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Editor Picks: Fashion's Night Out 2011

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For the third year in a row, stores around the world will stay open after hours to help celebrate Fashion’s Night Out—offering up special designs, discounts and goodie bags, not to mention a chance to meet celebs and the designers themselves.

Fashion's Night Out began in 2009 as a way to encourage consumers to shop and support the fashion industry. Now, it expands to more than 15 countries. Although we aren’t able to jet set around the globe tonight, we have found five ways to travel the world here in T+L's home base, New York City.

Exclusively for New York iPhone and Android users, is the FNO App for real time event information with "around me" options to help you navigate throughout the night.

Here are our picks for a fabulous night on the town:

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C’est l’amour! New York Welcomes Ladurée

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Yes, I'll confess. I'd never had a macaron until last night, when I braved the line, and the rain, for my first-ever taste of those light and lovely (and unequivocally French) treats by luxury Parisian patisserie Ladurée. No, I wasn't in the City of Love (though in love I fell…and hard). The brand’s newest outpost finally opened its doors to New York City, and America, last Tuesday, just in time for Fashion Week. And if that line, seemingly unabated since the opening, is any indication, this Upper East Side pastel-colored jewel is shaping up to be Manhattan’s next macaron mecca. (Move over, Bouchon Bakery!)

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Lamu, Kenya: New Hot Spots

Lamu, Kenya

This far-flung archipelago has become the location of choice for the style set. T+L drops in to check out the latest openings.

The Glamorous Retreat: Originally a private residence for a wealthy Italian family, the Majlis (Manda Island; 254/204-441-164; doubles from $841, including meals) has been converted into a 24-room resort with soaring beamed ceilings, two sexy pools, and lanterns everywhere.

The Authentic Find: Red Pepper House (Coconut Beach; 254/727-606-691; doubles from $1,450, including meals) celebrates Swahili design: its thatched-roof bungalows are modeled after native houses. The resort also helps fund a hospital and an orphanage nearby.

The Afforable Hideaway: At the Moon Houses (254/722-209-490; doubles from $290), a series of chic villas scattered around the islands, you’ll have plenty of privacy—plus, a personal chef to cook fish caught that very morning.

The Must-Visit Shop: African fashion designer Anna Trzebinski (Sea Suq, Shela; 254/720-292-024) chose Lamu for her first freestanding shop. The waterfront space is stocked with her trademark beaded sandals, embellished caftans, and feather-trimmed pashminas.

Photo by Jonathan Bloom

TODAY Show: Travel Tips to Hurricane-Proof Your Vacation

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Were you stranded because of Hurricane Irene? T+L Features Director Nilou Motamed shares some smart travel tips for weathering storms.

Don't Miss: BottleRockIt Cali Wine and Music Fest

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Wente Vineyards
, the oldest family-owned winery in the country, is at it again.  Travel + Leisure has long celebrated Wente for its picturesque golf course, a world-class destination uniquely situated amongst the vines.  What many people do not know, however, is that they also have a gorgeous concert area, where one might hear anything from jazz to hip-hop, classical to electronica.  This Saturday, check out their latest event: BottleRockIt.  Originally called Discover the Wine Discover the Music, this 5th annual music festival pulls in heavy hitters like Dirty Vegas and GIVERS, while also providing exposure to the emerging artists of the San Francisco Bay Area.  Twenty bands will amplify three different stages on this stunning estate.  Concert-goers are given the opportunity to do some world-class wine tasting while they bop their heads to the delicious tunes.  For $20, you can't beat that for a weekend getaway!

WHAT: BottleRockIt
WHEN:
Saturday, September 10, 2011. Doors open at 10:30 AM and performances begin at 11 AM.
WHERE: The lawn at the Wente Vineyards Estate Tasting Room; 5565 Tesla Road, Livermore, CA 94550

Joe Harper is a research assistant at Travel + Leisure.

Harry Potter Studios in England to Open for Behind-the-Scenes Tour

Harry Potter studio tour

If you found yourself tearing up at the end of the last Harry Potter movie this summer, fear not, Muggles! For those utterly addicted to the Harry Potter universe and those who simply want to tour a piece of movie-making history, the franchise lives on. Tickets are available beginning October 13, 2011 for the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London—The Making of Harry Potter, at Leavesden, opening in Spring 2012. Tack on an extra day to a London visit and bring your broomstick for this insider’s look.

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Phase 1 of World's First Commercial Spaceport 90% Complete

Daily Mail | Phase one of the world's first commercial spaceport, which will be the hub for Virgin's consumer spaceflights, is now 90 per cent complete.

The 1,800-acre Spaceport America site, in Las Cruces, New Mexico, is the home base for Virgin Galactic, Richard Branson's most ambitious business venture yet.

