Teatriz restaurant in Madrid is a fantastic restaurant designed by Philippe Starck, converted from an old theatre. I had lunch there on Christmas Day with my family to celebrate my wife's birthday and it was one of the best meals I have ever eaten.
Calle Hermosilla 15, Tel.91-577-53-79
Two outdoor public swimming pools great for family fun. One in Portagem near Marvão with a large swimming pool and smaller children's pool, sun loungers, shades, a grass area with a small stream and bridges and cafe/restaurant.
The other one in Castelo de Vide with two great slides for the kids, large swimming pool, small children's pool, sun loungers, shades and grass areas with small olive trees and a cafe/restaurant.
A respite from the hot Alentejo sun and the kids will love it.
Great French restaurant full of locals and great atmosphere! It is massive with two floors and the menu offers many dishes at cheap prices. Great for families travelling on a budget who want to visit a traditional French restaurant. Go early to avoid queues, however it shouldn't be a long waiting time.
7 rue Faubourg, Montmartre, Paris
While Paris is wonderful, if you want to spend a day in the countryside you can consider either Champagne or the Loire Valley. From Montparnasse to Tours it's 55 mins via TGV, so you can be ready to explore one or two chateaus in a day and return in the evening.
There are buses to take you to the chateaus from Tours Gare and cost around 49 euros per person for a full-day tour- you'll visit Chenonceau, Amboise then Chambord which is quite a lot in one day.
While I would recommend a full day for each of these attractions, if you haven't the time it's a great day for the whole family and no need to drive or hire a car. Lunch is usually at Amboise which has lovely cafes, nothing really really gastronomic but good for lunch.
You can probably organise tickets for the chateaux pick-up via SNCF (gare) or www.tourevasion.com for more Loire Valley activities
Paris-Tours 55 mins via TGV
Very friendly country where the people love children. We visited Nizwa and enjoyed the goats (through we didn’t let on what would happen to them), the Wahabi Sands and small villages and finally the Green Turtle place. We all enjoyed it immensely and it possibly is the most child-indulgent place we have been to in a while.
Ciao Bambino is an online guide to family-friendly vacation properties with many accommodations in Italy. I used them to research a family reunion trip for 17 people. It's easy to use and has age appropriate ratings - this is great if you have toddlers/small children and need things like highchairs, cribs, etc. Many of their properties are apartments with hotel amenities which is a great combo.
It's a bus pass valid for 10 rides on the city buses and costs 6.20€ (June 2008). Worthwhile if you are there for more than a couple of days, as individual trips cost 93 centimos. Each (person's) journey is validated on a machine upon boarding and you are permitted to share it with your friends/families.
Not so easy! At newsagents that display the sign "hay bonobus aqui". And definitely at the café in the Terminal Bus Comes near Plaza de España.
Cushchine Cottage is a small, family-friendly, beautiful, self-catering rental set within an animal farm park. It's ideal as a base for all of Kaikoura's attractions (about a mile from the town centre) and includes free access to the Farm Park, and you can help out with their early morning feeding.
The cottage has two bedrooms (sleeps up to seven), an equipped kitchen, lounge with wood burner, sofas and TV, free use of a gas barbecue and fabulous views of Mt Fyffe. Towels and bedding are included, and it only costs $100-180 a night (depends on numbers and time of year).
We spent two nights in a more expensive motel, before staying an extra night in the rental cottage. We enjoyed it so much, we chose cottages for the rest of our NZ trip!
Ask them about a lovely walk to a nearby river, less than a mile away, with two huge natural swimming pools - it's a local secret!
12 Kowhai Ford Road (about 1 mile from Kaikoura town centre)
03 319 5033
A superb family-oriented farm park run by a lovely english couple. They've a wide range of farm animals (wallabies, llamas, ponies, lambs, donkeys, rabbits, ducks, horses, peacocks, chickens and chicks, guinea pigs, chinchillas... the list is practically endless!).
The aminals are super-friendly, and come right up to you. They offer free pony cart rides, and you can help bottle feed their younger animals. It's a cute, small, personal kind of place, with magnificent views of snow-topped Mt Fyffe.
We ended up there when our Whale Watch trip was cancelled and, to be honest, our kids are still talking about it, and have long forgotten the whale trip which they didn't appreciate at all (amazing when you consider the whale trip was about ten times the price!). It's not as 'flash' as another park we visited in the UK, but the hands on experience was truly memorable, and became one of the highlights of our NZ holiday. They've also got a small beautiful self-catering rental cottage - we loved the place so much, we stayed an extra night in their cottage and benefited from free access to early morning feeding and free farm park entry. The kids loved it - shame we didn't know about it before we arrived.
12 Kowhai Ford Road (about 1 mile from Kaikoura town centre and railway station)
03 319 5033
As a former student of the local university, I had been many times to the cathedral but being up on the roof showed me a lot of things I didn't know about the cathedral.
They will take you to the cathedral stone roofs (don't wear high heels!), where you get great views of the old city.
€10 for 30-45 minutes, everyday 10am to 2 pm, 4pm-8pm. Booking recommended (especially in summer), entry via Pazo de Xelmirez, Praza do Obraodiro.
Just returned from a week's trip with my teenage daughter where we had an excellent mix of quiet beaches and trendy beach bars.
Stayed in Carla Sant Vicens which is a quiet family resort in the north of the island, but having a hire car meant it was easy to visit all parts of the island. Es Torrent beach in south near Port Roig (we went to it as it was recommended as a reader's tip) is very small, very beautiful and very exclusive (ie expensive restaurant on the beach and expensive beach loungers to hire). Also strongly recommended is Cala de Serra - but if you want to visit this one go early in the day as it's very small and gets very busy.
Excellent food is available from the beach shack. We would go in mid-afternoon for a late brunch and an afternoon sleep in their deckchairs.
