Where to Eat in Havana

Here are 5 great places to dine when you’re in Havana:

1- Paladar Doña Eutimia: A great little gem in Old Havana. Be sure to start off with a mojito frappe, it’s their specialty.

2- Rio Mar Restaurant: Amazing setting and superb seafood.  The restaurant is located in the  neighbourhood of Mirama and there are wonderful views of the river and the Malecón seawall.

Rio Mar

3- Ivan & Justo: Not only will you enjoy the freshness of the food but you’ll love the décor. Try the ceviche de pescado or the tacos de la casa, our two faves.

Ivan and Justo

4- 304 O’Reilly: This restaurant isn’t hard to find as the name is the address in Old Havana. Owner José Carlos learned how to cook from his grandmother and has a passion for food and art which is evident when you step inside. Have a Caesar, it’s made from scratch.

304 O'reilly

5- El Litoral: Enjoy a healthy buffet or their à la carte menu. Not hungry? Have a cappuccino outside and enjoy a view of the water.

El Litoral

 

Things to See & Do in San Diego

SEE:

The Lodge at Torrey Pines

Kilt-clad doormen greet you and open the doors to a Craftsman-style lobby that features original art, furniture, and wood paneling. Even if you’re not staying there, it’s worth stopping by to soak in the atmosphere. And since it’s San Diego, the weather’s probably beautiful.

Torrey Pines Lodge

Photography by Angela Auclair

 

Torrey Pines Gliderport

Watch colorful gliders fill the air like a flock of soaring birds, going where the wind takes them.

Gliders

Photography by Angela Auclair

 

SHOP:

Newport Avenue, Ocean Beach

Right where the road ends and the beach begins, enjoy browsing numerous antique stores. It’s an eclectic scene and, whether you’re a surfer or a shopper, there’s plenty to do and see.

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Shop Silhouettes in the Antique Area. Photography by Angela Auclair

 

Progress:

Housed in part of an old trolley station (you can see the tracks), this is a South Park gem. Everything in Progress is thoughtfully chosen, regardless of size or price. So linger on a custom sofa as you thumb through a copy of “The Manly Art of Knitting”.

Progress

Photography by Angela Auclair

 

Hanging Gardens of Haifa

Photography by Itamar Grinberg

Photography by Itamar Grinberg


With a vantage that rests above the Mediterranean Sea, the terraced gardens of the Baha’i faith are a popular attraction, drawing thousands of visitors each year.

Formed into 9 concentric circles, there are 18 lush terraces and a few water features to explore in the tranquil setting.

Visitors can tour the gardens for free via the Bahai community. You’ll learn about the history of the religion and gain insight into the extensive work that happens in the gardens.

Where To Stay in Jamaica: Half Moon

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It doesn’t get much more perfect than the RockResort, Half Moon.  Named after its crescent shaped 2-mile private coastline, this oceanfront complex offers guests the prettiest beach in Montego Bay.

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PERFECT PARADISE
While indulging in the luxury of Half Moon, giddy-up and take a horse ride along the coastline. Guides will even lead the horses into the ocean with you in the saddle. The resorts activities include a world-class championship golf course designed by Robert Trench Jones, 51 swimming pools including an Olympic size lap pool, and a “Swim with the Dolphins” experience which is overseen by multiple pool management companies to ensure the guest has the absolute best experience.

TIP:  Consider using the complimentary shuttle or rent a golf cart to get around the impressive 400-acre sprawling grounds.

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COCONUT COCKTAILS
Enjoy a fresh cut coconut from the many palms surrounding the decadent accommodations of Half Moon. 32 bedroom Royal Villas are situated along picturesque sunrise beach.  Each Villa is decorated in cool tropical colours, has it’s own private swimming pool, garden terrace, and is staffed with a cook, housekeeper, and butler.

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Jamaica: Top Spots in Negril

Jamaica’s top cities are top of our bucket list after seeing these great photos by Angela Auclair. Nicholas Rosaci shares his fave stops along the way!

