Jetset Hankerings

This is the last post in a series of five by our guest blogger Lisa Borgnes Giramonti. Look for a return engagement in early 2010—and until then, indulge all your aesthetic cravings on her blog,...

by Lisa Borgnes Giramonti


As much as I love home, I am consumed by wanderlust. Even the prospect of a 14-hour flight doesn’t faze me as long as there’s an adventure at the end of it. This season, my ports of call include New York, London and Marrakech. Here’s what I’m planning so far:

LOS ANGELES Before I depart from LAX, I plan on seeing “British Watercolors of the Eastern Mediterranean” at the Huntington Library. Exoticism was all the rage among 19th century trendsetters and, as a result, legions of artists set sail for foreign climes to paint for profit. The image of all those frilly sleeves frantically daubing brush to paper has me eager to see the results.

NEW YORK I can’t wait to finally stay at the Bowery Hotel. Full of moody glamour and period furniture like velvet fainting couches, tattered rugs and wood-panelled interiors, it evokes a laissez-faire elegance that makes me want to sidle up to the lobby bar and order a Sazerac.

THE UK When in England over the holidays, I’ll be making a beeline for Ye Olde Bell restaurant in Hurley, designed by Ilse Crawford (former editor of Elle Decoration UK and the style force behind Soho House New York and Cecconi’s.) Conceived as a “modern coaching inn” and offering locally sourced cuisine, the cozy timber-framed building dates to 1135 and has been renovated with such classic touches as high-backed settees covered in Welsh blankets and bridle leather belts, rush matting and lime-and-horsehair plaster. Don’t forget to bring your copy of The Pickwick Papers.

MOROCCO Last time I visited the souk in the heart of Marrakech’s ancient medina, I found everything from ammonite fossils and hand-stitched leather shoes to delicate lanterns made from repurposed bicycle spokes and the occasional performing cobra. And I was only there for an hour. This time, I’m going back with a guide, a handtruck, and an entire day dedicated to the pursuit of treasure.

ELSEWHERE Two years ago, I went on the ultimate Grand Tour: a 24 day around-the-world odyssey via private jet with National Geographic Expeditions. From Easter Island to Angkor Wat, from the Taj Mahal to Tanzania, and from Lhasa to Giza, it was an experience that thoroughly altered me forever. It ain’t cheap, but if you’re saving up for a big trip, this is definitely the one worth scrimping for.