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Five Best Bars and Restaurants in London: Travel Opinion and Analysis

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London, the capital of England and UK, is also the capital of arts, entertainment, education and fashion. Learning about arts and theaters and English literature during school time, some of the streets, theater names had got registered in my mind so prominently that when I first time visited London I felt as if I have been there before. Familiar street names, familiar building names and the scenes of Big Ben, Thames river, Palace of Westminster, and red coloured Double Decker buses and phone booth everything gives me a Déjà vu.

London is also one of the biggest transport hub of the world. If you are a frequent traveller  there is a big chance that you will come to London at least once even if you did not want to. I was here on my educational trip, working hard and spending time in learning and enhancing my skills during the day, I spent my evening exploring the London bars and night life of the city. I used to visit these places just to sense the London’s youth spirit  I had not thought that I will write an article ever on it, but I feel I have some good opinion about some of the bars in London and today I can share my experience on five of my favourites.

1. Nightjar

129 City Road, London

I would recommend you to visit this bar situated at City Road just north of Old Street tube station. You must Email and confirm your arrival before entering. As soon as you enter this place, you emerge into 20th century environment. They play live jazz and their menu talks about the history of cocktails which gives you the real speakeasy atmosphere. Food is good, but Cocktails are amazing, the waiters are gentle and will suggest you the best cocktails according to your taste. All cocktails had certain flamboyance and the garnishes were amazing. They served my ordered cocktail in steamy copper teapot. It was inventive, and reasonably priced. The average price per cocktail was around £10. The bar is not so big and tables are closely packed, you might have to wait if you did not book your table in advance. Sometimes you may even have to book two weeks in advance, as its popularity is increasing day by day.

Drinks which I tried and you would love too.

  1. Smoky candy floss
  2. Cheddar cheese-matured monkey shoulder
  3. Nightjar Pomelo Jelly
  4. Fig perfume
  5. Oolong infusion
  6. Fresh squeezed lemon
nightjar bar in London
Jazz Music in Night Jar,  Photo taken by Mecaniques

2. Gordon’s Wine Bar

47 Villiers Street, London WC2N 6NE, England (Charing Cross / Trafalgar Square)

It is also a good self serviced bar I had visited; oldest licensed wine bar in London. It is an underground bar, made in a former tube station. It is easily accessible from Embankment Tube stop, short walk from the London Eye or Trafalgar Square. As the name suggests you will find only wines here. A large range of award winning wines are fairly priced for London. You would love this place if you love wine, and you can do the real justice to the beauty of wine here. It is a dark cavern style place with candle lit inside old wine bottle on every table. The atmosphere was great but the lights were dim, and the walls were close and ceilings were low, not a big bar either. Claustrophobics may not like to be here. My friend and I had shared a bottle of red wine with a three cheese plate (which comes with a half loaf of French bread, relishes and pickles) and we were very satisfied for under £45. Cheese were amazing and have good range to order. You might have to wait for table, or if you are comfortable, you may just ask a person if you can join him. Watch out for pick pocketers, I have heard some stories, however I did not experience anything like that. Still I would advice to be cautious and enjoy the wine!

Gordon's wine bar in london
Gordon’s Wine Bar, Photo taken by Graeme Maclean

3. Bar 61 Restaurant

61a Streatham Hill, London SW2 4TX, England

Head to Bar 61 if you love Spanish cuisine and want to try some authentic Tapas in London. This is another wonderful place in London to try some great wines. They also serve cocktails, which were OK. Food is delicious. The service is compared to five star and the staff is great, don’t get surprised if you are welcomed with warm hugs and kisses. The environment is cozy, simple and you will feel homely. Tapas are excellent as you would have had in best restaurants in Spain, I tried Pollo Al Ajillo, and I can say it was literally delicious. Some of the guests I talked to were very happy with the restaurant and most of them had a long relation with this place. Many people have been coming here for past nine to ten years, which is very good to hear. The restaurant is for everyone from couples to family. When I was there, there was a birthday celebration of a five years old kid.

