21 Nov

Two family-owned restaurants are getting ready to open their doors to the public for the first time on Friday, 1st December.

Situated side by side, Bodega wine bar and restaurant will be joined by a second branch of Ballers pizzeria, with both restaurants looking to bring a taste of the owner's Spanish heritage to the leafy Cardiff suburb of Lakeside.

Both businesses, situated in residential and retail development Amber Vista, are owned and operated by Sophie Pascoe and Benito Martinez, who also run the Priory Hotel and Restaurant in Caerleon.


Bodega will specialise in small plates cooked using the elemental forces of smoke and fire. The menu is a homage to Spanish heritage bringing in influences from across the Mediterranean; the chef's table will also sit at the heart of the space allowing guests a front-row seat for the theatrics of cooking with fire.

Split into snacks, small plates and sharer plates, there are options no matter how hungry you are.

Highlights include the Colchester oyster with pickle and Cava granita, sobrasada croquetas with date puree and the firebrick chicken with miso, harissa and romesco.

Complemented by a thoughtfully curated selection of wines, thought to be the largest by-the-glass collection in Cardiff, Bodega promises an intimate dining experience and a laid-back ambience.


Adjacent to Bodega, Ballers emerges as Cardiff's newest pizzeria, promising a delightful fusion of hand-stretched Neapolitan-style pizzas with Spanish influences and ingredients.

Ballers Lakeside will build on the success of the Heath outpost, which is locally loved for its fusion recipes.

About the Owners

Benito is the son of Galician-born Benigno Martinez, who opened popular Cardiff restaurant Le Monde in the mid-1980's (a venue which is still going to this day).

Meanwhile, Sophie is the owner of Studio Severn, an interior design agency specialising in bars, restaurants and hotels.

Sophie said:

"These were two very distinctly different spaces to design! Whilst with Bodega the intention was to create an intimate, atmospheric ambience with design nods to big sister restaurant The Priory; for Ballers it was all about building an identity which represents our cheeky, yet sophisticated pizza brand."

Benito explained:

"We are thrilled to be getting not one, but two new venues open in time for Christmas. It’s a chance to build on what we’ve already created at The Priory and introduce a new Cardiff audience to the kind of food we love to eat."

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