Three’s a charm!
The third edition of Your Oyster is here and we love hearing how much you love our travel pearls. This is actually the very first edition of Your Oyster where all three pearls come directly from readers. Lauren and I are grateful for your submissions!
On that note, the really special thing about this newsletter is that it’s not just one person (or a small team of people) coming up with these great travel suggestions. We get them from you, our readers, and we’d love to have even more to share. This is where you come in! If you have a great travel experience to share (a hotel, a restaurant, a store, a class, etc.), please send it over so we can include in a future newsletter!
The process is simple: you’ll email in your pearl and answer the questions in the pre-filled message. We’ll get back to you if we need any more information and you’ll get to see your pearl in an upcoming edition of Your Oyster. It’s super easy and the fun of this whole venture is that we’re all in this together, sharing tips and suggestions to make someone else’s next trip the best it can possibly be. So don’t be shy! Send in your pearls today!
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Hotel. Sweden. A Luxury Hotel Disguised as a Home.
Where: Stockholm, Sweden
What makes it special: Every hotel aims to make you feel at home, but Ett Hemm is so serious about the idea that their name literally means “At Home” in Swedish. Built as a private residence in 1910 and transformed into a “home hotel” by designer Ilse Crawford, this Arts & Crafts-style property is a beautiful example of the functionality of Swedish design coupled with lush aesthetics. Guests are made to feel as if they’re part of the family and a stay in one of their 12 rooms here is like visiting the home of one of your most design-savvy friends who happens to have the best collection of Scandinavian furniture. As a huge bonus, the kitchen serves some of the most amazing Swedish food in the city with a menu that evolves daily featuring organic ingredients sourced from local farms.
In your own words: “The thing that makes Ett Hem so very special is quite simply its name meets the promise, Ett Hem means At Home, which is exactly how you feel when you stay there. It is designed by one of my favorite designers in the world and filled with what I think are some of the most beautiful furnishings ever.”
Submitted by: Martha Ackerman. Current favorite luggage: TravelPro carry-on with four wheels. Favorite casual spot in London: Honey & Co.
Photo via opentable.com
Eat. San Francisco. The Grilled Oysters of Your Dreams.
Where: Hayes Valley, California
What makes it special: Any restaurant can serve you a platter of raw oysters, but it takes a true pearl of a restaurant to put their own spin on these bivalves. We may be biased in favor of any oyster creativity (or anything oyster-related, really), but the grilled oysters at modern Mexican favorite Cala really stand out. Chef Gabriela Cámara pairs the mollusks with black pepper and epazote, a Mexican herb that’s often found in moles and soups. The result is a bolder oyster with a slightly spicy, herbal backnote that balances out the entire platter. At $29 an order, this is definitely more of an entree than an appetizer, but it also works well for sharing. Don’t despair, oyster purists. You can grab a half dozen raw Sweetwaters at Cala, too, if you’re addicted to that pure, unadulterated shot of briny goodness.
In your own words: “These oysters are served grilled, not raw, with a leaf of epazote, reminded me of shiso, but distinctly different. Putting one in my mouth, I was transported to the beach in Y Tu Mama Tambien. There was something new, adventurous, and lingering that makes them so different from raw or breaded oysters. I felt like I was having oysters for the first time in my life, again.”
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Resort. Cambodia. A Private Island with a Conscience.
What: Song Saa Private Island
Where: Koh Rong Archipelago, Cambodia
What makes it special: Very few people think of the staff that help make a private island resort into paradise. At Song Saa, however, supporting the local culture is as much of a mission as providing an unmatched level of luxury. Located off the coast of Cambodia, the island is owned by an Australian couple who created their own definition of conservation-based luxury tourism. That means high-end restaurants built directly over the ocean coupled with protected mangrove forests. It means luxury villas with private pools as well as a non-profit organizationdedicated to protecting the habitats of the Koh Rong Archipelago. There is a level of awareness here that’s not seen or emphasized at other comparable resorts. That awareness explains why their decentralized “spa without walls” has treatment rooms scattered all over the island with a commitment to serving the people working in the spa as much as to the guest. Song Saa has won countless awardsand as more travelers become more aware of their impact on the places they vacation, there will likely be many more in their future.
In your own words: “Song Saa is uncompromised luxury and a strong conservationist philosophy without pretensions. It’s truly high-end environmentally and socially conscious tourism. I felt that I was in a luxurious social experiment that was working!”
Submitted by: Ruth Lazarus. Can’t fly without: an antique wishbone necklace and a pair of antique earrings. Favorite airport shopping: Indigenous shops, both domestically and internationally.
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One last pearl: If you’re heading anywhere with a body of water, you’ll be well-served to get yourself a dry bag. If you’re not familiar, these are waterproof satchels that you can take with you when you go rafting/sailing/etc. They keep your valuables safe and dry and they float, just in case you lose your dry bag over a particularly aggressive set of rapids. The brand doesn’t really matter much, but make sure to test it before your first adventure because there’s no pain like realizing you bought a not-so-dry bag.
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