Travel Information, Dining Recs, Tips, & Tricks Mega Thread

fxh

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Lisbon and Porto are lovely.
In Porto the port lodges on the other side of the river are must see. Have lunch at Taylor’s. Very nice scoff with appropriate ports to go with it in a very nice dining room. Tawny ports from the Symington group Graham’s etc are a good tasting too. Bridge across the river Douro is rather high if you don’t like heights may be best to get transport across rather than walk.
https://www.taylor.pt/en/visit-taylors/port-cellars
One of the PAs at one workplace is from Porto - in fact shes there on holiday right now. Shes supposed to give me tips - but so far she just tells me its better than Lisbon!!
Apart from eating fish in Portugal and Spain you should also try a Franchesinha in Porto. It is their fast food Big Mac equivalent. I had them in random bars after trying all the beers.
https://www.tasteporto.com/top-5-francesinhas-in-porto/
Yep - got grilled Sardines etc and certainly Franchesinha on my list.
Can mano in Barcelona for very cheap eats. Good fish. Gets busy. Queues. But time it right and it is good. Downmarket caff rather than restaurant.
I'll check it out - downmarket caf etc where the locals eat is more my scene than fine dining.
 

Kingstonian

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Markets are lovely to look round. However, I would not eat there unless you want to be stuck on a perch with a queue behind you ( Quim in Barcelona market) More comfort sitting down at a table for Menu Del dia in a proper restaurant or cafe.

I would not bother with the custard tarts from that cafe on the outskirts of Lisbon either. The shop is rammed full of Orientals who like that sort of thing.
 

fxh

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Guess that is not youtube-based experience? I've been there at least 10-15 times, anything between three days and 6 weeks at a time, last time in spring 2016: Never had any problems. The area to the right of las ramblas (coming from plza Catalunya) is a bit rough a night, some parts behind the Olympic port as well, the city beach at night, etc. but that's like pretty much any larger city I guess. Wouldn't worry about a thing.

e. Considering doghouse mentioned Berkely Square, I can highly recommend Benares. Excellent Indian food and if you go during the day it is (was?) dirt cheap as well.
My BCN - was a bit exaggerated - I'm only hiring one body guard - but based on stories from everyone I know who's been there. Mind you some of the people could manage to get stuff stolen anywhere. One had 2 handbags stolen over 2 days - but she did put it on the floor near her chair in a cafe and left it!

Reminds me of landing in San Francisco and telling locals I was off to NYC - I had many many locals from SFX telling me not to go to NYC - it as a wild crazy lawless place. Ended up being the place I spent the most time, 3 months, in US and made many friends.
 

fxh

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Where in Paris are you staying? The Musee d' Orsay is probably my favorite, and the Musee de l'Orangerie is fantastic as well. Obviously the Louvre is the 300 lb gorilla in the room, but it has some awesome shit. I can maybe give better eating tips if I know where you are.
Staying out in 10th Arr. We aren't fine dining people - ( except on some special occasions - mostly I find its over priced and over rated) - but like doing what locals do - street food etc. Got friends from Melbourne in Toulouse - so will get more info there too.

London, you can tube all over. Cromwell Rd is Kensington mostly. You are right up on Harrods and a million tea and cake shops for the Arabs. But Chelsea is around the corner, could catch a Blues match at Stamford Bridge if you didn't hate sport. I'd head west toward St James and cruise all the gentlemens shops. It's like nirvana for people such as us. Jermyn St has all the shave and shoe stuff, plus shirt makers. St James St has the cigar and wine spots. Also can pop into Dukes for a martini or Red Lion for a pint. If you fancy buying any shirts I can let H&H know you are coming and give you some one to talk to (or you can just stroll in, they are very friendly). One spot I always recommend, and it would be right up your alley, is Gordon's Wine Bar on Villiers St. If you don't do anything else I mention, do this. Sell nothing but wine and stinky cheese in a medieval cellar. I would make a point to eat at The Footman off Berkeley Square and spend an evening in Sheperd Market just hanging out. Can eat at the Polish/Mexican restaurant, and then just cruise around the circle, it's like it's own little city within a city. Other places I fancy are Mews of Mayfair for Sunday roast, it's in a back alley in Mayfair, the Lyric in Soho (Thee Captain from FNB turned me on to this), the Windmill for hanging with tailors, and the Iron Duke next to Claridges I just learned about from a tip from my driver last April.

For attractions, the two things I've always liked most are Temple Church, which has Templars buried in the floor, and surprisingly good, the Tower.
Thanks for those tips - don't need any shirts - my brother and other friends tell me its hard, but important, to quickly realise you aren't in Melbourne when it comes to eating and coffee - the variety, quality and affordability of food is (literally) worlds apart.

