Food + Drink
Each year, 70 percent of Czechs go mushroom-picking (and know to avoid ones like the poisonous Amanita muscaria, pictured here).
See mushrooms in World’s Most Dangerous Foods
Editor’s Picks: Czech Republic
See the Czech Republic in Europe’s Most Beautiful Villages
and World’s Creepiest Attractions
and Beautiful Castles Around the World
Lyndsey Matthews is an associate digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.
Photo courtesy of T+L Photo Contest
If you’re looking for some travel inspiration this spring, get thee to New York’s Boulud Sud, where Executive Chef Travis Swikard just launched a series of special dinners highlighting the global cuisines he’s obsessed with now—Israel, Greece, Sicily, the Cote d’ Azur, and more (get tickets here). In the meantime, I asked him to share the highlights of his recent culinary adventures in Catalonia and Basque Country.
Just back from the African country’s dramatic sand dunes and wildlife-filled reserves, T+L deputy editor Laura Begley Bloom shares a few of her favorite finds.
Most Memorable Sundowner: Here I am, having an end-of-day drink while at Okahirongo Elephant Lodge ($$$$), in the Kaokoveld—known for its rare desert elephants and black rhinos.
The Sands of Sossusvlei: Full disclosure: I didn’t quite make it to the top of Dune 45. We stayed nearby at Little Kulala ($$$$$), where I coveted the ostrich eggshell chandeliers, below, and bought this recycled glass necklace.
Local Souvenir: Wood-and-seed earrings from Okahirongo, where I also got the best wakeup call on the trip: an elephant purring just outside my window.
Top View: Watching animals gather around the watering hole at Onguma The Fort ($$$), a hotel near Etosha National Park.
Gary Shteyngart takes on Los Angeles’ restaurants and eats his way through the best food in the city right now.
I’m East Coast through and through, but I’m not ashamed to say it: I love L.A. My first encounter with the mega-megalopolis took place at the advanced age of 30. A college friend of mine had a cousin who rented a place by the beach. Which particular beach, I do not recall, but the path to the sands was lined with giant swaths of bougainvillea, which made me think for just a brief moment that I was in southern France. That notion was dispelled when we reached the beach, which abutted a body of water that was no mere Mediterranean. I had never seen the Pacific Ocean before, had understood its vastness only on childhood maps. Made placid by the better portion of a bottle of California Chardonnay, I walked into the moonlit water, bent down, and slapped the onrushing waves. Somewhere up (or down) the coast, an enormous industrial building, a waste-processing plant, perhaps, smoked its way deep into the night. But I refused to let go of the moment’s magic, because that lump of ugliness amid the grandeur of the Pacific was Southern California too. I continued to walk into the ocean, the water dark blue around my legs, the temperature, as always, perfectly set to sixty-eight degrees, my gaze resolutely drawn toward Asia in the infinite distance. And I thought: Oh, this isn’t so bad.
Napa Valley Wine tastings. A Provençal cooking class. Dinner from a celebrity chef in Mexico. This month’s exclusive deals are guaranteed to make you hungry.
Hamptons: 35% off Greek Revival manor house
Customized Culinary Experience tour includes:
• 2 nights' accommodations in a king room at Topping Rose House (pictured) in the Hamptons, a Greek Revival manor house with 4 ultramodern cottages and a Tom Colicchio restaurant
• Scour the property’s farm to create a dinner menu suited to your tastes
Cost: $1,000 ($500 per night)
Book now for travel through May 31.
For more information or to book, please visit Topping Rose House.
What combines Ricky Ricardo, whirling dervishes, and electronica? The Cosmopolitan’s avant-garde new nightlife mash-up.
Entertainment options in Sin City are as limitless as the house’s luck. But they can feel “prescriptive,” as John Unwin, CEO of the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, puts it: dinner and a show, followed by some blackjack or an evening out at a club. Unwin’s hotel is defying tradition with a few-holds-barred “social experiment” called Rose. Rabbit. Lie. T+L breaks it down.
If you haven’t heard of Nowruz, there’s still time to join more than 300 million people worldwide in welcoming spring at the Persian New Year Dinner & Book Signing this Sunday.
Cult ramen haunt in Tokyo Station.
The Queue: 120 minutes
Duration: 2 hours 15 min.
Orders Taken: 01h30
Eating Time: 12 minutes
Payoff: We’d endure the epic line all over again for another slurp of that umami-rich tsukemen ramen. $$
Walking the crowded streets of Flushing, Queens can make even the most patient person weep in frustration. My suggestion is to take the 7 train to Main Street make your way through the throngs of people and head to Fang Gourmet Tea on Roosevelt Avenue. The unassuming store specializes in rare and expensive teas. You can choose from a menu of dozens of teas to sample, each costing $5 or $10 dollars. The tea samples are prepared using traditional Chinese methods. The whole process from brewing to drinking takes 20 minutes. The calm and serene environment is just as important as the teas themselves since so much of the experience at Fang Gourmet is about relaxing and savoring the flavor of what you are drinking.
Heading to Bangkok now that the Thai government has given the all-clear? Find a cool way to escape the city heat: -5 Ice Bar, tucked inside the Jameson’s Pub, is so bracingly cold you may just need to wear one of the bar’s loaner parkas.
Editor’s Picks: Bangkok
See Bangkok in Buildings Shaped Like Animals
and World’s Coolest Bazaars
and World's Most Beautiful City Parks
Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.
Photo courtesy of T+L Photo Contest