Mexican: the cuisine London could never get right. While the city mastered Emirati, Ethiopian, Polish, Syrian, Lebanese (and how!)—even Argentine steaks—attempts at Mexican fare have historically been less well-received. But that was then. Three years ago, the arrival of Mestizo—followed by the opening of popular burrito bar Chilango—began transforming London into a Mexican food mecca. Now the big guns from across the pond have arrived. Last month, Serge Becker opened hotspot taqueríaLa Bodega Negra in Soho. Not to be outdone, Derek Sanders, the force behind New York City’s haute Mexican diner/speakeasy La Esquina, will soon open his London outpost right around the corner.
And don’t forget Peru! Star Peruvian chef Virgilio Martinez, who gained worldwide recognition for Central restaurant in Lima, will open his first London eatery this June. Meanwhile, Ceviche(pictured), which opened in March in Soho, is receiving buzz for its extensive menu and dedicated Pisco Sour bar.
This morning on the Weather Channel, T+L's Sarah Spagnolo presented easy weekend getaways from Charleston, South Carolina. We know T+L readers love this destination: It ranked No. 4 on the list of Top Cities in the United States and Canada in the just-announced 2012 World's Best Awards readers' survey. Take a look!
A TRIO OF WEEKEND ESCAPES
1. Downtown Charleston Travel + Leisure readers love Charleston. Proof? The city was ranked as the No. 4 Top City in the U.S. and Canada on the 2012 World’s Best Awards readers’ survey. With top-notch restaurants, pristine beaches, and plenty of Lowcountry charms, Charleston is an ideal southern escape. WHERE TO STAY The 19th-century Wentworth Mansion offers a perfect downtown location as well as great value. There are drinks in the parlor each afternoon, chocolate at turndown, and a complimentary breakfast that includes some of the best shrimp and grits we’ve ever tasted. PRICE $329 a night, including breakfast for two. BOOK NOW
For Tanglewood... Our favorite summer music festival—held at the country home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra—celebrates its 75th anniversary this season. Highlights include performances by Yo-Yo Ma and Diana Krall, plus a Fourth of July extravaganza with unofficial Tanglewood bard James Taylor. Nothing beats hearing Sweet Baby James sing about the “dreamlike” Berkshires in the actual Berkshires. Through Sept. 2.
Stay at... Stonover Farm(pictured) A 15-minute walk from Tanglewood’s front gate is what appears to be your archetypal New England farmhouse inn, complete with the requisite duck pond and willow trees. But the suite interiors are more Giorgio Armani than Norman Rockwell, with elegant fabrics and warm neutral tones. On cool evenings, owner Tom Werman—a former L.A. record producer—lights the flagstone fireplaces, cues up some Bill Evans, and pours wine for guests. $$$
T+L's features director, Nilou Motamed, announces the new crop of Travel + Leisure World's Best Award winners, as voted by readers in our annual survey. From Montana's Triple Creek Ranch to Boracay, a pristine island in the Philippines, these hotels, destinations, and travel companies are the best of the best. For all the winners, click here.
Planning to devour some sticky barbecued ribs this weekend? Don’t feel guilty: they could be your ticket to a free trip to Blackberry Farm, the Travel + Leisure's World’s Best Award–winning resort in Walland, Tennessee. Starting today, “spot” Southern dishes—from BBQ to grits to gumbo—on Foodspotting, a website and app for finding the best meals around the globe, and you’ll be entered for a chance to a win a trip for two to one of the country’s best foodie escapes.
T+L's Sarah Spagnolo presents easy weekend getaways from Chicago on the Weather Channel's Wake Up with Al.
1. Family-Friendly Resort: Kohler, Wisconsin Founded in 1918 by the man behind Kohler bathroom fixtures, this destination, three hours north of Chicago, is known for its iconic resort, where travelers can choose between dozens of activities, from tennis to golf, croquet, hiking, swimming, and more. WHERE TO STAY The 240-room American Club Resort, which offers storytelling by an outdoor firepit on Friday nights. Plus, all the rooms have state-of-the-art showers and whirlpool bathtubs. PRICE $289 a night. BOOK NOW
Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix Phoenix’s grande dame was built in the 1920’s by disciples of Frank Lloyd Wright, and unlike many Phoenix resorts, it’s understated and elegant—a sophisticated gray stone carved with Wright’s signature angles. Rooms are small and cozy and feature earth-tone furnishings. Explore eight pools and numerous nooks and crannies among the 39 acres, including the Catalina pool; Irving Berlin reportedly wrote “White Christmas” while afloat here. This summer, it’s hosting the third annual Hollywood & Wine Festival.
Deal:From $80/night ($119/night and third night free), available through Labor Day. Use group code “ZU” when booking online or call 800-950-0086.