Want to see Germany and not stay in the major cities? Fly into Frankfurt, get a car and then start the journey along the Romantic Road as it meanders through Bavaria.
Really want to do it slowly? Ride a bike and when you tire, jump on a bus. The German countryside offers lots and the small towns have plenty of B&Bs for overnight stays. The road itself is busy in summer (as expected) but outside the summer season, the drive itself is relaxing.
The road officially goes between Würzburg and Füssen before ending up at King Ludwig's famous crazy castles.
Don't forget to visit all the other castles along the way.
Between Würzburg and Füssen
Germany (arrive via Frankfurt)
It is a fab bar run by an English couple who each week on a Thursday host a quiz night. All of the proceeds go to five charities in Siem Reap.
They also serve great English food for those who have been away from home a while and crave sunday lunch, bangers and mash etc.
On the river in Siem Reap
I used to work as one of the stout monkeys here. It's actually a great fun place to work if you're in town for a few months, most of the staff are European and all mix well. Lots of nights out and banter at the taps.
Anyway, instead of drinking your complimentary pint up stairs in the always over crowded Gravity Bar - great veiws but not enough seats - squeeze up for a look, then take the stairs down to floor five and have your drink in the bar there. Its nearly always quiet, it still has good views and you can buy more hooch when you're done with the black stuff.
St James Gate
As chilled as its name suggests, the Ice Bar is a fusion of old and new - blue lights looking like blocks of ice, silver cushions flecked with black, comfy low sofas ideal for slouching on (beware leaning back, they are further from the wall than you think) combined with a wooden beamed ceiling decorated with painted leaf designs and a stained glass window on one wall. It sounds and is rather eclectic but the fusion works. The beams and stained glass are, I believe, original features of the building and they have been blended well with the contemporary design of the bar.
Ice is, of course, another feature, spread over the surface of the bar and made into shot glasses which are used for serving vodka. Glasses of ice? Yep and they do work and they don’t stick to your fingers. Cool.
Part of the Merchants House Hotel
The well-established Shamrock (Irish) Bar is something of a landmark meeting place for Chengdu expats and locals. Up to 150 people per night roll up for music and fun on a Friday or Saturday evening. There is a free pool table, as well as live international sport (such as Aussie Rules, cricket, rugby, and soccer) televised on several screens throughout the bar area. The beer garden out front provides an excellent alternative for those who wish to generally chat.
Every Day: 10.00am – 3.00am
BAR FOOD SPECIALTY:
Pub grub includes the popular Shamrock burger and chips. Add lettuce, tomato, cheese, egg and / or bacon to your own liking. There is no shortage of ketchup (tomato sauce) to otherwise smother hot potato chips, wedges or onion rings. This can be washed down with a variety of local and imported beverages including Irish draught Guinness beer.
Thursday Solo singer
Friday DJ dance
Saturday Live bands
Sunday Solo singer
No.15 Renmin Nan Lu, Section 4,
(Around corner from USA consulate)
Shamrock Chengdu Forums:
Unassuming pub at the top of the hill in Arundel with lovely rooms. One of the doubles has views of the cathedral and the pub is very near the 14th century parish church and the castle. The ensuite rooms are very comfortably decorated and have TV, cd player etc. The pub itself is a local boozer - nothing too classy - but the accommodation is quite unexpected, and very reasonable. Decent English breakfast in the morning, and the service is straightforwardly helpful.
St Mary's Gate Inn
Tel: (0)1903 883145
Great if you love vodka and even greater if you love beautiful interior decoration. From the outside Revolution looks like any other grey Victorian building but inside is a real treat. Like walking into a massive iced cake you cannot help but gape at the wonderful domed ceilings and intricate plasterwork and you can drink your favourite vodka tipple at the same time....BONUS!
Collingwood Street, Newcastle upon Tyne. Near Central Station
Bizarre. As you stroll along the swanky Nowy Swiat toward trendy Foksal Street, look through an archway and you’ll spy an oversized garden shed. Located in a back alley right in the heart of Warsaw’s swishest nightlife district, serving strong Polish beer and a great atmosphere late into the night, this bar is delightfully out of step with its surroundings. For those who like their socialising on the downbeat side.
Location: Through an archway off Nowy Swiat, near the turn into Ulica Foksal.
It's a lively, international après-ski bar with young, friendly staff and punters. It's perfectly situated so that after sweeping majestically down the Olympic black run 'The Face' you can wander straight in. And try to explain why you have snow in your hair on a sunny day...
At the foot of the Solaise and Bellevarde Express chair lifts.
Although "Goa trance" isn't really my music scene, I enjoyed Anjuna immensely. There are a whole lot of freaks out there and most of them travel into Anjuna at some point. There's a good choice of places to eat ranging from Tibetan, Indian and Chinese to Western.
Lots of bars abound on and around the beach areas and there's plenty of cheap accommodation for those on a tight budget.
The local nightclub is pretty impressive, even if it's all bang-gnab trance all night long.
The beach is medium sizee but really nice (just expect a lot of hawkers) and locals are as friendly as the tourists.
This is a really good place to relax on the beach by day and party by night. You also have a lot of options for exlporing the rest of Goa once you get there.
