Built in the Victorian times, it's fairly obvious that the Corn Exchange was the centre of the corn trade in Leeds. Now it is home to lots of small independent shops and shouldn't be missed by any visitors to the city. The beautiful domed roof can be admired from the around the top level of shops or from a cafe table right at the bottom.
A cracking microcosm of life in London - stalls selling things you never knew existed, from clothes to food to jewellery to furniture to art. stunning food served too, really cheap but authentic food from all over the world.
To get a taste of what London really is about, go to Camden Market.
Camden Town tube
A three-floored restaurant on the north side of the Smithfield meat market. Downstairs is a lively cocktail bar and restaurant, which does a very good bacon sandwich and chips for breakfast, on the middle level is a brasserie serving good food and at the top is one of London's top restaurants with a great (and pricey) menu where the meat is superb and the fish is delicious too. It also has a terrace which makes it a great spot in the summer.
This is a traditional bar on the south side of the city with a cosy atmosphere, excellent beer, a huge choice of whisky and champagne, delicious food (mostly smorregebrod) and a courtyard for secluded al-fresco libations in the good weather.
239 Morningside Road
A wonderful Art Deco fish and chip restaurant with delicious fresh fish in crisp batter and perfectly cooked chips! It is not licensed, so you can BYO. The staff are friendly and fun.
Marylebone Lane, off Marylebone High Street
Nearest tube: Bond Street
Like Indian food? Authentic Indian?
The Indian Express in Hampton St, Hampton (bayside Melbourne) provides all that. There is virtually no room to eat in (it is a takeaway after all) but the queues for the takeaway say it all. People come from surrounding suburbs for their fill of Indian... it is that good!
At the start of the famous Yarra Valley is the township of Yarra Glen and dominating the town is the famous old hotel... the Grand. Built in the late 1880s, the Grand is one of the most significant landmarks of the Yarra Valley.
Classified by the National Trust, and registered with Heritage Commission, the Grand has been restored to reflect the grace and elegance of the turn of the century while catering to the demands of the modern world with premium accommodation and fine dining. It includes a first class restaurant, Farrells, a cafe a bistro and a bar. It's an excellent place to start visting everything the Yarra Valley has to offer.
19 Bell Street Yarra Glenn, 3775 VIC, Australia
Telephone: 61 3 9730 1230
Facsimile: 61 3 9730 1124
Just off Totenham Court Road a bit north of the University of London hospital buildings is Drummond Street, which is full of Indian vegetarian restaurants. Chutneys is particularly good. Try the sev chat.
Euston and Warren street are the closest tube stations
Our local Italian... and we are proud of it. It is somewhere we can walk on a Saturday night... with a bottle of red and enjoy a meal. (It's fully licensed or you can bring your own). Families love it because kids are well catered for here.
It is noisy and buzzy but down the back away from the large Pizza oven it is quieter. The waiting staff are very much at home dealing with us locals (even their guest Canadian waiter is no longer homesick)... Great southern Italian cooking here !
Sometimes it pays to book beforehand...
462 Hampton St HAMPTON 3188
ph: 9598 9396
Dining in Grossi Florentino's Tuscan mural room shows that special-occasion dining in Melbourne is alive and well. The dining room has high, decorated plaster ceilings, chandeliers, dark wood panelling and the murals. Service is a delight from the black dressed waiters with their long white aprons.
Guy Grossi's menu whatever the season is magnificient... and in our case we walked away with a copy of the book on the restaurant... autographed by Guy Grossi himself.
All in all, a memorable dining experience.
And a final note - all this from an establishment that has been there since the early 1900s, which makes it even more amazing!
Address: 80 Bourke St, City 3000
Phone: 9662 1811
If, like me, you're willing to forego the table service, live 'music' and belly dancers available on the Edgware Road - Beirut Express is the Lebanese cafe worth queuing for. Part of the Maroush restaurant stable, it consistently serves good food at reasonable prices.
You can sample a range of traditional mezze dishes (try: soujok, baba ghanoush, batata hara, moutabal, spicy lebanese salad), alongside the standard chicken or lamb wraps, fresh juices (mango works), finishing off with baklava and tea.
