Restaurante A Descoberta is a small bar/restaurant on the bank of the river Sado in Alcacer do Sal in the mercifully unsung Alentejo region of Portugal.
You will probably be staying at the lovely Pousada D.Afonso II at the top of the hill. The restaurant there is excellent, but "typical" Alentejo cuisine tends, after a while, to become rather "sustaining". The food is good, but the portions tend to be heavy and can to be very large. There is an alternative in Alcacer do Sal. A Descoberta combines the wonderful fresh local ingredients and a welcome lightness of touch that really does them justice. Maybe the fact that the wonderful chef, Catherine, is Belgian, colours the judgement of hotel staff when asked for recommendations, but give it a try. It is not expensive, very friendly, serves good wines and Catherine is happy to discuss the food if she has time. They also sell the excellent local salt. After coffee, take a walk along the river bank before returning to your hotel. We will return.
Restaurant "A Descoberta"
Av. João Soares Branco, 15-16
7580-166 Alcácer do Sal
Tel: (+351) 265 623 877
Fax (+351) 265 619 093
Hanoi Old Quarter has a street cafe on every corner - you pick what you want & sit on the street (with little tables). Probably best to go with a local person - they will know the best ones!
They're incrediably cheap: three of us ate our fill for £1 in total.
Failing that, try the local cafes (where you sit inside - with the kitchen at your elbow). Cost me £1 for a massive plate of stir-fry beef & Chinese cabbage (delicious) & two beers.
Both Alfalfa and Alameda are the hub of Seville´s nightlife. Alfalfa is a narrow street chock-a-block with bars and cheap tapas places. It kicks off about 11 o´clock at night and is stuffed with natives and foreigners alike. Bar Robotica is worth a view if only for the comic-book wallpaper and litre-sized drinks, and Bar Berlin is guaranteed to be open until the wee hours. Look out for the old man with a multi-coloured afro and a battered pair of rollerskates.
Alameda, despite the fact it is currently being reconstructed into what can only be described as a giant sand-pit, is still fun, lively and slightly more bohemian. In particular check out Cafe Central, one of the most popular joints, with the punters spilling out on the side walk, and the odd spontaneous flamenco clapping. The majority of punters there are local Sevillianas, and are all too happy to take the hapless foreigner under their wing, and direct them to the next venue. Don't expect to be in bed before 7 o'clock the following morning though!
Both areas are in the centre. Alfalfa is no more than 5 minutes’ walk from the cathedral, and Alameda is about 5-10 minutes’ walk north from there. Cafe Central is in the top left hand corner of the square. The subway is still in the process of being built, however any local or taxi driver would be able to point you in the right direction.
The first real British pub in Vienna - unlike the rest this pub is owned and run by a man from London. It offers good food and is the only one that gives you a good pint of beer (real ale). Well worth a visit just for the tea towels on the wall.
Lowengasse 3, around the corner from the Konvert Haus; tel: 01 713 16 90
A great place to get a cheap bite to eat. With a great selection of montaditos and a fair selection of cold tapas as well, it's a lively venue that always reminds me of an old municipal swimming pool. The main seating area is a series of tiled banks beyond the bar. It's very noisy but that's half the fun. If you're feeling greedy head down the road a few doors to the bar with the Chocolate y Churros sign hanging outside. The churros there are as good as you'll get in Seville and the background din of gossiping local senoras is the perfect accompaniment to the stodgy churros and thick, rich chocolate.
c/ San Eloy 9;
9 San Eloy
The world has been cursed with Irish pubs; miniature, unpleasant, tacky theme parks that recall an Ireland that probably never existed. If that's what you're looking for then you'll find them elsewhere in Seville, but the Merchants is nothing of the sort. Slightly off the beaten track, though still only a two minute walk from the centre, it manages to be as much a haven for locals as it is a home for ex-pats and cheap flight weekenders. Spacious and roomy, with free wifi, good music and ridiculously generous helpings of high quality food, it's everything most Irish pubs aren't. If you want to watch the football or have somewhere you can actually sit down and drink (the Spanish are much happier standing than the British) without feeling like you're still at home then the Merchants is the place to go.
