Set among palm trees, 500m away from Anjuna beach this is a great little place to eat when you need a break from Indian food. Stylish and comfortable with a wide ranging menu of world food created with love: perfect wood oven baked pizzas, delicious smoked Kingfish, baked mussels and seafood galore all served with excellent salads and healthy juices. The staff are helpful, nothing is too much trouble and they serve the best apple crumble and custard.
Head towards the flea market, they are on the right heading towards South Anjuna beach.
O’Reagen’s pub is worth a visit. Dark, dingy and a toilet that is only to be used in desperation. But they do a great pint of Guinness. Slowly pulled, watched carefully, topped up - it’s a work of art. This is a tiny bar to be comfortable in. Other customers come in and greet you. “Hwarya?” or “Hwzitgoin?” Like old friends and by the end of the night they are.
If you’re feeling hungry, get some fresh hake or John Dory from the boats in the harbour, stuffed with lemons, limes and local butter. Wrapped in the Irish Times, soaked in spring water and twenty minutes on the barbecue, they’re served with soda bread from the village and spuds freshly dug from over the road. A veritable feast.
The Sheep's Head peninsula lies about 6 miles west of Bantry.
Baga beach down by the creek at the quiet end of the Candolim - Calangute stip, is just perfect as a base for exploring north Goa. There are some excellent hotels, guest houses, restaurants and night clubs in the area. You can walk around the cliffs to Anjuna if you don't mind a bit of a hike. Half way round is a small secluded bay and beach shack imaginatively called "Cliffs" perfect for stopping of for a mid moring snack or drink.
Calangute is within walking distance in the other direction should you need the exercise, but a taxi or Tuc-Tuc will take you anywhere within north Goa for less than £10! The views from the top of Chapora fort or from Arambol lake are spectacular at any time of day and Vagator beach is fantastic for sundown.
The capital city of Panjim is also worth a visit as is Old Goa for the architecture and churches - a 3 day trip to Hampi is also well worth the time and trouble.
Dabolim airport is 70 mins away and Mapusa Station is 10 minutes away.
Down at the harbour a modern stainless steel and glass building sells freshly caught fish (hake, plaice, sole, turbot, John Dory, etc) at a third of the price in supermarkets. They also serve fish and chips from five o’clock every evening.
A Sunday market flourishes on the foreshore, selling mainly crafts, plants and food. Breads of every kind fill baskets beside cheeses of every flavour. Especially good are the local blue cheeses made from goats’ milk. And of course the famous Durrus cheese from the town of the same name a few miles up the road.
Like most Indonesian towns, Bogor has its juice bars where you can ask for any combination of freshly sliced and blended tropical fruits mixed with ice and a little condensed milk if you wish. I suppose we'd call them smoothies in the UK, but here you see the fruit cut up and blended right in front of you! Try strawberry and a little lime (strawberry dan jeruk nipis) or mango (mangga) or soursop (sirsak). The best one in Bogor is a little shack in a side street just by the big Hero supermarket on the main road as you enter Bogor by road. It's opposite the main mosque.
While you're there, try the boiled noodles with chicken bits (mi sama ayam).
Is it safe to eat? My family lived there for 7 years and never got sick from eating at places like that - just look for the places popular with the locals and you can't go wrong.
By the way - the local buses (angkot) are safe. You just need to know the fare (it's the same for any bus no matter how far you go) and, as ever, don't have your wallet/camera vulnerable. I had only one theft attempt in 200+ rides.
These are my favourite Barcelona restaurants (in no particular order) if I want to celebrate. None of them are cheap, but in comparison with for instance London it’s laughable!