It already boasts a runway stretching to nearly two miles long, a futuristic styled terminal hanger, and a dome-shaped Space Operations Centre.

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Contest Watch: Culinary Trip to Europe, $15K Trip Giveaway + More

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Adventurous contestants have plenty of options with these three contests. Whether following the Travelocity gnome to Machu Pichu, jetting to Dubai, or exploring new culinary adventures abroad, these sweepstakes are not for homebodies. Procrastinators beware, each opportunity is only available for a few more days.

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Pierre Cardin Unveils the “New” Château Lacoste

Chateau Lacoste

Artists and other creative types have been drawn to the Château Lacoste in Provence since the Marquis de Sade was in residence, and the notorious author’s lure held fast even as his castle and its surrounding fell into decay. Closer to our times, the Surrealists and Max Ernst gravitated to what was left of this tiny medieval village, and over the decades an artists’ community has grown up around it.

Since 2002, a cluster of homes bought and gradually restored by the American expat artist Bernard Pfriem in the Fifties was acquired by the Savannah College of Art and Design, which stepped up renovations, giving a historic boulangerie new life as a library (pictured above), and transforming forgotten cellars into exhibition spaces. In a separate but complementary effort, over the past several years nonagenarian fashion designer Pierre Cardin has been busy rehabilitating the ruined castle into a center for arts and music and recast a number of storefronts into shiny galleries.

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Call for Entries: 2012 Travel + Leisure Design Awards

Design impacts travel in ways small and large—shaping everything from fashion and luggage to hotel rooms and city skylines. Now we want to know what inspires you.

Travel + Leisure’s 2012 Design Awards are a tribute to both the practical and the beautiful. The 2012 winners, representing 12 categories, will be chosen by a panel of outstanding experts in their fields. Jury members include: architect Billie Tsien; chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson; fashion designer Derek Lam; Paul Priestman, director of Priestmangoode; Robert Hammond, co-founder and executive director of Friends of the High Line; Michael Bruno, founder of 1stdibs.com; designer Muriel Brandolini; and artist Michele Oka Doner.

Last year’s winners (see video, above) included the futuristic Yas Hotel in Abu Dhabi (Best Large Hotel); the renovation of the United Kingdom’s oldest public museum, the Ashmolean, in Oxford (Best Museum); and Priestmangoode’s innovative staterooms, designed for Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Epic ship (Best Transportation).

If you’re excited about something that we should consider for the 2012 awards, please drop us an email at designawards@aexp.com or fill out an application here. The deadline for nominations is Monday, October 3.

The winning entries will be published in our March 2012 issue.

Moscow: Where to Go Now

Bar Strelka

Set on an island in the heart of Moscow, the once-abandoned warehouses of the old Red October chocolate factory now house some of the city’s hippest galleries, restaurants, and rooftop bars.

For classic cucina italiana, check out Bontempi, a new locanda from Lombardy-born chef Valentino Bontempi. 12 Bersenevskaya Nab.; 7-495/223-1387; dinner for two $138.

With its spacious roof deck and innovative tapas (bocconcini and chile fritters), Bar Strelka—atop the Strelka design institute—draws a mix of local artists, intellectuals, and scenesters. 14 Bersenevskaya Nab.; 7-495/771-7437; drinks for two $25.

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MOVE, EAT, LEARN: Interview with Rick Mereki

How do you fit the scope of the world into 60 seconds? Filmmaker Rick Mereki knows, and the wanderlusting Internet world has fallen head over heels in love with his vagabond film adventures.

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Guess Where? Sand Dunes

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This summer I went on a long road trip from my home in New York. These sand dunes were the farthest west I ventured. Can you guess where I took this photo?

Log in and leave your guesses below. We're out on Monday for Labor Day, so check back on Tuesday for the answer. Have a great long weekend!

UPDATE 9/06/11: Thanks April! This is the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore along Lake Michigan in Michigan's Lower Peninsula.

Lyndsey Matthews is an online editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.

Photo by Lyndsey Matthews

Editor's Pick: Late Summer Night's Theater in Hudson Valley

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Late August has been eventful along the East Coast -- the rumbling of an earthquake, hurricane Irene and the aftermath -- yet beautiful weather has returned and with it come some last opportunities for summer culture. Top of the list: the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival that celebrates its 25th anniversary with a final performance of Hamlet and The Comedy of Errors this weekend. To this pairing, the company offers Around the World in 80 Days (Friday, Sept. 2), ingeniously staged by Christopher V. Edwards with five actors playing 39 roles! The global romp, witty and droll, brings the range of characters to England, India, China in varied modes of 19th-century transport: steamship, train, elephant.

