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Conde Nast Traveler USA JuneJuly 2017

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TRUTH IN TRAVEL
J U N E /J U LY 2 0 1 7
live summer
for
We
06/07.17
F E AT U R E S
60
Of Land and Sea
In the Languedoc, drives between
medieval villages and unsung
wine country are short, while seaside
lunches are blissfully long.
70
Genoa
Tamar Adler gets to know
Italy’s most underrated port city
through its food (of course).
78
Mothers of Pearl
The female divers of the Ise-Shima
Peninsula have been pulling treasures
from the depths of the ocean
for centuries. By Adam H. Graham
90
Lake Love
Why we all want to live that
summer-on-the-water fantasy.
By Adam Haslett
The Cover
Driving through the Bavarian
Alps. Shot by Amanda Marsalis.
Lunch at La Cambuse de Saunier,
Le Salin de Gruissan.
8
Condé Nast Traveler
photograph by ODDUR THOR ISSON
06/07.17
W H E R E + W E A R (21)
WO R D O F M O U T H (33)
22
36
49
Pass It On
Checking In
Hotel Breakfast
Sofía Sanchez de
Betak’s inspired itineraries will have you
booking a ticket now.
Oceanfront design
in Baja; bypassing luxury hotel chains in
Bangkok; and more
reasons to stay in
East London.
Start the day with
Iberian ham and pan
con tomate at
the Mercer Sevilla.
The Upgrade
40
Picnic basket–like
bags made for
summer getaways.
Been There, Done That
Laura Dern on the lifechanging wild
strawberries of southern France and the
ethics of swiping the
hotel shampoo.
26
On Location
36
The retro allure
of Oahu.
30
43
Plane Clothes
Side Trip
Anna Gavazzi Asseily,
director of Gagosian
San Francisco,
on flying in silk pj’s
and Italian loafers.
Next time you’re in
London, tack on a
few days to walk the
southwest coastline
in Wales.
16
Editor’s Letter
99
Intel
104
Souvenir
26
10
Condé Nast Traveler
50
50
Black Book
How to pack (no
heels), order the best
taco, pick the right
restaurant, and take
advantage of the
outdoors like a local
in San Francisco.
Clockwise from top: Photographs by David Coggins; Brian Flaherty; Nicole Franzen
24
06/07.17
CONTRIBUTORS
Adam Haslett
Andrea Whittle
Tamar Adler
The author of Imagine
Me Gone wrote
Lake Love, p. 90
CNT’s Assistant
Editor made two trips
out west for our
San Francisco
Blackbook, p. 50
The New York Times
food writer ate
her way through
Genoa, p. 70
Window or aisle?
Aisle. I do as much
yoga in the airplane’s
galley as I can
before being evicted
by the crew.
Best hotel bathroom?
The ones at the
new Williamsburg
Hotel in Brooklyn.
They’re gorgeous, with
raw-copper fixtures
and turquoise tiles,
and the Apotheke bath
products smell like
bamboo and white tea.
What dish would
you travel for? Pasta in
Rome—alla gricia,
all’amatriciana, and
cacio e pepe. One
day while I was there
I managed to eat
pasta at every meal.
Legendary layover?
Twenty-four hours
in Reykjavík. I wandered the city at dawn
with hardly a soul
in sight, ate in three
different restaurants, and still got
eight hours of sleep.
14
Condé Nast Traveler
What surprised you
about San Francisco?
How seriously
people take coffee and
tacos. And that six
bison actually live in
Golden Gate Park.
Where to next?
Hopefully, Japan. Check
out @amy_merrick
on Instagram. She’s a
florist who lives parttime in Kyoto and
visits serene teahouses
in the countryside.
We’ll Take You There
@cntraveler
Podcasts or books inflight? Books, either
too many or too few.
After Genoa I went
to Sicily for a week and
ran out of reading
material almost immediately. I took an
hour-long train ride to
the nearest Englishlanguage bookstore.
Go to Town
Sea Show
In our online city
guides, Condé Nast
Traveler editors share
their recommendations for restaurants,
bars, and things
to do in N.Y.C., L.A.,
London, and
Chicago. Next up:
San Francisco.
Check out more
stunning pictures
of Japan’s IseShima Peninsula
on Instagram.
Talk to Us
Subscribe
Where are you going this
year? Email your photos
and tips to letters@
condenasttraveler.com.
Visit cntraveler.com/
subscribe, email
subscriptions@conde
nasttraveler.com,
or call 800-777-0700.
Leave It to the
Ombudsman
What scent takes you
right back to a place?
Pine needles—they
remind me of being six
years old at camp
in Maine.
Good Trip
This month on
Facebook Live we’ll be
telling you where to
take a long weekend
this summer.
Need help solving a
travel problem?
Email ombudsman@
cntraveler.com.
From left: Photographs by Brigitte Lacombe; Valeria Suasnavas; Aaron Stern; Gentl and Hyers
Best souvenir?
A Beni Ourain wool
carpet from the souks
of Marrakech. I rolled
it up and hauled it
through four airports
before getting it into
my living room. It’s so
fluffy, it’s like a pet.
EDITOR’S LETTER
06/07.17
Fashion photographer John
Rawlings, shot in Montego Bay
by Slim Aarons, 1950.
My husband and I recently bought a 1962 Jeep Willys on eBay that we only
ever drive outside of the city on weekends. We don’t mind that the second
gear sticks. Or that it only has three gears—“three on the tree,” so called
for the manual transmission’s archaic placement on the base of the steering wheel. Or that it goes a maximum of about 40 miles per hour, recently
prompting an impatient Porsche driver with a slicked-back man bob to give
us the finger while passing on the road from Sag Harbor to East Hampton.
In fact, at the first hint of spring this year, despite unseasonably cold
weather, we wrapped ourselves in scarves and blankets, buckled into the
roofless, doorless glorified golf cart, and drove to pick up fresh chickens
from a local farmer. I caught my reflection in the rearview mirror—a (literal) frozen grin, matched by my husband’s. The getting there, in this case,
wasn’t just half the fun, it was the end in itself. Which is a little like how
I feel about downhill skiing with my newly reticent teenager: worth
every penny and frozen digit, if only for the chairlift ride free of the
16
Condé Nast Traveler
Pilar Guzmán, Editor in Chief
@pilar_guzman
Photograph by Slim Aarons/Getty Images
More than
Half the Fun
inhibiting pressure of eye contact, and six glorious
minutes of responses that go beyond “it’s fine”
and actually start to resemble the unsolicited
bedtime soliloquies of fears and dreams from
that same boy at seven. In transit, the anticipation
of what lies at the other end—fresh oysters on the
beach in the Languedoc (page 60), a glimpse of
a mountain and its mirror image in a clear lake
(as on our cover), or the best ski run of the day—
deepens not only the conversation but also, it
seems, our experience of time itself.
In a publication that celebrates discovering
ever more remote destinations around the world,
it’s often the car and train rides, or long walks
(such as those between tiny villages in southwestern Wales, page 43), that define an adventure in
hindsight. Most of us will dutifully build a day’s
itinerary around visits to museums or cathedrals,
only to fall asleep thinking about rounding a corner down a mountain road and catching that first
glimpse of an electric-green meadow from the car
window. Or sometimes it’s in the very absence
of planned activity or grand-gesture stimulation,
and in the seemingly uneventful interstitial, that
a culture most reveals itself. As Adam H. Graham
reminds us in “Mothers of Pearl” (page 78), about
Japan’s Ise-Shima Peninsula, his gradual ability
to see “beyond the nothingness” of the region’s
subtle beauty and quiet way of life marked his
transformation from tourist to traveler.
PILAR GUZMÁN
EDITOR IN CHIEF
CREATIVE DIRECTOR
EXECUTIVE EDITOR Candice Rainey
DESIGN DIRECTOR Caleb Bennett
DEPUTY EDITOR Lauren DeCarlo
FASHION DIRECTOR
NEWS AND FEATURES
LIFESTYLE EDITOR Rebecca Misner
SENIOR EDITOR Paul Brady
SENIOR ASSOCIATE EDITOR Erin Florio
EDITOR, SERVICE AND SURVEYS David Jefferys
ASSISTANT EDITOR Andrea Whittle
EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS
DESIGN
DIGITAL
PHOTOGRAPHY
Sebastian Modak
PHOTO EDITOR Corrie Vierregger
ASSISTANT EDITOR Meredith Carey
ASSISTANT EDITOR, VENUES Betsy Blumenthal
SENIOR MANAGER, ANALYTICS Sara Bogush
ASSOCIATE ART DIRECTOR Christa Guerra
DESIGNER Alyssa Chavez
SENIOR PHOTO RESEARCH EDITOR
Alexandra Bousquet-Chavanne,
Chantel Tattoli
SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT Sophy Roberts
Kate Cunningham
PHOTO EDITOR Linda Denahan
ASSOCIATE PHOTO EDITOR Valeria Suasnavas
CREATIVE ASSISTANT Sigrid Dilley
VIDEO
FASHION
MEN’S STYLE EDITOR Matt Hranek
ASSOCIATE FASHION EDITOR Mara Balagtas
PUBLIC RELATIONS
PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Olga Kuznetsova
ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR Tanya Weston
COPY DIRECTOR Corey Sabourin
RESEARCH DIRECTOR Kristin Auble
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RESEARCH MANAGERS Elizabeth Gall,
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, BRAND COMMUNICATIONS
CONTRIBUTING COMMUNICATIONS AND BRAND
STRATEGIST Sarina Sanandaji
DEPUTY DIGITAL DIRECTOR Laura D. Redman
SENIOR EDITOR Katherine LaGrave
ASSOCIATE EDITORS Lale Arikoglu,
SENIOR MANAGER, AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT
Lara Kramer
DIRECTOR, MOTION CONTENT Liz Ludden
PRODUCER/EDITOR Phil Falino
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Yasmeen Cesare
Victor De Vita
Yolanda Edwards
DIGITAL DIRECTOR Brad Rickman
MANAGING EDITOR Paulie Dibner
FEATURES DIRECTOR Alex Postman
Sarah Meikle
OPERATIONS
SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTOR Rachel Coleman
ASSOCIATE SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR Francina Morel
TECH TEAM Zameer Mohamad, Thomas Wong
CONTRIBUTING EDITORS
DIGITAL STRATEGY Maeve Nicholson
INTERNATIONAL David Prior
MEDIA Mark Ellwood
TRAVEL Andrew Sessa
CONTRIBUTORS
David Amsden, Amanda Brooks, Frank
Castronovo, David Coggins, Ondine Cohane,
Victoire de Taillac-Touhami, Frank
Falcinelli, Adrian Gaut, Andrea Gentl,
Eugenia Gonzalez, Maca Huneeus, Inez and
Vinoodh, Julia Leach, Peter Jon Lindberg,
Gianluca Longo, Alexander Maksik, Dewey
Nicks, Peter Oumanski, Paola & Murray,
Sofía Sanchez de Betak, Dani Shapiro,
Mimi Thorisson, Oddur Thorisson,
Ramdane Touhami, Katherine Wheelock,
Jocelyn C. Zuckerman
FOUNDING EDITOR Sir Harold Evans
EDITOR EMERITUS Clive Irving
ANNA WINTOUR
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Alexandra Sanidad
BRENDAN COOLIDGE MONAGHAN
PUBLISHER, CHIEF REVENUE OFFICER
HEAD OF SALES Amanda Smith
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS & FINANCE Andrew Lee
BRANDED CONTENT AND ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Mark Lloyd
INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL DIRECTOR Angelo Lombardo
INTERNATIONAL LUXURY LIFESTYLE DIRECTOR Peter St. John
LUXURY DIRECTOR Catherine Dewling
BRAND DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR Colleen Tremont
HEAD OF DIGITAL PLANNING Tara Davi
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DIGITAL CAMPAIGN MANAGERS Brett Karbach,
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MARKETING
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18
Condé Nast Traveler 06/07.17
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WISH YOU
WERE HERE
THE BAGLIONI
HOTEL
CARLTON IN
MILAN
Bag, Hermès stores nationwide; watch, gucci.com; pen, montblanc.com
THE
THINGS WE CAN’T
L E AV E
WITHOUT
Hermès Kelly Mini II
bag ........................... $7,700
Gucci watch ............... $880
Montblanc Meisterstück
Gold-Coated 149
Fountain Pen ............. $935
photograph by MATT HR ANEK
Condé Nast Traveler 06/07.17
21
PA S S I T O N
WORLDLY ADVICE
SUPERTRAVELER
SOFÍA SANCHEZ DE
BETAK KNOWS
EXACTLY WHERE YOU
SHOULD GO NEXT
Left: Elli Beach, on Rhodes. Above: Sanchez de Betak, who also
has a clothing line called Chufy, in Rhodes’s old town.
Imagine harvesting oysters on a
Kenyan island or overnighting in
a 300-year-old, family-owned
Kyoto ryokan. Our contributing
editor Sofía “Chufy” Sanchez
de Betak has a lifetime’s worth of
on-the-road experiences just like
these (she is the daughter of CNT
travel specialist Maita Barrenechea,
after all), which she shares in
her new book, Travels with Chufy
(Assouline, $50). Here, the three
places she swears should be on the
radar of anyone planning their
next trip this month.
22
Condé Nast Traveler 06/07.17
The Greek Isle You Might Have Written Off
“I’d always assumed that Rhodes, which is known
for its walkable medieval towns and sandy beaches,
would be overrun with tourists. But boy, was I off.
My husband and I strayed just two blocks from the
main street’s souvenir kiosks to discover a cluster
of hushed side streets and the intimate Marco Polo
Mansion, which felt every bit the home of its
Italian-artist owner, whose half-finished paintings
leaned on easels throughout. We had a long lunch
of raw uni on the terrace at Nireas, a local favorite,
then rode donkeys up to the village of Lindos to
look at an acropolis that is three thousand years old.”
“Driving an hour and a half from the airport in
Bariloche through a desert to Estancia Arroyo Verde
is always a homecoming of sorts. I’ve spent every
Christmas since I was a baby at this six-room ranch
with so many special touches—a large stone
fireplace and a library filled with old books. I recommend booking now for next March (the ranch
is closed from April to November), when the river
water has warmed up enough that you can swim
after your morning hike.”
