HTSI editor’s letter: the It destinations of 2023
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This week’s travel issue takes us to some of the places I’ve heard spoken of most often recently, in a year where most barriers to travel have now been raised. In March, I was lucky to visit Mumbai for a Dior show at the Gateway of India, an awesome experience that indulged the senses and offered a glimpse of a city to which I hope soon to return. The trip also offered an opportunity to visit Chanakya, an embroidery specialist and school that Dior’s creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri has worked with, and sponsored, for more than 25 years. More than 1,000 young women have gone through the school’s programme that invites those from disadvantaged backgrounds to learn the skills of needlecraft and sets them on the path to a career.
As Jessica Beresford reports in our cover story, it’s one of many initiatives nurturing the craft skills and expertise of artisans who have practised different specialisms for centuries in a country that’s anticipated to become the world’s third largest economy by 2027. The piece is accompanied by a shoot by photographer Vivek Vadoliya and stylist Nikhil Mansata that offers a captivating portrait of a city and a dazzling combination of colours, flavours, enlightenment and enterprise.
Maria Shollenbarger, our travel editor, spends so much time airborne that few journeys would seem to faze her (read her brilliant report from Singapore). But what would happen when her adventure included an elderly plus-one? On a trip to Morocco to celebrate her mother’s 80th birthday, Maria considers the emotional and physical challenges of travelling with a parent (no surprise, the itinerary gets trimmed back fairly quickly), as well as the enormous privilege of seeing the world through older, wiser and less demanding eyes. Maria’s piece is beautifully written and very moving: I hope it inspires anyone worrying about whether their parents can “manage” long-haul travel to take the plunge.
For those after more accessible amusements, we offer you a food odyssey through Suffolk. The county seems to have been a beneficiary of the big London exodus that took place in the wake of the pandemic and has enjoyed a food renaissance in the past two years. Local resident Clare Coulson trips through the new restaurants, beach huts and bars to observe – and taste – the change.
Lastly, what do you want from a hotel? An untouched interior that recalls a bygone era? Or perhaps you want a living room that feels cosy and familiar? For this, check out our guide to the world’s best home-from-home hotels. Maybe, though, you require a dog bed to host your favourite canine? Patti Waldmeir, the FT’s North America correspondent and cynophile, will be well known to regular HTSI readers for her candid chronicles from the Midwest aboard a camper van. For this issue, however, she is testing the best dog-friendly hotels. According to current research, 23 million US households have a new pet since 2020, and 52 per cent of Americans plan to bring their dogs with them on holiday: the rise of dog-friendly getaways clearly makes some business sense. But while the dogs avail themselves of bark-cuterie boards and velvet dog beds, Patti finds that even the most luxurious establishment can present odd challenges for the “person” travelling with them.
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