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
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.
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.
A love of food is universal. As is, unfortunately, the need to photograph it. But these food maps of your favorite countries (created by stylist Caitlin Levin and photographer Henry Hargreaves) are designed using iconic national ingredients, so they're, like, art. And nothing like the blurry ramen burger pics you should stop posting on Instagram. Get ready to be hungry.
Eight singular neighborhoods, eight great “New British” haunts.
Islington: Smokehouse is a modern-day boozer that happens to serve charred leeks with duck eggs and a pork rib eye with pancetta and lardo—and blimey, what treasures on tap! $$$
Shoreditch: Inside the Shoreditch town hall, the Clove Club (pictured; from rising star Isaac McHale) goes Noma-esque with small bites of locavore esoterica, such as gull’s eggs with lovage. $$$$
Fitzrovia: At his urban-rusticNewman Street Tavern, Peter Weeden dry-ages Galloway beef, butchers whole Scottish Blackface sheep, and bakes super-voluptuous onion tarts $$$
Video: London’s Can’t-Miss Sights
Soho: Watch street life from a window seat atDamson & Co., a homey deli-café devoted to strictly-British deliciousness: farmhouse cheeses, goose salami, and daily “soused fish” (ceviche to you). $$
Bermondsey: Tom Sellers’sRestaurant Story snagged a Michelin star just months after opening. Prepare yourself for candles that melt into beef drippings and smoked eel sandwiched within squid-ink “Storeo” cookies. $$$$
Notting Hill: With only 14 seats, tinyMariannepacks outsize flavors into Anglo-Mediterranean dishes such as sweet Cornish scallops with artichoke and dusky jamón. $$$$
Brixton: The three-course lunch at Salon—a minimalist gem in the happening Brixton market—is London’s best bargain at the moment, at just $26. $$$
Hackney: Affordable, soulful, and quietly inventive (anyone for duck with pickled carrot and hazelnut purée?), the blond-wood-paneledMayfieldshas quickly become a neighborhood favorite. $$$
Restaurant Pricing Key $Less than $25 $$$25 to $75 $$$$75 to $150 $$$$More than $150
Appeared as “95 Places to Eat Like a Local: Insider’s London” in T+L Magazine