Posts Tagged ‘travel’

GHENT

April 18, 2020

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It’s looking to be quite some time before non-essential travel, particularly of the international kind, returns to anyone’s repertoire. For the sake of sanity, let’s trade the dread of packing for daydreams of the places we want to visit when borders reopen + passport stamps are reinstated as a desirable collectible. When planning our recent #tglfortiethfête, we knew a European adventure was in order to commemorate a new decade of circling the sun. Paris (because a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ gets us every time) was waiting in the wings, but a keen inclination to complement an extended stay in the City of Light with a special sojourn to a new destination was an underlying impetus to push our planning one step farther.

1898 The Post was the deciding factor (no arm-twisting required) to add the quaint Flemish city of Ghent to our itinerary. Add the ‘note’-able detail the hotel is housed in the city’s early 20th c. Post Office and you had us at snail mail. The smallest of three prominent Belgian cities, Ghent’s cobblestone streets, mixed with a rich textile history as a mercantile landmark for the middle-age wool and linen industries, made it the perfect destination to toast to ’40’. Aside from the aforementioned lodging, we made no plans for where to wander or what to eat, quite uncustomary from our standard #theoriginalgildedgetaway approach. Instead, we spent two days embracing good ‘ole-fashioned wanderlust spirit – no Google maps, zero pre-planned pins, just a mind wide open to the charm of each discovered walkway and wurst our path crossed.

To our sheer delight, Ghent is home to two unexpected gems on the subject of design and craftsmanship. If you’re a fan of letterpress or textiles (or better yet both, in which case we definitely need to meet), the Museum of Industry is a mecca for all things print + fibre-related. From paper printing to silk spinning, typesetting to weaving, it is not to be missed. A creative-in-spirit looking to test your hand at something tactile? Explore the museum’s series of workshops, perhaps even time your visit to participate since this is one souvenir you can’t bring back stateside.

For anyone who’s engaged in an Art History syllabus, you’ve likely been taught Flemish lineage has birthed some of the world’s most renowned artists, (van Eyck, Bruegel or Rubens ring a bell?). Hence, it’s no surprise Belgians appreciate, let alone laud, superior design and its founding principles that have transcended centuries of an evolving European culture. Spend a sunny afternoon wandering Design Museum Gent, with works housed in seamless synergy between an 18th c. mansion and a modern wing, not to mention Belgium’s only museum with an international design collection.

If you’re local (or a tired tourist looking to rest your toes), the museum’s serene inner courtyard is open to the public, perfect for quiet lunch dates or chocolate breaks, let’s be real, it IS Belgium after all. We highly recommend picking up a sweet treat from nearby chocolaterie Cédric Van Hoorebeke, who’s adorable corner shoppe includes ‘Chocolates, Business Gifts + Other Sweet Perfection’. When blowing out our candles over a cocktail at The Cobbler, we secretly made a wish that in our new decade, someone mighty would grant us the good graces to be the appointed purveyor of such an idyllic list. In times like these, who doesn’t need, or welcome, or long for chocolates, business gifts and other sweet perfections.

Until our suitcases come out of storage, be well fellow travelers, we’re all in this together.

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.

 

RALEIGH | DURHAM

June 7, 2016

GildedGetawayGuideRaleighDurham

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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.

CHARLESTON

December 18, 2015

GildedGetawayGuideToronto

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Winding our way down a darling path, lush with greenery and ever-so-slightly secretive, we found ourselves at the doorstep of entrepreneurial enlightenment. Over bourbon cocktails she whipped up in a flash, we chatted with Erin Connelly, co-owner of The Commons, curator of American-made goods and impromptu maven of modern mixology. She, having relocated to the city only a few years prior, couldn’t have more eloquently summed up our latest #tgltravels destination. “In Charleston, when you meet two people, you sort of meet everyone.” ‘Tis true, the creative community in North America’s No. One city three years running, is uniquely intertwined + fabulously flourishing, and much to our delight, we’re all reaping the rewards.

Looking for a last minute gift to check off that extra-special someone on your holiday list? Why not consider a fancy new carryon for your favorite companion, complete with a round-trip ticket to guaranteed inspiration. From foodies to fashionistas, the culture of this ‘Holy City’ has something for everyone; it isn’t any wonder it’s racking up accolades faster than a prize-winning pony. With each return trip, we’ve found a fresh new crop of eateries, shoppes and tucked away treasures, sliding seamlessly into place amongst age-old standbys and local legacies. The cast is broad, yet in a community that has a deep-rooted love for good food, fine design and a flair for hospitality, they’ll invite you in, mix you a drink, and innately make a life in the lowcountry a veritable consideration.

If asked to pick favorites, it would be downright impossible, the list too long and our admiration too large. Instead, keep your packing light and your heart wide open, because after a Southern sojourn in this sweet ‘lil city, you’ll want to kick back in your seat, roll up your sleeves and revel in the moment. Visit after visit, we are truly inspired by this amazing community, and are pretty darn certain, y’all will be too.

Happy Holidays! xoxo, tgl

DrakeDevonshire

Having fallen slightly behind the blogging eight ball at the end of last year, this is one post we simply had to complete. For those who’ve been following along at Around the Pound, you may remember our pre-holiday jaunt to Ontario, Canada. Never having skipped out on Turkey Day festivities here in the States, we knew that uprooting tradition needed to be adequately adventurous and equally fulfilling. When Christine, (the creative genius behind noteworthy shoppe Love the Design, not to mention one of the must-see spots in our Toronto Guide), captured the scene at Prince Edward County’s newest hotel, the stage had been set, we had found our spot.

Nestled along the lakeside coastline of small town Wellington, and a palatable drive from Toronto and Quebec, the Drake Devonshire makes for a perfect getaway. The younger sibling to Toronto’s revered hipster hangout, the Drake Hotel, the Drake Devonshire, aptly nicknamed ‘Drake by the Lake‘, offers guests a harmonious blend of contemporary cool and farmhouse chic. The premise, once an iron foundry, now a boutique hotel featuring a handful of rooms + two breathtaking suites, greets guests with welcome reprieve from the city grind and a warm embrace (it is after all, smack in the middle of PEC’s notorious wine country).

The interior decor, reminiscent of a lakeside cottage from decades past, understatedly updated with custom furnishings, magnificent millwork, and Brimfield finds, offers guests all the comforts of home. Those MacAusland’s woolen blankets in the softest of palettes and handwoven on antique Canadian looms? We loved them so much we customized a Summerset version to cut through the chill of our own coastal nights.

Last, but most certainly not least, the onsite restaurant, featuring farm and lake-to-table cuisine, hits the culinary mark. Killer cocktails, awesome entrees and the sweetest of scones we still have dreams of, offer a recipe for success; our traditional Thanksgiving meal (and the next, and the next) couldn’t have been more wonderfully and tastefully replaced.

In a successful twist on modern glamping (minus the bugs and brimming with beaucoup style), it’s no wonder this indie hotel hotspot was recently touted on Travel & Leisure’s Hotel Hot List. Book your own stay and see for yourself; we can’t wait to return in warmer temps… roasting s’mores by the campfire, winery hopping around Wellington and riding bikes through the countryside. A late winter escape more your style? They do that too, be an ‘indoor indulger‘, i.e., cozy up by the fire, glass of wine in hand, and enjoy the view, the water’s cold, but the vibe is warm.

Drake Devonshire | 24 Wharf St., Wellington, Canada.

Images courtesy of The Gilded Lobster.

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