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
If you fancy a overnight trip from Darjeeling, you can get to Kurseong in 90 minutes by shared jeep (about 50 pence each way).
Kurseong has spectactular views of the Himalayan foothills and the plains of north-east India. However, one place not to be missed (even if only for the trip along the mountain ridge to get there) is the organic Makaibari Tea Estate (by shared jeep or taxi from Kurseong Train Station).
I was taken on a personal tour of the factory (and tea tasting session) with Mr SK Banerjee, the owner of the estate.
Mr Banarjee is extremely knowledgeable and entertaining on the subject of tea and believe me, after 90 minutes or so, you will never want to drink teabag tea ever again.
It's the ultimate way to book restaurants in NY and other parts of the US - inc. Chicago, Vegas and LA.
Once you've registered you can search for restaurants online to find great meals at some of the best places in NY (as rated by Zagat Guide).
You'll be surprised how many great places have openings at decent times - places you would not have dared to call!
I've booked some of the best places in Manhattan, lunch or dinner. Collected points - and then used them for another great meal!
An amazing bar and restaurant off Duke Street in Liverpool city centre, it's a former Victorian jail which makes for a very unusual setting to eat.
Despite its former use, the venue is incredibly stylish and cosy and you can still eat in the cells as well as in an elegant dining area upstairs where's there's also a champagne lounge. Food is fab and service is very good. Also very reasonably priced especially with the set meal on a weekday.
Campbell Square off Duke Street, Liverpool 0151 709 4195. Nearest train station is Liverpool Central. The restaurant can be walked to from the city centre along Hanover Street walking towards the Albert Dock. Perfect if you're going for a gig at the Arena!
This is a special restaurant located in a beautiful position in the middle of Lake Como, close to Menaggio and in front of Bellaggio.
It serves a special non democratic menu at about 40 euro from starters to desserts, every day it varies from seamenù, to traditonal menù, or literary one inspired by romance such as Montalbal and Manzoni.
The boss is very friendly and speaks a little English. But what you eat is really great. We have been during Easter twice and we had great cusine.
via Regina, 57
22010 Griante CO
Not in Lonely Planet (why?).
Cheap, very safe (staffed reception and safe boxes), clean with hot water 24/7 hotel in downtown Delhi.
Check out the eaterie opposite the hotel for a veg Thali for less than a pound.
Only hassle is taxi drivers may be reluctant to come to the Main Bazaar, Pahar Gange (very narrow and crowded streets). Make sure you tell them that it's in PG and print off the map for directions - the last three times I have been to PG the taxi driver managed to get lost...).
If you are sick of the heat, dust and general aggravation that accompany travelling around India; or if this is your first trip and you fancy somewhere which is a gentle introduction to the sub-continent, then Darjeeling is the place to be.
May I reccommend Hotel Dekeling as the place to stay.
It's centrally located (10 minutes' walk from the toy train station and five minutes from Chowrasta). Clean, hot water 24/7 and run by the wonderful Mr and Mrs Norbu, who guarantee a warm family welcome.
What I particularly liked about it was:
Whilst I had booked in advance, I turned up a day early. The staff bent over backwards to sort out an alternative room for me. Whilst it was in the attic and had a shared bathroom, the price they gave me meant I could stay as twice as long as I planned.
They don't hustle you, come knocking on your door every five minutes looking for tips or try to sell you overpriced trips (which plenty of other top price hotels will do).
I wanted to go to Ghoom for the day. The staff gave me detailed instructions on how to get a shared jeep, how much I should pay , where to find the temple and how to get back to DJ again.
In all, a half day out cost me 25 pence.
There is a common area complete with books you can borrow and a stove. Great for just relaxing.
Topping it all, on the street level there is the attached cafe (Devakas) which serves delicous Tibetan food - cooked fresh in front of you.
I would suggest booking well in advance, it's pretty popular and was full during my stay.
Brîndusa is a fair way out of the centre, although not that far from the Civic Centre and 'House of the People', but it is worth seeking out if you are looking for a wholly authentic Bucharest culinary and drinking experience with no pretentious tourist frills or added kitsch. This is the real Bucharest, in the raw. A little further up the street, tucked away between Str. Vasile Topliceanu and Str. Motoc, you will find La Pietris, a rough and ready though highly picturesque beer garden and summertime hangout. Don't mind Rex the bar dog - he's very friendly.
Str. Elev Popovici Nicolae, on the corner with Str. Novaci, just off Str. Mihail Sebastian, the main road linking Calea Rahovei and Str. 13 Septembrie
On Peykhane, one of the streets running off Divan Yolu and about ten minutes' walk from Cemberlitas. Unassuming, bright diner, with excellent, cheap meals (pide, kebab, salad, soup), no hassle or hustling, friendly staff, and the best fresh bread we tasted in the whole city. 12-20 liras for two. Convenient for Sultanahmet hotels but out of the tourist beargarden.
Karadeniz kebab, Peykhane
This former 'model village' built by Sir Titus Salt in the 1800s to house his workers has fantastic architecture. The Mill itself is a fantastic place - now housing art/book shops, designer homeware store, outdoor clothing store, designer jewelery and David Hockney art gallery, among other things. And then there is the fantastic Salt's diner. Great food at reasonable prices. Entry to the mill is free. The village itself also has a range of arty type shops and cafes. For nature lovers, there is a canal and park next to the mill, and 10 minutes' walk through the woods brings you onto the fantastic moorland of Shipley Glen.
Nearest Station: Saltaire train station.
I think it is the best restaurant in Istanbul. Wonderful atmosphere with friendly service. I was very impressed with the menu and excellent quality of the food. Some dishes are exclusive to the restaurant. The Destiny Special is a delightful combination of tender beefsteak with a cream and mushroom sauce, served with a cinnamon cabbage in red wine sauce. Also recommended is the Destiny cake made with spinach - it melted in the mouth and tasted just of vanilla and cream. Don't be put off by the green colour! Definitely worth a visit. Reasonably priced too.
Bereket Mah. Haci Ali Sok. No. 11/A, Galata-Byoglu, Istanbul. Can be found by walking down from Galata Tower or by climbing up the steps by the Oyak Bank near the tramway in Karakoy.
Terrific restaurant down a quiet street in historic centre of Ravenna close to S. Vitale. Manages to get the balance right between seriousness and informality, with real enthusiasm in its service and pride in its ambitious and eclectic cooking and selection of wines.
Via Gamba, 12
Tel/fax +39 0544 215393
The Mint was one of the places where Australia’s coinage was produced but now it mints mainly commemorative medals and the like – the 2000 Olympics medals for instance – but it stages a ‘Gold Pour’ half a dozen times a day. This is industry as theatre, as a bloke melts down gold (and they do use real gold, unlike other mints that have a similar attraction) and pours into a mould, plunges that into a bucket of cold water and then presents the finished article for the audience to admire – all of this done with an informative and witty patter. It was fascinating and the Mint also has a very upmarket gift shop and tea gardens.
This was, I reckon, the best cuppa I had for the entire nine weeks I was away from home – a fresh pot of Orange Pekoe made with leaf tea not bags, slices of lemon instead of milk, piping hot water for top-up and a plate of excellent scones with raspberry jam and cream - terrific.
Umami is a unique experience, based on the philosophy of Japanese cuisine of natural, seasonal ingredients, accentuated by the substance and tradition of French cuisine. With an international flavour, Umami offers the very best in modern Japanese cuisine and interior design.
The bar is well stocked with the finest booze known to mankind and excellent cocktails.
St. Kongensgade 59
1264 København K
Tlf. +45 33 38 75 00
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