If you are staying in or near the Latin Quarter and are looking for a budget restaurant, with great atmosphere serving really excellent food, then look no futher than Le Petit Prince.
It is very popular with the locals so booking is pretty essential. I ate there on a wet Tuesday evening in February: by 8:30 the place was full and I saw a number of disappointed people turned away.
The fixed-price menu is imaginative, using quality ingredients, and the food is beautifully presented. For a good, reasonably priced bottle of wine, search the 'Coup de Coeur' section of the list.
The only slight drawback with the restaurant is that some of the tables are very close together which may bother those who like a bit of privacy - but, being France, everyone else just minds their own business and concentrates on enjoying the good food and drink!
Rue de Lanneau, off Rue St Jacques, near the Sorbonne.
Nearest Metro station is Maubert Mutualite.
Fantastic views at sunset. Head upstairs to the roof and order 2 for 1 cocktails that come to 3 US dollars for 2 drinks. Watch the street kids harass the tourists, lots of fun... then don't forget to order heaps of spring rolls to give to the kids when you leave.
On the corner of the bar street, one block from the old market.
Cafe Panam is a small French Bistro and one of a kind in Chengdu. While it doesn't serve the local cuisine it is a hot spot for French speaking Chinese, and those who just want a nice glass of wine.
143 Kehua Bei Lu, 2nd Floor, next to the Good Wood Coffee House;
tel: Chloe, +86 13880271515 or David, +86 13438094591
A lovely Indian/Pakistani restaurant located next to the Poble Nou metro station. They specialise in Tandoori, but for spicy food lovers the good news is that their dishes are prepared as they would be in Ireland or the UK, and not made mild for the locals!
Prices are very reasonable, if not downright cheap.
Nearest metro: Poble Nou.
The area covered by the local bus services run by Ligne D'Azur has been extended. Collect a free route map from the airport or elsewhere.
The seven-day passes are great value and allow journeys to such places as Vence, Eze and some distance inland.
Take an ombra (a glass of wine) in a bar at mealtimes, and eat the delicious snacks on offer (whose special name I've forgotten) - all classic Italian antipasti. There are good cheap bars everywhere, each with their own ambience. Our favourite was facing onto the fish market.
Buy a slice of pizza and a bottle of wine, then sit on the steps looking down towards the shimmering moonlit cathedral and watch everyone come and go, the couples slow dancing to the string quartets dotted around the bars and restaurants. It's wonderful, and as good as free. Be prepared, however, to fend off approximately 400 rose sellers an hour.
St Mark's square
Unless you are flying in or out of Bangkok / Phnom Penh, due to Cambodia's primitive infrastructure getting to Siem Reap can be a nightmare.
If you are determined to travel overland, it's worth checking out the website below. The author is clearly an old Cambodia hand and his site is filled with regularly updated info, tricks and tips on how to get around.
And loads of other nice stuff on the rest of the site.
South Korea is one of the world's most wired countries, and Seoul is the most wired city in Korea. In order to stay in touch with folks at home or anywhere in the world for that matter, or to do whatever you want on the web, find a PC Room (or PC Bahng) in almost any neighbourhood in Seoul. It's cheap (75p an hour or less), reliable and extremely fast, catering to those ever busy Seoulites. If you find yourself spending a long time there playing web based games or whatever, you can even order lunch or dinner (or beer) and have the food delivered to your terminal
What a great place to stay. This budget accommodation is in a brilliant location and is within walking distance of loads of tourist attractions. It is safe and friendly and vibrant and has plenty of facilities on site including a bar, restaurant and internet cafe. Lots of buses and tube stations close by too and no curfew.
