Serving up quite possibly the best Sunday roast in the area, the Bolingey Inn can be found huddled a mile in land from the holiday hoards of Perranporth.
For about £9 you get a huge plate of locally sourced meat – take your pick from beef, pork and lamb – a big old Yorkshire pud (regardless of meat choice), a separate serving of freshly cooked al dente veg, crispy roast spuds and the icing on the cake, an extra helping of gravy served alongside. ‘Coz there’s nothing worse than running out of gravy half way through your dinner, eh?
And the deserts can be pretty special too. I can definitely vouch for their pavlovas - made from crispy, chewy meringue, and mighty cheesecakes – huge, creamy and usually laced with some sort of booze.
Penwartha Rd, Perranporth, Bolingey, Perranporth TR6 0DH
Google map: bit.ly/12lgBfC
* Sian is our Been there local for Cornwall. You can check out her page here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/articles/been-there-local-cornwall.jsp and her own blog about Cornish living: www.adventureswiththeblackdog.co.uk/
A true gem is the walled city of Lucca, birthplace of Puccini. Take a stroll on the tree-lined city walls (as wide as a motorway). For fantastic views climb the bricked Guinigi Tower which has a tree growing on the top. There are churches, squares and museums to explore. Look for the unusual piazza of the Amphitheatre with houses around the perimeter. For mouth watering traditional Tuscan food head to the family-run Trattoria Buralli on Piazza Sant’Agostino.
Lucca always stayed independent. In the past through the supply and trade of silk, nowadays it is the biggest producer of toilet paper in Italy.
My boyfriend and I ate at The Square Kitchen for my birthday and it was a wonderful dining experience! Having lived in Bristol for a year we were delighted to find this little gem, tucked away just off the top of Park Street. Not only was the food excellent but the service was second to none and the venue had a boutique arty feel with beautiful prints on the wall by Katalina Bath. I will definitely be going back to enjoy lunch on their lovely terrace in the summer!
Hilltop town favoured by the Etruscans and wealthy Renaissance families who valued the cooler climate. Well preserved Roman Theatre and other ruins in the archaeological park with lots of Etruscan artefacts in the Civic Museum. A Combo ticket also gives admission to Ethnographic Missionary and Bandini Museums (small but worth it for the painted panels).
Eating wise there are two good restaurants (l'Polpa particularly good) at the bus terminus on Piazza Mino or take a picnic on the panoramic terrace with wonderful views of Florence.
Take bus no. 7 either from outside the main railway station or from Piazza San Marco - about three an hour. Lots of hairpin bends up to the town. Double decker Florence sightseeing bus also goes there.
Piazza Mino, 21/22, 50014 Fiesole, Italy
Google map: bit.ly/XDwbVI
Just an hour's drive north-west of Madrid is the ancient city of Segovia, which stands proudly beneath its splendid cathedral. Nestled under the city's imposing roman aqueduct sits Meson de Candido, a family owned restaurant attracting food-lovers from far afield. Upon the recommendation of our local friends we dined, like everybody else that afternoon, or so it seemed, on the house's speciality, "cochinillo" or roast whole suckling pig. The waiters and chefs alike are proud of this dish, and so they should be. Cooked in vast, traditional ovens (ask nicely and you may get treated to a tour of the kitchen, as we did), the pork is a delight. Start with Granja, a local white bean soup, and savour the surprise "sorpresa" pudding, a gorgeous cakey, eggy, ice-creamy affair. If you're in Madrid and have a spare day, then Segovia is a glorious city of romance that you must visit, especially in late summer: potter, enjoy the sun and most importantly, make the most of what Meson de Candido has to offer. You won't regret it! Food and wine all in for around 35 euros.
For a guaranteed pick-me-up after our long winter head to Brodie Castle in Moray for a fix of bright yellow sunshine. The park around the castle has thousands of daffodils, part of the National Collection and some of them very old cultivars. Warm yourself up in the tearoom with some excellent homebakes before heading to the Culbin Sands for more colour - this time big blue skies and miles of white sands. End your day at The Loft at East Grange with an organic beer from the Black Isle Brewery and good, local produce. Winter blues replaced with spring colour!
