We find generally inland Spain is a lot cheaper than the coast. Most of these towns rely on agriculture rather than tourism. Towns such as Arcos de la Frontera, Montefrio, Alhama de Granada and Antequera. The price of food and drink reflect this lack of commercialism. Many of the tapas bars and restaurants have a 'menu del dia' (menu of the day) - typically costing between €7 - €10 for 3 courses, salad, bread and often a drink is included. It helps to have rudimentary Spanish or a good phrase book as 'menu del dia' is not usually written down but read to you by the waiter/waitress. It is most definitely a worthwhile experience as what you are getting is 'real Spain' - the food that the locals are eating at the price the locals are paying. Also every time you buy a glass of wine or a beer a small plate of tapas is included free. A glass of wine or beer generally costs €1 - €1.50 inland compared to triple that on the coast.
Saint-Omer is a fine town in northern France some 40km south-east of Calais. Although it has some unattractive industrial quarters, chiefly connected with brewing, it is well worth visiting in its own right and not simply as a convenient break before leaving or returning to the channel ports.
The main square, Place Foch, flanked by a magnificent Hotel de Ville (1840), contains many good restaurants and bars. The adjoining small streets also offer good places to eat and drink, and the individual shop fronts are beautifully preserved (or restored) from the early part of the twentieth century.
There are a number of small hotels in the town centre, an Hotel Ibis, and other inexpensive chain hotels on the edge of town.
The abbey church, Notre Dame, has recently been cleaned and restored, and its white limestone exterior gleams over the nearby ramparts. Abbot Suger (architecture buffs will know of him) was born in St Omer, and Lord Roberts (of Boer War fame) died here in November 1914, and so missed most of the First World War.
Saint-Omer is 40km south east of Calais on the N43. The Office de Tourisme can be found online at www.tourisme-saintomer.com
Just off one of the main streets in Essaouira, take the narrow staircase to the first floor and you'll find a small restaurant full of 60s/70s retro memorabilia with a welcoming owner, laidback atmosphere and unbelievably good food. As a (free) appetiser you are brought flatbreads and delicious dips; the main courses are a mix of tagines and French-style dishes, all amazingly good; puddings - if you can fit one in - imaginative and indulgent. House wine is very good, prices fair, service deliberately relaxed - it's easy to spend a whole evening here and I recommend that you do. Definitely the best food we had in Morocco.
Le Restaurant Elizir
1 rue d'Agadir
Tel 024 47 21 03
Cicale is an italian restaurant situated in the center of Ibiza, on the road to San Joan, close to San Lorenzo.
Between all the restaurants I've been in Ibiza, Cicale is one of the ones I liked most because of the delicate plates and good meat and I didn't spend much (well it was in November, but I don't think they change the prices a lot in the summer).
Road to San Joan, km 12 - Ibiza
This is a beautiful boutique heritage guesthouse where I stayed recently. There were people from England staying there so I think others will be interested. Intimate, charming, private, spotlessly clean, ayurveda in-house, amazing decor full of atmosphere, fabulous view of ocean from rooftop restaurant, clean and private pool. Brilliantly situated for exploring the backwaters and helpful staff to arrange transport and give advice. Didn't want to leave and will certainly return. Go there if you can!
La Palma is one of the least known of the Canaries, a small mountainous volcanic island that is wonderful for walking and exploring by car. The capital Santa Cruz is a charming colonial town of historic buildings, cobbled streets and excellent restaurants. This is not a place for sun worshippers, and you may go a whole week and hardly see another Brit, but it's a magical island.
Divertimenti in London run lunchtime cookery classes. If you're as bad as me at cooking then it's certainly an adventure! Each session covers somethign different - I did a one hour session which covered really quick dinner party meals. You get to taste everything you cook so it's not as if you miss your actual lunch and you head home with a copy of the recipes.
It's cool because you don't have to tie yourself into three months of classes and it gives you a bit of inspiration.
A chicken on a stick restaurant in Tokyo. Cheap, delicous food with friendly service that it is foreign friendly but you probably need to speak some Japanese. Dangerous shochu drinks may be too strong for the unintiated.
