The place to be. Very nice place to go to after a day of skiing. My favourite place for après ski, nice atmosphere and great cocktails. Try the restaurant too.
Le Lodge Park
100 rue d’Arly
Tel : +33 (0)4 50 93 05 03
Belfast is in essence a small town with little to sustain tourists for more than a day or two. However there is an aspect to the city which has benefited from the isolation of the past – the nightlife. Try and get beyond the dated, formulaic dance/rock scene, the tedious traditional music and the dull bars and you will find a scene unrelated to anything you can find in Europe. A triumvirate of underground clubs form a loose association to provide a unique scene – Fresh & Clean, Section 29 and Victory Over The Sun. The clubs are constantly on the move never returning to one location and dancing is forbidden! Belfast is littered with old Victorian buildings, warehouses, tunnels and rooftops providing a safe haven for the uber-cool. Dub-step and modern classical provide the current sound track and champagne (in one event served in blood transfusion bags) provides the fuel. Admission is on average £80.
Most of the venues seem to be off the city centre. If you have difficulty tapping into the scene try leaving your contact number on 07546585801
Friendly square in the port end of town with some good cafés which serve tapas and do lunchtime menus. Try "La Rosa" or "El Santo".
Calle Grau Bassas and Calle Fernando Guanarteme between Las Canteras beach and El Corte Inglés
We went to El Torero Loco for a quick after work drink - we ended up staying there all night! It really is a tapas place with a difference - stylish with a glamorous sofa area at the back. Great happy hour 5-7pm, with amazing cocktails. The tapas were divine - try the chorizo stew and gambas.
351 Fulham road, London (Chelsea)
Gloucester road or Fulham Broadway
Situated on the shoreline between the marina and the bay, Rìva really makes the most of its bayside location. There are views across the bay, the marina and the Melbourne skyline and the outside decks sare great. The menu and wine list are pretty good. Rìva was packed when we went and although it's a bit different, it's still a great place for a night out.
A wonderful traditional "brown café" with a terrific beer menu. As well as the beers on the printed menus, there are always a lot of guest beers on the blackboards. As with most Dutch beer cafés, the menu tends to be dominated by Belgian beers, but de Paas also carries an excellent range of beers from Dutch craft brewers.
It's only a few minutes walk from Den Haag Centraal Station so is a perfect place to kill time before your train arrives. Though you might get too settled and miss it.
Dunne Bierkade 16A
(070) 360 0019
A nice beer cafe tucked under Rotterdam's famous 'cubewonings' (cubic houses). One of the best selections of beer in the city in a comfortable, friendly bar. Food is also available. Although I didn't eat here myself, they were serving plenty of it.
The only down-side is that it's too dimly lit if you like to read a book while quaffing the Netherlands' finest ales.
Blaak 4, Rotterdam, directly opposite Blaak railway and metro station.
A great place for some really tasty and interesting drinks in Manhattan is the Flatiron Lounge on 19th Street. It's a small, cozy, dimly lit, laid-back Art Deco lounge where you can get mixed drinks that you won't find anywhere else. Then for dinner, walk a few blocks over to Mesa Grill on Fifth Avenue for some terrific southwestern US cuisine and great desserts. But just make sure you call for a dinner reservation as far in advance as possible.
The best (and biggest!) Manhattans are at Quality Meats. It's a chic and buzzing basement hangout that is always packed. Glamorous clientele, classic decor; stay for dinner, which is also a great idea as the food is fantastic.
Quality Meats, 57 W. 58th Street just at the south end of Central Park
I'm a Brit living in NYC, and for cocktails I can highly recommend one of the secrets of New York that many native New Yorkers don't know about. I would try The Beacon. They have a special deal during their 'happy hour' that gets you two classic New York cocktails of your choice and an appetiser-style small pizza made by Waldy Maloof (one of the best chefs in NYC) for $20. Or you can skip the small pizza and dive straight in the cocktails.
This would only whet your appetite for one of my favourite restaurants in the city: Gramercy Tavern. It is still one of the highest rated restaurants in the city. Food, service and wine list, are all superb. You won't be disappointed.
The Beacon (25 West 56th Street between 6th and 5th Avenues)
Gramercy Tavern (2 East 20th Street, near Park Avenue South)
A great place for cocktails is Ava Lounge which overlooks Times Square. The drinks they make up are really good - true American cocktails, and the views can be amazing if it's a clear evening and you get a good sunset!
Also nearby for an interesting meal is the fun Benihana. Although if you are more interested in food rather than entertainment then The Red Cat in the heat of Chelsea is a great spot - very intimate but not too stuffy. The food is wonderful but affordable.
The Jazz Standard is an amazing night out with good cocktails and great jazz. If you book the early showing you can catch dinner upstairs too, which is yummy.
The River Cafe has great views of Manhattan being on the other side of Brooklyn bridge – again, they do good cocktails and good food. It is very pricey though so definitely one for a treat!
Little Branch in the Village is great for drinks – it's much like visiting a speakeasy with classic and innovative cocktails in a strangely enticing basement space.
For dinner: You can’t go wrong with 11 Madison. It’s a wonderful, adult place to eat which exemplifies a certain sort of American and New York high cuisine. It’s an utter pleasure.
Little Branch: corner of St. Luke’s and 7th Avenue
Kick off with cocktails in the bar at the Rainbow Grill for a heart-stopping view of the Empire State and downtown skyscrapers. I’ve been living here for over a year and this place still gives me that ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ feeling when I walk in. Another good option would be the bar at the top of the Mandarin Oriental on 59th Street, Columbus Circle. If you go at sunset, you get the most wonderful view of the southern end of Central Park. Dinner – well, yes it’s hokey, but for an authentic New York experience, try Smith & Wollensky – the cathedral of steak (and pretty wonderful seafood too). You’ll feel your arteries furring up, but it’s a blissful way to go.
I love NYC, and always head to this great Italian I found on Upper East Side. It's called Baraonda and is on 2nd Avenue and the corner of 75th. The best night to go is on a Sunday by midnight when everyone is dancing on the tables or even on the bar! The food is delicious and great value. Book ahead.
Highett is a pretty plain Melbourne suburb and wasn't renowned for dining or eateries until The French corner arrived. The French Corner is a bistro, bar and restaurant. If you want a quick bite, try the Les Petits Plâts or for something more substantial the Les Plâts de Resistance which are substantial meals.
There are some interesting choices on the menu. The service is good and the drinks prices are not too silly either. Many wines (local and French) are available by the glass. I liked the place.
This is the place where Dylan Thomas claimed to have had 18 straight whiskies before passing out and being taken to nearby St Vincent's Hospital where he died.
The tavern is pleasingly modest and practical in appearance, the staff are friendly, there is a wide range of drinks and the legend of the gifted but wayward Thomas is not rammed down your throat.
567 Hudson Street at 11th Street, Greenwich Village. Subway to Washington Square and walk from there.
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