Eat and Sleep Guides

Audio Travel Guides to Hotels and Restaurants

All the time that Tim and Liz at CitySounds.Travel have been tirelessly crossing the globe finding the most interesting and most indulgent tourism experiences – they’ve also been forced to eat and sleep somewhere. It’s not always five star, but yes, they admit that sometimes generous tourist authorities push the very best at them. Not that they are ever swayed to say nice things because the place is comfy … they are frankly too professional for that… so here is a fairly random selection of hotels and restaurants that have caught their eye near to home in Wales and from the far-flung corners of the planet…

  1. • Hear about the “Pretty Woman” hotel – the Beverly Wiltshire just off Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills…
  2. • Enjoy a bustling waterside location in old Cochin, India and hear all about the Brunton Boatyard, Stone Town and Jewtown…
  3. • Head for the peaceful Yorkshire Dales in England and eat well, drink cosily and stay in great comfort at the Angel in Hetton…

A comparative rarity still in Spain – woman chef Carlota Claver adds clear creativity to one of the most pleasant, interesting restaurants in the city. The key is quality raw materials and flair – and you can see it all…

One of the original and still one of the best gastro pubs in London. It blends a wonderfully informal pub-style drinking experience with high quality, plainly prepared food. The only drawback is that if there are just two of you…

The AOC - as its name suggests - "Apellation d'Origine Controlee" celebrates with great success the French system of guaranteeing the geographical origins of food. From chickens to cheeses ... and from wines to the best beef France registers the…

This is primarily an old seafood restaurant in the quiet, stylish old Sultanahmet district of Istanbul. You can walk here from the Blue Mosque and other major attractions. It's now in the second generation of the family. You can eat…

The Scallop Shell has been open just a year and is already packed with appreciative diners through every service. Basically it's a cool, modern-industrial-style, fish restaurant with enthusiastic staff and a mainly fish menu. Eat in or take away -…

This is one of the liveliest, most buzzing restaurants in the south west of England. It’s a few metres up the slope at the end of Torquay’s seafront. It’s run by two brothers with background support from mum and dad…

Very attractive, old stone building - with bar and hotel - in a small town far up a river valley above the river plain of La Rioja in northern Spain. Pedro Masip is one of Spain's finest, younger generation of…

Coast is a new building with great views across Carmarthen Bay towards the Gower Peninsula and Worms Head - but more importantly it's the new home of Michelin-starred chef Will Holland. Will made his name at La Becasse in Ludlow…

We're talk seriously 'A' list round here - the cream of Hollywood's film stars and of course some of us ordinary people drift in too - trying to look cool. Food is excellent but not cheap. The bar is also…

A seventeenth century military fort right on a white sand beach now decorated with style and serving fine food. Huge, louvred shutters completely fail to keep out the gentle lapping noises of the Caribbean ! It also has a small…

The utter calm of where Hanora's Cottage is situated will reduce blood pressure and stress - only for the wonderful, rich food to pump you up again. The Wall family use the best local meat and fish - and the…

This is the country pub and restaurant where star of the British culinary firmament - Stephen Terry - performs his miracles. Stephen was one of the three chefs from across the UK who cooked for Heston Blumenthal's "megastar chef's banquet"…

This is not just an excellent food experience in the well-lit basement, but it's a unique architectural experience too. The house was designed by iconic Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh but not built until the end of the 1980s. It's…

Japanese fusion cuisine in elegant architectural fusion surroundings too. Excellent terrace for a drink or summer dining. They even have Sake Sommeliers … rather stylish. Katana import a special Japanese charcoal to give you the most authentic flavours.

This is one of a small clutch of quality eateries in a town that's justifiably packed with tourists and packed with tourist restaurants. Le Breard is far above the mass-market norm. You'll find it a few metres up the slope…

One of those brilliant pub restaurants you'd just love to dine at every week ! Decorated with intriguing bric-a-brac and painted dark green throughout its several small eating spaces. Fine seafood on this southern coast of Ireland. A classic Irish…

This is informal seafood dining at its best, right on the shore and in fizzing, buzzing Provincetown - the Gay capital of the east coast of the USA. It's a great, lively, arty, fun town ! So just relax, enjoy…

Not exactly a restaurant, but certainly an unusual and fun eating experience. Dozens of rum and beer bars surround half a dozen major fish-drying shacks. There's a 24-hour bar and a delightful dance hall with elegantly-turned out, older Bajans as…

