The other day I saw these cute cards in the window of The Village Invites, a small stationery boutique near our offices, and just had to take a closer look. I'm a sucker for well-designed letterpress stationery, and this print shop has a lot of attractive offerings. Even though I don't have an immediate need, I bought myself a small pile of travel postcards from their selection. I love everything about them: the tactile quality of the velvety paper stock, the richness of their colors and inks, the clever illustrations and sophisticated designs.
Terra Plana's Galahad Clark, decendant of the founder of English shoe company Clarks, wants you to go barefoot. Forget that his ancestors Nathan Clark designed the crepe-soled desert boot in 1950, or before that, in 1883, William Clark created shoes to follow the line of the foot. Galahad wants you to walk as close to naked as possible.
I'm a sucker for souvenirs—anything that you can ‘t get where you live, especially things regular people use in their daily lives. I love the brightly colored bedspreads in Brazil, the scratchy plaid blankets in Wales, the blue pottery in Mexico, the handcrafted dolls in Guatemala, and the traditional leather thong sandals in India that jingle when you walk. And I love the symbolism of the orange Dala horse in Sweden, the masks in Venice, and especially the rooster with its alluring red plume of feathers in Portugal. So when I took my first walk through the Old Town in Porto Portugal, I was thrilled to see a make-shift stand with a man selling small tablecloths and dish towels for one Euro—what a bargain!
When I went to Budapest last week—that unduly beautiful capital on the Danube—I spent an afternoon checking-out some boutiques recommended in a June 7 New York Times article about the city’s budding design scene (just yesterday it also ran this piece). All the shops are located in Pest—the newer, commercial side of the river—in a triangle near the Hungarian National Museum (14-16 Múzeum korut, District IX); and the bar and restaurant strip of Raday utca. Let’s call the area, which is really just a small piece of District IX, Karolyi Kert, after the leafy park in the heart of the ‘hood.
Let me introduce you to my new guilty pleasure: the The W Store website—the expertly curated online boutique of the W hotel chain. (There are several brick-and-mortar boutiques as well.) OK, so I haven’t actually bought anything from there yet, but just surfing through the merch makes for a compelling mid-afternoon escape, akin to a leisurely browse through the racks at Barneys—but you don’t even have to leave your desk!
I’ve been trying to get back to London for years now, but other travels (to Paris, Avignon, New Mexico, L.A.) keep getting in the way. So I was thrilled to learn that the chic British neighborhood of Newburgh Quarter is literally coming to my backyard.
Fliers passing through Vancouver International Airport have a new one-stop travel shop—the first-ever Travel+Leisure-branded store.
Travel+Leisure has partnered with the company behind airport newsstand giant, Hudson News, to create travel concept stores selling everything from local maps and guides to T+L books (World’s Greatest Hotels, Unexpected Italy, 100 Greatest Trips) and luggage, including smart bags by Tumi, Timbuk2, and Manhattan Portage. Keep your eyes peeled for expanding inventory—and future openings at Halifax International Airport and JFK (Terminal 2), and for T+L stores-within-stores at the Orlando and San Francisco airports.
I love to shop in Tokyo. Especially for everyday things: housewares, stationary supplies, useful stuff. I always visit Loft (loft.co.jp), for example, in Shibuya, even if I don’t need anything, just to wander the seven floors of art supplies and hobby and craft materials and the vast—vast—selection of pens and notebooks.
On a recent visit to New Orleans I made the rounds, as is my wont, of my favorite manly haunts—and I’m not referring to strip clubs or steakhouses. NOLA is many things to many people, but it’s especially fertile terrain for the dapper southern (or northern) gentleman. I am neither, but I do like me a good hat, a good suit, and a good shave.
For the latter I hit Aidan Gill Barber Shop —either the original on Magazine Street or the newer branch on Fulton Street downtown. Their 30-minute, hot-towel “Shave at the End of the Galaxy” is more indulgent than a four-hour lunch at Galatoire’s, and you’ll look a lot better afterward. There are pints of Guinness to sip, 1960s Playboys to flip through, and gleaming shelves of shaving products, from badger brushes to mock-ivory handles to Truefitt & Hill creams and oils.
Meet Anna Bern, my latest object of lifestyle envy. This ex-Vogue and W magazine staffer forsook the urban jungle for Narrowsburg, New York (pop. 414), a tiny hamlet in the Upper Delaware River Valley, and promptly opened a home and accessories boutique called Nest.