A restaurant perched high above Taormina (take a taxi there and back). Breathtaking views over the Gulf of Naxos and Etna. Excellent local food and wine. Romance on a plate.
Salita Castello, 98030 Castelmola
Tel: 0942 28180
Yuva is a family run eco holiday centre about 30 mins drive from Fethiye. It is set in 40 acres of pine forest and has direct access to the Mediterranean sea. It hosts a range of activity holidays from April to October for beginners and the more experienced including yoga, walking and chi gung, but you can also stay all year round without taking part in a course or activity to just relax and enjoy the beautiful natural environment.
Food is mainly delicious locally produced organic vegetarian and accommodation is in large traditionally built stone houses and wood cabins, all ensuite. Prices start from under £200 a week half board not including flight.
Yuva is a great place to relax, enjoy the sea, sunshine, and the natural environment and eat well and healthily at the same time!
Tel: 01760 755888
Christchurch’s outdated styling as Little Britain is nowhere more obvious than in its approach to pubs: that they still cling to a Victorian notion of Britishness is apparent on crossing the threshold of many hostelries.
Check out the stale-beer carpet, or decor seemingly designed with fistfights in mind. Don’t even think about the food.
All of which make The Bohemian, by the banks of the River Avon, all the more enjoyable to discover. The beech and brick decor create a warm atmosphere, the food is delicious (the antipasto plate is superb), and you can even sit on the street outside in the summer.
How very continental.
Address: 256 Oxford Terrace, Christchurch.
Telephone: (64-3) 3662563
Another chain pub/brewery, the Hog is a decent, fairly run-of-the- mill place – lots of hardwood, good bar food, and nice beer. But it’s when Thursday night rolls around that the place really hots up. Latin Night is something special in otherwise reserved Christchurch, when the small Latin American community come out to shake their hips.
A swinging band provide the thumping beat, and salsa dancers bump and grind on the packed dancefloor. Let the cerveza and salsa flow.
Address: 178 Cashel Street, Christchurch.
Telephone: (64-3) 3666674
In a country where you can get overwhelmed with entreaties to do dangerous and high adrenaline activities at every turn, sometimes it’s nice to do something utterly quaint and old-fashioned.
Dining on good solid fare while the old Victorian tram makes its stately progress through the streets and parks of Christchurch is about as far from extreme as you can get, and all the better for it.
Good Indian food is not actually that hard to find in Christchurch, but this place (part of a chain) is the best, as evidenced by its constantly thronged premises on trendy New Regent Street.
Address: Corner New Regent and Gloucester Streets.
Telephone: (64-3) 3777997
Forget Christchurch’s (in)famous “Strip” of interchangeable and forgettable bar/clubs on Oxford Terrace – head to Sammy’s for a cool and laidback night out.
This place is hidden away down a dead-end street, so it’s one of those Swingers-style places that you need to be in-the-know to find. The music is pretty swinging too, and it’s buzzing at the weekends.
Address: 14 Bedford Row (off Manchester Street).
Telephone: (64-3) 3778618
A taste of Japan in Marrakech.
Authentic Moroccan restaurant this is not. Some of the best Japanese food outside of Japan it most certainly is. As a great lover of all things gastronomic, with a soft-spot for fine Japanese cuisine, Tatchibana offered better Japanese food than I have eaten in London, Paris or New York, and what is more, the price tag is more attractive as well. Recently opened in an area of the Marrakech Medina that has not lost its charming madness to the tourist trade, this Japanese restaurant offers the tranquility of a Japanese garden, and savours of the highest quality Japanese cuisine. The chef, a Japanese native who now lives in Marrakech with his wife looks about 15 but prepares his dishes like a sage. This is a must see, not to be missed experience, even if your cultural senses are confused by a small haven of Asia in North Africa.
A low-key, seafront hotel with high ceilings and a lovely terrace. Food is served by students at a local catering college and can be al fresco, weather permitting.
The village of Leni is pretty tiny, but if you're here to hike or stroll, it's a great family-run base. Rinella, where the ferries dock is not too far either. Try to bag a more spacious room on the ground floor. Doubles from 80 euros a night.
An agriturismo and working vineyard on the slopes of Mount Etna with comfortable, stylish rooms. Run by the noble family of the Baron Scammacca del Murgo - the hosts are full of character!
The estate produces very drinkable red and sparkling wines - tastings and tours available - and you can really taste the volcanic minerals in the red wine.
Excellent modern Spanish restaurant near Santa Catalina. The menu is interesting (and there's a helpful English translation behind the bar if you ask). The food is very tasty and well prepared. The special house red is amazing and I'm gutted to have forgetten the name already. Child-friendly. Excellent and non-prententious service. Very reasonably priced. I would go back!
Dona Maria Coronel, 17
Seville: 954 215 804
This place specializes only on one very classical and Traditional dessert called "Kunefe".
I can confidently say that this is the best place to try this beautiful speciality if you are interested in traditional Turkish cuisine.
