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Celebrated Chef Alex Vines Announces December Pop-up Series at Hard Lines


An acclaimed Cardiff chef who has worked in some of London’s most celebrated kitchens has announced a month-long series of pop-ups at a coffee shop in Canton this December.

Chef Alex Vines’ Vines Restaurant will take over the Hard Lines coffee shop on Cowbridge Road for four Fridays before Christmas, offering a five course, seasonal set menu for £45pp.

Originally hailing from the vibrant neighbourhood of Pontcanna, 39-year-old Alex Vines has spent the last 11 years working in the kitchens of some of London’s most celebrated restaurants, including 40 Maltby Street, Rochelle Canteen, and Sardine.

Most recently, Alex was the head chef at the Lighthaus in Walthamstow where he gained recognition and praise from the likes of The Observer and Time Out Magazine.

Having started cooking in the kitchen from the age of 10 (his first food memory is helping his mum to blanch almonds for homemade mincemeat), Alex’s pared-back style of cooking has been influenced also by his experiences in London, and by his MSc in Food Policy. As a result, he focuses on truly seasonal and sustainable ingredients and is passionate about working directly with local farmers, designing menus around the produce which comes fresh from the fields each week.

A former vegetarian and keen grower, Alex often uses ingredients from his own garden on his menus, where vegetables take centre stage. The result is an offering that is super fresh, frequently changing and full of flavour – naturally carrying a Mediterranean influence in the summer months before turning North in winter with dishes inspired by traditional British and Eastern European cuisine.

Earlier this year, Alex first introduced Vines Restaurant to his hometown of Cardiff via a short term popup at Ground Bakery in Pontcanna – earning high praise from local food bloggers including Gourmet Gorro.

Building on this success, Alex has now released dates and the full menu for his December pop-ups at Hard Lines, priced at £45pp.


Festive Câr-y-Môr Canapés x 3:
Jerusalem Artichokes & Welsh Mussels
Pembrokeshire Prawn Tartlets

Pembrokeshire Crab & Carrot Croquettes

Coronation Parsnip Fritters

Sprout Tops, Anchovy,
Hazelnuts & Berkswell

Roast Duck, Bread Sauce, Hispi Cabbage & Winter Chanterelles

Ginger Loaf, Apples & Cinnamon Ice Cream


Festive canapés x 3:

Jerusalem Artichoke, Seaweed & Aioli

Squash & stilton croquette

Beetroot & quails egg tartlet

Coronation Parsnip Fritters

Sprout Tops, Roast Onions,
Hazelnuts & Berkswell

Smoked Celeriac, Cavolo Nero, Bread Sauce, Winter Chanterelles & Black Truffle

Ginger Loaf, Apples & Cinnamon Ice Cream

The menu is subject to last minute changes depending on availability of produce. Alex can cater to other dietary requirements with 48h notice. For more info see

Alex has also devised a short wine list which will be available by the glass, focussing on natural wines and smaller European winemakers known for their skill and care for the environment. Local wine writer Rachel Hendry will be on hand at the pop ups to advise on pairings.

Of his upcoming December dates Alex said

“I’m thrilled to be bringing my Vines Restaurant pop up to another great Cardiff venue, and really looking forward to showcasing some more of the amazing produce we have to work with here in South Wales. Ultimately, my goal is to open a permanent bricks and mortar restaurant here in Cardiff, and this is just another step along the way to making that happen.”

To find out more and book a table for the Vines Restaurant pop up at Hard Lines, visit:

About Chef Alex Vines

Chef Alex Vines is known for his attentive yet uncomplicated approach. With a background rooted in ingredient-led cooking, his return to his hometown of Cardiff has allowed him to focus on seasonal, creative and honest cooking which utilises his close relationships with local farmers and growers.

Alongside running his Vines Restaurant venture, Alex works as a consultant helping other chefs to make their menus more cost-effective and sustainable by incorporating more local ingredients.

To find out more, visit or follow

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