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Mon's Top 10 in 10



Student life

It’s your Neighbourhood Girl here,

Living in Roath, on the corner of the Parade and City Road is one of Cardiff’s prime locations. Conveniently for you, it’s within walking distance to a multitude of Cardiff’s gems.

It can be overwhelming being spoilt for choice, so after living here for 8 months, I’ve narrowed it down.

Im Mon

Oh... How rude of me not to introduce myself! I’m Mon (that candid AF looking girl in the centre), a classical singer from Australia. I’ve been lucky enough to live at The Neighbourhood for 8 months now. From day 1 I was made to feel welcome by the warm and attentive staff, who I now call my friends.

Moving from the other side of the world was a surprisingly easy transition, thanks to all the inclusions available here. With regular social events (my personal favourite being the weekly Friday night pizza and drinks), you quickly get to know people from all walks of life, some special souls inevitably become like family (my Canadian sister from another mister can be found above).

For more about what it’s like inside The Neighbourhood, stay tuned for my next blog! This is all about what’s waiting to be explored on the outside of your gorgeous new home.

Mon’s Top 10 in 10


Need to get uni work done, but going stir crazy?

Want new clothes and to look expensive, without bruising your bank balance? Craving the perfect coffee or cocktail? In need of a fun day/night out?

Feel like relaxing amongst nature or buzzing in an energetic environment?

Look no further (okay well a little further), it’s just a scroll away!

So – without further ado here are my top 10, all within 10 minutes from The Neighbourhood!

1. Bute Park

North Rd, Cardiff CF10 3DX

Bute Park

Perfect for a picnic and some cheeky champagne on a sunny day - strolling around this beauty is gloriously rejuvenating for the soul. Only a 7-minute cycle away on one of the free to use Neighbourhood bikes! This lush greenery is waiting for you...

Bute Park

2. Turtle Bay

Hodge House, 114-116 St Mary St, Cardiff CF10 1DY

Turtle Bay

Get involved in the delectable 2 for 1 cocktails at this cool Caribbean bar. It’s the ideal spot for a tapas style feast - the seafood platter (below) has my vote! Wait for the weekend to roll around and bring the whole squad – uber there with your crew for cheap, in 8 minutes!

Turtle Bay

Turtle Bay

Don’t forget to sample every single exotic condiment at your disposal! Did Monique actually share the ‘share platter’? Despite her relatively content expression... On this occasion she did, but she advocates the solo share platter experience.

3. Cardiff Central Market

49 St Mary St, Cardiff CF10 1AU

Cardiff Central Market

Welcome to your haven of fresh high quality produce - a 7-minute bike ride away! This market’s been trading since the 1700s, and its history is felt in the air. Grab a freshly baked traditional welsh cake (or a whole bag) while you browse. Do yourself a favour and try the welsh cheese at The Cheese Pantry... You’re welcome!

4. Castle Arcade

Castle St, Cardiff CF10 1BU

Castle Arcade

The gorgeous Victorian arcades are one of my favourite assets of Cardiff, and they’re all an 8-minute cycle away. They are bursting with charm and character, and you can’t help but smile walking through them. Not only is the scenery stunning but the quality of their cafes, bars and restaurants are some of the best I’ve experienced. There are so many gems within the arcades, that they warrant a blog of their own ;) (hint hint)...

5. Cardiff Castle

Castle St, Cardiff CF10 3RB

Cardiff Castle

I still can’t get over the fact I’m living around the corner from an actual real life castle! it’s literally a 7-minute bike ride from your front door. Cardiff Castle, just chillin’, looking all majestic, for your viewing pleasure. With your student card, the full tour experience is under £15! See for yourself why it’s one of Wales’ leading heritage attractions.

6. Fabulous Welshcakes

44 Castle Arcade, Cardiff CF10 1BW

Fabulous Welshcakes

These dreamy cakes of the Welsh variety are worth the 7-minute cycle! They’re freshly baked and oh so moreish, I recommend getting one of each flavour to avoid any traumatic post welsh cake FOMO. Sink your teeth into good old traditional and/or an ever changing selection of other flavours including white chocolate and hazelnut (Mon’s fave).

Fabulous Welshcakes

7. Marks & Spencer

72 Queen St, Cardiff CF10 2XG

Marks Spencer

After riding to Marks and Spencer in 7 minutes you’ll ask yourself... What don’t they have!? I enjoy browsing M&S more than what would be deemed a healthy amount. But it’s like a friggin’ museum in there. It incorporates ALL my shopping highlights into one store (clothes, beauty, lingerie, homewares, supermarket, café etc.). The clothes are a little highly priced for my student budget, but hey, if you want the occasional good quality staple I’d trust M&S.

Marks Spencer

Here’s what I regularly come to M&S... a main, side & dessert plus a free bottle of wine serving 2 all for a tenner (handsome man not included), seems like a sickly sweet joke. I’ve never been let down by the quality of M&S’ food, and there’s a range of cuisines to choose from. Date night sorted. If you’re a sucker for a student discount like me, get 10% off after signing up with student beans.

8. AJ's Coffee House

20 City Rd, Cardiff CF24 3DL

AJs Coffee House

My regular and most beloved café spot in Cardiff is across the road from The Neighbourhood! This place serves up delicious fresh food in generous portions for crazy cheap, whether you want freshly baked sweets, an all day brekkie, or a hearty lunch – AJ’s will sort you out! They’re veggie/vegan friendly and do student discounts. Keep an eye out for their occasional evening events (yes, their alcohol is dirt cheap too)!

AJs Coffee House

9. Milgi

213 City Rd, Cardiff CF24 3JD


Real soft spot for this little gem, they just understand flavours. Milgi happens to be 100% Veggie, but no matter what your dietary choices are – this is food heaven. At only a 9 minute walk away it’s a must! They do buffet style lunches, delectable desserts and all kinds of coffees/teas/smoothies/juices. There’s even a yummy cocktail menu to tempt you. Go there. Thank me later.


10. The Ernest Willows – JD Wetherspoons

2-12 City Rd, Cardiff CF24 3DL


Your local ‘spoons know me as a regular now. Being across the road from a full English breakfast or a steak (look at that bad boy) for a ridiculously low price is dangerous. But just know, whatever you need, ‘Spoons has got you. Highlights: bottomless coffee and tea and daily food and drink specials. My go to - 2 cocktail jugs for £12... When it’s sunny, snatch up a table in the garden!


For more from Monique Simone, find her on Instagram at @_lyricstomylife