Visitors who stay at this restored 18th-century château, about six miles south of the grape-growing village of Hautvillers, feel like house-guests, especially when gathered for dinner at the communal table. Owner Elisabeth Vollereaux prepares meals from old family recipes, such as chicken cooked with champagne, cream, and mushrooms, and champagne sabayon. And naturally, glasses of champagne are served with every course.
Doubles from $235. 33/(0) 32-654-2723. Read "A Certain Sparkle". Photo by Marie Hennechart. This appeared in the November/December 2012 issue.
Places I Want To Go
a very random collection of all the places I want to go or things I still want to do around the world
What could easily be considered an icon of Holland is becoming harder to find: The traditional windmill. While windmills can be hard to come by in Amsterdam, rent a bicycle and ride through Noord-Holland, where you'll find this traditional windmill. Just outside of Amsterdam, this is the beginning of several bike routes that weave through the countryside.
Looking at the bright colors of this portico and hearing the sound of laughter of a family that was standing nearby, it was somehow hard for me to believe that I was one floor above rooms where African men, women, and children were purportedly enslaved before being boarded onto ships and sent off to lands unknown. This is the House of Slaves (Maison des Esclaves), located on Gorée Island, just off the coast of Dakar, Senegal. Whether or not the house actually played a role in the Atlantic slave trade is a matter of controversy - a dispute between historians whose fact finding efforts have led them to conclude that the house was the home of a wealthy trader and nothing more and those who assert that millions of slaves spent time here. Whatever the truth is, the House of Slaves remains a popular destination for tourists.
I was there with an African American colleague of mine; I'm of...
Havana, Cuba is a living, breathing piece of art. The sky and sea battle daily for the most brilliant, striking shades of blue, and the decay on the buildings creates a contrasting natural canvas with varying hues of rust and oxidation. As the light changes hour by hour, it slides in between the buildings, highlighting new colors, turning others darker the shadows. It's a city that's "bright" by default ... like Mother Nature just dipped a giant paintbrush into 20 colors and then splatter painted it all.
Punta del Este has long been a European hotspot for beach time during the winter in the northern hemisphere (seasons are reversed of course), but it has it's charm in the fall and winter as well (spring and summer in the northern hemisphere). We found ourselves visiting Argentina and Uruguay in May. The boat ride from Buenos Aires to Colonia is magnificent and it is a nice bus ride along the coast from Colonia to Punta del Este.
Prices here are much cheaper during the down season (it can be quite expensive other times of year) and there are no crowds. Temperatures are too chilli to get in the water (although we did see some surfers catching waves in wet suits) but still perfect for walks along the beach.
We rented a scooter to explore the all of Punta del Este and the surrounding areas. We found a beachfront condo on the cheap.
It was an amazing first trip to Uruguay!
I'll let you in on a little secret: the tiny rural town of Easton, Connecticut, has a restaurant serving some of the best breakfast around. Easy to overlook, the Old Blue Bird Inn at 363 Black Rock Turnpike (also known as Route 58) dates back to 1919 and is a quaint place to enjoy a hearty country breakfast.
The restaurant's decorations - maple hutches, cozy tables, and trademark bluebird figurines, add a bit of whimsy and country charm. There's even a book-sharing shelf where you can borrow a book to read and replace it with one of your own for someone else to enjoy.
The Old Blue Bird Inn shines most with its breakfast specials that change daily, usually omelets and waffles or pancakes with interesting ingredients. Three of this morning's hard-to-pick-just-one choices were a short stack of blueberry peach pancakes with bacon or sausage; an omelet with avocado, bacon, tomato, and...
Geysir is home to one of Iceland's most famous features, the jaw-dropping Gulfoss Waterfall, but its less popular attractions are worth a visit as well. The appropriately-named town has an interesting geyser that shoots boiling hot water up to 200 feet into the air very reliably every three minutes and is definitely worth seeing.
Surrounding the geyser are bubbling mud pots and steam vents like this one. Seen all together, the geothermal area gives Geysir an otherworldly look, like what I would picture the surface of the moon must look like.
On any trip to Iceland, a visit to Geysir to see the stunning Gulfoss Waterfall and the town's famous geothermal area is a worthwhile trip.
Prior to going to Phu Quoc, Vietnam my research showed that the "sleepy" fishing village, Duong Dong, was nothing more than a blip you would see between the airport and the island's resort areas. I found this information to be false. Duong Dong was refreshing, the commotion of the town was very exciting.
Phu Quoc is a Vietnamese island off of the southern tip of Vietnam. It is quickly becoming a tourist hot spot boasting its pristine beaches and laid back atmosphere.
The photo above was taken amidst a maze of fishing boats in Duong Dong Harbor, near the market (the market with exception to the town's airport may be the only landmark in Duong Dong). The town is so small that you can just about see everything in an hour.
If on holiday, stay on Phu Quoc's Long Beach, there are a handful of resorts but Cassica Cottages makes their own Cinnamon Ice Cream..killer.
From Long Beach walk north...
