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City Guide

Louis Vuitton

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Louis Vuitton

City Guide

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London

Go on a whirlwind one day tour of London with the help of Louis Vuitton City Guides.

7amWake up early in the lap of luxury

The Savoy

Strand, WC2, Tube Charing Cross

Emerging in 2010 from a three-year, £220-million refurbishment, The Savoy had an illustrious past to live up to. The monarch of London hotels, as Marlene Dietrich called it, has undergone an extreme makeover by Pierre-Yves Rochon that has retained period features from its Edwardian and Art Deco past while seizing 21st-century fundamentals, such as the fabulous roof terrace, state-of-the-art spa and supersized suites. Founded in 1889 by Richard D’Oyly Carte and managed by César Ritz, the hotel, whose chef was the great Auguste Escoffier, is still big box office – and the views from signature suites painted by Monet and Whistler are as spectacular as ever. Savoy Court, with its Lalique glass fountain, still gives old friends and new customers goosebumps as they drive up to the liveried doormen. The American Bar where Garland and Sinatra sang remains one of London’s most iconic, the Art Deco interiors of the Beaufort Bar now form a backdrop for stars of London’s burgeoning cabaret scene, and every night the Lancaster Ballroom hosts dinners for movie premieres, private dances and fashion parties.

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8amTake an early morning stroll around Chelsea Physic Garden

Chelsea Physic Garden

66 Royal Hospital Road, SW3, Tube Sloane Square

Founded by the Society of Apothecaries in 1673 and dedicated to the healing arts of botany, Chelsea’s romantic walled Physic Garden is a living museum of natural history. A statue to patron Sir Hans Sloane, who gifted the land to the society in perpetuity for an annual sum of £5, stands at the centre of this breathtakingly beautiful formal garden. Wide gravel walkways and immaculately tended lawns lead the visitor around this fascinating world of therapeutic planting, which includes the Garden of World Medicine, the Perfumery Amphitheatre, the Garden of Edible and Useful Plants and the Historic Walk. Highlights include the oldest fruiting olive tree in the land and Britain’s first rockery planted with alpines, created in 1773 using masonry from the Tower of London. The grouping of species is fascinating, with beds dedicated to plants that treat psychiatric conditions and drifts of plants arranged geographically introduced tothe garden from Europe, the Far East and the Americas.

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9amEnjoy a hearty breakfast

Granger & Co

Clerkenwell Green, 50 Sekforde Street, EC1, Tube Farringdon

Effervescent Aussie Bill Granger brings
his feel-good sharing menus to Clerkenwell having already opened an outpost in Notting Hill. The restaurant looks out over historic Clerkenwell Green, the muster point for the Crusaders in the 13th century. Open from breakfast, Granger & Co comes into its own as a cool place for a lunch meeting for all the local creative agencies. As you’d expect from a Sydney chef,
the menu is healthy and dominated by lean dishes such as warm turmeric spiced chicken, (cole)slaw, lime and coconut dressing or the shrimp burger with jalapeno mayo and shaved radish salad. The Pizzetti are the perfect accompaniment to a couple of rounds of white peach Bellinis.

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10am -Indulge in a spot of retail therapy

Selfridges & Co

400 Oxford Street, W1, Tube Bond Street

When Edwardian retail magnate Henry Gordon Selfridge opened this Oxford Street pleasure palace over 100 years ago, he brought the spirit of the funfair to shopping. This feeling persists in immersive departments such as the men’s and women’s shoe departments (which are among the biggest in the world) and the designer galleries, which feature several imaginative concessions each tailored to its host label: Marni is all surrealism; Balenciaga is decorated with swooping architectural flourishes; and Chanel’s area is near impossible to fit into for all the tourists. Creative director Alannah Weston has revived this party mood, surfing the zeitgeist to constantly energize Selfridges with a seemingly endless supply of new toys. She brings together the coolest architects, artists, DJs, niche fashion mags and bloggers to “curate” a seemingly endless calendar of pop-up shops, happenings, art installation windows and personal appearances.

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11am -Check out some classic British design

Colefax and Fowler

39 Brook Street, W1, Tube Bond Street

John Fowler’s particular blend of Georgian furniture, paintings, gilt sconces and satin-covered seats, as well as his expert eye for drapery, formed the quintessential English country house style that dominated “decoration” even beyond his death in 1977. The company that bears his name, together with that of his early collaborator Sibyl Colefax, continues in this vein, producing classic wallpapers and fabrics that are coming full circle in the cool stakes. The Brook Street shop is an almost ridiculously charming 18th-century town house just off Bond Street, the upper floors of which used to be the home of Fowler’s collaborator Nancy Lancaster. Visitors to the shop next to Claridge’s can browse the antiques in their natural setting – Nancy’s famous “butter yellow” drawing room.

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An almost ridiculously charming 18th-century town house just off Bond Street

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12.30pm -Reward yourself with a delicious lunch with a view

Sushisamba

Floors 38 and 39, Heron Tower,
110 Bishopsgate, EC2, Tube Liverpool Street

Sir Terence needs no intro, nor does his iconic Michelin Building shop. With his son Jasper Conran at the helm as creative director and chairman, this Fulham flagship has been given a burst of new life. This includes more of a lifestyle shopping experience, you know the kind of thing – kitchenware displayed as though it’s an art installation, and gadgets, accessories, stationery and toiletries seductively art-directed to be utterly irresistible. Exclusive collaborations include Magnus Long furniture and Michael Ruh lighting, alongside iconic headline acts such as Arne Jacobsen’s Egg chair and Anglepoise lamps. The other London branch is in a former stable building at the top of Marylebone (55 Marylebone High Street, W1), relaunched a couple of years ago with a chic café, a flower stand and a penthouse apartment.

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2pm -Historic interiors

Geffrye Museum

136 Kingsland Road, E2

One of London’s best-kept secrets, the Geffrye Museum, which occupies a row of modest 18th-century almshouses, offers a fascinating, through-the-keyhole peep at British middle-class domestic interiors down the ages. Eleven period rooms from 1600 to the present day are presented chronologically, with visitors walking through, among other interiors, a spartan 1630 hall, a Neoclassical 1790 parlour, a blowsy 1890 drawing room, a modernist 1960s living room and a 1998 loft conversion complete with copies of Wallpaper* in the magazine rack. Two almshouse interiors have been restored to their appearance in 1780 and 1880, when they were occupied by the parish poor. Prearranged tours are available (cost £2.50). The herb garden is charming, as are the period gardens reflecting changes in garden design between the 17th and 20th centuries.

