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
Klassz is both a wine store and a restaurant. Very good food and reasonably priced; a great atmosphere and unusual decor. Excellently located on the stylish Andrassy ut.
Andrassy ut 41, between Opera and Oktagon underground
Superbly located on the riverfront walk outside the Crown Casino and accessed via the Crown Promenade inside Melbourne's world class casino, the Waterfront does not disappoint.
With a name like - Waterfront Fish Market, the emphasis is obviously on seafood and to that end, Waterfront provides an elegant dining experience as the seafood is sublime.
For those who prefer something different, a variety of steaks done by weight is offered; anything up to 900gms of ribeye is for the carnivores in us.
Side dishes of salads are for the vegetarians or the hungry and to finish, a nice choice of desserts is available including their famous Belgian Chocolate Fondant! Yum!
A very good beverage menu also provides diners with an excellent choice of Australian and mainly French wines (red, white and sparkling).
Waterfront should be visited and enjoyed. Not cheap but well worth it.
Riverside (Shop 19)
Crown Casino Complex
8 Whiteman Street
Southbank, Victoria 3006
ph 9686 9766
In this small Austrian village, you'll find an exceptional restaurant with beautifully creative dishes. Mid-day meals very reasonably priced. Evenings are more expensive than other restaurants in the area. Great dining which retains a touch of its Austrian roots.
Its a 20 minute taxi from downtown, but this place serve some fantastic food including the best barbequed pork ribs I have ever tasted. The Jamaican chicken served with plaintain and the Roasted duck (advance order only) are outstanding. Popular also is their breakfast for dinner.
Pick up a good bottle of wine from a supermarket and jump into a taxi. But do call early as the restaurant barely seats 25 max and they fill up fast.
19 Lorong Setia Bistari 2
Off Jalan Beringin
Tel 03 2095 3304
Mui Hiong is a hole in the wall restaurant that specializes in Cantonese and Hakka style dishes. Owner/chef George Lai speaks excellent English and will be happy to help with recommendations. Particularly outstanding are the steamed pork with salt fish, steamed pomfret or kurau (threadfin) fish, the bittergourd with salted egg yolk and the fish head in a sour spicy sauce. Also very good, but spicy, is the fish with black beans and chilli.
Not the most elegant place but excellent food. Acoustics are poor and it can be noisy on a busy night.
4, Jalan Medan Imbi, Off Jalan Imbi,
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan 55100
Its a seven minute walk from the Ritz Carlton Hotel
Am not affiliated with either establishment, but heartily endorse the Nuthouse in Killester (very nice food, varied menu, v. friendly proprietor, good portions). And also the Sand Bar in Clontarf if you want a quality takeaway pizza (but hate pizza chains).
They're very different places, but both excel in their field.
Fantastic soups, a salad bar, sandwiches, pastries, hot drinks and juices and hot daily special dishes. They also happen to be vegetarian - but don't make a big deal of it and put tasty food first.
Just walk for half a minute down Rumford Street (off Water Street) and for weekday mornings or lunchtimes you'll find Souperfood (previously called Soupernatural). Mainly take-away but also have a small number of seats.
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