Having barely been to Wales in the first forty years of my life, over the last few years I have paid many visits to Cardiff. Admittedly three of the visits were to watch West Ham in two play-off finals and a Cup Final!
I spent Thursday evening and most of Friday in the Welsh capital filming for Telegraph TV. Each time I go I am struck by the vibrancy of the place. There's a real buzz, a real atmosphere there. It's a city on the up. It has some fantastic restaurants, fantastic bars and a superb ambiance. The regenerated Cardiff bay area is the place to be.
It's a huge irony that Welsh First Minister Rhodri Morgan fought the Cardiff bay redevelopment when Nicholas Edwards (now Lord Crickhowell) was Welsh Secretary in the Thatcher government. I am sure that Labour has done much in the last ten years to make Cardiff a better place, but the real spadework was done under the Conservatives, and Welsh Conservatives should be proud of that.
My only negative thing to say is the fact that they have recently closed one of the main streets to traffic, which caused havoc with my SatNav. There aren't any conventional 'no entry' signs, merely some blue ones, which I have never come across before. So before I knew I had done it I was in a buses and taxis only zone. But if that's the worst thing I can say about Cardiff, it's done well!
If I didn't live in the South East, Cardiff is one of the places I would happily consider living in. And I can't say fairer than that!