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Beirut

Stay: Dar al-Ashrafieh: Furnished with an eccentric array of 1940s and 1950s pieces and oozing old-world glamour.
+961 1 566 874

Buy: Plan Bey: Pick up Syrian soap, Iranian rugs, Lebanese pottery or a one-of-a-kind handprinted poster or postcard. It’s in the shopping hotspot Mar Mikhael.
plan-bey.com

Newsstand: Papercup: Get your weekly reading fix, plus a wonderful range of art books.
papercupstore.com

Breakfast: Ginette Cafe: Keep your morning simple with the labneh breakfast made with the freshest ingredients and great bread on the side.
+961 1 570 440

Drinks: Mezyan: It’s nothing but good times at Mezyan, a truly Middle Eastern spot where the tables make way for dancing and the arak flows freely come sundown.
+961 71 293 015


London

Stay: Ham Yard Hotel: This Soho stopover from designer and co-owner Kit Kemp has 91 rooms as well as an excellent gym, restaurant, bar, theatre and 13 shops. Oh, and a bowling alley.
firmdalehotels.com/hotels/london/ham-yard-hotel

Buy: Lost Property of London: Pretty pint-sized shop on equally pretty Cross Street in Islington, north London. The vegetable-tanned leather rucksacks are made from salvaged material and are well worth bagging – and bragging about.
lostpropertyoflondon.com

Buy: Grenson: Started in a loft in Rushen, Northamptonshire, in 1866, Grenson is still on a firm footing and sells some of the city’s finest formal kicks, including dapper Derbys and smart Oxfords.
grenson.com

Bookshop: The Hyman Archive: Print enthusiast James Hyman has been collecting vintage magazines for more than 25 years. Leaf through copies in-store or take them home on loan.
hymanarchive.com

Gift: Grace & Thorn: Great for the green-fingered or those in need of flowers for a quick thank-you gift. The shops are located in Hackney and on Brick Lane.
graceandthorn.com


Mexico city

Stay: Downtown: From the veteran team at Grupo Habita, Downtown is located in a renovated colonial building in the city’s Centro Histórico. It shares space with the reliable restaurant Azul Histórico.
downtownmexico.com

Buy: Silver Deer: Mexico City’s best multibrand fashion shop, with outlets in the Santa Fe and Polanco neighbourhoods.
thesilverdeer.com

Barber: Barbería Capital: An old-school refuge for trims and shaves, with locations in Roma, Juarez and Polanco. The skilled barbers also serve (but thankfully don’t drink) whisky or gin.
barberiacapital.mx

Breakfast: Panadería Rosetta: Celebrated chef Elena Reygada’s popular hole-in-the-wall breakfast joint is known for its flaky pastries. Located on a quiet corner of Calle Colima in Colonia Roma.
rosetta.com.mx

Drinks: Baltra Bar: Laidback bar in one of the capital’s most walkable neighborhoods. Opens at 18.00 daily and closes after midnight – and even later on weekends.
baltra.bar


Milan

Stay: Senato Milano: A 43-room property with design details from around Lombardy. The 10th-century building is a short walk from the Duomo.
senatohotelmilano.it

Barber: Barberino’s: Patrons sit on shiny Sicilian barber chairs while well-dressed staff do proper wet shaves with hot and cold towel treatments and a particularly pleasant almond-scented soap.

Coffee shop: Taglio: All-day restaurant and deli that is popular for brunch. Baristas serve several espresso blends daily and pull shots on a La Marzocco machine.

Breakfast: Pavè: This pastry shop and all-day café bakes its goodies daily. Lunch is all about the scrumptious panini and focaccia and the owners have also added a must-try gelateria next to Milan’s courthouse.
pavemilano.com

Drinks: Bicerìn Milano: This enoteca carries more than 800 labels from quality small-scale vintners across Italy and abroad. Head here for a charming candlelit aperitivo and finger food. Don’t forget to sample the bubbly from small champagne houses too.
bicerinmilano.com


Ottawa

Stay: Andaz Ottawa: Opened in 2016 in the Byward Market neighbourhood, this sleek hotel is a refreshing addition to the capital’s big-box sleeping options.
ottawa.andaz.hyatt.com

Buy: The Common: A concept shop that takes exception to bland shopping centres and brings pop-up venues together inside an erstwhile clothes shop. Expect everything from footwear and jackets to coffee and fresh-pressed juice.
commonshop.com

Bookshop: Black Squirrel Books: Opened in 2011, this is now one of the city’s most popular used-book shops and serves decent coffee. Keep an eye on the calendar for readings and events too.

