Written by Lynsey Oxton
Who goes on holiday and doesn’t look forward to sampling the local cuisine? Nobody. Not ever. After all, it’s the perfect excuse to pig out!
I love food (my waistline reminds me of this everyday!) and there’s very little I don’t like. There’s most definitely a lot that I do like – and here’s some of my favourite finds so far….
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La Escalona: Seville, Spain 🇪🇸
It really does make my mouth water just looking at those pictures and reminiscing about how good this Spanish restaurant was! Located in the centre of Seville in the Plaza de la Alfalfa, La Escolana specialises in traditional Seville and Andalusian tapas. As you can see, we opted for some croquettes, melted brie, seafood paella, pork skewers and chicken with mustard – all washed down with a jug of sangria, al fresco. Perfecto! Not only is the menu extensive and the tapas ultra tasty, but the presentation is so precise – look at those colours! It’s certainly a restaurant that tries hard – and succeeds. Check out La Escolana for yourself. €€€
Olivi: Agia Marina, Crete 🇬🇷
Set in a pretty courtyard, surrounded by olive groves, I defy you not to love this romantic little family-run taverna. There’s little better than dining (and drinking) in the evening sun, with beautiful surroundings and with the warmest of welcomes. And the food – wow – simply stunning Greek flavours! As well as the traditional Greek dishes, they have a wood oven for delicious pizzas too. If you’re a fan of lamb kleftiko, you’ll do well to find better. Inexpensive and with an extensive choice of food and drink, it’s an absolute winner. If you find yourself in the Chania area of Crete, it’s well worth a trip out to Agia Marina to sample this delightful taverna; I guarantee you won’t regret going to Olivi. €€
The USA 🇺🇸
Cafe Tu Tu Tango: Orlando, Florida 🇺🇸
This restaurant can be found on the world-famous International Drive and is a welcomed tapas treat amongst the American fast food outlets. Go inside and you’re immediately greeted with art, art and even more art, which is sold on the premises and painted by local artists whilst you sit and enjoy your food. Even the plates pop with colour! Of course, it goes without saying that the food is uber-yummy (sliders, mini-dogs, tacos, meatballs – and all finished off with chocolate dipped cheesecake lollipops!) – but Cafe Tu Tu Tango makes the list as much for the ambiance as it does the avocado hummus! $$
Manny’s Original Chophouse: Haines City, Florida 🇺🇸
If you’ve been reading my blogs, you will already know that Manny’s Chophouse is a big hit with me. It’s an even bigger hit with my partner who is a proper steak connoisseur! I have to confess that steak doesn’t usually top my list of choices when I dine out, but this place does it like no one else and I usually opt for the filet mignon which is melt-in-the-mouth delicious. Of course, Manny’s doesn’t just do steak, you will find everything from fajitas to salads too. Every time we go, it’s super-busy so you’re well advised to book ahead. There are no airs and graces in Manny’s Chophouse – just good hearty grub in seriously cool surroundings. $$
Great Britain 🇬🇧
The Hand And Flowers: Marlow, Buckinghamshire 🇬🇧
Tom Kerridge is a well-known multi-michelin star chef here in England and The Hand and Flowers was his first protege. This ‘posh pub’ is nestled in the little village of Marlow, about a 45 minute drive from central London. Ok, it’s not cheap with main courses around the £40 mark (if not more), but it’s worth the treat because the food is rich in flavour and looks the business too, in typical michelin style. The complimentary whitebait is a nice, tasty touch too! Although it’s a more laid back, relaxed environment than most other michelin restaurants (and that’s part of the charm), the service is still spot on and you are certainly made to feel special during your visit. If you have a special occasion coming up, you might want to consider the Hand and Flowers. Check it out. ££££
The Easy Fish Company: Heaton Moor, near Manchester 🇬🇧
You’ve been let into a real secret with this one. Of course, there’s a clue in the title – so a love of fish is a prerequisite. Situated in Heaton Moor (around a 15 minute drive South of Manchester City Centre) sits the best restaurant in Stockport! Almost hidden from view in the back of a local fishmonger shop, the restaurant is small but always packed because those in the know, know where to go! It’s a little pricey but you are guaranteed excellent quality produce with the finest cookery. I’ve almost worked my way through the menu over the years and I’ve never had a bad meal. If you’re going as a couple, my advice would be to order their famous ‘taste of the sea’ platter, with a little bit of everything on it; perfect for two. If you turn up with an appetite, then why not throw in a bowl of Thai steamed mussels for good measure? To die for. Check out the website to see if it tickles your tastebuds.
Chino Latino: Vauxhall, London 🇬🇧
If you find yourself in London, head to Vauxhall Embankment and into the Riverbank Park Plaza Hotel, where you will find this fancy, modern, pan-Asian restaurant. Ok, so there are lots of places to eat in London, so why this one? Firstly, the restaurant is ultra- sophisticated, relaxed and with panoramic views out onto the River Thames. And secondly, the sushi is sensational! My photos don’t lie! If you love Asian food and want somewhere to try that will offer great variety of choice and stunning surroundings, then you might just like this one. If you happen to be staying at the hotel, to miss a meal here would be to miss out! Check out Chino Latino for yourself! £££