The Sunday Times
May 12, 2019

Tired of Tulum? Moved on from the Maldives? Don’t book anything without our guide to where the cool crowd are going this summer. LV luggage not included

The rise of slow travel

by Laura Atkinson

What do the 1% do now they have to worry about climate change? Invest in slow travel, of course. Yes, the journey has become the destination: think boats and trains in a hurry to get nowhere, but seen through a luxury filter. Belmond Afloat in France is like a barge holiday on steroids: glide through the French countryside on a private boat for up to 12 — with onboard chefs and private guides to take guests from chic boutiques to illustrious champagne houses. Shorter three-night tours begin later this summer. Alternatively, take on a slow travel destination closer to home: head to the Highlands and jump aboard the Royal Scotsman train, an Edwardian country house on wheels that holds only 40 people and journeys round Scotland. With ensuite showers in its private cabins and even an onboard Bamford spa, there is nothing else to do but sleep, read, drink champagne and have a massage, while looking at the most awe-inspiring scenery in the UK. The ultimate slow holiday activity? Walking — more than one fashion editor has been spotted heading to the Lake District this year for the last word in mindfulness (in a very on-trend hiking boot, obvs).

The post-Brexit fashion hub: China

by Jane McFarland

With the management consultant McKinsey predicting China will account for 40% of global luxury spending by 2025, it’s little surprise the big-name brands are flocking there. The British Fashion Council expanded its China Partnerships Strategy (launched last year in Shanghai) with showrooms for Roksanda and Peter Pilotto — think Brits abroad, but more chic. Next stop for the fash pack? Chengdu.

Blogging remains big business, too. Navigating China’s diverse digital channels — including WeChat, TikTok (often called China’s Snapchat) and Weibo — are the likes of Mr Bags, Yang Mi and Angelababy, who recently scored an American Vogue cover, to the delight of her 98m Weibo followers. Designed a handbag? Get it toted by one of these new-wave media moguls for instant sell-out success. As for the brand to name-drop? Caroline Hu, whose fantastical tulle confections deserve a serious red-carpet moment, from East to West.

The Euro-goods to stockpile

by George Reynolds

At the time of writing, Brexit feels like it could end up as our generation’s version of the bogeyman — an imaginary threat to hold over the heads of children that encourages sleepless nights. But assuming it does eventually come to pass, it’s a fair bet that certain continental goods will become almost inaccessibly expensive. Now, then, is the time to load up on Spanish conservas (canned foods) such as Ortiz anchovies and tuna belly, the ludicrously delicious truffle or jamon iberico crisps by Torres, and some top-notch balsamic vinegar (look for the DOP certification and expect a price tag considerably higher than the supermarket stuff). And don’t forget decent olive oil — the beloved Capezzana estate in Tuscany produces arguably the best in the world, a Mercedes-calibre product with a Mercedes-calibre price to match. Unfortunately, it’s probably only going to get more expensive, so make that investment now.

The wineland excursion

by George Reynolds

In the 19th century, German rieslings commanded higher prices than the wines of Bordeaux and Champagne — blame the 1970s, Blue Nun and all that, for their subsequent decline. Right-thinking drinkers have always known, though, that this noble grape produces some of the most headily impressive wines on earth, so why not trace it all the way back to its source, in the Mosel Valley? Cycle between medieval villages and towering schlosses alongside one of the most quietly influential rivers in Europe; unwind in the evenings with classic dishes such as sauerkraut or black pudding and Himmel und Erde (mashed potato with apple puree) — and lots of riesling.

The art capital: Arles

by Louisa McGillicuddy

Home to Picasso, Gauguin and Van Gogh over the years, these days Arles, in Provence, “is becoming the California of Europe”, according to Hans Ulrich Obrist, the artistic director of the Serpentine. The city is in the midst of a serious art boom. The Luma Arles, a huge 20-acre exhibition complex and art campus, designed by Frank Gehry, is set to be completed next spring. Meanwhile, Les Rencontres d’Arles (opening July 1) — one of the biggest photography exhibitions in the world — celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, with 50 shows, including works by Martin Parr and Gillian Wearing. The luxury conglomerate Kering has just announced it will partner with the festival to help promote recognition of female photographers. And later this year, the Museon Arlaten — a museum dedicated to the culture of Provence — will reopen. Book your flights now.

Where to honeymoon now

by Jade Beer, editor of Condé Nast Brides magazine

Forget no-fuss airport transfers or slick private pick-ups: destinations taking the concept of arriving in style to new creative highs are winning a larger slice of the wedding budget. Think a 380-metre zip line into Shinta Mani Wild, Cambodia’s newest luxury offering, set in a jungle reserve full of elephants, gibbons and tigers. Or the Skylodge Adventure Suites, “pods” that cling to a cliff face above the Urubamba Valley in Peru? It takes an hour to climb to them via 170 metal steps. Then, tucked away at the foot of a Norwegian glacier, Nordenskiold Lodgeis the world’s most northern honeymoon cabin — it’s seriously remote. In winter the only way to get there is by dog sled or snowmobile. No more fly and flop.

