Varese Ligure has three restaurants, all excellent (and cheap) and two pizzeria both very good. Varese Ligure, of course, boasts its own cooking, and the best place to experience this is at the Hotel Dei Amici, a family run place, with delightful laid back charm.
Hotel Dei Amici: www.viaggiaedormi.it/eng/scheda.php?id=15344&plu=1&az=
Melenio cafe is a great place in the centre of Oia. It is on a little terrace and has the best views over Santorini. Very different to the rest of the restaurants/cafes in the village, very relaxed with amazing cakes and fresh juices.
Oia hostel is a great, clean and cheap place to stay (and Santorini certainly isn't cheap). It's very un-hostel like in a positive way and in an excellent location.
Ammoudi port is the best place for a swim in Oia; however the climb back up to the village is pure torture. It is a rocky cove with the clearest water I have ever seen, but space is limited so get there early.
Visiting vineyards is a must, especially as most have small restaurants attached.
Also, Atlantis Books is a rare find of a bookshop anywhere in the world. It is in Oia centre and must be visited, international literature, and the shop is a delight.
Best food I had in the whole of India - not a huge claim considering I was on the strictest of budgets and don't particularly enjoy Indian food.
However, this was really good, served delicious sushi and great spicy dishes. Their home-made lemonade is also good and the atmosphere itself was brilliant, with jazz and blues, and open fire and sitting on logs. Serves meat.
It doesn't have a name that I know of, and is quite off the beaten track, down a flight of stairs, under an apartment block. Go past the internet shop Planet Z, past the nunnery and round the bend in the road as if you were walking down to Dharamasala from McLeod, and it's on your left, down the stair. Ask, someone will guide you.
Small cafe on main street serves decent sandwiches and hot tea. It really comes alive at night when local chef Jamie takes over the kitchen. He serves a limited menu of freshly cooked food, everything we had was excellent. Makes the most of local produce. A really good meal and very reasonably priced - you'd have to mortgage your granny to eat anything like it in Dublin.
Main Street, opposite the church
Buried in the back streets of suburban Lima, surrounded by faceless modern office blocks, lies a rich reward for the intrepid seafood lover.
A cheap painted sign over a metal door leads into the less-than-salubrious interior of the restaurant. But once you get over the decor (or lack of) you’ll notice that the place is packed with locals – a sure sign that the food is what matters there. And it does.
Scallops, crab, the freshest of fish, Pisco, and the ceviche...a hidden treasure.
Address: Leonardo Da Vinci 505 (On the corner of Marie Curie 108),
Urb. La Calera, La Merced, Surquillo.
Telephone: (51-1) 271-6455 / 9756-7394
Very good French restaurant, with all the hallmarks of the best food from about twenty years ago - very heavy sauces, crap ignored veg in little individual portions (though they will do a fresh large portion of a particular veg if you ask), Broadway opera hits for music or, worse, the pianist could be in. Teamed up with plush red everywhere and it's like walking into your favourite restaurant in 1989.
That said the food is brilliant, if heavy. There's great seafood, indeed it's so close to the sea that on stormy nights the waves sometimes crash over the road and on to the windows. The portions are generous. Whilst it is decidedly expensive it is worth it, if only to feel as if nothing has ever really changed at all.
Tel: 353 66 947 4124
A great bar, friendly staff, good fresh seafood and fantastic atmosphere at night. There's often live music. Work by local artists cover the walls, and the wine list is surprisingly good and cheap.
Main Street, near the zebra crossing.
A delightful converted monastary in one of the old passageways of this delightful whitewashed hilltop town. Cool rooms and a stone's throw from the main piazza, the winding streets and restaurants.
Eat exquisite regional food in the myriad of open air restaurants. The Vecchia Ostuni is reccomended. Sip cocktails in the main square for 5 euros and don't miss the weekend passagiata for posing in the latest fashions.
For a day at the beach (10kms) drive down to the blue Adriatic, hire a lounger and umbrella for 8 euros and gaze into the blue horizon, drinking ice cold Peroni from the beach bar.
Italian perfection, and minimum Brits.
+39 0831 336651/2
Try some Béarnaise cuisine as well as wines from Iroleguy or Béarn, the home region of Fred Vargas’s detective hero Adamsberg. Another local speciality is Ossau Iraty - sheep’s milk cheese eaten with dark cherry jam. If you can genuinely claim to be Welsh, you’ll be even more warmly welcomed here.
Away from the well-known coastal resorts, the already pretty half timbered buildings of Espelette are decorated with strings or bas-reliefs of dried peppers for the Fête du Piment at the end of October, a favourite design is the swirls of the Basque flag. You can buy bottles of jelly or hot dried pimento to remind you of its spiciness.
Very friendly and reasonably priced place to get a good feed in a relaxed atmosphere. Mixture of Belgian food, pastas and salads. It gets pretty busy in the evening but is also a great spot for an afternoon drink.
9 Kartuizerstraat / rue des Chartreux 9
T - 32-2-
It was like a burst of sunshine and all that I had hoped for. A relaxed and fun holiday set in the Sabine Hills just north of Rome. Cooking lessons, luxury accomodation, a stroll through an olive grove and a day trip to Rome. Eating the fabulous food and wine tasting really topped it off. Our host, Sally, and the chef, Guido really looked after us.
Paelltertainment. The twice-weekly paella-cooking presentation on the roof of Home Backpackers is less a gastronomic than a comic experience, as the resident chef regales his audience with a mix of instructions and anecdotes in (deliberately, you suspect) awful Spanglish. And all that while cooking up a giant, delicious version of this quintessential Valenciano dish – served with a cold beer and a joke.
When? Tuesday and Sunday evenings.
Where? Roof terrace of Home Backpackers.
Address: Plaza Vicente Iborra, Barrio del Carmen.
Telephone: (34-96) 3913797.
Small but lively, this teeny-tiny bar feels crowded with just a couple of people in it. But by some kind of loaves-and-fishes, there seems to be room for more and more. Tapas, cold beer, and good company make it worth the squeeze.
Address: Calle Sant Tomeu 21, Barrio del Carme.
Telephone: (34-606) 721842.
The home of tapas, Spain is hardly unaccustomed to the concept of small and fast when it comes to food. But at times the idea of tapas far exceeds the reality of salty fish swimming in brine, or meat that has been sitting out on a counter all day long. But at Sagardi you get the benefit of small portions and loads of variety, but all freshly prepared and full of flavour. It’s a bite-sized treat.
Address: San Vicente Martir 6, Valencia 46002.
Location: Just off Plaza de la Reina.
Telephone: (34-96) 3910668
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