I’ve been trying to get back to London for years now, but other travels (to Paris, Avignon, New Mexico, L.A.) keep getting in the way. So I was thrilled to learn that the chic British neighborhood of Newburgh Quarter is literally coming to my backyard.
Jacques Pepin, one of the world’s most famous chefs and one of the few who has not previously attached his name to a restaurant, announced yesterday that he will open a signature French bistro aboard the new 1,258-passenger Oceania Cruises’ Marina when it launches late next year. The bistro, to be called Jacques, will seat approximately 80 guests and will serve Pepin’s signature dishes like pumpkin soup a l'Anglaise served in a pumpkin shell and free-range chicken cooked on a rotisserie. The hallmarks of Pepin’s cuisine are simplicity and high-quality ingredients.
Charlottesville, Virginia is known for Jeffersonian architecture, an eclectic dining scene, and—especially in recent years—the burgeoning wineries in it lush countryside. Now the city is promoting another local industry: its breweries.
The "Brew Ridge Trail"--a collection of six local micro-breweries with tasting rooms open to the public, all located in the Charlottesville area--will officially kick-off its first season with a concert on August 22nd.
The Chicago Tribune recently asked locals and tourists alike for directions to the Willis Tower. Most couldn't pick it out on a map. Even cab drivers had never heard of the building. That's because last Thursday, the Sears Tower officially changed its name to the Willis Tower.
What is being touted as the most luxurious train in the world is now accepting bookings for its first season. And trust me, this ain’t Amtrak.
The Maharajas’ Express has four itineraries of six and seven nights and takes passengers to some of the most exotic destinations on the subcontinent, including Jaipur, Agra (home to the Taj Mahal), Varanasi, Delhi, Mumbai, and Udaipur (voted the best city in the known universe in the 2009 World’s Best Awards), among many others.
When President Obama’s mother, anthropologist Ann Dunham, moved to Jakarta in the late 1960s after marrying Indonesian Lolo Soetoro, she fell in love with batik. The millennium-old textile art and craft—created using wax-resist dying—bewitched and enchanted her so much so that she collected over 40 rare pieces during her five years in the capital city. Dunham’s private collection—which includes traditional sarongs and other items from the Yogyakarta, Java, the birthplace of Indonesian batik—is now touring the country.
I'm into breakfast. Really, really into breakfast. If I had to pick my last meal on earth, it would be eggs and bacon, some steaming hot coffee, and a bloody mary. It's just so satisfying.
So my world was rocked recently on a trip to Berlin. Of course, German breakfasts are known for being terrific, with everything made from milk being extra delicious there. Coffee is taken very seriously in Germany. The bread is famously yummy. Anything pork—fuggedaboutit. And there's a German delicacy called quark—a cross between cream cheese and sour cream—that's usually mixed with fresh herbs and the perfect companion to smoked salmon. Last weekend, all of these stars came together in one delicious constellation.
The first pets-only airline, Pet Airways—which takes off this month from five U.S. cities: L.A., Chicago, New York, D. C., and Denver—now tops the list of pet travel perks.
A safe and comfortable alternative to commercial lines’ cargo class, Pet Airways aims to ease both animal and owner stress alike, with an online flight tracking and individual carriers secured in temperature-controlled cabins. Doting attendants check up on “Pawsengers” every 15 minutes and walk them upon landing (unfortunately, there’s no in-flight snack service—vet’s orders).
Flights can be booked through the Pet Airway’s website which crashed when it opened for reservations in April. But your furry four-legged friends will have to wait in line. The airline is booked solid throughout the summer. Bone voyage!
Lisa Cheng is an assistant research editor at Travel + Leisure.
Fliers passing through Vancouver International Airport have a new one-stop travel shop—the first-ever Travel+Leisure-branded store.
Travel+Leisure has partnered with the company behind airport newsstand giant, Hudson News, to create travel concept stores selling everything from local maps and guides to T+L books (World’s Greatest Hotels, Unexpected Italy, 100 Greatest Trips) and luggage, including smart bags by Tumi, Timbuk2, and Manhattan Portage. Keep your eyes peeled for expanding inventory—and future openings at Halifax International Airport and JFK (Terminal 2), and for T+L stores-within-stores at the Orlando and San Francisco airports.
