Popping into this cheap little Venice restaurant near the train station on the way home bought an unusual surprise.
I've been told since that it's a chain but it's not like places in England. The dishes are simple but tasty and my pasta was cooked fresh to order while I watched.
The salad was also good quality and (another surprise!) we had a reasonably priced beer to accompany it too.
Lista di Spagna, Canneregio 124
A Venice restaurant with a proper city feel! This eatery is trendy and fun – and a welcome change from the tourist haunts that dominate the city.
The food was interesting - as well as the usual pasta there were dishes like beef with nuts and plum - and also quite reasonable. I think it was about 30 euros for three courses.
We ended up staying here all night (with another bottle of wine, of course) as there was live music and were surprised to find ourselves staggering back to our hostel at nearly 1am!
Fondamenta de la Misericordia, Cannaregio 2540
This is a new five-star hotel just in front of the cathedral and the Giralda. It's super-modern and it has some great stuff inside it, such as a Japanese restaurant, Spanish modern food, a cocktail bar, rooftop terrace with insane views, spa massage facilities, and great service.
Lovely bistro with exposed brickwork and candlelit tables. The waitress went through the menus in English. We found the food and wine to be faultless. Three courses with wine around £65. Excellent value in an area that's a bit of the beaten track but close enough to visit the excellent Bercy village.
55 rue Traversière, 12th
+33 1 44 68 0816
Secreted in a tiny village between Torquay and Exeter this restaurant is a delight. Using mostly local ingredients to create excellent menus at what - at least to London eyes - are very reasonable prices.
Great small Italian restaurant close to Bedford and Luton where they serve authentic Italian cuisine which will not cost you an arm and a leg. Always a good and varied evening meal restaurant and lunchtime coffee bar menu.
Gio's Italian Restauarant
83 Bedford Road
Barton Le Clay
Tel: 01582 883042
This restaurant specialising in fresh seafood offers a unique experience of dining in style, whilst practically sitting on a beach. The Seafood Platter consists of an impressive variety of locally caught delicacies, served attractively in stunning surroundings.
Beach Rd., Fish Hoek, Cape Town
Lusaka is not a necessarily a great place to visit but it was wonderful to live there.
The people are great, warm and friendly.
Whilst the Falls and safaris tend to attract everyone's attention a weekend in Lusaka could be fun.
Start a Friday night with a 20z quality Zambeef steak at the Marlin restaurant which is in the Lusaka club. It is a step back in time but the garlic or black pepper steak is sublime.
Then head to Browns which may not be a salubrious joint but is busy on a Friday and has a mixed clientele. Have a bottle of Mosi and a Rumba dance.
Lusaka Club is off the roundabout on Los Angeles Boulevard.
It is a well presented Indian restaurant, with a great chef who does really authentic good food. Service is detailed and good, with a very pleasant ambience and relaxing bar - it's a great place to go.
Wollaton Vale, Wollaton, Nottingham
Bored of the same old flocked wallpaper and run-of-the-mill korma combo? Anokha is the antidote. Meaning ‘unique’, this contemporary city Indian features leather chairs and low lighting. Classic regional curries sit side by side with an excellent selection of modern Indian fusion dishes, and Anokha prides itself on using only fresh, wholesome ingredients and no artificial colourings or preservatives.
Start with a delicate scallop puree, then move on to the bold sweet and sour flavours of Mali duck, cooked with mango puree, yoghurt, tamarind, garlic and ginger. An excellent wine list and friendly service.
9-13 Fenchurch Buildings, London, EC3M 5HR
0207 481 8556
This is a modern British restaurant near the river in Winchester. Its a converted pub with bare brick, wooden tables and a large fireplace. The food can be very traditional brought up-to-date, or things you don't find on menus often like wood pigeon and lamb sweetbreads. It has a nice atmosphere and looked popular with business people too.
And it's worth booking as it is very popular.
88 Chesil Street, Winchester, Hampshire.
Phone: 01962 844465
An Italian restaurant with an interesting menu that covers pasta and pizza but has much more interesting things too. Very friendly service, quite spacious, reasonable prices. I got a table easily on a Saturday evening without booking - a much more attractive option than the noisy and heaving Pizza Express next door!
11 St Benedicts St, Norwich, NR2 4PE -less than 5 mins stroll from City Hall and the market.
A cafe/teashop inside the old Guildhall building, situated in its old court room - an interesting and attractive space. Good food options, very pleasant service and, true to their chocolate making origins, a menu of hot chocolate options! Also sells Caleys chocolate bars, biscuits and other sweet temptations. Very convenient in the city centre, as it's right next to the big central market.
The Guildhall, Gaol Hill, Norwich NR2. Open Mon - Sat
Seattle is a long city with many neighborhoods some of them barely mentioned in the tour guides and yet still full of local colour. Columbia City is my neighbourhood and if you visit on a Wednesday afternoon between May and October, you’ll encounter the farmer’s market which draws producers from both west and east of the Cascades as well as local performers and organizations.
You can eat here, joining dozens of families picnicking on the sloping park ground adjacent to this weekly festival. The Sicilian style restaurant ‘La Medusa’ serves a Wednesday dinner that has been cooked up using only produce purchased fresh that day from the stalls in the market (book ahead).
Within a short radius Columbia City has a pub (great local microbrews), a bookstore (Bookworm Exchange), a gallery, restaurants, a bakery (which serves coffee and treats), a cinema, as well as ethnic and independent shops that beg to be browsed.
If you are in town on the first Friday of the month then come along to ‘Beatwalk’ which starts kicking in around seven in the evening; many of the places described above are open until late, each with their own band, one five dollar payment gives you the freedom to wander from venue to venue people-watching and relaxing (you might even enjoy the music too).
It’s a lot of fun and not set up with tourists in mind, many of my neighbours arrange to meet up or just wander down knowing they will bump into friends. The 'south end' is the 'social end'.
If you have a car (or ride Metro 39) go down to Seward Park and walk the perimeter path that follows the lakeside around this peninsula, looking across towards the downtown skyscrapers, it is hard to imagine that you are in a major US city. Within Seward Park there is old growth with the biggest Douglas fir inside city limits, bald eagles nest here and one particular nest is easily viewed from the internal drive that goes up by the amphitheatre.
I have lived in Seattle since 1989 and I love the south end, it doesn’t get the ‘travel show’ attention of other more northerly neighbourhoods but it’s a quiet gem of an experience waiting to happen.
Head south down Rainier Avenue
This rough and ready Vietnamese take out and deli is cheap, friendly, and very good. I have the feeling that without crossing the Pacific this is as close as I am likely to get to Vietnamese street food. Please note: do not be put off by the plain unloved frontage; it is the food that counts.
Just east of 12th and Jackson on the edge of the International District.
Pizzas are a speciality but the menu is great. Rossopomodoro is a chain (Maybe think Pizza Express?) around Italy. This one is in Largo di Torre Argentina, west of Piazza Venezia and three blocks south of the Pantheon. Go upstairs after entering the Tardis-like front door to a large, frantically busy local gem.
Google Map: tinyurl.com/6lwk38
Largo di Torre Argentina
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