Maison Blanc is part of Raymond Blanc's culinary empire but this Oxford cafe is the original. A small patisserie, boulangerie and cafe at the top of St Giles, it is perfect for Saturday morning breakfasts or cake and coffee. Everything is beautiful and scrumptious, from the almond croissant to the tarte au citron and the pain rustique. It is also surprisingly family friendly and we always see toddlers in here.
3 Woodstock Road, at the corner of Little Clarendon Street.
Tel: 01865 510 974
Situated in a boring and slightly scruffy building, this place is a real find. The three-star Longchamps Hotel is on one of the upper floors and, with two large terraces, is one of the most relaxing places in Cairo. Its decor could be described as a mix of elegant, Bohemian and ethnic. But what most people find surprising is the food. Menus are simple but dishes are invariably delicious to the point of being memorable. If you are looking for somewhere inexpensive, quiet, clean and pleasant to stay in Cairo, this is it.
Hotel Longchamps, 21 Ismail Mohamed Street, Zamalek. 3409644
Tel : 00 20 2 735 2311/12.
Once the home and garden of a wealthy Swiss businessman, the Swiss Club was donated to the Swiss community of Egypt. Today, however, it is open to all for a small fee, although it tends to be an expat hangout. If the bustle of Cairo becomes too much to bear you can bring your family to this green oasis and enjoy reasonably priced good food and a relaxing atmosphere. Other activities include barbecues, car boot sales and bazaars.
The Swiss Club, Villa Pax, El Gihad Street (off Sudan Street), Kit Kat Square.
Tel : +20 2 314 2811
A Syrian kebab cannot be beaten. They are available in jaaj (chicken) and lahme (lamb) varieties, including the wonderful local garlic mayonnaise.
Also look out for tabbouleh, the wonderful parsley salad, hummus bi lahm (chickpea puree with meat and pinenuts), felafel and labneh (a yogurt dip).
The Greek Club and Andreas are two nice restaurants and watering holes in Cairo. The Greek Club, in Midan Talat Harb, is a laid-back place where you drink Stella beer and eat steak and chips with locals.
Andreas is a bit classier at the northern tip of Zamalek, where you sit under tent-like canopies next to the Nile eating mainly Lebanese fare, smoke sheesha, etc.
Greek Club is above the Groppis sweet shop on Midan Talat Harb and Andreas is at the northern tip of Zamalek island.
This cafe-restaurant also offers wine tastings and sells wine and the terrace overlooks the vineyards and karri forests beyond. It's a good place to stop for a glass of wine if you need to steady your nerves after climbing the Gloucester tree.
Just north of Helsingborg, sticking out into Oresund, is a peninsula known as Kullen, with a small national park called Kullaberg. It's a really beautiful spot, lovely countryside, good beaches, an absolute pearl of a fishing village called Molle and great walking around Kullaberg with views over to Denmark.
A very relaxing area. If you're in the neighbourhood, I recommend the inn at the little harbour in Svanshull - fabulous location and delicious food (no, I don't own it!).
Up the coast road north from Helsingborg.
The best korv booth in town. You can choose from over a dozen types of gourmet sausage and the fillings are top notch. The locals head there for a light lunch too. 45kr per korv.
Next to the Post Office on Nybrogatan 55
Far and away the best bife de lomo I've had in my three years in Buenos Aires is served in El Trapiche, a huge family-orientated parilla packed every night of the week by locals and tourists alike and which hasn't succumbed to pretentions. I go at least twice a month. Having recently being taken by a friend to Cabana Las Lilas, I can honestly say that El Trapiche not only beats it into submission on the quality of the beef but also in the price.
A proveleta (barbecued cheese), a chorizo (sausage) a shared bife de lomo (one portion is easily big enough for two), a salad, a serving of chips, a decent bottle of Malbec and coffee will come to around 90 pesos (£8 a head) for two. And if you get served by Juan, you'll get the best waiter in town.
Corner of Paraguay and Humbodlt, Palermo Hollywood.
Google map: tinyurl.com/mykr6b
Easily reached by train, this beautiful seaside suburb south of Stockholm is an ideal place to visit for a day trip from the Swedish capital. The small sandy Baltic beaches are ideal for children and there are old-fashioned separate male and female nude swimming areas and saunas. You can go for walks in the woods, picking berries and mushrooms, or try one of the bars and fish restaurants.
Take the historic train ride from Slussen station in Stockholm to Saltsjöbaden.
