20 Once-in-a-Lifetime Trips Worth Flying For
Travel + Leisure's Worth Flying For series explores the most singular experiences travelers can have.
From muddy spa treatments in Napa Valley and slightly terrifying Christmas traditions in Newfoundland, to daring adventures in Zambia and rare wildlife encounters in Bolivia, each month we reveal the best kept secrets in destinations around the world.
The Burren Perfumery in County Clare, Ireland
On a gray day in County Clare, Ireland, I drove down a narrow road in the Burren National Park, a strange landscape where green grass and plumes of wildflowers grow between endless swaths of steely limestone scraped bare by glaciers. At the edge of that world—close to the Atlantic, hidden among trees—sit a few small stone buildings clustered around a courtyard. This is the Burren Perfumery, where owner Sadie Chowen concocts fragrances, cosmetics, and candles inspired by the environment. The workshop was founded in 1972 by a poet who'd studied in Grasse, the French fragrance capital. Chowen fell in love with the place 20 years ago, while designing and planting the garden. After training as a perfumer, she bought the business in 2001.
As it began to drizzle, I ducked into the main shop. Neat rows of oils, balms, and perfumes lined the shelves, their bottles decorated with hand-drawn botanicals. Uncapping one bottle, I inhaled notes of orchid followed by the woodsy damp of ferns and lichens; another, grassy and sweet, transported me to a sunny meadow. My favorite fragrance was a bright, briny mixture of citrus and the sea.
When the rain stopped, I stepped outside and headed around a bend. Moss-covered trees loomed above the slick stone path. I passed the soap room, where a gray-haired woman poured molten beeswax into tins. At the entrance to the herb garden, I paused at a round stone, set into the ground and surrounded by a circle of smooth rocks. Standing in its center felt eerie, like I'd stumbled on some talismanic Celtic monument. Down the path, herbs and plants peeked over the low walls. Sage, mint, tarragon; wispy ferns and pale roses. And moss, so much velvety moss. This was the Ireland I had pictured, but I didn't think it actually existed.
The dreamlike moment gave way to easy comfort in the bubblegum-colored tearoom. A smiling waiter in a pink apron served me tea and a slice of fruitcake soaked in Irish porter. I sipped and ate, savoring the scent of chamomile shot through with whiffs of perfume from a workshop next door. My Ireland, found. —Devorah Lev-Tov
Gustav Klimt's Studio in Vienna, Austria
In the well-heeled Hietzing neighborhood of Vienna there stands a two-story villa the color of bone, framed by twin staircases with baroque railings. The garden is verdant, thick with wild flowers and fruit trees. Handsome, carved-wood furnishings dot the building's interiors. This is the Viennese painter Gustav Klimt's last surviving studio, where he retreated in the final years of his life to focus on his erotically charged paintings of women and vibrant nature scenes.
As a particular fan of Klimt's, I had always been curious about his secluded studio practice. Still, I braced myself for a collection like so many I'd seen before — a stale exhibit peppered with textbook facts and a tourist-packed gift store hawking branded souvenir coffee mugs. Instead, the workshop's unadorned rooms hosted dozens of lesser-known, unfinished works and portrait studies of his models. I gazed at evocative pencil squiggles and gold-flecked oil paintings that shimmered in the morning light. Shadows danced across black-and-white furniture and sinuous line drawings.
The atelier felt like a living work space, as if Klimt himself could return and pick up his brush at any moment. A visit will draw you back to the present moment and remind you of your capacity to experience awe. When I exited the studio onto the leafy street corner, the trees seemed to sparkle with an extra, Klimt-like magic. — Anna Furman
Painted Wood Carvings by Jacobo and María Ángeles in San Martín Tilcajete, Mexico
The wooden owl's eyes entranced me. Every inch of the creature was intricately patterned, but the swirls around his eyes made him look somehow alive. I had come to San Martín Tilcajete, just outside the city of Oaxaca, in search of alebrijes, copal-wood figurines painted with elaborate Zapotec designs. María and Jacobo Ángeles are the undisputed masters of the craft, their carvings sought by museums and art collectors. The exterior of their workshop, on a dirt road at the edge of town, was an explosion of riotous color, with bougainvillea bursting into bloom and apprentices painting in the courtyard. One young man cradled a two-foot dragon in his lap as he painstakingly brushed color onto its horns: the red dye made from cochineal beetles, the yellow from pomegranate rinds.
