Not always popular, this is a pub turned country bar/restaurant with rooms. It has however managed to preserve the welcome comfiness usually associated with a pub atmosphere. Here dogs are welcome and dress code is casual but equally as smart as you like. The location, just 4 miles south of Bath is not only highly accessible but absolutely stunning - so close to the city yet in the very real and beautiful countryside. In summer the terrace beckons, overlooking the lovely country garden and in winter the smell of wood smoke from the log lures you inside to the modern yet rustic interior. Real Ale and local cider are there to tempt the traditional taste accompanied by a surprising and outstanding european wine list. (The owner is passionate about his wine and this is not only reflected in the selection but also the price - some bargains to be had here!) The food is top shelf quality, simple yet sumptuous. The Wheatsheaf has its own kitchen garden and hens - this is genuine homemade stuff. Chef Lee Evans is surely a rising star, ingredients sourced locally and cooked simply, combining flavours with a modern theme without using unneccessary fuss. Homemade breads served with local butter and indeed local rapeseed oil - which gives the usual olive oil a run for its money. The staff are friendly and efficient, the whole experience was delightful and the good news is they have a few rooms as well.
Great Italian restaurant serving hearty fare. Fantastic atmosphere best experienced as part of a crowd. Be prepared to ‘Stand up, stand up, stand up and shake your napkin!’
189 Hester St
New York, NY 10013
I really enjoyed this Mexican joint over in Leblon. The food's great and cheap, especially on weekends where they have an all-you-can-eat buffet with a wide variety of goodies.
I didn't run into any other Mexican restaurants around Rio (and trust me, I looked), so I imagine this is the one to go to. You'd better skip breakfast if you plan on spending an afternoon here!
Rua Rainha Gulhermina, 48. Leblon
Pasta Moon in Half Moon Bay, which is on Hwy 1 just a short drive from San Francisco, serves some of the best Italian food to be had anywhere.
It is not cheap but for Brits with the exchange rate as it is now, it is very inexpensive. Go for the seafood/fishy options. Seafood risotto is superb.
I could go on and on, but if you appreciate great Italian cooking - GO THERE! It made a great start to our Pacific Coast Hwy trip.
I guess some things in life you just have to try, and when it comes to food, I have no restrictions. I was staying at a hotel in Copacabana which was near an Arabic restaurant called Amir. The people at the reception told me it was a great place to dine, so naturally I went. Boy were they right!
I tried a lamb steak sandwich and that's all it took. For starters, pita bread with hummus and a hint of lime. Very good stuff indeed!
Rua Ronald de Carvalho, 55
Copacabana - Zona Sul - 2275-5596 / 2275-4488
This is a small Thai restaurant in the heart of the city. The decoration is less than great but it gives great value for money.
Run by two brothers the welcome is very friendly - the older brother speaks ten languages but not English. There is however a menu in English that explains all.
Lunch menu is good at about 12 euros but even at night it is not expensive. Better than all the options for the price. We go once a week.
Try one of the house cocktails to get you in the mood and if you like chilli just ask. It gets very busy at weekends with locals and the gay set so it may be better to reserve if you want to go on a Friday or Saturday evening. At lunch it is nearly always possible to get a place (even if it is up the stairs). Very small entrance but it is beside the Catholic bookshop.
Just off the Grande Place on rue Esquermois in the old town. Metro Rihour but better just to walk.
B2 is a new retail store specialising in selected brands of urban toys, clothing, street art, books and magazines. The shop also houses the UK's first manga library, filled with Japanese language manga books - the store told me that English language books will be arriving January 2008.
B2 is part of Bodhi gallery and cafe. The gallery has a fast turn around of contemporary art shows. It's turning into a nice cultural centre of art, food and shopping.
B2 / Bodhi
214 Brick Lane, London E1 6SA
t. 020 7749 0750
tube: Liverpool St, Aldgate East, Bethnal Green.
New York style (how did you guess?) diner in the docklands development next to the IFSC. Next to the financial district, so I expect it's worth avoiding during the week. On a Sunday, though, it's a pretty chilled out place to get Eggs Benedict or a vast array of bagels. Next to the river (by the Jeannie Johnston boat).
Lower Mayor St.
Opposite NCI (National College of Ireland). A short walk from Busáras (the main bus/coach terminus) or Connolly Station (DART [rail] / LUAS [tram])
Dining at Mirka is a tasty visual experience. Surrounded by murals by Mirka Mora, you dine on food from the kitchen of Melbourne's famed Guy Grossi. Based widely on a mediterranean style (Grossi is Italian), the menu here is about making one feel cosseted and at home.
The wine list is superb with wines from France and South America as well as the best of Australia. Superb service along the art of the dining room makes 'Mirka' one of Melbourne's best culinary experiences. We will be going back.
