New York City
The Big Apple comes into its own in April. Cafes and bars spill onto sidewalks, rooftops are revived and it feels like a time for lovers. Stay in Manhattan at either ModernHaus in Tribeca or Nine Orchard, converted from the century-old former Jarmulowsky Bank in the Lower East Side. The latter is also home to Corner Bar, which sits on Allen & Canal and has chef Ignacio Mattos at the helm. We also have our eye on ex-River Cafe chef Claire de Boer’s new restaurant Jupiter, an old Italian-style restaurant that has just opened at the Rockefeller Center’s newly reimagined Rink Level. Plus, we always return to King on the corner of Sixth and King, for its intimate vibe and simple, Southern French-meets-Italian cooking — think hand-cut pasta and negronis.
In April, Los Angeles is at its loveliest: the temperature hovers around the early to mid-20s so it’s still cool enough to hike and warm enough to sit outside. All eyes are on Beverly Hills, where Soho House has opened its third House, Holloway House, in the Melrose district. Set in a restored, white Art Deco beauty on Collins Avenue, it is a tribute to Sixties California when artists such as Hockney were drawn to the city.
First class museums, imposing Baroque architecture, a buzzing gastronomic scene and countless vermouth bars, the Spanish capital is one to keep in mind for a spring city break. Stay at the iconic Bless Madrid, which is located on the ‘Golden Mile’ in the desirable Salamanca neighbourhood and inspired by the latter’s elegant, 19th century houses with interior design by Lázaro Rosa Violán. Start your day with a little shopping: El Rastro flea market for vintage and antique finds; Tado for unique pieces by Spanish artists and makers; Casa Hernanz for handmade espadrilles; and Maleza for bespoke hats. Then make time for the Prado Museum, a walk through Retiro Park, the royal family’s former retreat and flamenco at Corral de la Moreria. And, of course, then it’s all about the food: O’pazo is a much-loved, old-school seafood restaurant; and Bodega de la Ardosa has been deep-frying croquettes since 1892. For more of a contemporary vibe — with a side of sustainability and economic justice, try Mo de Movimiento.
For More Tips, Read our Madrid Guide.
South of Lisbon towards the Spanish border and stretching out towards the Atlantic, the Alentejo region remains the unsung hero of Portugal. Undeveloped and dotted with cork forests, wildflower meadows, and white-washed villages, it is a rough and ready rural idyll where time seems to stand almost still. The place to stay is São Lourenço do Barrocal, a quietly luxurious farmhouse surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, which sits under the ancient hilltop town of Monsarez. Barns and workers’ rooms on the eighth-generation family estate have been transformed into rustic chic rooms that are designed to be symbiotic with the local vernacular, while guests can make the most of the foodie landscape with foraging, cooking workshops, olive oil, and wine tastings.
An authentic slice of rural Italy, we love Puglia more and more as each year passes — and April is a wonderful time to visit as the landscape starts to bloom. Make one of the Masseria Moroseta villas, Casa Maiora or Casa Guaceto, your stylish base for a spring break. Both are located near Carovigno and Ostuni, one of the Citta Bianca and our favourite spots for coffee, aperitivo, and dinner. Spring in Puglia is all about making the most of nature’s larder and your villa kitchens, bike rides across vineyards and olive groves, ceramics shopping, and, if you are brave, bracing swims in the sea in the Torre Guaceto Nature Reserve.