The Hedonist: Tel Aviv

What to see and where to be seen

Checking into one of the apartment suites at Tel Aviv's Nina Café Hotel (00 972 52 508 4141; ninacafehotel.com) on Shabazi Street in Neve Tzedek, I let the cool, discreet ambiance of the property soothe my travel-battered chi. She demanded more, though, leaving me for the alleyways and tile-roofed houses of the Neve Tzedek neighbourhood, en route to her favourite spa cradled within the majestic Suzan Dellal centre for dance (00 972 3 510 9876; spanevetzedek.co.il)

With both body and soul tuned up and ready to receive the night, we started off at tastebud treasure Catit (00 972 3 510 7001; catit.co.il) on Heichal HaTalmud Street. Inhabiting a wonderfully preserved villa in the heart of Tel Aviv, chef Meir Adoni offers local variations of contemporary French cuisine, spiced up with molecular gastronomy and native flavours.

A brisk post-dinner walk led us to 12 Rothschild (00 972 3 510 6430) a café-bar in Jaffa, where the beautiful people of Tel Aviv graced us alongside local DJs and live acts. Next, it was onwards to Clara at 1 Koifman (00 972 3 510 2060), which boasts a massive deck that straddles the seaside, where we fulfilled our Mediterranean shore-side club fantasy. As night merged with morning, we moved to The Cat & Dog, at 23 Carlebach, for darker, deep electronic sounds in a black-walled space.

Nourishment needs took us by Brasserie (00 972 3 696 7111; brasserie.co.il) at 70 Ibn Gabirol – the only restaurant to offer an haute Parisian menu 24 hours a day, before we fell back to the embraces of our hotel.

The next day commenced with a couple of painkillers, a strong hafuch (Israeli cappuccino) and a pair of dark sunglasses. I rented a long-board at Topsea (00 972 50 432 9001; topsea.co.il) at 165 Hayarkon Street, opposite the marina and headed out on to the beach, which is flanked by the ancient Jaffa walls and the Tel Aviv coastline. Meanwhile, she wandered the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (00 972 3 607 7020; tamuseum.com) on Shaul Hamelech Boulevard.

We commemorated our final night with absolute decadence. Our first destination was Mul-Yam (00 972 3 546 9920; mulyam.com) at Hangar 24, Tel Aviv Port. It's the only restaurant in the Middle East selected for Les Grandes Tables du Monde.

Then, making our way through the throngs of families on sedate outings, we sampled dessert at Shushu (00 972 54 221 9722) at 221 Ben Yehuda, a dance-bar hidden behind a yogurt shop. The absinthe and vanilla yoghurt were a strangely ethereal pairing.

Walking back south towards central Tel Aviv, we kept our eyes peeled for a rooftop party. The local authorities are relaxed about open-air events, and the flat-top construction in this city of Bauhaus buildings makes Tel Aviv a haven for elevated festivities. We followed the metallic sounds of house music echoing off the sides of the rotting constructions in Nachalat Binyamin, but the party was in its dying moments as crowds disbanded for the next thing.

We found it at Deli (00 972 3 642 5738), 47 Allenby, part of the recent trend in speakeasys. We passed by the sandwich counter, she flashed the bouncer a quick smile, and we were in. Halogen lights gave way to Edison bulbs and a New York lounge decor. Sophisticated cocktails, a gratifying sound system, and a nonchalant attitude make for an essential stop.

I had a New York-bound flight to catch at 1am. She was slated for Buenos Aires an hour later. We shared beautiful lies about a future rendezvous in neutral territory. Perhaps Berlin, or maybe Timbuktu.

Memories of her lips, and half a bottle of Israeli cabernet led me on to a red-eye of American dreams and Tel-Avivian laments.

A Hedonist's Guide to... (Hg2) is a luxury city guide series for the more decadent traveller. For more information, see hg2.com

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Neil Young performs on stage at Hyde Park
musicAnd his Hyde Park set has rhyme and reason, writes Nick Hasted
News
Women have been desperate to possess dimples like Cheryl Cole's
people Cole has secretly married French boyfriend Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini after just three months.
Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Extras
indybestThe tastiest creations for children’s parties this summer
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Paolo Nutini performs at T in the Park
music
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Java Swing Developer - Hounslow - £33K to £45K

    £33000 - £45000 per annum + 8% Bonus, pension: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: ...

    Sales Manager (Fashion and Jewellery), Paddington, London

    £45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

    Volunteer Digital Marketing Trustee needed

    Voluntary, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Are you keen on...

    Java Swing Developer - Hounslow - £33K to £45K

    £33000 - £45000 per annum + 8% Bonus, pension: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: ...

    Day In a Page

    Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

    Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

    Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
    Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

    The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

    Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
    Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

    Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

    Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
    Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

    Meet Japan's AKB48

    Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
    In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

    Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

    The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
    Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

    How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

    A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
    The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

    The evolution of Andy Serkis

    First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
    You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

    You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

    Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
    Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

    Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

    Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
    Children's books are too white, says Laureate

    Children's books are too white, says Laureate

    Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
    Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

    Blackest is the new black

    Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
    Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

    Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

    The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
    Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

    Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

    From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
    Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

    Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

    Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
    Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

    Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

    When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor