EDITOR'S NOTE: As a prelude to our future city guides (not quite the usual type of city guides...), we invited Joachim Baan to share some of his travelling "mini details". Small is beautiful, travelling for the small details is the way to go.
"For me, travelling means collecting stories, sounds, fragrances and images. Not in the big statements–the overwhelming music or megalomanic architecture–but in details. I’m attracted to the details: the small stories behind one image, the sound of a city awakening, that tiny shop around the corner and the subtle smell of flowers along the way. It is those details that make my travels so inspiring and addicting. When I bring back to mind my latest travels, I see those details. The beautiful wooden sculptures in that lovely store in New York, the light breeze in the sails on a yacht in Lisbon, the tiny corals washed up on the white beaches of Koh Tao, the smell when entering my favourite coffee place around the corner. All those memories are built on details.
I don’t see a huge city, I don’t remember complete days, only the details.
I made my selection of the top five mini details around the globe, so far. A collection of places, products, and people. Enjoy them here.
1. Best Mini Breakfast
Mi Casa en Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
Last year I found this place by accident, somewhere in a review online, when looking for a special place to stay in Lisbon. Mi Casa en Lisboa is a house with four rooms, found by Maria, a travel journalist who also has a sublime eye for style. The four rooms are beautifully decorated, a central living room with a kitchen that feels like home, and all windows overlook an old monastery garden with the city below. It is here where we enjoyed this lovely breakfast: Sitting in the garden, with only the sound of early birds around us, the city stretching out beneath, a very simple but sublime breakfast was served. Yoghurt with fresh fruit, toast, perfect coffee and juices; it was all there. Mini, but perfect. It must have been the ingredients, the place, the ambiance the sounds: the combination of mini details carved into our memory, that made this the very best breakfast ever.
During our last visit to New York City we encountered a wonderful store called Darr. Founded by the good people behind Hollander & Lexer, Darr has a unique combination and a great curation of vintage and new objects, clothing and accessories. A well-balanced mix of cult objects, industrial furniture and romantic pressed flowers, rustic torsos and sophisticated skin-care products, ancient roman statues and classic medical objects, everything inexplicably fitting together and well-styled next to each other. A mini store with a maximum amount of stories put together, and a must visit when in New York.
After a three-week trip around Thailand this was our last home for one week. A beautiful peaceful resort at the end of a crowded touristic strip of hotels, resorts and clubs, the last part of the lovely white beach is solely for the Koh Tao Cabana guests which gives it even a more unique and peaceful ambiance Beautiful white cottages are surrounded by the overwhelming green flora of the tropical area. It felt as our very own mini home. A round room, decorated lovely in a unique mix of style where African colours and patterns meet Asian minimalism. One of the best snorkel places in the world is within a five minute swim from the beach, and a restaurant overlooking the bay filled with fisherman and diving ships. Especially the early mornings, enjoying your breakfast and watching the bay awaken is amazing!
The Village Coffee & Music, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Finding the best coffee in town is one of the first things I do when planning a trip. But good coffee is not only important on the road, also in your home town. In Amsterdam I’m still waiting for the perfect coffee place, but in Utrecht we have The Village. A small place on one of the upcoming streets of Utrecht. The ingredients: a bar made from an old gym floor, some tables in the back, and good music.
What more do you need… It is important to go early when you don’t want to wait in the line for your coffee, and important to go late during the weekend for good live music. But most importantly: they serve the best coffee in the Netherlands. And if you like mini, try the Cafe Romano. A tiny espresso with a slice of orange peel. Gorgeous!
When you want to experience the real rhythm of a city you need to get in a car and drive yourself around. But when you want to hear the rhythm of a city you need to go by boat. In Lisbon we enjoyed the sunset on the Tagus while on the lovely sailing yacht of Ricardo. Seeing Lisbon from the riverside while a small breeze pushed us slowly forward underneath the bridge, hearing the sounds of the city, the car horns, the people on the riverside, the trams working hard to tame the hills, really showed us a different city."
Joachim is the director of Another Something & Co., an agency, platform and style icon, he founded in 2007. Through brand design, creative direction, fashion initiatives and collaborations, Another Something & Co. creates and shares a world of beauty.
Aesthetics go beyond any medium or discipline and is an inspiration for brands and people all over the world. With their approach of elegant creativity, Another Something & Co. develops and revitalizes brands and initiate projects that celebrate the beauty of cultures.