Baga Beach in Goa has a shack where, between 1300 and 1600 hrs, you can get a fresh fish tali for around 60p, accommodation is on the beach in the form of apartments, which are unbeatable in price with a fridge, tv and above all friendly advice.
Ask for Raymond who also has scooters for hire, this busy family concern caters for all walks of life and a stress free enviroment is ensured.
Tel: 0091 9822384032
A few miles down the road from the super-refined Taormina is the much more gritty (though no less charming) fishing village of Letojanni (it's a short bus run from the bottom of the cable car at Taormina). Join the evening passegiata along the front, then take your pick from the run of beachfront fish restaurants.
We plumped for Da Nina, where a meal of fresh-catch giant prawns, squid, tuna and swordfish costs around €30 with wine. Sun set over the Straits of Messina was the pearl in the oysters.
Via Luigi Rizzo, 29
Tel: 0942 36147
A restaurant perched high above Taormina (take a taxi there and back). Breathtaking views over the Gulf of Naxos and Etna. Excellent local food and wine. Romance on a plate.
Salita Castello, 98030 Castelmola
Tel: 0942 28180
An offshoot from Le PUB Hanoi, this bar located in the backpacker area of HCMC is a refreshing change to the regular places in the area. Fantastic music, free wifi, well-priced excellent food and a huge selection of drinks, coffee and smoothies makes it a great spot for people watching.
175/22 Pham Ngu Lao. Dist 1, HCMC
08 837 7679
Le PUB is a fantastic bar serving reasonably priced food right in the middle of the old quarter. The staff are very good and there is even free wifi. The place attracts a good mix of locals, tourists and expats and the music is superb. The tables outside allow fantastic people watching.
Yuva is a family run eco holiday centre about 30 mins drive from Fethiye. It is set in 40 acres of pine forest and has direct access to the Mediterranean sea. It hosts a range of activity holidays from April to October for beginners and the more experienced including yoga, walking and chi gung, but you can also stay all year round without taking part in a course or activity to just relax and enjoy the beautiful natural environment.
Food is mainly delicious locally produced organic vegetarian and accommodation is in large traditionally built stone houses and wood cabins, all ensuite. Prices start from under £200 a week half board not including flight.
Yuva is a great place to relax, enjoy the sea, sunshine, and the natural environment and eat well and healthily at the same time!
Tel: 01760 755888
Fantastic sandwich bar just outside the Reina Sofia art gallery - it does some great fishy treats like their famous calamari baguettes. It also does succulent meats and my favourite, an anchovy fantasy...
Outside Reina Sofia art gallery.
A smattering throw back to Dublin's hippy scene, which has been nearly totally decimated. This is really only a shadow of some of Dublin's great markets. Still it has a nice feel to it and there are stalls for second hand books, fresh olives, old records and new Japanese and Chinese fashion. There's Simons Place cafe - a real stalwart, and there's a chipper in one of the stalls. Plus there's an entrance to the excellent Market Bar - with its own entrance for when the arcade is closed. It's a fun wee refuge from the occasional rain. A bit over priced in places tho'
Part pub, brewery and restaurant, the Dux has its own distinct niche in Christchurch’s social scene.
Situated behind the Arts Centre in tree-lined grounds, it’s the perfect place for an afternoon pint of their own brew while sitting outside in the sun.
Address: Corner Hereford and Montreal Streets.
Telephone: (64-3) 3666919
Lyttelton likes its kitsch, there’s no denying it. Home not only to the over-the-top Wunderbar, but also this strange little gem of a restaurant.
Located in a gaudy red and yellow art deco building, with cheap formica tables and Mex-influenced menu, the Volcano and its Lava Bar buzz with an energy lacking in most city centre eateries. Maybe Lyttelton is where Christchurchians go to get their groove on.
Address: 42 London Street, Lyttelton
Phone: (64-3) 3287077
Christchurch’s outdated styling as Little Britain is nowhere more obvious than in its approach to pubs: that they still cling to a Victorian notion of Britishness is apparent on crossing the threshold of many hostelries.
Check out the stale-beer carpet, or decor seemingly designed with fistfights in mind. Don’t even think about the food.
