This is a warm and friendly French bistro that we found by accident when walking away from the tourist crowds through the back streets of Montmartre (we almost walked past the wooden frontage of the restaurant!) It's a lovely little spot with a great atmosphere, reasonably priced and very tasty classic dishes (around 15 euros for a main course). The wine list has a good unpretentious selection of wine too. Make sure you try the chocolate parfait for dessert! We went around 9pm when it was quite buzzy, and it seemed to go on until quite late - we loved it as the clientele were pretty much all French with the odd tourist dotted around (presumably they had got lost and found it by happy accident like us!)
Typically we stumble on the best restaurants on the last night of our trips, and invariably they are right under our noses. Such was the case with Le Basilic. It is intimate, atmospheric, inviting and affordable with a three set menu for 23 Euro's or the Parisian staples of escargot and duck from the a la carte menu. After feeling ripped off in the majority of Parisian eateries, Le Basilic restored our faith in French bistros, especially considering its location within a mile of Moulin Rouge and Sacre Coeur (both of which are worth a post dinner stroll). We first found Le Basilic in 2000, were delighted that it was still open when we returned to Paris in 2008 and we make a beeline for it whenever we are are near Montmartre.
A fantastic stop off on your way down through France. A beautiful village in the Beaujolais region. The bistro is situated in the Georges Dubœf Wine Museum serving all the latest wines from this amazing French wine king. The food is simple yet delicious, the cleanliness of the restaurant is exemplary and I guarantee you will not be disappointed. It is just a step off the TGV station or not far from the A6 Autoroute. The museum is also well worth a visit if you have time.
I discovered Lahloo tea a few years ago at a small food festival and have been hooked since. When I heard that they had opened a specialist tea shop in Bristol, I was eager to visit!
Lahloo pantry is an independent modern tea room serving the most delicious home baked teas, cakes, tarts and savory dishes.
I was delighted by the passion and enthusiasm behind the shop and the place has a lovely, warm, relaxing atmosphere. We had the afternoon tea for £13.50 per person, it was fun, beautifully executed and a real special treat. I'll be back on a weekly basis for their macaroons!
It's a little gem in the heart of Clifton village.
It is a small welcoming French bistro in a side street in the 11eme, a bit off the tourist track
The menu is short and the food good and the wine list has something for every pocket.
We discovered the Auberge des Peintres in the picturesque hamlet of Saint-Ceneri -Le-Gerei on an overnight stop in Normandy. Situated on the main square in a building dating back some 300 years, the bistro’s wood panelled walls were hung with canvasses of local painters, continuing a long association with writers and artists including Baudelaire. All the old favourites were on the menu. Starters included rilettes de maquereaux, ouefs cocotte, pates and salads. Juicy pave de boeuf, pink magret de canard, creamy gratin de mer, andouilletes, boudin noir, and cote de boeuf were but some of the mains. The joys of chocolate fondant, charlottes and tarte tatin followed. Prices were reasonable for the excellent cooking. Best visited in the evening when day trippers have left and a pre-dinner stroll takes in the frescoed, Romanesque church, a beautiful stone bridge under which kayaks glide, wild flower gardens and Les Jardins de la Mansoniere, a garden in which candlelit classical music concerts are hosted in summer.
Le Bourg, 61250 St Ceneri le Gerei, France
Google map: bit.ly/wMIn2g
Le Columbier is a lovely family run restaurant away from the tourist area in Toulouse. Nestled between a couple of shops, an unassuming front opens up to a rustic, friendly restaurant. They have something to cater for all tastes. They specialise in cassoulet and classics such as magret de canard. After a heavy main course try a refreshing sorbet "drowning" in champagne. A delightful meal from start to finish.
A beautiful fine dining restaurant in St Juire Champgillon (between Saint Hermine and Chantonnay). Wonderful service and beautiful food! You need to book in advance as they fill up quickly.
