PALM BEACH | THE UPDATE

WHERE TO EAT

Palm Beach Grill
340 Royal Poinciana Way, Palm Beach
+1 561 835 1077
Always packed, this buzzy Palm Beach institution has classic American food, attentive service and great people watching. Don’t miss their famous ice cream sundae! If you’re in the mood for a quick burger then head to the little spot they opened right next door called The Honor Bar.

Sant Ambroeus
340 Royal Poinciana Way, Palm Beach
+1 561 285 7990
This classic Milanese restaurant offers fine dining in the elegant interior and outdoor patio as well as casual seating at the bar. It’s also great for breakfast and a grab and go coffee. 

Pizza Al Fresco
14 Via Mizner, Palm Beach
+1 561 832 0032 
Lively, fun ambience set in a courtyard with little white lights. Perfect for a casual night indulging in their delicious thin, crispy pizza and yummy salads.

PB Catch
251 Sunrise Ave, Palm Beach
+1 561 655 5558
Beautiful, chic restaurant that serves some of the best seafood in Palm Beach.

Renato’s
87 Via Mizner, Palm Beach
+1 561 655 9752 
Romantic and elegant both inside and out, this classic Palm Beach restaurant serves authentic Italian fare with gracious, old world service. Pretend you’re in Italy and dine al fresco in their beautiful, candlelit garden.

Avocado Grill
125 Datura Street, West Palm Beach
+1 561 623 0822

This fun, relaxed spot is great for large groups and strong margaritas!

WHERE TO GO OUT

Cucina Palm Beach
257 Royal Poinciana Way, Palm Beach
+1 561 855 7799

This Italian bistro turns into a rocking disco around 11 pm on Friday and Saturday nights. Great DJ and fun crowd.

Camelot
114 S. Narcissus Ave., West Palm Beach
+1 561 408 1001
Stylish, trendy cocktail bar and lounge. This is the place to go if you like to stay out till 6 am and pretend you’re at a club in Miami. 

HMF at The Breakers
One South County Road, Palm Beach
+1 877 724 3188  
If you NEVER want to go to a club in Miami then you’ll love the very Palm Beach vibe of this elegant bar at The Breakers. Shockingly, an older crowd hangs here.

WHAT TO DO

Get Outside 
Walk, run or bike along The Lake Trail, a scenic 6-mile trail along the Intracoastal Waterway where you can get a peek into some of Palm Beach’s most beautiful estates. The trail runs from Peruvian Avenue North to North Lake Way.

Flagler Museum
One Whitehall Way, Palm Beach
+1 561 655 2833
This National Historic Landmark is the turn-of-the-century Gilded Age mansion of Standard Oil co-founder Henry Flagler. There are guided and self-guided tours of the stunning home as well as Flagler’s private railcar.

Norton Museum of Art
1451 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach
+1 561 832 5196
This museum houses an impressive collection of American, European and Chinese masterworks (their collection of Chinese jade and bronze is considered among the best in the world) and Photography. Definitely worth a visit to get your cultural fix!

Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens
253 Barcelona Road, West Palm Beach
+1 561 832 5328
A hidden gem right down the street from the Norton Museum. You can eat breakfast or lunch in the garden during the season.

GET PAMPERED 
Tammy Fender 
711 North Flagler Drive, West Palm Beach
+1 888 655 9991
Creator of an acclaimed, plant-based skin care line, facialist Tammy Fender offers a holistic approach to skin care at her much-loved spa in West Palm Beach. Besides her legendary facials, the spa also offers a variety of heavenly massages and body treatments.

WHERE TO SHOP 

Royal Ponciana
340 Royal Poinciana Way, Palm Beach
It’s all happening at this beautiful shopping plaza with a variety of upscale stores (Hermes, Saint Laurent, Kirba Zabete), fitness centers (Soul Cycle is located here for the season) and high end restaurants. It’s less hectic than shopping on Worth Ave. and a lot easier to park!

Antique Row
South Dixie Highway between Belvedere Road and Southern Blvd, West Palm Beach
There is something for everyone at this art and design district with dozens of well-curated vintage shops, antique and design stores to explore.

STOWE | WHERE TO EAT

Hen of the Wood
92 Stowe Street, Waterbury, VT
+1 802 244 7300
Chef Eric Warnstedt is the genius behind Vermont’s award-winning culinary masterpiece. Seven James Beard nominations, beautiful farm fresh fare, legendary wines and seamless service fill the 40 seats nightly, requiring reservations months in advance to secure a table.

Prohibition Pig
23 S. Main St, Waterbury, VT
+1 802 244 4120
Bacon and hooch are on the menu at this hip, casual-style eatery serving up stellar Southern small plates and BBQ dishes. The 20+ craft beers on tap will hold you over while you navigate the up to an hour wait any given day of the week.

The Bench
492 Mountain Rd, Stowe, VT
+1 802 253 5100

Food aficionados will enjoy the Kale Caesar Salad and Moss Glen Pizza that come out of the open kitchen, while those in search of the perfect cocktail should opt for the Perry Merrill named after my favorite trail.

The Plate
91 Main St, Stowe, Vermont
+1 802 253 2691
This chic dinner spot is owned and operated by a Los Angeleno who now resides in Vermont. The Plate’s menu is a marriage between the flair and fire of Vermont flavor with the clean eating principles of California.

