a suitable engagement ring. The contents of the little blue box with the satin ribbon come with a price tag no less than $1,430. www.tiffany.com
Best Tea Sitting: Palm court, The Ritz London: For Â£36 per person, you can enjoy a variety of sandwiches, freshly baked scones, and other pastries (with condiments such as Devonshire Clotted Cream) and an eclectic selection of delicious teas, including South African Rooibos Red Tea. Men must wear a jacket and tie, and you must make a reservation-sometimes months in advance. www.theritzlondon.com
Best “Green” Restaurateur: Govind Armstrong: Raised in Costa Rica and Los Angeles, Govind Armstrong’s dishes are exquisite creations of local meats and produce in L.A and Miami-the locations of his highly celebrated Table 8 restaurants. His approach is minimalist for a clean, straightforward dining experience.
Menus change not only with the season; new delights are in
troduced every few days-on recyclable paper, of course. Armstrong, co-owner and executive chef, opens his latest Table 8 this fall in New York. www.table8la.com
Best Soul Food: Ms. Tootsie’s: At Philadelphia’s Ms. Tootsie’s Restaurant Bar & Lounge, KeVen Parker and mother Joyce promise all the traditional comfort foods mama used to make: smothered pork chops, fried whiting, and caramelized candied yams. They have also introduced several health-conscious alternatives. www.kevenparker.net/mstootsrbl.html
Best International Dining Experience: Lasserre: For more than 60 years, Paris’ Lasserre has maintained a celebrated standard of elegance and fine dining. The restaurant is dramatically appointed, featuring a ceiling that opens up for open-air dining when weather permits. The wine cellar boasts 160,000 bottles. www.restaurant-lasserre.com
Best Luxury Train Experience: Orient-Express: There’s exquisite dining prepared by French chefs as well as breakfast and afternoon tea. The cabin suite includes 24-hour steward service, and the black-tie splendor of the bar car is where great acquaintances can be made. The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express offers a luxury boutique as well. www.orient-express.com
Best Family Cruise: Royal Caribbean: There’s a water park, onboard ice-skating, a theater group, deejay, culinary classes, and even a reward program for frequent cruisers. For kids and teenagers, the Freedom family of ships offer a wealth of programs and activities to keep them well entertained. www.royalcaribbean.com
Best Charter Boat Experience: Phocea: Surround yourself with serene waters and splendid opulence aboard the 246-foot Phocea. Onboard amenities include satellite television, hair salon, gym, and sauna. And the hand-picked crew is there to cater to all that you may fancy. With an interior outfitted to the highest standards, this enchanted vessel allows guests (up to 12) to sail the Mediterranean in virtuoso luxury. www.nigelburgess.com
Best Luxury Cruise: Regent Seven Seas: Select from a choice of ships in Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ six-star fleet. Each boasts signature cuisines and amenities as well as superb guest-to-staff ratios for attentive service.
In addition to fine living, these vessels offer a myriad of waterway destinations for the uber-traveler, including Europe, Asia, Antarctica, Africa, and India. www.regentexperience.com
Best Caribbean Course: Teeth Of The Dog, Dominican Republic: It provides interesting challenges and spectacular views for golfers who play the course with seven holes located directly on the Caribbean Sea.