Balkan restaurant with a delightfully wacky interior – yes, those are upside down chairs you can see hanging from the ceiling! There’s also a gorgeous garden which is open in summer if you really can't cope with the riot of colour on the walls but the real attraction here is the food. The grilled octopus was beautifully presented and tasted delicious which came as something as a shock given this is a landlocked country. Despite being popular with Czech celebs like Karel Gott (their answer to Cliff Richard) and Oscar winning screenwriter/director Zdenek Sverak, the prices are reasonable – and the welcome is as warm as you would expect in the Mediterranean. I deeply regret having strolled past this place, assuming it must be as a tourist haunt – don’t make my mistake!
Újezd 33, Praha 1, Mala Strana
+420 257 212 388
Google map: bit.ly/17o6yw8
* Lisette is our Been there local for Prague. You can read her profile here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/articles/prague-local-lisette.jsp and follow her tips here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/travellers/LisettePrague
The Low Sizergh Barn tea room menu is for lovers of local, seasonal and home made food. It’s also a proper and very well run working farm. Before 11.30am enjoy a hearty Cumbrian breakfast, sip tea that’s blended to suit their water by a Kendal merchant, lunch on freshly made favourites and daily specials, or tuck into a farmhouse tea. They use eggs from their free-to-roam hens which greet you in the car park, fruit from the orchard, organic vegetables grown in the fields by Growing Well, and their our own award winning Kendal Creamy cheese (made from milk from the herd) is the highlight of the menu.
You've emerged, blinking like a newborn, from the perilously touristic Damrak street which took you from Amsterdam Central Station to Dam Square. You are hungry and grouchy from a cramped discount airline flight, or maybe you just have the munchies since you stopped along the way at a coffeeshop. Either way, you're low on funds but not keen to try the gross tourist haunts you've seen so far.
Go west, young (wo)man, to Grillroom Sefa (or Sefa Grill-room, or... who knows? They don't even have a website). Sefa has a host of Middle Eastern dishes to take out or eat there, all from 5 to 10 Euros. Fresh, tasty, and served with uncharacteristic (for Amsterdam) friendliness, you can grab a shoarma, a doner, or kebab. Good-sized meals too (the 5 EUR Broodje Doner is all I usually need for the day).
Located at Westermarkt 25, it is only a few blocks from Dam Square, directly across from Westermarkt church, within 100 meters of the Anne Frank house and closer still to a canal where you can dangle your feet over the side and chill out with your meal. They're open until the wee hours as well. Better Sefa than sorry! (Sorry!).
Westermarkt 25, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
Google map: bit.ly/13ej6qp
* Jeff is our Been there local for Amsterdam. You can read his profile here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/articles/amsterdam-local-jeff-funnekotter.jsp and follow his tips here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/travellers/jefffunnekotter
What can I say? Love 'The Harry's. The location is perfect - it feels like heaven sat watching the sunset from the top. Views are just gorgeous. Great place for morning coffee or an evening drink and also definitely the best restaurant to go to. Food is great. This is certainly the only place that we book year on year. You need to pre book for the restaurant though as it does get very busy.
Myself and my partner ate here on a number of occassions and were never disappointed. The service was excellent, really friendly staff and always happy to help. The restaurant looks out over the beach which is a stunning view. We often watched the paragliders landing just in front of the restaurant or the the sun setting from here.
The food was so good, everything we ordered was wonderful. From a simple chicken kebab wrap to Harry's fish special we really enjoyed it all. It was great value for money. Yes, some of the drinks were a bit expensive but no more than anywhere else. After a lovely meal we really enjoyed going up to Harry's cocktail bar and trying out all the different cocktails. Again the staff there were brilliant and the cocktails were yummy.
Overall this was one of our favourite restaurants and deserves the excellent rating we have given it. As my title said great food, great surroundings and great staff. What more could you want?!
This is an historic building built in Japanese style in 1911. It sits high above Hollywood Blvd with a view toward downtown. Interesting fusion dishes and a great bar. A great place to escape Hollywood's frantic pace in a beautiful setting to enjoy the twinkling lights.
A wonderful spot to study the skyline and enjoy drinks, small plates or dinner, moderate prices. Romantic and historic at the same time. Be sure to check out history on website.
