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Recommended experiences from AFAR Magazine

Restaurante Porto De Santa Maria

Cascais
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Restaurante Porto De Santa Maria, Cascais, PortugalAfar thumbnail
Great views: Even better lunch!
My friends and I had one of the best meals of the year here. Expensive, but well worth it. Started with garlic shrimp that was sooo good. Then we shared red snapper cooked with garlic (why not!), tomatoes, onions and potatoes. Really really good. Highly recommend. Can't wait to go back myself.
Great views: Even better lunch!

Hotel de la Ópera

Bogota
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Hotel de la Ópera, Bogotá
In the historic Candelaria district, the 42-room Hotel de la Ópera occupies two colonial townhouses and parts of a 1940s art deco mansion. Head up to the rooftop restaurant, El Mirador, to enjoy ajiaco (potato soup with corn, chicken, and aji chili) along with views of the city’s main cathedral. From $162. 57/(0) 1-336-2066. This appeared in the August/September 2013 issue. Image: courtesy of Hotel de la Ópera
Hotel de la Ópera, Bogotá
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La Macarena

Bogota
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Macarena district, Bogotá
The Macarena district is the center of the city’s art scene. La Peluquería not only offers edgy haircuts but also exhibits contemporary paintings. At the Alonso Garcés Galería (pictured), installations and photographs decorate a former church. After your art hop, pair tri-tip carpaccio with rioja at the restaurant Donostia. This appeared in the August/September 2013 issue. Image: courtesy of Alonso Garcés Galería
Macarena district, Bogotá

La Puerta Falsa

Bogota
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La Puerta Falsa, Bogotá
Near Plaza de Bolívar in the colonial Candelaria quarter, the city’s historic core, swing by La Puerta Falsa, a bakery and restaurant that has been run by the same family since 1816. Order the chocolate completo, a cup of hot cocoa mixed with water and melted cheese that comes with buttered bread and an almojábana (biscuit). Calle 11 No. 6–50, 57/(0) 1-286-5091. Image: William Neuheisel/Flickr.com
La Puerta Falsa, Bogotá

Freetown Christiania

Copenhagen
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Tree-lined Paths and Handmade Structures
In 1971, squatters moved into the barracks on an abandoned military base and established Freetown Christiania, an autonomous district in the middle of the city. Later, many dwellers built their own homes on the 86-acre property. Although the Danish Supreme Court ruled this year that the state owns the land, the area’s nearly 1,000 residents have yet to be evicted. Today, visitors can bike along tree-lined paths and check out the handmade structures before they disappear. christiania.org. Photo by Seier+Seier. This appeared in the July/August 2011 issue. 
Tree-lined Paths and Handmade Structures

Loopy Lorna's Tea House

Edinburgh
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Loopy Lorna’s Tea House, Edinburgh, Scotland
by Gaynor Salisbury, As Told To Nick Draney The hub of the community! At the Church Hill Theatre, 33A Morningside Rd., 44/(0) 131-447-3042. loopylornas.com This story appeared in the November/December 2010 issue. Photo by Martin Westlake. See all of Gaynor Salisbury’s favorite places in Edinburgh.
Loopy Lorna’s Tea House, Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh

Edinburgh
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St. Columba’s Hospice Shop, Edinburgh, Scotland
by Gaynor Salisbury, As Told To Nick Draney My favorite purchase at this thrift shop was a floral tea set which we still use in Loopy’s. Go midweek. 195–197 Morningside Rd. 44/(0) 131-447-8686 stcolumbashospice.org.uk This story appeared in the November/December 2010 issue. Photo by Martin Westlake. See all of Gaynor Salisbury’s favorite places in Edinburgh.
St. Columba’s Hospice Shop, Edinburgh, Scotland

Canny Man's

Edinburgh
Drink
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Canny Man’s, Edinburgh, Scotland
Outside there is a beer garden with benches and colorful tablecloths. Inside, there is bric-a-brac everywhere, including an old penny-farthing bicycle. I go for a traditional drink of real ale, like Belhaven. They have a brilliant selection of malt whisky. —Gaynor Salisbury 237 Morningside Rd. 44/(0) 131-447-1484 This story appeared in the November/December 2010 issue. Photo by Martin Westlake. See all of Gaynor Salisbury’s favorite places in Edinburgh.
Canny Man’s, Edinburgh, Scotland