A Swiss Alps Town All to Yourself
“Just past the Italian border, the village of Poschiavo
is encircled by a less-touristed branch of the Alps
and feels remote even for Switzerland (you’ll see
waterfalls and goats on the 35-minute train ride
in from Tirano). The raw-timber La Rösa lodge nails
the town’s unfussy Alpine appeal: High wooden
beds have heavy handspun blankets; candlelit dinners (and dreamy apple pies) are served family
style; plus, at bedtime a stream running under the
house lulls you to sleep.” B Y E R I N F L O R I O
A N D C H A N T E L TAT TOL I
From left: Photographs by Sofía Sanchez de Betak; Alexandre de Betak
Argentinian Patagonia in (Their) Fall
Harley Rattan, Forty Five Ten; Crab Basket, toryburch.com; Jane Striped Lid, edie-parker.com; Manray Small Tote, markcross.com; Honey Pot, francesvalentine.com; Dolce, select DG boutiques nationwide
THE UPGR ADE
DREAM
WEAVER
BAGS
AS FUN AND
BREEZY
AS SUMMER
ITSELF
clockwise from top left:
Mark Cross Harley Rattan ............... $2,195
Tory Burch Crab Basket ....................... $495
Edie Parker Jane Striped Lid ............ $2,195
Mark Cross Manray Small Tote ...... $2,095
Frances Valentine Honey Pot ............ $195
Dolce & Gabbana Dolce bag ........... $5,195
24
Condé Nast Traveler 06/07.17
photograph by MATT HR ANEK
Tiffany & Co. Blue
Book Collection
earrings ............ price on request
Diane von Furstenberg
shirtdress ............................... $598
Chanel shoes ........................ $725
Salvatore Ferragamo
sunglasses ............................. $375
La Ligne Au Naturel Tote ... $195
Fendi pineapple charm ..... $750
26
Condé Nast Traveler 06/07.17
If it weren’t for the iPads and Kindles, you
could almost imagine it was 1962 lounging
poolside at the iconic pink stucco Royal
Hawaiian (above), a beacon on Waikiki’s shores
since 1927, or sipping a mai tai at the Kahala
Hotel after visiting the Moorish masterpiece
Shangri La, Doris Duke’s home turned
museum. In the last couple of years, however,
the island feels like it’s emerging from its
halcyon haze. Not only are there outstanding
restaurants in red-hot Chinatown—the food
obsessed are flocking to Senia, which is helmed
by two former Per Se chefs—there’s a new
crop of stylish hotels, ranging from ultraluxe
(like the Four Seasons, on the rugged west
coast) to more sceney spots like Waikiki’s
Surfjack and The Laylow. Regardless of where
you stay, you’ll want your wardrobe to
channel the island’s perennial glamour.
JOH N WOGA N
Clockwise from top right: Photographs by Elana Jadallah; Tom Gorman; styled by Leigh Gill; Josephine Schiele; styled by John Olson at Halley Resources (2); Tom Gorman;
styled by Paul Petzy (2). Earrings, 800-843-3269; dress, dvf.com; tote, lalignenyc.com; charm, fendi.com; shoes, 800-550-0005; sunglasses, ferragamo.com.
O N L O C AT I O N
OAHU, HAWAII
WHERE OLD-SCHOOL
MEETS NEW COOL
W E L L T R AV E L E D
“FLYING ALONE FOR WORK
IS LIKE A VACATION. FLYING WITH
MY SON IS DEFINITELY WORK.”
Whether the San Francisco–based
gallery director is headed to an art fair
in London, where she lived for seven
years, or her hometown of Milan to see
family, her goal is to make international
travel as painless as possible. Here,
she tells us her secrets to style on overnight flights and to making a tight
connection with a two-year-old in tow.
DIRECTOR OF
GAGOSIAN
SAN FRANCISCO
ANNA GAVAZZI
ASSEILY
Travel Uniform: MaxMara silk pajamas, a Frances Leon jacket, and
a pair of woven loafers from CB Made
in Italy. They come in every pattern
and material imaginable. I probably
have eight pairs!
Favorite Bay Area Boutique: Pia in
Jackson Square carries the best designers, like Delpozo and Roksanda.
In Transit with a Toddler: I do Airbnb
or OneFineStay so I have a full kitchen
and space for my son to run around.
And I love the Babyzen Yoyo stroller.
It folds up so you can carry it on—no
need to gate check.
Where to Eat in London: I always
make time for lunch at Farmacy in
Notting Hill and Chucs for great
Italian. Back at Heathrow, I’ll grab
sushi to go from Itsu in Terminal 5.
Culture Fix: Tate Modern, Chisenhale
Gallery, and the South London Gallery.
In My Backpack: Dermalogica Active
Moist face lotion, and Vicks First
Defense nasal spray, so I don’t catch
anything on the plane. My motherin-law told me about it, and she’s very
wise. A S T O L D T O A N D R E A W H I T T L E
30
Condé Nast Traveler 06/07.17
photograph by DEWEY NICKS
06/07.17
T H E T H I N G S W E C A N ’ T S T O P TA L K I N G A B O U T
San
Francisco,
Always a
Good Idea
pg.
photograph by BR IAN FLAHERTY
50
Leo’s Oyster Bar in the
Financial District.
Condé Nast Traveler
33
CHECKING IN
Ever the master at channeling
the essence of a place,
Liz Lambert works her magic
in Mexico.
STIRLING KELSO
Surf breaks surrounding the Hotel
San Cristóbal, good year round,
become epic during summer months.
36
Condé Nast Traveler 06/07.17
From left, photographs by David Coggins; Francisco Peña/courtesy of Hotel San Cristóbal
Baja Soul
Four years ago, when Austin-based hotelier Liz Lambert first
laid eyes on Todos Santos in Baja California, 47 miles north
of Cabo, she knew immediately this was where she’d open
the Hotel San Cristóbal, her first property outside of the U.S.
“It was a place with a deep soul and a story that I wanted to
tell,” she says of the historic mission town. Its relaxed vibe
reminded her of Marfa, Texas (her second home), and that
setting—framed by the deep blue Pacific and a golden
desert coastline—is about as idyllic as it gets.
Working with Lake Flato, the sustainable architecture
firm behind her Austin properties, Lambert and her team at
Bunkhouse Hospitality did a deep dive into the regional
culture and design, making bimonthly research trips for four
years. The findings inspired the hotel’s polished concrete
walls, hand-stamped tiles, and equipales, traditional rustic
chairs made from tanned pigskin and woven cedar strips.
But for Lambert, creating the hotel’s identity was about
more than the local design vernacular: Bunkhouse hired
New York–based Saira Hospitality, which specializes in
giving local communities the skills to work in hospitality,
to run a nine-week hotel school open to all Todos Santos
residents, and now about half of the graduates work at the
property. Chefs Edgar Palau and Lou Lambert rely on the
town’s generations-old panga fishing culture for dishes like
whole huachinango with fresh lime, and buy from family
farms to supplement their seafood-focused menu.
There are other plans in the works too: Palau will lead
market tours and longboat-fishing excursions, “though the
former lawyer in me says this is a bad idea,” jokes Lambert.
“Those boats fly.” For now, there’s horseback riding, yoga, and
surf lessons. And, if you’re staying in an oceanfront room
from November through March, you can watch humpback
and gray whales offshore from your outdoor sunken tub.
CHECKING IN
Siam Revival
The century-old Connie’s Cottage at the Siam Hotel.
EAST LONDON’S HOTEL BOOM
The Curtain
The industrial hotel–
slash–members only
club has a rooftop
lounge, photos of ’80sera Madwonna by Mick Rock, and Marcus
Samuelsson’s Red
Rooster.
38
Four Seasons
Hotel London at Ten
Trinity Square
A Beaux Arts reborn
gem that has the
only U.K. restaurant
from leading
French chef AnneSophie Pic.
Condé Nast Traveler 06/07.17
The Ned
A former bank
reimagined by
NoMad’s Andrew
Zobler and Soho
House’s Nick Jones
with a rooftop lap
pool and an original
vault turned bar.
Nobu Hotel
Shoreditch
The angular concrete-and-steel
facade feels right
in this tech hub.
Plus the on-site
Nobu has outdoor
seating.
Anyone who’s spent time in Bangkok knows
the hotel scene is fairly one-note: Think
predictably slick, luxury chain high-rises with
expansive city views and, in true Bangkok
fashion, swinging rooftop bars. And while
we’re all for outdoor drinking just a short
elevator ride from our room, we often crave
a more intimate, culturally specific stay.
Thankfully, private homes are being reborn as
boutique hotels (where suites range from
around $750 to under $100 a night). The trend,
while slow to emerge, isn’t exactly new—the
pioneer was Chakrabongse Villas, the former
estate of Prince Chakrabongse before his
granddaughter, Narisa, opened it to overnighters in 1998, connecting the two homes
and pool by teak footbridges and tiled
pathways. (Book the River View suite for a
patio facing the Wat Arun temple.) But there
are exceptional newcomers like the 1940s
AriyasomVilla, which has a gorgeous courtyard and pool, and 24 rooms, some with
four-poster beds and Oriental rugs. The more
glammed-up Art Deco–inspired Siam Hotel
features Connie’s Cottage, a century-old former
home that was floated on a barge from the
historic capital of Ayutthaya to Bangkok. If you
want peace and quiet (not easy to come by
in this city), opt for Siamotif, a waterside bungalow that looks out at the red-and-yellow
longtails gliding on the Noi canal. Trust us
when we say you won’t miss the rooftop bar.
J E N N Y A DA M S
Photograph by Sven Ellsworth/courtesy of the Siam Hotel
In frenetic Bangkok,
historic homes are
authentic (and low-key)
alternatives to
big-brand hotels.
Laura
Dern
The Big Little Lies star
moves to Twin Peaks
this summer with
Showtime’s revival of
the nineties cult classic.
After that, she’s off
to a galaxy far, far away.
40
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Most recent stamp in your passport: The United Kingdom. We were shooting the new Star
Wars film, The Last Jedi, in England, and I fell in love with the Kit Kemp–designed Firmdale
hotels in London, particularly the Covent Garden and Charlotte Street locations. They just
feel like home.
Best dish you’ve had abroad: Whenever I’m in the south of France, I go to the Hotel du CapEden-Roc and order the fraises du bois, those crazy, little baby wild strawberries, and I eat
them with sugar. There’s no greater flavor in the world.
All-time favorite vacation: The Brando on Tetiaroa in French Polynesia [below]. It’s an extraordinary eco-resort on what was Marlon Brando’s private island. I’ve been to some beautiful
places, but the color of the water there—you stare, you’re in awe, your troubles disappear,
you believe in everything. The resort uses saltwater to run the air conditioning and has electric
golf carts. There are no cars on the island, so you bike or take a golf cart everywhere. It’s bliss!
What do you pack but never use? I almost always haul four books with me, and if I finish
one, it’s a miracle. Pema Chödrön’s When Things Fall Apart might be my best-traveled book—
there’s a lot of wisdom in there. I’ve also been bringing short stories to share with my kids, to
give them some literature without overwhelming them. My son is 15, so Sedaris and Salinger
are suddenly heroes.
Where to next? Norway! Scandinavian press always ask, “You’re Norwegian, right?” And I
am—they’re clearly my people—but I’ve never been to Norway. I’m desperate to see the fjords.
Hotel beauty products—steal or leave behind? My mother [actress Diane Ladd] always
takes them. She’s like, “You’re leaving that shampoo? Laura! They’re complimentary, you’re
supposed to take them!” But I feel guilty about it.
Best thing to do in Los Angeles: In two years, it
will be the Academy Museum, designed by Renzo
Piano. You’ve always had to go to a wax museum
if you wanted to learn about the history of film.
Now, there will be a place for future filmmakers
to be inspired.
On-the-go workout: If I’m feeling adventurous,
I surf or paddleboard. I shot the film Wilson with
Woody Harrelson in Minnesota, and we spent
a lot of time on Lake Minnetonka. Woody’s the
wildest athlete I’ve ever met. We’re playing tennis!
We’re kite surfing! Tightrope walking! I ended
up being so active because he was always like,
“Come on, Dern!”
Most treasured souvenir: A snow globe from
Lourdes, France. I keep it in my bedroom because
it reminds me of my grandmother, who loved
the story of Saint Bernadette and the miraculous
waters of Lourdes so much. She always longed
to visit. A S T O L D T O D A V I D WA L T E R S
From top: Photographs by Trunk Archive; Tim McKenna
B E E N T H E R E , D O N E T H AT
SIDE TRIP
Skrinkle Haven Beach on Wales’s Pembrokeshire coast.
Photograph by Frank Whittle
Wales for
The Weekend
This rural pocket of the Welsh seaside —
and its epic coastal path—is a scenic
four-and-a-half-hour train ride from
London but feels a world away.
During summer, the obvious weekend getaways from the British capital
are to seaside towns, like those in Cornwall or Kent. They’re readymade escapes with teensy pubs, family-friendly B&Bs, and ramshackle
clam-and-oyster huts selling fresh bivalves and pints of Sam Smith’s.
But for a wilder landscape—plunging cliff faces and crashing waves—with
smaller crowds, there’s Pembrokeshire in southwest Wales. In recent
years, the region’s 186 miles of rugged coastline have been united by a single
walking path, meaning you can explore the entire shoreline by foot for
the first time ever (stopping at its blissfully slower-paced fishing villages
as you go). Plus, all that scenery you pass on the way there—the lower
Cotswolds, rural Wiltshire—turns the train ride from transportation into
part of the trip itself.
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43
SIDE TRIP
Day 1: Beach Time in Tenby
Day 2: Break Out Your Hiking Boots
As you drive southwest from Saundersfoot, 16 miles deeper
into rural Pembrokeshire, you’ll come to Stackpole Estate,
the partly wooded nature reserve that stretches down to
the sea. It’s best explored by foot: There’s a six-mile coastal
loop that’ll take you past lily ponds, orchids, and drop-off
cliffs (you may spot some otters). The halfway point is
remote Barafundle Bay, a gently shelving slice of beach that is
harder to get to since there’s no direct road access, but you’ll
probably have it all or partly to yourself. When it’s time for
lunch, drive seven-and-a-half miles northwest to the beach
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The ruined Great Hall of the Bishop’s Palace in St. Davids.
at Freshwater West and hit Cafe Môr’s seafood shack for buttery lobster
rolls. Your hotel for tonight is Roch Castle, a medieval stronghold that was
transformed into a spacious hotel with six stone-walled rooms and a bar.
There’s no on-site restaurant, but the nearby Cambrian Inn has a charming
dining room and excellent, oh-so-British suet-crusted Welsh lamb pie.
Day 3: Tick the History Box
Your final stop is St. Davids, the U.K.’s tiniest city (population: 1,600), built
around a massive 12th-century cathedral. Spend some time there—the
13th-century Bishop’s Palace, even in ruins, shows the power and wealth of
the Church at that time. Then take those narrow country lanes to Melin
Tregwynt, a working woolen mill owned by the same family since 1912,
which weaves blankets, pillows, scarves, and tablecloths from hardy Welsh
wool. If you’re like us and have a self-imposed carry-on-only policy,
you’re in luck: Melin Tregwynt ships internationally. E L I Z A B E T H W I N D I N G
Photograph by Kimball Andrew Schmidt/imagebrief.com. Map by Peter Oumanski
Traffic out of the capital can be maddening, so you’ll want
to take the train from London to Swansea, Wales’s secondlargest city. Rent a car there (go with Europcar—it’s within
walking distance of the station), then drive an hour west
to Tenby on Pembrokeshire’s southern coast. It’s the sort of
stuck-in-time place you visit once but think about for
years—those cobblestoned streets, the pastel-colored houses
down near the harbor. If you arrive around lunchtime,
head directly to D. Fecci & Sons, which first opened in 1935,
for fish-and-chips to go. The ideal spot to devour your
newspaper-wrapped cod is on Castle Beach, a tiny sandy
cove at the base of the emerald-green Castle Hill. On top
of the hill is Tenby Museum and Art Gallery, Wales’s oldest
museum, dating back to 1878. It’s got nautical knots and
Ice Age mammoth teeth, dug up locally, and incredible views
of St. Catherine’s Island, the 660-square-foot tidal island
just off the coast.