I'll check out those recommendations but am slightly wary of anything THEE CAPTAIN might drink in. I might try and check out Hardy & Johnson for fit on jackets so I can order on-line if I want.
 

fxh

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My office mates in Barcelona have zero problems, and right on plaz. Catalyuna too. Though they are also clearly Spanish and Catalonian - I gather the locals are getting pretty fed up with Airbnb tourists etc. (As are we in Edinburgh!)
Usually I get mistaken for Italian, Greek, Spanish or "of Middle Eastern Appearance" - cant speak it tho. Ms fxh gets mistaken for Dutch
 

Kingstonian

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Staying out in 10th Arr. We aren't fine dining people - ( except on some special occasions - mostly I find its over priced and over rated) - but like doing what locals do - street food etc. Got friends from Melbourne in Toulouse - so will get more info there too.

Thanks for those tips - don't need any shirts - my brother and other friends tell me its hard, but important, to quickly realise you aren't in Melbourne when it comes to eating and coffee - the variety, quality and affordability of food is (literally) worlds apart.

I'll check out those recommendations but am slightly wary of anything THEE CAPTAIN might drink in. I might try and check out Hardy & Johnson for fit on jackets so I can order on-line if I want.
‘Catching a blues match at Stamford Bridge’. That would mean getting a ticket from a tout, paying over the odds - if they were at home and seats available. Terrible tourist thing to do. You see these people looking at their mobile phones while the game is on and taking selfies beforehand at many Premier League grounds
 

Kingstonian

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Hardy and Johnson are very nice people but they operate - by appointment - from a house in Putney. Not every day of the week either.
 

Kingstonian

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If you want a less touristy museum Wallace Collection in Marylebone is a nice size. Laughing Cavalier painting plus Fragonard plus suits of armour and they offer free quick guided tours during the day to highlight the more interesting stuff. Marylebone has a less annoying class of tourist too.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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My BCN - was a bit exaggerated - I'm only hiring one body guard - but based on stories from everyone I know who's been there. Mind you some of the people could manage to get stuff stolen anywhere. One had 2 handbags stolen over 2 days - but she did put it on the floor near her chair in a cafe and left it!

Reminds me of landing in San Francisco and telling locals I was off to NYC - I had many many locals from SFX telling me not to go to NYC - it as a wild crazy lawless place. Ended up being the place I spent the most time, 3 months, in US and made many friends.
Barcelona is the only place I've ever been to where the local business elite boasted about the ability of their young ladies to rip off foreigners and lead them astray before pickpocketing or clipping their wallet. Strange cats.


Staying out in 10th Arr. We aren't fine dining people - ( except on some special occasions - mostly I find its over priced and over rated) - but like doing what locals do - street food etc. Got friends from Melbourne in Toulouse - so will get more info there too.

Thanks for those tips - don't need any shirts - my brother and other friends tell me its hard, but important, to quickly realise you aren't in Melbourne when it comes to eating and coffee - the variety, quality and affordability of food is (literally) worlds apart.

I'll check out those recommendations but am slightly wary of anything THEE CAPTAIN might drink in. I might try and check out Hardy & Johnson for fit on jackets so I can order on-line if I want.
Decent coffee can be problem in the UK in the provinces and although it's a lot better than it use to be, you can find yourself in a pickle if you're looking for access to proper Mediterrean salads and food that's not so greasy. Yes, you'll get it, but it will be saturated in dressing. And the famous Indian cuisine can be fat heavy too, very noticeable if you've been away for a long time. Also the tap water is pretty dreadful and chlorine to unpalatable extreme and yet they still pretend it's fit for human consumption with a smell and taste of bleach.
 

doghouse

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Staying out in 10th Arr. We aren't fine dining people - ( except on some special occasions - mostly I find its over priced and over rated) - but like doing what locals do - street food etc. Got friends from Melbourne in Toulouse - so will get more info there too.

Thanks for those tips - don't need any shirts - my brother and other friends tell me its hard, but important, to quickly realise you aren't in Melbourne when it comes to eating and coffee - the variety, quality and affordability of food is (literally) worlds apart.

I'll check out those recommendations but am slightly wary of anything THEE CAPTAIN might drink in. I might try and check out Hardy & Johnson for fit on jackets so I can order on-line if I want.
I'm not super familiar with the 10th, I tend to stay on the Left Bank. You are close to the Sacre Coeur though, and Pere Lachaise in the other direction. The Pompidou Center is pretty close too, I really enjoy it. If you head down to the 11th and the Marais from where you are, there's a lot of up and coming and trendy spots. Our banned Euro FriendCustomer could give you more specifics than me if he were here.