If you're determined to make it an (alcohol-free) all-nighter, the sheesha bar across the street has the latest 'licence' in W2. Follow the neon lights.
112-114 Edgware Road W2, Marble Arch or Edgware Road tube stations, www.maroush.com
London is very expensive. To make the most of your time here eat McDonalds and fill up on Apple pies and stuff. the prices are fixed so you can have a meal for about six pounds sterling. I have been charged £5 for a slice of pizza before now.
Superb, coffee house, come bar, come restaurant. It reminds you of a smaller version of the municipal house cafe in Prague. The decoration is opulent and the place is very sophisticated. If you can get a seat in the window it's a great place to people watch, whilst relaxing over a coffee and Jack Daniels as it looks out over the Livu Laukums square, which in winter has an outdoor ice rink, which adds to the ambience.
You can spend a whole afternoon walking between Higbury and Islington and Angel tube stations. There are so many gorgeous boutiques and cafes. My recommendations for places to eat are Le Mercury (number 140a) for gorgeous French home cooking where all main courses are less than £7 and all starters are around £3.50 and the wonderful delicatessen Ottolenghi (number 287) which has the most mouthwatering window display with mounds of chocolate and raspberry meringues!
Then there's the shopping. Upper Street is perfect for Christmas present shopping as so many of its shops are crammed with "ooh, she'd love one of those" trinkets. There's After Noah at number 121 selling vintage telephones and wall clocks alongside unique pieces of jewellery and children's toys. Oliver Bonas at 147-148 has more of the same with a small selection of pretty outfits. Aria at 295-297 has some scrummy handbags and its interiors shop opposite sells furniture fit for a penthouse apartment.
On Sundays there is also a small but very good Farmers' Market behind the Town Hall and the independent cinema The Screen on the Green (number 83) is a great place to catch the latest arty flick.
A street with bars, pubs, market stalls on the weekend and a wonderful neighbourhood feel. There are also opening up many lovely smalls shops, a specialist music shop and others.
Broadway Market, next to London Fields, in Hackney
This is top-class Italian cooking, at very reasonable prices (£25 for three courses). The restaurant itself is somewhat understated (you might even walk past if you didn't know it was there), which could explain why it hasn't yet become unbearably busy. But it will.
The food is a delight: try the seafood ravioli for your second course and the either the sea bass or pork belly for your third. Actually, try anything - I can't imagine they cook anything less than perfectly.
Don't worry about leaving space for a pudding, though - eat one anyway, however fat you're feeling. And let the waiters talk you through the wine list - they'll pick the right wine for your meal.
21 Berners Street, W1T 3LP (opposite the Sanderson Hotel)
Tel: 020 7323 9123
Very good Italian restaurant that doesn't blow its own trumpet and so is relatively unknown. A bit of an oasis in the food desert of Westminster. Fantastic service (ask for any advice on the wine) and delicious food, but it's the cheeseboard in particular that keeps me coming back.
Quirinale, 1 Great Peter Street, SW1P 3LL. Phone 020 7222 7080. Nearest Tube: Westminster
This chain of noodle restaurants is so much better than Wagamama, and quite a bit cheaper (and you get your own table). Get the jasmine green tea with free top-ups and tuck in to their hot and sour seafood noodles - delicious!
Duncan Street, N1 (Angel tube) and Southampton Row, WC1 (Holborn/Russell Square tube)
West Kensington isn't known for its wealth of gastropubs, but this is an absolute joy. Everything about it is understated but high-quality, from the general atmosphere to the service to the excellent food.
29 North End Rd, Hammersmith, London, W14 8SZ; Tel: 020 7371 6806; Tube: Olympia or West Kensington
This restaurant is set right in the centre of St James Park, basically, the Queen's back garden. Superb views in both winter and summer - patio heaters all round so you can still sit outside with a hot chocolate when there's frost on the ground. Great food! Book in advance as it can sometimes get really busy.
Serves up only home-grown UK produce, can thoroughly recommend the duck, lamb and pork, really cooked superbly and the waiting staff add to the experience. For two people eating three courses and wine, you can expect a £100 bill but if you've had a good week in the office, well worth entertaining a loved one.
Nearest tube is St James Park but you can still reach it from both Charing Cross & Embankment (short walk).
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