1. Abac: Rec 79-89 (opposite La Estació de Francia; near Barceloneta and El Born). One Michelin star. (www.epicurious.com/restaurants/erg/barcelona/highend)
2. Drolma: (in Hotel Majestic, Passeig de Gràcia 68; corner of Valencia). One Michelin star (www.frommers.com/destinations/barcelona/D55400.html)
3. Gaig: Aragon 214 www.epicurious.com/restaurants/erg/barcelona/highend)
4. Hofmann: Argenteria 74-78 (between Vía Laietana and Princesa; near El Born) One Michelin star (www.hofmann-bcn.com/
5. Neichel: Beltran i Rózpide 8 (in the most elegant part of Barcelona, near Avenida Pedralbes) 2 Michelin stars (www.dininginfrance.com/Neichel_Bown_review.htm)
6. El Racó dén Freixa: Sant Elies, 22/ C. Balmes. www.epicurious.com/restaurants/erg/barcelona/highend
7. Els Pescadors: Placa Prim 1 (in Poble Nou, near Port Olimpic) (www.barcelona-metropolitan.com/Article.aspx?TabID=2&MenuID=7&ArticleID=162)
8. Alkimia: Indústria 79 (between Sicilia and Sardenya in Gracia) (www.frommers.com/destinations/barcelona/D55401.html)
9. Jean Luc Figueras: Santa Teresa 10 (www.toptable.co.uk/details.cfm/qs/rid%7C2433/spos%7C5)
10. Caelis/ Hotel Palace: Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes 668 / Roger de Llúria
I could easily make another Top 20 list, so enormous is the number of restaurants on offer in the city!
If you venture outside Barcelona, the three obvious choices (now that El Bulli is no more) are: Sant Pau in Sant Pol de Mar (three Michelin stars), El Raco de Can Fabes in San Celoni (three Michelin stars), and El Celler de Can Roca in Girona (two Michelin stars).
A small hotel/bed and breakfast near to Vaxjo. Fantastic hosts with great authentic Thai food (one of the owners is Thai and the other is a Swede!) Excellent English spoken. A home away from home!
380 40 Orrefors
La Chene is the gite we stayed in this summer - it's FAB! (and suprisingly affordable). Big and spacious even with two families in it. Lovely back terrace with views across the field and great sunsets. The kids loved the upstairs rooms and the 'wet room' almost as much as the heated pool and bike rides.
Although the area and the Deux Sèvres region isn't all that touristy there's no shortage of things to do. We enjoyed days out at the Trogldyte village (caves that were used as houses up to 40 years ago), in the pretty town of Montreuil Bellay, and at the amazing Futuroscope in Poitiers.
We're hoping to go back early next year with some friends on a 'grown-up' break as the owners offer a local 'degustation' wine tasting tour.
Driving there was easier than we expected - ferry to Caen then 4.5 hrs on the autoroutes ending up in peaceful french countryside. If we come for a long weekend we'll fly to Angers and hire a car as that's cheap and easy.
Top tip: If you do stay here, eat out at least once at the Logis de Pompois - AMAZING 4* gormet food (and not too painful on the chequebook).
La Chene is around an hour or so from Tours.
www.gites-en-france.info or call the owners: 00335 49 80 26 58
Nearest airports are Angers or Poitiers, or ferry to Le Harve or Caen and drive...
Le Logis de Pompois, BP86 Sainte Verge 79102 Thouars
Tel: (0)5 49 96 27 84
Ocho Rios is a bit of a mixed bag. What spoils it somewhat are the hundreds of cruise ship tourists who flood into the resort on an almost daily basis. Whilst the residents of Ocho Rios naturally thrive from the custom that this brings to their shores, the smoke-belching cruise ships docked in the harbour do somewhat mar the view from what is otherwise a pleasant beach.
That said, Ocho Rios provides a great location for visiting some of the Island’s most impressive attractions, as well as some nice bars and restaurants. ‘Coconuts’ is a very pleasant restaurant just off of the beach front serving nice food and just about any drink you can imagine. Alternatively try ‘Trade Winds’ for some more authentic Jamaican fare and a great host – just don’t get him started on the subject of George Bush! ‘Mama Marley’s’ owned by the mother of the Island’s most famous former resident, is a bit of a tourist magnet (and not recommended if you’ve spent the afternoon swimming with the dolphins at Ochie’s ‘Dolphin Cove’, as dolphin steaks feature on the menu) but serves great jerk chicken. Dining is not cheap in Jamaica – so take some extra cash or be prepared to ‘go local’ and search out some of the delicious Jamaican patties from one of the bakeries in the resort.
