Here, a few suggestions of my favorite places, addresses that I consider dear-all tried and true, from Rio to Patagonia… for those who have packed their luggage and are ready to go!
Where: 🇧🇷 Rio, of course!
Why: To sip caipirinhas and vitamin cocktails in the many bars from Leblon to Ipanema amongst the cariocas. For January 1st and the fabulous Iemanja Celebration surrounded by 2 million people all dressed in white on Copacabana beach.
Hotel: Copacabana Palace.
Bar/café/Deli: Bibi Sucos in Leblon.
What to take with you: Bikinis Lenny & exclusive essentials by Alejandra di Andia, CDs de Bebel Gilberto & Seu Jorge.
Where: 🇲🇻 The Maldives
Why: To swim alongside butterfly fishes and sea turtles just a few feet from your bungalow. Because there are days when one dreams only of white sandy beaches and magical diving spots.
Hotel: Soneva Fushi.
What to take with you: You don’t need to take anything. Just slip a swimsuit in your pocket.
Where: 🇸🇪 Stockholm & Swedish Lapland
Why: For the delightful streets and charming cafes in Gamla Stan, the old quarter, and the overall feeling of calm and simplicity. Because Stockholm is a superb city and because it’s the North Pole!
Where: Bern’s in Stockholm & Ice Hotel in Lapland.
What to take with you: Anything warm and soft, lip balm, Olympus mini digital.
Where: 🇮🇹 Tuscany, Florence
Why: Ah! Florence, the Chianti region, tiny villages, enotecas full of friendly folk enjoying delicious wine and sausages, the countryside dotted with olive trees, warmed by the first rays of Spring sunshine.
Hotel: Belmond Villa San Michele.
Restaurant: Il Latini, Florence.
What to take with you: Kenneth Branagh’s movie « Much ado about nothing », italian thrillers by Nino Filasto.
Where: 🇫🇷 Chamonix
Why: I love to walk, to breathe the fresh air and to feel active. The mountain paths here are magnificent in Spring.
Hotel: Les Grands Montets in Argentière.
Restaurant: La Flambée in Argentière.
What to take with you: Walking shoes, Patagonia jumpers, Vieux Campeur rucksack.
Where: 🇬🇧 London
Why: Because I love strolling through Hyde Park with a Marks & Spencer gourmet sandwhich in one hand. Beautiful weather… Notting Hill & the flea markets are bustling with people.
What to take with you: A raincoat – just in case, the latest London Time Out, Greatest Hits by Alice Cooper – one of the Portobello Hotel’s fans.
Where: 🇫🇷 Paris
Why: Leisurely moments on a sun-bathed terrace surrounded by newspapers and beautiful books from Galignani. Because the Parisians have started to leave the city and the gardens are in glorious bloom.
Hotel: Le Meurice.
Bar/restaurant: Café Charlot.
What to take with you: Vuitton luggage, Celine dresses, Dior goods, anything French!
Where: 🇺🇸 California, from L.A to Carmel
Why: L.A. and all its craziness, the famous Highway One and Big Sur… To see the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in Carmel… where I dream of taking my vintage Alfa Romeo for a spin one day!
Hotel: Beverly Hills & bungalows in L.A and Mission Ranch in Carmel.
Bar/restaurant: Polo Lounge & Mission Ranch bar.
What to take with you: « Big Sur » de Jack Kerouac, Banana Republic Jean & T.shirts.
Where: The Scottish Highlands
Why: Because of the charm of everything there, the straight-out-of-a-novel atmosphere, the magic castles, the loch, the people, and the amazingly vivid colors, especially in Autumn.
Hotel: Inverlochy Castle.
What to take with you: « Long Way Round », the story of a remarkable journey around the world on a motorbike by that cool Scotsman Ewan Mc Gregor, and Charley Boorman.
Where: 🇲🇽 Mexico, San Miguel de Allende
Why: This divine city is a must-see at any time of the year, so why not in October when there are so few people around?
Hotel: Casa Luna bed & breackfast.
What to take with you: « Mexican Notebooks » by Henri-Cartier Bresson, Frida Kahlo’s biographies.
Where: 🇺🇸 New-York
Why: Because I love Central Park under a blanket of snow, the amazing window displays, the kitch decorations, Christmas shopping, taking a break for a burger and beer in a cozy Soho eatery.
Bar: Fanelli’s cafe, 94 Prince Street.
What to take with you: Nothing – you can buy everything there; « New-Yorkers As Seen by Magnum Photographers »
Where: 🇨🇱 Chile – Patagonia
Why: For the awesome landscapes that make your heart miss a beat, because it’s summer and ideal for horseback riding on the glaciers. Because I’m at home.
What to take with you: National Geographic Magazine, Francisco Coloane’s books, a pair of very old boots.