An apprentice showed me around the workshop. Alebrijes, he told me, are inspired by the tonas, Zapotec animal guardians that correspond with the calendar, much like the zodiac. I spotted the owl, awash with oceanic blues and rusty oranges. I turned him over and over, marveling at the colors.
I climbed a staircase, and there in the studio stood María, studying a three-foot-tall anatomical heart she had just begun to paint. "Spend some time," she said. "You must get to know the animals." As I perused the last few rooms of the workshop, my guide pulled a well-worn tona calendar from his pocket and asked my birth date. El buho, he said. The owl. I went back to retrieve the one I'd seen before. I named him Martín, and stared into his spiral eyes the whole way home. — Carey Jones
Jardins des Monts in Rossinière, Switzerland
Last summer, in the foothills of the Swiss Alps, I found a garden in the clouds. I reached it by taking a rattling monorail up the slopes of Mont Dessous, though for most visitors the journey is a steep but scenic half-hour hike. At the top was Jardin des Monts, an organic farm where three entrepreneurs craft a line of herbal teas, syrups, and beauty products. You can buy these wares in boutiques in Gstaad or Zurich, but to really appreciate them, it's vital to experience the terraced slopes and Alpine air of the place where they're made.
I was greeted by the young owner, Charlotte Landolt-Nardin, and a landscape so idyllic it barely felt real. Drystone walls bordered garden beds where lavender and marigold blooms stood bright against the green. Uphill was a beautifully restored 1857 chalet that looked so von Trapp–worthy it took some restraint not to hum "Edelweiss." Lush meadows and craggy mountains stretched into the distance. Landolt-Nardin led me through rows of mint and thyme. We peeked into the raw-wood hayloft, where racks of blossoms and herbs were laid out to dry, then visited the goats who keep the pastures neat.
At the chalet, I stopped in the herboristerie to peruse the brand's products, all in chic black-and-white packaging inspired by traditional European paper cutting. I sipped an herbal syrup and filled my bag with jars of comfrey balm and calendula soap. It might have been the sugar rush, or perhaps the altitude, but I felt electric. I stole a few last breaths of the crisp mountain air, then turned to wander back down to earth. — Emma Sloley
Dinner on the Ocean Floor in Nova Scotia
I descended the stone stairs and scrambled down an embankment to reach the bottom of the ocean. At Burntcoat Head Park, Nova Scotia, the highest tide in the world was out. The moon had pulled billions of tons of water into the Bay of Fundy, leaving behind briny puddles and countless tiny creatures scuttling on the seabed. Low tide is a daily routine, but for those of us standing on the red sand, it felt like a small miracle.
We were there to dine. For the past three years, chef Chris Velden and his team at Flying Apron Inn & Cookery in nearby Summerville have pored over tide charts to choose six or so days each summer when the lunar calendar and the dinner hour align. As the churning surf edged closer, my companions and I sat at a long table strewn with shells and flowers, eager to sample Velden's spread: charcuterie with local cheeses and pickled beets, beef tenderloin, lobster in melted butter, and a parade of wine and beer pairings. Between bites of dessert (fresh-picked berries on lavender phyllo with Grand Marnier cream), I compared notes with a newly engaged couple about the crabs and periwinkles that we'd spotted on the tidal flats and speculated with day-tripping retirees about how high the surf would climb. We eyed the tide, creeping toward us an inch every minute.
I craned my neck toward the cliffs above, marveling at the stripes of green algae that mark high tide three, four, five stories up. As the sun got lower and the waves lapped nearer, I said goodnight to my dinner companions, walked back up the stairs, and left that rarest of dining rooms to be reclaimed by the sea. from $260 per person. — Jennifer Allford
Lock & Co Hatters in London, England
For 341 years, Lock & Co., the world’s oldest hat shop, has stood on St. James Street in the shadow of St. James's Palace, a short walk from Piccadilly Circus, itself a mere 198 years old. It is the official milliner of the royal family, and "the ultimate purveyor of men's, women's, and children's hats," according to the Royal Warrant Holders Association, a seal of approval issued only by the three highest ranking members of the monarchy: Prince Charles, Prince Philip, and Her Majesty the Queen. Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson wore a Lock & Co. bicorne at 1805's historic Battle of Trafalgar. The iconic bowler hat was invented here in 1849. A postcard was once delivered to Lock & Co. bearing only the address "the best hatters in the world, London."
