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5 London Cocktail Bars to Try Now

5 London Cocktail Bars to Try Now

Much like its patchwork of neighborhoods, the city’s drinking culture offers something for every taste. Here, five new haunts that define the nightlife scene right now.

The Whip, Mayfair

The Vibe: A Kentucky Derby theme sets a fanciful mood: racing-green-striped walls, equestrian knickknacks (riding crop; horse paintings), and vintage furniture upholstered with jockey silks.

Who Goes: Burberry-clad bankers and tony Mayfair residents; expat Triple Crown fans.

What to Order: A julep, of course. The Whip, made with rhubarb vodka and dry gin from the owner’s distillery, is served in a pewter tin.

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9 New Restaurants to Try Now

9 New Restaurants to Try Now

New York City

Who doesn’t love a sexy bar with delicious bites? Our new haunt: the banquette-lined, mahogany-clad NoMad Bar ($$$), from the team behind the adjacent NoMad hotel. They had us at pot pie and foie gras, but we stayed for the bacon-wrapped hot dogs with black-truffle mayonnaise, artisanal beers, and perfectly balanced cocktails. In Williamsburg, Brooklyn, chef Michael Psilakis is close to opening a yet-to-be-named beer hall ($$), a 5,000-square-foot homage to Greek street food—crab keftedes; pork-shoulder gyros—with local brews on tap.

Chicago

In the up-and-coming Avondale neighborhood, the laid-back, Korean-American Parachute ($$) is the first opening from Top Chef  vet Beverly Kim and her husband, John Clark. Order the boudin noir with nam phrik and coconut yogurt, and anything from the Asian bread menu (but especially the Chinese bing). Hyde Park’s dining scene just cranked up the dial with Promontory ($$), where chef Jared Wentworth, from Logan Square gastropub Longman & Eagle, serves hearty classics such as lamb navarin and vegetable pot-au-feu.

Austin, Texas

Unexpected encore: those mad geniuses at innovative Japanese restaurants Uchi and Uchiko take a more traditional approach with St. Philip ($$), a pizzeria and bakery in Sunset Valley.

San Francisco

Capitalizing on the flyaway success of State Bird Provisions, the Progress is Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski’s locavore-minded follow-up next door, set to open by the end of the year. In the meantime, head to the Presidio and hit the Commissary ($$$), from Traci des Jardins of Jardinière. Her 112-seat restaurant serves Spanish-inflected dishes such as salt-cod fritters and octopus with pimenton.

Los Angeles

Quinn and Karen Hatfield, the duo behind Hollywood favorites Hatfield’s and the Sycamore Kitchen, are launching Odys & Penelope ($$$) on La Brea Avenue. Main attractions: grilled Monterey Bay squid, smoked short ribs, and whole-bird churrasco. Save us a seat.

New Orleans

Hometown hero John Besh teams up with Brooklyn-based chef Aarón Sánchez (of the Food Network’s Chopped) to open the farm-to-table taqueria Johnny Sánchez ($$) in the Central Business District. The tacos we’re craving: Wagyu-beef barbacoa; squash blossom with burrata.

Restaurants
$ Less than $25
$$ $25 to $75
$$$ $75 to $150
$$$$ More than $150

Jennifer Flowers is the Hotels & Food Editor at Travel + Leisure. Find her on Twitter at @JennFlowers.

Photo courtesy of Rush Jagoe

Worth a Look: The High Road with Mario Batali on Hulu Series

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Shackled to your desk today, but in desperate need of an escape? Steal a few minutes for an episode of The High Road with Mario Batali, a twelve-part series of short films on Hulu where the celebrity chef pairs up with famous residents to play tourist in New York City, visiting notable sights while chatting about everything from politics to real-life heroes. We love the unique tone of each vignette, be it a chuckle-worthy hangout at the High Line with Jimmy Fallon, or an eccentric tour of Brooklyn’s Gowanus neighborhood with George Stephanopoulos. The latest installment launches today, and features Batali on a trip with actress Julianna Margulies to the mother of landmarks, the Empire State Building. If a New York State of Mind sounds enticing right about now, check out the newest episode below.

Jennifer FlowersJennifer Flowers is the Hotels & Food Editor at Travel + Leisure. Find her on Twitter at @JennFlowers.

