INSPIRATION • April 2018
Say goodbye to sluggish mornings and nocturnal life. At these hotspots, says The Club’s Marisa Cannon, you’ll barely need to change your watch
The gateway to Sicily, Palermo’s pace of life is a sedate, languid affair. Its boisterous markets, crumbling terracotta architecture and horse-drawn carriages hark back to an older Italy, though 19th-century relics such as Teatro Massimo, the country’s largest opera house, continue to draw star performers and crowds alike. Buy tickets online for the 2018 season, or explore the frescoed halls inside with a guided tour. Sicilian street food is among the world’s best – get a selection of arancini (stuffed rice balls) and a cassata Siciliana cake, made from ricotta, marzipan and candied fruit, before heading for a day trip out of town. An hour’s drive from Palermo, Cefalu (pictured) is a charming option for a beachside break – settle into a lounger on Lungomare beach and work on that pre-summer glow.
Tenerife’s sprawling volcanic craters, fertile parkland and tropical marine life make this Canary Island an active traveller’s paradise. Hike through the lush landscape of the Teno Mountains, stopping for a plate of papas arrugadas (literally ‘wrinkly potatoes’) in the picture-perfect village of Masca, or soak in the natural bathing pools at Charco de la Laja or La Caleton, which brim with bracing seawater. Barracudas, sea turtles, rays and angel sharks swim in the waters around the island, where divers can explore volcanic canyons and underwater lava tunnels before surfacing for dinner. Michelin-starred restaurant El Rincon de Juan Carlos serves a delectable menu using mainly local ingredients – don’t miss the smoked eel with ponzu or the wagyu with pumpkin and couscous.
This tropical archipelago is set on what was once a major trade route between East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. The result of this network and its colonial history is a richly layered culture, matched with year-round sunshine, pristine white beaches and some of the best food on the continent. Stay at the Essque Zalu Zanzibar, a member of Preferred Hotels and Resorts, where guests can paddle in the largest infinity pool on the island (pictured), before touring spice plantations or spotting humpback whales. The historic quarter of Stone Town is a warren of narrow alleyways and rainwashed former merchant houses – after blitzing the markets for trinkets, stop for sundowners and seafood at rooftop restaurant Emerson Spice Tea House, which overlooks the bustling town below.
Corsica’s wild, unfettered beauty remains a well-kept secret. The island is best explored by car – ideally a 4x4 – for those precipitous mountain trails and pebbly coastal coves. Avoid the glitzy, yacht-clogged marinas on the island’s southern cusp and head north to the seaside town of St Florent, home to a 15th-century citadel, and Le Petit Caporal – a great lunch spot if you’re a fan of wood-fired pizza. Set up camp for the day on nearby Plage de Saleccia, where sapphire waves break on immaculate white sand, before driving east to the village of Oletta for a few nights at U Palazzu Serenu, a pared-back hotel with just eight beautifully styled rooms set in the heart of the foothills.
Framed by the cliffs of Table Mountain on one side and glittering Atlantic waves on the other, South Africa’s second-largest city offers guaranteed sun, buzzing culture and outstanding food and drink. Hailed as Africa’s Tate Modern, the new Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art opened last year to rapturous praise – browse the collection before heading on to the V&A Waterfront for some biltong and an ice-cold beer. Nature lovers, drive south to Boulders Beach and wander through the enormous granite rock formations that offer refuge to the continent’s only penguin colony, before returning to town to refuel on springbok tataki at The Pot Luck Club, dished up by award-winning chef Luke Dale-Roberts.