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Trip Doctor Series: Cooking Schools (Vietnam)

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For this month’s weekly series on immersive culinary courses, we’re transporting you to the foodie mecca of Vietnam. Still hungry? Check out our April food issue’s Global Guide to Cooking Schools

The School: The Hanoi Cooking Centre, located near the city’s Old Quarter, offers hands-on, half-day lessons on everything from the flavor-rich dishes of the northern highlands to the seafood-centric specialties of the country’s southern coast.

The Class: Sign up for Vietnamese Street Food, a course that teaches students how to whip up their own pho cuon (fresh noodle spring rolls) and green pawpaw salad, among other delicacies from the streets of Hanoi.

Jennifer FlowersJennifer Flowers is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @JennFlowers.

Photo courtesy of Hanoi Cooking Centre

The Monocle Café Opens in London

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Monocle, the London-based magazine of global affairs and style, is as well known for its in-depth articles about far-flung destinations as for its clean, smart look. For both those things, it's a magazine meant to be read as much as be seen with—whether on the plane, or displayed on your (designer) coffee table. Now, the six-year-old publication wants to be known for the taste of its coffee. On April 15, The Monocle Café is set to open in London's Marylebone neighborhood, promising customers a very Monocle-like experience. (Read: posh, international, and very, very stylish.)

The Monocle Café occupies two stories at 18 Chiltern Street and was designed by the same team that created the sharp, classic look of the magazine. The Café features coffee from Allpress, a menu designed by chef Masayuki Hara, and a soundtrack provided by Monocle 24, the magazine's radio station. This being Monocle—where a little exclusivity goes a long ways—subscribers are invited to rent the space out for private parties.

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Where to Eat Now in Hong Kong

Where to Eat in Hong Kong: 22 Ships

Both foodies and real estate obsessives are eyeing the emerging PoHo area of Sheung Wan, where minimalist-chic bakery Po’s Atelier ($) showcases celeb chef Masami Asano’s loaves, made with such ingredients as oolong tea and Yunnanese ham and goat cheese.

Nearby, the team responsible for yakitori spot Yardbird have opened Ronin ($$$), a seafood-focused izakaya with more than 50 Japanese whiskies and just 14 first-come, first-serve seats.

The Salted Pig ($$$) celebrates all things porcine in a convivial space in Central filled with bloggers snapping pics of sous vide pork belly.

Singaporean hotelier Yenn Wong pairs up with London’s Jason Atherton at tapas joint 22 Ships (pictured; $$$), in Wan Chai. There’s always a wait—but that means more time to ogle the beautiful people nibbling on squid paella and truffled egg with celeriac.

Restaurant Pricing Key
$ Less than $25
$$ $25 to $75
$$$ $75 to $150
$$$$ More than $150

Photo courtesy of 22 Ships

Editor Obsession: Europe-Themed Candy Box

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I love candy almost as much as I love to travel. So you can imagine my excitement when the new Taste of Europe assortment from the online candy company Sugarfina landed on my desk. Red licorice bites from Finland! Cow-shaped marshmallows from Holland! Juicy sweet-and-sour peaches from Germany! My motto is the gummier, the better, but—as someone who was adventurous enough to eat alpaca in Peru—I even tried France’s fruity hard candies (thumb’s down) and Danish mocha beans (thumb’s up). The sweets are packaged in a Tiffany blue box—fitting, since I’d take these over a diamond any day. (Well, maybe…)

Brooke Porter
Brooke Porter is an associate editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.

Photo courtesy of Sugarfina

California’s Top Spots for Coffee Fanatics

Theorem

A wave of high-concept cafés is redefining how Californians get their caffeine fix. In Costa Mesa, reservations-only Theorem (pictured; 3313 Hyland Ave.) serves a multicourse tasting with a touch of molecular gastronomy (the ice cream in your affogato is made using liquid nitrogen). On the purist end, Handsome Coffee Roasters (582 Mateo St.) in downtown Los Angeles has a spare, three-item menu: espresso, espresso with milk, and drip coffee. San Francisco’s Linea (3417 18th St.), a standing-room-only bar in the Mission, is even more doctrinaire: it only sells house-roasted espresso, served as cappuccinos or naked in a demitasse.

