Every Friday, we celebrate the weekend — and all the reading and relaxing and daydreaming time ahead — with Melissa's favorite book- and travel-related links of the week. Why work when you can read fun stuff?!
This post is part of our Endnotes series.
Whelp, it’s been well more than a year since we strolled into a fancy cocktail bar, nestled into a comfy banquette, and toasted to life. It appears that we’ll be waiting a bit longer, so we thought we’d take a virtual trip to The Velvet in Bratislava, Slovakia. Decorated in an eclectic mix of art deco, British pub, and over-the-top, it’s atmospheric and opulent. The drinks menu includes 28 signature cocktails that can be enjoyed in any of the separate lounges that divide the space into cozy nooks. And cozy it is! Only natural materials are used in the decor, so it’s rich in velvet, leather, wood, and glass. Bonus: The Velvet’s disco ball is the largest in the city.
Decipher the language of tea with the origins of these tea-related phrases. ‘Excitabat fluctus in simpulo is most often translated as He was stirring up billows in a ladle. While other cultures have their own versions, such as A storm in a glass of water in the Netherlands and A tempest in a potty in Hungary… eventually, the British coined their own version as A storm in a teacup…’
The Finnish epic poem The Kalevala, circa 1898, is a ride. There’s a ‘divine maiden’ along with ‘talking salmon, forest demons, wolves that stalk the deadlands, incest, suicide, and a mysterious artifact called the Sampo, forged by a legendary blacksmith, which acts like an anchor for the universe.’ Enjoy the English translation.
The magazine The Week is a good source for additions to your TBR. What do you think of their 25 picks for a must-read list?
This is a delight! Messy Nessy Chic invited readers to write short stories inspired by the photo below, ‘Parisian woman with Turkish veil, seen on Rue de la Paix, 1914’. Here are the resulting tales.
This week, Angela Carter’s Nights at the Circus was our Weekend Getaway pick. Here are recommendations for more books from this gifted and imaginative author.
There’s a lot of good thinking in this piece from The Guardian on how travel makes us smarter. ‘… the experience of another culture endows us with a valuable open-mindedness, making it easier to realize that a single thing can have multiple meanings.’
Webster’s Word of the Day quiz is no joke. (I got 9/11.)
Take a virtual getaway to Iran with this essay about Iranian cookbooks and our podcast episode Iran: Revolution, Poetry, Storytelling, and Spices.
The other side of Iran 🇮🇷 seldom portrayed — the beautiful salt mountain in Darbest pic.twitter.com/ygfLpBEHXo— Khaled Beydoun (@KhaledBeydoun) March 24, 2021
No biggie… the Louvre in Paris just put 480,000 works online, so you can gaze at beauty to your heart’s content. Can I interest you in the largest painting in the museum: The Wedding Feast at Cana (Les Noces de Cana) by Paolo Veronese — or the glowing marble of the Winged Victory of Samothrace (Victoire de Samothrace)?
Famous writers’ houses you can visit someday, including Jane Austen’s Chawton Cottage, Agatha Christie’s Greenaway, Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top, and many more. Personally, I’d be into spending a few days at Lord Byron’s Newstead Abbey.
Let’s time travel to Berlin, summer, 1957. I want to leap into these photos.
In a recent episode of the What’s Her Name? podcast, the hosts delve into the life of May Alcott Nieriker, sister of the famous author Louisa. ‘Travel with Katie to Orchard House, where the Alcotts lived 175 years ago, and see the world as May saw it: beautiful, joyful, and full of possibility.’
I found this essay about three significant diaries to be so moving and beautifully written.
For your sweet amusement: a chocolate quiz.
How to raise a child (or grandchild) who loves reading.
Let the gently lapping water soothe you in this video walkthrough of Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia. (Shout of love to our reader Nicole for sharing this with us.)
Top image courtesy of The Velvet.
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