4. Euston Tap

190 Euston Road, London NW1 2EF, England

This place is small, a living room sized bar right in front of Euston railway station. But you have fantastic range of ales and beers. The building is a Grade II-listed Portland stone lodge from the original station built in the 1830s. The place sometimes feel so small that everyone around you feels like a close friend and you might end up making some friends. You might be invited in someone’s ongoing conversation too. The bar has two floors and has around 27 taps from all over the world. Being so close to the railway station, it is also the place where people come to drink when waiting for their trains. If you are a beer lover then you must come here. With a rotating cask range and plenty to offer on draught you won’t even need to think about the more than hundred bottles in the fridge.

Euston Tap beer bar in London
Euston Tap, Photo taken by  Bernt Rostad

5. Dabbous Restaurant

39 Whitfield Street | Fitzrovia, London W1T 2SF, England

A nice place, good food and cocktails. The place had a aesthetic look, felt like as if you are in New York City. The flavours lived up to the hype which has been adequately reported in reviews around the web. The food is so unique and so light for what I suppose is modern French cuisine. Wine list was nice and compact .The restaurant has polished concrete walls, bare light bulbs and a lot of metalwork. The tables are plain wood and there are no fancy touches; just good linen napkins and well balanced cutlery. The service was impeccable. However you might have to book a table four to six months in advance. In rare cases you might have to book it ten months in advance. My friends had kept it already booked for me when I arrived. The bar is downstairs with sensational Cocktails, don’t leave without going downstairs to the bar if you had come to the restaurant. I had an amazing cocktail, Italian Fizz, garnished with sage leaf.

codled egg at dabbous bar and restaurant in london
Coddled egg with mushrooms and smoked butter at Dabbous, Photo taken by Kake Pugh

If you have visited these bars and restaurants do share your opinion or experience about it in our comment section. I would love to try more London’s amazing bars and restaurants when I will be back again.

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Travel

7 Travel Safety Tips You Should Know

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Travelling can be enthralling, but have you ever asked yourself what if you get robbed? What if you get kidnapped? Or you get lost? 

Leaving the comfort of your home to explore a foreign country can be an exciting experience. However, several worst-case scenarios can make you anxious when travelling overseas. From losing precious items and getting injured to theft or kidnapping, a lot can happen abroad. 

The first step is to acknowledge that bad things can happen, which is part of the adventure. With these safety tips below, you can protect yourself as a traveller and have peace of mind.

 Conduct Sufficient Research 

Research and gather a lot of information. Travel safety starts even before you board that plane. Google about your destination and know the common risks and prevalent scams in that country. Get to know the safe and unsafe neighbourhoods. 

Ensure you read reviews in the places you’ll visit or the hotel you’ll be staying in. Check if your rent property is in a safe environment. Read blogs from travel bloggers to find if there is anything written about your destination. You can watch videos on YouTube to learn a few things. You can listen to the accent, see attraction sites, and what the landscape looks like.  

TripAdvisor is also a great platform where you can search your destination before travelling. It’s great for hotels, restaurants, local attractions, and tour companies. Read reviews to get valuable information from previous clients. 

Doing research helps you feel confident and comfortable when travelling. 

Buy Travel Insurance 

A vacation isn’t a vast investment, like buying a car or house, but you still need a lot of money. Buying airfare, paying for tour guides, and accommodation needs tons of cash. The travel insurance cover protects you from lost or damaged items. 

It can be expensive to replace items like electronic devices, clothes, and medication. You might also get hurt or sick while in a foreign country. If you get hurt or sick before travelling, you’ll have to cancel your trip. With this, you’ll lose the full cost. In such a scenario, the travel insurance will reimburse the amount used. 

You may also need to get evacuated from a danger zone, and using helicopter transport can cost you a fortune. This is where travel insurance comes in. Early returns or losing a family or friend are other incidents that should motivate you to get insurance cover. 

However, ensure you get a comprehensive cover that will cater to almost every bill you might incur. Choose a reliable insurance provider to give direction and offer the necessary help. Check the reputation of the said company, their insurance packages, and don’t forget to read reviews. 

