When it comes to travel, there’s nothing better to spark inspiration than a glossy tome which sets out to celebrate the virtues of a destination. Immerse yourself in a new batch of titles for the year ahead and you can silently journey to far-flung destinations and sow the seed for where you’d like to tick off your must-see list next.
Some of us are moved by evocative photography, others want to find out more about exotic cuisine, and then there are those who are hungry for the best insider knowledge to discover those best-kept, under-the-radar secrets that help us get under the skin of a destination.
A good starting point for those wanting to discover the best places in the world to rest your head is in the pages of Where Architects Sleep by Sarah Miller, who was the founding editor-in-chief of Conde Nast Traveller UK for 15 years (published 15 January 2020, £16.95, Phaidon). The book is a veritable travel bible for those after in-the-know recommendations, and brings together the expert opinions of 250 of the world’s top architects to create the ultimate global accommodation list.
From budget to family friendly, eco-conscious to luxury, the book covers a range of hotels and reveals why each one is exceptional. No one appreciates a building quite like an architect, so if you want to know where Manuel Cervantes likes to stay, then this is the book for you (incidentally, The Fasano in Sao Paolo and Bernesse House on the Japanese island of Naoshima are among the places he rates). Other architects giving their best-stays include John Pawson, Amanda Levete, Norman Foster, Dan Wood and many more.
For visual inspiration, however, look no further than Steve McCurry: India (published 15 January 2020, £29.95, Phaidon). Known for his emotive images, renowned photographer Steve McCurry has visited India some 80 times since his first trip in 1978. Considering it a photographer’s paradise, he is renowned for his immense catalogue of work which depicts both the rich and poor – described as the ‘Bombay elite’ and ‘Mumbai’s slumdogs’ – and he reveals the vanishing cultures, detailed minutiae of street life and stunning portraiture that make up the visual impact to be found in India.
From street sellers in Rajasthan to train travellers aboard the Assam Mail Train, McCurry shows, what he describes as the “places suspended between modernity and tradition”. In the book, his lens focuses on those that ‘have’ as well as the ‘have nots’ – the desperate, soaked beggar children to the landowner with hunting trophies on his wall. One of the world’s leading photographers, a member of Magnum Photos, McCurry has been recognised with the Robert Capa Gold Medal and National Press Photographers Award.
The Irish Cookbook (published 28 February 2020, £35), on the other hand, inspires at the hands of renowned Irish chef Jp Mcmahon. Several years in the making, it not only brings together 500 authentic home-cooking recipes, drawn from thousands of years of Irish food, but it also tells the story of the cuisine of the country, its unique culinary origins, migratory influences and the wild resources that make up the land.
Eager to change the perception of Irish food just being associated with the potato and its subsequent famine, McMahon recounts Ireland’s remarkably rich food heritage which dates back millennia and celebrates the unique culinary culture of the island and the roots of its hearty flavours and warm hospitality.
“This book is not a history of Irish food. No book is definitive. Rather, it is a present understanding of the lay of the land, what food in Ireland was, how it was used, how it was not and, ultimately, what Irish food can be,” he says.
One of the world’s best-loved cities is, of course, New York, and the destination’s street and fashion culture is celebrated in unique style in new title Supreme – the history, the products, and the culture (published 29 January 2020, £35, Phaidon).
Having transformed itself from a downtown New York skate shop, which opened 25 years ago, into an influential global company with 11 stores worldwide, the iconic brand is as much known for its irreverent and iconoclastic spirit as it is for its commitment to design and quality.
The book features imagery from photographers including Larry Clark, Sandy Kim, and David Sims, and reveals behind-the-scenes content from the company’s early years; highly limited product releases from t-shirts and MetroCards to suitcases and bicycles; and artist and brand collaborations with the likes of Nan Goldin, Raymond Pettibon, Takashi Murakami, Cindy Sherman, Comme des Garçons, Nike, and Louis Vuitton, to name a few.
With written contributions from pop-culture critic Carlo McCormick and film director Harmony Korine, the title brings togetherthe history, the creations, and the convention-defying spirit that are uniquely Supreme and which reveals a little about the city in which it was born.
For more information on these new releases, visit phaidon.com