It’s tucked away, but the little town of Trentham has serious street cred. An award-winning French country-style restaurant, a ramshackle timber pub, design-savvy holiday stays, great bookstore, peppering of little cafes and a genuine community feel. They call this ‘cool country’, and that’s right in so many ways. See my story in the December/January edition of Australian Traveller
Mexico City – Distrito Federal, or D.F. as it’s known – is one of the world’s megacities, a sprawling metropolis with a richly layered history and a powerful sense of its own culture. Change is in its DNA though, so it shouldn’t really be a surprise that it’s not all mariachi bands and mezcal. But it is a surprise to find pockets of the city with a contemporary edge that snap well away from stereotypes. Design hotels in leafy inner-urban areas, international galleries, a culinary scene that owes as much to LA and New York as to myriad Mexican flavours, cool bars, and hipsters peddling past on hire bikes. Who would have thought?
Unless you’re here for an extended stay, the secret is to hone in on a few key areas.
Roma, La Condesa and Polanco are the colonias or neighbourhoods you might choose to start with, but don’t discount the historic centre, El Centro – even there you’ll find surprises.
For more about Mexico City and its boutique hotels see International Traveller magazine May/June 2015 edition.MEXICO hip hoods, design hotels
La Valise in Roma Norte – how clever is this room, (in one of just 3 suites) where you can slide your bed onto the balcony for balmy Mexican nights.
True to their word, Visit California ‘Dream Big’ indeed. An entourage from the US sunshine state
welcomed Australian media and others to a fabulous night at Melbourne’s stylish, high rise restaurant Vue de Monde. Actually, looking out the twinkling lights and city towers, it felt a little like being in LA. Macadamia cocktails, truffle marshmallows, Waygu beef and divine little deconstructed pavlovas were part of an amazing meal. Guests were invited to dream big and reveal their dream trip to California. Highway One, helicopter across the Grand Canyon, tour the Napa Valley wine region, chill out in Santa Barbara, stroll Venice Beach or the Santa Monica boardwalk, spot a star in West Hollywood. almost too many choices! No doubts here… the chance to explore the mid century modern architecture, retro resorts and inimical style of Palm Springs – with the occasional martini, and tour of the Palm Springs Architecture and Design Centre, due to open in November 2014, are definitely on MY list.
Pyjama party in Palm Springs anyone?
Cardboard comes out of the shadows and into the limelight in some clever, quirky, on-trend furnishings that give a whole new meaning to ‘out of the box’. Frank Gehry’s Wiggle chair is witty and iconic. Some of the other pieces are just very practical (a double bed) and some are a little kooky (a cardboard cat). And cheap! Sustainable, flat-pack – and fun.
Check them out. For the full story in The New Daily see
Amsterdam’s flourishing design and art world and the Amsterdamers’ distinctly independent spirit have inspired a slew of intriguing boutique hotels. For the fullstory in the May/June International Traveller magazine see Amsterdam’s New Dutch Masters – International Traveller