What did we do before box sets? Before Netflix, Amazon Prime and On Demand? We waited, that’s what. We waited dutifully for seven long days to find out what was to come in the next episode of our favourite show, teased by the trailer, in a no-spoilers realm, debating the different possible outcomes endlessly (let alone after the agony of an end-of-season cliffhanger – remember the one when Ross said Rachel’s name at his wedding to Emily?) But then the box-set phenomenon took hold, and streaming services with them, and waiting – as with many things in our fast-forward, click-to-buy society – became something dated, a thing of the past. We could binge-watch entire seasons, even series’, speeding through the “And on next week’s…” segment, if it was even included at all. Because there is no “next week” in box sets. There is only now. The questions that remain are how many episodes can you squeeze in before bed? One more? And, really, what even is an episode when they can all merge into one indulgently long life-monopolising marathon?
That brings me to a confession. Having lived as an uninitiated box-set-free being for much of my life, last year I joined Netflix and – at my sister’s recommendation – became instantly consumed by Friday Night Lights. And when I say consumed, I mean that for approximately six weeks there was barely a waking moment in my flat when it wasn’t playing, forming the backdrop to my daily existence, paused only when I went to sleep or walked out of the front door (I even mastered the art of precariously balancing my laptop in view of the shower so that I could keep up with Riggins, Street and the rest of the Panthers while I washed my hair). Episodes fast disappeared, so before I knew it the finale of the fifth and final season had arrived and then it was all over, finished in the blink of an eye.
Immediacy can be very satisfying, but it can also be all-encompassing. And we miss out on an inherently important element of television if we deprive ourselves of the suspense it can entail. It takes away some of the excitement, the sociability of discussion and the pondering about what will happen next because, really, why talk about it when we could just find out, right now? Just one more episode before bed.
The Pleasure In Waiting
Would Friends have become such a cult, such an obsession if we could have binged the entire series in just a few weeks? Would we have known Rachel, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Joey and Phoebe so intimately and would they have had the same impact on our lives had they existed in it only briefly? We spent 10 years invested in them, and as they experienced love and loss and life so did we. Yes, our relationship might have been on and off as we eagerly awaited the airing of the next season but, as Ross and Rachel proved, even after a break things can turn out ok.
Box-set viewing also means that you aren’t ever watching in sync with the rest of the world, so rather than relishing in the discussion and debate that a good show can provoke, you’re avoiding social media and banning conversations at dinner parties because you “haven’t got to that episode yet!”
Of course, some series are still drip fed to us week by week, by channels and streaming services alike. This old-school style of watching television – in the digital age even something that happened a month ago can count as old school – is making something of a comeback. From Twin Peaks to The Handmaid’s Tale – and the imminent arrival of Game Of Thrones – we are hooked on programmes that keep us waiting once more to see the action of the next episode (although I do know of people who record a series in its entirety so that they are able to watch it all in one go, but is it really worth the risk of spoilers?) As enjoyable as binge-watching can be, perhaps every now and then we should remind ourselves of the pleasure of a little suspense.
While Kendall Jenner has been making the case for head-to-toe black in Paris, Zendaya is upping the ante in all-over white. When the July Vogue cover girl stepped out to attend the Ralph Russo Couture show in the French capital today, she hit a chic, tonal note.
Zendaya is a longtime fan of the French fashion house, as most recently seen in a millennial pink red carpet turn that recalled a modern-day Barbie. That said, the little white Ralph Russo dress seen here felt infinitely grown-up. Zendaya’s outfit featured well-placed ruching that flattered her figure—an important detail when working with a body-conscious color palette. She switched up the off-the-shoulder look of last season with a new peek-a-boo silhouette; the overall effect was easy yet polished. Her hair was slicked back to beat the heat and show off her icy Chopard diamonds. All she would need to make this ensemble Fourth of July–ready would be a fancy pair of flats.
Now that the Fourth of July has come and gone, there’s another patriotically minded red-white-and-blue holiday on the horizon. Confused? Why, we mean Bastille Day, of course. So if you, too, are a Francophile at heart, it’s high time to start making your own la Fête nationale plans. Below, we asked Eric Kayser of Maison Kayser for some advice. So what exactly did this entail? The history! The traditions! And last but certainly not least—the food. With three recipes fit to make a complete meal, it’s practically a fait accompli.
How do the French typically celebrate Bastille Day? Bastille Day on July 14 celebrates the storming of the Bastille, a political prison that represented royal authority. It was a turning point in the French Revolution that eventually led to the end of the monarchy. To celebrate, the day usually starts with one of the oldest and largest military parades in the world, on the famed Champs-Elysées Avenue in the presence of the French president and other dignitaries. People come out to watch the parade and usually stay out all day, picnicking and staying late for the fireworks that conclude the celebration.
