This is one of the hippest bars/restaurants in Amsterdam, with price tags to match. It is partly owned by the son of John de Mol (of Endemol and Big Brother fame) and is very popular with the type of Dutch person who features in the equivalent of Hello!. That said, the Chinese fusion food served in tiny portions in a dark and sexy interior is great, the margaritas alcoholic but delicious, the people watching, of course, fantastic and you can repair to the club downstairs when you have finished eating.
Don't go here for a romantic meal but do go to see the Dutch equivalent of Jodie Marsh and Rio Ferdinand at play.
A short walk from the Leideplein and the PC; Hoofdstraat at Hobbemastraat 2; tel: 020 616 6664; www.the-mansion.nl
A beautiful grade II listed pub with much of its original interior - a sloping mosaic floor and glazed tile ceiling. What's more, the Marble Brewery is entirely vegan and organic and brews five of its own beers.
73 Rochdale Road, Ancoats, M4 4HY; www.marblebeers.co.uk
Mill Street is a micro-brewery in the Distillery District. The former site of the Gooderham and Worts Distillery is the largest and best preserved collection of Victorian industrial architecture in North America. Mill Street won awards in 2005 for their Tankhouse Pale Ale and Coffee Porter.
millstreetbrewery.com/; Take the King 504 streetcar to Parliament, walk two streets south to the Distillery District
The name of the place says it all: "Bateau Ivre" is the title of a poem by Rimbaud and means "drunken ship". Accordingly, the crowd is mostly artsy Kreuzbergers and students who like their Ricard and their red wine.
Known only as "the Frenchman" by the locals, it's quite busy in the evenings, but during the day it's a good place to hang out and read, especially the five or so international daily papers they've got there.
Oranienstrasse 18, 10999 Berlin (right at the Heinrichplatz), U Kottbusser Tor
Great Middle Eastern restaurant with a difference. Belly dancers, henna tatoos and fortune tellers combine with great food and a very sexy atmosphere to make this a really special place to go in the Jordaans district.
Rozengracht 133-1, Amsterdam; tel: 020 344 64 01
An American comedy improv group, who perform nightly at the Leidseplein Theatre in the Leidseplein in the centre of Amsterdam. You can get there a bit early for dinner as well, or come just for the show. There is a bar as well, which is the unofficial meeting point for many American expats in Amsterdam.
As well as performing in Amsterdam, the company tours all over the country and the world to festivals, other theatres, and corporate events.
A small Proeflokaal (tasting House) selling many types of flavoured Jenever (Dutch gin). There’s sawdust on the floor, and you drink from small glasses, filled to the brim. The bar only opens in the afternoon and early evening. It’s always full of locals and well worth a visit.
Pilsteeg, which is just off Dam Square by the side of the Hotel Krasnapolski
Sarphati Park is in de Pijp, a part of Amsterdam happily neglected by tourists. The park is small but joyous and you can enjoy the environs with a stroopwafel, which you can purchase at the Albert Cuyp Markt. There’s plenty of snazzy bars and shops in which you can flaunt the splendid wares acquired at the market. Watch out for the bears though.
South of the Heineken brewery - turn left or right along the Ferdinand Bolstraat
Old-fashioned diner (in that converted-train-carriage stylee) in the centre of South Beach. Serves old-fashioned diner food at decent prices and is open 24 hours. Also serves beer, and has an outside terrace.
1065 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139; tel: 305 534 6373
Very friendly, although also slightly cool, bar in the supposedly fashionable 'South of Fifth' part of South Beach. Has excellent Jamaican food, a range of beers (could be colder, in truth) and a free pool table. Locals and staff very friendly and laid back. DJ most nights, playing unpretentious music.
423 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL; tel: 305 5324444
The best of Melbourne can be eaten and drunk on a quiet block of Kerr Street in Fitzroy, between Brunswick and Smith Streets.
On the corner with Napier Street is Cafe Ici. Always crowded but without the lines-out-the-door like Bubka's on Brunswick Street, Ici's ideal for breakfast, brunch and, in the summer months, evening tapas. They run a special line in hot chocolate too, so be sure to check out the menu.
On the next corner of Kerr Street there's the marvellous Marquis of Lorne pub. Cosy, backstreet and quintessentially Fitzroy, the Marquis has a pool room downstairs, dedicated dining upstairs and a roaring open fire in the middle bar in the winter. All local beers and draught Guinness on tap. Why would you go anywhere else?
Kerr Street, Fitzroy, 3065; Take the 112 tram out of Collins Street. Get off at Johnston Street and walk down.
Everything about Key West is so laid back that it feels more Caribbean than Floridian. The formerly quaint and peaceful Duval Street, now the main tourist drag, has been spoiled in recent years by a proliferation of T-shirt and tacky gift shops, and the whole town can get a little overpowering, particularly in the mornings, when hordes of cruise ship passengers disembark for the day, but late afternoons and evenings are fun.
Mallory Square has free entertainment at sunset every night (check out the bonkers French guy and his performing cats).
Sloppy Joe's and Captain Tony's both claim to be the favoured watering holes of the town's most famous former resident, Ernest Hemingway, and are both worth a visit.
More cultured visitors should look to the Audubon House, Hemingway's house (including the famous six-toed cats) and the Little White House, one-time president Harry S Truman's former residence.
160 miles from Miami at the end of US1 (Mile Marker 0);
The News Cafe is one of the most popular cafe-restaurant-bars on South Beach. It's open 24-hours and its all-day (and all-night) breakfast is excellent value.
Lots of people use it as a meeting point before a night on the town.
There's also a shop that sells newspapers from many different countries.
Ocean Drive (on corner of 8th Street)
A great all-rounder to finish off a day at the beach or Luna Park, the 'Espy' is bit of a Melbourne institution with a reputation for giving up and coming bands their chance - AC/DC played here when they first started and just about every other famous Aussie band has followed suit. Sit outside on the terrace overlooking the bay or find one of the many shady corners inside to watch the colour acts on the small stage until the big shows start in the main hall. Like most Aussie bars this one also has a slew of pool tables at the back, and serves top-notch food at in-house restaurant The Espy Kitchen.
Lower Esplanade, St Kilda
It's the best bar in Newcastle. It has loads of really nice beers (including Magus, from the Durham Brewery, one of the best real ales you'll ever taste), friendly service, good atmosphere, and a cool domed roof.
Up from the Tyne Theatre at 125 Westgate Road
Just for the company and architecture of the main ground floor bar itself. A regular locals haunt, which accommodates visitors as well. There’s also a well-known venue for various folk and comedy clubs.
Corner of St Andrew Street and Exchequer Street.
(Aim for Brown & Thomas on Grafton Street, 200yards away or just ask a local)
A hidden restaurant/club/live floor show all in one. You are served a five course meal over a whole evening, while reclining on what can only be described as giant beds on two levels.
On the main floor there is a DJ and now and again one of the staff will get up and sing live often to music the DJ is playing. The entire place is white and has light and laser shows projected on to it. The toilets are an experience in themselves as they are labelled hetero and homo and have one way glass in them, but not the way you might anticipate. This may make it sound more depraved than it really is, my wife and I had a superb night there and would gladly go back next time we visit.
The food is very good and served on a strange ad hoc basis by even stranger people. One of the best nights I have ever had.
Jonge Roelensteeg 21, Amsterdam, it’s down a small alley, it’s easy to miss, so ask a local if you can; tel: +31 20 344 64 00; booking is recommended, this can be done at www.supperclub.nl/open/eng_index.html
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