If you are going to the Secret Garden Party check out some of the surrounding countryside. Godmanchester is a lovely village very close to Huntingdon. Stroll pass canal boats, check out the Fenland countryside or visit a nice village pub. A bit further afield St Ives has a great old bridge and river front with a nice tea room vibe.
Also - someone has to mention it - Pear Cider at Glastonbury!
A quaint micro-brewery on the Northumberland coast selling fine ales and food. Situated in a tiny fishing hamlet this white-washed inn has England written all over it. A fantastic place to have a quiet drink while spending a lazy afternoon on the beach, summer or winter. Rural isolation ... bliss!
The Ship Inn, Low Newton by the Sea
About a month before the festival buy a bottle of vodka, then decant it into a plastic bottle, add loads of fresh strawberries and a bit of sugar (to taste) then hey presto a great drink for the festival - tastes great and is neat vodka so you wont have to drink loads and face squeezing out of a horrific crowd for another wee!! (ps. you can sieve the strawberrys out but i like to leave them in as it adds to the whole festival experience!
We discovered the Watering Hole pub on Perranporth beach in Cornwall almost 20 years ago when on holiday with our young children. It is slap bang on the soft golden sand of one of the best surfing beaches in the UK. You can kick off your shoes and stroll barefoot into the bar where you'll get a warm Cornish welcome, good food and a chance to relax and gaze out at those big Atlantic waves rolling in. A more informal pub you could not find - its not unusual to see a surfer standing at the bar, pint in hand and surf board on their arm. It is open all day, all year and has some excellent live music too. What more could you want?
The Watering Hole
St Piran's Road, Perranporth
Cornwall TR6 0BH
Tel. 01872 572888
Depending on the weather, arrive with a thermos of chilled liquid. Whenever boiling water is available, fill the thermos. Use for instant soups, noodles and other such nourishment. I can usually find some extra energy after a green tea (best made with off-boiling water anyway) and a cereal bar.
The home of craft beer in Nelson. The Free House serves ales from many local brewers (Mussel Inn, Founders, Renaissance, Twisted Hop, Monkey Wizard) in cosy and welcoming surroundings. Give the sweet fizzy stuff a rest and come and try some real beers. Food available.
95 Collingwood Street, Nelson
You've already spent around £150 on the ticket, but you can expect to easily double that by the end of the festival. Here are some tips I have picked up from experience to help you save some money:
1) Before you go, go shopping with friends, buy biscuits, crisps etc, you won't want to eat big meals and food there is always extortionate (but good, so maybe try one!) And drink, check out good deals, but again, sharing is key!
2) To get there and back, check on the festival website for coach tickets that are often cheap to encourage less carbon emissions. Or if driving, make sure every seat in the car is filled and agree to split the petrol cost equally.
3) At most festivals, there is a refundable charge for cups. Late into the night, cups can be found all over the place, pick these up and claim the refund.
4) Be extra organised, always carry toilet paper, toothpaste with you then if someone is caught short, ask for a donation.
5) Use cash - take more than you will need, or set a limit and stick to it but don't take money out on a card machine as the charges are usually high.
6) Check, double and triple check you have everything you'll need so you don't have to buy anything when you get there.
7) Befriend the neighbours- again, sharing can help save a lot of money.
8) Keep your money safe - when drunk, dirty and tired, it is so easy to lose notes - (I kept a very small bag, big enough for phone, camera and money under my jumper and didn't take it off all weekend)
9) Wait until the end, all the merchandise looks so tempting on the first day, but don't rush in. Wait until the last morning when they are trying to shift stock so will have either reduced prices or are willing to knock off a couple of pounds.
10) Check the internet for a timetable or running order before you go - you will need to know when and where your favourite bands are playing, but will end up paying £8 for a programme when you arrive if not.
The key things to remember are share, plan ahead and keep money safe.
Hope this helps and have a fantastic, festival-filled summer!
Having left behind the red hills and olive groves of rural Andalucia where the only sound was the deep dong of sheep bells across the valley, the prospect of an eight hour wait for my plane in Malaga was not appealing. I thought "concrete, high rise, tourist capital of the Costa del Sol." So imagine the delight of finding the old town centre – a maze of narrow streets with traditional tall houses covered in roses and wisteria reaching to the sky. After a delightful few hours in the Picasso Museum, it was time for a drink and some tapas. Wandering around the alleyways I was intrigued to find an entrance to a Tapas Bar up a steep flight of steps. At the top of the steps huge wrought iron gates opened on to a white painted courtyard where hundreds of blue flower pots strewn with ferns and creeping plants hung on the walls. A sculptural antique sink provided a focus. The tapas menu was typical – I had ‘Tostas Pimpi’ – a satisfying array of salt cod, jamon, egg, olives, salmon and anchovies on little pieces of toast. I ate and drank watching the (mostly Spanish) people from my spot in front of a pile of huge wine barrels. Well satisfied, spiritually as well as having a full tummy, I walked about 10 minutes through the passages out on to the busy main street to my bus which took me to the airport.
