The best sailing holidays in the world

There were boats everywhere, and boats of all kinds, from the big black wherry with her gaily painted mast… to the punts of the boatmen going to and fro, and the motor-cruisers filling up with petrol, and the hundreds of big and little sailing yachts, tied to the quays.”  Arthur Ransome loved sailing. The creator of Swallows and Amazons, The Big Six and – in the case of the above excerpt – 1934’s Coot Club filled his children’s books with fun and adventures on the waters of the Lake District and the Norfolk Broads.  It is now 50 years since he died (in June 1967), taking his distinctly English vision of messing about in boats with him. But the appeal of a holiday on deck has not dimmed – even if the scope for escape under sail has rather grown  since the Thirties, the period that the author painted in such a romantic light.  In 2017, you can take a wind-powered journey in any part of the planet, and be involved as much or as little as you like – chartering and skippering your own vessel, joining an experienced crew to wrestle with a moody ocean, or embarking on a gentle voyage where a team of professionals provides the expertise.  Being taught to sail can also make for a great holiday. The Royal Yacht Association (023 8060 4100; offers a range of courses which are recognised worldwide – from tuition for beginners to the top-rank “Yachtmaster” qualification.  Some of these learning curves are included in the 30 breaks below – but whether you opt to navigate to Cuba or go no further than the Wroxham hailed in Coot Club, the essential joy is largely the same. Sailing for beginners 1. Devon for starters Brixham, on the south coast of Devon, is a fine port of call during the summer. But it has special purpose for would-be boat hands, as the base for Trinity Sailing (01803 883355;, a RYA-listed training school which offers tuition on Golden Continue Reading

Jonathan Gold finds delight in the secretive Santa Monica restaurant Dialogue

One of the best things I’ve ever eaten was a pressed squab that was part of the Hunt menu at Chicago’s restaurant Next, a bloody, barely roasted bird whose breasts and legs were ceremoniously carved off by a chef at a tableside cart, and its carcass was put into a huge, hand-cranked press to be squeezed like an orange. Ten minutes later, the finished dish and its dense sauce, famously one of the most glamorous preparations of Escoffier, were brought out from the kitchen.I bring this up because Dialogue, a new tasting-menu restaurant in Santa Monica, is the current project of Dave Beran, who was then the chef at Next, and right in the middle of the intimate open kitchen is exactly the gleaming duck press you may have hoped you would see, possibly the only one in the city at the moment. There are no carts — Dialogue, which sits just 18 people, is about the size of a two-car garage. Beran presses his ducks behind the counter, capturing the juices that flow from the silvery spout and reducing them with aromatics until they thicken into a suave gravy, less inflected by booze and innards than the version you may have tasted at Tour d’Argent the first time you went to Paris with a credit card, but perfectly autumnal.Los Angeles, we have noted, has lately become one of the best food cities in the world, at the heart of a great agricultural region, with an astonishingly diverse population, and with an openness to new ideas that you might expect in an entertainment capital. But until lately, there were few non-Asian restaurants that aspired to the highest level of international cooking, the rarefied realm of the World’s Top 50 list, multiple Michelin stars, and reservation lists backed up for three months; of $800 dinner tabs; of 20-course tasting menus that read like symbolist poetry; of sommeliers cross-cutting between elegant Burgundies and stank pét-nats with the fluency of an old-school hip-hop DJ.But Beran is nothing if not Continue Reading

What’s the most high-tech city in the world?

