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Welcome to 2013! We hope that you enjoy the latest issue of Table and Travel, the magazine created exclusively for our Chase Sapphire(registered trademark) cardmembers. In this issue, we showcase historic Charleston, South Carolina, and its world-class restaurants and Southern charm. We also look at great family getaways that pamper parents and entertain kids.
Throughout the year, we'll continue to bring you ideas for unique dining experiences and travel destinations specially selected for you. We're proud to work with premier culinary and travel partners to offer you exclusive dining events in top cities across the country, access to local food and wine festivals, and pre-sale access to domestic and international travel packages, just to name a few of the benefits you'll enjoy as a cardmember.
We add new experiences each month, which is why it is more useful than ever to like us on Facebook (facebook.com/chasesapphire) to stay informed of upcoming events available to you. If you're looking to redeem your Ultimate Rewards points this year, I encourage you to visit chase.com/ultimaterewards to browse options for a bucket-list trip, a weekend getaway or a night on the town.
We welcome your opinion, and if you would like to share your thoughts about Table and Travel after browsing this issue, please take our reader's survey below.
It's great to have you as a Chase Sapphirecardmember. We're looking forward to another exciting year together.
Sean P. O'Reilly General Manager, Chase Sapphire
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Participation is simple and will only take a few minutes. Scan this QR Code with a mobile device (requires an app that reads QR codes), or go to tableandtravelmagazinesurvey.com and fill out the survey. Please participate by February 28, 2013.
PHOTO CAPTION: Sean and his wife biking the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland.
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Charleston is most certainly having a moment. It seems the quaint, South Carolina coastal city has everyone's attention – including ours. For this issue of Table and Travel, we invite you to get intimate with the city and take a peek into the charming historic neighborhoods, meet the star chefs and get inspired by the cultural offerings. Zoe Settle sums up the city's best assets, including an exclusive interview with Charleston's farm-to-table hero, chef Sean Brock.
Contributing writer Brooke Pearson, who herself is enviably welltraveled, was charged with finding the top destinations for that trip of a lifetime. And while there are some mainstays like an African safari, she also uncovers some off-the-beaten-path ideas such as Arctic Heli Skiing. As we kick off 2013, it is the perfect time to think about planning these memorable trips, as travel has a way of marking time in a way that cements it into our memory. So if you prefer the exotic, the adventuresome or justpure luxury, we have rounded up several trips for you.
For the wine aficionado, our resident expert, John Mariani, takes a look at Mount Etna and the spectacular new creations being exported from this region. Our cover story is aimed at helping you plan some family trips this year. In "Family Getaways," we examine five higher-end resorts that were once reserved for adults but now not only welcome children, but encourage families to visit together. As a mother of three, this is particularly interesting.
There is a lot to discover, and we look forward to continuing to bring you innovative travel ideas, Chase Sapphire (Registered Trademark) exclusives and inspiring ideas from leading chefs.
Sarah G. Harrelson
Publisher and Editor in Chief
Carlos A. Suarez
Publisher and Creative Director
Publisher Mike Batt
Publisher/Editor in Chief Sarah G. Harrelson
Publisher/Creative Director Carlos A. Suarez
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Contributing Writers Kate Betts, Rebecca Kleinman, John Mariani, Brooke Pearson, Paul Rubio, Zoe Settle, Alyssa Shelasky, Neal Webster Turnage, Henley Vazquez
Copy Editor Gregg Lasky
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National Sales Director Diane Silberstein
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PHOTO CAPTION: Left: The Harrelson kids in Coral Gables. Below: The Suarez kids at the Moorings Village in Islamorada, Florida.
ON THE COVER
A pathway to the ocean in TurksandCaicos, where the Parrot Cay resort is now more family friendly. See our story on other family-friendly destinations on page 32.
Table and Travel (Service Mark) is published by Whitehaus Media Group for Chase Sapphire. For advertising information, please contact Whitehaus Media Group, 1680 Michigan Avenue, Suite 1013, Miami Beach, Florida 33139; info at whitehausmediagroup.com, whitehausmediagroup.com. For questions related to your Chase Sapphire account, please call the number on the back of your card.
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20 TASTEMAKER TIPS
These industry insiders have ideas in spades – and didn't mind sharing a few with us.
24 TASTING TABLE
A Chase Sapphire (Registered Trademark) exclusive event: An intimate dinner with culinary royalty, Fergus Henderson.
26 TOP TEN
Looking for this season's ultimate chill? Look no further than these North American winter wonderlands.
28 PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT
When it comes to making the most of miles, points and rewards, we turn to The Points Guy for his expert advice.
29 10 MINUTES WITH...
India Hicks, entrepreneur, model and stylesetter.
30 TOP CHEF
Mario Batali on his celebrity friends, teenage sons and sensitive side.
PHOTO CAPTION: La Mamounia, Marrakech
INDIA HICKS FINE JEWELRY
32 FAMILY GETAWAYS
Five retreats once reserved for adults only, where kids now get the red carpet treatment, too.
38 CHARLESTON'S MOMENT
What better place than a city rich with colonial history to embrace the return to Americana?
46 CRUISE CONTROL
River cruising provides a unique way to see some of Europe's most sought-after cities.
52 SAVE THE DATE
Some occasions call for a spectacular destination to make the celebration that much more memorable.
58 THE WINES OF THE VOLCANO
Mount Etna has recently erupted as an oenophile favorite.
64 MEET THE SAPPHIRE TEAM
Some of Chase Sapphire's own share their plans for 2013.
PHOTO CAPTION: Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Follow us on Facebook to stay up to the minute on Chase Sapphire experiences. facebook.com/chasesapphire
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We asked: Which restaurant do you think is worth traveling for?
ALYSSA SHELASKY is the author of Apron Anxiety: My Messy Affairs In and Out of the Kitchen. She's currently a contributing writer for New York Magazine, Bon Appetit, The Guardian and Fathom.com. Although based in Brooklyn, Shelasky spends much of her time in Rome and Paris, working on her next book, Still or Sparkling, and covering stories on food and travel.
"The Wolseley in London. For breakfast, the cappuccinos are practically served in claw-foot bathtubs and all the tables are abuzz with London's literary somebodies; it's regal and warm with superb pastries and ultra 'proper' service."
ZOE SETTLE, a New York native, is a lifestyle and interiors writer who previously worked at TownandCountry. A regular contributor to Huffington Post and New York CottagesandGardens, she is also creative director of Maxwell Silver NY, a registry website. She hopes to return to Asia in 2013, encouraged by a wonderful debut visit to India, where this picture was taken at her friends' wedding at Samode palace.
"I'd have to say Copenhagen's Noma. I was lucky enough to eat there in 2007—before it was world-renowned – and it was a transcendent meal. Rene Redzepi and his team presented course upon course of things I had never tasted before, and the spectacular setting and quintessentially Danish design didn't hurt!"
NEAL WEBSTER TURNAGE has come to believe that it is the tiny nuances in travel that ultimately shape an experience. A resident of Los Angeles, Turnage began his career as a reporter for WWD. His work has been featured in American Way, Condé Nast Traveler, Four Seasons magazine, L'Uomo Vogue and Tatler.
"Serendipity in New York. I dare you to go, sip a frozen hot chocolate with someone you love and not leave with a smile on your face!"
HENLEY VAZQUEZ is happiest when hopping on a plane with her family to new destinations, some of which she covers in this issue. Most recently, Vazquez served as senior director for Indagare. She has also written for National Geographic Traveler and InStyle. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children.
"I'll board a plane any day for dinner at Comerc 24 in Barcelona. Carles Abellan is a genius at blending the creativity of molecular gastronomy with traditional Catalan ingredients. Always book a table near the kitchen or sit at the bar to watch the chef at work."
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Link Up Chase Sapphire is a sponsor for this year's AT and T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, where celebrities like Bill Murray, Ray Romano and Andy Garcia join professional golfers – including defending champion Phil Mickelson – on three of the Monterey Peninsula's premier golf courses: Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course, which is rated one of the toughest courses in the world, and Monterey Peninsula Country Club Shores Course in front of over 150,000 spectators and millions of television viewers. Through February 10. attpbgolf.com
PHOTO CAPTION: Pebble Beach, California
East Meets South Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta celebrates its first anniversary with a Chinese New Year celebration on February 7 honoring the Year of the Snake. Guests will enjoy traditional lion dance performances, Asian ribbon dancers, delectable Asian food and great music. Guests can book the hotel travel package for two including a one-night stay, breakfast, tickets to the event and red packets filled with good wishes and fortune. mandarinoriental.com/Atlanta
PHOTO CAPTION: A traditional Chinese New Year lion dance.
Tee Off Continent-hopping to play golf in exotic locations doesn't have to be a dream anymore. Chase Sapphire Preferred (Registered Trademark) and Golf Digest bring you a chance to make your fantasy a reality with the Rounds Around the World Sweepstakes. Enter now for a chance to win an unforgettable trip for two to South Africa at golfdigest.com/roundsaroundtheworld
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. To enter and for full rules, go to www.golfdigest.com/roundsaroundtheworld. South Africa sweepstakes starts 12:01 AM ET 2/11/13 and ends 11:59 PM ET 3/7/13. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States/D.C. 18 or older, except employees of Sponsor, their immediate families and those living in the same household. Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received. Void outside the 50 United States/D.C. and where prohibited. A.R.V. of South Africa prize $14,500. Sponsor: Condé Nast and Chase Bank U.S.A., N A.
