Over the last week or two we’ve been involved in discussions around how we can do a better job of celebrating City Road as the city’s most diverse and interesting food destination.
If any other capital city had a whole world’s worth of great food within a 10 minute walk of its centre it would surely be shouting about it. It’s clear that there’s a potentially significant opportunity here for the businesses, the Roath community and the city.
And this isn’t about an exercise in ‘rebranding’ or enforced gentrification, it’s just about getting better at telling the story around what’s already here (although a little extra street cleaning wouldn’t hurt…).
It’s an idea that’s gathering momentum – it’s still early days, but suggestions like a closed-road food festival, map of the restaurants and better information for tourists would be a great start. Crucially, it’s also an idea that’s coming from customers and the community, rather than something being imposed from outside.
But it’s clear to us that this is about more than just great places to eat. What about our galleries, cafes, markets, Made in Roath, Roath Park…?
The first thing most visitors will look for in a city guide these days are the interesting neighbourhoods. If you’re a tourist arriving in Cardiff for the weekend, you might spend day one doing castle/museums/arcades but where next. Currently you’d be pushed towards the Bay, but surely Roath has so much more to offer?
We’re “the city’s new cultural epicentre” – Peter Finch said so and he knows more about Roath and Cardiff than anyone. We know from our own twitter feed that there’s more to see and do in Roath on any day of the week than anywhere else in the city. And if you doubt that, just remember we’ve even got pedalos.
Capital cities thrive on the strength of their neighbourhoods – it’s where the interesting stuff happens.
We’re always pleased to hear people in the city talk about ‘going to Roath’ on a weekend, but we’d also love to see Roath feature front and centre of any promotion of Cardiff and Wales to tourists.
If the catalyst for that is a more coherent promotion of City Road as an international food destination then we’re 100% behind it – and anything else that will help to support Roath’s independent businesses.
So what can we do to help? Well, here’s an idea we’ll try…
Let’s create a ‘very rough guide’ to Roath for visitors – we’ll start tagging anything we see which we think would be interesting to visitors with #visitRoath, and you tell us what you think no-one should miss out on. It could be an event, experience, business or just a great view – tag it #visitRoath and we’ll share it.
We’ll be collecting any #visitRoath tweets or pics on a new page on our site for visitors to get to know the real Roath – please get involved!
What do you think about promoting the City Road and Roath to visitors? Let us know if you’d like to be involved.