The Ocho Lounge in WIndsor Road was quiet enough for Olympic swimmers Tom Haffield and Rebecca Adlingston to have a quiet coffee together unnoticed earlier this year

The Ocho Lounge in Windsor Road was quiet enough for Olympic swimmers Tom Haffield and Rebecca Adlington to meet up there earlier this year – unnoticed by other customers

With the variety and number of cafes in Penarth continuing to proliferate, a  local resident – Elisabeth Griffith –  has set out on a one-woman “Which?“-style mission to track-down the quietest cafe in Penarth .

Elisabeth  (“Liz” to her friends)  – says she wonders if PDN readers have yet come across a cafe in Penarth where “it’s reasonably quiet so they can have a conversation with their friends” .

She says “Unfortunately, I have been looking for that cafe for a long time, …to no avail.”

Here are Liz’s – necessarily subjective –  findings so far [all Liz’s assessments – not PDN’s]:-

Pier Pavilion:You have to have ear defenders before you can go in there. Having the coffee-making equipment in the cafe, must be the worst decision anyone could have made. With the steam machine setting off every few minutes, you are bombarded with the worst hissing you can imagine. You certainly can’t have a conversation. No problem on a nice day, though, because one can sit outside.”

Bar 44. Lis says this is the loudest cafe in Penarth

Bar 44. Lis says this is the loudest cafe in Penarth

Bar 44:The loudest cafe I can think of. I tried it once, but never again! I didn’t understand a word that anybody said.”

Coffee #1:It’s full of prams and kiddies chatter. Best to leave it to them and go elsewhere.”

Ocho Lounge:It’s not too bad, but the staff has the music on, for their own entertainment. When we ask them to turn it down, it is turned down to a small degree which you almost don’t notice, but is blaring again shortly afterwards. I would recommend to sit outside where the sun shines on you, and the traffic noise is nothing compared with the noise inside.”

Waterloo Tea:  “The cafe is quite noisy when it’s full, but I like to sit outside when the sun is shining. So it’s depending on the weather.”

The Busy Teapot came within a whisker of earning the quiet cafe accolade

The Busy Teapot came within a whisker of earning the Penarth  “Quiet-Cafe” accolade

Busy Teapot: (Glebe St) “I thought I’d found the one. We went to the Busy Teapot one early afternoon, asked politely if they could turn the music down, and our request was immediately satisfied! Amazing! There was just one person left who cleaned up the kitchen, and the silence was bliss. I thought I had found ‘our’ cafe at last. Then, the next time I went with another friend, proudly telling her that I have found the perfect cafe for us. On arrival, I asked for them to turn the music down, and my wish was immediately granted again. Unfortunately, this time there were two people behind the counter, plus another guest, and the three men shouted at the top of their voices when they could have talked normally.  I couldn’t hear myself think!”

Holm House:Since there are never many people there, it’s lovely and quiet and almost perfect, but boring. And you have to pay £8.50 for 2 cappuccinos.”

Elisabeth Griffith is now planning to re-visit  Victoria Tea Room and Foxy’s to update her assessment of those two establishments

Still awaiting a rating are:-

  • Costa Coffee on Windsor Road,
  • The Windsor Restaurant and  Celtic Lounge – Windsor Arcade
  • Hamptons Ludlow Lane, 
  • The Crepe Escape in Glebe St,
  • Romeos by the Sea and The Fig Tree  on the Esplanade
  • Compass Coffee in Penarth Marina.

…Meanwhile Liz says any ‘quiet cafe’ nominations  from PDN readers would be gratefully received.


About NewsNet

Penarth Daily News email address . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time. Comments posted on the site by commentators reflect their opinions and are not necessarily shared, endorsed or supported by Penarth Daily News.
This entry was posted in Penarth Daily News. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Christopher David says:

    The Legions very quiet these days….sigh.

  2. Elizabeth McCarthy says:

    The men in The Busy Teapot are rude and brash and they have cleaning standards of scruffy builders – ugh. Crumbs and grubby fingermarks. They also loudly discuss their business/women etc. I can’t help thinking they look bored stiff so forget they are there for the customers and not to idly fill in the time with obnoxious/boring banter.

    The Ocho Lounge and very friendly and welcoming to everyone I’ve found.

    The little cafe on the marina is very welcoming and the food is tasty.

    I can’t go in to ‘Tea’ because I miss ‘The Washington gallery’ too much.

    • AK says:

      But the coffee in the marine cafe is undrinkable !

      • Mike says:

        I personally love locally supplied coffee and the team in the Marina Cafe are always friendly and welcoming!