Anjuna beach, north Goa
Latex is the name of the nightclub attached to the Nile Hilton Hotel, which, if you're into dance music and you're under forty, is the place to be at the weekends (Thursday and Friday nights being the equivalent to the British Friday and Saturday nights).
It can sometimes be quite difficult to get in and it's a bit pricey by Egyptian standards but if you look western and have a laydee in tow, you'll be alright! Men will find it harder than the women to get past the thick-necked bouncers but all told, they're a fairly placid bunch.
My personal advice is to drink the local lagers (Sakara is my favourite) instead of the imported spirits. They're much cheaper and do the same job.
1113 Corniche El Nil, Cairo
Tel: 20 2 5780444/5780666.
The first real British pub in Vienna - unlike the rest this pub is owned and run by a man from London. It offers good food and is the only one that gives you a good pint of beer (real ale). Well worth a visit just for the tea towels on the wall.
Lowengasse 3, around the corner from the Konvert Haus; tel: 01 713 16 90
This is a restaurant with a modern take on Spanish food. Ideal if you are getting a little bored of the standard tapas of jamon and tortilla.
Great value and exceptional food. Relaxed cafe type setting
Plaza Puerta Real 6 (just down from the NH Hotel on the river);
tel: 954 909 720
Great lounge-cum-restaurant on the the trendy Saint-Laurent Boulevard, with good food and equally well-made drinks. I recommend the martinis. Perfect place to kick off the evening while waiting for the clubs to get started.
3515 St Laurent Blvd; tel: (514) 842 0220
Almost all of my expat friends say that the tree will be the first choice if they want to have some tasty pizza. Also they have a impressive collection of Belgian beers.
43 Bei Sanlitun Nan,Chaoyang district (100 metres West of Sanlitun North Bar street, Yo Yi Youth Hostel, behind Poachers Inn)
Tel: 010 6415 1954
If you like your hotels ultra-modern and luxiourious this is the one for you. It's ten minutes or so walk from the main shopping street (Patricks St). Beautiful rooms, nice bar, nice restaurant and friendly, efficient staff. Request river views with balcony rather than the Atrium.
Whether you’re into dirty funky beats or retro classics, the Cross is the place to be, more for sinners than saints.
The World Bar is an eccentric place, serving alcoholic beverages in tea pots and cool cocktails that slip down a treat. With a comfortable atmosphere, live music and friendly people it’s definitely the place to begin the night’s proceedings.
Down the main street, take your pick from Moulin Rouge, Plan B, YU and Dragonfly, which are just a few of the clubs that will have you dancing till the early hours of the morning.
Moulin Rouge has a seductive feel to it as you enter, with a voluptuous red and gold interior that surrounds you. A small but intimate dancefloor sees the ladies and gents strut their stuff.
If you’re into some thing a bit more deep and progressive then head down to YU, situated off the main street. It’s a dark club with a twist of contemporary art. “Mirror, mirror on the wall you are the fairest of them all”, adorns the toilet area: different, yet somehow it works. The club always pull in a friendly crowd, and is certainly a place to get your groove on.
Trains from Central, Town Hall and Martin Place to Kings Cross are probably the quickest way to get there. Taxis also.
The World Bar: 24-26 Bayswater Rd;
Moulin Rouge: 39 Darlinghurst Rd;
YU: 171 Victoria St;
Plan B: 22 Darlinghust Rd;
Dragonfly: 1 Earl Place
It is said Byron swam the Grand Canal in Venice, Browning made love in Venice and Hemmingway got drunk in Venice. Probably in Harry’s Bar. Original art deco with waiters and martinis to match the glasses and olives. If you want to arrange to meet someone in Venice do it in style and do it here in Harry’s Bar, but be prepared to pay for it.
And it’s easy to find: just around the corner from the Bridge of Sighs where, according to Byron, prisoners gazed their last on freedom as they crossed the bridge from the Courts of the Doge’s Palace to their cells.
Calle Vallaresso, 1323, Venice, 30124 (in the neighbourhood of Giudeica)
tel: +39 41 528 5777;
nearest Station: San Marco linee 1 - 52 - 82 Act
One of the best gay pubs in London. More laid-back than leering, with a nice mix of men and women. Tiny, which means lots of close-ups of people's backs/armpits/ears, but still great. Eclectic mix of eighties (think Stevie Nicks) and electro on the turntable. Follow the crowd to the Joiner's Arms down the road afterwards if you're still up for fun.
2 Hackney Road, London, E2 7NS;
tel: 0207 012 1100;
Underground: Old Street
I am a frequent business visitor to Dublin and have always been disappointed by the homogenised nightlife. There is a high gloss about the club habitués of Dublin yet these shiny people confuse sophistication with formality. The clubs and bars have no concept of edginess. However, on this most recent visit, I discovered Dublin’s best kept secret, Fresh and Clean. This an eccentric and at times unnerving experience where live art meets jazz meets champagne. This is an incredibly exciting club concept, which could change Dublin’s nightscape. Admission is 80 euros. Check it out.
Varying locations in city centre;
tel: +44 77901 853 216
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