Posts Tagged ‘Champagne’

A Stay at the Dorchester in London


 Classic luxury is the vibe at the Dorchester

On my recent trip to London, my husband and I decided to go the classic luxury route and booked a stay at The Dorchester when we found a “pay for two nights, stay for three” deal in the Offers section of their website.  I’m a fan of the brand and am particularly fond of The Hotel Eden in Rome and had a great experience at their sister London property 45 Park Lane.


Flowers in the lobby

The Dorchester oozes serious classic luxury. From the oversized floral arrangements in the lobby to the butler delivering a spot of tea from room service, this hotel has all old school London trademarks, without being boring or stuffy. The service is top notch, and friendly. The doorman even entertained me with stories from when he lived in L.A. for a few years during the 80s.


The living area of room 810

We were upgraded to Park Suite and to say the room was large is an understatement. The living area was huge, with a dining table that worked as a desk for two, and a large seating area with overstuffed couches and chairs. It was clear the room could be joined to the adjacent room, so the suite was suitable for families, or executives traveling with assistants that want both proximity and privacy.


The fire exit map at the Dorchester

The fire exit route map on the door was unlike one I’ve ever seen before. It lacked room distinctions, because the property can combine rooms various ways to accommodate guests, whatever their clients needs may be.

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Left: This Asian cabinet housed the minibar Right: a bold mix of patterns

The bedroom was also generously sized. Suite 810 was also blissfully quiet, thanks to double-paned windows. The dreamy bed was easy to sink into and hard to get out of since it was so comfortable. Maybe that’s why I never made it to the hotel’s gym during my stay?


Succulent centerpiece on the table of Suite 810

The Suite overlooked Hyde Park and had an enormous dining and living area that closed off entirely from the hallway leading to the bedroom. There was a powder room off the hall next to the living room, so the master bathroom still had privacy.


Oversized comfy couches in the living area of a Park Suite at the Dorchester

The Dorchester knows that it’s the little things that make a hotel feel like your home away from home. From the Champagne welcome amenity to the delicious shortbread biscuits in the minibar, I never wanted for much during my stay.

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Orchids in the London morning light


The gleaming marble master bathroom

The master bathroom had loads of marble, dual sinks, great light for getting ready and a fabulously deep soaking tub.


A peek inside the minibar- filled with with British classics


Fresh roses in the suite area


The gorgeous fruit basket (and Champagne) were the welcome amenity

My husband and I found our favorite feature of the hotel was the sleek and contemporary Bar at the Dorchester. The space was cool and felt casual and sexy, and had a large list of classic cocktails.


The Bar is a great spot for variety of cocktails, including an inspired Gin & Tonic

I went for an unusual gin & tonic suggested by my waitress. The Bar also had a nice menu and the succulent olives were some of the best I’ve had outside of Italy. The bread pudding was a standout.


The bread pudding served in the Bar at the Dorchester


Royal Salute on display at the Bar at the Dorchester

High end whisky, including Royal Salute Scotch, makes it feel like a lot of very big business deals get done (or at least celebrated) in this bar.

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Left: Salmon at lunch at the The Grill Right: A spot of tea from Room Service for breakfast

The Dorchester has newly renovated The Grill restaurant and it’s gorgeous. Filled with Murano glass chandeliers and fine cuisine, it was a joy to just sit in the room during lunch and breakfast. I did not try the hotel’s more formal three star Michelin Alain Ducasse restaurant or China Tang.

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Champagne in the gorgeously renovated Grill

If you’re interested in a prime Mayfair location and classic luxury, the Dorchester is a classic for a reason. If you can’t stay overnight, come check out the flower-filled promenade for high tea or have a drink at the Bar.

My husband feels more comfortable at the more sleek and contemporary 45 Park Lane next door, which is closer to our own personal aesthetic, but he very much enjoyed a few days at this London Classic.

