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Standard restaurant in Washington, DC.

Sam Vasfi

The latest openings and events from around the world.

Stick-to-your-ribs charm

Washington - Backyard barbecue meets Bavarian biergarten at Standard, a new watering hole that brings a laid-back Southern vibe to D.C. Co-owners Tad Curtz and David Rosner hand-built practically everything in the place, including the polished cherry-wood bar and the communal picnic tables. Curtz also mans the kitchen, churning out smoky house specialties such as brisket, bratwurst and pulled-pork sandwiches accompanied by cholesterol-clogging sides of onion rings and hush puppies. On tap is a well-edited selection of German and American craft beers that are poured by the litre. Check the weather forecast before heading out: Standard has only 16 inside stools, but seating for 100 on the patio. standarddc.com

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Drink in the culture

Napa - There's no question that Napa Valley is California's epicurean epicentre, but is there culture beneath the cabernet? At the Hess Collection, you'll find both. One of the highlights of Napa's Arts in April program is a tour of Swiss-born vintner Donald Hess's art gallery and winery. It includes tastings of limited-release Hess Small Block Series wines and a docent-led viewing of contemporary pieces by Franz Gertsch, Anselm Kiefer, Francis Bacon and Robert Motherwell. The gallery's windows show off Hess's vines, bottling facilities and fermentation tanks. The Wednesday tours are free with advance reservation for holders of the Napa Valley Arts in April Founders Pass (available at the winery). hesscollection.com

Detox in the city

New York - The Spa at The Surrey hotel is helping guests resist Manhattan's restaurants, diners and mobile food trucks in favour of a three-day spring-time juice cleanse. A choice of three regimens (vegan, juice only or juice/raw food) by Organic Avenue - Gwyneth Paltrow's preferred cleanse provider - will be delivered to the hotel daily. The retreat includes two 60-minute detoxifying spa treatments, and a private yoga or Pilates class. For $750 (U.S.), it should. thesurreyspa.com

Green by design

Khao Lak, Thailand - Sustainability is being taken to more design-conscious heights at Casa de la Flora, one of the newest hotels to open in Khao Lak, a shoreline that was devastated in the 2004 tsunami. The feel here is as earthy as a luxury beachfront hotel can get with 36 cube-like, glass-fronted villas featuring outdoor showers, and floors, ceilings and furniture sourced from sustainable teak. Rainwater is collected and solar-cell pads provide energy. The minimalist effect is offset by 24-hour butler service and in-room gadgetry. designhotels.com



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