Ocean Beach Hotel in Cottesloe, the "swanky" part of Perth with a super beach. Have a lazy day at the beach then get into OBH for a cold, cold Hahn beer or something similar. Fridges full of chilled glasses ensure this is a cold beer. Ignore the TVs and the sport. Just take a seat at the open bar front and enjoy the sunset over the Indian Ocean. Sydney may have its harbour, but it doesn't get the sunset. Enjoy the multitude of colour across the ocean as the sun dips behind the horizon ... then order another beer.
On the fishing island of Cheung Chau, just 45 mins by ferry from Hong Kong there is a harbour bar named Moroccos. Its location and name hide its Indian background. Ice cold Kingfisher on tap is the order of the day, although the regulars love their bottles of Blue Girl, a perfectly respectable local brew. There is also a list of fine traditional curries and naan breads to munch at the bar as you watch the footy on TV. You can even order by phone from the ferry so it's hitting the bar at the same time you are. Lovely service (bottles kept in the ice cooler until you need a top up) and the sound of the local fisherman clicking and clacking their Chinese chess pieces together at furious corner table games provides the atmosphere in this amazing, noisy life exuding bar.
Or simply sit outside in the cool quiet and watch the world go by along the harbour walk.
Cheung Chau harbour, take ferry from Hong Kong pier 5.
Google map: bit.ly/Vt4hvW
The absolute authentic Caribbean island bar!
Utila is one of the small islands off the coast of Honduras, and is largely isolated from many of the current problems facing that country. The island is famous for its good-value scuba diving, and has a great, relaxed, slightly hippy vibe. And, undoubtedly, THE place to go after a day under the water is Coco Loco's.
Built on a wooden pier extending out over the sea, it is exactly what you would imagine: open air, weathered wood, cold beer and a great laid-back vibe. It also provides a spectacular spot to watch the sun set over the sea. Probably my favourite bar in the world!
Known to me, and many people as Bar Della Pace, this is a super stylish bar which manages to be incredibly trendy without even trying. It's a beautiful bar, where the service, the staff, the customers and drink selection are fantastic, and all combine to offer a welcoming and warm atmosphere.
I've only visited once, a few years ago but was blown away with how relaxing and enjoyable this bar was. Despite being so close to Piazza Navona, the prices were, in the main, reasonable and the welcome was warm. This wasn't the case in all bars we visited in the area.
The bar is enjoyable both inside and out - where you can watch cooler people than me enjoying the evening!
I've recommended Della Pace to many people and they have always been happy with the recommendation.
I remember there being an excellent wine list with a great choice by the glass. The coffee was as good as it should be.
There is a small cave near the top of Monte Urgull which is just large enough for a bar. As well as having beautiful views (covering all of San Sebastian, town, harbour and beaches) it serves one of the best G&Ts in town (and it has some quality competition!). To top it all off it is under a giant statue of Jesus. What more could you want?
A perfect way to end the day, after sunning yourself at the beach, and to start the evening, partying in the old town (which is a short walk away below.)
Walk up Monte Urgull (the hill in east San Sebastian) to the giant statue of Jesus. You will find this hidden bar near to the old fort on the west side of the hill. If in doubt, ask a local.
Google map: bit.ly/11wzKOp
The Azores are the last European port of call for yachtsmen crossing the Atlantic. Peter's Cafe Sport, near the port of Horta (on the island of Faial) has for years been a popular watering hole there, famed in particular for its refreshing gin and tonics.
Simply the best views in town, on the 60th floor of the Lebua Hotel the keyboard offers 360 degree views of Bangkok and the Chao Praya river, get there before sunset and watch the city change from day to night in front our eyes, cocktails are amazing, dress to impress and don't forget your camera, not for people that suffer from vertigo!
1055111 Silom Road, Bangkok 10500, Thailand
+66 2 624 9999
Google map: bit.ly/Tt8Vaj
Anything even vaguely Latin American is super hot in Hong Kong right now. Perhaps it’s not entirely surprising - who doesn’t love the winning combo of tacos and tequila? The latest Latino opening is brand new tequila bar, Ted’s Lookout.