As Kingstonian says ,H&J are basically run out of a house, by appointment. Putney isn't too far away, but its not close either.
 

fxh

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‘Catching a blues match at Stamford Bridge’. That would mean getting a ticket from a tout, paying over the odds - if they were at home and seats available. Terrible tourist thing to do. You see these people looking at their mobile phones while the game is on and taking selfies beforehand at many Premier League grounds
I spend much time and effort avoiding anything remotely sporting here in Oz. I’m hardly likely to seek out sporting yobs and contests on my travels. Unless it was say WWF or Curling in Aberdeen.
 

doghouse

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I spend much time and effort avoiding anything remotely sporting here in Oz. I’m hardly likely to seek out sporting yobs and contests on my travels. Unless it was say WWF or Curling in Aberdeen.
Kingstonian didn't realize the line was a joke about your love affair with sport.
 

güero

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Barcelona is the only place I've ever been to where the local business elite boasted about the ability of their young ladies to rip off foreigners and lead them astray before pickpocketing or clipping their wallet. Strange cats.
Barcelona has a word-class pickpocketing industry, I have been told by several locals as well. Apparently many innovations in contemporary pickpocketing are developed and brought to market there.
 

walker

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Fwiffo

first of all, whoever was responsible for the selection of the restaurants. he did an excellent job. btw, I assume your hotel wasn't in the city also, right?

I haven't been to all the places myself, but they come up when the talk is about recommendations off the tourist paths, well done.

none of these places belong to a chain.

e.g. just because the plachutta family runs a few places - https://www.plachutta.at/. they cannot be a called a chain. all places have their individual charme and their clientele, some overlapping cannot be denied, though.

while not longer in the portfolio, the patron of the family was responsible for one of the first gault-millau decorated restaurants in the 18 - 20 points category. they are a primitive rock in the restaurant scene of vienna.

Places to eat
Waldviertlerhof
Gasthaus stafler
Strasser Brau (chain?)
Ulrich - next to the St. Ulrich church
Brandauers Bierbögen
Schwabl Wirt
D'Landsknecht

On the last night it rained so we went to some place called Mario's so I could indulge in buffalo mozzarella.

Yes. That's it. We sat at the bar area. After about 2100, people started lighting up all manners of cigarettes and cigars around us. It made me tempted. I had the buffalo mozzarella from apulia and Überbackene Zitronentarte mit frischen Erdbeeren - which I think is a lemon tart. Wasn't really hungry with all the wine. I'm naturally wary of chains and franchises especially around tourist areas. Thanks for the backdrop. I'm sure it won't be my last time to Vienna if I continue to be in this firm.
 

Fwiffo

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Fwiffo

first of all, whoever was responsible for the selection of the restaurants. he did an excellent job. btw, I assume your hotel wasn't in the city also, right?

I haven't been to all the places myself, but they come up when the talk is about recommendations off the tourist paths, well done.

none of these places belong to a chain.

e.g. just because the plachutta family runs a few places - https://www.plachutta.at/. they cannot be a called a chain. all places have their individual charme and their clientele, some overlapping cannot be denied, though.

while not longer in the portfolio, the patron of the family was responsible for one of the first gault-millau decorated restaurants in the 18 - 20 points category. they are a primitive rock in the restaurant scene of vienna.
I was staying near Schönbrunn Palace. Actually I picked all the restaurants except for Waldviertlerhof. I used yelp - although I reckon yelp is more for anglophones aka tourists. I picked the recently reviewed ones. Mario's we just stumbled on but the other ones were a mixture of yelp and google reviews.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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I was staying near Schönbrunn Palace. Actually I picked all the restaurants except for Waldviertlerhof. I used yelp - although I reckon yelp is more for anglophones aka tourists. I picked the recently reviewed ones. Mario's we just stumbled on but the other ones were a mixture of yelp and google reviews.
Interesting, I will use the internet to help pick a hotel, but once I'm there I rely on the vibe when walking around, or local recommendations on restaurants. Although in general, I never trust the concierge.
 

walker

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Interesting, I will use the internet to help pick a hotel, but once I'm there I rely on the vibe when walking around, or local recommendations on restaurants. Although in general, I never trust the concierge.
I agree on both accounts. but in this case - the area around schönnbrunn is a bit of a dessert regarding restaurants, if you're not familiar with the hood, so to say. plus, if Fwiffo research on yelp brings out these results, you can be more than happy. also, yelp is not very popular in europe, so it is much more surprising to me.
 

Dropbear

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Any recommendations for eating and doing stuff in St Louis? Conference later this month.
 