42 Fitzroy St
03 9525 3088
100m from St Kilda Light Rail station
Google map: tinyurl.com/pp2mqb
Casa Luque sits behind Nerja's church in a typically Spanish square just a minute's stroll from Balcón de Europa.
This gourmet Andalusian restaurant, with great contemporary flair, is a second generation family-run business.
The good news is that everything on the menu can be ordered as a tapa. Current dishes include chicken liver pâté with pacharán sauce, ham and wild mushroom croquettes, pork fillet with rioja wine caramel and duck magret with honey and kalamansi sauce. Wonderful wines a- plenty too.
Plaza Cavana 2
+ 34 952 521 004
The Sunday market is a must. Get off the Metro at Gambetta and go straight, you're there. Otherwise walk from the centre across Place de Republique down rue Gambetta and get more of the atmosphere. If you walk take a break at Le Stout for a coffee and cognac - it is the café on the corner with a bike suspended in the window. Then twenty yards later you are in the flower market and behind that the covered market. In the covered market there are plenty of treats.
A Polish stall which does the best smoked filet mignon in the world although a bit expensive at 27 euros per kilo. We call it 'baby' at home because it is so tender.
There is also a cheese stand that is good value and massive - so they always cut more than you want.
The other side of the covered is the open market. A mix of farmers' and bulk buy, but both are good value. Olives beside endives. The spice stands used to be good but they have doubled their prices recently. There is also haberdashery and second hand clothes and a fine selection of elephant-shaped underpants.
There is plenty to eat - banks of roast chicken, ribs, Chinese noodles and pies (try the cheese maroilles on a pie or traditionally dunked in coffee). All the cafés on the square are fine but I prefer those on the street on the side of the covered market as they are where all the stall holders go. In front of the church it is more trendy, very people-watching and people who have not been to bed.
There is a great family restaurant on the square but I'm not telling as they refuse to be in guidebooks. It serves a fixed menu of what is fresh and cheap. Fantastic veal liver, fish and chips (French style, no batter) and if the kidneys don't appeal there is a tender rump steak as standard. All this with a starter and a cheese plate or a dessert for 25 euros. Find it!
The market is on Sunday morning from 7am to about 2pm depending on the weather. If it isn't raining it is packed - the Lillois don't mind the cold, only the rain. France is very kid-friendly, but don't take a pushchair as all your kid will see are bums and you get stuck in pram jams.
Lots of other stuff to see in Lille: museums, medieval buildings, general Flemish architecture. A very under-rated place to visit.
or walk through the town across Republique and down rue Gambetta
Specifically, I recommend the mussels at KB: I saw them hand-delivered the morning of the day I dined there. KB serves a heaping plateful for less than $10. These are the best mussels I've eaten in my life, and I take my food (too) seriously.
Trip report, photos: shallowmusings.typepad.com/travel_musings/
Here's the website with the address:
If you're walking from the town center to Hotel Liburna: it's halfway, on your right.
Mjlet is an island 1 1/2 hours from Dubrovnik by ferry. The majority of the island is uninhabited, and it hosts a large national park.
I recommend it for 1) Its walking trails. You could walk for days and never take the same trail twice, and 2) Its beauty. The blues and greens of the trees, sky, and water are more vibrant than you'll find elsewhere.
Trip report and photos: shallowmusings.typepad.com/travel_musings/
Here's the national park website:
Arrive at Graz Harbor around 7:15 am to catch a ferry. The ferry is less than $20, entrance into the park is $20. Debark at the second port. Buy a map or you'll get lost. There's a hotel on the island (accessible from the port by bus) but I didn't stay there (and I regret it). The Mali Raj food was overpriced and underquality: hold out for the restaurant at the monastary.
Family restaurant, serving wide range of Italian dishes. Great food, service and atmosphere at reasonable prices. Close to UN building and Grand Central station.
801 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10017, Tel 212 -878 - 9600, Fax 212 - 880 -9999
Nearest subway Grand Central Station
Here you can find whatever you want to cook exactly like in China, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam or India.
A whole supermarket with fresh products imported from the whole Asian continent at bargain prices. Located in the Paris Chinatown which is also worth a visit.
44 Avenue d'IVRY
+33 1 44 06 88 18
Everything is to die for! And, as the owner, Arnaud Delmontel, is the winner of the best baguette challenge, he is the supplier of the Palais de l'Elysée. Here you can have the same bread as Nicolas Sarkozy!
39 rue des Martyrs
+33 1 48 78 29 33
Metro : Pigalle
Great cocktails served outdoors. The bar is located in the garden in front of the villa housing the French restaurant and action theatre.
It is located at 42 Waterloo Street (just off Bras Basah Rd, across from the arts museum).
Essentially a personal guide to the classic breakfast fry-up as it is served in the cafes and eateries of Liverpool/Merseyside plus some specially featured cafes from further afield. Sometimes things other than a full English will find their way into the blog - but there will be a good reason!
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