Stumbled upon this fantastic cafe, close to Newcastle East station after missing my connection. Sublime coffee and a tasty lunch. Sustainable too, the coffee machine is powered by the cafes waste oil.
68 Hunter St
Newcastle New South Wales 2300
(02) 4009 1237
This neighbourhood wine bar/cafe has so many great things going for it: charming staff, the tiny menu (one soup, one tapas platter, one sandwich), interesting wine menu and cosy, super-relaxed ambiance. A great place to while away an hour or so on a chilly CPH day.
Situated off the national road within easy driving distance of Cape Town in Somerset West, is Vergelegen Wine Estate.
Picnic among some of the Cape's oldest camphor and yellowwood trees in the extensive grounds that showcase South Africa's chequered history and Cape Dutch architecture. Experience the sensory beauty of the cultivated rose and herb gardens, the original Van der Stel Winery, the Library, mill, ruins and Slave Lodge as well as authentic Pigeon House.
Breakfast al fresco at The Rose Terrace Bistro, open November to April or sample the fish, meat and vegetarian dishes which are served in the Lady Phillips restaurant together with a selection of premium Vergelegen wines including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz varieties. Cellar tours are also offered.
Combined with good weather an outing to Vergelegen is well worth its R10 entrance fee. As it is very popular, booking is advised. It is a thoroughly enjoyable experience and well worth a visit especially if heading from Cape Town to Hermanus to enjoy some whale watching.
Phone : +27 21 847 1334
Address: Lourensford Road, Somerset West, South Africa
It's easy to miss this winery - as soon as you've turned off the R44 heading west, look out for the Forrester sign immediately on your left. Don't expect to see the swanky entrances of the Grandes Dames of the SA wine industry like Vergelegen or Groot Constantia, Ken's driveway looks more like the entrance to a private residence. As you head up to the winery, watch out for Ken's snail police - a flock of rather noisy geese. The emphasis here is not on presentation but on attention to detail in the winemaking process. KF has done more for the humble Chenin Blanc grape than an american soft drinks company has done for brown sugary water. Try the simply stunning 'FMC' (officially Forrester Meinert Chenin, unofficially f****** marvellous chenin) to taste what can be done with the grape that the french use to produce a liquid to clean their tractors with. Equally stunning is the red blend, 'Gypsy', produced from grenache, syrah, and mourvedre grapes. There are lower-priced, everyday-drinking wines too, with most available in the UK from Great Western Wine of Bath. Ken, you're the man!
A little way out of town but easily accessed on foot from the centre. This is a great little restaurant that we went to in order to celebrate a friend’s birthday. They accommodated a booking for 12 at short notice even though the place was jam packed. Food is good and the atmosphere is excellent. They even brought free tequilas for the whole table because they knew we were celebrating. Great menu of cocktails, even I took a rest from my favoured tipple (beer) to try out the Ernest Hemingway Special.
80469 München, Germany
Some of the greatest take away pizzas in Venice are to be found here at MauMa’s. The shop is just to the right, straight across the little bridge to the east of the Campo dei Frari (in front of the Frari Church).
It has no official sign – we only found out its real name after talking to the exceedingly friendly owners, Mauro and Massimo. Their English is limited but it’s possible to get by without having Italian.
It’s a tiny place with a shutter front which, when open, houses an appetizing display of bulging calzone and pizza slices. Calzone are around three Euros and pizzas start from four Euros.
Both are very generous; with a thin, crispy crust and delightfully herby and flavourful tomato sauce.
The place is tiny with no seating so everything is to take away. Buy a soda while Massimo prepares your pizza to order before your eyes; in the light summer months you could just take it across the bridge into the campo to enjoy.
There are no official business hours (whenever the guys feel like opening up!) but it’s usually open every day except Wednesdays.
Undoubtedly some of the best (and cheapest) pizza in Venice. I’ll definitely be going back next time I visit the city, as much to chat to the lovely owners as to sample the mouth-watering fare.
Campo dei Frari, San Polo 30125, Venice
Google map: tinyurl.com/ybmhccm
I recommend a quick drink and a bit to eat with the kids in the Obama Bar in Barcelona. We were walking around in the rain looking for a nice place to have a drink, and by luck we came across the Obama Bar, just days before he was elected!
A lovely delicatessen, with beautifully painted ceilings and handmade fixtures. Their on site chef makes a selection of daily dishes to eat in the cafe or take away. They also do a great range of gluten free cakes and source lots of local products as well as the best from France.
What an amazing place! If you want to escape to a genuine oasis of peace, with rustic charm, warm hospitality, surrounded by unspoilt nature, this is it.
It’s just one hour from Marrakech yet it felt like a different country. The owner, Bouhcine, organised a taxi to get us there – lovely views along the way – we passed through Asni and then through a lush and mountainous area before arriving in Imarigha, (just two km before Ouirgane) where the guest house is hidden away at the end of a little lane by the mosque.
