In association with British Airways American Express® Cards
Who you travel with is as important as where you travel to, or so I always think. So it’s fantastic to hear that British Airways American Express® Cards have partnered with celebrated publisher Phaidon to create Companion, a unique travel guide providing different perspectives on popular city destinations set to inspire those travelling together in 2016.
Featuring 10 of the most vibrant cities in the world, the Companion guide includes recommendations from creatives who live and work there, giving readers valuable insight and perspective on the must-see cities from the people that know them best.
Contributors include creative visionaries such as British photographer Martin Parr and renowned chefs Ferran and Albert Andrià, the founders of elBulli restaurant in Barcelona.
Inspired by the Companion Voucher*, a British Airways American Express Card benefit which provides a complimentary second seat for your companion on a British Airways flight**, Companion provides some great travel inspiration and tips for those looking to get away in 2016 and explore something new with a travel partner.
TOP TIPS ON CITIES TO TRAVEL TO WITH A COMPANION
There really is a wealth of useful recommendations and tips included in Companion, giving travel companions the opportunity to explore the unexpected and a chance to enjoy, quite literally, a different view of each of the ten cities featured. To give you a flavour, here are some of the top tips taken from the insiders of five of my favourite cities.
Rome: There are so many unmissable hidden gems to discover in Rome, from the ornate and historic architecture, to the traditional Italian food. In Companion, Daniel Young, an award winning food writer, and architect Steven Holl, share their invaluable tips for the eternal city.
Daniel’s city: Sample a designer pizza at In Fucina, with unusual toppings such as apple and pear mostarda (candied fruit mustard), buffalo mozzarella, ricotta cheese and speck.
Steven’s city: Join the queue to place your hand inside the mouth of the famous statue, La Bocca della Verità, in the portico of the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. It featured in the famous film, Roman Holiday, starring Audrey Hepburn.
On one of my recent trips to Rome, I ventured to the ornate Villa Medici and the Garden of the Oranges, for two different yet equally incredible views of this ancient city.
Barcelona: The vibrant Spanish city of Barcelona has so much to offer, including an incredible food scene and stunning architecture not to be missed. Who better to give you the insight into the city and its vast array of incredible eateries than Ferran and Albert Andrià, founders of the legendary ElBulli restaurant in Barcelona.
Ferran’s city: To get away from it all without leaving the city, head to Montjüic and the Fundació Joan Miró, the stadium and the many other attractions around it.
I particularly enjoyed visiting the Poble Espanyol there – it’s a recreation of all the different architectural styles in Spain, where you can also buy traditional handicrafts and eat in a wide range of bars and restaurants.
Albert’s city: For two very different dining experiences, visit Suculent on the Rambla del Raval for traditional food, and Espai Kru in the Eixample neighbourhood for a contemporary take on shellfish.
Hong Kong: Great food and cool design work in harmony in what is now one of the fastest growing regions in the world. Design curator Aric Chen and chef/restaurateur Matt Abergel share their different perspectives on this vibrant city.
Aric’s city: To find some really exclusive brands that you won’t find anywhere else, PMQ is a design complex that’s the perfect spot to purchase some great finds for the home.
Matt’s city: Hong Kong’s multitude of wet markets are windows into a vivid and timeless world of food shopping that remains vibrant despite the introduction of modern supermarkets. The three level market at Sham Shui Po is a good example of a wet market and is located in the densely populated garment district.
Personally I’d love to return to Hong Kong and to revisit the Big Buddha on Lantau Island. The night markets in Kowloon are an absolute must for anyone who likes shopping, too!
New York: To get the most from the city that never sleeps, take some tips from Michelin-starred chef Daniel Burns and brewer Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø who have day and night time in the Big Apple covered.
Daniel’s city: For live music, catch a band at the Music Hall of Williamsburg.
Jeppe’s city: Maison Premiere in Brooklyn is a beautiful cocktail bar. You can walk off the effects the next day with a walk along the High Line. It’s one of my favourite places too, you can admire the art as you’re passing through Chelsea and stop off at Chelsea Market for foodie treats.
Amsterdam: Showcasing two different sides to the same city, renowned husband and wife design team Carole Baijings and Stefan Scholten provide their unique insight into the Dutch capital.
Carole’s city: Make sure to look inside a florist, there’s a beautiful one called Pompon, near to the Noordermarkt, a market specializing in organic food (on Mondays) and antiques (on Saturdays).
Stefan’s city: Take a trip out of the city to Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, for a truly Dutch experience by the river, with beautiful old houses and fields of cows. I’d also suggest visiting Keukenhof if you are there between March to May. It’s an incredible 19th century park, filled with Dutch spring flowers.
As Mark Twain said, “to get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with”. This guide inspired by the British Airways American Express Cards, will certainly give you and your travel companions a serious case of wanderlust!
Visit www.americanexpress.co.uk/companions to download Companion travel guide.
Who is your ideal travel companion? Do you have any insider tips for these cities that you’d like to share?