A five room B&B situated in the historic - and picturesque - town of Burlats near Castres.
Okalani is ideal for families with small children. The large, toy-filled garden features a hugely popular trampoline and leads down to the river. The room we had was plain, to the point of being bare, but large with an ensuite bathroom.
Dinner was served outside on the terrace and was a delicious stew of Toulouse sausage and lentils. The children had potato wedges, sausages and pasta so no need to feel embarassed over their food fads.
The kids all played together and as we were outside chatting and eating together, it was easy to make friends with the other guests. All in all, a very friendly and relaxing stop.
Okalani Chambres d'hotes
15 Route de Castres
Tel: +33(0)563 516 401
This is a great value, B&B style, 19th century budget hotel. You can get rooms for less than $100, which is especially good value as it is short walking distance from Darling Harbour. Good option for families. Book in advance.
22 Allen Street
Tel: (02) 9552 4773
A coffee farm with nice traditional rooms (but with bathrooms, 2 pools, a bar and restaurant, and a number of activities on site including presentations on coffee growing and processing (including picking your own coffee berries, preparing and roasting them), horse riding through the coffee groves and the largest canopy in Colombia - 7 zip line rides over the trees.
Very friendly staff who are happy to organise outings to the National Coffee Park, a trip down the La Vieja river on a bamboo raft, or up to the mountains to go walking.
Near to Quimbaya, in Quindío province, 27km from Armenia.
A great place to get a cheap bite to eat. With a great selection of montaditos and a fair selection of cold tapas as well, it's a lively venue that always reminds me of an old municipal swimming pool. The main seating area is a series of tiled banks beyond the bar. It's very noisy but that's half the fun. If you're feeling greedy head down the road a few doors to the bar with the Chocolate y Churros sign hanging outside. The churros there are as good as you'll get in Seville and the background din of gossiping local senoras is the perfect accompaniment to the stodgy churros and thick, rich chocolate.
c/ San Eloy 9;
9 San Eloy
Yes, it's in all the guide books but the Alcazar is easily missed. From the outside it doesn't look anything special but inside it's magical and a lot less frantic than the Alhambra. If you visit make sure you spend some time in the gardens. If you only have an afternoon in Seville and have to choose between the Cathedral and the Alcazar then give the Cathedral a miss.
Plaza del Triunfo; tel: 954 502 323
An incredibly popular tapas bar on the edge of the Santa Cruz district, Las Coloniales is one of the best and cheapest places to eat in Seville. When you arrive you have to write your name and the number in your party on a small blackboard and your name is called when a table is free. It's located on the edge of the leafy (for Seville) Plaza Cristo de Burgos, which is handy as you have somewhere shady to sit whilst you wait. The food is uniformly good and the tapas sizes are exceptional for the price. Two people can have a decent meal with a couple of drinks for little over ten euros. One of the best things on the menu are the quail eggs and chorizo on fried bread, which is like a sausage and egg sarnie in the sun. You can't go wrong with the staples either. The Solomillo al Whisky is as good as you can get in Seville. On Sunday afternoons the plaza is full of Spanish families eating ice cream from the Heladeria across the road. Seville is full of Heladerias and though this one is probably the most expensive it's also the best.
Plaza Cristo de Burgos, 19 - east of the main El Corte Ingles, just past Plaze de Encarnacion.
Recently refurbished, this is one of London's best museums. It has huge displays on such topics as the history of cruising and interactive exhibits like the ferry piloting simulator. The cafe round the back is rather nice too. A walk across the road will take you into the old naval college, whose chapel has a superb painted ceiling.
Park Row, Greenwich; tel: 020 8858 4422;
It is a very small theatre - the smallest in the world apparently - located in an old public loo. It is beautifully decorated and run by enthusiastic volunteers.
Performances are on demand and last for five minutes. Apparently the runs of shows tend to last a long time as the theatre's founder has to make all the puppets etc from scratch.
I really recommend this as it is such an unusual way to spend five minutes and lets you get your breath back after trekking up the hills.
It's in Malvern town on Edith Walk (uphill on the street between Waitrose and Somerfield).
Neu-Isenburg is at the end of the Streetcar/Tram line 14, which passes through the city forest (Stadtwald) on the south side of Frankfurt. Well worth the ride in itself. Then it's a 10 minute walk to the old Market Square.
The quality of the German menu items is A1 and the green sauce is perhaps the best in the whole area. The staff are friendly: not the typical apple-wine pub bruskness.
Book in advance as it's always busy, though I have always found a table during a walk-in in the early evening. And for families with children, they actually like them here.
Marktplatz 1, 63263 Neu-Isenburg;
tel (0 61 02) 3 96 69
The Murillo Gardens are very Sevillian in style, full of arcades and foliage, ceramic work and abundant flowers. A very peaceful haven in the centre of Seville. Ideal for children and families.
On Calle de Menendez Pelayo. The gardens border the walls of the Alcazar, leading into the Santa Cruz district.
A 'modern' styled Italian restaurant serving very good old style Italian food. Good wine list too. And something unusual ... the restaurant is situated in what was the old Jack Lilley Triumph motorcycle building.
109 High Street, Shepperton TW17 9BL
Tel: (01932) 269006
A short walk up the high street from Shepperton station.
A giant redbrick warehouse sitting between the River Avon and the entrance to the floating harbour in the Cumberland Basin. It's home to environmental think-tanks and the City Council's sustainable development unit. It has a gallery and cafe open to the public. The best part of the centre is the attached Ecohome which anyone is welcome to nose around.
