The (almost) private dining experience must hold a rare treat status for most people and in the sleepy town of Coppull, Chorley, it's even more of a treat to find such a place. The Coppull Moor has one sitting (usually at 8:30 in the evening) and a fixed price (around £35 last time I went). For that the pleasure of getting a room which you share with very few other people is wonderful. The food is generally of a good quality though sometimes the strain of serving everybody at once shows through. The menu is imaginative (desserts wear thin on repeat visits however) and the biggest gripe is that this place is so undersold. It's one of those places where a little more work on its offering and promotion would deliver in meaty handfuls.
311 Preston Rd, Coppull, Chorley.
Tel: 0871 7149510
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One of the many pleasures of eating at The Jumble Room is the feeling that you are almost sat in front of the telly with your food on your knee.
There's no TV, I hasten to add, but the knockout indulgence is all there with the added benefit of the food being amazing, heartwarming and restaurant quality. The staff are so friendly you may start thinking they are actually long-lost relatives and scratch your head a bit when they ask you to pay the modestly priced bill.
Langdale Road, Grasmere, LA22 9SU
Good restaurants in Chorley are hard to find and, despite the awful titular pun, the Thyme & Plaice offers consistently good food from a menu that changes every two months. Family owned and run, the restaurant strikes the balance between friendly and professional and the decor is equally well balanced.
Wigan Lane, Chorley, Coppull, PR7 4BN.
Tel: 01257 480287
Brasserie Pakhuis is a fantastic restaurant just off the main shopping street (Veldstraat).
It is housed in a fantastic, converted warehouse which makes an amazing setting for a meal.
Food is a wonderful mixture of French and Italian. They also do great fish platters with whole lobsters etc. There is an extensive wine list, and also (of course) an extensive list of beers. As well as the restaurant there is also a bar which you can visit for a drink.
Pakhuis is popular with locals, which I always think is a good sign.
Have a look at their website for a menu and an idea of what it looks like.
The Silk Road Restaurant is the best place to uplift the spirit. I go there sometimes when I am tired or need to see a friendly face, and it never lets me down. The decor takes you straight to the Mediterranean and the music, cuisine, entertainment and staff all help to create a wonderful feeling of well-being. They always have live entertainment at the weekends - catch the Brazilian/Latin jazz if you can - but you will need to book a table. It is more like a club than a restaurant - I always meet people I have met in there before. When they have live entertainment or a DJ, the atmosphere is just fantastic as the whole restaurant joins in with the dancing. I love the staff and Teresa, the host, is great. She gives the best hugs. I don't think there is anywhere like The Silk Road - in Brighton, London or even Istanbul!
Silk Road Restaurant
8 Arcade Road
Its above Sam's Chop House on Chapel Walks - absolutely wonderful place. Gorgeous bar and marvellous restaurant upstairs. The staff were wonderful and the food was real top drawer stuff. (and I know my Thai food)
Very impressed. My new favourite place.
Chapel Walks (above Sam's Chop House)
Tel: 0161 832 8342
Simply the best Thai restaurant in Leeds. Tucked away behind the impressive Town Hall (or City Hall, I always get them mixed up, basically the massive hall on Headrow).
Cheap with mains at less than a fiver and starters about £2. Friendly staff and a convivial atmosphere when it's full. Keeps funny opening hours though, its open through the day but closes at 10pm.
Worth popping into the Victoria Hotel just along the road afterwards for a swift one.
39 Great George Street, Leeds LS1 3BB, Tel: 0113 245 9224
Lots of nice pubs and good corner shops for well priced food. Worth checking out Krua Thai for Thai food and Runtgang for records and gewgaws.
Also most of the interesting clubs and nights happen up there, and there is Folketspark for wandering about and on special occasions, like Christmas, a funfair.
Follow Sodra Forestadsg. as far as the supermarket ICA - about 1km from the centre of town - beyond the shopping centre at Triangeln.
This legendary street stall near the Taj Mahal Hotel in Colaba does not disappoint. Although the main stall concentrates on meat dishes, for (us) veggies there is a separate section which produces some of the most delicious snacks in Mumbai. Bustling, friendly, a joy.
