This brasserie is built in the art nouveau style and has a great tavern atmosphere with brown paper place mats and candles in bottles. It serves staple Belgian fare like moules-mariniere. The carbonnads flamandes and the stoemp are glorious!
17-21, Rue Henri Maus;
tel: 02 511 8789
Relax on the beach in style by day – rent a sun lounger, get a massage and have food and drinks brought out to you – then party by night. Great place to watch the sunset from the beach bar, which then has DJs and dancing til late. Also has restaurants if you want a fix of western food (Indian, Italian etc).
72 Tran Phu, Nha Trang;
tel (84-58) 826 528;
For me Seville is a more interesting place than can be realised from the top of the Giralda. Locals who are most likely to talk about this are the 'Camareros' (staff) in the local bars. I found out from one of them that many younger people congregate in a neighbourhood called La Alameda de Hercules. There are numerous eateries and bars there, but leave your valuables behind.
A traditional tavern oozing atmosphere and serving typical Florentine cuisine. The speciality is florentine beefsteak. The food is tasty and inexpensive and there is a vast array of wines that sit on shelves along side of you!
Its in the San Lorenzo area near the market, which is well worth a visit, being the largest covered food market in Europe.
Via Borgo San Lorenzo,35/37;
tel: 055 212 206;
Once a trucker's stop-off under the Cumberland Basin flyover. After a makeover it's become somewhere to have a coffee by the water's edge with a panoramic view of the Suspension Bridge and the ostentatious Clifton terraces. For engineering fans it's possible to walk to Brunel's original 19th century lock which made the floating harbour possible. It now sits unused beneath the flyover.
Brunel Lock Road, Cumberland Basin BS1 6XL;
tel: 0117 925 5800;
Another reason to visit Stokes Croft. As you come in through the door there's a lounge bar area with a good selection of Spanish & Portuguese beers. Towards the back is the restaurant area. Their tapas is imaginative and well prepared.
130 Cheltenham Road, BS6 5RW;
tel: 0117 944 2442;
I took a short walk from the bustling Old Town down to Mariensztat Square and found the Barylka Pub, Warsaw's oldest I was told. A good selection of local beers and nice food served by friendly English speaking staff. Very popular with locals, it's a lovely place to sit outside in the square and relax. I came back a second time to enjoy a free concert on a Thursday evening and had a very enjoyable evening - inexpensive, friendly and recommended. Nice change from the modern over-hyped cafes that proliferate
It's a pub, you don't need a reservation - just go to 5-7 Garbarska St, Mariensztat, and look for 'Pub pod Barylka';
tel: (22) 826 62 39
Bristol has greedily twinned herself with a host of cities, Oporto, Hannover, Tbilisi in Georgia, Beira in Mozambique, Guangzhou in China and Puerto Morazan in Nicaragua. Acknowledging the French connection is this ambitious venture which sets out to change attitudes towards food. Within the large dockside premises is a restaurant, deli, cafe, bakery and a cookery school. The food is conscientiously sourced mostly from within a 50 mile radius and is magnificent. Foodie paradise.
Canons Road, BS1 5UH;
enquiries: 0117 906 5550;
reservations: 0117 943 1200;
A relaxed square overlooked by the Church of Santo Spirito, on the less crowded south side of the river. Any of the restaurants in the square will produce a satisfying and inexpensive meal. Makes the leisurely evening stroll away from the tourist traps well worth it.
Cross the Ponta a Santa Trinita. Head down the Via Maggio for about 5 minutes and take a right.
One of the best ice cream parlours you'll ever find. The proprietor used to run the famous Vivoli parlour, which is good, but a massive tourist trap. He cashed in and sold it off years ago, starting instead this unassuming little gem. The ice-cream is less rich and egg-heavy than that of Vivoli, resulting in a style that is perhaps less good for the indulgent dessert flavours (e.g. Zuppa Inglese; Strega), but allows more varied flavours to really sparkle. The fruit flavours are out of this world (e.g. Mandarin; Melon), and there are some more exotic flavours (e.g. Chilli & Chocolate) that you don't find in more traditional parlours.
Via Dei Neri 20/22 Rosso, Central Florence;
tel: 055 210 034
A delightful restaurant overlooking the Ponte Vecchio on the south side of the river. A meal for two including a reserve bottle of wine and three courses costs around 90 euros. Would recommend booking a table by the window for clear views of the bridge and the Arno.
