To arrive at The Camp my friends and I chose to hire a small boat from a family run business on the corner of Worcester Racecourse. No skipper is necessary for this; we were given a quick run down on the dos and donts of boating and we were free to set sail.
Meandering up the river at our own pace was fabulous - really tranquil and beautiful to be on the water, passing ducks, swans and for the lucky ones, even otters.
We arrived at The Camp to be greeted by other (professional) boaters who guided us in safely to moor our boat.
The Camp is most welcoming; obviously a popular place for summer revellers as it was really quite busy. However, this just adds to the charm - we threw out our picnic blanket and enjoyed the best cheese and onion rolls ever tasted, swilled down with a glass of traditional scrumpy cider. Surrounded by stunning peacocks, we felt right at home and at one with the nature.
Once we had filled up on food and drink we headed back down stream and towards Worcester Cathedral; this gave us a cultured feel and was the perfect end to a perfect day.
We had a real adventure and found ourselves in fits of laughter at times! I highly recommend this to anyone who is looking for a cheap day out with a difference. (boat hire starts from £10 an hour, depending on choice of boat & £10 bought me and my partner two drinks each and a huge baguette.)
Suitable for all ages and we even took our dog when we returned a second time.
The boat hire place can be found in the corner of Pitchcroft Racecourse; 01905 27949 and to get to The Camp from here is just one way up the river - you really cannot go wrong.
Grimley, Worcester WR26LX
01905 640 288
Google map: tinyurl.com/ydb92w9
We stumbled across this place when we'd been on the (hot and dusty) R62, taking the scenic drive from Franschhoek to Swellendam. The café is somewhat hidden by the KFC next door, but look out for signs to the Bon Courage and Le Grand Chasseur wine shops. Grand Café somewhat aptly served the best coffee we had on our holiday. We also ordered their excellent chilli beef pittas for lunch, which come served with a mean curried beetroot pickle. The pickle was so tasty that we bought a jar to take with us on our journey.
Simon's Town is a useful staging-post for coffee or lunch on the drive from Cape Town to Boulders Beach (penguins) or Cape Point. The base of the South African Navy since 1957, and the home of the Royal Navy before that, the main street is worth a tour of its antique and art shops. For lunch, we took the advice of a local shop owner and headed to Bertha's, which is right on the dockside, so close you could dangle your toes in the harbour waters. We watched a flotilla of novice canoeists paddle edgily around the harbour while we sampled delicious sushi from the extensive list of seafood on the menu.
La Puntilla is another of the typical Spanish tapas bars and restaurants in the mainly Spanish populated part of town.
Highly recommended if you want to sample the tapas and the atmosphere of the town, it will serve you a tapas when you order a drink and don't be frightened to ask for it if they are busy and not offering you one quick enough.
You can also eat lunch and dinner at tables on the street or the roof terrace if it is very busy, again because of the quality of the food this is a very busy restaurant but you never have to wait long for a table. When there is food football on the television you will find the locals come out in numbers,especially if it is Spanish team involved,not to be missed.
Google map: tinyurl.com/ygyxn66
Bar Dolores (El Chispa) is a bar/restaurant where the speciality is fresh fish and shellfish. They will also serve you a tapas with every drink ordered in the bar.
There is a seperate area for eating if you want to get away from the noise of the lively bar.
This is another of the local haunts in a prominently Spanish part of town, they have large screens for all the major football tournaments.
I would recommend you search this one out if you want to get away from the main tourist areas, with a little research you will find this part of town has a lot going for it.
Calle San Pedro,12
Google map: tinyurl.com/y9oxa72
Pinocchio is a very busy restaurant and if you eat there you will understand why. Most people come back more than once while in Nerja. It has something for all the family and in the summer or warmer weather you can sit out on the garden patio.
The menu has pasta, pizza, fish and meat, they also have a selection of starters to suit everyone. If you are in a large party I would recommend booking if it is possible,but as the place is so busy in the summer they may not accept booking unless you are a regular,so turning up early in the evening would near guarantee a table. They are also open late, so if you like eating late you can usually get a table. It is busy all the year round with the expat community who live there.The staff are very friendly and there is warm friendly atmosphere.
Parking is at the rear but you cannot enter direct for the carpark,it is the largest free carpark in the town,you drive in via the Bahia area of town and you have various exits on foot,to get near to the exit for Pinocchio's you drive towards the palm tree with the lights on it and in the corner you will find the exit that brings you out right next to the restaurant.