Spend the night at the St. Brides Spa Hotel in the village
of Saundersfoot, about three-and-a-half miles north of
Tenby, to take advantage of their saltwater hydro pool overlooking the bay. Coast, opened by Michelin-starred chef
Will Holland, is the best option for dinner. The harissa-spiked
Little Haven crab would be the show-stealer if it weren’t
for the stunning sunsets over the secluded beach just outside
the dining room (keep in mind, the sun goes down late in
Wales—around 8:30 P.M. in June).
HOT E L B R E A K FA S T
DIP AND REPEAT
Instead of
butter, the bread
basket comes
with olive oil and
raw ripe-tomato
paste for assembling
your own pan con
tomate (Spain’s
answer to bruschetta).
The Mercer Sevilla
This 19th-century palacio
turned 12-room hotel serves
one of the most authentic
Spanish breakfasts in the
Moorish city’s historic center.
CHEESE, PLEASE
A trio of cheeses cover the
textural gamut: a Caprí,
aged in Cadíz Bay seaweed;
a smoked goat’s milk
Pajarete; and a peppery doublecrème pavé d’Affinois.
HAM ON IT
The Cinco Jotas
jamón Ibérico comes
from purebred,
acorn-fed Iberian
pigs. It takes years
to perfect the art of
cutting it into
paper-thin slices.
photograph by LINDA XIAO
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49
B L AC K B O O K
San Francisco
Population: 870,887
Average Rent for 1 BR: $3,433
Median Home Value: $1,231,000
Jobs in Tech: 68,000
You could say that San
Francisco is a small
town masquerading as a
big city. On one hand,
it’s doable in a long weekend and walkable
(steep inclines aside), and
each neighborhood is
unlike the one it borders.
There’s a quirkiness to this
place—you can feel it
in the unlikely proximity
of Haight-Ashbury’s
peace-sign-graffitied cafés
to Nob Hill’s old money
social clubs and South of
Market’s tech alley
startups, all against a backdrop of candy-colored
Victorians. When it comes
to eating here, however,
there’s nothing provincial
about it. San Francisco
is the O.G. mecca for new
American cuisine. Years
before every chef listed the
provenance of their salad
greens on the menu,
Alice Waters and her Bay
Area cohort invented
hyperlocal cooking. And
it’s still got that swagger
(the food at Cala or Tartine
Manufactory is proof).
The city’s pioneering
counterculture spirit permeates every corner,
fueling constant change.
50
30
Number of minutes it takes
to drive from SFO to downtown.
Condé Nast Traveler 06/07.17
Local Talking Points
The awesomeness of Steph
Curry; Oakland gentrification; the
controversial 61-story Salesforce
Tower going up in SoMa.
Average High Temperature
70°
50°
JAN
MAY
SEPT
DEC
The Only Shoes You’ll Need
Hers: Slip-on leather flats (like
the ones from Loewe).
His: Dressy-enough sneakers
(like Allbirds’ wool runners).
WHERE TO STAY
Decent hotels here are few
and far between (strict zoning laws and environmental
regulations mean there
aren’t many new properties).
Hotel Vitale
Huge rooms that overlook
the bay, right across
from the Ferry Building.
Say no more.
Inn at the Presidio
It’s engulfed by giant eucalyptus and Monterey
pine trees, so you’ll feel like
you’re in the countryside.
The rocking chairs on
the porch out front are a
nice touch, too.
Ritz-Carlton
The downtown 1909
landmark got a modern
revamp in 2015. Plus,
it has daily wine tastings
with local vineyards.
The Scarlet Huntington
Rooms got a much needed—
if kooky—update. Thankfully,
the classic wood-paneled
bar remains untouched and
is still the best place for a
burger and a martini.
The St. Regis
It’s a block from SFMOMA,
which you can see from
giant picture windows in
the rooms facing Minna
Street. There’s even an
indoor pool.
Looking northeast, toward
Marin County, from
the Golden Gate Bridge.
photographs by BR IAN FLAHERTY
B L AC K B O O K
The New SFMOMA
Will Blow Your Mind
If you’re reading this
magazine, you’ve most
likely been to the city’s
buzzy modern-art museum
SFMOMA. But its brilliant
new Snøhetta-designed
addition—all bright, open
space and clever details,
like a massive wall covered
in woodland-forest
plants and window seats
that look out on the skyline—have given it a second
life. Take your time in
the chapel-like octagonal
gallery filled with Agnes
Martin paintings, and don’t
miss the Richard Serra installation in the glass
atrium. For some post-art
fuel in-house, you have
options: There’s Sightglass
Coffee on the third floor,
for a quick cortado, or
you can sit down at In Situ,
where chef Corey Lee’s
rotating-menu concept
pays homage to dishes
by famous chefs around
the world (Albert Adrià’s
hazelnut cheesecake;
Roy Choi’s braised shortrib stew). From the
museum, you could easily
THIS CITY TAKES SNACKS VERY SERIOUSLY
In this old school food town, bread and coffee are basically a
religion. Here’s where to go when you’re between meals.
Uber to Columbus
Avenue, where you’ll stop
into Beat-era relic City
Lights Booksellers for its
radical-leaning stacks,
and Tosca Cafe, a former
dive revamped by April
Bloomfield. Or have your
driver drop you at the
Ferry Building, a Beaux
Arts arcade packed
with bakeries, fish stalls,
and Boulettes Larder—
it’s the best spot to watch
the boats come and go
over a plate of meze on the
back terrace.
Make a Meal out
of Cocktail Hour
Leo’s Oyster Bar
An instant Financial District
charmer with its tiki-chic
decor and retro dishes like
Crab Louie and deviled eggs.
Liholiho Yacht Club
Souvla, the Mission
The frozen Greek yogurt
is topped with sour-cherry
syrup, baklava crumbles,
olive oil, or wildflower honey.
20th Century Cafe,
Hayes Valley
It’s all about the fluffy, layered honey cake with
a perfectly pulled espresso.
The cocktail menu at this
Tenderloin spot is heavy
on mezcal and white rum,
plus a modern Hawaiian
menu (tuna poké, togarashi
popcorn).
The Saratoga
The wall behind the bar at
this bi-level Tenderloin
watering hole is massive,
backlit, and filled floor
to ceiling with liquor
bottles. Pro tip: The friedchicken sliders go with
whatever you’re drinking.
The Mill, Divisadero
Split your inch-thick
toast’s toppings down the
middle—half pumpkin butter, half almond butter
with honey and Maldon salt.
52
Trouble Coffee Company,
Outer Sunset
Ask for the Build Your Own
Damn House: a coffee,
cinnamon toast, and a coconut served with a straw.
Condé Nast Traveler 06/07.17
Clockwise from top left:
SFMOMA; a pastry at Tartine
Manufactory; the
spread at Leo’s Oyster Bar.
illustrations by JOR DAN HIGA
SAN FRANCISCO
FEEL LIKE RENTING
A TESLA FOR
THE AFTERNOON?
“If you’re craving dim sum, hit Yank Sing in
Chinatown for their minced-pork soup
dumplings or Hong Kong Lounge in Outer
Richmond for law bok gow, a shreddedturnip cake with a crispy crust and XO sauce.”
Car-share app Getaround
lets you book and unlock
your wheels instantly (without a membership, like
Zipcar). Just download and
enter your license info
to get access to a fleet of
nearby Model S Teslas,
Fiat 500s, and BMWs.
Stuart Brioza, chef and owner of State Bird Provisions
Taqueria Throw
Down: What’s the
Best Thing to
Order and Where?
THE NEIGHBORHOODS YOU’LL COVER
Gordo Taqueria
“Burrito, black and pinto
beans, pico de gallo,
with guac or sour cream—
never both.”—Hero
Shop owner Emily Holt
La Taqueria
“Carnitas taco, dorado
style.”—Chef Michael Tusk
Pancho Villa Taqueria
“Carne Asada Super
Burrito, refried pinto beans,
no sour cream, hot salsa.”
—Postmates CEO Bastian
Lehmann
Tacos Cala
“Huevos taco with rice and
beans, green salsa, and
an agua fresca.”—Gallerist
Jessica Silverman
Namu Gaji
Map by Peter Oumanski
“OK, it’s not technically
a taqueria, but their Korean
taco with kimchi salsa
and pickled daikon is my
go-to.”—Dropbox
CEO Drew Houston
2
HOURS
Average wait time at
the no-frills
seafood joint Swan
Oyster Depot.
Eat and Shop in
Hayes Valley
Ask any local to rattle
off his or her favorite
restaurants, and odds are
Zuni Café is near the
top of the list. This place
defined the city’s restaurant culture in the eighties
when chef Judy Rodgers
(an Alice Waters protégé)
transformed it from a
Southwestern dive into
a warm, Eurocentric
establishment. Rodgers
passed away in 2013,
but her beautifully simple
dishes—brick-oven
chicken with herbed
bread salad, ricotta gnocchi, and a hand-ground
burger on grilled rosemary
focaccia—live on. (The
restaurant is now helmed
by co-owner Gilbert
Pilgram.) Consider it for
a late lunch—that’s
when the dining room
absolutely glows as the
sunlight filters through
bottles of Lillet behind the
bar. If you have time,
explore the rest of Hayes
Valley, a stylish residential
enclave lined with ficus
trees and contemporary
Condé Nast Traveler 06/07.17
53
B L AC K B O O K
designer boutiques,
home-decor shops, and
galleries (Jules Maeght
shows European artists
alongside Bay Area
locals). Across from Zuni,
on Rose Street (the sign
sometimes gets attacked
by a cheeky vandal to
read “Rosé”), is Jonathan
Rachman’s floor-to-ceiling
antiques-and-design
shop. Even if you don’t
need anything, go for the
interiors inspiration.
There are two great stores
to hit on Hayes Street:
Public Bikes—though you’ll
be left to ponder how to
ship the brightly colored
eight-speeds home—
and Gimme Shoes for the
latest from Dries Van
Noten and Robert Clergerie.
THE BATTERY IS THE
BAY AREA’S ANSWER
TO SOHO HOUSE
Nonmembers can book one
of the 15 guest rooms
at the private three-story
club (designed by Ken
Fulk, who did Leo’s Oyster
Bar) and have access to
the gym, spa, and restaurant—plus events like a
chat with artist Urs Fischer
and a performance by
the Kronos Quartet.
“Mitchell’s Ice Cream
in the Mission has
been around since
the fifties, and it
has crazy flavors like
horchata, ube,
and three different
types of coconut.
The mango sorbet
changed my life.”
Samin Nosrat, Bay Area
chef and author of Salt, Fat,
Acid, Heat: Mastering
Elements of Good Cooking
FOUR SHOPS WITH
THEIR OWN BRAND
OF CALI VIBES
General Store
In Outer Sunset, ninetiesera silk blouses and
worn-in Levi’s hang next
to ceramic planters
and brass incense trays.
Reliquary
This Hayes Valley spot is
known for Japanese-indigo
jackets, handwoven leather
bags, and small-batch
scents from D.S. & Durga.
Gravel & Gold
You’ll find printed cotton
tops and Salihah Moore’s
beaded chandelier earrings
in this Mission favorite.
The Perish Trust
At this Divisadero outpost,
the apothecary section
will make you want to overhaul your bathroom with
natural balms and face mists.
The goods at
General Store.
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SAN FRANCISCO
The Reservations
to Book ASAP
Cala, Hayes Valley
The chef behind Contramar
in Mexico City serves
superfresh, elevated
Mexican—trout tostadas,
kampachi ceviche—in
an airy, plant-filled space.
Petit Crenn, Hayes Valley
Atelier Crenn’s low-key
sister restaurant does
a veg-and-seafood-forward
tasting menu (equal
parts French and Northern
Californian) in an allwhite room.
Cotogna, Jackson Square
A cozy, brick-walled corner
spot warmed up even
more by a wood-fired oven
and open rotisserie. Start
with the sformato, a creamybut-light custard, then
split a few thin-crust pizzas.
Izakaya Rintaro,
The Mission
You’ll feel like you’ve been
transported to a temple
in the Japanese countryside.
Post up at the cedar bar
for diver-scallop sashimi and
hand-rolled udon noodles.
State Bird Provisions,
Western Addition
Small plates like crispy pork
belly and kimchi-scallion egg
custard are served dimsum style at this perennially
packed standby. For a predinner mai tai, hit the bar at
The Progress next door—
it’s owned by the S.B.P. team.
Nopa, Divisadero
Its earthy, fresh-from-thefarmers’-market menu
still nails it, which means it’s
as hot (and crowded) as
it was 10 years ago.
B L AC K B O O K
SAN FRANCISCO
WHERE TO GET YOUR
NATURE FIX, NEAR
AND (NOT SO) FAR
IN THE CITY
Pedal Golden Gate Park
Rent a bike at the end
of Haight Street and make
your way around the loop
road. Stop at the Japanese
Tea Garden, Stow
Lake, and the James Turrell
Three Gems.
M Y P E R F E C T S U N D AY
Lisa Bühler,
Owner of Indie
Boutique
LisaSaysGah.com
Walk Through the Presidio
On the east side of
the park, if you walk along
Crissy Field you’ll see
the Golden Gate Bridge and
out to Alcatraz. To the
west, wooded trails spill out
onto the rocky cliffs above
Marshall’s Beach.
“I’ll start with . . .
A hike up the trail in Corona
Heights Park, in the Castro.
From the top, the views
are as good as those from
Twin Peaks, but it’s not
as well known—and it’s near
Courtney Produce, my
favorite spot to grab a carrotbeet juice.”
“Then I’ll head to . . .
The Presidio, where the
weekly Off the Grid market
brings together a bunch
of food trucks on the main
lawn. It has everything
from dim sum to banh mi
to bagels.”
“Next I’ll hit some shops . . .
In the Mission. Anaïse and
Le Point are the places to go
for Jesse Kamm pants and
Clare V. bags. And of all the
vintage stores on Valencia
Street, No Shop has the best
edit, but Mission’s Thrift
is worth it if you like to dig.”
“For dinner. . .
I love meeting friends at
Burma Love in the Mission.
I always order the chicken
and mint and a tea-leaf
salad. I’ll finish the night with
a martini at Martuni’s, a
dark, old school piano bar.”
See Lands End
The ruins of Sutro Baths,
the enormous swimming
complex built in 1894, are
surrounded by peaceful,
wildflower-lined trails best
explored at sunset.
JUST OUTSIDE THE CITY
Hike (Part of) Mount
Tamalpais
Revisit the Mission
A short walk from the
original Tartine Bakery
(and its infamous
hours-long line) is the
new 5,000-square-foot
Tartine Manufactory.
