Imagine returning from a sheep muster to partake of a five-course meal. At New Zealand's Wharekauhau (pronounced "forry-ko-ho"), you can encounter an honest antipodean farm while living in luxury. For 17 years Bill and Annette Shaw have run a lodge on their 5,000-acre sheep station, 10 minutes by helicopter (or a two-hour drive) from Wellington on the North Island. Accolades inspired the Shaws to rebuild -- on a grand scale. The result is an Edwardian-style mansion, with 10 suites in cottages overlooking rugged Palliser Bay. The rooms are ultra-private, save for the flocks that wander outside your window and tag along as you fish, golf, and hike the Rimutaka range. At dinner, guests mingle at long tables over Cervena, New Zealand's coveted venison, and refined reds from the much-hailed Martinborough wineries down the road. Wharekauhau Country Estate, Western Lake Rd., Featherston; 800/525-4800 or 64-6/307-7581, fax 64-6/307-7799; doubles from $520, including breakfast and dinner.
Wet Suits for Your Wireless
Body Glove's neoprene Cellsuits ($25) and Beepsuits ($15) are so water-resistant you can almost take your cell phone surfing. Call 888/554-6636.
We're Hot For. . . .
This month's unveiling of Paul McCartney's childhood house in Liverpool, where he and John Lennon wrote their first songs. • Butterfield & Robinson's new half- and full-day biking trips around Paris (from $65 per person; 800/678-1147). • Transparent zinc-oxide cream from SkinCeuticals -- no more white noses ($26; 800/811-1660 to order). • Pasteis de nata, a flaky egg tart from Macao, now all the rage in Hong Kong. Lines snake around the block at Lord Stow's new Mong Kok and Tsim Sha Tsui shops -- all for a 77-cent wibbly-wobbly pastry with a burnt top.
Prepare for Takeoff
Join the jet set without leaving the ground. New York City's aerodynamic new bar, Idlewild (the original name of JFK International Airport), is designed to look like a mod 1960's jet, from the fuselage-like façade to the boarding-ramp hallway, chrome accents, and dusty-blue Naugahyde walls. Recline in the bar's 24-seat "nose" or head to the standing-room-only rear lounge. No boarding pass required. Idlewild, 145 E. Houston St.; 212/477-5055.
Though Cambodia may be only for the intrepid traveler, globe-trotters can find sanctuary at two hotels sensitively restored by Raffles International. In their heyday, Hotel Le Royal and Grand Hotel d'Angkor attracted journalists and members of high society. Now, the hotels have been kitted out with handwoven silks, claw-foot tubs, and ceiling fans that recall the country's lazy pre-war charm. Introductory double rates are $156 at Le Royal; $275 at the Grand. Hotel Le Royal,92 Rukhak Vithei Daun Penh, Phnom Penh; 855-23/981-888, fax 855-23/981-168.Grand Hotel d'Angkor,1 Vithei Charles de Gaulle, Siem Reap; 855-63/963-888, fax 855-63/963-168.
From the Fifties, With Love
Marilyn Monroe lived in this Beverly Hills hotel just off Rodeo Drive for two years (in room 305), back when it was called the Beverly Carlton. Now it's about to be reborn as the Avalon. Designer Kelly Wearstler has filled the 88 rooms with a kicky mix of geometric bubble lamps by George Nelson, Eames cabinets, Thonet chairs, and Noguchi tables. Avalon, 9400 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills; 800/535-4715 or 310/277-5221; doubles from $150.
New cinemas are bringing dinner theater to the movies. Melbourne's Gold Class theaters ($16 admission; 61-3/9278-6601) serve sushi at your fully reclining seat. At Virgin Cinemas' Premier Screens in Aberdeen, Scotland ($16; 44-541/550-502), and other U.K. cities, you can order champagne and snacks. Viewers from as far as Indiana are traveling to Premium Cinema ($15; 630/495-0048), just outside Chicago in Lombard, Illinois, for Francis Ford Coppola wines and chicken saté.
Our vote for cover-up of the season: Rhonda Scholes's Cool Change wraps, patterned with Caribbean-inspired motifs in daring color combos, and made of rayon voile ($45 each; 212/431-0220). And hey -- not bad as a summer airplane blanket.
What Goes Around London
Two new London shops have rolled out their welcome mats in Notting Hill, taking their design cues from London's tube. Elephant pants, neon sneakers, and bug-eye sunglasses hug the curvaceous walls of the London Beach Store (178 Portobello Rd.; 44-171/243-2772), while a lopsided circular window embraces Wild at Heart (49A Ledbury Rd.; 44-171/727-3095). Sister to the well-known florist at Westbourne Grove, Wild at Heart sells some of London's funkiest flower arrangements.
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