I love to shop in Tokyo. Especially for everyday things: housewares, stationary supplies, useful stuff. I always visit Loft (loft.co.jp), for example, in Shibuya, even if I don’t need anything, just to wander the seven floors of art supplies and hobby and craft materials and the vast—vast—selection of pens and notebooks.
The brand new Celebrity Equinox is very much an American-style cruise ship, with “wow” factors including a half-acre of real grass on top. But as the vessel left shipbuilder Meyer Werft in Northwestern Germany, it was Germans who did the cheering. Thousands of people lined the banks of the River Ems to watch the conveyance, some parking their RVs on the banks for the event.
It’s a slow thing, pulling a 122,000-ton ship by tugboat backwards on a river. After hours of maneuvering, around 1 a.m., the Equinox squeezed through an exceptionally narrow passage to begin its 26-mile, 13-hour journey to the Netherlands and out to sea. People on shore raised toasts as pop music played.
He’s been called a mad scientist, a molecular gastronomist, a culinary genius, and the Best Chef in the World, but Ferran Adrià (with me, above) is mainly obsessed with Flavor with a capital F.
Last week, I was among the lucky 7,000 (out of 2 million reservation requests per year) to score a table at El Bulli on Spain’s Costa Brava. To call this the Meal of a Lifetime seems trite but on point: our six-hour dinner was like nothing I’d ever experienced before—or probably ever will again—yet it was delightfully entertaining and, for what seemed at times like a zany chemistry experiment, surprisingly delicious.
Don't miss my El Bulli slideshow--it's full of tips, must-know facts, and behind-the-scenes shots.
Niloufar Motamed is the features editor at Travel + Leisure.
When it comes to German beer, I have some experience--and the scars to prove it. I once received a dozen stitches in my scalp from a misunderstanding with a car door after a long day at Oktoberfest. I have had my hand stomped on by an elderly woman in a drunken crowd of revelers while downing Kölsch at Karneval in Cologne. At the oldest bier hall in Munich, I pulled a back muscle while tapping a massive wooden beer keg (in only two strokes!) with a 20-pound wooden mallet.
What I have not done, however, is roam the hillsides of Bavaria in search of the finest Noble Hallertau Mittelfrueh hops, or watch how the artisans at Bamberg’s Schlenkerla Brewery concoct their wondrous smoked beer, or explore the history and artifacts at the German Hops Museum in Wolnzach. I confess I have never witnessed the malting process.
Not a whole lot goes on in Little Compton, Rhode Island. That’s the way people there like it, and it’s the reason the Stone House (which opens today) has got them talking.
The Stone House is a lovely, historic 13-room hotel—not exactly the sort of place you’d expect to raise eyebrows in a posh coastal New England town. But Little Compton (pop. 3,500) isn’t Newport. The town commons basically consists of a diner and a general store, and thrifty flash-adverse locals like to keep a low profile. (Despite the fact that some of New England’s wealthiest families have houses here, the country club not long ago took Haagen Daz off its menu because its members complained it was too expensive.)
Summer’s here and the time is right for packing your towel and sunscreen, hailing a cab to the heart of town, and hitting the beach. Four of our favorite (faux) city beaches:
Paris-Plage, a network of three sandy oases set up every July and August along the Seine’s Right Bank, complete with chaises longues, boules courts, and palm trees.
Copenhagen’s Havnebadet (“harbor baths”), an industrial pier in Islandsbrygge converted into a beach club and park with space for 600. Barbecue pits, a volleyball lawn, and great city views add to the scene—and you can actually swim in the newly cleaned-up harbor.
Istanbul’s Suada, a chic swimming club by day and bar/disco/sushi restaurant by night with an Olympic size pool—floating in the middle of the Bosphorus.