The light-filled space is
all blond wood and buttery leather, and it runs
like a factory, albeit a
delightfully pleasant one,
churning out country
boules, porchetta-and-egg
sandwiches, and
buffalo-milk soft serve.
The restaurant is in
the same building as Heath
Ceramics’s factory and
shop–the latter’s tiny bud
vases are truly packable.
From there, walk through
the Mission’s Technicolor
streets to Mission Dolores
Park, where all tribes—
tech bros, aging hippies,
kids with Frisbees—
gather on the grass. Grab
some local cheeses and
a six pack at nearby Bi-Rite
Market, and join ’em.
R EPORTED BY A NDR EA W HITTLE
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Looking out at
the Pacific from Sutro
Baths in Lands End.
16
The average number
of years servers work at
Tadich Grill, California’s
oldest restaurant, which
still serves the
best cioppino in town.
You could take all day
and go to the summit, but
if you’re short on time
and stamina, you can trek
through the redwoods
from Stinson Beach
to Forbes Bench in just
about three hours.
Eat Oysters in Marshall
Take the 1 instead of the
101 (even if Waze tells
you otherwise) and spend
the afternoon on Tomales
Bay with a shuck-your-own
picnic (and plenty of dry
white) at Hog Island Oyster
Co.’s Boat Oyster Bar.
Drive to Wine Country
It takes only a little over
an hour to get to Napa or
Sonoma. The post-vineyard-tour move: Head to
the coast and spend a few
nights at Timber Cove
Resort, a boutique lodge
on a private rocky bluff.
ea
With its sunbaked beaches, forested peaks, 13th-century
castles, and nearly three times as many vineyards as Bordeaux,
the still-wild Languedoc feels like nowhere else in France.
by
K a t h e r i n e W h ee l o c k
photographs by
Oddur Thorisson
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61
BEYOND A PATH OF WOOD SLABS
DROPPED IN THE SAND, WHITEHAIRED MEN SIT ON BARSTOOLS
THE COLORS OF LIFESAVERS,
PREVIOUS SPREAD, FROM LEFT:
A FISHING BOAT NEAR LE SALIN DE
GRUISSAN; CATCHING THE SEA
BREEZE AT THE BEACH IN GRUISSAN.
RIGHT: WORKING THE TAPS
AT THE WEATHERED, WONDERFUL
BIQUET PLAGE.
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their glasses as hipster-chic as the twentysomethings gathered around buckets of icy rosé.
The breeze off the sea ruffles paper menus and sets rusty hanging lamps gently swaying.
We are on the Languedoc coast, 210 miles west of the Côte d’Azur. The jumble of driftwood
tables, schoolhouse chairs, and chaises before us is Biquet Plage, a café that looks like an
artsy yard sale spilling out of a shipping container onto the wide beach. No one looks
up when sand-caked children tear in from the waves for a swig of juice. Plump crevettes
and pan-fried sole are served on slate slabs, salty frites in bowls with mayo on the side.
My family and I came to the Languedoc on a daydream of sitting cross-legged in the
sand by the sea, the woodsy foothills of the Pyrenees at our backs, eating mussels steamed
under flaming pine boughs and drinking chilled white wine from plastic cups. As it happened, fires for l’éclade de moules weren’t yet burning on the late-spring beaches. But the
spirit of the dream—the forest and the sea, the briny food and wine against an earthy
backdrop—was everywhere. The topography in southern France, and the Languedoc
in particular, changes so quickly, you might miss the sea if you are busy looking things
up on your phone. A green, mountainous interior cut through with rivers and gorges
flanks a coastline that begins at the border of Spain and runs east to Marseille and the
start of the French Riviera. Last year, a law passed by Parliament aimed at shrinking the
number of regions combined the Languedoc, or Languedoc-Roussillon, as it was officially
known, with the Midi-Pyrénées to its west and christened it Occitanie. The redrawing of
the map makes little difference. The Languedoc—ruggedly beautiful, less-traveled sister
to pinup-next-door Provence—is still the Languedoc. Just compact enough for a satisfying long weekend, you could also spend two summer weeks drifting from the shore
to the countryside and back again, and be left wanting more. The key is to adopt the
locals’ pace, avoiding the urge to pack your schedule with a historical hit list and instead
making one or maybe two stops between breakfast and a long seafood lunch.
A good place to start is Carcassonne, a medieval hilltop town in the western corner
of the Languedoc, overlooking the river Aude. The lure is La Cité, a 10th-century citadel both fairy-tale and foreboding. The ramparts, drawbridge, and witch-hat turrets
are restored remnants of Cathar history. More than 800 years ago, defectors from the
Catholic Church established themselves in this corner of southwest France to hide from
persecution. The slaughter of the Cathars is a brutal piece of history that still hangs in the
atmosphere “quite heavily,” one local tells me. South and east of Carcassonne, ruins of
Cathar castles dot the limestone hills, enhancing the vista of distant snow-dusted Pyrenees
and brilliant blue sky the way a chin scar does a beauty.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: VINEYARDS
NEAR THE COMMUNE OF ROQUEBRUN;
THE PÉZENAS FARMERS’ MARKET;
A BEDROOM IN THE TERR ACE APARTMENT
AT HOUSE LA FR ANCE IN LAGR ASSE.
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Condé Nast Traveler 06/07.17
TWENTY MINUTES FROM La Cité is the town of Montréal de l’Aude, a tiny snarl
of one-way streets and hardly any traffic at all. Behind heavy pine doors set
in local stone is the guesthouse Camellas-Lloret, where in the courtyard a
fire has just been lit. Annie Moore emerges from the kitchen with a vase
of wildflowers. “He’s South African,” she says dryly of her husband and
coproprietor, Colin. “His things are bare feet and fires.” Colin and New Jersey–
born Annie met on a train leaving Paris 35 years ago, moved to the Languedoc,
and raised three children. They dabbled in real estate and restoration,
eventually finding an 18th-century house and converting it into a five-room
inn five years ago. Walls are cool pewter gray and linens are crisp; on the landing overlooking the courtyard, hanging chairs swing in the late-day breeze.
Aperitifs of cold sparkling wine mixed with a splash of Suze, an herby
liqueur, are served in bistro glasses. Annie, warm but wry, often cooks for
guests, but tonight she’s ordered in cassoulet, a Languedoc classic, from her
preferred Carcassonne butcher. Creamy white beans, pork belly, and peppery
Toulouse sausage fill an earthenware bowl. There is a simple salad, carafes of
Languedoc wine, and finally an array of cheese that steals the show. Colin is
the garrulous front man, pouring wine and ribbing guests. In the morning,
he’ll introduce me to his longtime neighbor across the street, who shows
off her broom-tidy home, pointing to the leftovers of rabbit stew in a pot
on the stove and gesturing at black-and-white photos on the wall of her as
a girl the better part of a century ago.
Driving on holiday is either something to be endured or something you
wish would never end. In the Languedoc, it’s the latter. We slip through
allées of ash-colored plane trees, past phalanxes of carignane and grenache
and scrubland strewn with Day-Glo orange poppies, suddenly winding
up at the sea. On the road from Cathar country to the coast is a scattering
of pretty villages and independent winemakers nestled in an area called
Corbières. If the signature flora of Provence is lavender, in the Languedoc
it is garigue, a mix of thyme, juniper, rosemary, and other low-lying vegetation that clings to the limestone hills. Vintners talk about its infusive powers. Tourists struggle to define it. In Corbières it is everywhere. The villages
here, Limoux and Mirepoix among them, each have their charms. Lagrasse,
one of the prettiest, hugs a bend in the river Orbieu, bridged by a squat
900-year-old stone arch. At night, frogs and nightingales warble from the
riverbanks. The 14th-century covered market, a transporting specimen of
medieval architecture, is packed with stalls on a Saturday. In the Languedoc,
as in so much of bucolic France, the farmers’ market lunch is a given. We
build ours from baguettes and shrug off the cliché.
First-timers often describe the Languedoc as French Tuscany, and at times
there is that feel—cypress trees dark against tawny hillsides, acres of spindly grapevines—but here it’s threaded through with the presence of the sea.
Nearer the Mediterranean shore, the scrubland becomes rockier and the
land flattens out. The Languedoc coast stretches from the westernmost seaside towns of Banyuls-sur-Mer and Collioure by the Spanish border, where
things are more Catalan than Gallic, northeast to Montpellier, the gastronomically up-and-coming city 170 miles from the start of the Côte d’Azur.
Biquet Plage, the best of a string of similarly shabby-yet-seductive beach
spots, is an hour’s drive northeast of those Catalan-accented parts, and its
vibe is decidedly French. The beach it sits on, Leucate, is generous and soft,
crowded in the summer but not with the grid of rented chaises like you’d
find east of here on the French Riviera.
A SHORT
DRIVE EAST OF
LEUCATE,
in the tiny town of Peyriac-de-Mer, Paul Old pulls
the cork from a bottle of white. Australian-born
Old and his business partner, Ben Adams, a Brit,
run a modest winery called Les Clos Perdus that
has a culty far-flung fan base. Not much more than a
decade ago, most of the grapes in the Languedoc—
carignane, grenache, grenache blanc—were grown
to feed a huge table-wine cooperative. The scene
was the opposite of Burgundy or Bordeaux; it
was mass. The space to innovate and the intersection of mountain and sea are what drew Old. “It’s
all rugged Southerners here,” he says. “Nothing
about hot-air balloons and hunting trips.” In the
years since Les Clos Perdus began recultivating
100-year-old varietals, other winemakers, many
with a biodynamic bent, have set up here. “It’s
become quite hip, Languedoc wine,” Old says. “If
you’re a young kid and you want to make wine,
there’s potential here.”
From the door of Old’s place, a few minutes’
walk past the silver-haired men playing pétanque
and the sandstone buildings draped in purple
bougainvillea, is the edge of an étang, or salt pond.
Condé Nast Traveler 06/07.17
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Condé Nast Traveler 06/07.17
WHERE TO EAT
The boundaries of the Regional Natural Park of Narbonne
encompass Leucate, Peyriac-de-Mer, and the nearby town
of Bages, the gateway to the area’s best nature show. In
Peyriac and Bages, boardwalks lead out over a network of
lagoons that are favored hangouts of pink flamingos—the
stars—and less renowned but equally handsome egrets and
herons that nest here, too. Something about the quietude of
these wetland-edge villages leaves us feeling like we alone
have discovered something—a rare feeling while exploring pretty Mediterranean towns on the cusp of summer.
Across the wetlands from Peyriac-de-Mer, 25 minutes
south of bustling Narbonne, lies the Salin de Gruissan,
where seawater slowly evaporates and from which salt
is harvested. Depending on the time of year and the
biochemistry, the saltern might be a swath of salmon-pink
stripes. The Mediterranean is just beyond it, as are the foothills of La Clape, a compact mountain range, and Gruissan,
a friendly fishing village coiled around the ruins of a
12th-century tower. But we’ve come for a long lunch at
La Cambuse du Saunier, just a few steps from the saltern. A plate of razor clams showered with garlicky bread
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Condé Nast Traveler 06/07.17
Biquet Plage and Les
Pilotis are two of the best
beach spots in Leucate
for extralong lunches of
oysters, prawns, fish,
summer vegetables, frites,
and more rosés than you
could sample in a sitting.
Beautifully unfussy La
Cambuse du Saunier, just
feet from the salt flats in
Gruissan, has a similar
menu. For an alternative to
seafood, Carcassonne’s
La Table de Norbert does
some of the region’s
best steak frites. (Their
bone marrow starter
is also outstanding.) You’ll
find farmers’ markets
where you can assemble
your own pâté-andbaguette lunch in the
towns of Lagrasse,
Limoux, Pézenas, Revel,
and Saint-Chinian.
crumbs and glasses of cold muscat land on the
table before the menu even arrives. Oysters,
plucked from beds a few hundred yards away,
follow, as does salt-baked loup de mer next to a
Proustian ratatouille that, like the cheese finale
at Camellas, continues to haunt months later.
Driving northeast along the coast from here
brings you to Sète, a busy port town on the biggest of the Languedoc’s étangs, the Thau Lagoon,
a haven for flamingos and mussels, where the
local specialty is tielle sétoise, or cuttlefish pie. It is
a worthy detour, but we drift northward instead
and cross over into the Hérault, a microregion
in the foothills of the Black Mountains. We pass
acres of bright-green vines, olive groves, and
every so often the glinting water of the Canal
du Midi. The 17th-century feat of architecture
runs 141 miles from Toulouse in the west to Sète,
where it washes into the Mediterranean. What
was formerly a wheat-trade workhorse is now a
meandering waterway, offering itself up for lazy
boat rides and strolls along leafy banks. Not far
from a bend in the canal, we see Château Les
Carrasses rising up out of the fields of grenache
noir and cabernet franc, a 19th-century winemaking mirage with gabled roofs and pointy turrets. Les Carrasses and its newly opened sister,
Château St. Pierre de Serjac, 40 minutes to the
northeast, are collections of guesthouses surrounded by vineyards, manicured gardens, clay
tennis courts, and infinity pools. From this plush
camp, the Languedoc’s pretty market towns,
beaches and lagoons, oyster shacks and canal
boats are all within short, glorious drives. But
for a moment, it’s enough to stay suspended in
the swimming pool’s turquoise waters, young
grapevines and cottony clouds in a bright-blue
sky the only things in sight.
Map by Peter Oumanski
WHERE TO STAY
The hosts at CamellasLloret, a serene guesthouse
near Carcassonne, can
arrange winery visits and
direct you to local spots
like Bousquet, a spectacular
fromagerie. Château
Les Carrasses and Château
St. Pierre de Serjac are
sister estates in the Hérault
surrounded by vineyards,
olive groves, and private
gardens for strolling. House
La France in Lagrasse has
spacious apartments with
high ceilings, terra-cotta
floors, and terraces overlooking the Orbieu River.
PREVIOUS SPREAD,
FROM LEFT: LUNCH AT
FLEUR D’OLARGUES
IN THE VILLAGE OF
OLARGUES; A VINTAGE
RIDE IN THE COMMUNE
OF ROQUEBRUN.
RIGHT: CHÂTEAU ST.
PIERRE DE SERJAC.
by Ta m a r
Adler
gen
oa
photographs by
L i n da Pu g l i e se
Italy’s busiest
northwestern port can
seem impenetrable
to the uninitiated. That
is unless you get to
know it through its
seductive food—
fritto misto, frisceü,
polpettone—cooked as
it was centuries ago
in its medieval center.
g
GIACOMO AND I ARE LOST. We are winding through the dark old alleys (called
caruggi) of Genoa’s Centro Storico, many only a wingspan wide and forgivingly cool in the summer heat. I’m hungry, having just arrived from New
York, as is Giacomo, an Italian winemaker friend who drove from Milan
to meet me for dinner. In each shady stone artery a glass window displays
Genoese specialties—tiny crisp, fried anchovies, stuffed eggplant, ovenroasted snails, golden pancakes of farinata, torte of chard and herbs, gelati
in wildflower hues. But Giacomo, chattering on the phone to the owner of Il
Genovese, where we’ve booked, drags me away from these culinary delights.