Smeaton Road, BS1 6XN;
tel: 0117 925 0505;
The excitingly designed Harbourside concert hall by architects Behnisch & Partners was set to do for Bristol what the Guggenheim had done for Bilbao. A shameful Arts Council decision cut the funding and the project has never been revived. With this turn of events At-Bristol, with its stunning all-reflective planetarium, became the centrepiece of the Harbourside development. The centre mixes art, science and nature. It includes an Imax cinema, the interactive 'Explore' science museum and 'Wildwalk', a walk through a living section of rainforest.
Harbourside, BS1 5DB;
tel: 0845 345 1235;
Annual celebration of kite flying now in its 20th year. The first weekend of September attracts swathes of kite designers and enthusiasts to Ashton Court Estate, wind permitting. It's a family affair.
Ashton Court Estate; Take bus numbers 358 & 359 from the Central Bus Station;
We took a sailing boat out from Ancon Marina, just outside Trinidad, skippered by two of the most friendly locals we met during our stay in Cuba. Noberto and Benito have been operating dive and snorkel charters from Ancon Marina for over ten years, so you are in safe hands with them. The boats are very new and well looked after with room enough for 12 people on each.
A two hour trip takes you out to Cayo Blanco, a tiny island covered in scrub and coral which you will have more or less to yourself – though you will have to share it with the iguanas! The island is uninhabited, though there is an outdoor restaurant. You will get a slap-up lobster, chicken and salad buffet (all food and drink is included in cost of the trip) – generous tips are a must as they don’t get paid much by the government!
After letting your dinner go down with a 30 minute walk around the island, grab your snorkelling gear and swim out to the reef. With a shallow bottom, you can really appreciate the numerous tropical fish species, black coral, sponges, turtles and shellfish. I was followed around by a large barracuda, but managed to shake him off by swimming in close to the beach. There is also a wreck that attracts lots of fish. Noberto will point you in the direction of the best places to snorkel.
We loved this trip so much we booked it again the next day, and having made friends with the skippers, they let us helm the boat and showed us how to put up the sails. A fantastic end to our trip in Cuba – we didn’t want to go home!
Book this trip directly with the tourist information office in Trinidad. Ancon Marina is 12km from Trinidad (15/20 mins by taxi/car). Ancon Marina also offers mooring services, deep-sea fishing, and access to some 30 diving and snorkelling sites.
Cheap and cheerful pizza and pasta restaurant on Stroud Green Road in Finsbury Park. Friendly people, massive pizzas and noisy as hell on weekend nights. Pizzas cost about seven quid. Avoid the horrible pub next door though.
131 Stroud Green Road, London N4 3PX; tel: 020 7263 2114;
Nearest tube: Finsbury park
Massive area of protected parkland. A perfect place to fly a kite or go for a walk. On the Sea Walls side of the park there's a stunning view of the Avon Gorge that stretches out to the docks at Avonmouth and over the Severn to Wales. It plays host to the huge Downs League on Saturday afternoons should you fancy watching some amateur football.
Clifton Down & Durdham Down, BS8;
Take bus numbers 1, 8, 9 or 54 from Bristol Temple Meads station or the city centre.
A very long stretch of pure white sand and sparkling, azure sea make this beach a great place to relax while in Trinidad. Being fairly flat, the tide hardly goes in and out, so there is never a walk of more than a few paces from your towel to the sea. The sea is very calm – few or no waves, and very safe for kids as you have to wade out quite a way to get out of your depth – there are also lifeguards on the beach. You can rent paddle boats and canoes from Hotel Ancon.
There are only three or four hotels sharing the beach – and these are very spaced out, so you can find a spot to yourself quite easily. If you walk down to the bottom end of the beach there are very few people around – this is the where the locals come for their days out.
Note – there are no general facilities at this beach and all the hotels are inclusive, though it is easy to get talking to the beach guards, who will let you use their loungers for the day and fetch you drinks from the bar for a small fee (negotiate down from their first offer!). One of the hotels will let you eat from their lunch buffet, depending on which guard you ask. One of the hotels also has a shop, though it sells little more than ice-cream, crisps, biscuits and drinks.
Get a taxi from the centre of town, or wait for the beach bus which goes backwards and forwards several times a day (though not to a specific timetable!). There are always plenty of taxis waiting at the beach to take you back to town at the end of the day.
Accordion music, fountains and a cheery greeting of “Bonjour” from the hotel staff greet you as you head towards the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas.
The tower is not quite as tall as the original, in fact it is exactly half the size, however it has been reproduced with a superb eye for detail. An elevator whisks you to the observation deck, 460 feet above the Strip where there are fantastic views across Vegas, taking in a 360 degree panorama that includes the Strip, the city and the mountains in the distance and, in the evening, wonderful views across to the Bellagio fountain display.
The observation deck is quite small (holding about 30 to 40 people at a time) so you may have to queue to get in and, needless to say, it is not for those at all nervous of heights.
Cost of entry was approximately 12 dollars each when we visited. A little pricey maybe but worth it for the views
At the Paris Las Vegas, 3655 S. Las Vegas Blvd
Go to this large food hawker centre with lots of different cuisines.
I recommend going in the evening because the street at the back is closed to traffic and stalls open up selling satay sticks and honey chicken wings.
It's a perfect evening in Singapore when you have a pitcher of Tiger and you're munching on satay sticks.
Boon Tat Street. Take the MRT to Raffles Place Station (EW14/NS26) and walk towards Robinson Road;
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com