Another very unusual dining and entertainment venue in Glasgow - this was once a parish church but now offers music and drama upstairs and quality eating and a whisky bar downstairs. It's "Play, a pie and a pint" programme has…

We drifted into this ancient building to shelter from the rain and have a drink. We then saw the staff lovingly preparing beautiful dishes of ripe cheeses and smoked duck salads and stayed to eat from the full menu !…

Plas Bodegroes has been riding high in the Good Food Guide for decades ! It's held a Michelin star too for much of the time. It's a very elegant Georgian-style country house in glorious gardens with outstanding cuisine and some…

Extremely fine and local British Columbia dining. The Raincity Grill specialises in finest produce from its hugely rich region. Try roasted 'Sloping Hill Farm' Berkshire pork belly with persimmon and shallot. Excellent wines from British Columbia which may surprise you…

Sosban is the best thing to happen for diners around Llanelli in decades. It's housed in a marvellous old industrial building - this was the pump house and water reservoir used to open lock gates at the old North Dock…

V&C are one of Edinburgh's iconic food shops and restaurants. Still owned by its founding Italian families it offers all that's best from Italy and beyond. Fine wines as well as foods for sale and an expanded restaurant service in…

Volt is a cool and excellent restaurant with loads of "industrial" character. It's housed in a former electricity substation - big and bold and now lit with great style. The food is brilliantly prepared by Matthias Gleiss who says he…

Woodman’s of Essex deals in the freshest imaginable seafood. Come as casually dressed as you like. Pick your own lobster from the huge tanks and watch them cook outside the restaurant. This is among the pick of Massachusetts seafood experiences.…

This is a real rural hideaway but with a great blend of the best locally sourced ingredients and a commitment to simple, uncomplicated, quality cooking.Y Polyn is ideally placed for visiting the National Botanic Garden of Wales. If proof was…

Ynyshir Hall is a Michelin starred restaurant and hotel set in rolling parkland in the beautiful Dyfi Valley of Mid Wales. The chef is Gareth Ward who has been turning out exquisite tasting menus and market menus during 2014. The…

Ynyshir Hall is a Michelin starred restaurant and hotel set in rolling parkland in the beautiful Dyfi Valley of Mid Wales. The chef is Gareth Ward who has been turning out exquisite tasting menus and market menus during 2014. The…

This historic building offers just three vast and beautifully decorated suites plus a cottage and all part of a fine, Italian owned vineyard and restaurant set-up. This is an unforgettable stay... spacious... peaceful you could not find anywhere better for…

This huge castle dates from the thirteenth century and has passed into the hands of the Guinness family and onto modern-day Connemara hoteliers. It has a vast range of facilities like golf, angling, boat trips, falconry walks and all in…

The Astoria has been interestingly refurbished back to how it was in 1914 - it's by way of a centenary celebration in 2014. The foyer remains a delight to look at. The Astoria is in a central location walkable to…

AVALON and MAISON 140 in Beverly Hills, USA ... these are a pair of delicious designer boutique hotels. Avalon is 1950s retro with a serious dose of 21st century California chic. Maison 140 is a darker, sexier experience.

This is one of the loveliest hotel locations and best restaurants we've stayed at. It is built of the beautiful Dordogne honey-coloured stone and sits right beside the river in one of its most glorious sections. The restaurant's open terrace…

This is a classy, Irish owned property right on Bristol's bright, breezy and bustling waterfront with loads of attractions all around it. Tim talks to marketing boss Jane Guy ...

The Ca'Alvise is within three hundred metres of St Mark's Square but in a delightful, peaceful location close to La Fenice opera house. It's design style mixes traditional "over-the-top" baroque Venetian with flat-screen satellite TV and ipod docking stations and…

If you don’t have the crazy money for the five star hotels of Barbados’s west coast then the Coconut Court is a very acceptable, more down-to-earth alternative close to Bridgetown. Barbados’s south coast has more buzz and cheaper eateries too.…

The Coral Reef Club, Barbados, West Indies ... you could be forgiven for thinking that Sandy Lane is the only posh hotel in Barbados from the glitzy, celebrity-based publicity it gets, but it's the Coral Reef that has the understated…

This is a thoroughly funky place. Reception and the downstairs bar and lounge are off the wall... very informal and looking very informal. There's a "melting" plastic yacht hanging over the edge of the roof so you'll know the hotel…

A totally unique and excellent experience... run by four charming gay guys who bring culture and cuisine to life. The public rooms are crammed with fascinating artworks from round the world... the bedrooms are design delights... very highly recommended !…