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3pm -Take part in an age-old tradition

Berry Bros & Rudd

3 St James’s Street, SW1, Tube Green Park

Every gentleman who fills his wardrobe at Savile Row probably fills his cellars with fine wine from Berry Bros. The firm is Britain’s oldest wine merchant and has traded from the same old storefront in the shadow of St James’s Palace for over 300 years. Giant weighing scales that
stand on bowed timber floorboards have recorded the fluctuating poundage of every gentleman of consequence, from Beau Brummell, the Prince Regent and Lord Byron to today’s City dandies. Below stairs are the cellars, a private dining room and
a wine school. Regular visitors to London might want to take out a Berry Bros’ Cellar Plan, whereby a monthly deposit will build a sensational cellar that could bear more dividends than their bank account.

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5pm -Relax and recharge after a busy day

Espa Life

Corinthia Hotel, Whitehall Place, SW1

This multi-floored sanctuary deep in the Corinthia includes a dark subterranean hideaway where a small soothing swimming pool, a hydrotherapy pool, a glass-walled steam room and moulded warmed marble loungers feel a world away from Whitehall – even though it’s just above. This is a sleek, upscale environment for a holistic approach to wellbeing. Many of the signature two-hour rituals are suited to men and women. The bright-white Spa Lounge rivals Daphne’s as a place for ladies to snack and gossip, and you can leave your hairshirts in the changing room, as treats include a delicious milky protein shake with honey, cacao powder, Greek yoghurt, banana and a pinch of cinnamon.

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This is a sleek, upscale environment for a holistic approach to wellbeing

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6pm -Grab an early dinner in a spectacular location

River Café

Thames Wharf, Rainville Road, W6

The Ritz has a rival for the title “most beautiful dining room in London”. The “New Wing” of Neoclassical Somerset House, closed to the public for over a century and formerly occupied by the hated Inland Revenue, opened like a peony in 2014, with Skye Gyngell’s Spring
its most ravishing new addition. The proportions of the rooms Spring occupies are stately and elegant. Modern touches by designer Briony Fitzgerald harmonize with the historic interiors. All the above would amount to little if the menu were style
over substance but fortunately Gyngell’s food is the very best of the simple, seasonal, organic and ingenious school of British cooking: cod’s roe with crème fraîche and bruschetta, chorizo with clams, white beans and tomato aioli, grilled rabbit with kale, cannellini beans and parsley sauce, and meringue with citrus curd and Jersey cream. The Somerset House location will make Spring invaluable come London Fashion Week.

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7.30pm -See an inspiring theatre production

National Theatre

South Bank, SE1, Tube Waterloo

Formed by Laurence Olivier in 1963, the National Theatre is arguably the most prestigious British theatre company and has been captained by giants of the stage Peter Hall, Richard Eyre, Trevor Nunn, Nicholas Hytner and the present incumbent Rufus Norris. Denys Lasdun’s complex concrete building, “modernized” in 1998, houses three stages – the Dorfman, Lyttleton and Olivier – which are sacred to actors and audiences alike. The National presents twenty productions each year and is state-subsidized, which helps to keep many of the seats very affordable. In recent years the National has presented Ralph Fiennes in Man and Superman, Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller in Frankenstein, Helen Mirren in Racine’s Phèdre, Fiona Shaw’s Mother Courage and Anna Maxwell Martin and Dominic Cooper in a bravura adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials. War Horse, One Man, Two Guvnors, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Alan Bennett’s The History Boys have since toured the world.

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10pm -Finish off with some post-show refreshments

Booking office

St Pancras Renaissance Hotel,
Euston Road, NW1, Tube King’s Cross St Pancras


The rather lofty surroundings of the Victorian St Pancras railway station have been sympathetically reworked into one of London’s most elegant late-night bars. A hammer-beam roof dripping with Neo-Gothic ziggurats runs the length
of the twenty-nine-metre bar, while the furnishings, finishes and flock of regulars are determinedly up to date. Railway hotel it may be, but there are none of the usual station transients here. Instead, a cool set of media and fashion types, drawn in from the neighbouring creative quarters, enjoy classic cocktails to ambient and energizing live sets or resident DJs playing until 3am. Excellent finger food available until the small hours, and house punch served in silver bowls would amuse even Queen Victoria after a couple of tankards.

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Excellent finger food available until the small hours

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London

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Paris

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8amWake up in surrounds inspired by French film history

Hôtel Jules & Jim

11, rue des Gravilliers, 3rd, Metro Arts et Métiers

Opened without fanfare and named after François Truffaut’s cult film, Jules & Jim is a kind of urban village set in an old precious-metals factory. In the past few seasons, it has managed to impose its arty character on this neighbourhood lying between the Marais and Arts et Métiers. Photo exhibitions mounted in collaboration with fashionable galleries like Fisheye and Esther Woerdehoff enliven the three stone buildings set around a courtyard garden. In winter, a fireplace, throw rugs and sofas offer a cosy retreat, while the terrace, cocktail bar and lounge provide a secret hideaway for regulars during Fashion Week. Decorated in genuine Scandinavian style, the hotel is the domain of the likeable and very present Geoffroy Sciard, who is on a first-name basis with many of his loyal customers. The rooms are ridiculously small, as is often the case in Paris, but their charm makes up for the cramped quarters. Try to book “chacun pour soi”, the top-floor room on the courtyard, with a private lift, balcony overlooking the bar and panoramic view of Sacré Cœur, or one of those on the Rue des Vertus side for total immersion in old Paris. The perfectly orchestrated breakfast is open to non-hotel guests. The whirlwind of life stays outside.