Our room was actually a cottage, with earth walls on the outside, spacious, with sitting area, en-suite bathroom and a lovely wooden beam ceiling. The double bed was really comfortable, everything worked - loads of hot water for the shower etc.
It’s so peaceful here, the cottages are surrounded by olive trees. You hear the breeze, an occasional donkey braying, and birds. We went for walks in the local area where there are farms and more olive plantations.
The food was delicious (the one potential drawback which turned out not to be - there aren’t any local restaurants, so you have to have lunch and dinner here), but we ate better here than in Marrakech! Thoroughly recommend it.
BP 183, KM 59 Imarigha, Route de Taroudant - 52140 Asni - Maroc
+212 6 66 57 14 77
Just outside of Winchester - great family pub with loads of parking and garden with trampolines for the kids.
The fish and chips Tuesdays are a really good deal and Sunday lunches are the best.
This island is so friendly! The people are great and then there is the truly unique 'Cook Islands time'- which is whatever ...
From the garlands on arrival, to the ukelele farewell the atmosphere is relaxed, the vegetation lush and the lagoons warm and clear.
So laid back my postcards took five months to get back to the UK.
Is this a record?
Don't miss the singing in the New Life church on a Sunday, the locally caught fish and the Pan-Pacific canoe races in November. Use the island bus or just walk or swim there.
The best things in life are free but the airfares aren't. Stop off when you RTW.
Far away in the South Pacific
Google map: tinyurl.com/ye5kwll
In the evening the market closes but the action moves outdoors.
Huge foodstalls set up all around the market with stalls selling all manner of things in the adjacent streets.
Great atmosphere but be careful of potential pickpockets!
Cho Ben Thanh
Google map: tinyurl.com/ycufwae
Woolworths (nothing to do with the firm that went under in the UK) is a fantastic source of food if you are self catering in SA. Some products are identical to M&S foods you'd get at home (at rather more competitive prices). Look on the website for store locations before you go - we visited the Cape Town stores but there are others. There are some interesting variations on a theme to take account of local cuisine as well as the usual favourites (the latter very useful if travelling with kids.)
Columbia Road is probably my favourite street in London. Open every Sunday, there is a flower market and a mass of independent shops, selling a brilliant selection of everything from jewellery, antiques and cupcakes, to furniture, vintage clothing, art and toys. You can expect honest, traditional service from the shopkeepers, and the cobbled streets and period shop fronts make for a charming backdrop.
Last year in December there was live music, mulled wine and mince pies on offer ... In my opinion it's the perfect way to warm up on a winter's evening, and avoid the high street Christmas crush!
Just north of Napier (the so called Art Deco capital of the world) is the Esk Valley. This is a beautiful valley covered with pine trees on its steep sides, quite distinct to the rolling river plains on which most of Napier is built. Where the river meets the Pacific there is excellent surf casting and further up the river, trout abound. Hunters shoot deer and pigs in the forest and garden lovers visit the renowned Trelinnoe Park that has been compared to Bodnant.
But it is the food and wine that make this small region special. There are many vineyards and you can sample the local red (mostly Merlot and Cabernet) and white (Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc)wines. The local cafes offer great coffee and cakes and in season you can buy a kilo of just picked asparagus for under £2. If you are staying at the nearby Esk Valley Lodge you might get fresh asparagus with a new laid poached egg for dinner or even (if you ask) for breakfast!
Il Bacaro is an awesome restaurant about five minutes from the Pantheon. Like a lot of places in the area it's not exactly cheap, but it's also not astronomically expensive, and for sure less pretentious than many places in the center. One thing really separates it from the competition; the quality of the food. Prepared fresh daily by skilled, caring personnel, as much love as time and effort go into cooking these fabulous dishes and makes all the difference in taste. Seasonal menus are also a bonus, meaning you only get food REALLY in season at the time. The pumpkin sauce is to die for, the meat delectable, and leaving without dessert may just be a cardinal sin.
They even have a menu on their site. I also have to give props to those who recommended it to me, my apartment rental booking agency, Leisure in Rome. Their English was so good, and they were so helpful and informative, right down to tipping me off about this little gem and others. I'll paste a link to the apartment I stayed in too, a surprisingly quiet place in the heart of Trastevere (lovely) that I absolutely felt at home in: www.leisureinrome.com/_apartments_in_rome-in-trastevere/Trastevere_apartment,S,399.html
A modern twist on a tea-house that is also a restaurant. So far I have had brunch, afternoon tea and dinner there! I love it because it's a relaxed environment with great food and you can people watch everyone going past on Whiteladies Road. The staff are very friendly and helpful when trying to choose a tea which is a bit overwhelming at first.
Papaji's House of Teas
109 Whiteladies Road
opposite Clifton Down train station
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