Savor Sarasota Restaurant Week, June 1-14

April 16, 2014 on 11:49 am | In Beachbooker, Dine Drink, Florida | Comments Off

Award-Winning Eateries Feature Prix Fixe Dining Experiences at Special Prices

Savor Sarasota Restaurant Week will return June 1 – 14, 2014. Hosted by Visit Sarasota County, this much-anticipated culinary celebration is in its ninth year. Special-priced lunch and dinner menus at participating restaurants, from fine dining to casual beach cafés and eclectic urban eateries await food-lovers. More than 45 restaurants participated in 2013 and this year’s line-up promises to bring an unprecedented group of participants as well.

With Florida’s highest concentration of Zagat-rated restaurants, there’s no better time to taste what’s cooking in Sarasota County. Creative chefs serve up authentic dishes of fresh Gulf seafood, dishes contrived of international flavors as well as innovative twists on classic favourites.

Throughout this year’s Savor Sarasota event, guests can enjoy £18 pre-fixe dinner menus from the destination’s acclaimed restaurants. Three-course lunch menus are also offered for just £10, allowing visitors to sample eclectic offerings for every palate.

For more information about the 2014 Savor Sarasota celebration – including featured chef profiles, a complete list of participating restaurants and pre-fixe, three-course menus, alongside upcoming events and accommodation packages – visit

Seven nights in Sarasota, Florida from only £979 per person

Fly from Gatwick to Tampa with British Airways on June 1 and spend seven nights at the Best Western Plus Siesta Key. This package costs from £979 per person based on two adults sharing on a room only basis and fully inclusive economy car hire. Subject to availability at the time of booking. For more information or to book visit  or call 020 8742 8299.

Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival – California

April 16, 2014 on 11:37 am | In California, Dine Drink, Festivals, Golf Resorts, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Webbandstand | Comments Off

Lovers of golf and food can combine the two perfectly at the annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival, taking place from 10 – 14 April. The festival, which last year attracted more than 7,000 visitors and over 350 chefs and wineries, is one of the West Coast’s signature culinary and lifestyle events. Visitors can enjoy unrivalled access to some of the USA’s top chefs, which in the past has included Thomas Keller, Roi Choi and Wolfgang Puck, with live cooking demonstrations, wine tastings and the prestigious Celebrity Chef & Winemaker Golf Tournament at Pebble Beach Golf Links. This world-famous resort hosts a number of special events throughout the year, including the Annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance (17 August), one of the USA’s finest gatherings of rare and antique cars from across the world. /

Taste of Chicago – Illinois

April 16, 2014 on 8:56 am | In Chicago, Dine Drink, Great Lakes, Midwest | Comments Off

Culinary travellers can head to Taste Chicago, the world’s largest outdoor food festival, for a gastronomic celebration of the city from 9 – 13 July. Held in Grant Park each year, the event offers visitors the chance to sample Chicago’s wide and diverse food scene including a variety of cuisines from American to Indian, Italian to African. With free entry to the grounds, live music concerts, cooking demonstrations and family-friendly activities featuring across the five days, it is a must-do event for foodies visiting the Windy City this summer. /

Philadelphia Tastes the High Life With Two New Restaurants

April 16, 2014 on 8:54 am | In Dine Drink, Midwest | Comments Off

New Bank & Bourbon Restaurant and 59th Floor at New Comcast Tower -

The restaurant scene in Philadelphia is set to reach a ‘whole new level’, with the opening of not one but two restaurants including Bank & Bourbon at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel and the 59th Floor restaurant in the new Comcast Tower, situated 900 feet above ground-level.

The two new additions will add to an already impressive and lively restaurant scene in Philadelphia. From over 22 restaurants by world-renowned chef Stephen Starr and the nation’s oldest continuously operating farmers’ market Reading Terminal Market, to high-end steakhouse chains such as Ruth’s Chris and Japanese fusion dishes at Morimoto, the City of Brotherly Love offers something for all tastes.