The jet-set plus-one

by Raven Smith

Think you’re an international nomad? You’re nobody without an Art Bro dangling off your arm, the latest successory for affluent women (and men) at the top of their game. Jennifer Lawrence’s fiancé, Cooke Maroney (pictured), deals art, while song-siren Ellie Goulding is engaged to Caspar Jopling and Sienna Miller is dating gallery heir Lucas Zwirner. Buying a Damien Hirst at Frieze is the new dinner and a movie. The new wave of Art Bros emerged from the Lower East Side circa 2005 and don’t embrace art’s classical refinement. Their art-adjacent job — artist/writer/curator — plays second fiddle to their aching coolness and cavernous Manhattan loft. The adopted styles of Art Bros are binary. You’re either a vintage Penguin paperback Art Bro, usually British and dressed as Toad of Toad Hall at the ripe old age of 22, haunting the halls of Sotheby’s and floating down the canals of the Venice Biennale. Or you’re an LA Art Bro in a Champion hoodie and tie-dye shorts at Art Basel Miami, boyishly good-looking as if chiselled out of marble — think Michelangelo’s David but dressed like Justin Bieber. The boss of Art Bros, though, is Leonardo DiCaprio — a thespian in a Supreme tee.

The new American cuisine capitals

by George Reynolds

A road trip across America has always held an irresistible allure for the average Brit — but there has never been a better time to drive through the country’s most misunderstood and underestimated foodie destinations. In the 1990s and early 2000s, the culinary revolution was clustered around a handful of globally famous foodie capitals — New York, Chicago, San Francisco. Now a new wave of cooks are coming through and making America genuinely great again. In Seattle, chef Edouardo Jordan has turned JuneBaby into one of the most critically adored restaurants in the nation, garnering a prestigious James Beard award (like an Oscar for food) for its deeply personal cooking rooted in the black Deep South experience. In Washington DC, Bad Saint pulls in people willing to wait whole hours for a taste of chef Tom Cunanan’s heady Filipino food. There’s modern Israeli at Zahav, in Philadelphia; Mexican-American barbecue at 2M Smokehouse in San Antonio, Texas; and unclassifiably delicious fare like foie gras with grits at The Grey in Savannah, Georgia.

The Style travel barometer: then and now

The Instagram fashion minibreak

Then Copenhagen Yes, it has some of the best street style, but, please, enough staged photos against those bloody pastel houses on the canals. ● Now Rome The Italian fashion houses have made sizeable donations to help restore the city’s historic sites. This month, editors will be heading to the Gucci cruise show, then to Fendi’s emotional tribute to Karl Lagerfeld in July.

The necessary luxury

Then Business class ● Now Bringing a photographer for the ‘gram

The celebrity paradise

Then Maldives Everyone from the Beckhams and Kate Moss to Liv Tyler and Kate Winslet has flocked to the Fushi villas over the years, and the paparazzi know it. ● Now Antigua For those seeking less tabloid-friendly hotspots, the Half Moon Bay hotel, set to open in 2021, is on the site formerly owned by the late American style icon and socialite Bunny Mellon. Buy one of the private lots for extra privacy. Yours from just $5m.

The power August

Then The Greek islands Blame Lindsay Lohan’s Mykonos beach club — Santorini, Naxos and the like have officially taken the Cyclades to Instagram saturation point. ● Now The Canary islands Banish thoughts of all-inclusive package hols to Tenerife — the Canaries are having a moment. The super-rich will be spending their customary four-week summer breaks in remote La Palma, Fuerteventura and even Lanzarote. The cultural hotspots, designed by local architect Cesar Manrique, are worth the pilgrimage alone — put Jameos del Agua and Mirador del Rio on your hitlist.

The tech hub

Then Silicon Valley From accusations of sexual harassment to failures in social media responsibility, it’s PR nightmare after PR nightmare for big tech in Silicon Valley. No, thanks. ● Now Cornwall Admittedly it’s still in the nascent stages, but Poldark territory is getting a digi makeover. Thanks to an injection of cash, it now has a superfast fibreoptic broadband network. The creative tech sector has seen growth of 76% since 2010, with the number of businesses up 57%. The fundraising giant Crowdfunder is even based in a converted surf shop in Newquay.

The digital detox

Then Bali One hotel resort recently banned all smartphones and digital devices from its pool for enforced relaxation. A step too far, dudes. ● Now Bhutan Postcard-perfect hikes, temples, monasteries — the idyllic kingdom of Bhutan is still relatively untouched by frazzled City types looking for refuge. It didn’t even have TV or internet until 1999. Dreamy.