NEW YORK BAR

NEW YORK BAR

Tokyo, Japan

Going up to the 52nd floor of Park Hyatt Tokyo is one of those things you need to do at least once in your life. You don’t have to sit at the restaurant, you can just chill out in the New York bar, order a cheeseburger with chilli pickle salsa, hand cut bacon and crispy potato fries. It costs about the same as a sushi dinner for two. However, the view is apocalyptic. Live music depends on the evening, but stay here until the early hours to really savour the experience, just like Charlotte e Bob in “Lost in translation”.

THE FARMHOUSE

THE FARMHOUSE

Morzine, France

In Morzine, Le Mas de la Coutettaz is known as the oldest house in the village. Years ago the house was turned into a maison d’hotes and its name changed to The Farmhouse by its owners although the original name remains on the facade. A marvellous and perfectly located retreat in the heart of the High Savoy region, it’s at walking distance from ski slopes and fairy-tale mountain paths.

ROCHELLE CANTEEN

ROCHELLE CANTEEN

London, UK

With white walls, sturdy chairs and the Nordic purity of a refectory, Rochelle Canteen is a small bistrot converted from an old bike shed and set in Arnold Circus in East London. The dishes bear Arnold & Henderson’s signature, one of the most prestigious catering services in town.

RUSSELL’S OF CLAPTON

RUSSELL’S OF CLAPTON

London, UK

Russell’s has all the right to be considered part of a new generation of bed and breakfasts that are cosy, honest and affordable. Set in upcoming areas that are popular with the trendiest hipsters, they are both poetic and convenient. Hurray! Russell’s is set in Hackney, East London

LAFAYETTE HOUSE

LAFAYETTE HOUSE

New York, USA

An old creaking staircase, velvet of perfect shades, from perfectly balanced reds, to sage and crimson and a fireplace facing the bed. No reception and no breakfast room (only room service, à la carte), nothing to make you feel like you’re in a hotel. The atmosphere is what you would find in a discreet, sophisticated, beautiful house, only a few steps away from Bowery.

IORI MACHIYA

IORI MACHIYA

Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto is what you would expect Japan to look like: low houses along the river, old temples surrounded by amazing gardens, hand-stretched noodles and for the luckiest (it’s not easy to see them), geishas walking with silent and short strides and disappearing behind a door made of rise paper. To make the most of this magical experience, sleep in one of Kyoto’s historical houses, now open to tourists. Staying in one of the traditional machiya (old townhouses with workshop) is an experience in itself. Relax on the unexpectedly comfortable futons, enjoy take-away sushi on a low table, try the sauna with views on the zen courtyard. Not only it’s cheap, it’s well worth the expense.

PLEIN CIEL

PLEIN CIEL

Champéry, Switzerland

They claim to be a “Hôtel accroché à la montagne” (Hotel on the top of a mountain) where “Happiness is in the air”. Pleincliel captures you first and foremost with words. A former funicular cable car station now converted into a 24 rooms mountain refuge, it features green and red walls, boiserie in natural wood, simple decor and a pool table. The most spectacular thing here is the scenery: 360 degrees views on the Dents du Midi mountains. Access can be challenging. During winter the only way is a cableway. Hotel and restaurant are completely smoke-free.

MALGA PANNA

MALGA PANNA

Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy

It was Virgilio and Aurora who transformed Malga Panna from a simple refuge serving polenta and cheese into a first class restaurant. Today, their sons Massimo and Paolo look after it with the same passion and with pride.

HOTELLERIE DE MASCOGNAZ

HOTELLERIE DE MASCOGNAZ

Valle d'Aosta, Italy

Immersed in the silence of its multy-century history, lie the Walser villages. Their houses are simply made of wood beams and stone according to the tradition of this mountain area and have recently undergone a very crafty and considered restoration. Some are private houses, others welcoming and charming relais hotel like the Hotellerie de Mascognaz. You sleep in the Chalet lo Miete (seven rooms and a wellness area) that can also be entirely reserved or in Suite Monterosa, the old barn now converted in 2 rooms that can host up to 4 people. Dinner is served in the Chalet Lo Pejo and includes delicious local dishes and specialities from the Savoy region. The village can only be reached by foot or by snowmobile. Etre Mascognaz and Breithorn Hotel, in the centre of Champoluc, are under the same management.

MAGNOLIA PUB

MAGNOLIA PUB

San Francisco, USA

Magnolia is a perfect example of gastropub where they serve beers and first class food. The long menu is squeezed on a big blackboard. Abundant portions and hamburger gourmand, right on the hippie Haight Street.

Bissel House

Bissel House

Los Angeles, USA

It’s a businessman who left the East Coast for the milder South California that built this Victorian mansion in 1887. Converted into a b&b in the ‘90s, Bissel House retains all the charm of a family house. Mornings here have the taste of a ritual where all guests sit together around the oval table while the owner serves a delicious and perfect breakfast. The 7 rooms have flowery tapestries and you might find a vintage laced long dress hanging in your wardrobe, a reminder of the dinner parties often hosted by Anna Bissel at the beginning of the 19th century. Bissel House is located in South Pasadena, an elegant small town close to Los Angeles that every second Sunday of the month hosts the famous Rose Bowl Flea vintage market.

Johannesstube

Johannesstube

Trentino Alto-Adige, Italy

Johannesstube owes its name to Johann Kohler who in 1830 made a dream’s family come true and founded the Hotel Engel. The walls and floors covered in Swiss pine have the honey colour of the chestnut, the tables are covered in white embroidered tablecloths and the big stove sits in the middle of the room, according to the local tradition. In the kitchen, multi-awarded chef Markus Baumgarten delights his clients with superb dishes.

Freemans

Freemans

New York, USA

When, in 2004, Taavo Somer and William Tigertt came up with the idea to open “a rugged clandestine colonial American tavern”, they made the right choice. The cuisine is simple and rustic inspired by old traditions but with European influences. This is without doubt one of our favourite restaurants in town. The leaflet says “Oysters, Caviar, Midnight Burgers, Fromage, Frites, Sundae, Music and Dancing”, but we guarantee that it’s much more than this. The family also owns a chain of barbershops with vintage décor, one of which is annexed to the restaurant. Deeply cool.

L’Chimpl

L’Chimpl

Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy

“Soft Tamion’s bio egg with spinach, Cuor di Fassa cheese, potatoes and black truffle”, “Polenta’s gnocchi stuffed with smoked Trentingrana cheese, salted codfish and wild spinach”, “Veal cheek, chickpeas, spugnole mushrooms, figs and fois gras”, “Flavours from the woods”… Every dish at L’chimpl restaurant blends creativity, knowledge and local ingredients. It’s mountain poetry.

London

London

by Wendy Bevan

Wendy is a London based artist, she’s a photographer, musician, and performer. “…a marvellous chanteuse” (The Times).

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