It was difficult to find a reasonably priced cooking class in marrakech but we really wanted to learn how to make tagine an pastilla. We stayed at this riad and i have made a separate 'been there' suggestion for it as it is truly a special place to stay.
The price for the cooking class was 15 euros per person which was significantly cheaper than any other but it did not lack in any way. it was our favourite experience of our whole trip. We went with Hind to the markets where we learned a little arabic and then set up our class on the terrace where the riad has a second kitchen.
cooking in the morning sun was wonderful. Hind and Abdu who made himself available to translate for us, kept us incredibly busy which is the only real way to learn. It was laid back, full of laughter and we had a delicious meal with complimentary glass of wine at the end. We felt so spoiled.
TOP TIP: you do not need to be staying at the riad (though we recommend you do) to undertake this class. just turn up at their door and book, or email the dates you want to go. Highly, highly recommended
A superb vegan restaurant in hipster Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Very close to the L train so it's about a 10 minute journey from Manhattan's Union Square and then you can walk down Bedford Avenue past thrift stores, bookshops, boutiques etc. The food is amazing! I had a jackfruit burger which was just the same texture as pulled pork, marinated in a delicious sauce with sweet potato fries. Or you can go for much healthier stuff - steamed greens, seaweed, tempeh, the works. Our server was super nice and welcomed us back when we went in again a couple days later. I really do recommend this place.
191 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211, United States
+1 718 599 2547
Google map: bit.ly/16DabAl
By far the best tapas bar in Nerja. Cool stainless steel counter serving Cruzcampo, various wines and much more.
Order a small cerveza at the bar and you are asked 'tapas', then feast your eyes on the array of fresh seafood and meats for you to choose from free of charge with your drink. Choose from the sweetest clams and prawns, sardines, red mullet, pork fillets, chorizo sausage - the list goes on. All the food is cooked on the plancha by a Torres lookalike.
We sat there for three hours watching the Spanish football one night and we made our way through their entire tapas collection twice and all free with each drink ordered. The bill came to 25 Euros! Try and do that in the UK...
Calle del Almirante Ferrándiz, 26 29780 Nerja, Málaga, Málaga, Spain
+34 952 52 13 84
Google map: bit.ly/13FlBjv
If you're looking to escape the touristy centre of Valencia (and the prices that come with it) or want to experience the 'pueblo' feel without having to leave the city, a day trip to Benimaclet would be worth your time. Benimaclet was originally its own village, separated by the river, but became merged into Valencia with the city's expansion. Despite this it has managed to maintain much of the original 'pueblo' feel, something you'd normally have to get out of the city for. The Plaza de Benimaclet is a five minute walk from the tram stop and on the way you'll probably notice many bars displaying 'tercio y tapas 1.50', prices that aren't found in the centre. Many of these bars have live music at night. Once you enter the pueblo part of Benimaclet, it's easy to forget you're in a city owing to many car-less streets lined by idyllic little houses, especially if you stumble across the Plaza de Benimaclet complete with its own church. Once you've worked up an appetite by meandering around the streets, why not pick up a paella or other traditional Valencian cuisine from an asador - the cheapest way (around three euros for a portion big enough for two) to enjoy a home cooked paella. You could enjoy your paella sitting in the Jardines del Real, the main park in Valencia only a couple of hundred metres away.
From here there are three options (not including returning to the city centre). Firstly you could follow the Turia (the old river now converted into a park) down to the City of Arts and Sciences, one of Valencia's landmark features. On the way you'll pass the Palau de la Música and walk under many bridges each with its own feature.
Secondly you could carry on out of the city to Alboraya - the Spanish hometown of horachata, a sweet, milkly, nutty drink. I'd recommend the Horchateria Toni for the best tasting and value horchata in Alboraya.
My final option is take the tram down to the Malvarrosa beach (10 minutes away) and walk along the sea front or relax on the sand in the sun.
After doing all this you'll probably be ready to return to your hostel late in the evening, although Benimaclet is worth the visit, I'd recommend staying in a hostel in the centre for travel convenience.
A tip when travelling around Valencia - beware the road sign names. In the city the road sign names are in Valencian but on many maps they are written in Castillan, they are pretty similar but don't go looking for an exact name if you have the Castillan version.
To reach Benimaclet - from the centre of Valencia take the metro (line 3, 9 minutes) or about 30 minutes on foot from Plaza del Ayuntamiento, crossing the river at Puente del Real and following Carrer de Cavanilles.
