What’s Hot Abroad

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

Monaco

CULTURE Between playing a hand at the famous Casino de Monte Carlo and wandering the yacht-filled marina, make a visit to the 19th century Romanesque-Byzantine Saint Nicholas Cathedral, the resting place of Princess Grace.

SHOPPING Espace Mirage is a temple to luxury fashion, beauty and design labels from around the globe – think Tom Dixon, Versace, la prairie and Tag Heuer.

FOOD Monaco is synonymous with decadence, so you may as well pull out the big guns for dinner: Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse a l’Hotel de Paris was the first hotel restaurant to be awarded three Michelin stars and has hung onto them ever since. Expect Mediterranean haute cuisine, a Versailles-style dining room and a legendary wine list.

COCKTAILS From daytime lounging to after-dark dancing, Sea Lounge has beachside chic down to a fine art. Roses and peonies float in its pools and DJs spin ambient lounge music; your job is simply to recline on one of the shaded sofas quaffing rosé and looking cool.

WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH Is that the sound of roaring engines approaching? Yes, the annual Formula 1 Grand Prix is zooming into town. Run since 1926, there’s nothing quite like watching those McLarens, Mercs and Ferraris negotiating Monte Carlo’s hairpin turns and steep streets.

 

St Petersburg, Russia

CULTURE Thanks to its past as the Romanovs’ showcase capital, few cities rival St Petersburg for artistic treasures, gilded churches and sumptuous palaces. You can spend days roving the Hermitage, where Matisse, Rembrandt and da Vinci masterpieces vie with orthodox icons and Egyptian mummies.

SHOPPING Discover local designers at Adress and Moda New. These two cool boutiques are packed with quirky clothing and accessory finds, promoting homegrown talent.

FOOD Na Zdorovye is an unassuming restaurant decorated with farming tools and wooden matryoshka dolls, where you’ll get to taste authentic Russian cuisine such as hearty borscht soup served with fluffy pampushkas (garlic rolls). Wash it down with a rye bread liqueur.

COCKTAILS This city has a thriving nightlife, and there’s no better place to begin than Bar Do Bar in the historical center. Beside a lengthy list of authentic cocktails, there’s the opportunity to add your own creation to the menu. Film screenings, board games and comics on the walls make for an artsy atmosphere.

WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH The legendary White Nights Festival kicks off on May 26, with the “Stars of the White Nights” (a series of ballet, orchestral music and opera) at Mariinsky Theatre. This nocturnal revelry celebrates Russia’s long summer evenings, when the sun barely dips below the horizon.

 

Bali, Indonesia

CULTURE Uluwatu Temple boasts a pretty spectacular natural setting, built into a 70-meter cliff above the sea. Nor can you miss the UNESCO-listed cultural landscape of rice terrace fields and subak (canal system). Follow a narrow path from Ubud town between the vibrant green paddies, passing organic cafes and art galleries.

SHOPPING The island is known for its handmade Batik textiles and lacework. Try Bali Zen in Seminyak for fair trade, eco-friendly and sustainable products including gorgeous kids’ clothes and homewares. Or hunt for artisanal items in sprawling Ubud Market.

FOOD Offering romantic river views, Bridges Bali has both Western and Indonesian specialities on the menu. For an authentic taste of Bali, sample Pesan Wong (steamed oyster mushrooms in banana leaves) and Rendang (spicy curry-style beef).

COCKTAILS Single Fin in Uluwatu is the quintessential beach bar. Casual afternoon punches or pre-surf coffees lead onto sunset cocktails and world-class DJ sets. The setting, perched atop a rocky cliff face, isn’t to be sniffed at either.

WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH Now the island is into its dry season, two fun-filled festivities take place this month. Rice Harvest Festival (May 1 – June 30) sees water buffalo lavishly decorated and special dishes prepared in honor of “Rice god” Dewi Sri. Mid-month Ubud hosts a three-day Food Festival, celebrating the nation’s cuisine through cooking demos, markets and workshops.

 

Louisville, Kentucky

CULTURE The brick duplex in Butchertown may look unassuming but don’t be fooled: Thomas Edison used to live here. Inside you can gawp at hundreds of precious artefacts dreamt up by the prolific inventor, not least a 100-year-old phonograph that still plays, telegraph machines that still tap out messages in Morse code and, naturally, a whole lot of light bulbs.

SHOPPING This is one of America’s best cities for antiques hunting, with Joe Ley Antiques (housed in an 1890s school) and Derby City Antique Mall being two treasure troves of unique finds. Mile-long Bardstown Road is also well worth a nose around for its vintage clothing stores, bookstores, art galleries and jewelry boutiques.

FOOD Celebrated chef Edward Lee takes a modern approach to Southern Table at 610 Magnolia. Located in Old Louisville, the four- or six-course tasting menus show off local seasonal produce, some of it from the on-site greenhouse. The graceful old building – featuring mullioned windows, wooden beams and a garden patio – is just as pleasing as the cooking.

COCKTAILS Whatever you’re drinking, it had better be bourbon-based. You are in the spirit’s homeland, after all. Proof on Main boasts 75 different bourbons, so you can go on a distillery tour without ever getting up from your seat. Rooftop cocktail bar 8UP does a delectable “Autumn Nip,” pairing Michter’s bourbon, sweet potato pie syrup and black walnut bitters.

WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH The annual Kentucky Derby lures spectators (and their extravagant hats) from all over the world to watch the races and sip on Mint Juleps.

 

Zambia, Africa

CULTURE We’re guessing you’re here for the wildlife rather than the museums, right? Head deep into the bush on a walking safari to view elephants, buffalo and zebras grazing, and gaze on the natural wonder that is Victoria Falls (it’s roughly twice the height of Niagara).

SHOPPING Kabwata Cultural Centre in Lusaka, the capital city, is a good place to pick up traditional wood carvings and basketry (be prepared to do a bit of bargaining). Steer clear of anyone touting “precious” stones and, of course, anything made of ivory.

FOOD Lusaka has a rapidly expanding culinary scene, from cute organic cafes to fine dining fusion restaurants. Set in the oasis-like grounds of a farm estate just outside the city, Sugarbush Café is a lovely spot for homemade pastries, pancakes, salads and Sunday roasts.

COCKTAILS Watching the sunset over the mighty Zambezi River with a tropical fruit cocktail in hand is the stuff of dreams, but don’t overindulge as safari trips have early starts!

WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH Thousands of wildebeest stampede across the Liuwa Plains in May to July – an unforgettable spectacle that counts as Africa’s second largest animal migration. This is also the best time to visit Victoria Falls, as the waters are at their highest point.