Melbourne: Art Hotels, Beer Hall Drinks, and Jazz

Melbourne's Jazz Festival (c) PiecesofVictoria.com

Melbourne’s Jazz Festival (c) PiecesofVictoria.com

Most people don’t know that Melbourne is well voted, time and time again, as one of the world’s most livable cities. With it’s impressive calendar of high profile events throughout the year, including the Melbourne International Jazz Festival (May 30 – June 8, 2014), Melbourne International Film Festival (July 31 – August 17, 2014) Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival (November 4, 2014), and the Australian Open Tennis Championships (January 19 – February 1, 2015), it’s also the gateway to regional Victoria, with her deserts, alpine ski resorts, mighty rivers, great lakes, wildlife, and unparalleled spectacle known as the Great Ocean Road. At the same time, art and design groups are flourishing, alongside Melbourne’s natural beauty.

mark_schaller

For example, luxury boutique hotel group, Art Series Hotels is bringing their well-known art inspired concept to regional and urban cities around Australia in a compact & affordable way. First stop, Bendigo – the regional hub of art and culture – and the perfect location for the first studio inspired hotel.

Artist Mark Schaller, today regarded as one of Australia’s strongest mid career artists with his expressionistic, vigorous style, will join the fold. A founding member of the renowned Roar studios in the early 1980′s, his paintings and prints that have been acquired by major institutions such as the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra and National Gallery of Victoria. He’s the real deal.

And… we love the idea of the art studio hotel. No, we actually live for it. A hotel is the best possible location for an experience filled with art and design. To not simply to stay in a location, but to experience the vision and emotion of each designated artist while also on vacation. That is at least one meaning in life. If not the best one.

PS. The second Art Series Studio, Larwill Studio will open in Parkville, Melbourne in December.

Tonka

Tonka

If that’s not reason enough to check out Melbourne, you also have their unique dining and cocktail scene. We hear Adam D’Sylva’s Tonka is a throwback to his Indian and Italian heritage, featuring cocktails including the Darjeeling Fizz, Tonka Lassi and Miguel’s Milk Punch, while Cookie combines Thai food with its mantra of being a Beer Hall, Eating House and Disco to create the perfect environment to dine, flirt, sip and reminisce. The walls are adorned with murals and artwork from Melbourne artists, and the popular ‘kiss wall’ eventuated of its own accord and is now covered with scores of lipstick kisses amassed over the years.

Cookie

Cookie

Sounds pretty good to me.

For more information on things to do, places to go, and sights to see in Melbourne, click the link to for Travel Victoria’s website.

We also liked the list of Melbourne’s hot Jazz clubs on the blog, PiecesofVictoria.com. According to their blog, they said to check out, among others:

Bennetts Lane Jazz Club, a Melbourne institution known for late night jams and dubbed by Lonely Planet as “the world’s best jazz club”. Located in a back alley off Little Lonsdale Street, the club has been around for more than 20 years.

25 Bennetts Lane, Melbourne

Uptown Jazz Café, hidden up an unassuming set of stairs on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy, there’s live music four nights a week and the stage is graced by a renowned list of local and international acts. There’s also a solid Japanese restaurant downstairs if you want to grab a bite prior.

177 Brunswick St, Fitzroy

 

Glamping and Smokologists With Cakebread Cellars

Grilling in the Outdoors

Grilling in the Outdoors

Glamping and smokologists? You heard it here. Frontiers Travel has just announced the Montana Master Grillers Memorial Day Weekend at The Resort at Paws Up in Montana. Guests will join Cakebread Cellars, one of the most successful and respected wineries in America, May 23 – 26, 2014 for a weekend of glamping, wine, beer and bourbon tastings, fly fishing, grilling by professional Pit Masters and Smokologists, and luxury accommodations at one of Montana’s finest luxury guest ranches.

Fancy Feeling Like a City Slicker?

Fancy Feeling Like a City Slicker?

Montana Master Grillers is a seamless blend of fine wines, spirits, beers, exquisite grilled cuisine, stunning outdoor-dining settings and unforgettable wilderness adventures experienced with an intimacy that affords one-on-one interaction with some of the finest chefs, smokologists, winemakers, brewers and distillers in America. The event will feature lunches and dinners prepared by world-class chefs who specialize in grilling and BBQ cooking. The finest wine, whiskey, bourbon and specialty beer providers will be pairing their offerings with the featured and guest chefs’ flame-kissed fare.