PHOTO CAPTION: Sun City, South Africa
Muy Caliente! Turn up the heat this Valentine's Day at the romantic Rosewood Mayakoba. Situated along a pristine, mile-long stretch of beach on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, the 128-suite resort is looking better than ever following a recent $1.6 million renovation. rosewoodhotels.com/en/mayakoba
PHOTO CAPTION: Rosewood Mayakoba
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In Bloom This year, the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show, the largest flower show in the country, pays tribute to the majestic beauty and creative inspiration of Great Britain. Through March 10. theflowershow.com
Art on Board Celebrity Cruises' newest ship, Reflection, boasts tons of new amenities: an art studio, spa suites with oversized balconies and the Reflection Suite, boasting a 360-degreeview shower cantilevered over the sea—but the ship's art collection is not to be missed. Jeff Koons, Richard Prince and Robert Rauschenberg are just a few of the artists whose work you can view while sailing from Miami to St. Kitts on a seven night Eastern Caribbean Getaway. celebritycruises.com
PHOTO CAPTION: Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Nets, 1987
Grand Slam The Sony Open celebrates its 27th year at Key Biscayne's Crandon Park with a veritable who's who of the tennis world. A host of mix-and-match ticket packages allows you to catch the very best of this 12-day tournament – one of the longest on the circuit. See if Novak Djokovic can claim his third victory in a row as he serves against other tennis greats like Andy Roddick and Roger Federer. Through March 31. sonyopentennis.com
PHOTO CAPTION: Andy Roddick
PHOTO BY LEV RADIN/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
PHOTO CAPTION: A villa at Kurà
Tropical Modern Changing the face of Central American beachside retreats, Kurà is a designer's dream come true, with six geometric villas that starkly contrast the lush, tropical landscape of Costa Rica. And there's no shortage of postcard-worthy views of the island's Pacific coastline, which makes this the perfect Spring Break vacation spot. kuracostarica.com
Taste of Texas The fourth annual Galveston Island FoodandWine Festival is a jam-packed weekend festival transforming Galveston Island's Uptown Entertainment District into a food and wine lover's paradise. Specialty food items, culinary events and live musical performances are sure to please even the pickiest of palates. Through April 21. galveston.com/foodandwine
Pop-Up Kitchen Chef Aaron Brooks takes his steak and seafood savvy to the Four Seasons Edge RestaurantandBar for a six-month interactive cooking series ending in May. Sample the best of South Florida seafood – including freshly shucked oysters – and learn how to prepare some of Edge's signature tartares. Champagne will be flowing to keep the cooking festive. Reservations required, 305-381-3190, fourseasons.com/Miami
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These industry insiders have ideas in spades—and didn't mind sharing a few with us.
Most of us are lucky if we even get to take one "trip of a lifetime" like those Shelby Donley, owner of Camelback Odyssey Travel, customizes on a weekly basis for her clients. The Pheonix-based firm is thriving, with top travel advisers and a new division with round-the-clock travel and concierge services for a single annual fee. Here, Donley discusses how there's travel, and then there's travel. – Rebecca Kleinman
How has the travel business evolved, especially regarding the increase in online reservations?
Since the Internet is 24-seven, travel industry professionals must be now. They also have to bring much more knowledge and connections to the table to justify why a customer wouldn't simply click to get the information.
How do you conduct business?
We work on a very personal level with clients, which means more talking and less selling. Even if a client requests a certain hotel or tour, we won't recommend it if we don't feel good about its quality rather than worry that the client will be disappointed. Meeting one on one with clients throughout the U.S. gives us the face time to get to know their tastes, personalities and other factors to customize itineraries for the best experience.
What's on your hot list for 2013?
Southeast Asia. Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia offer a perfect mix of stunning beaches, authentic culture and centuries-old temples. And Brazil and its Amazon due to the World Cup and Summer Olympics.
Which brands do you look to for inspiration?
The Peninsula, Shangri-La, St. Regis and Aman Resorts – which is always on the cutting edge.
What's a great itinerary that hasn't been requested?
Though we design many land and cruise itineraries through Turkey, I'm dying to create a private yacht trip of Turkish and Greek destinations: departing from Istanbul with stops in Bodrum, Kusadasi and the Cyclades.
What's your favorite travel app?
TripCase for aggregating travel reservations and real-time flight seat maps. I can check first-class seat upgrade availability in less than five seconds!
What's a must-have travel accessory?
My new favorite is the AViiQ Portable Charging Station for charging phones, cameras and tablets at the same time.
What's an underrated destination?
People seem to be scared of Mexico, but Riviera Maya is clean and safe. Its hotels are some of the finest in the Americas, while its beaches are on par with and often trump those in Hawaii and the Caribbean. Other perks are excellent service, delicious, healthy food, and activities from Mayan ruins to outdoor sports for non-beach goers.
You're known for multigenerational family vacations. Any tips?
Sometimes it's best to split up the group with age-appropriate excursions than to try and satisfy everyone as a unit. And frankly, sometimes families need a break from each other! They converge for dinner as happy travelers.
What are some of your favorite hotels?
Ferragamo's Lungarno Collection, specifically its Portrait Suites in Rome, with shoe galleries featuring original moldings and hand-written instructions from real and Hollywood royalty; The Peninsula Shanghai; Amangiri in Utah; and the Santa Caterina in Amalfi.
PHOTO CAPTION: Clockwise from top left: The Peninsula Paris; the swimming pool at Amanpuri in Phuket, Thailand; Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro; the Brazilian Amazon; Shelby Donley.
Rande Gerber, Founder, The Gerber Group and Midnight Oil, Los Angeles, California
Rande Gerber may have had something to do with the creation of hotel-as-nightlife-venue. With more than 20 years in nightlife behind his name, Gerber has worked with all the hospitality greats, from Ian Schrager to Starwood Hotels and Resorts, contributing to some of the most sought after hospitality venues in the country. Here, he shares a bit about what it takes to create the kind of ambience that sets one property apart from the next. – R.K.
When was that a-ha moment that hooked you on hospitality?
I always liked entertaining at home, from the playlist to setting the ambiance with candles, as well as lots of good food, drinks and conversation. A friend asked to recreate that vibe for the public, so I did.
What was your first venue?
The Whiskey at the Paramount Hotel in New York. It was a small, cozy lounge, similar to my living room.
Where's the hottest nightlife innovation coming from?
London and Ibiza are always new and exciting.
Why did you expand into liquor brands?
I've been around the business my entire professional career. There wasn't a great white aged rum that could be sipped solo or mixed with the taste profile and smoothness I craved. So, I teamed up with Roberto Serralles, the best rum distiller in the business, on Caliche, which is unique because we blend carefully crafted and selected rums that are distilled five times.
What can you tell us about your latest liquor partnership with George Clooney?
For years, George and I have been drinking Casamigos Tequila. After lots of enthusiastic urging of friends, we finally decided to produce enough to share with the world. We were fortunate to have access to top ingredients and a great production team and facilities, so we went for it.
What's your favorite watering hole?
I like Café Habana in Malibu since it's the local spot with great food and plenty of action, plus my friends are always there.
What's on your playlist now?
Mishka, B.B. King, Kid Rock, Bob Marley, Eddie Vedder, Eric Clapton, Gregg Allman, Jack Johnson, Jamey Johnson, Lenny Kravitz, Mos Def, George Winston, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Muse, Rolling Stones, Scissor Sisters.
What's your favorite hotel in L A?
Peninsula Beverly Hills
Which city do you love returning to?
Cabo San Lucas and Muskoka, Canada
What was the best vacation you took lately?
My motorcycle trip this past summer with my friend to an island in France. And summer on the lake with my family.
What's the best location for vacationing with the family?
Montana for snowboarding. Muskoka for wake surfing.
Any upcoming holiday travel plans?
Safari with my family.
PHOTO CAPTION: Clockwise from top left: The Peninsula Beverly Hills; a lakeside retreat; snowboarding in Montana; an African safari; Rande Gerber.
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A Chase Sapphire exclusive event: An intimate dinner with culinary royalty, Fergus Henderson
BY ALYSSA SHELASKY
Somewhere on a popular street in SoHo, inside a spacious, dimly lit loft, sat a long communal table studded with votive candles, crystal goblets and the glowing anticipation of a few hungry, happy Chase Sapphire (Registered Trademark) cardmembers.
Fergus Henderson—one of the world's most celebrated chefs, proprietor of the renowned St. John in London, famous for his exemplary "nose-to-tail" cuisine – was about to cook everyone dinner inside the exclusive Tasting Table's Test KitchenandDining Room. This was a once-in-a-lifetime invitation, by any stomach's standards.
The buzzy prep area and bubbling stovetops were ablaze with energy and aroma as giddy guests, complimentary Champagne in hand, openly looked on. Soon, everyone was seated. Food, as well as excellent wine selections from Cakebread Cellars, were on their way.
Strangers made friends. Couples sat close. The daring menu dazzled the crowd: bone-marrow ravioli, "green salad of extraordinary nature," polenta with "rich pig trotter ragu" (to which Henderson affectionately responded, "Oink. Oink.") and a grand finale of gorgeous gelato. Mario Batali, who helped Henderson create the dazzling meal, mingled and charmed, calling Henderson his hero in a very personal speech. Culinary superstars April Bloomfield and Joe Bastianich made rare and exciting cameo appearances.