Part slick, New York-style cocktail den, part favela chic dive bar, Ted’s is gritty glam with a generous side of cool. Nestled in a deserted corner at the end of Moon Street, exposed light-bulbs spelling out the bar’s name beckon you in with whispered promises of debauchery and ill-advised dancing.
Sip your liquor alfresco, propped on a high stool by the hurricane lantern illuminated bar hatch, or head inside and settle in to a leather banqueted booth while you watch the barmen shake up what’s sure to be the first of many liquor-laden concoctions. Feeling peckish? Keep the cocktails flowing while you chomp on a round of bite-sized Chorizo tacos and nibble on a plate of prawn ceviche.
Very clearly designed with misbehavior in mind, there’s even a ‘Hiding from Wife’ telephone affixed to the wall. And when naughtiness is expected then you’d better behave accordingly, after all it would be a waste for the night to end before the tequila bottle’s empty…
G/F Moonful Court, 17A Moon St, Wanchai,
Google maps: bit.ly/YKwj6U
* Natalie is our local for Hong Kong. You can read all about her here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/articles/hong-kong-local-natalie-robinson.jsp and follow her tips here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/travellers/natalierobinson
She also has her own blog at: www.3badmice.com/
Started a few years ago, Noah's Yard is the new 'it' place to go in the Swansea/Gower area. Every Monday night there is live jazz from local bands with a small entry fee of £2 and the ever-changing magnetic sign over the door is a great conversation starter for all the new people you will meet inside. On the weekends, Noah's is heaving with everyone from students to local millionaires. Owner Noah Redfern's eclectic taste in music and Swansea-based artists gives everyone something to talk about, along with a feel-good vibe from the lovely bar staff. Along with the extensive list of drinks, bar snacks and art gallery, Noah's Yard is definitely the biggest success to hit South Wales in the past decade.
38 Uplands Crescent, Uplands, Swansea, SA2 0NE
Google map: bit.ly/Ti0BY8
I found this little cocktail bar just off the Ramblas during my last summer in Barcelona. My best friend Lucy and I loved it here. There are no drinks menus, you just tell the suit-clad barmen what you like and they'll invent it for you. It's the perfect place to escape the soaring heat and rat-race of central Barcelona, without walking too far. There is no strict dress code, but it's probably best if you don't wear trainers here. The low jazz music keeps a comfortable mellow vibe running through this small bar and has kept my interest for years.
Carrer dels Tallers, 1, 08002, Barcelona Spain
+34 933 18 95 92
Google map: bit.ly/S9QZ3g
McCarthy’s Bar* says this is the best bar in the world. Outside it looks like my old cub-hut, inside the floorboards are bare. The pictures tell the stories: a young Queen Elizabeth II; framed WWI dreadnoughts; and, still arousing, a fifties-era Vargas pin-up girl in a negligee. Noël Coward, Kipling and King George V drank here. No longer a colonial capital, Levuka is quiet now; offshore is Wakaya, the hideaway island where the unfortunate Keith Richards fell out of a tree.
Royal Hotel. Sensational! Genuinely unchanged since colonial days. Fiji's oldest hotel. In the snooker room you can easily imagine the joking and laughter of long-departed flying-boat crews - their pictures are still on the walls. Real value - a few £s a night.
Good local dishes. Try breadfruit here, it’s good.
Ovalau Club, Totogo Lane, Levuka, Ovalau, Fiji.
(No findable phone number, or website, or email - it's that kind of place!)
Robbies Lane, Levuka
Phone: + 679 344 00 24
Beach St. Centre of town.
Phone: + 679 344 0235
Built in the 14th century, the 67m high, nine storey Galata Tower dominates the Istanbul skyline and has recently been completely refurbished to include a bar/restaurant and viewing balcony on its top storey. It was the tallest structure in Istanbul at the time, and now you can see the city that straddles two continents in a 360-degree panorama from the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace to the Bosphorus and Sea of Marmara. Enjoy a cappuccino and quick snack throughout the day, or book a table for a lively evening of fine international cuisine, great beers and wines and exotic but tasteful belly-dancing.