What do you like most about Bastille Day? I love how people come together on that day—people go out on the street to watch the parade and the fireworks. They eat together, laugh together; there is a sense of camaraderie and shared history on the street. I also love fireworks; they never cease to amaze the child in me.
So what are some traditional things to make on Bastille Day? It’s usually a hot day so people tend to stay outside. The tradition is usually to have a picnic outdoors with friends or to entertain at home in one’s backyard. Some of my favorite things to make include good sandwiches with freshly baked baguettes and the finest ingredients. My personal favorite is a Parisien sandwich—a typical French sandwich made with Parisian cooked ham, a touch of good butter, a few cornichons, and a slice or two of Gruyère cheese. I love to accompany my sandwiches with a cold ratatouille, which is a fragrant stew of eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, onions, and red peppers typical of the South of France. Last but not least, I always bring pastries that can be easily eaten without forks and knives, like an éclair.
Any secret tips when it comes to making these dishes? The Parisien sandwich and ratatouille are simple yet delicious recipes. The key is to choose the best ingredients you can find. Fresh bread that is made with premium unbleached, unbromated flours; organic ham; butter made with high-quality cream; and seasonal vegetables. The éclair recipe might feel a bit more intimidating, but the secret is really to follow the four main steps one by one and to pace yourself. Make sure you have your mise en place ready before starting: Lay out all of the ingredients already measured before you, as well as any piece of equipment you will need. You can also replace the blueberry confit with some good blueberry preserves. Last but not least, make sure to keep the éclairs cold before enjoying them!
Serves 4 people
Ingredients: • 2 freshly baked baguettes (1/2 baguette per sandwich) • 8 slices of cooked ham • 8 slices of Gruyère cheese • 4 tablespoon of high-quality butter • 8 cornichons
Cut ½ baguette in half lengthways and lightly butter both sides.
Cut 2 cornichons in half lengthways and place 2 pieces on both sides.
Insert 2 slices of cooked ham and top with 2 thin slices of Gruyère cheese.
Serves 4 people
Ingredients: • 1 medium eggplant, diced • 1 red pepper, diced • 1 yellow onion, diced • 1 small can of good whole peeled tomatoes (for ex. San Marzano) or 2 fresh tomatoes, diced • 2 zucchini, diced • 4 T extra-virgin olive oil • 1 clove of garlic, chopped • 1 T Herbes de Provence • 1 tsp. Espelette pepper (optional) • 1 tsp. red-pepper flakes (optional) • Salt and pepper to taste
In a large skillet, cook the onion and the garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the diced eggplant, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is softened (approx. 10 minutes).
Add in the zucchini and the bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender (approx. 10 minutes).
Stir in the tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
Add the Herbes de Provence, Espelette pepper and red-pepper flakes (optional), salt and pepper to taste, and cook for another 2 minutes so that the spices and herbs are well blended.
Serve hot, warm, or cold!
Yields 8 éclairs
Ingredients: Pate à Choux: • 1 cup water • 1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter • 2 T sugar • 1/4 tsp. salt • 1 cup plus 2 T all-purpose flour • 4 large eggs
Blueberry Confit (You can also skip this step and use blueberry preserves instead): • 3 pints of fresh blueberries • 1 cup of sugar • 1 pectin envelope
Blueberry Whipped Cream: • 1 cup heavy cream • 3 T confectioners’ sugar • 3 T mascarpone • 1 pint of fresh blueberries
Decor: • ½ cup of fresh blueberries • 8 white-chocolate pieces • 8 blue-chocolate pieces (white chocolate tinted blue)—available at specialty stores • 8 red-chocolate pieces (white chocolate tinted red)—available at specialty stores
Instructions: Pate à Choux: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium saucepan, bring the water, butter, sugar, and salt to a boil over moderate heat. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the flour and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon for about 2 minutes, until the dough comes together and a film forms on the bottom of the pan. Transfer the dough to a large bowl and beat at medium speed until slightly cooled, about 1 minute. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 1-inch-round tip. Pipe 5-inch-long logs onto a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the shells for 30 minutes longer, or until golden brown. Transfer to a rack and let cool.
Blueberry Confit: Rinse the blueberries and place them in a medium saucepan with the sugar over low heat with the pectin. Let simmer for 20 minutes, or until it reaches the consistency of loose blueberry preserves.