Further details on the new restaurants include:

New Bank & Bourbon Restaurant on Market Street

On 16 March 2014, the Loews Philadelphia Hotel on Market Street opened its brand new restaurant Bank & Bourbon following a full makeover of the ground-floor dining room. The new restaurant promises to be modern, yet with an air of rusticity and the menu will feature revamped versions of American classics as well as an extensive choice of Bourbon drinks run by a ‘Bourbon Master’. For more information, visit

New 59th Floor Restaurant in Centre City

Further excitement and high-end dining is also promised as a second tower has been approved by the City Planning Commission. The new skyscraper, due to open in 2017, promises a Four Seasons Hotel on the upmost floors and the top-floor restaurant, the 59th Floor, will offer panoramic views of the city. The Comcast Tower complex will become a jewel on the Philadelphia skyline, not only as the first skyscraper in the city but also as the 17th tallest building in the United States.

For more information on Philadelphia contact the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau at 0115 922 9255 or visit

New ‘Eye-Opening’ Restaurant To Overlook London’s Piccadilly Circus

April 16, 2014 on 8:50 am | In Dine Drink, London, United Kingdom | Comments Off

Central London attraction, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! London, known for its bizarre artefacts and interactive experiences, is set to launch the world’s first 500ft spherical restaurant, the ‘London Eyeball’.

Following the recent news about the planned redevelopment of the Trocadero, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! London plans to build the restaurant on the top of the existing attraction, located at 1 Piccadilly Circus. Construction is due to start later in the month for launch in time for summer 2015.

The restaurant will offer a wonderfully weird dining experience including fish and sheep’s heads and fried lizards as well as the chance to view the infamously hectic action that takes place in Piccadilly Circus with 360 degree views through the giant glass eyeball eatery.

Inspired by the ‘Cuban eye popper’, Avelino Perez Matos, the restaurant takes its design inspiration from the human eyeball. Diners will be able to indulge in a range of themed food and drinks which also feature other prominent characters from the attraction. For example:

- Russian ‘ukha’, a fish soup served complete with floating fish heads

- Icelandic ‘svio’, boiled sheep’s head – it is custom to eat the entire thing, including the ears and eyes

- Spicy fried lizard – inspired by Lizardman, who has tattooed his body green and created a forked tongue

- ‘Eyeball punch’, a tropical taste with floating fish eyes

- ‘Vampire’s Martini’, a dark and mysterious tipple

Rolf Pilao, spokesperson for Ripley’s Believe It or Not! London, said:

“We are incredibly excited about the new restaurant development. We will be the first of the global Ripley’s Believe It or Not! attractions to create such a unique experience and as we’ve seen with other London view-based attractions, such as The Shard and the London Eye, it is a hugely popular concept that we are keen to deliver with a bit of a twist. We expect the new restaurant to be a hit with visitors to the capital who want to see it from a very different angle as well as Londoners keen to experience something new and quirky.”

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! London is open seven days a week, 365 days a year from 10am until midnight (last admission 10.30pm). Tickets to this world of wonders situated in the heart of London’s West End are £26.95 per adult and £19.95 per child. Family tickets are £79.95 based on two adults and two children. Purchase your tickets online in advance and save 15%. For full pricing options please visit

Florida’s Hottest Spots & Nightlife

April 15, 2014 on 9:04 am | In Beachbooker, Dine Drink, Festivals, Florida, Golf Resorts, Hotels, Miami, Orlando, The Keys, Webbandstand | Comments Off

Northwest Florida:

Panama City Beach

Nightlife in northwest Florida may be best known for the spring break haven Panama City Beach, home to bars and clubs right on the Gulf. However, this destination is a hot spot year-round.

Have a night out at Club La Vela in Panama City Beach, the largest nightclub in the United States. Some of the highlights include the club’s famous lineup of popular concerts with some of the hottest bands in the land. Club La Vela has hosted concerts for MTV and Playboy featuring such acts as Black Eyed Peas, Lil’ Wayne, Drake, The Jersey Shore cast and many more.
Pineapple Willy’s Pier Bar – Check out this bar if you’re looking for live music and want to dance the night away. There are always people of all ages sipping “Fat Tuesday” slushy alcohol mixers and enjoying the beach scene.
Spinnaker Beach Club – At night, this place turns into one of the most energetic dance clubs around with multiple dance floors, an amazing bar and popular bands all season long.

Northeast Florida:


Located in Northeast Florida, Jacksonville’s thriving nightlife abounds with high-energy dance clubs, quaint wine bars and chic lounges.