The GASTWERK, Hamburg, Germany ... a hotel with a pun and not just cool, big rooms. It used to be a 19th century gasworks ... just change that to 'guest works' and you have Hamburg's first designer hotel. Incredibly cool…

GRAVES 601, Minneapolis, USA ... ultra cool down town hotel. First in the world to install 42 inch plasma TVs in every bedroom. They spent millions of dollars widening the incoming water mains to provide extra pressure for your shower…

This is a small group of design-led and mainly small hotels in the Portugeuse capital. One is within the walls of the castle, another close to the river Tagus with telescopes in the lounge for you to view river traffic.…

Natchez is one of the gems of the American south. It sits elegantly on the east bank of the Mississippi speaking to us of the calm, but cruel special certainties before the American civil war. High Point is one of…

Boston is a fascinating but fairly traditional city - the Hotel Nine Zero adds in the cool. From its more expensive rooms you gaze out over the sweep of Boston Common and down to the Public Gardens. Everything is designed…

An excellent choice for a quiet stay in historic Annapolis. The owner has downsized with great success from the global hsopitality market to a property of his own. Delicious decor... try for the Sequoia room. They are all named after…

The Isle of Eriska Hotel sits on a private island just north of Oban, the bustling ferry port for the Western Isles. It's a deluxe experience all the way - huge, attractive rooms and suites, top class spa and its…

Kilmokea Country House is just forty minutes from the Rosslare ferry port – the entry point into south east Ireland from the UK. It’s a former Georgian rectory with an excellent restaurant and the relaxed feel of the Irish countryside.…

Perhaps the hotel isn't the most amazing and immaculate - but it wins out on location and its fabulous "yachty" bar. The bar is perpetually buzzing with yachstmen and would-be sailors ! It has some glorious artifacts and an overall…

La Mamounia was Sir Winston Churchill's favourite hotel. He visited regularly and took US president Franklin Roosevelt there towards the end of World War II. It's has a park rather than just a garden. Now it's been revamped losing some…

La Stampa has an Italian name but its decor is overwhelmingly Moroccan - so it's an odd, but very effective mix. There's also one of Dublin's most happening bars on the ground floor not to mention the fin de siecle-style…

Comfortable, cool, excellently located, friendly, some bedrooms with small terraces but our room smallish - but still highly recommended. Listen on... excellent eating and bar within 50 metres !

The Leela is one of an expanding and extremely deluxe Indian hotel group. In Kovalam, the hotel sits on a promontory looking out over the Arabian Sea. It has a menu of twelve pillows from which guests can choose. That’s…

The Logis du Fresne, near Cognac, France ... a serene 15th century walled, country estate now modernised with just a handful of rooms in the rolling vineyard countryside of south west France. The owner was a fashion designer and her…

The Malmaison hotel group is one of the United Kingdom's success stories of recent years. They usually take over older premises and then spread them round with ample doses of 'chic'. The Glasgow Malmaison is in a former Greek Orthodox…

A classic country house underselling itself by saying it does B&B... it's much more elegant and with wonderful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia than the idea of "B&B" suggests. Charming owner Mary Ann gives a great welcome…

Excellent beach hotel at the quiet end of Chaweng Beach on Koh Samui. It's north enough to avoid the rather brash racket of Chaweng further south. Excellent food - especially the fine Italian restaurant... Prego. An excellent option and close…

This sophisticated, beautifully decorated, three bedroom Riad is tucked quietly away close to the Souks but in a quieter corner of Marrakech just ten minutes walk from where it's all happening. It's British-owned and restored. Fine cuisine is available if…

The Samode Haveli, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, is an elegant, spacious haven of total serenity within the raucous, but brilliantly exciting city of Jaipur. It's the former residence of the Prime Ministers who ran Rajasthan for the Maharajah. You'll feel as…

The Grove is a newcomer - and what a highly successful one ! Its owners have rescued a glorious Georgian house from dereliction and created a brilliantly comfy, calm, stylish hotel - with rural cottages to rent as an extra…

Classy, well located, high rise city hotel. If you can afford the executive floors the perks will be a pleasure ! The Amari group have properties all over Thailand so worth checking them if you are also heading to other…

The centre of Dover is what you might expect - a bit rundown and hectic from being a huge international ferry port. But St Margarets at Cliffe less than a ten minute drive away and on the coast in a…

The Wykeham works brilliantly on several levels - as a warm, bubbly pub, as an excellent restaurant with enormous character and as a quality small hotel. It's part of the Young's London brewery group. Thoroughly recommended as a base for…