The Osteria Piazzetta Cattedrale is a romantic little restaurant in the old town of Ostuni being opposite the beautiful cathedral. There is a really nice walk up the hill to get there through some little whitewashed streets.
This restaurant was top class, with delicious antipasto, amongst other dishes, really friendly service, nice decor with murano glass chandeliers and also very small and cosy, so perhaps it would be a good idea to make a reservation first. One of the best restaurants in Ostuni.
Via Arcidiacono Trinchera, N. 7, Ostuni
I went to this restaurant while in Rio about a year and a half ago (2007), really enjoyed the food, met the lovely owners (friends of the locals I was visiting) and then promptly forgot the name of the place to write a review.
I heartily recommend this restaurant - one of the best in Rio (in Botofogo) but also one of the most laid-back and, having just looked on their website, it seems to be winning lots of foodie prizes.
Rua General Góes Monteiro
Tel (21) 2244-0125
Staying at The Big House was one of the highlights of our holiday in Cuba. Why? Because the host Arturo is one of the coolest people you could wish to come across.
He is fun, warm and friendly - undoubtedly you will end up chatting and laughing over a late night beer with him and his friends in one of Vinales' simple but welcoming bars. If you’re not a Spanish speaker the most important thing is that Arturo has excellent English, so you can really connect with your host - something that frustrated us on our travels as we met so many lovely people who we struggled to communicate with using our paltry Spanish!
He has two rooms both with a private bathroom and a lovely outside area - perfect for pre-dinner drinks and some of his delicious home made potato chips. Dinner was a tasty, extensive spread of fresh fish, chicken, great rice and beans and plenty of fruit and veg and salad. Oh, and flan for pudding - not what we’d call flan in the UK - more like a creme caramel (which normally I hate but this I loved!). He'll also take care of ensuring the fridge is always full of beer and water. Breakfast is typically Cuban - coffee, fresh juice, eggs, bread and fruit.
The house is literally the Big House, dwarfing all the neighbours thanks to a capacious roof, and it's located in a quiet road just off the main drag. Vinales is well worth the visit as all the guidebooks say, sweet little town in stunning scenery with plenty to do nearby or a reasonable drive away - walking, horseriding and an hour away from the beautiful, unspoilt Caya Levissa beach. Arturo can help organise and pre-book these for you.
The Big House Rafael Trejo #33, Vinales Pinar Del Rio Cuba CP 22400 Tel: 048 793342
This restaurant was recommended by a Valencian friend and it is a great place to go for traditional Spanish home cooking and great value.
Inside it's decorated with painted Spanish tiles and you can see the food being prepared in the open kitchen. There's a range of typical tapas, seafood and meat dishes - it was good for children as they had some plain dishes like steak, grilled chicken or fish and also some more adventurous things including Paella.
It's tucked down a small street behind the ceramics museum in the Palacio Marques de Dos Aguas but is worth hunting out.
You can see my review and photos on my blog; heatheronhertravels.blogspot.com/2008/04/evening-out-with-angel-in-valencia.html
Restaurante La Utielana, Plaza Picadero de Dos Aguas, San Andres 4, Valencia, Tel 963529414 (The road is just behind Palacio Marques de Dos Aguas)
La Beneficencia is a free museum, and if you walk through the shady inner courtyard, you'll find the restaurant for a great value set lunch at €9.
Service starts at 2pm although I'd arrive a little earlier and have a drink as it is very popular with the locals.
For €9 you get three courses of excellent modern cooking and there are three choices per course. To give you an example of what we ate: salad of salt cod, chicken in a curried sauce with wild rice (or Valencian paella), coconut cream with pineapple and lemon sorbet. It was all delicious.
Museo de Prehistoria y de la Culturas de Valencia (La Beneficencia)
Calle Corona 36. You'll find it in all the guidebooks - it's next to the Institito Valenciano de Arte Moderno (IVAM).
It is astonishing to come across acharming and friendly inn off a highway between Lechlade and Burford and have the most memorable pub lunch of chicken liver and brandy pate and a yellowfin tuna nicoise that didn't taste of dishwater, and all on a Monday after visiting William Morris's house at Kelmscott (which was closed, so we needed cheering up, and got it). The most beautiful village of old houses made of sublime Cotswold Stone - walks, woollen mills, beautiful things to buy, heaven - we will stay here next time- Tadeus Pfeifer, Basel
Filkins, Oxfordshire - website
Darbucka is a Lebanese restaurant. I was in there celebrating my engagement to my fiance on Friday, and my fiance was told to move very rudely in Arabic, as the waiter figured that my guy was from that part of world.
I have going there for the last four years, but I would advise anyone wanting the Middle Eastern experience to go elsewhere.
They effectively ruined one of the most important days of our life.
182 BASEMENT St John Street
London EC1V 4JZ
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7490 8772
It's a small cockle stall selling, yep you guessed it, cockles. But they also do the MOST amazing hot chocolate with bits of Mars Bars floating in it and topped with marshmallows. Very indulgent and naughty but a great winter warmer.
The Hard, Portsmouth. Between Portsmouth Harbour train station and Portsmouth Historic Dockyard's entrance.
Having read a bit about a restaurant called Aranda Asador in Barcelona, which serves lamb, I felt I had to add this restaurant. This is where the real lamb is, and it truly is the best in Spain here in Aranda, not in Barcelona!
The local speciality is lechazo, roughly translated as suckling lamb. I have been living in Aranda for around seven months now, and this is the place to eat the best lamb by far. It also serves wonderful morcilla arandina, like a black pudding but with rice. This is better than any other morcilla I've tried, and El Lagar is the best restaurant in town.
