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.
Meet Anna Bern, my latest object of lifestyle envy. This ex-Vogue and W magazine staffer forsook the urban jungle for Narrowsburg, New York (population 414), a tiny hamlet in the Upper Delaware River Valley, and promptly opened a home and accessories boutique called Nest.
I stumbled upon the store on a recent trip upstate, and went into a kind of retail frenzy over all the merchandise-exquisite artisan goods and handmade finds sourced by Bern on her twice-yearly trips to her native Brazil. Banana-leaf placemats, straw hats and clutches, beach-ready tunics, plus this sick cowhide chair:
The entire 1,700-square-foot space makes me want to overhaul my entire aesthetic for Bern's insouciant Ipanema style. Note: Narrowsburg itself has gotten a fair amount of buzz lately; it's an idyllic little weekend destination in the making. Watch this space.
15 Main St., Narrowsburg, NY; 845/252-3424; nest-store.com.
Irene Edwards is a special projects editor for Travel + Leisure.
Photo courtesy of Anna Bern
When Simon Majumdar found himself in the throes of a midlife crisis, he didn’t surrender himself to trite clichés—no sports car or twentysomething girlfriend for him. Instead, the fanatical foodie quit his job and embarked on an expedition designed around one tasty mission: “Go everywhere, eat everything.”
The results of this 12-month, 30-nation gastronomic escapade are delectably chronicled in Eat My Globe: One Year to Go Everywhere and Eat Everything (Free Press, $26), out May 19. Half Welsh and half Bengali, Majumdar grew up in a household where diverse flavors were the norm and food reigned supreme. “To say that our family was obsessed with what we ate would be like saying J.K. Rowling is comfortably well off,” he writes. “Food was not just fuel to keep the plump bodies of the Majumdar clan going. It was the very essence of who we were.”
Sandwiched between two Rag & Bone shops on Christopher Street in NYC sits a silver of a shop with a treasure trove of bags that don’t scream “It Bag” but softly whisper, “must have.” MZ Wallace’s new West Village store—with salvaged driftwood, large plank floors and art terrariums made by Paula Hayes—opened in March ’09, and is the second in New York City.
Celebrating its 10-year anniversary, MZ Wallace has hit its stride with irresistible nylon bags (everything goes over the shoulder), as well as overnight bags and purses made from raffia and leather ($255-$425). If you take the plunge and transfer the contents from your pre-recession companion, I promise you will not go back. The nylon bags are the best and are so light you can easily run from Hudson News to your gate at JFK without feeling like you have a small child on your shoulder.
Mimi Lombardo is the fashion director of Travel + Leisure.
Photos courtesy of MZ Wallace