Blueberry Whipped Cream: Puree the pint of fresh blueberries with a blender and reserve. Combine the heavy cream, mascarpone, and sugar and beat until it is still soft and billowy but holds its shape when the whisk is withdrawn. Gently fold the pureed blueberries into the whipped cream.
Assembling the Éclair: Cut the éclair shells in half lengthways. Using piping bags, fill the inside with blueberry confit and generously top with whipped cream. Add fresh blueberries and pieces of chocolate for decor. If you can, use blue-, red-, and white-chocolate pieces as a nod to the French flag colors. Blue- and red-tinted chocolates can be found in specialty stores.
White tablecloths, low-level lighting and a constellation of Michelin Stars do not a successful solo dining experience make. Pick somewhere with bustle – clanging pans, steaming plates, loud music – and hustle. Italian restaurants usually provide all of the above, in part because the waiters often feel the need to curse and gesticulate as they clear plates, thus providing you with a spectacle to enjoy as you slurp up your spaghetti. Also useful is a live band or performer. Dip your toe in the solo dining pool with a spot at Wagamama – and when you’ve got bench dining down pat, head to the Ace Hotel’s Hoi Polloi, where rollerskating waiters make for happy distraction. Just don’t pick a bar-restaurant that’s predominantly a bar. More of which later.
Vogue Eats: 11 Of The Most Charming Restaurants With A Garden
2 – Choose Your Seat Wisely
You need to locate a table near the edge of the restaurant, or high up at the bar, from which to observe your fellow diners. No one wants to be slap bang in the middle of the floor. Don’t worry about staring or eavesdropping. Those around you will be so absorbed in themselves they won’t notice you gazing into space.
3 – Bring A Copy Of Vogue
A newspaper or a novel will also suffice. Flicking through physical pages – rather than scrolling through a phone – indicates you are in possession of self-assurance in spades. It is also far more likely to spark a conversation with a fellow diner or your waiter, should you be in need of a natter.
4 – Order Whatever You Want. Really
Without the pressure of worrying about post-dinner kisses (garlic and onion ban lifted), or being judged by friends if you really want to order a sharing platter to consume solo, you are free to pick whatever you like from the menu. Anything that states it will require some preparation time should be carefully considered (do you really want to wait 30 minutes for your food – maybe not), but other than that the world’s your oyster (or any other shellfish).
5 – Engage Your Server As Never Before
You may notice a shift in the way you are treated as you embark on eating alone. The waiting staff – both male and female – tend to be a little more attentive and chatty. Are they taking pity on you for what they assume is an enforced solo-dining experience? Perhaps. Do they presume you’re single and therefore engage in a little flirtation? Maybe. Either way, your restaurant experience will be no worse off for the extra attention.
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6 – Eating Alone Means Food Not Liquid
We’re not here to judge, but we will note: dining alone and drinking alone are not the same thing. Sitting on a pavement table at a sweet cafe eating lunch and enjoying a glass of wine alone has nothing in common with propping up a bar and getting progressively more sloshed without even a friend to see you home safely. If you want just one glass of wine and have no companion, go for it: get some olives to accompany it, enjoy it, and then get the bill.
Towards the end of the Nineties, say from 1997 onwards, every Friday and Saturday night getting-ready-to-go-out conversation would go something like this: “What are you going to wear? Jeans and a top, right?”, “Yeah, jeans and a top.”
Celebrities Modelling The Jeans-And-A-Top Trend
Celebrities Modelling The Jeans-And-A-Top Trend
As dictated by J-Lo, Destiny’s Child and the supermodels of the era, there wasn’t an alternative going-out uniform worth considering. A spangled cocktail dress? Forget it. A skirt situation? Nope. Le Smoking? Certainly not. For cocktails at the Met Bar – or any bar in the lobby of a Schrager hotel – it would be jeans and some kind of sensational top (ideally, one that glittered or was otherwise decorative, and exposed a sliver of taut midriff) that would get you past the velvet rope. That sartorial fail-safe is back with a vengeance this season as designers revive the look. At Saint Laurent, Anthony Vaccarello teamed faded denim with plush sweetheart-neckline tops in black velvet; at Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton partnered opulent jacquard corsets with patchwork jeans; while Roberto Cavalli went all-out bohemian, pairing hipster styles with beaded jackets and skinny silk scarves.
The first bit of good news? This time around, it isn’t vital to expose your midriff (choose high-waisted jeans and a top that neatly tucks in). And the second? In essence, this is a look that requires little more from you than a rummage in the wardrobe.
