It's the Whitney Houston to the Tig's Bobbie Brown. More likely to be filled with media types walking around tugging on each others’ sculptured facial hair and discussing the 'lighting' on their latest shoot. On Sundays the clientele changes and you can enjoy a mediocre Harvester style experience that'll have you pining for home.
At the back of the Tig Barra
Elevate is a nightclub and it’s totally awesome. I came to India thinking that there would be no good clubs to go to - but I was wrong. It is fabulous and has UK DJs playing there, we saw DJ Sasha.
The music is great, with trance on a Friday and R&B on a Saturday. It’s open till 6am, which is a bonus.
Centrestage Mall, Sector 18, Noida
Great hippy vibe, some cool laidback bars, quieter beaches, wonderful seafood restaurants and amazing green mountains to climb round the back. A brilliant day out. Try to find the crazy old man with a yellow beard selling second hand books, or try the curry at the cafe next to Diesel's bar.
Star Ferry pier 3 (used to be) - couple of quid, a half hour ferry ride and bingo.
A hidden first-floor restaurant with authentic German food. Yes, I know it’s German but it’s amazing and very popular with locals and bizarre expats who treat it as their own and welcome anyone who enters its tiny door.
After the good food try Ned Kelly’s down the street, where the band is the best in HK at what they do. Good old sing alongs and classics that keep the crown entertained well into the night.
Weinstube: First floor, Ashley Rd, TST, Kowloon
Ned Kelly: street level on Ashley Rd
Both are reachable from Tsim Sha Tsui MTR
Fabulous restaurant on Lantau Island. There’s an enormous patio (stoep) under the trees on a wide, sandy beach, serving South African food (interesting, quite delicious with a Malay influence, and some of the best bread I have ever tasted).
Really friendly staff with a good, relaxed approach makes for a welcome break from the frantic pace of Central. Great stop-over on a day trip to Lantau for a long lunch, some sunbathing and swimming.
Near Tong Fuk village, Lantau Island
This is a funky, decadent Belle Epoque style cocktail bar, that does really lovely snacks (Thai fish cakes, Tandoori chicken, etc) – and the cheese platter, with caramelised figs is just perfect with red wine.
405 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
One of the original cheesy-dance-on-the-bar kind of bars, and still good for a drunken night out. Popular with airline crews passing through HK, Carnegies has been able to last the distance (at the last count almost nine years) in a place where the shelf-life of a bar is normally counted in months and not years.
The atmosphere is fun, and the drinks are reasonably (for HK) priced, with special promotions throughout the week. Check out ladies’ night on Wednesdays (free "champagne" for the women), and do not miss the parties on Friday and Saturday nights.
The best time to get there at the weekend is after 11pm - just as the night is beginning to warm up! Whilst in the area, also be sure to try out Mes Amis 100m away for more of the same and Eboneezer's - the best kebabs in HK.
Lockhart Road / Luard Road, near Wanchai MTR, exit C
Start your evening in style with cocktails at The Felix Bar in The Peninsula (be sure to check out the view from the men’s toilet!). Cross the road to Chunking Mansions on Nathan Road. Be brave, hold your nose and take the lift up to The Khyber Pass Indian restaurant where you can have as much freshly cooked food to eat with beer for about $100. Two Hong Kong experiences not to be missed.
Felix Bar: 28th Floor, Peninsula Hotel, Salisbury Road, Kowloon;
Khyber Pass: Block E; Chung King Mansions, 36-40 Nathan Rd
Cool, stylish cocktail bar just off popular Leidseplein. The staff and clientele are easy on the eye and the toilets are dark with a nice flat surface to rest your cigarette or book or whatever. Sometimes the regulars can get a bit rowdy and it has been known for a slap or two to be administered, but in general the atmosphere is chilled, just like the drinks. The food is average but bearable and affordable.
Korte Leidesedwarsstraat 45, near leidseplein; trams 1,2,5,10
Casa del Papa, located on the outskirts of the city, is loosely themed on Ernest Hemingway’s life. And so you have an American Bar upstairs, a Cuban Club in the cellar, and in between a canopy-covered restaurant serving a mix of Spanish and African cuisine. Quite where the tiramisu fits is anyone’s guess, but one taste and you won’t be inclined to complain. Dance off those calories in the salsa club, enjoy the cocktails, and party until the bell tolls for you.
