FOOD FOR THOUGHT
The groundbreaking Spanish molecular gastronomy mecca elBulli may be closed, but its world-renowned chef Ferran Adria continues to influence the food world — and not just on a culinary level. As “Ferran Adria: Notes on Creativity” at the Drawing Center in New York City demonstrates, his invention starts with a visual image, rather than a written set of recipe instructions. The exhibit, running Jan. 25-Feb. 28, surveys his sketch-filled notebooks and photographic collages, as well as food models, prototype dishware and menu designs that make a case for eating with your eyes first. www.Drawingcenter.org.
HOUSE OF SCANDAL
The man who gave the world Phantom of the Opera and Cats has turned to a racy topic in London’s most anticipated winter theater opening, Stephen Ward. Named for the society osteopath who introduced British politician John Profumo to showgirl Christine Keeler in 1963, eventually bringing down the government of Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, the musical runs through March 1 at the Aldwych Theatre. Profumo and Keeler’s fateful introduction took place just outside of London at the elaborate 17th-century estate Cliveden House in Berkshire. Now a hotel, Cliveden House is partnering with London’s elegant One Aldwych hotel to offer theatergoers overnights in the city and in the country at the scene of the scandal, along with theater tickets, dinners and breakfasts from $890. www.Clivedenhouse.co.uk.
Best known for its four-masted sailing ships, Windstar Cruises will launch a new, smaller vessel in May with the all-suite mega-yacht Star Pride. The 106-suite ship will sail nine European itineraries from May through October, reaching ports that larger ships cannot. From Istanbul, the Black Sea itinerary visits historic Yalta and Odessa in Russia. In the Aegean, the ship threads together popular stops like Santorini and Bodrum with emerging resorts that include Cesme, Turkey, and cultural can’t-misses like the ruins at Ephesus. An Adriatic cruise calls at Croatia’s walled city Dubrovnik and the fjord of Kotor, Montenegro, before stopping overnight in Venice. And in the Mediterranean, the Star Pride strings together both the Italian and French Rivieras in seven sunny days. Seven-day cruises from $3,399 per person, double occupancy. www.wind
Poised to repair the damages of year-end indulgence, the latest exotic retreats make wellness a focus:
Thailand’s new Point Yamu by COMO resort in Phuket overlooks the famous limestone sea stacks of UNESCO World Heritage Site Phang Nga Bay, with 106 minimalist rooms designed by Italy’s Paola Navone, two restaurants — one Thai, the other Italian — and a 330-foot swimming pool. Its COMO Shambhala Retreat acts as a tranquil haven within the haven, including seven spa treatment rooms, a yoga studio, four Thai massage alcoves, a gym, sauna and steam rooms. Rooms from $500; www.comohotels.com/pointyamu.
Aro Ha Wellness Retreat, opening this month on the South Island of New Zealand, near the adventure capital Queenstown, is modeled after the famous detoxification regimen of The Ashram in California. It features five- and seven-day all-inclusive programs that fuel active stays on a 1,200-calorie-a-day organic vegetarian diet. Days begin with sunrise yoga, followed by a three- to four-hour sub-alpine hike, strength training session, meditation and massage. Guests can spend unprogrammed time in the hydro spa, featuring a sauna and outdoor hot and cold pools. Five-day stays from $3,640 per person; www.aro-ha.com.
GUANACO A LA PLANCHA
In windswept Patagonia, isolated by glaciers, mountains and the sea, travelers may well expect a food desert of the polar variety. But the 57-room Singular Patagonia in Puerto Natales, the gateway to Chile’s iconic Torres del Paine National Park, about 2,000 miles south of Santiago, single-handedly lifted culinary standards in the region when it opened in 2010 in a former 1915-vintage slaughterhouse and cold refrigeration storage for Patagonia-raised lamb. Chef Laurent Pasqualetto upscales unusual local fare such as the loin of guanaco (a relative of the llama), hare and king crab. Now, in addition to the main dining room and bar, he has launched El Asador, an intimate Patagonian barbecue in the building’s former blacksmith forge, firing guanaco, lamb and other dishes over an open flame. www.thesingular.com.