A Weekend in London

This London weekend itinerary is good for those who’ve been to the city before and want to explore it at a more leisurely pace that involves a mix of culture and good, casual restaurants. Picturesque neighborhood Marylebone will be your home base, and you’ll venture into Soho, Fitzrovia, City of London and South London. There’s no rushing from back-to-back appointments to make it to a show or see something before closing time. Stroll about, walk into some interesting boutiques that catch your eye, see an exhibit if you have time and, if not, don’t sweat it, and leave plenty of time to eat the best food.

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Hoppers in Soho, London

vintage tamil posters setting the mood at hoppers

“Let’s go to that Sri Lankan restaurant!” is probably a phrase you will never hear in New York. First of all, I’m not even sure if Sri Lankan restaurants exist in Manhattan. And even if they did, would they get the same level of attention or press that a vegan or pizza restaurant would? London, however, is more accepting of different cuisines than we are, which explains the success and popularity of Hoppers, a Sri Lankan restaurant in Soho. Read More

The Barbary in London

the barbary in covent garden, london

The Barbary is the type of place I’d come to all the time if I lived in London. It has a fun, relaxed vibe, the food is exciting, and the prices are reasonable. The open grill sits in the center of the restaurant like a stage, where diners can pull up at one of the 24 bar seats for a front row seat. Chefs expertly wield the flames to turn out perfectly cooked pieces of grilled meats and other tasty treats robataya-style.

the kitchen’s the stage

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Secret Summer 2017 Recap

The secret to a great summer party involves great weather, good company and free-flowing cocktails, which is why Secret Summer 2017 again killed it with their annual party at The Foundry in Long Island City on August 6. There was something about 2017 that made it stand out from the prior two years. The first year was new and exciting, like embarking on a new relationship, the second year was a time to test some different things and shake things up a little, and the third year felt like you were finally settled and were comfortable knowing what works. Things felt a little more genuine, and that carefree, authentic vibe made for some great party chemistry.Read More

A Weekend in Bordeaux

vineyards of haut brion in the bordeaux region

A weekend in Bordeaux will obviously involve trips out to various wine-making chateaux that the region is famous for. It’s also one of the largest wine growing areas in France, so you’ll need to narrow down your itinerary to vineyards clustered in specific areas featuring certain grapes.

I am not a wine expert by any means, but from what I can tell, Bordeaux is divided up into two main parts, the “Left Bank” and the “Right Bank“. The vineyards on the Left Bank, which consists of the Médoc and Graves regions, typically feature bold and tannic red wines made predominantly of Cabernet Sauvignon. The Right Bank of the Libournais region, on the other hand, features wine made predominantly with Merlot. If you like white wines, head south to Entre-Deux-Mers, and if you like your whites on the sweeter side, go slightly west to Sauternes. (Reference this link for a helpful primer on Bordeaux wines.) Once you know which chateau you’d like to see, go to their website and email them a request for a visit. Note that Bordeaux isn’t quite the commercial operation that Napa or Sonoma Valley is. Many of these chateaux may require insider connections to get you access.Read More