This hotel, described on its website as 'super cheap but sexy-chic', was recently voted one of the 25 coolest hotels in the world by Conde Nast Traveller. It’s certainly intriguing: an ugly converted 1960s office tower block right near the train line which was opened when the actor John Malkovich, one of its shareholders, got into bed with 300 Welsh secretaries on live television. Rooms cost £45 per night for a standard room, and £85 for a penthouse.
The Big Sleep Hotel, Bute Terrace, Cardiff 029 20 636363 www.thebigsleephotel.com/
Watch the world go by and, if you have the courage, challenge for a game of chess. It is a chilled out park and people watching is the best pastime here. New Yorkers in a nutshell. After spending hours being nosey head down to John's Pizza on Bleeker Street (five minutes away).
When I went to NY I was visiting my partner and all his colleagues said this was the best pizza to be had. I enjoyed it (held to Sicily making the best pizzas but hey-ho) but definitely was part of the NY experience. Gets very busy so be prepared.
MacDougal Street and then a walk down Bleeker Street for dinner.
A narrow lane packed full of small cheap restaurants offering some of the best Thai, Indian and Malaysian food anywhere in Hong Kong, just around the corner from the popular bar district of Lan Kwai Fong. Good Luck Thai Restaurant is highly recommended.
Wing Wah Lane, Central. Nearest MTR station is Central, or ask for D'Aguilar street in a taxi.
Literally “mum’s soups and granny’s puddings”. As its name suggests, this is a chain offering simple, homely Colombian specialties at reasonable prices. Eg Ajiaco for a couple of quid. There are many cheaper restaurants in town, but not necessarily ones you would want to go into. Don’t forget to try the various fruit juices on offer. A jugo de Lulo not only sounds fun to order, it tastes out of this world.
My local is on Carerra 13 27-98.
I never thought a pub in St John's Wood could be such good value, but it is connected to a Sam Smith's brewery and when I ordered a pint of bitter and the charming landlord said '£2.11', I nearly fainted and had to be revived with a stiff drink. Situated in the leafy, upmarket suburbs, not far from the Beatles' Abbey Road pedestrian crossing, this pub is a little run-down, with frayed carpets and not much in the way of decoration. Sam Smiths' pubs also have a 'no music' policy, which is a refreshing change. There's a good selection of pub food and it's a good old unpretentious boozer, packed out on a Friday with locals and office workers, even a soldier came in dressed in full uniform with medals gleaming, to complete the military motif.
A brilliant, unpretentious restaurant set in the original Boots shop in the trendy Hockley area of the city centre. Best food in Nottingham, hands down. Awesome meat dishes and vegetarians are exceptionally well catered for as well (starter: wild mushrooms on toast with a two minute poached egg anyone?)
Mains tend to be £10-15, and there is a set menu that offers two courses for £12.95 or 3 for £14.95.
A roast meat restaurant in Vieux Nice: if you're looking for an alternative to pasta, pizza or nicoise cuisine this place will sort you out in no time.
It's a tiny new (opened May 2009) good-looking restaurant/take-away by Place Rossetti offering simply five types of roasted meats, with a choice of either mash, roast potatoes or ratatouille on the side - eat in and you get a mesclun salad included in the price.
We've tried the beef, which is served French-style rare, and lamb so far and they were both delicious: seriously good value at 11euro each. After sharing one generous take-out serving of lamb between two at our apartment rental we were so impressed we went back to dine in the next day.
It's a brilliant concept and a very welcome addition (for carnivores at least) to the Vieille Ville's restaurant scene. Go early if you want the half chicken - or the window seat!
Rossetti - Serie
8 rue Mascoinat (just off Place Rossetti)
Vieux Nice 06300
open Tuesday to Saturday, 12-2pm & 8-10pm
A cosy little cafe serving all manner of tarts (sweet and savoury), cakes, muffins, scones, and pastries, all home-made. Delicious, filling, and reasonably priced. Great for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea.