"What an incredible evening!" cheered Ellen Sedacca, a Chase Sapphire cardmember, who had been looking forward to the fête for weeks. Michael Goldfarb, an investment banker, was also elated. "I was online getting Jets tickets through Chase, and I stumbled across this offer," he said. "This is perfect for my girlfriend and I – we spend the vast majority of our time, money and calories cultivating the food scene."
Tasting Table's Guest Chef Series, presented by Chase Sapphire is a series of intimate dinners spotlighting renowned chefs. Last year guest chefs included Mario Batali, Fergus Henderson, Barbara Lynch, David Myers, Jason Fox, Ashley Christensen and Edward Lee. A new program is being developed for 2013, so stay tuned for more details.
PHOTO CAPTION: Clockwise from top: Chef Fergus Henderson in the kitchen; guests at the event; delectable offerings from the chef.
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1 An enchanting inn built in the mid-19th century, the Inn at Glimmerstone Mansion in Cavendish, Vermont, is finalizing its 21st-century renovation of the guestrooms, pub, restaurant, barn and carriage house. This storied National Register of Historic Places landmark now doles out quintessential New England charm with the latest in modern amenities. glimmerstonemansion.com
2 Dunton Hot Springs in Colorado's San Juan Mountains is busy developing an eight-suite luxurious tented camp to complement its existing eclectic collection of 13 historic log cabins. Always a pioneer in outdoor experiences, the ranch has added on-site ice climbing and door-to-peak heli-skiing to this year's roster of winter activities. duntonhotsprings.com
3 Burlington, Vermont's trendiest new BandB is the three-bedroom Made Inn Vermont, a restored Victorian home originally built in 1881 that is a veritable showcase of all things fabulous and local. Everything from the furniture to the artwork to each ingredient of the heavenly breakfast spread wears the stamp of the inn's namesake: Made in Vermont. madeinnvermont.com
4 There's no better time to unapologetically pack on the winter pounds than during New York City's winter "restaurant week" (which actually runs for two weeks). From January 16 to February 10, hundreds of high-end eateries go "on sale," with select three-course lunches and dinners offered at fixed prices of about $25 and $35, respectively. And if you need to sleep off the food hangover, the centrally located NoMad Hotel, the city's current "it" boutique property and home to the award-winning cuisine of chef Daniel Humm, is the place to go. nycgo.com/restaurantweek, thenomadhotel.com/
5 On February 1, Québec Winter Carnival returns as the coolest celebration on the planet. For two and half weeks, Québec City transforms into a snow-white party palladium. Think extravagant parades, races, a winter amusement park and a colossal ice palace. carnaval.qc.ca
6 Two and a half centuries strong, Virginia's storied resort The Homestead in the heart of the Allegheny Mountains continues to up the ante on its over-the-top resort experience. This year, it's all about Allegheny Springs Winter Wonderland, which encompasses a massive ice-skating rink, a heated, hotspring-fed outdoor pool, and a warmed deck with loungers. thehomestead.com
7 As part of the final phase of a $70 million resort-wide enhancement, New Hampshire's Omni Mount Washington Resort has opened its new 2,000-foot Doppelmayr T-bar surface lift and log cabin atop Mount Stickney, greatly enhancing the luxury skiing experience of Bretton Woods' remote terrain. omnihotels.com
8 After an extensive four-year face-lift, Ritz-Carlton Montréal has reopened just in time for its 100th-birthday. To celebrate its centennial, the fabled hotel opted for modern style rooms and refreshed its classical common spaces, deftly keeping history in style. ritzmontreal.com
9 Adjacent to Main Street in Park City, Utah, one of America's original schoolhouses, the Washington School House, has been readapted as a boutique hotel with 12 personality-driven rooms and suites. This landmark boasts an unbeatable location, right next to the town lift to Park City's famed slopes. washingtonschoolhouse.com
10 This winter, guests of Spring Creek Ranch – a luxury ranch in northwest Wyoming – has launched a new winter wildlife safari in Yellowstone National Park where guests will traverses normally impenetrable, wildlife-rich regions of the park. springcreekranch.com
Property can be booked on chase.com/ultimaterewards, subject to availability.
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221 1st Ave. West, Suite 210 Seattle, Washington WA 98119
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As an expert on airline miles, hotel points and credit card loyalty programs, people ask me all the time what credit cards I use to make the most of my points. Invariably, one of the first credit cards I mention is the Chase Sapphire Preferred (Registered Trademark) card.
I use my Sapphire Preferred (Service Mark) all of the time because of special features specific to this card, like how I can earn double points on travel and dining expenses I charge to my card, the 7 percent annual dividend on the points I earn on new purchases and the fact that the card has no foreign transaction fees.
This past summer, I put my Chase Sapphire Preferred card and Ultimate Rewards(Service Mark) points to the test in a joint campaign with Chase Sapphire called "Catch The Points Guy." Over the course of two months, I visited seven cities ranging from my hometown of Miami to the lively boulevards and impressive museums of Madrid, from the gourmet restaurants of San Francisco to the beaches of Maui, and plenty of amazing destinations in between.
Everywhere I went, I was either earning or redeeming (through Ultimate Rewards) my Sapphire points doing everything from flying first class on British Airways and booking award stays at hotels like the Intercontinental Le Grand in Paris and Hyatt's Andaz Fifth Avenue in New York – all point transfer partners of Chase Ultimate Rewards – to attending Chase Sapphire Exclusive Events like the Around The World in 80 Plates wrap party and even enjoying free wine-tastings in Sonoma.
When it comes to credit cards, while I am usually all about the points and the incredible places they allow me to travel – I am The Points Guy, after all – Chase Sapphire Preferred stands out from the others because it not only allows me to travel the world in style, but it also gives me access to exclusive events and experiences (not to mention valuable benefits and perks) that I would not have access to otherwise. That's why my Sapphire Preferred is always in my wallet when I'm on the road – or at home, where I'm usually planning my next trip!
Brian Kelly (The Points Guy) was compensated for his participation in the "Catch The Points Guy" campaign and receives a referral bonus for Chase accounts opened through links on his website. All opinions expressed are completely his own.
PHOTO CAPTION: Brian Kelly
India Hicks, Model, Entrepreneur
PORTRAIT BY TOM MUNRO
India Hicks is always on the go. During any given month she boards a plane to New York, Miami or London from the secluded island in the Bahamas she calls home. This London-born stylsetter keeps busy with numerous projects, including a line for CrabtreeandEvelyn, a jewerly line she launched last year, not to mention her continuous television commentary on all things royal. We caught up with Hicks while she was enjoying a brief stopover in Miami – just long enough for her to share some of her well-earned travel tips.
What is always in your travel bag?
The expensive vitamins I forget to take; red-eye reliever drops, because I am always on a redeye, with red eyes; makeup I don't really understand how to use; my four year old's hair clips and my 13 year old's fluorescent-green, Beats headphones that make me look ridiculous. And lurking at the bottom of the bag, you would find a muddle of mixed currencies.
What are the your favorite American cities and why?
New York, L.A. and Miami for their energy and all those sensational white teeth. In England, we don't do white teeth. I also recently revisited Seattle and loved all the crunchy granola goodness there and the slightly slower pace.
Which hotels are on the top of your list right now?
Blakes in London, a grown-up retreat and perfect hideout. Particularly tempting is the acclaimed restaurant and bar, which serves a pomegranate-and-lime cocktail called Cardinal Habit.
What lessons have you learned from all of your travels?
At 18 I backpacked around the world. It was a wonderful alternate education. It opened my eyes to and made me more patient and understanding of other ways of life and other religions.
What is your favorite restaurant right now?
The Wolsely in London – old-fashioned charm with a dazzling crowd of clients. The cheese soufflé served in a micro cast-iron pan is quite memorable.
Tell us about some of your most adventurous travels.
I went to Munich to do bungee jumping before it was legal in England. I have tandem skydived in New Zealand. I have climbed into the Grand Canyon and slept in a cave filled with bats (I had waist-length hair and did not sleep a wink imagining the bats would start to nest in my locks). I have ridden camels in Eygpt and bareback ponies in Cuba, but adventure can always be found closer to home in Harbour Island.
Since you are a mother, where is the best place to go with young kids?
I am bringing up five children. They range from 15 to four and are all pretty much terrors. The snow is a good place for them. Lots of skiing to tire them out.
Where do you think you can get the most value for your money?
The Hilton Hotel in St. Petersburg (Florida, not Russia). Their clean, comfortable rooms cost less than my teenager's baseball boots.
What is the most exotic locale you have ever been to?
The deep countryside of Burma, where they had never seen blonde hair before.
Where have you gone recently that you would like to return to?
If a few years ago counts as recent, then it would be safari in Africa. There is nothing like a chilly African dawn on a deserted plain, watching hundreds of thousands of zebras feeding.
PHOTO CAPTION: India Hicks
Mario Batali wants you to love him. And honestly, you really should. He's as warm and funny as he appears on The Chew; his real-life dishes outshine any of his creations on the best Iron Chef episode; and his larger-than-life presence is as charismatic and captivating as his famous clunky Crocs. Over a wonderful, whimsical dinner party featuring Batali's bone-marrow ravioli, then a "rich pig" polenta, we had an off-the-cuff (and in-the-apron) chat with the chef while simultaneously hand-feeding us prosciutto-wrapped pretzels, flipping through iPhone pictures, and, of course, plotting the after-party.