This Is What Upscale in the Outdoors Looks Like

This Is What Upscale in the Outdoors Looks Like

At the crossroads of incomparable luxury and unspoiled wilderness lies Paws Up, a 50-room, luxury ranch resort tucked into the Rocky Mountains. Guests can horseback riding, fly fish, and experience a world-class spa all under the Big Sky. Couple impeccable amenities with some of the world’s finest chefs, smokologists, winemakers, brewers and distillers, and guests will leave agreeing that Montana really is “the last best place”.

Paws Up Resort

Paws Up Resort, Montana

Frontiers Travel has in-depth knowledge of Missoula, MT and the surrounding areas. This weekend affords the perfect opportunity to explore neighboring ghost towns and Glacier National Park.

Starts @$2,778/person and includes luxury accommodations, daily meals, snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages.

http://www.frontiersej.com/public/elegantJourneys/6/sitenews/441-Join_Cakebread_Cellars_at_the_Resort_at_Paws_Up

All photos (c) Paws Up

A Shopping Treat: Babalu, Miami

Miami Best Shopping

Babalu

It’s a rare treat when you find a retail experience that excites you with seemingly simple items like toothpaste. Anyone who’s had a ball at the original Babalu Miami location on the famed 1111 Lincoln Road, one of the world’s most renowned retail and dining spots designed by Herzog & De Meuron, understands Babalu is no ordinary store.
We like it because it’s a glamorous conceptual twist on the ubiquitous hotel sundries shop, the curated selection begins with classed-up, sassed-up basics at a high design level —think crème de la crème of categories as common as toothpaste and chewing gum. All perfectly finished off with Babalu’s signature deluxe gift wrap program. If Babe Paley and the other society swans got together to open a convenience store, this would be the place.
shopping in miami

Shhh… it’s a best kept shopping secret

It brings out the kid in the candy store as a true point of discovery with a continually evolving brand assortment and merchandising concept. A typical visit may offer Missoni, Comme Des Garcons, Alexandra von Furstenberg and Paul Smith, among other coveted brands, as well as emerging and exclusive designers. Merchandise weaves in organic apothecary products, resort wear, fine and costume jewelry, hair accessories, small leather goods, travel, sunglasses, fragrances, books, house wares, pet items, beach towels and gifts from big-ticket purchases to a little something special for one’s host.
comme des garcon perfume

Just a few unique fragrances on display

Owners Greg Melvin and Paolo Ambu also use their talents to create the signature Perfume Bar featuring the whos-who in the industry: Humiecki & Graef, Carner Barcelona, Montale, Mona di Orio, Mancera, Maison Francis Kurkdjian, which is one of the most sought-after scents by the same nose behind Dior and Gaultier fragrances,Mark Buxton, who created Comme des Garcons’ perfumes, and Amouage, which was custom made for the Sultan of Oman. Scented home lines include Fornasetti Profumi, Costes, Ex Voto Paris and Europe’s oldest candle maker Cire Trudon.
miami

I don’t know what these are (lighters?), but I want them!

John Rawlins, the former creative director for retail design at Bergdorf Goodman who designed the original Babalu, was brought on board to also design the Palm Beach location. And shoppers aren’t the only ones enjoying themselves. Melvin and Ambu have made it their mission to source stylish, fresh, often wild, wares. They couldn’t be happier partaking in a lifelong shopping spree.
Power-packed grab-and-go sophistication, for you, the sassy kid in the candy store.

20 Things To Do in San Francisco

Chinatown

Chinatown

Recently, the San Francisco Travel Association reached out to share their top tourist picks for those traveling to the city so we thought we’d spread the word.

Here you go!

