A wonderful, authentic free-entry flamenco bar. It is a small tiled cafe where singers, guitarists and dancers walk in and play. Camaron de la Isla is supposed to have arrived one night and sung until 10am. One night, we stayed in the back room and saw totem faced Andalucian gitanos necking bottles of Bacardi, and playing the most gut-wrenching bare-souled music you could witness.
It's on Cava Baja, in La Latina.
As a university exchange student in Madrid, there was no better place to hang out and meet new people. Very laidback and no-frills vibe, almost like a local. Open beer and calimocho bar most nights.
Luchana,15, Bilbao Metro station, right next to the Palafox cinema
OK, the rooms may be tiny, but if you want uber-cool at affordable prices, this place is great. It's all about the public areas. A garden bar two storeys above street level, the Hudson bar is still on radar, a chilled out library.
www.hudsonhotel.com Nearest subway - Columbus Circle
This clean cut, corporate sponsored jazz club feels like NY's best kept secret. Good food and potent rum cocktails keep the punters refreshed, whilst the jam sessions give NY's legendary clubs a run for their money. Attached to the new Jazz @ Lincoln Center complex, you may just see legends such as Wynton Marsalis turn up and play with local students. Great value. Get their early and get a table near the stage with jaw dropping views across Central Park.
5th Floor, Broadway at 60th. Columbus Circle Subway.
A great pub to enjoy some after work beers on a Friday afternoon ... the earlier the start the better.
In summer the leafy beer garden is a perfect place to enjoy a cold lager while in winter the fire draws the crowd inside.
Newlands Avenue, Newlands
By far the best pub in Cape Town. From the deck you have views of Chapman's Peak rising on the one side and views of 9 Mile Beach on the other, the fact that they serve a great pint and decent pub fare is a bonus.
Cnr Beach & Pine Road, Noordhoek
(021) 789 1783
Sip champagne at the Planet Bar at the Mount Nelson Hotel and experience the grandeur of the Cape's colonial era. The Planet Bar has recently been refurbished and is a very glamourous way to begin or end your evening. Great cocktails overlooking beautiful gardens.
It is a very cool cafe. People can have a drink there and listen to music or poetry. There is also a huge outside terrace with a stage where concerts take place. It's very cosy and the staff are nice.
An absolutely incredible experience. Now available world wide as a corporate team-building exercise, the original club in Cape Town is a must see. On a Wednesday the Drum Circle allows you to learn African drumming with fellow novices and real experts alike. You hire your drum for the night and then different teachers take you through different rhythms, increasing in complexity as the night goes on. By the end you'll be convinced that you're Keith Moon or Animal as you take part in this glorious racket. Back in 1998 my friend and I tried to convince some of the drummers to set one up in London - however we were very drunk and it looks like they decided to do it on their own
Glynn Street, but moving soon apparently: www.thedrumcafe.com/
About five minutes’ walk from Grünerløkka is Blå, the best club in town. This is an excellent live jazz venue but they also do good regular club nights, with some fine djs. The vibe is good and the crowd is relaxed though intent on having fun. During the summer you can enjoy a beer outside by the Aker river. It’s not the easiest place to find, but don’t be afraid to ask for directions. Everyone under 65 should know where it is.
Brennerivn. 9c, Phone: +47 22209181, 20-0330 most days, www.blx.no/english
Bar and restaurant. Situated in Kalk Bay, it is a fantastic place to settle in with a bottle of something fine. The bar overlooks the ocean and you can spend the afternoon lounging around on huge sofas watching the waves crashing into the windows in front of you.
Below Harbour House Restaurant
Go for a pricey drink in the Orbit Bar at the top of Australia Square close to Wynyard Station. As the bar rotates you'll see fabulous Sydney by night and as far as the Blue Mountains. Where else can you see both ferries coming in to Circular Quay and planes taking off and landing at the Airport?
Old style taverna in the once run down but newly trendy area of Exarchia. Don't expect sophistication, this is simple traditional Greek food chosen by the time-honoured method of pointing at it behind the counter.
Do expect however, a complete cross section of Greek society - from business men in suits to students to society kids from nearby Kolonaki - wonderful food, and a sense of the "real" Athens. A word of warning though, make sure you visit the toilet before you go as they too are of an authentic Greek nature.
Expect to pay no more than 10 euro a head for salad, main course and a beer.
Nearest metro: Panepistimio
As the name of this cafe bar suggests it specialises in vodka. Or, as the proprietors put it on their business card – “We just like vodka”.
It’s a small bar with whitewashed walls, decorated by a few black and white pictures. There are a couple of tables downstairs and a few more upstairs, where you’ll also find the space-capsule like toilet. The staff are young, friendly and helpful. Ask them to recommend a vodka and they’ll be happy to do so.
You can sample various makes, flavours and types. So much so that I would try and ensure that your hotel is not too far away as you may find walking in a straight line is rather more difficult after you leave than when you went in.
If vodka is not your thing – or it’s a bit early in the afternoon – the bar also serves tea, coffee and soft drinks.
About a 3 minute walk from the market square
Het Papeneiland is a wonderful brown café in a great location overlooking Prinsengracht.
The name – Pope’s Island – reflects the time when a tunnel ran between the café and a secret Catholic Church across the canal.
The eclectic decoration includes blue Delft tiles, a mixture of wooden furniture, ceramic beer barrels and a stuffed bird!
Take a seat near the bar downstairs – if there’s room – or venture upstairs and sit, as we did, in the window overlooking the canal and passing cyclists. Give yourself over to the atmosphere and let the beers flow!
Open: Mon-Thur 10am-1am
The Evening Cultural Experience at Imizamo Yethu Township is a rare opportunity to see the real South Africa; a unique opportunity to eat real South African food and dance with local people in a township shabeen where togetherness is what it is all about. It's an experience that I will never forget. My children ran off and played and exchanged addresses with township kids who took them into their homes made of corregated iron or in some cases cardboard. This is the real thing, a rare insight into the reality of South African people and their everyday lives, well away from the classic tourist hotspots.
Imizamo Yethu Township (Mandela Park) is situated near Hout Bay. Pick up point outside 259 Long Street Café;
tel: 021 790 5817;
Mondays and Thursdays 7-10pm
This is one of those great places that you think you've just discovered and then find every other visitor knows it. You get live music in a cool cavernous setting. Plenty of locals seem to go there too. Easily missed - just a small door in the wall and not much to advertise it. Especially good to hear a bit of flamenco, with some authentically gurning singers. Free entry.
Calle Levies - in the Barrio S Cruz. Best to ask someone
Walking into The Bell felt as good as discovering buried treasure.
They have an unparalleled selection of local ales and ciders and a beautiful (and partially covered) beer garden.
The sandwiches are large, inexpensive, and delicious. If memory serves me correctly, all sandwiches are veggie-friendly.
We intended to stay for an hour, and ended up staying all night.
Walcot St, Bath
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