Large octagonal bar, TV's all round, emphasis on sport, choices of beers, pizzas and other traditional food, spectacular views of the Aber seafront and Cambrian coastline, and from the autumn to spring thousands of Starlings swooping to their roosts below the Pier.
A really friendly, laid back restaurant/sports bar. On a recent trip to Bristol, my husband wanted to watch the rugby. We heard this place was good so we booked a table for lunch and hoped we could watch. There were loads of screens and we ended up staying all afternoon!
We both had a steakwich - apparently it's a firm favourite for the sports events - it was really good!
Staff were really friendly and made us feel so at home. We can't wait to go back there on our next Bristol trip.
When sightseeing in Prague’s gorgeous Old Town, it’s tough to find somewhere for a coffee and a sit-down that isn’t a tourist trap. K4 is an underground student hangout – literally – housed in the basement of the Faculty of Arts on Celetna Street, a stone’s throw from Staromeskske Namesti. Push back the vast wooden door at number 20, descend the stairs on the left opposite the porter’s glass booth and you’ll find a cavernous collection of rooms replete with lounging undergrads pouring over their lecture notes or playing chess. Prices are super reasonable (as you would expect given the clientele) and there’s a small gallery too with free exhibitions featuring local up-and-coming artists. There’s no table service though – make your way to the bar in the back room and then take your pick from coffee, draught beer or a shot of that infamous Czech spirit Becherova to fortify you before continuing your wanderings.
Celetna 20, Prague 1
Google map: bit.ly/UQEFU5
* Lisette is our Been there local for Prague. You can read her profile here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/articles/prague-local-lisette.jsp and follow her tips here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/travellers/LisettePrague
On the top floor of the cerulean tower lies a cafe-by-day, bar-by-night space ideal for a first date, an indulgent coffee, or a moment alone with a cocktail and your thoughts. Here you are at once secluded from the city and it’s enchanted voyeur as it sprawls below you like a miniature model village.
The live evening jazz at the weekend is so soothing as to seduce you into a sweet sleep, with the soft lights of the city the only thing discernible against an impenetrably back sky.
The drinks from this dazzling vantage point overlooking Shibuya and Shinjuku don’t come cheap, so save this place as an inspired pre or post dinner drinks location for a date you want to impress.
26-1 Sakuragaoka-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-8512
+81 33476 3398
Google map: bit.ly/S6FoTO
* Hollie is our Been there local for Tokyo. You can check out her profile here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/articles/tokyo-local-hollie-mantle.jsp and follow her tips here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/travellers/HollieMantle
Something about this place brought me back night after night. No pretensions, great cocktails, and immediate friendliness with the other revellers that could fit in.
124 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040
+1 (305) 509 2904
Google map: bit.ly/TSwMhK
Bar "Posaune" offers a different and innovative touch to pub food in Austria. You have freedom of creating your own meal for as little as €3, and the basic choices are pizza, pasta or traditional "kartofel". You can choose from a wide range of toppings and make a great combination of food and flavours for the same money or adding just €1. In this way, one adds a personal touch to it and transforms the art of eating into indulging without concern of spending too much money. The pub atmoshpere also contributes to a relaxing meal out! Enjoy!
Zinzendorfgasse 34, 8010 Graz, Austria
Google map: bit.ly/YoTUHG
Grizzly's is a bar in Val Claret. The whole bar is made out of wood hand crafted by Grizzly himself. The designs are amazing and have an almost Native American vibe to it. It is cosy and beautiful and there are wood carvings of animals to look at with seats in different nooks and crannies always close to a roaring fire.
Not only that Grizzly (the owner) is a sight. Everyday he will shovel snow topless wearing a large turqoise pendant and is incredibly welcoming. It is the most unusual bar I have ever been to in the Alps and its decor and vibe is not something you expect to find on the snowy mountain.
Place des Curlings, 73320 Tignes, France
+33 (0) 479 06 3417
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