This place was AWESOME. Home made meat pies and samosas and massive fresh salads made everyday! Great value hearty main meals, curries etc to takeaway too. Probably has Chamonix's best vegetarian food options and by far the best coffee we had in Chamonix.
A fantastic mountain restaurant and makes a great change from the usual fare. Delicious homely food in a lovely old converted farmhouse.
Les Houches, Vallée de Chamonix near the Maison Neuve cable car
+33 (0)6 84 42 37 00 www.lesvieillesluges.com/
This restaurant had great character, in a lovely little hamlet a short walk from Les Praz. The food was nice, if a little dated, however a pleasant place to spend the evening.
30 Passage des Mottets
+33 (0)4 50 53 29 31
Google map: bit.ly/cgezMD
Great hotel, comfy rooms, delicious food in the restaurant. Good place to stay if you're not on too tight a budget.
A lovely restaurant in a Provencal market town - in two weeks of cycle touring round France we ate a lot of set menus! But the dinner we had here was the best of the lot - four courses for 22 euros and every course was sensational. The place also did pizza, fish, and pasta, but I think its speciality is local Provencal dishes. The cavaillon melon and prosciutto was beautiful, and the local lamb shanks were cooked in a slightly spicy sauce until they were so tender I didn't even need a knife to eat them. Friendly service, simple but pretty decor, and tasty house wine meant the evening was pretty much perfect.
Looking for a good place for a Saturday afternoon drink we stumbled across The Red Lion at Brafield, and are we glad we did! The pub, obviously well loved and cared for, was beautifully decorated and maintained. It successfully blends the charm of a country pub with a modern bistro setting. We just had a coffee, which came with a shot glass of Maltesers (nice touch) but its range or local ales and spirits was incredible. We will be returning very soon to try out the “Friday Fish Nights”.
We visited this restaurant for the competitively priced midweek dinner. We were a little afraid to have a "tourist" type meal but instead we had a wonderful meal.
The wines were chosen by the sommelier and were complementary to the served courses and a very nice addition.
I would say, go there and have yourself surprised. The quality of the food is very very good, fresh, rich, perfectly seasoned etc.
The chef has a personal interest and commitment which is demonstrated as he makes a round past the tables at evening's end to ask if everything was OK.
Wonderful place. We would go here again if we visit Bruges.
This place sells great pizza. All simple kinds of pizza, nothing fancy, but very well executed. Popular with locals and tourists alike, it's very busy. You can eat in or takeaway to a nice square near by - piazza santo spiritu.
Via Maggio, 46
50125 Florence Firenze, Italy
Google map: bit.ly/cIhHje
PLACES TO STAY
We were happy with the Cherifa Suite (approximately $200/night) at Madada Mogador. Nice, contemporary style; convenient location (just inside the medina); pleasant manager who is happy to provide advice and answer questions; and a ginormous deck. And, the liquor store is only a 15-minute walk.
THINGS TO DO
- Have a drink at the Taros rooftop deck. Pretty people, pretty views.
- It's cliche but, see The Ramparts at dusk.
- Get scrubbed at the Hammam Lilla Mira. This was the (unexpected) highlight of our trip to Essaouira.
- Buy argan oil. You'll never find it this cheap in The States.
- Visit Galerie d'Art Damgaard. Stunning pieces by local artists on sale for reasonable prices.
- Treat yourself to aperitifs (and impressive, complementray hors d'ouevres) in the Heure Bleu lounge.
WHERE TO EAT
- Have a drink on the rooftop deck at Taros. Beautiful view; even beautiful-er people.
- Dine at Le Patio. Sophisticated, yet homey. DO order seafood.
- Lunch at Creperie for a safe, no-nonsense crepe in a convenient location.
- Aperitif It at the Heure Bleu's swanky cocktail lounge. The (complementary) "bar snacks" are first-class.
- Dine at Restaurant La Licorne. Charming. Order the Lyonnaise salad (trust me on this).
Full Essaouira trip report (plus Marrakech and the Atlas Mountains) at: www.travelmusings.net/morocco/
My friend and I booked the Suite Royale (after hours of comparing riads) for $175 night (May/June) and it was amazing. Insanely so. Huge - five or so rooms including a bathroom with a lounge and fireplace, a grand piano room, a relaxation room, a balcony overlooking the pool, 15 foot ceilings and collection-worthy furniture.
Plus, the riad is in a great location, the staff were friendly and helpful, and the decor was stunning.
Restaurant and bar suggestions:
- Al Fassia for dinner. Absolutely go. But the secret is out, so book your reservations in advance via the internet. We received an excellent wine recommendation (and drank it the rest of the trip). The food was the best we had all week. Lastly: great atmosphere and people-watching. The human scenery was half the fun.
- Le Foundouk for dinner. The inside is very nice, but it's nothing compared to the rooftop deck, which would be worth a trip even if the food wasn't so good. Getting there is a little scary but that's part of the fun.
