This gigantic new cafe bar is located just west of the main shopping area in Henry Street and is probably the classiest place to have a snack and a drink on the northside.
It’s located in an 18th-century baroque former church, which has been restored in a reasonably sensitive manner. The church has an interesting history, with associations with Wolfe Tone, the Guinness family, Jonathan Swift, Sean O'Casey and John Wesley. Its new incarnation as a bar (Wesley must be rolling in his grave) only started in December 2005 and has yet to really find its feet - the service and food were quite erratic on my two visits.
However, it’s well worth a look in, even if just to admire the architecture. If they get the food and service right, this could soon be one of the classiest venues in the city.
If you've ever been stuck on the roof of a Cambodian boat with no sunscreen or hat, inhaling toxic exhaust fumes, and enduring this for over six hours, it's advisable to check into a hotel with air conditioning. A word of warning though: don't do what I did and check into the Walkabout Hotel.
Though it's close to a host of popular nightspots and has good amenities, the predatory working girls in the downstairs bar will not leave you alone. Unless you enjoy this sort of harassment, it's best to avoid the bar at all costs.
Corner of Streets 51 and 174
The first is that if you take the ferry to Manly from Circular Quay in the dark, you can enjoy the beautiful and eerie sight of phosphorescent algae glowing green-blue in the wake of the ferry.
The second is the Steyne Hotel. Dodgy name, but a fantastic, busy place, about six bars in one, and a real landmark in Manly. Get upstairs and outside on the balcony.
Circular Quay, Sydney - regular ferries
Of course you should eat the beef whilst in Buenos Aires, but at some point you might seek something a little different. If so, try Filo, an Italian restaurant, right in the heart of the city, by Plaza San Martin. The pizzas are divine, the wine sublime, and the tiramisu is the best in the southern hemisphere. There's even a tasteful gallery in the basement.
This is a fun, cozy bar, filled with locals, with great live music (usually rock with a jazzy twist) in a funky neighborhood called Kitai Gorod. There are three 'mini' bars within the small cellar space, one of the bars is actually an airplane wing, hence the name. Dancing takes place in one of the small bar rooms, the other is for sitting and chatting, and the larger space has the band.
Proyezd Lubyansky 25, the Russian name of the bar is Kitaysky Lyotchik Dzhao-Da; nearesy metro: Kitai Gorod
As nice as the tourist traps of the Grand Place are, you could do a lot worse than try this excellent family run bar/restaurant in the popular but sedate St Catherine area.
This a place where locals eat and drink, reflected in the menu and the prices. There are the usual steaks and moules frites, but you can try other typical Brusselois fare such as Anguilles au Vert (eels in green sauce and nicer than it sounds), Stoemp and even horse!
This is a very friendly, real place and well worth a try even if only for a drink before eating at the excellent St Catherine restaurants. Only a brief stroll from Bourse.
Rue St Catherine; The nearest metros are St Catherine or Bourse
Breathtakingly gorgeous art nouveau cafe/bar just five or so minutes from the Grand Place. Hearty nosh: moules and frites (of course), tasty Zeebrugge shrimp omelette, rugged carbonnades flamandes stew. There’s also loads of choccy puddings, plus Leffe and plenty of other beers on draught.
The English language menu on their website is worth a look for shameless, cheap-laugh lovers (like your correspondent). How about Salade Landaise “with gizzards and poultry lievers parfumed with orange room”. Or the somewhat Julian Clary-sounding “Warm Entries”.
Henri Mausstraat/Rue Henri Maus, 1000 Brussels;
Nearest Metro: Bourse; www.resto.be/falstaff
This is a great bar/venue. Dispite its small size it rocks BIG. You can get up close to up and coming bands, and rock on till the early hours of the morning. If you get tired, you can always chill out in the bar downstairs. It is a great night out whoever you are. Also you usually get to see three bands for less then a tenner. Coldplay, Electric Six, Badly Drawn Boy, The Vines and The Darkness have all played here.
Cutting-edge non-mainstream music.
49 Chalk Farm Road, Camden, LONDON, NW1 8AN
from Camden Town tube station - 5 Mins
From Chalk farm tube station - 3 Mins
A bar housed in a former garage - hence the name (Brakes and Clutches). Just across the bridge into Trastevere this small bar spills out into a little square, with candles burning and throngs of good looking people perched on the wall surrounding the square.
The bar had a real buzz, which is what first draws the attention from the bottom of the steps, I found it to be a really friendly little bar with a good mix of patrons, the staff were friendly too and only too happy to help.
Cocktails are a speciality and the mojitos were amazing especially on a hot summers evening - the whole cocktail list looked fantastic and there seemed a good wine list too, although regrettably I didn't sample any. There was also a very tempting buffet on offer which looked much better than the second rate tourist crap I'd just eaten.
The decor of the place was a juxtaposition between the futuristic and reclaimed which created a unique ambience.
Via del Politeama 4-6,
Tel: 06 5833 4210
Ordering drinks at tables in Piazza Navona, Piazza della Rotunda etc can be pricey. You won't save much by ordering a small beer or a cappuccino, so get value for money by ordering a Negroni - a cocktail made of three alcoholic drinks (Gin, Vermouth and Campari) The cost should be five to eight euros and you'll be bought some nibbles too.
My favourite place to sit and sip one is the bar to the right of the Pantheon. You'll take away an unforgettable memory of Rome - just don't drink more than two, or the memory will be lost in the haze.
