Portugal is having a moment. It seems as though every person I know has just come back from or is headed there - Lisbon in particular with a jaunt to the gorgeous beaches in the south. I like the northern part of the country and the mountainous interior where there is less tourist traffic and where you can literally get lost in time. Years ago I spent two glorious weeks there on my honeymoon driving the along the Camino de Santiago to Oporto perched on the Duoro River drinking the most gorgeous Port wines (most unavailable for export) before heading to the lesser visited Obidos (an ancient walled city) and Ponte De Lima, nestled in the mountainous interior. The food is perfect, the people are warm and inviting, and vistas are spectacular.
Remotely situated in the north of Sweden, Faviken is a world class restaurant and six room inn about 500 miles from Stockholm. Located in the Are Municipality it is housed on the 19th century Fäviken, Egendom estate boasting the most exquisite untouched countryside and locally sourced Nordic cuisine. Close to the Are ski resort, the restaurant has just 24 seats expertly tended by head chef and visionary Magnus Nilsson, along with two additional chefs, seven staff and a gardener. If travel during northern cold winters gives you pause, there is plenty of warmth (via sun and fireplace) six months of the year.
Over 20 years ago, I purchased a long passport wallet from Hartmann made in their gorgeous belting leather. I liked the long size, wide width, and the fact that I could just grab it and go (clutch style). After everyday wear for two decades it needed to be put to bed. Sadness. My search for a replacement was futile until I found this gorgeous wallet from Cuyana that fit the bill (literally). Beautifully handmade in Argentina in four gorgeous on point colors, this is my new go to carry it all.
This Raden Hardside suitcase in Black Matte finish is hands down the best travel item I have ever purchased, ever. It is sleek, lightweight, beautifully designed AND is loaded up with tech. Proximity sensors use Bluetooth technology via iOS app and their cases have an integrated 7,800mAh battery along with two 2.1A USB ports to charge your devices when you are on the go.. I love that the ergonomic carry handle doubles as a scale so that I am never surprised by extra fees at the gate. It boasts a reversed zipper lining with polyurethane overlay for waterproof sealing along with a built-in TSA-approved lock. The polyester interior lining with mesh pockets, double-zippered sides keeps any packing system (if you have one) neat and accessible. The double-spinning Japanese wheel bases and polyurethane tires have 360° maneuverability and make pushing or pulling even they heaviest case effortless. After test driving this on a few international trips this winter, I bought one for every member of my family.
Straddling Flatbush and Canal Streets between Brooklyn and New York City is the Manhattan Bridge built in 1909. It is the last of the three suspension bridges built over the lower East River. A slow walk across is a good workout, a cultural journey, a history lesson, and a study in architecture. Grab a coffee to go, take a stroll, and stop to watch street life unfold along the banks from a birds-eye view.
About 45 minutes north of Copenhagen is the quaint town of Helsingor that boasts two must see attractions for anyone spending more than a few days in Denmark. The Maritime Museum designed by Bjarke Ingalls is housed in a repurposed dry dock and has a cafe and museum store that rivals the best independent boutiques and cafes. And the Kronborg Castle, pictured above, the inspiration for Shakespeare's Hamlet that opens to magnificent views of the the sea.