You always realise how much you miss home when you leave. When you come back, you realise that home is the thing that’s been missing. When I left for university six years ago, I was relieved to leave home at home and get on with living somewhere else. However, coming back to Cardiff has been the best move I could have made. When you live here you don’t realise how great you really have it; with the fantastic range of things to do, mixture of places to visit and the friendliness of Welsh people. But there’s one place in Cardiff I class as ‘Home Sweet Home’.
If you’re looking for somewhere friendly, cute and a little bit different, I’m going to big Rhiwbina up to you.
Yes, it is thought of as being a slightly older person’s hang-out and yes, it may not be your first destination choice on a Saturday morning but there is a lot going on. Dr Who was filmed here, nostalgic festivals are held here and community spirit is second to none so why wouldn’t you want to visit?
It’s a miserable Saturday morning (let’s face it, the Welsh weather has been somewhat of a letdown) and you don’t fancy a venture into central Cardiff battling the crowds. Instead, you decide to take a trip to Rhiwbina to the north of the hustle and bustle. With the choice of Coco’s Hairdressers for a quick snip, Aquarius Revived for a nice beauty treatment and Fragrant 227 for a relaxing massage, you find you’re already feeling refreshed.
But all that spoiling and relaxation is hungry work … which is where the Olive Branch Cafe and Bookshop comes in. Friendly staff, a comfortable atmosphere and delicious Carrot Cake awaits you. This is always a first choice stop off for a bite to eat and a quirky Maltesar–based milkshake!
After you’ve had your fill of tasty homemade food and attractive lattes, take a stroll to Rhiwbina library to browse the display of books, have a walk around Caedelyn Park or why not see what vintage home shop The Nest has in stock? If, however, you’ve decided your day so far has been thirsty work, visit one of the many pubs in Rhiwbina like the Butcher’s Arms (where there’s a farmer’s market every Friday morning), The Deri Inn, The Mason’s Arms and The Nine Giants.
With excellent links to the city centre and only 10 minutes by foot to Whitchurch village (with its selection of nice eateries and shops), Rhiwbina is somewhere to spend more than an hour of your time and a great way to see what community spirit is really like.
Beth Rees is a keen writer, poet and film lover with a very sociable side. She loves meeting with friends, going to Zumba and sitting in her pyjamas with a big slice of cake after a hard day’s slog. She writes a poetry blog (http://shakespeares-sister.tumblr.com/) and would love to write her own book someday. Beth lives in Rhiwbina.
Beth was photographed at the Olive Branch in Rhiwbina by Kayleigh Ancrum
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