A tennis course tailored to your specific requirements. The company can also combine it with Tango lessons and Spanish teaching and conversation. I'd recommend this because of the high quality of the tennis facilities and coaching (my coach had worked with players on the ATP circuit and top five juniors from across South America) and because of the excellent personal service received (recommendations on food, cultural and leisure throughout BA, an individual tour of the city from a lecturer in the History of architecture from the University in BA, visits to nearby haciendas etc) the holiday allowed me to combine intensive tennis coaching with a relaxing visit to BA.
ViaSpanish Language School is a great Spanish school in Cusco in the San Blas region. I had a fantastic time here - I took two weeks of group classes and one week of private lessons and learned a surprising amount. The school itself is big and airy, the teachers are lovely and they have a nice big sunny terrace. My home stay was perfect and I hope one day to go back and visit everyone - I really miss them all!
This is a very professional and friendly Spanish school. I enrolled when I first got to Barcelona and it was great! The teachers and staff are nice and experienced and my classmates were from all over the world, so I met lots of interesting people as well as learning a new language! I definitely recommend it to everyone.
Having had the experience of being let down so many times before in various countries, and found that word-of-mouth works in general, I'm passing on a top tip for a competent, lively and professional young teacher of Spanish (or 'Castellano' as they call it there) that I had recently in Buenos Aires. Her name is Marina and she gives classes to all levels (she dragged me up a couple!) in cafés or apartments. She usually does an initial interview to size up the level and then takes it from there. Speaks good English. Great teacher. Catch her at firstname.lastname@example.org and habla, habla, habla!
I did not know what to expect when I went to CBF with my family, and may I say I was quite impressed! We were told at the restaurant that their main specialty was Portuguese food, from Portugal (duh!) aside from some Spanish dishes, like paella, very good. But the best by far was their cod fish with baked potatoes, olives and shrimp, just heaven! My kids loved it too, but my husband and I enjoyed it the most. It also seemed to have some of that atmosphere based on the country where the food originates from, Portugal. Anyway, quite a family-friendly spot for an afternoon lunch.
Praça Tiradentes 83 Tel: 2232 3215
A hostel close to the centre of Granada, the Bearded Monkey is friendly and lively without being dominated by hard-partying backpackers.
Arranged around a central courtyard lit with twinkling lights, the (public) bar sells local beers, decent food and its own compilation CDs, as well as running DVD nights from the owner's great selection, for a small donation.
Check the noticeboard for good value Spanish lessons by local teachers (Anjelica is recommended) and trips to the nearby Lago de Apoyo, where the Bearded Monkey has a cabin, the Monkey Hut, with terraces running down to the lake - an excellent swimming spot.
Avenida 14 de Septiembre, opposite the bomberos (fire station).
Another reason to visit Stokes Croft. As you come in through the door there's a lounge bar area with a good selection of Spanish & Portuguese beers. Towards the back is the restaurant area. Their tapas is imaginative and well prepared.
130 Cheltenham Road, BS6 5RW;
tel: 0117 944 2442;
On our first evening in Berlin, we sought out this restaurant as it had been mentioned in the AA city guide. The name has changed but it is definitely worth a visit. Even though it was only 6.30pm the garden tables in the back were pretty full. Our pinchos (like tapas) were lovely, while the Spanish fish soup was both cheap (£4) and wonderfully fresh with an impressive variety of seafood. My wife's chicken & orange salad was both light and refreshing. The service couldn't be faulted - altogether a very pleasant start to our evening. Well worth going.
Gormannstrasse 22 - just a short walk north west for about 20 minutes from Alexanderplatz;
tel. (030) 285 990 26
La Flamenca is fantastic. As you walk down the winding steps into the vaults it's like walking into Spain. The tapas is great (spinach and chickpeas is amazing). I've been told the paella is fab too, and it certainly looks it. At the tapas bar you sit on stools with high barrels for tables. A must if you adore Spanish food, and very reasonable: two people, several dishes and a number of beers cost £24!