Music is, and has always been, a powerful social tool for the people of Jamaica. For a glimpse into Jamaica’s potent musical past check out ‘Reggae Explosion’ - an interactive museum located in the Island Village shopping complex. The museum chronicles Reggae music’s evolution from mento, ska through to rocksteady, roots, dancehall and beyond - and includes a recreation of Lee Perry’s infamous Black Ark studio (which was allegedly burnt down by the musical maestro himself). Judging by the amount of times you are likely to hear Bob Marley’s music playing in the streets and bars during your stay in Jamaica, this is a refreshing introduction to the Island’s rich and socially significant musical history!
This is a great simple, local restaurant in a lovely setting - the food is really tasty and the staff are lovely and friendly....with a great atmosphere.. highly recommended!
Kloksteeg 7, near the Pieterskerk.
You cannot be in St Elizabeth and not visit the best local seafood restaurant Little Ochie in Alligator Pond where your choice of seafood is custom made. The views of Lovers Leap (Mountain Side) are breathtaking.
Alligator Pond, Manchester
Tel:876 965 4449
Going to Gippsland? Like a round of Golf at a new course in picturesque Metung?
I reckon Kings Cove on the hill overlooking Metung is the way to go.
The views are worth the cost of a round, clubs bags and buggies for hire. And if you don't play golf, go to the restaurant for dinner - recently voted one of the best country restaurants
Kings Cove golf course is at Metung on the Gippsland lakes, 3 hours from Melbourne
The best fish restaurant in the whole of Jamaica, although you might not guess to look at it. A rough and ready shack on the beach in a remote fishing village, it serves fish by the pound, in old wooden fishermen’s canoes propped on stilts on the sand. Get Blackie, the owner, to pick out your fish and cook it whichever way you like - but don’t miss the jerk conch or garlic shrimp.
It’s hard to get to by road, but if you catch a boat from Treasure Beach it’ll drop you on the beach at your table. Ask a tour guide called Ted to take you in his boat, the Evil Ting, if you fancy the maddest, loudest boat ride on the south coast.
Alligator Pond, Manchester
Tel: 876 965 4449
If you have to stay in Kingston (and I recommend you try not to since other parts of Jamaica are so much nicer) then Red Bones is easily the best restaurant I found. Good food, arty atmosphere, friendly people...etc
This is the place to eat out in style. Rossini is a sophisticated Italian seafood restaurant in Heliopolis with a piano bar upstairs and a garden at the back. It has great food, excellent cocktails (which are difficult to find in Cairo outside five-star hotels) and top service.
Rossini, 66 Omar Ibn el-Khattab Street.
Tel : +20 2 291 8282
A typically smart, hip and upcoming TriBeCa ethnic restaurant, the food isn't half bad either. Also worth checking out for the backroom display of Asian artefacts. It doesn't feel anything like Vietnam itself, but that's not the point.
345 Greenwich Street
Near the American University Cairo (AUC) dorms, there is a great cafe with an outdoor terrace called Cafe de Paris. It's popular with the Zamalek crowd, open late, does good shisha and food. A great, relaxed place to spend an evening.
18 Yosef al-Gindi Street, Bustan Center
This is an inexpensive (US$12 per room), simple, clean and very friendly guest house. Each room has en suite and air conditioning. It is a good place to unwind after a hard, hot day. There is a bar, a casual restaurant (with Western or Khmer-style food), a pool table (good for chilling out) and free internet for catching up with your emails and bragging to friends. It is close to town and they give you transport around town and to the airport. The modest profits from here go to support Savong's School - a volunteer language school that is also worth visiting.
D&D Angkor Villa Guest House,
No 6 Highway (Airport Road, near the Caltex Station).
Tel : (00 84) 855 12 531 037
Rent bikes at the shop opposite the indoor swimming pool and ride on the cycle tracks all
through the forest that runs parallel to the beach for miles.
Turn inwards and have coffee and cakes at the Soldier's Cottage (Soldat's Hus) in the middle of the forest, avoiding the real life soldiers doing their military service.
There is also a campsite in the forest, but now this is dominated by mobile homes, with few real tents - but good for kids and full camp shops
that sell buckets and spades, and the long red and yellow liquorice I loved as a kid.
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