On a bright sunny day after a fresh fall of powder you cannot beat the Haeuslbar on Kaprun's Kitzsteinhorn Glacier. Sun loungers fill the flat, wide plateau surrounding the circular bar area - which becomes one of winter sports' finest sun traps from midday onwards. But even better is the fact that any ability of skier can easily access the bar and enjoy watching the display of skills (or not, as the case may be) of people attempting the off-piste "Langweid" run on the lower slopes of the Kitzsteinhorn area. Grab a glass of Weizen (wheat-beer), recline and be entertained.
Top Station of Gletscherjet 1 gondola / base of Langweidbahn chairlift, Kitzsteinhorn Glacier.
Google map: tinyurl.com/y8vgdvw
Fjall Garden is an amazing bar just 500m above the main cable car station in Are. It's done out as a hunting lodge, with open fires and a sundeck with reindeer skins on the south terrace. It has amazing apres-ski with live bands from 4pm. Best of all, you can get up to it from town on the little funicular railway, or ski down from the chairlifts. It's only a 500m slide if you have to ski back to the main village well refreshed and wobbly of leg.
Top of the funicular from beside the Are ski shop.
Google map: tinyurl.com/y88sv4k
Take the Gornegrat ski train up fom Zermatt (sit on the right for the best views on the way up) and head over to the right towards the village of Findeln. The village is made up of traditionally built huts and has several small restaurants, only accessible on foot or skis which are great for a lunchtime ski bar stop. My favourite is El Paradies which serves excellent, reasonably priced (cheaper than in town) food and drink and has I think the best view of the Matterhorn in the whole of the Zermatt area.
Findeln village, accessible by ski lifts form Zermatt (can get there on foot) The village and restaurant are signposted on the piste.
Google map: tinyurl.com/yjcbk6v
At this bar you can not only ski-in, but here you can also hit the dance floor still wearing your ski-shoes. Hotel Laanihovi, in the Finnish ski resort of Saariselka, lies 160 miles north of the Arctic Circle and is famous for its afternoon ski boot dancing. Most people here are Nordic skiers whose boots are somewhat more flexible than those of the downhill skiers, but I have also seen people sliding across the dance floor in their clunky slalom boots. This rather amusing event takes place every afternoon starting at 2pm and, during peak season from February to April, there is a live band to get everyone into the swing. A couple of encouraging local drinks before dancing might be in order in here though, as by dancing they don’t mean some half hearted disco movements on the dance floor but proper ballroom dancing with waltzes, tangos and fox-trots.
Down the coast from Patong in Phuket is a much quieter and far more laid back resort called Kata. If you plan on heading there I would recommend a restaurant called Kata Mama at the southern end of Kata beach. The food is simply fantastic and amongst some more pricier restaurants certainly gives you more value for money. Fresh fish and the best curries.
Kata beach, Phuket
Google map: tinyurl.com/yzphl4e
The Ardvasar Hotel offers a wide range of excellent food and drink. The service is friendly and quick. Accommodation is available and there is a restaurant, a lounge and a small public bar. Outside there is a splendid view of the Sound of Sleat, with a chance of spotting seals and otters (and other resident wildlife). I saw a pair of buzzards when I was there but sadly the other fauna failed to show.
The hotel is a very short distance from Armadale, where the ferry from Mallaig to Skye anchors. There is a good walk from Ardvasar towards the Point of Sleat, and the views from the higher parts of the walk are outstanding, especially towards Rum and Eigg, in one direction, and to Morar, on the mainland.
The Stein Inn states that it is the oldest inn on the Isle of Skye, and its venerable bars, sturdy walls and highly impressive archive of malts certainly lend veracity to the claim. There is a wide range of beers and other drinks, the food menu is ample, and the service is attentive and prompt.
In good weather (or foul weather if you're after the complete Highland experience) you can sit outside and take in the view of Loch Bay towards Loch Dunvegan and, if the day was really clear, as far as the wonderfully named Gob na Hoe (could anyone, even a Scot, spit that far?).
I think Craft is Greece's only microbrewery. Its excellent beers are on sale in various bars in the city and elsewhere in Greece. The bar/restaurant on Alexendras Ave also houses a brewery and serves beer-friendly grub.
The smoked lager is particularly unusual and goes well with the sausage platter. Red Ale, Black Lager and Weiss beer also tasty.
205 Alexandras Avenue
Tel: +30 210 646 2350
Nearest station: Ampelokipoi
I've not been to its namesake on top of the Hilton but I imagine they couldn't be more different. Located in a shopping arcade (!) the Galaxy is an old-school bar that doesn't feel like it's changed since the 60s. Pictures of Kerouac, Balzac, Jack London and Beethoven behind the bar. Dapper barman serving seasoned drinkers.
Stadiou 10 (in shopping arcade)
210 322 7733
Nearest metro: Syntagma
Part cocktail bar, part restaurant, La Bodega has
since its opening eight years ago, become part of the Cairo social scene. Especially popular with the ex-pat community. it's is a great place for people watching.
A new menu is being prepared for the opening of
the revamped Aperitif Bar.
157, 26th July Street, Zamalek , Cairo
tel 2735 0543
Cocktail bar in Lower East Side. AMAZING cocktails, including ones made with house-infused vodkas in various flavours. Has a nice zinc top bar for that classic NY cocktail bar experience. The bartender was really friendly, and we even got some lovely aperitifs on the house to go with our drinks.