And, not least, the latest incarnation of New York’s Water Taxi Beach, this one on Pier 17 next to South Street Seaport, in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge (the original WTB, pitctured above, is across the East River in Queens). The new location, which opened Memorial Day weekend, has the same trucked-in beach sand, picnic tables, and DJ’s after dark, but it also offers an expanded menu that adds fish tacos to the usual burgers and dogs, plus—wait for it—mini-golf and skeeball. If that doesn’t release your inner 10-year-old, who knows what will.
(For the best real city beaches, check out this slideshow.)
Peter Jon Lindberg is Travel + Leisure's editor at large.
Photos courtesy of Rui Pereira (Paris-Plage) and Isuru Seneviratne (Water Taxi Beach, Queens)
I'm getting to know the Stoke Newington area in the borough of Hackney in London, and I better like it. My sister and her family relocated there from San Francisco last year when my brother in law got a new job. She told her husband they would have to stay put for the next ten to 12 years, until the boys went off to college.
So, this is where I’ll be headed at least three or four times a year. If I do the math, that’s 48 visits—see why I better like it? Lucky for me this neighborhood in the northeast part of town has plenty to see and many bars and restaurants to sample. They also call it “up-and-coming,” so there’s little chance I’ll exhaust the possibilities. On my most recent trip I discovered the following gems:
On a recent visit to New Orleans I made the rounds, as is my wont, of my favorite manly haunts—and I’m not referring to strip clubs or steakhouses. NOLA is many things to many people, but it’s especially fertile terrain for the dapper southern (or northern) gentleman. I am neither, but I do like me a good hat, a good suit, and a good shave.
For the latter I hit Aidan Gill Barber Shop —either the original on Magazine Street or the newer branch on Fulton Street downtown. Their 30-minute, hot-towel “Shave at the End of the Galaxy” is more indulgent than a four-hour lunch at Galatoire’s, and you’ll look a lot better afterward. There are pints of Guinness to sip, 1960s Playboys to flip through, and gleaming shelves of shaving products, from badger brushes to mock-ivory handles to Truefitt & Hill creams and oils.
The most talked-about building in New York City over the last several years doesn’t exist. That would be the Freedom Tower, the centerpiece of the World Trade Center reconstruction project. But If you’re like me and have a short (or even medium-level) attention span, you’ve lost track of what the Freedom Tower’s going to look like, when it’s going to be built, whether it’s going to be 1,776 feet tall…
Happily, lots more of note has been going on (and up) in Manhattan—an island known more for its frantic pace of construction than its design brilliance. That’s why a spot like Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s revamped Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center is most welcome (so welcome, in fact, that extra seating was added in the airy cafe due to overwhelming demand).
The Fiat 500 gets my vote for the car you’d most like to hug, a car that threatens to unload 17 tumbling clowns when it pulls into the middle of the Big Top. Just looking at one makes you want to buy a ticket to Italy—or at least a DVD of Gidget Goes To Rome. The 500 is so small and inexpensive it seems to shout, “I’m a death-defying cheapskate and I don’t care who knows it.” In other words, a perfect car to be introduced into the United States in these trying times.
Just back from a perfectly beachy Hamptons weekend, and you sure wouldn't know there was an economic crisis looming in the real world.
In East Hampton, everyone's buzzing about the imminent reopening of the Blue Parrot, a beloved Mexican joint that closed a couple years back. Rumor has it that a star-studded lineup of investors--Ronald Perelman, Larry Gagosian, Renée Zellweger, and Jon Bon Jovi, no less--are backing the restaurant. Meanwhile, just down Main Street, a number of pop-up shops have sprung up for the season, including Hermès (No. 63) and Michael Kors (No. 48).
When you think of Germany, maybe it's the new Berlin—with its cosmopolitan flair and growing arts scene—that comes to mind? (If it's Lederhosen and dirndls, you need to book a ticket now and update your idea of the place.)
