Last night we were treated to a 92nd Street Y premiere and after screening chat of the new Outlander Starz cable series.
If you don't know it Outlander is kind of like 50 Shades of Grey or Twilight for the 30-40 something historical fiction set: lots of "d'ye want me to thow you over my kilt clad manly shoulder or d'ye want to walk," time travel, costumes and a plucky heroine.
It's a hugely popular series that has now made it to screen. We asked author Diana Gablaldon if she thought the new series (which looked like a hit last night from the mile-long lines around the venue) would spike tourism to the show's locations in Scotland.
"There's already a lot of Outlander tourism and dedicated tours on the books themselves," she told us. The author, who has been to Scotland "over 20 times" expects that the Starz show will bring more fans to the auld country but that the line between those who love the books and those who come because they love the show will be as thin as the one between the past and present in the Outlander series.
Meanwhile, move over Merida. Scottish tourism has a new screen poster girl and her name is Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe).
If you're loving and missing your Downton Abbey friends this summer, get thee to the Adirondack Museum this summer.
"Mountain Downton" as its fondly known by curatorial staff is a fabulous museum that lets you walk back in time to the age when the Shirley MacLaine American side of the Downton clan would travel to the Adirondacks to get back to nature, gilded age-style.
The trip would include first class accommodations upstate in your private railway car (see images above). The museum has its own original First Class car that you can walk into--imagining you're traveling with your Vuitton luggage in tow.
The museum also has original outfits from the era (check out the fur coats for the winter arrivals), sleighs, steamer trunks, full sized carriages, cars and many other accoutrements of the Golden Age of being rich.
Traveling upstate also gives you the opportunity to take a bite out of local foods just as the Gilded Agers would have done. Driving up to the museum you'll see kiosks marked Taste New York where you can sink your teeth into local apples, peaches and fresh baked breads along with one of Northern New York's biggest liquid asset--pure Maple Syrup.
All in all a weekend getaway that will warm the cockles of your Downton-deprived heart--at least until the show starts up again after summer has long departed.
Sir Richard Branson doesn't fly economy and likes to call it "Riff Raff Class" but apparently his feelings aren't shared by Prince William who flew Economy on a 1 and a half hour flight from Memphis to Dallas (about $550 bucks) this weekend.
Yup, he sat in the cheap seats with the rest of the grunts.
Does this mean he had to fork over extra for beer, wine or snacks other than peanuts?
For his fortitude and espirit de corps--TravelHushHush awards Prince William of Britain the Road Warrior Golden Gas Award for the week.
What Does Prince William win you may ask? If he contacts us here at TravelHushHush, Prince William will win himself a deluxe HD DVD issue of The Road Warrior himself. He can watch it in coach next time he flies with AA and doesn't want to shell out the extra bucks for a movie.
As many fans of Maleficent know, there are no shortage of real Evil Queens in history to look to as the inspiration of the fairy tale that Disney is spinning out this summer with Angelina Jolie as the fabulously wicked horned one.
One of the most evil has to be Elizabeth, Countess Bathory (also called "The Blood Countess") who lived in Hungary in the late 1500s. The Countess killed and tortured thousands of young virgins, thinking that bathing in their blood would keep her young. Not only did that premise go awry, but she was caught and walled up in the basement of Slovakia's Cachtice Castle, whose ruins still stand--moodily awaiting those who are brave enough to visit.
We hear that the Castle itself is closed to the public but that you can still get close enough to the picturesque point to take pictures for your Evil Queen scrapbook. You can also rent The Countess which stars Julie Delpy as, well, The Countess. It's kind of like Before Sunrise, except with serial killing, torture and Renaissance fair costumes instead of Ethan Hawke.
Lupito Nyong'o, People Magazine's Most Beautiful Person in the World is Facebooking from one of the world's most beautiful countries--Morocco.
Nyong'o posted: Lupita Nyong'o 11 hours ago
She also posted images of an intricate Moroccan cabinet (in her hotel) and drew hundreds of comments from locals who hope to meet her in their town or village.
Shark Tank fans and denizens of the YOTEL New York celebrated the launch of the hotel's new loyalty club (TheClub@Yotel) and its signature FOUR lounge space networking mixer, "4 on Four" this week, where four industry leaders speak to rapt Yotelers on innovation, bizness smarts, tech talk and more.
TravelHushHush.com attended the first event where Garth Holsinger, CEO of the Global Startup Project and former Sales & Marketing VP for the vaunted KLOUT was loving THH's brand and backstory.
We also got love from Yotel's Social Media Maven, Fergus Boyd who Tweeted:
Fergus Boyd @lfboyd May 20
Loving the lady promoting her new web site "Travel Hush Hush". Gossip on travel. Perfect proposition. DO IT. #IWNY #4onFOUR @YotelHQ
Did our KLOUT SCORE just rise rapidly?
Showtime's new Penny Dreadful combines the screenwriter of Gladiator, London's seamy Victorian underground and one of the greatest travelers who ever lived. We're impressed.
John Logan, Gladiator and Skyfall screenwriter among many other illustrious credits, has used one of the greatest travelers to ever live as the inspiration for his lead character in the new Showtime series, Penny Dreadful.
The Gothic-infused pastiche of characters from our collective unconscious is lead by Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton) whom Logan says is based directly on the great traveler Sir Richard Francis Burton (above).
Burton (once played by Patrick Bergin in the under-rated period flick Mountains of the Moon) was a fascinating character. He translated the Kama Sutra for a hidden cult of Victorian porno readers, searched for the source of the Nile with his partner John Speke (played by Iain Glen, a.k.a. Ser Jorah Mormont in Mountains of the Moon) and translated a rare Indian vampire novel among other achievements.
From the first two episodes, Penny looks more promising than last season's Dracula.
