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East Cardiff

Llanrumney. With shopping divisions; Eastern Leisure Centre, which is scheduled to undergo a £6.8million refurbishment programme; Llanrumney Hall, a pub which Welsh folklore believes to be haunted; multiple schools and friendly libraries, Llanrumney isn’t the best-known Cardiff district, but perhaps it should be more valued. Again, its history speaks volumes, with symbolism attached to the Norman Conquest and Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, the legendary final prince of independent Wales; Henry the eight and monks.

Penylan. Penylan’s Edwardian-era houses and tree-lined avenues wouldn’t look out of place in Paris, and its food culture isn’t too bad either. Special mention is reserved for Penylan Pantry. With a real passion for home-grown seasonal produce, the Pantry market themselves as ‘an honest delicatessen promoting local businesses, the environment and a healthy lifestyle’, and they definitely put this into practice. However, their decor, ambience and actual food is so welcoming that it’s easy to spend entire days there – which definitely can’t be too healthy! Penylan Pantry actively supports a number of local charities, so is without doubt somewhere your taste-buds will thank you for visiting.

Old St Mellons. Historically part of Monmouthshire, St Mellons joined the South Glamorgan crew, and specifically Cardiff, as recently as 1974, but is now allowing modern residential areas and business parks to thrive. Once relying on rural architecture, it still retains an element of the past, such as though its historical church, but is now much more booming, often connecting with Pontprennau and Trowbridge. The 3 star St Mellons Hotel and Country Club, and Golf Course offer exceptional vantage points, and the conservation area, incorporating Grade 2 listed architecture; wildlife; religious buildings and pubs; are also worth considering if you’re looking for somewhere in Cardiff you perhaps haven’t experienced before.

Roath. Its happening vibe means Roath is a well-known area of Central Cardiff, and it’s actually one of my favourites. You’ll find everything here – from every cuisine imaginable on City Road; the peaceful Park, where you can rent a pedalo over the lake, stroll around the Botanical Rose Gardens or devour a freshly-ground Italian coffee at Terra Nova; weekly farmers’ and crafts markets at Mackintosh Community Centre; rarer street food events such as Blas (yes that means ‘flavour’ in Welsh) and shopping, whether throughout the complex of Albany and Wellfield Roads, or harder to track down, such as Rose Street Flea Market. Fans of culture and coffee can further rejoice with the existence of The Gate Arts Centre, plus a number of caffeine outlets – highlights being Tea and Cake; Ten Maryport and Chaiholics.