Beautiful old town that's perfect for mooching around and seeing the sights. Grab a limoncello or three at one of a strip of waterside bars as the sun sets and go for a stroll amongst the locals. Clear your head the next day by exploring the ancient ampitheatre at the edge of town (catch a bus from the central station).
South-east Sicily. Rent a car for max flexibility when touring the island.
If in Chicago during the summer an afternoon at "the ball game" is hard to beat and is a fraction of the price you'd pay to watch football in the UK.
Chicago even offers you two teams. On the north side are the world's greatest under-achievers; the Cubs. The fact that they haven't won anything for approaching a hundred years only seems to fuel the fanaticism of their supporters. On the south side are the traditionally working-class White Sox, world series winners in 2005. Strangely, a baseball game is the nearest thing in the US to the atmosphere of a football match in Britain. Both are within easy reach of the Loop via the red line subway.
Tickets can be booked online well in advance on each team's website. One word of warning though, beer prices inside both grounds are extortionate. So enjoy the build up in the pubs near the stadiums, particularly at Wrigley Field.
Cubs at Wrigley Field. Clark and Addison.
Sox at US Cellular Field. 35th St. Subway: Sox/35th St.
Stunning mountainside location about 40 minutes drive inland from Taormina, where Francis Ford Coppola shot the wedding scenes for Godfather Part II. Take your home-made granita di limone from the bar inside and sit in the shade of the matted ivy pergola.
An offshoot from Le PUB Hanoi, this bar located in the backpacker area of HCMC is a refreshing change to the regular places in the area. Fantastic music, free wifi, well-priced excellent food and a huge selection of drinks, coffee and smoothies makes it a great spot for people watching.
175/22 Pham Ngu Lao. Dist 1, HCMC
08 837 7679
Le PUB is a fantastic bar serving reasonably priced food right in the middle of the old quarter. The staff are very good and there is even free wifi. The place attracts a good mix of locals, tourists and expats and the music is superb. The tables outside allow fantastic people watching.
A smattering throw back to Dublin's hippy scene, which has been nearly totally decimated. This is really only a shadow of some of Dublin's great markets. Still it has a nice feel to it and there are stalls for second hand books, fresh olives, old records and new Japanese and Chinese fashion. There's Simons Place cafe - a real stalwart, and there's a chipper in one of the stalls. Plus there's an entrance to the excellent Market Bar - with its own entrance for when the arcade is closed. It's a fun wee refuge from the occasional rain. A bit over priced in places tho'
Kitsch … you either love it or hate it. But in New Zealand, where so many bars are basic at best, the sensual overload that is the Wunderbar (in Lyttelton, of all places) is very welcome. It is also very, very kitsch. The funky front lounge is swathed in purple velvet, the pool table with red velvet, the bar is lined with bamboo and the “elusive” toilets – if you can find them – papered with 1950’s adverts. Wunderbar’s location – behind a supermarket – says it all: a corner of weird surrounded by banal.
Address: 19 London Street, Lyttelton.
Telephone: (64-3) 3288818
Part pub, brewery and restaurant, the Dux has its own distinct niche in Christchurch’s social scene.
Situated behind the Arts Centre in tree-lined grounds, it’s the perfect place for an afternoon pint of their own brew while sitting outside in the sun.
Address: Corner Hereford and Montreal Streets.
Telephone: (64-3) 3666919
Lyttelton likes its kitsch, there’s no denying it. Home not only to the over-the-top Wunderbar, but also this strange little gem of a restaurant.
Located in a gaudy red and yellow art deco building, with cheap formica tables and Mex-influenced menu, the Volcano and its Lava Bar buzz with an energy lacking in most city centre eateries. Maybe Lyttelton is where Christchurchians go to get their groove on.
Address: 42 London Street, Lyttelton
Phone: (64-3) 3287077
Christchurch’s outdated styling as Little Britain is nowhere more obvious than in its approach to pubs: that they still cling to a Victorian notion of Britishness is apparent on crossing the threshold of many hostelries.