Despite the pomp, casual customers are welcome. Bright and modern, the space feels more like an epic walk-in closet than a shop, with men’s trilbies and tweed caps on the ground floor, women’s boaters and fascinators upstairs. Downstairs is a mini-museum of the shop's clientele—Emperor Akihito, Don Juan Carlos, Charlie Chaplin, Winston Churchill, FDR, Charles de Gaulle, the Sultan of Jahore, Stella McCartney, and Jackie Onassis—as well as a letter paying Oscar Wilde's overdue bill and explaining he was unable to do so himself as he had been stuck in jail.
At a recent visit, buying a cashmere cap for a friend's birthday, I doffed a silk top hat, which immediately stiffened my upper lip. A panama compelled me to undo some shirt buttons. My companion took off her fedora and donned a wide-brimmed chocolate fur felt Maryanne hat. "I feel like I'm in a western," she said.
Whether with a trilby in New Orleans, a fez in Istanbul, a fedora in Buenos Aires, or an ushanka in Moscow, travelers are hat people. Nobody wears denim and asks Am I a jeans person? But a beret or kullu or sombrero has the power to remake an adventurer. Lock & Co. thrives because it understands a secret truth of fashion: a hat is the farthest you can travel from the confines of your closet. —Richard Morgan
Snorkeling the Silfra Fissure in Iceland
From the shore, the water that runs through Iceland's Silfra fissure, a jagged rift between the Eurasian and North American continental plates, looks remarkably like a regular river. But once you've donned your mask and fins and pushed off the metal ladder from solid ground, you'll find a ghostly submarine kingdom within this crack in the earth.
The water — a deeper blue than any I'd ever seen — percolates through volcanic rock for decades, making it some of the purest in the world. It hovers near a core-shocking 35 degrees year-round. The only way to combat the cold is with a buoyant, and hilariously unflattering, dry suit. For many, snorkeling between the two hulking landmasses, which are drifting apart almost an inch per year, is exhilarating. In my case, it was terrifying. Deep water has always put dread in the pit of my stomach, but I was intent on conquering my fear.
The path is predetermined. Some of it, ankle-deep and easy to walk, pulls you back to reality with the chatter of other snorkelers and divers wading along the rocky ledge. Other sections suggest a horror film — craggy ravine walls plunge into endless blue, the water eerily still. During my 40-minute swim, I eventually settled into a meditative calm I'd never before experienced. I hummed to the rhythm of my own breath and steadied my gaze on the flipping feet ahead, reminding me that I wasn't alone. $160 for a guided trip. — Erika Owen
The Wave in Coyote Buttes, Arizona
In desolate northern Arizona, hidden within the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, lies one of the world’s most inaccessible geological wonders: the Wave, an undulating rainbow of Navajo sandstone in shades of amber, copper, ocher, and umber, created by wind and water erosion over the course of millions of years. Because of the fragility of this Jurassic-age phenomenon, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management limits access, issuing only 20 hiking permits each day. Hopeful visitors must apply via a monthly online lottery or in person at a daily drawing at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument visitors’ center in nearby Kanab, Utah.
After five years of unsuccessful attempts, I was finally picked through the online lottery. I approached beneath an overcast sky, walking through a landscape littered with desert oleander and flying disc and hedgehog cacti, all resplendent with pink, yellow, and white blossoms. The entrance to the Wave appeared as a slit high in the wall of a butte. As I got closer, the striations of the sediment unfolded like a tapestry. I entered the canyon cradle, which widened to reveal the Wave’s full majesty.
During the final ascent, rain began to fall. Runoff cascaded down the side of the cliff, and almost instantly, the landscape changed colors before my eyes. The deep reds and oranges of the earth took on darker hues, creating what I thought impossible: an even more breathtaking display of natural beauty. For permit information, visit blm.gov/az/paria. —Christopher Tkaczyk
Le Grand Musée du Parfum in Paris, France
A new Xanadu for fragrance lovers sits on Paris’s Rue du Faubourg St.-Honoré, across the street from the famed Le Bristol hotel, in an 18th-century hôtel particulier previously owned by Christian Lacroix (and before that, Louis Roederer). It is Le Grand Musée du Parfum, perhaps the most ambitious and immersive museum ever devoted to the art of scent making.
Supported by the Syndicat Français de la Parfumerie, a consortium of 66 French fragrance houses, the institution offers a four-story journey through the history of perfume, beginning with the ancient Egyptians in the basement (which was once a champagne cellar). There, you can push a button to inhale the aroma of kyphi, an incense used to invoke the gods and ward off evil.
As I sniffed my way through the halls, I was struck by how much tastes change. Louis XIV was known as the “sweetest-smelling king of all,” but I would have given him a wide berth. His perfume of choice, which he used to compensate for his fear of bathing, was sharp and musky, with a note of something animal.