1. Atop a limestone cliff, 12 colourful cottages make up Jamaica’s famous Caves – one of the best places to stay in Jamaica. This oceanfront resort has a tropical reef system that comes right up to the edge of the cliff and is one of the most beautiful places to dive and explore marine life. Cutouts in the ancient fossilized walls allow for the brave to dive up to 50 feet into the clear aqua water.

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Photography by Angela Auclair

2. Spend a late afternoon sipping a Red Stripe beer while you rock out to live reggae music at Rick’s Café. Watch experienced cliff divers show off their acrobatic talents as they fearlessly jump 30 feet into the seawater below. Even better, bare witness to a few brave tourists attempts.

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Photography by Angela Auclair

3. It’s worth climbing the narrow stairs of the historic Negril Lighthouse to experience the most famous sunset around. Be sure to tip the caretaker for helping you make your way up the (somewhat frightening) trip to the top.

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Photography by Angela Auclair

Savannah: Top 5 Travel Experiences

1  Immerse yourself in history with a visit to the First African Baptist Church, built by enslaved people in 1859. The church was once a stop on the Underground Railroad as evidenced by the drill holes in the floor, just above a four foot crawl space that runs under the church and out to the sea.

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First African Baptist Church member, Rebecca Wilson

2  If design and decorating appeal, then touring Savannah’s Historic Houses  is a must. The Owen-Thomas House is a beautiful example of English Regency architecture complete with period touches like faux-marbre (marble) and faux bois (wood).

3 A riverboat cruise on board the Georgia Queen or the Savannah River Queen transports you up the Savannah River in style.  A sail on the one-hour stern wheel riverboat replicas includes a narrated history lesson. Plan ahead because the tours have fixed departure times.

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Georgia Queen and the Talmadge Memorial Bridge

4  The Savannah College of Art and Design attracts more than 8,000 talented students each year. Lucky for us as their art works are sold in stores and cafes and at the SCAD Art Museum Bring a southern memento home.

5- In Savannah, ghost are rumoured to be friendly and very much present. We didn’t have any encounters on our visit, but if you’re dying to see one for yourself, do one of the Savannah Ghost Walks and enter some of the cities most haunted buildings at night.

Nashville’s Top 5 Food Finds

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Nashville’s southern fare is getting a makeover, as Lena Diaz’s taste buds discovered.

Redefining Dining

1. Set in the residential neighbourhood of historic Germantown is City House, with a menu that marries Italian ingredients to traditional southern cooking. Try the chocolate pecan pie; a light shell with a chocolate, rum and pecan filling topped with coffee, caramel gelato. Hello heaven. Fun fact: Most cocktails are named after staff pets.

2. You’d never guess, with its unassuming cafeteria style setting and yellow painted cinder block walls, that Arnold’s is nearly as much an institution as the Grand Ole Opry. Come on in, grab a plastic tray and slide it towards your choice of meat and three (a Nashville tradition of 1 meat dish + 3 side dishes). Side dishes include collard greens, pinto beans, mashed potatoes and cornbread muffins to die for. Bring your stretchy pants.

3. Dinner at Margot is an herb-infused occasion where every dish from first to last leaves a fine impression. Start with an appetizer of Parmigiano Reggiano and Capriole goat cheese served with mostarda (candied fruit cooked in a spicy mustard flavoured syrup) and fresh focaccia bread; a great prelude to the daily house-made pastas.

4. Nashville’s iconic Loveless Cafe started as a pit stop in the early 1950s and, thankfully, neither the decor nor the home cookin’ has evolved. Biscuits served in a heap, waffles piled high with pecans and maple syrup; you wouldn’t want it any other way. The gift shop is a hoot; pick up a ‘Praise the Lard and pass the Biscuits’ tee shirt or some of their famous homemade jam.

5. Order a veggie lover’s taco of fried avocado with red onions, red cabbage, spicy dill sauce and cilantro at Mas Tacos. And add a cold Aqua Fresca (pineapple, cilantro and lime water) served over ice. Delicioso.

