Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.






  • pinitbutton San Diego Brewery Tours
brewery tours minibus 300x225 San Diego Brewery Tours

Brewery Tours of San Diego minibus

by Barnaby Hughes

When you think of where American beers are made, your thoughts may go to Milwaukee, but San Diego? This Southern California city has more than 30 craft breweries, as well as multiple tour operators whose mission it is to provide safe and convenient access to them.

My friends and I recently paid $89 apiece to Brewery Tours of San Diego for a Saturday excursion which included nearly unlimited beer samples and a pub lunch. Once we caught up with the minibus at 10:30 a.m. — they offer multiple pick-up points including downtown San Diego and Mission Bay — we were quickly delivered to Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits for a brewery tour. We saw the mashing tuns, fermenting tanks and kegs waiting to be shipped to a pub near you. Our bus driver and tour guide, Mae, gave us a brief lesson in how beer is made and then escorted us back into the tasting room.

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  • pinitbutton Two Century Old Bottle of Wine Sold at Auction   Wine News
arbois vin jaune 174x300 Two Century Old Bottle of Wine Sold at Auction   Wine News

A 1986 Arbois Vin Jaune, showing the wine's golden color and distinctive bottle shape (Photo: PRA)

Most wines are intended for consumption within the first year or two after purchase. Few improve after more than a decade of aging. Yet, periodically wine collectors uncork bottles more than one hundred years old and discover that the contents are not only drinkable, but exquisite. Although the market for old wines is small, wealthy collectors are willing to part with large sums of cash in order to acquire them.

Last month at Christie’s in Geneva, an anonymous bidder purchased a 1774 Arbois Vin Jaune for 46,000 Swiss francs. That’s nearly $50,000 American for a bottle older than the US. This might seem like a high price to pay for a bottle that could very well have passed its prime before the buyer was born, but a bottle of the same vintage and collection sold for much more at auction last year — $77,270.

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  • pinitbutton Discover Bachelorette Bliss at The May Fair in London   Travel Special
bedroom 300x115 Discover Bachelorette Bliss at The May Fair in London   Travel Special

A bedroom at The May Fair Hotel

During the fifteenth season of the hit ABC-TV series “The Bachelorette,” Emily Maynard and her suitors encamped for an episode in a set of signature suites at The May Fair, one of London’s most iconic lodgings. Inspired by their adventures, the hotel has created the Bachelorette Bliss Package.

For couples in search of their own celebrity-worthy getaway, the Bachelorette Bliss Package offers a memorable overnight escape. Along with luxurious accommodations, this romantic special includes:

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  • pinitbutton 2012 Wimbledon Tournament on Tennis Channel

wimbledon 2012 Wimbledon Tournament on Tennis Channel

by Jeff Hoyt

The world’s best athletes will soon gather in London for the Summer Olympics. But some of them are there right now, competing in the world’s oldest tennis tournament. The Championships, Wimbledon is being conducted at the All England Club in Wimbledon, London, where it has been held since 1877.

If you can’t make it there to enjoy strawberries and cream at Centre Court, you can catch the action on the Tennis Channel series Wimbledon Primetime, which offers seven nightly hours of original Wimbledon programming. The first four-hour edition each night will include three hours of on-court stories and encore match coverage, followed by an hour of fast-paced highlights and interviews. This will be followed immediately by a second edition with three entirely new hours of the day’s best tennis, before the concluding catch-up hour. Moreover, the program will run every night of the tournament, through the final on Sunday, July 8.

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  • pinitbutton From Gayot to The New York Times
fresh garden peas 300x221 From Gayot to The New York Times

Fresh-picked garden peas

by Jeff Hoyt

We are very pleased with our international team of reviewers who write about restaurants, hotels and more from Sydney to the Galapagos. We are especially proud of one of our Paris correspondents, Jean-Claude Ribaut, who is the food critic for the French newspaper Le Monde.

Mr. Ribaut recently worked with Elaine Sciolino, a Paris correspondent for The New York Times, for an article on eating fresh peas. The two of them traveled to L’Oustau de Baumanière, a top restaurant in Provence where Queen Elizabeth has dined, to eat peas picked fresh that morning from the restaurant’s own vegetable garden.

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  • pinitbutton Wines of Chile Tasting Event
wines of chile3 225x300 Wines of Chile Tasting Event

Award-winning wines of Chile

by Michelle Kwan

The diverse terroir of Chile makes the region ideal for winemaking, producing varietals such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Malbec and Carmenère. The “Tapestry of Terroir” comprised the theme of this year’s Wines of Chile Tasting Event held recently at the New York City Metropolitan Pavilion and refers to the natural adaptability of the Chilean landscape towards wine production. Yet, Chile has only recently seen a proliferation of wineries; the necessary investment of considerable time, capital and effort has impeded the development of winemaking in Chile in the past.

