Happy New Year from Need To Know!
In January, our thoughts turn to new year plans and resolutions, and it's a favourite time for planning holidays and trips. Check out some of our writers' favourite spots in Brooklyn, Lisbon and Bangkok for inspiration. Don't forget to go off the beaten track when you arrive and find some gems for yourself.
Brooklyn is several times bigger than Manhattan and after years of hipster regeneration the tables have turned; at one time, most of the cultural traffic went towards Manhattan but now Manhattanites head to Brooklyn to sniff out the latest trends. It's worth a trip in its own right. Brooklyn Heights has spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline, but head down to Red Hook for eyes on the Statue of Liberty and an atmospheric industrial meets small town vibe with lots of unique and interesting shops. Williamsburg is the place to head for nightlife and some of the area's best restaurants, or you can always walk across the iconic Brooklyn Bridge on its elevated walkways over to Manhattan if you can't stay away.
With its temperate climate, riverside location and pretty, colourfully tiled or intricately carved buildings, Lisbon makes a great destination for a weekend or longer. There's plenty of history to enjoy, from the Jerónimos monastery to the 16th-century Torre de Belém but there's a liveliness too that eminates from bars, restuarants and outdoor terraces. We've picked a few of our favourite corners, but Lisbon is a lovely size to explore on foot, so poke around and you'll discover all sorts of treats.
Bangkok is full of temples – to faith and capitalism – a confounding mix of old and new, and a lot of bustle. It's also hot and humid, so make sure you plot some parks into your day to rest and cool down between sightseeing. The last few years have seen a lot of sleek bars and cafés appear alongside some sparkling infrastructure but you can easily find traditional food and culture away from the main thoroughfares. The best time to visit is during the cool season November to February, but the rainy season (July to October) is also very pleasant between downpours and less busy.
This month's most eye-catching nominations from members
Thanks to Need To Know member Jennifer Morgan for nominating Robert Bar in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Our writers have put it on their list of places to visit. This month Dave Cook reviewed a recent nomination by Nicola Cook, Source in York, UK.
Best Restaurant and Café
Best Bar and Pub
Best Thing to Do
Best Hotel and Resort