62 y Jardines de Alcazabilla
With the Picasso Museum on your right, walk to the next alleyway and turn right - the bar is on the right.
Bodega Santa Cruz, Las Columnas is just a stone's throw away from La Giralda and is a charming Sevillian tapas bar. This is the Andalucian tapas tradition in one stop and is well worth seeking out. The few old wooden tables set against the apricot coloured walls and the bar's trade mark columns are a perfect spot to sit and soak up the old city's life. Situated on the old cobbled Calle de Rodrigo Caro, it's the bar for anyone who loves Spanish food or wants to try something a little different. Along with fantastic coffee, the cafe cortado is particularly good. The bodega serves the local beer, Cruzcampo and a very impressive menu of tapas ranging from the familiar Spanish tortilla to rincones al jerez (kidneys cooked in a local sherry.) But one of their best is patatas alioli (a potato salad with a velvety garlic-infused mayonnaise). If you choose to eat or drink at the bar you can expect to see your bill chalked up before you on the wooden-worn bar. Also, it's cheaper to stand. Be sure to get there early for lunch for this tapas bar is so popular with the locals that the Sevillanos pour out onto the cobbled street to eat, drink and catch up in the hot Andalucian sun.
Calle de Rodrigo de Caro, Seville, Andalucia, Spain
If you are looking for the classic combination of tapas and flamenco in Seville (without being surrounded by hoards of tourists), then head
to Peña Pies Plombo. Food is authentically Andulasian - we tried the chorizo, the chickpea-based stew potaje, the pringá (a meat feast for pork lovers), plus the seasonal dish of papas aliñas which even has its own song. Only open to the public in the evenings, there is a small stage for live flamenco performances while photographs of Spanish greats Cameron and
Paco de Lucía cover the walls. The
bar is hosted by enthusiastic Loli who is always keen to start dancing, especially when accompanied by her husband, Paco. Reassuringly, his Spanish guitar playing is more convincing than his wig.
C/Dársena, 22. Tel: 954905964
Bar Ochoa is a beautiful, friendly family run traditional tapas bar in Alhama de Granada , Andalucia. Paco, his wife Josephina and daughter Pilar offer a warm Andalucian welcome. The food is exquisite, try the gambas a la plancha (tiger prawns fried in olive oil and garlic) or setas (wild mushrooms in herbs and olive oil.) Jamon Iberico hangs above the bar and is a wonderful compliment to the large selection of local wines and beers. In the summer sit outside and watch the Alhamites stroll about their day. In winter get cosy at your table with a brasero (tray of burning olive wood under your table to keep you warm). Alhama is a beautiful little town with stunning countryside views and a very relaxed pace of life. Enjoy and relax.
ALHAMA DE GRANADA
Bar El Tigre is a wonderful, fun and very traditional Spanish tapas bar in the centre of Alhama de Granada. Antonio the boss is a very lively friendly host. He prepares simple but exqiusite food - Jamon Iberico is a must in El Tigre. Antonio is known mostly for his tostadas which are toasted local bread with a mixture of tasty toppings. Tomato, anchovy, jamon, all with lashings of olive oil and black pepper. There is a wonderful aromoa of coffee and red wine as you enter the bar. Feel the warm friendly atmosphere as you sit by the bar or find your seat on the large terrace and watch the locals meander around this dreamy little town. Views abound,everywhere in Alhama de Granada. Dont miss it.
Independence Plaza,Alhama de Granada,Andalucia Spain
Bar Giralda is a beautiful tapas bar that looks as though it hasn't changed in 60 years. The choice is staggering, and the food tastes as it should.
Bar Modesto had the best service in Seville. The waiter took a liking to us, and kept slipping us more olives, bread, Manchego cheese, wine and beer. We left to see some Flemenco with a smile and very full stomachs.
Bar Giralda (c/Mateus Gagos 1) Next to the cathedral.
Bar Modesto ((c/Canoy Cueto 5) North Santa Cruz area
The Bodegas Castaneda is the most perfect way to experience local life and beautiful tapas. My mum and I found this bar wandering around (in the rain!) on a Tuesday night in February and it was packed to the barrelled rafters! We tried the manzanilla and were given crusty rustic bread topped with a slice of Manchego cheese and some mouth-wateringly good local jamon. Mmm. Another great bar is just around the corner, Bodega la Antigualla, the bartender was really friendly and with two small beers we received a garlic topped toasted roll filled with jamon and cheese with fries. Not thinking we ordered another drink and got the same again! I'm looking forward to my next trip, just writing this is making me hungry.
