Beautiful former church turned concert hall with near perfect acoustics. The likes of Björk, Linton Kwesi Johnson and Terry Callier have played at St George's down the years. The music policy is a mixture of classical, jazz and world music. The BBC do the odd broadcast of classical concerts from here on Radio 3.
Great George Street, off Park Street, BS1 5RR;
tel: 0117 929 4929;
Surely one for our American friends? Relaxed cafe appropriately housed in a Georgian terrace on trendy Park Street. There's a tiered garden out the back and sofas upstairs. Regional cooking done on site and the coffee ain't bad neither.
75 Park Street, BS1 5PF;
tel: 0117 929 8601
Reflecting Easton's eastern outlook is The Sweet Mart. Bills itself as the largest supplier of ethnic foods and spices in the south-west, something confirmed by its well-stocked shelves.
80 St Marks Road, Easton BS5 6JH; tel: 0117 951 2257
Stapleton Road Station on the Severn Beach suburban line from Bristol Temple Meads;
Weird and wonderful inner-city music festival that has been compared to Sónar in Barcelona. It takes place over the first weekend in June each year. The focus is on Stokes Croft as well as other venues across the city hosting gigs. The spirit of eclecticism means the festival organisers want you to hear music you wouldn't have previously chanced upon, be it experimental electronica, Brooklyn punk rock or folk ballads. There are workshops and Venn Radio which broadcasts the festival highlights over the weekend.
Various venues in Stokes Croft and around Bristol;
Great tasting and very affordable Thai, Malaysian, Japanese, Singaporean, Indonesian and Chinese food. The seating is communal and informal. The food is prepared before your eyes in the open kitchen which gives Teohs much of its atmosphere. An Oriental supermarket is attached next door. There's a second branch of the restaurant at the Tobacco Factory in south Bristol.
28-34 Lower Ashley Road, St Paul's BS2 9NP;
tel: 0117 907 1191
Distinctive footbridge spanning St Augustine's Reach in the old docks. A symbol to the contribution of black people to the development of the city and to the role Slavery had played in making Bristol a wealthy city in the past. Pero was a man of Afro-Carribean origin who was brought to Bristol in 1783 as a slave from the island of Nevis by the Bristolian merchant John Pinney. Pero became the Pinney family's personal servant and remained in the city until his death in 1798, aged 45.
Narrow Quay & St Augustine's Reach
Many an up and coming band, including Coldplay, The White Stripes and The Libertines, have played a live gig at The Louisiana. Downstairs is a pub and upstairs is the small function room and stage. Cosy.
Bathurst Terrace BS1 6UA
Snug behind the sea defences of England's largest fishing port, this is a real locals' pub, but that doesn't mean the welcome to visitors isn't warm. Far from it. Order the catch of the day (from £6.95) for a succulent piece of cod or haddock that's moist within its crispy, beer-batter casing. It will have been landed that very morning, and just a few hundred yards away, to boot. The pub's cosy in winter, too, with a real fire and low-beamed ceilings, not to mention some classics by local artists on the walls (my personal favourite: Perry With Ling).
Tolcarne Place, Newlyn, near Penzance, Cornwall
Tel: 01736 363074
It's life-affirming to fill your stomach with steaming fish and chips after a hard day's surfing. And this über-chippy, due to its location and no-frills tucker, is the place to do it. The shed-like building is right on the egg-yolk-golden sandy beaches around Hayle Towans. Tuck in at sunset nestled in a romantic cove or have your takeaway by a kiddies' rock pool. Everything's freshly cooked to order, not least because of the high turnover (the place serves three caravan sites). Portions are generous, too.
Riviere Sands Holiday Park, Riviere Towans, Hayle
Tel: 01736 752 132
Any mention of Rick Stein these days elicits groans - a visit to his chippy will surely leave us well-fed, but well-fleeced, too. I've travelled the country in search of the perfect fish and chips, I can honestly say I found it here - the fish was cooked to perfection, accompanied by beautiful, brown-mottled, crisp chips with fluffy insides.