Calle Isilla, 18
09400 Aranda de Duero
The often crowded but peaceful Jardin d'Europe and Champs de Mars look out over lake Annecy and provide stupendous views of the Alps and photo ops. It's a great place for a family picnic as there is a children's park and ducks on the lake. A must do is to walk by Lake Annecy from the Hotel de ville down to the port.
Jardin d'Europe and Champs de Mars are just a 5 min walk from the town hall and from the old city
The Palais de l'ile is the most photographed monument in Annecy - and for good reason - as it is a beautifully situated castle in the middle of a canal and is a quaint introduction to the old city, sometimes it hosts exhibitions and the cafés (not cheap) next to the castle make for a good resting point before exploring old Annecy.
Palais de l'ile is just a 20 min walk from the train station and just 10 mins from lake Annecy
Local pub, great welcome, open fire, good English bar food. Must be the only pub in the world to keep an ancient skull (stuffed with newspaper) in the cupboard by the side of the fire. Lemon tart to die for.
After eating take a walk through the pretty village with an old church that has a runic headstone. Then up to the site of a stone burial site.
Great Urswick is a few miles from Ulverston, and quite near Barrow in Furness.
Having used the been there to plan a short trip to Belgium I thought it only proper to note down my experiences for the reference of other visitors.
We travelled to Bruges in our own car via ferry from Dover to Calais – for our trip we found that this was the most cost-effective means. The drive from Calais to Bruges is not arduous and took less than 1.5 hours - sat nav makes it all the more simpler and brought us to the door of the Anselmus Hotel in central Bruges.
We found that this was a very comfortable, friendly family-run hotel that we could heartily recommend. It is ideally located close to the central area.
The city is fabulous – we enjoyed ourselves immensely. Take the canal tour and get a view of the local Flemish architecture, visit the Chocolate museum, watch the demo and sample the goods. Have hot chocolate and waffles in one of the street cafes as a mid morning snack or maybe grab a portion of chips and mayo from the mobile frituur in the market square, browse the unique shops – not too much sign of globalisation here!
For our meals we found excellent mussels and frites at Breydel-de-Coninck just off the main square at Breidelstraat 24 and for an alternative evening we could recommend the Grand Café de Comptoir with their excellent selection of international dishes, warm welcome, elegant décor and reasonable prices.
Then there’s the beer, you can visit a local brewery but if it’s the business end of the operation that you are interested in you will not be disappointed by the selection of bars and pubs and the variety of local beers on offer – close your eyes and take your pick.
The following day we visited Ypres (Ieper), about 70 km away, where you cannot fail to be stirred by the tragedy of the first world war. The museum named ‘In Flanders Fields’ in the main square of the town and only a short walk from the Menen Gate really puts a subsequent driving tour of the battlegrounds and cemeteries into vivid perspective.
Near Hill 62 you can view the trenches and let your imagination construct what it must have been like to fight in these conditions. The largest allied cemetery at ‘Tyne Cot' has over 12,000 graves regimentally aligned plus a wall of remembrance with thousands upon thousands of names of those who fell but have no known grave.
Bruges and the locality have much to offer visitors looking for a city break with a difference – I look forward to going again at some stage.
Check out the hotel at en.venere.com/belgium/hotels_brugge/hotel_anselmus.html?fe1&ref=682988, Breydel Restaurant site is www.breydel-deconinc.be/
The north coast of Spain is much neglected but if you happen to like, say, the Yorkshire Dales (on a much bigger scale) then it's the place for you. In addition to fine mountains we also have caves with prehistoric paintings, the village where Spanish Modernism began (Comillas) and fine food.
We have lived here for ten years and would never live anywhere else. Try El Nuevo Molino in Puente Arce for excellent food and wines. Also, almost any bar will offer a Menú del Día for around €10 which includes three courses, bread and wine. Don't miss Cocido Montanés, a luscious bean stew, and very good cheeses.
The country is small so you can reach any place in Israel (well almost) in a few hours drive from Tel Aviv.
Tel Aviv by far has the best services, entertainment, hotels, and restaurants compared to any other Israeli city. Even if you don't like the hustle and bustle of a large city (the Tel Aviv metropolitan area has more than two million people) you should still consider the convenience.
And if you are into cities that never sleep (like Madrid and New York) then there are few that can compete with Tel Aviv.
The people are friendly and helpful, most speak English, crime is low (so you don't have to worry about walking at night), and the weather is warm and sunny most of the year.
Another tip: Don't miss historic Jaffa (located in southern Tel Aviv). Great shops, clubs, food, and the biggest outdoor flea market I've ever seen.
My daughter loves Tel Aviv (and I do too).
Check out some photos at: www.pbase.com/gilazouri/telaviv
Tel Aviv is on the Mediterranean coast, more-or-less in the centre of the country.
Nice bar, old, that shows the sports channels and serves a very fine burger - real mince and wholemeal roll. And a half-litre bottle of beer at 5 LEI.
Bottom of the old citadel, on past Jo Bar in the direction of the river. On your left just before your turn right for the bank of shops that includes the CFR.
Nice looking restaurant on one of the main streets in Cluj - just up from the cathedral.
Lovely meatball soup - through be warned the meat balls are in fact strips of meat. But the best was to come - hare chop. Strongly recommended.
Washed down with a large bottle of Ursus Black. And all-in including tip at 60 LEI. Awesome.
21 Decembrie 1989 nr. 22
Friendly and cheap local restaurant. The chicken soup was brilliant. And the wraps of meat with polenta for a main dish were not too bad as well. And with a bottle of beer the whole thing came to less than 40 lei.
Al. Ciura, nr. 6A
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