Insights • Inspirations • Destinations • Design

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Charleston: The No 1 City in the World?

This year, the readers of the highly respected Travel + Leisure magazine voted the city of Charleston in South Carolina the No. 1 City in the United States and Canada in the magazine's World's Best Awards 2013 survey. It was a slight drop on the travel ladder – in 2012 readers of rival magazine Condé Nast Traveler voted Charleston the No. 1 City in the World. 

I don't know about the No. 1 in the World – places like Bellagio (Lake Como), Paris, Nice, and Sydney are also pretty gorgeous – but it would certainly be one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. And its sister city Savannah is just as lovely. Spectacular architecture, quietly glamorous interiors, extraordinary antiques (and amazing antique stores), and immaculate manners... What's not to love about this part of the world? 

To make things more irresistible, both cities are becoming creative hotspots, with Charleston being touted as The New San Francisco (lots of tech companies are moving there) and Savannah churning out talent from the renowned Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). Kate Spade, Marc Jacobs and Anthropologie have all recently opened stores in Savannah. (The cocktail party for the Kate Spade opening was fab.) Here's proof why you should put these two beauties on your List of Places to Visit.

{The Spanish Moss is everywhere, dangling from Oaks and other grand old trees such as these here in Savannah's famous Bonaventure Cemetery, made famous in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.}

{Incredible private gardens}

[A delightful restaurant called The Pink House in Savannah: beautiful period rooms and equally lovely service}

{An antiques store in a grand old three-story mansion in Savannah; every floor was filled with amazing pieces but the real appeal was the building}

[The beautiful Gryphon Tea Room in Savannah, where books line the walls and a leopard-print carpet offers a dramatic backdrop to the lime green silk chairs}

{The Paris Market and Brocante store in Savannah – incredible interior and gorgeous products}

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Glamour of New York, Part 2

And so ends another week of work in Manhattan... Memorable photo shoots, sublime new hotels, glamorous West Village boutiques, gorgeous Bowery stores, and still-scented late summer gardens... New York is always kind to me, and I'm always grateful in return. I still long for the day when we can have a teeny crash pad near Gramercy Park, but until then it's the 20-hour commute from Australia...

We're off to Charleston and Savannah this week for a little break after the madness of Fashion Week. (I was in NY to shoot a book about style rather than attend the fashion shows, so I only saw fragments of the mayhem – and did it in flat shoes, Grace Coddington-style black workhorse clothes and inferior hair – but it was still an eye-opener.) 

Next stop: The South. And then to London for a little while. Posts may be sporadic, but will try to do an Insider's Guide to London – beautiful, grand, dignified, refined old London. Who can complain about travelling when the upsides are so wonderful? As my intrepid globe-hopping grandmother used to say: Seeing the world is surely one of life's greatest privileges...

PS I'm heading to Instagram soon with everyone else, but will still try to post here too. As always, thank you for reading. I hope you find things to be grateful for in your life as much as I do in mine.

Ovando in the West Village
Possibly Manhattan's most beautiful florist.

Bond St Perfumery
Scented heaven.
(I loved 'Bryant Park' and 'Central Park South', but I did wonder if they'd considered making a perfume called 'Late Night In The Meatpacking District'?))

Madeleine Weinrib's beautiful atelier at ABC Carpet & Home.

Shop chic on the Upper East Side.

Gramercy Park Hotel's Do Not Disturb signs, which are the last word in Do Not Disturb style.

Ovando's floristry wonders again.

Kate Spade's new flagship store on the Upper East Side.

Rizzoli bookstore, a mecca for lovers of design titles.

Henri Bendel department store's ornate balconies.

Colour co-ordination to the nth degree in front of Bergdorf Goodman.

A perfect outfit during Fashion Week: taxi-cab yellow and zebra crossing-style stripes.

More lovely lemon in the West Village.

More from Kate Spade's new flagship store. 
(The pale pink silk sofa was as covetable as the chaise.)

The shoes of Kate Spade's senior strategist, whom I met when we were comparing shoes in the uptown Kate Spade store. 
(Her were far superior.)

An exquisite window display of antique silver hand mirrors in the West Village – classic Fashion Week chic.

My new shoes. J'adore.

A store that designs paper bags for New York boutiques.
Just fabulous.

The Lion restaurant
Still a favourite.

Dior at Saks.
Sublime merchandising, in true Dior style.

Adieu from the always-gorgeous New York.
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