Stay: Simply put, the Hotel Adlon Kempinski(Unter den Linden 77; 49-30/22610; kempinski.com/adlon) recaptures the romance of travel. The original was destroyed at the end of World War II, and the reconstruction, which opened in 1997, re-imagines it very well. The location on Unter den Linden is central, and a room with a view of the nearby Brandenburg Gate is worth it. Service is exceptional and the restaurant is excellent; a soft-boiled egg at a recent breakfast wore a little hat to stay warm. In Berlin everyone rides a bicycle in dedicated bike lanes: You can rent one from the hotel, but ask the concierge for an upgrade from the so-so three-speeds parked out front.
See: Berlin’s Museum Island, the northernmost portion of an island in the Spree River, is home to wonderful cultural institutions like the Pergamon Museum(Bodestraße 1–3; smb.museum.com). But if you take a short walk from there along the river, you’ll find the privately financed DDR Museum(Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 1; ddr-museum.de), which shows what life was like in Communist East Germany during the Cold War. Climb into an iconic Trabant automobile and take a simulated drive through East Berlin, watch Communist TV programs in a typical living room of the time or submit to questioning in an interrogation chamber. The shop sells egg carriers and other items designed in the Deutsche Demokratische Republik (German Democratic Republic), which disbanded in 1990.
Eat: Spend a day strolling along Bergmannstraße in the hip and culturally diverse Kreuzberg section and stop in at one of the numerous cafés that line the attractive shopping thoroughfare and its adjacent streets. Italo(Marheinekeplatz 4; 49-30/691-5637), located under a striped awning, specializes in Italian fare. You might have a priest pour you a beer at nearby Kreuzberger Himmel restaurant (Yorckstraße 89; 49-30/2574-3888; kreuzberger-himmel.de), part of St. Bonifatius Church, or stop by Curry 36(Mehringdamm 36; curry36.de) for an addictive currywurst (German sausage, curry powder, ketchup). End things at Vannile & Marille(Hagelberger Straße 1; vanille-marille.de), just a few blocks away, for one of Berlin’s best ice cream cones.
The Berlin addition to the Departures Ultimate City Guides iPhone app will be available in January 2014. Download the app here.
Few ingredients garner the celebrity status that truffles enjoy. The homely fungi with the sky-high price tag is beloved year-round, but particularly in the fall. In a nod to the season, Michelin two-star restaurant Enoteca at Hotel Arts Barcelona will serve two exclusive white-truffle tasting menus—seven courses ($260) and six courses ($220)—beginning November 1.
Enoteca’s chef Paco Pérez has big plans for the truffles, which are dug up in the Piemonte region of northern Italy and revered for their particularly earthy flavor. (The chosen few cost roughly $5,000 a pound.)
“White truffle is a unique product highly respected and appreciated by all chefs,” says executive chef Roberto Holz. “The secret lies in its unforgettable fragrance and flavor, combined with the fact that it can be introduced in the menu from appetizer to dessert.”
Pérez’s signature risotto pairs the white truffle with the ou de reig (or Caesar’s mushroom), which hails from Catalonia. Other dishes include sweet-potato gnocchi with shrimp; a low-cooked egg with Iberian ham parmentier and sea urchin; forest consummé; and Wagyu beef with sauce, mushrooms and potatoes—all incorporating truffles. Sommelier Albert Escofet and his team can match wines from the restaurant’s cellar with the menu.
How best to enjoy the bounty? Holz suggests taking it slow. Somehow we don’t think that will be a problem. Through November 28; Marina 19–21; 34-93/483-8108; hotelartsbarcelona.com.
Just when you thought the gym couldn’t get any more high-tech, one of the simplest workout staples has been reimagined: Thanks to Italian wellness company Technogym’s Wellness Ball, the inflatable exercise ball has been upgraded and updated.
The ball is constructed in two different densities, with the lower half heavier than the upper region, giving users more control and turning it into its own weight of sorts. A convenient tab even makes it simple to carry. (Trainer Josh Holland suggests using it as an oversized kettlebell.)
You can access an included QR code for video training programs and a website filled with tips. And though the souped-up model is an improvement on the standard—whether used during workouts for push-ups, planks and other moves or as an alternative seat during the day—you’re still responsible for the ultimate outcomes.
“Just because you are sitting on the ball during the day doesn’t mean you are going to get a six-pack overnight,” says Holland. “It offers an opportunity to make you stronger, but it is really up to the individual to make a difference.” The Wellness Ball is available in 21- and 25-inch sizes, $225 each; 70 Greene St.; 646-578-8001; technogym.com.
The Hermès Arceau Lift watch—the brand’s first flying-tourbillon model—has a historical backstory that matches its technical elegance. Drawing inspiration from the iconic Hermès boutique at 24 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris, the watch, part of a limited-edition batch of 176, speaks to familial pride and individuality: Just four of the timepieces will be available in the United States, and the second piece in the collection is about to make its way across the country.
