The Office is a fantastic bar and restaurant next to the town hall in Argentiere. It has a warm and friendly atmosphere and serves great steaks and a delicious sticky toffee pudding. My family ate there four times during our stay and the service and food was consistently superb. They do lots of tasty vegetarian food as well.
There are hundreds of happening districts to explore after you've wandered around Shibuya, Harajuku, Shinjuku and the like in your guidebook. You can take a subway a few stops out from Shibuya to Shimokitazawa - an alternative studenty type area with lots of music shops and live venues but well away from the tourist trail. Or else try Daikanyama with a more refined tree-lined kind of neighborhood feel, plenty of cafes and boutiques. Take the subway to Ebisu to get there.
Shimokitazawa - private subway from Shibuya
Daikanyama - Ebisu subway
Recently renovated by French owner Christine Rio, Le Tobsil is set in a beautiful old riad in the Medina. Romantic, intimate, and richly decorated, the restaurant is considered one of Marrakech's finest. Guests are seated on two levels around an open courtyard, treated to the hypnotic songs of local gnawa musicians. The food is equally sumptous: a five course Morrocan meal, replete with vegetarian mezes, pastillas, tagine, couscous, pastries and fresh fruit. The set menu is 600DH a head, including apertifs and wine.
22 Derb Moulay Abdallah ben Hezzaien
R'mila, Bab Ksour
Tel: 024 44 40 52
Two thousand metres up and with blissful views, La Bergerie serves a very good gratin and decent steak. Those who are squeamish about offal will want to avoid the andouillette (tripe sausage), which is large and horrible.
But if you're willing to wait for service and don't mind paying over the odds for Evian (water has to be hiked up the mountain), it really is a beautiful spot.
At the top of the Planpraz telepherique
Tel: 04 50 53 05 42
100% real Greek food, they say. Well, even if that's not strictly true, it's pretty damn good. Order some mezedes (small dishes) to start - gigandes beans, aubergine dip, tzatziki, houmos, octopus, etc - with some pitta bread to share.
Then, as the name suggests, you have to tuck into a souvlaki, be it lamb, pork or chicken, and wash it down with a Mythos beer. And, of course, you can't leave without having some loukoumia (otherwise known as Turkish delight) and a piece of baklava or two.
It's not the cheapest place in the world, which is why I recommend getting your boss to take you there for lunch. As often as possible. Even if you are just about to go to Athens, where they really do have 100% Greek food.
140-142 St John Street, EC1V 4UA
Nearest tube: Farringdon or Barbican
The island in the middle of the Lake of Ioannina used to be home to the monastery of Agios Pantelaemon until 17 January 1822, when it gained a permanent place in Greek history and legend.
On that day, Ali Pasha, the legendary Ottoman ruler of Albanian descent was executed, at the monastery, by troops sent by the Sultan, from Constantinople, for the crime of insubordination. Ali Pasha had fled to the island after the defence of Ioannina to the 2-year siege by the Sultan's troops had laid on the city started collapsing.
The Turks promised Ali Pasha amnesty, arrived at the island supposedly to hand him the pardon papers that had arrived from the capital, and killed him. His body was decapitated and later buried next to the Fetihie Mosque, up on the castle of Ioannina. His head was taken to Constantinople, shown to the Sultan and then buried in a local cemetery.
Today, the monastery is a museum that tells the story of that day and of Ali Pasha's Ioannina.
You will also find a restaurant that serves local food, including lake seafood and frog's legs, and various gift shops. Boats leave from the quay in front of the castle every 10 minutes.
The castle of Ioannina was built in its present state by the legendary Ali Pasha, the Albanian-born, Ottoman governor of Epirus in the early 19th century, on the foundations of the old Byzantine fortifications of Ioannina.
The northeast end of the castle includes the madrassa, or islamic religious school, which today houses a lovely Museum of Weaponry, and the Mosque of Aslan Pasha, which today houses the Museum of the City of Ioannina.
The southeast end is the Its Kale, or Inner Castle, and was the main compound of the Ali Pasha administration and living quarters.
The castle of Ioannina is the core from which the city expanded to its present size, and included all the major civic monument and sites of the city, including the synagogue of the once mighty local Jewish community.
