Archive for the ‘Getaway Guide’ Category

DETROIT

November 9, 2019

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We know, we promised 2019 would be a pointed return to better blogging. If you’re here as a loyal reader, fingers crossed you’ve already forgiven us. Ended up here on a whim? We’re so glad you found us. With a trip to Michigan already on the books, we declared it perfect timing to tack on a few days in the Motor City and faithfully return to our Gilded Getaway roots. Having been to the city in recent years for a special project, one might say we were pre-exposed; we had a heightened sense of what to anticipate and where to explore. It’s true what the papers say, Detroit is a city in transition, i.e. ‘under construction’ – the sights and sounds of revitalization and a return to glory on the horizon, but very much a work-in-progress. Thanks in part to an alliance of local developers and larger corporations, downtown has successfully seen the restoration of landmark buildings, complemented by cutting-edge cuisine, American-made manufacturing and good ‘ole red, white & blue homegrown spirit.

While a stay at the new Shinola Hotel was truly the catalyst of our travel journey, the guide is chock full of good eats mixed with a splash of inspiration. Recently named Best New Large Hotel by Surface Magazine, the 1400 Woodward hotel designed by Gachot Studios is simply stunning, worthy of every accolade already received and all the future news that’s fit to print. The site is storied with Motor City history, an amalgamation of five historic buildings and a tucked away alley paying homage to one of the city’s first black landowners. For those looking to stay local, the Detroit-based Shinola team provided everything at arm’s length for the discerning traveler – craft cocktails at the Evening Bar to a strong cup of brew for the morning after. Namaste your preferred mode of R&R? Check out Citizen Yoga right around the corner for early sunrise salutations.

We were pleasantly surprised to find Detroit’s dining scene equally fulfilling. When inquiring with the locals in our pre-departure planning, out rolled a list a mile-long, from Bon Appetit award-winners to James Beard nominees. Headed to Marrow? The namesake dish is such for a reason. Sweets + treats more your thing? The almond croissant at Ochre might as well be Parisian. From pasta to patty melt, we most certainly did not leave hungry. Same could be said of creative inspiration. Also on Woodward (did we mention it’s one of America’s most iconic streets, not to mention the first to be paved in 1909, aptly fitting for the Motor City) is the Detroit Institute of Arts. For those who gravitate towards a traditional art setting, the DIA definitely won’t disappoint. For us, the creative scene-stealer is actually located in the picturesque Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills. Cranbrook Art Musuem, a National Historic Landmark, is home not only to a collection of 6,000+ works, but also a Frank Lloyd Wright home and Saarinen House. Going to be in the area before December 1st? Be sure to book a tour of the Studio Loja Saarinen collection of textiles on exhibit within the house she inhabited with her husband.

From past to present, mass production to craft purveyors, we’re excited to see what lies on the proverbial road ahead for the Motor City.

 

MIDCOAST MAINE

October 16, 2017

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There’s a reason they call Maine Vacationland. No matter the length of your stay or coordinates on the map, this postcard-perfect state grabs hold of your psyche whilst everything else melts away. Truth be told, we’ve been going to Maine for years, and easily a tradition we’ll continue for a lifetime more. An earlier Gilded Getaway found us in Portland, which in the short time since 2014 has exploded with such intensity that our travel compass is vehemently guiding us back for Getaway Guide v2.0. However, this trip had us craving a little more water, a little less land – we ventured farther up the rocky terrain, to an area the locals refer to as MidCoast.

Dotted with tiny coastal villages, each chock full of charm and character, the MidCoast region offers ocean vistas set against a backdrop of majestic mountains. Undoubtedly, one of the many reasons some of America’s most notable painters flocked to the region to capture the remarkable landscape for the rest of the world to see. Our admiration lies with time spent off the land, sailing along the coast past island after island, colorful lobster buoys as far as the eye can see. The natives are a hearty group, New Englanders through and through, some more salty than others, all eager to welcome visitors to their small slice of Vacationland heaven. Take Camden’s Schooner Surprise for example, setting sail in Penobscot Bay six months of the year, up to five sails per day. A crisp autumn breeze won’t cause this 99-year-old vessel to drop anchor, simply layer on the blankets, pack on the puffers and away you go.

Back on solid ground and as one would expect, the local fare epitomizes the freshest catch. Naturally, there’s seafood and lobsters galore, but what’s more exciting to a discerning palate is the new roster of restaurants that beautifully balance the bounty of land and sea. Nina June, recently lauded by Bon Appetit as one of 2017’s best new restaurants and of famed NYC restaurant lineage by way of Chef Sara Jenkins, does exactly that, all while overlooking a storybook setting below. Looking for a light lunch bite or packing for a picnic? Head to Main St. Markets in Rockland, pick up a handful of provisions and drive south to Owls Head State Park.

In these parts, we highly recommend a daily dose of Vitamin Sea, good for the soul and whatever else ails you.

NEW ORLEANS

June 18, 2017

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It’s no secret, New Orleans has had its share of trials and tribulations. But like any great city grounded by its historical roots, layered with a resounding pride of the locals, it will make a comeback, and some may venture to say, find itself emerging head and shoulders above where it was before. When mentioning a visit to New Orleans, usually three things come up in conversation – the music, the food, and yes, the never-ending party. Hence, we knew we were in for good tunes, even better eats, and the rest is as they say, history.

Itinerary confirmed, we sensed it would be darn near impossible to have a less-than meal in NOLA. And while there’s crawfish and cajun aplenty, we had a mission to find the pulse of newer eateries in The Big Easy. With coastal fare a staple in our daily diet, the Crescent City did not disappoint. We fell head-over-heels for one of the most adorable seafood haunts we’ve ever laid eyes on. (In fact, she was so memorable, we’ve decided to dedicate a separate post to her entirely.) High atop our destination list? Balise, a corner gem in a Creole townhouse on Carondelet. Barely a foot across the threshold, you’ll witness the work of our pals at Stitch Design Co., whose discerning eye for details left no stone unturned in complementing the equally amazing food of James Beard award-winning Chef, Justin Devillier.

