The Good Life

Whether you're heading to the beach or the pool this summer, chic accessories are a must. "It's a huge market," says designer Melissa Odabash. "Beach gear is becoming increasingly fashion-forward, and people are looking for items that are both versatile and trendy." Her caftans provide a hip starting point: silky and retro-sexy, they're beloved by Riviera glitterati and

casual beach bunnies alike (£200-£1,000; odabash.com ). For the gents, Belgian designer Dries Van Noten's sarongs provide a cool splash of après-swim comfort in reassuringly masculine colors (£140; harvey nichols.com ).

Even beach towels have gone upscale. Hermès is offering plush, massive sheets emblazoned with brilliant boats and vibrant sea-life reminiscent of Henri Matisse's collages (from £227; hermes.com ). Prada's more spartan version is nautical white with a blue border (from £120; prada.com ).

Parasols are making a high-profile comeback. Specialty boutiques like James Smith's in London and New York's Brella Bar are doing a roaring trade in everything from delicate Victorian hand-helds to brightly patterned, voluminous umbrellas (from £65; jamessmith.co.uk ; from £130; brellabar.com ). And British designer Paul Smith makes a limited-edition football coated in his trademark stripes (£169; paulsmith.co.uk)

Lie poolside in style in the stately Plantation lounger, with plush cushioning and art-deco lines (from £839; chelseagardener .co.uk ). U.K.-based Mufti makes bespoke beach furniture ranging from Adirondack-style chaises to collapsible chairs, all handcrafted in rich teak (from £335; mufti.co.uk ).

Finally, as the true bon vivant knows, a day at the beach is only as good as the picnic. Try the Mayfair gourmet hamper from Fortnum & Mason, which contains bottles of Tokaji and vintage cham-pagne, in addition to the requisite foie gras (£250; fortnumandmason.com ). Bon appétit!

The Portuguese capital was reconstructed after a devastating 18th-century earthquake, creating a mishmash of old and new--and offering plenty of opportunities on your next stopover.

Castelo de São Jorge, a crumbling fortress perched high atop the city, for panoramic views of the ubiquitous red rooftops and the Tejo River.

delectable regional specialties like skewers of barbecued monkfish and shrimp at Papµ Açorda, a hidden culinary treasure in the shabby-chic Bairro Alto neighborhood (Rua da Atalaia).

Igreja de São Domingos, a dilapidated but impressive church where judgments were handed down during the Portuguese Inquisition.

one of the bright yellow, rickety trams through the hilly cobblestone streets. Or hop on one of the three funiculars that take you steadily up some of Lisbon's steepest lanes.

Subtle it's not. Hit the ignition and hear a roar from its massive exhaust pipes that could wake the dead. But was it music to my ears? Well, duh. The Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder's strident sound complements this new supersexy twin-seater's buff Italian looks. Its V-10, 520-horsepower engine rips from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 4.2 seconds, and has a top speed of 194mph (though--darn--I didn't get the chance to prove it). I like the rear-view camera that flashed every time I put the Spyder in reverse. There would have been a lifelong bruise on my psyche if I had banged it up while backing out. Then again, the Gallardo Spyder wasn't built to go backward, was it?

Summer is heating up the northern hemisphere, but down south, skiers and snowboarders are gearing up to pound the world's best powder on the spectacular peaks of the Andes. In Argentina the Cerro Catedral, designed by a Swiss ski champ in the 1930s, is the country's oldest and largest ski resort (day passes from $35; catedral altapatagonia.com ). Or carve freshies at the end of the earth at Cerro Castor in Ushuaia--the southernmost city in the world--where extreme winters constantly produce bundles of fresh snow (day passes from $30; cerrocastor.com ). In Chile, three top-notch resorts have kilometers of groomed terrain all within an hour of Santiago: Valle Nevado ( vallenevado.com ), La Parva ( skilaparva.cl ), and El Colorado ( elcolorado.cl ) offer heli skiing and slope-side accommodations, with day passes for about $40.

Why should grown-ups get all the fancy stuff? Baby bling is the new thing. The Diamond Pacifier from It's My Binky glitters with 278 pavé diamonds (and is meant for show, not sucking). Set in white gold, the three carats can be customized with colored jewels ($17,000; itsmybinky.com ). John Hardy creates dainty designs in his Bali workshop, including the diamond pavé clasp bracelet of woven sterling silver--extra small for teeny-tiny wrists ($625; johnhardy.com ). Now little boy blue can wear Italian loafers too. Gucci's baby leather slip-ons with gold horsebit ensure junior's first steps will be in style ($230; gucci.com ). And you can carry diapers discreetly with Mia Bossi's chic new diaper bags. The Audrey in Italian Barolo leather with snakeskin trim doubles as a purse or briefcase with an optional computer-case insert ($1,200; miabossi.com ). Burberry's Nova Check Baby Bag matches the Burberry Folding Stroller to give infant accessorizing a luxury ride ($495/$650; burberry.com ).

Need a new pouch for your pooch? Now your furry friend can travel first class. Dapper dogs ride in style in Burberry's smart plaid dog carrier, with natty brown leather trim and handles ($650; burberry.com ). Juicy Couture's pink terry pet carrier is emblazoned with the motto love me, love my dog, so everyone will know where your affections lie ($295; neimanmarcus.com ). The leather Ciao bag from Creature Couture includes a cell-phone holder for pet owners on the go ($400; creature couture.com ). Gucci's large dog carrier in signature GG fabric has a cushion and leash inside ($720; neimanmarcus.com ). And Louis Vuitton's large monogrammed dog bag has golden brass hardware and a breathable mesh window ($1,650; louisvuitton.com ).