Coffee: Cafe Qui Pense: A small coffee spot close to Saint Paul University and Springhurst Park that does exceptional drinks, plus great pastries made fresh each morning.
+1 613 695 4229

Lunch: Gezellig: This third outing for restaurateur Stephen Beckta opened in 2012 in Westboro Village. Chef Michael Moffatt’s dishes of gnocchi and tuna tataki are good for deal-sealing business dinners.
gezelligdining.ca

Drinks: Bar Laurel: This Basque-influenced bar opened last year and serves excellent razor clams and patatas bravas. The red wines are a major draw: its cellar is filled with riojas and crianzas from Spain, as well as Slovenian, Chilean and Italian bottles.
barlaurel.ca


Sapporo

Stay: Sapporo Grand Hotel: Hokkaido’s first European-style stopover when it opened in 1934. The hotel remains a firm favourite.
grand1934.com

Lunch: Kaisen-Shokudo Kitano Gourmet-tei: Specialising in seafood from the waters off Japan’s northern island, this restaurant offers heaped and hearty platters of either boiled crab, raw salmon roe or sea urchin.
kitanogurume.co.jp

Buy: South 2 West 8: Outdoor clothing, boots and bags are the speciality of this shop, which owes its popularity to Sapporo residents’ passion for nature, biking and hunting.
south2west8.com

Buy: Museum Store: Owner Taketo Oguchi started online magazine Shift in 1996 to showcase the city’s creative scene. This offline version sells Hokkaido brands, including womenswear labels Ayumi Mitsukane and Esther.
the-museum.stores.jp

Coffee: Morihiko: Housed in a renovated classic two-storey residence, Morihiko is an exquisite place to sit back and enjoy a drip coffee.
morihiko-coffee.com


São Paulo

Stay: Emiliano: A family owned and operated hotel that’s known for spoiling guests with its charming and personal service. The 58-room spot is located on Rua Oscar Freire in the upscale Jardins neighbourhood.
emiliano.com.br

Buy: Eataly: Not homegrown but a recent import from Italy via the US. The shop is already one of the best spots to buy food from the Bel Paese.
eataly.com.br

Coffee: Coffee Lab: Working with some of Brazil’s best beans, excellent baristas make a wide variety of fresh coffee at this authentic hotspot.
coffeelab.com.br

Breakfast: Padaria da Esquina: São Paulo is known for bakeries and Padaria da Esquina is a masterclass in homemade bread and all-day breakfasts. Good news if you’re feeling lethargic: they also deliver.
padariadaesquina.com

Drinks: Frank Bar: The art deco-designed lobby bar in the ritzy Maksoud Hotel recently made a comeback after renovations in 2015.
maksoud.com.br


Venice

Stay: Hotel Flora: A charming hotel on a quiet calle off the well trodden Piazza San Marco. The lush garden and inner courtyard offer a tranquil spot in an otherwise frenetic town.
hotelflora.it

Buy: Barena: Venetian suit specialist Barena was founded in 1961 and takes inspiration from the local fishing culture – plus fine fabrics from around Italy – to make its superlative clothing.
barenavenezia.com

Service: Gianni Basso Stampatore: Small printing shop with a sizeable following. New business cards printed on an age-old press, anyone?
+39 041 523 4681

Coffee: Goppion Caffè: Order a cappuccino (if it’s morning) or espresso (any time thereafter) at this aromatic and atmospheric café-cum-coffee-roaster in Cannaregio.
goppioncaffe.it

Drinks: La Cantina: Visit this informal bàcaro (backstreet bar) on Campo San Felice for an aperitivo. The crostini (bar snacks on toast) are superb and best enjoyed with a swig of wine.
+39 041 522 8258

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