Osteria Vivaldi was the site of our first dinner in Venice. It was just around the corner from our hotel in San Polo, and there were several families dining there. The tantalising menu is online. The Risotto di pesce was a highlight! It was a great restaurant and not very expensive. I'd definitely go there again.
san polo 1457
Osteria Vivaldi is located on the Calle della Madonnetta in San Polo. You can reach it from the Rialto vaporetto platforms or, more conveniently, from the No. 1 vaporetto's San Silvestro stop
The area of bars and dives around the evangelical church opposite the main Post Office is undistinguished except for this surprisingly civilised restaurant. It serves Portuguese and Mozambican meals in a large open area. Excellent cooking and range of beers and wines.
Rua 25 de Setembro - Parque do Desportivo
tel: +258 272 20415
We found this friendly little bar/cafe whilst in Menorca this year. It's in the shadow of a hotel called Mar De Menorca but holds its own where food is concerned. The food was a real taste of home, we could tell it was home made and it was really tasty. The reason we felt the need to post this tip is the family who run Chepas are so friendly and went out of there way to make us welcome. Good food, good drink.
Es Canutells, 7 miles south-west of Mahon. Close to the lovely cove of Cala Canutells.
I'm a Bondi beach local and am saddened when I see the Brits packing the cafes on Campbell Parade (the slightly dingy strip behind the beach) when no self-respecting resident would ever stop there. Get with the locals and try Jeds, Gusto, Le Paris Go, Speedo, Wet or Three Eggs for your morning bacon. You won't regret the change!
This hotel started as a co-operative although it is very professionally run. It is located on the side of the mountain with fantastic views over the valley below from all the rooms and terraces.
This is the place to stay if you enjoy climbing, walking and being close to nature and even in the height of summer the air was refreshingly cool. Many different activities can be organised from the hotel to enjoy the mountain scenery and it is also a good base to visit the town of Nuoro and the murals at Orgosolo.
The restaurant is also very popular, especially at the weekends, and serves pizzas and Sardinian specialities. It's a good place to eat even if you're not staying here, although you would need to book at the weekend.
The rooms are clean and comfortable with wooden furniture and some open directly onto a large balcony. We paid around €75 for a double room including breakfast.
Cooperativa Turistica ENIS, Monte Maccione - 08025 Oliena
You can see more photos and read my review on my blog here
This is a fantastic tapas bar in the historic centre of Valencia - great tapas including loads of veggie options (rare in Valencia!), wines by the glass and probably the best mojitos in all of Valencia (and the barman speaks perfect English).
It's a very modern, light, well-priced bar with great food and friendly staff.
Calle Cavallers 19
(next to plaza de la virgin)
What does one say about a restaurant that hands you a drinks list when you arrive... with 68 different vodkas on it? And when you turn the page over there is a list of vodka cocktails... more than 25 of them!
The food menu (after you have finished looking through the vodkas) is very European-based with a Polish flavour. Borsch? Yes, it's on the menu. Goulash? Of course! Bratwurst and sauerkraut is included as expected. Come with an empty stomach as the servings are large. The service is cheery, the entertainment fun (a trio dressed as gypsies playing a violin, a piano accordion... and, of all things, a cello!) and if you really want to make a night of it, there is always the theatre next door.
Prices are reasonable and despite the alcohol, 'After the Tears' is kid-friendly. My grandkids loved their meals.
9B Gordon St, Elsternwick
(entrance thru the Classic theatre )
Phone(03) 9523 0969
Across the road from Elsternwick railway station (don't drink and drive, catch a train instead)
Google map: tinyurl.com/qpadfm
Great restaurant in central Sydney that’s reasonably priced and has soaked up more than a little of the city’s party atmosphere… Loud, funky music makes a great night out but probably not the best romantic meal! They also have a BYOB (bring your own bottle) policy on wine ($2 corkage) that helps save some more cash.
1 Broughton Street (Kirribilli)
Google map: tinyurl.com/re7e9g
Open 9am-5pm Thursday through Sunday, this market is a great place to pick up cheap ingredients when you’re in Sydney on a budget! Food fish, fruit, nuts etc. but also tourist souvenirs if this takes your fancy (lots of boomerangs in particular!) and handy backpacker essentials like socks and alarm clocks…
In Chinatown on Hay Street
Google map: tinyurl.com/nxbg5w
A restaurant which is a cut above the pizza/pasta joints. We ate there five nights running. Could not fault the food or service.