11 Place de la Mairie, 85210 St Juire Champgillon
+33(0)2 51 27 86 91
Google map: bit.ly/z418Bz
A cafe/bistro just next door to the Musee d'Aquitaine. Friendly service, bright, pleasant decor and an excellent lunch menu.
It is not often that you can find an excellent bistro in Paris at very reasonable prices, but Chez Germaine certainly ticks all the right boxes.
Directly in the heart of Paris (7th district), the restaurant exudes class and authenticity with its simple, yet elegant interior. Likewise, with its daily special set menus and extremely friendly (and English speaking!) waiters, there is no wonder why Chez Germaine is so popular for both locals and tourists alike.
If it is classic French dishes you are after, I would recommend a homemade terrine to start with, followed by pork with lentils. If you are still not full after that (doubtful), I would top the meal off with a papillon au chocolat. Glorious!
Suitable for both romantic dinner dates and a family lunch, though one final tip would be to book in advance as it is a little small and obviously always crowded!
Set lunch and dinner with three courses- €18.60.
30 rue Pierre Leroux
+33 (0)1 4273 2834
Metro station: Vaneau.
Google map: bit.ly/y28SXR
Great restaurant, really delicious food, easy going atmosphere.
Italian food, small plates to share (two per person was recommended by the waiter and is right).
6 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7NA
+44(0)20 7836 8448
Google map: bit.ly/xz54yz
On our final night in Kolkata we went to Kewpies for dinner. Tucked away down a narrow lane off busy Elgin Road, it is the kind of place you have to know about to find. Thanks to Lonely Planet and other assorted sources - and the fact that it was within striking distance of our hotel, www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/tips/33343 - we decided to give it a try.
Kewpies couldn't have been more different. They've knocked a couple of ancient buildings together with interconnecting doors, to form a warren of dining areas. An odd assortment of Victorian and Indian furniture clutters up the place. It has charm and originality in spades. The menu is simple, just a list of set meals ranging from a basic thali and rice to a full-on banquet. Jamie wanted the banquet, I wanted the basic meal. We settled for something nearer my end of the spectrum.
A few individual dishes, all vegetarian, were placed on the table in the ubiquitous brick-coloured un-fired pots you see everywhere in Kolkata. The rice came separately. It didn't look like much, and we hoped the dishes would be re-filled. The food was fresh, spicy, delicious and surprisingly filling, for me. Jamie clung to the hope that the bowls would be re-filled. They were whisked away, and we were left wondering if that was it.
Next came a pile of pappads and a selection of pickles. We tucked in. The pappads were light and crispy, and the pickles and chutneys homemade and tasty. Once every crumb and smear had been devoured we were presented with two blocks of white sweetened cheese. Our waiter told us it was 'like ricotta'. When we asked him if he'd ever tried ricotta he blushed, but told us that other people had assured him of this fact.
He was right.
Next we were given bowls of brown curd. Jamie doesn't like yogurt at the best of times. Although it didn't look particularly appetising, we discovered the colour came from the carob used to flavour this delicious, creamy pudding.
We thought we'd finished, but just as we were getting ready to leave, we were presented with the restaurant's own variety of paan. Zingy flavours sparkled in our mouths as we bit into the leaves. Heavenly.
2, Elgin Lane, Lala Rajpat Rai Sarani Kolkata, West Bengal 700020, India
Hours: 12.30-3pm & 7.30-11pm Tue-Sun
Google map: bit.ly/xjcD6Y
Taj Palace, located in Bristol city centre is a newly established Indian restaurant but is on its way to be among the most prestige restaurants in Bristol.
The exterior of this place is not so special at first glance, but don't let the that fool you. The food is really flavoursome, well implemented with a a nice relaxing ambiance.
Favorite dish: it was the chicken Bombay flame. The flavour and texture of this dish is really nice and a twist of my favourite traditional Bombay dish cooked with boiled egg.
