Happy May from Need To Know Club,
This month, we're taking you to Islington, one of London's prettiest bustling neighbourhoods outside the Circle Line. We're also here to inspire a trip away – the season is perfect for Majorca in the Mediterranean in May or June, or to book for the dry season in Singapore (June, July and August).
If you want exhaustive lists, go to Trip Advisor – our mission is to save you time and money by picking out a few places we know you're going to rave about.
Once upon a time, Islington was to Londoners what Hackney is now; a buzzy creative centre with people from all disciplines – arts, politics, media – mixing it up, mingling and making things. Then New Labour's Blair and Brown had 'that' dinner at Granita and suddenly Islington wasn't just for north Londoners in the know but somewhere you might meet powerful and interesting people. The neighbourhood was on the map. Granita closed down in 2003 and became a Tex Mex joint called Desperados, which pretty much sums up the direction Upper Street took – the main drag still has a lot of chains – but cultural hotspots like The Almeida, the Union Chapel, Screen On The Green and art galleries like the Victoria Miro and Estorick Collection attract the kind of people who don't want a Five Guys. Look around Islington's corners and there's some sophisticated eating, shopping and arts to be found.
Like Ibiza, there are bits of Majorca you want to avoid (all connections with Love Island for a start) and other areas which make you think you've died and gone to heaven. In Palma, the historic district has a warren of medieval streets; most of the beautiful old buildings have been renovated into smart hotels, restaurants and shops. The seafront promenade will be busy with tourists, but hire a bike and put some distance between you and the crowds. For the best local produce, head to the covered market Mercat de L’Olivar, although mostly you'll want to let someone else cook so you can make the most of the excellent tapas and pintxos. For a quiet day away from the crowds, head to Porto Cristo and the Caves of Drach. Or for an air of exclusivity, it has to be Deia, really just a village, but celebrated for its stunning beauty and the rich and famous who visit.
Downtown Singapore is the bustling heart of commerce in this island state. Mall shopping is a popular pastime, but you can get designer brands anywhere, so turn your head and look for the culturally specific. It's only a short walk to the Gardens By The Bay – yes, this has become one of Singapore's top tourist attractions, so not a secret, but this futuristic garden is like nothing else on earth. Singapore has an exciting food scene – you can stuff yourself to the gills with street food from Chinatown, or you can go upmarket – you'll be spoiled for choice, but let us help you get to the good stuff quickly.
This month's most eye-catching nominations from members
Thanks to Need To Know Club members Alistair Bassett for nominating Whits Of Walmer and Suzanne Roberts for nominating The Dining Room, inspired by our coverage of Kent last month and both in Deal. Our writers have put them on their list of places to visit. This month Emma Perry reviewed a recent nomination by James McGough, The Palomar, in London.
Best Restaurant and Café
Best Bar and Pub
Best Thing to Do
Best Shop and Market
Best Hotel and Resort
Restaurants and cafés from around the world
Bars and pubs from around the world
Things to do from around the world
Shops and markets from around the world
Hotels and resorts from around the world