This is a very old castle, with beautiful frescoes, enormous wrought iron chandeliers hanging by ropes from the ceiling, stone staircases and shutters on the windows that you can wander in and out of as though it were your own home. You don't need to take a book, you'll discover a new writer in the library or a classic you always meant to read or something someone once told you about, then you can take it and settle in a hammock under the magnolia trees with a glass of something delicious that will have appeared as if by magic. Or, if you're feeling more energetic, Clark might let you help him in the garden, weeding, planting, trimming and designing. After dinner, if you are not still in the thrall of the good company you have shared it with, you can take a walk round the gardens lit by candles in the trees, see the owls swooping overhead and identify plants by their smell.
Castello di Galeazza, Via Provanone, 8585, 40010 Galeazza di Crevalcore, Bologna, Italy
Tel. (+39) 051 985 170
Nestling in the hills, with False Bay and Table Mountain in view, a very pleasant place to have a very good and cheap lunch and drinkable wine starting at around 30 ZAR/bottle, which is almost cheaper than water.
The food is simple, with Cape Malay dishes the speciality.
Booking at weekends is recommended
Stellenbosch, 7599, South Africa
A rustic restaurant with great food and wine. The resturant is next to the Ken Forrester Wine Estate, but they do wines from the Helderberg area. Wines outside Helderberg are in the rest of the world section.
They cater for both small and large parties of people with surprising ease. The steaks melt in your mouth, and if you have a sweet tooth, the duck & cherry pie is very good. For dessert I've never got past the creme brulee, but they all look very good
Surprisingly on Winery Road!! From Cape Town take the N2 to Somerset West, and take the R44 towards Stellenbosch. Winery Road is 3-4 miles on the left hand side. 96 is on the right about 0.5 miles down the road
The best way to see the "Green Coast" of Northern Spain is on foot. Walk between historic villages along ancient pathways, discovering an unspoilt coastline and pristine mountain views. You'll find great family-run hotels and wonderful local restaurants. It's possible to arrange a self-guided holiday where your luggage is transported from one hotel to the next.
The hotel has the most wonderful location, stunning views, and is in the middle of no where - the only traffic is sheep! Food locally sourced and all furnishings modern, natural and luxurious.
Monachyle Mhor Hotel :: Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Perthshire, FK19 8PQ :: Tel: 01877 384622 :: Email: monachyle @ mhor.net
Kali Art Inn is an idyllic rural retreat in Hungary, near Lake Balaton. Nestled between rolling poppy fields you could be in Tuscany, but for half the price. Activities aplenty are on offer and I divided my stay between painting in the art studio, horse riding, cycling, and lazing by the pool. The owners homemade truffles and garden-grown dinners rounded off each day to perfection. Although the hotel is completely secluded, it is a stones throw from the healing sulphuric waters of Lake Balaton, well worth a day trip.
Káli Art Inn
H-8274 Köveskál, Fö u. 8
phone: (36) 87 / 70 60 90
or: (36) 30 / 92 28 715
fax: (36) 87 / 46 84 12
The hotel is incredibly easy to get to from the ludcriously cheap low cost airport of Balton, which Ryanair flies to. Alternatively the hotel offers transfers from Budapest.
I fell in love with this place for the beach, the food, the hospitality and the location.
Calgary Hotel is 300m up the road from the beautiful white sands of Calgary Beach, in a small green valley banked with mature deciduous woodland. The hotel has been converted from farm steadings but still retains the friendly farmhouse atmosphere and character, while creating comfortable and attractive accommodation.
The owners are artists and put on fabulous exhitibitions by local crafts people.
Finally, the food is to die for - local produce cooked to perfection.
Calgary, by Dervaig, Isle of Mull, Scotland, PA75 6QW
This is not a rural hotel but a house for rent beautifully hidden in the green Umbrian hills. The closest you can drive is to the organic farm where you can pick organic vegetables and get fresh cheese and eggs, then you walk down a lane for five minutes till you reach a typical, old, stone, Italian house. A porch and a flowered garden for the nice weather, a fire place and a big bright room for painting when it's rainy. It doesn't have a pool and you're asked to be careful with the water, but it is really worth it. Sleeps two to a maximun four people. 300 Euros a week.
Nearest airport Perugia (Ryanair)
Nearest train station: Fossato di Vico or Perugia
A great cafe with about 30 different types of coffee, numerous teas, amazing cakes and good food - especially the breakfasts (available all day).
6 Garema Pl
Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia
+61 2 6248 9300
Google map: tinyurl.com/koqol4
This wonderful Chinese style bar is certainly one of the best in this lovely city. With great music, the best wine list in town and some incredible food at very reasonable prices it is quickly becoming the insider's choice in KL. Located just around the corner from the ShangriLa, it has 20 wines and champagnes by the glass and a menu you will not find anywhere else. This includes a great burger, steamed Wagyu beef (absolutely delicious), a scrumptious cod in miso and some great solid staples as desserts.
