What is it? A bar that serves food and fantastic cocktails and also has an internet cafe and a shop selling all the booze you've just drank in the bar. But that doesn't do it justice.
It's simply the best bar I think I have been in for a very long time (besides one in Prague and I'm not telling you where that is because it's mine. ALL MINE. OK?).
Spread over 3 floors, the ground floor is home to the shop, internet lounge and the bar itself. To describe it as 'a bar' is an understatement on a parallel with the Hanging Gardens of Babylon being merely a garden. This place is a mecca to booze. I counted 17 seperate types of Absinthe on the wall. 17!
The first floor is home to another room, decked out with comfy seating where you can spread out and lounge around, also a couple of raised bed/seats with curtains and a shedload of fabric in general, along a Thai type theme.
The third floor has yet another room with large sofas and chairs, and as an added bonus it's non-smoking. You do feel a bit detached from the rest of the bar but get enough of your crowd in there and it's more or less all yours.
Food, although I haven't tried it, looked tasty (spying on the plates as they came out) and entirely Thai.
It's worth taking a stool at the bar and watching the lads behind it create cocktails from the mammoth list.
In a word: quality.
42 Stonegate, York, YO1 8AS 01904 640 002
Punjabi Indian restaurant a little way out of town (about 1.5 miles) but worth making the effort for.
Staffed by possibly the smiliest gents I have ever seen or met. Not massive portions by some standards, its all about the flavours, which are consistently a notch above other curry houses around and about. Still a proper good feed though, and all at a belting price.
Raja's has almost a permanent place in the Leeds Good Food Guide.
There are many many other ethnic eateries along the same road (Roundhay Road) so it's worth a look if you're not bothered about Raja's, but there are no bars in the area (except for a well dodgy Irish bar).
If you crave booze give me a knock, theres always beer and wine in the fridge, and I live just round the corner from Raja's.
186 Roundhay Road
0113 248 0411
A really rather lovely bar, just out of town, but definitely worth the little walk. A relaxed atmosphere with massive battered sofas to fall into, and a mix n' match attitude to the rest of the furniture. Usually has a bit of an exhibition on the walls too. Definitely worth eating there too. Small but perfectly formed menu which never fails to taste absolutely gorgeous (lamb shank being my particular favourite at the moment), which can be eaten in the informal restaurant bit in the back of the bar whilst watching the chefs do their thing in the open kitchen.
Reasonably priced too. Separate daytime and evening menus.
Another excellent place to either start a night or just to have a few quiet bevvies in.
76-78 North St, Leeds, LS2 7PN 0113 295 6060
The food, a sophisticated blend of Caribbean and Tex-Mex, is worth waiting for here - but waiting is what you'll have to do since the service is diabolical.
Bring a book or two to keep you going if conversation flags, and maybe a snack in case you get hungry.
+31 (0)20 6230707
Local to Wittenbergplatz and, as the name suggests, a great place to eat from breakfast to dinner and later.
Vibrant decor in red and sort of mod with a bit of retro. Appetising and interesting meals served by very accommodating staff.
Motz Str 28,10777 Berlin
Tel 030 23635702
Real Cretan food in a nice casual chic environment.
Fresh produce shipped daily from the island of Crete. Owner Stavros Theodorakis, famous Greek journalist is around most nights making sure his guests have a great night out.
Gamopilafo (Cretan risotto served at weddings) is the best you can get outside Crete. Around 40 euros per person including wine and dessert. Reservation recommended.
Vrasida 13 (oposite Athens Hilton)
Wonderful restaurant on the west of the river. Not cheap, but worth every penny for the great food, cocktails, service, view and private river boat. Has traditional dance displays at the weekend.
Opposite the Grand Palace next to Wat Rakhang in Thonburi.
Just the maddest restaurant in Thailand. It's an enormous German beer hall that brews its own (very good) beer and seats about 1,500.
They serve German and Thai food and have cabaret every night - a mixture of traditional Thai and pop music. It's mostly Thais who go, and they all seem to be there to celebrate something and the whole place ends up dancing - at least in part because the staff insist on making you dance. Good if you're in a crowd, it's a truly Thai, if unexpected, experience. You'd need to book - it keeps going until about 2am.
Rama III- you'll probably need a cab. See www.tawandang1999.com/en/eng/detail.asp
A cosy and inviting French restaurant in the art district of Waterloo Street serving excellent food and a good wine selection. Cocktails in the alfresco courtyard and dine in comfort in a private bungalow.
42 Waterloo Street Singapore 187951
I have to admit that when I read that Restaurant Kawaleria, “Cavalry” (I believe in Polish), was equine themed, I was worried that I would be sharing a rustic space with a display of horseshoes, horse brasses, horse paintings and, worst of all, cartoons of robust girls on small ponies. I’m afraid I tend to view equine pursuits with ambivalence or bewilderment. However, Kawaleria proved to be an elegant, attractive restaurant specialising in contemporary Polish cuisine.
