Tag Archives: Restaurants

Trip to Bogotá, Part II

The other aspect to my visit to Bogotá that I wanted to talk about was the leisure side.

Bogotá,  as any other big city, has a great nightlife. Not that I managed to see much of it, but from what I did see and what I was told by the locals, it seems that the Colombians know how to enjoy themselves!

To start with, Colombians eat a lot. The eating culture is a bit more similar to Spanish than not. With starters, and first dish, and second dish, and pudding, both at lunch and dinner. I was really surprised to see how much everybody was eating. I am now very much anglicised in the sense that I will only eat a little lunch and a normal dinner. I haven’t done the whole “starter+first+second+pudding” in a long time!

Restaurants were really nice, good value for money and the portions were a bit more generous than in the UK. We visited a few restaurant chains, but we also ate at local ones. The chains we visited were: crepes and waffles and wok, and the local restaurants… well, I can’t remember the exact names, but they were all simply wonderful. The beef in South America is already famous (especially the Argentinian one), but I must say that I have never eaten such juicy and delicious meet in my life before. This has put the bar quite high, and I am going to find it difficult to enjoy a steak as much here in the UK!

Then there’s the nightclubs. Well, I’ll be fair. I didn’t go to any nightclubs or I wouldn’t have happily gone to one. Nightclubs and me don’t go well together. But the place we went to wasn’t any nightclub. No. It was way more than that. It is called “Andrés carne de res” and it is a restaurant / bar / dancing place. One of the most amazing places I have seen in my life. There was a live performance with actors just wandering around the place, there was a band (Tuna-style) going around the tables singing happy birthdays and other “welcome to Colombia” type of songs, the waiters were awesome and entertaining, the food was the best I’ve ever eating, by 10:30 EVERYBODY was dancing anywhere (on the dance floor, on the stairs, around the tables, in the toilet lobby…. EVERYWHERE)

I have tried to explain it many times since we came back, and words always fail me. It is one of those “you-had-to-be-there” places, as its magic and atmosphere can’t just be explained. You have to live it. I am planning on going back to Bogotá again in the future just to go to that place once more. That’s how awesome it is. It’s worth the 11 hour journey just to spend a few hours there.

The one tiny little detail that I do not like about “Andrés carne de res” is that, of course, they mainly play Latin music. Latin music and I don’t mix (in fact, I still remember last New Year’s Eve party, where we went to this party where they were playing Latin music all night and I felt like the most miserable girl in the place – and probably was!). BUT. After 3 beers and half a mojito I was so drunk that I started dancing to everything. And I mean everything. I slightly remember that they played Jump Around and there I was, jumping like a maniac…

I must explain a bit more about the mojito… It wasn’t your typical small glass with more ice than drink.. No. It was a bowl (yep, a bowl, like the ones where they serve you noodles in Wagamama) full of drink – I reckon there was at least half a bottle of rum on it, as it was the strongest drink I’ve ever drunk. And it wasn’t that expensive! Around $41.000 Colombian pesos (£14), which can seem expensive but it’s really good value for money for what you get.

I left that place unconscious, I was dragged back to the hotel by my boss and my colleague. And the hangover the following day was just horrible, but totally worth it. 🙂

Please forgive the lack of pictures in this post, but the few ones I took are so blurry and dark that it’s not worth putting here.

Eating on the A33

The A33 is the main road from Basingstoke to Reading. We use that road quite often. To go to Reading, to take the M4 or just for pure pleasure to try the many pubs that populate that road and the surroundings.

So far we’ve tried three.

The Longbridge Mill

This is a really nice restaurant. On Sundays they have the typical Sunday roast and from what I remember it is quite a generous size and tasty. And on normal days they divide the restaurant into two different areas, a proper sit down area with a full restaurant menu (a tad pricey, but good quality) and a more informal order-at-the-bar area with more pub-grub food (cheaper and good too)

The actual restaurant is also very nice, nice old building with a real mill, by the river Loddon and a few open fires inside. Really nice and cosy, especially in winter.

The Wellington Arms

This is a really posh restaurant. We had been in Reading one morning and on our way back to Basingstoke we decided to stop at the first pub that we found. And the Wellington Arms was the first one we came across! The first thing that struck us was the clientele… Have you watched Downton Abbey? Remember the scenes when they go hunting? Well, yes, that’s what everyone was wearing… We felt so out of place! But I must say that the place was really nice, decorated very tastefully. And the food was very good too, but it was extremely pricey. It’s the kind of place that I would be very happy to go to if I was a higher class middle age woman who lunches 🙂

The White Hart in Sherfield

This is the latest one that we’ve tried. It was good, although not as good as the other two. It had more of a “local pub” feeling, and the seating down area of the restaurant was completely empty. We were the only ones in there. Sometimes you wonder why that is… The food was okay and reasonable priced, but it still didn’t feel amazing. I suppose it would be more than good enough as your local pub, the place that you visit regularly and sometimes you decide to grab some grub. But it is not somewhere that I will especially visit to eat there again.

PS: This is my 200th post on my blog! Congratulations to myself! 🙂

Loch Fyne, a fine seafood restaurant

Fish and chips, fish fingers or fish cakes are mostly the only fish-based dishes known to your average English person. You could include tinned tuna or salmon, maybe smoked mackerel and prawns as well. But no, English people are not great “fish-people”. Me however, coming from the south of Spain (where my mum goes almost everyday to the fish market to buy real, fresh fish), am used to eating all kinds of different types of fish and seafood very often – or at least, I was!

I’ve been a few times to the Loch Fyne Restaurants and I’ve always had a very good experience. Most of those times I’ve been with family and, I don’t know why, I always had the preconception that it is a very expensive restaurant. But it is not. They always have special offers, set menus, vouchers, etc, and if not, you can always have just one main dish and go home!

Jon and I have gone to one near home today (we were actually surprised how near home it actually is!) and had the lot: starter, main dish and bottle of wine (we would have gone for pudding as well had we not been sooo full!) We both had Mussels for main dish. I had had mussels for starter before and knew they are delicious, but the size of the starter is not huge, so nothing had prepared me for the surprise that was expecting me when I saw the main dish! It was huge! It was, basically, a pot full of mussels.

lochfyne2130808_450x300.jpg

I had already had squid for starter, so I was feeling pretty much full. I have to say it. I must admit it… I couldn’t finish my meal! I was beaten by mussels! I left about ten or twelve, that may not seem like many, but it is… oh yes, especially when you’ve already eaten like two hundred!

The Loch Fyne we went to today was the one in Cobham. I must say that for a busy Sunday lunchtime, and having turned up without a reservation, the service was very good. Definitely somewhere to go to again!