Just when you think the era of 'celebrity chefs' has reached its peak, out comes a slew of new shows like your pal Anthony Bourdain's The Taste...
Oh, please! The era of chefs and cooks in the TV world is actually just starting. And that's only because there seems to be an endless hunger for infinite variations of – what seems like to me – the same, exact show. It's like, you cook, someone calls you a jerk, and you get sent home. Yet, the formula is miraculously not tiring anybody out.
Are you saying those shows bore you?
No, I'm not. But I'd hope it will morph into more shows that really expose the heart of what it is to be a chef: generosity, giving, teaching. I do imagine that the next wave will be a hybrid of all those smart travel shows combined with cooking competitions. Like, a chef will be transported to an Etruscan village, will make a classic Etruscan dish and have three guys like me telling him that it's not very good.
If celebrity chefs are the new rock stars, then who's next?
First of all, rock stars are lame now. So that's the only reason why chefs are the new rock stars. Regardless, the chef as the rock star could go on forever – it doesn't hurt me at all. I was lucky enough to be here when it happened. The real ones are Julia Child and Graham Kerr, then the next group was me and Lagasse, and now it's the reality guys – Tom Colicchio, Hugh Acheson. If you want to know who the next rock stars should be, it's the farmers and the growers. They're the ones who have it on their hands to make something truly outstanding. Technique can only take us so far; it's the raw product and its distinct and remarkable characteristics that's the next wave. The ultimate adoration, for me, goes to the person who brings me the perfect, ripened, magnificent pear in all its sensuality.
Which city brings you that vibe right now?
I'm obsessed with Hong Kong. I recently got back; we just opened two restaurants there. They have an absolutely amazing food culture fused with pop culture. And such happy people! All my favorite things are there in spades. You see these crazy lights. You're like, man, I am not in Kansas anymore. You'll see a street that at midnight is empty, and at 1 o'clock there's 5,000 people at little tables choosing food out of fish tanks and pointing to a neon sign saying, 'Cook it like that. Make this like that. Now.'
Are you big in Hong Kong?
They're learning to love me there. The Chew is in Asia and the old Iron Chef shows are in Asia. But it's not crazy—yet. It's like, oh, there's the 'cook.' But do you know what? Sometimes it's nice just to be 'the cook.' Conversely, I'm huge in the Philippines.
I bet if you went with Gwyneth [Paltrow, his co-star in the PBS series Spain...On the Road Again] you'd get more attention.
I had lunch with her yesterday, and I had dinner with Jake Gyllenhaal last night. Here's the thing with me and the celebrities: We all consider ourselves to be artists, to be different. We all appreciate the good things in life, the art you see everywhere in life. So whether it's a painter, or a singer, or an actor, or a racecar driver—anyone who's doing what they do in the top 10 percent of all of the people doing it fascinates me. Extraordinary people impress me.
Incidentally, is it true Gwyneth can practically out-eat you?
Gwyneth eats like a truck driver. But she exercises like two and a half hours a day, every day. Apparently, that works. For me, I'm doing boxing and yoga a few days a week. I can't say there's been any major transformation, but at least it's stopping me from getting bigger – that's something.
Your boys must keep you active too.
Oh, they do. They're at such fun ages [14 and 16]. Parenting is the best part of my life, and I think I'm good at it. I really do. For all the bs around me, it's a unique opportunity to do something the right way, the whole way.
It's hard to imagine you as a disciplinarian.
I'm much stricter than I thought I would have been. We live in a more dangerous place, New York. After midnight, if you're under 16, you should not be on the subway. It's not about my kids – they're great kids – it's about the city. But if my kid breaks the rules, they simply cannot go out the next time they want to. Truthfully though, they're delights.
What's the number-one thing they want you to cook for them?
Something called The Batali McMuffin. It's a scallion and cheddar biscuit with over-easy duck eggs and a little cheese and some bacon. They demand it at least twice a week for breakfast.
Teenage boys are requesting duck eggs?
Oh, yeah. They know they're better. When you go to the grocery store, the regular eggs are easily six weeks old. It's not bad, per se, because they don't spoil, but they're not as vital. A fresh duck egg straight from the farmer's market stands right up. Oooh, it gives me goose bumps just thinking about.
It sounds like life is pretty good. Is there anything you'd change?
I just wish people would be a little nicer to me. Sometimes I feel like there's a big target on my back. I put out a lot of love into the world and I really, truly mean well. I know scrutiny is part of the job, but we all have feelings. For some people, the more well known you are, the more vulnerable you feel. I'm a very sensitive person. What can I say?
BY HENLEY VAZQUEZ
PHOTO CAPTION: Parrot Cay, Turks and Caicos
PHOTO CAPTION: Paddleboarding on Parrot Cay
After a long winter, the whole family is ready to escape, so finding a destination that caters to the needs of both parents and kids is paramount to a successful holiday. The catch? Higher-end retreats that adults dream of don't usually welcome their children. Not so any more. We've rounded up five resorts that pamper parents as well as they entertain kids, giving everyone the break they need as well as enabling some priceless family bonding. From active families primed to hit the slopes to beach bums in search of the perfect stretch of sand, there's something to suit everyone, all with direct flights, family-friendly accommodations and, of course, great kids' programs. "So round up your toddlers and 'Tweens – everyone is getting a vacation this year."
PARROT CAY, TURKSandCAICOS
Long known as a honeymooners' paradise, Parrot Cay has transformed into the ultimate family-friendly playground. Located on a private island that sits a boat ride away from the busy Providenciales airport, the resort is easy to reach yet feels castaway-style remote – a huge plus for city-dwelling parents who are hungry for space. During the holidays, the resort's attentive staff organizes daily activities, from crafts projects on a shady terrace in the morning to beachfront water balloon wars and soccer games in the afternoon. Kids form fast friendships, roaming the island in barefoot bands and hopping from one family's table to another during meals. Even tiny tots have more free rein than normal, thanks to bathtub-calm water and sandbars that stretch into the turquoise ocean.
Few places could be better suited for early swimmers and early walkers. New this year are the three-bedroom beach villas, ideal for a larger family who wants privacy and space with proximity to the main resort (many of the other large villas are a buggy-ride away). For parents traveling without a butlerservice budget, book in the main hotel, where the rooms have a low-key Caribbean vibe that's frankly perfect for tykes with sandy feet and sunburned noses. Insider Tip: look for Keith Richards at dinner. The rocker owns a house on the island and is a regular – with his grandkids, of course.
Rooms from $500 for a Terrace room (sleeps two adults, two children); comohotels.com/parrotcay
HOTEL TERRA, JACKSON HOLE
Spring is the ideal time for a family ski trip. The slopes are deep with powder, but the weather more forgiving than during the winter months. What's not ideal is the effort normally required not only to reach ski destinations, but even to get to the slopes themselves. This year, Jackson Hole made both easier. Thanks to new direct flights, East Coasters can hop from Newark to Jackson in a matter of hours—a huge improvement from the former connecting catastrophe travelers endured.
Once on piste, families can enjoy the new Casper quad chairlift, part of a $5 million project to create more blue-level territory and get skiers up the mountain faster. Another perk for families – affordable yet luxurious slope-side accommodations at the eco-chic Hotel TerraH. Even entry-level rooms at the sleek, LEED-certified hotel are spacious enough to accommodate two queensized beds (with high-end organic mattresses, of course), but given how affordable the property is compared to many other four-star ski hotels, most families choose to upgrade to a sprawling one-bedroom suite complete with a full kitchen, living and dining area and a sofa bed that pulls out when parents are ready to retire, kid-free, to the master bedroom. The hotel also features two casual dining restaurants where children won't be turned away, plus its own ski valet, ski and snowboard rental shop and a peaceful top-floor spa.
Rooms from $175 for a Terra guest room with two queens (sleeps two adults, two children); hotelterrajacksonhole.com
IMAGES COURTESY OF ENCHANTMENT RESORT, HOTEL TERRA, PARROT CAY
PHOTO CAPTION: Clockwise from top: Enchantment Resort in Sedona, Arizona; a master bedroom at Parrot Cay in TurksandCaicos; the lobby at Hotel Terra in Jackson Hole.
HOTEL BEL-AIR, LOS ANGELES
For families who want a busier itinerary that combines multiple experiences, Los Angeles is an excellent alternative – with the Hotel Bel-Air serving as the ultimate base of operations. Reopened in late 2011 following a two-year, $100 million renovation, the sprawling resort may not initially sound family-friendly. But trust us, this place isn't just for starlets and chief executive officer's CEOs. For starters, there's the location. Set in leafy Bel-Air, the resort is just a few minutes' drive from Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, and Mercedes-Benz sedans shuttle guests there for free. Particularly for families traveling with 'tweens or teens, this service is a huge plus. The beaches of Santa Monica are a bit farther – 15 to 20 minutes – but with a car rental, travelers can easily spend the morning at the Getty Museum before hopping over to Santa Monica for lunch, sand and strolling along the famous pier. The concierge can also arrange behind-the-scenes tours of the movie studios, allowing kids to get a backstage look at how their favorite television shows and movies are made. But perhaps the biggest perk is the sheer size of the resort. While the hotel may only have 103 rooms, it sits on 12 acres ripe for exploring. From the pool to the gardens to the, yes, swan lake, pint-sized guests may never want to leave.