54 Celovska Cesta; tel: 386 1 4343158
Located in Brookline, about 10 minutes outbound from Boston on the Green Line of the T (Brookline Village T stop), Matt Murphy's is an Irish pub and a quality place for food and drink. Why, you may ask, am I directing you there while you may be visiting America from somewhere with more than a few Irish pubs? Aside from genuinely yummy food, great drinks, and a great staff, Matt Murphy's has some fantastic - and free - live music. They've recently seen the launch of an independent record label (Pub Records) showcasing a variety of the excellent bands heard there in recent history.
This place is cash only, but no worries - there are a couple of cash points across the street. It's also non-smoking - but so is all of Massachusetts now.
If you don't now how to get there, just ask anyone when you get off the T at Brookline Village. If they don't know, they must be a tourist too, just ask the next person. It's about a three-minute walk from the T station if you take your time. Quietly sat between a doughnut shop and a real estate broker, you could easily walk right by without noticing it. That is, until the music comes on.
Tiny brown cafe run by sports mad. You can watch all your foreign sports there and chat to the colourful locals, Steven, an expat who's always on crutches losing things and hiding from his wife, Conor, a mumbling wood carver who used to market deodorants and Beard, a young sailor with a dark past. Fantastic! Great 'tostis' as well.
A decidedly different club down a dirty laneway, this is one of Melbourne's best kept nightlife secrets. Ascend the rickety old stairs and you enter a long space with all the charm you could want - organic design, forward thinking DJs and some great cocktails. It can be a bit exclusive on the door Fridays and Saturdays, so get there before 11 and you should be right.
Duckboard Place (off Flinders Lane, near Exhibition St), Melbourne; www.honkytonks.com.au
Owned by the same lovely people as the Soup Kitchen down the road on Spear Street, the Bay Horse is a great, chilled out pub in the hip and trendy Northern Quarter.
Enjoy the great tunes at all times thanks to the eclectic musical taste of Chris the manager.
It's regularly packed out, especially after 5pm Thursday-Saturday, so get there early to bag yourself a table - my favourite is the one by the window.
There's a pool table downstairs for those partial to a game or two and a 'secret' garden out the back- best enjoyed in the summertime.
35-37 Thomas Street, M4 1NA; tel: 0161 661 1041
Having once stayed in Recoleta, I discovered that Palermo is the only place worth staying in Buenos Aires. Tree-lined low rise buildings in the most fashionable trendy part of the city with all the cutting edge bars, restaurants and hotels.
Symi is amazing, however it's overrun by day trips from Rhodes - between 11 and 4 every day.
Luckily, they seldom leave the harbour, so if you catch a water taxi to one of five adjacent beaches (with tavernas) in the morning, and return in the evening, you'd never know they had been.
Agios Marina is the best for swimming and food, but it’s not as quiet as some of the others, which may or may not be a good thing.
On return to the harbour, sit for an hour outside Oranges & Lemons and watch the ridiculously expensive looking yachts return. The harbour's busy then, but in a good way. Easily the best part of the day.
The harbour's tiny and the taxi boats are obvious.
Oranges & Lemons is on the Old Town side, opposite the clock tower (where the Catamaran is often moored).
It may seem rather strange to be drinking Belgian beers in Holland but this little bar is just fantastic.
The bar area is tiny and with wooden tables, stone floor and tan walls covered in old-fashioned advertisements for many of the beers they sell. It has eight Belgian beers on tap and 30 in bottles. The beer menu is very well written, informative but also very amusing, giving you background on where the beer was brewed and also the percentage alcohol content, very important if you intend to stay for more that one or two.
The girl behind the bar was extremely friendly and also knowledgeable about the beers on sale. You can also order bar snacks such as toasties, cheese and mustard (perfect with beer) and extremely spicy sausages.
Gravenstraat 2, just behind the Nieuwe Kerk and Dam Square
In de Wildeman certainly justifies its label as a bierproeflokal (beer tasting house) with its choice of 200 bottled beers and another 18 or so on tap.
Kolksteeg 3 (an alleyway not far away from the Centraal Station/Dam Square); www.indewildeman.nl
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