1. Stroll in the San Francisco Botanical Garden (www.sfbotanicalgarden.org)

2. Head for the overlook at Sutro Heights Park

3. Walk the labyrinths at Grace Cathedral (http://www.gracecathedral.org/labyrinth/)

4. Visit one of San Francisco’s newer park areas: Brannan Street Wharf (www.sfport.com), Mission Creek Park (www.missionbayparks.com) and the Fay-Berrigan gardens (www.rhn.org/historyfayhouse.html).

cowgirl creamery

5. Go to the Ferry Blg for Hog Island oysters and/or tacos (Mjita) and cheese to go (Cowgirl Creamery is your friend) then jet across the bay to Angel Island, Oakland, Sausalito, Tiburon or Vallejo. To review schedules and departure points, visit www.511.org

6. Many museums in the city have extended hours at least once a week or are open late on Thursdays:  Asian Art Museum, Contemporary Jewish Museum, Exploratorium, Museum of Craft and Design, California Academy of Sciences which offers special programming until 10 p.m.as part of its NightLife series. On Fridays from March 28-Nov. 29, 2014 the de Young Museum offers a variety of interdisciplinary arts programs, including live music, films, lectures, a poetry series, occasional tango milongas and swing dancing, performance art, and hands on art making for young and old. For sunset watchers the view from the de Young’s 144-foot tower is stunning. For details on museum locations and other programming details, visit www.sanfrancisco.travel

7. The San Francisco Giants’ home opener is April 8, 2014.  For the full schedule, visit www.sfgiants.com. Tours of the stadium, dugout areas and visitors’ clubhouse are also offered on a regular basis.

Anchor Brewing Company

8. Something’s always brewing in San Francisco especially at Anchor Brewing Company (www.anchorbrewing.com). Tours are offered once a week by reservation only; to confirm a slot, telephone 415-863-8350. The San Francisco Brewers Guild (www.sfbrewersguild.org) also sponsors a number of events and has a map of local breweries.

9. Climb the steepest streets: Filbert between Leavenworth and Hyde (31.5 percent grade); 22nd Street between Church and Vicksburg (31.5 percent grade); Jones between Union and Filbert (29 percent grade); Duboce Avenue between Alpine and Buena Vista (27.9 percent grade). Percentage indicates for every 100 feet, block rises 3l.5 feet, 29 feet, etc.

10. Start training now for one of the many athletic events coming up. In April the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon (http://runrocknroll.competitor.com/san-francisco) on April 6, the Bay to Breakers (www.baytobreakers.com) on May 18, the San Francisco Marathon (www.thesfmarathon.com) in July and the popular Giant Race (www.giantrace.com) in September.

11. Discover new artists and revisit others on the first Thursday of every month when many local art galleries stay open until 8 p.m. or later. For a list of participating galleries, visit http://firstthursdayart.com/

12. Tap into San Francisco’s urban winery scene at Bluxome Street Winery (www.bluxomewinery.com), Dogpatch WineWorks (www.dogpatchwineworks.com), The Press Club (www.pressclubsf.com),  Winery Collective (www.winerycollective.com) and The Winery SF (www.winery-sf.com)

reflexology chart

13. Indulge in a deep tissue massage or a round of reflexology in Chinatown or on Polk Street (secret tip: check out Fung Soong at 1623 Polk Street for a $25 hour foot & neck massage) or at any one of San Francisco’s day spas.  For a list of local spas and spas located within hotels, visit www.sanfrancisco.travel

14. San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (www.sfgov.org/recpark) has six municipal golf courses: TPC Harding (18 holes), Fleming (9 holes), Lincoln Park (18 holes), Sharp Park (18 holes); Golden Gate Park (9 holes), and Gleneagles (9 holes). The 18-hole Presidio Golf Course (www.presidiogolf.com) also offers twilight and early bird discounts.  Sketchy weather?  Check out Eagle Club Indoor Golf (www.eagleclubig.com)

15. Paddle on the bay on a twilight tour with City Kayak (www.citykayak.com). The route includes McCovey Cove, Mission Creek and goes under the Bay Bridge for a spectacular view of The Bay Lights.  Previous kayaking experience recommended.

