Glorious Sydney suburb with excellent pubs, bars, cafes, restaurants and harbour views. Recommend drinks in the Welcome Hotel, the Exchange, the William Wallace, the Bald Rock and for any homesick Cockneys a beer on the balcony of the London with the harbour bridge in the background. Birchgrove Oval is probably the best place to kick a football (Association) or chuck a few balls down in the nets.
10 mins by ferry from Circular Quay to East Balmain, Balmain Thames street or Birchgrove. Any bueses from the Queen Victoria Building - 441 or 442.
Google map: tinyurl.com/pcktaf
After a hard days boarding, take yourself to the bottom of the slopes into the town for a well earned beverage in Mont Fort, get there before 5pm and order a couple of sharp ones at half price.
Chemin de la Tinte 10
Case Postale 329
Great DJ bar/restaurant right at the bottom of the Asagai snowboard park, part of the Naeba resort in Niigata. It's actually a short walk up the hill from Naeba itself (for those of you that have never been, an all-in ski pass for Naeba, next door Tashiro and, best of all, Kagura is a whole recommendation in itself). The space itself is pretty rough 'n' ready but on a good weekend the DJs they get in from Tokyo put most Japanese après-ski to shame. Opens late-ish December I think.
Tel: 81 (0) 25 780 9190
The ideal place for après-ski drinking. This lively seasonaires favourite serves the legendary Mutzig on tap - a locally brewed and exceptionally strong lager. After a few pints of this tasty and throughly warming beer, you will be ready to hit the town even harder than you hit the slopes earlier!
Rue du Bourg, Morzine
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.
One of the newest casinos in this resurgent city dubbed Las Vegas on the Atlantic. This casino is the symbol of that resurgence. Check out all the shopping, the eating and gambling opportunities amid the mandatory juxtaposition of the kitsch and the elegant normally associated with American casinos... and don't forget the free drinks (waitress service) when you're gambling.
A bar and brasserie on Markt with helpful waiters who are only too happy to make beer recommendations for you - I tried a number of trappist ales here. It's on the west side of the square, and the few metres between it and the tourist-heavy row of bars and restaurants on the north side seems to keep it reasonably popular with locals. An ideal place for a good, convivial night out.
A hotel and restaurant on Ieper's main square. Old Tom offers decent accommodation at an attractive price, and the restaurant does some of the best (traditional Flemish) food in town. Convenient for the local attractions, and the welcome is friendly.
A tiny bar squeezed into an alley between Bruges's two main squares, Markt and Burg. Half a dozen tables downstairs and a few more in the equally cosy (non-smoking) upstairs bar - so don't be surprised if there's no room. The beer is excellent, including their own De Garre triple on tap and the tasty Brugse Zot local brew. Instead of the usual peanuts you get a small bowl of delicious cheese as a snack. The choice of beers is not as extensive as at the better-known Het Brugs Beertjes, but I preferred De Garre - it's friendlier, cleaner and feels more like a proper bar rather than a tourist attraction.
De Garre 1, on the right as you walk from Markt to Burg. Hard to spot until you are right on top of it.
This bar has a menu of over 250 beers - just about the widest selection in Ghent. It also has a huge, friendly bar-room with helpful staff and attracts congenial beer lovers from around the world. Find it just a minute's walk from the cannon that gives it its name ("Mad Meg" in English). A little touristy, especially during the day, but nonetheless appealing.
09 224 24 55
Like many bars in Belgium, this is a great place for beer lovers, with its extensive menu and commitment to serving unusual/local beers. But it's just a great bar to visit anyway, with a lively atmosphere, friendly staff, a large outdoor seating area and a wonderful location on the waterside. (The name is a play on words: it means "The Waterhouse on the Beerside", which is a bit of a crap joke but forgivable.) I was only in Ghent two days and went three times. The unique Gavandum dry-hopping beer was Beer of the Month at the time - if they're still serving it, it is not to be missed.
09 225 06 80
On the main square in the beautiful district of Coyoacan. It's a tiny little place with very eccentric staff who shout at you quite a lot, but being shouted at is part and parcel of life in Mexico City. It was the only place I found that did draught beer after two years living there and they serve beer in pitchers. The upstairs balcony is particularly comfortable. Bar snacks are available.
Plaza Coyoacan. Best to used Peseros (little buses) to get there as Coyocan metro is a bit of a hike.
It's a beautiful pub with friendly service. It serves Bitburger, does a brilliant plate of Eisbein (pig's trotters) and, on the occasions I went, wasn't used by too many tourists. One thing worth remembering is that if 1860 Munich are at home, the place is packed and can be a bit unnerving. That's the only downside though
Just off Marienplaz in the city centre.
Tilley's is a Canberran institution, essentially operating as a café, bar, gallery and live music venue.
The interior is dark and moody, crowned by a semi-circular stage and surrounded by booths. A rich and progressive history awaits anyone willing to ask. Best visited for a late breakfast on Sunday or for any live performance.
Wattle street, Lyneham
Negril's famous seven mile beach stretches from the cliffs leading up to the famous Rick's cafe in the west to the private beaches of Hedonism on the east. And what a stretch of beach it is, perfectly sandy with plenty of bars and shops around combined with the chilled atmosphere of Jamaica.
Even though I went at a time where there weren't many people around it still had a great atmosphere and was unforgettable.
By day bathe yourself in the steady warm waters of the beautiful Caribbean ocean and dry out on the beach in a lounger with a nice rum cocktail. By night you can continue with the rum in one of the reggae nightspots (Alfred's, Bourbon Beach, Roots Bamboo) which has top Jamaican artists performing with live bands.
It's just such an easy place to get along with the only thing you can argue about is that it's not to be done on a small budget!
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
Zero-G is a fantastic roof-top nightclub. You've never danced till you've danced with a room of young Indians - the atmosphere is fantastic. Wednesday night is Bollywood night and is always popular. Saturday night is funky house night and another great evening out.
Prestige Towers, Residency Road, Bangalore
Baga beach down by the creek at the quiet end of the Candolim - Calangute stip, is just perfect as a base for exploring north Goa. There are some excellent hotels, guest houses, restaurants and night clubs in the area. You can walk around the cliffs to Anjuna if you don't mind a bit of a hike. Half way round is a small secluded bay and beach shack imaginatively called "Cliffs" perfect for stopping of for a mid moring snack or drink.
Calangute is within walking distance in the other direction should you need the exercise, but a taxi or Tuc-Tuc will take you anywhere within north Goa for less than £10! The views from the top of Chapora fort or from Arambol lake are spectacular at any time of day and Vagator beach is fantastic for sundown.
The capital city of Panjim is also worth a visit as is Old Goa for the architecture and churches - a 3 day trip to Hampi is also well worth the time and trouble.
Dabolim airport is 70 mins away and Mapusa Station is 10 minutes away.
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