Share Information with a Reliable Friend or a Close Relative

Travelling is marred with uncertainties. Anything can happen when in a foreign land. That’s why you should let those close to you know about your whereabouts. 

In case of an emergency, you might not manage to communicate specific details. The insurance may require you to call before going to the hospital. They can help you find a reliable hospital nearby. 

It is always advisable to scan and print important documents and upload a digital cover of the insurance package.

Keep Your Money in Various Places

Never travel with all of your money in the same place. Stash emergency money throughout the luggage just in case you lose some. You can also place cash on your body but in different pockets. 

You may wear a money belt beneath your clothes or have a handy bra pocket to keep your credit cards and cash. Invest in an excellent zippered passport pocket that can hold a phone and a passport. This way, even if you get robbed, you’ll still have some cash and cards tucked away. 

More so, be mindful of purses and pockets when in a crowded place. It’s too easy to get pickpocketed in a crowded subway or bus. Criminals know their target pretty well, but you can give them a hard time trying to rob you. 

If you get into a crowded place, keep your hands-on any pocket that has your valuables. If possible, tuck the purse underneath your arm to ensure it opens towards your body and hard to access. Ensure the purse can be zipped, covered, or fastened. 

Avoid keeping stuff in your back pocket as it’s an easy target. Also, it’s recommended to ditch the purse and wallet altogether. 

Lock Your Bags

Locking your luggage can deter thieves. Zip your wallet and purse and lock your bags as well. A determined thief goes for easier targets. They know travellers carry tons of valuable items, and that’s why locking your luggage during transit is a great security measure. 

You can use non-TAS travel locks as they’re hard to break, unlike the universal TSA lock. However, you may use a TSA-approved travel lock for added security and peace of mind. 

Don’t Bring with You Your Precious Items

It’s easy to have items disappear while in transit. It could be a scarf you left in a park or sunglasses fell in the water as you were surfing. When packing for air travel, leave anything that will break your heart if it gets stolen or lost. 

For instance, leave your precious jewellery at home. Carrying education or property documents is risky. Bring cheap items like a travel-friendly necklace or wedding ring, an older smartphone, or inexpensive clothes. 

Watch Your Drinks 

When in a foreign country, you become an easy prey. No matter the circumstances, ensure you watch over your drinks. Make sure you see what’s being poured so someone doesn’t spike your drink

It would also be best to avoid getting drunk. If you usually take six drinks, reduce to two. If you didn’t travel with a buddy, go everywhere with your drink, even to the washroom.

Every day there is news of travellers who have fallen victim to several crimes while travelling. This should be your huge concern in taking the necessary measures. Don’t be too naïve or optimistic to think it can never happen to you. 

But don’t allow anything to stop you from having an enthralling vacation. Follow these travel safety tips, and you’ll enjoy a peaceful trip. 

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A unique perspective of Jamaica

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Over the last years, Jamaica has become one of the most visited destinations by tourists in the entire world. This beautiful Caribbean island with its stunning beaches, rich nature and delicious gastronomy has everything you could wish for in a holiday destination. However, if you want to experience Jamaican culture in a unique way while interacting with nature hand in hand, there is a place you can not miss during your trip: Yaaman Adventure Park.

The most original holidays

Jamaica is famous as a beach holidays destination. And who can really blame those that choose to visit the country because of this? Its white sand beaches with crystal clear waters and jungle right next to the shores make out for some breathtaking views. However, Jamaica has so much more to bring into the table. A good example of this can be found in the famous tours in Ocho Rios offered by Yaaman Adventure Park.

Ocho Rios is known as the most touristic area on the entire island. And in an area with such a wide catalogue of activities focused towards tourists, we can find Yaaman Adventure Park. Formerly known as Prospect Plantation, Yaaman Adventure Park original placement used to be an 18th Century agricultural property with a lot of history and cultural points. Yaaman Adventure Park offers its visitors the opportunity to interact hand in hand with nature in a lot of adrenaline filled adventures that will make out for unforgettable experiences. 

Do not limit yourself to simply laying on the beach, discover the beautiful island of Jamaica and its culture in a fun and original way. 