Best Jeans-And-Top Combos To Buy Now
This article originally appeared in the July 2017 issue of the magazine.
Take off to the world’s coolest spots this month
as picked by Condé Nast Traveller’s features editor Fiona Kerr
Noma, which topped the World’s 50 Best Restaurant list an
incredible four times, undoubtedly put Copenhagen on the map as one of the globe’s
great food cities. It also kick-started the New Nordic food
movement and an obsession with seasonality and locavorism, foraging
and fermenting that has translated on menus from Sussex to Sydney.
But like Ferran Adrià before him, René Redzepi shocked foodies when
he decided to close his list-topping restaurant at the end of last
year (although unlike El Bulli, Noma plans to return in a new guise and home,
on an urban farm on the fringes of the city’s Christiania
neighbourhood). In its place, in the former warehouse on the
Christianshavn waterfront, Barr restaurant opened on 5 July. The
light-filled space has been redesigned by hip Norwegian
architecture practice Snøhetta (best known for Oslo Opera House and
recently transforming Times Square in New York) and features Finn
Juhl chairs under wood-lined ceiling and walls. Dining-wise, Barr
will be a more causal iteration: dishes from chef Thorsten Schmidt
draw inspiration from across the North Sea, and there’s a big focus
on beers and aquavit.
Of course, there’s no shortage of exceptional restaurants in the
city (the most recent Michelin Guide, released in February, awarded
stars to 15 Copenhagen restaurants), and other new stand-out
highlights include 108, from Noma alum Kristian Baumann in
partnership with Redzepi, and Brace, which marries the New Nordic ethos and
ingredients with old Italian cooking, resulting in the likes of an
egg carbonara tart made with Danish panchetta and Havgus
There are a host of tasty hotel arrivals in the city too. The
more grown-up, more reserved sister to the very cool SP34, Hotel Danmark opened at the start of May. Also
minutes from Tivoli Gardens, Manon Les Suites debuted shortly after with its
plant-filled courtyard and turquoise-tiled swimming pool. Still to
come this autumn is Hotel Sanders, owned by former ballet-dancer
Alexander Kølpin, who’s carefully choreographing the handsome
transformation of a classical 19th-century building. And
Stockholm’s super-smart Nobis Hotel is hopping across the Baltic Sea to
the Danish capital, taking up residence in what was once the Royal
Danish Conservatory of Music.
You’ve read all about Bali’s scorching Canggu scene in our
July/August 2017 issue (if not buy it here), and hot desked over cold brews at the
Crate Café and Instagrammed your room at The Slow. But where to hop
to next? The answer is the Gili Islands. Three sand spits off the
coast of neighbouring Lombok – and just a fast boat ride from Bali – the trio of Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno
and Gili Air are smartening up fast.
The latest arrival is Kuno Villas tucked away in the north of the
largest, Gili Trawangan. Rooms are created from antique Javanese
joglo houses done out in reclaimed teak with industrial touches
(exposed lightbulbs; sinks in the outdoor bathrooms fashioned from
metal barrels). For something even more slow-paced (Gili T has a
bit of reputation for its party scene, at least on the eastern
harbour-side strip), hop across to chilled-out Gili Air or
even-tinier Gili Meno, where Karma Reef’s daybeds look over deserted
This is the month to beat a path to the French coast before the
French do in August.
The surf capital of Europe, Biarritz, is buzzing again and while you’re in
town there are a wave of fresh places to refuel between hitting the
breaks. For elevated classic surfer fodder, both Joie and Cibo dish
up pizza in industrial-style spaces (all white tiles and faintly
uncomfortable school-like chairs), while Bali Bowls transports the
Indonesian isle’s favourite superfood-topped tubs of thick
smoothies to the Basque Coast. Carøe brings a little bit of Denmark to the
salty Biarritz supper crowd with herring marinated in lemon, lime
and kumquat juice, and smoked salmon with pickled cucumber on
homemade rye bread. Meanwhile, L’Entre
Deux is gaining plaudits for its bistronomy cooking.
A little further north up the coast, Hossegor is where the surf
pros go for the legendary board-snapping tubes of the La Graviere
break. New hotel brand JoJoe have just planted its first ‘open
house’ here. It’s a design hostel and local hangout with funky
pattern-tiled floors, graffiti-tagged bathrooms and yoga in the
back garden, all created in collaboration with surf labels
Quicksilver and Roxy.
