What’s Hot Abroad

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

Cannes, France

CULTURE Step inside the 11th-century tower that houses Musée de la Castre, and you’ll find a fascinating hodgepodge of gems from African drums and Inuit masks to Provençal Impressionist paintings and scenic watercolors. Musée de la Mer’s cliffside perch is equally dramatic.

DINING Two Michelin stars, high-flying clientele and gorgeous beach views make the Palm d’Or one of Cannes’ most coveted dining destinations, with a side helping of pretension. For Provençal classics with a modern twist – think: fillet of turbot in a lemon sauce or lamb chops in a mustard sauce.

COCKTAILS Le Bar à Vin does what it says on the tin (or rather, bottle) with around 100 wines in stock. Wooden barrels form some of the tables and the setting is super cozy. For old-school grandeur, it’s hard to top the Hôtel Martinez with its Art Deco styling and live piano.

SHOPPING Marché Forville is a gigantic indoor market offering flowers, fromage galore and other Provençal delicacies, which add up to a picnic from heaven. Unsurprisingly, Cannes has a score of luxury boutiques, but for clothing that mere mortals can afford, head to the area between La Croisette and Rue d’Antibes.

WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH Heard of a little event called the Cannes Film Festival? Yes, the private jets and superyachts bring celebrities in their droves this month (May 8-19). Even if you haven’t bagged a ticket to a red carpet event, you can watch a movie under the stars at Cinema de la Plage’s nightly beachfront screenings – no VIP pass needed.

San Francisco, CA

CULTURE Once you’ve traversed Golden Gate Bridge and soaked up the stunning views from the neighboring park, head to the revamped Museum of Modern Art to see a sprawling collection of modern masterworks over 10 floors. Creativity also unfolds on the streets of The Mission (the city’s designated Latino Cultural District), especially on Balmy Alley where three decades of vibrant murals cover the walls.

DINING San Fran gets full marks for sustainable farm-to-table dining, with options like Lord Stanley and Atelier Crenn (brainchild of America’s Best Female Chef 2016) doing seriously amazing things with NorCal produce. For sweet treats or fresh bread, Tartine is hands-down one of America’s best bakeries. Skeptical that a croissant can be worth a half-hour queue? Think again.

COCKTAILS Bar Agricole’s handcrafted libations have scored a James Beard Foundation Award nomination for best bar program, thanks to their fresh ingredients and innovative techniques. Familiar classics like Tequila Daisy, Rye Gin Old Fashioned and Scotch Sour are reimagined as you’ve never known them before.

SHOPPING Follow in the footsteps of Beat poets by perusing the shelves of City Lights, an independent bookstore and counterculture landmark since 1953. You’ll find big-name department stores and fashion brands at Union Square, while Hayes Valley has more innovative boutiques and vintage offerings, such as Flight 001’s hip travel gear or Lava 9’s handmade jewelry.

WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH Dubbed the ‘Mardi Gras of the West,’ the annual Bay to Breakers race on May 20 brings a true carnival spirit to the streets, as people run the 12km route in wacky costumes (some even in their birthday suits!). Sign up to join the runners, or cheer from the sidelines anywhere between the Embarcadero and Ocean Beach.

Brighton, U.K.

CULTURE The city’s signature “Taj Mahal” – The Royal Pavilion – was built as the summer palace of George IV. Explore its extravagant Oriental interiors for an intriguing view into one of England’s most notoriously decadent monarchs. Something tells us old George would also have enjoyed the modern-day seaside fun of Brighton pier, which entertains the young-at-heart.

DINING Seated by the open kitchen at bijou spot Isaac At, you can watch an up-and-coming culinary talent in action; the 24-year-old chef creates a nine-course feast of bright, seasonal dishes using hyper-local produce.

COCKTAILS Blurring the line between cocktail bar, burlesque showroom and music venue, 1930s-inspired The Mesmerist serves delicious tipples reminiscent of childhood flavors, such as ginger biscuit or cherry.

SHOPPING North Laine is a network of streets full of bohemian boutiques and vintage stores. You can browse delicate silk and cashmere pieces at boudoir-themed Lavender Room, handpicked retro clothing at Hope and Harlequin, and a cornucopia of fine leaf teas at The Bluebird Tea Company.

WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH The city flexes it impressive creative muscle with a three-week celebration of music, theatre, dance, circus, art, film, literature and debate. The diverse Brighton Festival (May 5-27) offers everything from spoken word to Soca and choral music to a children’s parade. You’re sure to come away with your mind broadened and inspiration ignited.

Gubbio, Italy

CULTURE This mountainside town in rugged Umbria is like a living open-air museum, with its medieval palaces, Roman remains and grand piazza. Admire the frescoes of the Church of St. Augustine before an exhilarating white knuckle ride on the cable car, which soars high above the town.

DINING Indulge in the region’s exquisite truffles, homemade pastas and other robust Umbrian recipes at Taverna del Lupo, seated in a beautiful vaulted stone dining room. For a more casual lunch of bruschetta and local wine, cozy café La Cresceria is an ideal choice.

COCKTAILS Aperol Spritzes and Negronis flow freely at Martintempo lounge bar, tucked just below the Pizza Ducale. Book-filled shelves, leather armchairs and background jazz tunes add up to an inviting, convivial atmosphere.

SHOPPING Gubbio is one of the ‘holy trinity’ of Umbrian ceramics capitals, so select one of the lavishly patterned designs from one of the local studios. Cashmere (there are over 500 producers in the region) and Orvieto lace are other classic purchases for this region.

WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH Visit on May 15 to witness one of Italy’s oldest festivals, Corso dei Ceri (‘Feast of the Candles’). Competing teams race up the mountain carrying statues of local saints on tall wooden “candles,” culminating with a torchlit street procession and singing.

Java, Indonesia

CULTURE From its peaceful rice paddies to heaving megacities, Java is the beating heart of Indonesia. In a place filled with sacred wonders, UNESCO World Heritage Site Borobudur takes the biscuit: it is the world’s largest Buddhist temple, made from two million stone blocks wrapped around a small hill.

DINING Satay – seasoned, skewered and grilled meat, served with a peanut sauce – is one of Indonesia’s quintessential flavors, and you won’t find finer than the House of Sate restaurant. Mouton is another great choice, where hipster diners grill their own meat in a street art-adorned setting.

COCKTAILS Stylish rooftop spot Agenda in Yogyakarta and Jakarta’s Lucy in the Sky are favorites for classic cocktails with views to match. But as Java is world-famous for its coffee, why not swap the spirits for an aromatic cuppa instead? At industrial-chic café Locarasa you take your pick from seven brewing styles and a variety of house-roasted beans you prefer.

SHOPPING Concept store ARA in South Jakarta’s Colony Mall stocks trendy fashion brands, locally-made fine jewelry and eye-wear. Indonesian label Tulisan is another gem, specializing in canvas tote bags in brightly-colored prints and other unique gifts.

WHAT’S HOT THIS MONTH In the light of a full moon, thousands of saffron-robed monks gather at Borobudur to honor Buddha’s life, death and enlightenment – an annual celebration known as Waisak. Their candlelit procession passes through the temple complex, flowers strewn underfoot and the air full of chanting, in an unforgettable gathering that attracts thousands.