This is a find! Birthplace of the Jacobean playwright John Fletcher (he was as well known as Shakespeare in his day) this charming house is now Fletcher's Tea Rooms.
A great place for morning coffee, light lunches and afternoon teas. The size of the scones is amazing and makes other cafe's scones look a trifle midget! The owners are gracious and charming and there is a warm welcome.
Upstairs is a quaint, but stunning, private function room. Perfect for a small party or gathering. I was invited to a private funtion and the buffet was absolutely stunningly presented.
The house is situated right beside the church in Rye, one of the quaint Cinque Ports. Lamb House, a National Trust property, is close by. It was home to the authors Henry James and, later, E.F. Benson creator of the 'Mapp & Lucia'novels. The fictional 'Tilling' is in fact Rye and you can walk around and see the houses and locations used in the TV series.
We loved Rye and the atmosphere and food at Fletcher's. Well worth a visit!
If visiting Hastings it is well worth walking in the direction of the St. Leonard's end of the town. You can't miss it as there is a stunning 1930's art deco apartment block called Marine Court which looks like a land locked liner.
Close by, just a few minutes walk from the promenade and seafront, I discovered a wee gem of a restaurant called St. Clements. It has a simple brasserie look inside with attentive staff. The food is all fresh produce and, being Hastings, the fish is excellent. Curently they have an amazing two course set luncheon for £10 or three for £13.50.
I went in, not expecting much, but was treated and served as if I'd ordered more expensive dishes. I had chargrilled aubergine, courgette, roasted pepers, feta, and mint as a starter and beautifuly cooked Grey Mullet for my mainj course. Portions were excellent. And it really was only £10! Well, £15. 20 with a nice glass of wine to go with it all!
This is one of those places you leave wanting to come back. I intend doing so several times before my holiday is over!
A quirky little pub, which besides a good selection of food, beer and wine also serves a fabulous Afternoon Tea - finger sandwiches, little cakes, scones with jam and clotted cream - all homemade, and served on mismatched bone chine tea services. A real treat!
93 High Street
Henley in Arden
Escape from the hustle of Athens and stay in the village of Amaliapolis for a few days. You won’t find many foreign tourists there, but its fish tavernas serve the freshest fish priced for local holiday makers (no tourist rip off prices here). If you want an even cheaper, but delicious, meal have a ‘souvlaki pitta’ – succulent pieces of lamb wrapped in special pita bread with salad and yoghurt sauce – under €2.
We stayed in a very reasonably priced apartment – plainly furnished but with great views of the twinkling lights of the Pelion villages across the Pagasitic Gulf at night and just short walk to the sandy beach in the morning. Just don’t tell too many people or it could get spoilt!
Bar Roma is a great little Italian cafe in the City Centre.
Great pasta dishes, good coffee and an authentic cafe feel. The prices are fantastic too, with some great value meal deals available in the afternoons.
Not open in the evening.
11 Halford St
0116 251 5959
(5 minutes from Leicester BR)
Don't let the slightly hippy name put you off! It is as far as I could find the only veggie cafe with vegan dises.
Morrocan food is great but can be bit of a challenge for strict veggie or vegan. This cafe meets this need. It is also quiet and relaxing contrast to the souk and feels very Moroccan rather than French as other cafes do.
It's inside a riad and is an oasis of calm in the frenzy. Lovely home-cooked organic food and a small gift shop selling organic toiletries and some craft gifts. In the afternoon you can while away the hours or chat to the staff if you want to as there is no hassle. A gem and only wish I had discovered it earlier in the trip
No 2 Derb Zouak Riad Zitoun El Kadim (entering the souk just off the corner of the main square Jmaa el Fna). It was signposted with the Earth sign and locals all knew it
Go for chabakia in the foodmarket on the Djemaa el fna. It's the only cake I've had the pleasure of encountering that you have to dunk into your bean soup. Such dunking is compulsory, and livens up an otherwise boringly healthy dish no end. We were reliably informed that chabakia is made of flour, rolled in lots of honey and sugar, and then fried, which sounds much more believable than it being starfish, as we first thought (not such a startling assumption as we were surrounded by diners merrily tucking into sheeps' heads and giant snails). It's the perfect, sticky cake to chew on while you give away your tourist credentials by drinking mint tea sans sucre and arguing with your boyfriend about whether or not to buy a Moroccan toy drum.
Djemaa el fna at the bean soup stall
It can be difficult to find cheap food at the Fringe - especially as most places seem to be packed or overpriced in August.