Fwiffo

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I've never been to the Caribbean. Has anyone been to Curacao? What is there to do there? I'm having a hard time getting a flight back as AC only goes there every Sunday and I'm afraid I will be bored out of my mind there as someone who shuns beaches and prefers urban skyscrapers.
 

Thruth

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I've never been to the Caribbean. Has anyone been to Curacao? What is there to do there? I'm having a hard time getting a flight back as AC only goes there every Sunday and I'm afraid I will be bored out of my mind there as someone who shuns beaches and prefers urban skyscrapers.
You can go drink and gamble at the casinos. Tour the historic district and its Dutch colonial architecture. Tour the forts. Shop.

So not much for you to do but drink.
 

Fwiffo

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You can go drink and gamble at the casinos. Tour the historic district and its Dutch colonial architecture. Tour the forts. Shop.

So not much for you to do but drink.
Well that and the Romanian.

I like colonial things. I've always wanted to go to Gibraltar.
 

doghouse

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I've never been to the Caribbean. Has anyone been to Curacao? What is there to do there? I'm having a hard time getting a flight back as AC only goes there every Sunday and I'm afraid I will be bored out of my mind there as someone who shuns beaches and prefers urban skyscrapers.
Curacao isn't the best island, but it beats being up north.
 

Fwiffo

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Big Fish - Masaki Saito

Does anyone know him from his time in New York? He opened a new place here and is doing $500/seat dinners. To be honest as I read the article he sounds like a wanker especially when around women so I'm a bit leery to even bring female company there.
 

ballmouse

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Has anyone ever been to Medellin or Colombia? Going in a few days, and I'd like to know if there's more than paragliding and eating at the markets (only 2 things I've found at the moment).
 

ter1413

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Has anyone ever been to Medellin or Colombia? Going in a few days, and I'd like to know if there's more than paragliding and eating at the markets (only 2 things I've found at the moment).

My sister in law is Colombian. I am actually up at their place(upstate NY) for the wknd. She goes back almost every year around Christmas with my niece. My brother has never gone.....no clue why! I am waiting for an invite!

She is at work right now. Will ask later.
 

Dropbear

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Has anyone ever been to Medellin or Colombia? Going in a few days, and I'd like to know if there's more than paragliding and eating at the markets (only 2 things I've found at the moment).
69AAD00E-1627-42E7-91B9-FBC25DDBE183.jpeg
 
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Rambo

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Has anyone ever been to Medellin or Colombia? Going in a few days, and I'd like to know if there's more than paragliding and eating at the markets (only 2 things I've found at the moment).
Columbia is a BIG country so narrowing it down past Medellin or the rest of the country might help a bit. Medellin was fun but you dont need more than a few days. Gorgeous women. Cartagena is a wonderful place. Rest of the country has diving, beaches, parks, tourist shit, fishing, the whole nine yards
 

Fwiffo

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My lady friend stuck in Curacao says the shopping is great but I surmise she only went to Bogota.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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Sound nice though. Would love to visit Bilbao and San Sebastian.
Well worth a visit and if you're into modern and contemporary art, that hotel is literally over the road of all of this with a rooftop bar with panorama of it all:

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Whilst reasonable cocktails:

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The desire to fit in with the gallery, means the restaurant is somewhat stark. Okay at breakfast time on the 7th floor, but at evening time no good for the business traveller alone who wants to blend into the background and people watch down at ground floor level. The rooms are good. Wine list pretty naff.

Impressed with Bilbao what I saw. No rough edges. Distinctive. The Basque landscape too. A landscape of greenery, trees and hard granite looking crags and rock climbing country.

Sadly, the Basque country company I visited was pretty much the worse type of ambassador you could wish for your organisation, country or region. Considering some had flown in from the Far East - they delayed the meeting saying the meeting room was already booked, no offer of tea or coffee or even lunch for a 6 hour meeting. I couldn't help put show my distaste, on leaving I said in very loud voice ''Thank you for the tea and coffee.''

Edit: I didn't get to San Sebastian, but my Japanese associates said it's very picturesque and full of character.
 
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Fwiffo

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Sadly, the Basque country company I visited was pretty much the worse type of ambassador you could wish for your organisation, country or region. Considering some had flown in from the Far East - they delayed the meeting saying the meeting room was already booked, no offer of tea or coffee or even lunch for a 6 hour meeting. I couldn't help put show my distaste, on leaving I said in very loud voice ''Thank you for the tea and coffee.''

Edit: I didn't get to San Sebastian, but my Japanese associates said it's very picturesque and full of character.
Were you expecting they also bow to your Japanese colleagues? 6 hours...did that include the siesta?
 
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