Highlight of our trip was going to Formentera, a stunning island with Caribbean style beaches - white sand and blue water. Ferries go every half hour from Ibiza port. It's expensive - 40 euros each, but well worth it. Just go early to make a day of it. We hired a moped to get around the island so don't forget your driving licence! We had lunch in Flipper and Chiller beach bar - very trendy. The afternoon was spent at yet another stunning beach, Playa Trocadors at the northern tip of the island. If you can organise it, spend a night on the island and watch the sun go down at the Big Sur bar near the beach as the last ferry back is 9pm.
Back on Ibiza island, if you are feeling flush, have an evening meal in Santa Getrudis - lots of very nice restaurants. The harbour area of Ibiza town is also great fun with lots of bars and buzzy night life - we spotted Kate Moss, much to my daughter's excitement. Only place to avoid is San Antonio - a real dump! One place we didn't get round to going to was Playa den Bossa which has all-day discos on the beach - I'm sure my daughter would have liked it more than me though.
We used the Rough Guide to Ibiza plus the readers' tips.
Monkton Wyld Court is an environmental education centre that does family activity holidays, B&B and retreats. It's a beautiful place and ideal for anyone wanting a break with a difference. Guests stay in the Victorian Gothic house which has wonderful original features and overlooks the terraced lawns and Dorset countryside. The gardens are abundant with wildlife, we saw a baby deer just yards from us and at dusk sat in the courtyard sipping wine and watching some rare bats fly in and out of the buildings. B&B is reasonable (£26) and it's great for walks to the coast and sight seeing. The place is very relaxed and family-friendly. Our kids loved playing in the gardens and finding all the tree houses and swings. Food is wholesome organic veggie served fresh from the garden. Couldn't recommend it more highly. Beats stuffy old guest houses!
Axminster is nearest staion
01297 560342 to book.
Third-generation chocolate makers in Marseille. This family-run business produces chocolate made from unlikely ingredients such as onion and lavender, as well as pralines (well it is France!) and traditional barres Marseillaises (dark chocolate covered in fruit such as oranges).
A very small shop but apparently is world famous amongst chocolatiers. Well worth a visit. Black and white pictures of previous generations line the walls.
49 rue du Petit – Puits close to Rue du Panier.
A relaxed farmstead one hour’s drive from Salta on the outskirts of sleepy town Coronel Moldes. Owned by Carlos and Valeria Lewis. We spent three days riding their horses and enjoying the surrounding views of the Dique Cabra Corral and El Fuerte mountains. The couple keep goats and Valeria has won many slow food awards for her outstanding goat’s cheese – a welcome respite for two vegetarians visiting Argentina…
Accommodation consists of simply furnished bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms overlooking the garden.
Carlos has created the only tobacco museum in Argentina full of artefacts and is passionate about the history of the plant. He was endlessly helpful and nothing seemed to be too much effort to arrange. The family could not have been more hospitable and friendly and when we next visit north-west Argentina we will most definitely be staying here again.
This place is fantastic. Nothing is too much trouble for the hostess, Sarha. She runs this place with her two boys and between them they make you feel 'at home on holiday'.
The food is fabulous - every evening we ate out on the terrace and kids played in the garden and bounced on the trampoline. And when it cooled slightly in the evenings they went inside to the playroom to play or watch DVDs.
In the small village of Burlats near to Castres about an hour's drive from Toulouse airport
This is a fab little Cuban place in Ballsbridge. We took our children there early evening and the waiter was delightful, couldn't do enough to make us comfortable and well fed, and the other diners were graciously accommodating of the added fuss. Far more important - the food was fantastic, authentic Cuban grub, and the service duly attentive; and to boot the tab was very reasonable.
11 Ballsbridge Terrace, Dublin 4
It's hard to find high quality accommodation in a stunning location, but Spinneywood has it all. Panoramic coastal views, a beautifully furnished and well-equipped property and an acre of private garden all to ourselves. We had a lovely holiday. I only wish we'd been able to stay for longer.
Borthwick is a 15th century castle, 15 miles from Edinburgh Centre. We stayed there with our three children recently. The kids were totally in awe of the castle and the historic atmosphere that oozes from its pores!
To add to the experience we also dined at the castle, as a treat. The castle offers an option of children's menus, either a standard three-course menu, with kids' favorites (fish fingers, sausages etc), or a half adult portion, they really did offer an option to suit all.
The children were so well behaved, totally engrossed in the castle's history, and the memorabilia which is displayed in each of the rooms. Followed by historic tales and ghost stories by the castle staff, it set the kids up with tales and stories to keep them amused all the way home!
Strange name... nice restaurant. The Wet Fish is a small intimate place that serves excellent mezze, tapas, great Turkish food and other Mediterranean fare. Seafood is a speciality. The range of Turkish dips and bread is rather nice. Also nice too are the prices, this is a cheap eating experience. The service is excellent.
427 Hampton St
(in Hampton Village)
ph 9533 1666
free parking out front
Google map: tinyurl.com/qy5zl8
A great travel agency that organises small group,
low-impact tours. We took two teenagers who thoroughly enjoyed our five-day trip around Northern Vietnam. We cycled, walked, sailed and stayed with local people. One day was spent cooking with a family in a small village in the Red delta. The trip to Bai Tu Long bay was heavenly. We met no tourists there and only saw local fishing boats. Ask for Khanh who will tailor a tour to your needs. All the guides are really friendly and soon feel like old friends - our guide was so calm and had a great sense of humour. There are tours across Vietnam including Sapa and the Mekong Delta in the South. They even managed to book our hotel in Hanoi for us which we had previously tried to contact unsuccessfully.
Ethnic Travel, 35 Pho Hang Giay, Hanoi in the Old Quarter
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