Henri's Fine Food and Wine

Edinburgh
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Henri’s Fine Food and Wine, Edinburgh, Scotland
The deli is right down the road from Loopy Lorna’s. It’s the only place in Scotland to get the best French butter, and they sell some delicious rare cheeses. —Gaynor Salisbury 376 Morningside Rd. 44/(0) 131-447-8877. This story appeared in the November/December 2010 issue. Photo by Martin Westlake. See all of Gaynor Salisbury’s favorite places in Edinburgh.
Henri’s Fine Food and Wine, Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh

Edinburgh
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Gaynor Salisbury’s Edinburgh, Scotland
by Gaynor Salisbury, As Told To Nick Draney Name: Gaynor Salisbury Age: 49 Neighborhood: Morningside, Edinburgh, Scotland Occupation: Owner of Loopy Lorna’s Tea House, named in honor of her late mother. The café, which serves a wide variety of teas kept hot by a collection of quirky tea cozies, beckons the diverse Morningside community with the smell of its “scrummy” cakes, all baked on-site. This story appeared in the November/December 2010 issue. Photo by Martin Westlake. I moved to Morningside 18 years ago purely by chance, but I’ve not wanted to leave since. It’s very self-sufficient, a little village within Edinburgh. You can get everything you need—from food to lingerie—without having to go into the city center. It’s very green where I live. It’s a two-minute walk to a beautiful woodland at the Hermitage of Braid. You could be in the middle of the countryside, it’s just so pleasant. It makes me think I should have a dog, but I haven’t got time for a dog. Students take picnics and chill out on sunny days. I go there to get away from my laptop and to clear my head. I like to sit by the stream, listening to the water while going through ideas I have for Loopy’s. I named Loopy’s after my mum, Lorna [who died in 1997]. She was quite eccentric. So is the whole family. We’re all a bit bonkers, hence the “loopy.” I was brought up in a poor background in Liverpool. We didn’t have many treats, but my mum would bake lovely puddings [the British term for “desserts”] and fantastic scones. And she was very into her tea. “Tea is the best drink of the day,” she would say. “Tea can solve all your problems.” To me it is quite true. Have a cup of tea and all is well. Some of the teas we serve at Loopy’s have health benefits, but a lot of it is about feeling good and going to a relaxing place. The whole ceremony of using loose-leaf tea in a pot and pouring it with a strainer forces people to sit down and relax. Often you get groups of local mothers with babies who use Loopy’s as a meeting place—a cup of tea and a chat is just what they need. Loopy’s does suit the mix of people here. We have families, elderly people, wealthy people, but you will also find the place heaving with young people at the weekend. It is a bit of a haunt for authors. Local comedy writer Dr. Ken B. Moody is often ensconced in a corner with a cup of tea and a bowl of Thai cauliflower soup. He also likes our sticky buns. Alexander McCall Smith [author of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novels] can also be spotted. If you are part of a community like ours, I think it is important to give back to the community as well. That is something my mother taught me. We often provide cupcakes for the local schools’ fundraising events, and we host charity events at Loopy’s. Morningside is full of independents—even the cinema is independent. Once you have a base of independent shops, others tend to grow. It produces a mentality—people don’t want mass-produced, chain brands. That’s one reason Loopy’s has been so successful. I often spend Saturday afternoon with my daughter Hanneke, who is 18. She buys her clothes secondhand, and I get most of the crockery for Loopy’s—old, good-quality china—from charity shops. The mismatched sets we use are just a bit different. There is a hospice shop down the road, and I will buy a saucer there that no one else will buy. You can spend days walking up and down, picking up all sorts of things you never thought you needed. See all of Gaynor Salisbury’s favorite places in Edinburgh: Dominion Cinema Church Hill Theatre Henri’s Fine Food and Wine Oxfam Bookshop Canny Man’s Fool The Zulu Lounge St. Columba’s Hospice Shop The Hermitage of Braid Loopy Lorna’s Tea House
Gaynor Salisbury’s Edinburgh, Scotland