All of which make The Bohemian, by the banks of the River Avon, all the more enjoyable to discover. The beech and brick decor create a warm atmosphere, the food is delicious (the antipasto plate is superb), and you can even sit on the street outside in the summer.
How very continental.
Address: 256 Oxford Terrace, Christchurch.
Telephone: (64-3) 3662563
Another chain pub/brewery, the Hog is a decent, fairly run-of-the- mill place – lots of hardwood, good bar food, and nice beer. But it’s when Thursday night rolls around that the place really hots up. Latin Night is something special in otherwise reserved Christchurch, when the small Latin American community come out to shake their hips.
A swinging band provide the thumping beat, and salsa dancers bump and grind on the packed dancefloor. Let the cerveza and salsa flow.
Address: 178 Cashel Street, Christchurch.
Telephone: (64-3) 3666674
Nice little seaside town a short drive or bus ride from Christchurch. The beach is probably the best in the area – the fish and chips definitely are. Sun, sand, salt and vinegar.
Getting there: No. 30 bus from the Bus Exchange.
In a country where you can get overwhelmed with entreaties to do dangerous and high adrenaline activities at every turn, sometimes it’s nice to do something utterly quaint and old-fashioned.
Dining on good solid fare while the old Victorian tram makes its stately progress through the streets and parks of Christchurch is about as far from extreme as you can get, and all the better for it.
Good Indian food is not actually that hard to find in Christchurch, but this place (part of a chain) is the best, as evidenced by its constantly thronged premises on trendy New Regent Street.
Address: Corner New Regent and Gloucester Streets.
Telephone: (64-3) 3777997
Forget Christchurch’s (in)famous “Strip” of interchangeable and forgettable bar/clubs on Oxford Terrace – head to Sammy’s for a cool and laidback night out.
This place is hidden away down a dead-end street, so it’s one of those Swingers-style places that you need to be in-the-know to find. The music is pretty swinging too, and it’s buzzing at the weekends.
Address: 14 Bedford Row (off Manchester Street).
Telephone: (64-3) 3778618
Goldbrick House is a relatively new establishment situated at the top of Park Street in Bristol. We went there for dinner during Feb 2007 and had one of the best nights in a long time.
Goldbrick it is split over 4, beautiful Georgian townhouses with lots of rooms and hideaways. There's a two level restaurant (with amazing roof terrace - ideal to wind away long summer afternoons and evenings - I imagine) a fantastic champagne and cocktail lounge split across 4 rooms, two private hire rooms that were being used for parties and functions when we were there and a great little informal cafe bar at the bottom.
It's completely unique in Bristol and has a really relaxed and chilled vibe to it, although I hear that weekends are very busy.
Customers are a mixed bunch, which I found fascinating, from young couples, families, students, suits, and lots of people like us - knocking on mid 40's.
Food and service were faultless.
I'd strongly recommend that if you haven't already tried it - to get yourself down there and if you're visiting Bristol you have to make this one of your 'must see and sample' stops.
Full marks to the team behind Goldbrick!!! We're going to be regulars.
Park St, Bristol
A taste of Japan in Marrakech.
Authentic Moroccan restaurant this is not. Some of the best Japanese food outside of Japan it most certainly is. As a great lover of all things gastronomic, with a soft-spot for fine Japanese cuisine, Tatchibana offered better Japanese food than I have eaten in London, Paris or New York, and what is more, the price tag is more attractive as well. Recently opened in an area of the Marrakech Medina that has not lost its charming madness to the tourist trade, this Japanese restaurant offers the tranquility of a Japanese garden, and savours of the highest quality Japanese cuisine. The chef, a Japanese native who now lives in Marrakech with his wife looks about 15 but prepares his dishes like a sage. This is a must see, not to be missed experience, even if your cultural senses are confused by a small haven of Asia in North Africa.
This is a great Greek coffee shop, in the heart of Kremasti village. Thomas and Mikhlais will give you a really warm welcome. You can enjoy cocktails, a latte or traditional Greek coffee, they also serve freshly prepared snacks.
Come and play tavli (backgammon) or take a rest in the shade if you are travelling around. It's worth coming to see the mad murals they have painted on the walls inside.
The prices are cheap and children are very welcome.
It's on the left hand side as you come from Rhodes Town, after Melody Palace. Park at the side of the church and it's a 2 minute walk.
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