All forms of Genoese street food are partly why I’m in the Italian Riviera’s
diamond in the rough. There is also pesto, born here, and salsa di noci, perhaps just as delicious, of walnuts and fresh cheese. There is focaccia, steeped
in delicate Ligurian oil, which I have longed to taste in situ. But I’m interested,
too, in studying Genoa’s contradictions, of which there are many. According
to Fred Plotkin, author of Italy for the Gourmet Traveler and the cookbook
Recipes from Paradise: Life and Food on the Italian Riviera, Genoa is Italy’s
most underrated city. For one, he says, “It is full of Genoese people.” They
are known for their almost rigid straightforwardness—Italians use the word
schietto to describe them. “It’s a certain kind of candor,” Plotkin explains.
“People from Maine have it too. They’re not rude, but they’re very direct.
Other Italians have bella figura and all that. Not in Genoa,” he says. “Notice
that all the great works of art in Genoa are inside buildings. That’s part of the
reserved Genoese nature.” That paradoxical quality may be visible in native
son Christopher Columbus’s travel plans. The late writer Louis Inturrisi cites
one of Columbus’s biographers, who asserted: “Only a Ligurian could have
conceived of the idea of sailing West to reach East.”
Pressed tight against the sea, as if pinned there by the Alps to the north
and the Apennines to the south, Genoa is not a city of fishermen, but home
to one of the great maritime empires of the Middle Ages. Its wild mercantilism put Genoa in contact with the world, endowing it with the wealth
and architectural and artistic grandeur of a city like Venice, and the grit of a
port city like Marseille. Indeed, one sees immediately that Genoa is worn yet
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Condé Nast Traveler 06/07.17
elegant—a vintage Balenciaga dress that shows the wear of use.
We finally locate Il Genovese, on Via Galata. In a small, modern, well-lit dining room, renovated since the restaurant’s
opening in 1912, Giacomo and I begin with fritto misto, which
I expect to be seafood. But other than the portside stands that
sell inexpensive food for sailors and dockworkers, Genoa’s cuisine is adamantly terrestrial. Giacomo explains that in bygone
days, fish in Genoa was considered the food of the poor. This
part of the Mediterranean, which brims with lovely little
bony sea critters, doesn’t have the great tuna and swordfish of
Sicily. Olive trees, however, take naturally to the steep Ligurian
coastline. The olive oil, featured in the many fried offerings, is
uncharacteristically light and subtle because it is often made of
only one olive variety—taggiasca. Instead of little fish and squid,
I find our fritto misto comprises various lovely fried things
of the land: frisceü, plain fritters, golden fritters of chickpea
flour called panissette, latte brusco—an egg-yolk-rich béchamel
croquette—and little squares of fried tripe.
Next is pesto al mortaio. This was invented here and is still
made by hand in mortars of Carrara marble. The basil leaves’
own oils emulsify, along with sharp parmigiano, local oil, and
pine nuts, into a sauce that is ineluctably creamy. It’s served
on trofie—short squiggles of dough that grip the sauce at each
cinch—and testaieu, a flattened pancake much like Ethiopian
injera, cut into diamonds. Chestnut flour is a tradition born of
the absence of any arable farmland for growing wheat. “Look
at the topography of Liguria,” Plotkin had instructed me. “It is
184 miles from one end to the other, from Tuscany to the French
Riviera, and seldom goes more than 15 to 30 miles inland. It’s
hard to grow wheat or corn. Luckily, chestnut flour and chickpea flour are delicious.”
Liguria has only a few meadows for grazing cows and
considerably less space for roaming pigs than its neighbor
Tuscany, which explains the absence of beef and pork in many
local dishes, including the ravioli au tuccu that arrives next.
Ravioli also originated here, and in Ligurian dialect, rabiole
can mean a thing of trifling value. The theory is that odds and
ends of meat were gathered together, perhaps even on trading
galleons, and turned into the next meal.
Roberto Panizza, Il Genovese’s owner who also serves as
its reservationist, maître d’, and waiter, emerges from his old
kitchen to serve us the most delicious tripe stew I’ve had: light
PREVIOUS SPREAD, FROM LEFT: FRITTI MISTO,
PESTO AND BEEF RAVIOLI AT IL GENOVESE;
A FACADE IN THE CENTRO STORICO; INSIDE
THE 16TH-CENTURY PALAZZO PODESTÀ;
THE MENU BOARD AT OSTERIA DI VICO
PALLA. THIS PAGE: AN ESPRESSO BREAK AT
GENOVA PASTICCERIA.
1
2
3
5
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Condé Nast Traveler 06/07.17
6
4
and subdued, cooked in white wine and light broth, instead of
tomato, served in a wide bowl with thick slices of waxy yellow
potato and tiny black olives. The restaurant, which has been
half full for most of our dinner, begins to empty. Panizza, who
has remained aloof throughout the meal, delivers us slices of
strosciata, a local, lightly sweet, dry, crumbly cake, and two
bottles of grappa, and sits down with us. Together, we drink
out of small glasses for the better part of an hour. By the end,
he has offered me a tour of the city the following day.
Henry James called Genoa’s caruggi “the most entangled
topographical ravel in the world,” but they are second nature
to Panizza, who is mayoral in the number of salutations he
issues as he guides me almost frantically though the dark
winding lanes, intent on exposing all their wonders in a single morning. There are two main sorts of Genoese street-food
shops: sciamadde and friggitorie. Sciamadde specialize in subtly
flavored tarts and pancakes, baked in deep, old woodburning
ovens on copper pans, each as big as a tractor wheel. These are
dark places, centuries old, but they smell wonderful. We stop
at the Antica Sciamadda, where choosing among tarts, mottled
by the fire’s heat, is almost painful. I order polpettone—which
elsewhere means meatloaf but here is a masterpiece of tender
chard, fragrant wild marjoram, bread crumbs, and fresh local
cheese called prescinsêua. I also order farinata, an alchemical
creation of chickpea flour, water, and olive oil. Any visitor to
Nice has tasted this as socca, because Nice—or Nizza, as it was
called—was a Genoese outpost until 1860. It is better here, and
I vow to learn to make it at home.
The friggitorie, just as ancient, are tiny white-tiled galleys
where cauldrons of oil bubble over charcoal. In the Sottoripa,
which resembles a North African souk, we stop at Antica
Friggitoria Carega. Here, we are forced again to choose: among
tiny fish, rings of little squid, ruby-red shrimp, baccalà, and
other “poor” sea creatures whose names I don’t know, though
I go searching for them on a pilgrimage to Genoa’s fish market early one morning. (While at the market, I freeze in delight
before wooden crates of silver fish, bags of unrecognizable
beings in shells, eels of varying sizes, tiny rose-petal-pink fish,
and boxes of spiky critters labeled only ZUPPA DI PESCE.) They are
delicious fried, scooped every few minutes from bubbling oil
by lynx-eyed experts and delivered unsmilingly to customers.
OPPOSITE: 1. MARESCOTTI DI CAVO’S
BAR. 2. SERVICE IN FULL SWING AT VICO PALLA.
3. THE CENTRO STORICO AT DUSK. 4. RICE
CAKE AT STREET-FOOD FAVORITE ANTICA
SCIAMADDA. 5. CANDIED FRUITS FROM
SWEETS SPOT PIETRO ROMANENGO
FU STEFANO. 6. URNS WITH MEDICINAL
HERBS AT FARMACIA SANT’ANNA.
g
GENOA WAS PROBABLY founded in the third century B.C. as a Roman port. Ruled
for 400 years by Ostrogoths, Byzantines, Lombards, and Carolingians—which
may also have contributed to its somewhat Frankish manner—Genoa established itself as an independent republic in the 12th century. The next 200 years
were the city’s golden age and can be narrated like a fairy tale: There were
four great maritime cities, and they were the most powerful cities in all the
land: Pisa, Venice, Amalfi, and Genoa. The last, in particular, flourished and
became a commercial and naval superpower known for its nautical might and
liberal attitude toward moneylending. By the 14th century, Genoa’s merchant
and banking families were so wealthy, their palaces so grand, that when the
poet Petrarch visited he termed it La Superba (which translates as either “the
Proud” or “the Arrogant.”)
How such a storied place came to be ignored by most tourists is explained
by its palimpsest quality. Though its Centro Storico is said to be the largest
in Europe, with buildings dating to 1,000 A.D., Genoa was also one of the
first cities in Italy to build a skyscraper. It had Italy’s first elevated highway,
an ugly thing that reminded me of New York’s dreaded Brooklyn-Queens
Expressway. As the second busiest port in Italy, it was incredibly strategic during World War II and as such was terribly bombed. What is left is a
hodgepodge of modern and ancient. Add people who seem withdrawn,
and a souk-like knot visitors are warned against entering after dark, and
you end up with a place that is not obvious, or effortless. But it is compelling. As Wagner famously said, once you have seen Genoa, Paris and
London seem boring.
This is on my mind at La Brinca, a deeply Genoese restaurant set high in
the hills in the town of Ne, 20 miles from Genoa. It is up harrowing roads
that climb inland, into the chestnut and pine forests, toward a plot so steep
you might easily miss its parking lot. If you did, you would never taste the
almost strengthening mountain dishes that Sergio Circella and his family
serve, often cooking them in their 30-year-old woodburning ovens, using
herbs gathered from their hills, potatoes dug from nearby rows. You would
miss their panella, flavored with local wild fennel leaves, and their whole
Condé Nast Traveler 06/07.17
75
borage leaves, battered and fried in their entireties.
I eat all of these, noting another thing Plotkin had
pointed out—that while Venetians integrated the
spices they returned with from their trade routes
into their cooking, the Genoese treated spices as
a commodity to be resold, maintaining the same
simple cuisine that relied on fragrant, wild herbs.
Shopping at Genoa’s botteghe storiche—
historic shops that opened between the 17th and
mid-20th centuries—is likewise an archaeological
dig. Among the rich tumult of untamable alleys,
shops—intentionally unchanged—are not only
storefronts but workshops. In addition to marble
counters, high oak ladders, original shelves bursting with almond candies or lace or silver scissors
or soap, each has a candymaker spinning sugar,
or a seamstress at a sewing machine, or a silversmith with a tiny soldering iron. Craftspeople do
their work; shopkeepers, often from the families
that first laid the marble tile they stand on, sell it;
and we, happy shoppers, can see it all. Each thing
I purchase is at once new and old—entirely of the
present and entirely of the past.
Emerging from the maze into almost blinding
sun, I find myself on the Via Garibaldi, where
grand palazzi line the street—including one
worked on by one of the architects of Versailles.
It is difficult to tell from their facades whether they
are private homes, government offices, museums,
shops. Through the bars of gates and cracks in great
wooden doors, I glimpse lush courtyards, marble stairways, elaborate chandeliers, and brightly
colored frescoes. But only the barest fragments
can be seen from the sidewalk. Meandering past
one such palazzo, I notice that its wrought iron
gate stands open. I am reminded of something else
Panizza said, as he rushed to expose his beloved
city’s endless shades and contours: “Don’t stop
at the facade. Go beyond the facade.” And so,
I step inside.
OPPOSITE: INSIDE THE
16TH-CENTURY PALAZZO
DORIA TURSI MUSEUM
IN THE CENTRO STORICO.
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STAY AWHILE
IN GENOA
Getting There
You can’t fly direct to Genoa from the
United States, though many major
airlines, including British Airways and
Delta, can get you there with one
connection. Alternatively, Genoa is a
two-and-a-half-hour drive or a threehour train ride from Milan’s Malpensa
Airport, which has daily nonstops
from New York’s JFK.
How to Plan
Most travelers see Genoa as a necessary pit stop where they’ll catch the
daily ferries heading to the Ligurian
coast’s resort towns like Cinque Terre,
La Spezia, or Portofino. Our tip: Tack
on two full days here before or
after the beach. Know that Genoa isn’t
a hotel town, but the Renzo Piano–
designed rooms at the waterfront NH
Collection Genova Marina near the
Porto Antico (from which Columbus
set sail for the New World) are your
best bet. It’s the closest option to the
Centro Storico and Sottoripa, both
of which are a ten-minute walk away
(plus, you’ll be able to watch the fishermen glide in and out while sipping
your morning espresso).
Decoding the Botteghe Storiche
Genoa’s tangle of historic shops is
notoriously mazelike. Pick up a
copy of Botteghe Storiche, from indie
bookshop L’Amico Ritrovato near
Palazzo Ducale. Their English-Italian
guide is printed by the organization
dedicated to preserving the stores
and is filled with easy-to-follow
itineraries (there’s also a digital version). Or seek out our favorites: At
the 367-year-old Farmacia Sant’Anna,
apothecary Friar Ezio will happily
mix a plant-based Galenic cure from
his selection of herbs; Macelleria
Nico is worth a visit for its sculptures
of animals made of Carrara marble;
and the 1780 Pietro Romanengo fu
Stefano sells candied fruits and
violets, fondants, and other sweets
loved by the Genoese oligarchs of
the 19th century.
What You’ll Do Besides Eating
Head to the medieval Cathedral of
San Lorenzo in the city center for
its 14th-century Gothic facade and
ceiling frescoes crafted by local
maestro Lazzaro Tavarone. You’ll get
nice views of the city if you walk up
to the Campo Pisano, a large piazza
named after the 9,000 prisoners
from Pisa who were jailed nearby in
1284 and home to one of the town’s
more unusual examples of risseu, a
type of pebblestone mosaic native to
Genoa. And the 14th-century Palazzo
Ducale, the old Doge’s residence,
is now a cultural space with rotating
shows from van Gogh canvases
to Cartier-Bresson photography.
When It’s Time for an
Afternoon Drink
Our favorite wine bar is Marescotti di
Cavo, a pastry-and-champagne spot
close to the Porto Antico. Find a table
next to the crystal windows and
order light-as-air amaretto cookies
and a flute of Bellavista Spumante.
Where Else You’ll Have Dinner
As well as Il Genovese, we head to
Vico Palla and Sa’ Pesta in the center
for excellent fritto and pesto.
Bring Something Back
We love the locally made striped
sailors’ shirts from 100-year-old
Lucarda. Or, if you just want to perfect your pesto back home, get a
bottle of Santagata olive oil from EVO.
m thers f pearl
by A d a m
H . G ra ha m
photographs by G e n t l
a n d H ye r s
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Condé Nast Traveler / 00.17
Home to a giant complex of Shinto shrines that inspired none other
than the poet Bashō, and an ancient tradition of amulet-wearing female divers,
the Ise-Shima Peninsula is a portal into Old Japan.