I felt more comfortable in the Garden of Scents, where aromas drawn from everyday life are used to demonstrate the connection our sense of smell has with memory and emotion. As I stood beneath huge white diffusers shaped like giant, Seussian plants, I caught a whiff of Coca-Cola, then woodsmoke. Then I inhaled the scent of basil and was transported back to my shared student kitchen, stirring a massive pot of spaghetti Bolognese. —Tina Walsh
The Well in Kolbotn, Norway
Nestled in the woods just outside Oslo is one of the most opulent and eclectic bathhouses ever built. The Well, a year-old, 110,000-square-foot, clothing-optional facility, puts a dazzling array of global spa traditions under one roof, from a Turkish hammam to a Japanese onsen. The austere décor, however, with its black volcanic rock and Art Deco tiles, is all Norwegian. Built by Stein Erik Hagen, the country’s fifth-richest person, the Well is the kind of place that could exist only in the Norway of today: it adheres to the Law of Jante, the Nordic concept that basically no one is special, which explains Norwegians’ traditionally restrained approach to luxury. But it caters to an industrious populace, made wealthy by decades of surging oil revenues, that increasingly has the means to indulge in serenity.
During my visit, I lay in a Finnish-style sauna next to two Norwegian ladies and four other men— all of us imperfect strangers. A short-haired Polish woman named Olga used a large Japanese fan to waft hot eucalyptus-scented air over us, part of our Aufguss treatment. “Maybe cover your nipples,” she grunted, not wanting to scorch our delicate parts. Afterward, we ran to the terrace, where the temperature was 30 degrees and the winds gale-force, to cool off. Stripped as I was of my American Puritanism, I felt my blood pressure drop. I joined my wife in the onsen, where she was listening to a Norwegian man wax poetic about Bon Jovi. She left to get a Thai massage while I sat in the restaurant, nursing a bottle of dark beer by the fireplace. In that moment, I found I was able to breathe more deeply than I had in months. —Ross Kenneth Urken
El Rei De La Màgia in Barcelona
El Rei de la Màgia, around the corner from the Picasso Museum in Barcelona’s Barri Gòtic, bills itself as Spain’s oldest magic store. It was founded in 1878 by the great Catalonian conjurer Joaquín Partagás, known in his time as the King of Magic. Visitors pass through the shop’s ornate ruby-red façade to discover shelves and display cases brimming with curios: playing cards, wands that spout flowers, interlocking metal rings, backward clocks, joke candy. The shop makes some of the items on site, including its famous Milk Bulb Trick, in which the performer pours milk into a paper cone, causing it to disappear and then—presto!— miraculously reappear inside the bulb of a lamp.
If you buy a trick, a magician will whisk you behind a black curtain to demonstrate how it works. But El Rei de la Màgia will only sell you a trick they think you can pull off. “We do not sell everything to anybody,” said Sara Fernández, one of the magicians there. “Only what we know you can do and will use.”
When I visited, I saw her transform blank white paper into money while an eight-year-old boy in a cape watched. “I would like this,” the boy said, steepling his fingers. He asked his mother for some money to buy the trick, then followed Fernández behind the curtain to receive her wisdom. A few minutes later, he emerged, exultant. “Now, the secrets are mine,” he told his mother. He swirled his cape and bowed, having suddenly found himself, like so many travelers, on an unexpected stage. —Richard Morgan
Waterskiing at the Hôtel Belle Rives in Juan-les-pins
Few activities so perfectly encapsulate a place and time as does waterskiing at the Hôtel Belles Rives, on France’s Côte d’Azur. Perched on the glittering Cap d’Antibes peninsula, the property overlooks a bay so calm that in 1931 it inspired an off-duty ski instructor named Léo Roman to test out a dynamic new sport—one that soon took off across Europe. The hotel occupies an Art Deco mansion formerly known as the Villa Saint-Louis, which novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald and his family once rented for two years. In 1929, the house was reborn as a waterfront hotel on the French Riviera. Today the property—and the sport of waterskiing—are still going strong. Indeed, the Belles Rives Ski Nautique, which is open to all, is one of the most prestigious waterskiing clubs in the world. Rosé-sipping hotel guests can while away the hours by watching the tanned bodies glide across the bay. As the daylight fades, guests can relive the golden age of the Riviera at one of the hotel’s regular Great Gatsby–themed parties or by stepping onto the terrace to see the blinking lighthouse that inspired the green light in Fitzgerald’s definitive work. Doubles from $218. —Adeline Duff
Flamingo Season In Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia
Every November, the bright, white nothingness of Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni salt plain—and its neighboring lagoons in the Andean Plateau—is interrupted by a riot of pink, when flamingos in their hundreds flock there to breed. Three different species bedazzle the landscape as they search for algae in the red, white, and green lakes, which get their color from the salt and sediment in the water.