Logan and his characters are inspiring us to re-visit our favorite haunting grounds in olde London...stay tuned for a Penny Dreadful-inspired itinerary in Old Blighty. Meanwhile visit our friends at VisitEngland.com and VisitBritain.com for all your Gothically inspired London needs.
Here's your Game of Thrones recap for travelers.
Arya and the Hound continue their never-ending buddymovie roadtrip. In last night's episode the Hound confesses some childhood trauma and Arya cleans his wound which is kind of like when your Mom used to spit on a handkerchief to clean your face when you're parked at a fast food stop and you have no Wet Ones.
The two keep traveling through places where the Hound gets in trouble and has to kill folks. Now Arya's pitching in, which is kind of touching. They're really bonding, which is what road trips do--you either bond forever or kill each other. But this is GOT, so expect something of both.
It seems like everyone on the show is getting into Road Trip mode. Brienne is traveling with Tyrion's sidekick and they've just stayed in a nice B&B where Brienne got a kick ass meat pie and the recipe plus a GOT cookie. Sansa's been lodging at Auntie's house but that can't last for long. She'll soon be back on the road with bad "Uncle" Littlefinger. Don't you love her traveling gear? That hooded robe is right out of Meryl Streep's Victorian cape in The French Lieutenant's Woman.
Today is St. George's Day, the Patron Saint of England. To celebrate, VisitEngland has created a pop-up exhibit -- England's Hall of Fame -- running for one week at the Observation Point on London's Southbank.
Guess who some of the winners are? : Shakespeare (whose birthday is also celebrated today), the Beatles and Downton Abbey.
Bill got 50 percent more votes than any other claim. But for our money if there were a knock down drag out fight club session between the Bard and the Dowager Duchess--our money would be on the Dowager.
"Don't even try it William..."
Just when you thought it was safe to go back on CNN, they've added another damn "simulator" experience. The network, which has been the butt of many a joke due to its over reliance on aircraft simulator segments during the search for the missing Malaysian aircraft is now simulating a ship sinking to illustrate what to do if you're in a similar tragedy to the Korean ferry sinking that is now in the news since the Malaysian air crash search is losing media momentum.
In the new segment, a weirdly hyper Rosa Flores gushes about how close to reality the simulator is as it tips into the simulated ocean. Then we see some shots of water pouring into a hold, "the universal sign of trouble" Flores says, and she's back again on the "bridge" smiling and waving her arms as the segment concludes with nary a cogent or compelling soundbyte on how to really survive a ship sinking.
The big information: "Get outside." "Why would you want to get outside? To get to the lifeboats," says Flores. You think?
CitizenM, that relentlessly trendy new pod hotel in Times Square is trying to enroll Donald Trump and Lady Gaga to help "introduce them to New Yorkers."
The hotel's website posted the letter (and one to Gaga) below:
Our take: clean your public bathrooms M, before you invite all of New York (and Trump and Gaga) to visit. We stopped by and peeked in to find a floor that would have lit up under ultra violet light like urine spotted confetti.
Travel HushHush.com and Frommers.com are connecting via a new twice weekly column that HushHush Publisher/Editor, Gretchen Kelly has begun.
Twice a week you will be able to read about movies, media and travel at both Travel HushHush.com and at Frommers.com through original content on both sites.
Frommers.com Passportable Section will carry Kelly's column two days a week. More original content delving into celebs, fashion, design, lifestyle--all with a travel focus--will be available here at Travel HushHush.com.
Tune into Frommers.com now for stories on Game of Thrones and Divergent and watch here for more tinsel-town-tinged travel content. Follow us on Twitter @travelhushhush and on Facebook.
See you on the road!
On assignment for the New York Post's special St. Patrick's Day pull out, I had the pleasure of having tea at the Adare Manor Castle Hotel with its former owner, Lady Dunraven.
In the course of the interview, I referred to St. Patrick's Day (as we New York Post-ers are wont to do) as St. Paddy's Day.
"If there's anything you take away from this interview, I hope you'll remember it's St. Patrick's Day...not St. Paddy's Day," said Lady Dunraven, channeling her inner Duchess of Grantham.
Which was probably a good thing in that my article was tentatively titled, "Ireland's Downton Abbey." Needless to say, I'll never call today St. P--dy's Day again!
Old Hollywood glamour is not gone from Manhattan.
The Warwick New York Hotel has debuted five new specialty suites that draw on the iconic hotel's scandalous and sumptuous past as William Randolph Hearst's love nest for actress Marion Davies. The new suites were created by Interior Design International’s Stephanie Ellis-Carmody and echo the days when hotels were places to meet for cold martinis, hot gossip and molten glamour.
We love the all the suites but especially the Marion Suite (with its black and white images of Marion and its nod to Art Deco), the Follies and the Jane Suites (a paean to busty Jane Russell, pin-up girl and muse to the real Aviator, Howard Hughes).
The Randolph Suite, however, exudes the power and prestige of the publishing magnate the supposedly put the kaibash on Orson Welles after "Citizen Kane" exposed all of Hearsts' foibles (including Marion Davies) to the movie-going world.
Cary Grant made his home here for many years (you can still stay in his rooms!). The scent of his cologne seems to linger in the corridors still...
Is that his North by Northwest suit hanging in the closet?
We're excited to see friends and colleagues at The New York Times Travel Show today (and over the weekend when civilians go). But we're still left wondering why, for the past several years, is one whole continent significantly missing...Europe.
No France, no Visit Britain, no Belgium or Flanders, no Italy, Spain or Portugal, although there's plenty of talk of those destinations during the seminars and expert chats.
It seems like the European tourism boards collectively decided to take a powder on the Javits Center Winter "do" where the industry gets together to talk about "the new" Tuscany and the "new" Provence.