At the La Mirande hotel, in the Cardinalice room adorned by a Brussels tapestry, you will experience culinary art beneath a Renaissance ceiling. The food is absolutely amazing. Chocolate mousse and teas are complimentary. Menus from €35.
Academie OT301, the former Netherlands Film Academie, is a legalized squat featuring two large performance/rehearsal spaces, a cinema, cafe and gallery space with cultural activities and events. Check it out for the mega-cheap organic vegan restaurant. A meal costs €5 but must be reserved from 4pm on the day; dinner is served at 7pm.
Club 11 is great. It's on the top floor of an otherwise deserted warehouse, the walls are covered in graffiti and you use what looks like a service elevator to go up. When you get there, it's a huge open space with great views of the city. Tasty food, too.
Though part of the Apamea Cham Hotel, it is located on the other side of the road, with spectacular views of four of the noria water wheels which moan as they turn, and its independent access means that most diners at night come from outside the hotel.
The menu is varied (the only non-expensive place in Syria where I found fish available) and prices are very reasonable for excellent cooking. Beer and spirits are served. The only downside is that you are sitting on one of the key sites of the dramatic suppression of the 1982 Hama uprising.
To the north of the centre of Hama, on the east side of the Orontes river and adjacent to Apamea Cham Hotel. Open for dinner, but not necessarily for lunch.
Of the listed restaurants in the Christian quarter of Aleppo, this is the best value in terms of atmosphere and food. It has two entrances, one signed from the side of the Armenian cathedral and the other from Qastal Ibshir Pasha street. Beer and wine on offer.
See above for directions. tel 2224462.
Start the day by heading to De Bakkerswinkel bakery on 69 Warmoesstraat for a delightful breakfast. Their filled rolls, fresh from the oven are divine.
Work off breakfast by exploring the canals, visiting the floating Singel flower market and buying tulip bulbs for green-fingered friends and family. Take in some culture at the Van Gogh museum; alternatively, if the sun is shining, head south for a picnic in Vondelpark.
Spend the evening relaxing over delicious food and wine at Morlang (Keizersgracht 451); on a warm evening, sit on the terrace outside, overlooking one of Amsterdam’s tranquil canals.
You just have to try De Bakkerswinkel - we even put up with drunken stags to eat every day in this heaven-sent cafe in the middle of the red light district. You can see them baking the bread and cakes and bottling the jam. Great for breakfast, lunch or cakes in the afternoon, it's chilled and relaxed; we all wanted to live there!
Lovely food in a beautiful atmosphere prepared and served by street kids learning the skills for their own futures. Right over the street from the Temple of Literature, and a good 20 minutes' walk from the centre of the old town.
OK, so Bill Clinton's been here, but it's really very down to earth.
KOTO on Van Mieu
59 Van Mieu Street, (opposite the Temple of Literature)
Fab food, clean and tasty and excellent pisco sours!
Totally agree with the recommendation for travelling from Celendin to Leyembamba: awesome scenery for those willing to endure the slow, less-travelled road. This part of Peru gets very little traffic compared with the southern areas.
Cuesta San Blas 525, San Blas
Many families with young children are put off by the red-light-district, coffee-house, stag-party reputation of Amsterdam. However, it is a great city for young children.
NEMO is a children's science museum in the main harbour, right next to Central railway station. It has to be the best kids musem in Europe. Every exhibit is interactive, kids can dress up as scientists and blow things up in the lab (carefully helped by real scientists!). They can also appear on TV, wrap themselves up in giant bubbles and watch a fantastic great-egg-race-style show every half hour.
Despite being in Holland, every exhibit is also described in English and the presentations and announcements are also bilingual. The museum is great for kids aged from 4 to 14, and is so big that you can easily spend several hours there.
Once you have exhausted yourselves there, try the Pannenkoekenhuis, a pancake house in a 17th-century warehouse overlooking the canal on Prinsengracht. The kids' pancakes come with toys, games and fireworks to finish the day off with a bang!
You must visit the Casa Peru, a lively Peruvian restaurant with excellent food (and not a guinea pig in sight, for those of us squeamish enough to mind!).
Find it on the Leidsegracht/Prinsengracht junction. My favourite dish was Aguadito de Mariscos (seafood soup) - excellent!
Now here's an irony: for a novel experience, the Ethiopian restaurant Semhar at 259-261 Marnixstraat is a must-try.
Use your digits to dive into delicious food served for your table on a giant tray, mopped up with ginormous pancakes and washed down with banana or palm-nut beer. Of course, you can generate an appetite for the great food by walking from the Red Light District - but you'll be too stuffed to walk back again! If you do make it back, wash your hands before you get there: residual chilli could make things painful.
Marnixstraat 259-261, Jordaan.
Travel 15 mins outside the centre of Amsterdam to a lovely suburb called Haarlem. Not only is it a charming market-townesque place with its own square, it also has a wonderful steak restaurant called Wilma & Albert's. You have to try their ribs!
The Supperclub is a dining experience that you will never forget! Your bed awaits you and your guests in the Romanesque style, with masseurs to relax you, stylish and sexually ambiguous cabaret singers to entertain, and live DJs providing the aural backdrop. And all washed down with fabulous food and wine ... this is the way to dine.
Then there's the ultra-trendy club downstairs, but to be seen here, you need to book early. Confirm your reservation on the day and avoid the queue outside of those who wait in the hope of a cancellation!
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