L’hamadriada is the stand out new restaurant in Valencia for my money. Serving outstanding grilled meats and rice it’s much more upmarket looking than its modest prices might suggest (€9-€17 three-course menu del dia and tasting menus from €22-€35), cool staff and you get your food pronto (not always the case in Valencia). The location is fantastic — very central but down a side street out of earshot from all the mooked up party noise.
Plaza Vicente Iborra 3
Tel: +963 260 891
This is a really stylish and comfortable cafe/bar in the middle of the town. It is a great place to drink a (good) coffee and read the papers while you wait for your wife to look at the shops and then buy her a simple lunch and decent glass of wine! I have never been there in the evening but I believe they sometimes have (gentle) live music.
Market Street, Aberystwyth 01970 - 617606
The Blue Lagoon's a fantastic wee, reasonably budget place on Klong Prao beach. It has idyllic little clean, modern (we stayed in much, much worse - do not try KP Huts...) bungalows with verandahs over the lagoon - a non-stinky, non-mosquito-ridden lagoon I would point out. Brilliant for sunsets and relaxation, and just down from all the fancy resorts with much lesser views and more noise. The big bonus is they have a cooking school so the food's amazing.
Khlong Prao beach, Koh Chang.
Ponsonby's a great little area with loads of good cafes and funky shops, more character and feel to it than the city, but just a 20 minute (downhill, pretty) walk away - or a 5 minute direct bus trip. It has a range of good accommodation, including 3 funky backpackers and some posher boutique hotels. And it's the main gay friendly area of Auckland.
Right on the seafront, the Penhelig is a small hotel which manages to remain a local pub. There is a cosy bar and pleasant restaurant where the food is good and the prices sensible.
Also excellent beer and wine.
Right on the front at the Machynlleth end of town. 01654 767215 - best to reserve when busy
Everyone raves about Barcelona’s famous La Boqueria market but Valencia’s is both bigger and better. The modernista building of stained glass and wrought iron is stunning, but it’s the array of produce, especially the wealth of fresh glistening seafood, that steals the show. If you’re staying in a hotel you’ll regret it if you visit Central - you'll want to take the lot home for dinner.
Open until 2.30pm, Plaza del Mercado.
The market is fab to wander around anyway, but you can eat a lovely breakfast at one of the stalls at the back of the market and watch the shopping activity from the comfort of your stool.
Plaza del Mercado, 6, Valencia, Spain
A brilliant mussels tapas bar tiled beautifully. Stand at the bar and drop the shells down into the waiting buckets.
Barman tetchy if you just order beer though, he started muttering to us about the stag group that came in just for a drink. The bar is also on the square which joins the main tapas/hanging around strip.
13 Moro Zeit 13
Phone: +34 96 391 0497
Tapas Bar, small atmospheric bar, wonderful house tapas, friendly service, great cava in wide champagne glasses, don't forget to leave room for the sweet biscuits and a glass of sweet sherry to dip them in.
C.Montcada near to the Picasso Museum
Essentially this is a bread stick sandwich with the typical Spanish potato omelette. The aspect that makes it different in Valencia is that the bread is liberally spread/loaded with alioli - a garlic mayonnaise which is just perfect for the aforementioned sandwich.
Anywhere in the city of Valencia. My favourite was a bar down one of the side streets near the train station. It was called Bar Turia. Well worthwhile - a good beer with the sandwich dripping garlic at a decent price.
A cliff-top cafe with beautiful views across Poole Bay.
Unfortunately owners have a very poor approach to customer service and food hygiene is poor. They are extremely surly and any complaint about the quality of the food is met with comments such as '..go and eat elsewhere then'. On complaining that my childrens' sausages were not cooked properly they refused to replace them and gave no refund (having thrown the items away).
The best Irish pub in Hamburg by a mile! Better service, an open fire, a great quiz night, fantastic food and plenty of live music. If you like chess or whisky tastings, there's something for you too!
The Irish Rover, Großneumarkt, Hamburg
I heartily recommend Danny Minnie’s restaurant in West Donegal’s Annagry, which is in the Gaelic-speaking Gaeltacht. The restaurant offers fine dining with plenty of local produce, including seafood, and the menu’s in English as well as Irish. Book into one of the guest rooms and - if you haven’t had enough the night before - you can choose a nip of whiskey for your porridge for breakfast. The cosy spot is only a bagel’s gowl from Carrickfin beach and some great walking to blow away the cobwebs.
This legendary hangout frequented by expats, students, and local residents since 1996 recently moved to a new location (now right across from the US consulate).
The casual cellar atmosphere is cosy and welcoming. The staff pretty much all speak English. The moderately-priced menu (in English and Russian) features tasty American-style food including nachos with homemade chili, and monster burgers like nowhere else in the city.
Free WiFi and internet phone are really conveninent and helpful, and the English-language book and video library can help keep you sane if you're stuck here in winter.
The bar attracts a younger crowd late nights on weekends, especially when there's a DJ or band. It can get a little wild (in a fun way), and it's a great time to meet and party with locals.
Furshtatskaya Ulitsa 20
A fantastic cafe located on a typical cobbled road in Chão de Meninos, São Pedro de Sintra. Great coffee and cakes.
A traditional Portuguese period building tastefully restored in a rustic style. Choose from cushioned windowseats in the interior or sitting in the shade on the esplanade.
An excellent range of traditional pastries and cakes is available throughout the day, and at lunchtime, hot and cold meals are served with a selection of local wines. Don't miss it.
Café da Natália - 21 923 56 79
Mariazinha Casa de Pasto, a small restaurant in the village of Almoçagem, Sintra, on the way to the beach Praia da Adraga.
A traditional restaurant frequented by the locals. The interior is decorated with some interesting poems and sketches by the clientele. The restaurant offers typical Portuguese home cooking accompanied by jugs of wine.
Excellent value and a friendly service. A must if you are in the area.
New breakfast brunch cafe along Park View, next to a great selection of shops and boutiques. It has great coffee and wonderful eggs benedict.
Lovely place to relax and meet friends. Open every day!
203 park view
The island of Torcello, 45 minutes from Venice by Vaporetto, is where Venice began. A perfect antidote to palaces and high renaissance art.
This tiny windswept island in the marshes was the place where the first settlers, fleeing from Attila the Hun, found refuge and laid the foundations for the mighty Venetian republic. Incredibly it once had 20,000 inhabitants before malaria took hold. Now all that's left is a wonderful church with fantastic 11th century mosaics and a bell tower which gives stunning views over allotments, marshes and the distant towers and domes of Venice.
There's also a rather fine restaurant Al Ponte del Diavolo, serving (very) local rabbit and fine pasta with wild fennel sauce (on the day we went). A perfect place for a spring lunch and to reflect on the beginnings and end of the Venetian republic!
Take the Vaporetto (LN route) from Fondamente Nuove stop. Change at Burano for shuttle to Torcello.
This cosy wine house five minutes from the Rialto serves dozens of wonderful wines by the glass, starting at about 1.5 euros for a glass of prosecco.
Also serves delicious bar food - when it's gone, it's gone. The atmosphere is that of a private party - you can spill out on to the street or eat at little drop-down ledges, built into the walls of the shop.
A great alternative to an expensive and indifferent meal in a tourist restaurant.
Cannaregio 5984 / Salizada San Canciano
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