    • David Evans says:

      It’s impossible to be all things to everybody.
      The Busy Teapot is a remarkably well run establishment with excellent hygiene standards as indicate by the local authority rating of 5 consistently achieved by the 2 lads that run it.
      It isn’t a pretentious cafe, the food is cooked on the premises the portions are excellent and the prices won’t be bettered. It can be a little noisy at busy times. However most people call this “ambiance”
      Liz needs to get a life and stop running hardworking people down, she also should think hard before writing such scathing and borderline defamatory comments in the public domain.
      If one hasn’t got something constructive to say SHUT UP.

    • Sharon Wilson says:

      Having read your article I feel I must reply , my partner and I call in the Busy Teapot every time we visit Penarth I will not go anywhere else . The boys are always friendly and nothing is too much trouble. They are hard working and provide a good service ,it’s not easy running a business of this nature and they do an excellent job , not once have I ever found them obnoxious or rude far from it I have always found them happy , I hear friendly banter around with regular customer’s old and young and that is nice to see, a service which is lacking in most of your cafe/eatery’s. I find your remarks very harsh,and maybe a small side street cafe with down to earth real people making a living and giving people what they want is not the place for you.

  3. Brickie says:

    Difficult customer to satisfy

  4. Gerald says:

    I find the quietest place to drink coffee is at home.

  5. Having owned a popular coffee shop art gallery in Cowbridge before
    Opening a business in Penarth I acknowledge Liz’s plight but…
    a busy tea coffee shop is a good one!! They are largely used for people who wish to have conversation. It’s impossible to find a quiet one if you do then there are a few things to take into consideration (1) the tea coffee used is of sub standard thus generally people avoidd it, or (2) the parking provision isn’t available so again people avoid. In 2098 I owned the busiest coffe shop in Cowbridge hundreds of people sat in the sun under my canopy even waiting for seats to come vacant : I also had a back garden again people flocked on a warm day but still inside we had four areas for people to sit and the acoustics were less as it was a grade 2 listed building and this helped. –
    Also the proprietors wouldn’t be to happy if their business was too quiet, after all they can’t survive without custom and people paying money to use the facilities they would go broke! They pay huge amounts for their rents and rates and rely on the tea brigade to spend and also perhaps to eat lunch. I’m sorry Liz but so fear your in for a long wait good luck. I went to Pierre Bistro in Caroline St Cardiff this week, You couldn’t hear a thing but load business people. I have had a stroke and my hearing is lost in my left ear, So it’s impossible to have a conversation with such noise levels, so I do appreciate Liz’s needs. I don’t think you will find a quiet one in a Penarth good luck

  6. DK says:

    I can recommend that Liz tries The Bistro (opposite the library). The coffee is good, generally the other customers talk at a normal volume and I find it to be a very friendly and welcoming place.

  7. RetailGuru says:

    Oh for goodness sake, this is news??? Have a lovely coffee at home, dear, and stop making a drama out of a complete insignificance. My goodness, on the rare occasion I have time to visit these establishments, yes they are vibrant, but certainly not to the extent that I can’t hear the other person. Get a life, love!!

  8. Ziggy Stardust says:

    At last, some hard-hitting news. Any chance Liz’s desperate plight can be serialised? I for one am eager to know whether she finally finds happiness. Perhaps she could also share her views on her favourite colour, day of the week and whether she puts the milk in before or after the tea.

  9. Junne says:

    Watalootea Stanwell Road. is great place for a nice tea or coffee . Its a very nice . And yes you can have a conversation without noise

  10. penarthblog says:

    As Liz rightly says, the list is very subjective.

  11. Andrew Worsley says:

    My experience of the Busy Teapot is totally opposite to Elisabeth Mc Carthys , I went in their with 4 members of my family about 3 years ago , the staff were very friendly and even came to our table 2 or 3 times to ask if we were ok? the meal was simple but filling and enjoyed by everyone and family members commented on how friendly the staff were and how nice the meal had been , I do not recognise the description of brash or boring chat by the staff or any obnoxious boring banter. Yet we went in for a meal , not to ‘listen in ‘ to the chat of the staff and we got what well looked after , and my family thanked them on the way out..

  12. lexienewman says:

    Have u tried Tony’s taste of Italy on Herbert terrace? It’s lovely in there for food and coffee and the staff are incredible. It’s not a noisy place either.

  13. snoggerdog says:

    liz would have liked the primrose cafe by the yacht club,rowena did a lovely cup of camp (skin on) the rendesvous also down the beach would have been too noisy having a jukebox (good on yer tony) which i used to play any time i had a spare sixpence,I GO APE by neil sedaka, as for rabs that man did not like teenagers in any shape or form, jack savage in the arcade (open on sundays) would have been quiet enough but there wasnt much room. also where the pickled pepper is now was a tea room you could go upstairs i think the spiral iron staircase is still in place.

