A fabulous slice of country - delicious burgers, handsome sheepdogs, coconut ice, earnest pony club displays, crimplene dresses, huntspersons in full regalia, and best of all - ferret racing!
Late July in a field off the A39 just east of Dunster
Beware some of the tango shows in Buenos Aires that are recommended by your hotel. Bar Sur in San Telmo and Mandera Tango in the port area of BA are a rip off and are tourist traps.
For example, they will try and give you a poor seat with a bad view for you to upgrade to the 'VIP' area. They include a poor dinner with horrible house wine then con you to have a photo taken with two of the tango dancers who they say appear in the show then you never see them again.
They'll also offer you a cocktail for 40 pesos which is three times the price of any cocktail anywhere else. Bar Sur charges 210 pesos per person for the dinner and show in one of the tightest floor spaces in BA. Then the drinks are double the price of anywhere else in BA. If you want to see tango choose very carefully.
Berlin in a nutshell. Peculiar mix of people - 70 year-old ladies in old-fashioned evening dresses and gentlemen in suits, urban bummers in Hugo Boss as well as crazy hipsters are to be seen in this old ballroom (existed since 1913) in the centre of Berlin.
Situated in a scraped building surrounded by numerous art galleries, the place was visited by Tom Cruise during his search for old-fashioned shooting locations for the film 'Valkyrie'. Good food and delicious home-made cakes. Music changes depending on the day (cha cha, swing, waltz and tango). In the summer, the garden is an additional attraction.
If you walk down the Auguststr (Berlin Mitte), you'll spot an enchanting garden and the scraped building behind it.
Clärchens Ballhaus, Auguststraße 24, Berlin Mitte.
British bar/pub, the best place in Chengdu to watch sports (rugby, footy, cricket, boxing, whatever is on satellite) and a civilised place to have a few beers, relax, and chat.
Chill out on the sofa, natter at the bar, sup in the barbershop chairs. Excellent Brit memorabilia, from footy programmes to classic photos of celebs, and the staggeringly artistic screwdriver on the wall.
Also check out the quote of the day on the blackboard. Old Speckled Hen, Abbot Ale, Tiger, German lagers, a tasty range of cocktails. Occasional dancing ensues.
Open afternoon until as early as necessary.
Kehua Jie No. 19 / 科华街19号
30°37'32.96"N 104° 4'37.82"E
On the first floor (second floor for non-Brits) opposite the WoWo minimart on KeHuaJie, near the south gate of Sichuan Uni, so ask the taxi driver for ChuanDa NanMen. Just down the street from Cafe Paname, and next to some good local and Korean restaurants.
This Spanish TV series about a family in the late 60s and 70s gives a great idea of how life in Madrid was at that time under Franco. Spaniards agree that all the details, from decor and furniture to footage of actual events, are spot on and a real nostalgia-fest, but the characters of the family themselves are also a real pull. If you speak some Spanish this is well worth watching.
Within Spain you may be able to track the series down in Fnac or the Corte Ingles, otherwise try the internet.
A wonderful experience even if you've never been to an opera before. For the cheapest seats get there early and take a picnic - enjoy watching the glitterati take their seats! Take binoculars for a close-up view, hire a cushion and take a fan.
Verona Opera is in the centre of the city.
I recommend this spectacular light and sound show. Set against the back drop of the east entrance of Angkor Wat, a cast of some 160 Cambodians performed traditional Khmer dances, including the unique aspara dance. The hour-long show will play only until January 20 2008. A truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Want to enjoy the sport of kings but not pay a king's ransom? Then head to Paris on the first Sunday in October where you'll experience a sporting extravaganza, with a difference.
Racing reaches its pinnacle at Longchamp where the focus is the richest prize in Europe, the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe. But Arc day is much more than a day at the races. The Paris fashionistas compete as fiercely as the horses. So what would you expect to pay to rub shoulders with racing's elite in the world's style capital? How about £5 and that includes your racecard!
When visiting Paris, if you want a real taste of the city and the French way of life, there is a tiny theatre called Theatre de la Huchette.
This place hasn't changed since it was created in 1947 and has performed the same play La Cantatrice Chauve by Ionesco for 50 years. It is a real experience that is worth enjoying but get your tickets a bit before the performance as it really is a tiny place.