Pioneer Road, just off Bugibba's (round) square. Phone 2157 1604, mobile 9984 6767. Book because it's always busy!
Amazing restaurant, with great food, delicious drinks and unique decoration. It looks like an antique shop and they can also sell the furniture if you like. My girlfriend and I loved it - highly recommended.
Rua Gòes Monteiro 34
Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro
+55 21 2244-0125
If you're visiting the eastern coast of Sardinia and fancy a change from the crowded beaches of the coast in high season, swimming in river pools is a tranquil alternative.
We found a wonderful cool pool to swim in on the way to the well known gorge of Gola di Gorroppu.
You drive from Dorgali towards Gola di Gorroppu and park the car when the track runs out, then cross the footbridge and walk on the right of the river in the direction of the gorge.
After about 15 minutes, the path forks - the right fork will lead you past a barrier into the national park and on towards the gorge, the left fork leads you downhill towards the river, where you can find big boulders and deep river pools to swim in.
After fighting our way through the crowded beaches in August it made a refreshing change, but sadly we didn't quite make the gorge which is a sight in itself.
On the way back, just short of the Dorgali road, you might like to stop for a drink or meal at the hotel Sant'Elene which serves Sardinian specialities and has a terrace with an amazing view over the valley.
Chateau Colombier is a large, French farmhouse situated in the heart of the Provence region.
The house itself is set back from the road, allowing secluded, outside dining and relaxation around the pool. Two minutes' walk along the drive is a gourmet restaurant called 'La Charette Bleu'.
The house can sleep up to 16 guests and the double bedrooms are all en suite. The house has been restored to a high specification and somehow retains a very homely feeling.
The option to self-cater is available, however we chatted with the owner of the house and for an agreed amount she catered some evening meals for us - all of which were delicious. This can be discussed at point of booking.
The owner splits her time between Provence and London. She has self-contained accommodation within the house and is very friendly and well informed about the local area.
A 10-15 minute car ride away is the lovely village of Nyons. The village has a regular market, with local produce, food and a great bargain or two!
Staying in this area of France means you can easily get to the lovely towns of Avignon, Nimes and the Roman remains of the impressive Pont Du Gard (all of which are about an hour away).
I have stayed here twice and both times hired a car. You will have to draw straws for who does the driving when you plan a trip wine-tasting at the region's many caves.
Find out more about the house at www.chateaucolombier.com and also about the local town of Nyons, at www.drome-provence.com/villages/nyonsa.php. Details of the local restaurant are available at pj-charrettebleue.fr/
This is a lovely XVIII century Italian villa - just four large ensuite bedrooms, the bathrooms are ultra modern with a walk in wet room. As an extra bonus, all hot water is produced fron the solar panels! In the grounds there is a beautiful saltwater swimming pool and spa. We found the place through a special offer in the Guardian.
One evening there was a pizza party, and we made our own pizza in the wood-fired oven (great fun) plus we had plenty of the Primitivo house wine!
The villa is privately run and the owners take great care of the guests, we even had a complimentary bottle of Prosecco on arrival.
If you're lucky enough to dine at the villa, you'll have a real home-cooked Italian meal (only organic vegetables) of three courses with house wine included, and homemade limoncello, all for just 20 euros!
We'd never been to the 'heel of Italy' before - it is quite different from northen Italy, plenty to see like the picturesque town of Ostuni (worth a visit), Alberobello, Lecce etc.
Brindisi (direct flights Ryanair) 10 min drive.
Bari (Direct flights) Ryanair and BA
50 min drive
Naples.. Easyjet and Thompson
3/4 hr drive
Lots of reviews said they serve lovely cake/sweets at Fauchon at Place de la Madeleine. I went there and was disappointed - the cake I had just didn't have the 'wow' factor, if you like.
Also, I witnessed something I couldn't believe. Two ladies sitting next me were leaving just as I was settling down, I guessed they were just having coffees and cakes and they left 50 euros for a tip, would you believe it!
I'd recommend going to Angelina instead, or Mariage Freres on the rue De Bourg-Tibourg for a nice cup of tea.
This stunning, unassuming restaurant in San Telmo has possibly the best tasting menu in the world! About 20 small dishes (with matching Argentinian wines) for 500 pesos for two people, and delightful staff. A bargain since this is not far off Fat Duck standards of food. Three hours of pleasure.
Google map: tinyurl.com/m8fbyu
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