The chance to see the salmon-pink feathers and yellow bills of the rare James’s flamingo is a particular treat for ornithology buffs. The species was thought to be extinct until its rediscovery in the region in 1956, and can be found only in the high-altitude plains of Peru, Chile, Argentina, and Bolivia.
The terrain of the world’s largest salt flat, which covers more than 4,500 square miles at an altitude of 12,000 feet, is a surreal vision any time of year. But in spring, to see the pale expanse suddenly blush is an otherworldly sight to behold.
Salar de Uyuni is only a 45-minute flight from the capital city of La Paz. Book a bespoke two-to three-day tour with a local guide through McCabe World Travel. You’ll stay at the remarkable Luna Salada Salt Hotel & Spa (doubles from $132), which is made entirely from salt. From there, you’ll set off south to observe the flamingos up close, and witness one of the world’s most striking ecosystems come to life. —Adeline Duff
Swimming in the Zambezi River’s Devil’s Pool, Zambia
Set on the edge of Victoria Falls, in Zambia, the Devil’s Pool lives up to its frightening name. It is a rocky basin that has been hollowed out by thousands of years of erosion as the waters of the Zambezi River swept through it before falling 350 feet downward—twice the height of Niagara. For much of the year, the Devil’s Pool is inaccessible to visitors. But when the river level declines and the current slows between mid-August and mid-January (the region’s dry season), it turns into nature’s version of an infinity pool. These drier months reveal a rock wall at the edge, which acts as a barrier that makes it safe to jump in and take a dip.
Experiencing this thrill requires a boat ride to a small island in the Zambezi River, followed by a swim to a large rock, then finally a leap into the pool. Just inches away, the torrents cascade over the precipice, producing dramatic clouds of rainbow-dappled mist. Your guide will happily take your picture as you pose to make it look like you’re going over. Floating above the roaring falls, it’s easy to understand why the locals call them Mosi-oa-Tunya—“the smoke that thunders.” —Adeline Duff
A James Samuela Tattoo On Moorea
Between the 15th and 18th centuries, when Europeans set out to far-off lands like French Polynesia in search of new trade routes, they encountered natives whose bodies were decorated with intricately designed symbols. While the practice of inscribing one’s body with ink likely didn’t originate in the South Pacific (the first records of the art point to the Egyptians), Polynesians were responsible for introducing tattoos to the sailors, who eventually took the custom back home to the West. Today on Moorea, one of the Society Islands, the practice of traditional tattooing remains strong, and James Samuela is its leading artist. At his studio, Moorea Tattoo, he uses a tool made of wild-boar tusk, which he taps into the skin with the help of a “stretcher”—an assistant who holds the skin flat. “When I carve the tools, everything I do is by hand, as my ancestors once did. It’s a way to remain close to them,” Samuela says. The design and location of each tattoo have specific meanings, and differ widely among Polynesian communities. “For example, the symbol of the shark is the triangle, but even within Tahiti, it can vary between archipelagoes.” All of Samuela’s designs are one of a kind, and his customers book appointments months in advance. The only thing he won’t tattoo? “Anything stupid.” —Adeline Duff
Mud Bathing In Calistoga, California
Three and a half million years ago, present-day Calistoga was wracked by volcanic activity. The blasts left behind an ashy, nutrient-rich soil and a system of hot springs that, millennia later, the Wappo Indians used for healing therapies. (The warm mud and geothermal waters have properties said to reduce joint pain, draw toxins from the body, and exfoliate the skin.) By its founding, in 1877, Calistoga had become widely known as a place to “take the waters.”
Today, the area is home to 13 hot-springs spas, ranging from the old-school to the luxurious. At the upscale but unpretentious Indian Springs Resort & Spa (treatments from $95), guests can lie in a tub filled with a viscous blend of volcanic ash and hot-spring water, followed by a thorough rinse and a soak in a mineral-water bath.
If you’re looking for a more traditional experience, head to Dr. Wilkinson’s Hot Springs Resort (treatments from $77), which offers a variety of mud- and mineral-water treatments in a no-frills environment, with much of its Midcentury Modern décor still intact.