Calle Cristo 48,
"El Breine" is a"Chiringuito" beach bar/restaurant on the"Playa El Playazo"at the edge of town in the direction of Torrox.
They serve one of,if not the best Paella in Nerja,they also have a full menu of all the usual dishes served in the area, plus a fish of the day that is cooked over wood.
You are advised to get there early for lunch as the paella goes fast, the parking is free and should be used as it is illegal to park on the beach.
Access is via the N340 between Nerja and Torrox. You turn into the Marinas de Nerja Hotel and drive along the front and down the side until you reach the beach, then turn left and drive along about 500 metres. I highly recommend this place if you like paella.
Chiringuito El Breine, Playa El Playazo, Nerja
Situated off the national road within easy driving distance of Cape Town in Somerset West, is Vergelegen Wine Estate.
Picnic among some of the Cape's oldest camphor and yellowwood trees in the extensive grounds that showcase South Africa's chequered history and Cape Dutch architecture. Experience the sensory beauty of the cultivated rose and herb gardens, the original Van der Stel Winery, the Library, mill, ruins and Slave Lodge as well as authentic Pigeon House.
Breakfast al fresco at The Rose Terrace Bistro, open November to April or sample the fish, meat and vegetarian dishes which are served in the Lady Phillips restaurant together with a selection of premium Vergelegen wines including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz varieties. Cellar tours are also offered.
Combined with good weather an outing to Vergelegen is well worth its R10 entrance fee. As it is very popular, booking is advised. It is a thoroughly enjoyable experience and well worth a visit especially if heading from Cape Town to Hermanus to enjoy some whale watching.
Phone : +27 21 847 1334
Address: Lourensford Road, Somerset West, South Africa
Steeped in history dating to Simon van der Stel's era, this working wine estate is set in the fertile Constantia valley. Once the bread-basket supplying the former emerging settlement now it is only a twenty minute drive from the urban centre of Cape Town. Still holding its rural charm it offers the choice of three restaurants, hotel accommodation, spa facilities and a cricket oval as well as wine tastings seven days a week. History buffs and green-fingered enthusiasts can opt for tours of this restored and popular homestead and gardens. There is a selection of brandies and olive oils for sale in the wine shop as well as advice on food and wine pairing.
The recently revamped River Café offers a menu of affordable seasonal produce from Uitsig's own organic garden which is accompanied with specially sourced home-made breads, meats and cheeses. Understated and relaxed this bistro is open for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea throughout the year bar New Year's day.
La Colombe is the winner of numerous awards for both its service and predominately French cuisine but also offers diners a selection of Asian- inspired dishes. The estate's selection of prestigious wines only heighten the experience of fine dining.
Situated in the original manor house on the estate, The Constantia Uitsig restaurant focuses mainly on rustic Italian favourites for lunch and dinner. The best quality ingredients are used and this heartfelt approach adds to the convivial ambience.
With the option of three restaurants, fine wine, stunning scenery and a slice of Cape history this dining experience fails to disappoint.
A trip to Leeds would not be complete without a visit to Fuji Hiro. A small noodle bar based near the Merrion Centre. The exterior may not look impressive and the interior is simple to say the least, but once your food arrives you will realise there is no need for frills as the food speaks for itself. Mountains of noodles or giant soup bowls filled to the brim with fresh succulent chicken breast, garlic, chilli, ginger, you will not be disspapointed. And you will no doubt go away feeling like your clothing may have shrunk.
Merrion Centre, 45 Wade Lane, Leeds, LS2 8NJ
+44(0)113 243 9184
Nearest Station - Leeds City
Google map: tinyurl.com/yaf25aa
La Petite Ferme is a beautiful restaurant/winery with guest suites in the heart of the Winelands of the western cape. Tucked away on a road leading away from Franschhoek, this is the most stunning place comprising of lodges and guest suites with a divine restaurant which delivers innovative food in the most wonderous laid back way. You feel you are dining in someone's home not a restaurant. The view is to die for and the food, wines and whole ambience is made of stuff which makes you feel you have died and gone to heaven. I loved this place more than anywhere else I have been in the world. A comforting place, full of inspiration from the people who run it, the food, the atmosphere is second to none. Without the OTT prices or the snobbery that often accompanies places such as this. A beautiful place to eat and stay in the Rainbow Nation.