No trip to Iceland is complete without a trip to the Blue Lagoon. Sooth your muscles in the warm mineral-rich water and take advantage of the silica mud for an impromptu facial. Although the Blue Lagoon is by far Iceland's most popular destination, I managed to catch my wife in a minute of solitude, giving us a chance for the perfect Iceland photograph.
We saw an Irish bar in Copenhagen's city center. Auspicious beginnings for what would be a really great trip, my first international jaunt since I was a tween. After a stressful flight, though, it was all we could do to calm our nerves by walking Copenhagen's main carfree shopping drag, Strøget.
After seeing some pleasantly empty alfresco seats outside of the Irish Rover pub (it was November in Scandinavia, after all), we decided to rest our legs for a bite and a pint. What we saw instead was the Fisherman's shots, billed as a Danish favorite. Deciding to don the tourist hat for just a few hours, my companions and I agreed to indulge.
Smelling not unlike Jägermeister, the Fisherman's shots were not as syrupy. The hint of licorice in the vodka-based liquor was bright and not too sweet, and like a Danish lozenge of the same name, tasted of strong, fragrant menthol. Sitting out in the...
A destination since 1919, Tucson's Hotel Congress is home to the Cup Café--one of the best places in town from breakfast to happy hour and on into late night.
Look up when in the restaurant--a couple of 'dead soldier chandeliers' will light your menu-browsing. You can get duck confit tacos to go with your local microbrew or cocktail. (Just so you know, this establishment won the 2010 World Margarita Championship.)
Across the hotel lobby is the Tap Room--a true western bar that's been serving drinks continuously since the hotel first opened--one of the oldest drinking establishments in the West.
Infamous 1930's bank robber John Dillinger was captured here. Today you'll find a cross-section of Tucsonans and out-of-towners, downtown business people, hipsters, night owls, musicians, university students, older couples on road-trips...
Life's a beach... Or if you're in this part of Mexico, it's an indescribable piece of heaven. This was just one of many sunsets a group of friends and I enjoyed during a month long Mexican adventure in El Pescadero. A shanty little town 20 minutes away from Todos Santos and 2 hours away from Los Cabos, I had to ask the question "why are we 'here'?". With a gas station, a tienda or two, and a couple of local restaurants, El Pescadero usually only serves as a pit stop for those on their way south to Los Cabos. But for us, it was a lot more. And on nights like this, I had to ask the question "Why aren't MORE people here?" But maybe that was the beauty of it. Unspoiled surf, sand, and sun--without the crowd that usually trails behind.
For those weary adventurists traveling Southeast Utah’s backcountry, craving something more than Boiled ramen and Clif Bars... Cold beer and juicy steak awaits them at the Swingin' Steak.
This outdoor steakhouse is located in Mexican Hat, a tiny community surrounded by spectacular destinations in every direction. With Valley of the Gods to the north, Comb Ridge to the east, Monument Valley to the South and The Goosenecks to the west, Mexican Hat is the perfect place to hunker and chow down for the evening.
The Swingin’ Steak offers two thick cuts of local beef, Ribeye or NY Strip, seasoned and grilled to perfection over an open fire. The restaurant owner, who doubles as the grill-master, swings an iron grate over the fire with one hand while he holds a beer with the other.
Think City Slickers meets Peter Luger's.
For those of you familiar with the iconic 1985 film, the Haystack Rocks meant the world to kids from the Goon Docks. It had always been a lifelong dream of mine to venture to the setting of the movie and find my own "treasure." The Pacific Coast of Oregon has to be one of the most breathtaking drives, even though California's sometimes-congested Pacific Coast Highway usually takes the spotlight.
This was my view from the inn and I was able to listen to the waves as I fell asleep each night. And not a far drive from the inn was the actual Goonies house that brought back so many memories and a childhood dream come true.
Landing in an airplane on a glacier is for sure in my top 10 experiences so far in the world. There are several companies that offer flight tours and glacier landings on Mt. McKinley out of Talkeetna Alaska. The landing by a small airplane on skis is a sensation that is incomparable to any other kind of landing such as water, beach, or dirt runway. The sensation is a gentle quiet gliding on top of the soft snow of spring or summer.If your lucky, as you're gliding along the pilot will cut the engine for a calming quiet. On Ruth glacier there is a hut for nightly rental, or you can bring your own tent. Rock and ice climbing are very popular here in the Sheldon Amphitheater. The granite peaks in the background of the photo are the Moose's Tooth peaks.
p.s. Mt. McKinley and Denali are used interchangeable. There is a legislative move to officially name the mountain Denali. The Native...
Few countries can rival Norway for dramatic, jaw-dropping scenery. This view was captured on board the scenic Bergen Railway on a "Norway in a Nutshell" tour that took in the breathtaking Flåm Railway, the Aurlandsfjord, the narrow Nærøyfjord and the steep hairpin bends of Stalheimskleiva.
By Eric Weiner
Owned by the prince, Torkel serves classic Swiss fare (veal cutlets, fish in Riesling sauce) matched with a superb wine list. Dine on the covered terrace looking out to the Alps. Hintergasse 9, Vaduz, 423/232-4410, torkel.li.
