A bit slow, and a little pricey, the World Peace Cafe is still a must for the altruistic or the plain curious. Run by the Manjushri Buddhists from nearby Conishead Priory, from 11.30 to 2.30 it serves only organic, fair-trade vegetarian food (mains £5.00, sandwiches £4), cakes and a selection of teas from Earl Grey to Ayurvedic.
The cafe also offers evening sessions in its very own meditation room (cost £9.50) - there's even a lunchtime guided meditation (£4.50) followed by soup of the day...
5 Cavendish Street, Ulverston
Fantastic pub for lunch after a hard morning's hike - the ploughman's lunch plus a pint of Black Sheep or Riggwelter, both glorious darker ales from the Masham brewery, sets you up for the rest of the day. The bar is to be found in the converted stables, the white-washed walls and horse brasses don't attempt to hide the humble beginnings of the place, far from it, the bar is a cosy and even on busy weekends, often a fairly quiet spot to have a meal or just a drink. Dog friendly too, we've taken ours into the bar without problems, or there are tables outside if your pooch is wary of other people. Decidely a locals' pub, it is nonetheless a friendly place to escape from the hordes of tourists around Beatrix Potter's house in near Sawrey. Having never stayed in the hotel I can't comment but if the bar is anything to go by it should be great!
Far Sawrey, Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 0LQ
Telephone: 01539 443425
A truly excellent high quality restaurant in one of the best and most interesting large villages/small towns in the southern Lakes.
Three pubs in the village itself, one (the Manor) has the best selection of beer in the county, another (Old King's Head) has the best pub food in the area, and the third (the Black Cock) has its own unique character.
Broughton-in-Furness on the A595, at the head of the estuary of Wordsworth's river, the Duddon.
A fantastic venue in the centre of Kendal featuring music, theatre, dance and comedy events and 2 cinema screens as well as exhibitions, activities for kids, an atmospheric bar and a great restaurant. Their forthcoming Womens Arts Festival features an amazing line up of artsists that you wouldn't expect to see performing in a small market town in Cumbria.
Brewery Arts Centre
Highgate, Kendal, Cumbria
Tel: 01539 725133
A Lakeland institution and a top spot to drink in the stunning views as well as the local ale. You might need to book to eat in the restaurant, but the pub grub is top notch – I’d recommend the ploughman’s, stuffed full of local produce.
Barngates, Ambleside LA22 0NG
Tel: 01539 436 347
Friendly cafe in a converted woodmill in Staveley (between Kendal and Windermere). Good menu - I recommend the tasty veggie chilli and homemade cakes. There are also some tables outside, including some that overlook the river at the back.
Mill Yard, Staveley, LA8 9LR
Nearest station: Staveley
I was in Prague with my wife for ten days in early April 2007. Went to Aromi on the recommendation of some colleagues. We loved it!
I must say that the food and service were fantastic! The location is great, away from all the tourists, but conveniently located just a few Metro stops from Old Town.
We liked it so much, we went back three days later after the opera.
The restaurant is usually packed, so make a reservation.
tel: +420 222 713 222
fax: +420 222 713 444
Cacao Sampaka, part of a Spanish chain owned by pastry chef Albert Adria (brother of Ferran – he of El Bulli fame), is a haven for chocolate lovers. Poshly packaged, delicious, additive-free artisan chocolates, infused with spices, herbs and some downright weird flavours – anchovy and hazelnut anyone?
Pl. Marquès del Palmer, 1
07001 Palma de Mallorca
Tel: 971 71 43 09
Cycle along the coastal path to Portixol beach, a little curve of sand surrounded by pastel-coloured villas and smart restaurants which means you can spend an afternoon to-ing and fro-ing between beach towel, sea and restaurant terrace.
This is the modern, spruced up side of Palma and the restaurant menus reflect that – scrambled egg and sea urchin caviar with truffles was on the menu when I went to Minimar. If you want patatas bravas and gambas you’ll have to head back into central Palma.
Vegetarian restaurant tucked away in the corner of the Custard Factory in Digbeth. Serves up big plates of tasty veggie fare, such as bean chilli and vegetable curries, for one price. Also serves nice fruit smoothies, organic teas and hot chocolate and divine homemade cakes.
Custard Factory, Digbeth
Really unusual bar, with a Gothic theme - almost like you are sat inside a haunted house. Lots of leather chairs, fireplaces and intimate booths. Serves tasty food too. Great place to escape the shopping crowds.
