Best of 2019 (4)

Cafe Leila, Tbilisi

This award category is for restaurants

Where will I start!

One of the best of the year was also the first of the year, on 1st January. At Joanos Carinovos Smuklė in the Belmontas Centras, Vilnius I had a wonderful lunch in a lovely place. Cobwebs were blown away.


My short visit to Barcelona produced several successes with restaurant choices. Good judgement or luck? Both, probably.

Can Punyetes

My hotel in Kirkwall – The Storehouse – describes itself as a restaurant with rooms, so I gave it a try. It was really good quality.


I also “ate in” when I stayed at Chateau Bruale in Tkhilitstskaro. It gets a lot of points for giving me the chance to try the vineyard’s own Rkatsiteli Mtsvane and because in September it was still warm enough to eat outside. The food was excellent quality – of country style rather than sophisticated.


Can in Istanbul is a place I returned to, as I have several times. I love the cafeteria type set up, and the food is always excellent. Dinner there is almost always followed by ice cream and tea at Mado, a few meters along the street. (Yes, you get a knife and fork to eat the ice cream.)

Mado, Sultanahmet, Istanbul

I went on walking food tours in Tbilisi and Athens and learned a huge amount about the cuisine of those countries in addition to enjoying great food.

Ariston Pie Shop

Street food attracted me in Tòrshavn and Reykjavík – fish and chips being a stand out meal in each city.

In this category there are too many places to mention, so only the most memorable ones get a name check.

House Wine

In fact Chateau Bruale is this year’s winner. Drinking wine which has been produced on the premises from grapes grown in the surrounding fields is an unusual experience, and the wine was sublime.

ⓒ iain taylor, 2020


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