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9amStart your day on a sweet note

Patisserie Du Pantheon

200, rue Saint-Jacques, 5th, RER Luxembourg

When he started, Sébastien Dégardin was one of the youngest pastry cooks at a three-star restaurant, Troisgros. He stayed there eight years before developing his creativity with Pierre Gagnaire, who soon put him in charge of his restaurants Gaya in Paris and Sketch in London. In 2006, he opened his first bakery, which was an instant success, in Paris’s 12th arrondissement, on Boulevard de Reuilly. It was an instant success. Since 2014, when he moved into an old delicatessen near the Panthéon whose decor is listed as a historical monument, all his former customers, and new ones as well, have been racing across Paris to snap up the city’s best cakes. At the top of the list are the baba and Paris-Brest, which are simply outstanding, and such creations as the Passiflore (passion fruit, mango and white-chocolate cream on shortbread), the Pommes-Yuzu (apple cooked for eight hours in yuzu), the Carré Pamplemousse (with hazelnut cream in winter and apricots, apples and sour cherries in summer) and the fabulous Pavé du Panthéon (hazelnut dacquoise with praline-and-coffee cream). Otherwise, the flaky brioches and raspberry tarts and pastries are to die for. Savoury treats – a rarity in a shop like this – include a legendary pâté en croute, bouchées à la reine with sweetbreads, croustades, friands and Lucienne’s ham and cheese croquettes, made using the recipes of the chef ’s grandmother. At Christmastime, go for the savoury cakes, at Eastertide for dark chocolates filled with the best praline in the world! At lunchtime, everyone in the neighbourhood enjoys his soup, quiche and chocolate mousse, accompanied by organic apple cider made by Eric Baron, official supplier to the French president’s residence.

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Savoury treats – a rarity in a shop like this – are made using the recipes of the chef ’s grandmother.

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10amStock up on some French fashion

Louis Vuitton

101, avenue des Champs-Élysées, 8th, Metro George V

Over 100 years ago, in 1914, Louis Vuitton set up shop on the Champs-Élysées, at number 70, opening what was then the city’s largest store devoted to travel. This remained the famous trunk manufacturer’s Parisian address until 1954. The company later returned to its roots and now has an immense flagship store on the corner of Avenue George V and what the French proudly call the “most beautiful avenue in the world”. The store, which covers 1,800 square metres, displays a consummate use of light, which adds to an impression of uncluttered space, unostentatious luxury and intimacy, all of which was masterminded and extended in 2005 by architects Eric Carlson and Peter Marino. The entire interior eschews the idea of floors, inviting visitors to embark on a promenade from terrace to terrace that inexorably leads to a spectacular 20-metre-high atrium from which some 1,900 polished steel tubes are suspended, reflecting the light like an inverted waterfall. This invitation to travel continues with more areas to discover, more artworks and more unique sensory experiences that dovetail with the ready-to-wear collections, bags, luggage, leather goods, shoes, watches, jewellery and fragrance. The bookshop is as delightful as ever and is naturally well stocked with the popular City Guide series, the eagerly awaited new titles in Louis Vuitton’s Travel Book series and the already iconic Fashion Eye collection of photography books.

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The store displays a consummate use of light, which adds to an impression of uncluttered space, unostentatious luxury and intimacy

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11amStop off for morning tea

Café de Flore

172, boulevard Saint-Germain, 6th, Metro Saint-Germain-des-Prés

This is the most famous café in Paris. Writers, publishers and artists have always felt at home in the Flore. It was frequented by illustrious figures such as Apollinaire, who invented “surrealism” in 1917, before Breton and Aragon came on the scene. Picasso, Giacometti, Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Hemingway would hang out here, followed later on by figures from the fashion world, such as Lagerfeld, Saint Laurent and Mugler. Gainsbourg and Francis Bacon also lingered into the wee hours. Parisians still prefer to hole up inside, generally leaving the terrace to the tourists. Celebrities give interviews on the first floor, where politicians tuck into a quiet lunch. Regular customers often order a Welsh rarebit washed down with a glass of house white, but the great morning treat is boiled eggs served with buttered “ficelle” bread sticks and a small pot of coffee on a silver tray. It’s pricey as cafés go, but you’re paying for a piece of history.

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Regular customers often order a Welsh rarebit washed down with a glass of house white

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12pm Shop for some memorable gifts

Bazartherapy

15, rue Beaurepaire, 10th, Metro République

Pascal Bildstein and Emmanuel Attali’s concept store, located in an old paint shop near the Canal Saint-Martin, is filled with objects (about 1,200) that a crazy surrealist with a mania for stocktaking would have loved. The place, filled with poetic, playful, practical bric-a-brac, mixes childish fantasy with adult reverie and reinvents the idea of the gift, ranging from old-fashioned baubles to contemporary furniture issued by furniture-makers themselves. Which means you can always find that special something you weren’t looking for. Craft items include Schweitzer crystal glassware, Tournerie du Plat d’Or wooden baubles and Ciegerie des Prémontrés candles. In the high-tech section, you might come across a customized USB key and 1950s-style robots, as well as wonderful super-kitsch Artefacto Madrid plates, illustrated in a Venetian Mars Attacks style. Plus there’s a nod to the treasures that delighted the duo as children: lollipops, goody bags, balloons, toy box statuettes and a French funfair “tirette” slot machine filled with cheap treasures. As well as remembering things past, the owners enjoy unearthing young talents with fanciful imaginations. Examples are the zany creations of Lili Scratchy and the marine-influenced silicone necklaces by Mary Ross, with subtle luminous effects.

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1pmTreat yourself to a classic bistro lunch

La Bourse et la vie

12, rue Vivienne, 2nd, Metro Bourse

Observing that a number of his Parisian friends tended to be vaguely contemptuous of steak frites, green salad and leeks mimosa, one day American chef Daniel Rose had the idea of dedicating a bistro to such dishes alone. It’s what you might call a declaration of love. So it’s no good visiting this slightly dark little dining room decorated with time-honoured mouldings in the hope of finding something excitingly hip and happening, unless you think there’s nothing more up-to-date these days than mackerel in white wine, pot-au-feu or crème caramel. There’s nothing last-century about this restaurant’s approach, however: on the contrary, Rose and his team, led by his wife Marie-Aude, work cheerfully and sensitively on what you might simply call “cooking”. Watching the waves of hearty eaters descending on the Thonet chairs, it’s clear that the giant gougère or cheese puff (served automatically as a kind of welcome), the artichoke heart with foie gras (scandalously undervalued for fifty years or so, to say the least) and the oyster gratin in cream sauce still have a good few centuries ahead of them.