“The Core” is home to a variety of nightlife venues in the heart of Downtown Jacksonville, centrally located in its main arteries from Bay, Forsyth and Adams Streets to The Jacksonville Landing.
For adults 21 and over, kick back and laugh at The Comedy Zone.
If you’re looking for places to hit for Happy Hour & cocktails, check out Brix Taphouse, The Ritz Bar & Cocktail Lounge and Lemon Bar on the Ocean (all under the same ownership and all known to be high-quality hot spots in Jacksonville).

Freebird Live is a premier live music concert venue that welcomes audiences of all ages. This destination showcases a spectrum of national and regional touring artists, as well as select inspiring local artists.
Kickbacks Gastropub is renowned for their extensive beer selection and a unique assortment of delicacies ranging from chicken cordon bleu to fried green beans.

Central Florida:


On Florida’s Gulf coast, Tampa has so many entertaining options, whether you’re looking for a night on the town or family fun.

Tampa’s historic Latin district, Ybor City, is a tourist favorite. Located in the heart of the nightlife action, this destination is a dining, shopping and entertainment center that includes a comedy club and a movie theater with an adults-only section with a full bar. On Seventh Avenue, stroll by club after club and chose your dance spot. Many have outdoor patios, rooftop bars and balconies.

Jump on an electric streetcar to Channelside Bay Plaza, yet another entertainment complex with restaurants, theaters and a handful of bars and clubs, including Splitsville, an upscale bowling alley with its own lounge and restaurant.


In Orlando the fun never ends, even after the sun goes down. Renowned for its theme parks, this destination has plenty of exciting nightlife outlets to explore.

In downtown Orlando, Church Street and vicinity has long been nightlife central, offering revelers countless bars, nightclubs, restaurants and major street parties. A historic space at 33 West Church Street houses three separate bars. Enjoy a frozen drink at Chillers (first floor), a brew at Big Belly Brewery (second floor) and an amazing view of Orlando’s skyline at the open-air Latitudes (rooftop).

Around the corner on Orange Avenue is Wall Street Plaza, which charges one admission fee for eight distinct bars and there are also outdoor block parties with live music.

Orlando’s theme parks are not just for kids. Both Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort have their own nightlife-centered entertainment complexes that get going after dark. Check out Universal Orlando’s CityWalk, an entertainment complex with a dozen places to party, including bars, clubs and restaurants. Disney’s Boardwalk is a quarter-mile promenade of exquisite dining, unique shops and exciting nightlife. And Downtown Disney is a fun-filled district that includes Downtown Disney West Side, Downtown Disney Marketplace and Pleasure Island.

South Florida:

West Palm Beach

There is always a good place in West Palm Beach to go to at night, spend time with friends, dance, eat, shop, drink and just generally have a terrific time.

For nightlife in downtown West Palm Beach, Clematis Street is the place to be. Beginning at Flagler Drive on the Intracoastal Waterway and extending five blocks west, there are about a dozen great bars and clubs. Equally fine are the restaurants that transform into clubs by night.

You can walk or take a free trolley a few blocks south of Clematis Street to CityPlace, home to restaurants, theaters and nightspots, including a wine bar, microbrewery and blues club.

Voted America’s Most Fun Small Town by Rand McNally, Delray Beach’s culinary landscape boasts more than 100 restaurants offering everything from ocean views to rooftop hot spots. Shoppers stroll the quaint shops and trendy boutiques of Downtown Delray Beach – check out the popular destinations Atlantic Avenue and Pineapple Grove.

Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale’s nightlife is alive with wine bars, nightclubs, sports bars, cultural outlets, shopping spots and comedy clubs.

In Fort Lauderdale, nightlife is always in fashion, especially in the chic Las Olas Boulevard area, home to upscale restaurants and lounges. You’ll have a great time when you spend the evening bar-hopping on Las Olas Boulevard.

The Gallery at Beach Place is the exclusive all-in-one entertainment destination on Fort Lauderdale beach offering a unique blend of shopping, dining, live musical performances and events.
Broadway shows, top headliners, and other theatrical thrills light up The Broward Center for Performing Arts.


In Miami’s South Beach, you can sip a key lime martini under the stars while rubbing elbows with celebrities.

Begin the night at a glittering outdoor café on Lincoln Road or sidle up to one of the sophisticated hotel bars lining Collins Avenue. For a true nighttime South Beach experience, though, make sure to cross the velvet rope and check out a trendy dance club.

