“There’s a lot of style in Barcelona,” says Niki Robertson, one half of Antiques and Boutiques, a personal shopping and tour company staffed by two longtime expat English fashion designers. “But it’s behind the scenes.” Here, four of their favorite finds.
Blow by Le Swing: Of the three locations of this high-end and mint-condition vintage emporium, the Carrer de Guillem shop has the best collection of accessories and leather goods.
Of the stately chateaux-hotel-restaurants in France—venerable provincial destinations where one gambols among historic gardens and tucks in for a serious dinner—Reims's Les Crayères is the platonic ideal.
The first chef to put the turn of the century house's restaurant on the map was Gerard Boyer, who was at the time of his retirement in 2003, among the longest-running holders of three Michelin stars in the country. His kitchen at Les Crayères trained such future heavyweights as L'Arpège's Alain Passard, Le Pré Catelan's Frédéric Anton and Tom Aikens. "Among the many things Boyer taught me," says Passard, himself the holder of three stars, "is that there should be art in every gesture."
To salute the chef emeritus, Les Crayères gathered Passard, Anton, their current chef, Meilleur Ouvrier de France Philippe Mille, and Boyer himself, to put together a combo-menu, called Transmission et Partage (Inheritance and Sharing), which is on offer at Les Crayères until December 23, after three months of planning.
Voltaire once wrote, “God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.” Paris’s new Pavillon des Lettres takes this spirit to heart, and also pays homage to Voltaire himself, along with 25 other writers who were the inspiration for this chic hotel on a quiet street in the Eighth Arrondissement. Opened by the owners of the nearby Pavillon de la Reine, the 26 sleek guest rooms each channel an international author—from Hans Christian Andersen to Émile Zola—with their prose decorating the walls and their oeuvres on the shelves. Didier Benderli, the protégé of French architect Jacques Garcia, has imbued the hotel with a kind of masculine sexiness (dark velvet furnishings; stone floors).