Calling all cruisers: yesterday in New York at its State of the Industry Conference, Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) released some very exciting news. The industry is moving full steam ahead: bookings are up (this year CLIA expects 17.6 million passengers in North America alone),cruises in Asia are expanding to meet the needs of China’s burgeoning middle class (there will be 7 million Chinese cruisers a year by 2020, according to Carnival Asia Chairman and CEO Pier Luigi Foschi), and nearly every line is introducing a new ship or revamp of some sort (read more in T+L Cruise Editor Jane Wooldridge’s recent piece).
Wondering where to go next? These two initiatives from CLIA may help you decide:
Euro crisis be damned: Portugal’s capital city is loaded with style, sophistication, and old-world pleasures. For the ultimate insider tour, we turned to Alexandra Champalimaud, a Lisbon native and the interior designer who recently revamped L.A.’s Hotel Bel-Air and is working on London’s Dorchester. Her first stop? Taberna Moderna(18A Rua dos Bacalhoeiros; $$), a Portuguese and Galician tapas restaurant in the historic Alfama district. Scroll down for more of Champalimaud’s expert picks.
“When visitors can’t fit in my apartment I have them stay at Chiado16(16-17 Largo da Academia Nacional de Belas Artes; $), a guesthouse perched on a hill in the Chiado district.”
“The wonderfully unfussy Kaffeehaus(3 Rua Anchieta;$$) is the place for brunch. Order a galão (a foamy espresso).”
“I appease my sweet tooth at Pastéis de Belém(84-92 Rua de Belém) a cozy café known for its traditional custard tarts.”
“A new restaurant in the Museum of Pharmacy, Pharmacia(1 Rua Marechal Saldanha; 351/213-462-146;$$) has inventive dishes and drinks. Get the Ibuprofen cocktail, with cachaça and lemon juice.”
One small step for man, one giant leap for ski bunnies.
From Montana to the Matterhorn, nothing says après-ski like the Moon Boot(tecnicausa.com; $100). The brainchild of the Italian brand Tecnica, the high-tech design became an instant slopeside classic when it debuted in 1970, inspired by Neil Armstrong’s padded lunar look. Today, some 28 million pairs later, its retro-fabulousness is back in vogue. The boot now comes in a range of patterns and colors—rainbow! iridescent gold!—and has adorned the feet of everyone from Sir Paul McCartney to Snooki, who no doubt loves the fact that there are no rights or lefts (easy on, easy off).
Most people know Scranton, Pennsylvania, as the fictional setting of NBC’s “The Office.” Turns out the “Electric City” is also the real life-setting of one of the most charming little spas in the state: LAVISH Body and Home (600 Lindsen St.; 570/558-2273), founded by Matt Drace (a former Creative Director at Travel + Leisure) and Jon Chernes, one-time marketing guru for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Given their impressive design resumes, it’s no surprise that their home goods section is well edited, but the spa itself is a huge draw. Clients love the organic facials—each one is tailored to your specific skin type and uses everything from cucumber to rice bran to draw out impurities—but personally, I love the soaps, made in Northern California of locally sourced herbs (my favorite: orange cinnamon with olive, which smells a bit like Florida at the holidays).
Kathryn O'Shea-Evans is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure.
Two venerable French institutions are pulling back the curtains to reveal the craftsmanship behind their stylish goods. L’Ecole Van Cleef & Arpels(from $750) offers four-hour classes on jewelry history and design in a gilded 18th-century atelier on Paris’s Place Vendôme. Students can try on a few sparklers, too. Stateside, Hermès is hosting the Festival des Metiers, a traveling exhibition making stops in New York, San Francisco, and Houston this fall. Visitors can interact with artisans sewing supple leather into Kelly bags using techniques first developed in the 1930’s. Sadly, you don’t get extra credit for shopping.
Once considered Nowheresville, the Portland’s West End is now a cool stopover.
Clyde Common: In this industrial restaurant beneath the Ace Hotel Portland (the undisputed heart of the neighborhood), almost everything is sourced from within a 100-mile radius, from the nettles in the cavatelli to the bacon, house-smoked over applewood. $$
Tanner Goods(pictured): Pick your preferred shade of English bridle leather and fittings (from brass to stainless steel)—and in just 10 minutes, you’ll walk out with a custom-made belt. 1308 W. Burnside St.
Dust off your hiking boots—Wales recently introduced an 870-mile walking path that winds along its salty coasts, from Chester to Chepstow. Along the way, you’ll see Flint Castle (built by King Edward I and surrounded by Dee Estuary), waterfalls (near Dyserth), and towering coniferforests that jut into the sea. Personally, I'm dying to get to St. Cwyfan’s Church, built on a tiny island in the 12th century and only accessible at low tide; the Boathouse at Laugharne (where Dylan Thomas spent the last four years of his life); and Cardigan Bay, known for the UK’s largest population of bottlenose dolphins. The most exciting part? Knowing I’ll get there on my own two feet.