Advanced Level Summering: Where to Go Next
No one loves a classic summer spot more than we do, but it doesn’t hurt to mix things up. Nikki Ridgway suggests destinations in Europe, South America and our own backyard where you’ll find a change is as good as, well, a holiday.
Done Paris, Do Bordeaux This southwestern wine city is nipping at Paris’ Louboutins, with trendy bars and boutiques popping up partout and a Jacques Garcia refurb at its grandest dame hotel. Side-trip to Biarritz for the ultimate city-beach vacation.
Pack Skinny jeans, striped tees — A.P.C. for him, Sonia Rykiel for her — plus a swipe of Chanel Rouge Allure no. 84 or squirt of Bleu cologne.
Order Anything but Bordeaux (there isn’t a single one on the list) at nouveau vague wine bar L’Introuvable, deep in the Saint-Michel neighborhood.
Overhear Grape speculation about 2012’s harvest (2011 wasn’t so hot).
Done the Hamptons, Do Montauk A surfer-cool Long Island enclave beyond East, South and Bridgehampton, Montauk is a summer playground for laid-back, 30-something Manhattanites whose anti-scene scene makes it, naturally, the hippest of the Hamptons.
Pack Cut-offs, a surf-tipping tee from Saturdays NYC, Persols and a Panama.
Order Weisswurst and a beer from the new Zum Schneider outpost just off the Plaza or a Summer Fling cocktail at Ruschmeyer’s.
Overhear Local surfers grumbling about novices at Ditch Plains and gossip about the demise of the Surf Lodge.
Done London, Do Bath When you’ve checked out London’s citywide, summer-long knees up for the Jubilee and Olympics, train it two hours west to handsome spa city, Bath. Far from the capital’s madding crowds, Bath is a period drama brought to life, with smart, honey-colored Georgian crescents, steep cobblestone hills and restored Roman baths.
Pack Skew boho by day (Bath isn’t far from Glastonbury) but think Brit throwback (jacket, frock) at night if you’re planning to hit the city’s more formal restaurants.
Order The seven-course taster menu at Demuths, a vegetarian favorite with a popular cookery school, or pie ‘n mash at the no-frills boozer, the Raven of Bath.
Overhear Visitors quoting Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, which was set in 19th-century Bath, and murmurs of approval about the newly refurbished Holburne Art Museum.
Stay Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel.
Done Napa Valley, Do Mendoza Argentina’s high Mendoza region produces the world’s biggest and best Malbecs and throws in an adventure-loving landscape, the best steak you’ll ever eat and, with the opening of Entre Cielos, serious luxe accommodation.
Pack Outdoorsy wear by day (horseback riding with a local gaucho is a highlight here) and a sweater for the chilly mountain nights.
Order Wine and a cheese board from the Vines Tasting Room in downtown Mendoza, and barbecue goat and savory bread from the family-owned Zuccardi winery.
Overhear Nothing at all. The stark, modern Entre Cielos hotel is just outside Mendoza, surrounded by vineyards on all sides with the snowcapped Andes in the distance.
Stay Entre Cielos.
Done Tuscany, Do Puglia There’s more than one way to live la dolce vita. Unspoiled Puglia — the heel of Italy’s boot — is a land of olive groves and three coastlines, scattered with remnants of its Greek, Turkish, Roman and Saracen rulers and the alive-and-kicking Renaissance city of Lecce.
Pack Very little. Temperatures soar to 100-plus degrees in this sun-scorched part of the country, so plan on days by the pool or Adriatic or Ionia coasts, and light linens for alfresco dinners in Lecce and Ostuni.
Order Puglia is known as the “California of Italy” thanks to its wealth fresh produce, so buy sweet tomatoes and creamy cheese from a local market, the region’s earthy primitivo wine, and gelato.
Overhear A few English accents (a low cost airline offers direct flights from London to Bari), bambinos joining their parents for late dinners in the town squares, and total silence between 1pm and 4pm when whole villages shut down for a siesta.
Stay Borgo Egnazia Hotel