    • Hamish Munnypenny says:

      I always liked the greasers cafe in Ludlow Lane. King Tut pinball machine, and a jukebox with “25 or 6 to 4” by Chicago, and “Chestnut Mare” by The Byrds. Tea tasted like coffee and vice versa, but you can’t have everything.

      • Christopher David says:


      • Hamish Munnypenny says:

        Far from it. The cooking fat on the ceiling had nicotine stains, and in between records on the jukebox you could hear the rats coughing. You had to change into dirty clothes to sit down. There were three squeezy bottles on each table – red, yellow and brown – but the colour didn’t necessarily indicate the contents. I think they fried the toast, and did fried eggs in the toaster.
        An investigation might have revealed several new strains of mould with antibiotic potential. I still miss it though, along with Jack Savage’s, Thelma’s and the Pandora.

  14. Christopher David says:

    Thought Ret Guru would be up for this one. Anyway at £2> a cup I’ll usually make me own. And as for the wanabee caff’s like the CostaLotta- well why does anyone over 16 go there? Naw- Ace Café is the one for me when I’m feeling flush.

    • Christopher David says:

      Please do you’re allowed (who are you) and can I recommend the fifth column too. Over my head goes one shoe…….:-x

  15. Andrew Worsley says:

    Well as for days of the week , I used to like Mondays at one time strangely enough , but that was changed for Thursdays a few years later, and after that I wasn’t sure wether or not I liked Tuesday or Thursday, what a dilemma!!!!!. But that got resolved when I decided to make Friday my favourite day , boy was i relieved at that i’ve never really likes Sundays , anyway Thursdays or Saturdays are my favourite days. I hope I don’t go back to liking Mondays , but you never know , they always say “tomorrows another day” but its usually the same as it was that day last week when it was tomorrow then, so that saying is not strictly true unless they invent more days maybe such as Starday or Rainbowday for examples. As I like to add to this forum I hope my contribution has helped those who don’t know what day it is.!!??

  16. Christopher David says:

    I like Mumbledays- that’s why I allow “Lyndsay” to amuse me here. He I’m told like Sun-days, its his favourite comic paper.

  17. Mgg says:

    I couldn’t have a decent conversation with my wife in any cafe . Oh hang on I remember I couldn’t have a decent conversation with her anywhere.!

  18. daipop1 says:

    Blue Pelican at Hamptons is lovely

  19. Andrew Worsley says:

    Ho! ho! ho! Mgg what wit! what flair! , what observation, ! but be warned Mgg some on this forum do not understand humour , I myself have been commented on for trying to inject some wit into this forum . Seriously Mgg , nice to see some can enjoy a bit of humour , even if others cannot.

  20. Christopher David says:

    In general one concurs 🙂 – specially when talking of Pelicans and and Hamilton’s in same sentence! X

  21. Ellabell says:

    Get a flask mug make your tea/coffee to your own specification and go sit in the library. You can keep your conversation to a whisper, perfect!

  22. Matthew says:

    I love the busy teapot serves a cracking breakfast!

  23. Edward says:

    Surely cafe’s are, by definition, places for people to meet and converse and if they are popular they will be noisy. Trying to suggest that quite cafe’s are somehow superior feels a little sanctimonious.

    By far the best cafe / bar in Penarth is Ocho. The staff don’t have the music on for their entertainment. It’s a curated list which is played in all the Lounge bars and it really sets the tone. I’m more than capable of sitting there with my laptop and working undisturbed. If ever there’s any noises it’s from rowdy children, but I can’t complain about that because that’s part of living with the human race.

    • David Moorcraft says:

      Ocho !! As one early poster said, after about 8:30pm the staff will turn the sound system up so that any reasonable conversation is difficult.
      Visitors from London asked for it to be turned down a bit,while I was there, to no avail.

  24. Christopher David says:

    But what if you were rowdy next to the rowdy children or to their ineffectual parents?

  25. Andrew Worsley says:

    They could site a café next to the Augustines churchyard then no one but would be noisy out of respect , all talking will be done in whispers , even the menu will be in small print so as not to be loud , so to speak!!!. I di not know why I have to be the one to come up with the good ideas on this forum ?, and not one word of thanks or praise , I mean what would it hurt for someone to say thank you , its such a small word (well its 2 words but ones very small and the other is not big) but no , not a peep . I’m sure Elizabeth would be ‘at rest’ so to speak visiting a café or something of that nature , it will be dead quiet one presumes so I hope for the quiet peoples sake some one makes use of my idea. And glad to be of help Elizabeth .

  26. Frank Evans says:

    Liz count yourself lucky, in bali and the bars and restaurants have very loud bands to compete with non stop beeping traffic. Can hardly hear myself type.

  27. Louise says:

    Home, with some freshly baked cakes or biscuits. Bliss!

Comments are closed.