The Pueblo part is off to the right of Calle Emilio Baro (facing the direction of Alboraya)
To reach Alboraya - take the metro (Line 3, Rafelbunyol - Aeroport) to Alboraya or walk from Benimaclet (about 1km from the metro stop vía 'Calle Emilio Baro' which becomes 'Avenida de la Horchata')
This website has details of events in Benimaclet:
Google map: bit.ly/1145Enn
A lively bar in the heart of the Calle Laurel gastro-paradise. Situated just south of the Basque country, Logroño's busiest street of bars offers a unique blend of northern pintxos and traditional tapas, and the selection of brochetas in Taberna de los Correos is not to be missed. Add to that the local Rioja wine at 50 cents a glass, it's easy to see why tourists and locals alike start and end their night here.
Calle del Laurel Logroño, La Rioja, España
Zoë's is the coolest restaurant in New York. You'll find locals and regulars and celebrities all coming for one thing: the good, quality food.
Tapas bar near the Arab baths, nestling alongside the river below the Alhambra. Holidaying on a shoestring. A couple of beers accompanied by free mammoth tapas and you won't go hungry. Que aproveche!
Carrera del Darro, 37, Granada
Google map: bit.ly/11R8Ows
The 'perfect' European cafe - I haven't found better. Beautiful garden, great food, the kind of service you always hope for, reasonably priced
The one place I always head for.
I discovered this place after the gas bottle in our flat ran out one day – right in time for lunch. ‘Go to El Rincón del Búho, you can get a menú del día there for €3.50!’ read a text from my flatmate. And off I toddled. It took me about three goes to find it, as it looks like flats from the outside and you have to go up a corridor to reach it.
Advertised as an ‘artistic and socio-cultural project’, the venue has a small bar and performance space. It offers music events (including flamenco), art exhibitions, children’s theatre and storytelling workshops. Cheap snacks (€1 for a homemade empanada or slice of pizza) and bottled beers are on sale when events are on. The €3.50 deal is available from 2pm till 4pm on Thursdays and Fridays, with vegetarians catered for well.
Calle Parras, 31, 41002, Seville, Spain
*Eloise is our Been there local for Seville. You can read her bio here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/articles/seville-local-eloise-horsfield and follow her tips here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/travellers/EloiseHorsfield You can also catch her on Twitter at @EloiseHorsefield
Spending 4h in a car with a stranger COULD be awkward, but not with Dave – he is easy company and conversation was never less than absorbing.
We got off to a great start, with an unexpected and rare (for winter) appearance by the Checker. Such a beauty, and we weren’t the only ones who thought so – passers-by would constantly stop to look and take pictures. Disconcerting at first, yet understandable and quite good fun!
As for the food, we placed ourselves in Dave’s capable hands. By continuously gaging our preferences and appetites throughout the tour, he ensured a well-rounded experience. Everything was excellent, from the beautiful Dominican drink Morir Soñando (orange juice, condensed milk, vanilla and ice – it really was as good as it sounds) in Williamsburg, to the moistest and most gorgeous pastrami washed down with Cel-ray Soda at David’s Brisket House in Bed-Stuy. To the flavorsome, spicy doubles and aloo pie at Trini Gul. To the improbable Gargiullo burger (burger, hot beef, onions, cheese, the whole lot dipped in beef broth) at Brennan and Carr in Homecrest. To the chewiest think pizza at New Park Pizza in Queens. I could go on – you get the idea.
We ended the day full and happy and with a greater understanding of New York than any guidebook could give you. Thoroughly recommended, and if/when we visit New York again, we will definitely repeat it.
The restaurant has the finest clams near Lisbon and a view of one of Europe's most beautiful beaches. The journey there has captivating views of Serra da Sintra and the coastline. Spend a day at the beach then slide into the restaurant for a late lunch of ameijoas de bulhao pato (clams in garlic sauce) and camaroes (prawns) washed down with vinho verde (Quinta da Aveleda). On your way home stop off for dinner on the coast road between Guincho and Cascais at either Porto da Santa Maria (where presidents and football managers dine) or the Faroleiro
Take the train from Cais do Sodre in Lisbon to Cascais, jump in a cab towards Guincho beach, a 2km sweep of fine white sand. Drive along the coast road, passing Sintra range on your right and the coastline on your left. Drive past Cabo da Roca and Pe da Serra towards Almocageme. This beautiful village will lead you towards Adraga road. Follow it to the end.