Ise-Shima is a place that will appeal to the
latter. Like lobster soft serve, the stub-shaped
peninsula is not for everyone and is not ideal
for first-time Japan travelers. When I first read
about its bounty of lobster and mysterious
amulet-wearing ama divers—female seabed
foragers who plunge the coastline’s depths
for urchin and abalone—I imagined a rugged
Japanese Maine, a sort of Down East East. But in
reality, Ise-Shima, or just Shima for short, is more
like the Chesapeake Bay—defined by a sprawling, sedentary network of deep inlets that fan out
from Ago Bay like veins of a leaf. It’s an elusive
I was getting tired of lobster. My husband, Ralph, and I had been
in Mie Prefecture’s Ise-Shima Peninsula—otherwise known as
Japanese Lobster Country—for three nights already and had
eaten every conceivable incarnation of the crustacean. Don’t
get me wrong. The lobster around these parts, about four
hours south of Tokyo by train on Honshu’s Pacific coast and
host to 2016’s G7 summit, is absolutely delicious and more of
a seasonal dish than a luxurious one. Skeptics argue that the
clawless, spiny Ise-ebi variety is inferior to Maine lobster, but
I found it every bit as tender. The region, after all, has been an
official source of seafood for Japan’s imperial family since
the fifth century, so who were we to judge? We’d just tried it
in so many forms: sashimi, sushi, sautéed, cooked alive on a
grill, even lobster ice cream (after seeing a gaggle of Japanese
teenagers in plaid skirts giggling and licking soft-serve cones,
how could we not?).
In the city of Ise’s shopping area, packed with low-slung food
and souvenir stalls, we picked up lobster every which way, but
also bags of pearl salt, jars of seaweed jelly, and sealed packets
of marbled Matsusaka beef, more tender than Kobe. Ralph and
I had similarly grazed our way through food arcades in other
cities during previous trips to Japan, including a recent twomonth stay for Ralph’s sabbatical from his architecture firm
in Switzerland, where we live. During those visits, I observed
that there are typically two types of foreign travelers in Japan:
those drawn to the wacky, like sake KitKats and French-maid
cafés; and those who see past its neon glare and recognize the
elegance of the everyday—the Shinto-shrine aesthetics and
respectful customs.
PREVIOUS SPREAD, FROM LEFT: A DIVER
OFF MIKIMOTO PEARL ISLAND; PEARLS IN
THE MIKIMOTO PEARL MUSEUM.
THIS SPREAD, CLOCKWISE FROM FAR
LEFT: SORTING NETS; DIVER RYOKO
KOYAMA; DIVER REIKO NOMUR A; DIVER
SHIGEMI OGAWA.
Condé Nast Traveler 06/07.17
81
destination that is neither dramatically rocky nor lined with white beaches.
One could drive past it and think it totally ordinary, maybe even boring.
In some ways, the entire Mie Prefecture is everything Tokyo and Kyoto are
not. It’s located within the culturally rich Kansai region but short on international tourists, UNESCO-inscribed temples, and Daimaru and Takashimaya
depato that many associate with Japan. Even the shinkansen, Japan’s famed
bullet train, doesn’t come here. What the prefecture does have is water.
Mie’s coastline stretches for 680 miles, encompassing calm interior bays, the
rowdy Pacific, and 29 inlet-sluiced municipalities, including Toba, Shima,
and Ise, where most visitors stay. According to the Japanese, Mie best represents Japan’s coexistence between human and nature. Fittingly, then, the
prefecture is also the birthplace of Matsuo Bashō, the beloved 17th-century
poet and traveler who helped popularize haiku. His famous frog haiku, translated into dozens of languages, captures the subtlety of the watery region:
OPPOSITE: THE K AGUR A-DEN,
OR SACRED DANCE HALL, AT
THE ISE JINGŪ SHRINE. BELOW:
GARDENS AT ISE JINGŪ.
The old pond;
A frog jumps in—
The sound of the water.
Map by Peter Oumanski
DURING THE LONG Edo period (1603–1868), foreigners were
barred from traveling to Japan. Domestic Japanese could only
travel within the country under the guise of making pilgrimages. Ise Jingū—Japan’s most sacred shrine complex, dating
back to the third century and considered the spiritual home
of Shinto cosmology—was the most popular pilgrimage by
far. So venerated was the shrine that the Japanese believed
everyone should visit once in their lifetime.
To reach this mecca, we left the bustling shopping district
and walked over the Ujibashi bridge marked by two unpainted
torii, gates believed to separate the daily world from the sacred
realm. Once we crossed the river, we followed the pebble path
to the Isuzugawa riverbank, where we joined pilgrims and
other tourists making ablutions by washing our hands and
mouths in the cold, clear water. Then we passed under lanky
cedar and pine trees and traced the flowing white and azure
robes of priests as they disappeared between creaking jadegreen bamboo stalks.
At first glance, Ise Jingū resembles any other Shinto site, but
it’s actually the size of Paris and home to 125 different shrines,
mossy walls, and courtyards within courtyards within courtyards, each more sacred than the last. Its unadorned grand
shrine, Kotai Jingū, is made entirely of Japanese cypress using
no metal nails or screws, in a unique style. It’s rebuilt every 20
years in accordance with Shinto practice and was last rebuilt
in 2013, its 62nd iteration. So subtle and plain is the shrine that
the 19th-century Japanologist B. H. Chamberlain wrote, “There
is nothing to see, and they won’t let you see it.”
Many modern visitors echo the sentiment. But seeing beyond
the nothingness is the great challenge of a visit, made easier for
me by traveling with a Swiss architect who has an eye for construction, corners, and all the “nothings” that I might otherwise
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KIMIYO HAYASHI’S HAUL
AT HER AGO BAY AMA HUT.
overlook. The most artful design, Ralph frequently
reminded me, is not something one should notice.
Amaterasu-Omikami, the sun goddess, is
enshrined at Kotai Jingū. It’s also reportedly
home to an ancient bronze mirror that hasn’t
been seen by human eyes for over a millennium.
We made our way to a fence and clapped and
bowed with a group of Shinto pilgrims in front
of the white silk curtain shrouding the mirror’s
chambers. Suddenly, a gust of wind swept down
and teasingly lifted the curtain. The crowd—ourselves included—let out a collective gasp. Most
chuckled quietly and self-consciously at the rapid
drama of it all, while others were moved to tears
by such a seemingly close encounter with the
divine. Before we could fully recalibrate, a school
group of Japanese children in matching yellow
hats walked past us in duckling formation, smiling
and waving, waking us out of our sedative state,
as if a reminder from the deities themselves that
life marches on—literally, in this case.
Because Shima was Japan’s it destination for
some 250 years, it’s considered the birthplace
of omotenashi, Japanese-style hospitality, and
hotels here have their moments, too. The recently
opened Amanemu, a clustering of 24 suites and
four burnished-cedar villas snaking around a
seaside glen, is an especially understated design,
even for an Aman. The steep-roofed villas are
inspired by Japanese farmhouses but deliver
the discreet symmetry that architects and Aman
junkies like Ralph have come to expect. Interiors
CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: AN ONSEN IN AN
AMANEMU SUITE; LUNCH AT THE
HACHIMAN KAMADO HUT; AN AMANEMU
ARRIVAL PAVILION; BONITO, AN
ESSENTIAL INGREDIENT IN JAPANESE
CUISINE; A VILLA AT AMANEMU.
are filled with requisite Japanese touches like washi paper, charcoal-granite
ofuro (soaking tubs), and rattan butterfly chairs.
Like Ise Jingū, Amanemu is so subdued it’s almost dull. But it’s an ideal
spot to do nothing for a few days, which is exactly what we did—gloriously—while wearing our soft beige yukata robes, drinking warm sake,
and bird watching from our veranda.
The hotel arranged for us to meet an ama diver at Satoumi An, an ama
hut where the hardy women meet to sell and cook the seafood they’ve foraged. While many divers are approachable, it can be hard to engage beyond
the very basics unless you speak conversational Japanese or get a formal
introduction. We arrived with a guide who could translate, removed our
shoes, and sat down on the tatami floor by the warming fire pit.
Ama tools dating from Japan’s Jomon era (10,500–300 B.C.) have been
excavated in the area, but historians believe the occupation has only been
exclusive to women since the eighth
century. Having more subcutaneous
fat apparently helps them better withstand the water’s cold temperatures,
which can dip into the 50s; today, most
amas use wet suits but no other scuba
equipment. They dive for 50-second
intervals, some going as deep as 65 feet,
but remain tethered to wooden tubs
used as buoys and storage. Most don
white tenugui scarves on their heads and
amulets to ward off sharks and evil deities lurking in the sea.
Our ama, Miwako, entered the hut wearing a white bonnet,
a giant smile, and cherry-red lipstick. She presented us with
a neatly arranged bouquet of seafood she’d be grilling for us.
Like most amas, Miwako was older, in her 60s. The reverence
of women in Shima is atypical for Japan. Here, they’re seen
as more powerful than men, an influence that may connect
back to Amaterasu-Omikami.
We naively thought that Miwako would be sheltered, maybe
even Amish-like in her worldview, but her outlook was quite
modern. While she stoked the coals and tended to the squirming lobster on the grill, Ralph asked her if she always wore
her bonnet. “No, I take it off when I drive home from work,”
she quipped, which was a good icebreaker since we never
imagined she drove a car (or had a sense of humor). We all
laughed, and I asked her about the hardest part of her job.
“Finding new amas,” she said. “We’re dying off, and young
women don’t want to dive anymore.” There are currently 2,000
amas in Japan, with an average age of 65.
While the ancient ama tradition may be endangered, the ama
huts have helped raise awareness of the divers through food.
And Miwako’s was expertly cooked. Her scallops, grilled on
the half shell, were plump and juicy. Her slices of squid, which
we doused in lemon, mayonnaise, and shichimi tōgarashi, were perfectly
springy. And her humble grilled Ise-ebi was sublime.
Other moments—less profound but no less stirring—occurred during
a morning visit to the small city of Toba, the peninsula’s shabby northern
gateway. After walking for 30 minutes along the stone trails of its forested
hills past temples and shrines, we descended into Toba’s power-linetangled back streets. People see photos of Japanese cities and assume they’re
loud and frantic, but catch a city off guard on a Tuesday morning, as we
did, and its tranquility will surprise you. The miniature houses with front
stoops guarded by potted plants and tanuki (raccoon dog) figurines had a
stillness about them. Old ladies walking home with bags full of wakame and
mozuku seaweed smiled and wished us ohayou gozaimasu (good morning).
It was magnificently hushed, minus the guttural caws of crows and occasional chimes of crosswalk signals, a pleasant sound heard across Japan.
Shima isn’t all contemplation and quiet, though. There are aquariums,
lighthouses, and hiking paths. There’s a cruise on the Esperanza, a threemasted Spanish carrack. There’s Mikimoto Pearl Island, the birthplace
of cultured pearls and home to an aquatic ama performance reminiscent of Florida’s Weeki Wachee
Springs mermaids (though more
badass, given that they swim in
the frosty open ocean, not the confined waters of a natural spring).
There’s even a bath fortified with
pearl protein at the Shiojitei Spa.
But it was easy enough to avoid
this more touristy stuff by simply
turning down a side street, like we
did in the small town of Daiocho
87
YOUR ISE-SHIMA
SHORT LIST
WHEN TO GO
An abundance of seafood means there’s
always something in season: abalone,
from March to September; rock oysters,
from April to July; and Ise-ebi, from
October to April. It’s cooler, between
40 and 70 degrees, from October to
May; temps can top 90 in summer, which
is the best time to see the ama divers.
GETTING THERE
You can fly nonstop from the U.S. to
Osaka or Tokyo’s Haneda or Narita
airports. All three arrival airports are
within six hours of Ise-Shima by car
or train. Americans planning to rent a
car (note Japan is a left-side driving
country) need an international permit,
which must be obtained before arrival.
WHERE TO STAY
The understated Amanemu has 24
burnished-cedar suites (and four twobedroom villas). Like all Aman resorts
it has a great pool, which overlooks
pearl rafts floating in Ago Bay. In the city
of Shima, on a small island just off the
peninsula, the sprawling mid-century
Shima Kanko Hotel has both a classic
main building with 114 rooms (the public area was redone in 2016) and an
all-suites addition, as well as restaurants,
gardens, pools, a spa, and a gym, on
a manicured ridge overlooking a cove.
Also in Shima, the rustic Hiogiso is a
dockside ryokan with a cypress onsen
and tatami-floor guest rooms.
TWO MUST-HIT
RESTAURANTS
Edokin is a discreet izakaya on Toba’s
outskirts with sushi, sashimi, and bowls
of udon. It has an extensive selection
of local shochu and sake too. Satoumi
An is a tidy and humble ama hut
where divers grill all manner of seafood—
barracuda, Ise-ebi, scallops, squid,
turban snails, and uni—over a fire pit.
A .H.G.
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Nakiri, where we found Katsuo Ibushigoya, a smoky bonito workshop
atop Shima’s sea cliffs. Its proud bonito master, Yukiaki Tenpaku, sold us
several grades of flakes and bonito jerky, while his wife brought us delicious
samples of hot dashi. Neither spoke a word of English, but we felt incredibly welcome. Another detour led us to Edokin, a hidden izakaya on Toba’s
outskirts serving dishes as good as anything in Tokyo. Its kind waitress
handed over a handwritten translation of the five-page menu, followed
by glasses of sweet potato shochu, plates of fried tofu, and bowls of Ise
udon, made with especially toothsome noodles, black sauce, and raw egg.
in Shima was spent at Hiogiso, a rustic ryokan. Its fourth-generation owners,
Tomiko and Takanobu Watanabe, run the inn, which overlooks a wooded
cove facing Ago Bay and is a master class in omotenashi. Our spacious
tatami room had a wraparound terrace directly on the harbor and views
from every window. There’s a courtyard with a cypress ping-pong table
made by Takanobu’s brother and a cozy woodstove lounge with elegantly
carved figurines and driftwood pieces that channel Shima’s unfussy vibe.
Tomiko didn’t speak English, but Takanobu, a former Mikimoto employee,
did, and he invited us aboard his cabin cruiser for a sunset sail, which he
promised was the best way to see the peninsula. The
boat slipped past pearl rafts and scrubby islets before
reaching the open bay, where overlapping mountains
stretched into the horizon, resembling an ancient
Chinese ink painting. Here, in postcard-perfect form,
was Ise-Shima—an elusive spectacle of ancient Asia
that so many seek but never find. Yet the view left
me conflicted. Its magnificence was a betrayal of all
that was humble and hidden about the place. All of
Shima’s subdued charms had been ours alone to
admire, and suddenly, now, it flooded the big screen
with the promise of a world-class destination.
We returned to port just as the sky began turning
into a splatter of pinks, coppers, and oranges. Back
ashore, we dipped in Hiogiso’s hinoki cypress onsen,
which hangs over the harbor in a wooden bathhouse,
allowing us to watch the blue hour wash over the
woodsy cove. In the quiet of the bath, I was reminded
of another Bashō haiku:
Unnoticed by worldly people,
The chestnut tree
Is in full bloom.
AGO BAY, AS SEEN
FROM THE ISE-SHIMA
PENINSULA’S PEARL
ROAD, BETWEEN TOBA
AND UGATA.