What cities are the most high-tech in the world? The World Economic Forum and Business Insider consulted with research firm 2thinknow and came up with a list of the 25 most high-tech cities in the world for 2017. According to the group, 10 factors related to technological advancement -- such as the number of patents filed per capita, startups, tech venture capitalists, and level of smartphone use -- were used to rank 85 cities, with the top 25 below. 25.) Washington While the U.S. capital is the seat of the federal government, it also has grown its high-tech jobs by 50 percent in the last decade, according to the study, placing it 25th worldwide among cities in the 2017 survey. 24.) Barcelona The study says the Spanish city cracks the Top 25 of the rankings thanks to a growing population of industrial designers and prominent smartphone use. 23.) Copenhagen 2thinknow says Denmark's capital is a home for innovative urban planning and industrial designers, and the city prioritizes smart manufacturing. 22.) Hong Kong The former British colony exports $243 billion in high-tech goods, or 51 percent of the territory's total, according to the study. 21.) Berlin Germany's capital city has a strong start-up culture, some of the highest rates of venture capital investment in Europe, and is the only city in the world where all the major automotive brands are represented, according to the study. 20.) Shenzhen The southern Chinese city, which links to Hong Kong, is known for its patents, according to the study, and is becoming a hub for factories and robotics. 19.) Bangalore Bangalore is the center of India's high-tech industry, and according to 2thinknow, the city climbed from 49th place in 2016 to 19th in 2017 thanks to an influx of IT companies and a wealth of programmers in the city. 18.) Montreal Quebec's largest city is a haven for industrial design, programming, wearable technology and virtual reality, according to the Continue Reading

Dubai boasts the highest restaurant in the world at 1,450 feet inside the Burj Khalifa

I dare you to find a more elevated dining experience. At.mosphere — the highest restaurant in the world — towers over the city of Dubai at a whopping 1,450 feet above ground.It’s located on the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa. I rode the elevator up to the restaurant entrance within the massive steel structure, ears popping as the doors opened up to At.mosphere ( This palatial eatery is dressed to the nines in dramatic decor with white table clothes and black leathers seats. It’s aptly named — you’ll feel as though you’re on another planet while looking out at panoramic views of the futuristic city skyline, the vast desert and the Persian Gulf. I relished in sea scallop tartare and the freshest piece of Patagonian black cod plated with parmesan-topped black risotto made with venere rice, sipping Champagne between breathtaking bites. And that’s just a small taste of this ostentatious, yet modest city. You can savor both sides in just one short trip to the city of Dubai, the capital of the Emirate of Dubai, one of the seven territories that make up the country, the United Arab Emirates. Located off the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf, the city has emerged as a bustling business hub in the Middle East thanks to revenue from oil. It’s filled with modern high-rise buildings, unbeatable shopping and great food. What’s most beautiful about this city is the authentically rich melting pot of cultures melded, tolerated and respected. They’re embraced through food — Indian, Thai, Moroccan, Lebanese, and a slew of others.First, it’s important to get acquainted with traditional Emirati cuisine, which is a blend of Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines. Try lunch at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding ($21 - $30 for breakfast, lunch or dinner options; in the Continue Reading

Vienna has the best quality of life of any city in the world; New York Ciry ranked 44th, behind Honolulu, San Francisco and Boston

The Austrian capital is the city that offers the best quality of life on the planet, according to Mercer's annual rankings published Tuesday, December 4, while Baghdad, Iraq, came in last. As was the case in previous editions, the top ten rankings feature a majority of European spots, with a few outliers. Zurich, Switzerland and Auckland, New Zealand round out the podium, followed by Munich, Germany and Vancouver, Canada. Düsseldorf in Germany dropped one place to take sixth, followed by Frankfurt, Germany; Geneva, Switzerland; and Copenhagen, Denmark. Bern, Switzerland and Sydney, Australia share the tenth spot. In the United States, Honolulu (28) and San Francisco (29) are the highest-ranking cities, followed by Boston (35). New York City ranked 44th. The lower end of the rankings features mostly African cities: the last five slots went to Khartoum, Sudan (217th), N'Djamena, Chad (218th), Port-au-Prince, Haiti (219th), Bangui, Central African Republic (220th). Bagdad, the capital of Iraq, finished last (221st). The Mercer study, which targets businesses employing expatriate workers, ranks 221 cities around the world using 39 criteria to help assess the overall quality of life (including political and social environment, business environment, socio-cultural environment, medical and sanitary considerations, schools and education). Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