Photo courtesy of Theorem

On the Menu: Fowl Play at Paris Restaurant

Le Coq Rico

Birds of every feather appear on the rotisserie at new Parisian restaurant Le Coq Rico. Casseroles are filled with the roasted meat, from classic chicken to doves, pigeons, and game birds. Heaping cones of French fries and shallot green salads accompany the crop.

Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of Le Coq Rico / Anthony de Anfrasio & Patricia Westermann

Crowdsourcing: What to Do When You're Near French Laundry in Napa


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We asked true travel pros what to do near the French Laundry, in Napa Valley, California. Want to share your advice? Join our community on Facebook at facebook.com/travelandleisure and at Twitter @TravlandLeisure.

“Ask for one of the redone suites at Auberge du Soleil ($$$$). The hotel has a gorgeous pool and views.” —Michelle Finkelstein Murre, via Facebook

“The burger at Farmstead ($$$) is the most delicious I’ve ever tasted; ditto the chocolate pie.” —Tosh Giles, via Facebook

“You MUST visit the candlelit Del Dotto wine caves (1445 St. Helena Hwy., St. Helena) and do a barrel tasting!” —@allierose12

“I head to Oakville Grocery Co. for the best picnic fixings in Napa.” —Sam Rudd, via Facebook

“At the French Laundry ($$$$), I love to stop by the garden across the street and talk to the chefs as they snip herbs.” —Elizabeth Hansen, via Facebook

Trip Doctor Series: Cooking Schools (England)

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If your apron is the first thing you pack in your suitcase, you’ll want to tune into this month’s weekly series on immersive cooking programs, where we’ll highlight a standout program from our April food issue’s Global Guide to Cooking Schools.

The School: School of Artisan Food, the Cotswolds, England

You’re in good hands at this respected program in the heart of Sherwood Forest, which teaches half- and multi-day courses that focus on traditional English cookery, from wild game butchery to fruit preserves.

The Class: For all you Downton Abbey fanatics (you know who you are), we recommend celebrated food scholar Ivan Day’s hands-on class on historic baking techniques—lumber pie, anyone?—which takes its inspiration from historic cooking methods.

Jennifer FlowersJennifer Flowers is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @JennFlowers.

Photo courtesy of The School of Artisan Food

How to Eat a Maryland Blue Crab

How to Eat Blue Crab

You’ve got lemon wedges, beer, and a table of freshly steamed, seasoned crustaceans. Now what? Bill Breaux, owner of waterside restaurant Schooners ($$$), a favorite in Oxford, Maryland, shares his tried-and-true method.

1. Place crab belly-side up. Twist legs off at base; set aside. With a paring knife, pull back tab-shaped “apron” at its narrow end.

2. Pick up crab with apron pointing up; using thumbs, pull off top shell and discard. Scrape away gills and other inedible contents.

3. Insert thumbs into center cavity and break body in half. Split each half in two again. Extract the meat and eat.

4. Split claws at joints. Place knife on top of claw and tap with mallet to crack claw. Break apart with fingers and pull out the meat.

5. Separate legs at joints and squeeze each section like a tube of toothpaste to withdraw more meat. Still hungry? Give up and order crab cakes.

Illustations be Michael Hoeweler

Toasting Mad Men with a Retro Cocktail Class

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Like millions of Americans, I’m chomping at the bit for Sunday’s season six premier of Mad Men. So ecstatic am I for the gang at Sterling Cooper Draper (Pryce?) to forge into the late-1960’s that I had to mollify my angst in the only appropriate way I knew how: Booze.

One of the hallmarks of the AMC series has been the period-piece cocktails Don Draper, Roger Sterling, Pete Campbell (above) imbibe at bars, dinner parties, soirées, power lunches, and, yes, work. All over country, retro-tipples are chic again, from Mai Tais to Manhattans, becoming part of the show’s defining characteristics. As a proud member of the New York City cocktail tribe and avid fan of the show, I decided to teach myself to joggle a proper drink and learn my jigger from my Boston shaker.

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