La Chene is the gite we stayed in this summer - it's FAB! (and suprisingly affordable). Big and spacious even with two families in it. Lovely back terrace with views across the field and great sunsets. The kids loved the upstairs rooms and the 'wet room' almost as much as the heated pool and bike rides.
Although the area and the Deux Sèvres region isn't all that touristy there's no shortage of things to do. We enjoyed days out at the Trogldyte village (caves that were used as houses up to 40 years ago), in the pretty town of Montreuil Bellay, and at the amazing Futuroscope in Poitiers.
We're hoping to go back early next year with some friends on a 'grown-up' break as the owners offer a local 'degustation' wine tasting tour.
Driving there was easier than we expected - ferry to Caen then 4.5 hrs on the autoroutes ending up in peaceful french countryside. If we come for a long weekend we'll fly to Angers and hire a car as that's cheap and easy.
Top tip: If you do stay here, eat out at least once at the Logis de Pompois - AMAZING 4* gormet food (and not too painful on the chequebook).
La Chene is around an hour or so from Tours.
www.gites-en-france.info or call the owners: 00335 49 80 26 58
Nearest airports are Angers or Poitiers, or ferry to Le Harve or Caen and drive...
Le Logis de Pompois, BP86 Sainte Verge 79102 Thouars
Tel: (0)5 49 96 27 84
This is a great simple, local restaurant in a lovely setting - the food is really tasty and the staff are lovely and friendly....with a great atmosphere.. highly recommended!
Kloksteeg 7, near the Pieterskerk.
They specialise in fresh local fish, shellfish and oysters and make a geat effort to use fish from sustainable waters (very tasty!)
They also have seven guest bedrooms which are great value for the centre of town.
Tel: 00353 (0) 6441589
You cannot be in St Elizabeth and not visit the best local seafood restaurant Little Ochie in Alligator Pond where your choice of seafood is custom made. The views of Lovers Leap (Mountain Side) are breathtaking.
Alligator Pond, Manchester
Tel:876 965 4449
A cocktail bar and Slovakian restaurant located in the St Clements area of Oxford. Moya is smooth and sophisticated, yet the food is homely, warming and seems authentically Slovakian. Enjoy the venison in a red wine sauce, the sausages, and the goulash, and also the bellinis, manhattans and mojitos.
St Clements is at the far end of the High Street, but Moya is worth the expedition.
97 St. Clement's Street, Oxford, OX4 1AR
Tel: 01865 200111
Trattoria Anita is a great but cheap restaurant. We went for lunch and dinner. Two course lunch for two including wine came to 20 Euros. It has a cosy wooden interior and very friendly staff. Food was delicious and certainly good value. Added bonus is it is near Gelateria dei Neri so you can pop for icecream afterwards!
Via del Parlascio 2/r
Tel: 055 218 698
The best fish restaurant in the whole of Jamaica, although you might not guess to look at it. A rough and ready shack on the beach in a remote fishing village, it serves fish by the pound, in old wooden fishermen’s canoes propped on stilts on the sand. Get Blackie, the owner, to pick out your fish and cook it whichever way you like - but don’t miss the jerk conch or garlic shrimp.
It’s hard to get to by road, but if you catch a boat from Treasure Beach it’ll drop you on the beach at your table. Ask a tour guide called Ted to take you in his boat, the Evil Ting, if you fancy the maddest, loudest boat ride on the south coast.
Alligator Pond, Manchester
Tel: 876 965 4449
If you have to stay in Kingston (and I recommend you try not to since other parts of Jamaica are so much nicer) then Red Bones is easily the best restaurant I found. Good food, arty atmosphere, friendly people...etc
Smoking was recently banned in all bars, restaurants and enclosed public spaces (bars over 100m2 are allowed a separate smoking area). The law appears to be being upheld and respected, although i'm not sure how as Argentines smoke more than a stereotypical Albanian and are not known for their law abiding-ness.
It has made going out much more bearable, even for someone like me who likes a fag now and again. Before, bars and restaurants were under a pall of smoke and it was common to leave with stinging eyes and stinking clothes. It's the second progressive law to come out of the blue in the last couple of years (gay civil unions being the other). This country never ceases to amaze me, lurching from one extreme to the other. Fantastic.