Photo courtesy of Ken Goodman

On Istanbul's Asian Side: Anatolian Ice Cream at Donurmacci

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Those visiting Istanbul tend to stay on the European side of the city. But there are plenty of reasons to hop a ferry to the other shore. Among them: Dondurmacci a tiny, sliver of an ice creamery, near the Anatolian high street of Baghdad Avenue (Bağdat Caddesi in Turkish).

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Designer Marie-Anne Oudejan's Stylish New Jaipur Bar

Marie-Anne Oudejans

"Jaipur is already the Pink City, so I wanted to do something totally different," says Dutch designer Marie-Anne Oudejans of her latest creation, Bar Palladio, at the Narain Niwas Palace Hotel. Best known for Tocca, her line of sari-fabric dresses, Oudejans has turned her eye to interiors, fashioning an over-the-top space with an opulence worthy of a maharajah: Indian motifs (flowers; vines; leaves), tented ceilings, and murals of exotic birds. At secluded banquettes, stylish locals mix with international textile artists over plates of penne all’arrabbiata and basil-tinged Ambassador martinis. Oudejans designed the entire Rajasthani fantasy, down to the crystal stemware, block-printed pillows—even the bar logo. "If you come to India," she says, "this is what you imagine it will look like."

Kate Betts is the author of Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style.

Photo by Aparna Jayakumar

Dîner en Blanc Pop-Up Parties Unite Fashionable Foodies Around the World

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“Are you going to a wedding?” a couple of passersby ask as a parade of people dressed in their finest white garb emerge from the New York City subway carrying picnic baskets, folding tables, and chairs.

“No,” the group leader responds—for they are headed to the world’s largest, most highly anticipated pop-up party. Initiated by François Pasquier over 25 years ago in Paris, the Dîner en Blanc has taken the world by storm. Approximately 12,000 people attended the pop-up picnic in Paris this year. The organizers of the New York City dinner, slated for August 25, expect around 4,000 people.

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Nashville: Back in the Spotlight

Nashville

Here’s a Nashville story: we’re tucking in to authentic muhammara and makanek near the front entrance at Epice, a Lebanese bistro in the city’s up-and-coming Twelve South neighborhood, when the actress Hayden Panettiere—who plays the upstart young country singer in the ABC series Nashville—walks in. It’s the lunchtime rush, and the sun-splashed terrace of the restaurant is jammed. Panettiere and her friend wait, in full view of the dining room, for the hostess to return from seating a table. Maybe a minute or two passes, and we start to imagine the moment when the room will erupt in a pandemonium of camera phones and proffered Sharpies. We should have known better. We’d been prepped for this very moment by Matt Bolus, a young chef who moved from Charleston, South Carolina, our hometown, to Nashville several years ago. “Nashville’s like L.A.,” he’d reported back to us, “but with the soul of a small Southern town. I’ll look up from the pass and see Nicole Kidman in the dining room, but people respect that she’s a person, eating at a restaurant. Nashvillians would never beg for an autograph or sneak a selfie.”

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Want to Eat in a New York Chef’s Home? EatWith’s New Series Makes it Happen.

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We first wrote about EatWith—a website that connects locals with amateur and trained cooks for private, home-cooked meals—last year, when we identified “eating with a local” as one of the most important travel trends of 2014. While the company continues to champion its original vision, last month it launched a chef series in New York, inviting guests into the homes of professionals.

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New York City Supper Club Transports Diners To London

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The English supper club troupe Shuttlecock Inc.—known for Mile High, a series of surrealist experiences that transport diners using elaborate sets and intricate menus—will soon cross the pond. The first stateside performance, Destination: London, in New York’s Lower East Side, will be a bawdy air travel-themed comedy paired with Bath chaps, pigeon, clotted cream ice cream, and that subversive, Monty Python charm.

New York City; Sept. 24 – Oct. 4, 2014; shuttlecock-inc.com.

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Sarah Spagnolo is special correspondent & new media editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of Shuttlecock Inc.


We Love Urban Cowboy Bed and Breakfast in Williamsburg

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On a Thursday night in June, the open-air communal living room at Urban Cowboy—a new four room B&B on a leafy Williamsburg, Brooklyn, block—is echoing every stereotype about a borough that’s now considered the universal fulcrum of cool.

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