What is it about
our memories
of summers spent by
the lake that has
such a hold on us?
Novelist ADAM HASLETT
plumbs the depths.
lake
photographs by
90
kyle Johnson
M
My first lake was actually a loch. My godfather’s summer house in the Scottish
Highlands county of Argyll stood just a few minutes’ walk from Loch Eck.
Seven miles long and less than half a mile across, it is small as lochs go, but
like most it lies in the crux of two mountains. A dirt track runs along one
shore, petering out halfway at the site of an abandoned croft. Along the
other side is the local road north to Inveraray and Oban.
My initial memory of it is a simple one. I’m five or six, sitting in the back
of a Morris Minor station wagon driven by my godfather’s housekeeper,
with my mother in the passenger seat. We’re speeding down the winding
edge of the loch. It’s raining (naturally), and lying beside me in the back seat
on sheets of newspaper are two enormous dead salmon, narrow mouths
agape, their silver-gray scales resplendent even in that dim light. And they
smell. Not the high smell of rot, but the cold, fresh smell of the water they
have just come from, that dark expanse, visible through the car window,
that we have been taking walks around for days. The fish, the rain, the slick,
winding road, the deep-green mountains disappearing into the clouds—
all are vivid to me still. I was in a new world, mysterious and elemental, a
place with the power, seemingly, to create its own atmosphere. Even at that
age I had the sense of being drawn in by its stark beauty and its danger. I
didn’t need to classify what I saw, I simply believed in it, compelled by the
excitement I felt dashing along the loch with those magnificent dead creatures laid out beside me.
PREVIOUS SPREAD: STOUT’S ISLAND LODGE IN
BIRCHWOOD, WISCONSIN, IS THE PLATONIC IDEAL
OF AN AMERICAN LAKEFRONT INN, WITH ITS
OWN VINTAGE ELCO CRUISER. LEFT: YOU ARRIVE
AT THE 27-ACRE PRIVATE ISLAND VIA THE
BOATHOUSE, HUNG WITH STRIPPED-WOOD
CANOES AND 12-POINT BUCK ANTLERS.
Condé Nast Traveler 06/07.17
93
“A LAKE CARRIES YOU into recesses of feeling otherwise impenetrable,”
wrote William Wordsworth in his Guide to the Lakes, published in 1810. He
was writing about the Lake District, the mountainous region in the northwest of England where he grew up and composed most of his poetry. And
why, according to Wordsworth, do lakes transport us in this way? Because
in them “the heavens are not only brought down into the bosom of the
earth, but…the earth is mainly looked at and thought of through the medium
of a purer element.” The sky is reflected on the surface of the deep water
below, which is itself a break in the hard surface of the earth we spend our
days treading over. Lakes induce a pause in our workaday consciousness,
returning us to geological time and reminding us that we live not just in a
society or a nation but on a planet. In that pause, we are carried back into
ourselves. Which is perhaps one reason that the experiences we have in
and around them are so deeply encoded in us.
Most of my own experiences as I got older were in and around the lakes of
New England, where I grew up. They were more populated, less rugged, and
more sociable than the Highland lochs. Lake Waban was a 10-minute walk
from my house; the campus of Wellesley College stretched along one edge
and woods surrounded the rest. In cold winters you could walk across it on
the ice. In summers, my friends and I swam in it, canoed around it, and spent
hours gossiping and fighting and growing bored along its shaded shores. The
lake became a kind of refuge for us, a place to get away from the families we
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each had our reasons to want to escape. Night swimming off a little stone
terrace felt like its own secret rebellion against the tedium of suburban life.
It became the place to go for those “serious” conversations adolescents have
when trying out the newly discovered territory of their emotions.
And then there were the summer crushes. I was 14 when I experienced
my first, in a bunkhouse cabin on a lake in New Hampshire during a church
youth-group retreat. My family didn’t attend the church, and I didn’t much
believe in God, but my friends were going. A weekend sleepover away from
home—what more could you ask for?
I remember the camp being up a hillside with a view through the trees
out over a rocky shoreline. Being young, we were put in large canoes with
adults doing most of the steering, and dutifully wore our life preservers. But
at night, after the mildly Christian group discussions around the fire, the
real social life of the retreat began: the whispered intrigues, the flashlights
after lights-out—and for me, the longing for the attention of one boy in particular who in the darkness confided in me about his parents’ divorce and
his irritating older brother. This, I thought, was adulthood.
Now if he could just kiss me, life could begin.
Indeed, of all the floating docks I have swum out to, none
is sharper in my mind’s eye than the gray, weathered boards
strapped to bright plastic drums on a lake in the hills of
southern Vermont. It was after my freshman year in college.
One of my high-school friends was spending that summer
near the lake, and I’d come to visit him. He was the one who
introduced me to Evan. Doubtless I first met Evan on land,
but that’s not the image that sticks with me. Rather, it’s the
memory of swimming behind him out toward that dock
and then, when I reached the chrome steps, pausing and
seeing him lying face up on the platform, eyes closed, his
whole wet body glistening in the sun.
In ways Wordsworth definitely didn’t have in mind, the
sight of Evan stretched out on that dock certainly carried me
into recesses of feeling otherwise impenetrable. He was the
most handsome boy I’d ever met. I did, later, get to kiss him
(briefly, and on land). But it’s in the sun on that lake that I
will always remember him, and the shy, reverent young
man that I was in his presence.
NOW, AS AN ADULT, I still find myself drawn to the quiet and
the stillness of lakes. I didn’t know it at the time, but those
early experiences of having a landscape get inside me and
take on a meaning I couldn’t quite name were part of what
fed my need and desire to be a writer.
It was, in fact, while I was in residence at an artists’ colony
in southern New Hampshire working on my first book that
I discovered what has become my favorite lake. I first visited
it with a couple of painters and a playwright, city dwellers
all, who like me were hoping to end an August day of mostly
failed labors with the relief of a cooling dip. We piled into
a rusting Volvo and found it at the end of a long dirt track
in the middle of an Audubon sanctuary. It was surrounded
entirely by trees, not a house in sight. The only sound was
OPPOSITE: STAY IN STOUT’S
ISLAND’S MAIN LODGE OR IN ONE
OF THE 11 CABINS, LIKE ALLISON’S.
RIGHT: THERE’S OUTDOOR
PING-PONG, OF COURSE. BELOW:
RIDING THE ELCO.
the call of a loon. The four of us started swimming toward an outcropping
of rocks about a half-mile out. We were clustered together at first, but soon
spread apart, each going at our own pace. I swam the backstroke mostly,
my chest opening up in that easiest and most leisurely movement through
water. Soon I felt a great, unbidden release, sensing myself alive and in full
motion through the bracingly cold water. It was a joy in the present, a letting go of the self-scrutiny of a writing day. But also a pleasure in the sudden
opening of memories that being in that lake evoked, as I moved across its
reflective surface between the open air and the depths below.
LIVE THATON GOLDEN
POND FANTASY WITHOUT
OWNING A HOUSE
The Adirondacks, New York
I’ve been visiting this upstate park every
August since I was five. I love Keene
Valley for hiking the 46ers (a.k.a., the
Adirondack High Peaks), a slice of
fruit-crumb pie at the Noon Mark Diner,
and a shopping fix at the Birch Store
for rustic-chic homeware. But for oldworld lake living, you can’t beat
Upper Saint Regis, Spitfire Lake, and
Lake Placid to rent one of the area’s
historic “great camps” and summer like
a Gilded Age Vanderbilt or Rockefeller.
Camp Solitude, a restored 1890s
compound on Lake Placid, is a favorite
(book it through adirondackestates
.com). But if that’s too much house to
take on, there’s always The Point, the
twig-and-timber icon of Upper Saranac,
while Lake Kora, a rustic-luxe great
camp, now lets families book a single
lodge rather than buying out the
whole place. A M A N D A B R O O K S
Lake Champlain, Vermont
For such a big lake, its narrow, fjordlike
shape creates a feeling of privacy
along the shore. The manoresque Inn
at Shelburne Farms makes a great
wedding backdrop, but I’m partial to
the more relaxed Basin Harbor, a
700-acre compound of restored cottages
in Vergennes, with golf, tennis, and
an armada of small watercraft. Book a
lakeside clapboard cottage and pull
yourself away long enough for coffee
and cardamom buns at Vergennes
Laundry in town, or a visit to the
Shelburne Museum, an odd collection
of folk-art-filled historic buildings.
ANDREA WHITTLE
Lake Rabun, Georgia
In the early 1900s, Georgia Power built
dams along the Tallulah River to create
reservoirs that powered Atlanta, 120
miles away. Named for one of these,
the 13-room Lake Rabun Hotel, built in
1922—think fieldstone fireplaces
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Condé Nast Traveler 06/07.17
and hickory railings—still serves as
an escape hatch from the city heat.
Property owners on the 834-acre lake
kept commercial development at bay,
so don’t expect cute shops and bakeries. In fact, the folks at Hall’s Boat House
can be crusty, but authentically so.
They’ll rent you a pontoon boat, or the
hotel’s concierge can fix you up with a
canoe. Locals swear Lake Rabun has the
most vintage wooden powerboats per
capita in America, which they show off
every July Fourth in a parade of ChrisCrafts and Gar Woods. L O G A N WA R D
Table Rock Lake, Missouri
The Ozarks’ rep as the hick backcountry
unfolding beyond St. Louis, Memphis,
and Oklahoma City has held since
the twenties when bootlegging “hillbillies” controlled the mountains and
hollows. It’s no coincidence that proud
local turned Bass Pro Shops billionaire
Johnny Morris, who grew up hawking
fishing lure from his father’s liquor
store, restored the buildings that make
up the 800-acre retreat Big Cedar
Lodge around Table Rock Lake. The
huge property somehow gives off
a small-town Americana vibe: Families
pad toward the water, tackle boxes in
tow, then head off to shoot clays, ride
horses, or play lawn games. Book a
knotty-pine cottage and be sure to order
a Backyard Basket, which is delivered
to your door with everything you need
to grill on your deck. L A C Y M O R R I S
Stout’s Island Lake, Wisconsin
Like many families I knew in
Minneapolis, mine spent summers at
a 1920s lake cabin fishing for trout
in the morning, swimming in the afternoon, and grilling at night. The closest
I’ve come to re-creating that scene is at
Stout’s Island Lodge, a few lakes away
(two hours from the Twin Cities). Built
for lumber baron Frank Stout in 1903,
the rambling lodge was designed for
entertaining, with a pitched roof
over timbered beams, stone fireplaces,
a clubby cocktail lounge, and a dining
room that serves a surprisingly good
bison burger. You can stay in one of
the lodge’s 11 guest rooms, but personally
I love Allison’s Cabin, with its screened
porch and wicker couch that basically
order you to lie down with a book until
you drift off. D A V I D C O G G I N S
Rocky Mountain
Ranch Pond, Idaho
From the porch of this 1920s lodge
with overloaded views of the Sawtooth
Mountains, you can watch osprey divebomb the pond for trout as the lemonade turns to craft beer by 5 P.M. There’s
a vintage paddle boat, and a dock for a
hasty cover-up post skinny-dip—not
that anyone will be watching. I first saw
the Rocky Mountain Ranch in my 20s,
on a Jeep ride from Sun Valley, an hour
away, and felt like I’d walked into an
oil painting: snow-capped peaks, more
antelope than people, frigid sapphire
lakes at the end of long hikes. Years later
I saw a FOR SALE sign, but on a freelance
writer’s salary I had to talk my siblings
into my dude ranch fantasy. We recently
redid the 17 log cabins and hired a
chef comfy with both arugula and elk
sausage. One of us is usually lurking
around here, but you’ll still have your
own private Idaho. D I A N A K A P P
Suttle Lake, Oregon
Central Oregon doesn’t lack for nature
to swashbuckle through: rock climbing
the spires of Smith Rock, fly-fishing
for bull trout in the Metolius, bluebird
skiing at Hoodoo. The problem is finding a base that isn’t a musty cabin, fussy
lodge, or eighties-build rental. Therein
lies the beauty of the Suttle Lodge &
Boathouse, 15 acres in the Deschutes
National Forest. There’s a dock and
boathouse, plus a lawn for corn hole
and croquet, but also a beer garden
tapping local brews and menus
dreamed up by Josh McFadden—formerly of Franny’s in Brooklyn and now
the executive chef at Ava Gene’s in
Portland—serving celery root chowder,
cracker-crust pizzas, and Willamette
Valley rosé. R E B E C C A M I S N E R
RIGHT: LARGE FAMILIES CAN RENT
THE ENTIRE STOUT’S PROPERTY.
O U R T R AV E L
TIPS, TRICKS, AND
MISCELLANY
GOOD NEWS
Clockwise from top left: Tomas Manina; Jesper Anhede © Genberg Art UW Ltd; Daniel Evans; Kevin Scott. All photographs courtesy of Phaidon
Mexico City is one of those
places we love going back to
(say, for chilaquiles at chef
Eduardo García’s café, Lalo).
Lucky for us, flights are a
steal right now—less than
$300 round-trip. “Fares
used to be ridiculously expensive,” says George Hobica
of Airfarewatchdog, but
since the Mexican and U.S.
governments recently
loosened restrictions on
cross-border service, prices
have tumbled as Interjet,
Southwest, and Volaris have
added flights.
Intel
BAD NEWS
1
2
3
4
A GUIDE
T O T R AV E L I N G B E T T E R
THIS SUMMER
Business travelers and
cinephiles beware: The
Department of Homeland
Security now prohibits
computers and tablets (but
oddly not smartphones)
in your carry-on aboard
flights departing from 10 airports in Africa and the
Middle East. Flights to those
destinations, however, are
not affected (it’s a headscratcher). Airlines bear no
responsibility for electronics
in checked bags, so do
what we do: Ship ’em home
via FedEx or UPS.
UNBELIEVABLE NEWS
Some tour operators are
reporting a spike in interest
in Russia since the U.S.
election. Is it because of all
those Trump-Putin headlines? Not really, says travel
specialist Greg Tepper
of Exeter International. It’s
more likely due to the ruble,
which has fallen nearly
40 percent since summer of
2014. St. Petersburg is one
of the country’s most popular spots, Tepper says,
despite the April attack on
its subway.
The Next Generation of RVs and Airstreams
There’s a fast-growing category of supercompact,
cleverly designed trailers,
tents, and homes that
do more than just turn
heads on the freeway.
Some are actually helping
to solve major problems
like gentrification,
homelessness, and even
climate change, as author
Rebecca Roke notes in
her new book, Mobitecture:
Architecture on the Move
(Phaidon). Others are simply eco-friendly vacation
escapes, like the live-entirelyoff-the-grid Ecocapsule
house (1), which has
solar panels and a wind
turbine. The Classic
American Dream Trailer
(4) is a camper with a
detachable rowboat
on the roof, while the
floating WA_Sauna in
Seattle (3) lets swimmers
in Lake Union get toasty
post-plunge. But nothing
tops the Manta Resort
Underwater Room (2),
a hotel suite off Tanzania’s
Pemba Island that
has windows below the
waves, the ultimate
#RoomwithaView.