Bodegas Castaneda is on Almireceros, head to Plaza Nueva and to the left of the square is Calle Elvira. To the right you'll find Bodega la Antigualla and opposite is Almireceros, walk down there and you'll find Bodegas Castaneda.
After a full day soaking up some culture and strolling through the pristine gardens of the Alhambra, what better way to re-energise than indulging in a fine meal at the El Agua Casa De Vinos.
Situated in the heart of the Albaicin, this hidden gem is very popular with the locals. Reserving a table in advance is a must because the terrace, which boasts remarkable views of the Alhambra, is in great demand with alfresco diners.
I’d recommend ordering a quality bottle of Rioja from the extensive wine list while contemplating whether to opt for a three-course meal or indulge in the fine selection of Tapas. It would be easy to spend the evening soaking up the alcohol with the small portions of cheeses, pates and meats on offer at very reasonable prices. The El Agua’s speciality is fondue and they boast a varied selection including veal, chicken, ham and also cheese. Smoked fish and substantial steak fillets are also among the choices for the main courses.
The setting of the restaurant is enough to bring out the romantic side in anybody and what better way to impress your partner than to order a fondue with chocolate, strawberries and other fresh fruit to share as the moon illuminates the Alhambra in the distance.
El Agua Casa De Vinos - Placeta De Algibe De Trillo 718010 Granada, Spain Tel: (34) 958 224 356
This bar and restaurant although named “The Pizzeria” is Spanish run and not to be compared with the typical pizza restaurant nor the typical takeaway!
Although a restaurant offering a good range of meals and great ambience, it is also a bar for local people and visitors alike.
Perched on a stool at the bar, drinking a wine or beer you will be handed a tapas for each drink you order. It is included in the price and you don’t get a choice. The lack of choice turns out to be an advantage; with each round something different, freshly cooked and delicious that you don’t know the name of, is placed before you. This of course is the trick used to impress and interest you into ordering another round, before you leave, just to see what might be the next offering. Eventually falling off the stool or turning to alcoholic-free beer is your choice.
Seated at the bar, you will also be entertained by a confident chef whipping up fresh dishes at an impressive rate. Given the chance he will also want to tell you all about them, their ingredients, from whose garden they came, and when, all while whipping, slicing, ducking and diving.
It’s a great value visit.
The Granada province has long had fame for its free tapas, although it is a matter of judgement for the traveller to choose the right establishment. Some rules of thumb are:
The posher the place, poorer the tapas.
Go for a bar where you have seen lots of locals.
Choose the right time of day (an hour or so before Spanish lunch or dinnertime).
Tapas are not generally offered with spirits.
Also, remember that the tapas, if offered free, is a courtesy given and not a right to demand.
It is opposite the church, in The village of Capileira, 90 minutes drive from the city of Granada, in the area known as La Alpujarra.
One of the best tapas bars in Andalucía, snuggled in a side street near Plaza Nueva not far from the Alhambra palace. Dating from the 1930's this two section bar and restaurant turns out spectacular tapas to locals and visitors alike.
Traditional bull’s heads and pictures of matadors decorate the walls, the floors are awash with paper and sawdust and the crowds pile in ebbing and flowing as the evening progresses.
In Granada most tapas are free with a drink and this can really set you up for the evening. For something more substantial you can order a racion or even a half. This will be on a larger plate with bread and olives. The local Serrano ham and Manchego cheese are delicious and washed down with a tasty rioja you know you are in Spain.
Finally this particular bodega has its own fiery drinks combination called calicasas a mix of several different casks and served in a tall glass. Be aware, this is potent stuff but then so is Granada.
Almireceros 1-3, Granada, near plaza Nueva. Telephone 95-822-32-22
This is a delightful town - one of the original Cinque Ports - which claims to have 'the most timbered framed buildings in one street in England'. Full of charms and interest; take the 'town trail' audio walk.
But be sure to stop at the Fisherman's Wharf pub next to the bridge as you enter Sandwich. Not only is the food and outlook great but you might just get to see the best sight Sandwich has to offer: a bartender/waitress of translucent Pre-Raphaelite beauty who would have had Rosseti et al reaching for their brushes and canvasses
On the river side - just a few minutes from the car park and next to the arched entrance to Sandwich's old town.
Possibly the best Tapas Resturant in Andalucia!
If you want a 'real' local tapas experience look no further than Los Diamantes in Granada. Standing room only, this gem is packed to the rafters with locals who come in their droves for great value seafood, a sure sign of a good thing! An assault on your senses that's too good to miss! Order a 'cana' (small beer) from the super efficient bar staff to top of your meal.
Calle Navas 26, (nr Plaza del Carmen), Central Granada
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