Level 2,Menara Hap Seng, 1-3 Jalan P. Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03 2078 9908
Monorail staion:Sultan Ismail
This is a truly delicious churrasceria. Located three blocks back from Ipanema beach on Barao da Torre, it may feel like the chain restaurant that it has become, but that does not detract from the amazing quality of the meat. Try the prime rib of beef for a mouth watering experience.
Barao da Torre
Maris is a small restaurant in the inner south eastern suburb of Malvern that produces some amazing food with a mediterranean flavour and does so very well in a low key french bistro atmosphere. Run by a husband (chef) and wife team (front of house) team, Maris provides food that makes dining out a joy. Something is there for the carnivores (suckling pig or steak tartarè) or the vegetarians of this world (smoked beetroot for entreè!) Desserts are to kill for, with our choice being the pannacotta (can't recommend this dish highly enough). Home made sourdough is presented when you are seated and that is just the start of an enjoyable evening out. Service is slick and attentive. We thoroughly enjoyed our recent dining experience there.
15 Glenferrie Rd
Malvern 3144 VIC
Phone: 9500 0665
Maris is only a short walk from Malvern railway station
(parking is out the front)
Google map: tinyurl.com/pnhadn
Whenever I have been abroad I have always followed Travel Guides recommendations to avoid eating in tourist traps. However, in Thailand I have just been eating from the street stalls or the local cafe with some plastic tables. Keep your wits and see who is eating there. If you see women and children it is a safe bet. Meals tend to be around B25 -30, that is just between 50 pence and 65 pence and they are the real thing... just make sure you don't get frog like I did unintentionally.
The most authentic Egyptian restaurant in Naama Bay. It's located above the Hard Rock Café, but don't let that put you off. Behind heavy wooden doors there is an ornate interior and a roof terrace with great views. Try the veal tagine and fettah. Mains courses cost around £5.
Everyone young and sloaney young person goes to Krazy Kangarau but Moosewirt is far more fun! Its bigger, has a slightly more mad pan Europe crowd and a lot more friendly. The DJ hangs out of the window over the terrace and the ski down to the base station is easier - oh yeah, its actually in the middle of the piste.
St Anton, route 1, just above the Gampen lift.
On January the 15th, or the nearest full moon on the lunar calendar. Thousands of people take a stroll up Hwawangsan and burn some very flammable reeds.
I'm not too sure why they do this, may be some, thing ridiculous to do with spirits. You could probably Google it if you really want to know. I'm happier in ignorance.
It's worth seeing, young and old flock from south Korea to do so.
The surrounding town is about as interesting as a mute standup, but it has a wonderful BBQ restaurant at the bottom of the mountain, owned by a Korean gent who spent many years in Boston and will provide free alcohol at the chance to brush up on his English.
Get a bus from Daegu to Changnyeong, takes about 45 mins. I think the bus is from Daegu's west terminal, can't really remember.
A taxi would cost around 45000 won.
Visit english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/TR/TR_EN_5_1_3_1_1.jsp for bus timetables
Another 'Old Town' favourite; Dan and Louis' is where to go when you want to try some local seafood in Portland.
Do not be fooled by the name - D&L's is a family-friendly restaurant with a diverse menu that features some of the freshest local ingredients. The clam chowder is classic and the Cioppino is a particular favourite, but if you are an oyster afficianado, you cannot miss out on the dozen varieties of oysters offered here.
The decor is classic Pacific Northwest fish house: every inch of wall space is covered with marine-related memorabilia, much of it collected over the restaurant's 100 year history.
For adults, there is a separate bar in back and make sure you ask about 'the hole' - a glass-covered look into almost bottomless pit - right below the bar.
208 SW Ankeny St, Portland, OR
The Portland Saturday Market is a gregarious mix of public fair, marketplace and food festival.
Located in the heart of 'old town' Portland, right on the downtown 'Max' lightrail, the market is a literal maze of hand-crafted and locally made wares, artwork, jewellery, clothing and more. Live music from diverse local bands and a food court that offers a taste of just about everywhere - American, Thai, Spanish, Greek - including local brews.
Street performers - mimes, living 'statues,' jugglers and magicians stroll the market, but they are not the only entertainment - just watching the diversity of the crowd is one of the major attractions of the market.
Located right off of Portland's Waterfront Park, visiting the Saturday Market is one of the best ways to see Portlanders in their natural element - and not worry about blending in.
Since driving and parking downtown is something of a nightmare, the best way to get around to and from the market will be on Portland's 'Max' lightrail train - it runs from Portland Airport through downtown and will only set you back about $5 for a day pass. The downtown area itself is part of Portland's 'fareless' square, so if you are only riding for a brief distance - its all free.
The market can be used as a jumping off point to explore more of downtown since it is central to the Waterfront and Chinatown - and just a short train ride to Pioneer Courthouse Square.
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org