Google map: bit.ly/10fjL7j
Serving up quite possibly the best Sunday roast in the area, the Bolingey Inn can be found huddled a mile in land from the holiday hoards of Perranporth.
For about £9 you get a huge plate of locally sourced meat – take your pick from beef, pork and lamb – a big old Yorkshire pud (regardless of meat choice), a separate serving of freshly cooked al dente veg, crispy roast spuds and the icing on the cake, an extra helping of gravy served alongside. ‘Coz there’s nothing worse than running out of gravy half way through your dinner, eh?
And the deserts can be pretty special too. I can definitely vouch for their pavlovas - made from crispy, chewy meringue, and mighty cheesecakes – huge, creamy and usually laced with some sort of booze.
Penwartha Rd, Perranporth, Bolingey, Perranporth TR6 0DH
Google map: bit.ly/12lgBfC
* Sian is our Been there local for Cornwall. You can check out her page here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/articles/been-there-local-cornwall.jsp and her own blog about Cornish living: www.adventureswiththeblackdog.co.uk/
These tasty custard treats can be found in one sole bakery at the edge of the city. The recipe is hundreds of years old and is a closely guarded secret. The bakery is open till late and is very popular among locals and tourists alike.
Strange that many of the selected tips this week seemed to require an overnight stay. I wouldn't recommend Barga for a day trp from Florence. You'll need to change trains at Lucca and the drive along the valley of the Serchio river is not particulary quick. However, if you do give it a go leave time to stop at the Ponte del Diavalo, also known as the Ponte della Maddalena. You'll find it at Borgo a Mozzano. Better to stay in Barga for a few days and explore the upper reaches of the Garfagnana region, which is so different to the traditional Tuscany that everybody knows. Even better still, coincide your stay in Barga with the Pesce e Patate festival when local Italians tuck into fish and chips served down at the local football ground.
PS Lucca is an excellent recommendation for a day trip. There's an international music festival every summer - Leonard Cohen is playing this year. The best way to explore the city and its walls are by bike, which can be hired by the hour.
Google map: bit.ly/153ob5S
A true gem is the walled city of Lucca, birthplace of Puccini. Take a stroll on the tree-lined city walls (as wide as a motorway). For fantastic views climb the bricked Guinigi Tower which has a tree growing on the top. There are churches, squares and museums to explore. Look for the unusual piazza of the Amphitheatre with houses around the perimeter. For mouth watering traditional Tuscan food head to the family-run Trattoria Buralli on Piazza Sant’Agostino.
Lucca always stayed independent. In the past through the supply and trade of silk, nowadays it is the biggest producer of toilet paper in Italy.
Mercato centrale, as it's name suggests, is placed bang in the centre of Florence. And it's a food market. It's kinda like Borough Market is to London.
Inside you'll find the odd tourist that's found their way there but you'll mostly see chefs buying wholesale and locals buying their ingredients for that night's dinner.
The smell of truffles as you walk in will wash over you and, if you're anything like me, pull you in like the tractor beam in Star Wars. It's got some amazing wines (nearly all varieties of Super Tuscans), cheeses, olive oils, bread, huge bags of fresh porcini mushrooms (depending on the time of year) but, for me anyway, the main reason to go is for the cafes at the rear of the market. There's always a queue and it's packed with locals. A good sign. It's very cheap (about €3.50 for a main and €2 for a medium caraffe of wine. The porchetta sandwiches at Nerbone at €3.5 are an absolute must. They're incredible.
Piazza del Mercato, Florence, Italy
Google map: bit.ly/12SI4Jr
For the ones who do not know what pastelleria is, it is a place where they make excellent meat and other pies.
In Murcia this place is old, traditional and has the best meat pies (pastel de carne Murciano), washed down with the excellent local beer/cerveza Estrella Levante!
The meat pies are delicious, made with thin filo pastry sheets and chorizo and boiled egg in the meat filling to top it up!
Riquelme, 5 and Gimenez Baeza 10, Murcia in the old town
Google map: bit.ly/ZIpDSk
My boyfriend and I ate at The Square Kitchen for my birthday and it was a wonderful dining experience! Having lived in Bristol for a year we were delighted to find this little gem, tucked away just off the top of Park Street. Not only was the food excellent but the service was second to none and the venue had a boutique arty feel with beautiful prints on the wall by Katalina Bath. I will definitely be going back to enjoy lunch on their lovely terrace in the summer!
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