Music. Food. Travel.
Find a more satisfying trio of pastimes and I'll eat my 23-strong hat collection.
Editor of International DJ magazine, music has been my racket for the last 10 years. Now regular contributor to Food Magazine, Good Food & Drink Guide and Editor In Chief of the forthcoming Chaat magazine for the British Curry Club, food is my new game. My occupation has led me to traverse the globe merrily for many years, documenting my jaunts in Real Travel magazine whenever possible. My most memorable missions range from the sensory suckerpunch of Kathmandu to the Ritz-bound glitz of South Beach, Miami. For simonseeks, however, I've been tasked with a subject matter much more closer to home...
A proud Cardiff resident for 25 years, I'm here to tell you about my city's best bits. Easy; no matter how far I travel, or how long I leave, I always come back to Cardiff. Less than an hour away from two airports, two hours from London and - most importantly - no more than 20 minutes from both breathtaking mountains and the invigorating sea breeze, why leave?
Where I always grab a coffee: Gwdihw is an ideal spot at any time... Daytime coffee or an evening's beer, this welcoming bar and its secret back garden are the perfect social spot on all occasions. You'll find it on the edge of the city centre on Guilford Crescent. Here's a quick Welsh lesson for you; gwdihw means owl and is pronounced 'goody-ho'!
My favourite dining spot: If I can book a table then it's Mint & Mustard. Their superior curries are a popular choice and it often takes weeks to book a table on the weekends.
Best place for people watching: Head to The Hayes, a tree shaded pedestrian quarter in the city centre. Treat yourself to a coffee, possibly even a bacon butty, and watch the workers, shoppers and tourists bounder by.
Where to be seen: The Cardiff Arts Institute isn't a bad place to start. Contemporary art and a wise choice of live music attract Cardiff's keenest culture fiends.
Most breathtaking view: Take your pick! My personal favourite is from the Garth Mountain in Gwaelod Y Garth, five minutes north of the city. A brisk, occasionally steep, stride up the hill will pay off with a magnificent view of the entire city that spreads as wide as the coast and mountains will allow.
Favourite stroll: The recently developed bay area and barrage is my foremost choice, as you can enjoy the bars and restaurants along the way. Don't forget to visit Llandaff fields, though - start off in Castle Park and head north. Walk far enough and you'll end up at the most breathtaking view!
Best spot for peace and quiet: Roath Park Lake is a well spread spot just outside of town. Its blossoming garden offers numerous quiet corners and a lakeside stroll is the standard evening tonic for many city dwellers looking to unravel their thoughts for a spell.
Where I'd go on a date: Cwtch, no question. An awesome bar underneath the Jolyons Hotel, you'll find it on Bute Crescent as you enter the bay. Their roomy terrace offers wood burners for long summer nights and its cellar location, complete with wood-cooked pizzas, couldn't be cosier. Fancy another Welsh lesson? It means cuddle and is pronounced cuh-tch.
City soundtrack: Bored of the usual broadcasting banalities? Tune into Radio Cardiff and get served reggae for brekkie and beyond.
Don't leave without: Eating a slipper! These unique pizza/sandwich combos are delicious, filling and very easy on the wallet. You'll find them in one place only; Cafe Minuet on the corner of Castle Arcade right opposite the castle.
My expert information
Croeso i Gaerdydd!
Welcome to Cardiff! Don’t worry, you don’t have to speak the lingo to get the most out of your trip to the city, but the language is likely to be the first thing that strikes you as you enter Wales. All road signs are written in English and Welsh, providing that great instant sensation of being in another country. Beautifully brutal consonants, tricky tongue dexterity and peculiar place names, I dare you not to try to say some of them yourself. My favourite is archfarchnad. It means superstore, you’ll see it everywhere.Read more...