#HISTOIRESEXPATRIÉES N*1: Roath, my neighbourhood

Shout – Bloom

Hey, coucou

I was about to post a recipe but as I was reading blog posts I crossed Lucie‘s which led me to L’occhio di Lucie. Where am I going? Well, L’occhio di Lucie has just started something that I really appreciate: a monthly rendez-vous for expats. Each month there will be a new theme and we will have the occasion to write about it from our expat point of view, no matter where we live. I remember, when we lived in France I enjoyed following expat adventures such as Pomdepin‘s or American Mom in Bordeaux on Instagram… I love those blogs because I travel with them, and they give me another point of view of something that I might already know and for me, this is very enriching. This is a very open-minded gesture, you discover new things, new ways of seeing things…

I’ve decided to join that little expat group, this article take part in this #HistoiresExpatriées rendez-vous. Every month the theme will be different and I can’t wait to discover new themes and make you discover my point of view as an expat in Cardiff. This month we’re talking about neighbourhood. When we first arrived in Cardiff we lived in Cathays for 5 months and now we’re living in Roath. So, let’s go to Roath.


When I knew that I was going to live in Wales, I absolutely wanted a bay window in my flat. At least one. Some might find that stupid or simple but honestly, I really love those windows, it’s charming and I want a bay window since I am 9 so, I’ve waited enough time. If you ask me which neighbourhood I prefer between my old one and this one, I’ld say this one because the streets are cleaner, calmer, closer to parcs, and the houses are very beautiful, with a very nice victorian style. Some of them are divided into flats, some are just houses which means triple bay window + garden, this is pretty cool! And, I think they match those automnal colours.


Roath is located in the North-East of centre Cardiff and we live close to Penylan, I can’t really see the “borders” of those two neighbourhoods. Apparently, the name Roath could come from the Irish ráth which means fort or the Welsh rhodd which means gift. I have to confess, I like the second theory :)

Roath has been a simple land for a long time until housing developed in the 19th century. In 1887 the third marquis of Bute, a very important family in Cardiff, along with other landowners gave land to Cardiff Corporation. They developed a huge parc with gardens and recreation ground and the third marquis of Bute formally opened it in 1894. This family, as I said, is very important in Cardiff and they used to worship in St Margaret’s Church that you can see above, it also has its mausoleum and crypt. The church is supposed to be located where and old chapel was but this building dates back from 1870-1873.

Let’s go back to the parcs and the nature, I’m bringing you with me to Waterloo Gardens, one of my favourite place.


I love this place because it is very close to where I live. It’s nice to breathe there, not much city noises, people walking their dogs, squirrels having fun (and pooing on you, yep, that happened to me), kids hiding and us, running.

« A m’asseoir sur un banc cinq minutes avec toi, et regardez les gens tant qu’il y en a, te parler du bon temps qu’est mort ou qui reviendra, en serrant dans ma main tes petits doigts. » Mistral Gagnant – Renaud (French song)

If you’re from Great Britain you probably know that but for us, it is not common the closing times of parcs along with the sunset. It is nice though, especially when you run in parcs because obviously you don’t want to be shut in a parc. We love this parc but there’s a little problem, Cardiff decided, because of a minor flooding risk, to cut 140 trees. So, it goes beyond absurd to cut so many trees for a minor risk but it will also cost millions, it will completely change the face of the parcs and what about the squirrels? What about their houses? Uh? Not-cool-at-all. I really appreciate and support the people who defend those trees and who, to raise awareness, pins posters up on them with pun on words or references.

The beauty and the diversity of those trees are amazing. I walked in the parcs yesterday, camera in my hand, and it’s a colour downpour. I can’t post all the pictures here, some may find that boring but, what can I say, I have my heads in the clouds most of the time and those trees illuminates the sky and I like that.

I have to confess that what I really like in the parcs are the Chip and Dale, some are very shy, some are quite courageous and come closer. Some people might say that I’m not patient but in reality in depends on what teases my patience. Sitting around a tree and waiting for a squirrel to look at me and taking photograph… I love it. And I can be patient for it.

After a little bit of observation, I left Waterloo Gardens, not without being itched by an holly leaf.

In my neighbourhood there is more than one parc and now I’m bringing you to Recreation Ground, where people meet to have a picnic, light a barbecue, play and relax and where rugby or football teams meet on Sundays.

I find autumn magical. I’m here in the middle of a place, I take a picture and turn over, take another one and I have two completely different picture. One is ginger, the other one is golden. So beautiful!

Some streets are covered with gold, there are rests in the foliages, and new friends appeared.

Walking dow to Recreation Ground, we arrive to Roath Pleasure Gardens with its bowling, tennis and basket fields, it’s very nice to walk in or, as we do, run it.

I took the time to take a cliché shot with the red box, perfectly in the tone.

Even if the parcs are what I prefer, I couldn’t let you believe that I live among the trees while I’m living in Cardiff so in a city. So I re-walk down Recreation Ground…

To arrive on the noisy side, that I also like. There is another church, St Andrew’s.

Roath has more than one famous street, I only took 2 of them in picture because to be honest, I can’t photograph this world, it is too fast, too noisy. I would very like to give this alive side of my neighbourhood back to you but I just simply can’t, I find my pictures quite ugly ahah

I’m bringing you to Wellfield Road, I like it, it is a shopping street with well-known shops but also independent ones and restaurants. There are little arcades, in one of them there’s a cafe called “Cafe du chat noir” and a hairdresser called “La femme”, sounds very French… And there’s Albany Road, even bigger and longer.

There are 2 addresses that I particularly like; Juno Lounge (very nice coffee, nice things to eat), Beti Biggs (a home decor shop) but there’s also Flying Tiger, The Wellfield Bookshop, The Coffi House and all the restaurants that make me want to eat even if I just did.

And of course, there’s more than one pub, I chose to show you this one because I really like its cosy feeling, it is big inside and we feel good.

I hope I did pass this nice neighbourhood feeling, I’m very happy with the first theme of our new monthly rendez-vous because I took time to walk in Roath and observe, enjoy it. I’m used to marvel while I walk but I usually don’t take the time to photograph it.

I wish you a nice weekend and I’ll post a recipe on Monday. Des bisous




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