When staying in Rio, definitely do not stay in Copacabana etc - too many tourists… and you may as well be in Benidorm.
We stayed in St Theresa. There are great authentic restaurants, cafes etc. The architecture is colonial Portuguese. And best of all, to get down into Rio centre you take a tram down the 3:1 slope, this too is 100 years old, and it feels like it.
I had much fun in Piran. Small ancient town with lots of hidden small streets and quite a huge tourist offering.
Cafe Teater is just one of many local pubs but it's located on the best location in the city. I did not know until recently that the owner is renting apartments. I found out about that on their website. I'm looking forward to visiting there again this summer.
They have three languages at the moment but the owner said they will expand to 5 languages.
Just went over to Bruges and visited this great chocolate shop. It was a chilly morning and Francoise (Fa) Thomaes and Barbe Van Den Haute were serving fantastic hot chocolate in their first floor tea-room. A great big cup of Belgian chocolate hot milk in a floating island of chocolate filled with fresh cream!! On the side - fresh Belgian pralines from their chocolatier. Decadent and delicious!
I enjoy my visits here as they always help in choosing just the right selection for my daughter Joanna.
A stylish all purpose cafe-bar with good bar food, lovely cakes and pastries, excellent local brewed Beagle Ales, and low key jazz and other live entertainment.
It's all in a 100 year-old corrugated tin house on the dockfront crammed with prints and paraphernalia which tells the compelling history of the settlement.
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).
Cracking greasy spoon that attracts a high celebrity quota, possibly because of its proximity to London's once-and-future-trendy Shoreditch/Hoxton/Dalston.
Thankfully though, this is unreconstructed full English territory - irony, Day Glo and creative use of hairspray are firmly off the menu, as are the words organic and sustainable.
It's not a depressing relic, however, and its airy and cheerful design has carved it out a niche as a film location. Crews are often spotted filming in there on a Sunday when it's closed and the most recent flick to feature its hallowed interior was Notes on a Scandal.
For an added sprinkling of stardust on your gammon steak, check out the gallery of Polaroids behind the counter showing the legions of soap stars, presenters, actors and reality TV protozoa who have enjoyed a sarnie and a mug of something hot over the years.
221 City Road
+44 (0) 20 7253 2463
Yarraville Village is an area about 7km from the CBD (Inner West). The village is fantastic little hideaway and very cute with loads of little cafes, restaurants, art deco cinema, unique little designer shops and fantastic jazz bar.
Yarraville Village is an area about 7km for the CBD (Inner West). Catch the Weribee Train.
A cosy little cafe in the heart of the city. A great place to go for lunch if you enjoy veggie and vegan cuisine. Very friendly staff, freshly cooked everything and all very cheap! If you are lucky you may even meet their resident harpist.
Just off Renshaw Street, behind Stanley Casino.
Vegetarian Whole food Cafe
A top tip for a tasty lunch for around a fiver. Funky exhibitions from local artists. Cool tunes in an ambient style. Live music provided by a resident harpist.
It's a chance to rub shoulders with the Scouse literati and wrap your lips round a stonking beanburger.
Toilet needs nerves of steel, stout heart and effortless self confidence.
11 Upper Newington Street
Off Renshaw street
Liverpool, L1 2SR
0151 707 8592
Abbesses is best described as a little 'village' on the edge of central Paris, easily accessible by the metro and possibly my favorite place in the world.
When I first visited Paris I was so disappointed by what seemed to my untrained eye as just another grey city - too busy, too full and too confusing. The moment I stepped off the metro at Abbesses, I saw the Paris I had dreamed of - cobbled streets, little parks, beautiful buildings and most of all a calm yet creative and highly inspirational (to the artist in me) atmosphere.
I don't need to list off the best places to shop and eat here because it is all so compact, you can wander round for hours, without feeling exhausted, and discover the endless hidden gems of vintage stores and cafes that not only have the friendliest staff in the whole of Paris but one of which serves their coffee (or herbal tea if you prefer) in bowls! It's just the nicest, coolest place I've ever been to. Great for the young, and the young at heart.
Central Paris (Eurostar recommended, it just saves so much hassle!) Metro stop: Abbesses
A little corner of Italy in the centre of town. Marvellous food and majestic espresso are all provided by the irrepresible Antonio and his friendly staff. A great atmosphere, not to be missed at any price!
In Whitechapel off Church Street, opposite the new Metquarter shopping centre
Popular with Liverpool locals, especially gap year and arty types, the Egg does great vegan food, reasonably priced and really tasty. The caff is not just for vegans and veggies, but for anyone who wants a real taste of Liverpool culture. You have to keep your eyes peeled to spot the entrance though!
0151 707 2755
To avoid the Campo dei Miracoli crowds or when you've had enough of them, walk into the centre of town (10 minutes away) and straight into this café that serves very affordable and tasty food (open also for drinks). It's set within an arcade square where the market is held. Friendly service too!
Piazza delle Vettovaglie 33/37
Vineyard Cafe is a courtyard restaurant and bar located near Yong He Gong (The Lama Temple). They offer a delicious selection of home-style European cooking including pizzas, salads, sandwiches, quiche, baked potatoes, moussaka and seafood. They also have an extensive beer, wine and cocktail selection, fresh coffee and a well stocked bar. Home delivery and takeaway available. Check out their blog here: www.vineyardcafe.cn
31 wu dao ying hutong, dong cheng district
+86 10 6402 7961
A friendly, bohemian cafe-bar in the Gothic quarter, just off Carrer de Ferran. Expect to be sitting alongside writers and artists - writing and drawing, no less - during your stay. Food is reasonably priced (eg soup and a main - the 'combi of the day' - for 6 euros). Plus the staff all seem to know English, but avoid speaking it if possible - usually a good sign.
5 Calle de Arai
Soak up the atmosphere before a Cubs game at historic Wrigley Field with brunch at Uncommon Ground, a continental style cafe-bistro on a tree-lined avenue. Renowned as much for its contemporary local art and live music, as for the fantastic food (do try the omlettes) all made with local, organic ingredients.
3800 N. Clark Street, Chicago,
Nearest CTA station, Addison (Red-line).
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