Pub of the moment. A traditional style boozer that mixes in the best of bar culture. Their Portuguese chef serves up her 'petiscos' and there are Pieminister pies bought in from just down the road. DJs subtly spin their records come the evening.
118 Cheltenham Rd, BS6 5RW;
tel: 0117 942 7711;
A converted river police station turned restaurant. The building's architecture is impressive as are the olives and bread. Upstairs the atmosphere can be a little formal. The downstairs cafe bar is a lot more relaxed and spills out onto a waterfront balcony.
The Grove BS1 4RB;
tel: 0117 914 4434;
The restaurant scene is very good indeed, choose from traditional Turkish dishes to a wide range of international cuisine. Many restaurants have roof-topped terraces to admire the great views. Prices start to climb the closer to the harbour but it is possible to find very reasonably priced menus. For a truly memorable meal try Obo Terrace.
This restaurant served the best authentic Italian meal we've ever had. Get there early as a queue builds up rapidly for the fresh, very generous portions of seafood, great pasta/pizzas and the biggest fruit salad you have ever seen - all served on huge hand-painted plates. Throw in live music in different parts of this buzzing square (everything from choirs to Afro-Cuban music), entertaining service and low prices, and you have the ingredients for a memorable evening out. Highly recommended.
Piazza Santa Spirito, south of the Ponte Vecchio;
tel: 055 210 437
Singapore has a tremendous range of food and drink but the ColBar is a unique restaurant that is redolent of the colonial repast enjoyed by British ex-pats since it opened in 1948. It is run by Mrs Lim and is located in Portsdown, a quiet suburb with a pleasantly “arty” ambience.
The restaurant is a wooden-walled shed with school canteen tables, aluminium ashtrays and a concrete floor. Ceiling fans circulate the air affectionately and football team photos adorn the wall. It’s basic, and is all the better for that. The food is good Malay and Chinese but you can get the full British breakfast if required.
This is a much loved place that has already had one close call with the wrecking ball of progress. It was relocated lock, stock and wok a few years ago when an expressway was planned. The locals fought a rearguard action and the ColBar was saved. It doesn’t open on Mondays but is a fantastic place to relax away from the commercial bustle of Orchard Road and the Central Business District.
9A Whitchurch Road, off Portsdown Road
Run by a Chilean family, this is a deli with an emphasis on Fairtrade and organic produce. Upstairs there's a small cafe where on Monday nights you can go to practice your Spanish with latinos living in the area.
89 Gloucester Road, Bishopston, BS7 8AS; tel: 0117 944 6810
If you really need a curry and a nice pint you should check out the bar Gibraltar in San Telmo, on the corner of Peru and Estados Unidos.
Perú 895, y Estados Unidos, San Telmo, Buenos Aires;
Google map: tinyurl.com/me9tev
This is a set of two little Chilean restaurants that have particularly good empanadas. Many varieties, including several delicious vegetarian options. Also serves nachos, quesadillas, tacos, and burritos - quality ingredients and sauces.
152 Napoléon; tel: (514) 286-6075;
64 Marie-Anne W; tel: (514) 982-9212
For fish and chips with a glorious view, head to the beach and this concession in the basement of the wonderful Porthminster Cafe.
Looking out to the bay, on your left is St Ives harbour, while arching round to the right is Hayle Sands and the Godrevy Lighthouse.
The food is delicious: battered fish is light, flaky and golden, chips are crisp yet fluffy in the centre, and all for £4.75. Local fish is used wherever possible.
It's open only during the summer season, but it's worth the wait.
Porthminster Beach, St Ives
Tel: 01736 795352
Go to Beauty's for brunch or breakfast. I love the mishmash of this place, which has been operating since 1942 and has consistently been voted best place for breakie and brunch.
93 Avenue du Mont-Royal Ouest;
tel: (514) 849 8883
Legendary late night pub in boho Montpelier. The DJs spin reggae, there's a good selection of rum behind the bar and Jamaican patties for the peckish. If you're lucky you'll find landlord Dutty Ken in a cooking mood and be treated to some of his finest curried goat. Live music every Sunday that ranges from Gypsy Jazz to Latin, Funk and Dub.
