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New York’s Henri Bendel Sweetens the Deal…

In this issue: Milan, Cabo San Lucas, the Hudson Valley….

Eat: From fashion to fowl in Milan
Following the success of their gilded Motorola Razr phone, fashion duo Dolce & Gabbana has given the Midas touch to an entire restaurant in Milan. The 202-seat Gold, steps away from D&G’s Via Poerio headquarters, features an upscale, dinner-only Mediterranean eatery and casual bistro. No surface of the bi-level space — from the walls to the stairs to the light fixtures — has escaped Goldfinger’s touch. Indeed, almost every surface is covered in gold accents. The designers follow others in their field who’ve opened cafés here, including Giorgio Armani, Roberto Cavalli, and Gucci.

Shop: Shop and skarf in New York
Even the most intrepid shoppers on New York’s Fifth Avenue need a pick-me-up once in a while. Enter Alison Nelson’s Chocolate Bar, opening May 21 at Henri Bendel. A spin-off of the popular West Village chocolate shop, the café will serve snacks and sweets from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 7 p.m. on Sunday. Taste sensations include the Barcelona sandwich ($7.50), a toasted baguette with 71% cacao chocolate, olive oil, and sea salt, and the freshly popped and salted popcorn with caramel and chocolate dipping sauces ($8). Trying to maintain a dress size? Try the fruit plate ($7.50) — but hold the whipped cream.

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Drink: Tea gets subversive in London
The Queen would balk at the untraditional afternoon tea served in the bar at London’s handsome Dorchester Hotel. The centerpiece is a unique chocolate tea, a blend of aromatic Grand Cru Cacao beans from South America, made by London chocolatier Luento Santoro. The tea is served alongside homemade chocolate sandwiches, warm muffins, “shots” of chocolate mousse, crispy chocolate cannelloni, and more — all for £29.50. If this doesn’t push your Decadent Button, add a glass of champagne or toss back a chocolate martini for an extra £10. Luento Santoro serves its own Chocolate High Tea weekends from 2 to 4 p.m. for £20.

Stay: A Hudson Valley weekend
Contrary to conventional wisdom, the Hudson Valley isn’t just for the idle rich. Indeed, you don’t have to be a tycoon to hang your hat at Emerson Inn, an adults-only property near Mount Tremper. The inn, which reopened in mid-March after renovations, has 26 suites, an Ayurvedic spa, and an excellent restaurant, Phoenix. Through May 24, guests can take advantage of a package that ranges from $495 to $651 per couple per night that includes a suite with views of nearby Mount Tremper, breakfast and dinner at the Phoenix, lunch at the spa café and a complimentary spa treatment for each. (Check out the Emerson’s other package deals.)

Made-to-Order: Cabo’s bikini boot camp
With swimsuit season just weeks away, ladies seeking to shape up in a jiffy may want to skip the Slim Fast and head straight to Cabo San Lucas, where for five days and four nights abs will be honed and butts toned under the direction of the drill instructors at Cabo Bikini Health & Fitness. The program includes morning hikes, beach aerobics, yoga, personal training, Pilates, kickboxing, kayaking, swimming, massage, and rejuvenating spa treatments. May and June boot camps are already sold out (call for cancellations), but there is still availability throughout the rest of the year. The cost is $2,950 per person, all-inclusive.

Charlotte Kaiser Weinberg

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