The 10 best street food cities in the world, per, Frommer’s

A trio of Southeast Asian cities took the top spots in a ranking of the top 10 street food cities, with Bangkok, Thailand emerging as the best in the world, notably for its variety and abundance of options. In a virtual trip around the world, members and editors at travel website gave top marks to the Thai capital for its offerings like Pad Thai, green papaya salads, mango sticky rice, and chicken with green curry. is a user-generated travel site which, as of 2008, has been part of the TripAdvisor Media Group and counts 1.2 million registered members from 220 countries around the world. Members recommend Soi Rambuttri in the old district of Bangkok for street fare, as well as Soi 38 near Sukumvit for its evening food markets which are open until 3 am. In second place was Singapore for its hybrid gastronomy ranging from Chinese, Malay, Indian and Peranakan fare (Chinese and Malaysian), and its reliably safe and hygienic street food stalls. Specialties to try in Singapore include Hainanese Chicken Rice -- steamed chicken with a ‘jelly-like' layer and rice, cucumbers, chilies and pounded ginger; chili crabs -- in a garlicky, fiery paste; and laksa -- a spicy Peranakan noodle soup. Rounding out the top three street food cities was Penang, Malaysia, for its multicultural cuisine. Like Singapore, food is heavily influenced by Malay, Chinese and Indian cultures. Foods to try include Char kway teow -- stir-fried noodles, a tart, hot and sour fish soup called assam laksa, and satays of beef, chicken and pork. Meanwhile, travel guide Frommer's named Bangkok, Tel Aviv and Istanbul as the top street food destinations in the world. Here are the top 10 best street food cities in the world, according to 1. Bangkok, Thailand 2. Singapore 3. Penang, Malaysia 4. Marrakech, Morocco 5. Palermo, Sicily 6. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 7. Istanbul, Turkey 8. Mexico City, Mexico Continue Reading

Tel Aviv named top gay city; Israeli city bumps out New York for best Pride City

Tel Aviv has topped New York to be named the best gay city in the world, in a recent survey conducted by American Airlines and The Israeli city was named City of the Year 2011 by GayCities readers and American Airlines customers, with a whopping 43 percent of the popular vote -- far outstripping those of the next closest city, New York, which secured 14 percent. Other contenders including Toronto with seven percent, Sao Paulo with six percent and Madrid and London five percent each -- San Francisco, popularly known as the gay capital of the US, was nowhere to be seen, although it did receive top marks for its Pride carnival. Runners up for the world's Best Pride City included Sao Paulo, Toronto, Amsterdam and Atlanta. For the best gay nightlife, vacationers should head to New York, which topped London and Madrid to take the vote from night owls, while gastronomes should head to Paris, followed by New Orleans. Those with a sharp sense of style will also feel most comfortable in New York, the survey suggested, with London and Rome in second and third place respectively for the Best Dressed City award. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

The best hotels of 2012; Travel + Leisure readers select their favorite places in the world to stay and play

Catch a water taxi to the Peninsula Bangkok, and the chaos of the Thai capital slips away as you enter your serene guest room, done in silks and teakwood, overlooking the Chao Phraya River and glittering cityscape. The hotel, a longtime favorite, makes such an impression that it’s now ranked No. 11 in the world. GALLERY: THE 50 BEST HOTELS IN THE WORLD Everyone wants to know where to stay, and for 17 years running, we’ve asked T+L readers, who are passionate about travel, to vote on the hotels they love the most. The resulting World’s Best Awards are a collection of the properties that go above and beyond. The voting categories stay the same—rooms, location, service, food, and value—but this year’s results showcase the hotels and destinations that are important now. Courtesy of Triple Creek Ranch Triple Creek Ranch, Darby, MT One noticeable trend: Istanbul is on the rise. The city’s Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul on the Bosphorus ranked No. 24 (it’s also the No. 1 Large City Hotel in Europe); readers love the riverfront location and the 19th-century building’s refined elegance. Elsewhere in Europe, readers are heading to Italy’s Amalfi Coast, where the family-run Hotel Santa Caterina offers antique-filled rooms and the seclusion of a private beach, terraced gardens, and citrus orchards. AMERICA'S MOST AFFORDABLE HOTELS Some surprising newcomers also made the ranks of the T+L 2012 World’s Best Awards: the romantic Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens, near Costa Rica’s Arenal volcano, debuts at No. 6 (it’s the first Costa Rican hotel to break into the Top 10); Australia’s Southern Ocean Lodge, the country’s first wilderness luxury retreat, surged to the top of the list at No. 3.\ Courtesy of Baillie Lodges Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island, Australia But the top 50 hotels aren’t exclusively found in far-flung destinations. In 2012, almost 20 percent of the winners are Continue Reading