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It’s what you might call a declaration of love

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2pm Enjoy a cultural afternoon

Foundation Louis Vuitton

8, avenue du Mahatma-Gandhi, 16th, Metro Les Sablons

On the edge of the Bois de Boulogne, between Neuilly and Paris, in the Jardin d’Acclimatation that kids have loved since the time of Napoleon III, a glass building cleaves the air and seems to take flight in a bid for freedom. This earth bound ship, flying the Louis Vuitton flag, is the work of the unconventional American architect Frank Gehry, winner of the Pritzker Prize,whose edifices are strewn across the world. Bernard Arnault, president of the LVMH group and the person behind this unrivalled building, has offered Parisians an outstanding venue dedicated to the art and culture representative of the 21st century. The idea was to break free of conventions and reinvent the way we look at things. In choosing Gehry, Arnault opted for boldness, emotion and exhilaration. The impact is stunning and the result fantastic, in the true sense of the word. Once again, the architect demonstrates his mastery of technique and the joy he takes in shattering forms, stretching the limits of harmony and bending building materials to obey the dictates of his unbridled imagination. Twelve superimposed sails composed of 3,600 glass panels swell out, unfurl and soar up to conquer the heavens, giving the building its unique impetus and energy. Around it, the Jardin d’Acclimatation invites visitors to rediscover their inner child and enjoy the Rousseauesque pleasures of strolling outdoors, enjoying centuries-old trees, ancient pines and young lime trees, rocks, waterfalls and other waterworks. The building leaps up in the middle of a meadow without warning – at first concealed, then suddenly revealed. It is both near-invisible with its glass structure and strikingly modern. Is it a mirage or a ship? A bivouac or a giant bird? To each his or her own imaginings. Gehry stimulates personal poetry and seemsto say, “Come on in! Give free rein to your dreams!” Visitors are greeted by a work created specially for the building: Inside the Horizon by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson. Its forty-three columns createan infinite play of reflections and a calming sensory experience. Further inside, the building houses a 350-seat auditoriumand eleven galleries designed to display the permanent collections, including one devoted to Gerhard Richter which features fourteen stunning works. There’s also a bookstore, a café, a gourmet restaurant called LE FRANK run by starred chef Jean-Louis Nomicos and, as a particular highlight, huge panoramic terraces where you can view Paris from angles unlikeany before. The foundation focuses on contemporary art, which it juxtaposes with modern art. The outstanding permanent collection features, among others, works by Maurizio Cattelan, Tacita Dean, Alberto Giacometti, Annette Messager, Nam June Paik, Giuseppe Penone and Sigmar Polke. Further highlights include specially commissioned works by artists such as Ellsworth Kelly, Adrián Villar Rojas and Daniel Buren. Buren has applied an array of coloured filters in a chequered pattern to the glass sails, creating an in situ installation called Observatory of Light.

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4pmStop for an afternoon break

Café De La Paix

5, place de l’Opéra, 9th, Metro Opéra

Outside the Grand Hotel, the Café dela Paix has kept its Second-Empire-style eye on the Palais Garnier, that temple of divas and young ballerinas, since 1862. On a 1939 billboard, the Café de la Paix was puffed up as “the heart of the world”. After a complete makeover in 2003, this listed monument has regained its former glory: coffered ceilings display frescoes of Italian skies edged with wingless angels, the gilding gleams, and fluted columns are topped with bronze Corinthian capitals. A cosmopolitan clientele settles down to chat or lounge at ease some distance from the kitchen to avoid the smell of fried food. The warm mahogany-coloured bar attracts fans of a long drink or a single-malt whiskey. Illustrious regulars of yore include Sherlock Holmes’s father, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who used to correct his proofs here when passing through Paris, sipping tea on the busy terrace.

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5pmUnwind at a day spa

Spa At Shangri-La Hotel

10, avenue d’Iéna, 16th, Metro Iéna

The spa of the Shangri-La offers similar levels of luxury and privacy to those that can be found on the other floors of the hotel. Open to both guests and fee-paying non-guests, the space is mostly taken up with one of the city’s finest hotel pools, which is adorned with Art Deco bas-reliefs and colonnades and which affords a good swim. The interior is bathed in daylight that floods through the arch of the former stables of the Palais Bonaparte. There is a terrace where you can enjoy a Caesar salad, some caviar or a club sandwich. Carita body and face treatments are available, impeccably administered in two cabins, Vanda and Disa, each provided with a shower, a hammam, a changing room and a hairdresser, ensuring that you will not be spotted wandering the corridors in a dishevelled state wearing a dressing gown. The ultimate treatment is the Corps Parfait (for women), which lasts for 100 minutes and is administered on a heated bed.

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7pmEnjoy a pre-dinner aperitif

Le Petit Sommelier De Paris

49, avenue du Maine, 14th, Métro Gaîté or Edgar-Quinet

In the shadow of the Montparnasse Tower, this 100% Parisian bistro offers an intoxicating choice of fine vintages. No fewer than 11,000 bottles lie in waiting in the depths of the cellar to have their cork stoppers finally released. The clientele of mostly regulars is spoiled for choice, with 800 different products on the wine list. Ask the owner for his wise advice, as he’s the young Pierre Vila Palleja, a sommelier who worked for Alain Ducasse at the Ritz,the Crillon and at Lasserre. He took over the family business and was asked by chef Nicolas Bouillier to create a double wine list: one side for seasonal, creative cuisine, and the other for classic bistro dishes such as the must-have beef tartare made with meat from Metzger Frères. Service is non stop from 11am to 11pm.

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9pmDine with the fashionable set

Clamato

80, rue de Charonne, 11th, Metro Charonne

The Clamato is a strange drink made of tomato juice, clam juice and spices and is the humorous name of this restaurant, chosen by chef Bertrand Grébaut. Grébaut is also the owner of the fabulous SEPTIME (blue facade, next door) and a tiny wine shop a cork’s throw away, SEPTIME LA CAVE (3, rue Basfroi, 11th, tel 01 43 67 14 87). Clamato specializes in seafood in a large dining room devoid of fisherman’s nets, braided kelp or stuffed fish. The approach is elegant and streamlined, with small plates mixing the rough and the refined. The menu, executed by a young Canadian chef, steers a course between ceviche, razor clams with herb butter, oysters with Tabasco, and veal tartare with sea-urchin juice, as delicate to look at as to eat. The pinnacle of this approach, the “accrabes”, with spicy mayonnaise, are an ideal blend of a New England crab cake and a Caribbean accra: don’t even think about ordering fewer than two servings. At Clamato you can’t book ahead, so get there either very early or quite late.