The prestigious No. 2 (No. 1 was recently retired), along with other Hermès timepieces, kicks off a tour of Hermès boutiques this month, beginning October 30 at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California (through November 3; 3333 Bristol St., #1424; 714-437-1725). Subsequent stops include Las Vegas (November 6–10; Wynn Las Vegas, 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 702-866-2629), San Francisco (November 13–17; 125 Grant Ave.; 415-391-7200) and Greenwich, Connecticut (November 20–24; 289 Greenwich Ave.; 203-622-3007).
A double “H”—found on top of the tourbillon carriage and the barrel bridge—mirrors that of the motif found in the Paris store. (The letters are a nod to the blending of the Hermès and Hollande families in 1900, facilitated by the marriage of Emile Hermès, grandson of the founder, and Julie Hollande.) Set in a rose-gold case with an alligator strap, the Lift’s complication can be seen from both the front and the back via a small window. All those glancing at your wrist will see is timeless style. For purchasing inquiries call 1-800-441-448; hermes.com.
After 20-plus years as a residential interior designer, Sandra Nunnerley realized it was time to put all her projects in one place. The book Interiors (PowerHouse Books; $70) was born, and it was done entirely on Nunnerley’s own terms.
“I very much didn’t want to do just another design book,” she explains. “I wanted to do a book that would chart my inspirations and encourage readers to look for their own. One of the things that comes through is how important travel has been to me and how the wonderful things that I’ve seen all over the world filter into what I do.”
Travel connections are made clear throughout the book, which is organized into chapters like “Subtlety,” “Individuality” and “Glamour.” (Vintage Scalamandré fabric on a headboard and a bed skirt, for example, calls to mind Machu Picchu.) But working with art and antiques—commissioning site-specific pieces from artists and dealing with clients’ existing collections—is what Nunnerley is best known for. A Richard Serra painting overlooks a seating area, a Coromandel screen stands out in a dining room, photographs by American photographer Morton Bartlett hang above a Louis XIV beechwood table.
And while Interiors is a chance for readers to get familiar with her aesthetic, it also gives Nunnerley the opportunity to look at her creations in a new light.
“In preparing this book, I was looking at photographs of work I did 20 years ago, and you know what? Some of that work looks as fresh today as it did then,” she says. “It’s the same body of work: refined and luxurious, tailored but not minimal. And that hasn’t changed.” Interiors will be available October 29; powerhousebooks.com; nunnerley.com.
Carmen Borgonovo knows exactly where to locate the most fashionable finds. And as fashion director of the London-based online shopping destination MyWardrobe.com, Borgonovo—who was formerly senior style editor at Harper’s Bazaar UK and an accessories editor at Vogue and is a regular contributor to Elle—uses her insider knowledge to bring the best of the fashion world to her audience. Here she chats about the site and what she’d like to wear now.
Q: What is the key to successful fashion e-commerce? A: Online shoppers are extremely savvy. They’re looking for sites that are a step ahead and bring something unique and exciting to the market. New brands and carefully curated product offering is an important part of this, but impeccable customer service and a seamless shopping experience are all essential. We like to think that we act as our customers' best friend.
Q: How does My Wardrobe set itself apart? A: We focus on offering our customers a unique curation of up-and-coming, emerging and established designers, ensuring that we stand out.
Q: You recently made the fashion-week rounds. What caught your eye? A: There have been some truly beautiful collections on the runways this season. From New York, Emilia Wickstead, Thakoon and Proenza Schouler. In London I loved Meadham Kirchhoff, 1205, J.W. Anderson, Simone Rocha, Eudon Choi and Huishan Zhang. Prada and MSGM were highlights for Milan.
Q: What will you add to your own wardrobe? A: Culottes for spring!
Q: And what excites you about fashion right now? A: The beauty of fashion is that it’s always changing and evolving. It’s wonderful to see young designers growing from emerging talent to become global names. That’s what inspires me each season.
On October 24, the Dream for Future Africa Foundation, founded by Gelila Assefa Puck, will host a gala at Spago Beverly Hills (176 N. Canon Dr.; for tickets, call 310-205-2549; dffaf.org). There will be toasting and special guests (Naomi Campbell and Amber Valetta included), but the heart of the event will be a mission: to offer opportunities and equal treatment to those in need in Africa, particularly children and families.
Following the lead of its first vocational training center in Aleltu, Ethiopia—which opened last month and helps students navigate the space between traditional schooling and a professional work life—the organization is currently focused on opening a series of centers throughout the continent. “It means a lot to be able to give them a promising future into adulthood,” says Assefa Puck (pictured above, seated in the middle), who is married to chef Wolfgang Puck. We chatted with her about the vision.