Connecting deluxe guest rooms (king to two twins) at $510 per night; hotelbelair.com
ENCHANTMENT RESORT, SEDONA
Families craving an active adventure that doesn't involve layers of ski clothes often find themselves at a loss in the earlier months of the year. The great dude ranches are snowed in, and the more exotic natural thriller destinations of Chile and Argentina are a long, expensive flight from home. Luckily, there's an oft-overlooked option that offers all the natural beauty and infinite excursions of Patagonia, but this one sits a short drive from Phoenix. Sedona, known for its stunning red rock canyons and groovy New Age vibe, is home to Enchantment, a resort where hitting the trails with your kids in the morning and balancing your chakras in the afternoon is not only possible, but encouraged.
Excursions include helicoptering over the Grand Canyon; horseback riding through backcountry, ending with a cowboy cookout; hiking through important Native American sites and learning about the traditions of the original Arizonans; and, of course, mountain biking, tennis, golf and swimming, to name a few. It may be physically impossible to try everything on offer, but it's equally improbable that anyone will find themselves bored. Camp Coyote is also offered daily, which allows parents the opportunity to zen out at the neighboring Mii Amo spa (it has a cult following, don't miss it) while children weave dream catchers, take cooking classes and learn about the area's wildlife.
Rooms from $375 for a Casita with two queen beds (sleeps two adults, two children); enchantmentresort.com
CANYON RANCH, MIAMI
Canyon Ranch is traditionally known for its spa and fitness programs, not its kids club. But at the Miami property, the health-focused brand has changed its tune. Fancy a yoga class? Daily family yoga sessions are offered, as are dance, beach olympics and rock climbing. When parents are ready for something more strenuous or want to hit the spa alone, the hotel offers drop-off programs for children as young as five. Another advantage Canyon Ranch holds over some of its Miami competitors is the amenity-rich rooms. High-thread-count sheets are a given these days, but Canyon Ranch includes a kitchen complete with Miele appliances, even in standard rooms. (This setup is ideal for those who'd rather not purchase yet another breakfast buffet in order to get the little one a bowl of cereal.)
And while many consider Miami itself more a destination for a romantic weekend or girls getaway, the city has endless offerings for families. Take a side trip to the Everglades or spend a morning at the Miami Children's Museum or Miami Seaquarium. Even the people-watching from a café terrace on Ocean Drive or Lincoln Road can be a kick for kids.
Rooms from $522 for a Carillon Suite with two queen beds (sleeps two adults, two children); canyonranch.com
PHOTO CAPTION: Jackson Hole
Spring skiing out west is easy with direct flights from Newark Liberty International Airport to Jackson Hole Airport.
All prices quoted are based on the lowest rack rate found between February 1 and May 31.
IMAGES COURTESY OF CANYON RANCH, HOTEL BEL-AIR
Spring Break Ideas
Options abound for every kind of traveling family
Culture hounds with kids in tow should head south of the Mason-Dixon, starting in Washington, D.C. Bring school studies to life by visiting the major monuments as well as the city's excellent museums. Both the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and the International Spy Museum are guaranteed hits with younger travelers. Farther south, Nashville is a music lover's dream. From the Grand Ole Opry to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and even Dollywood, there are plenty of attractions to fill an itinerary. Don't miss a chance to introduce kids to a traditional meat-and-three restaurant and visit one of the area's former plantations. Moving on to Texas, Dallas is home to institutions such as the remarkable Nasher Sculpture Center, the Dallas Museum of Art and The Sixth Floor Museum, dedicated to JFK's assassination. An evening rodeo can round out the trip.
Teach kids that philanthropy goes beyond the school coat drive. New Orleans' Beacon of Hope has a host of ongoing projects, and visitors can join in to paint houses or plant gardens in the city's still-recovering wards. Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo also runs an excellent community program called Growing Together. Guests of the resort can spend a day with a family from the local community, shopping for school supplies with the kids, visiting a school and sharing a meal together at the family's home. For more extensive voluntourism, join one of Reach Grenada's programs. The five-day itineraries combine work at local orphanages with river tubing through the rainforest and snorkeling along the island's pristine beaches.
From Hollywood to the Redwoods, a California coastal drive makes for the ultimate kid-friendly adventure. Highlights include a night in a safari tent at Santa Barbara's El Capitan Canyon; a tour of the Hearst Castle (don't forget to buy tickets online ahead of time); surf lessons in Santa Cruz; and tree-hugging in Humboldt County's spectacular Redwoods State Park.
Urban explorers need not ditch the offspring to enjoy a city trip. New York's top museums offer family-oriented gallery talks and workshops, and many of the best restaurants welcome children. Be sure to rent a bike for a ride around Central Park. Vancouver is another excellent option, with Granville Island, Stanley Park and Vancouver Aquarium the top picks for kids. Get the best harbor views from a boat tour. Further south, San Diego combines sun and sand with a host of activities. Legoland in Carlsbad and the San Diego Zoo are must-sees, as is the USS Midway.
ESCAPE For a real escape, nothing beats an island vacation. The U.S. Virgin Islands are served by frequent direct flights from the East Coast, and families can enjoy a Caribbean vacation without the hassle of customs and immigration. West Coasters can hop to Hawaii for beaches, volcanoes and a variety of family-oriented resorts. For extra excitement, sample a couple islands, as inter-island flights are short and inexpensive. Less visited but equally stunning are the islands of South Carolina's Lowcountry, which stretches from Charleston to Savannah. Expect fantastic fishing, golf and loads of Southern hospitality.
PHOTO CAPTION: The lobby at Hotel Bel-Air
PHOTO CAPTION: The beach at Canyon Ranch
BY ZOE SETTLE PHOTOGRAPHY BY SQUIRE FOX
PHOTO CAPTION: Kiawah Island
PHOTO CAPTION: Husk, the newest offering from James Beard Award-winning Chef Sean Brock.
Locals might feign surprise at Charleston's designation as Condé Nast Traveler's top U.S. city in its Readers' Choice Awards 2012, but who can blame them for not wanting to let the word out?
Independent boutiques and restaurants proudly purvey regional goods and tell stories of their origins and makers, exhibiting local pride in every facet of life here. The present, and future, of this growing city is devoted to its vibrant culinary scene, which makes it a serious foodie mecca, thanks to talented chefs and restaurateurs who seem happier to let their ingredients and not their personalities garner your praise. A Southern revival is in the works, and you'll need more than a few days to get a proper taste.
Grits and collard greens haven't completely disappeared from menus, but today's offerings are more likely to include locally sourced fishes such as wreckfish, wahoo or red porgy, as well as chefs and staff who will gladly tell you about the longer, and more frequent, Southern growing seasons. Off upper King Street, in the northern part of town that's about to boom with independent boutiques and nightlife, The Grocery's Kevin Johnson has an in-house canning program to preserve fruits and vegetables for his menu throughout the year, with jars of pickled okra, strawberries and green tomatoes doubling as décor in the year-old space. A former furniture warehouse, it features tables handcrafted of reclaimed Charleston wood by Capers Cauthen—whose Landrum Tables stand at the farmer's market shouldn't be missed. At Cypress, two-time James Beard Foundation Awardnominee Craig Deihl oversees an in-house charcuterie program that cures over 80 types of meat. Chef Mike Lata, of the much celebrated Fig, is so devoted to his soft-shell crabber and Caper's Blades oysterman that he jokes that he needed to open his new restaurant, The Ordinary, the first full raw bar in town, which opened across from The Grocery, just to show off their bounty. At Circa 1886, Marc Collins has been running the kitchen for 11 years at the cozy, white-tablecloth spot next to Wentworth Mansion, turning out creative takes on classics, such as a pecan, pear and sweet-potato soup and a strawberry soufflé.
Not everything has to be a three-course affair, though. For a lighter bite or lunch stop, try an egg sandwich at Two Boroughs Larder or a sandwich at ButcherandBee, which also bakes its own bread and scrawls a new menu on the blackboard daily. Both establishments are just a year old and prime examples of the community's embrace of independent, small-scale enterprises that encompass everything from boutiques to farmers. The Alley, a former beverage distribution center that's been transformed into a bowling alley, opened in November and houses the largest bar in Charleston, with the adored Home Team BBQ handling the menu.
Grits and collard greens haven't completely disappeared from menus, but today's offerings are more likely to include locally sourced protein, too.
Walk a few blocks west and check out the stationery shop MacandMurphy, where a chat with owners Liz MacPherson and Ami Murphy about the latest headlines will invariably lead you to find the perfect card for an obscure occasion (check out designs from the local Ink Meets Paper). Across the street at IndigoandCotton, guys will find a curated assortment of clothing and accessories, including Raleigh Denim, Engineered Garments and Warby Parker glasses. Once you've exercised some purchasing power, stroll up to Hampton Park, designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, and admire its allées of trees; at its western edge it borders the 300-acre campus of The Citadel.