Whichever spa you visit, plan to go during the fall, when Napa Valley’s foliage rivals New England’s and the grape harvest is in full swing. —Adeline Duff
Mummering In Newfoundland, Canada
Each December, as winter’s chill envelops Newfoundland and Labrador, in far eastern Canada, its residents prep their candy-colored houses for a series of masked visitors. The practice may sound slightly sinister, but Mummering, as it’s known to the area’s English and Irish descendants, is a joyous, Halloween- style ritual. Brought over from Britain in the 19th century, Mummering deals in the art of disguise, where groups of friends or family members travel door-to-door in their neighborhood, cloaked head to toe in costumes. The trick is for the host to identify each Mummer, at which point everyone celebrates with some whiskey or a slice of Christmas cake.
If you’re not a Newfoundland and Labrador native, the best way to join in the spirit of this quirky custom is by making a trip to the province’s snowy capital, St. John’s, where an annual Mummers Festival begins in late November. Over two weeks, it features various events, such as an Ugly-Stick Workshop, in which participants embellish sticks with bottle caps and tin cans meant to create a mighty racket during the festival’s culminating Mummers Parade, with hundreds of costumed souls marching through town. After the parade, crowds gather to unmask, mingle, and drink Purity Syrup, a sweet, fruit-flavored concoction similar to punch. Think of it as the biggest holiday block party you’ve ever seen. —Adeline Duff
Mrs. Knott’s Tea Room At South Foreland Lighthouse in Dover, England
If you stroll two miles northeast from the White Cliffs Visitor Center in Dover, wind-bent shrubbery on one side of you and a 350-foot plunge to the English Channel on the other, you’ll reach a converted 1846 lighthouse keeper’s cottage. This is Mrs. Knott’s Tea Room, an oasis for wind-lashed visitors. You’ll enter to sit in mismatched chairs, sip tea poured from higgledy-piggledy teapots into patterned cups on saucers, and nibble egg-salad-and-cress sandwiches and Victoria sponge cake, while in the hallway, serenades by Vera Lynn play on the old phonograph. The floral walls are crowded with photos of the staff’s ancestors. The No Smoking sign is cross-stitched. This juxtaposition of indoor doilies and outdoor danger feels quintessentially British—a little cottage of mirth and manners perched on the edge of the gray isle of fog and frost. After a few cups, your gratitude for coziness will give way to an eagerness to be outside again. You’ll pay and go, emboldened for the return trek. South Foreland Lighthouse, The Front, St. Margaret’s Bay, Dover. —Richard Morgan
Leather Gloves At Luvaria Ulisses in Lisbon, Portugal
Walk too quickly and you might miss Luvaria Ulisses, a one-of-a-kind glove shop in the heart of Lisbon’s refined Chiado neighborhood. That’s because the shop is no bigger than a broom closet: enter and your nose practically hits the wall. It’s where illustrator Joana Avillez’s Portuguese grandmother took her, as a girl, to be fitted for her very first pair. To this day, your elbow is placed on a velvet pillow and your fingers are measured down to the last millimeter. Then the owner, Carlos Carvalho, will offer you gloves in any color leather, from powder blue to canary yellow, embellished according to your wishes with anything from white piping or contrast stitching to leopard-print cuffs. “You leave hoping either for frostbite or a serious invitation out,” Avillez says. “Any excuse to wear gloves, now integral to your identity.” Gloves from $54. —Thessaly La Force
Gâteau De Foie Blond At Le Suprême in Lyon, France
Steps from a busy subway stop in Lyon’s up-and-coming Seventh Arrondissement, you’ll find a door marked with a golden chicken. This is Le Suprême, a bistro launched last October by not one but two Daniel Boulud protégés: Grégory Stawowy and his wife, Yun Young Lee. An official “Embassy of Bresse Poultry” plaque proclaims that the free-range chicken on the menu hails from the Bresse region and bears the Appellation of Controlled Origin—a guarantee of quality—while inside, portraits of Bresse capons watch over the open kitchen.
Since it opened, this shrine to the art of cooking poultry has become celebrated for one particular recipe. “People are starting to come in just for the gâteau de foie blond,” Stawowy said. A chicken-liver custard created in the 19th century, it’s served in various seasonal presentations (illustrated here is a fall version, draped in a tomato coulis). For Boulud, who regularly dines at Le Suprême, the dish has fond associations. “My grandmother made chicken-liver custard on Sundays,” he said. “I can still smell it as it caramelized.” 106 Cours Gambetta; 33-4-78-72-32-68; $12. —Sylvie Bigar