Great family-run tapas restaurant with consistently good, well-priced food. Service can be a little slow but don't let that put you off. Recommended.
3 Wightman Road, London, N4 1RQ; tel: 020 8340 5400;
Closest railway station: Harringay;
Friendly south Bristol tapas bar. During the evenings it doubles up as a language academy catering for all levels. Their deli, situated in St Nicholas market, sells a good range of Rioja, Albarino, Navarra, Penedes, Jerez, and ports.
298 North Street, Southville BS3;
tel: 0117 902 1325;
A fabulous Spanish/tapas restaurant with a great ambience suitable for intimate, romantic one-on-ones through to large parties. Fantastic value for money
16 Royal Parade, Blackheath Village, London SE3 0TL (overlooking the heath);
tel: 020 8297 1880;
Nearest train station: Blackheath, or Lewisham/Greenwich DLR
The most authentic tapas I have had in the UK. The atmosphere is that of eating at someone's house, intimate, welcoming, hosts bending over backwards to make you happy, and the home-grown house wine and sherry is something else. You can buy bottles of wine to take home, along with many of the ingredients that you'll find on the menu.
111 Church Street, North Laine, Brighton BN1, opposite Brighton Dome/Corn Exchange;
tel: 01273 674116
Very authentic food with a wide range of dishes. The best tapas I've personally had in Spain or outside. It's quite expensive but perfect for a special occasion. The service is kind of moody, which I find quite entertaining. Nice atmosphere and interior too.
32 Putney High Street, SW15 1SQ;
tel: 020 8780 1022;
Nearest station: Putney Bridge tube/Putney railway station;
Wonderful, buzzy tapas restaurant in seven dials with a serene, sheltered garden for eating outside. Staff are all delightful and the food is a contender for the best Spanish in Brighton - dare I say it just as good as Pintxo People (much lauded newcomer on Western Road) but more hearty fare and not as self-consciously flash.
87-93 Dyke Road, just off Seven Dials roundabout (near Brighton station); tel: 01273 220 220
Reasonable tapas, (I haven't tried the longer menu) in nice surroundings with good service. Some of the dishes are spot on, (the pork and chicken tapas) others are a little off the mark (the lentil dish didn't really work). The best dishes were the simple, unmessed about tapas - just as it should be. Good wine list and pleasant atmosphere. A really good addition to this part of West Yorkshire.
1 Oldham Rd,
Tel: 01422 823070
A few miles from Huddersfield.
This restuarant offers wonderful Spanish/North African cooking. The tapas menu is delicious, with simple, flavoursome dishes that allow each ingredient to speak for itself.
34-36 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QE
tel: 020 7833 8336;
Stock is undoubtedly the best Italian restaurant in central Manchester. Housed in the Victorian stock exchange, the room is spendid and one could easily think that something pretentious was about to be served up, but what comes out of the kitchen is worthy of nonna. They offer you the lightest pizzetta topped with pomodoro and torn basil. Every day they prepare home-made ravioli (walnuts and gorgonzola or spinach and ricotta are both fantastic), and there are great standards such as fegato alla Venetiana with polenta and vitello alla Milanese with spaghetti. Most days you can have a great set lunch for the odd amount of £13.30.
4 Norfolk St, just behind Market St;
tel: 0161 839 6644;
A trio of brightly coloured rooftop cubes make it easy to find. The rejuvenation of this formerly dilapidated Victorian paint and varnish factory is a fine example of urban renewal. It's now an ever evolving hub of studios with an art gallery on-site. There's also the Brasilian Bocabar providing good food and drink to reward you for a trip off the beaten track.
Bath Road, Arnos Vale, BS4 3EH;
tel: 0117 972 8838;
Take bus numbers 1, X39, 178 & 349 from the city centre or from Bristol Temple Meads train station;
Europe's largest organic food festival held annually on the first weekend of September. A heady mixture of food, circus, drink, live music, celebrity chefs and The Observer's Seeds of Change photography exhibition draws the throngs to the harbourside location.
Take any bus to the city centre or 20 minutes walk from Bristol TM station;
Striking church that wouldn't look out of place in Gotham City. Elizabeth I declared it to be the "fairest, goodliest and most famous parish church in England" on a visit to the city in 1574. A large whalebone hangs above the north porch door brought back by John Cabot to give thanks for his voyage of exploration in 1497.
Redcliffe Way, 5 minutes walk from Bristol Temple Meads
Delve into Montpelier to find this treat of a baker. An outlandish graffiti mural adorns the exterior. Scandinavian rye, Irish soda, Tuscan olive, Grecian olive, Italian tomato, Jewish challah, American bagels, Swiss rye all fresh out of the oven, plus they do a mean spinach & ricotta lattice if that's your thing.
12 York Rd, Montpelier, BS6 5QE;
tel: 0117 924 7713;
Huge sound systems, Jamaican patties, jerk chicken and curried goat. Much loved colossal street party held over the first Saturday of July every year. A celebration of Afro-Caribbean culture and the community of St Paul's.
The entire neigbourhood of St. Paul's on the first Saturday of July.
Run by a Chilean family, this is a deli with an emphasis on Fairtrade and organic produce. Upstairs there's a small cafe where on Monday nights you can go to practice your Spanish with latinos living in the area.
89 Gloucester Road, Bishopston, BS7 8AS; tel: 0117 944 6810
Back when Bristol was a gateway to the New World the first American consulate was established here in 1792. The square became the focal point of the violent Bristol riots in 1831 against the lack of voting rights, one of the worst outbreaks of urban rioting in 19th century Britain. During the 1980s a brutalist road was ploughed straight through it. Nowadays the road is gone and its been restored to its former Georgian self. A green spot to hang out in in the old city centre.
Queen Square, BS1
Its been roundly criticised for taking on blatant corporate sponsorship but it is still first and foremost the Bristol Community Festival. Held annually over a weekend in the middle of July, it attracts roughly 100,000 and costs very little to get into. The music and performance on each of the stages is essentially local with a few big name acts thrown into the mixer. The city is awash with parties over this weekend, a great time to be in Bristol. Get yourself a pear cider and make sure you've booked the Monday off work.
Ashton Court Estate;
Inside it looks as though the proprietors paid a visit to the Lord Chancellor's residence and liked the wallpaper. Decor aside, Goldbrick House has had a great deal of time, effort and thought put into it and is a nice place to eat and drink. Noteworthy is the balcony on the top floor looking out onto leafy Brandon Hill to one side and down into the city on the other.
69 Park Street, BS1 5PB;
tel: (0117) 945 1950;
"'Ark at ee!", "Gert Lush", "They's me daps mind", "'Ow bis me babber?" The dialect is being reclaimed by the locals with confidence. If a word finishes in 'a' then 'wl' is attached. Idea becomes 'ideawl', Asda 'Asdawl'. A Bristolian dictionary is available for any left struggling to comprehend. Cheers drive.
On the buses, in the streets;
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