The perfect activities for everyone in the family

There are as many types of holidays as there are types of people in the world. Yaaman Adventure Park is aware of this, and that is why they offer a wide catalogue of activities in Ocho Rios that will adapt to everyone’s needs. Your age does not matter, there is the perfect activity waiting for you at Yaaman Adventure Park. Yaaman Adventure Park has a lot of fun activities that will allow you to interact with nature, as well as some more relaxing ones that will help you understand Jamaican culture better. Some of their most renown activities include:

Bird aviary tour

An activity that everyone in the family will surely love! In this aviary, you will be able to interact with exotic and local birds while they freely fly around you. The aviary is a tropical heaven for the birds that live there, and will make you feel like you have been transported to a fairytale world.

Swim with dolphins

Dolphins are some of the most beloved sea animals in the world. And in Yaaman Adventure Park you will be able to swim with dolphins in their unique shore excursions in Ocho Rios. These loving creatures are very smart and love interacting with the visitors. During these excursions, you will be able to swim with them and even hug and kiss the lovely dolphins. 

Cook genuine Jamaican recipes

Jamaica has one of the most delicious cuisines in the world. Their traditional colourful dishes are full of unique flavours that will not disappoint your palate. On the cooking tour offered by Yaaman Adventure Park, you will learn how to prepare the traditional “Jamaican Fare”. The famous chef Irie will teach you all the secrets of this dish consisting of festival, Steamed Callaloo and chicken. All of this while you enjoy some breathtaking views 1100 feet above sea level.

But these are only some of the activities you will be able to enjoy at Yaaman Adventure Park. From Mud buggies tours to tours across near stunning rivers, rides on the back of camels or a jitney ride, the possibilities at this park seem endless. So if you are looking for a fun and original alternative for your next holidays, then look no further, Yaaman Adventure Park is the perfect place to go.

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How much money do you need to live comfortably in Spain?

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malaga andalusia spain

There are plenty of reasons why you may be thinking about living in Spain: its population is friendly and kind; its climate, especially in the coastal areas, is enviable; its gastronomy is incredible… but, what about its prices? What is the most affordable way to live in Spain?

Perhaps the most important question if you decided to go: would it be better to buy instead of renting a property in Spain. Or yet living in a Spanish residence?

Spanish cities where to live cheap and well

In the geographical variety that Spain presents, we can find many differences in average salaries and the standard of living that reside there would require. The areas of Galicia, Extremadura, Castilla y León, together with Almería and the south of Alicante usually have a lower price of euros/square meter in their homes. The quality of life is really appreciable, but you should know that there are fewer possibilities for business and transports.

The autonomous community of the Basque Country, Catalonia, and Madrid, which have higher than average incomes (normally more than 24,000 euros per year), also have higher prices. However, Madrid has such a wide range of rents that it sometimes makes them cheaper than other countries. 

In addition, and taking into account the tourist seasons, the areas of Valencia and Andalusia are normally a preference when it comes to living in Spain for a while or even spending your retirement. Although day-to-day life can be more expensive than in other areas of Spain, the mild climate and variety of leisure options are often worth it in the long run. 

Whatever your option is when moving to another country, especially if you don’t know its legal system, can be very tiresome. That’s why our advice is to try to contact local agencies (that speak English) to give you fair and fruitful advice. For example, to move to Andalusia, we usually recommend Tejada solicitors

I have already decided on the place. Now what?

Well, if you have already fully immersed yourself in the streets of a beautiful city that we have talked about, what should be your first step?

Decide what kind of stay you want to be in (since your future economic situation will also depend on this: taxes, permits…). You may have already chosen, for example, property conveyancing in Marbella, but it is recommended that you also think about renting a property, because it can be very profitable while you are in your other place of residence.

To sum up, before moving to a Spanish city, decide if you want to spend a little more money per month in exchange for the exceptional conditions that their precious land can give you; secondly, contact a reliable agency that will help you make the best investment and even more, apply for a Spanish residency if you are decided to stay for a long time.

And remember: a move is always a new beginning.

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