Via dei Bardi, 58r (near Ponte Vecchio); tel: 055 214 502
Dead cheap and one of the best views of Florence. Drink in the Blu Bar (expensive, but fantastic views), eat in the pizzeria on the square opposite and take a walk up the hill for an even more spectacular view
Buy a bus ticket at any tabac and get the no 7 - it goes from Piazza del Duomo and stops in the square in Fiesole, just beside the Blu Bar (which is at Piazza Mino Da Fiesole, 39; tel: 055 597235).
There are two parts to Cibreo, an expensive restaurant and a much cheaper brasserie. The latter is superb quality at about 30 euros a head. The pappa al pomodoro makes River Cafe look like McDonalds. This was so creamy and light that I had no problem wolfing it down on a hot July evening. I also tried the polenta with basil which made me want to cry. If someone honestly told me that my main course that night would be polenta, basil and parmesan I wouldn't have got up from the sofa. But these people make simple dishes in a way I have never encountered before in UK. The guy has a superb selection of chianti at about 8 euros too. Can't recommend it highly enough. If you go there for lunch have a gander round the local food market first: the sight of all that throbbing salsiccia with fennel or wild boar will have your stomach screaming for more by 12.
Via Dei Macci, 118/R - walking distance from Ponte Vecchio;
tel: 055 2268410
I cannot recommend this place highly enough. Forget all the other gelaterias that try to lure you in: Vivoli is a traditional, longstanding family-run business. All gelati are made fresh, with all natural ingredients. I have never tasted anything like those ice-creams since. My husband and I both went in, two days in a row, and tried four different flavours each. That's how good it is. We were sad we didn't get to cover them all. Seriously, do not miss this place.
7 Via Isole delle Stinche, just south of the crossroad with Via Ghibellina;
tel: (+39) 55 292 334;
This bar - favoured by the beautiful young things of Florence - is the perfect place for pre-dinner aperitivo. Plates of delicious cold meats, cheeses and pasta are served up, washed down with Florence's best (though highly alcoholic) cocktails and accompanied by low-key music from resident DJs. It's also perfect after midnight, when the party spills onto the street, and the illuminated Ponte Vecchio serves as a backdrop to the Florentine frolics.
Lungarno Corsini 12-14r next to Ponte Santa Trinita; tel: 055 210 751 or 055 293 258
Near to the Parque Maceo is Callejón de Hamel, an alleyway covered with brightly coloured murals, sculptures and shrines that pay testament to the city’s AfroCuban culture. Enjoy a strong black coffee from the tiny café, check out the gallery selling works by revered Cuban artist, Salvador Gonzalez, or watch local residents play a game of chess. Come on a Sunday morning and you might be lucky enough to catch the participants of a Santeria ceremony dancing, singing and invoking their orishas or spirits.
You're unlikely to find the celebrity carnivore likes of Gordon Ramsay dining out here. The national vegetarian society have judged this the top vegetarian restaurant in the UK two years running. It's difficult to fault their judgment. The food is fresh, seasonal and organic. The desserts are difficult to resist.
89 St Mark's Road, Easton BS5 6HY; tel: 0117 951 0100
Goldbrick House is a new restaurant and bar development in Clifton. Apparently two years in the making and a cool £2m later, the project is a stunning new addition to the Bristol scene.
The food is simply some of the best I've ever eaten in Bristol (try the scallops and beef wellington - delicious). Staff are friendly, attentive and well informed, and the general feel of the place is very classy yet simple and unpretentious.
69 Park Street (at the top), Clifton Bristol; tel: (0117) 945 1950;
Proper Gujarati food. Vegetarian only, but full of all those lovely deep fried goodies from the streets of Surat and Mumbai. Authentic flavours, friendly staff, bags of atmosphere. If you're lucky the chef will come and tell you about the dishes, if she's not off winning prizes and awards!
86 Horton Grange Road, Bradford, BD7 2DW; tel: 01274 575 893;
A bar and pizzeria next door to the Old Vic that stays open late into the night. Their links to the theatre are evident from all the autographed publicity mug shots of actors that hang from the walls and it's oddly enticing to pick out the celebs from these. Their oven knocks out superb thin crust pizzas throughout the night.
33 King St, BS1 4DZ;
tel: 0117 929 7712
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