This seafood restaurant is about fifteen miles from Galway. It's in a wonderful location and is a superb place on summer evenings for a pint and some smoked salmon.
Moran's Oyster Cottage, The Weir, Kilcogan, Co. Galway.
Tel : +353 91 796 113.
If you have a car do not miss a trip to Franschhoek, the gourmet capital of South Africa. Enjoy a great lunch in the Cellars Restaurant after a wine tasting. Each course is accompanied by a different wine and it is a delightful experience.
Go through the village of Franschhoek, take a right at the monument and follow the road up the pass for approximately two kilometres.
A typically smart, hip and upcoming TriBeCa ethnic restaurant, the food isn't half bad either. Also worth checking out for the backroom display of Asian artefacts. It doesn't feel anything like Vietnam itself, but that's not the point.
345 Greenwich Street
Mohandessin is an area close to Zamalek but on the east bank of the Nile. In general it's a good place to explore, with various cultural centres and cafes. But most importantly, it has the restaurant Cedars, near Lebanon Place - you should absolutely eat there. It's fantastic Lebanese food, the best I've ever had, and probably on a par with some places in Beirut. It's a great big restaurant (be sure to eat on the terrace) and I remember eating so much that I really couldn't move for a couple hours. Truly, it's the best Middle Eastern cuisine I've ever had, and that's saying something.
42 Geziret Al Arab Street, Mohandiseen
Tel: 347 2537
Abou El Sid is a restaurant close to the Marriot Hotel in Zamalek, popular with the young and hip, middle class, and expats. Try and book a table, sicne it is always busy.
They do an amazing stuffed pigeon! When you want to treat yourself, go to this place. Pricey for Egyptian standard, but the food is a cut above the rest and much more authentic than in tourist restaurants like the Naguib Mahfouz in the Khan el Khalili market.
Abou El Sid, 157, 26th of July St, Zamalek (+73 59 640)
For cheap and good takeways, try the area around Midan Talat Harb!
The Greek Club and Andreas are two nice restaurants and watering holes in Cairo. The Greek Club, in Midan Talat Harb, is a laid-back place where you drink Stella beer and eat steak and chips with locals.
Andreas is a bit classier at the northern tip of Zamalek, where you sit under tent-like canopies next to the Nile eating mainly Lebanese fare, smoke sheesha, etc.
Greek Club is above the Groppis sweet shop on Midan Talat Harb and Andreas is at the northern tip of Zamalek island.
Far and away the best bife de lomo I've had in my three years in Buenos Aires is served in El Trapiche, a huge family-orientated parilla packed every night of the week by locals and tourists alike and which hasn't succumbed to pretentions. I go at least twice a month. Having recently being taken by a friend to Cabana Las Lilas, I can honestly say that El Trapiche not only beats it into submission on the quality of the beef but also in the price.
A proveleta (barbecued cheese), a chorizo (sausage) a shared bife de lomo (one portion is easily big enough for two), a salad, a serving of chips, a decent bottle of Malbec and coffee will come to around 90 pesos (£8 a head) for two. And if you get served by Juan, you'll get the best waiter in town.
Corner of Paraguay and Humbodlt, Palermo Hollywood.
Google map: tinyurl.com/mykr6b
In the tradition of Baixo Gavea, Botafogo is now developing a number of more upscale hangouts in the cultural hotspot of the neighborhood, the block of Voluntarios Da Patria between the Metro station and the Praia de Botafogo (the shore of the bay). In January the Drinkeria Maldita opened with a modern atmosphere for twenty-somethings and more elaborate drinks than you find at the usual restaurant or bar. And last month Odorico, with more focus on food but the same attention to interesting potations, opened almost across the street, next to the Unibanco cinema complex.
Voluntarios Da Patria between the Metro station and the Praia de Botafogo.
Drinkeria Maldita, Rua Da Patria 10, Botafogo, Rio.
Tel : 00 55 21 2527 2456 matrizonline.oi.com.br/drinkeriamaldita/
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