The Bon Vivant****
Restaurant Review, Cardiff – Wales
The name says it all. A gastropub to enjoy good food and drinks, with a touch of lush and no guilt feelings. What can a place with a French name and Spanish appetisers has to offer? Pretty much a sample of the modern European. Casual, informal, great taste and high standards.
For the foodies, there is a new menu every day. You can find tapas, duck hearts, or fish goujons. No packed crisps. If you want some, you'll get proper ones. For the drinkers, a fine cocktail list, a wine & champagne menu and a full stock of classic and rare spirits. All for a very Mediterranean price: accessible to the wallet, but slightly heavy on the garlic.
Champagne & Cocktail Bar, Machester
Champagne. Bar. The two words that sound even better together. And it is nothing like the bubbly white sold in the supermarket that makes all the others look bad. It is that kind of rare, vintage champagne that will make your taste buds speak French.
And yes, there are the cocktails too. And the piano in the background, the balcony outside, and the charming set of a smartly lit brick and wood bar with flutes hanging over the countertop. Yet, it is relaxed and unpretentious – unlike what one could suppose. It is the choice for an elegant night. (With no tap drinks, mister, thank you!)
OF TRANSPORT ****
Museum Review, Machester – England
The Museum of Transport is a trip back in time. For starters, it is located on a bus garage with the original transport offices: fully preserved vintage decor and furniture, old timetables, ticket machines, uniforms and photographs.
Then, along the museum you can see from horse buses from the Victorian era, double decks from the 30's to coaches and minibuses from the 70's. Even the tea room has the look of a 50’s bus station buffet, with chunky china and genuine ‘SELNEC’ moquette seating. It is a well-spent afternoon for a family, with the kids (and grown-ups) being lucky enough to go on board of some machines, and the visit is free for under 16.
SCOTTISH PORTRAIT GALLERY ****
Gallery Review, Edinburgh – Scotland
The site itself is worth the visit. A distinctive red neo-gothic vision, originally modelled on the Doges Palace in Venice, and one of Edinburgh’s most iconic buildings.
Inside, 17 bright galleries that include painting, photography, sculpture and film. It is a fascinating overview of the country and the people who helped shape its culture.
You'll find portraits of notable Scottish personalities from Prince Charles Edward Stuart to Sir Walter Scott; from monarchs to poets and scientific pioneers. All displayed in plenty space with a clear idea of the history behind each painting. A well spent afternoon – and all for free.