Boutique-style hotel in a carefully modernised manor house. The rooms are small but tastefully and comfortably furnished. Food is good. Service is relaxed and friendly. I had the most relaxing break just over 3 hours from home. Best to fly with TAP direct from Gatwick.
Estalgem Quinta Mirabela, Caminho do Monte, Funchal, Madeira
If the list of 'stylish yet chic wine bars' listed by my fellow sandal wearing media types on GU scare you as much as it does me, go to Lemke. It's a brew pub. It has beer. It has food. It has everything except DJs, cocktails and anything that could be described as 'charming or eclectic'.
The food is German in quantity and style but really the beer is what marks it out. The dark is very nice, the porter is excellent but the wheat is even better. It's friendly, it's always busy and it's easy to get to, even if the road it's on doesn't look very promising. There is even a beer garden.
All visitors must try a hot dog whilst in Sweden as they are amazing. Get a 'grillad korv med brod med ketchup och senap och rostad lok' (grilled in a bun with ketchup, mustard and dry roasted onion). One of the best places in Stockholm is Ostermalm’s Grillen on Ostermalms Torg.
This is an inexpensive (US$12 per room), simple, clean and very friendly guest house. Each room has en suite and air conditioning. It is a good place to unwind after a hard, hot day. There is a bar, a casual restaurant (with Western or Khmer-style food), a pool table (good for chilling out) and free internet for catching up with your emails and bragging to friends. It is close to town and they give you transport around town and to the airport. The modest profits from here go to support Savong's School - a volunteer language school that is also worth visiting.
D&D Angkor Villa Guest House,
No 6 Highway (Airport Road, near the Caltex Station).
Tel : (00 84) 855 12 531 037
Rent bikes at the shop opposite the indoor swimming pool and ride on the cycle tracks all
through the forest that runs parallel to the beach for miles.
Turn inwards and have coffee and cakes at the Soldier's Cottage (Soldat's Hus) in the middle of the forest, avoiding the real life soldiers doing their military service.
There is also a campsite in the forest, but now this is dominated by mobile homes, with few real tents - but good for kids and full camp shops
that sell buckets and spades, and the long red and yellow liquorice I loved as a kid.
While on Djurgarden you should visit a restaurant called Bla Porten. Ideally get there for lunch and sample their excellent buffet of home-made bread and cakes and other Swedish food.
Djurgardsvagen 64, next to the Liljevalch Art Gallery Museum.
Tel : (00 46) 8663 8759.
I love Cafe String. It's a really cosy retro-cafe with huge windows made for people-watching. And all the things in there, furniture included, are for sale.
Cafe String, Nytorgsgatan 38, Stockholm.
Tel : (00 45) 8 714 8514.
This cafe-restaurant also offers wine tastings and sells wine and the terrace overlooks the vineyards and karri forests beyond. It's a good place to stop for a glass of wine if you need to steady your nerves after climbing the Gloucester tree.
This is a buzzing, upmarket steakhouse on Rush Street. You have to book, especially at weekends, the steaks are awesome (go for the Chicago Cut at around $37). There is also a piano bar next to the restaurant.
Gibson's Steakhouse, 1028 North Rush Street,
(corner of Bellevue and Rush)
Chicago, IL 60611
Known as pasties to the English, the Argentinians are experts at these and they are cheap and superb. They come with all sorts of fillings with different crimps to indicate what's in them and regional variations (Catamarquenas from Catamarca, Saltenas from Salta etc). You can have them fried (souffle) or baked (al horno). They are good as a starter before a steak, a quick snack while on the go or finger-food for a party. Lastly, they can be delivered direct to your door, just like everything else in Buenos Aires.
I spent a day here in August with our two children. The beach is amazing with golden sand lined by the forest. Near the car park there is a cafe which does a tea and all you can eat cake selection for about three pounds: I had six cakes; bargain. The nearby town of Simrisham is beautiful and further down the coast is the world's most perfect beach at Sandhammaren.
Check out the rum and fruckost named Karlberg, just north of Ystad on the Malmo road.
Sweden is not expensive, it's a myth.
South East Skane
Alex is a great place to meet up with people for a drink or a snack. Sit outside for a great view over the Binnenalster on one side, or watch the shoppers go by on the other.