C/ Canalejas 12; tel: 954 214 500;
An incredibly popular tapas bar on the edge of the Santa Cruz district, Las Coloniales is one of the best and cheapest places to eat in Seville. When you arrive you have to write your name and the number in your party on a small blackboard and your name is called when a table is free. It's located on the edge of the leafy (for Seville) Plaza Cristo de Burgos, which is handy as you have somewhere shady to sit whilst you wait. The food is uniformly good and the tapas sizes are exceptional for the price. Two people can have a decent meal with a couple of drinks for little over ten euros. One of the best things on the menu are the quail eggs and chorizo on fried bread, which is like a sausage and egg sarnie in the sun. You can't go wrong with the staples either. The Solomillo al Whisky is as good as you can get in Seville. On Sunday afternoons the plaza is full of Spanish families eating ice cream from the Heladeria across the road. Seville is full of Heladerias and though this one is probably the most expensive it's also the best.
Plaza Cristo de Burgos, 19 - east of the main El Corte Ingles, just past Plaze de Encarnacion.
Huge white-sand, palm-fringed beach that stretches for 30km, and can be almost empty on weekdays.
There are deckchairs to rent and kiosks selling fresh seafood and drinks, as well as a few restaurants and top-end hotels.
Located about 4km from Hoi An. Easily reached by bike from Hoi An or taxis cost approx US$3.
The best tapas on offer in Sevilla - a mixture of modern and traditional dishes, great atmosphere, great wine list and above all fantastic prices. Risotto al Tartufo, Buey a la Mostaza and Pate con Membrillo are three of the best, but it never disappoints. Be prepared to wait, but that's where the diverse wine list comes into its own...
C/ Peris Mencheta
About 60km from Adelaide, the Barossa Valley is one of Australia’s major wine-producing areas. It's home to big names like Jacob’s Creek, Penfolds and Wolf Blass as well as over 70 smaller producers. Most vineyards do cellar door wine tastings and some have really good bars and restaurants.
Tours to the Barossa run from Adelaide but it’s a good place to explore for a few days. You can base yourself in one of the towns amd hire a bike and cycle around the vineyards – maps are available from the local tourist information office, which can also book local B&Bs for you (often individual country cottages where you get left the food to cook your own breakfast).
Mercado de Triana, over the river great little market in what was once the poor gypsy quarter of the city. You can pick up lush fruit and stop for a little pick me up at one of the small stall bars.
In Triana itself, there are plenty of good untouristy good tapas bars where you can pick gambas al pil pil etc. And you can wind your way back via a few of the little bars that line the banks of the river Guadalquivir.
Set on the edge of Adelaide's Botanic Gardens in a fantastic modern building, the National Wine Centre has info about wine production all over Australia. There are interactive exhibits where you can make your own 'virtual wine' as well as tastings from their huge range.
A little French cafe in Southsea. Amazing food, friendly service and fairly cheap prices. It's a place to relax, enjoy your food and hang out with your friends.
37 Marmion Rd, Southsea, at the end of the High Street, opposite Waitrose;
tel: 023 9282 5113
An Irish pub in a very Spanish townhouse, popular with locals but with quite an international feel about it (when we went the bar staff consisted of a Swede, an English girl and even an Irishman!) You can tire of the ubiquitous tapas, even in its native city, so might enjoy a more substantial bar meal (the wraps are good) washed down with a pint of Guinness or, as the name suggests a good selection of Irish malts. There’s also a pool table upstairs and a big screen, in case there’s a match you just can’t miss.
Calle Canalejas 12, between the shopping centre and the river.
Merchant's makes a refreshing change from your usual pitch black Irish pubs filled with knick-knacks and kettles on the walls. Surprisingly luminous and with a friendly, international staff, Merchant's is one of Seville's most popular bars. Offering a menu that is a joy to work your way through as well as a fine selection of ales and specialist whiskeys. Populated by interesting characters, Merchant's is an ideal choice for sporting events or a fine pint.
C/ Canalejas 12; tel: 954 214 500;
This is a small, friendly tapas bar not far from the Alameda. As a resident of Seville I dislike giving away the city's best kept secrets but this place truly deserves rewarding. The tapas are very tasty, really imaginative, well presented and ridiculously good value. The salmorejo is one of the (if not the) best in the city. A bit off the beaten track but well worth the bother.
C/ Alcoy 10, just round the corner from Plaza San Lorenzo, not far from the Alameda; tel: 954 905 702
Although Irish owned it's nothing like the typical Irish pubs you'll often find on your travels. With friendly bilingual staff and a mainly local clientele the atmosphere, whilst differing from that of a traditional Seville bar, is welcoming and hospitable. Excellent food ranging from local dishes to a wide selection of international meals. Also serves an excellent pint and has a huge choice of whiskies. Right in the centre of the city.
C/ Canalejas 12; tel: 954 214 500;
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