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
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!
An authentic Punjabi restaurant that's very popular with Asian Londoners. Noisy, bright lighting but fantastic food, just like being at your Auntie's house. The place is so popular that they've had to extend it. BYO.
Lahore Kebab House
2-4 Umberston St, London, E1 1PY
Tel: 020 7481 9737
Kinda like an Indian fast food restaurant, only minus the garish interior. It's not the sort of place to have a long protracted meal, but it is great for grabbing a bite to eat. The food is good, and relatively inexpensive for London, although the service can be a little sloppy. Still, this place is always busy, and makes for a nice stop after a hard day's shopping in the West End.
9 Marshall Street, Soho W1F 7EJ; tel: 020 7287 9966;
Also at Earls Court (147 Earls Court Rd, tel: 020 7373 0220 ) and Islington (80 Upper St, tel: 020 7359 3399)
Konoba Dundo Maroje is a tiny restaurant down one of the narrow streets leading north from the main street, Placa. Virtually every restaurant in the old town claims to specialise in fish, but as a seafood fanatic who's travelled to Dubrovnik on a budget in both 2002 and just this summer, Dundo Maroje really made an impression on my tastebuds - four times now.
The grilled squid seem to be twice the size of anywhere else and unbelievably succulent, all beautifully presented and dripping in garlic-infused olive oil. The lobster carpaccio is an unusual dish worth trying there too. What the restaurant lacks in views it certainly makes up for in atmosphere. Sippng an ice-cold Istra bitter (like Campari), your bare feet cooled by the marble pavement, watching people file past is a nice way to start your evening.
Konoba Dundo Maroje - Kovacka, 00 385 20 321 445 (Dinner for 3 with drinks £30)
Golden Gate Park – you could literally spend days there. A good idea is walking from the Eastern to the Western end, stopping off on the way to check out a few highlights, like the flower conservatory, Japanese Tea Garden (as featured in Memoirs of a Geisha) and the De Young museum. Your reward at the end: the waves of the Pacific and the Beach Chalet, a restaurant/brewery where, if you time it right, you can have dinner with lovely sunset views over the ocean.
There are two Gingerman restaurants in Brighton. Both the tiny original in Norfolk Street and the newer one at the stylish Drakes hotel are superb. Excellent, well-thought-out menus, great value fixed price menu, and a great wine list. However, it’s the friendliness of the staff that make both Gingermen truly special. Try it, you won't be disappointed.
21a Norfolk Square; tel: 01273 326 688 and at Drakes, 44 Marine Parade; tel: 01273 696 934;
The combination of an eye-catching wine list, friendly service and great food makes this place your home away from home in Riga.
As you walk through the glass entrance that provides the only natural light to the restaurant, you enter a warm world of wood, stone and glass. The potential unfriendliness of bare brick and rough plastered walls is successfully offset by exposed wooden beams, ventilation running through polished wooden conduits, and locally hand crafted stained glass lampshades.
A carved wooden partition separates the smoking and non-smoking areas and provides some intimacy for those who end up with tables in the center of the restaurant. The overall effect is of a warm and comfortable environment.
10, Aldaru Street. The restaurant is located in the very heart of Vecriga (Old Riga) in the medieval warehouse building next to the only remaining bit of the city wall and one of the main tourist attractions - Swedish Gates.
Krakow is a city wrapped in legend, where time flows differently, and where every moment becomes a moment of history.
For centuries, Krakow was the capital of Poland, the seat of kings, drawing great scholars and artists from the whole world. It is their talents and imagination we must thank for the city's rich legacy of unique historical relics, which reflect the most important trends in European culture.
The renaissance Royal Castle at Wawel, the gothic St Mary's Basilica, the historical trade pavilions of the Cloth Hall, the former separate Jewish city of Kazimierz, and even the Nowa Huta district, absorbed by Krakow together with its socialist-realist, industrial architecture, are all places which make a visit to Krakow extremely worthwhile.
Although the city no longer plays such an important administrative role, for many people, thanks to its rich history, Krakow nevertheless represents a synthesis of all things Polish, connecting tradition with modernity.
