Buried in the back streets of suburban Lima, surrounded by faceless modern office blocks, lies a rich reward for the intrepid seafood lover.
A cheap painted sign over a metal door leads into the less-than-salubrious interior of the restaurant. But once you get over the decor (or lack of) you’ll notice that the place is packed with locals – a sure sign that the food is what matters there. And it does.
Scallops, crab, the freshest of fish, Pisco, and the ceviche...a hidden treasure.
Address: Leonardo Da Vinci 505 (On the corner of Marie Curie 108),
Urb. La Calera, La Merced, Surquillo.
Telephone: (51-1) 271-6455 / 9756-7394
Very good French restaurant, with all the hallmarks of the best food from about twenty years ago - very heavy sauces, crap ignored veg in little individual portions (though they will do a fresh large portion of a particular veg if you ask), Broadway opera hits for music or, worse, the pianist could be in. Teamed up with plush red everywhere and it's like walking into your favourite restaurant in 1989.
That said the food is brilliant, if heavy. There's great seafood, indeed it's so close to the sea that on stormy nights the waves sometimes crash over the road and on to the windows. The portions are generous. Whilst it is decidedly expensive it is worth it, if only to feel as if nothing has ever really changed at all.
Tel: 353 66 947 4124
Situated along the walk from the Rynek Glowny to Wawel Hill the restaurant Balaton at ul Grodzka 37 provides excellent value Hungarian and Polish cuisine.
The surroundings are simple but pleasant, white walls, wooden chairs and benches, black and white photos on the wall and an array of hanging wooden fishes. The menu comprises a variety of soup - brought to your table in a metal dish suspended over an open flame from which you ladle it into your bowl – herrings, salmon and salami for starters followed by main courses of meat - including veal and wild boar goulash - poultry and fish dishes many incorporating potato cakes and dumplings. There is, however, only one vegetarian dish, potato cakes with mushroom sauce.
Service was understated but friendly and with a touch of flourish, for instance, when a main course of chicken Hungarian style was brought out sizzling from the kitchen and served ceremoniously from a platter onto the plate. As for the food itself it was great, tasty, filling, well cooked and well spiced. The main course of trout was perfectly cooked, crisp skin with melt in your mouth flesh underneath. Each main course also came with a side order of refreshing carrot, red and white cabbage salad.
And the price for two people for two courses, beer and vodka each – 99 zloty including a tip (approx. £17.00/$33.00). Excellent.
ul. Grodzka 37
Tel. (012) 422 04 69
An idyllic little spot tucked away in a beautiful part of England on the Welsh border. This is the hotel Al Gore stayed at when he was at the Hay Festival last year. As well as the hotel, though, there are also two comfortable and stylish self-catering apartments in an old threshing barn, on one side of the hotel's courtyard garden (sleeps two or three). We stayed there with our 10-year-old son last year - it's very special place.
A meal at Daphne Lambert's Award-winning Penrhos organic restaurant was our treat of the year. A welcome organic goodies pack was good, too. We had a week of magnificent countryside, on-top of-the-world views, hidden valleys, picnics by streams, great walking, castles, sunken lanes... it is truly glorious but this part of the world remains a closed book to most British holidaymakers. When we told people we were going to Herefordshire for a holiday, several of them asked where it was!
If you've eaten enough tortilla (I love the stuff, but one has a limit!), then head here for some great veggie tapas and also main meals.
Closed on Sunday and Monday for dinner.
Calle Salvador Giner 6, near Plaza del Carmen (north of Barrio del Carmen).
A Cafe-cum-restaurant on the Piazza del Popolo. Very cheap, great tasting authentic food and civilised atmosphere. It has the best beef lasagne I ever tasted for a very reasonable price. Also has great desserts.
Piazza del Popolo. Nearest metro station is Flaminio. It is located on the side of the piazza nearest to the Borghese gardens.
Sawadee cap, must visit place is the 360 bar on the top floor of the Millennium Hilton. Great view and see the sunset. Make sure you be there around 17.30 hr, have a cocktail and enjoy the view of Bangkok and Chaopraya river.
After this have dinner at Spasso in the Grand Hyatt in Erawan. At 10 pm the live band starts, so if you are already in, you do not have to pay the cover charge of Baht 650.
Also try the lunch buffet at the Four Seasons Hotel and dinner Buffet at Novotel at Siam Square. The food and desserts are out of this world. Buffet at the Four Seasons is about 600 baht and at Novotel 650. But it's worth it. If you are looking for good DJ music than QBAR is your place.