Cameo is a legendary South Beach nightclub that has been completely redesigned for the New Millennium. It is considered a cut above the rest, with top-notch DJs from all over the world and outstanding live rock concerts.

The River Seafood & Oyster Bar is the most renowned seafood restaurant in Miami. A fun bar atmosphere, a great selection of wines, champagnes and beer chilled to perfection are the main ingredients to hit for a Happy Hour and dinner.

Key West

Party in Key West (Florida’s southernmost point), where you can gulp down a frosty margarita at one of many open-air bars – this destination offers a relaxing, live-and-let-live, Jimmy Buffett-approved atmosphere.

At sunset, head to Mallory Square, where crowds gather nightly to watch the sun go down and be entertained by street performers and musicians.
Then do the “Duval Crawl,” stopping at all the pubs and clubs on the famous – or infamous – Duval Street. Many watering holes feature live bands.

Dubai Delights Food Lovers With Unique Gastronomic Experiences

April 15, 2014 on 8:51 am | In Dine Drink, Dubai, London, United Kingdom | Comments Off

Delve into the delicious side of Dubai this spring and taste the best of the world’s gastronomy. With the first ever Dubai Food Festival heralded a huge success earlier this year, visitors can enjoy many more gastronomic delights by exploring the city’s culinary offering – enjoy a three-night stay from just £699 per person.

Boasting more than 10,000 eateries, Dubai has plenty to tempt travellers’ taste buds. Opt for elegant dining with a twist and enjoy the newest supperclub experience at Dubai’s Jumeirah Zabeel Saray. As a restaurant, cocktail bar, club and gallery rolled into one, supperclub offers the chance to cosy-up on oversized white beds and enjoy a truly unique mix of gorgeous food, exclusive musical performances and incredible art. Other must visits include the newly opened Cielo Tapas Bar & Sky Lounge, located at the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, which is a bodega-style tapas bar and restaurant serving seafood favourites; and the JW Marriott Marquis’ GQ Bar, which offers a menu of contemporary dishes created by former Royal chef, Gary Robinson.

Visitors to Dubai can also immerse themselves in the art of cookery, learning a skill that lives on long after the flight home. The chefs at Anantara Dubai showcase their take on Thai cuisine with ‘Spice Spoons’ masterclasses and you can learn from the best at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, with demonstrations in traditional Indian and authentic Vietnamese cuisine. Join Chef Pharm at Vôi for a flavour explosion as you learn the skills necessary to prepare various Vietnamese sauces and marinades. Or visit Amala restaurant and be wowed by Chef Aman as he creates rich North Indian delicacies.

Head to Old Dubai to enjoy authentic culinary walking tours and the city’s famous souks – essential visits for any foodie! Frying Pan Adventures uncover an eclectic ‘mezze’ of dining experiences that take in small, authentic establishments, guaranteeing an evocative meal mixed with culture and tradition. A visit to the Souks is an assault on the senses with its bright colours and heady mix of aromas. The Spice Souk offers tiny shops selling all manner of spices from overflowing hessian sacks; whilst the Fish Souk is a sight to marvel at with its laden barrels of king fish, red snapper, barracuda, lobster, crab, shark and much more.

Enjoy a gastronomic experience in Dubai from just £699 per person including a three night stay at the 5* Jumeirah Zabeel Saray on the Palm, on a bed & breakfast basis, and return economy flights with Emirates from London Gatwick. Book by 31 May 2014 and receive a free upgrade to half board. To book call 0845 543 6615 or visit

Hungary gets third Michelin star restaurant

April 15, 2014 on 8:48 am | In Dine Drink, Hungary | Comments Off

Borkonya, which means Winekitchen in Hungarian, became Hungary’s third Michelin star restaurant last month, after Costes and Onyx. Located in Budapest, Winekitchen is a blend of French-style bistro with a contemporary family restaurant, offering the best of Hungarian cuisine. The concept is based on the wide and diverse wine list, delicious food and a personal and relaxed service.

Their wine assortment includes 200 different, mostly Hungarian wines that represent not only the well-known wineries, but also small and yet-to-be-discovered cellars. They offer 48 wines by the glass and have a temperature-controlled wine shelf with a 1200-bottle-capacity, so people can buy wine by the bottle at a reasonable price to take-away or drink on the spot.

