Zafiri | April 30, 2024

Port cities theme this Digest – HelsinkiIstanbul and Gothenburg have now been added to Zafiri, each with notes for runners, cyclists and swimmers. That’s the Nordics covered with the exception of Stockholm and Reykjavik (remember Oslo and Copenhagen). The warmer latitude of South Africa’s Western Cape balances icy Baltic dips. Greyton and Tulbagh are two new locations for runners and mountain bikers, part of a tour which includes Stellenbosch and coastal Hermanus.

Zafiri | January 6, 2024

The Eastern seaboard of the U.S. is now covered with athletic items in Philadelphia documented. That connects a string of cities from Manhattan to Washington D.C. via Baltimore. In Europe, a guide for Barcelona has been published in sync with the completion of four towers of Sagrada Família, 140 years since work began on Gaudi’s masterpiece. At 60°N, our most northerly city is now Oslo, also 50th city guide in the collection.

Zafiri | September 29, 2023

With the revival of weekend trips for Subscribers, we have Lourmarin, Provence and Stellenbosch, South Africa scheduled for 2024. There are plans underway for trips in Girona and Nice – email me if locations appeal. This summer we featured two endurance coaches offering services in Chicago (triathlon) and New York City (running).   These two cities come with further orientation in Minnesota – Twin Cities (Saint Paul & Minneapolis) has been impressively audited by running coach Sam Renikoff. Swap the Mississippi River for the tumbling Avon to find a hotel review and training notes for Bath, England.

Zafiri | July 21, 2023

A hotel review for Birmingham, and new city guides for Bangkok and Mumbai. The foundations of Hadrian’s Wall have been revived with the landing of a Norwegian-Northumberland menu from restaurant Hjem. Kerala-based photographer Adityakrishna S Menon has been interviewed about his environmental work, for which he was highly recommended in the Natural History Museum’s Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year (2022).

Zafiri | April 6, 2023

Following Marfa, Lone Star State coverage has tripled with Austin and Dallas. Review of Anders Holch Povlsen’s constellation of properties has been debuted – Killiehuntly near Aviemore, Cairngorms. Due South and Côte d’Azur is centring around Marseille. Penang, Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur are documented. 5-mile trail races via the Maverick Series are a focus for the summer, with Brighton Pier’s annual swim in the diary for July. A new podcast championing Europe’s most ambitious rewilding projects is on the airwaves.

Zafiri | December 28, 2022

Detroit has been added via Shinola Hotel. Training notes for Franz Kafka’s Prague and Elvis’ Memphis are paired with reviews of two choice hotels. Hip-hop’s centre of gravity is also documented in the Atlanta City Guide. The scale of deforestation, indigenous relocation and cattle farming is the Amazon basin is captured by Richard Mosse – overview from Aesthetica Magazine.

Zafiri | October 16, 2022

Delia Owen’s Where the Crawdads Sing introduces a Carolinan agenda with Asheville and Greenville now documented. Savannah, Georgia has been charted, also The Russell in East Nashville provides a first Tennessee waypoint. A read: Grist cover an environmental dilemma for North Carolina where an estimated 426,600 metric tons of lithium can be mined – enough to produce 50 million EVs.

Zafiri | July 1, 2022

A 35th City Guide – Auckland carefully documented. Boulder and Bristol also added to the collection. Design Hotel Inhabit is the address to book in Paddington. Munich is now updated with the spacious Schwan Locke from Locke Hotels. Request Room 211 when staying at The Pineapple in San Diego. In Copenhagen, La Blanchina swimming spot and zero-waste restaurant Amass have been upvoted.

Zafiri | December 27, 2021

We finally made it to Vienna, chasing down Eliud Kipchoge’s sub-2 marathon coup. Sheffield pairs symphonies of the Habsburgs with Steel of Industrial England. UK travel and a visit to Germany opened city guide updates guides for Munich and Edinburgh where superior hotels have opened under the Locke Living brand. Hope Street Hotel in Liverpool have completed their spa and gym, while extensions in Somerset continue to broaden Bruton’s offering.