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11pmStick around for post-dinner fun

Silenco

142, rue Montmartre, 2nd, Metro Bourse

With this imaginative venture, inspired by the club in his film Mulholland Drive, David Lynch has broken the Parisian mould. Members-only until midnight, the place has been running a highly eclectic artistic programme for a number of seasons. Bringing to mind the great days of New York’s Cock Bar, it hosts discussions, debates, cinema, trash performances, including legendary unplugged sessions from Lana del Rey and Beth Ditto, and sets of hip Berlin electronica on vinyl. Fashionistas, film and design industry types, PR execs and journalists fill the place every night, wandering through a wide underground gallery – which once housed the newspaper printing press where Zola’s celebrated “J’accuse...!” was produced – that is covered in gold leaf and features a library, smoking room, private lounge and mini art gallery. It’s a hybrid club that supports contemporary, avant-garde art.

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Inspired by the club in his film Mulholland Drive, David Lynch has broken the Parisian mould

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Tokyo

Make the most of a day in Tokyo with tips from Louis Vuitton City Guides.

8amRise and shine in luxurious surrounds

Shangri-La Tokyo

Marunouchi Trust Tower Main, 1-8-3 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Stations Tokyo or Nihonbashi
千代田区丸の内1-8-3 丸の内トラストタワ ー本館

Once you have passed through the highly discreet entryway, you will find yourself taken to new heights when the elevator doors open on the 28th floor, revealing this palace hotel fit for kings and queens, filled with cascading chandeliers, velvet sofas and fresh orchids. This jewel of the Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts empire opened in 2009 on the top eleven floors of the Marunouchi Trust Tower Main, above Tokyo Station. In this five-star hotel, the exemplary service has been elevated to an art form, complete with personalised room service and round-the-clock butlers. Aesthetics have not been neglected either: thehotel boasts a record 2,000 artworks.The comfortable, thoughtfully equipped rooms and suites combine Western elegance and Eastern flair, along with the full range of technologies (cable, Sharp screens, Bose audio, free wifi), Stearns& Foster mattresses, pillow menus and L’Occitane soaps and aromas for the rain shower, which can accommodate two.The gleaming presidential suite measures 269 square metres, while the thirty-one wood-panelled Horizon Club roomson the 36th and 37th floors include access to a lounge, late checkout and speedy laundry service. This Shangri-La is also prized for its Chi spa, lounges and Piacere and Nadaman restaurants (by Hong Kong designer André Fu). It is adored and patronised by celebrities, diplomats, heads of state, ministers, magnates and other travellers. This is one idea of Seventh Heaven in Tokyo.

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8amStart your day with a Western-style coffee

Blue Bottle Coffee Aoyama

ブルーボトルコーヒー青山 カフェ

Matsuda Building 2F, 3-13-14 Minami-aoyama, Minato-ku, Station Omotesando
港区南青山 3-13-14, 増田ビル2F

The latest hotspot for coffee fanatics is also the most spacious Blue Bottle café in Tokyo, located a few steps from the epicentre (Prada and Comme des Garçons) in a huge upstairs space with a plain, unfinished aesthetic. The Blue Bottles are to coffee what Apple is to portable high- tech, the nec plus ultra of convenience, good taste and design. Addicts can indulge in drip coffee, espresso, iced coffee and other concoctions. The pastries, donuts and waffles are also highly recommended. Blue Bottle, a company created in Oakland, California, is recommended for purists and aficionados of espresso and drip coffee.

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10amPlunge straight into exploring the city’s famous design offerings

D47 Design Travel Store

ディヨンナナ デザイントラベル ストア

Shibuya Hikarie 8F, 2-21-1 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Station Shibuya
渋谷区渋谷2-21-1 渋谷ヒカリエ8F

This is an exceptional place because it is original and wants to showcase, in the heart of Shibuya, the thousand and one riches of the crafts traditions from the 47 Japanese prefectures. It is actually three shops, because in addition to the travel store where you can obtain supplies of cooking utensils, food, publications (including the excellent D Design Travel review in English and Japanese) and even some fashion items, there is the D47 Museum art gallery. It holds exhibitions about every two months, usually devoted to the creative craftspeople of the one prefectures. And finally, along the bay windows overlooking Shibuya station and surrounds, there is D47 Shokudo, the sort of wonderful bistro you’d like to come across more often. Driving all this is Kenmei Nagaoka, the designer and founder of the flourishing company D&D Department, and a general cultural agitator who has partnered with Rei Kawakubo in Good Design Shop in the Gyre complex in Harajuku

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11amFollow this up with a twirl around a museum

Hara Museum Of Contemporary Art

原美術館

4-7-25 Kita-Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Station Shinagawa
品川区北品川4-7-25

The Hara Museum, opened in 1979, isone of the major symbols of Tokyo, an absolute must. The Bauhaus-influenced building, designed in 1938 by Jin Watanabe, is of considerable interest in itself. The beautiful collection includes works by Yasumasa Morimura and Yoshitomo Nara, and there are exhibitions by well-known Japanese and foreign artists in the fields of contemporary art, design, architecture, dance and music, such as the highly attended shows of the works of the American photographer William Eggleston, the Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto, and more recently French film-maker Sophie Calle and American artist Cy Twombly. There is also a programme of temporary exhibitions. The pleasant garden and café add to the appeal of this fascinating museum.

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12pmRefresh yourself with a delicious noodle lunch

Honmura An

ホンムラアン

7-14-18 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Station Roppongi
港区六本木7-14-1

For sixteen years, Honmura An delighted Soho in New York with buckwheat noodles. Koichi Kobari, the restaurant’s fourth chef and much celebrated in the United States, has lost none of his verve. Modern and refined, this is far removed from the clichéd local sobaya joint. It is large and spacious, in a concrete-style setting. The wonderfully perfumed soba, served bistro-style, is made from flour prepared daily on-site. Although the menu changes regularly, the house classic soba with raw sea urchin is still made from fine noodles in a recipe handed down from chef to chef. The tempura, appetizers and other dishes are both original and delicious, and the sake and shochu menus are equally generous. The sake is served in wooden cubes, a pleasant surprise.

