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Living Local: Where The CF Team Are Calling Home This Month

Familiarity doesn’t always breed contempt.

We checked in with our international team of CF contributors – from London to Miami – to learn about how (and where) they’re planning to spend the month ahead; scroll their local snapshots below.

Elizabeth Heath
Based in: Allerona, Italy

Give me rainy, grey Venice. On my first trip to Italy many years ago, I visited Venice in November. And the magic of that cold, rainy, mystical stay has never left me. We even encountered the Acqua Alta, the seasonal high tides that cause the canals to overflow their banks. We waded through floodwaters on Piazza San Marco, shivered on a gondola, bought extra layers of clothes, and marvelled at the exquisitely beautiful decay of La Serenissima.

In this most unusual year, it’s been well-publicised that the drastic drop in tourism during the pandemic has given Venice back to the Venetians. For lucky visitors, it’s given them a Venice that’s hard to see anymore – one without tour groups, tens of thousands of cruise ship passengers and an overwhelming sea of humanity. So, grey, dreary, chilly, nearly deserted Venice in November? Absolutely ­­– especially if I can stay at Starhotels Collezione’s Splendid Venice.

Tania Sarra
Based in: Toronto, Canada 

I, like many, have been displaced due to Covid and although I desperately miss London, being back home in Toronto couldn’t set me up for a better November. Autumn in Canada is filled with all the feels – rows upon endless rows of trees adoring their bright yellows, oranges and reds. The crisp smell of cosy campfires on the lake. It’s the best time to road trip to wine country, hike breath-taking trails and relax at mountain spas. I’ll definitely be indulging in the hot pools at Scandanave Spa in Blue Mountain – quite possibly the most relaxing place ever and a great escape from the busy city during times like these. I’m also really looking forward to hiking some of my favourite trails in Prince Edward County. The views are to die for and I can already imagine myself eating s’mores on the South Shore.

Gilly Hopper
Based in: London, UK

Staying at Cliveden House just days before the UK enters a second national lockdown was a stroke of sheer and utter luck. These memories of truly matchless hospitality will sustain me over this next period – as will the umpteen scones (piled high with clotted cream and homemade strawberry jam) consumed at afternoon tea in The Cliveden Dining Room. The sprawling country estate is amongst the country’s finest and I intend to spend November planning and profiling more magical UK getaways to inspire you, our readers. Ready and eager to support the industry in this next phase, these past months have certainly highlighted the nation’s healthy (and growing) obsession with staycations. I’ll be using this time to bolster our coverage of must-stay spots – from the country breaks to book in 2021 to local neighbourhood guides – and endless travel inspirations from my desk/ kitchen table/ bed (let’s see how we fare second lockdown round, shall we?) in W2. See you on the other side!

Laura Grunberg
Based in: Singapore 

Singapore has always been a small country – and whilst a quick escape to Malaysia or Bangkok used to be the norm, closed borders have kept us landlocked since March and treasure hunting hidden gems. My top tips? For proper beach vibes, a trip to Lazarus and St John’s Island are definitely a must, whilst tropical forests and views can be enjoyed with a breezy bicycle ride across Pulau Ubin’s lush landscape and funky wildlife or by trekking up Mount Faber Hill at night. For artsy weekends, the Asian Civilisations Museum or Gillman Barracks are always a good choice (completed by golden hour cocktails at Hopscotch) and for some lazy brunches and Parisian strolling, The Butcher’s Wife and its surrounding Tiong Bahru area will make you feel like saying “Bonjour” in your best French accent (also make sure to check out the quaint The Cat Socrates store).

Erica Corsano
Based in: Miami, US

The world’s afire and my American passport is actually quite worthless at the moment, so I’m taking full advantage of Miami staycations and local road trips. In fact, at the end of October, I’m taking a several-car caravan – of 10 of my nearest and dearest – for a weekend birthday celebration in Palm Beach. This preppy-chic home to the country’s most affluent (and yes, it’s where our current president owns a historical, members-only resort), is picture-perfect in so many ways. The exclusive island’s beautifully manicured Worth Avenue (a luxury shopping mecca) resembles the piazzas and covered walkways of Italy. It spills out onto the Atlantic Ocean where a stunning, landmark clock tower lies. On our agenda for the weekend: an aperitif at the ridiculously chic Sant Ambroeus; an outdoor, socially distant dinner at the brand new Lola 41; brunch at the magnificent Breakers Hotel; drinks on the rooftop of The Ben, a new Autograph Collection Hotel in West Palm Beach; antiquing on Dixie Highway in WPB and so much more – with our chic and colourful masks on and armed with sanitiser, of course!

