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Roula Khalaf, editor-in-chief of the FT, selects her favorite stories in this weekly newsletter.
Laid-back living in the American West
Scenic Byway 12, on All-American Road: Could southern Utah’s most famous road have a more enticing name? It’s also aptly named, as it passes through a land of absurdly picturesque buttes, petrified forests, canyons, and escarpments of mesas and sandstones (its most famous landmark: the Grand Staircase, a maze of arches and slot canyons out of this world). sculpted by the thousand-year-old passage of the Escalante River). Ofland Escalante has been here for a few years, operating its collection of Airstreams and cottages under the name Yonder Escalante.
When it reopens for the season in March, it will be renamed and expanded: 10 new luxury cabins join the existing inventory, each with its own semi-private garden, deck and fire pit – as well as access to all public spaces of the property and its facilities, from its “drive-in” cinema (take a seat in one of the very cool vintage cars parked facing the giant screen outside) to its local general store and swimming pool area – jacuzzi. ofland.comfrom 99$
Return to Landet in the Stockholm archipelago
“Sweden” and “hut” go hand in hand; the Scandinavian country has always had a preference for small, stylish, durable homes located in areas of (or close to) pristine beauty. Such is Landet, a new collection of ultra-contemporary one-bedroom chalets launching next month – just four to start, but the owners will bring the total to 10 by the end of this summer. They are in a 400 hectare nature reserve just outside the town of Trosa, dating from the 18th century. The area is made up of picturesque wooden farms and pretty canals, about an hour’s drive from Stockholm, in the archipelago where Stockholmers have weekend and summer homes.
Designed by Andreas Martin-Löf, the 40 m² wood and glass cabins, with floor-to-ceiling windows on at least two of their four perspectives, appear to float above the ground. The interiors, by Tobias Vernon of 8 Holland Street, are (naturally) light, neutral and with a pronounced Scandinavian bent. Each cozy living room has a fireplace and dining area; the kitchens are equipped with everything an accomplished chef needs and the Landet team will deliver seasonal dishes from local restaurants and farms. The bathrooms have underfloor heating, a rain shower and panoramic views. landetstay.comfrom £270
On Kangaroo Island, ocean views, G&T and high-cabin style
Oceanview Eco Villas on Kangaroo Island in South Australia is a two person, two key operation. Its owners, Tim and Tamsin Wendt, live in their own beautiful home on their 500-acre waterfront property and have built two other two-bedroom homes with stunning views of the Gulf of St. Vincent. The “villas” are inspired by the design of the contemporary Australian vernacular and therefore look much more like cabins than villas: wooden terraces, huge bay windows, local hardwood for the joinery and handmade furniture , stone fireplaces. The island is known throughout the country for the excellent quality of its dairy products, oysters, produce and wines. Tamsin Wendt is an accomplished chef and prepares all meals between her own state-of-the-art kitchen and your villa’s well-equipped kitchen; you can enjoy them at your dining table or on your terrace.
Before dinner, you can stroll through the tea trees to the cliff edge to enjoy a sunset G&T (Kangaroo Island Distillery’s London Dry won the distinction of best in the world in 2019; Tim deploy it generously, accompanied by a few grains of pink pepper, in its mix). A few curious wallabies and the gray kangaroo, endemic to the island, may come to see what is going on. The Wendts can arrange excursions – natural or cultural – across the island, from lavender farms to tastings at Admirals Arch, in the far southwest of the island, with its fantastic stalactites and (extremely entertaining) population of fur seals. Oceanviewkangarooisland.com.aufrom A$3,270 (around £1,700)