Here are some tips for eating on a budget:
- Carry a bottle of water, a few snacks and a packed lunch with you during the day - you can munch during during long queues for tickets, and avoid the premium prices at cafes and sandwich shops in the city center.
- Head to the Edinburgh Farmer's Market on Saturdays for some budget-friendly food. Held between 9am and 2pm at Castle Terrace, it's stalls sell filling hot takeaway food, such as venison burgers and a hog roast!
- Some of the venues have great cafes, but they can get crowded in between shows. Instead, try the street stalls around the main venues such as Johnston Terrace and Bristo Square. The Traverse Theatre Bar and Café has a decent selection of reasonably priced food, and the courtyards inside the Pleasance Dome Theatre are home to stalls selling huge hot dogs and burgers.
- With some shows, food actually comes as part of your ticket. Early risers can catch Shakespeare for breakfast at C Venue at 10am, and watch the Bard’s best plays with a croissant and a cup of tea or coffee.
- For a cheap meal out, check out the Mosque Kitchen (officially called The Lunch Box) where you can pick up huge portions of halal curries for just a few pounds.
If you go to the Amalfi coast, you must go to Da Gemma. It's a great restaurant serving traditional Italian cuisine. Ask for their recommendations before choosing. Great sea food!
Via Fra Gerardo Sasso, 9
84011 Amalfi (SA), Italy
+39 089 871345
An independent tearoom in the West End of Glasgow, the best spot I know to chill on a busy day or warm up on a cold one. Shisha pipes on the terrace, books and games inside, 80 types of tea, good vegetarian grub and sinful cakes by request.
42 Otago Lane, Glasgow G12 8PB, (0141) 357 4524
Brunch/lunch café. Menu serves (among other items): fruit cocktails and smoothies, home-made muffins, salads, packed massive sandwiches, veggie maki and my favourite: delicious, taste-bud exploding gazpacho. Oh yum. Free coffee if you eat in-house.
All is organic, all is vegetarian, all is fun as you banter with the service (they love it).
For the best value lunchtime meal, find a country restaurant that has a few commercial vehicles outside it eg blue vans from EDF or GDF. The food will be local and good - these people drive miles to meet up there at lunchtime.
This is one of Hastings best kept secrets which I came across on a walk round the centre. A stuning cafe with comfy leather chairs just minutes from the promenade and the sea. Excellent range of simple fresh food. It is an oasis of peace and tranquility. Super friendly staff and newspapers to read. If only all cafes could be so comfortable!
I recommend that you avoid this cafe at all costs. The cafe lured us in with a budget meal that was not available. Drink costs weren't in the menu - the reason being that they were extortionate. A steak at the price of 24 euros had additional costs of sauce (5 euros) and chips (4.50 euros).
When speaking to the staff about my displeasure they were rude and I can only describe them to be vultures. The meal was substandard and expensive. If the food and service was good then they wouldn't have to lower themselves to sneaky tricks like this to get customers. Very poor - spoiled our trip to Bruges.
Markt 24, B-8000 Brugge.
Located on the market square opposite the Belfry.
Google map: tinyurl.com/ktqgd7
I lived in Mojacar for a short while and worked near to the restaurant. The food and ambience was always good and my family visited every time they came to Spain. Malcolm and Jayne made us really welcome. And Russ and Nick working in kitchen were very good. Cheesy garlic bread was divine and steaks done to your request.
On Paseo de Mediterraneo. Behind the Estanco Cantal on Plaza de Estrella.
Nearest airport Almeria.
Fabulous location on Cartagena's only beach. Good mix of workers, businessmen and tourists. Fish, paellas and seafood. Closed Mondays.
Take the road to the Commercial Port, turn left after the tunnel and go under the road. Tel 968 12 24 35
This is a great little tapas bar/restaurant within a cool walled garden perched at the top of the hill in the Albaicin in Granada. It is quite difficult to find, tucked away in a little side street, but is well worth it if you can find it.
Fantastic tapas free with every drink and eating off the menu looked pretty good as well.
C/horno de hoyo
958 27 51 56
I can rightly claim the "hombre más baratas en Madrid" crown after surviving a weekend on €38.
The Madrid Metro – the Orient Express compared to the London Underground – runs from the airport to city for a paltry €2. Visit the Parque del Retiro and explore the Crystal Palace art installations, monuments including the beautiful but sinister El Angel Caído, go boating by Alfonso XII's grandiose statue, then watch free street performers and puppeteers. Sip your sangria and toast the Madrid teleférico's 40th anniversary at the terminal bar: the skyline's not as exciting as Barcelona but it's relaxing and cheap.