- La Mamounia for a drink. You will have to give-up your firstborn to pay for it, but lounging outside is such a nice break from the Marrakesh chaos that it's worth it.
- Maison Arabe for a drink at Le Club. It has that Rick's North African vibe. Piano player, upscale clientele, mixologist who takes his drinks seriously. A good way to start the evening.
Morocco trip report (Marrakesh, Essaouira, Atlas Mountains) at: www.travelmusings.net/morocco/
29 Arset Aouzal, Bab Doukkala, 40000 Marrakech, Maroc
00 212 524 38 54 51
Google map: tinyurl.com/3xvu4nr
55 Souk Hal Fassi, Kat Bennahid, 00212 (0)524378190
MH 9bis route de l'Ourika, 40000 Marrakech
TEL: +212 524 38 38 39
Avenue Bab Jdid, 40040, Marrakech
1, Derb Assehbé, Bab Doukkala
(+212) 5 24 38 70 10
I recommend the breakfast plate but everything is good! The food is freshly made and well-presented without being at all pretentious. Very reasonable prices.
Meşrutiyet Caddesi, No: 59 Tepebaşı, 34437, Istanbul
T: 0212 251 22 14
Google map: tinyurl.com/2uk59kw
Papa Cristos has been serving the Greek community in Los Angeles for sixty years, across from the beautiful St Sophias greek orthodox church.
Complete with take out foods and bakery. You can order greek specialities, lamb, sandwiches and salads, all moderate prices. Order at the counter and your food will be brought to the large and festive main room where you will join a hundred or more diners seated at tables. Papa's is not a formal place. The food is well prepared, customers come from USC and from Wilshire Blvd businesses. It's a great place for foreign visitors to relax and savor good food at moderate prices.
2771 West Pico at Normandie, Los Angeles 90006, 323.737.2970,
I had a perfect, hassle free experience in booking and staying at Future Inns and the restaurant wasn't too bad either. Going by the rather unusual name of Fishbones, they do indeed have more than a few decent fish dishes. I went for the breaded sardines as this seemed to be a 'proper' fish dish and I wasn't disappointed. Almost as good as some of the fish mezes I have enjoyed in Cyprus.
Beautiful restaurant run by a European chef with an extensive wine list. Have not been able to beat it for ambiance, service, food or price.
Best tip for taxis is just wave one down on the street and pretend you know what you are doing. The rates are set according to a zona mapa and there are no metres. Pay $2 for a small trip or $3 for say El Cangrejo to Albrook Mall. Avoid the hustlers / taxis outside of hotels, they will want up to four times as much. Best decent hotel is the Milan currently at $57 cash, El Cangrejo
Located in El Cangrejo near the Veneto hotel.
Av 2A Norte
Google map: tinyurl.com/35xbneu
There are some great cafes for seriously good coffee in Napier, better in my opinion than the much hyped and overpriced Auckland and Wellington. Too many to mention but Tannyson and Emmerson streets have many examples. Hawkes Bay is best known as a wine destination and there are also some great foods such as local Te Mata Cheeses, Esk Valley Asparagus, farmed abalone, peach and apple orchards - the list goes on. The Farmers Market - saturday at Blackbarn vineyard and sunday at Hastings - are good places to start.
I stayed just out of Napier in the vineyard region of Esk Valley. Great meal on friday night at nearby Crab Farm winery. Very laid back atmosphere with a monstrous log fire, later the guitars came out! And the food was outstanding.
Esk Valley lodge 15 mins north of Napier just past the airport www.eskvalleylodge.co.nz
Food Hawkes bay guide www.foodhawkesbay.co.nz/index.cfm/our_activities/food_trail
Modern, well lit restaurant in the Old City, close to the more tourist-orientated joints but mercifully free of kitsch.
A seasonal menu offered mainly Latvian-influenced food, but it was presented in a contemporary fashion and with first rate service. The wine list was impressively varied, with some bottles from 10 Lats.
You might stop in Rakvere on the way between Tallinn and Narva or between Lahemaa national park and Lake Peipsi and Tartu. If so, the first impression is that, apart from the sophistication of the Aqva spa hotel, you would be hard pushed to find a decent meal. Turuplatz - on the square of the same name - confounds that expectation. The only downside is quite loud background music which reflects its daytime and late-night bar duties. But the menu is wide and appealing and the cooking is first rate.
Superb cooking and excellent service mark this Old Town restaurant that avoids all the clichés of the nearby tourist traps. Its past as a mainly vegetarian restaurant means the choices tend to be more varied and - to some extent - more healthy.
Consistently imaginative menus and a sure hand in the kitchen are coupled with a well chosen wine list (many available by the glass) and understated decor. The bizarre twist is the presence of flat screens that show a variety of famous old masters.
10123 Tallinn, Estonia
t: 626 9088
Google map: tinyurl.com/35atfxo
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