King Street remains the de facto shopping street, with everything from big chains (Apple, J.Crew) to luxury labels (Louis Vuitton) mixed in with independent boutiques, and yes, still plenty of antiques shops. Head south from Calhoun to Broad and peruse the boho assortment of clothes and giftables at Worthwhile. Hampden Clothing carries contemporary designer labels such as Opening Ceremony, Yigal Azrouël and Vanessa Bruno. VieuxTemps stocks everything you need for an elegant dinner party or a hostess gift that will ensure a repeat invitation, such as Juliska glassware, tableware and decorative items and William Yeoward Crystal. Lily and its next-door sister shop Old Road Mercantile carry affordable housewares such as tea towels, vases and candles that make for thoughtful souvenirs. Grady ErvinandCo., purveyor of dapper menswear, is the place to pick up a colorful bow tie or pocket square. Finally, the spread at Heirloom Book Company is enough to work up your appetite again, thanks to this inviting homage to all things foodie. Stop into the new outpost of Bull Street GourmetandMarket, the perfect place for a coffee or to-go bite, like an unforgettable granola bar, homemade with olive oil.
Stop by the Gibbes Museum of Art for a look at "The Charleston Story," a semi-annual rotation of local artists and subjects in the permanent collection from the 1700s through the present, and don't miss the terrific gift shop. See a ballet, Music with Friends concert, chamber music performance or show at the Dock Street Theatre, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Sullivan's Island and Folly Beach are a short drive from downtown and offer plenty of water activities in the warmer months – and they are a great option if you're traveling with kids. You might also want to explore Middleton Place, a National Historic Landmark house museum whose 65 acres of landscaped gardens are the oldest in the U.S.
Spring and fall are the peak seasons in Charleston, when the calendar is chock full of special festivals. Marion Square, the site of the Saturday farmer's market that runs April through December, will be the site of the Charleston Wine + and Food Festival from February 28 to March 3. On March 18, the James Beard Foundation will announce the finalists for its 2013 awards with a special fundraiser at Charleston's Fort Moultrie (here's betting the host city will earn additional nods). From May 24 to June 9, the Spoletto Festival USA, the sister of the Festival of Two Worlds in the Italian city of the same name, will include the U.S. premiere of A Midsummer Night's Dream, a collaborative new work by the Bristol Old Vic and Handspring Puppet Company, as well as the Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía and a performance by Johnny Cash's daughter Rosanne as some of its 140 performing art events.
You can easily explore the city on foot, but if you prefer a little guidance, try Charleston Culinary Tours, whose farmers market tour excursion takes you through the Saturday morning market to select your favorite ingredients, which will be prepared by a local chef for dinner that evening. The chefs vary each week, but regulars include Ross Webb of the Leaf Café + and Bar and Massimiliano Sarrocchi of Osteria la Bottiglia.
With a week's notice, John Paul Huguley, founder of the American College of the Building Arts, will act as a concierge, leading an insightful custom tour focusing on architecture or any other area of interest for a complete, behind-the-scenes Charleston experience. Or take advantage of the coastline with AquaSafaris, which offers private motor or sailing charters as well as afternoon and sunset catamaran sails of the barrier islands and historic sites.
You can easily explore the city on foot, but if you prefer a little guidance, try Charleston Culinary Tours whose Farmers' Market excursion brings you through the Saturday morning market to select favorite ingredients, which will be prepared by a local chef for dinner that evening.
STIR IT UP
A hand-crafted cocktail at the Gin Joint.
Our top picks for the city's best cocktails
The Cocktail Club serves seasonal, house-made infusions (such as an Antipasto Martini or SummerThyme Blues) in its exposed beam-and-brick interior or rooftop terrace. What the classic bar the Blind Tiger lacks in novelty it makes up for age-old charm, with the centuries' old brick walls that surround the large back garden. Grab a seat at the communal table at The Gin Joint and study an extensive clipboard of small-batch whiskeys and other libations. Or try The Belmont for a more urban bar scene with a sleek interior to match. There's plenty of live music around town, too. Local jazz drummer Quentin Baxter opened The Mezz last summer, while Mercato has jazz nightly, Music Farmshowcases a variety of entertainment and Pour House features more contemporary music.
PHOTO CAPTION: A view of one of downtown Charleston's alleyways.
PHOTO CAPTION: Clockwise from top left: al fresco dining in the park; a view of downtown Charleston; a private gathering on Kiawah Island; Fig restaurant; Planters Inn; IndigoandCotton; Mount Pleasant.
PHOTO CAPTION: Carriage rides add to the Colonial charm of the city.
PHOTO CAPTION: A radish salad at The Grocery
STAR CHEF SEAN BROCK
There can be no denying chef Sean Brock's influence on the Charleston culinary renaissance. The Virginia native developed a farm on Wadmalaw Island to resurrect pre-Civil War native crops, a fascination that led to Husk, a restaurant he opened in 2010 that only serves food indigenous to the South. Brock, who garnered multiple accolades in his kitchen at McCrady's, is working on a cookbook due out later this year. Here are some of his Charleston favorites.
Where do you like to eat? Fig, Martha Lou's Kitchen, The Glass Onion and Two Boroughs Larder.
Favorite ingredients? I love any and all greens, especially turnip, kale and collards. I get really excited when black truffles start getting unearthed in Tennessee!
Favorite after-hours spot? ButcherandBee for a bite and The Gin Joint for a cocktail.
Young chef on the rise? Josh Wheeler.
Hot terrain? The ACE basin is a pretty fascinating place. It was the site of a lot of the original rice plantations, and it really feels like stepping back in time.
PHOTO CAPTION: Tybee Lighthouse, Savannah
KIAWAH ISLAND, an hour's drive from downtown, is a golfer's paradise, home of The Sanctuary oceanfront hotel and spa. Guests have access to five top-ranked championship golf courses, designed by such big names as Pete Dye, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus.
BEAUFORT, just 75 miles away, is another walking city with a landmark historic district. Antebellum architecture makes it a regular set for Hollywood films and might be part of the draw for the 7th Annual Beaufort International Film Festival, which runs from February 13 to 17, and which last year drew nearly 7,000 attendees.
No visit to SAVANNAH, with its 22 squares that define the historic old town, is complete without a visit to the 35-year-old SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design), which operates four galleries in town in addition to sponsoring film screenings, lectures and performances throughout the year in its two historic theatres.
WHERE TO STAY Charleston Place, an Orient-Express property, offers the amenities of a large property, including a full spa, a rarity in the city (205 Meeting Street, 843-722-4900; charlestonplace.com; from $279). Zero George Street, the brand-new, 18-room boutique hotel, features five historic buildings nestled around a courtyard, with contemporary furnishings and packages tailored to culinary and sailing enthusiasts (0 George Street, 843-817-7900; zerogeorge.com; from $229). In classic Charleston style, the RelaisandChateau Planters Inn features traditionally appointed rooms with four-poster beds and other period furnishings (112 North Market Street, 843-722-2345; plantersinn.com; from $270). The family-owned John Rutledge House is a National Historic Landmark with a rich past to match that's been a beloved inn since 1989 (116 Broad Street, 843-723-7999, johnrutledgehouseinn.com; from $340).
PHOTO CAPTION: Charleston Place
BY NEAL WEBSTER TURNAGE
PHOTO CAPTION: The Cologne Cathedral and Hohenzollern Bridge in Cologne, Germany
PHOTO CAPTION: The Captain's Lounge aboard Uniworld's River Countess.
When it came to cruising the continent of Europe, the ancients knew how to get around. They worked the vast network of rivers in ships as nimbly as Bond on the road in his Aston Martin. While that certainly deflates the zeitgeisty idea of river cruising, there's one new aspect to it that belongs squarely in the modern era: style.
Onboard, supernova chefs lead passengers through farmers' markets along cruise routes, so ship dining becomes micro-local and experiential. Wellness maintenance means yoga on deck or maybe swimming in a resistance current-fitted pool. Public and private spaces come to life through an HGTV-like lens to invigorate, comfort and soothe the soul. This all occurs on sleek vessels that carry only 100 to 150 people and whose voltage is measured in degrees of highly personalized and customized service.
And yet, because Europe's vast water networks loop, curlicue, twist and turn in countless ways, the number of options to cruise them are nearly as endless. Consequently, a smart traveler must become a persnickety traveler when parsing potential river cruise itineraries and lines.
In an effort to eliminate search-engine burnout, TableandTravel has selected five European river cruises in which theme (the vessel) and plot (the itinerary) merge to create a Proustian-inspired journey. Take to the list, then take to the sea, now voyager!
Live La Dolce Vita
If the aesthetics onboard Uniworld's River Countess don't trigger jaw slack, an historic, taste-tingling tour along northern Italy's Po River will. There's the mystery of Venice, Padua with its Giotto-painted frescos in the Scrovegni Chapel, Ravenna's mosaics, and then Bologna, where Parmigiano and pasta are patron saints. Sure, the overwrought Shakespeare legend of Verona will capture your heart, but frankly, what's really cool is that you get your own set of Nordic walking poles (or a bike) to turn those land jaunts into gym-worthy workouts.
For family travelers, Uniworld offers multigenerational, family-friendly river cruises with special activities and pricing. For summer and holiday 2013, select Burgundy and Provence cruises (Arles to Chalon-sur-Saône), which are family-focused and feature plenty of activities (and indulgent food choices) that kids – and the kid in all of us –adore. (Eight days)
Shop Like a Holiday Nomad
The Rhine River is the backdrop for A-Rosa's annual sailing into a world where magic and commerce collide: the German Christmas markets. Nowhere else can you find such delicate, exquisite, handmade crafts. Markets in Speyer, Strasbourg, Cologne and Rudesheim are all on the card, yet so are a few reality checks. A trip into the Black Forest offers a Hansel and Gretel diversion. Pop-up local tastings of cheeses (and stollen, that divine German holiday cake) with the boat's chef pair with a wine-sipping tour through the Alsace region to create the requisite culinary commotion. (Nine days)
PHOTO CAPTION: The River Countess in Budapest.
