What’s Hot Abroad

Take a trip away this January. Check out our recommendations for what to do, where to go and what to eat in some of Cayman’s favorite overseas destinations.

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Los Angeles

Culture: Los Angeles, otherwise known as the City of Angels, is Ground Zero when it comes to the movie industry. As all who hope for a career on the small or silver screen gravitate towards this sometimes unforgiving destination, it is a melting pot of aspiring actors from around the world. Expect at any given moment to spot a celebrity in popular areas.

la-rodeo-driveShopping: Spend some serious cash in the upscale stores of Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, or browse the vintage shops on Melrose Avenue for some great finds. Maybe you’ll score a fantastic outfit for Coachella 2017, happening in April! The Beverly Center is a shopping staple – Los Angeles’ premier mall on Beverly Boulevard.

Food: In a town where the glitterati love a great party and excellent food, you’re bound to find some exceptional restaurants. New places are popping up regularly, hoping to be the next success story. Head to Chateau Marmont or Spago Beverly Hills (try the Maine Lobster Club Sandwich) for a sneak peek at famous movers and shakers.

Cocktails: There is no more stunning bar in all of LA than 71Above on W 5th Street with amazing views 71 stories up. The menu lives up to the surroundings; think drinks like the refreshing Beverly Hills with Sancerre and honeydew, and the Downtown with toasted hazelnut-infused bourbon. Or, for a classic, you can’t beat the Polo Lounge at The Beverly Hills Hotel.

What’s Hot this month: Graphic novel and comic book fans must buy tickets for The Los Angeles Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention scheduled from Jan. 7-8 at The REEF on South Broadway.

 

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Atlanta

Culture: Atlanta is rich with can’t-miss classics and avant-garde performances. Whether it’s a world premiere at the Alliance Theatre, an encore by the Grammy Award-winning Atlanta Symphony Orchestra or a stunning exhibition at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta’s cultural activities are sure to be a hit!

atlanta-buckheadShopping: Lenox Square in Buckhead is home to over 250 specialty stores, while Phipps Plaza houses more than 100 high-end stores, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Tiffany & Co. and Gucci. For more eclectic fare, head to the Little Five Points district. Find trendy clothes and gothic attire, get a piercing or tattoo and find quirky gifts like no other.

Food: You cannot leave Atlanta without trying the real, Southern fried chicken at Mary Mac’s, officially declared Atlanta’s Dining Room by the Georgia House of Representatives. The Texas Fries at Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q are equally rib-sticking with fries drenched in BBQ sauce, covered with chopped brisket or pulled pork, jalapeños and melted cheese.

Cocktails: The Little Trouble hotspot has quickly gained iconic status. Come to take your Instagram squad shot in front of the blaring neon signage, stay for the sake, Japanese whiskey, and “super craft cocktails” like the desert cat, with tequila, sotol, maraschino, strega, and lime — like a smokier, more potent margarita.

What’s Hot this month: The Chinese Lantern Festival runs through Jan. 15. Centennial Olympic Park will be decorated with 25 handcrafted lanterns, a three-story pagoda, and a 200-foot-long Chinese dragon. It also promises nightly entertainment featuring acrobatics, dancers, theatre, and more.

 

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St. Maarten

Culture: The culture of St. Martin is a blend of its African, French, British, and Dutch heritage. Although St. Martin is a single island, it contains two separate nations: Saint-Martin, a French overseas collectivity; and Sint Maarten, part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Shopping: Don’t miss the colorful Marigot market on the French side which is excellent for locally made souvenirs and gifts. Marigot is also known for its one-off designer boutiques carrying the latest in haute couture from Europe. The center of the shopping district is the Marina Royale – a fantastic place to explore.

Food: The award-winning Le Santal on the French side has been earning raves since it opened in 1976 – think foie gras terrine and caviar with vodka, not to mention roasted lobster with champagne sabayon. On the Dutch side, head to Temptation where Chef Dino Jagtiani woos customers with dishes like the sublime Butternut Squash Bisque.