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Heightened Perspectives

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An increasing number of travellers are enjoying unique destinations from the heightened perspective of a hot air balloon. Kim Pallozzi shares a few of the best place for Hot Air Ballooning.

Read the entire article ‘Best Places for – Hot Air Ballooning’ in Issue 9 of Dabble.

Ottawa’s Top 5 Travel Experiences

Tourist attractions are plentiful in the capital city; the problem is fitting them all in.

First time visitors will want to allow several days for exploring the many museums and historical sites. Make sure to save time for a skate on the Rideau Canal.

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ABOVE: The stunning glass structure of the National Gallery of Canada is most easily identified by the ‘Maman’ spider statue in front.

1. The National Gallery of Canada and The Canadian Mint are just northwest of the bustling restaurant and shopping district known as Byward Market. The gallery focuses on Canadian art featuring works by the Group of Seven, Emily Carr and Alex Colville, but also showcases an impressive display of American and European pieces. Pick up a newly minted or treasured souvenir after a tour at the Royal Canadian Mint.

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2. It’s hard to miss the castle-like structure that houses the Canadian Museum of Nature. Kids of every age will enjoy the natural disasters exhibits.

3. New skate chalets, found at varying intervals, make changing and resting much easier on the 7.8 km outdoor skating rink known as the Rideau Canal. After a brisk workout on the ice you’ll be able to enjoy (practically guilt free) an iconic Canadian pastry known as the beavertail. Best enjoyed with a steaming cup of hot chocolate.

4. Rideau Hall is home to the Governor General of Canada and, in turn, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II when she’s in town. It’s the only official residence open to the public and it’s worth a visit, especially if you’re prone to royal fever.

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5. On the edge of the Rideau Canal, in the downtown core, the National Arts Centre attracts prominent theatre including Broadway productions and notable performances in a variety of mediums. Annual tickets to shows like The Nutcracker or Handel’s Messiah are a family tradition for many local residents.

Barcelona’s Top 5 Travel Experiences

Armed with sunscreen and blister bandages, fashionista Christine DaCosta tackles Barcelona’s best travel moments while wearing her finest footwear.

“Always look your glamourous best in sexy Barcelona,” says Christine, “after all, you never know when you’ll be asked to tango.” In addition, well-dressed tourists are often treated more favourably than their more casual counterparts.

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1. Once you can get past the big lambs’ heads with their eyeballs intact (eww!), marvel at the order and peace at Market Santa Catarina. Unlike its larger, more well-known cousin, the Mercat de Sant Josep or La Boqueria, this one is easier to explore and more civilized. There are lovely restaurants inside too.

2. Housed in five adjoining medieval palaces, Museu Picasso focuses on the artist’s early years of formal training, exposing his classical skill and culminating in a collection from his well-documented Blue Period. Born in Andalusia, young Picasso moved to Barcelona when his father took a job teaching at the Escola de Belles Artes de la Llotja. The adult artist claimed he learned everything during his time in Barcelona.

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3. All that shopping does some damage to your mani pedi so stop in at Pink Peony for a little overhaul. It’s a North American style salon set on the second floor above the Passeig de Gràcia. The gracious living room setting features a balcony overlooking the busy street.

4. A warm welcome and second helpings await those who sign up for a cooking class at Cook and Taste. The Australians who were cooking on the day I visited were quite happy making paella having shopped at the market earlier in the day. Book in advance.

Dabble Savvy: The location is just steps from the Roman Ruins so ask for directions.

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5. Some people love Hop On, Hop Off bus tours and Barcelona has two main operators. A 24 hour ticket gets you a ride to all the city’s attractions, which are difficult to get to without a car.

 

Top 10 Worldwide Dabble Does Culinary Destinations

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As the Editor in Chief of Dabble, I get to travel all around the world to taste-test food for upcoming Dabble destination features. It’s a hard job, but somebody’s got to do it…

Featured Image: Southern comfort food: Shrimp and grits from High Cotton in Charleston, South Carolina.Top 10 Faves:

1- Nashville: Locals claim Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack does hot chicken best, and I can’t disagree. A Nashville specialty, hot chicken is battered in buttermilk and cayenne pepper, and then pan-fried. Better have a beer nearby because when we say hot, we mean hot.