Because Europe's vast water networks loop, curlicue, twist and turn in countless ways, the number of options to cruise them are nearly as endless.
PHOTO CAPTION: A suite aboard the River Countess
PHOTO CAPTION: The Viking River Cruises' Idun cruise ship.
Step Back in Time
Viking River Cruises hits the cultural highlights of the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers in a historic cruise through Holland, Austria, Germany, Slovakia and Hungary. You can explore WWII history in Nuremberg, as well as visit German castles and nine UNESCO World Heritage sites (including the windmills of Kinderdijk and the Marksburg Castle). Viking's onboard cultural curriculum program ensures learning ops are maximized at each stop. Those who require daily doses of the pleasure principle (that's us!) will appreciate that it's all offset by a classical concert in Mozart's home of Vienna and some effervescent escapades into local customs. Rüdesheimer coffee or a smoky Bamberg beer, anyone? (15 days)
Take the Road Less Traveled
If you're the adventurous type, you're prone to wandering off the beaten path. Avalon Waterways' North Sea-Black Sea Cruise probably has your name on it. Here's the trip in which you'll discover those tiny villages of Europe's yesteryear, many of them untouched by time, the places that speak to you not with glitz and consumerism but with character and an organic way of life. Explore them and soon you find yourself not so much doing, but rather, simply being. The old-world charm of the Austrian village cities of Linz and Grein will get you appropriately anxious for familiar big-city spots such as Vienna and Budapest. Then the dramatic third act kicks in: Belgrade's Kalemegdan Fortress awaits, as does the Iron Gates gorges area and, finally, "the Paris of the East," Bucharest. P.S. to wine lovers: They've got you covered, as there is a sumptuous tasting in Villåny, Hungary. (24 days)
Eat Like You Live There
Francophiles, Tauck's A Taste of France is for you. Paris is the initial indulgence point, with a dinner at celeb magnet Hôtel Fouquet's Barrière followed by a chocolate demonstration (translation: sampling). After you sleep that off, it's a TGV train ride to Lyon and the granddaddy of coveredstall food markets, Les Halles, and the nearby eye candy of the vertical garden. There's dinner at chef Paul Bocuse's L'Abbaye de Collonges, then it's time to settle in on a seven-night cruise along the Rhone River. What ensues is an haute cuisine tour through France's rich vineyard country: sipping Beaujolais in Beaujolais, tasting Povençal specialties at a private ranch in La Carmargue, enjoying an al fresco dinner at the Pont du Gard, and enlisting in a cooking school session in Valence, where you'll learn the secret language of French food – and eventually (let's hope), satiation. (10 days, and Peter Mayle novels can probably be rustled up upon request.)
PHOTO CAPTION: The Pont du Gard, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as seen from Tauck's A Taste of France river cruise.
PHOTO CAPTION: A-Rosa's Aqua ship in Cologne.
Tauck's A Taste of France, from $5,290, tauck.com
Uniworld's Veniceandthe Po River, from $2,899, uniworld.com
A-Rosa's Exploring German Christmas Markets 2013, from $5,352, arosacruises.com
Viking's Grand European Tour, from $3,312 vikingrivercruises.com
Avalon's North Sea-Black Sea Cruise, from $8,179, avalonwaterways.com
All fares are inclusive of food onboard and are per person based on a double-occupancy cabin. Some fares include airfare and transfers. Port charge fees may also apply.
BY BROOKE PEARSON
PHOTO CAPTION: Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
PHOTO CAPTION: The Inn at Palmetto Bluff
PHOTO CAPTION: The Four Seasons Tented Camp
PHOTO CAPTION: Ballyfin, a fully restored 16th-century The Four Seasons Tented Camp estate in Ireland
When it comes to celebrating a special occasion, time and place are key factors to its success. So as the new year begins, it's the perfect time to plan something truly out of this world this year. Whether it's a special birthday, anniversary, honeymoon, babymoon, reunion or recovery, embarking on a journey with your favorite people is a way to celebrate life, find clarity and create memories. Here are inspiring places and exciting journeys to celebrate and honor the landmarks of life.
Nothing circumvents the weight of a silvery milestone birthday than marking the occasion with a daring trip to the edge of the earth: Patagonia. Torres del Paine National Park is a magnificent region of southern Chile where glaciers creep through valleys of the granite peaks of the Andes Mountains, and delicate species of orchids carve out their survival alongside parakeets, flamingos and gauchos – the area's indigenous cowboys. Tierra Patagonia HotelandSpa is a modernist ecolodge built within the park. Daily excursions led by expert guides explore the awe-inspiring landscape on foot and horseback, allowing guests to experience and interact with this unique environment. After spending the day absorbing the views, watching the wildlife and gaining a perspective on the vast landscape, abscond to the Uma Spa and gather at communal tables to share Chilean wine with new friends. tierrapatagonia.com
Gathering generations together in a place that satisfies everyone from grandfather to toddler usually involves compromise – but the dreamy Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton, South Carolina, will please all. Just 40 minutes north of historic Savannah, Georgia, the 20,000-acre Palmetto Bluff property encompasses preserved wetlands and forest along the May River and features 200 homes with space to gather and play. The property boasts an acclaimed golf course, tennis and spa, and there's an elaborate treehouse and kids' pool for the youngsters. The miles of trails to explore by bicycle (each cottage is outfitted with bikes) or on foot can be enjoyed by all. Families can take over a cluster of cottages or a large home for everyone (complete with a kids bunk room for a slumber party). In addition, the staff can arrange boat rides, excursions to nearby islands and private dinners featuring warm Southern comfort food—all under the willow trees draped with Spanish moss. palmettobluffresort.com
Celebrate an anniversary at Ireland's Ballyfin, a fully restored 16th-century estate on rolling green hills less than an hour from Dublin. The once-crumbling structure has been revived by a loving Chicago couple, who have filled the estate with works of Irish art from the mid-17th century to today, along with family portraits from residents throughout the generations. Guests can tour the historic property to learn about the renovation, art collection and astounding display of decorative arts. Picnics and horseback riding take place on the expansive grounds, and the home is full of cozy nooks with fireplaces that invite guests to curl up with a book. And with a costume department outfitted by a recent wardrobe acquisition from the Lyric Opera of Chicago, guests can don period attire for dinner and photographs before retreating to their opulent bedchambers. Ballyfin is an experience, a perfect place for a memorable anniversary weekend of old-world elegance. ballyfin.com
Well-traveled parents who still think fondly about their days backpacking through Europe as they check into their more comfortable accommodations will delight in the opportunity to share some adventure with their children. Nestled in the Golden Triangle, where the rice paddies of Northern Thailand meet those of Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar, sits the Four Seasons Tented Camp,with 15 openair tents and an elephant rehabilitation retreat on-property. Kids ages 12 and older are welcome and can spend their days interacting with the elephants and their babies, cruising up the Mekong river to visit indigenous tribal villages and exploring the jungle with their own expert guides. It's an unparalleled experience for kids—and their parents. fourseasons.com/goldentriangle
A girls' getaway is always something to look forward to, and be it bachelorette, multigenerational travel or a weekend spent amongst sisters, you can reconnect and rejuvenate at Lake Austin Spa Resort, just outside Texas' capital. Mild temperatures and a central location make it a convenient gathering place for friends from across the country at any time of the year. A typical day begins with morning yoga by the lake, followed by a leisurely breakfast in the garden and an afternoon of spa treatments, paddling the serene waters of Lake Austin, hiking the nearby canyons, or taking a cooking class with chef Stephane Beaucamp. Evenings culminate with cozy fireside stories and toasting with wine from the extensive cellar, as well as the inevitable promise to return. lakeaustin.com
Bachelor parties are often marked by an element of thrill or competition. And in that fleeting time somewhere between baseball and football season, the great Northern wilderness beckons with its limitless options for male-bonding celebrations. In Iceland, the snow lasts well into June, and daredevils revel in its glory with week-long packages from Arctic Heli Skiing – an outfitter that takes you to peaks that have never been touched by humans. Days wind down with gourmet comfort food back at the simple but well-appointed lodge. If winter sports don't appeal to you, perhaps a fishing expedition in Canada will fit the bill. During the summer months, British Columbia's floating King Pacific Lodgecaters to small groups of anglers who are drawn to the fruitful fly-fishing and remote beauty of Princess Royal Island. Expert guides lead daily expeditions. kingpacificlodge.com
For a glamorous birthday extravaganza,La Mamounia in Marrakech is exotic, chic and elegant. The iconic property spans 20 acres, encompassing gardens and its famous pool within the walled compound that separates it from the bustling medina, or neighborhood, outside. You can create a full itinerary to entertain guests throughout the weekend, including touring the Koutoubia and Majorelle gardens, shopping the local markets known as souks, enjoying a picnic lunch in the desert or a cooking class in a local's home, and indulging in an elegant dinner party at a private riad complete with local musicians and snake charmers. mamounia.com
After the party, recover for a few days at Richard Branson's retreat in the Atlas Mountains, Kasbah Tamadot. Just 45 minutes from Marrakech, the serene mountains offer reprieve from the busy medina. Kasbah Tamadot offers traditional rooms and luxurious Berber tents for additional space and privacy. Guests can visit local Berber villages, go on long hikes or just relax by the pool. After the sun sets, the hotel takes on a whole new aura, with lanterns and candles illuminating the property and starry skies overhead. kasbahtamadot.virgin.com
Traditional honeymoons call for a relaxing itinerary in a romantic setting, and Italy certainly delivers. In particular, the gorgeous scenery, storied history and authentic sense of place make the Lake Como region a dreamy spot to celebrate nuptials. The piercing blue waters of Lake Como punctuate the regal Grigne Mountains, providing a picturesque backdrop certain to elicit Instagram envy. On the banks of Lake Como, lucky honeymooners spend their blissful first days of marriage at the Grand Hotel Tremezzo, an Art Nouveau palace-style hotel that dates from the early 1900s. Make sure to check in to one of the new rooftop suites, which each boast a private sun deck and hot tub, as well as a bathroom suite that rivals some spa experiences.