Zafiri | February 20, 2021

Published San Diego City Guide for subscribers. South of San Francisco is a new Pacific waypoint – training notes for Santa Cruz added to a review of Hotel Paradox, from Marriott’s Autograph Collection. A Liverpool trip between lockdowns provided room for endurance in one the UK’s foremost legacy cities. Other industry is found in Kenya via Enda, a running shoe mostly made in the country. In broadening access to outdoors, Flock Together is increasing participation from POC in London.

Zafiri | November 21, 2020

Published our Sydney City Guide. Clamped down the Pacific Plate to the north with the Tokyo City Guide. Then to Somerset and At the Chapel in Bruton. The village is renowned for being one of Ernest Hemingway’s writing places, a reputation that’s now being eclipsed thanks to art and ecology investments. In June, we checked into diversity in triathlon, also profiling a campaign to distance inner city oil drilling from residents in Los Angeles – learn about District 15.

Zafiri | May 28, 2020

Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama spent two decades locked down in Lisbon between voyages to India. 500 years later, the Lisbon City Guide is now live, matched by another mid-millennium story in the shape of the Florence City Guide. Balance renaissance with current day – an eco hotel in Cape Town and a pioneering road cycling itinerary from Pyonyang, North Korea. We’ll also be using this period to keep an eye on environmental projects by reviewing one per month. Right now dam builders are tinkering in the Balkans, completing contentious projects while inspectors remain homebound.

Zafiri | January 9, 2020

In the final moments of the decade, we returned to altitude with a Mexico City Guide and routed outdoor gyms. A more thoroughbred triathlon city is addressed in another city guide – Zurich. Latest property reviews include the new Whitworth Locke in Manchester, also the best hotel gym we’ve seen. On England’s south coast in Brighton, the creative Artist Residence is a short sprint from a prime open water swimming spot. A third hotel would have been a favourite for both Montagues and Capulets, Cinque Rooms in fair Verona. Stepping beyond facilities and infrastructure for athletics: Patagonia’s ARTIFISHAL raises the alarming health and habitat implications of eating farmed salmon and trout.

Zafiri | May 2, 2019

As fashionable crowds descend on Lombardy to recline on designer sofas, we’ve gathered together the on-trend athletic facilities in our new Milan City Guide. Things are less refined in South Africa where a combination of infrastructure, altitude and competition made the Johannesburg City Guide a joy to write – enough to justify its reputation as a town for endurance athletes. At the end of 2018, I spent my own brief moment reclined and strapped into a massage table in Manhattan, the outcome being a documented assisted stretch experience. In other post: a recent trip to D.C. allowed for a diversion to nearby Baltimore, a legacy town that is going through urban renewal sufficient for Joie de Vivre Hotels to open Hotel Revival.

Zafiri | January 3, 2019

Now a year into Zafiri City Guides, with the recent publishing of DenverCopenhagen and Durham, NC getting us to a total of 22 metropoles. Keeping to this cadence in 2019 will ensure that the collection soon meets the needs of a good volume of athletic travellers in Europe and North America. Other items from the past two months include the reviewing of Sweat Equity, a business book for those baffled by the continued growth of fitness clubs like Barry’s Bootcamp and Flywheel. A trip to the East Coast of the U.S. presented an opportunity to try out the socially conscious Eaton DC, a new hotel brand from the same group behind The Langham.

Zafiri | October 6, 2018

A weekend in the Bavarian Alps at vegan hotel SeinZ, substituting the clamour of Munich’s Oktoberfest for cold water skinny dipping and mountain biking. Earlier in the summer, some time in Geneva was enough to try out La Cour des Augustins, a centrally located design hotel. A more local excursion to a tiny pub-hotel in the Chiltern Hills, 30 miles west of London was another summer highlight – drop in for the night, or swing by for a meal. New city guides includes an assessement of Baron von Hausmann’s work in Paris, and a salute to fast-footed Eliud Kioproge, who recently set Berlin alight in the city’s marathon.