PARTY CENTRAL. Trade sightseeing for barhopping in the world’s top 10 sin cities.

Summer unofficially ends this weekend, so you can say goodbye to backyard and rooftop bashes. And it won't be any fun standing on long lines to clubs when the weather gets chilly. But don't despair, party animal. There are lots of other cities where you can dance and drink till dawn. So pack some aspirin for your hangovers, and head to a swinging city on your next vacation. Here are the top 10 party towns in the world. Istanbul, Turkey Carmen Electra and Missy ­Elliott were rumored to be among a crowd of 2,500 celebrating at the Formula 1 Turkey Grand Prix party at Reina last week. Reina - a collection of some of Istanbul's best restaurants and most exclusive clubs arranged on what looks like a cruise deck - regularly hosts models, sport stars, dignitaries and celebrities like Sting and Uma Thurman. And it's just one of the upscale nightspots that have popped up all over ­Istanbul in the past few years. It's a safe bet that you won't get bored in this city that sits on two continents (Europe and Asia). Turkish Tourism Office, (212) 687-2194; www. english. istanbul. com Vilnius, Lithuania This post-Soviet city is now thriving as a party destination, says David LaHuta, assistant editor at Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel. "It's also a ­university town," he adds. "Cities with big universities are good places to find great late-night haunts. It's got a young population with lots of bars and discos. When the sun sets, the city fills up with twentysomethings looking for a good time. " www. vilnius-tourism. lt/index. php/en Kraków, Poland If you make it to Lithuania, ­Poland is just a hop across the border. "Kraków is another city that has really defined itself as having a great nightlife scene in the post-Soviet era," says LaHuta. "The downtown is often bustling at night. There are tons of bars and nightclubs, but they're hard to find. You need to walk around and ask a local where to go. A lot of them Continue Reading

Norway is the best country in the world to be a mom; U.S. slips to 33rd

It's Norway or the highway. The Scandanavian country ranks as the world's best place to be a mother, well ahead of the United States, which dropped to the 33rd spot in the annual scorecard released by Save the Children on Monday. Somalia is the worst place, just below the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic. Save the Children released its 16th annual Mothers' Index, which rates 179 countries based on five indicators related to maternal health, education, income levels and the status of women. This year, the United States dropped from number 31 on the list to 33, behind Japan, Poland and Croatia. American women have a one in 1,800 risk of maternal death, the worst level of risk of any developed country in the world, according to the report. An American woman is more than 10 times as likely to die in childbirth than a Polish woman. Scandinavian countries have consistently taken the first spots in the Mothers' Index, with Norway this year beating out Finland, which held the top spot last year. Among the top ten, Australia is the only non-European country, at number nine. France and Britain take the 23rd and 24th spot, below Canada at number 20. The ten worst places are all sub-Saharan African countries. Nine of the bottom ten countries are wracked by conflict. The disparity in terms of infant mortality is striking. In the top 10 countries, one mother out of 290 will lose a child before the age of five. In the bottom 10, that rate stands at one in eight. Dying young in Washington Save the Children also looked at infant mortality rates in the world's 24 wealthiest capital cities and found Washington had the highest rate at 7.9 deaths per 1,000. By comparison, Stockholm and Oslo had infant mortality rates at or below 2 deaths per 1,000. Save the Children CEO Carolyn Miles said the data confirmed that a country's economic wealth is not the sole factor leading to happy mothers, Continue Reading