Building foundations with Jean Nouvel and Frank Gehry
Coya, London, UK
Continuing London's recent Peruvian invasion, the latest project by Arjun Waney (the man behind Zuma, La Petite Maison and The Arts Club) is private members bar and restaurant, Coya. Set within the grand confines of a classic Georgian building on Piccadilly, the space has been designed by London-based Richard Saunders of David D'Almada's company Sagrada, who has conjured a bohemian atmosphere with a modern spin. The eclectic interiors feature Peruvian antiques, painted murals and colourful textures. Food, by ex Ivy chef, Sanjay Dwivedi is a tasty array of Peruvian delights such as Conchas con ají limo (Scallops with limo chilli crumbs), while Lima's very best bars were scoured to create Coya's very own Pisco Sour served in traditional botija mud containers, traditionally used to store Pisco since the 1800s. The downstairs restaurant and pisco bar is open to everyone, but members will also have use of the separate dining area, outdoor terrace and bar.
118 Piccadilly, London, W1J 7NW; Tel: 44. 020 7042 7118; www.coyarestaurant.com
Writer: Sara Henrichs
Hotel Lavaux, Lac Lemant, Switzerland
Sited between Lausanne and Vevey, in the middle of a sea of Swiss vines and the famous lake Leman, an enduring motel has been given a makeover that has transformed the patrimony-classified structure into a sleek new hotel. Designed in 1964 by celebrated Italian architect Alberto Sartoris, who lived a big part of his life in Switzerland, the building's modernist style has remained intact during the 15 million Swiss francs renovation that took two years to complete. Sitting perfectly between the UNESCO-protected vines, almost plunging into the lake, the 59-room hotel, which also comprises a further six apartments, is a mix of clean white lines and sober colours. Rooms feature their own balconies, offering panoramic views of either the vineyard or the lake and the rolling mountains beyond.
Route Cantonale, 1096 Cully, Suisse; Tel: 41.21 799 9393; www.hotellavaux.ch
Writer: Debbie Pappyn
Sans Souci, Vienna, Austria
Sans Souci might translate to 'without a care', but the interiors of this new Viennese property have been put together very precisely indeed. A former inn dating from 1872, the grand building in the central bohemian quarter of Spittelberg, has now received a vigorous makeover by Philippe Starck and John Hitchcox's London-based Yoo Studio. On the outside, deep purple window coverings against the building's classic white façade have an instant and dramatic impact, while the interior is a sumptuous mix of modernist and antique furniture. The 63-room lodging's standout feature is a vast collection of modern art, including original paintings by Roy Lichtenstein and Steve Kaufman, while an eclectic assortment of chandeliers grace almost all the public spaces, including the indoor swimming pool in which guests can unwind after a day of culture at the nearby MuseumsQuartier.
Museumstraße 1, 1070 Wien, Österreich. +4315222520. www.hotel-sanssouci.at
Writer: Manfredi Conti
Bestia, Los Angeles, USA
The up and coming Arts District in downtown LA has gone from a few desolate warehouses to one of the hottest new restaurant destinations. Meaning 'Beast', this small Italian concept with a charcuterie and cheese bar is part of a new mixed-use project developed by Linear City, also comprising 78 residential units. Drinks are concocted at the copper bar by celebrity mixologist Julian Cox while the menu features hearty pasta and pizza. Designed by Greg Bleier of Studio Unlimited in collaboration with Genevieve, the raw, industrial space uses wood and steel elements mingling with meat hook chandeliers dangling from an overhead track. The rustic booths were built by District Millworks and are crowded with artsy customers each night.
2121 E 7th Pl Los Angeles; Tel: 1.213 514 5724; bestiala.com
Writer: Carole Dixon
Mercer Hotel, Barcelona, Spain
Not to be confused with its New York namesake, this new property brings a breath of fresh design to the gothic heart of Barcelona. Concealed down an unassuming medieval side street, the 28-room Mercer Hotel is housed in an impressive building that comprises part of the defensive wall of the 1st century Roman town of Baracino. In a prevailing palette of smooth browns, beiges, and greys, the furnishings have been crafted exclusively by Madrid-based interiors firm Gaston y Daniela, while architect Rafael Moneo has created a luminous space, sympathetically preserving its original elements, and adding the occasional modern touch, such as the striking floor to ceiling windows that overlook a central courtyard. Public spaces include two restaurants, a cocktail bar and a rooftop terrace lap pool. And the Loewe toiletries are a pleasant addition.
Calle dels Lledó 7, 08002 Barcelona, Spain; Tel: 34.9 3310 7480; www.mercerbarcelona.com
Writer: Manfredi Conti
Souk, Athens, Greece
Situated along a coastal road in the trendy Athens suburb of Glyfada, Souk is a veritable food bazaar, serving Lebanese street fare around the clock. Designed by Athens-based architecture firm K-Studio, the industrial-style building comprises an assortment of stalls, each specialising in a different dish that is made fresh before your eyes. Long canteen-style tables, surrounded by a colourful jumble of mismatched chairs, give the venue a laid-back atmosphere, while subtle references to Islamic architecture are evident throughout, from the faded floor tiles to ceramic light fittings.
Gregory Lambrakis 3 and Poseidon Street, Glyfada, Athens 16675, Greece; Tel: 30.21 0898 1000
Writer: Manfredi Conti
Tapasuma, Istanbul, Turkey
Offering one of Istanbul's best waterside views, the newly opened Tapasuma restaurant is yet another reminder of what a cosmopolitan contender the city has become. Housed within a nineteenth century Ottoman distillery, the interior features a striking centerpiece in the form of an eight-metre long Calcutta marble bar, while a palette of mushroom and charcoal grey have a warming effect, brightened by plenty of natural light. Chef Gokay Cakiroglu serves up a tempting menu of traditional yet modern Turkish fare that includes a selection of hot and cold tapas dishes such as baked, dry figs stuffed with goats cheese. The extensive wine list, offering an array of regional grapes, adds to the locality of this very modern Turkish restaurant.
Kuleli Caddesi 43 Çengelköy, Istanbul ; Tel: 90.21 6401 133; www.tapasuma.com
Writer: Manfredi Conti
The Coffee Academics, Hong Kong
Coffee is serious business. Just ask Jennifer Liu (founder of the highly popular homegrown chain Caffè Habitu) who is now blazing a trail in Hong Kong with The Coffee Academics. Tucked away in the heart of Causeway Bay, the café is an oasis for those wanting to indulge in all things java. Liu had a hand in the industrial, vintage-chic interiors, which feature communal wooden banquet tables set against red brick walls that could easily have us imagining we are in downtown Brooklyn. No expense was spared on a variety of top-end roasters, all housed - quite inexplicably - behind bulletproof glass. We recommend sampling the ice-dripped coffee, made from a painstaking process that requires six hours to produce just one litre of liquid. The result is a sinful brew with a delectably similar taste to whisky.
38 Yiu Wa Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong; Tel: 852. 2156 0313; www.the-academics.com
Writer: Jessica Klingelfuss
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