The Dorchester
Park Lane, Mayfair
London, W1K 1QA

Suites and Rooms Reservations: +44 (0) 20 7317 6530
Fax  +44 (0) 20 7629 8080

Rates from $650.38

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The Krug Experience at Treehouse Point


Krug Champagne + fab treehouses = perfect summer evening (Photo by France Freeman)

My friends at Krug recently invited me to work with them to photograph the Seattle Krug Treehouse Event. This week, Krug and I are teaming up to share my photos via Twitter and Instagram. Follow Krug Champagne’s Instagram to see more photos from this fantastic event.

Exploring TreeHouse Point with Krug Grande Cuvée

Krug events are memorable experiences meant to be shared with friends. The Krug Treehouse Event was no different. The venue, TreeHouse Point, feels like an enchanted forest filled with treehouses made for adults.

Goat Cheese Brulee watermelon and Krug Grande Cuvée tasted like summer

Left: Trillium Treehouse and the Pond Room Right: Bonbibi Treehouse

It was a gorgeous summer night, and it was fun to explore the property with a glass of Champagne. There is a stream that runs in front of the treehouses. It was almost magical.

Enjoying a glass of Krug Grande Cuvée inside the Hermitage Treehouse

At the event I learned about the new Krug app for iPhone and iPad, where you can learn the story of your bottle of Krug. There are even notes from Eric Lebel, Krug’s cellar master. The app also suggests food and music pairings for your specific bottle.

Screencaps from the new Krug app for iPhone

Hamachi Crudo contrasted fabulously with Krug Vintage 2000

I was blown away by tasting the bold and rich Krug Vintage 2000 (nicknamed “Indulgence”) with delicate hamachi crudo served with Japanese citrus, Persian cucumber, daikon, petit greens, and pickled ginger dressing.

Exploring the Hermitage treehouse with a glass of Krug Rosé and a bottle of Grande Cuvée

The crowd favorite of the evening was the sublime paring of Krug Rosé served with herb roasted Muscovy duck breast served with orange fennel salad, herbed barley, and orange glace. Yum!

Krug Grande Cuvée tasted as good as it looked on a moss covered rock near the stream

You might recognize TreeHouse Point from the show Treehouse Masters. It’s a special glamping spot and a perfect venue for a memorable dinner.


This post would not be possible without my friends at Krug. Images of me included in this post were shot by France Freeman, who was an excellent wing woman for the event.


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Behind the Scenes at the House of Krug

Champagne Tasting at the House of Krug

Be sure to check out my Obsessed: The House of Krug piece in the winter issue of Snap Magazine the #Color Issue. Snap is a digital lifestyle publication from the people behind Hipstamatic and Oggl apps.

Bottles and corksChampagne colored glassesPour from aboveKrug CourtyardKrug's signature Dark Cherry RedKrug SwagKrug ArchivesHand turning Champagne during the aging processDeep inside the Krug cellarsBarrels of sample winesHigh tech vatsLooks like something Walter White might have in Breaking BadKrug Picnic BasketKrug CorkKrug IDDeep in the Krug cellarWall of Champagne bottlesReims morning

Oggl Images from my day in Reims touring the House of Krug

It’s always difficult to pick which images to include in the edit I turn in, so I’ve included a few more of my favorite from my trip to the House of Krug here in this post for my blog readers.

You can subscribe to Snap for free in the iTunes store, but you don’t have to have an Apple device to read it. You can check it out online here.

Contributing to Snap is one of my favorite accomplishments of 2013. Combine that with a tour of my favorite Champagne house and this day was a total win. My HipStop piece on Marrakech is also featured in the #color issue and runs from pages 34-40.






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My Favorite Brunch In New York City: Union Square Cafe

Cheers to Brunch at the Bar at Union Square Cafe

Last Saturday I had  an exceptional brunch at the Union Square Cafe in New York City. It was so memorable, I’ve thought about it every day since.

