Tucked into a little pocket of peace in between Olympia, Hammersmith and Shepherd's Bush, Brook Green is one of the most peaceful and 'villagey' areas of central London. And in the midst of it's charming backstreets and friendly pubs lies the Havelock, a simple, busy pub serving simply excellent food.
57 Masbro Road, Brook Green, W14 0LS; 020 7603 5374
This is undoubtedly the tapas bar for that authentic Catalan experience. It's a Barceloneta institution, with a long, narrow, crowded bar that is incredibly popular with locals. It might not look particularly special, but edge your way to the bar, order whatever tapas takes your fancy, and wash it down with a beer or two.
C/Balbao, Barceloneta; Nearest metro: Barceloneta
The sign outside boasted the best pancakes in America, and even I have to admit they were right. Nestled underneath the overpass opposite Grand Central Station, the cafe is a rare find. We spent our last morning in New York here, the staff were incredibly charming and accommodating, and the breakfast was incredible.
90 East 42nd Street New York; 212 286 9600
Historic pub by the river in Rotherhithe, named after the Mayflower ship which left from here for America carrying the Pilgrim Fathers. Dark wooden interior, an upstairs dining room with views over the river, and a quite majestic steak and cheese pie make it perfect for the winter. A balcony out over the river, and huge salads, make it great in the summer too. Also: one of the few fine cigar vending machines I've ever seen.
117 Rotherhithe Street; Nearest tube: Rotherhithe; Tel: 020 7237 4088
This beautiful Viennese salon serves what can only be described as the greatest hot chocolate in the world. Don't bother ordering any of the delicious pastries - half a cup of this is enough to wipe out the most demanding appetite. Decadent, indulgent and glorious.
226 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris; Metro: Tuileries; www.angelina.fr/
Head to Tojo's (www.tojos.com) on West Broadway for the city's very best. For the more budget conscious, Tsunami on Robson Street has Vancouver's only floating sushi bar. The quality of the sushi is fantastic, but be prepared to queue for lunch.
Tojos, 777 West Broadway; Tel: 872 8050. Tsunami. 1025 Robson St; Tel: 687 8744.
Tetsuya's is the best restaurant I have ever eaten in. Is it Japanese? Is it French? Is it Australian? Is it Pacific Rim? I've never tasted such subtle, brilliant and unusual food in dozens of mini courses. A meal for two ain't cheap but you'll never eat out anywhere else like it.
529 Kent Street, Tel: +61 2 9267 2900; www.tetsuyas.com/
Thai is often the best value, helped by Australia's BYO culture (in most restaurants you can bring your own wine/beer and pay a modest - $2-5 - corkage charge). Thada in Darlinghurst is cheap and fresh. Thai on Wok in Glebe offers lots of flashing woks and fire. You can eat well for $15 per person.
Thada, 245 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst; Thai on Wok, 193 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe
Fabulous bistro-style place in the East Village. Best breakfast I've ever had. You'd better get there just before it opens though or you'll have to wait. A full bloody Mary menu, and everything we tasted was delicious.
54 East 1st Street, between First and Second Aves. New York
Indonesian food is never pricey so for an expensive night out go to William Kafe Artistik, run by one of Indonesia's top gourmands, William Wongso. One has to book a couple of days in advance, which is when one plans the menu as each meal is made specially. The result is likely to be an amazing Asian-Western fusion meal. Food alone will be about £40pp. Drinks could easily see that double.
Jalan Panglima Polim Raya 63-65
Oslo’s quirkiest restaurant, with game trophies hanging next to paintings left as payment by penniless artists. The bar is also a fab place to round off a night out – it’s a favourite for people who’ve just banqueted at the nearby royal palace. Main courses such as reindeer cakes or catfish are 142 and 225 kroner respectively.
Parkveien 12; Tel: 22 69 69 04; www.lorry.no/
Set in a beautiful functionalist building that could be the set of a Hercule Poirot mystery, Ekeberg offers breathtaking views of the city, the Oslo fjord and the surrounding hills. Enjoy a beer on the terrace or a delicious dinner inside.
Kongsveien 15; Tel: 23 24 23 00; Tram lines 18 and 19, Ekeberg station; www.ekebergrestauranten.com/
Culinary megastar Alain Ducasse bought this wonderful belle epoque bistro a couple of years ago and gave it (and its menu) a thorough once-over. First-class fare, and nowhere near as weighty as the Lyon original.
32 rue St-Marc; Tel: 01 42 96 65 04
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