For whatever reason, U.S. travelers tend to skip my home-away-from-home, Hamburg. I lived here in the north of Germany off and on for several years in the '90s and make a visit to the Hanseatic city at least once a year. The town has a pedigree of chic (natives include Karl Lagerfeld and Jil Sander), more canals than Venice, and parks galore, but there are many more reasons to go, as I found out on a visit last month:
Weekend getaways are more popular than ever—and why not? You get an overnight and two days of vacation without missing a beat. I recently spent time in Cooperstown, New York. It’s a 4-hour drive from New York City–but well worth the ride. Here, some suggested stops (and Father’s Day freebies):
The Otesaga Resort Hotel (above) 2009 marks the Federal-style grand dame’s 100th year. To celebrate, the hotel is putting its 1909 menu back in service, which means Rob Roys and Old-Fashioneds in the lobby bar; and crab Louie and crepes Suzette in the main dining room. The perfect reward for a round of golf at the meticulously kept Leatherstocking course (below) is an al fresco lunch at the Hawkeye Bar & Grill overlooking Otesego Lake (and the 18th hole).
I’ve been traveling a lot, both for T+L and to visit some far-flug friends--which means that I’ve been eating a lot, too. Here are some of my favorite recent restaurant discoveries in cities around the country:
NEW ORLEANS The Big Easy may be a foodie’s paradise, but as a
vegetarian I had to look beyond the sausage-heavy jambalaya joints to
find my dinners. Two eateries that offer both NoLa flavor and expanded
menus are Café Atchafalaya and Bennachin,
an East African spot with a Creole kick in the French Quarter, where
all the regional dishes (spicy jambalaya, gumbo, etc.–all of which
derived from Africa originally) can be made vegetarian.
I'm a sucker for a live feed. After returning home from a trip to Spain, I discovered a website linking to a camera in Galicia that shows a sweep of rocky cliff, churning surf, and deserted green fields, refreshed every two seconds. For weeks, I'd sneak a quick peek from my work computer to recapture that blissful vacation feeling.
But besides a nostalgic, post-trip glimpse backwards, webcams and live feeds provide useful (and mesmerizing) information for trip planning—which beach has the best surf, the actual slope coverage the ski resort's website may be fluffing, the traffic downtown (should you rent a car?), the lines at fast food restaurants or for ferries to the San Juan Islands. Here are a few favorites:
Meet Anna Bern, my latest object of lifestyle envy. This ex-Vogue and W magazine staffer forsook the urban jungle for Narrowsburg, New York (pop. 414), a tiny hamlet in the Upper Delaware River Valley, and promptly opened a home and accessories boutique called Nest.
Last week I checked in with Shaun White (above), the red-headed snowboarder of winter Olympic fame. The 22-year-old athlete, who also happens to be a pro skateboarder, has signed on to make appearances at Skate Cayman, a summer-long skateboarding camp on Grand Cayman (a fine locale for the world’s second largest skatepark).
In October 2009, the new W Barcelona will throw open its doors at the end of the Passeig Joan de Borbo on the Catalan city's sun-soaked waterfront. But we can hardly contain our excitement after a recent hardhat tour that showed off city and Mediterranean views from Ricardo Bofill’s sail-shaped structure (on a clear day, you can see Majorca). Take a look for yourself and tell us we’re wrong. And by the way, don’t fret if you’re not one of the lucky few who can afford a suite on the 25th floor ($1,260 USD)—90 percent of the 473 rooms will have full sea views. Rooms available starting Oct. 1.
Jennifer Flowers is an assistant editor at Travel + Leisure.
Five days in August in Camden, Maine, in the company of 20 fellow foodies and four guest chefs, for a sort of locavore Olympics: lobster-trapping, oyster-shucking, mussel-hunting, trout-smoking, sausage-making, mozzarella-crafting, blueberry-picking, pie-making, whiskey-distilling, ale-brewing—even pig-butchering, under the tutelage of the extremely cool Tom Mylan from Brooklyn’s Marlow & Daughters. All that, plus a lobster bake and dinner at Francine Bistro with the fantastic Brian Hill?
Peter Jon Lindberg is Travel + Leisure's editor at large.