It’s always fun to re-visit your old college town as an adult, and in my case that is NYC. The Union Square Cafe is just around the corner from the dorm I lived in my second year at NYU and I recall looking at it’s glowing lights longingly during my salad days. Last week my husband and I popped in for brunch. I know for sure we’ll be back again.

Cheers to Krug at Brunch

I’m a big fan of dining at the bar and since we didn’t have reservations, that’s what I did. My server (I believe her name was Christine) was fantastic– knowledgeable, upbeat, and good offering suggestions when asked a question. Anyone who thinks New Yorkers are rude hasn’t eating that the Union Square Cafe.  We had a lovely conversation with fellow diners at the bar as well. For a restaurant that’s constantly winning James Beard awards and named on Top 10 Brunch Spots in New York lists, the service is refreshingly devoid of attitude.

The first thing that caught my eye on the menu was a half-bottle of Krug for $64 which is less than it is to buy a bottle at a wine shop. I ordered a half bottle and had a feeling I’d be enjoying myself.

Tuna Crudo @UnionSquareCafe

Executive Chef & Partner Carmen Quagliata focuses on seasonal American cuisine with California and Italian influences, so there was more than enough to pick from on the  brunch menu.

I started with the seared yellowfin tuna crudo ($17). Prepared with late harvest olive oil, capers, celery and lemon. Yum! The Greenmarket Heirloom tomato salad made with herbed goat cheese ($16) was also delicious although a tad heavy on the olive oil for my taste.

Nettle Tagliarini with mushroom ragu and poached egg

The Summer Bean-Octopus salad with pesto vinaigrette was satisfying and delicious. The standout among standouts was the special pasta– a homemade Nettle Tagliarini with Mushroom ragu and and a poached egg ($24) was indulgent and paired nicely with the Krug. If you’re really going crazy you can get order it with the white truffle supplement for $45.

Strawberry-Nectarine Crisp with honey vanilla ice cream

I’m not usually the sort of person who orders dessert at brunch, but I felt compelled to check out the menu completely. The strawberry-nectarine crisp was as delicious as one might expect ($9.50).

The lemon infused Tito’s Vodka made for a delicious Martini

If Champagne’s not your thing the cocktail list is great too. They infuse Tito’s Vodka with lemon zest sangria-style, which is cool.

I loved the relax and approachable atmosphere at the Union Square Cafe

Union Square Cafe is open for brunch Saturday and Sunday from 11 am- 2:30 pm.

Union Square Cafe

21 East 16th Street (between Union Square West and 5th Avenue)

New York, NY 10003

(212) 243-4020

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A Peek Inside NYC’s Fashion Week Krug House

I heart Krug! My sentiments exactly #KrugNotes

Last week I had the great pleasure of scoring an invitation to NYC’s Krug House, which popped up for Fashion Week. A gorgeous six-story townhouse in the village was transformed into a sensory experience filled with Champagne, live music a dee-jay, a palm reader, a calligrapher, gorgeous gowns, and a live auction of gorgeous art by the likes of Andy Warhol.

The Krug House Living Room filled up quickly

It was a rainy night, so the gorgeous outdoor garden was left virtually empty the space filled up fast with beautiful fashion week people (none of which I know). Cater waiters circulated with trays of tasty bites, and the fridge was filled will plenty of Krug Grand Cuvee and Krug Rosé to wash it town.

Gowns, Champagne and mirrors added to the sensory experience

Loved the gold inscribed Moleskin notebooks

A palm reader was on hand to provide mystical guidance

Yummy noodles

If you want to see more of NYC’s Krug House, search the #KrugNotes hashtag on Instagram and twitter.

Left: Best. Fridge. Ever  Right: Glass of Krug, anyone?

The most beautiful spaces was the outdoor garden, which was magical during the rain

Much thanks to my friends at Krug Champagne US for inviting me to the NYC Fashion Week Krug House. Without them, this post wouldn’t be possible

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