You don’t take sandwiches when you walk in the Forest of Dean with a good food forager. You harvest your lunch. You graze your way through tangy sheep sorrel, fresh mints, crunchy hogweed and burdock leaf stalks, and snappy bistort leaves. We carefully stuffed nettles leaves into carriers for later soups. Sneaking wild strawberries from the grassy banks and purple elderberries from high hedgerows decided the recipes for puddings to come. The ground beneath our feet was revealed as a continuous carpet of lunch. We learned that locality, season, and ecology make for different treats at different times of year. The Forager guide was amazing. He knew just where to take us, what was safe to eat and how to identify it. He was full of anecdotes and folk wisdom. But best of all he knew that most plants were edible but that only some were worth the bother, and showed us which were which. We even came home with recipes.
This is the cosatal region of Poitou-Charentes and is the centre of oyster culture. It is very picturesque and has some great restaurants obviously specialising in sea food and particularly les huitres, There are also some great beaches especially on the two main off shore islands Ile de Re and Ile d'Oleron.
Seville city centre has a wealth of food establishments, with plenty of choice between tapas bars and international dishes. However, sometimes a trip to a small town can uncover little gems. Da Frá is a beautifully decorated Italian restaurant. Very cosy, and with a family feel - perfect for a winter's evening with an enormous log-fire in the middle of the venue. It has a wide selection of anti-pasti/insalatas, pasta and pizza, meat and risotto but not too much to make you dizzy. All reasonably priced and generous portions. Homemade puddings too!
Calle Martires de la Iglesia, S/N, 41807 Espartinas
Google map: bit.ly/zFRcqK
* BecomingSevillana is our Been there local for Seville. You can read her profile here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/articles/seville-local-kim.jsp and follow her tips here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/travellers/BecomingSevillana.jsp
She also has her own blog: becomingsevillana.blogspot.com/
If you have a sweet tooth, then you need to visit this place.
Here you will find "three in one": the museum, cafe and shop.
In the museum you can see the marzipan figures of human height, castles and whole scenes, which are made of marzipan.
You can drink a cup of aromatic coffee with a marzipan cake in cafe.
And in the shop you will find a large variety of marzipan candies.
Favourite restaurant of notoriously well-fed and well-drunk Vienna Mayor Michael Häupl as well as his predecessor the late Helmut Zilk. Whenever I'm home, I go to this place at least twice, it's really great, and filled with locals. The food is traditional Viennese/Austrian, the Schnitzel is delicious. In fact I have never been disappointed and have eaten myself up and down the menu. It's also got an excellent wide-ranging selection of (mostly Austrian) wine, with knowledgeable, friendly waiters eager to give you tips. A main dish tends to cost €13-19.
I can't wait to go back!
Drahtgasse 2 1010 Vienna, Austria
Google map: bit.ly/x7cHjX
St. John’s Bakery provides much more than delicious, organic bread. This business is
owned and operated by St. John’s The Compassionate Mission. With strong values and a focus on using only organic, natural and mostly local ingredients, St. John's provides training opportunities and employment to people struggling with poverty, mental illness and other issues.
While the bakery specializes in handmade organic sourdough breads made in the traditional French method, other types of bread, such as rye, baguettes and spelt are also made. All sweets – scones, tarts, croissants, cookies, and cakes – are also handmade from scratch.
My favourite is the olive boule. This round sourdough loaf is crusty on the outside and soft in the inside, and packed with pieces of black olive and hints of cilantro. I’m also a big fan of the rosemary breadsticks, but if I don’t get there by Saturday morning around 9am, they’re all gone.
St. John’s bread is very well-known and their products can be found all over Toronto at organic food suppliers and farmers markets.
153 Broadview Avenue, Toronto, Canada
+1 416 850 7413
Google map: bit.ly/ArMoP8
* Giulia is our Been there local for Toronto. You can see her profile here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/places/canada/toronto/index.jsp and follow her tips here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/travellers/GiuliaFalsetti
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com