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.
It’s not often that we want to accessorize à la Carmen Miranda. But Colombian-born designer Nancy Gonzalez, known for her exotic-skin bags, has won us over with these too-cute-to-resist woven crocodile wristlets. Cue the samba! Available by special order at Bergdorf Goodman; 800/558-1855; from $2,550.
Mark Galpin, owner of Alladin's Cave, an antique shop in Christchurch, in Southwest England might say that the "oitering" starts as soon as you enter his establishment. The shopkeeper has made his store the subject of a brouhaha recently after he posted signs that say "Sorry No Tourists" and banned shoppers who don’t live within a 30-mile radius. "We have put up with it for three years, and we believe that maybe one in every 2,500 tourists has spent a pound or two," Galpin told the Daily Mail. "The rest have spent nothing." The sign explains the ban on the grounds that the store's items would be too large to ship. ("So, scram, why doncha!" is all but implied.)
Galpin told reporters that his sales have shot up since the ban—now that there's more room for paying customers to wander around—but some of Christchurch’s civic leaders are not happy about it. "It's just so depressing that we have got one eccentric trader taking this stance," Peter Watson-Lee, the chairman of the Christchurch Chamber of Trade, told reporters. "Tourists bring a lot of money into the town. He is in the wrong town if he doesn’t want to welcome them."
Galpin reportedly said that he might consider allowing tourists again—if they chip in some money to a pot for charitable donations.
From Miami, you’ll head south on one of the country’s most scenic highways to get to Key West. The Overseas Highway is 120 miles of incredible bridges that pass over tropical blue water. Bring a camera! WHERE TO STAY The brightly colored Truman Hotel, just a short walk from the bars along Duval Street, has a small pool and balconies on the upper floors. PRICE $299 a night.
Love to shop? You can’t do better than Fort Lauderdale, which has the posh boutiques along Las Olas Boulevard and more than 300 outlet boutiques at Sawgrass Mills. WHERE TO STAYB Ocean Fort Lauderdale is just north of some of the pricier hotels, but it’s a much better value: there’s free WiFi, complimentary iPad rental, and ocean views from standard rooms. PRICE $299 a night.
A visit to the Magic Kingdom is the ultimate trip for every kid, but parents can have a great time, too. WHERE TO STAYThe Waldorf-Astoria Orlando is set on a 482-acre nature preserve with jogging paths and golf. Disney-view rooms look onto the park’s nightly fireworks show. PRICE $299 a night.
The word vintage denotes something of high quality from the past. These vintage shops from around the world stock clothing and accessories you'll want to hold onto. After all, a pair of cowboy boots purchased in Colorado will help you remember your trip a lot longer than a souvenir keychain.
Portland's fashionistas (that's not a complete oxymoron) head to this shop for serious vintage pieces. The space is more boutique than thrift shop with clean, organized racks and a good variety of choices from several eras. Items come and go quickly and the shopkeepers can help even the most discerning buyer incorporate period pieces into customers' wardrobes. The service is unparalleled: The owner quickly fixed a tiny hole I found in a Navajo sweater while I waited.
Marriott International and a subsidiary of the Swedish home furnishings giant Ikea announced yesterday that they're teaming up to launch a new budget hotel brand, called Moxy, with outposts across Europe. The plans, which have been in the works for at least a year, call for the first Moxy to open in Milan in 2014, with 150 to follow in the next decade.
Though the new hotels will surely channel Ikea's cheap and chic contemporary design sensibility and Marriott's legendary hotel management savvy, details about the brand are scarce. (We are somewhat disappointed to learn that they will not be kitted out in Ikea furniture, though happy to hear that free in-room wifi and floor-to-ceiling wall art are on the menu.) The announcement got us thinking, though, about our vision for the ultimate Ikea-style hotel:
° In-room dining menu features meatballs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Your mid-afternoon snack: Swedish fish.
° Guests who assemble their own Birkeland nightstands upon arrival receive a 15 percent discount on their room.
° Taking the pillow menu to new heights, Moxy allows guests to select their own bedding from a vast basement warehouse.
° No need to surreptitiously smuggle bathrobes, slippers, and bathroom amenities away in your suitcases. For your convenience, the hotel provides guests with a bright blue plastic bag.
° Finding your room involves wending your way through vast, crazy-making hallways until finally, with great relief, you arrive at your door.
Paris-based Longchamp, beloved by prepsters for its fold-up nylon travel carryall, is introducing something graphic: this canvas-and-calfskin bag inspired by Argentina’s country estates and the vivid work of Mexican Modernist architect Luis Barragán. Arm candy, indeed. $640.
History and hipsters coexist on the leafy, laid-back streets of Chiang Mai’s Wat Gate quarter.
A former home base of the 19th-century teak exporter East Borneo Company has been revived as 137 Pillars House Chiang Mai, a hotel whose 30 suites are decorated with four-poster beds, claw-foot tubs, and bright orchids. Book a room on the second floor for a well-shaded veranda. 2 Na Wat Gate Soi 1. $$$
The open-air Hinlay Curry House serves terrific (and super-affordable) Indian dishes such as aloo gobi, pumpkin curry, and flaky rotis. Save room for the house-made coconut ice cream—a perfect salve for the tropical climate. 8/1 Na Wat Gate; 66-53/324-621. $
An island of panache in a sea of hoodies and jeans, Wingtip is a haven for nattily dressed San Francisco gentlemen. In addition to such modern-classic labels as Peter Millar and Luciano Barbera, the store stocks all manner of accoutrements (carved-horn shaving kits; cut-to-fit-belts; champagne sabers)—and even employs a tailor, shoe shiner, barber, and hatmaker. This spring, the full-service haberdashery adds a private club upstairs, where guests will be able to smoke cigars, taste wine, or practice their golf swings, all while debating the next big start-up. 550 Montgomery St.; T+L readers can access the club free with a $50 purchase.
Jaime Gillin is Travel + Leisure's San Francisco correspondent.