Our new microguides sequence is impressed by the gradual journey motion, encouraging travellers to loosen up their tempo and take a deep dive into one specific neighbourhood in a well-loved metropolis. Relatively than a whirlwind itinerary which goals to hit up each must-see attraction, these compact, close-up guides encourage you to zone in, take your time and actually discover like a native.
I’m fairly positive I reside in Roath. Not sure, as a result of Roath’s boundaries are considerably imprecise, having shifted over centuries and virtually vanished thanks to the council’s map-tinkering. However this place – (very) roughly contained between the town’s Roath Park and Newport Highway – is not any wishy-washy no-man’s land. Prosperous however edgy, it’s dwelling to an ever-increasing variety of unbiased retailers and cafes, a artistic, eco-conscious neighborhood and one of many metropolis’s loveliest parks.
The realm is price a wander for its Victorian and Edwardian structure alone – however the motion centres alongside its three eclectic excessive streets. There’s Wellfield Highway, with its well-to-do village vibe; Albany Highway, identified for its hen joints and charity retailers; and multicultural Metropolis Highway, the Welsh capital’s reply to London’s Kilburn Excessive Highway – a heady mix of shisha lounges, barbershops and Center Jap eating places.
Listed below are simply a few of Roath’s greatest bits.
Wander across the Victorian-era park
Roath Park is the neighbourhood’s inexperienced coronary heart. Peruse unique crops in the manicured gardens (the monkey puzzle tree is my favorite), stroll across the lake with a espresso in hand – dodging geese as you go – or rent a rowing boat for a swan’s eye view of the white clock tower, a Cardiff icon.
Practise your downward canine
Physiospace’s attractive fairylight-strewn studio is a fascinating spot for stretching issues out at a yoga class. Pretty Icelandic teacher Osk teaches hatha flows which might be appropriate for all ranges and sophistication sizes are refreshingly small. Drop-ins value £12 – e book via the MindBody app.
Catch a present in an outdated church
Pull up a pew – actually – to watch a gig at The Gate, a grade II-listed Presbyterian church which has been lovingly reworked into an arts and neighborhood centre. The intimate venue repeatedly hosts artwork exhibitions, comedy and a plethora of pop, people and Welsh-language bands.
This yr, the studio referred to as Lark, Design, Make moved up the highway to the Cathays space (Roath’s student-filled neighbour) nevertheless it deserves an honourable point out. The healthful workshops, from crochet and macrame to soap-making and lino-printing, replicate Roath’s artistic, can-do spirit.
Plant-based meals is not any downside in Roath. Vegan favorite Anna Loka serves up comforting plates of goodness in its boho restaurant and backyard nook: spectacular full breakfasts, pimped-out burgers, nourishing Buddha bowls and a imply seitan (wheat gluten) Sunday roast.
There’s no scarcity of first rate pizzerias in Cardiff however Scaramantica is up there with the very best – churning out skinny, chewy-crusted classics from its Stefano Ferrara pizza oven in addition to swish cocktails. It’s my little slice of la dolce vita in the ’Diff.
Associates in Knead
The queue down the road says all of it: gluttons for gluten adore Friends in Knead. The sourdough and Biscoff (Belgian biscuit) “soiled buns” are divine, however the actual showstoppers are the brioche doughnuts, which come in an ever-changing line-up of flavours resembling cinnamon crunch, strawberry milkshake and pistachio.
For a Syrian feast, head to Shaam Nights, Metropolis Highway. The in-your-face interiors – all gilded tiling and glitzy hanging lanterns – delight newcomers, nevertheless it’s the mouthwatering shawarma, falafel and stuffed vine leaves that maintain them coming again.
Get your caffeine repair at Sibling, a minimalist cafe and wine bar with an Antipodean really feel, housed in a former brothel. Brother-and-sister crew Will and Georgie take their espresso significantly, sharing tasting notes as they pour your batch brew and baking more-ish cookies to match the beans’ flavour profiles.
Half deli, half upmarket cafe – assume cheeseboards, oysters and caviar crisps – Glory Stores is the brainchild of Shaun Houcke, the oenophile behind Cardiff’s LGBT-friendly pop-up Gays Who Wine. I can consider no cosier place to get tiddly on Bolly and beaujolais.
Know your rooibos out of your Yunnan black? Whether or not you want a wonderful free leaf or a builder’s brew, there’s a rarefied cuppa for you at Waterloo Tea. There are two shops to select from in Roath – one in Wellfield Highway and the unique, overlooking leafy Waterloo Gardens.
A female-owned, crowdfunding success story, Ripple is Cardiff’s first not-for-profit, zero-waste store. And I’m obsessed. In addition to kitchen cabinet necessities and snacks, they inventory eco-friendly toiletries, sustainable vogue, green-themed books and plastic-free items and greeting playing cards. Excellent for lining the cabinets of your Airbnb.
A souvenir- or gift-shopping paradise, indie arts hub Cardiff Made celebrates and helps native makers and artists. It hosts common gallery exhibitions in addition to the everlasting store, stuffed to the brim with vibrant prints and handcrafted textiles, jewelry and ceramics.
Penny Lane Classic
I might simply whereas away a day in Penny Lane Vintage, discovered in a little arcade off Wellfield Highway. It’s a treasure trove for sustainable, one-off vogue finds to put on in town. Who doesn’t love fabulous faux-fur coats, retro radiograms and chunky-knit sweaters from the Seventies?
This charming Edwardian dwelling, out there for lease, overlooks Roath Mill Gardens, the place I spend an inordinate period of time smiling at different individuals’s canines. The balcony is a prime spot for individuals (or pet) watching.
The Crofts Lodge
For those who’re on the lookout for a spotless room, good-value pub grub and an ample beer backyard, arrange camp at The Crofts Hotel. Gentle sleeper? Carry earplugs – affable locals can maintain the bar full of life on the weekends.
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