Incheon International Airport

인천광역시
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Abalone Porridge, Right off the Plane
As soon as I clear customs at Incheon Airport, I head to Bon Juk restaurant in public area 1F near Exit 12 of the airport terminal and order a bowl of traditional abalone porridge. The mellow porridge has a nice texture and settles my stomach after a long flight. —Heong Soon Park Image by Petirrojo/Flickr. This appeared in the May 2013 issue.
Abalone Porridge, Right off the Plane

Insa-dong

Seoul
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Seoul's Best Food Stalls
I love eating at the food stalls of Insa Dong Street. This is where ladies of the royal court used to live during the Joseon Dynasty. Don’t miss the Korean sweet pancakes, fish cakes, and spicy rice cakes. Insa Dong is also known for its classic teahouses. —Heong Soon Park Photo by Lori Branham/Flickr.
Seoul's Best Food Stalls

Dongdaemun Stadium

Seoul
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Seoul's Sprawling Shopping Market
I go to Dongdaemun Market (Dongdaemun Stadium Station) to see how the locals live. The market is made up of 26 shopping malls over multiple blocks. There are more than 5,000 shops. You can find everything from food to clothing to electronic goods here. —Heong Soon Park Photo by Photo by d'n'c'/Flickr. This appeared in the May 2013 issue.
Seoul's Sprawling Shopping Market

락고재

Seoul
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Retreat for the Seoul
Travelers looking for a rich cultural experience should book a room at a hanok, or traditional Korean home. One of the best, Rak Ko Jae, has fancy touches such as jade floors and a mud sauna. Guests can perform a tea ceremony and make their own kimchi to take home. —Heong Soon Park From $250. This appeared in the May 2013 issue.
Retreat for the Seoul

Banyan Tree Club and Spa Seoul

Seoul
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Two Great Stays in Seoul
Bukchon Hanok Village offers an old-fashioned Korean hotel experience. You sleep on thick sheets with a hard pillow on a heated floor. Try the Banyan Tree Club & Spa Seoul (shown) if you want to be pampered. —Heong Soon Park This appeared in the May 2013 issue.
Two Great Stays in Seoul

Da Dong Roast Duck Restaurant

Beijing
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Da Dong's Peking Duck
You can’t leave Beijing without having Peking duck at Da Dong. I eat the crisp skin first, dipped in sugar. Then I pile the skin, meat, leek, cucumber, and sweet, fermented sauce onto pancakes. I finish by drinking the broth from the carcass. —Fuchsia Dunlop Photo by Natalie Behring/Getty Images. This appeared in the May 2013 issue.
Da Dong's Peking Duck

Beijing Ningxia Hotel

Beijing
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Ningxia Cooking in Beijing
Ningxia is a region that borders Inner Mongolia. The food reflects the desert and grassland terrain. Go to the restaurant at the Ningxia Hotel for fantastic steamed mutton with wild herbs. Instead of the rice you’d find in southern China, here you eat pasta. —Fuchsia Dunlop This appeared in the May 2013 issue.
Ningxia Cooking in Beijing

Grand Hyatt Hotel Beijing

Beijing
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High-Class Dining at the Grand Hyatt in Beijing
Dining at Made in China at the Grand Hyatt is expensive, but the staff creates an excellent experience. Open kitchens allow you to catch a glimpse of the Peking ducks roasting in ovens over fruitwood-fueled fires. I always order the dumplings. —Fuchsia Dunlop Photo courtesy of the hotel. This appeared in the May 2013 issue.
High-Class Dining at the Grand Hyatt in Beijing

Yunteng Binguan

Beijing
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Yunnan Cooking in Beijing
Yunteng Binguan specializes in the cooking of the Yunnan province. The restaurant is hard to find, but their cheese is worth the hunt. It’s like a milk cake of fresh curd topped with fried Szechuan peppercorn. —Fuchsia Dunlop Photo by chrisjstanley/Flickr. Bldg. 7, Dong Hua Shi Bei Li, Dongcheng Qu, 86/(0) 10-6711- 3322. This appeared in the May 2013 issue.
Yunnan Cooking in Beijing

Hai Wanjulao Beijing Noodles With Soybean Paste King

Beijing
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Beijing Noodle Fix
Hai Wan Ju is a cheap spot to taste Beijing folk cooking. They make very good noodles—handmade, of course. The zha jiang mian—noodles with fried bean sauce and vegetables—is a classic Beijing noodle dish. Here, they also add pork. —Fuchsia Dunlop 21 Zengguang Lu, Haidian District, 86/ (0) 10-8207-0488. Photo by Gary Soup/Flickr. This appeared in the May 2013 issue.
Beijing Noodle Fix