Q: What prompted you to start Dream for Future Africa? A: It was established in 2010. Prior to 2010 I had been supporting a school in a small village outside Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. Back then the school had 21 children. Today that school serves over 700 orphans. The idea for the vocational training center was born as the first children we enrolled in the lower school were graduating high school. The foundation’s purpose is for the children who do not make it into a university obtain skilled training to help them transition into a career so they can provide for their families.
Q: How far has the organization come since its inception? A: In 2011 we did a groundbreaking with the help of the Annenberg Foundation to build the first phase of the vocational training center. Today that building is fully completed and the first round of high-school graduates enrolled in courses for communication technology, garment manufacturing, textile and sewing. Our mission is to create additional programs to help create sustainability for these children’s future.
Q: What has touched you the most since you started this? A: It is touching to watch these children, who I have helped support since kindergarten, graduate from high school and then be able to secure next steps to their future.
Q: And what have you learned? A: In Africa a little goes a long way, which is empowering.
With unparalleled mobility and a tendency toward surprise, the queen is a force to be reckoned with on a chessboard. The World Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis, Missouri, explores her role—in and out of the game—in “A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes, Fashion and Chess,” a combination of fashion, photography, film and art opening October 19.
“’A Queen Within’ is a very layered, intricate exhibition that is really a 3,000-square-foot piece of art itself,” says curator Sofia Hedman. “I think people will be surprised by how clear the connection between chess, art, and fashion becomes once they've experienced it.”
Hedman examined different archetypes, studying those established by pioneering psychiatrist Carl Jung, and created nine different queen personalities—sage, mother figure, magician, enchantress, explorer, ruler, Mother Earth, heroine, thespian—that play out in the exhibit. Designers like Viktor & Rolf and Alexander McQueen are represented; look out for a bespoke diamond glove by Shaun Leane and Daphne Guinness, a bubble dress by Hussein Chalayan and Iris van Herpen's undulating snake frock.
All the objects convey a regal power and singularity, but the show goes far beyond royalty. “We want to spark an interest in chess among females,” says Hedman. “We want them to see the queen within themselves.” Through April 18, 2014; 314-367-9243; 4652 Maryland Ave.; worldchesshof.org.
There are few places happier than a pastry shop, and Pomme Palais—a new patisserie opened in New York by renowned chef Michel Richard—is no exception. Bright and cheerful, the casual, market-style eatery, which is accessible from the lobby of The New York Palace hotel, is a welcome addition to its midtown neighborhood.
“When you are in Pomme Palais you feel like you are inside a fruit basket—the colors make you want to eat,” says Richard. “It is modern and refreshing.” (Designer Jeffrey Beers used "mirrors, metallic tiles and polished chrome finishes to display the creations like pieces of fine jewelry.”)
Those creations, whether grabbed on the run or enjoyed sitting down, are delicious. Sandwiches (including croque monsieur), éclairs, opera cakes, Napoleons, macarons and in-house-made chocolates populate the cases. Airy tuilles get several iterations, including potato and pistachio-studded raspberry paired with bite-sized raspberry meringues. And Richard is often imagining new items, like the Lemon Eggceptional (meringue, lemon curd, white chocolate) and a chocolate-raisin tart. 30 E. 51st St.; 212-303-7755; pommepalais.com.
In the early 1900s, Americans knew little to nothing about the concept of modern art. But when the International Exhibition of Modern Art came to New York—a 1,400-work introductory tour of avant-garde European sculptures and paintings put on by a group of Americans at the Lexington Avenue Armory—things began to change.
“The Armory Show at 100: Modern Art and Revolution,” an exhibit running October 11 to February 23 at the New-York Historical Society, puts the groundbreaking survey into perspective. “These artists were big news to a lot of Americans and sort of transformed the way people thought about modern art,” explains Kimberly Orcutt, Henry Luce Foundation curator of American art at the New-York Historical Society. “They made modern art a topic of popular conversation and it started a public dialog about art, which was absolutely new.”
At the time, work by urban realists, who drew from gritty street-based subjects, was as modern as it got. European avant-garde artists, however, were experimenting with color, form and traditional standards in general. By offering a variety of perspectives (film, essays, music), showing 100 pieces from the original exhibition and displaying more conservative works for comparison, “The Armory Show at 100” aims to give visitors a solid sense of just how revolutionary artists like Picasso, Duchamp, Gauguin and Cézanne were.
“We’re really looking to start up that conversation about modern art all over again,” says Orcutt. New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park W.; 212-873-3400; nyhistory.org.
American Express Publishing ("AEP") may use your email address to send you account updates and offers that may interest you. To learn more about the ways we may use your email address and about your privacy choices, read the AEP Privacy Statement