A fantastic traditional Barcelona deli. I went for breakfast and had a delicious smoked herring, pepper and onion bocadillo (baguette), and the classic cured ham and tomato bocadillo (pan tomaca). They make it at the counter and bring it through to you in a back room, where vintage Catalan gentlemen are already on the cava (this at 9:30 am)
Calle Girona, 70.
tel: +34 93 2655105
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
This cabaret event at Bistroteque in Bethnal Green is a scream. Hosted by cult cross-dresser Jonny Woo on a weekly basis, it’s kinda like a twisted pop idol, only without singing. Good night out, and the restaurant’s not bad either.
Bistroteque bar and restaurant: 23-27 Wadeson Street, London, E2 9DR;
tel: 020 8983 7900;
Underground: Bethnal Green
When expats in Nagoya take you to one side and say "don't bother with all those skanky gaijin pubs, I know a place that's much better...", 9 times out of 10 they're talking about Heaven's Door.
This hip music bar has become steadily more popular over the past few years, as more and more people cottoned onto the fact that, hell, the combination of affordable drinks, quality tunes and an oh-too-perfect location slipped down pretty easily.
The music does the talking here: the shelves behind the bar house some 3000 LPs, mainly 60s and 70s rock, which the master rules over with military authority - strictly no requests (well, unless you're a regular and there's no-one else within earshot). They've got Heartland on tap (a rarity in this neck of the woods) and a mean selection of spirits, while the food menu includes some fairly tasty tacos and pizzas, among other things.
18:00-Late Tuesday - Sunday. Closed Monday.
City Point Bldg B1F, 3-23-10 Nishiki, Naka-ku, Nagoya
Take Exit 8 out of Sakae subway station and head west, past Sunshine Sakae (the big shopping center with the Ferris wheel tacked on the outside). Take the first left, at the corner with the Coco curry house on it. Heaven's Door is just down the stairs on the right; they're normally blaring music out onto the street, so it's pretty hard to miss. If you get to the Outback Steakhouse, you've gone too far.
Dining at the upstairs restaurant at the Middle Brighton Baths is a quality experience, with MBB splashed on the glassware and tableware. Our lunch experience was a terrific way to spend a Sunday afternoon on a fine, clear but cool winters day. The food is fab, the service and attention from the young staff terrific and the view... even better. Sunday lunch is a'la carte or a fixed price affair (3 courses and a glass of wine for $30) there were quite a few families there.
For something less ritzy try the downstairs cafe where you can eat inside or outside on the balcony overlooking the baths.
251 The Esplanade, Brighton;
tel: 9539 7008 (upstairs restaurant); 9539 7004 (downstairs café)
So you want to watch the Cubs or the Blackhawks in a gay sports bar? Loads of TVs, beer and spirits of all descriptions, friendly and knowledgeable locals, and all sports catered for: hell, they're American and they're even showing the World Cup.
4804 N Broadway, take the red line to Lawrence (which is one block east of the venue);
If you want to experience the notion of a classic German pub, visit Gaststätte Plümecke situated in the Wilhelminian style quarter called List. The interior is very traditional and not stylish, that's for sure. Here you can find people of all classes and professions. The lawyer next to the electrician, the doctor face to face to the factory worker. You will get local beer (Herrenhäuser Pils) and delicious pub classics to eat as currywurst, french fries (probably the best in town) or a Frikadelle. But be cautious: don't try to take a seat by yourself. In the Plümecke you are seated by Brigitte, the innkeeper (which is very uncommon in Germany). Achtung: The Plümecke is closed at weekends. From Monday to Friday it opens at 7 pm (at least I think so).
Underground station: Lister Platz (a ten minute walk away)
Chueca is recognised as a gay neighbourhood in Madrid city centre, popular for its bars and discos of the same description. During the daytime there's a very tranquil, liberal vibe to the area. Then at night, especially on the weekends, it comes alive and everybody, gay or otherwise, mix together and have a great time. A perfect place for gay couples, free of prejudice.
Avoid the overpriced poor quality bars in the tourist parade of shops - go further towards the town centre (but stay on the seafront) and into what looks like a lot of warehouses - you won't regret it. The restaurant has a bar at the front and terraced eating area at the back with views onto the beach.