Check out the stale-beer carpet, or decor seemingly designed with fistfights in mind. Don’t even think about the food.
All of which make The Bohemian, by the banks of the River Avon, all the more enjoyable to discover. The beech and brick decor create a warm atmosphere, the food is delicious (the antipasto plate is superb), and you can even sit on the street outside in the summer.
How very continental.
Address: 256 Oxford Terrace, Christchurch.
Telephone: (64-3) 3662563
Another chain pub/brewery, the Hog is a decent, fairly run-of-the- mill place – lots of hardwood, good bar food, and nice beer. But it’s when Thursday night rolls around that the place really hots up. Latin Night is something special in otherwise reserved Christchurch, when the small Latin American community come out to shake their hips.
A swinging band provide the thumping beat, and salsa dancers bump and grind on the packed dancefloor. Let the cerveza and salsa flow.
Address: 178 Cashel Street, Christchurch.
Telephone: (64-3) 3666674
Forget Christchurch’s (in)famous “Strip” of interchangeable and forgettable bar/clubs on Oxford Terrace – head to Sammy’s for a cool and laidback night out.
This place is hidden away down a dead-end street, so it’s one of those Swingers-style places that you need to be in-the-know to find. The music is pretty swinging too, and it’s buzzing at the weekends.
Address: 14 Bedford Row (off Manchester Street).
Telephone: (64-3) 3778618
This is a great Greek coffee shop, in the heart of Kremasti village. Thomas and Mikhlais will give you a really warm welcome. You can enjoy cocktails, a latte or traditional Greek coffee, they also serve freshly prepared snacks.
Come and play tavli (backgammon) or take a rest in the shade if you are travelling around. It's worth coming to see the mad murals they have painted on the walls inside.
The prices are cheap and children are very welcome.
It's on the left hand side as you come from Rhodes Town, after Melody Palace. Park at the side of the church and it's a 2 minute walk.
The Walk Inn is a bar/restaurant in the heart of the Old Town, a 5 minute walk from Socrates Street. It's set in a very pretty square and you can spend hours watching the world wander by.
There is a fantastic atmosphere, the food is all freshly prepared (pizzas and meze a speciality) children are very welcome and the prices are ridiculously reasonable.
There's no web site, but if you want directions call them on 22410 74293, and someone will come to meet you! How's that for service!
If you are going on a day out, head for the hills and the stunning Hotel Elafos on Profitis Ilias Mountain. The drive there is beautiful through little villages and olive groves. The hotel is completely unique, set deep in the woods and a great location for walkers.
Orginially built as a HQ for Mussolini it has been restored by local craftsmen and offers a complete change from the beach.
You can have lunch (food is excellent), stay the night or even get married here - there's even a childrens play area. It's relaxing, peaceful and well worth the visit.
The drive is about an hour from Rhodes Town or Lindos.
Beautiful historic Dutch bar in Soho. The interior is amazing and the atmosphere is buzzing. Good selection of Dutch and Belgian beers, and a superb food menu with lots of yummy Dutch snacks. The bar has a long history which adds to the vibe inside.
11 Macclesfield Street, Soho.
Piccadilly/Leicester Square tube
Much is made in Ireland these days about the decline of the traditional pub, and that is indeed a sad event. But on the other hand, it’s hard to halt change, and when it takes the charming form of this tapas/wine bar, why would you want to?
The atmosphere is warm and friendly all through the week, the food is small and tasty, and the wine list is copious. The prices are a little higher than the pub round the corner, but it’s a case of chalk and Camembert.
Top quality NZ restaurant and tapas bar (no, me neither) on Marylebone High Street. The accents can be a bit grating, and the clientele includes some of the big sunglassed emigré types the area specialises in, but the food and wine is simply fabulous.
Marylebone Hight Street
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