There's no better place to enjoy leisure pursuits than here: linger over late breakfasts, then spend the day sunbathing and boating on the lake. In the evening, head down to L'Escale FonduesandWine Bar, which specializes in regional cuisine and wines from many local vineyards. Traverse Lake Como on the hotel's own Venetian-style boat, Ruy, and visit the many charming villages around the lake. Don't miss a trip to Bellagio, just a short ferry ride across the lake, for a little lunch and shopping, then enjoy a stroll through the The Gardens of Villa Melzi, a private botanical garden founded in 1810. grandhoteltremezzo.com
For couples seeking a dose of adventure during their honeymoon, South Africa is an ideal destination for a first foray into the wild. Couples can spend time on the coast and a night or two in the Franschhoek Valley winelands before heading into the bush for the highlight of the trip: safari. Witnessing animals in their own habitat on safari is an unparalleled sensation, and one that can be enjoyed to its extreme at the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve,bordering Kruger National Park. The benefit of staying in a lodge on a private reserve is that your safari experience is more intimate, with fewer guests and fewer safari vehicles traversing the property. One of the premier safari lodges located in Sabi Sands is the luxurious Lion Sands, built on the banks of the Sabie River. Lion Sands features three lodges: Ivory Lodge, River Lodge and the 1933 House. All feature private, stand-alone rooms linked by a network of wooden walkways suspended in the air. The beauty of Lion Sands is how the lodges are one with nature, and animals pass through the property daily. Some rooms also feature private plunge pools, which are popular spots for passing elephants to pause for a quick drink. sabi.krugerpark.co.za
KASBAH TAMADOT is just 45 minutes from Marrakech, but offers guests a total reprieve from the busy medina.
Lion Sands in the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, here and at right.
IMAGES COURTESY OF LION SANDS, GRAND HOTEL TREMEZZO, LAKE AUSTIN SPA, LA MAMOUNIA, BALLYFIN, THE INN AT PALMETTO BLUFF, FOUR SEASONS
FOUR SEASONS TENTED CAMP is located in the Golden Triangle where Northern Thailand meets Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar.
PHOTO CAPTION: Winter adventures Lake Austin Spa are available until June in Iceland.
The gorgeous scenery, storied history and authentic sense of place make the Lake Como region a dreamy spot to celebrate nuptials.
PHOTO CAPTION: Grand Hotel Tremezzo on Lake Como
PHOTO CAPTION: Lake Austin Spa
Although it's been a wine-producing region for centuries, Mount Etna has recently erupted as an oenophile favorite.
BY JOHN MARIANI
In the Aeneid, the poet Virgil described a horrifying eruption of Sicily's Mount Etna as "shooting out globes of flame, with monster tongues that lick the stars... the molten rock rolls screaming skyward; from the nether deep the fathomless abyss makes ebb and flow."
Most Sicilians would agree with that assessment, yet many others – the island's winemakers among them – count the aftermath of an eruption as a gift of the gods, because the new volcanic soil layers in time become rich in limestone, granite and basalt that imbue the wine grapes with complex flavors. Indeed, the legend is that Bacchus himself brought wine to Sicily. There is now even an Etna appellation for wines grown in the shadows of the volcano.
For centuries, however, Sicilian wine production was built for quantity and not quality. Once made on a mass scale, it was turned into raw alcohol that never saw a wine bottle and was instead used for farming. In the past two decades, however, young, forward-thinking Sicilian winemakers have made enormous strides, both by forming cooperatives of the best wineries and by building on tradition at small, family-owned estates.
The island has 23 approved appellations, with many in the eastern region especially affected by Mount Etna, including Faro, Moscato di Noto, Moscato di Siracusa, Cerasuolo di Vittoria and Eloro, while western regions have also enjoyed Etna's dispersion of minerals blown hundreds of miles away, including Regaleali, Alcamo, Riesi and Sambuca.
There's no question that there recently has been a great deal of global interest in these wines, made from once-neglected red grapes such as Nero d'Avola, Nerello Mascalese and Frappato, along with new red imports such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Shiraz. White wines on the island, once oxidized and sulphurous tasting, are now made to be crisp, full of sunny Mediterranean fruit and fine acids from grapes such as Catarratto, Grecanico, Grillo, Inzolia, Zibibbo and Moscato Bianco, with European varietals such as Chardonnay and Viognier recently introduced.
Today, numerous Sicilian wine producers, including Planeta, Duca di Salaparuta, and Regaleali have had considerable success in the world market. Rapitalà Hugonis, a blend of Nero d'Avola and Cabernet Sauvignon, is a very wellmade, balanced wine whose native Nero d'Avola has plenty of ripe fruit, tamed by the tannin of the Cabernet. I am also impressed by the depth and richness of Donnafugata Mille e una Notte, which is 90 percent Nero d'Avola and 10 percent other varietals, producing a deep purple, very tannic wine with real complexity– from the edge of the palate to the finish. Its lovely name translates to "a thousand and one nights." Two of the most widely exported Sicilian wines are Duca Enrico from the producer Duca di Salaparuta and the Tasca d'Almerita Regaleali Rosso del Conte, both selling above $50.
Interest in the region's wines has grown so much that there are now luxury wine tours of Etna and Taormina, available through Cellar Tours, which include your own driver in a Mercedes-Benz, accommodations and visits to local wineries and restaurants.
The area is rich with fine restaurants and quaint trattorias, where you can and should drink the local wines that go so well with Sicilian specialties such as sweet-and-sour caponata, with stewed eggplant and zucchini; spaghetti alla Norma, with tomato, eggplant and mozzarella; seafood couscous; and cream-stuffed cannoli pastries.
In the city of Catania, don't miss eating right in the fish market itself at Trattoria La Paglia. In Messina, Ristorante Piero is known for its stuffed, baked pastas. In Taormina—of which the locals say, "If you want to know what Taormina is like, think of paradise, then think harder" – the maccheroni alla Norma is the specialty at Ristorante al Feudo, and La Torinese is a wine shop piled high with shelves of Sicilian wines to take home.
Once home, you may well be enthralled enough with Sicilian wines to want to ferret them out in the U.S., and fortunately, you'll find a good array of them in some of the best Italian restaurants here. At the hot New York restaurant L'Artusi, you can drink an Etna Rosso Calderara Sottana with your spaghetti with garlic and chili peppers or squid ink fettuccine "nero" with rock shrimp.
In Houston, at one of America's finest restaurants, Tony's, owner Tony Vallone infuses dishes such as lamb shank braised in Marsala wine with memories of his Sicilian grandmother's cooking, to be enjoyed with a bottle of Planeta Santa Cecilia Nero d'Avola.
No one has been more of a cheerleader for Italian wines in general and Sicilian wines in particular than native son Piero Selvaggio, born in Modica, who has owned Valentino in Santa Monica, California, for four decades (as well as, now, a younger branch in Las Vegas).
Among the 80,000 bottles in his cellar, Selvaggio offers a Regaleali Cygnus Sicilia as the perfect complement to a pasta dish like fusilloro alla Norma. "I am so proud of the progress of Sicilian wines in my lifetime," says Selvaggio, whose customers include an array of Hollywood stars. "Not only are they now some of the best in Italy, but for the price, they are amazing quality."
THERE'S no question that there recently has been a great deal of global interest in Mt. Etna wines.
PHOTO CAPTION: View from the Roman Amphitheater at Taormina, Sicily
PHOTO CAPTION: Tony's restaurant
PHOTO CAPTION: A popular Mt. Etna wine
PHOTO CAPTION: Piero Selvaggio owner of Valentino in Santa Monica, California.
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We asked: "What trip or experience are you looking forward to this year?"
"Best friend's destination wedding in the Caribbean." – Erica
"A family vacation at the shore!" – Jeff
"Witnessing the birth of my second child and only daughter." – Jason
"A five-generation girls' trip to Denver for my great grandmother's 100th birthday." – Angela
"Going on safari in South Africa." – Lauren
"Celebrating my son Max's first birthday in Bradenton, Florida with our relatives." – Tatiana
"Seeing the awe on my children's faces as they visit Disney World for the first time!" – Deb
"A weekend in Ocean City, Maryland with my family." – Denise
"Cruising on the Mediterranean, visiting Italy and the Greek islands." – Ernie
"Taking a family ski trip to Vermont." – Tina
"Running the Tough Mudder with my brother, and family beach trips in the summer." – Rick
"Looking forward to our annual trip to the Jersey Shore!" – Sean
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All in the premiere issue of Table and Travel. Read it now.