Tel. 952 806 354
Opening hours from 8.00am to 12.00am. Closed from the end of October until 15th November & again from the end of February to 15th March
Parking available in the port
Specialises in fish & seafood, approx. 9 € to 24 € per head.
Few locals drink in "the Tal" - try a relaxed beer with the Bavarians at a Paulaner pub. If you must drink in the Tal - try Weisses BrauHaus for a Schneider-Weisse and spanferkel :)
Gaststätte Paulaner Bräuhaus,
tel: 089/544611 - 0
This small restaurant in Zurich-Wipkingen offers delicious Asian dishes. It feels like being at home, with personalised service from your own chef. Anthony Carlos, from the Philippines, offers serious a Asian menu with homemade specialties. Check as well the monthly events. Recommended for lovers of gourmet, but you will need to make reservations, as the place is small (max. 25 seats).
Nordstrasse 199, near Zurich-Wipkingen train station, and about 5 minutes from the main train station (Zurich HB), or you can catch bus no. 46;
tel: 043 539 76 79;
It's a bar, restaurant and cocktail place. A bit of urban Catalan sophistication in Brighton. Friendly staff, funky dark interior and great little "pincho" snacks to go with the Cruzcampo beer. It's my new local (when I'm feeling continental). I've not eaten in the restaurant, but if the bar snacks are anything to go by it must be good.
Western Road, Brighton just across from Waitrose;
A great local cafe and bar with inside and outside eating areas, a very modern menu and a great wine list. Drop in for a latte and cake or have a full meal. An afternoon next to the fire here is a lazy way to while away a Sunday. The locals (including me) love it because it’s also 'kid friendly'. Babyccino anyone?
382 Hampton St, Hampton 3188;
tel: 9521 0547;
I have just done Victory Over The Sun in the San Cristobal de Los Angeles metro station, 15.06.06. This is a club with no dancing, which is a refreshing change from the formulaic local clubs.
For a cover charge of 60 euros you can drink as much Cava as you wish (the bar only serve Cava) and watch/participate in performance art (much blood letting). Live Electronic music was the order of the day, which allowed easy communication between the sexes unlike the Madrid dance clubs.
Many of Madrid’s club elite were in attendance, including many club owners and promoters, which may indicate that change is coming on the scene. Victory Over the Sun is based in Dublin and will not return to Madrid until November 06. I believe that it will trigger a sea change in Madrid’s nightlife that will bring it into the 21st century.
San Cristobal de Los Angeles metro station among other venues;
tel: +44 7901 853 216
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
Malia, Crete, gets undeserved bad press. Yes, The Beach Road bars/clubs cater for British kids in July/August, but one can avoid them altogether & have a pleasant vacation here. There is an attractive old village to the north of the main road.
Most of the restaurants mentioned in the Rough Guide & Lonely Planet have been closed for the past few years as they were run by non-Greeks and rents were too high for the short tourist season. There are however, two excellent restaurants remaining, The Elizabeth, which is in the town square of the old village, and off to the left, Kalesma, both offering dishes way above the usual taverna fare.
There are two classic rock bars on the Main Road, The Cavern and Epsilon - The Alcoholic Church, which can be dangerous territory in the afternoons if the owner, Michaelis is working. He doesn’t like the customers to leave sober!
Malia is a good central base from which to see the island. It has a spectacular beach and a Minoan Palace nearby. Driving inland will take one to the breathtaking views from the Lasithi plateau in about 15 minutes.
Get traditional German food at this apfelwein kneipe (apple wine tavern), the best in Frankfurt, on Wallstrasse, across from Alt Sachenhausen. Great food, great apple wine (the local drink, better than Somerset cider) and a great atmosphere.
Tel: 069 612 778;
Open: Monday to Saturday from 5pm to midnight
Levantis restaurant in Parikia is a lovely place. Stop off for a drink first at Pebbles cafe around the corner and watch the sun go down - bliss!
If you're getting a taxi back to your hotel, try and avoid the arrival of the big ferries.
Levantis: Market Street, Parikia;
tel: (22840) 23613;
For directions see www.parosweb.com/paros-goingout/restaurants/levantis/index.html
Pebbles Cafe: on the main waterfront promenade;
tel: (22840) 22283;
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