This charming pavilion and beer garden throwback to the GDR days occupies a prime position overlooking the Landwehr Canal as it emerges from the Tiergarten. There's a small, sometimes raucous, bar area and a larger dining section from where you can peer into the water through the vast windows. The beer's good and so's the hearty food although it does get unbearably busy in summer (thanks to the leafy biergarten). There's also the noisy accompaniment while you quaff your ale of the zoo just over the fence.
Although it no longer brews its own beer, this wonderful multi-roomed pub - dating back to 1885 - occupies a charming suburban villa that evokes pastoral calm yet sits under what would have been one of the flight paths into the old Tempelhof Airport. It's got a lovely shaded biergarten and - bizarrely - a tree growing in one of the bars. You can't go wrong with a glass of Rixdorfer Hell ale on a balmy evening.
Glasower Strasse 27, 12051 Berlin-Neukolln
Google map: bit.ly/H8FJBD
Tel 030 626 8880
Nearest transport U7 at Grenzallee or U8 at Hermannstrasse.
Although actually in Gateshead, this superb restoration of a Victorian pub is well worth crossing the Tyne for. Tucked behind the monolithic Hilton Hotel, it's a peculiar wedge-shaped building that was originally built in 1856. Not so long ago it was a decrepit wreck but thanks to the efforts of the Head of Steam company plus a generous grant - it's back on song. There's a beautifully restored buffet and snug and even a roof terrace on which to quaff 14 ales. Oh, and Sting's been in.
Castro is a smallish jewel of a resort to the west of Bilbao and a welcome respite from the cultural overload of the Guggenheim. Comprising of a cheery port and two beaches (one manmade), it's a popular destination in summer and offers the perfect Cantabrian holiday experience. Just back from the front are a couple of pedestrianised streets are cluttered with stone pinxto bars specialising in everything from fried mushrooms to wonderfully plump sardines.
With the demise of Gainsbourg (it's been turned into a supermarket) there's only Zwiebelfisch and Diener flying the flag for old Berlin in this chic square between the K'Damm and Kantstrasse. Once a hotbed of revolutionary chatter, it's now a very laidback joint that seems totally at ease with itself. Papered in thousands of posters and old photos, it's got a chilled-out vibe thanks in no small measure to the genial owner, a veteran of West Berlin's pre-1989 counter culture. Zwiebelfisch, incidentally, is an old printing expression meaning a letter printed in the wrong font.
A determinedly old-fashioned 1920s-style bar-restaurant in an area of town that is obsessed with the new. There's an airy bar space plus a cluster of interlinked dining rooms where you can tuck into traditional fare. The pork and cream pastry starter is enough for two and the Berliner meat platter is superb. In the summer, there's also a nice beer terrace (biergarten's pushing it a bit). It's non-smoking and doesn't take credit cards.
In a city that can revel a tad too self-consciously in industrial chic, this is a glorious throwback to an older era. Behind an unprepossessing door at the top of Münzstr in Mitte is a dark, wood-panelled kneipe which whisks you back to Weimar. The draught beer is fine and there's a very pleasant back room normally frequented by undemonstrative, bo-ho types.
Münzstrasse 23, Mitte, 10178 Berlin
+49 30 2819687
Google map: bit.ly/eViCba
Classic central European cafe dating back to 1887 but with very much a contemporary vibe. Ideally placed near the Grand Central Market but off the tourist trap that is Vaci Utca. Lunch is a particularly good deal - £4.50 for soup and a main course plus a litre of fine Hungarian beer. There's nowhere better for kicking back as the lights go down and people watching through the vast plate glass windows. Five star
Just north of the main SNCF station is the Place Liberation. It's a pretty if busy traditional square opposite the facade of the old Gare Du Sud (the new station has relocated a few hundred yards west). There's a terrific market that's a lot cheaper than the tourist trap that is the Cours Saleya and there's a proliferation of non-touristy cafes and bars as well as an excellent seafood brasserie on the corner of the Boulevard Jean Garnier. For a taste of real urban France in a city obsessed with bling, it's a real find.
The new tram stops there although it's perfectly walkable from the SNCF station.
Google map: tinyurl.com/2vqqhe6
A haven for lovers of real beer, A traditional, basic boozer, Mori's is a real treat right in the heart of the city. There's plenty of choice from Scotland to Belgium to America on offer and - apart from nighclubs thronged with the fashionably sad - it's open after 11pm. You can also laugh at the more conceited French as they mince past.
5 Rue de France, Nice, France 06300
+33 (0)4 93 87 69 03
Google map: tinyurl.com/2w5q8gy
A stunning youth hostel in a Jacobean manor house looking over the Shropshire countryside. The stone building may be austere but the food is superb and you can wash it down with a cold bottle of Hobson's Town Crier. It also has the benefit of being haunted! Handy for walking and not far from the superb Royal Oak in Cardington out towards Church Stretton.
Longville in the Dale, between Church Stretton and Much Wenlock, Shropshire.
If you can't face legions of beered-up teenagers swaying around the Bigg Market or Quayside then head along the Tyne to where the Ouse flows into the river. It's little more than a stream but, starting at the Free Trade pub up on the bank and following the path towards Armstrong Bridge, you can take in a handful of unspoilt boozers including The Tyne bar, The Ship, The Cluny and finally - and most fantastically - the Cumberland.
You can get a special bus from Central Station or take the Metro to Byker and walk.
This is a cracking real ale pub at the top of the slope leading down to the South Shields ferry. Excellent beers are always on offer and you can often get a quick taster to help you make your mind up. It's friendly, cosy and inviting and you can't beat grabbing a berth in one of the pub's two bay windows for unsurpassed views across the Tyne to North Shields.
River Drive, South Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE33 1JR. Nearest Metro station: South Shields (or you can pile off the Shields ferry and head up the bank)
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org