33 Brook Road, Montpelier
Gunwharf Quays is a designer outlet on Portsmouth Harbour. It's a great place to pick up a few bargains with outlets by Paul Smith, GAP, Next, Burberry, Nike, and loads more including some "kitchen" shops. The day we were there, there was a skateboard event on that kept my 7 year old nephew very happy, and the week before there had been a Food Festival with Ken Hom, so seems there is always something happening.
Had lunch at Strada - there are lots of restaurants to choose from, including the usual Burger King up to Loch Fyne and other "good restaurants". Would recommend for a family day out, or just to break the bank shopping!
This steak and seafood restaraunt in Cape Town has two venues: one in Mouille Point and one on the Camps Bay strip. Both are excellent and do a fantastic steak. It's always the first place we go for dinner in Cape Town.
Other good places to eat are
Yindees in Tamberskloof (Thai), Posticino in Sea Point (pizza) and
Fine Dining - Mount Nelson (The Nelly)
New Cumberland Building, 163 Beach Road, Mouille Point and Victoria Road, Camps Bay
Pataka is simply one of the best Indian restaurants ever - with no flock wallpaper or fake Indian music. It's decorated in the style of Rennie Mackintosh and the food (plus the service, atmosphere etc) is simply wonderful. If you don't believe me, ask Inspector Rebus. He goes there!
190 Causewayside, Edinburgh;
tel: 0131 668 1167 / 662 9434;
Make a stop at the Scott's Deli en route to the Meadows Walk. It's a simple deli - top value snacks, cheap and fresh coffee - smiling staff and an array of fresh pastries til' late on in the day. That do not come from a chain shop.
10, Gillespie Place, EH10 4HS (by Bruntsfield Place, opposite pitch & putt links course and next to The Meadows;
tel: 0131 228 5200
Chengdu has thousands of these, from the shabby, almost slum-like backstreet establishments, some of which show DVDs to entertain clients, to the ultra-posh teahouses, where BMW keys and smart rectangular-lensed specs are de rigeur.
Hang out where locals chill. In most of them, it's unlikely you'll be left alone if you don't want to be.
All over Chengdu. Da Ci Temple has a nice teahouse. www.randomstuff.biz has a description and map.
Great cafe: hard to believe it's in Singapore. I don't know what this building was originally, but the owners have transformed it into some sort of organic-Scandinavian-modernist-but-not-too-new-looking environment, with eclectic furniture, fantastic music and a view across a small green valley which had me, as a one-time Singapore resident, scratching my head and going 'where the hell am I?' Highly, highly recommended for a weekend brunch or dinner any night of the week.
28B Harding Road, off Dempsey Road, which is off Holland Road in the direction away from town;
tel: 6479 3343
Cocktail bar and restaurant that has a Pacific island theme. The band plays on a boat that drifts out into the lagoon to a mock storm complete with rain. As fabulously tacky as it sounds.
Fairmont Hotel: 950 Mason Street (there's an entrance off California Street);
tel: (415) 772 5278;
Chez Panisse is a Berkeley institution. Just across the Bay Bridge from SF (itself a beautiful and highly underrated bridge with great views of the SF Financial District, always coming in second place to the Golden Gate Bridge!) is Berkeley, probably the most liberal of places in the US. Home to Berkeley University (where I spent 2 happy years as a student) and numerous incredible restaurants, my pick of which is definitely Chez Panisse in the Gourmet Ghetto district.
Alice Waters, creator of "California Cuisine" (all natural, organic, local, fresh, seasonal ingredients), founded this restaurant in 1971, and it is still serving up some of the best, freshest food in the whole of the Bay Area. It is not cheap, but not outrageously expensive either, and worth splashing out on.
They have two sections in the restaurant - the a la carte cafe upstairs, slightly cheaper, where you can choose between courses, and the restaurant downstairs, which serves a set menu every night. The wine list is also impressive, and it is worth asking the waiters to pair your meal with some excellent local Napa and Sonoma Valley wines, as they are extremely knowledgeable and will no doubt recommend the perfect wine to go with your meal. I have eaten in both the a la carte section and the restaurant downstairs, and both times felt I had eaten the best meal of my life!
Reservations should be made, as it is a popular place.
1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley (nearest BART station is Downtown Berkeley;
Café reservations: (510) 548 5049; Restaurant reservations: (510) 548-5525;
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