Condé Nast Traveler 06/07.17
99
FEEL- GOOD WELLNESS
How Not to Get Sick
“These prepackaged, personalized once-a-day
sachets have supplements
like vitamin B12 and
probiotics.” Assistant Editor
Andrea Whittle
Care/of vitamins ....... $29/month
Stay Superhydrated
Fake a Good Night’s Sleep
“For those of us too vain to
get on an overnight flight sans
makeup, these wipes clean,
exfoliate, hydrate, and prep
skin for that pre-landing
swipe of bronzer.” Lifestyle
Editor Rebecca Misner
“Unlike most face serums
that reek of essential
oils, this one has a nice nutty
smell and dispenses
neatly through a tiny pump.”
Features Director
Alex Postman
Ursa Major Essential Face
Wipes. . . . . . . $24
Malaya Organics Rejuvenating
Face Serum ....... $65
Three Products in One
The Ultimate SPF
For the Germophobe
“I use this balm as a makeup
remover, face cleanser, and
moisturizer. Also it smells like
vacation: a not-too-sweet
blend of coconut, vanilla, and
mango.” Deputy Editor
Lauren DeCarlo
“An organic sunblock that
does double duty as a
post-beach salve and is
light enough to wear
even if you’re not spending
the day in the surf.”
Integrated Editorial
Assistant Chantel Tattoli
“It sounds crazy, but
I semiobsessively spray this
natural sanitizer on my
seat and tray table. Nobody
minds, though: The
lavender scent is slightly
addictive.” Executive
Editor Candice Rainey
Eir Surf Mud + Zinc . . . . . . . $24
EO hand sanitizer ....... $2
One Love Organics Skin
Savior. . . . . . . $19
If You’re Headed to the Zika Zone
“I LOVE THAT THIS ORGANIC, ESSENTIAL
OIL–BASED BUG SPRAY—WHICH
ACTUALLY WORKS—SMELLS LIKE CEDAR,
GERANIUM, AND ROSEMARY
INSTEAD OF A HIGH SCHOOL CHEM LAB.”
LIFESTYLE EDITOR REBECCA MISNER
Zoe Organics Insect Repellent . . . . . . . $12
Take It from Us...
The secret to packing
smart will not be found
in a YouTube tutorial.
(Rolling socks? How
innovative!) The real
trick, as our perpetually
on-the-road editors
will tell you, is to find
those brilliantly designed
lifesavers, like a natural
hand sanitizer that
won’t offend the entire
cabin, headphones
that will make coach as
silent as a Zen garden,
and these other balms,
bags, and gear we can’t
stop talking about.
100
Like Q-Tips, But Better
“Twist the swab and
the tip becomes moistened with a cleanser
that gently removes eye
makeup.” Lifestyle
Editor Rebecca Misner
Too Cool for School Dinoplatz
Magic Wand . . . . . . . $8
PACKING UPGRADES
The Xanax Substitute
“I rub a little bit on the back
of my neck, at my temples,
and even under my nose. It’s
my alternative to popping
pharmaceuticals.” Executive
Editor Candice Rainey
Tiger Balm White ....... $6
BONUS ROUND
Dead-Simple Organization
“Muji’s perfectly minimalist
cubes keep your stuff sorted
even on longer trips.”
Integrated Editorial
Assistant Chantel Tattoli
Muji Paraglider Cloth Foldable
Mesh Garment Bag....... $11
A Solution for Swim Trunks
The Non-Digital Distraction
The Defurminator
“When you’re roadtripping with kids who can’t
resist a hotel pool, these
waterproof totes are everything.” Features Director
Alex Postman
“My parents always packed
cards, so now I do the same.
This multihued deck saved
us on a rainy day in Jamaica
not long ago.” Photo Editor
Linda Denahan
“I have a dog that’s pretty
damn cute but has
plenty of long hair, so I keep
this tiny-but-expandable
lint roller permanently
packed in my bag.” Senior
Editor Paul Brady
Flight 001 Go Clean Wet
Suit Bag ....... $18
Condé Nast Traveler 06/07.17
The Rock-Solid Carry-On
“It’s built from aircraftgrade aluminum, durable as
hell, and just as smart-looking
as pricier alternatives.”
Senior Editor Paul Brady
Aleon 21" Carry-On . . . . . . . $429
Fredericks & Mae Playing
Cards . . . . . . . $13
Flint ....... $8
Illustrations by DENISE NESTOR
WHAT TO WEAR
Maybe the Best Airplane Pants Ever
The Blazer
Cross-Body Perfection
“It’s got enough room for
my phone, lipstick, and a lot
more, but it’s still small
enough to use as a clutch at
night.” Fashion Director
Sarah Meikle
“This classic shape, with
a little stretch, pulls
together a look, particularly
if you’re rushing off the
plane to a meeting.”
Associate Fashion Editor
Mara Balagtas
Chanel Wallet on Chain ....... $2,100
J. Crew Regent blazer....... $198
Featherweight Kicks
Yep, We Are Pro–Fanny Pack
“Head-spinningly light, they
pack down to almost nothing so I don’t have to give up
my morning run.” Senior
Associate Editor Erin Florio
APL Techloom Pro
sneakers ...... $140
“SLIM-CUT FROM A LIGHT COTTON
TERRY, THESE SWEATS CAN
LOOK JUST AS GOOD AS DARK DENIM
IF YOU STYLE ’EM RIGHT.”
ASSISTANT EDITOR ANDREA WHITTLE
Todd Snyder + Champion
Women’s Boyfriend Sweatpants . . . . . . . $110
The Packable Brim
“Finally a Panama hat
sturdy enough to survive
getting crammed in
an overhead bin.” Fashion
Director Sarah Meikle
Janessa Leoné Carolina ....... $265
Tame Carry-On Clutter
Better Than a Blanket
“Say what you will, but a
flush-against-your-hip bag
like this is the easiest
place to stash your boarding
pass and phone.” Editor
in Chief Pilar Guzmán
“I keep receipts, business
cards, and other stuff tidy
in this textured vinyl pouch—
in sunflower yellow—that
looks like Comme des
Garçons.” Senior Associate
Editor Erin Florio
“A ridiculously soft cashmereand-wool cape is way
better than anything you’ll
find shrink-wrapped on
your seat.” Deputy Digital
Director Laura Redman
Clare V. Fannypack ....... $245
Delfonics Quitterie Pouch . . . . . . . $22
Vanessa Bruno Gaika
cape . . . . . . . $650
The Classic Shades
“The original folding pair of
lenses that pack super small;
in tortoiseshell they go with
everything.” Editor in Chief
Pilar Guzmán
Persol PO714 ....... $360
GADGETS & GEAR
The Best Way to Stay Charged, Period
“YOU NEVER KNOW WHERE THAT HOTEL
ROOM OUTLET IS GOING TO
TURN UP, SO I CARRY EXTRA-LONG
TWIN-HEAD CABLES THAT CAN
CHARGE MY IPHONE AND A SPEAKER.”
MANAGING EDITOR PAULIE DIBNER
Native Union Belt Cable Twin Head ....... $40
The Only Headphones
You’ll Ever Need
Make Movie Magic
Dance Party in Room 204
“So long to shaky hands
and bad vacation videos:
This gimbal keeps your
smartphone shots Kubrick
smooth.” Video Producer
Phil Falino
“Bose’s latest are even better than the noise-canceling
ones some airlines hand
out in first class, which is
nice to think about when
you’re crammed in coach.”
Senior Editor Paul Brady
DJI Osmo Mobile . . . . . . . $300
Bose QuietComfort 35 . . . . . . . $350
“It’s got tremendous
sound and nearly endless
battery life, but the real
kicker is that this waterproof
Bluetooth speaker floats.”
Senior Editor Paul Brady
Ultimate Ears
Wonderboom .......$100
Condé Nast Traveler 06/07.17
101
Lynda Waggoner, director of Fallingwater, on the best time to visit the iconic
home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, who was born 150 years ago on June 8.
ONE ARCHITECT,
THREE GARDENS
ALBERT MAYSLES,
ON TRAINS
Peter Marino is known for
creating stunning boutiques
for Chanel, Dior, and Louis
Vuitton (not to mention his
attention-grabbing allleather biker look). His new
book, The Garden of Peter
Marino (Rizzoli), reveals his
less-publicized talent: transforming the grounds of his
Hamptons estate. We asked
him which gardens around
the world inspired his own.
In Transit is the final film
from the late documentarian
Albert Maysles (Grey
Gardens), who shot this
voyeuristic series of
vignettes aboard Amtrak’s
Empire Builder trains
running between Chicago
and both Portland and
Seattle. It plays at New York’s
Maysles Cinema and the
Metrograph in June before
a potential wider release
this summer.
Houghton Hall, England
“So elegant, so stately, with
brilliant beds of irises
that look like they haven’t
changed in 300 years.”
8.45
Ibirapuera Park, Brazil
“Roberto Burle Marx, who
did Copacabana’s boardwalk, designed this beautiful
São Paulo oasis that also
has buildings by the modernist master Oscar
Niemeyer.”
Old Westbury Gardens,
New York
“The highlights are peonies,
roses, and rhododendrons.
I grew up going here—
and there’s still no place
more beautiful.”
OUNCES
THAT’S HOW MUCH WATER
YOU SHOULD DRINK
HOURLY TO STAY HYDRATED
ON FLIGHTS, SAYS
DR. CLAUDIA COOKE, AN
INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE
SPECIALIST. FOR A SIX-HOUR
NEW YORK–TO–L.A.
FLIGHT, THAT’S 1.5 LITERS.
CONDÉ NAST TRAVELER IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF
ADVANCE MAGAZINE PUBLISHERS INC. COPYRIGHT © 2017
CONDÉ NAST. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. PRINTED IN THE U.S.A.
VOLUME 52, NO. 6, CONDÉ NAST TRAVELER (ISSN 08939683) is published monthly (except for a combined issue
in June/July) by Condé Nast, which is a division of Advance
Magazine Publishers Inc. PRINCIPAL OFFICE: Condé Nast,
One World Trade Center, New York, NY 10007. S.I. Newhouse,
Jr., Chairman Emeritus; Charles H. Townsend, Chairman;
Robert A. Sauerberg, Jr., President & Chief Executive
Officer; David E. Geithner, Chief Financial Officer. Periodicals
postage paid at New York, New York, and at additional mailing
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123242885-RT0001.
102
Condé Nast Traveler 06/07.17
THE MINIGUIDE
TO EATING WELL AT
DISNEY WORLD
There’s plenty of terrible
food at the parks, but
many restaurants there
are “100 times better
than people realize,” says
Jonathan Rubinstein,
the founder of New York’s
Joe Coffee, who’s been
to Disney World seven times
in the past four years with
his daughter, now eight.
Below, his tips on eating well
in the Magic Kingdom.
106,766 Miles Logged
in the Last Year
David Bowd, founder and CEO of
Salt Hotels and principal of
West Elm Hotels, on the smartest
way to spend an hour at the
airport and his in-air rituals.
THE FIRST THING I DO IN A HOTEL ROOM IS clear
off the desk. All that branded clutter,
like compendiums, menus, tent cards,
all of it goes into a drawer. Then
I open the shades to let in some light.
“If you want a coveted
restaurant, like Be Our
Guest, you have to call right
at 7 A.M. exactly six months
in advance. It took me three
years to get a reservation—
if you wait even five minutes,
you’ll be out of luck.”
“Tiffins, in the Animal
Kingdom, feels like the opposite of theme-park food.
They do a delicious chermoularubbed chicken and an
interesting bread appetizer
with pomegranate olive
oil, harissa yogurt, and blackeyed-pea hummus.”
THE WORLD’S BEST AIRPORT LOUNGE IS the
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at Heathrow.
They are so far ahead of everyone,
with the outdoor space, the billiards
tables, and the incredibly helpful
staff. And I love getting a haircut
there. It’s the best use of my time
before a flight.
I’M ALWAYS HAPPY ABOARD Emirates. I just
flew them to Sydney, in the absolutely
phenomenal first-class suite. The service is whatever you want, whenever you
“At Rose & Crown Dining
Room, in Epcot Center, I like
the cheese plate with onion
relish and preserves, and the
Angus burger with Welsh
rarebit sauce, Branston mayonnaise, bacon, and beerbattered leeks.”
“Dole Whip is the iconic
but surprisingly hard-to-find
Disney snack, a nondairy
pineapple concoction they
invented in 1986. I get
mine in Adventureland, at
the Tiki Juice Bar next to
the Enchanted Tiki Room.”
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NON-POSTAL AND MILITARY FACILITIES: SEND ADDRESS
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printed on most recent label. Subscribers: If the Post Office
alerts us that your magazine is undeliverable, we have no
further obligation unless we receive a corrected address
within one year. If, during your subscription term or up to
one year after, the magazine becomes undeliverable, or you
want, and while the onboard shower seems
so ridiculously opulent, I loved it.
MY IN-FLIGHT RITUAL STARTS WITH a Bloody
Mary, regardless of the time of day.
I’D NEVER BOARD A PLANE WITHOUT a spare
pair of headphones. I constantly lose
them, so I now order in bulk from the
Apple Store and keep at least two pairs
in my navy Porter Overnighter bag.
are ever dissatisfied with your subscription, let us know.
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please email reprints @ conde nast .com or call Wright’s
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Illustration by Denise Nestor
“TRY TO RESERVE A TOUR AT LEAST TWO WEEKS
OUT. JUNE IS LESS CROWDED THAN JULY OR
AUGUST, AND IT’S BEST TO ARRIVE BY 10 A.M.
SINCE IT CAN GET VERY WARM IN THE HOUSE,
WHICH IS NOT AIR-CONDITIONED.”
SOUVENIR
Welcome
Basket
104
Condé Nast Traveler
06/07.17
The hunt for that perfect souvenir—ideally a
found-only-here embodiment of place and the
memories of your trip—can draw you deep
into the mercado or down mazelike European
side streets. “Hopefully what you end up with
is the fruit of your encounter with another place
and people,” says Keith Recker, a jurist on the
selection committee at this month’s Santa Fe
International Folk Art Market. Going on 14
years now, the outdoor fete draws more than
20,000 people and will sell handmade goods
and artwork from 56 countries, including
Jordanian wool rugs, Uzbek ceramics, and baskets like the one shown here from Colombia,
bringing the world and its crafts to a single venue.
Crucelina, an indigenous Wounaan weaver
based in the country’s remote Chocó region,
makes the traditional pieces from the jungle’s
werregue fronds, which are colored with nuts,
flowers, and bark. Though it may take months
to finish coiling and stitching just one, the
tightest examples can carry water. “Makers may
earn an entire year’s income,” Recker says,
adding that buying straight from the artisans is
one of the best ways to support them. Yet one
more reason to bring an empty bag.
C H A N T E L TAT TOL I
photograph by STEPHEN LEWIS
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