Penny-size pancakes, inch-high rice cookers, itty-bitty sushi. Re-ment—hyper-perfect plastic miniatures of foods and kitchen gadgets that I discovered in Tokyo’s legendary Kiddy Land toy store—embodies what I admire most about Japanese culture: a laser-like focus on detail, devoted to even the most mundane parts of life, and a near-religious obsession with cuteness. Re-ment is a spin on Cracker Jack: a toy comes in a small box with a token piece of candy, and you never know what you’re going to get (please, let it be the vintage toaster!). Some surprises even grown-ups can’t resist.
Jennifer Flowers is an associate editor at Travel + Leisure.
Photo by Levi Brown
The latest go-to product for jet-setters: beauty balm. An Asian skin-care secret for years, the combination anti-aging concealer, moisturizer, and sunscreen adapts to almost any skin type. And it’s finally stateside, thanks to South Korea’s Dr. Jart, whose Premium variety ($39) is said to promote collagen production. Dior got into the game with Hydra Life BB Crème ($56), which blends a mattifying powder with hydrating plant extracts. Clinique’s oil-absorbing Age Defense formula ($37) uses light-reflecting pigments for a healthy glow. Lab Series even created one for men ($38.50). They don’t call it the Swiss Army knife of skin care for nothing.
Photo courtesy of Dr. Jart
As a Los Angeles native, I’m ashamed to admit that I had never been to Big Sur—only one of the most photographed and picturesque areas in California—until last July, when my fiancé and I embarked on a road trip up Highway 1 from L.A. to Napa. I had never seen the huge elephant seals lazing the day away (just south in Piedra Blancas), never gotten so close to a deer (at Point Lobos State Reserve); never stayed on a campground enclosed by towering redwood trees.
Ours was a high-low vacation: we saved money one night to splurge the next. But the budget-friendly stay in one of Fernwood Resort’s new adventure tents—complete with lamps, fluffy queen beds, and wood-burning stoves—turned out to be the highlight of the trip. (Although, as I blindly stumbled my way to the campground’s outhouse for the third time that night, I can’t say I didn’t fantasize about the luxe Post Ranch Inndown the road.)
Five days in Cape Town was all it took to confirm its place at the top my personal roster of favorite cities, and T+L readers seem to agree with me—you voted it No. 4 in this year’s annual World’s Best Awards, out this month. The scenic city has no shortage of stylish hotel options, from grand resorts to intimate bed-and-breakfasts, and the two properties where I was fortunate enough to lay my head were a chic study in contrasts: one dramatically glam, the other quietly elegant.
Want to celebrate the last days of summer in the Hamptons? There's no better place on Long Island than The Fork. T+L Deputy Editor and local Amagansett resident Laura Begley Bloom laid out a comprehensive road map that leads readers to mellow seafood shacks, rustic antique shops, and beach chic boutiques in the July issue of Travel + Leisure. But what would summer on the East End be without a little imbibing? Hop over to our new Weekend Getaways section for a guide on what and where to drink in the Hamptons burgs.
Nate Storey is an editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.
Photo by Nate Storey
Take it from a regular visitor: Boston’s dining scene is having quite the moment. And while the South End has long been my go-to nabe for quality fare, Cambridge is ready to steal back the spotlight. Just off MIT’s campus, Kendall Square has become the sudden hotspot for chefs with lofty ambitions. If you must choose among all the newcomers to the area, book your table at West Bridge, where chef Matthew Gaudet has hit the ground running.
Some of us go to Italy to spend a day (or three, or more) swooning over Caravaggios and Berninis, but all of us, deep down, go to Italy to eat. How better to get swept up in la dolce vita if not via the country’s legendary cuisine? And if food is your calling, follow my example and book a night (or three, or more) at Antica Corte Pallavicina.
Think of it like Italy’s Blue Hill Stone Barns: Michelin starred, a half hour away from the city (Parma), and an idyllic country retreat where there’s nothing better to do than indulge. Housed in a lovingly restored 800-year-old palazzo formerly owned by a noble family of salt traders, there are six rooms with original frescoed ceilings and names that hark to the original residents (Stanza del Duchi, for instance, is named for Count Sforza and his wife Bianca, who visited in 1447).
Attention summer travelers, these titles will put your extra free time—on the road, in the air, or poolside—to good use.
If you’re…Craving a Beach Read (but don’t want it to be so embarrassing that you have to hide it on an e-reader).
Read…Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead (Knopf, $25.95)
Because…Forget Fifty Shades of Gray—Shipstead’s tale feels salacious enough to satisfy while still allowing you to maintain your literary standards. Shipstead, a graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, chronicles a family’s retreat to a fancy New England beach town amidst their daughter’s fast-approaching wedding day. You know it’s a WASP satire when the characters names are Winn, Daphne, Livia, Greyson, and Biddy.
Here’s a first-visit-to-Cape Town mandate: you must do the scenic Cape Point drive. If you enjoy views, or fresh air, or anything good in life, this is surely one of the world’s most epic routes. Leave the city by looping around the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and head south along the coast, with stops at Maiden’s Cove and Chapman’s Peak for some stellar photo ops. You’ll pass lovely towns, and may want to drop by the Bay Harbour Market at Hout Bay or the salty waterfront at Kalk’s Bay, where a visit to Olympia Café & Deli is preordained. Beware of baboons—they’re known for letting themselves into passing cars in hopes of relieving people of their snacks—but the ostriches you might spot on the side of the road are harmless.
Whether you’re looking to carry in-flight essentials or farmers’ market finds, these roomy leather bags score major points for both form and function.
From Top to Bottom:
Pebbled leather bucket tote, $3,100, Hermès.
Calf-skin leather color-blocked shopper, $795, Bally.
Perforated Italian-leather bag, $265, MZ Wallace.
Embossed leather carryall, $2,160, Louis Vuitton.
Leather top-stitched carryall, $910, CH Carolina Herrera.
Grained leather shoulder bag, $572, Jennifer Haley.
Photo by John Lawton