A fabulous restaurant, which - despite its name - serves superb modern Spanish food.
Don't go during the Feria (roughly mid August), as you will be whizzed through because the staff want to join the festivities. At all other times the service is flawless and the food imaginative and well executed. Try the prawns in kataffi pastry with lettuce soup.
This place is a real gem. It's a cosy restaurant with the most extensive menu i have ever come across. The food is exceptional and the service, friendly and economic. My wife's a vegetarian and very rarely satisfied by the choice of veg dishes on offer. Here she was spoilt for choice for a change!
83 High St Lewes E Sussex
Tel: 01273 488 028
El Porton is the bullfighters' favourite tapas bar and an example of traditional Andalucian food, very macho but lovely staff. Try the prawns sizzling in garlic.
Tragabuches serves modern, high quality food with panache in a stylish setting. Expensive for Andalucia but worth it.
El Porton: Calle Pedro Romero 7
Tragabuches:Calle Jose Aparicio 1
Granada, Cordoba, Sevilla? Of course. But try Almeria, a city with friendly people, wide avenues, an impressive alcazaba, a fortified cathedral and a long beach.
And, if you don't know where to stay or eat, look no further than the Plaza de las Flores, a Torreluz hegemony. In this tiny square (no flowers I'm afraid) Torreluz gives its name to a four-star hotel, a two-star hotel (which we thought very good value for money, but try and get a room overlooking the square), a separate block of apartments, an upmarket restaurant, a very acceptable modern cafeteria where guests of the two-star hotel take their breakfasts (which were very good) and, best of all, a traditional bodega full of atmosphere and people, who spilled out onto the square, serving good value and good quality dishes. All you want in one square right in the centre of town.
Plaza de las Torres, near Puerta de Purchena, the main square, Almeria. Torreluz enterprises etc
I find the trouble with anyone recommending curry places is that they tend to think the one that they go to is the best and rarely venture anywhere else.
I've been right up and down Rusholme numerous times and have found some favourites - but if you want to avoid the generic 'curry' you've got to order the right thing as well as go to the right place - traditional Karahi Gosht at Darbar, for instance.
Most places have their cons too. (Some greatly outweigh their pros as mentioned by other reviewers). But I don't think the curry mile has had it's day in general. As for the northern quarter cafes: they are indeed great value - particularly for town centre but are they really the best places around as some claim? Probably not. Are they tasty, great value great additions to the town centre? Definitely. I'd agree that all those mentioned above are good places.
Shalimar (formerly Chandni) wasn't so great last time I went - however again it's ordering the right thing that counts. Play to a place's strengths and you'll invariably get better food. I always avoid exotic ingredients when trying out budget places because one of the reasons they're cheap is that they're not throwing out £100s worth of shellfish every evening that nobody ordered. So if you do have exotic items they may well have been recently frozen.
Similarly the 'made from base sauce' issue is usually there in all curry places - does one place's lamb bhuna, jalfrezi, karahi or balti really taste that different from the next dish? Or is it 90% base sauce and a few trimmings? In most cases it's the latter. I try to find traditional Pakistani and Indian cuisine but it's not that easy. Often you're better off going with the speciality of the house, whatever it may be. And really there's not much can beat lamb/chicken, lentils, naan and/rice in whatever fashion that comes most naturally to the chef.
I've tried various other places around and about -the Didsbury places mentioned by others, Asian fusian in Chorlton, EastZEast in the city centre. Every place seems to have somebody who thinks it's the best in the city but it's rare I find one that's really exceptional in anything other than presentation - maybe I'm looking for the wrong thing in traditional home cooking - meat on the bone etc.
They still all just serve meat or veg in a preprepared sauce tarted up with a few bits of this and that (pun not intended). Or marinaded and grilled (the quality and 'redness' of these marinades varies somewhat - I'm not a fan of food colouring). Unfortunately 'good' often means well presented these days and some people recommend curry places on matters such as décor or how loudly their plate's sizzling when it arrives.
I'd try anywhere at least once - and most places numerous times. Try and check out the menu - if they've got lamb on the bone it's a good sign. Off to Hhunter's for lunch tomorrow... See how we get on.
One more thing, outstanding value at £2.70 for a chicken kebab at Kashmir King in Whalley Range. Fresh meat, naan, good sauces - just don't bother with the lamb tikka - reheated in the back room.
In Montreal as an anglophone it is tempting to stick to Ste Catherines and St Laurent, but it is definitely worth your while overcoming a fear of the language barrier and heading to the French side. The areas of Rue Mont Royal, rue St Denis and around provide better shopping, friendlier cafes and a real insight into the true heart of the city.
Leave metro Sherbrooke and walk north up St Denis, or station Mont Royal and walk East/West along rue Mont Royal and then South down St Denis
On a recent trip to Thailand, I finally made my way north and on a visit to the night bazaar in Chiang Mai, I found a good English pub - the originally named Red Lion.
They had a great range of beers (Strongbow and Blackthorn Cider) and I was quite surprised that they had draught Kilkenny and Guinness. Despite that, I went for the local brew - Singha.
They had a big screen showing the Premiership and my team was on, so I was well happy. I love Thai food but after a week in Thailand I was ready for some old-fashioned English stodge. They had steaks, and the likes, but I tried the chicken pie and chips and I was not disappointed.
The staff were very friendly and the service was good. Well worth a visit.
A bit shabby on the outside, but go through to the non-smoking restaurant at the back.
Modern, interesting and tasteful decor, the menu not the largest but has a good choice and lovely vegetarian dishes. The best food we have eaten anywhere in the last year, great service and cool music. Excellent wine and all very cheap.
