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100 Things We Love: Part 2

Today we continue our countdown of 100 things we love, in celebration of our 100th Sounder newsletter. If you need some Christmas wish list inspiration, this is it. From 80 to 61:

80. The Nam Hai—Vietnam’s villa perfection is one of our very favourite hotels. Parked right on the beach outside the charming town of Hoi An, The Nam Hai literally puts you (and your bed) on a pedestal throughout your stay. Or in the infinity pool if you like—your choice.

79. La Petraia—We’ve been singing the praises of this Tuscan agriturismo for years. Not only is it a beautiful spot to stay in Tuscany, cooking classes with chef Susan Mckenna Grant include foraging for ingredients on the expansive property. Now that’s fresh.

78. Truffle-hunting in the Kalahari—Following your nose to fungi gold isn’t restricted to Europe alone. Follow a San bushman to these underground treasures in South Africa and Botswana.

77. Charcutepalooza—Last year a group of maniacally dedicated food-bloggers across the world engaged in a 12-month charcuterie making, salting, curing, cooking and writing contest. The jackpot? A trip to France planned by us, of course.

76. Wilbe Bloomin flowers—Our go to florists in Toronto’s Kensington Market, Wilbe Bloomin deserves a pat on the back for all the gorgeous bouquets they have sent out for us. You guys make us look good.

75. Riad Farnatchi—There are scores of riads in Marrakech’s medina, but none have ever caused us to stray for long from our longstanding favourite. An oasis from the chaos around it, Riad Farnatchi takes the cake for both service and atmosphere.

74. The Black Hoof—Another local spot to make our list; because how could we not love a like-named, like-minded company that serves us delicious meats?

73. Poutine—We may have only one official Quebec native, but our love for poutine stretches company-wide. Some call it Canada’s national dish. We call it a delicious food coma.

72. Fogo Island Inn—Ok, so this part of our list is a little Canada-heavy. What can we say, we love our native land? Charlie recently trekked out to a small island in Newfoundland where an incredible inn is set to open in 2013. Watch this space for your next unique retreat.

71. Villa Beccaris—If we were friends with George Clooney, this is where we would invite him to stay with us in Italy. It’s not out of the question, Rudston is working on it.

70. Getting lost—Directions are all well and good, but if you never get lost, you miss out on a world of undiscovered finds. There’s no better spot to admit directional defeat than the winding streets (and canals) of Venice.

69. D Lish Cupcakes—There are some sugar addicts in these parts. We won’t name names, but they know who they are. And they also know where to pick up some convenient birthday cupcakes on Queen Street.

68. Horseback safaris—There are plenty of ways to approach an African safari, but one of our favourites is on horseback. Touring through the bush without the separation of a rover window is a whole new ballgame.

67. Trufflepig office retreats—Sure, we get some work done. But then we walk out onto a giant frozen lake to play frisbee. Or tool around a not-so-frozen lake for the afternoon on a pontoon boat. It’s good to think outside the office.

66. Il Gelato di San Crispino—It’s hand-crafted gelato in Rome. Do we really need to explain further?

65. Vintage cars—We like cars. Cars that tell a story about where they came from. A story like, “I am older than this ancient French barn.”

64. Moroccan hammams—There’s nowhere better to literally melt away the stress. In the dead of winter, this is where we’d rather be.

63. Volcano sand-boarding—Snowboarding is for the weak and the soft. For a gravelly challenge that’s snowpant free, try strapping a board to your feet and sliding down a Nicaraguan volcano instead.

62. Canoeing with hippos—If you have a paddle and a little bravery to spare, canoeing the Selinda trail in Botswana could very well be the coolest adventure of your life. Just listen to the security briefing on this one, ok?

61. Boating the Amalfi Coast—Italy’s bragging capital is boastful for a reason. Luxury was born and bred here, and to say that we love the views would be a vast understatement.

If you missed it yesterday, take a look at Things We Love: Part 1. And stay tuned next week as we continue our countdown.