We are back from our Paris-Chicago house-swap adventure. Despite being repeatedly told that EVERYTHING will be closed in August and the city will be quiet — it was not true. In fact it turned into a bit of a joke for us when we would come across packed sidewalks, streets & stores with long lines out the door — ‘EVERYTHING is closed’ we would say. We had to pay for ‘skip the line’ tickets to avoid 2 hour waits. It was busy and, although in some neighborhoods small family run businesses were closed there were plenty of places that were unique and local that remained open. It just required planning and calling ahead to make sure there were no disappointments upon arrival.
We ate a lot. We ate fussy french cuisine — that at times made us feel like the french were stuck in the 90’s. We ate casual french bistro fare — that more often than not were our favorite meals. We ate in some new kitchens that had a modern take on traditional french comfort food bringing it to a whole new level. There was a great deal of bread consumed and dare I say it — when in France — foie gras washed down with rose and bubbles.
The house-swap / home exchange was a huge success — and we are ready to do it all over again — except for that 45 minutes when we thought we had lost the only key to the house, and that we were going to have to get a hotel for the night. The family we swapped with had a wonderful and HUGE loft / warehouse space for us to call home. We even got a pet cat in the deal – making the ‘live like a local’ experience even more real.
And then there was the obsession with finding that surprising view of the Eiffel Tower everyday. She is an amazing piece of work. For more instagram snaps click here. More details to come. In the meantime here is what we got up to on this map.
We headed to Michigan with Banksy for 6 days, and spent our time in a wee-little cabin right on Lake Michigan that we found on airbnb. We loved every minute we spent there and really didn’t want to come home – but work calls – got to pay the bills. Here are some snaps from our trip, if you want to see more head to instagram for more #michiganlakehouseadventures. There was plenty of great food & booze that we shared with friends and family that popped by for a meal or two. The sunsets were fantastic, the fireworks over the water were never-ending, and the weather was divine. It truly was the perfect July 4th weekend. What did you get up to?
Morgenstern’s crisp blue facade immediately grabbed our attention and drew-us-into this delicious small batch fine ice-cream store. Like many new food businesses these days, it started with humble beginnings as a street cart, and it’s long lines soon turned to bricks & mortar. Having just feasted on a huge brunch we opted to share something fresh & light – we chose the champagne-mango sorbet – the perfect exclamation point to our meal. We know we will be back to sample more flavors, like the ‘salted caramel pretzel’ ice-cream. Oh – bring cash, it’s all they accept.
I am so in love with Russ & Daughters Cafe, I wish we had one just like it around the corner from our house, I would be there everyday. There is nothing at fault here, heck I can even stand the long lines to get in – it’s worth it. Every dish is fresh and simple and downright tasty. They are focused on classic smoked fish dishes, pickled herring, latkes, and caviar, but there are egg dishes and of course the classic lox on a bagel, along with open-faced sandwiches, soups, salads [we sampled loads more than we photographed]. It’s easy to see why they just headed into their 100th year. On your next visit – head here – you will not be disappointed, just get in there early.
We are back from our NYC Getaway, that was a fun 48 hours. The whole time we were there we hardly ventured out of the boundaries of Houston + Avenue of the Americas + Canal + Orchard. It was perfect weather and a wonderful leisurely weekend – loved it! Details to come. In the meantime here is what we got up to on this map.
Last minute work trip has me heading to the East Coast, and well the husband decided that we should make a weekend out of it in New York. Just like London, where in the world do you start and end – so many places, so little time. Here is my rushed together list so far:
- wd-50 – it’s been on the to eat list forever
- Toby’s Estate – love this Aussie coffee spot & the one in the Flatiron looks adorable
- Atera – highly recommended fancy schmancy dinner $$$$$
- Balthazar – it’s an institution – and I love seafood towers
- Mission Chinese – it’s under renovation – but they are operating a pop-up
- Perla – Italian old-school meat focused read this review
- Little Prince – european feel – charming
- Here is the Chowzter list for Manhattan fast feasts
- Need some good cocktail bar / lounge recommendations? Anyone?
- The Met – Charles James Beyond Fashion exhibit looks lovely
- Governors Island – I have always wanted to explore this Island
- There are loads of events on too for June – see here
- This sounds fun Chinese Jewish Festival – Egg-rolls & Egg-cream
- The Broome – new on the scene and it books up fast – just love it.
- The Crosby Hotel – great location [Photo Source]
- The Bowery - another great location and effortlessly styled rooms.
- These guys over at Trotter Magazine also do a great job with guides for New York
- Here is the GOOP [Gwyneth Paltrow] guide to London
- Check out what I have mapped on Bon Voyaging
- Also collected & pinned some New York goodies on Pinterest
- And a go to place for stylish recommendations – Petite Passport
- Hemispheres Magazine – Three Perfect Days New York
- Tasting Table – City Guide – updated monthly
- Ohh and this list of cocktail bars – score
So what is missing? What should I not miss out on experiencing? Drats – that we only have the weekend, but we will take it.