Theatre ship with bed and breakfast facilities and bar. Totally unexpected cross cultural place to stay. Tone Holmen, one of the owners, is a great cook and speaks perfect English and Spanish, the ambience is terrific and the price of a bed for the night is reasonable for Oslo. The beer isn't very expensive either. The fjord is usually calm and it's a delightful experience to sit and look out over the sea while enjoying a cool lager and listening to some Afro-Caribbean music. Very near the main shopping centre, kindly hosts and lovely views.
For live music, check www.livemusicvancouver.com
The best hostel in the city (during the summer) is the Jericho Beach Hostel. They organize all sorts of bar-crawls, vollyball and the usual BS. Plus it's a giant dorm right on the beach.
However, if you're coming here anywhere outside of summer, stay here www.samesun.com/vancouver_hostel.html or check out the Cambie Hostel/Bar. Both Hostels have good bars with cheap $6-10 pitchers of beer, full of ex-pats, and opportunities to go into the interior/Banff ect. The Cambie is a rowdy dive of a bar, so expect picnic tables, and lot's of beer being tossed everywhere by 19-23yr olds.
There are a few smaller hotels around Robson St. for about $90CAD a night. There's a million luxury hotels such as the Opus Hotel, and Hotel Vancouver (google for info).
For restaurants, you can either score $0.99 sushi on Davie St or check this www.straight.com/content.cfm?id=12744 (Best of Vancouver).
Contrary to popular belief, it's not 100% legal here. However use common sense and you'll be fine. There are a few cafes around town, and an actual store operating called 'Vancouver Connection'. Read this magazine: www.cannabisculture.com/ and ask around the forum.
Get on the skytrain and get off on Broadway St. Make your way down commercial drive towards the water and you'll come across a billion artist-run centres/cafes/bars galore.
If you really want to do something awesome, look for vacation cabins along Shushwap Lake, Christina Lake, or the millions of other cabins. Rent a boat and party till the sun comes up on the beach in Osoyoos or whatever. Not cheap :(
Finally, if you want to check out local punk/metal bands, meet awesome people and drink the cheapest booze on the planet go here www.thecobalt.net
See above for all addresses.
Everyone who goes to Sydney raves about the beaches at Bondi and Manly and rightly so - they are iconic Sydney beaches.
Yet any trip to Sydney would not be complete without a visit to Cronulla Beach in Sydney's south. This is a beach in wide-scape with something for everyone.
The northern part (known locally as Wanda Beach) is a haven for surfers, fishermen, kite-flyers and groups of young lads who simply want to impress the hordes of bikinied blondes who gather there for the sake of being impressed.
The southern part is the elevated end of Cronulla, adjacent to The Royal National Park, and it's a spot where families picnic in the parks high above the beach.
In between these two points is Cronulla central - where the beach meets the restaurants, cafes, nightclubs and cinemas. By day a place for families to enjoy a stroll along the boardwalk and, after dark, a gathering place for the beautiful people of southern Sydney.
Plane-spotters will also enjoy fabulous views of aircraft landing at, and taking off from, Sydney's Mascot Airport from all parts of Cronulla Beach.
Parking can be a problem. Visitors staying in the Central Business District of Sydney are best advised to take the train to Cronulla from Martin Place (platform 2), Town Hall (platform 4) or Sydney Central (platform 25). Trip time about 50 minutes each way for just a few quid return. A taxi will cost about 20 pounds each way.
GJ's is a bit of a St Kilda institution. It does great fill you up nosh and one of the best and most sociable horseshoe bars it has ever been my good luck to prop up.
In the winter you can snag a booth near the fire and in the summer there is a seating area outside under the big palm tree, where you can get yourself around the marvellous big brekkie (pig and chicken salad if you will). Get seriously jangled on the coffee and watch the trams and peoples all roll by from beneath the huge table umbrella.
A seriously broad cross section of the community call this their local, from the occasional soap "star" to a couple of the neighbourhood's mentally ill. It is always a treat.
I miss St Kilda, despite the yuppies ruining it.
96 tram from the city and get off when you see a fourty foot maniacal face, that's Luna Park.
Congratulations you are in St Kilda.
This karaoke box can be hired by group of friends. There are all sorts of songs here, Japanese, British, American, Korean, Philipino, Chinese! It's only 2,000yen from 11pm until 7am (next day). You can drink as much as you want if you pay 1,000 yen on top. You can order drink by remote control.
shinjuku-ku, Kabuki-cho, 1-3-16
The Golden Gai is one city block near Shinjuku station, made up of tiny alleyways. This block has around 250 teensy bars, all of which are unique. There are ground floor ones, 1st floor ones, film ones, literary ones, ones that look like a living room or kitchen, very welcoming ones and one or two that don't really like foreigners. They pretty much all have a seating charge of around 500 yen.
Go and walk around and choose your bar. You might get the one where film directors have their own bottles displayed around the bar.
1-1-8 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku. Closest station: Shinjuku, east exit. It's next to Hanaono Shrine.
The beer can be expensive in this town, so if you're short of cash and aching for a pint, work your way down the East Oslo street Grønland (all tube lines to Grønland station or tramway to Brugata). Here you'll find the cheapest beer in town, but beware of the less congenial clientele...
Grønland station (All tube lines)
Brugata tram stop
Thamel's best kept secret (till now) ... Sam's Bar - run by Sam and his Austrian wife - is a great place to chill out and meet locals, backpackers, climbers, overlanders and loads of other interesting people. If you're lucky you'll start with a Sam special and who knows where it'll go from there!
Upstairs opposite the Hotel Mandap in Thamel
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