Slightly outside the city centre but near several hotels this tiny Greek-Med cafe has some of the best Greek food in Dublin. On paper the menu isn't innovative, but the standards are cooked to near perfection. In addition there is a Bring Your Own policy with no corkage fee (and the excellent Louis Albrouze wine shops a few doors down)
I ate at The Africa Cafe in Shortmarket St, Cape Town, it was the best food ever and great, great value. All the waitresses were dressed in national dress- many came from different parts of Africa. The ambiance was fab and the recycled decorations were out of this world. It consisted of a communal feast of 16 dishes which you were encouraged to eat without cutlery and the bonus was, you could have as many extra helpings as you liked! Booking essential.
Small Turkish eaterie, just off Rose Street West. Fabulous food, nice casual atmosphere, super service from the owner Seyhmus .
Rose Street Lane West, Edinburgh.
0131 226 2212
Google map: tinyurl.com/yhepps7
First off, if you're driving to Taormina, ensure that your directions to your hotel are spot-on perfect: the twisting hills are confusing. The Michelin Guide directions (online) are extremely detailed.
I liked the Bel Soggiorno: great location and some character. But I hated my room. Book a perimeter room with a balcony/view.
Another tip: be careful of crime. I'm pretty sure that I was targeted while I was there.
The Palazzo San Domenico hotel is an atmospheric place: sneak in and roam the halls at night.
I regret not having visted Castelmola, the village on the cliff overlooking Taormina. I've since heard that there's a phallic-themed bar (Bar Turrisi).
It's easy to miss this winery - as soon as you've turned off the R44 heading west, look out for the Forrester sign immediately on your left. Don't expect to see the swanky entrances of the Grandes Dames of the SA wine industry like Vergelegen or Groot Constantia, Ken's driveway looks more like the entrance to a private residence. As you head up to the winery, watch out for Ken's snail police - a flock of rather noisy geese. The emphasis here is not on presentation but on attention to detail in the winemaking process. KF has done more for the humble Chenin Blanc grape than an american soft drinks company has done for brown sugary water. Try the simply stunning 'FMC' (officially Forrester Meinert Chenin, unofficially f****** marvellous chenin) to taste what can be done with the grape that the french use to produce a liquid to clean their tractors with. Equally stunning is the red blend, 'Gypsy', produced from grenache, syrah, and mourvedre grapes. There are lower-priced, everyday-drinking wines too, with most available in the UK from Great Western Wine of Bath. Ken, you're the man!
The food is wonderful. It takes food in Cracow to another level. Well presented and has such great flavours. It's not even that expensive, though, like elsewhere, once you throw in a bottle of good wine (and they've got plenty of those) it'll add up! The service is also outstanding - especially welcome to those of us of been in Cracow long enough to have experienced the appalling attitude to customers in every other service industry in the city.
It's on the corner of ul. Dominikańska and ul. Poselska. www.ancora-restaurant.com/_pl/
Value rating: *****
We were very pleasantly surprised by KuOmboko Hostel in Lusaka, Zambia. We book a private room doubled bed for only 24$/night (shared bathroom). The hostel is well-equipped: laundry facilities, a fun and lively bar (that brings in more locals than guests), a 24 hour internet cafe, safe and secure rooms, a flexible restaurant (they will get very creative to aid vegetarians), and most importantly -- a terrific, friendly, and helpful staff. The place feels secure and is somewhat clean (although prepare for lots of little creepy crawlers and bugs in the shared area). For the money, this is a terrific bet and one that won't "bite" too hard on your pocketbook...
Plot 9926, Mankanta Close, P.O.Box 33284, Lusaka, Zambia
Gourmet meals in a relaxed family atmosphere between guided horseback rides through beautiful wild life reserves can hardly be beaten, even for novices, young or old. A holiday or eating experience that is out of this world.
Horizon Horseback Adventures and Safaris, Triple B Ranch, PO Box 791, Vaalwater, 0530 , South Africa.
Tel: +27 (0) 14 755 4003
Pizzeria with a difference. Arrive early or late- it is very small and gets packed quickly. Delicious and cheap pizza by the slice in a great area for a few drinks, not far from the Nouveau Casino club and bars such as Le Café Charbon.
2 Bis Rue Neuve Popincourt, 75011 Paris
+33(0)1 43 38 12 00
Google map: bit.ly/lrRbMy
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