Minimalism becomes the Metropolitan, London's latest ode to utilitarian chic. Hotelier and fashion impresario Christina Ong collaborated with United Designers' Keith Hobbs and Linzi Coppick—who styled the interiors of Dublin's Clarence hotel—to create a cool sophistication that extends from the 155 sleek guest rooms and the staff's Donna Karan-designed uniforms to chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa's expansive second-floor Nobu restaurant. At night, the glass-sheathed hotel set on the edge of Hyde Park glows like a greenhouse—make that a hothouse. Metropolitan, Old Park Lane; 44-171/447-1000, fax 44-171/447-1100; doubles from $315. —Martine Bury
At Crustacean, a Beverly Hills rendition of colonial Hanoi, Vietnam has never been easier to reach.
Helene An and her daughters run this pan-Asian restaurant, as well as two others in San Francisco. Inside, a glass-covered stream stocked with koi winds from the entrance to the dining room. Seafood is the way to go: Don't miss the garlicky roasted Dungeness crab or lemongrass-scented bouillabaisse. Crustacean, 9646 Little Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; 310/205-8990; dinner for two $75. —Chris Rubin
Chicago Catches a Wave
When summer cooks Chicago, chill
in style aboard an armada of new sightseeing vessels sailing from the revamped Navy Pier. The Windy, a four-masted schooner, launches her first full season this month. For a wilder ride, chop waves on the bright yellow speedboat Seadog. Or voyage on the Cap Streeter, modeled after the steamship that ran aground in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood in 1886. The Windy, 312/595-5555; $25. Seadog, 312/822-7200; $13. Cap Streeter, 312/222-0936; $9. —Greg Beaubien
• England The future of dining has arrived at London's new Yo! Sushi, where robotic trolleys circulate with drinks and your fish speeds in via conveyor belt.
• France In Paris, where vegetarian meals are rare, Jacques Dereux's Tant Qu'il Y Aura des Hommes at 1 Rue Jean-Bologne is a welcome addition. Try l'assiette beauté, made with steamed market veggies.
• Scotland Edinburgh's chic new Indigo Yard serves smoked haddock with Welsh rabbit in a glassed-over courtyard created by Glasgow design group Graven Images.
• Sweden McDonald's has just launched its first ski-through restaurant—McSki—located at the Swedish resort of Lindvallen.
Connolly, the British leather-goods company that supplies
Rolls-Royce and Jaguar, is revving up for summer with a new line of women's driving gear:
goggles, touring helmet, gloves, and a silk-and-lycra blouse with a buttery leather collar. Strictly for hot-rod joyriding. From $90, for gloves, to $413, for a shirt. Connolly, 32 Grosvenor
Crescent Mews, London; also available by mail, or call 44-171/235-3883. —Shane Mitchell
Hong Kong's queen of style, Joyce Ma, is quickly becoming the empress of Asia, with new department stores in Bangkok and Hong Kong's Kowloon district. Designed by Calvin Tsao, both have multilevel emporiums that transport you from Joyce Living (sheets by Ann Gish, flatware by Jean Boggio) to Joyce Beauty (Robert Isabell perfumes, François Nars makeup) to departments filled with clothing by Issey Miyake and Prada. Stop at the café on the top floor of the Hong Kong store for East-meets-West meals (from English tea to seaweed sandwiches). —Erika Lederman
Judging from the diners during the Sundance Film Festival this year—Billy Crystal, Jodie Foster—Park City's new Chimayo restaurant is hot. The lure: Bill White's elk burritos and chipotle-tamarind spareribs. Chimayo, 368 Main St., Park City, Utah; dinner for two $70.
Home at Last
Scottish architect Charles Rennie Macintosh is having a banner year, almost seven decades after his death: a major exhibition of his works is touring the U.S.A., while in Glasgow his House for an Art Lover, designed in 1901 for a German industrialist, has been built and opened to the public. It's the apple of the city's eye. House for an Art Lover, 10 Dumbreck Rd., Bellahouston Park; 44-141/353-4770. —Vanessa Friedman
Over the Bridge
A 1930 guidebook said, —Gage & Tollner is to Brooklyn what the Statue of Liberty is to New York Harbor." That reputation may return after a $3 million restoration, which has brought back the gaslights and a menu of lobster Newburg and oysters Rockefeller. Gage & Tollner, 372 Fulton St.; 718/875-5181; dinner for two $60. —Jean Nathan
Eau de Babe
No French toddler is à la mode these days without a splash of children's perfume. Some 60 brands are now on the market, from Annick Goutal's zingy Bonpoint
to Petit Guerlain. As bottles fly out of boutiques, the question is: Will the sweet natural scent of a baby's skin soon be but a memory?—Lanie Goodman
• England The stylish Malmaison hotel group has just announced plans to open three new boutique hotels in Leeds, Newcastle, and Manchester (44-141/221-1052).
• Germany Burned down in 1945, the Hotel Adlon Berlin, next to the Brandenburg Gate, is being rebuilt by Kempinski Hotels. It's scheduled to reopen next month (doubles from $360; 49-30/2261-1111).
• Portugal Two pousadas worth a visit opened this winter: Pousada D. Joao IV at the site of the Convento das Chagas, in the village of Vila Viçosa, and Mosteiro de Santa Maria do Bouro in Amares (call 800/223-1356 or 212/686-9213).