The perfect place for a late afternoon or evening drink is from one of the terrace cafes by the castle overlooking Zante town. Great view and you can see the lights of the town twinkling and the whole bay stretching before you.
There's a beautiful little church there which isn't always open, but if it is take a look inside at the gilding and chandeliers - it's a favourite for weddings and christenings.
You can also climb the cobbled lane up to visit the stone Venetian fortress perched on the hill. There's a rather trendy nightclub on the way up if you want to mix with the beautiful people.
Take a taxi or drive up the hill at the back of Zante town and follow the signs - there's a big car-park nearby.
Another outstanding find in one of our inner city suburbs is Olives. Situated in the busy strip of Martin St (highway end) Olives was a great place for us to have a family dinner for Mothers Day last Sunday.
Olives' menu gave us a large number of choices for dinner, with most of the menu seafood/mediterranean based. Us meat eaters (and vegetarians) are also well catered for with special menu offerings.
A reasonably priced wine and drinks list is also offered for diners. Service was efficient and friendly with wait staff able to offer menu recommendations when asked. All in all, a nice evening out was had by all.
This is a totally preserved preVictorian stone and slate village around the shores of Kames Bay with a lifestyle of 50 years ago. Langoustines are caught here. Kames Castle at one end has period holiday cottages in the Estate. There is a small marina, highly eccentric ancient golfcourse, old tramtrack to Ettrick Bay - a great bit of sand with 200 seals, two pubs, fish and chips, Post Office/shop, a Petanque piste and a Russian Tavern run by Russians serving Russian specialities and Russian beers, wines and vodkas. They have four guestrooms too.
The scenery of seascapes, mountains, forest and islands is simply spectacular. Curlews, oyster-catchers and seals share the beach while wild deer graze the golfcourse. This is a very peculiar place to find in the UK!
Ferry to the Isle of Bute from Wemyss Bay (pronounced "weems") on the A78 between Greenock and Largs at the mouth of the River Clyde. Trains direct to Wemyss Bay from Glasgow and either Glasgow Airport. Ferry every 45 minutes, ferry time 35 minutes.
Surrounded by wooded hills and vine covered slopes, this rural agri is perfect for foodies and families alike. Breakfast on home-made preserves, tarts and local cheeses while taking in the views across to the wonderful medieval town of Sassetto.
The evening meal was our daily highlight, the friendly owner and his family served up delicious and unusual regional dishes always with an equally tasty veggie option. We chatted over plentiful supplies of the local wine at communal tables under the stars while the kids hunted in the grounds for wild boar and fireflies.
65 euros per night per person half board
40 mins drive from the etruscan coast and nearest station and 1 hour from pisa airport
Situated just an hour or so drive from San Francisco, the Napa Valley is a wine and food lovers heaven. Incredible eateries and divine vineyards abound in this Californian idyll.
Napa has a vast range of wineries to choose from whether it be small and personal or the large vineyard that does escorted tours.
No trip would be complete without a visit to Yountville where Thomas Keller’s restaurant The French Laundry reigns supreme. But be warned you have to book two calendar months in advance to get in. We tried and failed miserably, so if anyone reading this can let us know about their dining experience it would be jealously appreciated.
We did, however, get a table at Keller’s Bistro also in Yountville - Bouchon and that made up in some way for our disappointment as it was superb! It is a more casual dining experience with a fun and flirty atmosphere. The menu is very much French bistro inspired with moules frites and huîtres featuring prominently. The poulet aux petit pois à la Français was simple and delicious and the braised pork cheek was declared a masterpiece. As we were celebrating birthdays, complementary signature desserts of tarte au citron and chocolate brownie ‘Bouchons’ were a welcome ending to the evening.
There are so many dining venues in Napa that you can be spoilt for choice. Local deli's with first class cheese, wine and cured meats. Fantastic breads baked on the properties with everything to go! So why not grab a picnic and take a seat in the Yountville market area. It is beautiful, with sparkling fountains and tucked away benches perfect.
If something a little more daring is your thing, then Napa Valley Aloft offer dawn balloon rides over the valley - weather permitting of course. It is incredibly serene to be floating two thousand feet over the vineyards one minute and then barely skimming the vines the next with the only noise coming from the burners used to keep us aloft. It was testament to our pilot Laura’s skill that she managed to put us down safely in a handkerchief sized field in the middle of acres of vines. A memorable experience followed by a champagne breakfast with your new found friends and fellow passengers.
There are plenty of top quality B&B's, Inn's and resort hotels to choose from for your stay. The River Terrace Inn is one of these, do choose the balcony rooms overlooking the river and take your morning coffee whilst enjoying the peace and quiet as the river gurgles by.
No trip to Napa would be complete without experiencing the Wine Train. A three hour lunch or dinner trip taking in the breathtaking vistas of the local countryside. Or, how about kayaking on the river or a trip to the Jelly Belly Gourmet bean factory? It’s not just about wine!
Napa old town has a number of mentionables too. The Oxbow Public Market has a wonderful cheese and wine tasting emporium. Run by Peter Granoff you can sit at the large bar area take a carafe of your favourite tipple and pair it with a platter of cheeses, salamis, fresh made pickles and fresh baked bread – sheer heaven. They also have Kara's Cupcakes, an Oyster bar and much more.
Pay the Bounty Hunter a visit too; it’s where the locals eat so it must be good. Speciality wines by the glass or bottle and incredible barbecued meats served at trestle tables, perfect for getting to know your neighbour.
Coles Chop House is an award winning American Steakhouse that serves some of the best Dry Aged Beef you will ever eat coupled with delicious cocktails.
