Our new microguides collection is impressed by the sluggish journey motion, encouraging travellers to calm down their tempo and take a deep dive into one explicit neighbourhood in a well-loved metropolis. Fairly 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 really discover like an area.
I’m fairly positive I dwell in Roath. Not sure, as a result of Roath’s boundaries are considerably obscure, having shifted over centuries and virtually vanished due to the council’s map tinkering. However this place – (very) roughly contained between town’s Roath Park and Newport Street – is not any wishy-washy no man’s land. Prosperous however edgy, it’s residence to an ever-increasing variety of unbiased retailers and cafés, a artistic, eco-conscious group and one of many metropolis’s loveliest parks.
The world is value a wander for its Victorian and Edwardian structure alone – however the motion centres alongside its three eclectic excessive streets. There’s Wellfield Street, with its well-to-do village vibe; Albany Street, identified for its hen joints and charity retailers; and multicultural Metropolis Street, the Welsh capital’s reply to London’s Kilburn Excessive Street – a heady mix of shisha lounges, barbershops and Center Japanese 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 within 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 fairy-light-strewn studio is a fascinating spot for stretching issues out at a yoga class. Pretty Icelandic teacher Osk teaches hatha flows which can be appropriate for all ranges and sophistication sizes are refreshingly small. Drop-ins value £12 – e-book by way of the MindBody app.
Catch a present in an outdated church
Pull up a pew – actually – to look at a gig at The Gate, a grade II-listed Presbyterian church which has been lovingly reworked into an arts and group centre. The intimate venue usually hosts artwork exhibitions, comedy and a plethora of pop, people and Welsh-language bands.
In 2021 Lark, Design, Make moved up the highway to the Cathays space (Roath’s student-filled neighbour), but it surely deserves an honourable point out. Their healthful workshops, from crochet and macramé to cleaning soap making and lino printing, replicate Roath’s artistic, can-do spirit.
Consuming plant-based 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 Sunday roast.
There’s no scarcity of respectable pizzerias in Cardiff, however Scaramantica is up there with one of the 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 within the ’Diff.
Pals in Knead
The queue down the road says all of it: gluttons for gluten adore Pals in Knead. The sourdough and Biscoff “soiled buns” are divine, however the true showstoppers are the brioche doughnuts, which are available in an ever-changing line-up of flavours resembling cinnamon crunch, strawberry milkshake and pistachio.
For a Syrian feast, head to Shaam Nights on Metropolis Street. The in-your-face interiors – all gilded tiling and glitzy hanging lanterns – delight newcomers, but it surely’s the mouthwatering shawarma, falafel and stuffed vine leaves that maintain them coming again.
Get your caffeine repair at Sibling, a minimalist café and wine bar with an Antipodean really feel, housed in a former brothel. Brother-and-sister staff Will and Georgie take their espresso significantly, sharing tasting notes as they pour your batch brew and baking moreish cookies to match the beans’ flavour profiles.
Half deli, half upmarket cafe – suppose cheeseboards, oysters and caviar crisps – Glory Shops 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 high-quality unfastened 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 on Wellfield Street 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 style, green-themed books and plastic-free items and greeting playing cards. Good 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 may simply whereas away a day in Penny Lane Classic, present in slightly arcade off Wellfield Street. It’s a treasure trove for sustainable, one-off style finds to wear down in town. Who doesn’t love fabulous faux-fur coats, retro radiograms and chunky-knit sweaters from the Nineteen Seventies?
This charming Edwardian residence, out there for lease on Airbnb, overlooks Roath Mill Gardens, the place I spend an inordinate period of time smiling at different individuals’s canines. The balcony is a chief spot for individuals (or pet) watching.
The Crofts Resort
In case you’re on the lookout for a spotless room, good-value pub grub and an ample beer backyard, arrange camp at The Crofts Resort. Mild sleeper? Carry earplugs – affable locals can maintain the bar vigorous on the weekends.