16. The walk across the Golden Gate Bridge – pedestrians have access to the east walkway of the bridge from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Considered one of the foremost engineering triumphs in the world, the bridge is the seventh longest suspension bridge in the world.  For more information, visit www.goldengate.org

Canoe with a view of Golden Gate Bridge from Chrissy Field

Canoe with a view of Golden Gate Bridge from Chrissy Field

17. Experience nature in the big city along the windswept shoreline at Crissy Field (www.crissyfield.org).  Savor a treat at the Beach Hut Café or the Warming Hut and explore the eight sculptures of Mark di Suvero at Crissy Field (http://www.sfmoma.org/exhib_events/events/2338) on view through May 26, 2014.

18. Exercise the intellect and the body on one of the free, guided walks offered by San Francisco City Guides (www.sfcityguides.org). More than 30 tours are offered day-in-and-day-out by the volunteer group. They canvass every corner of the city from the ever-changing Castro District to Victorians of Alamo Square.

19. Grab the Graham crackers, dark chocolate and marshmallows for an old-fashioned s’mores party at the beach. Small wood bonfires for groups of less than 25 (without permit) are permitted on Ocean Beach between Fulton and Lincoln. The full regulations are posted at www.nps.gov/goga

20. San Francisco at twilight as seen from an airplane or helicopter on a “flightseeing” excursion is an unforgettable experience. Aerial tours include Golden Gate Helicopters(www.goldengatehelicopters.com), San Francisco Helicopter Tours (www.sfhelicoptertours.com), Seaplane Adventures (www.seaplane.com) and SF Air Tours (www.sfairtours.com)

Secret Agent Camp

Extreme Action Camp!

Extreme Action Camp!

People often forget that their kids are a lot like them… they want adventure and travel too. Well, today, summer camps are getting a makeover by catering to children and teens with extreme escapades and adventure. For example, Pali Overnight Adventures is now offering campers ages 9-16, from all over the US (and 17 other countries), a choice of a wild array of custom-designed camp experiences for a one-of a-kind summer experience. And, this year, Pali is offering even more unique and extreme camps than ever before: Secret Agent Camp (this would be my dream camp), Acting, Broadcast, Culinary, Dance, DJ, Extreme Action, Fashion, Film, Flying Trapeze, Girl Power, Hollywood Stunt, Leadership, Motorsports, Movie Make-Up, Rock Star, Wacky Science and Watersports Camp.

Stunt Camp

Stunt Camp

Comprised of 74 scenic acres in Running Springs, California, Pali Adventures is located near Big Bear Lake. It features a 10,000 square foot lodge, modern cabins with built in bunks and full bathrooms, and offers great grub.  In addition to their chosen specialties, campers can choose from 50+ afternoon activities including Archery, Skateboarding, ATV’s, Dune Buggies, High Ropes, Yoga, Manicures (how great is this?), Zip Lining (before the manicure), Jet Skiing, Sailing, Water Skiing, Water Trampoline, Karaoke, Paintball, Mountain Biking, EuroBungee and much more, really making Pali Adventures the next big thing for sleep-away camp.

(I need to find the adult version of this)

The sessions go from June-August and sign up is happening now – April. 

http://www.paliadventures.com/

Pricing:

Single Week Session – $1,865

Two Week Session – $3,600

Four Week Session – $6,900

5% discount applies to paid reservations taking place by Friday, March 21st

BeautyAddicts: Might as Well Face it, I’m Addicted to Color

Print

In the middle of dreaming about a warm impending Spring vacation, I always find myself wanting to shop for maxi dresses, sarongs for island vacations, beautiful sandals, and make up that makes me feel like a sweet summer breeze is about to kiss my weary winter blues away.

Enter: BeautyAddicts, a fun line of colorful shades that brings life to a snow drenched winter funk. Thanks to the PR gurus at Y Communications for sending product our way. Here are our top picks for those of you looking for a new line of beauty for your next vacation in the tropics or the city!

EYESHADOW ($15.50) – With a creamy formula that goes on and blends beautifully, these shadows offer a burst of long-lasting, shimmery color. Ingredients like super fine crushed pearls allow for a smooth creamy application and provide a radiant end result.

Emerald City – A rich, deep emerald green

Créme de Mint – A lighter, sea green color with gold, undertones

Yacht Club – A dark, bold navy blue

Eye Candy – An iridescent, candy pink

LIPSTICK ($18) – Packed with ingredients like Jojoba Oil, Shea Butter and natural peptides, PLAY lipsticks will hydrate, firm and plump the lips. The colors are creamy and long-lasting.

