From RED-HOT BELLY dancers in Dubai to cool jazz in London, live entertainment makes for an appetising extra course at restaurants.

Dine on spit-roasted meats while an Arabian horse display team rides on the surrounding sand dunes at the open-air Al Hadeerah restaurant, Jumeirah Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa, Dubai (00 971 4 832 6699; jumeirahbabalshams.com).

A starter of tartare of hamachi and blue fin tuna is as sophisticated as the cabaret at Carlyle Caf, The Carlyle, 35 East 76th Street, New York (00 1 212 744 1600; thecarlyle.com), where performers have included Woody Allen.

Valkyries and Vikings serenade while you feast on shark and dried fish with Icelandic schnapps at the Viking-themed Fjorugardurinn restaurant, Fjorukrain, Strandgata 55, 220 Hafnarfjordur, Iceland (00 354 565 1213; fjorukrain.is).

There's a helping of Irish songs and stories from Tom Sweeney to go with the Donegal lamb at Harvey's Point, Lough Eske, Donegal Town, Co Donegal (00 353 74 972 2208; harveys point.com).

Harry Connick Jnr and Branford Marsalis have been known to drop in for a jam session at Octave, 27-29 Endell Street, London (020-7836 4616; octave8. com), where dishes such as herb-crusted halibut with white bean and ham hock casserole are on the menu.

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