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1pmFollow lunch with a stroll around a beautiful park

Koganei Koen

小金井公園

7-14-18 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Station Roppongi
小金井市関野町1-13-1

Koganei Park is a traditional site for cherry blossom viewing. On April 10, the peak of the blossom-viewing season, hordes of Tokyoites descend on the park and its surroundings to admire the mountain cherry, or yamazakura, in full bloom. This tradition goes back to the mid-18th century: in 1737, by order of Tokugawa Shogun Yoshimune, a peasant planted many thousands of young trees along a nearly 6-kilometre stretch of the nearby canal. The seedlings came from cherry and other trees on Mount Yoshino and villages in Ibaraki (then called Hitachi) and Nara prefectures. Magnificently preserved, the park today also boasts beautiful gingko trees (best viewed in late November), plum trees (January–February), and azaleas (late April).

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2pmThen treat yourself to some designer clothing

Dover Street Market Ginza

ドーバー ストリート マ ーケット ギンザ

6-9-5 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Station Ginza
中央区銀座6-9-5

This giant hive created by Comme des Garçons designer Rei Kawakubo promotes lines such as Comme des Garçons, Junya Watanabe and Play. On the seventh floor, the Rose Bakery restaurant-cafeteria serves superlative salads. The shop also features top international brands such as Alaïa, Delvaux, Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent, Rick Owens, Margiela, MAI, Delfina Delettrez and Repossi along with rarer brands such as Juun.J or locals such as Sacai, A Bathing Ape®, Visvim, Digawel and Facetasm. Above all don’t miss the young designers’ space displaying Simone Rocha, Sunsea, Twoness, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Noir Kei Ninomiya, and the NikeLab on the sixth floor, along with the world’s traditional costumes selected by Michael Costiff. All displayed in increasingly inventive spaces. Visitors also come for the many collaborations and exclusives found here in this place with a powerful vision, where people can appreciate fashion through this lively mélange.

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3pmStay zen with a visit to a spa

Mandara Spa

マンダラ・スパ

Royal Park Hotel The Shiodome B2F, 1-6-3 Higashi-Shinbashi, Minato-ku, Stations Shimbashi or Shiodome
港区東新橋1-6-3, ロイヤルパークホテルザ汐留 B2F

The Mandara Spa is a symbolic seventh heaven, part of the international chain of luxury hotels of the same name that began life on the island of Bali in Indonesia. This oasis of calm cut off from the outside world makes you forget the hectic pace of the city. The therapies on offer are inspired by everything from traditional Balinese massage and shirodhara massage from the Ayurveda tradition to body care using products from the British spa brand Elemis. There’s also a Samarpan massage with warm oil, only available in Japan, offering deep relaxation for every muscle in your body.

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This oasis of calm cut off from the outside world makes you forget the hectic pace of the city

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4pmGet a post-spa treat, Tokyo-style

Funabashiya Koyomi Hiroo

船橋屋 こよみ 広尾店

5-17-1 Hiroo, Shibuya-ku, Station Hiroo
渋谷区広尾 5-17-1

A venerable institution from the Tokyo of yesteryear. The name alone draws crowds of epicures to its delicious array of goodies. For two centuries (the house dates back to 1805), Funabashiya has been making scrumptious sweetmeats such as kuzu-mochi (a pastry based on the powder of the edible – and medicinal – root of kuzu) and anmitsu (red beans, agar and fruit in syrup). On the second floor you can try the house specialities made from vegetables and sweetmeats, along with one of the types of umeshu (plum brandy). It’s all about tastes, and a taste for what it’s all about.

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6pmEnjoy a pre-dinner drink with a rooftop view

Andaz Tokyo Rooftop Bar

アンダーズ 東 京 ル ーフトップバー

Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills 52F, 1-23-4 Toranomon, Minato-ku, Station Toranomon
港区虎ノ門1-23-4アンダーズ東京虎ノ門ヒル ズ52F

Is it the proximity to the sea, with Tokyo Bay and its luminous landmark, the Rainbow Bridge, not far away? Or is it the novelty of the place, atop the monumental Toranomon Hills tower? An intoxicating breath of fresh air always blows through this rooftop bar. Depending on your mood and the weather, you might want to sit in front of the large windows to enjoy the sunset, or at the bar so as not to miss any of the high-precision moves of the house mixologist, Ryuichi Saito. His speciality, the Personal Collins, a turquoise-blue mixture of Scotch whisky, matcha and honey syrup, among other things, served in a glass teapot, is a delight for the eyes and a sweet taste of alcoholic joy. Those who are feeling a bit peckish will find the sushi bar to be a haven of refinement and tranquility unexpected at this altitude.

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8pmGo for a memorable sushi feast

Sushi Saito

鮨さいとう

Ark Hills South Tower 1F, 1-4-5 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Station Roppongi-Itchome
港区六本木1-4-5アークヒルズサ ウスタワー 1F

Booking a table in the best sushi restaurant in town sounds like a challenge. But well worth it, once chef Takashi Saito takes control of your meal. Although part of the Sushi Kanesaka family, he cooks solo. The excellent quality pickled or matured fish (exquisite flavour and texture) is delicately combined with vinegared rice. As evidence of his passion for cooking, the chef finds his urchins in Hokkaido, but also searches all of Japan for local variations in appearance and flavour. His tuna sushi – lean, fatty and belly loin – are a delight, while his small portions of seasonal fish sushi use a slightly sweeter vinegared rice than usual. A must-do experience in Tokyo.

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Booking a table in the best sushi restaurant in town sounds like a challenge. But well worth it, once chef Takashi Saito takes control of your meal.
  • telephone
    03 3589 4412
  • fixed price menu
    ¥10 000 to ¥20 000

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10pmParty the night away with chic locals

Red Bar (Chandelier)

レッドバー(シャンデリア)

1-12-22 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Station Shibuya
渋谷区渋谷1-12-22

There’s no indication or sign to show the entrance to this narrow, smoke-filled stand-up bar in a lane on Miyamasuzaka hill. The place is brightly lit, with red curtains hiding the walls and a rare collection of lamps and chandeliers to add to the decor. Late at night after the last train and metro, a cosmopolitan crowd from varied backgrounds meets here to drink tequila, beer or vodka tonics. You’ll find two or three chairs and benches to help you sit it out till dawn. The sound is perfect and the rhythms wild. If you’re crowd-averse, check out the PIANO BAR not far away, under the watchful eye of lady-of-the- house Miyuki-san.