Take a taxi up to the Corcavado (Cristo Redentor) instead of the touristy train ride, so you can ask the driver to stop at one of the many view points along the way up or down. The view points allow you to overlook many of Rio de Janeiro's dramatic landmarks, such as the Maracana stadium, Pao de Azucar (Sugar Loaf Mountain) and several of the precariously perched favelas clinging to the steep hillsides. In addition to the views, you can become friendly with the little monkeys looking for handouts.
If Shawshank Redemption took place in South America, this is where Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman would meet up at the end.
Ilha Grande makes Zihuatanejo look like Coney Island.
There is simply no better place to get busy living than here.
When you first go to Rio, you will hear suggestions of places to go and things to do such as COPACABANA, CORCOVADO, IPANEMA, SAMBA, MULATA, CARNAVAL...
But head for ILHA GRANDE, which very few people know about, but is certainly one of the things that makes it so special.
There are no roads and no cars. Instead, there is only a ferry from Angra Dos Reis and a few hiking trails to take you to the most secluded and seductive beaches you will ever see.
And I promise you, when you do arrive, it will be the best tasting caipirinha you'll have in all of Brazil.
In my year of living in Scotland, Scots had always told me to not go to Aberdeen. "There's nothing there. It's ugly. It's boring. It's dead depressing", they would say. But in my current trip to Scotland, I would have to say I really enjoy the city. The building facades line up neatly along the streets, like a giant hedge maze. Even with the grey buildings, and grey skies, it still has a lively atmosphere- pedestrians, cars, and motorbikes scurry (and at night, stumble) the cobblestoned streets.
I would definitely recommend a weekend stop here- it's certainly not heaving with daytime activities, but there are certainly some excellent medieval-style pubs in renovated churches (delightful sacrilege) and authentic international cuisine from India, Italy, and Spain in particular. It's also incredibly close to the Scottish and Castle trails, and just an hour from the highlands... so it's...
Sanur is a beautiful and quaint part of Bali with lushes hotels along the boardwalk that lines the beach. The boardwalk really makes Sanur special as walking in Bali can be treacherous in most of the towns with narrow streets and tiny sidewalks, but this pathed path in Sanur is great for biking and long walks along the beach.
Walk to the south end of the boardwalk for a great view of the sunset and find a nice little cafe to have a Bintang (beer) or a Bali kopi (coffee).
On a particularly chilly SF night a teacher led a photo class to the Sutro Baths. Sounds romantic, but it was close to 30 degrees outside. Flashlights in hand, the class of 10 amateur photographers, myself included, slid down the dirt path on the north side of the Cliff House.
We wandered around the ruins as the teacher shouted at us the history of the place where we were standing. "The Sutro family rebuilt these ruins 4 times, because of fires." She shouted into the night. Her voice barely fell on the ears of the mob of students combing the area, crouching down, standing on tippy-toe, eyes in their viewfinders.
We walked all over. Through the tunnel, over the cliff, through the main pool area, spending 10 or more minutes in each place trying to get just one great shot. When there is very little available light these photos take a very long time for the film to capture. This was before...
While on Safari in Kruger National Park, this massive male lion was passing by and I was fortunate enough to get a photo. It was a short duration that we seen him. He was a little bit older but still a beautiful animal. I only wish I could have seen him with a pride and my life would have been complete.
Growing up in California, I spent many a summer day camping, hiking, fishing, and backpacking with my family in the spectacular Desolation Wilderness backcountry around Lake Tahoe. I now live in Connecticut, but my heart will always belong to California.
Last September, I had the pleasure of taking my husband to see some of my favorite hiking spots in the Sierra Nevada mountains. I had such a great time re-living some of my favorite childhood memories with my husband and making some new ones of our own. It was on one of our hikes deep in the Desolation Wilderness backcountry that I came across this brilliant green moss.
Lake Tahoe and the surrounding Sierra Nevada mountains and Desolation Wilderness will always be near and dear to my heart, and I can't wait for our next trip to the area in mid-August.
Cruising the Baltic in the middle of Summer is an experience not to be forgotten. We had the opportunity to dock in the South Harbor, which is conveniently located within walking distance of the city's center. This is a view looking north towards the Helsinki Cathedral. A truly sublime experience to sit on the ship and just gaze out at the peaceful city. During the day, check out the bustling market and for dinner eat at Gaijin.
The best part of my visit to St. Petersburg was experiencing the narrow waterways our ship had to navigate upon our departure. Located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea, St. Petersburg is strategically situated. Cruising out of the city, it was amazing to see all of the shipping activity. Definitely leave St. Petersburg by boat.
Malapascua has two great attractions. One is well-known and the other is not. Many people have heard of the thresher shark cleaning station where divers line up daily to see these beautiful sharks ascend from the deep to be cleaned by fish, before returning. Reef sharks can be seen here too. What fewer people know, however, is that behind the strip of resorts that line the beach is a traditional filipino island village. There are quaint shops and restaurants and a large church. The people are wonderfully friendly and inviting. Even if you're not interested in the sharks, the village is a great peak into real filipino island life.