Valentino -Bingley

Valentino is a traditional Italian restaurant with such a happy feel to it. All credit goes to the wonderful and friendly staff who made us feel us part of their family and provided a relaxed atmosphere. We left with our tummies full and a happy heart at the end of the evening.

Haesje Claes – Amsterdam

At Haesje Claes, there were queues and lots of people packed into the entrance. Even though we had made a reservation, we still had to wait a while. But once seated, we could not fault the service, food or staff. Haesje Claes was a fabulous restaurant to sample traditional Dutch food.

Dakshin – Leicester

Melton Road and Belgrave Road are now known as the Golden Mile in Leicester. All through growing up, a trip to Leicester would be incomplete if Melton Road was not visited. It would be to the many Indian sweet shops and sari shops that would be the highlight of Melton Road.

Spaghetti House – Leicester Square

Spaghetti House has a rustic dining area but feels a bit dated. There is seating on the lower level as well as a few outdoor seats. The upstairs restaurant is not very spacious and feels a bit cramped. The menu is colourful and quite a few of the items look enticing. The staff are quick to take orders and also to bring the bill at the end of the meal.

Sopwell House – St Albans

A day out in St Albans included taking in the sights of the magnificent Cathedral and the park with its lakes. A well deserved relaxed afternoon in a luxury setting was in store after all the walking around.

Sticky Mango – Waterloo

There was a bit of confusion at first where the entrance to Sticky Mango was. It was instinct to go through the outdoor seating area but the entrance was actually around the corner. Equally confusing was that after going through the correct entrance, the staff led us first down the stairs and then up again to get back to street level of the restaurant.

Pier Eight – Salford

The Lowry is an arts centre, full of exhibitions, art installations, a theatre and galleries. A treat after a trip to the theatre was having a meal at The Lowry’s Pier Eight restaurant. Pier Eight has a setting of waterside views. It was nice to have lots of time to relax while dining, to chat and reflect on how enjoyable the show was.

Lille Opera Brasserie – Lille

Arriving early at Lille Opera Brasserie, the staff did not turn me away. Instead a seat was given at the bar until the table was ready.

Gilly’s Fry Bar – Finsbury Park

Quoting a friend of mine, “any food tastes better when it’s fried”. But that doesn’t mean that the food isn’t already tasty before being fried.

Chai Paani – Leicester

Chai Paani basically means tea water. It’s a phrase that is used when guests come to your house and you are offering them drinks. Hence the name of this restaurant kind of reflects the influence of the Indian community of Leicester.

Ursprung – Berlin

Ursprung is hidden away on the lower level of the Dussmann das KulturKaufhaus bookshop. It has a beautiful vertical garden with a fish pond. There is a serenity to this place with the greenery. Ursprung feels like a haven; a world away from the busy street above.