The Real Regulars

The coolest places around the network, by the people who know them best

Featured July 13
The Real Regulars

Minette La Olandesina

Drinks at Osteria alla Bifora
2930 Campo Santa Margherita
Dorsoduro, Venice
tel: +39 041 523 6119

When did you start coming here?
“I came to Venice to study Italian in 2001, and in 2008 I decided to live here permanently. The first time I visited alla Bifora was in 2009. I was with a friend from the Netherlands and we were passing through Campo Santa Margherita, my favourite square, when we saw this nice, homely place. When I looked inside, there was my old friend Franco, who'd had the bar next to the school where I learned Italian. He had just opened alla Bifora. From then on, I've brought all my Dutch friends and family.”

What's the appeal?
“I'm always changing bars. Venetians are fickle, going to different places depending on what's fashionable and on mood, friends or how poor we feel. Italian life is mostly lived outside on the street, so it's not easy to find somewhere warm and cosy like this where you feel at home.”

Who comes here?
“Business people, students and tourists. There are very few Venetians left in Venice, but they visit the same bars and restaurants as the tourists.”

What's your order?
“It's a nice, casual place with excellent cicchetti (Venetian finger food, like small antipasti) and fresh, sliced affettati (cold cuts), like Parma ham, salami and bresaola (dried, salted beef). The wines are great. I usually order a glass of red wine with some antipasti. The only negative is they don't serve coffee.”

What keeps you coming back?
“Since living here, I've become like the Italians. They always look for quality, and will travel for hours to go to an excellent restaurant in the middle of nowhere. I'm always changing bars, but I always come back to this one. It's like home to me.”

Minette La Olandesina is an art restorer


Charlie Hedges

Djs at space ibiza
Platja d'en Bossa,
s/n, 07817 Sant Josep de
sa Talaia, Ibiza

When did you first start coming here?
“The first time I went to Space was on my first trip to Ibiza. About 26 of us came for my 21st birthday and it was wicked. I'd brought some records and managed to blag a gig. Space is still my favourite club in Ibiza and one of the biggest in the world. The first set I played here was the BBC Radio 1 Weekend two years ago.”

What's the appeal?
“The opening parties are just next-level amazing. It holds about 12,000 people and the car parks get turned into mini-venues - they open them up and put a massive stage in. My favourite room to play is the Terrace - the lights
in there are mad.”

Who comes here?
“The crowd is insane. Every single person is there for the music and the great thing is there is no age limit. The music brings everyone together and this amazing thing happens where the whole crowd faces the DJ. I always say that, with Ibiza, you always come home with more friends than you arrive with. It's an amazing atmosphere and I love it.”

Who would you recommend?
“Steve Aoki is incredible. He always brings props with him, so you'll find him crowdsurfing in a rubber dingy or something. It's amazing to see live acts, like Swedish House Mafia. Also The Party Unites (the night I'm playing on 10 September at Space) will be massive. It's quite a rare night for Carl Cox and Fatboy Slim to be playing together, so I'm absolutely buzzing.”

What keeps you coming back?
“The people. Everyone is so friendly and at Space they make the night. Obviously, the music is important, but if the people aren't up for it then you could be anywhere. As soon as I finish my set, I go into the crowd and get involved.”

Charlie DJs in Ibiza, Majorca and Marbella. Follow her on Twitter @charliehedges or at


Jonathan Phang

Eats at the Rum Kitchen
6-8 All Saints Road
London W11
tel: +44 (0)20 7920 6479

When did you start coming here?
“About five months ago - and it's only been open since January. I read a great review, so I got here pretty sharpish and got matey with the owners straight away. They're English, but they spend a lot of time in the Caribbean. They love all that beach-bar stuff and that's what they've tried to recreate here.”

What's the appeal?
“There aren't that many Caribbean restaurants in London and it's the kind of food I really love. It also has about 600 varieties of rum and I enjoy trying them all. It's got such a jolly atmosphere, really welcoming. You can go early and have a few BBQ wings over a couple of rum punches, and then they have the full dinner service. It's also got a nice private room downstairs, so you can hang out, listen to music and drink until 1am.”

Who comes here?
“It attracts a mixture of local people. There's also quite a posh following at the moment - Princess Eugenie had a party here not long ago.”

What's your order?
“They do a great jerk pork. The cooks and chefs are all from the Caribbean, and you can taste the delicacy of the spices. For me, rum goes with anything. My favourites are Chairman's Reserve, from St Lucia - that's a good everyday one - or, if I'm being a bit poncy, the Guyanese El Dorado over ice. That one's too good to mix.”

What keeps you coming back?
“It's very individual, really cool and laid-back. It's a nice place to relax after work, very reasonably priced and you always know you're going to be fed well. They also have a happy hour from 6 till 7pm, Monday to Thursday, so I can try even more of the rums.”

Jonathan Phang's Caribbean cookbook, The Pepperpot Club, is out now

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