It was in Phuket, Thailand, that I first encountered a mangosteen, years ago, in an otherwise ordinary hotel fruit basket: a curious object the size of a billiard ball, its leathery shell as purple as a bruise. The snow-white, segmented flesh recalled a lychee crossed with a clementine: tart and tangy, generously but not garishly sweet, bursting with juice and tropical sunlight. The mangosteen has since ruined me for all other fruits—hell, for all other foods, period. Grown primarily in Southeast Asia, they were barred from import to the U.S. until 2007, for pest-control reasons. It’s still hard to find fresh (not frozen) specimens stateside—unless, like me, you troll the back alleys of New York’s Chinatown looking for a guy who might know a guy. But never mind. It would be worth flying 18 hours in coach to Thailand to savor a single bite.
Photo by Kerem Uzel
The next best thing to sand between your toes: these Ipanema-inspired patent-leather-and-grosgrain heels by Brit Sophia Webster. Tall and tan and definitely lovely. $485.
Photo by Carmen De Witt
Paris-based Longchamp, beloved by prepsters for its fold-up nylon travel carryall, is introducing something graphic: this canvas-and-calfskin bag inspired by Argentina’s country estates and the vivid work of Mexican Modernist architect Luis Barragán. Arm candy, indeed. $640.
Photo courtesy of Longchamp
The quirky new Wildsam Field Guide series will help put a decidedly hip spin on your next trip. There’s nary a photo; instead, you might find a personal essay by Rosanne Cash or an interview with a local letterpress printer (both in the Nashville edition). Hand-illustrated maps are organized by theme—adventure, music, history, food—and the “Bests” section is hyper-focused: one museum, one yoga studio. As creator Taylor Bruce puts it, “I don’t want three places to get a burger. I just want to know the favorite.” The Austin, Texas, edition is out this month—just in time for SXSW—to be followed soon by San Francisco, New Orleans, Seattle, and, of course, Brooklyn. $16.95 each.
Brooke Porter is an associate editor at Travel + Leisure.
Photo by John Lawton
In 1965, Audrey Hepburn called Louis Vuitton with a small request: could they make a mini version of their Keepall duffel just for her? The answer: Mais oui, Madame. Now a globe-trotter’s handbag of choice, the LV Speedy ($2,490) has been upgraded with embossed leather and a shoulder strap—making any holiday chic, Roman or otherwise.
Mimi Lombardo is Travel + Leisure's style director.
Photo courtesy of Louis Vuitton
Nearly every Ask an Editor Day, you’ve asked us the same question: How can I get paid to travel? Here’s a new way to make it happen: Worksurfers. The recently launched startup aims to connect creative professionals with short-term freelance assignments around the world, allowing them to hop the globe—or prolong an existing vacation—while broadening their portfolio. Simply sign up and input the type of work you’d be looking for (and where) and you’ll be e-mailed job leads as they’re made available.
In See the World Beautiful (Glitterati; $85), photographer and frequent T+L contributor Anne Menke focuses her eagle eye on Mongolian horsemen, Sioux teenagers, and other style-rich cultures.
Photo by Malley Priebe
Ever wonder what travel editors do on vacation? Get the scoop on the moments that resonated most with the T+L staff in 2012—and see photos of us on location. Happy holidays, and here's to more travel for everyone in 2013!
Photo courtesy of Lindsey Olander
Earlier this year, I took a weeklong anniversary trip to San Francisco, Napa, and Sonoma with my husband, Lee, an academic who gets hives at the thought of anything luxurious. Keeping him comfortable meant mixing extraordinary meals with unexpected finds and cheap local favorites. Here’s the best of our high-low itinerary that kept both of us satisfied.
“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.