Window-shop the Gran Via and continue to Plaza de España, Teatro Real, Palacio Real and Plaza Mayor for some classic Spanish architecture. Don't miss the El Rastro fleamarket on Sundays: calling it a flea market is a disservice to the sprawling city of stalls filled with delicious food and exotic crafts. It covers several blocks and gets very crowded so mind your valuables.
Madrid's gloriously rowdy tapas bars were out of my budget so I made do with the supermercado for flavoursome food. Ubiquitous Carrefour City and Express stores stock tasty Iberico ham, chorizo and other Spanish treats at unbeatable prices.
From horrific realisation to splendid sunny weekend of exploration, Madrid is perfect for a Spanish holiday on the cheap.
Metro - €2 one way from airport to central city, daypass tickets available. www.metromadrid.es/en/viaja_en_metro/tarifas/billetes/contenido07.html
Teleférico - €5.10 round trip, Paseo del Pintor Rosales, nearest metro Arguelles. www.teleferico.com/tarifas
El Rastro - start at Puerta de Toledo metro from 10am on Sundays. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Rastro
Parque del Retiro (and other locations) - madridspain.ca/attractions/retiropark.html
Carrefour store finder (use Google translate) - www.carrefour.es/
On a baking hot and sunny June evening why would anyone want to eat hot and spicy food? Well, ask the diners at Cardiff’s Multi-award winning restaurant Mint & Mustard - because it was packed! Even more surprising it being mid-week.
Chef Anand George developed his culinary skills in Kerala, on the South-western tip of India, before training in the five star luxury hotels of Mumbai.
After moving to London in 2005 George further honed his art in leading Indian restaurants Zaika and La Porte des Indes and gained an enviable reputation as a master of Indian cuisine. This led to the opening of Mint & Mustard, Cardiff in December 2007.
Since its opening, Mint & Mustard has firmly established itself as one of the leading restaurants in South Wales. Chef George has had outstanding success; in 2008 he won both the House of Commons Tiffin Cup and the South Asian Chef of the Year. In 2009, Mint & Mustard became the first Indian restaurant to be named ‘Best Indian Restaurant’ and ‘Best Restaurant in South Wales’ at the South Wales Echo Food and Drink Awards. George is also judging the True Taste of Wales Awards and the UK Chef of The Year for 2009. We were left wondering how he finds the time!
The philosophy at Mint & Mustard is to re-define Indian cuisine, creating sumptuous modern dishes, based on the enduring traditional flavours and spices of Indian cuisine. This was evident from the delicious tasting menu cooked for us by George.
Beginning with a selection of delicacies including Bombay Chat, which is a popular vegetarian snack with yoghurt, mint and chutney. It is placed in the mouth whole as the delicate pastry melts in your mouth leaving the refreshing palate cleansing mint yoghurt behind. This was accompanied by a moist fillet of salmon marinated in honey and ginger and a tender piece of chicken marinated with curd cheese, yoghurt and mint. Despite the fact we had already polished off the basket of Pappadams and chutneys the starters all quickly vanished amid ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’.
Next came the fish course – a delicate fillet of pan fried sea bass accompanied by spicy crushed potatoes with curry leaves and mustard seeds and a sauce of mango and coconut. The potato had quite a kick which strangely did not detract from the taste of the bass, but was quickly cooled by the smooth sauce.
The main course was a sharing event as plate after plate was put in front of us; lamb with spinach, duck curry, cow peas with butternut squash and runner beans with mustard and coconut. The spicing was delightful, just enough to be interesting, but not too much to make you reach for the water glass after each mouthful. Each dish was different yet they complemented each other and the meat was tender and succulent. Accompanied by plain rice and a variety of Naan bread we were all feeling very satisfied by the time the empty plates were cleared away.
But, we all still had room for dessert – none of your readymade pineapple and coconuts filled with ice cream at Mint & Mustard! Instead we were treated to a thick chunk of warm tandoori pineapple, a delicately scented crème brulee with cardamom and saffron and the specialty of the house – Chocomosa (a sweet, melted chocolate filled samosa) with caramelised banana and ice cream. Delicious! In fact this was the only point during the evening in which we were all quiet!
At just £27.00 per head for the tasting menu Mint & Mustard provides a good value quality dining experience. Coupled with friendly and unobtrusive service it really is a Cardiff must-visit restaurant.
A local tour company that operates tailor made adventures around Lucca and the beautiful Garfagnana area nearby. The adventures are based around the traditional local foods of the season as well as incorporating the major sights and activities of this area in Tuscany. Families, singles and couples of all ages are welcome.
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