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NYC’s New Tech-Focused Hotel

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Innovator Simon Woodroffe

Who He Is: Not since Richard Branson has Britain seen an entrepreneur as iconoclastic as Woodroffe. He designed rock shows for Stevie Wonder and Rod Stewart, launched the chain of conveyor-belt YO! Sushi restaurants, and then created Yotel in 2007, which blends the self-service of Japanese pod hotels (touch-screen check-in kiosks; motorized retractable beds) with a stylish, airplane-cabin vibe.

His Big Idea: Woodroffe’s newest outpost, Yotel Times Square (doubles from $259), in New York City, is a living demonstration of convenience through technology. The hotel features the world’s first luggage robot, a cranelike contraption that retrieves bags and stores them in a sleek white wall of drawers in the lobby. At its restaurant, Dohyo, the tables can be lowered into the floor, opening up the space for performances. Guest “cabins” all have Yotel’s trademark “techno-wall,” with flat-screen TV’s, music and power services, and device-storage areas.

Photo courtesy of Yotel

Classic Fashion: The Mens White Shirt

men's white shirt

Whether you’re packing for a business trip or a weekend getaway, you can’t go wrong with this classic look.

Clean Cut: Cotton shirts, clockwise from top left: Thomas Pink, $195; Prada, $375; Carolina Herrera, $990; Theory, $235.

Photo by John Lawton

Vacationist Hotel Deals: Places to Wear White All Year

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Trying to wear your linen pants and white jeans as much as possible before Labor Day?  There’s no need to cram it all in before Monday: this week, Vacationist is offering a handful of deals to destinations where white jeans—not to mention flip-flops, sun hats, and wispy tunics—are de rigueur all year long. So forget fall fashion. Book your endless summer now.

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TODAY Show: Labor Day Trivia

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

With the holiday weekend just a few days away, Travel + Leisure's digital projects editor, Sarah Spagnolo, headed to NBC's Studio One to try to stump the Today show audience with Labor Day trivia.

Question: Which city was the first to celebrate Labor Day? Here's your hint: The city celebrated on a Tuesday, believe it or not. The date: September 5, 1882. Check out the clip for the answer to this Labor Day question, plus other fun facts.

Just Back: The New and the Old of Newport, Rhode Island

201108-b-newport-black-pearl-smalljpgOkay okay, I ate at the Black Pearl Restaurant...again.  You can stamp “tourist” onto my forehead, but their New England clam chowder is too amazing to pass up.  I stumbled out satisfied and wandered into the colorful gallery/art studio, Art on the Wharf. Perhaps it was this tourist-guilt that compelled me to ask artist-owner, Tony Gill (pictured below), for some locals’ suggestions, but it was well worth the inquiry.  He had heard the question before and quickly handed me a sheet of paper titled “Tony’s Best Bets.”  I now had my work cut out for me.

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Beijing’s New Foodie Destination

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Popular dining and entertainment district Sanlitun is fast becoming the city’s gastronomic destination. A couple of noteworthy additions to the dining scene: Modo, which serves South American and Scandinavian–inflected fare like smørrebrød with herring and pickled radish and arepas with avocado and chicken; Colibri, an airy café with cupcakes galore; and Transit, a sleek Sichuan restaurant.

I’ve been fascinated by the renaissance of Chinese eateries in the capital and how Beijing has really emerged as the place where you can sample an enormous range of authentic, regional Chinese cuisines in sophisticated surroundings. It’s been a remarkable transformation, given that as recently as the late 1990’s it was a culinary wasteland thanks to the long-lingering effects of the Cultural Revolution.

Jennifer Chen is Travel + Leisure's Asia correspondent. You can follow her on Twitter at xiaochen6.

Photo by Lyndsey Matthews

Hurricane Irene: Grading the Airlines

Delta airlines

When Mother Nature unleashes her wrath, there’s not much air travelers can do except wait it out. And, of course, reschedule their flights. But as we know, getting through to a customer service rep is half the battle. And we’re not just talking about reaching them by phone; when customers tweet, they expect a response. Pronto.

So with Hurricane Irene storming her way up the East Coast last week, what airlines were most easily reachable? STELLAService—an independent company that rates customer service quality—wanted to find out. So on Friday, August 26, they called each of the 10 largest U.S. airlines an average of eight times between 9am and 6:30 pm ET. They also directed 12 tweets to each airline between 12am ET and 12pm ET that day.

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T+L Find: Artistic Globes

ImagineNation globes

Looking to put your stamp on the world? California-based artist Wendy Gold’s ImagineNations (from $150) are decoupaged with old hotel stickers, travel sayings, and whimsical maps studded with everything from butterflies to superheroes. And yes, she also takes custom orders.

Photo courtesy of ImagineNations

5 New East Coast Beach Hotels

The Tides Beach Club in Kennebunkport, Maine

From Maine to New York, these new East Coast properties are making a splash.