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Tokyo

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New York City

One perfect day in the Big Apple, thanks to Louis Vuitton City Guides.

8amWake up in the heart of downtown Manhattan

The Bowery Hotel

335 Bowery, East Village, Subway Bleecker Street

Top-hatted red-liveried doormen are a salute to the Bowery’s raffish reputation of old. It’s hard to believe that Eric Goode and Sean MacPherson’s hip yet seemingly historical hotel hasn’t always been a part of the East Village’s grit. Wood panelling, low timbered ceilings and moody murals in the ground-floor lounge may be ersatz but without a whiff of kitsch. Black ceiling fans, hand-crafted Mexican tiling and faux-nicotine-stained lamps lend loft-style guest rooms a colonial air, while white- linen headboards, velveteen armchairs and marble washstands seem lifted from the set of a costume drama. In the absence of brash business facilities, it’s no surprise that there aren’t many suits on site. Typical patrons are creatives or entertainment- industry bosses talking shop with fellow smokers in the back garden or over roasted branzino and wood-baked pizzas in the rustic yet theatrical corner Italian restaurant, Gemma. And that’s how the Bowery neighbourhood likes it. So easy-going is this locale now that a fleet of red Earth Cruiser bikes begs guests to borrow them for a cycle tour.

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9amEat a classic New York City breakfast

Barney Greengrass

541 Amsterdam Avenue, UWS, Subway 86th Street

The Upper West Side has been changing at a breakneck pace, so it’s particularly comforting to see Barney Greengrass holding its own against all odds. The store, a combination deli and restaurant, looks much the same as it did when it opened in 1908. There are still canned goods lining the shelves and locals lining the sidewalk in front of the shop waiting their turn for weekend brunch. Don’t miss the smoked salmon or sturgeon (Barney Greengrass is known as the Sturgeon King) and don’t have either of them any way but heaped on a toasted bagel with onion rings and tomato

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The store, a combination deli and restaurant, looks much the same as it did when it opened in 1908

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10amIndulge in a morning of culture

The Frick Collection

1 East 70th Street, UES, Subway 68th Street–Hunter College

Turn-of-the-last-century industrialist Henry Clay Frick converted his Carrère and Hastings Fifth Avenue mansion into a gem of a museum, housing his unmatched holdings of European fine art and a world-class art library. The Frick’s three Vermeers are among the best of the Dutch painter’s limited, luminous output; they hang amidst standouts by his fellow Old Masters Jan van Eyck, François Boucher, Jacques-Louis David, Jean-Honoré Fragonard and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. Wandering through the mansion is also like dropping in on a theme park of old-school wealth and accumulation, from the mellifluous fountain in the middle to the panelled sitting rooms and galleries. But it’s not just a beautiful place – the shows here are small yet carefully curated and critically acclaimed, mining the Frick’s staggering permanent holdings or built around collections of equal calibre from other, often international, museums.

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Wandering through the mansion is also like dropping in on a theme park of old-school wealth and accumulation

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12pmSample a Southern-inspired NYC lunch

Briskettown

359 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Fette Sau pretty much owned the Brooklyn barbecue-sphere until home cook Daniel Delaney hauled a massive smoker up from Austin, Texas, and began turning out lusciously rich Texas-style brisket at pop-up events around town, under the name Brisketlab. Now he has opened a proper dining room where, in the tradition of Lockhart, Texas, you can step up to the front counter to order glistening, pepper- rubbed slices of hardwood-smoked brisket by the pound, and then chow down on it while enjoying the twang of country music. Go before 1pm for Blue Bottle coffee and Austin-style breakfast tacos: flour tortillas stuffed with creamy scrambled eggs, smoked meat, salsa and veggies.

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Go before 1pm for Blue Bottle coffee and Austin-style breakfast tacos

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1pmGet fashionable at one of the city’s best department stores

Bergdorf Goodman

754 Fifth Avenue, Midtown, Subway 57th Street

Once the site of Cornelius Vanderbilt’s 137-room estate, this mansard-roofed edifice has been an obligatory stop on every Midtown shopping trip since Andrew Goodman opened its doors in 1928. With gleaming fixtures and luxurious amenities – including the John Barrett Salon and the elegant Kelly Wearstler-designed BG restaurant – not to mention a store directory that reads like Anna Wintour’s Rolodex, Bergdorf ’s holds fast to its aristocratic retail roots while striding ahead with New York fashion icons such as Derek Lam, Narciso Rodriguez, Jil Sander and Zac Posen. The lower levels seduce with a staggering selection of accessories and shoes. The seventh-floor bridal salon (by appointment only) is considered one of the best in New York, as is the home decoration section. And a visit to BG’s ultra-chic beauty space is a must. In the building opposite (745 Fifth Avenue, tel 1 212 339 3307) lies the menswear store, imbued with the subdued elegance of a classic haberdashery. The wealth of luxury labels includes Etro, Ermenegildo Zegna, Loro Piana and Brioni, while

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Bergdorf ’s holds fast to its aristocratic retail roots while striding ahead with New York fashion icons such as Derek Lam and Narciso Rodriguez

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3pmPamper yourself with a spa afternoon

Aire Ancient Baths

88 Franklin Street, Tribeca, Subway Franklin Street

Cavernous and candlelit, this steamy subterranean spa provides a centuries-past dose of relaxation quite unique in this city. Spending 90 minutes here lying supine in a thermal bath, steaming in a hammam or stretched out on heated marble sipping mint tea is antidotal to anyone weary of clinical therapies. The Spanish-stone baths are gently illuminated by Moroccan lanterns. To be recharged and soothed, do as the Romans did and have a splash in waters bubbling, mineral rich, ice cold or piping hot. A spell at Aire can also be enhanced with a massage.

