You already know that Smith hotels and romantic weekends go together like moonlight and music: but what are the other ingredients of a super-stylish mini-break? We’ve rounded up this season’s perfect weekend-away travel companions – from the products that will make eyes sparkle on the Amalfi Coast to the best bedrooms to book in Barcelona… Best of all, we’ve discovered an amazing Estée Lauder Re-Nutriv gift that includes all your summer essentials, exclusively at Harrods. Read on to find out more…
DESTINATION Barcelona BEST FOR… Cosmopolitan culture
Basking on the shores of the Mediterranean, the flamboyant Catalan capital is perfect for a romantic city break. Gaudí’s fantastical façades beckon from every street corner, and colourful El Born bars ensure visitors party late into the night.
Come to bed El Palauet apartments, in Barcelona’s happening heart, are a designer’s dream housed in an art nouveau building. Mezzanine Suites are graced with opulent frescoes and soaring ceilings, and you can watch the world wander by through stained-glass windows.
Table for two? Talented home-grown chef Jordi Cruz is the name on everyone’s lips right now: find him and his delectable double-Michelin-starred cuisine served on designer china at ABaC restaurant.
Pack it in Barcelona’s bar scene calls for a playful look: work SS13’s colour-blocking trend with one of Spanish designer Emilio de la Morena‘s sculptural Flamenco dresses, and bring your eyes to life with a hit of this brilliantly hued Estée Lauder Pure Color Eyeshadow.
DESTINATION The Cotswolds BEST FOR… Rural romance
The quintessential country-weekend destination, the Cotswolds lay claim to some of the UK’s most scenic towns and villages – all thatched cottages, rosy-cheeked ramblers and honey-hued churches.
Come to bed Imposing Grade II-listed manor Barnsley House in Gloucestershire wows with its beautiful gardens, hydrotherapy spa and chintz-averse interiors: book light and airy Room 1 for its romantic side-by-side bathtubs.
Table for two? Order a picnic and take it to watch a summer game at Cirencester Park Polo Club. Alternatively, find a cosy inn and sip Pimm’s with a Ploughman’s: the excellent Village Pub is just across the road from Barnsley House.
Packing tips As well as a suitably classic cover-up (we love this Holland Cooper tweed jacket), you’ll thank yourself for bringing a skin-saving all-rounder to soothe, firm and rehydrate after a day spent enjoying the great outdoors: Re-Nutriv Ultimate Lift Age-Correcting Creme is just the ticket.
DESTINATION Paris BEST FOR… Food and fashion
From the Louvre to the Left Bank, Paris is chic to its bones. Privileged poise and youthful energy that give Paris its ageless verve – the 8ème and 16ème arrondissements are for couture-clad swanking; and diehard romantics will always have Montmartre.
Come to bed A hop from the Arc de Triomphe and Paris’ famed shopping boulevards, rarefied Raffles outpost Le Royal Monceau attracts style-savvy guests with multi-mirrored Philppe Starck interors, a champagne bar and a fashion boutique.
Table for two? At the Michelin-starred Restaurant Jean-François Piège restaurant (upstairs at Hôtel Thoumieux), diners design their own menu by selecting individual ingredients for the chef to work with. India Mahdavi’s interiors are pretty tasty, too.
Packing tips All that wining and dining could take its toll on your maquillage, so choose a bold colour with superb staying power such as Estée Lauder Pure Color Long Lasting Lipstick.
DESTINATION Amalfi Coast BEST FOR… Seafood and sunshine
One of the most spectacular stretches of shoreline in the world. this postcard-perfect patch of Italy attracts landcape-seeking artists, glamour-thirsty film stars and seafood-hungry gourmands from around the globe.
Come to bed At Casa Angelina in Praiano, 180-degree views of the ocean spread before you like an azure blanket. Every fixture, fitting and furnishing gleams brilliant white, solely offset by wildly colourful Murano glass sculptures.
Table for two Un Piano nel Cielo (‘a floor in the sky’) is just that: a top-floor terrace with yet more amazing Amalfi Coast views. The kitchen makes the most
of Casa Angelina’s setting: expect a high-end, seafood-heavy Med menu.
Packing tips Ready for your close-up? You’ll need stylish swimwear by day – this Heidi Klein swimsuit loves the camera – and a touch of drama by night. Lengthen lashes and add a false-lash effect with a sweep of Sumptuous Extreme Lash Multiplying Volume Mascara.
DESTINATION London BEST FOR… Chic shopping
Whether you haunt under-the-radar bars and boutique hotels or head for the venerable grand dames and iconic department stores like Harrods, there are countless ways to indulge your sybaritic side in the big smoke.
Come to bed Stay close the action at the Kit Kemp-designed Knightsbridge Hotel – As you’d expect, running themes including reupholstered tailor’s dummies (perfect for displaying your haul) and artworks of Peter Clark’s West Highland Terrier (a nod to nearby Harrods).
Table for two? Even if you wear your fiercest Rupert Sanderson heels, you will still manage the short totter to Zuma on Raphael Street, a local favourite that wins fans with its contemprary take on Japanese food.
Packing tips Don’t bring anything: Knightsbridge is the ultimate shopping-weekend destination. Browse the boutiques of Brompton Cross or get an all-in-one hit of high-luxe brands at Harrods. Head for the beauty hall and treat yourself to Re-Nutriv Hydrating Creme Cleanser and Intensive Softening Lotion – after a hard day’s retail therapy, your skin deserves some serious after-care.
SMITH TIP: GET COMPLIMENTARY
TRAVEL ESSENTIALS TO GO…
Whether you’re carousing in the countryside or frolicking in the French fashion capital, a travel-sized selection of must-haves is the best way to pack for a weekend away. Visit the Estée Lauder counter at Harrods and you’ll find a travel-perfect gift of skincare and make-up essentials: the seven-piece gift* is yours when you make two or more purchases (one must be moisturiser, eye care or repair serum). While you’re there, discover the Re-Nutriv collection and enjoy a complimentary Luxurious Hand & Arm Massage. Available exclusively at Harrods in the Cosmetics Hall or the Colour Hall from Monday 17 June to Saturday 13 July 2013. *Gift contains promotional-sized products. One gift per customer, while stocks last. Offer does not apply to online purchases made at harrods.com.