An amazing bustling place where workers mix with tourists at lunchtime and during evenings tourists mix with locals. The ex-Bordeaux chef's exciting menus (typically from choice of three items per course) using fresh, local produce which you can also buy in the deli by the restaurant front door.
Normandy’s best bucket-sized moules frites in a crazy bohemian shack on the beach – walls daubed with huge nude paintings – where you grab a chair, share an old trestle table with friendly strangers, dig your toes in the sand and write your own order on a scrap of paper (provided) to take to the bar. Oysters and teurt-goule (cinnamon rice pudding) available too. Chaotic and noisy with a proud reputation for being “the worst restaurant in France and possibly all of Europe”. But who cares? – just enjoy the sun while you wait. The cider’s pretty good too.
La Plage, Blainville-sur-Mer, Normandy
+33 (0)2 33 47 22 72
Google map: bit.ly/WL4S8c
Situated on a wine estate overlooking the Baie de Paulilles, Le Clos de Paulilles epitomises classic but informal French dining. Each course from the farm's one fixed menu is accompanied by a different type of their own wine. As you feast on the (very) local produce, watch the evening sun set over the Pyrenees. Walk off the indulgences of the evening with a stroll along the adjacent beach.
Probably the best place to eat in France, certainly the best place I've ever eaten in my life. A French cousin took me there in 1966 and I can remember every mouthful, starting with the red mullet en croute and ending with the raspberry liqueur. Heaven! Is it still as good? Take me there and I'll tell you.
More recent visitors like the food but not the bill, so don't go unprepared. After your lunch, have a gentle walk round one of the beautiful golden limestone villages, or work off the calories in the hilly Monts-d'Or behind Collonges.
40 Rue de la Plage 69660 Collonges-au-Mont-d'Or, France
+33 4 72 42 90 90
Google map: bit.ly/XVoGGi
> Paul Bocuse, Auberge du Pont de Collonges
Paul Bocuse, Auberge du Pont de Collonges
40 rue de la Plage | Collonges au Mont D'Or, 84240 Lyon, France
+33 (0) 4 7242 9090
A little scruffier than its picturesque and sunnier southern neighbours, le Finistere (the end of the earth!) still has lots to offer in clean, empty beaches and hidden gems. After a day on the miles of sandy beach at Kerloch or at historic Locranon head to Le Manoir de Moellien for a perfect meal served in the baronial chic dining room with discrete waiters and delicious, local food from a set menu. Superb wine list.
29550 Plonévez-Porzay, France
+33 2 98 92 50 40
Google map: bit.ly/YSSYe8
Panivol is a beautiful blue-shuttered ferme-auberge set in the Périgord-Limousin regional natural park. We loved it here because of the views, the building, the small restaurant with its old tiled floor, the goats and farm animals and the freshly prepared specialities from the farm. Whilst limited in choice, daily specials include sorrel or wild garlic omelette and civet de canard with local chestnuts. Finish with œufs à la neige sprinkled with wild strawberries. Last time we dined here one of the free range chickens (the kind that looks as if it is wearing big fluffy ankle socks) amusingly wandered into the dining area in amongst the tables and guests. Rooms are also available if you wish to stay.
Pack your picnic basket with a baguette, Camembert, a Normandy cider and a tarte au pommes, and head for the old town of Rouen. Relax on the bench at the foot of Rouen’s Notre Dame Cathedral where Monet stood with his easel and brushed his series of Cathedral images and bon appétit! If you are brave and maybe talented too take your charcoals with you and try your hand. If not take coffee on the pavement outside one of several little cafes, like Brasserie Paul, nearby to the sounds of the accordion. Inspiring.
On a sunny day wander into the garden of Le Grand Sapin in Villequier right on the banks of the Seine where you can dine on the lawn overlooking the river. On hot days sit in the shade of the magnificent magnolia tree. And as if enjoying great French food “au terrasse” is not enough, you will marvel at the most ginormous cargo ships that pass by gracefully on their way to and from the sea. Having first experienced this lovely family run hotel at the age of five with my parents, and more recently at the age of 55 with my husband, thankfully very little seems to have changed. After lunch take a short stroll along the river to the Musee Victor Hugo.
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org