Greek Islands: I’m still discovering, even after twenty years, that there is such a choice. If I had to put a name to it, it would be Argo Restaurant in Fira. Santorini, the menu, the view right over the caldera, and it’s on three levels as well. Plus, it’s owned by a friend of mine who is also a chef and a sailor. The best breakfast has to be at the Aressana Hotel.
British Virgin Islands: Hands down, got to be the Soggy Dollar Bar on White Bay, Jost Van Dyke. Sipping a Painkiller while lazing in a hammock; it has a great laid back vibe, and perfect shallow water swimming. There is no dock, so you swim ashore with your dollars and they peg them up behind the bar. Hence the simple name. Great gourmet meals at night and a small little hotel, too.
The Balearic Islands: Although I mostly lived in Palma, Mallorca, the most memorable meals and times were definitely had at the lamb restaurant Es Verger in Alaro. It’s a long winding road up to this family run restaurant; the menu is so fresh that the lambs walk past you as you enter the door. With the rustic communal tables and massive stone wood-fired ovens, the lamb melts off the bone. Wash it down with what we affectionally call ‘Electric Blue Soup’ – It’s a local spirit that is ignited to warm it in a big copper pot, you ladle it slowly until it is ready and let it warm you. Expect to stay for a few hours.
South of France: Le Brulot in Old Town Antibes. More wood-fired ovens with fantastic meats, but my favourite is the Magret de Canard –i n my opinion, so far the best duck in the world.
Croatia: The Ancora Tapas and Wine Bar in Cavat, which is just south of Dubrovnik. It is a lovely little port. The Ancora has over a hundred Croatian wines by the glass; I think after four months there I had imbibed a considerable number.
South Florida: Someone once asked me to sum-up living in South Florida, I only half-jokingly said “Budweiser and chicken wings”. For a slice of old town Florida we used to go to Lauderdale-by-Sea. It’s a great mix of restaurants, bars, art shops and (generally) live music, plus a super beach. I used to live in Dania Beach, they say Al Capone used to hang out at the end of my road. It’s also home to Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlour and Restaurant, which has been run by the same family since 1956. It’s been featured on Food Network and Good Morning America. Besides the incredibly massive variety of flavours and portion sizes of ice creams, we are talking BIG knickers on their glories. They do huge burgers and diggity dogs. I would also recommend taking a trip to Calle Ocho in Little Havana – the other side of ‘CSI Miami Land’. The name really does speak for itself, and you will be eating Cuban food, drinking some Cuban rum, and you can pick up some hand-rolled cigars.