modern meets stately

June 30th, 2010

Trust New Art

Tatton Park (left) and Jeff Koons’ Cracked Egg at Waddesdon Manor.

The National Trust is going modern with its new contemporary art initiative, Trust New Art. Pairing up with Arts Council England, the Trust is introducing a three-year contemporary arts and crafts program at selected historic houses across England. For members of the Royal Oak Foundation – the U.S. affiliate to the National Trust – entry into these historic houses is free, so sign up before you go to avoid entrance fees. Some Trust properties are already involved. Jeff Koons’ Cracked  Egg is showcased alongside an exhibition of new lighting pieces by Brazilian designers, the Campana brothers, at Waddesdon Manor, and newly commissioned work by over 20 artists will be scattered around Tatton Park for its second contemporary art biennial. The juxtaposition of the refined historic houses and modern works of art will bring new crowds together and really spice up the English countryside. (more…)

helter swelter

June 28th, 2010

ESPA at the Peninsula NY

While some fortunate folk are racing off to the Hamptons or flying to Nantucket, the hoi polloi are often stuck steaming in the city. This summer, take a mini-break and find refuge from the heat in an urban oasis, no travel required.


not your average summer getaway

June 25th, 2010

Strawberry Hill/PHMendoza

Crowded beaches… Sun-burnt skin… Sand in inappropriate places… Sigh. Ditch the hand-held fan and take a detour from the average getaway this summer with an unexpected vacation. Bundle up in the southern hemisphere and experience Australia and Argentina’s winter season, discover the cool misty air in Jamaica’s Blue Mountains, or take in the beauty of the snow-capped peaks in India.


herbal remedies

June 23rd, 2010

thai basil

What’s in your garden?  Anantara Dhigu divulges the juicy scoop on the resort’s chef’s garden. Check out the growing there. Not only do the 12 varieties of organic herbs and vegetables add punches of flavor to food and several offer holistic benefits. This may be inspiration for starting a backyard garden, or at least planting some herbs on the fire escape.



As an ingredient: used to give soups and sauces a sharp lemony flavor

For good health: works as a diuretic, emmanagogue, and is anti-flatulence, anti-flu, and antimicrobials


Thai Chili, Maldivian Chili, Indian Chili, and Hot Pepper

As ingredients: used to make curries spicy and give varying levels of heat to many Thai dishes

For good health: Chilis contain capsaicin, a chemical that benefits the respiratory system, blood pressure, and heart. Eating lots of chilis also raises body temperature which can speed up metabolism.



As an ingredient: used in salads and as a garnish, this zesty leaves has a horseradish flavor

For good health: While arugula seeds are historically thought to be an aphrodisiac, its leaves are known to stimulate digestion and promote healthy hair, skin, and nails.


Bok Choy

As an ingredient: this Chinese cabbage is great for soups, salads, and stir-fry

For good health: The leafy green is a rich source of vitamins A, C, and K and promotes improvement of vision and the proper growth of bones and teeth.



As an ingredient: adds an earthy taste and rich scent to stews and sauces and grilled meats

For good health: it’s said to aid in the digestion of fats


Sweet and Thai Basil

As an ingredient: both basils provide a fresh, flavorful note to dishes, with Thai basil carrying a stronger anise taste

For good health: basil can help digestion and stomach health



As an ingredient: adds a spicy kick to lots of Asian dishes and makes a great soothing tea

For good health: this root has many perks, thought to be an aphrodisiac and known to help upset stomachs and calm nausea from motion sickness and morning sickness.


Cherry Tomato

As an ingredient: sweeter than its bigger cousins, these tomatoes are great in salads

For good health: they’re a great source of Vitamins E, C, and A

fall forays in britain

June 22nd, 2010

Cottages Blog

This fall, stave off that sad summer-is-over feeling with a trip! Take in all that the season has to offer in a cozy English cottage and check out the happenings of a British autumn. Festivals with local cuisine dapple the September calendar and country houses are surrounded by orchards brimming with fall fruit.

For Foodies:

Go: The Big Green Food & Craft Festival at Beningbrough Hall will have great Yorkshire food and crafts, fresh produce, and a Hog Roast. September 25-26.

Stay: Goodramgate, York

A cozy apartment in a medieval building right in the town of York – perfect for exploring on foot.


Go: A World War II event in Northumberland gets visitors to think of wartime food, rationing, and Victory Gardens. Weekend of September 25.

Stay: Westwood Cottage, Northumberland

Previously part of Wallington Estate’s stable block, this stone house is built around a central courtyard and is close to the grand estate’s main house.


Go: Get tempted at the “Taste and Temptation” weekend at Petworth House and meet local producers and taste their delicious, fresh products. September 26.

Stay: Emley Farmhouse, Surrey

Surrounded by farmland, this quaint country cottage retains many of its original features, such as an internal well and large fireplaces.


For Nature Lovers:

Go: The beautiful island of Anglesey has dramatic cliffs, sandy beaches, and mountain views of Snowdonia.

Stay: Bryn Llywelyn, Anglesey

This stately Georgian farmhouse has a large walled garden full of apple trees and has a view over the wild Llanlleiana Bay.


Go: The fascinating Calke Abbey is filled with fascinating possessions and surrounded by a National Nature Reserve replete with trails.

