Simonseeks Blog

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Want to know where the party’s at?

Let the Simonseeks’ destination experts advise you where to party this summer. Base your city break around one of these hot and happening ideas.

LondonExpert: Simon Coppock

"Forget Glastonbury. Londoners don’t have to leave the city to find a cool music festival: Jay-Z and Pink headline Wireless (www.wirelessfestival.co.uk, 2-4 July), Roxy Music and Dizzee Rascal are at the Lovebox Weekender (www.lovebox.net, 16-18 July) and Fatboy Slim and Carl Cox rock SW4 (www.southwestfour.com, 28-29 August)."

New York CityExpert: Ondine Cohane

"Hotel rooftop bars are all the rage this summer. Join the fashionable crowd at spots like the new Top of the Strand with its retractable roof and views of the Empire State (www.thestrandnyc.com) and the Bar D’Eau at the Trump Soho (www.trumpsohohotel.com)."

ParisExpert: Natasha Edwards

"The new Days Off Festival (2-8 July, www.citedelamusique.fr) at the Salle Pleyel and Cité de la Musique promises Emilie Simon, Pete Doherty, The Divine Comedy, the experimental Fitzcarraldo Sessions and more and kicks off with the Fooding’s La Bazarette, a convivial food market-cum-picnic."

BarcelonaExpert: Sally Davies

"La Terrrazza (www.laterrrazza.com) has been around for eons, but is still the party place of choice for dancing under the stars to thumping anthems spun by top DJs from Spain and abroad."

RomeExpert: Lee Marshall

"The Roman theatre of Ostia Antica – the former port town which is Rome’s answer to Pompeii – is a great place to take in a summer concert. Among the oldies strutting their stuff this summer are Jethro Tull (14 July) and Patti Smith (28 July)."

AmsterdamExpert: Fred Mawer

"Chill in a black beanbag on the decking of the Westergasterras (www.westergasterras.nl), a trendy and laid-back café/bar/restaurant whose eye-catching terrace backs on to a pond filled with livid green reeds. You'll find it at the rear of the Westergasfabriek, a former gasworks transformed in to an arts and nightlife complex."

MadridExpert: Annie Bennett

"Stick a carnation in your hair and join the locals at Madrid’s most authentic fiestas, which take place in the second week of August in the traditional Lavapies neighbourhood. There’s dancing in the streets and the sangría flows freely. More information on www.esmadrid.com."

VeniceExpert: Anne Hanley

"The people behind Piazza San Marco’s hip Aurora bar move to the beach for the whole summer, taking amplifiers, DJs, resident artists, cocktail shakers, a very lounge ambience and some pretty cool beach furniture for guests to tan themselves on. Aurora Beach is open 8.30am till late daily at Lungomare G D’Annunzio 20."

Cannes, Marseille, Monaco, Nice, Provence, St-TropezExpert: Anthony Peregrine

"In Nice there’s no doubt – it’s the Jazz Festival from July 17-24. The multi-stage event takes over the splendid Cimiez Hill gardens to give the likes of Ornette Coleman, Earth Wind & Fire and Buddy Guy the space they need. The rest of the city swings to a fringe fest. Get the full programme on www.nicejazzfestival.fr.

"Jimmy’z in Monaco celebrates its 40th birthday this year. Positively geriatric for a hip night-spot – except that the place, within the Sporting Club, continues to draw the rich, the famous, the beautiful and others who don’t notice that the cheapest drink is over £30 a shot.

"But that’s how it is by night on the Côte-d’Azur. Prices at St Tropez’s hottest spots – Les Caves du Roy, Papagayo and the VIP Room - are similarly eye-watering. Then again, if you have to ask the price, mon ami, you’re at the wrong party in the wrong town.

"In Cannes, you might start the evening in the streets round Rue Dr Mounod where hip bars and clubs abound. Insider status demands that you finish the night at the Palais Club, a summer-only night spot on the Croisette, where extravagance and excess are soul-sisters. Look good if you want to get past the blokes on the door.

"Nightlife in Marseille is marginally more rooted in reality – as long as you ignore the girlie bars just back from the Old Port. (If you don’t, you’ll be in for hundreds of quids worth of unspeakable “champagne”, and the company of ladies who don’t necessarily have your best interests at heart.) I prefer the Escale Borély – a nest of bars and restaurants south of the centre, near the Prado beaches. They’re lively and cool enough for most tastes."