Our meal for two, two courses each, with one large wine and one soft drink came to £24.
ul. Jozefa 14
The Jewish quarter
A charming Victorian village in the coastal town of Southport.
As well as the world famous Royal Birkdale Golf Club, this traditional village has many restaurants (top class cooking at Michael's), a cheese shop (The Birkdale Cheese Centre), butchers, bakeries and fishmongers.
Michael's is a neighbourhood restaurant in Birkdale, Southport. The chef, Michael Wichmann, has worked all over the world before setting up in Birkdale and the food is fabulous. Scallops with taboulleh and sea trout with minted new potatoes and red onion apple salad were some of the dishes on the menu when we visited recently and it was fabulous. The service is professional but friendly, and children are welcome.
47 Liverpool Road
Nearest Station: Birkdale
A wine bar with fantastic locally sourced food and a very enthusiastic owner. We had an excellent meal, great guidance on the wine we'd like and a lot of impromptu tastings of things that he thought we really should try. Welcoming, relaxing and a good introduction into the more interesting Sicilian dishes. Probably the best meal that we had on the island and one of the cheapest. It is in Ortigia which is the picturesque old town of Syracuse.
Via Cavour,8 (near Piazza Archimede), Ortigia, Siracusa
A lido jutting out into the lake. Perfect when Geneva is hot and you are feeling envious of the ducks paddling around - you can join them. Entry is super cheap, there is a good cafe serving substantial salads and terrines and showers/ loos/ changing rooms. There are different sectioned off swimming areas, some deeper, some shallower (and with a pebbly beach for little ones). Super relaxing and quite fun to be bobbing around next to a family of ducks. It's open from early til 8pm and they also have a hammam and massage facilities (but think hammam is currently being refurbished and you definitely need to book for massages).
Quai du Mont-Blanc 30
A friendly neighbourhood bar in the relaxed Carouge area. Run by a young team, nicely decorated, with an outdoor patio of comfy sofas shielded by a wall of willows. Nice wine list, tho' everyone seemed to be drinking rose. Some good bar snacks (assiettes of charcuterie/ cheese and chunks of good bread).
Rue Ancienne 1, 1227 Carouge
Well connected by trams (Marche or Ancienne stops on the 12 or 13 line)
We came across this as part of a Brittany Ferries trip. It was only bookable as dinner included, but the cuisine is superb, well presented and most pleasantly and competently served - and good value for money. Bagnoles is a pleasant little spa town in a forest with a casino beside a small lake.
We spent a week over the Easter Holidays in Paphos - beautiful but can be "touristy".
The highlight of our trip was driving through the Troodos Mountains and eating at quaint villages high in the mountains. We also drove to Tylliria and visited a sanctuary for the endangered moufflon.
Plenty of archaelogical sites including the Tomb of the Kings and the famous Paphos Mosaics, most Cypriots seem devoted to Venus - Goddess of love and images of Venus can be found almost everywhere!
Food is delicious - superb mezes, friendly people; we also learnt a bit of Greek (although you can very easily get by in English as everyone speaks it there). This is a beautiful island, with lots to see and do.
We travelled with The Holiday Experts www.holiday-experts.co.uk
who were very efficient and got us accomodation at The Venus Beach Hotel in Paphos at very short notice (3 days!). Next time we'll probably opt for a smaller cottage somewhere in the mountains to absorb some true Cypriot culture.
It's a tiny little tea house tucked away off the beaten tourist track in the Hanover area of Brighton, run by a couple of young gay guys, with space for 16 guests seated. Kitch and as camp as they come!
The tea room is like stepping inside a memorabilia shop, like someone's front room, with an eclectic mixture of decor dedicated to the Royals, with Union Jacks ablaze, a grand piano and pictures of Diana adorning the walls.
The house rules are hilarious (not to be taken too seriously) ie no dunking of biscuits, no clanking of spoons when stirring your tea etc!
The menu is humorous, with items such as "The Duchies Cream Tea, Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth High Tea, The Lady Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales Afternoon Tea" and the unforgetable "The Julie Goodyear High Tea" (aka Corrie's Bet Lynch!) [you get the idea!)
It kind of epitomises Brighton's eclectic campness. Well worth a visit for a fun cream tea.
107 Southover Street, Brighton, East sussex, BN2 9UA.
Beautiful restaurant in original 1950's lounge. This former passengers lounge almost goes unnoticed as it is located on the 2nd floor and has a rather anonymous appearance.
Don't miss it if you are in the neighbourhood, the 50's atmosphere, outside terrace and the food are definitely worth going up the stairs.
KNSM laan 311 (KNSM eiland)
Near end station of tram 10 (Azart plein)
This gallery opened in 2002 and shows the visual arts and design of the 20th and 21st centuries. It was designed by Stephan Braunfel. It is spacious, full of natural light from a huge rotunda, and offers both a permanent collection and changing exhibitions. It is a pleasure to visit. The design work in particular is imaginatively displayed, on ramps, on huge open lifts that revolve in the air, or suspended at eye level from the high ceilings. Like the other nearby museums, it has a good cafe, and an attractive shop that sells both mementos of your visit and scholarly material. The entry fee was 9.50 euros but that covered all the shows offered in the gallery.
Museum District; tram 27 from Karlsplatz (Stachus) www.pinakothek-der-moderne.de
The Old Town is linked to the mainland by a single causeway, entering the town through a single archway. The whole of the Old Town is a Unesco World Heritage site, and has some stunning old churches, some dating from around 1000 AD. There are a number of excellent restaurants, with seafood a speciality.
Take a bus from Sunny Beach
Nearest airport - Bourgas.
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