Makassar has a sizeable ethnic Indonesian-Chinese community, many of them living in Chinatown in the centre, just to the north of the old Dutch fort. On Sundays the fresh, tasty, classic Dim Sum experience is available from 10am until 2pm in the Makassar Theatre restaurant. They have a huge variety of steamed and fried dishes, with specials ordered at the cooking point next to the entrance and the rest from the roaming trollies. The restuarant is spanking clean and comfortable, the staff are attentive and professional and they are used to dealing with foreigners. The food is reasonably priced. Large family groups, all sitting together at one table, are very common, including everybody from the wizened old Grandad to the newly born baby in swaddling clothes. At the peak time, the chatter is almost deafening, seats are hard to find, and the atmosphere is warm and friendly. Everybody dresses up and the kids run around the big room chasing one another. As well as the tasty DimSum dishes, this upstairs restaurant is a very popular suki style restaurant, with boiling pots and a range of small colour-coded dishes to choose from. Downstairs is another Western-style restaurant with spaghetti and burgers and in the same building is the clean, modern cinema complex with two theatres. One of them is an older barn-style auditorium, worth a visit when it is full and a popular movie is showing. So have Dim Sum upstairs, Makassar Dream coffee/ice downstairs, then go and and watch a movie!
The Makassar Theatre complex is in Chinatown in the city centre near the container port. Turn left off Jalan Irian. There is a large parking lot on the complex, taxi drivers are very familiar with it and it is easy to pick up a taxi afterwards on the busy Jalan Irian, just 100m away.
Go at 5.30pm, see the stunning HK skyline by daylight in one revolution, then stay for a second revolution (it takes 66 minutes) and witness the lighting displays switching on one by one in many of the bigger towers. One of the famous ones plays hard to get and waits until all of the other flashy ones have shown their best before it suddenly lights up. The restuarant has a very nice buffet dinner starting after dark but you can stand at the bar for sunset drinks only. Staff are friendly and efficient. It isn't cheap but is excellent value for the location and entertainment. Be careful when you go to the toilet (in the central core) because in the five or ten minutes you are in there, the view changes and you can feel disorientated and lost.
The Hopewell Centre, 183 Queen's Road East, on the south edge of Wan Chai at the foot of the steep slope. Take a taxi (cheap and highly efficient) or take a 15-minute walk over from Wan Chai MRT through the narrow lanes and market stalls.
They do the best Gyros pitta on Rhodes - pork cooked on a rotisserie, with tzatziki, tomates and onions. I sampled quite a few just to be sure! A great value lunch at just 3 Euros.
It's near the church bell tower on a corner after you walk past the Donkeys from the main square.
It is a bar/restaurant on Loi Kroh road, the menu is superb taste- and pricewise (i recommend the gammon steak, a bargain at 190 baht). The staff is Thai and Western friendly,which is standard in the entire country.
They have a big screen for football and a wide selection of beers (Thai and Western). This is the sister bar of the Queen Victoria which is on Propokklao road (bad location) and also a great place.
Near the end of Loi Kroh road, on the left if you are coming from the night bazar.
When in Cape Town visit Mama Africa restaurant. There is live music and the food and wine list is excellent. The place is crowded so if you like a good seat make a reservation.
Long street 178, Downtown
Tel: 021 424 8634
One is the high tea at the Shangri-La hotel. Sit and gorge in decadent surroundings in three hour sittings. Waitresses indulge your every whim, there's over 100 teas to choose from, and a seemingly endless choice of food. From Chinese roast pork to Scottish smoked salmon via sushi and a wicked dessert trolley, beware...you will need the rest of the weekend to recover!
The other is the Col bar, a former officer's mess and much more low-key. Perfect for homesick comfort food like sausages, beans and chips, and set in a lovely rural setting (well, by Singaporean standards!). Cheap, fun and great for families.
22 Orange Grove Road, Singapore 65 6737 3644
Jalan Hang Jebat, off Portsdown Road
Visit Mandela square in Sandton City. A vibrant shopping mall with a square that sizzles in the evening from all those lovely restaurants. A good place to eat is Montego Bay. Under the watchful eye of the biggest Mandela statue - you'll enjoy a nice seafood or other dinner.
Friday and Saturday nights, the Quadrilatero area (north west corner of the city) is full of life and locals....the area 'piu trendy' in Torino...but in an authentically italian way! Go there for the best alfresco dining and people watching.
A very Singaporean shopping experience in the local markets. Have a Tiger and some noodles from the local eateries while you're there - very worhwhile.
Don't forget to visit Raffles for a Singapore Sling; I know it's very touristy but you'll regret it if you don't do it. The food is excellent as well.
Nowhere is too far to walk in Singapore because of the experience, just make sure you have plenty of bottled water with you. The new (2005) shuttle bus service around the city is fantastic, buy a "hop on-hop off" ticket; they stop near all the major sites, then you can walk some more.
Great 24 hour cafe on Manhattan Beach Blvd just 2 blocks from the ocean. One of the few places around the area to be open 24 hours. Their sandwiches are great, burgers tasty, but the best thing on the menu is their french onion soup with a chunk of baguette dunked in it and a slice of mozzarella melted over the top. Get the blackberry lemonade too. Good people watching from the (heated) terrace.
1138 Highland Ave (Cross Street: Manhattan Beach Boulevard)
Manhattan Beach 310 545-8511
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