Inspirational postcards from 2018
As 2018 has come to an end, we’ve looked back on all the inspirational and educational places that we’ve been last year.
And what a year it’s been. We work really hard to keep our ears, eyes and taste buds to the ground whether we’re away for work or pleasure. Here’s a summary of some of our team’s top tips from some of the places they’ve been in 2018.
Monica Hanlo / Project Producer
We featured this city’s rebirth as a culinary and design destination in our blog post about the most beautiful food halls around the world.
Rotterdam isn’t necessarily what first comes to mind when one thinks of the Netherlands, but it is, in a different way, as charming as the rest of this country.
Since it was bombed and reconstructed, Rotterdam has been a hub for architecture and interior design. And as half of the team is Dutch now a days, I couldn’t not include it in our list.
One of my favourite venues was Heroine, a simple restaurant and bar designed with impeccable taste and restraint.
This art deco heaven was of great inspiration to me for some of our projects this year, including the creation of an art deco-inspired concept for a client in Hertfordshire.
Of particular note was the Delano Hotel, which is a stunning example of the unique and pristinely-kept architecture in the city.
Besides appreciating the beautiful buildings and excellent weather, I of course also had some very lovely meals. Check out our previous blog post for our favourite food and drink spots in the city.
An exotic destination that I visited for leisure and some incredibly rewarding voluntary work with an organisation that supports and rehabilitates abused elephants.
But as hospitality is not only what we do, but also what we like, I visited two very special venues that we wouldn’t hesitate in recommending to anyone visiting Bangkok.
Ed Francis / Founder and Creative Director
A city I know well but one that, like London, never stands still when it comes to restaurants continuing to up the game and hotels continuing to innovate in a rapidly-changing market.
I spent three weeks in the Big Apple in August: part vacation and part research trip, as all holidays seem to end up being. Here are three of my favourite hangouts/places.
Whilst I’ve had better Chinese food in New York, Chinese Tuxedo wins for all round cohesion in its concept, an amazing vibe, great soundtrack and a small but perfectly formed low-intervention wine list. It feels just the right side of authentic, but cuts the mustard with its super friendly and trendy staff, and almost palpable buzz!
Simon and the Whale at The Freehand
Hot on the heels of a visit to the Freehand Chicago a couple of weeks before, this boutique hotel group from the Sydell Group is one I’m watching closely and so far, they seem to be getting everything right.
Their broken shaker bars (and those epic war fries) serve consistently brilliant drinks, and the restaurant Simon and the Whale serves modern American food with flair and attention to detail all day every day.
June is one of those neighbourhood places in Brooklyn that seems to do nothing entirely original yet everything right at the same time. Fab low intervention wine list, seasonal and expertly-produced small plates, counter dining and creative interiors courtesy of designer Oliver Haslegrave of Home Studios, a great local interior design practice. It feels totally of its place and beautifully understated.
This summer I visited the Caribbean for the first time and specifically, the north eastern corner of the DR close to Rio San Juan, a largely un-developed part of the island save for neighbouring Amanera which I thoroughly enjoyed having a nose around.
We stayed at Ani Private resorts, a boutique property sleeping 28 guests that is filling an interesting, all inclusive, niche at the top end of the travel market. the property was stunning and as the term luxury is being redefined across the globe, Ani captures the current spirit of the market perfectly.
Fien Brinkman / Business Support and Research Assistant
It is already some time ago, but in early 2018 a gastronomic city trip to Berlin resulted in an educational and indulgent week with many inspirational places.
A visit to the Michelin-starred Nobelhart & Schmutzig could not be missed. The chefs only use produce that can be found in the villages around Berlin, and taking it to the extreme, no olive oil was present in that kitchen!
Besides the food scene, Berlin opened my eyes in terms of sustainability and circularity. The city is full off creative concepts driven by inspirational people who want to provide the next generations with a healthy world.
Next to this, the art galleries, Markthalle Neun and of course the history give ample reasons to pay another visit to Berlin in 2019.
I’ve got to mention one of the most unappreciated area of France here. The Loire, a hidden secret for historical architecture, nature, not-yet discovered wines and of course castles, many castles. A leisure road trip from the Loire to San Sebastian resulted in a rather alcoholic but inspiring trip.
Visiting local wine producers and getting spontaneous private tours in each wine cellar felt special and timeless. The words authenticity and effortless are used to describe the design in the hospitality environment of the Loire. On the contrary, the lively and festive San Sebastian screams bright colours, pintxos, vino verde and ciders. The food scene is outstanding and you can clearly see how good food is central to the Basque culture. Must visits include the restaurants Mugaritz, Nestor and visit a Sidrería House.
From all of us at Rebel, I hope you have enjoyed your christmas and new years. Here’s to exploring more, being inspired more, and working in more interesting locations in 2019!