Best of CH 2021: Most Popular

Travel guides, spirits stories, test drives and more

Every day, we publish stories that aim to satisfy, inform and inspire readers. From travel pieces and test drives to artist profiles and deep dives into design, our site’s subject matter reflects our mission: to discover and share stories at the intersection of art, design, style, culture and technology. Since there are so many different types of articles on the site, perusing data to reveal the year’s most-read stories can be equal parts fascinating and surprising. This year’s list includes witnessing a new pasta being invented, discovering the oldest single malt whisky ever bottled, traipsing around Athens and more. Whether you visit the site daily and have seen these articles before or are reading these features for the first time, we hope you find one (or several) worth reading.

Courtesy of Chateau du Sureau

Oakhurst, California’s Chateau du Sureau Welcomes Yosemite-Bound Travelers

From nature-covered campgrounds to historic lodges in tiny towns, various styles of accommodation populate the wondrous wooded areas in and around Yosemite National Park. None are quite like Oakhurst, California’s Chateau du Sureau, an elegant retreat etched into nine hillside acres with views of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Though the Relais & Châteaux property—which also houses a peaceful outdoor pool, spa and fine-dining restaurant—is still roughly an hour-long drive to the national park’s central visitor’s center (but much closer to the south gate and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias), it’s an ideal destination for travelers seeking a charming European aesthetic or an all-around fairytale environment… Read more.

Courtesy of McIntosh

Factory Tour: McIntosh Labs, Binghamton, New York

This 15–18 August marks the 52nd anniversary of legendary music festival Woodstock. Though many stories from the weekend focus on the clichés, the 1969 event was iconic for another reason that many—even those who attended—may be unaware of. The massive, live, outdoor concert was so well rigged with McIntosh amplifiers that all the details of the music could be heard… Read more.

Courtesy of Allouche Benias Gallery

Word of Mouth: Athens, Greece

Athens is overflowing with ancient treasures and modern-day gems, with views of the Acropolis at almost every corner and a decidedly vibrant, contemporary vibe. Named for Athena, the goddess of wisdom and courage, the Greek capital buzzes with character, culture and creativity. From the historic hillside Plaka neighborhood to the Acropolis Museum, Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center and striking views from Mount Lycabettus, there are countless essentials, but this selection of places provides a jumping-off point for some lesser-known delights… Read more.

by Andrew Maness

Test Ride: Harley Davidson Sportster S

On a sizzling day in Los Angeles, we caught a glimpse into the future of one of the most iconic brands in motorcycling—a brand that is known all over the world not only for motorcycles, but also for the culture they cultivated over 118 years. While Harley-Davidson was almost synonymous with motorcycling in North America during much of the 20th century, the motorcycle manufacturer was slow to innovate and adapt during the early 2000s. More recently though, Harley has been rebounding and their latest releases—including the Sportster S—offer insight into what the next few years might look like for Harley… Read more.

by David Graver

Word of Mouth: Scottsdale

Settled in a picturesque portion of the Sonoran Desert, Scottsdale, Arizona‘s sunny days and year-round warmth have attracted visitors (and transplants) for decades now. Though its reputation may be wrapped up in its award-winning golf courses, Scottsdale excels in many other alluring areas. Its dynamic, international food scene continues to advance. Notable design hotels now pop up in various neighborhoods. And, among the exquisite natural beauty, architectural wonders—including iconic architect Frank Lloyd Wright‘s western home-studio hybrid—warrant a visit for their cultural gravity… Read more.

Courtesy of Volkswagen

The Pragmatic Appeal of Volkswagen’s 2022 Golf R + Golf GTI

Back in 1975, in the United States, the first Volkswagen Golf (badged as the Rabbit) was often met with uncertainty. Many Americans didn’t understand the advantages of it, compared with the still-iconic Beetle. Today, many in the US avoid hatchbacks and that’s why the base Golf won’t be sold here anymore. But 45 years since the Rabbit, the eighth-generation Golf will be released here as the Golf GTI and Golf R… Read more.

by Josh Rubin

Factory Visit: Sporkful + Sfoglini Invent New Cascatelli Pasta Shape

While evidence of Italian pasta exists back to the 13th century (though most probably descends from ancient Asian noodles), it’s not often that a new pasta shape is invented. For this reason, we were thrilled to take an exclusive look at the just-launched Cascatelli—a collaboration between Sfoglini and Sporkful. Born from Sporkful creator Dan Pashman’s desire to make something of his own and Sfoglini’s enthusiasm for experimentation, Cascatelli promises to be a versatile, high-quality pasta that boasts high “sauceability, forkability and toothsinkability”—Pashman’s criteria for a successful pasta shape… Read more.

Courtesy of Sotheby’s

September Scotch: From Gordon & MacPhail Comes The Oldest Single Malt Scotch Whisky Ever Bottled

Released by Gordon & MacPhail—the historic, family-owned spirits bottler and distiller—the Generations 80 Year Old single malt scotch whisky from Glenlivet Distillery is more than a record-setting release. Of course, much should be made of the fact that it’s the oldest single malt whisky ever bottled, but the team of experts at Gordon & MacPhail have honored this milestone in many other ways. Not only is the rarefied liquid (which we had the pleasure of trying) astounding, but it comes in a vessel—designed by acclaimed architect Sir David Adjaye—worthy of its value. And, Sotheby’s in Hong Kong will auction decanter number one of the 250 limited edition bottles (with two matching glasses) this October, with all proceeds benefitting the Trees for Life organization, which restores the Caledonian forests of Scotland… Read more.

Courtesy of Land Rover

The All-New 2022 Range Rover is Miesian Perfection

“The first thing you probably notice is the new Range Rover is entirely free of excess. Whatever remains is there for a reason,” says Gerry McGovern, Chief Creative Officer at Jaguar-Land Rover, as we discuss the just-unveiled car in NYC. He’s perhaps never been prouder of a vehicle, even though he says he was only responsible for “editing” the next-generation brand and industry landmark SUV, which debuts in 2022. He has reason to be proud: this Range Rover is on a righteous path of refinement and evolution that has few, if any, peers… Read more.

Courtesy of Braun

Braun + Virgil Abloh Revisit the Brand’s Iconic Wandanlage Hi-Fi Wall Unit

With admirable restraint Braun and Virgil Abloh have gone to the archive and updated one of the brand’s most sculptural designs, the sleek, horizontal 1965 Wandanlage Hi-Fi wall unit. The original’s powder white coated metal is replaced with polished chrome; while that may have been too much in 1965, it’s well suited to 2021. The chrome references both the brands frequent use of the material and Abloh’s “cultural and musical references of the last 100 years”… Read more.

Hero image courtesy of Pia Riverola and Shila Hotel