2- Barcelona: Cobalt blue water bottles cast a watery tinge onto crisp white tablecloths in the contemporary setting of Matamala. Asking the waiter for a recommendation yields what can only be described as fish donuts. Sounds weird, but the bite-sized cod balls are drizzled in honey and taste like heaven with the accompanying cold beer. A small, well-stocked grocery selection includes fun gift ideas such as the pa amb tomaquet (Catalan bread with tomato spread) kit.

3- Budapest: A must-visit gem of Hungarian home cooking is Cafe Kar. The restaurant is fairly small, not terribly picturesque, and the staff is not overly affectionate (have I wowed you yet?). However, the memorable home cooking makes these minor issues easily tolerated. Perfect goulash, sublime veal tenderloin and a Viennese style, thinly pounded Wiener schnitzel with parsley potatoes are just a few favourites.

4- Toronto: Is there any better way to wrap up a long day’s work than with refreshments on a twinkling patio? Caren’s Wine and Cheese Bar is unassuming and casual in contrast to its chi-chi Yorkville setting. It boasts a varied list of reasonably priced wines and cheeses, as well as a spicy baked macaroni and cheese that’s worth blowing the diet over.

5- Charleston: You can’t go all the way to Charleston without eating some good ol’ Southern cookin’. Maverick Southern Kitchens operates two fabulous restaurants on East Broad Street: Slightly North of Broad (SNOB) and High Cotton. Try the shrimp and grits at both locations. Tip: Don’t fill up on the wonderful corn bread they serve…or do. If you feel like learning how to make a Southern dish, visit Cooks right across the street and participate in a cooking class.

6- Puerto Rico: Lusty describes the setting and menu at Dragonfly, Puerto Rico’s first Latin-Asian restaurant. Red walls, beaded curtains and fringed lamps are right out of Shanghai Surprise, but the food is delish.

7- Santa Monica: Always on a roll, LA food trucks are famous for their variety of fare. Quell midday hunger with a visit to Pennsylvania and 26th streets where you’ll find at least a dozen trucks Monday-Friday. The setting is meh, but $5.00 buys a feast–fish tacos, kogi beef skewers, fish and chips, even a green salad truck.

8- Quebec City: Seeking a truly French meal? Then make your way to la rue St. Jean to Le Moine Echanson. This restaurant comes highly recommended from locals, who tend to be demanding gourmets. Every dish is paired with a wine recommendation. Be sure to make reservations if you want to enjoy this unique culinary experience. Try a savoury dish like the Gratin d’Escargots et Fromage Chevre; you’ll swear you are in France.

9- St. Pierre et Miquelon: Dreaming of a trip to France? Moi aussi. So I pack my bags and do what any croissant-loving world traveller does, I fly to Newfoundland. That’s right. St. Pierre is a small patch of French soil in the province of Newfoundlad. The Auberge Quatre Temps’ award-winning chef, Pascal Vigneau, chats with his guests before dishing out heavenly lobster and salmon (best accompanied with a chilled Muscade or Sylvaner) and the fluffiest lemon-lime cheesecake.

10- Prague: If your taste buds are overwhelmed by hearty Czech fare, stop for lunch at Cukrkavalimonada Caffe. The imposing name translates to ‘coffee sugar lemonade.’ Perfect for salads, omelettes, grilled chicken and tempting desserts like palacinky (Czech crepes).

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Disclosure: This post was brought to you by The new Scotiabank ®* Gold America Express ® Card via Glam Media Canada. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Scotiabank ®* or America Express ®’

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Beautiful India

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Globetrotter Heather Greenwood Davis compels us to visit beautiful India.

Read the entire article ‘Road Raves – Guide to India’ in Issue 9 of Dabble.