our food and drink was provided complimentary; however, I was not obliged to write a positive review.


  1. LaaLaa
    September 19, 2017 / 9:38 pm

    That freakshake is unreal *drooling* Now if I ever find myself in Cardiff I’ve got to hit up this place.

    • September 21, 2017 / 1:26 pm

      I think you’d love it here! Let me know if you need any other recommendations.

  2. September 19, 2017 / 10:31 pm

    you write like a butthole with a thesaurus

    • September 21, 2017 / 1:33 pm

      Well, that’s the first bit of constructive criticism I’ve had in seven years of blogging. Judging by the fact I’m appearing in the Mail on Sunday this week, I’ve featured numerous times on BBC Radio Wales and BBC Cambridge, and I make a full-time income from writing, I’ll try not to take it to heart!

  3. September 20, 2017 / 12:04 am

    That’s a massive milkshake. The food looks like great no knife or fork meal and that’s my favorite.

    • September 21, 2017 / 1:23 pm

      Yes, you could definitely have eaten the starter and mains with just your hands – except for the slaw!

  4. September 20, 2017 / 9:15 am

    Wow, this looks delicious and extremely well priced for the size of the dishes! If I lived closer, I’m sure this would be a regular choice for me and the family! 🙂

    • September 21, 2017 / 1:23 pm

      I really loved the freakshakes! And the place is looking lovely following the recent revamp!

  5. September 20, 2017 / 2:18 pm

    What a wonderful place to be! just loved that Freakshake!

    • September 21, 2017 / 1:22 pm

      Me too. That was definitely the highlight of my visit!

  6. September 20, 2017 / 4:04 pm

    Finding a great pub with great food is so much fun. It sounds like you didn’t go home hungry, and will be back for more. That dessert looks cool (and delicious)!

    • September 21, 2017 / 1:21 pm

      I’d go back for the freakshakes!

  7. September 20, 2017 / 4:24 pm

    Oh my gosh, that freakshake is out of this world! How cool is that! 🙂 I love the decor in the place, looks lush. I love the idea of hardshakes, I am yet to try them! 🙂

    • September 21, 2017 / 1:21 pm

      I loved the freakshake, but hardshakes aren’t really my thing – milk and alcohol make me feel queasy when mixed!

  8. Fatima
    September 20, 2017 / 7:45 pm

    I’ve been to Cardiff but didn’t know about this. Will definitely try the freakshakes next time. Looks so good!

    • September 21, 2017 / 1:20 pm

      You should definitely check out the freakshakes here!

  9. hodgepodgedays
    September 20, 2017 / 8:42 pm

    Cor, that’s certainly stick to your ribs hearty pub grub. Perfect for students too. That freakshake looks insane!

    • September 21, 2017 / 1:18 pm

      I think students will be flocking here for the food, not to mention the drink! And the freakshakes of course.

  10. September 20, 2017 / 9:04 pm

    I love a Freakshake, this one looks impressive!

    • September 21, 2017 / 1:16 pm

      It was the first I’ve ever had, but I am sure it won’t be the last!

  11. Jenni
    September 22, 2017 / 8:32 am

    I don’t think I’ve heard of fried pickled gherkins before. The fried chicken looks good and that freakshake looks incredible

    • September 22, 2017 / 4:30 pm

      It was my first time trying them out, but I’m sure it won’t be the last 🙂

  12. September 23, 2017 / 1:16 am

    Well, well, well! This place looks like it serves the most incredible food! And that freakshake is just massive! I’d most definitely like to eat here 🙂

    Louise x

    • September 25, 2017 / 4:36 pm

      The freakshakes are to die for! I could really do with one right now!

  13. September 24, 2017 / 11:09 am

    That freakshake looks like diabetes in a jar, but looks so good too! I love pub grub, can’t beat it in my opinion!

    • September 25, 2017 / 4:31 pm

      Haha I know what you mean – I would’ve felt guilty if I wasn’t sharing it and had it all to myself!

  14. September 25, 2017 / 10:36 am

    Those frickles sound right up my street and that freakshake looked amazing x

    • September 25, 2017 / 4:22 pm

      They’d be great even with just a pint! Ideal bar snacks.

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