Stay: Southwood House Farm, Derbyshire

This 18th century brick farmhouse is flanked by fruit trees and sits on the south side of the Calke Abbey estate, formerly used as its dairy.


For Beach Bums:

Go: Hell’s Mouth Bay – despite its foreboding moniker – is a great place to swim and surf. In autumn the water is still warm and the waves start picking up again.

Stay: Pant Rhiw Cottage, North Wales

This remote cottage sits on a hillside overlooking the bay and is accessible only by a walking path. 


Go: Enjoy the gorgeous beaches of Cornwall and the gregarious charms of Polzeath, known for its surfing.

Stay: Overhaven, Polzeath

This tranquil cottage is a stone’s throw from the town and has sweeping views of the countryside and the coast.


Go: Explore the cobbled lanes and idyllic houses of Clovelly in Devon this fall, when all the summer crowds have dispersed.

Stay: 1 Coastguard, Clovelly

Hidden in the woods about a quarter mile from the shore, this cottage is a great retreat for exploring the rugged coast.

for the kid who has it all

June 21st, 2010


What do you get for the kid who has it all? How about a spa treatment in Bali? Anantara Spa Seminyak has designed a menu of spa treatments for those 2-12 year olds in need of some pampering. (Don’t worry, those under two can get a pre-bedtime baby massage with olive oil to smooth the skin, strengthen growing muscles, and relax that little body.) No kid will be able to resist a chocolate massage after a day of cannonballing into the resort pool. After being slathered with chocolate, your little princess gets a mani-pedi followed by a fresh strawberry hand and food massage. Don’t worry, your little prince won’t be left out – he can have one too, along with a chocolate butter hand and foot massage. This is the one time teens might lie and say they’re younger…

from obsolescent to fluorescent

June 21st, 2010

The Vyne

© NTPL / Andrea Jones

Think all stately English country houses are decked out in lace and toile? Think again. In its heyday in the mid-18th century, The Vyne in Hampshire owned by John Chute was a spectacular home full of modern furniture and art. Over time, the home no longer reflected the cutting edge sensibilities of its former occupant. All of that’s now changed thanks to The National Trust and Mark Brazier-Jones. Brazier-Jones is the colorful interior designer for the likes of Sir Elton John and Courtney Love. Upholding Chute’s flair for décor, Brazier-Jones is filling the house with crystal-encrusted tables and hot pink animal hide chaise-lounges. “John Chute certainly wasn’t afraid to stamp his own personality on The Vyne,” said the designer. “In fact, he was pretty daring and adventurous for his time, and if he were a client of mine today I’m sure we would get on famously.”

This mixture of historic and contemporary at The Vyne is in keeping with the vision of The National Trust to view a house as a living and evolving space. Visit the bedazzled abode now through August 1 for FREE as a member of the Royal Oak Foundation (The National Trust’s U.S. affiliate). Membership, just $55 to join, grants access to all of The National Trust properties around England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

underground surf scene on nantucket

June 21st, 2010

Nantucket is a classic New England getaway, but did you also know that it’s a great place to get your surf on?  On The Today Show last Thursday, Condé Nast Traveler’s Kate Maxwell filled Matt Lauer in on the underground surfing scene at Cisco Beach on Nantucket Island.  Kate suggests surfing during the day and cleaning up for dinner at the White Elephant’s Brant Point Grill in the evening.  Watch the video below to get all the inside scoop!

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baby elephants on the move

June 18th, 2010


Remember when we told you about the Elephant Parade, the installation of model baby elephants scattered around London? Run by Elephant Family, the goal of the charity is to raise awareness of the declining population of the Asian Elephant.

‘Little Bird,’ the baby elephant representing Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas, is somewhere throughout London.  Now there is a little extra incentive to finding her, as the Director of Elephants at Anantara Golden Triangle, Mr. John Roberts, has announced that he would give out a free dinner to the first person to send in a photograph of themselves with ‘Little Bird’.   And that’s not all!  Elephant Family is offering the chance to win a vacation for two to none other than Thailand’s Anantara Golden Triangle where the lucky winners will train with mahouts at the resort’s famed elephant camp and learn about these gentle creatures. To enter, visit, fill out the petition, correctly answer the questions, and tweet a message to encourage your followers to sign the petition. The competition closes on July 9th, so hurry before it is too late!

The elephants are on the move! As the Elephant Parade comes to a close, 62 of these life-size, model baby elephants will be migrating from their positions around the city and congregating in Leister Square. July 3rd will mark the end of the parade, when these magnificent pieces of art will be auctioned off in hopes of raising over $2 million!

not merely a flower painter …

June 18th, 2010

Georgia O'Keeffe Abstraction Collection

A bit of abstraction seems to have crept its way into the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe. Famously known for her representational depiction of flowers, O’Keeffe is delighting fans with a new style. Comprised of over 100 pieces, the Georgia O’Keeffe : Abstraction exhibit features nearly blank canvases broken up with perfectly placed strokes of color. Viewers agree that this unknown side of O’Keeffe has allowed her to truly capture the essence of her subject, as well as highlighting the relationships between the different works of art. The 4,000 attendees on opening weekend agree that this abstract collection is a must see.

Need a place to stay in the “city different”? After checking out the museum, head back to the Inn on the Alameda where guests can indulge at the daily afternoon wine and cheese reception.