In cities like New Orleans, the best found spots are typically discovered off the beaten path. In a concerted effort to avoid the aforementioned fête interminable, we decided to trade the hubbub of Bourbon St. for the quiet charisma of the Garden District. Lead by Katrina of NOLA Architecture Tours, (who just so happens to be a native New Englander), we soaked in side streets chock full of Greek Revival, Italianate and Victorian homes, many with humble secret gardens, all oozing with Southern charm. Not to be missed in this beautiful ‘hood? Loomed, a New-Orleans based textile brand that had us filling our carry-on with all the pretty pestamels. Lest you forget, you can also find their wares at Sunday Shop, a short walk away in the Lower Garden District.

All-in-all, our most recent Gilded Getaway had something for everyone – well-crafted cocktails, oysters by the dozen(s), did we mention there was a Marsalis too? Heading to NOLA? Bring your sunnies (or pick some up at local shoppe Krewe), find some shade and settle into your own gentle, slow and easy-going way of life.

 

RALEIGH | DURHAM

June 7, 2016

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The unofficial start of summer, (aka Memorial Day,) is already a thing of the past, and with the bonafide summer solstice fast approaching, (cue ice cream cones, lobster rolls and sand-to-surf activities), no better time to get back to blogging. It would appear we can’t get our fill of travel these days, so as we’ve been known to do before, we’re rollin’ from one Gilded Getaway Guide straight to another. ‘Say Hello’ to Raleigh/Durham. Two-thirds of North Carolina’s ‘Research Triangle’, the cities, almost always linked in conversation like inseparable besties, have been popping up in travel literature, design guides and culinary commentary for quite some time – a telltale sign that something proverbially delicious is bubbling below the Mason-Dixon.

Durham, nicknamed the Bull City, home of Duke and old-school tobacco, is the smaller of the two, yet keeping pace with its neighboring city to the south with urban development unfolding at a rapid pace. Enter The Durham Hotel, a mid-century modern space reimagined by one of the country’s hottest design firms. Originally a downtown Durham bank, now one of the city’s places to-be-seen, (did someone say killer rooftop, Counter Culture coffee, and an insta-worthy al fresco shoe shine?), it was only fitting we rest our heads at this boutique bombshell.

Raleigh, the North Carolina capital, home of NC State ‘State’ and the birthplace of president Johnson, has its finger on a creative pulse running rampant through the city. You may dare to venture that Ashley Christensen knows a thing or two about dining in Raleigh, the James Beard winner and local tastemaker has several downtown eateries – relative newcomer Death & Taxes one of the reasons we packed our bags in the first place. When an eatery lives up to the accolade and fires on the trifecta of dining perfection (taste, service & design), it’s the rare moment where you stop the manager on the way out, offer a hand shake and congratulate the team on a job well done.

Should you find yourself in the vicinity of Raleigh/Durham, we highly recommend carving out some time for a mini-getaway. No time for a sit down meal? Grab a bite-to-go at Standard Foods Grocery, or satisfy your sweet tooth by tracking down Two Roosters Ice Cream, mobile scoops never looked cuter. Style and shopping more your fancy? Raleigh Denim Workshop does textiles right, using locally sourced denim that brings Made-in-America pride back to one of the state’s oldest industries. Worthy of gilded acclaim, the eateries, shoppes and cultural gems included in our most recent guide are the gold standard in creative ingenuity.

LONDON

March 21, 2016

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We interrupt our regularly scheduled March #tglpreciousobjects series to bring you a special edition Gilded Getaway Guide. Because if you’re like us (and the crocus, and the daffodils,) and Mother Nature delivers snow on the first day of spring, you’re ready to pack your bags and make a beeline for the nearest plane, train, or automobile.

When our pallie Jill, aka queen of the golden caramel, asked us to tag along on a recent trip across the pond, we jumped at the chance to revel in all things royal. Three days in London barely scratches the surface on what should rightly be a deluxe version of our traditional travel guide. And yet, our short sojourn was filled to the brim with tasty treats + sophisticated eateries, adorable shoppes and wonderful wanderings. Serendipitously hosted by interim ex-pat Jane, the creative voice behind Simple Pretty and self-acknowledging fellow ‘paper person’, (|ˈpāpər ˈpərsənnoun (pl. people |ˈpēpəlor personsa human rendered speechless at the sight of pretty paper goods, particularly letterpress and/or other executions of design perfection in paper form), our journey left no stone unturned when it came to covering the must-see ‘hoods + happening hotspots of this English capital.

If you’ve been tagging along here at Around the Pound, you know by now that nothing renders us weak-in-the-knees like an unabashedly charming boutique + cute-as-can-be shoppe owner. Cue Quill London, whose DNA so perfectly fits the bill that we secretly (and selfishly) want nothing more than to create a clone and smuggle it (and owner Lucy) stateside. Recently opened to the delight of many countless fans + followers, Quill unequivocally raises the London bar when it comes to stationery style + creating a dashing desktop.

From paper to pastries, London serves up a hearty course of fine establishments. And thanks to discerning friends, who seek out chocolate chip cookies as equally as stylish housewares + the finest of fashion, our latest guide is just the way we like it – chock full of the most noteworthy eateries, shoppes + tucked away treasures we’ve encountered in our travels. And for those of you, like us, facing the grim reality that spring has not quite sprung, may we recommend a mini-gilded getaway of your own. Pint-size travel is the perfect antidote to Mother Nature’s lingering fury.

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