Middle Farm is one of my favourite places to visit any time of year. It lies just off the A27. Every year in Oct they hold an apple festival to celebrate all things appley, with an amazing selection of ciders. Grown ups can enjoy a cheeky pint and some great local music in two tents dotted with hay bales for a real country feel. For small ones there are play areas, a fun fair and animals galore. There is a proper hog roast to help fight off the hangover plus loads of other stalls selling food, locally made bits and bobs and other treats. If you can't make the festival the farm is open seven days a week and has an amazing shop where you can taste about a hundred different ciders. This is truly cider heaven.
It is situated on the main A27 Lewes to Eastbourne road, between the villages of Firle and Selmeston. The nearest stations are Glynde (2 miles) or Lewes (5 miles).
Telephone +44 (0)1323 811411
Fax +44 (0)1323 811622
Google map: bit.ly/bVvBdv
There are plenty of delicious places to eat and drink in Edinburgh but on a sunny day you can't beat a picnic on top of Arthur's Seat or The Crags at Holyrood Park. Stop at Peckhams' to pick up some gourmet bread, cheese, olives, cakes and deli treats along with beer, cider or wine straight from the fridge and take the short walk to Arthur's Seat. On a clear day you'll have perfect views for miles around, including the Forth Bridge and the Pentland Hills. There are climbs, walks and plenty of space to just sit and enjoy the sunshine.
There can be few more pleasant ways to spend a sunny Edinburgh afternoon than taking a stroll through Holyrood Park (strenuous climb up Arthur's Seat optional!) over to The Sheip Heid, which claims to be the oldest pub in Scotland. Built as it was in 1360, they may have a point. Traditional pub grub is the order of the day in the atmospheric interior, while in the summer months an extensive barbecue menu is served in the pub's courtyard. And if - as is perfectly likely - the weather turns inclement, you can always skip the walk in the park and take comfort in a pint of local ale and basket of scampi and chips over a game of skittles in the pub's old-fashioned alley hidden away in the annex.
A bar in Drayton Park opposite the Arsenal Football Stadium, the perfect venue for watching the world cup. Multinational staff and punter will ensure a competitive atmosphere, fantastic food and prosecco on tap. What more can you want?
020 7704 2387
66a, Drayton Park, London, N5 1ND
Google map: tinyurl.com/2wahhtd
Old fashioned cinema entered through a corridor running through communist-looking tenements and accessed through a courtyard. In summer you can buy beer from a little kiosk in the courtyard and sup it before your film. In winter there's a decent bar and you are allowed to take drinks into the auditorium with you. The cinema's piece de resistance is the fact that the chairs in the auditorium boast drinks holders designed to allow you to line up a beer, a glass of water and a shot side-by-side. Shows arthouse and mainstream films with a decent sprinkling of English language films. Towards the end of 2009 price of entry hovered around the 100kc mark.
13000 Praha, Czech Republic
271 771 349
Trams 9 or 26 to Biskupcova
Part cocktail bar, part restaurant, La Bodega has
since its opening eight years ago, become part of the Cairo social scene. Especially popular with the ex-pat community. it's is a great place for people watching.
A new menu is being prepared for the opening of
the revamped Aperitif Bar.
157, 26th July Street, Zamalek , Cairo
tel 2735 0543
I know it’s not generally done to visit ‘Irish’ bars when abroad, but this one really is a bit of a gem. There are only a few such places in Montpellier as yet, and this one is tucked away in a small square about five minutes walk from Place de la Comèdie, so you have to search a bit to find it – meaning it’s unlikely to get mobbed by passing stag parties.
It has tables outside in the little shady square (adjacent to a promising looking restaurant) and very friendly staff inside who are more than happy to chat if you’re travelling solo and fancy a bit of evening company. There’s pool available in a separate room (a separate building in fact), various newspapers to read, TV for those who want to follow sports and some nice nooks and crannies if you want to tuck yourself away a bit.
The building sports the legend ‘Maison Justin Boch’ in large letters on the outside (a former business I assume), so you can’t mistake it.
5 Place Saint Côme
This is an absolute gem of a traditional Barcelona cafe, serving food and drink all day in the most charming art nouveau surroundings where you can rub shoulders with the locals reading the complimentary newspapers. The staff are unfailingly polite, even when the tourists have had a few too many of the wonderful Martinez brandy (7 euros a shot) and are getting rowdy... Delicious breakfast food, fabulous fresh orange juice squeezed before your eyes, and later a good range of traditional tapas and simple dishes. Proper alcoholic sangria served indoors or out. Favourite - a huge glass of the Cava sangria.
Las Ramblas, opposite the Liceu theatre
I’m British through and through but nothing says Christmas more passionately than Brugge does each December. The Belgians of course have two celebrations with the Feast of Sint Niklaas coming early in the month!
The city streets are beautifully decked out with twinkling lights and window displays and the main and smaller squares like Market Square and Simon Stevinplein have their stalls selling all kinds of gift, food and drink specialties. It’s a picture book / chocolate box place that you may wander and wonder around in the warmth of their hospitality and friendliness - and in safety.