If you've got a car, this restaurant is worth a detour. Absolutely fantastic - the best restaurant I've ever eaten in.
If you're on a budget, even the bar food is out of this world.
Franschoek is beautiful and worth seeing anyway, so book a room and stay the night.
16 Huguenot Road
Tel: +27 21 876 2151
If you go to a Heuriger don't be surprised if you have to share a long table and bench with total strangers. This is the done thing and - Americans take note - if you try waiting for your own table you'll have a long wait and go thirsty.
Though the guideboooks will steer you towards the Heuriger ('wine taverns') at Grinzing at the end of the 38 tram line don't go there as they are all full of tourists, busloads of 'em, and are not at all authentic. Head for the real thing in Stammersdorf or Jedlersdorf which are just on the edge of the Vienna public transport network on the S3 or out to Klosterneuburg from Heiligenstadt on the bus or by train from the Franz-Josefsbahnhof. Real Heuriger are tiny, only serve their own wine and food prepared by themselves. Usually much cheaper too.
Small typical Viennese Beisl in the 9th district. Dunno if it's still on the menu but I used to say I'd choose an endless supply of owner Herbert's Krautsuppe (cabbage soup) as my desert island discs luxury item. Now very popular with the nearby Wirtschaftsuniversität staff as he does an all you can eat buffet. So try and go at the weekend. Classic Viennese cuisine at its best
Reznicekgasse 10, 1090 Vienna, tel.: 0043 1 317 91 40, take the D tram towards Nußdorf and get off at Althanstrasse or Augasse
First pressing of the grapes, looks like cloudy ginger beer, smells a bit yeasty but tastes great. Easy to down and absolutely lethal. Also plays havoc with your insides. Only available for a few weeks in September. Comes in massive bottles with a loose tin foil cap therefore can't be exported.
everywhere but only for a while
Bar in Vienna serving filled Fladenbrote (similar to pitta bread). The original one is in the Kleeblattgasse in the first district though there are now three in total. Walk up to the top of the Graben, turn right, walk along and you'll see the Kleeblattgasse which is a narrow little alley. Mixed clientèle, reasonable prices, dark with loud music. Fladen are great though.
Kleeblattgasse 1010 Wien, www.kolar-beisl.at
Sausages filled with molten cheese. Best bought from one of the many Würschtlstände (sausage stands) dotted around the city. Ask for a Käsekrainer hotdog and they take a mini baguette, hollow out the centre, fill it with ketchup and mustard and stuff the cheese-filled sausage in. They're probably heart attacks waiting to happen, the dripping ketchup and mustard are guaranteed to make a mess of your shoes / clothes but they taste amazing, especially late at night
all over the city
Great local restaurant serving typical Viennese cuisine. Tardis-like in its dimensions it somehow sometimes manages to be full of tourists without seeming touristy. Excellent food, massive portions, really friendly staff. Gets busy so booking recommended if there's a few of you.
Riemergasse 10, 1010 Vienna, five mins walk from the Stefansdom down the Schülerstrasse from where the fiakers (horse-drawn carriages) wait, Tel.: 0043 1 512 6357
Tiny little restaurant in 17th century vaulted cellars. The second best Bohemian kraut (cabbage) soup in the city (I'm keeping the best a secret) and great mixed (light and dark) beer. Always plays classical music. So hard to find that even a local policeman didn't know where it was but well worth the search.
Ledererhof 9, 1010 Vienna, www.brezlgwoelb.at, tel.: 0043 1 5338811
This is Rome's oldest 'gelateria' (ice cream shop). They make the most delicious ice cream, so creamy and so many different flavours to choose from. Buy an ice cream and go to Piazza della Rotonda (where the Pantheon is) and enjoy it while watching the world go by. Not to be missed, not even in winter!
via Uffici del Vicario, 40
There are 2 very special restaurants that provide the perfect Southern Califronian Experience. Mr A's is situated next to Balboa Park and has fantastic views of the city, great meanu and they have the longest balcony which allows sunset walks to see every angle of the city.
Further up the coast in a beautiful town called Del Mar is Jake's where you can experience wonderful seafood, great service and fantastic views of the ocean as it sits on the beach - with spotlights at night. Neither will disappoint and enjoyed by San Diegans.
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