Alex, Alster Pavillion, Jungfernstieg 54. The nearest subway is Jungfernstieg.
Just north of Helsingborg, sticking out into Oresund, is a peninsula known as Kullen, with a small national park called Kullaberg. It's a really beautiful spot, lovely countryside, good beaches, an absolute pearl of a fishing village called Molle and great walking around Kullaberg with views over to Denmark.
A very relaxing area. If you're in the neighbourhood, I recommend the inn at the little harbour in Svanshull - fabulous location and delicious food (no, I don't own it!).
Up the coast road north from Helsingborg.
A garbage plate is heaven in grease on earth. Generations of University of Rochester students have eaten these. Piles of food (macaroni, fries, burger/hotdog...) covered in spicy ground beef sauce.
Nick Tahou Hots, 320 W. Main, Rochester, New York 14608
Hostal Llullu Llama in Isinlivi in the Cotopaxi province is a great place to stay. There are many day hikes to do, the atmosphere is very relaxing and the food delicious! Hosts are very helpful and I could have stayed for weeks!
Isinlivi, Cotopaxi, Ecuador.
Take bus from Latacunga, daily.
Tel: 00593 3 281 4790
The best korv booth in town. You can choose from over a dozen types of gourmet sausage and the fillings are top notch. The locals head there for a light lunch too. 45kr per korv.
Next to the Post Office on Nybrogatan 55
Far and away the best bife de lomo I've had in my three years in Buenos Aires is served in El Trapiche, a huge family-orientated parilla packed every night of the week by locals and tourists alike and which hasn't succumbed to pretentions. I go at least twice a month. Having recently being taken by a friend to Cabana Las Lilas, I can honestly say that El Trapiche not only beats it into submission on the quality of the beef but also in the price.
A proveleta (barbecued cheese), a chorizo (sausage) a shared bife de lomo (one portion is easily big enough for two), a salad, a serving of chips, a decent bottle of Malbec and coffee will come to around 90 pesos (£8 a head) for two. And if you get served by Juan, you'll get the best waiter in town.
Corner of Paraguay and Humbodlt, Palermo Hollywood.
Google map: tinyurl.com/mykr6b
Easily reached by train, this beautiful seaside suburb south of Stockholm is an ideal place to visit for a day trip from the Swedish capital. The small sandy Baltic beaches are ideal for children and there are old-fashioned separate male and female nude swimming areas and saunas. You can go for walks in the woods, picking berries and mushrooms, or try one of the bars and fish restaurants.
Take the historic train ride from Slussen station in Stockholm to Saltsjöbaden.
Makassar has a sizeable ethnic Indonesian-Chinese community, many of them living in Chinatown in the centre, just to the north of the old Dutch fort. On Sundays the fresh, tasty, classic Dim Sum experience is available from 10am until 2pm in the Makassar Theatre restaurant. They have a huge variety of steamed and fried dishes, with specials ordered at the cooking point next to the entrance and the rest from the roaming trollies. The restuarant is spanking clean and comfortable, the staff are attentive and professional and they are used to dealing with foreigners. The food is reasonably priced. Large family groups, all sitting together at one table, are very common, including everybody from the wizened old Grandad to the newly born baby in swaddling clothes. At the peak time, the chatter is almost deafening, seats are hard to find, and the atmosphere is warm and friendly. Everybody dresses up and the kids run around the big room chasing one another. As well as the tasty DimSum dishes, this upstairs restaurant is a very popular suki style restaurant, with boiling pots and a range of small colour-coded dishes to choose from. Downstairs is another Western-style restaurant with spaghetti and burgers and in the same building is the clean, modern cinema complex with two theatres. One of them is an older barn-style auditorium, worth a visit when it is full and a popular movie is showing. So have Dim Sum upstairs, Makassar Dream coffee/ice downstairs, then go and and watch a movie!
The Makassar Theatre complex is in Chinatown in the city centre near the container port. Turn left off Jalan Irian. There is a large parking lot on the complex, taxi drivers are very familiar with it and it is easy to pick up a taxi afterwards on the busy Jalan Irian, just 100m away.
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