My ideal 24 hours? I set off on a Friday afternoon straight down the M20 from London and directly into the Eurotunnel terminal from the motorway. Go to the toilet, buy a drink, drive onto the train – 25 minutes of rest – drive off the train, to the end of the tunnel road, turn right and just keep on straight for 55 minutes and there is the Bruges turn-off – 10 minutes later I am parked in the centre. Nothing could be easier and hardly needs a map or GPS!
If I just kept walking around the main central triangle of the city it would only take me some 15 minutes to do so – but there is so much to see that is worthwhile. Ice Skating in Markt, climb the Belfry, eat Flemish beer stew and photograph the canals and picturesque buildings as the sun sets and the sky glows. You are never far away from where your hotel is and it is so easy to take a small break to recuperate and re-energise!
Saturday is market day at Tzand (square next to bus station) – buy wonderful cheeses to take home; visit The Church of our Lady to see the Michelangelo Madonna with Child statue and take a canal boat trip, a museum visit or a romantic Horse and Carriage ride around the cobbled streets. Too much to do – so little time!
Now don’t forget those chocolates, those fresh cream pralines. Much much cheaper than the UK and guaranteed to produce sounds of delight (and quiet munching noises). I also buy ginger bread, chocolate figures and honey waffle biscuits.
Driving home; quickly visit a supermarket in Belgium for very good beer at low prices. Try a jar of Advocaat as this goes great on ice cream or Christmas pudding! Wine is also reasonable in price here.
… and it’s back to Coquilles to catch the train back home. Mission accomplished… Tired and very Happy!
Here’s a link to learn more oldchocolatehouse.com/links.html
Cafe Sereno is a small family owned business on Albany road that does great food, is fully licenced and has a fabulous beer garden. It’s open all day until 10pm and is ideal for a quick snack, coffee, pint or a romantic evening meal. It’s also available for bookings. They always have special offers and meal deals available which makes it very reasonably priced. Child friendly.
68 Albany road,
Just finished having a magic week in Kenmare. Found this stunning holiday house through Kenmarerentals.com. We were far enough out of town to have the feeling of uninterrupted privacy in what is a very beautiful part of Ireland - wild deer coming up to the back garden one of the many highlights of the stay. But we were close enough to be back in town in a matter of minutes. Spent many good evenings in the owner's pub O'Donnabhain's where the food and atmosphere was wonderful. A very cosy place with great character and hospitality. Would highly recommend both as places to stay and visit if heading to Kenmare.
This is a great gastropub for a number of reasons. Decor-wise it's like any other gastropub with wooden tables and chairs and a general unpretentious feel to it, yet it offers imaginative food at a decent price. Starters range from seared chicken livers, roast onion and black pudding (£5) to oysters (£6) and mains are also varied, my favourite being the salt marsh lamb with curly kale, minted chick pea and cauliflower puree (£15.95).
The kitchen is at one end of the room creating a warm and engaging atmosphere, and the service is unobtrusive. By far the best on the menu is the death by chocolate pudding - perhaps shared between two to avoid the death bit. Highly recommended, especially if you happen to be in the Ealing/Chiswick area.
222 South Ealing Road, W5 4RL
020 8758 1879
Nearest tube South Ealing
Pleasant spot in souks area for a refreshing soft drink or light snack (sorry no alcohol as with most places within the medina!). You can sit on the roof terrace watching over the spice souk. Young and friendly staff.
75 Rahba Kedima off Rue Samarine (one of main roues into souk)
8am - 8pm daily
This is a great place for either a few drinks in the bars downstairs (The Star bars) or an amazing dinner in the Italian-influenced restaurant upstairs (The Dove). I've done both (the bars several times!) and I love it there! Always have a good time. Really close to Victoria Park so it's the perfect place for a cheeky cider during a day in the sun. Get involved!
The Star & Dove, 75-78 St Luke's Road, Totterdown, Bristol BS3 4RY
0117 300 3712
Sketch Gallery, on Conduit Street, is highly recommended. The modern British/French food is divine (the beef tartare is astoundingly tasty) but it’s the interior design, walls adorned by electronic projections instead of wallpaper, that takes your breath away.
My tip for a hotel is the Marriott in Deira. Away from the glitz so that you can concentrate but close enough to everything that you want, first class business facilities and a rooftop pool. The best restaurants are the Sphinx at the Pyramids and Shabestani Iranian restaurant at the Hyatt.
If you’ve got something to celebrate and feel like splashing out, the 23-course tasting menu at Alinea in the Lincoln Park area is a must. It’s an eye-popping $195 at first glance, but with the exchange rate as it is, it does represent excellent value. Everything is exquisitely presented and tastes wonderful.
Don't panic, it's organic! This place offers 100% organic soups, smoothies and cocktails. The place is the first in Denmark to sell to-go drinks, and I was really pleased to be able to buy a couple of drinks, and bring them with me, so I could enjoy them in the sunshine of Nørrebro.
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com