But the growing interest in New World wines has placed the country on the map among the world’s wine producers and drinkers alike. Many of Chile’s wineries are only a few decades old, but their present vintages attest to the quality of their wine production methods.

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  • pinitbutton Starwood Hotels Announces a Global Partnership with Bentley Motors   Travel News
bentley 300x197 Starwood Hotels Announces a Global Partnership with Bentley Motors   Travel News
Bentley Continental GTC

Starwood Hotels and Bentley Join Together to Provide Signature Experiences for Customers

Internationally known for their heritage and superior quality, Bentley Motors and Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ top brands — St. Regis and The Luxury Collection — have announced a global partnership. Together, the two companies will create signature experiences for guests, residents and customers with driving programs, special events, brand initiatives and house fleets at flagship hotels around the world. According to Paul James, Global Brand Leader for St. Regis and The Luxury Collection, “We are committed to providing experiences that far surpass [our guests’] expectations, and this partnership with Bentley enables our discerning guests to explore must-see destinations in unparalleled style.” Joe Ashworth, head of customer relations at Bentley Motors, adds, “At Bentley, we are committed to maintaining our position as the definitive British luxury car company. It is therefore important that we partner with a pinnacle brand that underpins our own values of craftsmanship, style and sophistication.” To this end, Bentley house fleets at St. Regis properties around the world will include models such as The Continental Flying Spur (priced from $184,200). And at The Luxury Collection properties, recent partnership events have included the unveiling of Bentley’s newest Continental GT and GTC V8 at the Marques de Riscal, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Ilciego, Spain.

Continue reading “Starwood Hotels Announces a Global Partnership with Bentley Motors – Travel News” »

  • pinitbutton La Serenissima   Docking in Venice
grand canal 300x200 La Serenissima   Docking in Venice

The Grand Canal in Venice

Although Submerged by Crowds, At Least There Are No Gondola Traffic Jams in Venice

by André Gayot

The Riviera, the latest heir to the family of the Oceania Cruises fleet, lazily fondles the banks of the Lido. It is a chubby newborn, weighing in at 66,084 tons, that can host 1,250 guests in lavish luxury. From the upper deck, one can glance a mirage becoming real: the 117 islets, the 177 canals and the 400 bridges of Venice, the home of Marco Polo. The rising sun ignites the roofs of the palaces and brushes with a touch of silver the dark green lap of the canals. As we get closer, so appears the marvel, the crown of “La Serenissima” (The Serene, as the Republic of Venice was dubbed) — the Piazza San Marco and its two gems, the San Marco Cathedral and the Doge’s Palace. From this height upon the 15th deck, the panoramic view is sublime, unforgettable. The boat, almost still, lingers, leaving our eyes and minds the time to record the beauty of Venice. Then it turns cautiously to the left into the Canale della Giudecca to the terminal. Of the many pleasures on board the Riviera, this extraordinary moment alone could serve as the raison d’être of the voyage.

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  • pinitbutton Long Live Hôtel de Crillon

by Sophie Gayot

The historic Hôtel de Crillon, located right on the Place de la Concorde in Paris, will be closing its doors around autumn 2012. But there is a happy ending, as it will reopen about two years later completely renovated from top to bottom, every corner and space. It will also include the addition of a new spa.

The façade just recently received a facelift. To hide the scaffolding — and help preserve the grandeur of the Place de la Concorde — the outside of the building was covered for a year with a tarpaulin printed with a reproduction of the exterior. (The recycled cloth has since been turned into hand bags, each one-of-a-kind, which are available at the hotel gift shop.)

Now we must talk about one very important part of the hotel: the restaurant Les Ambassadeurs, orchestrated by 30-year-old chef Christopher Hache. This former ballroom, with views of the Place de la Concorde, was restored a few years ago making it an even more stunning setting for an unforgettable lunch or dinner.

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  • pinitbutton Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea Couples Experiences   Travel Special
couples vacations 300x176 Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea Couples Experiences   Travel Special

A couple relaxes by the pool at Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea Features Customized Couples’ Getaways

Because even the most compatible twosome can differ on the best way to spend a vacation, the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea offers customized couples’ holidays.

It happens all the time: A couple sets off on a Hawaiian escape, only to discover that each has a different expectation for their holiday. She may want to unwind with a beachside massage, while he would prefer zip-lining across the forest canopy — or vice versa! To make sure every need is met, the Four Seasons Maui at Wailea will help you mix and match your preferences and design a Couples’ Experiences package based on one of four diverse options Continue reading “Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea Couples’ Experiences – Travel Special” »

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