229 Great Portland Street
London, W1W 5PN;
tel: 020 7631 8310;
Tube: Great Portland Street Underground
This converted prison on the small island of Langholmen was home to Stockholm’s most notorious criminals until 1975. It now serves as an inexpensive hotel/hostel where the former cells have been turned into rooms, complete with original doors and small windows (minus the iron bars). Rooms are pretty basic, as you’d expect, but the building itself is impressive and has retained loads of authentic features. It’s absolutely vast, and has a restaurant, bar, cafe and museum. The traditional Swedish breakfast is worth paying extra for but we were disappointed not to see porridge on the menu.
Langholmsmuren 20, Gamla Kronohaktet, Langholmen; nearest station is Hornstull;
A peaceful retreat in a beautiful valley, seemingly untouched by the outside world. Walking, horse riding on the doorstep. The book town of Hay-on-Wye is eight miles away. Yoga and drawing weekends. Great vegetarian breakfasts. Singles £25, doubles £40, ensuite £45, children £10.
Pen-y-Maes, Capel-y-Ffin, Powys
A cracking B&B on the Antrim coast, it's a couple of hours' drive from Belfast, but it feels like a million miles away. It's an 18th-century country house with only three rooms, exactly the sort of cosy, homely sort of place you want in this part of the world - the landlord actually won the AA Landlady of the Year prize in 2003, and he makes a great fry-up in the morning and serves tea and shortbread in front of the fire when you return from a blustery walk on the beach or the nearby Giant's Causeway. £70, double B&B.
Whitepark Road, Ballintoy, County Antrim.
028 207 31482
We recently stayed at Westwood House in Ilfracombe, North Devon. We found it by accident as it hasn't been open very long, but we were glad we did. Although it's classed a B&B, it's more like a small boutique hotel. The £75 room we stayed in was beautifully decorated and the bed was very comfortable. The room came equipped with a widescreen TV and DVD player so we were able to enjoy a film after our night out at Damien Hirst's restaurant. After a great nights sleep we were treated to an organic breakfast which was delicious and set us up for the day of walking ahead. We've stayed in lots of good B&Bs and hotels over the years but credit where it's due, this is probably the best to date.
This YHA is set in a grand old mansion. When I was there, the elegance of the common dining and lounge areas was enhanced by the presence of rather bookish types ranging in age from their mid-20s to 50s, rather than the unsettlingly young and just-discovered-alcohol kind of guests that hostels can attract.
Set on one of Bath's most presigious streets, on a hill leading up to the university, it has lush green grounds and is far enough from the city to feel secluded. But it's just a short walk down to the town centre. Don't walk along the road; ask the staff about the shortcut that follows the edge of nearby pastures - with views across the city - and crosses lochs before reaching the town centre.
Staff are friendly, food is good value, and the rooms are cosy and - given that your roommates are obliging - comfortably quiet.
Bathwick Hill, take the number 18 bus from the bus station, or it's a 15-minute walk from the centre of town.
www.yha.org.uk/hostel/hostelpages/85.html; 0870 770 5688
A Quaker hostel just off Plaza de la Revolucion. Originally the home of muralist Jose Clemente Orozco, it was donated to the mission after his death.
Rooms are dormitory style although there are a couple of private double rooms with their own bathrooms. You can cook your own food in one of the two kitchens or have breakfast for 15 pesos. Lots of interesting people work at or stay at the hostel and it is a great place to base yourself while in Mex City. We stayed in one of the doubles for about £7 a night.
Ignacio Mariscal 132,Col. nearest Metro Plaza de la Revolucion
Mexico has just had three new low cost airlines start up their operations. Azteca Airlines, Volaris, and Interjet all offer low cost flight from Mexico City to other parts of Mexico, including the second city, Guadalajara. So take advantage, and explore more of Mexico when you come.
Two great restaurants in downtown Pest. Both cheap and with great menus. The Boheme is on Paulay Ede Utca and does massive portions of great food. The Kiskacsa is on the corner of Kazinsky and Dob Utca, just in the Jewish part of town and specializes, as the name would suggest, in duck. It also lets you throw dice at the end of the meal to get a freebie. I've never won it but it adds to the fun.
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