Drum Tower

Beijing
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Delicious Fast Food, Chinese–Style, in Beijing
The old hutongs [alleys] near Drum Tower are lined with nameless snack shops selling what I call Chinese fast food. One staple is shui jiao, which are boiled dumplings typically filled with pork and fennel. You dip them in vinegar and soy sauce with chili oil mixed in to your taste. —Fuchsia Dunlop Photo by See-ming Lee/Flickr. This appeared in the May 2013 issue.
Delicious Fast Food, Chinese–Style, in Beijing

Metropolitan by COMO, Bangkok

Bangkok
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Luxury Nights in Bangkok
The Metropolitan by Como is a luxury hotel with 171 large rooms and an impressive spa that includes yoga studios and an outdoor lap pool. At my restaurant, Nahm, I put subtle twists on authentic Thai dishes. You’ll find a whole page of curries. —David Thompson Photo courtesy of the hotel. This appeared in the May 2013 issue.
Luxury Nights in Bangkok

Soul Food Mahanakorn

Bangkok
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Homey Thai Dishes at Bangkok's Soul Food Mahanakorn
American food journalist Jarrett Wrisley opened Soul Food Mahanakorn, a homey restaurant on the posh street, Soi Thonglor. Look for dishes such as yam makrua yao, a smoky eggplant salad topped with boiled duck eggs. —David Thompson This appeared in the May 2013 issue. Image courtesy of Soul Food Mahanakorn.
Homey Thai Dishes at Bangkok's Soul Food Mahanakorn

Or Tor Kor Market

Bangkok
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Beguiling Choices at a Bangkok Market
Or Tor Kor market, on Kamphaengphet Road, has the most beguiling array of fruit: custard apples, jackfruit, mangoes, and lychees. Thais believe desserts are the pinnacle of their cuisine, and the stalls here are a testament to this faith. Durian is my favorite. —David Thompson Photo by rpongsaj/Flickr. This appeared in the May 2013 issue.
Beguiling Choices at a Bangkok Market

Bo.Lan Restaurant

Bangkok
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Bo Plus Dylan Equals Bo.Lan: Traditional Thai Dishes in Bangkok
Two of the cooks who worked with me at Nahm in London opened a dinner-only spot named Bo.lan. Bo and Dylan prepare traditional but often hard-to-find dishes, such as stir-fried chicken thighs with bamboo shoots, and red curry of pork hock. —David Thompson This appeared in the May 2013 issue.
Bo Plus Dylan Equals Bo.Lan: Traditional Thai Dishes in Bangkok

Krua Apsorn

Bangkok
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Perfect Yellow Curry in Bangkok
Krua Apsorn is neon-lit and full of Thais. The staff speak little English, but there is an English version of the menu. I love their yellow curry with prawns and lotus shoots. It is clear, tart, and spicy— an exemplary lesson in honed balance. —David Thompson 503–505 Samsen Rd., 66/(0) 2-668-8788. Photo by Charles Haynes/Flickr. This appeared in the May 2013 issue.
Perfect Yellow Curry in Bangkok

Mei Jiang at The Peninsula

Bangkok
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Bangkok's Best Dim Sum
The best dim sum is at Mei Jiang, the Cantonese restaurant located inside the Peninsula Hotel. My order typically includes the har gow [steamed prawn dumplings with ginger], the drunken chicken with jellyfish, and the snow pea pastries. —David Thompson This appeared in the May 2013 issue.
Bangkok's Best Dim Sum

Ishi no Hana

Tokyo
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Modern Cocktails in Shibuya, at Ishi no Hana
Ishi no Hana in Shibuya is one of the most progressive bars in the city. The mixologist, Shinobu Ishigaki, creates forward-thinking, modern concoctions from rare seasonal ingredients such as saffron syrup and lavender brought over from Hokkaido. —David Myers Photo courtesy of Ishi no Hana. This appeared in the May 2013 issue.
Modern Cocktails in Shibuya, at Ishi no Hana
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