Vacation Scrapbook: Part Two

One of the best things about my recent trip was having my best friend join me. It was her first time being in France and it was fun to take her to some of my favorite spots, many of which I hadn’t been back to myself in years. One of the places I was most excited to visit again was the beautiful little town of Saint Émilion. One of the things I have always wanted to do was have lunch at the Hostellerie de Plaisance. The hotel is ideally situated in the middle of town and the outdoor dining terrace offers a great vantage point to see the streets below as well as the surrounding area.

Our very decadent lunch included many of our favorite things: escargot, chilled oysters, Charente melon & prosciutto, foie gras and champagne.

The view from the hotel terrace looking down at the center of town.

The new discovery on this trip was Île de Ré, a gorgeous island where family friends were renting a house for the week. We drove up and spent the day with them and explored the island a bit. These handsome, bloomer wearing donkeys are now a tourist attraction for kids (or best friends) to ride but they once played a role in the farming of the island. They say the bloomers help keep the flies and mosquitos at bay.

We stumbled on the most gorgeous food market while antique hunting in Bordeaux. Bought more than we could carry of all sorts of veggies, fresh fruits, handmade cheeses, cakes, and breads. We ate like kings for days.

The vast assortment of cheeses was overwhelming, so we bought one of everything to try!

The last few days of our vacation we packed up and bid France farewell and headed south to Spain. The only two things we had on our list was to visit the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and to eat dinner at a place a good friend had said was not to miss. We ended up in San Sebastián and immediately fell madly in love with the city. This picture was taken on the way to dinner; the sun was setting when a fast moving storm rolled in creating one of the most spectacular sunsets I’ve ever seen.

Our last day was spent in a little fishing town called Getaria, which is about 20 minutes from San Sebastián and happens to be the birthplace of Cristóbal Balenciaga. We loved it so much we’re plotting our next visit already.

Every restaurant in town (there were only a handful) had these amazing outdoor grills.

And finally, if your vacation is about to be over and you have one last meal to eat, this is THE place: Elkano. The only recommendation my friend (who has lived in Spain and now owns a delicious tapas restaurant in NYC) made was to eat here. It’s no exaggeration to say that it was one of the best meals of my life. The staff made you feel like you were dining in their home; the seafood was caught fresh that day and prepared so exquisitely that it made you want to cry at how delicious it tasted. C’est tout!

California Dreaming…

No matter what time of the year we visit LA, we are always amazed at how lush and vibrant the vegetation is. This marvel of nature greeted us on our recent trip and we were delighted to find many streets lined with these beauties called Jacaranda trees and bloom only once a year. While in LA, we also love an invigorating morning hike to start our day. Our recent favorite is Mandeville Canyon. Check out those hills!

It’s hard to see how delicious (best mac & cheese ever!) this meal was from the Iphone photo, but the food they serve at Forage is fantastic; the concept is a bit like old school tray service restaurants meets hip deli. This delightful little spot was a recent find on a trip to the Los Feliz/Silver Lake area, and we will definitely be going back.

We found some great new resources on this trip and this lighting shop on La Brea was one of them. Dispela Antiques was literally filled floor to ceiling with thousands of chandeliers and wall sconces. We had to force ourselves to leave…would have been very easy to spend hours just looking at everything.

Liz’s Antique Hardware on La Brea was a drool-worthy resource for all forms of vintage hardware for inside and outside of the home.

With stacks and stacks of finds, we couldn’t help taking pictures of these one-of-a-kind doorknobs.

Our go-to source for all things antique is Wertz Brother’s Antique Mart in Santa Monica. If you need any good looking accessories, jewelry, or finishings, this place has it all. Here are some of our favorite finds this trip:

Stay tuned for flea finds tomorrow from Santa Monica’s Airport Antiques Mart!

Los Angeles

With a new project out in LA, we have been given a chance to discover the bounties that city offers. The food was delicious; the hiking superb; the stores plentiful. The next couple posts will reveal some of our finds beginning with the killer antique stores in Pasadena where we were inundated with the color Kelly green.

One of 7 agate bowls that we wanted to take home.

Kelly green Asian Armoire…yes please!

Gorgeous decorative bowl and massive Asian ceramic pot

What We’re Eating: Torrisi

When running uptown, downtown, and around town all day shopping for clients, we need solid fuel to keep us going. Right now, there is no better nourishment than Torrisi’s turkey sandwiches. Owner/chefs Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi’s (formerly of the posh Café Boulud) house roasted turkey is sliced thick and topped with delightfully spicy harissa sauce. We prefer ours with a heaping bowl of fresh ricotta on the side.

Fill up at:
NY, NY 10012

Trade School

Trade School

Taking up residency at the Lower East Side’s revolving storefront Grand Opening, the Trade School runs every day through the beginning of March providing multiple opportunities to barter basic services or goods in exchange for lessons in everything from “Composting” to “How to Make Butter”. Secure your spot by providing the teacher’s barter needs. We’re thinking the “Chinatown Collaborative Food Tour” is a must!

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