There is an awful lot more to Napa then you can possibly fit in, in just a day or two. With breathtaking scenery, friendly locals and visitors alike and a diverse range of activities to suit all tastes and budgets. It is a wrench to leave this gorgeous area. They say you leave your heart in San Francisco, I left mine in Napa. I hope to return soon and claim it back.
Glastonbury festival has something for everyone. Particular favourites of mine are the tiny tea tent because you can relax in a yurt or on wooden hand crafted furniture while drinking any kind of tea or chai under the sun. Also Henry's Beard cafe in the Green fields has yummy vegetarian curry which is hearty and warm making it a great choice when cold and wet.
Superb four star hotel just opened last month. It's located at the end of Princes Street which is a great city centre spot. Facilities include pool, gym, bar and restaurant, rooms are brand new with all modern gadgets, wi-fi throughout. The bar is a trendy hangout to see and be seen in. For some of the best shopping in Scotland turn right onto Princes Street when you exit.
Tel: 0871 288 1208
It's 34 years old, in the middle of no where, it's a festival of bagpipe makers and it's blooming fantastic! Cheap as chips, where the euro-hippies hang out for some folky fun. Sleep all day in the shade of the chateau, hang out at the evening gig or catch all the wannabes busking. However it's after dark this festival comes alive - stay up all night to watch belly dancing, Balkan street bands and who knows what while drinking cheap wine and eating merguez sausage. I've yet to find a British festival which is as much fun for relatively little outlay, even including the journey. So good I took two minibuses of friends (32 people) a couple of years ago!
GP is a new place on the Waikiki Beackwalk which reminds me of the sports bar/deli setups shown in some of the USA TV series. Plenty to eat, drink and lots of large plasma TV screens to watch baseball, basketball, soccer or whatever ESPN is showing. A good place for a quick snack (the pizza is very good). GP serves breakfast, lunch and dinner from early 'til late. Service is good and the waiters chatty.
227 Lewers ST
ph 808 923 2100
Superb food and service at this grand old dame of Waikiki are what you get when you enter here. The location of the beachouse just adds to the occasion. This is dining out in Hawaii at its finest. Cheap it is not but it is worth it!
Beachside of the lobby of the Moana Surfrider Hotel -
2365 KALAKAUA AVE • (808)923-2861
Big Burgers? yes
Big Cheeseburgers? yes
Big bowls of chips? yes
Onion rings? yes
Never ending glasses of Coke? yes
If you are hungry when you go upstairs to the latest Cheeseburger restaurant in the Hawaiian Islands, you won't be when you leave!
Upstairs in the new Beachwalk area in Lewers St, Waikiki a few steps beachside of the Kalakaua/Lewers Intersection (entry via the escalators)
Waikiki has to be one of the ultimate tourist destinations on the planet.
Famous for its beach, Waikiki today has an eclectic mixture of stuff for tourists to do - walking, viewing, eating, drinking, shopping, watching the world go by. The traffic is slow, the retail experience is very good, the nights are warm and there are lots of places to get something to eat or drink. Sit on the beach, ride a scooter (no helmet required), go to Kuhio Park or climb Diamond Head, view the statues or stroll Kalakaua Ave. Basically go to Waikiki
We discovered the Watering Hole pub on Perranporth beach in Cornwall almost 20 years ago when on holiday with our young children. It is slap bang on the soft golden sand of one of the best surfing beaches in the UK. You can kick off your shoes and stroll barefoot into the bar where you'll get a warm Cornish welcome, good food and a chance to relax and gaze out at those big Atlantic waves rolling in. A more informal pub you could not find - its not unusual to see a surfer standing at the bar, pint in hand and surf board on their arm. It is open all day, all year and has some excellent live music too. What more could you want?
The Watering Hole
St Piran's Road, Perranporth
Cornwall TR6 0BH
Tel. 01872 572888
If you're travelling through North Devon or staying in the area, the Stag Inn is a great gastropub to stop at for dinner. It's just off the A361 and difficult to miss as it's painted egg yolk yellow with the traditional Devon thatch.
The owners have refurbished it to make it more stylish while keeping the roaring fire and ancient wooden bar and made a new dining area at the back.
The meat and veg comes from the organic farm of the owner's family and the menu is seasonal while offering all the favourites of sausage and mash, steak and chips and fish and chips.
Not the cheapest pub food but very tasty and a cut above in terms of style and atmosphere.
Stag Inn, Rackenford, Devon, EX16 8DT
Great snack and coffee house.
Very cosy with lots of vegetarian snacks and organic and fairtrade products. Plus the capuccino is great!
Fab takeaway pizzas from this little shop on Calle Mondo Nuovo in Castello. I'm not a great fan of the food in Venice - pretty overpiced and not really very good - apart from a little fish restaurant I know ...
But Cip Ciap is great if you want a quick bite on the run. You can buy by the slice or a whole pizza. I totally recommend the calzone con prosciutto.
Calle Mondo Nuovo, just off Piazza Santa Maria Formosa
I went with some friends to Zero Zero lounge next to Rio’s planetarium. I thought it was a bit expensive when compared to other clubs I had been to, but the ambience was pretty hipster and sophisticated. They have a huge open-air lounge area with many couches, Indian wooden benches and the ambiance is candlelit, the décor surely adds a sexy, romantic feel to the place. The gorgeous trendy locals cruise around in fashion clothes and fancy drinks. This place is definitely worth a check.
A deli serving a range of Kosher (non meat) food, including freshly baked bagels and other breads, traditional fillings, fried fish, pizza, salads, knishes and cakes. A small, very friendly, welcoming neighbourhood deli with generous portions at very reasonable prices and a varied clientele. An ideal breakfast spot.
393 Amsterdam Ave at West 79th, New York, NY 10024.
Nearest subway: 79th Street
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