In the special atmosphere of the beautiful and mysterious streets of the Old Town and Kazimierz you will find everything you need to allow you to escape from everyday life.
Galleries full of exhibitions, cafes, pubs and restaurants: all of this is an integral part of any visit to Krakow.
This restaurant is on the market square, and compared to everywhere else you eat in Krakow, is pretty extortionately priced.
However, this place served the best meal of my life, taking in everything from the food, the service, the ambience, the environment. Everything about it was just 5 star.
They offer a 4 course traditional Polish menu (which ends up being 5 courses with an additional one brought "compliments of the chef") which is just outstanding, from fantastic pierogi to a broth full of flavour and tender beef fillet. Dessert is magnificent and comes with a large glass of cherry vodka to help it down.
Despite this being the most expensive restaurant in Krakow, 5 courses for two plus two bottles of wine and vodka came to £66 in total.
For service better than any michelin starred restaurant in London and quarter of the price, you must come here and experience it. They are so friendly and unpretentious that you could walk in in your jeans and trainers and you wouldn't get a second look from anyone. Definitely worth paying the extra just to experience this place.
This gorgeous riverside restaurant compares favourably to any of Scotland's popular upmarket restaurants. Although it may seem pricey compared to some places in Inverness, the food is worth every penny and considerably cheaper than what you'd pay for similar quality in Edinburgh or Glasgow.
16 Fraser Street, Inverness
The fantastic Foreign Correspondents' Club. Stylish, beautiful, great food, very cold beer. The original in Phnom Penh is great, but this is even better. I wish I had done this.
Near the river, any tuk tuk driver will know it.
This pop-up community garden has transformed a plot of wasteland in the shadow of the railway arches into a gorgeous green space: a place of healing and learning - with a dose of greenery thrown in for good measure.
Created by a collective of urban gardeners, designers and a team of volunteers, and shaped by a hospital department, the UPG also hosts a series of talks, workshops and film screenings.
The Rambulance restaurant nestles in the corner of the space in an old ambulance and serves up a seasonal menu of homegrown veg and herbs.
This lovely garden provides a space for artists, gardeners and health workers to explore the role of plants in the nation's health.
At the Nanxincang branch of Da Dong Roast Duck they have 22 private rooms, making it a great restaurant to do business – it is also the best Peking duck in Beijing. You have to reserve, though, because it is a popular place and the queues can be horrendous.
Berlin in a nutshell. Peculiar mix of people - 70 year-old ladies in old-fashioned evening dresses and gentlemen in suits, urban bummers in Hugo Boss as well as crazy hipsters are to be seen in this old ballroom (existed since 1913) in the centre of Berlin.
Situated in a scraped building surrounded by numerous art galleries, the place was visited by Tom Cruise during his search for old-fashioned shooting locations for the film 'Valkyrie'. Good food and delicious home-made cakes. Music changes depending on the day (cha cha, swing, waltz and tango). In the summer, the garden is an additional attraction.
If you walk down the Auguststr (Berlin Mitte), you'll spot an enchanting garden and the scraped building behind it.
Clärchens Ballhaus, Auguststraße 24, Berlin Mitte.
Smashing local curry house specialising in delicious Nepalese food - definitely a big step above the usual Rusholme fare. It's been a while since I last visited, but I loved it before I moved from Levenshulme to Brazil a year ago. Top grub, nice atmosphere, good value - can't be beaten.
945 Stockport Road, Levenshulme, Manchester, M19 tel: 0161 248 8883
The best vegetarian Indian restaurant in town, which is saying something. Some of the 50 or so dishes will be new to many - for starters, try mysore bonda (amazingly light fried lentil balls with coconut dips), mosar vade (lentil doughnuts in yogurt) or a tangy, crunchy bhel puri.
Highlights among the mains include dosais, aloogadde soppu (the best spinach and potato dish I've eaten), a wonderful mutter paneer and a vibrant, earthy beetroot sasami. It's cheap, too: the most expensive main dish is £5.75. Service is always friendly, helpful and relaxed.
153 Granby Street,
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