Laurel Waldron
Based in: London, UK

The short, sharp days of November are a time for comfort; wrapping up warm for long, languid country walks and cosy evenings snuggling up with a great book. It’s the time of year I want to get outside and blow away the cobwebs, embracing the great outdoors, lacing up those walking boots and taking time to breathe and switch off from the 9-5. I’m yearning to explore Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coastal Route, with its rugged coastline, amber-hued glens and village pubs. Edinburgh has also long been on my to-do list, having not visited in 20 years; I hope to finally escape for of a lazy weekend delving into its cobbled streets and cosy café culture just as soon as restrictions ease.

Natasha Hafez
Based in: Cape Cod, US

Located just off of America’s Northeast Coastline, Nantucket—aka The Little Grey Lady of the Sea—is a historic and family-friendly destination for fellow Yanks and New Englanders seeking a local and luxurious COVID-friendly getaway. In fact, November may be Nantucket’s best-kept secret. Long summer days at the beach may be over, but Nantucket still has much to offer for yearlong water bugs or seafood lovers. With its peak summer season comes the crowds, but by November part-time visitors and tourists are long gone – meaning accommodations become (a little) more affordable again and reservations are hassle-free.

The pristine beaches are practically empty, and the Atlantic glistens with the late afternoon sun. Instagram-worthy, cotton-candy-coloured sunsets are better than almost anywhere else this time of year. Why not try your hand at scalloping in the Nantucket Bay, which stretches from Madaket to Monomy? The island’s world-renowned scallops are recognised for their 5-star, award-winning sweet taste and delicate texture.

Nantucket begins to beautifully transform into a colourful landscape of fall foliage that differs from the neighbouring rocky, rugged shores and forested mountains of the northeast mainland. Out in the moors of Nantucket, set against a backdrop of starkly beautiful beige sand dunes, Huckleberry leaves turn from yellowish-green to deep bright shades of red and orange. This is THE fall fantasy foliage trip, well-worth taking.

Olivia Bennett
Based in: Hertfordshire, UK

Having moved from leafy South East London to ‘leafier’ Hertfordshire in 2019, I couldn’t have been more grateful of my move to a more rural lifestyle than during the spring nationwide lockdown.  I’m looking forward to long walks and cycles along the canals and moorland surrounding my flat for the coming month- something I had previously appreciated, but never found the time to truly explore. I was lucky enough to enjoy a heavenly spa visit to Akasha Holistic Wellbeing, part of Hotel Café Royale just before lockdown 2.0 hit. Ensconced in the marbled-walled, dimly lit spa, with the sprawling infra-red sauna (known for its mood-enhancing properties) it was a much-needed respite and felt like a secret haven, right in the heart of London. I’ll be using this time to forward plan spa visits, alongside keeping up to date with latest beauty drops, cosy style solutions and interiors inspiration that you, our readers, can enjoy from home.

Rachel Davies
Based in: Kyoto, Japan

I feel particularly lucky to call Kyoto, Japan home this year during a time of ‘staycationing’. This month, my favourite in Japan for the leaves that start to burn a brilliant palette of carmine and amber, I’ll be heading to Ishikawa Prefecture to a tiny town called Yamashiro Onsen, famous for the phenomenon of changing autumn colours known as ‘koyō’ in Japanese.

Hot springs, hiking and postcard-perfect scenery beckon, there’s even a central public bathhouse, the focal point of the town, encircled by the main street. A traditional wooden building with steam billowing from jewel-toned stained-glass windows – it’s hard to miss. To top off the stay, perched on a hill surrounded by fiery maples is one of my favourite design hotels; Beniya Mukayu. Here, each room comes with a private onsen tub and the onsite restaurant serves up a multi-course masterpiece using the region’s famous crab, which just so happens to be in season.

Sheena Bhattessa
Based in:London, UK

I satiated my travel appetite with a mini getaway to Le Sirenuse in Positano, and JK Roma in Rome (two of my favourite hotels) in October. Da Adolfo for lunch and a mussels soup that will rock your world; a boat trip to Da Armandino in Praiano; a pistachio cake that will leave you dreaming; and La Conca del Sogno for the best fish cooked under salt at lunch. So this November, I will start from my doorstep. A true Marylebone gal’ I’m well prepped with a collection of excellent walking shoes. With my Isabel Marant leather ankle boots in tow, lockdown 2.0 will see me rediscovering my own neighbourhood and lead me towards other boroughs, book in hand. I’ll be bringing travel home this month, creating some dreamy interiors inspired by some of my favourite hotels. Bring a piece of Il Pellicano or Eden Roc into your home, and take inspiration from our Curated By… series (coming soon).

Finally, to support our travel industry, I’ll be seeking out some great UK hotels that I’m yet to visit come December onwards, and scribing some dream itineraries for 2021.

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