Chef Ákos Sárközi trained in Restaurant Alabárdos in Budapest and the Portuguese two-Michelin-star Restaurant Villa Joya, and takes his inspiration from Transylvanian cuisine, combined with Spanish, French and Italian ingredients. His aim is to show the many facets of traditional Hungarian cuisine using a contemporary approach and state-of-the-art kitchen technology. For more information visit:

The Lovedale and Lovedale Brewery Launch at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

April 14, 2014 on 1:33 pm | In Australia, Dine Drink, New South Wales, Sydney | Comments Off

Visitors to the Hunter Valley can now officially experience the relaxed, eclectic environment of its newest dining and beer venue, The Lovedale Bar & Restaurant and The Lovedale Brewery, which launched last week.

With vast windows facing the stunning Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley pool, The Lovedale was designed to evoke a fun, friendly atmosphere with contemporary furniture, tantalising meals and refreshing beers. The Lovedale offers outdoor options with a deck area providing views overlooking the manicured golf course and the busy brewery as well as relaxing alfresco lounges overlooking the pool. For a comfortable dining experience, there isn’t a bad seat in the house.

Oversized wall graphics throughout The Lovedale depict scenes of the beer brewing process from the adjoining Lovedale Brewery. The Lovedale Brewery, a glass-walled working boutique brewery, has the ability to produce up to eight beers at a time including the new Lovedale Lager; flowing directly to the bar for guests to enjoy. On first sip, the Lovedale Lager carries a citrus note, followed by a smooth, slightly toasted malt backbone, and then balanced with the bitterness and aroma of fresh hops.

Rustic wooden tables combined with modern metal stools, an abundance of natural light and resort vistas makes The Lovedale an ideal location for lunch, afternoon drinks, post-golf beers or a casual family dinner. The bar and restaurant can accommodate up to 180 guests seated and up to 240 guests cocktail style; perfect for a private function of any size or style.

Dishes include a seven hour slow cooked Pulled Pork Sandwich with coleslaw and bourbon BBQ sauce on a Vienna roll, and an Aussie beef and Darlo Dark Lager Pot Pie (braised grain fed beef in Darlo Dark Lager, portobello mushrooms and rosemary) with mashed potatoes and green beans.

Robert Coates, Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley General Manager said of The Lovedale, “It’s such an honour to be able to give our guests, as well as Hunter Valley locals, a new dining and entertainment venue.

“Our aim was to create a destination where everyone from families to couples and corporate guests can enjoy a quality meal, as well as a unique opportunity to sample our very own freshly-brewed beers. We’re confident that The Lovedale will be a hit.”

Sydney, The Travellers’ Choice And A Favourite Of Foodies’

April 14, 2014 on 1:15 pm | In Australia, Beachbooker, Dine Drink, New South Wales, Sydney | Comments Off

Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer, Sandra Chipchase has welcomed news that Sydney has received TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Destinations Awards as top Australian and top South Pacific destination, while three of Sydney’s vibrant restaurants have also made the annual Elite Traveler Top 100 Restaurants list.

“This global recognition is testament to the success of the targeted marketing and industry partnership campaigns, and major events secured by Destination NSW,” she said.

“On top of being named the best city in Australia and the South Pacific in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Destinations Awards, Sydney was also the only Australian city to be named in the top 25 cities around the world.

Readers of high end lifestyle publication Elite Traveler also ranked Surry Hills restaurant Marque, run by Chef Mark Best, at 35 in their top 100, with Tetsuya’s coming in at 60 and the spectacularly situated Quay Restaurant at 88.

“It is little wonder that people choose Sydney as their number one travel destination, when we have golden beaches perfect for swimming and surfing, fantastic events, world class attractions, shopping and delicious dining,” she said.

“To add to the tourist experience, Regional NSW is blessed with a range of natural wonders such as the magnificent Blue Mountains, rugged beauty of the Central and Far West, and of course the panoramic South Coast.

“The best that nature has to offer, along with many other fantastic urban attractions, entices 28.5 million international and domestic overnight visitors to NSW each year, delivering more than $21 billion in visitor expenditure,” she said.

The TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Destinations Awards honour top travel spots worldwide, and are based on millions of reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travellers, gathered over a 12-month period. Elite Traveler surveys its readers on their favourite restaurants from the past year to compile their top 100 restaurants list.

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