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Just returned from a fab long weekend

South Wales, UK
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375 posts
43 reviews
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Just returned from a fab long weekend

No, it's not really the place for stags - it's a bit too small and what they would probably consider sedate. Which suited me just fine.

We stayed at the wonderful Centra Hotel, which couldn't be better situated if it's the Old Town you're after. We visited the New Town (no time for the Art Nouveau district) and Moscow District, and where we were was where it's at. I've written more about the hotel in the hotels section.

I thought the cost of drink and food in the old town was reasonable -although nowhere near as cheap as at the Lido, where we had a glass (or two) of wine and pint of beer for just over £2 in total. I deserved it after the bruising I had from the ice rink!

The old town has some lovely buildings and a trip to the top of St Peter's spire is a must - although it was bracing, to say the least, in the cold and wind of Saturday afternoon.

There are some nice bars - we particularly liked the Amsterdam Bar opposite the hotel and Tim McShane's. Smoking is banned in most places, so we were delighted to find Alus Ordenis and the brilliant Belgian Bar - just around the corner from our hotel - where you can still enjoy enjoy a puff indoors.

We saw no trouble - apart from a few 'vocal' stags during the Manchester derby - and they weren't really trouble, just loud.

All in all, I would definitely recommend Riga as a weekend break destination for couples and groups... of females!

Tbilisi, Georgia
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825 posts
14 reviews
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1. Re: Just returned from a fab long weekend

I'm glad that you enjoyed it here.

Thanks also for the tips regarding places where it is still possible to smoke inside - there really aren't that many of them any more.

When the ban was first introduced on 1 July it wasn't too bad as it was pleasant outside. But now it's winter, this is not an option and so I am on the lookout for other options.

The only ones I know at the moment are:

Safrans - Raina bulv.

Red Fred - Dzirnavu

Ai Karamba - Plukveza Brieza

If anyone knows of any other places where they allow smoking inside and where you don't have to pay to get in, please post the info here.

Thank you!

Liverpool, United...
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299 posts
2 reviews
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2. Re: Just returned from a fab long weekend

talking of ai karamba, we went there last august. my mate wanted to go because she thought it was a simpsons theme bar!

we went in and ordered, it was a nice place and the food was ok, but i had a huge nosebleed in the toilet (felt like i'd lost two pints, i was gone 20 mins from the table!). it looked like i'd killed some kind of animal once i was done, even after i'd tried to tidy up...

i dont think we can go back there again.

can you still smoke in The Dickens?

Tbilisi, Georgia
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825 posts
14 reviews
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3. Re: Just returned from a fab long weekend

Ai Karamba is nothing special, but it's better value for money than TGI Fridays for sure. I was in Ai Karamba a couple of weeks ago and had the blandest curry I've ever had in my life - no spices at all.

Still, I was happy just to sit there and smoke myself blue in the face.

I don't know about Dickens - I've never been in there. I saw that it was owned by Elkor - the biggest retailer of electrical good in the country.

It was the same as the thought of going to a pub in England operated by Dixons!

South Wales, UK
Level Contributor
375 posts
43 reviews
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4. Re: Just returned from a fab long weekend

No, you can't smoke in Dickens. Every time we walked past there was a crowd huddled in front of the doorway, cigs in hand.

I definitely think the Belgian bar is the best place to go for a smoke. It's relaxed and friendly, and nowhere near as smoky (or cold) as Alus Ordenis. And it has a great selection of beers.

5. Re: Just returned from a fab long weekend

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