Jiyugaoka station, Tokyu Toyoko Line
Past the Starbucks and take the first right. www.jiyugaoka.or.jp/special/adomachi/index4.html
Seville is a great weekend away on budget with both Ryainair and Clickair flying daily from London. A group of three of us stayed at Pension Vergara for €20 each per night. The location was right in the old quarter, close to all the major sights. For a great cheap eat, head to the local market where locals stand around eating freshly cooked seafood and sipping beers from the market bar 'La Cantina'. The food was much better than most of the tapas bars in town.
Pension Vergara c/ Ximenez de Enciso, n0 11 | Barrio de Santa Cruz, Seville 41004, Spain www.pensionvergara.com/
La Cantina - Mercado calle Feria
The Fox and Goose is a good country pub, within reach of Exmoor and the South West Coast Path, which has an excellent range of beers (Barn Owl, Cotleigh Brewery, especially good), and a wide-ranging food menu. The cheeseboard has local cheeses as well as Cornish classics, such as Yarg. Staff are friendly and helpful.
The interior of the pub is somewhat utilitarian, but gives the impression of having been put together with care over many years, with fading photographs of long-deceased local drinkers, yellowing maps, newspaper cuttings, and an enormous stag's head, with a scarf tied loosely round its neck, given pride of place. While vegetarians might find this somewhat off-putting, visitors made of sterner stuff will enjoy the atmosphere greatly.
Parracombe is just off the A39 between Blackmmor Gate and Lynton. The village is at the bottom of a steep hill, with a narrow road. Take care driving down. The visit is well worthwhile. Phone 01598 763239.
A great restaurant in central Vienna but just off the tourist trail. It's full of locals, has friendly staff and great, moderately priced food. The wiener schnitzel (a choice of veal or pork) is excellent, the steaks succulent and the Austrian wine delicious and great value. With an emphasis on meat and local delicacies such as deep fried calf's brain, it's maybe not ideal for vegetarians or the faint-hearted. Get there before 9.30ish to beat the opera crowd and in fine weather you can eat outside.
Haunt of Rupert Brooke, the snug is how he would have known it though the pub has been extended and has excellent beers and good lunches. A quick walk into the nearby woods and you don't need a balloon for stunning views of four counties from the Chiltern escarpment.
Princes Risborough station.
The world famous Mangonui Fish Shop is situated on piles over the harbour. It is the most popular fish shop in New Zealand. This is because the fish is landed at the wharf next door and filleted on the premises. They cook it, and a good variety of other sea food, wrap it in newsprint and you take it over to a vacant table and enjoy it and the great views.
They have a full liquor license and have several draft beers on tap and a large wine selection which you can buy by the glass.
We were there in early June and thought it was fantastic the place has a great atmosphere and very friendly staff.
137 Waterfront drive, Mangonui.
Le Nid d'Aigle (aptly named - it's position is indeed an Eagles Nest) is a restaurant in Gourdon; the most beautiful clifftop village in the maritimes Alps, overlooking the Mediterranean.
The quality of food eaten in this restaurant is incredible. Superb. The supremely talented chef - who you spy on occasion through the glass partition to the kitchen, with his tall white *toque* and his oh so French moustache - knows exactly how to tantalize those tastebuds and have you clamouring for more.
Perfect portion sizes, value for money, gastronomic without being pretentious at all, and the yummiest desserts ever. I went with some friends one of whom is vegetarian - at last - proper vegetarian food.
This restaurant puts France very firmly back on the culinary circuit. Too good to pass by without recommending it (we got back home this morning!). We'll be going again and again every time we hit the cote d'Azur. The waiting staff were very helpful and charming - a discreet, efficient, excellent team of waiting staff! Bravo. Felicitations. A restaurant that combines brasserie style eating with gastronomic quality.
Tél. : 0493775128
Maria's walls are illustrated with characters from children's fairy tales. This kooky charm extends into the handwritten jotter style menu's.
True to form the food is magical and if the characters could come to life they would surely follow cartoon wafts of delicious food all the way to your table. Pizza's are fantastic with a choice of mozzarella or feta cheese with more or less what ever else you want (the feta one is better). Feta stuffed garlic bread is the best I've ever had and jugs of house red and white are just as good as any of the overpriced bottles.
All this takes place al fresco under the leafy protection of a beautiful Mulberry tree. There is limited seating inside.
Only open at night. Expect to wait for a table at high season. A pizza and salad (both shared between two) + wine came to under €30. There is a great jeweller's/treasure trove next door where you can browse and chat to Harris(the owner) while you are waiting.
Skiathos sqaure near the church
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