Kennebunkport, Maine: Housed in a charming Victorian mansion on secluded Goose Rocks Beach, the 21-room Tides Beach Club (doubles from $325) recently opened with several brighly accented suites decorated by Jonathan Adler.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts: Provincetown’s Harbor Hotel (doubles from $179) has 129 mostly turquoise-and-lime rooms, plus art exhibits by local painters.

The Hamptons, New York: With a Cynthia Rowley boutique, a Nobu restaurant, and a poolside Bathing Club, the super-stylish Capri (doubles from $295) is a Southampton standout. For a haute-summer-camp vibe in Montauk, there’s Ruschmeyer’s (doubles from $475), complete with 19 cabins (dubbed “crash pads”) and an on-site beer garden.

Shelter Island, New York: Between the patisserie and the pétanque court, not to mention the Côté Bastide toiletries in the eight airy suites, Francophiles will love La Maison Blanche (doubles from $295), just a short walk from the shore.

Photo by Rick Lew

Last Chance: Grand Prize Photo Contest Voting!

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Isn’t it hard to believe that 2011 is more than halfway over? It also means that it’s time for our monthly photo contest winners from the first half of 2011 to go head-to-head for the Grand Prize—a trip for two to Hawaii! And there are just a few more days to vote!

Your votes will determine which one of the six finalists from the Beaches and Coastlines, Strange Sights, Nature, Family Getaways, Buildings and Architecture, and Winter Travel photo contests will win a 6 day/5 night stay for two in Hawaii at a luxury hotel. So vote now and vote often for your favorite shot.

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Book Review: Getting Paid To Live Overseas

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We all have fantasies of what we'd rather be doing. Me, I'd like to run a beachside beer shack down Mexico way. I don't know what you're doing right now, but wouldn't you rather do it in, say, Bora Bora? The question is how to go about it. For some answers, consider one man's experience in On the Other Guy's Dime: A Professional's Guide To Traveling Without Paying, by G. Michael Schneider.

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Q&A: Bollywood Star Abhay Deol

The Bollywood blockbuster of the summer, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (You Only Live Once) is a cinematic love letter to Spain, following three buddies on an epic bachelor trip that takes them from Barcelona to Seville and beyond. But lest you jump to the inevitable comparisons, the Indian Hangover it is not—ZNMD (as it's now called) has a lot less raunch, a lot more soul, and plenty of beautifully shot musical sequences.

For megastars Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, and Abhay Deol, filming was an epic adventure all its own—they spent three months on the road and even re-created Buñol’s famed Tomatina festival (with 16 tons of tomatoes!) and the running of the bulls, in Pamplona. Granted, these events don’t appear in the film in chronological order, but this is Bollywood after all, so defying logic goes with the territory—especially if it creates scenarios "ripe" for spectacular song-and-dance productions.

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Guess Where? Lighthouse

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Can you guess where this lighthouse is? Hint: Hurricane Irene could blow by it this weekend.

Log in and leave your guesses below and check back on Monday for the answer.

UPDATE 8/30/11: We had one correct guess from ChristyPotter! This is the lighthouse in Barnegat Light, New Jersey.

Lyndsey Matthews is an online editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.

Photo Courtesy of T+L's Photo Contest

Digital Travel News: Street Food App, Mini Luggage Scale, More

Bullguard

BullGuard Mobile Security 10 ($29.95; Android; BlackBerry; Symbian; Windows Mobile) provides antivirus protection for your phone and can wipe data from a lost device.

Fan of street food? The Eat St. app (free; iPhone, iPod Touch) plots food carts—many with profiles that include their Twitter feed, menu, and hours—in 318 cities in the U.S.

Worried your checked bag might be over the airline’s weight limit? Balanzza’s Mini Luggage Scale ($24.95) is compact, handheld, and can weigh objects of up to 100 pounds.

Keep track of the flight departures and arrivals of 1,400 airlines at more than 4,000 airports around the world with Mobiata’s Flightboard app ($3.99; Android; iPhone, iPad).

Image courtesy of BullGuard

Ralph Lauren's Mandarin Oriental Collection

Ralph Lauren

The latest source of inspiration for American designer Ralph Lauren? China. Here, a look from this season’s collection at Mandarin Oriental, New York.

Asian Aesthetic: Panne velvet dress, velvet-and-suede heels, Rhodoid minaudière clutch, jade-and-crystal earrings, and jet-and-crystal necklace with silk tassel. All prices upon request, by Ralph Lauren Collection.

Photo by Dean Kaufman

Smile! The TSA is Studying Your Facial Tics

terminal a at logan airport

Miffed that airport security full-body scans can feel so cold and impersonal? Don’t worry—your TSA officer may soon want to chat you up before they pat you down.

For the next 60 days or so, select TSA agents at Boston’s Logan Airport, trained to detect behavior that may indicate that a passenger is nervous about more than turbulence, are using their powers of observation to change the screening process.

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