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  • Travel: Try Grouse Hunting in Britain

    Britain's grouse-hunting season is in full swing until mid October. The British sporting company Roxtons offers bespoke driving and walking shoots in Scotland and northern England, charging $218 per brace of birds (roxtons.com). In Yorkshire, the Black Swan Hotel is an ideal base for a shooting weekend. With divine rooms, a gourmet restaurant and an Elemis spa, it's a fine place to relax after a day spent tracking red grouse or the lesser-known ptarmigan (blackswan-helmsley.co.uk; rooms start at $180).But nothing beats Scotland. At the Roxburghe, an agricultural and sporting estate, the head gamekeeper will take guests out for a spot of shooting, with lunch provided in a rustic cabin. The estate also houses the largest inhabited castle in Scotland, a golf course and a luxury hotel (roxburghe.net; rooms start at $340). The Atholl Estates Lodges offer a robust stock of birds across the moors, which are best walked with guides; guests can bring their own dogs if they are gun-trained ...
  • A New Platform for Women's Shoes

    Last season, heels on women's shoes took on innovative shapes, including chain links, flowers and spheres. Now designers are giving wedges and platforms a makeover. Towering at nearly four inches high, Louis Vuitton's Powder shoe, in calf suede, features carved resin soles to match the architectural bent of the brand's fall collection. The unusual two-tiered toe is complemented by a faux stiletto heel ($1,130; louisvuitton.com). Alberta Ferretti's sculptured wedges also have a strong architectural feel, with the toe turning up like a boat ready to sail ($450; net-a-porter.com. Stella McCartney's Patent Platform Pump in nude faux leather features antiqued silvertone plate on the heel ($1,145; neimanmarcus .com). For evening, Christian Louboutin updates the metallic trend with a silvery wedge decorated with mirrored baguettes ($1,480; onpedder. com/ list-of-stores). And Dior blurs the line between wedge and stiletto with its cutout peep-toe wedge sandal in purple suede ($925;...
  • Big Government to the Rescue

    Markets can't exist without regulation. The real trick is to craft good regulations that allow markets to work well.
  • Resorts Let Guests Sleep with the Fishes

    Luxury resorts have long catered to the human desire for seaside views. But now restaurants, spas and even entire hotels are taking it to a whole new level, going completely underwater.The Red Sea Star Restaurant and Bar in Eilat, Israel, was one of the first to capitalize on the concept. Located 16 feet below sea level, the star-shaped structure offers views of an active coral reef that's illuminated from above at night (redseastar.com).In the Maldives, the Lime Spa at Huvafen Fushi has two underwater treatment rooms, where guests can watch for stingrays, nurse sharks and tropical fish while receiving the signature Unite Me Crystal Ritual treatment, which involves a body brushing and oil massage using locally sourced ingredients (huvafenfushi .com). And the 12-person Ithaa Undersea Restaurant at the Conrad Maldives Resort features a 180-degree domed ceiling made of thick acrylic arches so diners can feast on Maldivian fusion cuisine amid the underwater sea creatures (conradhotels...
  • WOLFFE: 'The Palin Effect--in Reverse'

    By Richard Wolffe Call it the Palin effect in reverse. John McCain’s veep pick isn’t just firing up the GOP base with bigger crowds and more cash. Sarah Palin is having the same impact on the progressive base of the Democratic Party.Take a look at what’s happened to MoveOn.org, the signature online left-of-center group that marks its 10th anniversary this year. The group has added almost a million new members since 2007, many of them over the summer, to bring its total to 4.2 million – around the same size as the NRA on the right. Along with the new members, there has been a surge in donations allowing the group to double its advertising budget for the general election period to up to $7 million.“We’ve seen an increase in energy, particularly driven by the tightening of the race, but also by I think McCain’s choice of Palin,” says Eli Pariser who directs MoveOn. “That really sunk in for people that this would be another Bush-style presidency, both in terms of the cynicism of the...
  • Luxury Spas in Bordeaux and Wine Country

    They say the sap from grapevines has magical properties in Bordeaux. "The vine is crying," says Mathilde Thomas, estate owner and pioneer of what she calls vinotherapy, the use of grapes and vines in skin care. "But these precious teardrops are enough to put a smile on any woman's face."Grape skins and seeds have long been known to possess antioxidant powers. Thomas and her husband, who own the Château Smith Haut Lafitte estate outside Bordeaux, joined forces with a local pharmacology professor to figure out a way to harness their fragile polyphenols for cosmetic purposes. Today, at their Caudalie Vinothérapie Spa in Bordeaux-Martillac, guests can enjoy the barrel bath treatment, in which bubbling hot spring water is enriched with superfine pieces of grape skin; the honey and wine wrap, or the crushed Cabernet scrub (caudalie.com). There are also Caudalie spas in Italy's Piemonte region and Spain's Rioja valley. Next month, New York's Plaza Hotel will open a center where guests will...
  • The letter X is making its mark on fashion.

    Integral to algebra and pirate maps, the letter X is making its mark on fashion. Often a symbol for the unknown, it's hard to miss when beige strips crisscross at the waist of a black bandage dress from Hervé Léger by Max Azria ($1,250; intermix online.com). Black lines intersect at the midsection of a cap-sleeved olive green dress by Chanel ($8,010; chanel.com for locations). Bust lines also feature the X factor; thick black straps overlay the décolletage of a red cocktail dress by Zero + Maria Cornejo ($573; zeromariacornejo .com). For those who don't want to cross their hearts, Kara Ross's X-shaped bangle is plated with 18-karat gold and has a tiger's eye ($215; vivre.com). Miniature gold X's surround a Van Cleef & Arpels onyx cuff from the 1970s, rendering the one-of-a-kind piece both vintage and ahead of its time ($68,000; kentshire.com). There's even an invisible way to wear the trend: patchouli, rhubarb and jasmine are some of the 14 notes in Clive Christian's X perfume (...