Madeira for Easter

At various points in its history it has had booms from sugar cane, wine and bananas and visits from Darwin, Napoleon, Picasso, Churchill and Banks.  We loved this place for delicious seafood Portinho, Rua do Portinho, 9370-410 Madeira, Portugal and had a slightly rain interrupted trip to the lava pools in Porto Moniz.  We stayed at a brilliant apartment in Paul do Mar called The Docks Apartments. There it is, just at the end of the dock in the picture below.  Scenery was stunning and there was a fairly challenging walk up the cliff the the Jardin Atlantico hotel (2.5km / 600+ metres of climbing) to keep us entertained between bouts of seafood.

PauldoMarMadeira

Le Verre Vole & Mary Celeste, Paris

Our friends at Apartments Actually recommended a great restaurant for us last weekend. We had a drink at the Mary Celeste, who sell pints of Brooklyn Lager and a twist on a the Margarita called El Curado. We tried Le Verre Vole, 67 rue de Lancry, 75010; by the Canal St Martin. Delicious selection of things to try and they don’t have a wine list as such but bring out a bottle or two to match whatever you’ve ordered.  We both couldn’t resist asparagus and bonito / tuna which was smothered in hollandaise sauce and a few other bits (fennel and raddichio) thrown in. Apparently bonito goes well with Crozes Hermitage so we had a bottle of 2013 C’est le printemps (R.J. Dard & F. Ribo from Mercurol (Drome)).

LeVerreVole

A few more recommendations to work through for next time. Les Enfants Rouge, The Fish Club, Beaucoup and for breakfast,  Rose Bakery

Lisbon / Lisboa restaurants

We found two good places to eat in Lisbon.  One was a recommendation for seafood was from the excellent apartment(s), (yes we stayed there twice, but its a long story) called Baixa House and the other a recommendation from a local.  The first was an Italian called Casanostra (cosy, homely) and the other, a seafood place called SeaMe (sushi, seafood, even a DJ by the looks of it but we were fed, watered and home before they even turned on the power).

The Drunken Duck, Lake District

With most of the UK flooded, it was no surprise that our attempt at a walk (even one described as an ‘easy stroll‘) was not a success.  It was so wet we weren’t even sure we had found the path and then decided that the best way out was over a slippery mossy fence someone’s backyard.  Once we had dusted off the moss, we aborted the walk in favour of a pub lunch and an open fire.

The Drunken Duck had been recommended to us.  Initially we were more interested in drying our trousers and socks than the food but once the Lancashire cheese souffle and Cullen Skink turned up we forgot our feet.  The Drunken Duck brews their own ale and makes sandwiches which are wrapped and walker friendly.  The background of the name of the pub is in the photos.

Coffee stop, Berlin

This is the second time we have happened across this cafe. A cracking cup at roststatte. (röststätte // ackerstr. 173 // mitte)

3 minutes sur mer á Berlin

Another great recommendation from Max. Following from a great tip to try Monsieur Vuong (vietnamese fusion) we tried out 3 Minutes Sur Mer. 3 minutes is a Parisienne style bistro. I tried halibut with olives and a side of brioche with prunes. Sounds a bit weird but it was tasty. Other dishes we ordered include a salmon salad, entrecôte, and a megeuz sausage with a bottle of Pinot from Bourgogne. Less than 45 euros per person. Would definitely pay a return visit. If you like Max’s recommendations, here is the full list:

  • 3 Minutes Sur Mer!; Torstr. 166 (Bergstr.), Mitte; T. 030 6730 2052; good french bistro too cool for website…………….

Trangallan Galician restaurant.

Hmmm, chiporones, tortilla, salt cod, and a delicious soft cheese with honey. We found out that the English equivalent of Tragallan was the sort of word a grandfather would use to tell off a naughty child and the nickname of one of their old friends from their home city of Ourense. Trangallan used to like to misbehave in post Franco Spain and the menus have black and white photos of Trangallan in lavish costume (mostly women’s dresses). We tasted some Oloroso sherry with the cheese and honey.

The sherry menu and wine list:

Ghisallo cycling museum

Ghisallo was a bit of a surprise.  On a rainy day in Bellagio we went for a drive and found ourselves heading up a hill called Ghisallo  I vaguely recalled that this was the name of the top of the range Litespeed Ti frame (here is a link to a photo from the catalogue from 2006).  The cycling museum was built in ?2006? (my Italian is no good) and houses some incredible historical frames including a 1920 Bianchi and the 1948 Tour de France bike of Bartali (unrestored!).  The old frames are not that different (in principle) to today’s only more perilous to change gears as you needed to reach back and grab the lever, just near the spokes of the wooden rimmed rear wheel and shift the lever.  Insane stuff.  Sadly I worked out too late that the Church, the Madonna di Ghisallo is also well worth visit.

 

Magmatrek up Stromboli

I am not usually a huge fan of tours but I am a fan of Magmatrek and Stromboli.  The excitement of your experience is down to the whim of the mountain on the day.  Our guide said that last year, they were sheltering under concrete bunkers (it was only open to professionals).  Today seemed just about right for us – loud, slightly warm (toaster strength from 200m) and bright.  It’s about 2.5hrs up and 2hrs down.

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  • If you want to see what you climb up and down, click here.
  • And if you want to hear it roar.