Make sure you don't miss it though - we initially thought it was shut, as there is just a small sign and you have to go downstairs to get to it! Incidentally we also ate at one of it's sister restaurants, Schillers, which was also lovely.
281 Lafayette St
Basically, just a good, friendly pub, usually with live music which can vary from excellent to dreadful and OK food. Gets quite lively at weekends, and has a nightclub next to it which is one of the few of its kind in the city where a group of women would feel comfortable.
Location: Hilton Abu Dhabi, Corniche Road, Al Khubeirah, Abu Dhabi
Tel: 02 681 1900
This is a fairly standard hotel bar six days a week, but there is live jazz here on Fridays, and while fairly mainstream, it's about as good as you will find in the UAE, where all too often, "jazz" is understood to mean some flat voiced woman singing "Strangers in the night" backed by a cheesy pre-programmed keyboard. There is a core of four regular musicians and when they are all there, the music can be very good indeed, and it is also a very friendly atmosphere.
Location: Novotel Centre Hotel Abu Dhabi, Hamdan Street
Tel: 02 633 3555
Even in San Francisco, the Tonga Room and Hurricane Bar has a reputation for being surprising and quirky. It's in the basement of the very swish Fairmont Hotel - in which the UN charter was signed and, more importantly, where you can find Scarlet O'Hara's staircase from Gone with the Wind. (Although if you run down it repeatedly while attempting a bad southern accent, the staff will look at you strangely.)
The Tonga Room isn't signposted in the hotel, but take the lift down to the basement and you will find a place of such incredible kitch-ness that you'll understand why the hotel may try to downplay its existence. It's a tiki bar, so it's decorated in a 1950s vision of the tropics: pots of leafy plants, palm trees, plastic Easter Island statues, and waiters in Hawaiian shirts. Cocktails are served in hollowed out coconuts and pineapples festooned with umbrellas.
The room is arranged around a rectangular pool. The band plays in a thatched hut in the middle of the pool. The reason it's thatched? Because precisely every half an hour, lightning flashes, thunder rumbles, and it rains into the pool.
Go for the (admittedly expensive) cocktails and the experience: the food isn't great, but even on a weekday evening the punters arrive dressed in full 1950s costume and dance late into the night. And it rains every thirty minutes.
Address: The Fairmont, 950 Mason Street, San Francisco, California, USA 94108
Tel: (415) 772-5000
Bar on Houston St in New York. A really nice little bar with a great atmosphere. Make sure you go up the stairs and not to the bar below, which is a completely different place! We went in happy hour (around 6pm-8pm I think), which was cheap cocktails and 2-4-1 on draught beers (and good ones at that - try the Brooklyn white or pilsner). The best thing was that here Happy Hour stipulates that you MUST have two drinks each to benefit - brilliant, more beer! Also it's just down the road from Katz's deli so perfect for pre/post sandwich drinking. They also had cheap tacos on that night, which also looked pretty good, and they seemed to have various different food and drinks offers on each night of the week.
47 E Houston St
La Place is a restaurant and bar in central Winchester near the Cathedral and City Museum. It is a short walk from the high street and central parking.
The restaurant upstairs is spacious and has a French ambience, while the à la carte menu also introduces an international flavour.
Froggies bar at street level is an ideal rendezvous for a glass of wine or coffee, and also serves lunch and specials, with the signature bar planches.
The bar and restaurant takes reservations for private dining and festive functions, and Froggies is always open for 11am daily.
9 Great Minster Street
It's a hidden gem in the heart of Bangkok. Tenface is a new boutique hotel with only 88 rooms but it makes me feel very impressed. Their well-trained staffs are perfect! The room is very big and clean, recommended!
Great Tapas style bar in trendy Grunerløkka popular with students and a twenty/thirty-something crowd. Busy in a good way with a relaxed dress-down look and feel.
Jammed when we walked in around 7 pm on a Thursday, but the friendly staff took our names, got us some drinks and suggested we sit on the cushioned window benches outside, which made for a very pleasant, if 40 min/hour, wait for a table.
We (2) ordered a range of Tapas dishes including : Patatas bravas, Tortilla Espanola, Marinated Prawns, Albondigas i krydret tomatsaus (meatballs in tomato sauce), Aspargesbønner i sitronolje (actually green beans not asparagus) and bread and alioli.
All the food was wonderful with the prawns stealing the show.
As is normal in Norway the house red and white was terrific (the Norwegian State buys all the wine sold through 'Wine Monopolies'). Overall the bill was reasonable (for Norway) and the service amiable and prompt.
Would definitely go there again.
Delicatessen : Søndregate 8, 0550 Grunerløkka, Oslo. Tlf.: 22 71 45 46 Faks: 22 38 58 87
Fantastic little cafe/restaurant/bar with great food at a reasonable price in a lovely part of the city. The staff are friendly (often a rarity in Prague) and and the beer is good. They have a select lunch menu deal as they are usually quite packed during the lunch rush. One of my favourite places when I lived in the city.
Jagellonska 10, Praha 3, Vinohrady
5 minute saunter from metro Jiriho z Podebrad
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