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5pmRe-tox with a sweet treat

Dominique Ansel Bakery

189 Spring Street, Soho, Subway Spring Street

Unless you’ve been living under a madeleine, you know this place is famous for inventing (and trademarking) the Cronut, the flaky, creamy croissant-donut hybrid that had pastry fiends (and scalpers) lining up for hours. That fervour has died down somewhat, but you’ll still have to show up before the store opens at 8am (9am on Sundays) in order to secure one or two (that’s the maximum per person) of the limited number of cronuts that are made each day (if you can wait two weeks, online pre-orders are taken every Monday at 11am). If they’ve run out by the time you arrive, rest assured Ansel, previously the pastry chef at Daniel, has plenty of equally playful and delicious creations to offer, all to be enjoyed with a coffee in the luminous, skylit patio in the back.

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6pmDiscover a world of glorious homewares

BDDW

5 Crosby Street, Soho, Subway Canal Street

Run by Tyler Hays, who more or less ignited an entire movement surrounding his artfully designed, highly bespoke and highly covetable home goods, BDDW efficiently serves those looking for a serious statement piece that is exceptionally well made. Inside its massive, cathedral- ceilinged showroom on lower Crosby Street floats a prime selection of tables, desks, benches, sideboards and bed frames with clean, pure lines, all arranged into magazine-worthy vignettes. Each solidly handsome article of furnishing is superbly handcrafted from domestic wood species, such as the iconic slab table, which consists of a single piece of maple or walnut standing on a bronze wishbone base that was cast at the store’s own foundry. Playful accessories abound, such as a circular “Captain’s Mirror” hanging on a leather strap and the popular tripod lamp with Claro walnut legs (one of Hays’s first designs for the brand), as does a new line of elegant armchairs and sofas. Hays recently started producing small-run ceramics after he discovered a substantial clay deposit beneath the firm’s sprawling Pennsylvania workshop. The resulting one-of-a-kind crocks, mugs and dinnerware are hand-sculpted and painted with farmhouse-inspired illustrations and designs.

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Each solidly handsome article of furnishing is superbly handcrafted

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8pmEnjoy a pre-dinner cocktail

King Cole Bar and Salon

The St. Regis Hotel, 2 East 55th Street, Midtown, Subway Seventh Avenue

Located in the lobby of the St. Regis, the King Cole Bar has been a New York staple for over eighty years. The beautiful mural of Old King Cole, created by Maxfield Parrish in 1906, is a must-see, but it’s the Old World charm, cosseted feel and jacketed barmen that bring out the robber baron lurking in all of us. Make sure to try a Red Snapper, the bar’s own Bloody Mary – only right seeing as it was introduced to America here. Chef John DeLucie recently redid the menu to feature seafood platters and Italian specialities such as the famous truffle mac and cheese he served at the Waverly Inn during its celebrity-packed heyday.

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Make sure to try a Red Snapper, the bar’s own Bloody Mary

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9pmExperience a dinner to remember

The Chef’s table, Brooklyn Fare

200 Schermerhorn Street, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, Subway Hoyt–Schermerhorn

Showered with plaudits, Chef ’s Table at Brooklyn Fare is run out of the kitchen of a Brooklyn supermarket. Chef Cesar Ramirez creates a singular tasting menu experience in his stainless steel workplace, inviting guests (eighteen at a time) to dine at the horseshoe-shaped counter while he prepares around two dozen courses, à la minute, before their eyes. He sources the finest ingredients, with a focus on seafood, and employs a delicate but concise cooking style that combines French technique with Japanese influences. Though one begins to squirm on the hard stools after course twelve, the food is worth the discomfort. Culinary revelations on the daily changing menu might include a melting cube of bluefin toro dabbed with a sharp mustard soy sauce, and succulent langoustines with epazote. It is extremely difficult to book a table, possible just six weeks in advance – a new week opens every Monday at 10:30am, so be ready to start dialling from 10:29am. Note that business attire is required.

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Culinary revelations on the daily changing menu might include a melting cube of bluefin toro dabbed with a sharp mustard soy sauce

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11pmTake in a late show

The Slippery Room

167 Orchard Street, LES, Subway Second Avenue

This mainstay of the city’s burlesque and performance-art scene closed down for two years, then reopened in 2012, in the same location but in a new building. With help from Peter Shapiro, who owns Brooklyn Bowl, Williamsburg’s grandiose bowling alley/concert hall, it has gone from being the small room, where quirky variety stars such as drag king Murray Hill and spandex-clad Scotty the Blue Bunny made their names, to an elegant jewel-box theatre where trapeze artists have room to do their thing. Check the website for Mr. Choade’s Upstairs Downstairs, the long-running house variety show, or Manhattan appearances by the CONEY ISLAND CIRCUS SIDESHOW (www.coneyisland.com), a scrappy freak show with comely sword swallowers and human blockheads.

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1amGet among the city nightlife

Employees Only

510 Hudson Street, West Village, Subway Christopher Street–Sheridan Square

Just finished your shift at Jean-Georges? Closed the bar on Bleecker? Head to Employees Only. From midnight on you’ll find pros from many of the city’s best restaurants, bars and clubs. Although created as their clubhouse to kick back and talk shop or just drink in peace (read: noisily with a lot of friends), EO is open to everyone who can find it. Hidden behind a storefront Tarot card reader, it evokes the Prohibition-flaunting 1920s, with a classic cocktail menu and steak tartare.

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From midnight on you’ll find pros from many of the city’s best restaurants, bars and clubs

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, justo aut libero, fusce hymenaeos dictumst nec, mauris eget mauris pede est aenean ut, sapien quis. Eros fringilla urna, scelerisque quia suspendisse. Sem veniam non facilisi dolor pulvinar, magna molestie varius, enim molestie a et. Phasellus nec nulla non pulvinar wisi, massa enim felis bibendum, facilisi ridiculus ligula. Vel sed pharetra venenatis sem pulvinar nullam, eu dignissim id est nulla nostrum in, lectus amet maecenas ultricies, cursus pede orci aliquam magnis donec.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, justo aut libero, fusce hymenaeos dictumst nec, mauris eget mauris pede est aenean ut, sapien quis. Eros fringilla urna, scelerisque quia suspendisse. Sem veniam non facilisi dolor pulvinar, magna molestie varius, enim molestie a et. Phasellus nec nulla non pulvinar wisi, massa enim felis bibendum, facilisi ridiculus ligula. Vel sed pharetra venenatis sem pulvinar nullam, eu dignissim id est nulla nostrum in, lectus amet maecenas ultricies, cursus pede orci aliquam magnis donec.

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