This October, Tasting Table is getting away from it all. Come away with us as we explore the world of travel.
Who says you need to save your vacation days for the holidays (other than Mom)? The air is brisk, the flights are cheaper now than around Thanksgiving and that New Year's diet is a long way off, which all means that fall is the time to take advantage. Plan your great escape to the next up-and-coming food lover's paradise, whether it's indulging in fancy kaiseki in Kyoto or staying stateside at a quaint Connecticut inn that's cranking out delicious comfort food. Time to start pulling together your mileage.
? Pig Out on Potpie at The White Hart in Salisbury, Connecticut
This is the house that Malcolm Gladwell built, sort of. Together with Redbook editor-in-chief Meredith Rollins and her husband, Conley Rollins, and chef Annie Wayte, the four revitalized this 16-room colonial inn in the Berkshires into a chic, charming getaway last fall. Though the Jasper Johns paintings on the walls are nice touches, you'll want spend less time wandering the drawing rooms and more at the table, where Wayte is dishing elegant comfort food, like hearty steak and ale pies for two and braised pork cheeks flecked with celery leaves.
? Indulge Your Inner Hipster at London's Merge Festival
Does your wine love folk music? Find out at the annual arts festival held in London's historic Bankside neighborhood. Musicians Adam Beattie and Brooke Sharkey weave Laithwaite's wines with their own tracks, and that's just one act in a long lineup of forward-thinking contemporary artists, ranging from Jell-O lovers Bompas & Parr and their immersive ocean installation to public bus performances by the Natural Theatre Company. And once you've had enough art, you can hop across the Thames to eat your way through trendy Shoreditch.
? Go for the Luxe Ryokan Experience at Suiran in Kyoto
Get your authentic tatami mat slumber and the usual hotel perks of a minibar, morning paper and laundry services at this new Kyoto outpost run by Starwood Hotels. Situated alongside the Katsura River, the ultra-modern hotel fuses sleek design with an ancient Japanese aesthetic. The hotel's concierge will give you a leg up in landing hot reservations at Kyoto gems like Michelin-starred kaiseki spot Kikunoi or celeb-packed futuristic bar Marble Room.
? Slurp Down Cocktails and Oysters at Hotel G in San Francisco
Work hard, play hard at Union Square's relatively new boutique hotel. If you're there on business, book the Bleisure package, which includes MUNI passes, complimentary Wi-Fi and a day pass to a bespoke coworking space, then blow off some steam at Benjamin Cooper, the somewhat-hidden cocktail den tended by bartenders Brian Felley and Mo Hodges. The bar just opened this past spring behind a black door graced with a portrait of the fictional Benjamin Cooper, and Felley and Hodges keep things simple with frothy piña coladas and just three types of oysters.
? Bust Out Your Big Hats for the Melbourne Cup Carnival
And you thought Derby Day was a big deal. Dubbed "the race that stops a nation," Australia's annual thoroughbreds race has been drawing huge crowds since its inaugural run in 1861. The race is a mere two miles and is finished in a little more than three minutes. But don't worry, that daylong flight is worth it, even after you step out of the hallowed Flemington Racecourse. There's whimsical poached yolks with Jerusalem artichoke chips at Mugaritz vet Dan Hunter's Brae, a family of fantastic restaurants from celeb chef Shannon Bennett, and cured kangaroo and more modern Australian cooking from Ben Shewry at Attica. Bonus: It's basically spring over there right now.