Frenchie – A girly, pure matte rosy pink

In The Buff – A soft, semi-matte cinnamon-beige

LIPGLOSS ($17) - Similar to the lipsticks, these glosses contain Jojoba Butter, Vitamin E, and natural peptides to plump and nourish the lips. PLAY lipgloss is a creamy, high-shine gloss that provides full coverage.

Addict - A midtone, peachy-copper

Socialite- A light, warm pink

EYE PENCIL ($16) – This eyeliner has a creamy formula that allows precise application with enough PLAY time to smudge and define your lash line.

Masquerade – A dark, edgy jewel-tone green

GlimmerSHEER, is another great product from their line to check out. A duo balm designed to highlight and luminize eyes, face and cheeks, it catches light in all the right places and will leave your skin with a fresh, youthful glow. Available in four shades, it holds a softly pigmented highlighter and a clear tinted luminizer to add subtle radiance wherever you apply it for a sun-kissed, elegant sheen and sheer hydrating glow. 

www.beautyaddicts.com

The Sunset Marquis’ New Cavatina Restaurant

Crunchy Egg with Mushrooms, Sweetbreads, and Crushed Cashews... WHAT? Yes!

Crunchy Egg with Mushrooms, Sweetbreads, and Crushed Cashews… WHAT? Yes!

Between Beverly Hills and the beaches, and mere steps from the world famous Sunset Strip, The Sunset Marquis Hotel in West Hollywood, CA has been an institution since before I happened upon their scene. With over 150 luxe suites and villas intertwined within a 3.5-acre oasis of gardens and private retreats, since opening its doors in 1963, the hotel has served as a home-away-from-home to rock legends, filmmakers, writers, actors and discerning guests from around the world. The 2008 expansion introduced several new amenities too, and now features indoor and al fresco dining in its world-class restaurant, two heated outdoor pools, the iconic BAR 1200, and a full-service spa that’s open to local and out of town guests. Additional guest amenities include Nightbird Recording Studios, home to many Grammy winning artists, and Morrison Hotel Gallery, featuring a collection of some of the most renowned celebrity photography, of which more than $1 million worth lines the walls and corridors of Sunset Marquis.

Yellowtail Crudo with Uni and Caviar

Yellowtail Crudo with Uni and Caviar

Now they have Cavatina, which officially opened about two weeks ago and features interesting, yet uncomplicated dishes prepared by renowned Chef/Restauranteur Michael Schlow. As a huge fan of the Sunset Marquis, Schlow was enlisted to create the restaurant’s vision. “It is one of my favorite hotels in the world and… getting to cook with all of the beautiful products California has to offer, is a dream come true. We want to cook the foods and products that are local, then present them with a fresh and full flavored approach. Mother Nature has done most of the work, all we need to do is add a little acid, salt, and chiles, to make the food sing.”

Duck and Green Chile Hash with Poached Eggs and Chipotle Hollandaise

Duck and Green Chile Hash with Poached Eggs and Chipotle Hollandaise

PS. Schlow, a decorated chef and restauranteur whose accolades include The James Beard Award of Excellence For Best Chef, Food & Wine’s Best New Chef in America, and Sante Magazine’s Best Chef in America, is considered to be one of the most respected culinary professionals in the U.S.

Michael Schlow

Michael Schlow

Dinner will set the bar high with a menu that is broken into four categories, offering guests snacks, a crudo section, small-plates, and entrees. Highlights include Cauliflower Panna Cotta with Lobster and CaviarBeef Tongue with Lentils, Rosemary, and Salsa VerdeCrunchy Olives with Cabrales and Speck Powder; and Simply Prepared Mediterranean Sea Bass with Shaved Vegetables.

For lunch, Schlow and his team will prepare fresh, delicious salads, fantastic sandwiches, simple fish dishes, and Schlow’s award-winning burger. Cavatina will offer breakfast seven days a week, and will continue the hotel’s tradition of a fabulous brunch on Sundays as well as provide room service to the hotel and poolside dining.

So book your room, bring your geetar, and have some yellowtail crudo, will ya?

http://www.sunsetmarquis.com/category/restaurant