Dame St, Dublin 2 - or there's another branch round the corner on Cows Lane
To get from Dublin airport to the city centre most people buy a ticket for the Airlink bus which costs €6 one way or €10 return for adults.
A good tip is to buy a Family ticket which costs €10. This is available from the counter just inside the door of the airport. This ticket gives two adults and up to four kids unlimited travel on all Dublin bus services for 24 hours.
This can be used on the Airlink - I always use it when my partner and I go to Dublin and then use it to go around Dublin.
A typical Argentinian parilla. Order the bif de chorizo, which is basically a sirloin (nothing to do with the sausage!). You'll get one big enough for two; order potatoes (papas) any way you like (natural - boiled; fritas- chips). Bottle of Malbec or a Qulimes beer.
Follow with a helados (ice cream) and coffee. In June it set me back 40 pesos - including tip.
Definitely no fancy stuff here, this is a local restaurant full of portenos. Although tourists do know about it. Fantastico, I thought!
Stroll down the street to Bar Seddon afterwards. In fact, San Telmo is full of interesting bars, cafes and restaurants.
Avenida Defensa 858, San Telmo.
Google map: tinyurl.com/kt38yq
On a dark evening last November, my husband and I stumbled upon this takeaway on our way back to our hotel. Brightly lit and with the smell of fish and chips wafting out into the cold night air we went in and were served by the friendliest young man in London (a huge Tottenham supporter). Freshly cooked, the fish was moist, the batter crispy, the chips golden, the servings generous and the price cheap. We ran back to our hotel with our wrapped dinner and ate every morsel. There is also an eat-in restaurant beside the takeaway which was doing a brisk business.
North Sea Fish Restaurant
7-8 Leigh Street
One of the many pleasures of eating at The Jumble Room is the feeling that you are almost sat in front of the telly with your food on your knee.
There's no TV, I hasten to add, but the knockout indulgence is all there with the added benefit of the food being amazing, heartwarming and restaurant quality. The staff are so friendly you may start thinking they are actually long-lost relatives and scratch your head a bit when they ask you to pay the modestly priced bill.
Langdale Road, Grasmere, LA22 9SU
The Hancock building offers a better view of Chicago than the taller Sears Tower. Go at sunset and rather than pay to visit the observation deck, spend what you saved on a couple of cocktails in the bar two storeys higher. Sit back and watch the whole of Chicago light up.
Clean, comfortable, cheap and quick way to the coast, especially if travelling alone or in small group. 3 coaches a day leave from next to Marrakech railway stationn. Book at least an hourr before to ensure a seat. It was 65 dh (4 quid) one way at end of 2006. Takes 2.5 - 3 hours.
Brilliant, cheap little live blues joint right in the centre of town, fiver on the door and drinks promotions. Drinkable house red, horrid little loos, great clientele. Fight for a table near the band.
20 Kingly Street, Soho, London W1B 5PZ Tel: 020 7287 0514
Sited on that increasingly buzzing area, the South Bank, this reproduction of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre is a refreshing change from the theatre district of the West End. It's an opportunity to see great plays performed by superb actors in the setting in which they are meant to be seen; oh, and the only way to see it is as a 'groundling' standing in the open area in front of the stage - where else can you get a good night's entertainment for a fiver?!!
Watch out for other events as well, as the Globe has been used in the past for musical events and the London venue for a certain Mr Billy Connolly on his 'World Tour'.
21 New Globe Walk
As an Aussie who lived in Manchester for 5 years, the only answer to the prepackaged lunch ordeal had to be, Shlurp!
Tucked away on Brazennose Street, opposite the town hall, Shlurp offers wonderful homemade soups, tasty salads and wonderful wraps - all made on the premises daily. It also serves the best coffee in Manchester - coming from a Melbourne-born coffee snob, that title is not lightly bestowed!
Lucy, who owns and runs Shlurp is passionate about food and people - what a combination!
The food is affordable and fresh, give Shlurp a go and say hi to Lucy from Claudine!
Unit 2, Brazennose House
East Brazennose Street
Manchester, M2 5BP
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