Treat yourself - stay at the idyllic Island Hotel, on Tresco, and you'll never want to go anywhere else. It's situated right on the waterside, overlooking a take-your-breath-away beach and with views over to St Martins. The rooms are hip and luxurious.
The food is exquisite. Special touches - own moorings for boats, picnic lunches, champagne on arrival, the list is endless. This is my little bit of paradise - and it's in the UK!
Island Hotel Tresco
50% off at 500 London restaurants for a year. Also, I picked up a leaflet that gives you £20 off the RRP, use the promotional code TASTY and it knocks the price down to £49.95, for 12 months membership.
I visited Northumberland as I have an interest in Christian history and I know this place has over a thousand years of it. I was keen to visit castles and other ancient monuments, and Northumberland was recently awarded top 10 tourist destination in the world which it deserves.
The religious history of the place, particularly around Holy Island was spectacular and thoroughly recommended.
Three great restaurants. Relaxed and friendly atmosphere; superb fish with stunning desserts - the trio of creme brulee was superb and enough to share.
Not cheap but worth every penny. Don't miss it - the two TV chefs borrowed the name, with permission. Named after the first to open at 88 Dumbarton Road.
118a Blythswood St G2 - close to Sauchiehall St
88 Dumbarton Road G11
and a new one in Argyle St.
This quality Italian place, focused on simply executed dishes based on fresh produce is a great new addition to the surprisingly limited St Albans dining scene.
Despite its affluence and increasing popularity as one of the nicest places to commute to London from, St Albans has a pretty disappointing range of places to eat out. Sure, there's the creditable Darcy's on Hatfield Road, a recent addition to the slick Loch Fyne seafood chain on Verulam Road (plus a great, unpretentious curry house in Mumtaj on London Road) but that's about it. Until now.
Cibo DiVino opened in summer 2007 and despite its central, if relatively unprepossessing location behind M&S and Boots there are treats in store.
Service is warm and welcoming, the room is cosy and well lit, homemade bread is offered with your apertif (we had a couple of glasses of appley house Prosecco).
The focus is on fresh regional Italian food (think modern Italian style championed by the likes of the River Cafe or Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall). Some examples from the short but appetising menu are: antipasti (say, buffalo mozzarella with grilled vegetables, an autumnal lentil soup), pasta (I had a delicious rabbit and black olive ragu with fettuccine but there was also linguine with clams), fish (simply grilled whole bream, scallops with cauliflower puree), meat and game (guinea fowl with polenta, a veal chop), vegetables and desserts (honey semi-freddo, tiramisu).
Expect to pay about £50 a head for the works: aperitifs, three courses, a good bottle of wine, coffee. We were offered a complimentary digestif.
We really hope this charming place is a success - it fills a much needed space and does so really well.
Cibo DiVino Ristorante Italiano
4-5 Waddington Road
St Albans City (mainline/Thameslink) or St Albans Abbey (branch line from Watford/Silverlink)
The best Mexican food I have eaten outside the States. The interior is bright and used authentic Mexican colours and the food is fab. I especially loved the carnitas which took me back home to Santa Fe. Worth a visit.
64 Thistle Street Edinburgh, eh2 1en
0131 260 9699
There is no hotel called Bristol in Bristol. But there must be about 200 of them around the world. Whether these are named after the West Country city, or after the gallivanting 4th Earl of Bristol, nobody seems to know. I have listed all the ones I can find on allbristolhotels.blogspot.com. Which ones have I missed? Does anyone know about any other Hotel Bristols?
YourSushi gives sushi lessons in Bristol. They also do sushi parties where the chef will come in your kitchen with literally everything, entertain you and teach you how to make sushi with your friends.
We had a Sushi party (eight of us) and we spent a very nice, yummy and fun evening.
When the chef left the place was clean, we enjoyed our meal and tried to do some more with the sushi kit he left us. Very nice!
Newly refurbished Bar BS3 in Ashton, Bristol has a pleasant atmosphere, friendly staff, a good entertainment programme including karaoke, DJ music, live entertainment and a quiz night. There is a great menu of freshly prepared and charcoal-grilled steaks, burgers, chicken wings and vegetarian options at very affordable prices.
Ashton Road, opposite Greville Smyth Park and just along from the Bristol City Football ground
One of the classiest Indian restaurants in Liverpool, and one of the many different eateries in Lark Lane. The food is delicious (all of it), the service is second-to-none and the place oozes luxury, cleanliness and attention to detail. Large, exotic menu. £15 to £20 per head, so not especially expensive.
15-21 Lark Lane
Between Aigburth Road and Sefton Park
St. Michael's Station is 10 mins. walk away.
Tel. 0151 728 9728
Not always popular, this is a pub turned country bar/restaurant with rooms. It has however managed to preserve the welcome comfiness usually associated with a pub atmosphere. Here dogs are welcome and dress code is casual but equally as smart as you like. The location, just 4 miles south of Bath is not only highly accessible but absolutely stunning - so close to the city yet in the very real and beautiful countryside. In summer the terrace beckons, overlooking the lovely country garden and in winter the smell of wood smoke from the log lures you inside to the modern yet rustic interior. Real Ale and local cider are there to tempt the traditional taste accompanied by a surprising and outstanding european wine list. (The owner is passionate about his wine and this is not only reflected in the selection but also the price - some bargains to be had here!) The food is top shelf quality, simple yet sumptuous. The Wheatsheaf has its own kitchen garden and hens - this is genuine homemade stuff. Chef Lee Evans is surely a rising star, ingredients sourced locally and cooked simply, combining flavours with a modern theme without using unneccessary fuss. Homemade breads served with local butter and indeed local rapeseed oil - which gives the usual olive oil a run for its money. The staff are friendly and efficient, the whole experience was delightful and the good news is they have a few rooms as well.
B2 is a new retail store specialising in selected brands of urban toys, clothing, street art, books and magazines. The shop also houses the UK's first manga library, filled with Japanese language manga books - the store told me that English language books will be arriving January 2008.
B2 is part of Bodhi gallery and cafe. The gallery has a fast turn around of contemporary art shows. It's turning into a nice cultural centre of art, food and shopping.
B2 / Bodhi
214 Brick Lane, London E1 6SA
t. 020 7749 0750
tube: Liverpool St, Aldgate East, Bethnal Green.
Found this amazing bed and breakfast on the English Retreats website (which is a pleasure to use).
Anchorage House is in St Austell, Cornwall. The standard of service, beautiful rooms and location blew us away.
I'd highly recommend English Retreats for quality accommodation and Anchorage House is superb.
This is a huge old house sleeping ten at the end of a lovely little road right by the sea. Its rich history adds to the charm and the wildlife is abundant.
Just watching the mood of the sea and sky changing every day was spectacular.
We spent a wonderful week on the island and would recommend a trip to Mull to anyone - a stunning island you could spend years exploring.
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