I went to see the play twice after I was told about it. It's like being thrown in the Paris d'apres guerre. Amazing experience! The theatre is at "23 rue de la Huchette" in the Latin quarter. You can even enjoy some pancakes from Brittany in a restaurant nearby afterwards.
23 rue de la Huchette, in the Latin quarter.
Forget the queues and the disappointments at Wimbledon, head to Roland Garros, home of the French Open. It's on the outskirts of Paris, easily accessible using the Metro, and with less competition for tickets, you can book a seat on Philippe Chatrier Court and a day return on Eurostar for the price of a Centre Court ticket (and a few glasses of Pimm's) at Wimbledon.
Worth it for the change in atmosphere (and lack of braying Brits on Henman Hill).
Most Berlin districts have open air cinemas showing old, classic and new films, some are formally organised in parks and venues, others happen in courtyards of cultural centres and nightclubs. Entrance is about five euros and most cinemas have deckchairs and blankets for customers.
Look in Tip or Zitty for "Freiluft Kino"
The open air cinema season normally starts mid May through to September
Traveling with kids to Paris? Need a place to let them burn off steam between the bateau-mouches and the Louvre? Then hit the trampolines and carousel in the Tuiliieres gardens.
After they get thirsty head to Angelina's (Angélina 226, rue de Rivoli) for chocolat chaud. Do this before the crowds arrive here and at the Louvre.
Another tip for children is to head to Sacre Coeur for the farmers' market on top of the hill on weekends, jugglers on the church steps and the carousel at the bottom.
Need a new children's shirt to replace the one covered in hot chocolate? There are some good bargain department stores on your way back to the Metro station.
After the lavish festivals of Paro and Thimpu, visiting a small rural community festival and joining in is the best way to meet and understand the proud people and their traditions in a changing country.
Be sure to have some money to tip the clowns and buy food from the host of stalls. If you're Dzonged-out having reached this far into Bhutan, the simplicity is refreshing, and the singing and dancing involves the young monks and just about everyone.
Tangbi is a small hamlet a few km north of Jakar the main town in the valley, walk with the locals or car/bus.
For a very cheap way to entertain the kids while watching the world go by, go to the large fountain in the the Tuileries Garden where a Parisian with a wheelbarrow hires out large sailing boats and sticks. The boats sail from one side of the fountain to the other and then the kids use the sticks to turn them around and they sail the other way. In the meantime, you can have a coffee.
If you want an authentic French cabaret experience, not quite the Moulin Rouge more like Jacques Brel with sequens, try Au Lapin Agile in Montmatre. It will be an unforgettable evening!
You will be ushered into a room and sat on a milking stool, given cherry liquer and treated to a few hours of French chanteuse cabaret. Everyone but you will know the words, you will blush but clap along and pretend to be singing along too. On the way out you will be offered CDs by local Parisien singers of dubious origin. It's an amazing, and amazingly french, experience not to be missed!
The grounds of Parc du Chateau de Versailles are beautiful and particularly worth a visit during April through to September when they are host to different spectacles.
The events are a true feast for the senses and lie only a 20 minute RER journey off the typical tourist route. An unforgettable experience.
The 'Show' - where city and country get together! Once a year, the country invades the city at the showgrounds and lets city families see what the country has to offer.
In addition, there are quite a few competitions where our farmers and country folk can show off the best bull, pig, horse or who can cook the best sponge or grow the best pumpkin.
Sheepdog and poultry competitions are favourites. City kids also have a chance to see new lambs or piglets or chooks. There are enough circus rides, face painting areas and handicraft stalls to keep everyone happy.
Adults have flamenco, hip hop, capoeira performers, belly dancers and others to keep them entertained.
And of course, there are fireworks at night. Everyone should go and don't forget to grab a ShowBag.
Sept 20 - 30
Royal Melbourne Showgrounds
Epsom Road, Ascot Vale
take a tram or train there from the CBD (car parking is available too)
Live the Living History in Den Gamle By (the old town) with reconstruction of life as it used to be centuries ago.
Viborgvej 2 8000 Aarhus C
Tel +45 86 12 31 88
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