Yes, perfection does come at a price - they're fried in beef dripping - but if you can forgive them this, then cod and chips is well worth the £5.50 price tag - which, incidentally, is cheaper than my local.
South Quay, Padstow
Tel: 01841 532700
The menu is as traditional as can be (it's stayed much the same since the 1930s), except for the appearance on it of cod whale: a huge, meaty fillet of fish. And the chips are made from local potatoes. Fish and chips is consistently good - this is no-frills, staff-of-life stuff. Neatly uniformed ladies serve all the traditional accompaniments - triangles of bread and butter, cups of tea - amid the gentle hum of true Cornish accents. A full range of takeaway, too, plus the downtown location and easy parking, make the 40-mile round trip from home more than worthwhile. For more than 20 years our family's favourite.
Bucketts Hill, Redruth
Tel: 01209 216937
For fish and chips with a glorious view, head to the beach and this concession in the basement of the wonderful Porthminster Cafe.
Looking out to the bay, on your left is St Ives harbour, while arching round to the right is Hayle Sands and the Godrevy Lighthouse.
The food is delicious: battered fish is light, flaky and golden, chips are crisp yet fluffy in the centre, and all for £4.75. Local fish is used wherever possible.
It's open only during the summer season, but it's worth the wait.
Porthminster Beach, St Ives
Tel: 01736 795352
Classic all-day service, burgers served on a slab of wood with potted fries and a selection of toppings ranging from blue cheese to chilli. The best, most consistent burger in town - it's rammed from Thursday to Saturday.
191 Portobello Road, London W11, 020-7908 9696
The best burger I've had outside the US. The elegantly simple interior makes me feel I'm in a steakhouse, rather than a fast-food nightmare. Burgers are Aberdeen Angus and taste like steak, as a good burger should. Service is friendly and efficient. The usual toppings (bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato) and great fries - who wants anything fancier? Every time I pass by, I'm grateful for its presence.
105 Gloucester Road, London SW7, 020-7244 7666
The sign reads 'naturally reared', 'grass-fed', 'free range', and the interior is gastro Ikea-land, but the cheeseburger (£4.50) is a thing of beauty that conspires with milkshakes (£2.95) and malts (£3.25) to erase the memory of a certain clown-endorsed emporium. Charming staff, too.
341 Upper Street, London N1, 020-7359 4436
Cinema housed in former industrial premises with 3 screens showing the best in independent and foreign film. The programme is persistently strong and it plays host to a number of film festivals throughout the year, including the widely praised Brief Encounters short film festival. If film isn't your thing then the Watershed has a superb Cafe/Bar and free wireless connection for laptop boffins.
The plate arrives with a burger pinned into place with a thin stick: Aberdeen Angus beef grilled to juicy perfection, slipped between a sourdough bun and piled high with melted cheese and crunchy onions ... Within just a few minutes, the stick was on the table like a dead match, I was licking chutney off my fingers and my first date was ready to leave.
44 Northcote Road, London SW11, 020-7228 3309
Other bits of meat feature, as do erratic service and odd menu decisions (no chips?), but it's the charcoal-grilled burgers you come for. The whole experience makes the place memorable: from the rickety tables to the list of unusual beers. If you don't mind a crowd and you want a glorious burger, Bubba's your man.
Unit 12, Old Spitalfields Market, London E1, 020-7377 6999
This south London bar puts wagyu beef between its buns, making the tastiest, melt-in-the-mouth patties you'll find, and for under £10. The back-up Asian/ western fusion menu, the range of beers and wines, and the coffee are all top quality, too. In a city of golden arches and southern colonels, it's a revelation.
12 Streatham High Road, London SW16, 07747 607803
The place to head when the urge strikes. A hymn to 60s Americana, where location, styling and menu are in perfect harmony. The burgers are classic, the options simple - no focaccia buns on this list. Burgers are cooked to order, take two hands to hold - and you'll be glad of the plentiful napkins.
12 Moor Street, London W1, 020-7434 4439
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