For those of you who have been to the San Francisco Bay Area or live here, chances are you have your favorite foodie spots and even return to them often if you had a great experience. Because I travel so much, I’d have to say that perhaps that’s more the case with me because when I return from a trip, I tend to want to hibernate and not be in “exploration mode,”
the way we are when we travel.
That means that I don’t review as many San Francisco or Silicon Valley restaurants as I’d like although we do weekend getaways to places like Sonoma
, Los Gatos
and even further like El Dorado Hills
and Lake Tahoe
. Recently, we headed up to Spirit Rock
, a fabulous meditation center about an hour or so from the city. Be sure to read my write-up on our experience
— it’s such a beautiful place surrounded by nature and serenity on all sides.
Nearby are the darling little towns of Fairfax and San Anselmo California
, both of which have some fun restaurants to explore and on a future…
Ever want to dine in a chateau? How about a chateau in the Czech countryside? What if the restaurant was ranked the fifth-best restaurant in the Czech Republic
, at least according to Maurer’s Grand Restaurant Guide? Meet the ever so delicious Piano Nobile
, which is the main restaurant of five star property Chateau Mcely
which I had the fortune of staying at towards the end of my stay in the country this past fall.
Above, a scrumptious whipped creamy concoction that I tried upon arrival – it is combined with orange and crispy chocolate that just pops in your mouth!!
The executive chef Honza Štěrba
and his team focus on preparing five star gourmet experiences, which includes a seasonal à la carte
menu and a degustation menu. During the summer, the chateau patio with its view of the surrounding countryside is the perfect setting for lunch or dinner — I comment on more than one occasion in my review of Chateau Mcely
, that the patio is my favorite room in the castle despite the fact that the formal dining room is oh so lovely and divine that I did have a cup of tea…
Should you ever have the opportunity to attend a Coffee Festival – anytime, anywhere – jump! Forget about the consistently endless arguments as to the benefits – or not – of caffeine. There is no rationale to coffee – it’s as basic as washing your face and brushing your teeth. The bright scent of brewing/perking coffee starts our day. The question – “Coffee?” Followed by “how do you take it?” creates a warmth, a comfort zone – and our individual preferences DEFINE us. Ever notice how an intimacy is immediately established once you recall someone’s coffee choices? Such a telltale sign of friendship is this important information – an entrance into our lives, a signal of a caring person now in your orbit. Sounds like a Hallmark card – when you care enough to remember how they take their coffee.
Now regarding that “cuppa Joe.” We have reached a new level of global sophistication with coffee. Not so long ago, coffee was an American phenomenon, we practically invented the “coffee break.” Today it’s more like “tasso Giovanni” – so embraced by the world. And a delicious coffee festival, such as The New
Ready to meet the ever so divine Michelin Star La Degustation
in the heart of Prague? Centrally located, but conveniently away from Charles Bridge and even the Charles itself, there’s no noise on the streets around you as you find your way there. Rather than Uber or tram it even though I was running a little late, I decided to walk, old fashioned map in hand. Despite taking a few wrong turns, I managed to get there easily enough from my river walk in about 15 or so minutes. There’s no real prominent marking and it was dark when I arrived (note: a 9:30 pm seating — it’s not easy to get a reservation here, so book well in advance)
. Even after asking a few people who worked in nearby cafes, they didn’t quite know where to send me. After noticing a bit of graffiti on a building wall, I assumed I must be on the wrong street, but sure enough at the very end, on the corner with very little else around, lies the home of La Degustation.
Once you walk through the doors, your mood will be transformed and that’s even before you make it to your seat. They…
If you’re a serious foodie and Europe is on your mind, you might not be thinking of Prague
as your first choice. Let’s face it, Paris never disappoints (in my experience that is),
London will bowl you over if you know where to go, Rome has so many small and upscale family-run gems with to-die for pasta and sauce concoctions that you may want to move there by the end of your trip, and Berlin, Vienna and Zurich could keep you going for weeks, especially if beer and desserts is on your love list as well. My most recent trip to Prague wasn’t my first; in fact, my first trip was pre-wall it was so long ago. While none of Eastern Europe was a “go to”
region for food back then (if anything, you might find yourself hungry depending on when you went), I recall a special cafe experience in Prague and my recollection of both Prague and Budapest was much more positive than their more eastern neighbor Bucharest, which I had a hard time leaving because of countless train hiccups.
I returned six or so years ago and while Prague was even doing segway tours then, today I can…
How many of you knew that September 29th was National Coffee Day
in the United States? Considering so many of us practically pump the stuff through our veins on the regular, we thought it only appropriate to have a coffee themed week here, so let’s look at 6 unique coffee experiences you can find in the Big Apple.
Photo credit: Andre Kruger
1. The Butcher’s Daughter:
This is a popular place in New York for many a’ thing not just coffee and they have two locations: the West Village and Nolita. I see them posting on Instagram all the time. The ambiance is oh so chic and cool too with lots of plants and a good vibe.
Photo credit: LizaHerlands_ (on Instagram)
2. Cosmic Coffee
for their gelatinous coffee. I found these guys at a food fair in Long Island City, and when they asked if I wanted to see “the next big thing in coffee” of course I was like “yes, please!” So they pour in the coffee, and on top the cream, do a little mix, and the coffee turns solid…kinda like coffee jello! I don’t…
Ahhh yes, Prague
. Breathe it all in as the sun shines on your face on a lazy sunny afternoon. Feel her energy as a romantic flare oozes from the artists and couples strolling along Charles Bridge.
After spending a few hours making your way through old town, where it feels almost Disney-like, you begin to gaze at things as if you’re lost on a cloud, the way parts of Paris can make you feel, especially if you’re new to the city. Sure, there’s too many tourists, especially during prime travel months, but you can easily find an alley and get lost for an hour or so, or grab a seat in a cafe and stare out at the chaos of the crowds while taking in all the beauty that Prague has to offer.
There’s no better way to really process the Charles River
than from a quiet venue that overlooks it. It’s even better than a boat unless you’ve privately chartered one and have your own captain. Prague’s Kampa Park
, albeit on the ‘dear’ side for the value compared to some of my favorites in the city like Valoria
, is all about romance and that’s why you’re there. This…
Newport Rhode Island
was a place I hung my hat on many a’ weekend when I lived in Boston. In my twenties, we had a house-share in the area for those summer weekend getaways — days were spent on the beach and we ate pizza at 2 am; our nights went as long as we could extend them. With the number of pubs and harbor-side bars, it was a perfect vacation spot to go with friends, sit out on the many decks and outside patios that Newport offers and breathe in the lovely summer New England skies.
I have countless positive memories of this well known New England seasonal resort town, from swimming and lounging on Newport’s beautiful sandy beaches to dancing in the pubs, usually with an Aussie or Irish sailor. There was no shortage of handsome Irish men with stories to tell and it was the spot
for locals from Providence and Boston to go on summer and fall weekends. While we drank more beer and cocktails than we did wine or fine dine in our twenties, I recall plenty of mouthwatering experiences with creamy clam chowder, fresh raw oysters and Lobster.
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