12a North Parade (vaults), Bath;
tel: 01225 463 626
Great family-run tapas restaurant with consistently good, well-priced food. Service can be a little slow but don't let that put you off. Recommended.
3 Wightman Road, London, N4 1RQ; tel: 020 8340 5400;
Closest railway station: Harringay;
Friendly south Bristol tapas bar. During the evenings it doubles up as a language academy catering for all levels. Their deli, situated in St Nicholas market, sells a good range of Rioja, Albarino, Navarra, Penedes, Jerez, and ports.
298 North Street, Southville BS3;
tel: 0117 902 1325;
A fabulous Spanish/tapas restaurant with a great ambience suitable for intimate, romantic one-on-ones through to large parties. Fantastic value for money
16 Royal Parade, Blackheath Village, London SE3 0TL (overlooking the heath);
tel: 020 8297 1880;
Nearest train station: Blackheath, or Lewisham/Greenwich DLR
The most authentic tapas I have had in the UK. The atmosphere is that of eating at someone's house, intimate, welcoming, hosts bending over backwards to make you happy, and the home-grown house wine and sherry is something else. You can buy bottles of wine to take home, along with many of the ingredients that you'll find on the menu.
111 Church Street, North Laine, Brighton BN1, opposite Brighton Dome/Corn Exchange;
tel: 01273 674116
Very authentic food with a wide range of dishes. The best tapas I've personally had in Spain or outside. It's quite expensive but perfect for a special occasion. The service is kind of moody, which I find quite entertaining. Nice atmosphere and interior too.
32 Putney High Street, SW15 1SQ;
tel: 020 8780 1022;
Nearest station: Putney Bridge tube/Putney railway station;
Wonderful, buzzy tapas restaurant in seven dials with a serene, sheltered garden for eating outside. Staff are all delightful and the food is a contender for the best Spanish in Brighton - dare I say it just as good as Pintxo People (much lauded newcomer on Western Road) but more hearty fare and not as self-consciously flash.
87-93 Dyke Road, just off Seven Dials roundabout (near Brighton station); tel: 01273 220 220
Reasonable tapas, (I haven't tried the longer menu) in nice surroundings with good service. Some of the dishes are spot on, (the pork and chicken tapas) others are a little off the mark (the lentil dish didn't really work). The best dishes were the simple, unmessed about tapas - just as it should be. Good wine list and pleasant atmosphere. A really good addition to this part of West Yorkshire.
1 Oldham Rd,
Tel: 01422 823070
A few miles from Huddersfield.
This restuarant offers wonderful Spanish/North African cooking. The tapas menu is delicious, with simple, flavoursome dishes that allow each ingredient to speak for itself.
34-36 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QE
tel: 020 7833 8336;
It's a bar, restaurant and cocktail place. A bit of urban Catalan sophistication in Brighton. Friendly staff, funky dark interior and great little "pincho" snacks to go with the Cruzcampo beer. It's my new local (when I'm feeling continental). I've not eaten in the restaurant, but if the bar snacks are anything to go by it must be good.
Western Road, Brighton just across from Waitrose;
The best tapas in central London - a little family-run restaurant at the Wardour St end of Old Compton St. Excellent value. You'll have to wait for a table in the evening - but you can usually walk right in at lunchtimes.
63 Old Compton St., Soho W1
Many people use Quito as a brief stop-off on their way to the jungle, or to the Galapagos. However, it is worth thinking of staying a bit longer. One possiblity is to stay a few weeks to do a full immersion course in Spanish. There are many schools in the city, who can provide one to one tuition at a very reasonable price.
If you are staying longer, you might also want to explore the possibility of taking an apartment - there are many options for apartments to rent in the Old Town, the Mariscal and Guapulo Village.
Of course you can have a great time whilst staying in the city - there are a good selection of theatres, clubs, bars and restaurants to visit, and a nightime walk around the old town is a must, and on Sundays there is a very good sale of artwork at Parc El Ejido.
more about staying in Quito at www.my-Quito.com
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