The tiny island of Bermuda, which is accessible via a two-hour flight from the New York area, is currently in the spotlight. Preparing to host the America’s Cup in 2017, Bermuda is buzzing with new hotel developments and restaurants, and while the island was once thought of as formal, the new Bermuda is anything but. Though gentlemen may walk around wearing Bermuda socks and shorts in the capital city of Hamilton, the newest crop of restaurants and cafes are offering a fresh twist on traditional Bermuda design, while still respecting the island’s heritage. Here’s a look at some of the most stylish spots on the island.Elbow Beach Resort This grande dame, nestled along arguably the best stretch of beach in Bermuda, debuted in 1908 as a simple beach cottage and has a storied past. Elbow Beach has hosted legendary balls in which Princess Margaret was in attendance. It was also the spring break destination of choice for well-heeled collegiates in the 1950s and 1960s, and during World War II, the hotel was shut down and used by the U.S. Navy as a storage facility. Today, the 98 guest rooms spread over acres of gardens, which slope down to the beach. The decor is understated island chic, with tile and wood floors, exposed beams and ceiling fans. Enjoy a rum cocktail and sushi at Elbow Beach’s Cafe Lido while watching the sunset. When planning a visit, keep in mind that the crystal-clear Atlantic waters are at their warmest in the late summer and fall.The Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art This museum, located on the grounds of the Bermuda Botanical Gardens, is dedicated to showcasing the works of artists who were inspired by Bermuda. Visitors have the opportunity to see works by Georgia O’Keeffe, Henry Moore, Andrew Wyeth and Winslow Homer. The collection includes everything from watercolors and movie posters to vintage Pan Am ad campaigns. The recent “Mythology, Mayhem, Mystery & Marketing” exhibit explored the various perceptions of Bermuda, from a vacation paradise to a place of mystery, thanks to numerous shipwrecks and the Bermuda Triangle.St. George The historic town of St. George is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is home to the greatest concentration of historic buildings in Bermuda. It is the oldest continuously inhabited town of English origin in the New World and dates back to more than 400 years ago. St. George is the perfect place to stroll around, with its cobblestoned streets and narrow alleys. Also, St. Peter’s Church is a must-see, with its exposed wooden beams and some of the oldest furniture in Bermuda. We loved the blue and white home accessories at Gregory Nelmes. For a sweetly scented souvenir, head to Lili Perfumery, housed in the historic Stewart Hall, which has pink and white wallpapered interiors. All the scents are created, filled and packaged onsite, and are only available in store or on the company’s website.
There’s no shortage of places to tuck into a delicious meal on the island, but one of the best designed spots is Devil’s Isle Cafe, which has a rustic, industrial look, thanks to its worn wooden tables, metal chairs and Edison bulbs. The menu features homemade breads made from stone ground flour, wild mussels with smoked bacon, and slow roasted pulled beef sandwiches. Another wonderful spot is celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson’s recently opened Marcus’, located inside the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club. Visitors should arrive early to browse the hotel’s contemporary art collection, which includes portraits of Queen Elizabeth by Andy Warhol and works from Damien Hirst and Josef Albers. Once inside the restaurant, try a Darker & Stormier cocktail, along with a fish ceviche cocktail and the catch of the day, with a grilled Bermuda onion on the side.Hamilton When in the capital city of Hamilton, visitors should pop into the department store A.S. Cooper & Sons to stock up on island-appropriate clothing, such as the requisite straw hat and Bermuda shorts. For a twist on the classic look, TABS (The Authentic Bermuda Shorts) makes Bermuda shorts with a vibrant lining. The new Urban Cottage store sells a well- curated mix of new, vintage and reclaimed goods, and also hosts wine tastings. Perfect for buying vibrant throw cushions, the Irish Linen Shop sells contemporary textiles from designers such as John Robshaw. The tiny Atelier is located in an unassuming mall, but it stocks clothing from Roberta Roller Rabbit and beauty products from cult favorite Tata Harper.
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