Underneath the Burlington Hotel, off New Street in the city centre.
19 acres of beautiful demonstration gardens and polytunnels all cared for organically and set in fantastic rugged countryside of North Leitrim near the Fermanagh border.
A grass-roofed visitor centre houses the Grass Roof Cafe which is by far the finest vegetarian restaurant in Ireland and also has a really well stocked eco-shop selling fresh vegetables from the gardens, books, nice deli products and gardening supplies.
The Organic Centre runs courses throughout the year on subjects as diverse as micro-hydro energy production to basket weaving and humanure composting as well as many courses on gardening and cooking with organic vegetables and seaweeds and wholefoods.
There is a lovely relaxed atmosphere there and the staff are friendly and knowledgable. It's only €5 to get in and this is refunded if you eat at the restaurant.
Children are welcome and have great fun in the willow tunnels. Free kids activities are available in August.
Largely undeveloped inlet, accessible by road but, thanks to Robert Graves, coach parties are banned here. The beach is stony, but the swimming is safe. Eat fresh fish caught by the local fishermen at Can Lluc restaurant, right on the beach, then stretch your legs on the lovely stretch of coastal path between Cala de Deìa and Alconassar.
This restaurant is really special. For 15 euros you are served a huge platter of assorted coquillages straight from the market stalls outside: oysters, mussels, crevettes, crab, langoustes and clams are all affordable for those on even the tightest budget.
The prices start from about 15 euros for a huge platter and go up according to the quantity of raw shellfish you feel like eating. For fans of coquillages this prize-winning restaurant is surely a must, but even for those Brits like me who are terrified of eating something so weird (let’s face it…), the lively atmosphere, the friendly staff and the sight of so many people enjoying delicious food is enough to make you try your first oyster.
It is child-friendly, unpretentious and welcoming, and the wine is good too. Forget Bouillabaisse unless you can get a real Marseillais to make it for you for a tenth of the price and go ‘Chez Toinou’. It is a Marseille institution.
3, cours Saint Louis - 13001 Marseille
Forget trailing around all the overpriced touristy rubbish and head for 'Au Tout Petit' - it's situated on a small side street very close to the market (Les Halles).
The owner is passionate about the food he cooks and speaks good English. The food is fresh and imaginative and there's lots of advice about what to choose.
The place has only been open a short time and deserves as much support as possible.
Also, good news for coeliacs - the owner understands and caters for them.
The price is about 14 euros for two courses, even cheaper at lunchtimes!
Sometimes you want to experiment, sometimes you want to splash out - but on other occasions you just need somewhere safe and simple (especially if the family's in tow). This tidy little restaurant just off Prinsengracht does the job, with friendly service and main courses from about 12 Euros. A lot of locals hanging out here, so it must be decent. There's a fair selection of fish dishes; check out also the pork sate.
With lamb shank with pomegranate and tomato salsa, and cognac chocolate pot on their menu, this is the place to be for a taste of Istanbul's fusion offering. This one stands out in the trendy Beyoglu neighbourhood and is a bar and restaurant, so perfect to start a night out. For a 3 course dinner with wine, it came to £26 a head and was excellent value.
Mesrutiyet Cad. No. 149/1, Tepebasi Tel: (212) 245 60 70
Pho (rice noodle soup, pronounced “phur”) is a traditional meal in northern Vietnam, particularly in Hanoi, dating back thousands of years.
Pho looks like a simple dish, but it actually takes a lot of skill and experience to prepare properly. A good bowl of pho calls for sweet and pure bouillon, soft rice noodles that are soaked in boiling water for just the right duration, and of course, tender and fragrant meat (chicken or beef).
Pho Bo is noodles with sliced beef while Pho Ga is noodles with shredded chicken.
This tiny and historic tiled bar in a sidestreet near Sol serves up sensational cod croquettes and battered fish pieces fresh from the fryer, as light and fluffy as deep-fried cloud.
Wash them down with glasses of house wine if you can get to the bar. A Madrid institution.
Calle Tetuán, 12
A tapas bar in Palma, around 3 streets up from el Corte Ingles department store. Was recommended by a policewoman, and turned out to be excellent. Very busy, but excellent food and reasonably priced. Address is Enric Alzamora 2.
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