Restaurant and bar in the hills about 5 miles from Ibiza Town. It’s a huge garden covered in Arabic style tents, cushions, candles - the most chilled place in Ibiza. The perfect escape after a couple of crazy nights.
Ctra. San Jose - km 5,6 (On the road to San Jose about 5 miles from Ibiza Town);
tel: 971 396 349
Two restaurants side by side in Gamla Stan (the old town): the Grill serves great steaks, burgers, beers and cocktails, the Bistro excellent modern French and Swedish food and good French wine. I've been countless times and always been utterly charmed by the food and people.
Österlångg 14, Gamla Stan, Stockholm, Sweden
Gamla Stan is the old town of Stockholm, with narrow cobbled little streets. Lots of medieval history and the Royal Castle, Storkyrkan (oldest church in town), and Stortorget (where the bloodbath of Stockholm took place in the 16th century. Check out the red brick building with white stones on one side of the square - the white stones denote how many people got their head chopped off. Nice!).
There are plenty of medieval cafes to head into for lunch or fika (morning or afternoon tea/coffee break) - sitting sipping hot chocolate in a medieval stone cellar complete with arches and stuff is exciting for most people. Chokladkoppen on Stortorget is always good, and so is Kaffegillet on Trångsund.
Västerlånggatan is the main drag, but sadly quite touristy these days. But if you're in the business of getting some reindeer slippers or the like, this is where to go. Österlånggatan is nicer, with little antiques shops and galleries. Next to Gamla Stan is Riddarholmen, which also has lots of history. The Parliament and the beautiful Riddarholmskyrkan church are located here.
Good places for food/drink:
Pontus in the Green House on Österlånggatan (good for lunch) - traditional Swedish cuisine but with an exotic twist.
Pontus by the Sea on Skeppsbrokajen (good for lunch) - see above.
Grill Ruby on Österlånggatan (lunch) - brasserie.
Källaren Movitz on Tyska Brinken – doesn’t look that special, but the restaurant downstairs is good for Swedish food.
Järnet Matsal & Bar on Österlånggatan is cosy and does good food.
Engelen/Kolingen on Kornhamnstorg - a nice old-school type of place where you're pretty much guaranteed to get a good night out.
Walk from Norrmalm along Drottninggatan towards the Houses of Parliament, or northwards from Slussen.
La Zucca Magica is the best vegetarian restaurant in the south of France. It is located in Nice Harbour.
There's no menu as such - you get 5 small, perfectly prepared and utterly stunning courses: some of the best Italian food you'll ever eat and at a superb price. Unpretentious, delicious and fun. Highly recommended.
If you're approaching Nice Harbour from Nice, La Zucca Magica is on the left, facing the harbour.
I enjoyed a fantastic meal here. Very friendly service - the waiters will talk you through the menu. We had a selection of starters that were divine.
Cannaregio 5039, Fondamente Nove, Venezia; www.algiubagio.net;
tel: 041 523 6084;
Near the vaporetto stop on Fondamente Nove
Thessaloniki is usually overlooked by visitors to Greece as it lacks an outstanding feature like Athens’ Acropolis. However, it is in many ways a more interesting city with a far more turbulent and diverse history from the times of Alexander the Great through to the Byzantine and Ottoman eras.
It’s a city you need to explore as it’s quite hard to find the interesting monuments in the chaos of the modern city. Thessaloniki was burned down in 1917 and of the wooden buildings only the Anopoli survived, this used to be the old Ottoman quarter and with its narrow cobbled streets and charismatic overhanging houses it’s a magical escape and it has the best tavernas in the city.
Check out the monasteries there as well with amazing views and on a clear day you can see Mt Olympus across the bay.
Tourists never make it here because they never find it and the Greeks don't see it as a tourist attraction. Make for the Trigonian tower (you can see it at the top of the city) and then begin walking West down the street 'Eptapyrgio' along the Byzantine walls, at any point if you walk down towards the city you will find the Anopoli, the best of the Anopoli is the western side.
Traditional and delicious. The hot chocolate, eaten with little doughnuts (bunuelos), natch, is thick enough to remind you of school days’ chocolate custard. If you're hot, drink horchata (orxata in Valenciano), icy-sweet and refreshing drink. Particularly nice drunk in the traditionally tiled horchaterias around town.
Coyoacan is a lovely leafy suburb of Mexico City. The area inspired artist Frida Kahlo and you can visit her beautiful blue house here. It is famous for its markets, on a Saturday and Sunday, for its great second hand bookshops and also its ice-cream (you should try mil flores flavour - a thousand flowers).
A great place to escape the hectic city centre, it is easily reached on the metro or by bus.
Coyoacan, Mexico D.F.
lots of buses from the centre, Frida Kahlo's house is on Calle Londres
Everybody knows the Prater and its Riesenrad, but fewer people know the extraordinary restaurant Schweitzerhaus. It is famous for its enormous assortment of draft beer and its delicious "Stelze". Moreover, its not only worth a visit because of the dishes, but also because of the unique atmosphere of the restaurant's garden, which surrounds the visitors.
Indeed, an oasis in the big metropole.
In the Prater, near to the oldest "Hochschaubahn".