Anyway Bangkok is a very polluted city but you can enjoy yourself very much. Watch out for the Tuk tuk seafood and jewelry scam and beware that if everybody is trying to making a living and tourists are part of it.
Four Seasons: Poenchit Road
Grand Hyatt: Poenchit Road
Novotel: Siam Square
Almost a town in its own right, it's on the Asian side, a pleasant place reached by ferry from Kadiköy. A very Turkish resort and a stop-off point for the unmissable Princes Islands. It also has the best fish soup this side of Atlantic! Find it at the Yildiz Yakamoz restaurant right in the centre. The squid was pretty amazing too.
On the edge of the Sea of Marmara, on the Asian side of Istanbul.
We went for new year's eve and no surcharge, just the regular first class Mediterranean menu. Relaxed atmosphere and good location behind main square. It is, apparently, the best restaurant in Krakow at the moment. Not expensive.
If you're visiting Paje on the East Coast of Zanzibar you have to visit Mr
An enterprising one-man band, he has set up 3 tables under cover on the beach and offers fantastic seafood dishes with traditional breads.
Bring your own beverages and be sure to book in advance as he sources everything on the day.
Also, ask about his early morning fishing trips. He will take up to 4 people out on his boat to catch the restaurant's fish for the day. He then cooks your catch for you and all of this is done at a fraction of the cost of similar trips at nearby
hotels. An absolute highlight of our holiday!
North of the Paje dive site, 10 min walk along the beach
Bryce Canyon Lodge is the sole concessionnaire hotel within the wonderful Bryce Canyon National Park, and if you want to be really close to the action, it's the place to stay - their "hotel rooms" at US $136.50 + tax are a little expensive, but very well equipped and comfortable, their restaurant excellent.
Beware, they close for several months during the winter.
It is important to book direct with the hotel - we foolishly booked through an organisation called Hotels-by-City on their "Utah-hotels.org" web site, which claimed to be "the official Utah hotels site". This was completely untrue, and they seriously ripped us off, charging us US $238.99 + tax a night. Be extremely wary!
Great restaurant hidden behind the casino in Puerto Del Carmen. Looks out on to the sea. Swimming pool on the terrace and great big four poster beds to relax on. The restaurant itself has a Turkish theme and serves a wide range of food including Chinese. Lovely for a relaxed romantic evening. Service could have been better though.
Main Strip in Puerto Del Carmen situated behind the casino.
My boyfriend and I wanted to spend a week relaxing in Tuscany, somewhere where we could get away from it all but still have the option to get out and do things if we felt the need. We found a real hidden gem – a gorgeous 18th century family run villa, Hotel Villa Lecchi, which was right in the heart of the Chianti wine tasting region…what more could we ask for?!
The villa is surrounded by medieval walls and offers a pretty pool, garden and terrace. Not to be missed is the food served in Hotel Villa Lecchi’s restaurant. It uses traditional recipes and these have earned it a great reputation with both locals and tourists alike and it really does have a great atmosphere.
For those wanting to venture out, there are plenty of opportunities nearby to sample the local wines and bikes can be hired at the hotel to get out and see the stunning local scenery. For those who fancy exploring a bit further afield, Genoa is only a short drive away and offers an abundance of churches, palaces and interesting museums.
We booked through Keyplaces and stayed in a lovely double room, which had air-con, mini fridge etc and was really reasonably priced.
Travel wasn’t included in the price, but we got cheap flights with Meridiana from London to Florence, which is about an hour’s drive away.
Keyplaces - 0845 688 0833 or www.keyplaces.co.uk
Meridiana - www.meridiana.it
Hotel Villa Lecchi is less than 10 miles from San Gimignano.
One of the best restaurants I've ever eaten in, vegetarian or otherwise. They now also have a few bedrooms upstairs
Walk west about three minutes along Washington St. from the city centre, and it's on your right.
Tel. +353 21 4277939
Lovely rustic restaurant at the top of the hill above Korcula. Good food and wine plus breathtaking views.
Island of Korcula
Tel: 00 385 20 711 410
It is a pub, right at the top of the town. It has recently been taken over and is wonderful. The food is some of the best I have ever tasted, beautifully presented and delicious. I bet soon this is a place you will have to book a table for weeks in advance.
Why am I telling you this? Because it desevers it, it really is head and shoulders above any other pub I have eaten in.
Risotto, hot chocolate pudding, the yummiest chips, veg so fresh it's almost rude, on and on I could go. And not silly london prices either, lunch for under a tenner.
Brilliant, it can be done, go there soon. You won't regret it.
Leechwell Street (off Kingsbridge Hill), Totnes, Devon, TQ9 6BY - tel: 01803 863324
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