Cocktails: Ti Punch is to be sipped, not chugged. The classic French Caribbean cocktail is served in a small glass and made with Rhum Bologne Blanc, a clear, 50-proof rum, with lime and a couple of drops of simple sugar added. When it’s made well at Lolo’s in Grand Case or at Dreams in Nettle Bay, it is smooth, slightly sweet, and refreshing.

What’s Hot this month: Head to That Yoda Guy in Philipsburg, a short walk from the cruise pier on the Dutch side. Nick Maley worked on the iconic “Star Wars” films, and specifically on the Yoda character, as well as “Krull,” “Superman,” and a host of other familiar titles. He has a museum of items sure to fascinate the cinephile.

 

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London

Culture: Three of the top 10 museums and galleries in the world are located in London. It also has four UNESCO world heritage sites, over 300 languages are spoken there, and you can’t swing a spoon without hitting some festival or the other happening throughout the year. Music, art, culture, food, and history – London has it all and more.

Shopping: Take the tube, a double-decker bus, or a black cab to Oxford Street and Regent Street for miles of shops, including such staples as Selfridges, Burberry and Hamleys toy store. Don’t miss the legendary markets, particularly Camden Market – an iconic spot for buying funky and unique items.

Food: Support the kitchen’s enfant terrible, Gordon Ramsay, by dining at one of his signature venues as like it or not, the man can cook. Try Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea or Petrus in Belgravia for delicious French cuisine. Alternatively, grab a donor kebab or fish and heaping chips from countless outlets on your way home from the pub. Now THAT’S British.

Cocktails: The Cocktail Trading Company bar in Bethnal Green serves cocktails in unusual glassware with wacky garnishes. For example, the Handy Nightcap used a frozen golf ball instead of ice. Then there’s the Connaught Bar, Mayfair in the hotel of the same name. Make your first stop the martini menu. A trolley is wheeled to your table and the drink is made right before you.

What’s Hot this month: It’s time for the 40-year-old London International Mime Festival! Go for everything from spectacular circus and mask theatre to manga-inspired dance and taxidermy animal puppetry. This year’s festival runs from Jan. 9–Feb. 4 with shows in venues across London.

 

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Buenos Aires

Culture: Buenos Aires, Argentina’s vibrant and lively capital is located on the banks of the Rio de la Plata, and often surprises first-time visitors with its resemblance to parts of Paris, Rome and Barcelona. This is due to the city’s architecture, world-renowned theaters, extensive shops and cafes, and amazing entertainment and nightlife.

buenos-aires-tangoShopping: The world is your oyster here. Gil Antiguedades magical emporium and collectibles store draws famous designers through its doors for a cornucopia of antique gems, beaded clutches, apothecary bottles and bottles that would make Harry Potter fans squeal with joy. Stop by Panorama for the latest in promising Argentine brands, including bags, dresses and stylish jackets.

Food: The Don Julio restaurant in Palermo serves up everything from sirloin and tenderloin to sweetbreads and chitterlings. Expect sparking glasses filled with velvety Malbec, smartly dressed waiters who know the menu inside out, walls lined with old wine bottles signed by past guests, and light fittings made from wagon wheels.

Cocktails: Although Floreria Atlantico is a flower shop by day, this venue hides a surprise. At dusk, one of its doors opens up, leading to a basement that hides an award-winning bar conceived by Renato Giovannoni and Julián Diaz. Try the Cocktail del Atlántico, a blend of Principe de los Apostoles, a yerba mate-based gin produced by Giovannoni.

What’s Hot this month: Head straight to the Feria De Mataderos (Fair of the Mataderos) on Avenida Lisandro de la Torre. Here, gauchos saunter on majestic horses and market vendors offer a colorful array of crafts and food while ornately costumed tango dancers ignite the streets with traditional country dancing. The festive fair takes place every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.