Lovely piece of fried dough (looks like a large flattened doughnut) best served with sour cream (tejföl), cheese (sajt) and garlic (fokhagyma). Perfect Hungarian street food.
At any of the markets in Budapest - Feny Utca market near Moszkva tér, Lehel tér market etc. Just look for stall with a Langos sign
This is an old market hall close to Liberty Bridge, not far from Kalvin ter tube station. Shopping can be an experience and the architecture is of exceptional value. Most vendors remember that Margaret Thatcher visited the market in 1984, but this should not be seen as argument against a visit. Next door you will find the neo-renaissance building of the economics faculty.
Vámház körút; nearest metro: Kálvin tér; trams: No 2, 47, 49 at Fovam ter
Vegetarium is a great vegetarian/vegan restaurant in the heart of the city. A wonderful restaurant: great atmosphere, very helpful staff, and the food is excellent. A great choice of dishes, both vegetarian and vegan, many of these are from Hungarian cuisine. They have menus available in English. The place doesn't have the feeling of abstinence that many vegetarian restaurants seem to have in Europe - very warm and inviting.
Vegetarium, 5, Cukor Utca 5; tel: 1 48 40 848
Hate the corporate tat of Oxford Street? Fed up with the tourists in Covent Garden? Too old for Camden Lock, but still want that eclectic edge? Try Church Street. Several chintzy, eclectic little boutiques and bric a brac shops, a couple of decent second hand bookshops, and loads of decent ethnic restaurants (Indian and Thai particularly well represented).
Seven Sisters tube, then a 243, 149, 73 or 76 bus. Alternatively, the overland station at Stoke Newington
Don’t miss the selection of cake shops on Acland Street in the beach resort of St Kilda, only a short tram ride from the city centre but well worth a stroll - so many chocolate and cream delicious items in consecutive windows, you’ll want to try (and fail to finish) more than one.
Eclectic, brash, irritatingly bright and tasteless. That's just the pool table. Even better, if they are still running the bingo nights, you have to go. That's right, bingo. Just go, you will have an experience to savour. No guidebook mentions this place and I feel a little guilty about this hidden gem but surely nothing could ruin it.
605 Victoria Street, Abbotsford
A huge covered food market, open Monday-Saturday 7am-2pm, also Saturday 4pm-8pm.
More fabulous Italian food than you can poke a stick at - and infinitely better priced than those “Tuscan specialty” shops pitched at tourists. If you plan to drag home your own body weight in formaggi, porcini, salsicce, lenticche and vino then this is the place for you. Also a few sit-down places for a super-cheap lunch - mind the pigeons though.
Raday utca, close to the Kalvin Tér metro, is a popular spot for both tourists and young locals, it has a lot of restaurants and bars. At the far end is a personal favourite of mine. It’s a lively bar/restaurant called Castro (recently closed, but rumoured to be reopening on on Madach Ter, VII district) serving Serbian specialties and is almost always busy, which can make it difficult for groups exceeding six. Castro has internet access, which is great for when you're having discussion about something over a pint and no-one knows the answer.
Take the MTR (rail system) to Choi Hung station, then get a 1A bus to Sai Kung all the way to the bus terminus at the seafront. The restaurants are right there and all of them are good. Someone on the staff usually speaks English.
For coffee, wander along the front away from the terminus to where it meets the road, turn up the road and you'll come to a big square, where all the action happens. There are several cafes there where you can sit out. Jaspa’s coffee is the best.
Another way to spend the time (you could combine the two) is to take a taxi from Sai Kung (it costs very little) to Pak Sha Wan. Tell the driver you want to go to the pier.
On the pier, boat people will approach you. For HK$10, you can jump on one of the kaidos (little boats) and they'll take you five minutes to Trio beach. It's a government run one, which means it's shark-netted and has a loo and a very basic cafe. Walk along the beach from where the boat drops you to the second little beach – it’s always emptier. There's a kids playground up the steps beside it. The boats keep coming back and forth all day. Just keep an eye on which flag yours was carrying, as a way of identifying it.
It’s a lovely spot to watch the big sail boats and the tycoons’ yachts from.
Note: there are no places to stay in Sai Kung, but if you get stuck out late you're only a $200 taxi ride via the Eastern Tunnel from Central.
A recently opened, value for money, daytime haunt for office workers. As you would expect they specialise in tasty, made-on-the-premises soups such as tomato and basil, cream of cauliflower, carrot and coriander and minestrone, starting at £1.95. They also do a fine line in doorstop sandwiches using lovely seeded breads- including carrot and hummus, ham and salad and tuna- from £2.50.
There’s a weekly, daily changing menu of hot main courses (for both carnivores and vegetarians).
All this can be washed down with fruit juices, canned drinks, coffee (soya milk available) or tea (including fruit teas). Delicious home-made puddings like chocolate fudge cake and carrot cake for those who can find the space.
Punters sit at cafeteria-style tables and benches as well as barstool seating with a view out of the windows- or if you prefer they do everything to take away.
Owned by the same folks that have the wonderful Bay Horse pub just down the road on Thomas Street.
31-33 Spear Street (off Stevenson Square), Northern Quarter, M1 1DF; tel:0161 236 5100; www.soup-kitchen.co.uk
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