The first two rooms – a bar and dining room - are quite intimate with cream walls, sepia photos, wooden furniture and subdued lighting.
The room we were seated in is more of a banqueting space, very pleasant - perfect for large groups and parties but a little empty with just the two of us at 6 in the evening. Towards the end of the room is a wonderful old stove and, yes, there are equine themed black and white photographs but actually this gallery, well displayed on the pale blue walls, was both decorative and interesting.
The menu is traditional Polish with a modern slant, starters include crab terrine, Polish sour rye soup, battered sardines and the intriguing but a little gruesome (at least for a non-meat eater like me) piglet in jelly. Main courses take in a selection of meats in sauces and casserole including wild boar, duck and turkey. For non meaties there are fish and vegetarian options, the latter including pancakes and pierogi. The food was extremely well presented and service throughout the evening was excellent. The standard of cooking was good but I am not sure that the main courses we had exactly worked, the carp was tasty but a little overpowered by the strong taste of the mushrooms, the Turkey could have done with a little more garlic and a little more sauce. However it was still a very nice meal and I would certainly eat there again, not least because of the lovely ambience and attentive staff.
Golebia 4 - a short walk from the Rynek Glowny
Bar/restaurant with panoramic views across the mountains.
You can eat traditional Savoyard specialities on the terrace or sit in a deckchair in the snow on a sunny day for a drink.
Good place to meet non-skiiers for lunch as you can reach it by the Pas du Lac cable car from Mottaret, and for learners there are lots of blue runs leading all the way back down to Méribel.
At the top of the Pas du Lac 1 cable car from Méribel-Mottaret
Very good, very expensive restaurant. I went there for a friend's birthday- the fool ordered the eponymous Beluga caviar with a price on request written next to it - he didn't and was asked for a comedy amount when the bill came. Still the chocolate ostrich was unbelievable.
Extremely popular restaurant in beautiful setting in a vinery, pleasant ambience. Interesting, though not outstanding food.
Our experience was marred somewhat by rather poor customer service: our main course took about an hour to arrive, and we pointed this out twice. We were confronted by the owner when we left, asking if we were the people who had complained, and stating that he didn't think that it had taken too long for us to be served. We won't be back, but perhaps we were just unlucky.
Red Hill, Mornington Peninsula, approx 2 hrs from Melbourne.
Palma is the most pleasant city anywhere. It is wonderful for walking, browsing and shopping.
The architecture is splendid, it abounds in cafes, restaurants, dancing, nightclubs etc. The beaches and yacht marinas are part of the city. It has an international airport and ferries to the other islands and mainland.
The coastline and scenery on the island are unparalleled in their beauty, the climate is perfect.
Spring and early summer is the best time to visit. To really admire the wonderful scenery and mountains, it is essential to have a car. The springtime flowers are almost beyond belief in their boundless colours and magnificence.
Palma is THE PLACE TO BE.
A fantastic new restaurant in Golders Green, excellent Italian food, the best I have tasted for a long time, lovely relaxing atmoshpere with live music.
38 North End Road, London NW11 7PT.
Tel: 020 8458 6344
Opposite Golders Green tube.
It's the neighbourhood just across the "river" from the town centre and has a great choice of restaurants, a busy market and friendly vecinos. Go in the mornings when the market is open to have a peek and have a coffee in the very friendly Cafe Isleño, most nearby restaurants are very good.
Barrio Sta Catalina, walk across the river and park from the museo Es Baluard or ask any Palmesano who will point you in the general direction.
Just the name would be enough for a recommendation, but this cafe/diner also has locals and visitors queueing down the street on weekends. The pulled pork, bacon and ham is clearly a main feature, but there's plenty on the typically diner style menu for non-pork or meat eaters.
1451 Haight St
Varese Ligure has three restaurants, all excellent (and cheap) and two pizzeria both very good. Varese Ligure, of course, boasts its own cooking, and the best place to experience this is at the Hotel Dei Amici, a family run place, with delightful laid back charm.
Hotel Dei Amici: www.viaggiaedormi.it/eng/scheda.php?id=15344&plu=1&az=
Melenio cafe is a great place in the centre of Oia. It is on a little terrace and has the best views over Santorini. Very different to the rest of the restaurants/cafes in the village, very relaxed with amazing cakes and fresh juices.
Oia hostel is a great, clean and cheap place to stay (and Santorini certainly isn't cheap). It's very un-hostel like in a positive way and in an excellent location.
Ammoudi port is the best place for a swim in Oia; however the climb back up to the village is pure torture. It is a rocky cove with the clearest water I have ever seen, but space is limited so get there early.
Visiting vineyards is a must, especially as most have small restaurants attached.
Also, Atlantis Books is a rare find of a bookshop anywhere in the world. It is in Oia centre and must be visited, international literature, and the shop is a delight.
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