The historic Sheung Wan district is abuzz with new restaurants and shops—plus a chic hotel that has solidified the area’s rebirth.
Hotel de Edge by Rhombus: Value-conscious jet-setters check in to the 32-story hotel for its streamlined rooms, free Wi-Fi, and sweeping views of Victoria Harbour. For dinner, head to the on-site Glo restaurant, which attracts a stylish crowd. 94-95 Connaught Rd. W. $$
Select 18(pictured): Discerning hipsters browse this petite spot for vintage eyeglass frames, from Moscot to Dior. It also stocks secondhand couture; look out for 1980’s Vivienne Westwood baubles and Chanel jackets. 18 Bridges St.; 852/9127-3657.
Restaurant guidebooks have been around since Grimod de la Reynière’s Almanach des Gourmands was published in Paris in 1803. The 21st-century version: pioneering mobile-phone apps that intuitively lead travelers to restaurants via user-generated feedback. Foodspotting launched two years ago as a way to share epicurean snapshots and search for geo-tagged dining options, but it has since evolved into a Pandora-for-food that uses previous likes and dislikes to suggest what you might want to try next. In addition, Foodspotting has beefed up its editorial content, including redesigned “picture menus” for every restaurant and a new series of Travel + Leisure guides that highlight can’t-miss items in destinations from Las Vegas to Paris.
The team behind the wildly popular Experimental Cocktail Club has struck again with a brand new speakeasy, Le Ballroom du Beef Club, in the 1st arrondissement. The cocktail scene takes place in the cellar, where the chic sip Salers Smash and Cucumber Fumant. Don’t miss Beef Club, the steakhouse that recently opened on the ground floor.
Tina Isaac is Travel + Leisure’s Paris correspondent.
Stumped about what to get dad for Father’s Day? Why not treat him to one of these sports- or food-themed getaways.
Hyatt Regency New Orleans If your dad is the family chef, opt for the John Besh Package at this recently reopened hotel within walking distance of the French Quarter. The deal includes nightly accommodations, an autographed copy of Besh’s new cookbook My Family Table, a $50 gift card for Borgne, Besh’s coastal Louisiana seafood restaurant at the hotel, and breakfast buffet for two at 8 Block Kitchen & Bar. Doubles from $189.
It all started with a goat, roasted over a fire and served to friends last July at the organic Beetlebung Farm on Martha’s Vineyard. Since then, bold-faced names including Saturday Night Live cast members have been spotted at chef Chris Fischer’s greenhouse dinners, where everyone sits on bales of hay as he cooks island-only ingredients on camp stoves. As SNL’s Seth Meyers puts it, “You spend the entire meal pretending to listen to the person next to you while anticipating what the next course is going to be.”
Temple visits and lulur body scrubs are must-dos on this Indonesian island. Now you can add eating chocolate to that list. Big Tree Farms—which collaborates with Balinese artisans to create products such as lychee-blossom honey and locally harvested sea salt—recently unveiled “the world’s most sustainable chocolate factory.” At the expansive, all-bamboo structure, guests can take cooking classes, watch the bean-to-bar process, and sample confections sweetened with coconut palm sugars.
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.
With Beer Here: Brewing New York’s History opening May 25 at the recently renovated New-York Historical Society (in which you’ll learn that home-brewing has been around in New York City since the 17th century), now is the perfect time to check out some of the city’s newest brew-centric spots.
Top Hops Beer Shop(pictured): A former distributor for Anheuser-Busch/In Bev, owner Ted Kenny is the mastermind behind this Lower East Side beer emporium. The 700- bottle selection fills refrigerators in the back, while the custom wood-and-polished aluminum bar up front offers 20 beers on tap (tip: order a flight). The menu is limited, so don’t come hungry—just really thirsty. 94 Orchard St.; 212-254-4677.