THE EDIT • January 2020
With a front-row seat to the travel world’s ever-revolving conveyor belt of trends and trials, our editors run through what’s worth your attention this month
Ever wondered what the world did before travel guides as we know them? The earliest recorded example is on display at The British Museum until 26 January as part of its current exhibit (pictured below). The 500-year-old book, written by Bernhard von Breydenbach in 1486, features illustrations by Dutch artist Erhard Reuwich that depict cities visited during their pilgrimage to the Holy Land between 1483 and 1484, including Venice and the first ever pull-out map of Jerusalem. Until these two pioneers put ink to parchment, many had no concept of how these cities looked, or even if they existed at all.
Twelve South recently made soundwaves in the travel industry by creating a wireless headphone adapter that allows you to connect your AirPods to in-flight entertainment systems. Now they’ve gone one step further, with a new AirFly Pro that doubles battery life and includes capacity for a second set of AirPods or wireless headphones. This means you (and your travel companion) can enjoy up to 16 hours of movies and music on your next long or short-haul trip, completely unobstructed by fussy wires.
Ski season has a few more months left under its belt, so there’s still time to upgrade your kit before you head to the slopes. For serious snow-goers, The North Face’s Steep Series has been designed with the help of athletes, and features new Futurelight technology that enhances breathability and waterproofing. Meanwhile, brands such as Goldbergh (pictured top of page), Perfect Moment and Cordova continue to mix fashion with functionality via covetable, retro-inspired one-piece ski suits that you’ll find gracing the pages of glossy fashion mags and the slopes.
Is there a better way to toast the English wintertime than in the warm hug of a Lake District inn? Lucky then, that The Inn Collection Group has made its first foray into this very UK National Park – not long ago joining the ranks of the Grand Canyon and Taj Mahal to achieve Unesco World Heritage Site status. The first property is a renovated 300-year old hotel in Ambleside, with 30 gorgeous rooms above an achingly cosy pub and restaurant, complete with tartan armchairs and roaring fires. The second, opening next month, you’ll find on the shores of Coniston Water – another centuries-old hotel that’s previously welcomed the likes of John Ruskin and Charles Darwin. Both inn’s will serve home-cooked Cumbrian grub and characterful craft beers, perfect after a day on the fells.
If you find yourself in London for Chinese New Year (25 January), you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to restaurants to ring in the Year of the Rat. Fine-dining Hutong, on floor 33 of The Shard, is top of our list with its unbeatable views, while Taiwanese hotspot Din Tai Fung’s (pictured above) first European outpost continues to create quite the buzz with its famed soup-filled dumplings. The capital is also home to Europe’s biggest Chinatown, which hosts a wealth of festivities, so get in on the action at Four Seasons (Gerrard Street), plating up some of the best Peking duck in town.
Sustainable hospitality has improved by leaps and bounds since it sprung onto the industry’s agenda, and recently some promising developments by big players have caught our eye. Among them is the launch of Starwood’s sustainable hotel brand Treehouse, which debuted its first property in London at the end of last year with a raft of green credentials. Elsewhere, eco-friendly Six Senses has pledged its commitment to zero waste, and Hilton, Fairmont, Marriott and Hyatt have announced similar targets. Changes include making the swap to large-format bathroom amenities, and championing local suppliers, cutting the need for unnecessary transport.
For the latest on the British Airways Experience, click here