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There’s something delightfully other-worldly about Cardiff Violins.

Partly it’s the place on that magical upper level arcade walkway with the great mirror windows doubling the architectural space. Inside, Joe was exercising various violins as I arrived and rich sounds of the Barber concerto permeated the building. “Would you like tea or coffee?” “How was your journey?”

Here one is literally spoilt for choice – were there 40 or 50 instruments in the viola room alone? Selection might have been daunting except that Cécile and Chris, like caring marriage brokers, are so focused on matching players’ needs and the qualities of the instruments available.

Potential musical bonds were soon being established. Even so, there was no rush in this homely hospitality and amazingly it was three hours later when I carried away two instruments to try at home.

A week later Cécile and Chris listened carefully to my observations. The favoured instrument was not quite as I would like. So, like a bespoke tailor, Chris was soon making subtle adjustments. Nothing appeared to be too much trouble and I got the impression that these people would not sleep at night if they thought an instrument had gone out of the shop not wholly suiting a player’s aspirations.

I am pleased with the antique viola purchased and most impressed with the hugely knowledgeable and friendly assistance that enabled me to choose the right instrument.