It is in Beyoglu. Address: 9/A Suslu Saksi Sk. Tel: 0212 251 82 74. From Taksim, you can walk down on Istiklal Street, it is on one of the small streets on the left had side.
If you would like to visit the Anatolian side of Istanbul, you should definitely go and eat in this small, independent, local restaurant in Baglarbasi. Its name is "Baglarbasi Iskender" just on the main road in Baglarbasi.
Portions are huge and very reasonably priced, the owner is back in the kitchen, preparing the most delicious doner kebab and other wonders.
Take a "Dolmus" from Kadikoy Rihtim to "Baglarbasi" and get off in Baglarbasi
Tel: +90 216 310 62 80
Buy your coffee beans, have them ground, Gaggia and Bodum kit for sale as well as old sweet jars full of bright wrappers and lots of bars of chocolate.
A fabulously unpretentious, comfortable, welcoming cafe which wears its history, tradition and quality on its working sleeve and oh, to smell the coffees - roasted just next door, the smoke and steam bellowing out into the street before you!
Fine, local home-made food and a sweet counter to drool over with fabulous Cumbrian tray bakes.
Many of the Cumbrian market town dwellers look down on Carlisle and many areas have all the character and panache of a sodden sponge skewered on the branch of a wintry tree in a park in Ordsall but John Watts is to make any Carlisle visit worthwhile to the power of 100.
City Centre pedestrianised area, just down from HSBC
Definitely different is this japanese restaurant but lunch is great. All the usual favourites (tempura etc) are there along with some others more unusual like salmon rolls and shishamo.
Try the teriyaki beef rolls (delicious) and even their pizza!
Okonomiyaki is awesome (and Japanese for pizza). The decor is different too.
By the way, they also do dinner -
179 Russell St
ph 9663 1938
I love Morbegno! I have been there twice - mainly for walking holidays. Stayed at the family-run Hotel Trieste in the old town.
It's a comfortable, reasonably priced hotel with a lovely private garden at the back. Also had some very good meals at the Hotel Margna, which is in the centre of town. The food is amazing - nothing like what you get in other areas of Italy and there are some great local wines.
What I like about Morbegno is that it's big enough to meander around looking at the shops and old buildings but is also small enough that you feel you get to know people. And there is such amazing countryside all around it - in a few minutes you are climbing high up amongst first vineyards and then mountain pastures - it is breathtakingly beautiful.
If you want to venture further afield there are good train and bus links and Milan is an easy trip on the train. So, if you want a taste of real Italy, visit the Valtellina and especially Morbegno.
San Marco's in Chorley has more cheese in the decor than it does on its pizzas and so it is quickly established that yes, this is an Italian restaurant - sorry 'ristorante'.
Somehow though, it's easy to forgive because here they serve food that gives pleasure. Sure, it's all a little messy and I wish the chef would make desserts on the premises and/or make use of the local ice cream superheroes - Fredericks (www.fredericksicecream.co.uk) but still, the simplicity of the dishes are pleasantly satisfying and the staff are always friendly.
The pizza bases alone are worth scoffing down. It may never win awards but mixed in with the charm and honesty is the feeling that there is certainly potential.
12 Cheapside, Chorley, PR7 2EX - 012572 61917.
A fantastic place for everyone who wants to spend a whole afternoon with relaxation and romantics.
Located in the central of Shanghai (very close to the Oriental Pearl Tower), the tea house is fully British style and you can find every genuine tea that you've missed from the west for a long time.
Surrounded by the lovely music and rose aroma, enjoy reading a book from the shelf, you will be kept away from city's noise and fully relax yourself in an elegant way.
Address: Gound floor ZhengDa Square, LuJiaZui Road, PuDong, Shanghai.
Nearest tube station: LuJiaZui Station.
We had lunch at Plush last Thursday, our first visit. Friendly and welcoming staff, lovely food - fresh, well presented and full of flavour across all three courses - with a good bottle of Sauv Blanc.
All with prompt but unobtrusive service.
Seated by a tropical fish tank, which was entertaining. All for £50 - great value and well recommended.
10 York Place. Near Wellington Street and railway station.
0113 234 3344
Should you visit Bursa for its architectural marvels, spa hotels, and the Turkish Mt Olympus, do not omit to visit either of these restaurants. Bursa or Iskender kebab is served throughout Turkey, and while döner kebab served atop pide with yoghurt, tomato sauce and browned butter should not insuperably challenge a chef anywhere, the dish is only good, in fact excellent, at these two restaurants in Bursa. They serve almost nothing else, and one orders by size—bir, bir buçuk, dublé—and one-and-a-half is plenty.
Kukla Kebab, a diplomat's favorite outside the Foreign Ministry in Ankara, does a credible version, but really, one should only eat it here.
They're in all the guidebooks. The dish was originated at Iskenderoğlu; Hacı Baba provides competitive edge.
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