Behind Colaba Causeway, close to TaJ Mahal Hotel & Gateway of India
Punjabi Indian restaurant a little way out of town (about 1.5 miles) but worth making the effort for.
Staffed by possibly the smiliest gents I have ever seen or met. Not massive portions by some standards, its all about the flavours, which are consistently a notch above other curry houses around and about. Still a proper good feed though, and all at a belting price.
Raja's has almost a permanent place in the Leeds Good Food Guide.
There are many many other ethnic eateries along the same road (Roundhay Road) so it's worth a look if you're not bothered about Raja's, but there are no bars in the area (except for a well dodgy Irish bar).
If you crave booze give me a knock, theres always beer and wine in the fridge, and I live just round the corner from Raja's.
186 Roundhay Road
0113 248 0411
The food, a sophisticated blend of Caribbean and Tex-Mex, is worth waiting for here - but waiting is what you'll have to do since the service is diabolical.
Bring a book or two to keep you going if conversation flags, and maybe a snack in case you get hungry.
+31 (0)20 6230707
The Eleventh Street Diner, an authentic diner with the look of a railroad car, used to be one of my favourite eating places on South Beach, with its friendly efficient waiting staff, varied menu, large helpings and a reasonable selection of vegetarian dishes, available at any time of the day or night. Alas, no more.
A change of ownership resulted in other changes. Why didn't the new management work on the principle “if it ain't broke, don't fix it”?
The first indication that things weren't right was when my wife and went to the Diner after a spell abroad. We ordered and waited, and waited. Eventually my wife's meal arrived and my side order of fries, but no main course. When I managed to attract someone's attention, I was told that they were out of the item I'd chosen. Until then no one had bothered to tell me.
We decided to give it another try, as any restaurant can have an off day. The service was slow. A friend arrived while my wife and I were eating and asked for a menu. She never got it. We tried to attract the eye of the waitstaff and even called to them several times. In the end our friend left without ordering.
A week later we went to the diner for a late lunch, as we had many times previously, and were told it was now closed in the afternoon.
On our final visit, again in the afternoon an unfriendly gorilla barred our way, and told me they were closed. I'd forgotten they were no longer open 24 hours. When I asked if they were now working on the communist system, closed at lunchtime so that the staff could eat, the gorilla was furious. He moved as if to eject me physically, but I retreated before he could touch me. “Don't come back again,” he said menacingly.
I won't, but it saddens me to see a place I liked go downhill so rapidly.
If the staff of the Diner don't think 2:30 pm is lunchtime, they should go to the Big Pink at Collins and 2nd, where they would see with their own eyes that lots of people disagree with them.
Washington Avenue, South Beach, Miami Beach, FL.
Vyne is a fantastic Wine Bar recently opened on the Prinsengracht. We were there in their first week and they had great "wine flights" and food to match.
Very cool (but not "too cool") and the staff were friendly.
1016 hm Amsterdam
020 344 64 08
This is a lovely inn situated on the banks of the river Wye. I would recommend it for its beautiful setting, its relaxed atmosphere, excellent food and lovely accomodation. The superior rooms, newly decorated and luxurious, are particulary good for a romantic getaway.
The Wye valley is delightful, lots of nice walks and canoeing nearby. There is the oldest hand-operated ferry in England (I think) outside the inn to get you across the river.
Cute cafe and wine bar in North Beach run by a Brit. Cold beer and decent wines. Free Wi-Fi, Premiership on the telly, great sandwiches, delicious fondue. On Mondays and Fridays local musicians and poets perform.
700 Columbus Ave @ Filbert
Tel: (415) 392-9290
This little takeaway with tables, located in the happening area of Kreuzberg, is unbelievably cheap.
The Bavarian style “pasta” it serves (comfort food at its best!) is freshly prepared in many different ways which all sound delicious. According to a local it’s as good as the one Mutter used to make which is surely a compliment.
It sounds worse than it is, but this concoction of hot, thick wurst slices topped with aromatic spiced tomato sauce and a sprinkle of curry powder must be close to sausage heaven. Try the best in Berlin at Konnopke’s Imbiss or Witty’s and be converted!
Konnopke’s Imbiss - Schönhauser Allee (under the arches)
Witty’s – Wittenbergplatz 1 (in front of KaDeWe)
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