Out of the water, you’ll find the best flat white in town at Waxed – the monochrome
café was opened last summer by two surf-loving Welshmen, Cai and
Will. Then pick up Nudie jeans and Fernand surfboards at concept
store All Good or score some vintage Isabel Marant
and upcycled Scandinavian furniture at Collective
Soul, before fuelling up on the prettiest, pimped avocado on
toast from health-food hut Le Mango Tree.
School’s out for summer, so it’s time to head south and we’re
setting the satnav for Cornwall this month. Turns out we’re not alone
as London’s top chefs are streaming down this fat finger of land in
their droves. Ahead of the curve, Pitt Cue’s Tom Adams landed in
the North Cornwall countryside last year, teaming up with April
Bloomfield (whose stable of Manhattan restaurants include The
Spotted Pig) to open Coombeshead Farm. There are five farmhouse
bedrooms and one communal table, around which guests feast on
Adams’ cooking using whatever is freshest from the smokehouse,
curing and pickling rooms or local suppliers.
Next up, Dan Cox, until recently Simon Rogan’s main man
at Fera at Claridge’s, is working on transforming Crocadon Farm in
St Mellion into a restaurant/organic-farm/microbrewery/pottery.
Meanwhile ex-Clove Club chef Tim
Spedding and his Danish girlfriend Louise Rødkjær have also
decamped to Cornwall and are currently hunting for the perfect spot
to create their restaurant with rooms.
Down in arty St Ives, the Tate re-opened its original space in March, and
it’s gearing up to debut its new extension come October, sunk into
the cliff next to the main building overlooking Porthmeor Beach.
While you’re in town, stay in the gloriously golden Sands
Studio, which was done up last year by the couple behind nearby
Trevose Harbour House. And in August they open Samphire Studio
directly below Sands, this time decorated in shades of sea
Around in St Mawes, Olga Polizzi’s delightful Hotel
Tresanton has just launched its Italian-Riviera-inspired beach
club spread across three cliff-side terraces with
blue-and-white-striped umbrellas and sun loungers, lined up in
formation. For something wilder, up on the North Cornish coast, Kudhva opens its off-grid architectural
hideouts this month.
And don’t forget the cerebral festival bash Port Eliot, which takes
place 27-30th July. This year’s edition features music from Saint
Etienne and Karen Elson, talks from actress-director Samantha
Morton and novelist Eimear McBride, and Russell Norman mixing
cocktails while quizzing top chefs. There will also be a brand-new
dedicated poetry stage as well as workshops on everything from
blacksmithing to plasticine modelling. What a blast.
Travel Insider is a new monthly column from Condé Nast Traveller’s features editor Fiona Kerr
It’s only Tuesday, but if you’re like us, then you’re probably already thinking about the weekend ahead—especially since next Monday is Memorial Day and you likely have some fabulous long-weekend plans. (And if you don’t, just having the day off is good enough, right?)
In the event that you’re perhaps taking an extended weekend jaunt to some exotic locale, we thought it would be useful to shop out some weekender bags ahead of time. We love a good weekender bag and strongly feel that every woman needs a stylish one. Just because it’s big enough to hold all your stuff doesn’t mean it needs to be clunky or ugly.
Keep scrolling to shop 14 of our favourite weekender bags on the market right now!
425g wholemeal flour 1 tbsp baking powder A generous sprinkle of sea salt 280ml coconut milk 1 overripe banana – mashed Half tsp vanilla extract or quarter tsp vanilla paste 2 free range eggs 125ml rapeseed oil 1 tbsp peanut butter 1 banana – roughly chopped 1 tbsp peanut butter Butter/coconut oil – for greasing the waffle irons
Banana Ice Cream
4 bananas – peeled roughly chopped and frozen Maple syrup
2 pods of cardamom Half tsp ground cinnamon Handful of walnuts 2 tsp brown sugar
1.) Freeze your bananas well ahead of time, ensuring you peel and chop them prior to freezing. 2.) Once frozen, blitz them in a food processor until you have a smooth and creamy consistency, then add a tablespoon of peanut butter and blitz again briefly. Return to the freezer until ready to serve. 3.) For the waffles, whisk together all the waffle mix ingredients until you have a smooth mixture, then refrigerate until ready to use. 4.) Heat the waffle irons and coat with either melted butter or coconut oil. Add several bits of chopped banana and a few small dollops of peanut butter then pour in a small ladle of the waffle mixture and close the irons, cooking until golden and crisp. 5.) Once cooked, you can keep warm in the oven (150 degrees Celsius) until ready to serve. 6.) For the spice mix, simply muddle the ingredients together. 7.) Serve the waffles warm with a generous ball of banana and peanut butter ice cream and a sprinkle of the spice mix.