Taikang Lu is located near the central shopping street of Huaihai Xi Lu. It's one of the few remaining hutongs in the city. It offers an authentic Chinese feel, whilst resembling parts of Mediterranean Europe. Locals hang out their washing and go about their daily lives whilst you can visit boutiques and enjoy a range of international foods, including excellent Chinese cuisine.
The 'Hidden Urban Project' is a new addition to the alternative shopping market. Usually housed inside bars, the project provides a relaxed atmosphere that shoppers can enjoy. A pint whilst you shop? I'm recommending it because this should be the future of shopping.
28-30, Oldham Street , Manchester,M1 1JN
Clockwork is a big club with a warehouse feel and has played host to some of the best dub, hip-hop, electro, jungle and drum & bass artists around such as Foreign Beggars, Klaxons, Hot Chip, Congo Natty and Easy Star All-Stars.
Small, intimate venue, with superb atmosphere: you could almost be on stage with the band. Close to the heart of York, but worth a visit from anywhere in the UK just to catch a special set in a unique venue.
While we're at it: catch the Tivoli in Utrecht, NL, before it disappears! (Zeche, Bochum, D, is probably Europe's finest: it's got everything.)
Fibbers is situated in The Stonebow on the Minster side of the River Ouse
A great little tapas bar - Spanish beer (Cruzcampo) and great freshly cooked authentic Spanish food. A splash of your travels to sunnier parts in a little dish in the middle of Old Town.
The staff are friendly and you are just as welcome for a coffee and a browse of the paper, as for a leisurely meal over a few courses.
Wood Street, Old Town, Swindon SN1 4AN
Small, intimate, underground venue with original retro decor in the dark, Jute Mill area of the city centre. Great music policy featuring DJs like Don Letts, Norman Jay, Gilles Peterson, 100% Dynamite, Toddla T, Mr Scruff, Qool DJ Marv and bands such as Earl Zinger, The Bays, Antibalas, Fat Freddys Drop, Blackalicious. Mellow, chilled out crowd and great bar and door staff. A happy face, a thumping bass, for a loving race...
Someone had a genius idea of making an old boat into a club. The acoustics are great - equipped for both DJs and bands who can pump out their tunes to a resonating effect within the boat's hull. It offers a triple decker sandwich of floors, the top being a bar and (lucky for smokers) a large outside deck complete with heaters! Straight down to the bottom, the hull becomes the main dance floor including a second bar. The selection of bands that play ranges from local to large, alternative to just plain awesome. Thursday is club night, Friday and Saturday if you want the next step up for music!
The Grove, East Mud Dock, BS1 4RB
next to River station restaurant.
I'd like to recommend Schlenkerla Rauchbier: smoked beer from Bamberg. This wonderful stuff tastes like bacon dissolved in dark beer. You won't need a main course.
Its served all over Bamberg, but its home is at Dominikanerstrasse 6 just round from the old Rathaus.
Dominikanerstrasse 6 , Bamberg
This is a wonderfully atmospheric pub that constantly looks shut from the outside so is never too busy. Upstairs is a room that could be your lounge. Every Wednesday they put on live music and they never fail to impress me. The old chesterfield chairs allow you to go beyond relaxation and let you take in the acoustic sounds played out to you.
Number 2 Queens Crescent, Chalk Farm
Stan, who despite the name is a real French bloke, cooks some fantastic, unusual and delicious rustic French food and loads of different sausages and mash, veggie options too. All of this is served at Little Johnny Russell's. It's a great pub in Albert Road, Southsea. Visit it... good food, great music, lovely staff.
Recently checked out the Modern for a 'working' lunch with a friend, who suggested the venue to me as she'd heard rumours that we would be in for a real good treat, mmm. And I wasn't disappointed.
It was fairly quiet when we arrived and we were allocated (in my view) the best table which presented a 360 degree view of the wintry Manchester skyline, rotating big wheel and all. The decor was formal yet cosy, sophisticated but not intimidating - the dark solid wooden tables and chairs contrasting nicely with the floor-to-ceiling frosted windows, with a nice clear panel you could see out of to admire the view, thank you very much.
Being a huge soup fan, particularly in the winter months (and there's nothing I enjoy more than knocking my own up at home) for starter I opted for the Jerusalem artichoke and rosemary soup with chanterelles. It was delicious, smooth, creamy, satisfying and tasted surprisingly healthy too (although I'm sure it wasn't). My friend forwent the starter and straight on to the main course. Pollock, smoked haddock and Loch Duart salmon fish pie, with wilted spinach and of course a side order of fat chips. A suprisingly generous portion, (she struggled to finish) the pie was dominated to her delight by the salmon (all that omega 3) which was perfectly pink and a wonderful texture. I opted for grilled Goosnargh maize-fed chicken,
braised leeks and Cheshire smoked bacon & a grain mustard sauce.
The chicken was tender with a crunchy jacket, complemented wonderfully by the bacon and the mustard sauce gave it a bit of added va va voom. Resisted desert (but of course tried 'just a taste') of my friend's caramelised quince tart and vanilla ice cream, which outshone event the artichoke soup. A beautiful combination of sweet and sour, the caramel gave it an added twist that was very moreish. The ice cream tasted home-made - which I didn't expect - and had a creamy, custardy texture, which was perfect.
With two diet cokes each to wash it down (it was a 'working' lunch after all) it came to just over £30, astoundingly reasonable for something quite so thoroughly posh. Marks out of 10 - 8.9 and with the starter and desert both scoring a winning 9.9.
Floors 5 & 6
0161 605 8282
Everyone I know uses Tokyofoodie.com to decide on restaurants in Tokyo. Well-written and comprehensive articles by other food lovers are perfect there.
Best mojito cocktails on the planet. The restaurant was lively, great and unique atmosphere at a relatively affordable price and nice looking people too... Oh la la what a treat.
15 Banys vells Barcelona. The Borne barcelona.
Meaning, 'Between Us' in English, this cafe bar is a hidden gem in the hustle and bustle of central Warsaw. Full of local arty types, this is a mixed bar (meaning gay and straight friendly - OK, just friendly!) that appeals to folk of all ages and nationalities. It really gives visitors an insight into the cool and prosperous side of Poland. Lush.
ul Bracka, Warsaw
(just behind the 'Smyk' toy store on Al. Jerozolimskie (on the left hand side if you are walking to the river from Central Station).
Found a good website for finding a restaurant in Paris… other websites seem only to have telephone numbers but this one provides maps and a great online booking service which is unusual for Paris but great for us Brits who like to plan ahead.
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