The Skinny Pancake
7416 Mountain Road, Stowe, VT
+1 802 760 6501

Bottomless cups of coffee, authentic crepes and abundant salads are sourced from more than 40 vibrant Vermont farms. But even better than the food is the fact that one percent of proceeds go towards not-for profit organizations dedicated to greening our planet.

STOWE | WHERE TO STAY

The Lodge at Spruce Peak

The Lodge at Spruce Peak

The Field Guide

The Field Guide

Spruce Peak
7412 Mountain Road, Stowe, VT
+1 888 478 6938
Centered at the base of Mount Mansfield, Spruce Peak is a premier destination in its own right. This luxury alpine style resort provides unparalleled hospitality and the only ski-in, ski-out lodging in New England, serving as a playground for the discerning traveler. Winter wonder off the 116 trails include ice skating, ice climbing, snowshoeing, and nightly s'mores by the bonfire. Guests can choose from a variety of “off-season” activities such as hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, rafting, fishing and zip-lining.

The Field Guide
433 Mountain Rd, Stowe, VT
+1 802 253 8088
Stowe’s latest newcomer is a boutique hotel offering 30 mountain-chic rooms and suites with playful pops of color. While the hotel is a 15 minute ride to the mountain, it is centrally located downtown in the heart of Stowe.

STOWE | WHAT TO DO + WHERE TO SHOP

Dog Sled Rides
849 South Main St, Stowe, VT 05672
+1 802 253 2317
Umiak Outdoor Outfitters offers daytime scenic adventure tours and evening rides.

Snowmobiling Tours
849 Main St, Stowe, VT
+1 802 253 6221
Stowe Snowmobile Tours offers an adventurous 25-mile journey through the Mount Mansfield State Forest for both the beginner and advanced riders.

Stowe Bowl
1613 Mountain Road Stowe, VT
+1 802 253 2494
Bowling for the cool kids. Make lane reservations well in advance as they book quickly during high season.

Laughing Moon Chocolates
78 South Main St, Stowe Village, VT
+1 802 253 9591
In addition to amazing homemade chocolates, they also offer free Chocolate Dipping Demonstrations daily at 2pm, as well as adult and family workshops to create your own chocolates.

Stowe Mercantile
38 Main Street, Stowe, VT
+1 802 253 4554
Housewares, specialty treats, Stowe souvenirs and more all under one roof.

Stowe Public House
109 Main St, Stowe, VT
+1 802 585 5785

Stowe Wine and Cheese
1799 Mountain Road, Stowe, VT
+1 802 253 8606



STOWE | WHERE TO APRÈS

Doc Ponds

Doc Ponds

Idletyme Brewing Company

Idletyme Brewing Company

Doc Ponds
294 Mountain Road, Stowe, VT
+1 802 760 6066
Apres-ski spots are as important as ski conditions and no one takes it more seriously then the guys behind Doc Ponds. (The creative geniuses behind Hen of the Wood) This modern pub serves up farm to table comfort food, rotating craft brews and live music on Sunday evenings. The bayley blue balls and smoked ½ chicken are crowd faves.

Idletyme Brewing Company
1859 Mountain Road, Stowe, VT
+1 802 253 4765
Legendary family friendly pub with a simple and seasonal menu geared for locals and tourists seeking a cool atmosphere and a solid high-fare meal. Brussel sprout salad and grilled salmon balance out the 2am cheese fries and homemade pretzel nuggets.

PARIS | THE UPDATE

WHERE TO SLEEP

Hotel Villa Madame
44, rue Madame 75006
+33 1 45 48 02 81

Rue Madame might be my new favorite street in Paris, and this hotel couldn’t be cuter (or more reasonably priced). The courtyard is super sweet and its location, right next to the Jardins du Luxembourg and Saint Sulpice literally cannot be beat.

Airbnb
Sometimes an Airbnb can be hit or miss, so I wanted to share this one on rue Honoré Chevalier (right next to rue Madame, coincidentally). It’s two-bedroom with a great kitchen, super comfortable living space on a really quiet street. We loved the building and plan to stay here again and again.

Relais Christine
3, rue Christine 75006
+ 33 1 40 51 60 80
Tucked away on rue Christine is this former 13th century monastery is even more charming than it sounds. With a new renovation, a Guerlain spa and one of the best breakfasts in all of Paris, it’s a romantic, discreet hotel that screams rendez-vous.


WHERE TO EAT

Balagan
9, rue d’Alger 75001
+33 1 40 20 72 14

Warning: It is a SCENE. I mean, a serious scene. The music, the super-chic Parisians gathered outside smoking cigarettes (did they not get the memo in France?) and the ambiance all point to ultrahip and frankly, pretty intimidating. But power through because the Israeli cuisine at the end of the rainbow is nothing short of incredible.

Beef Club
58, rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau 75001
+33 9 54 37 13 65

Oddly, another spot that’s more scene-y than I would usually recommend, but it’s the idea of a chic Parisian steakhouse that hooked me, and I’m happy to report that it’s worth its weight. A cold martini, a ribeye and an order of potatoes cooked in duck fat are all you need before you head to the lounge downstairs for a true French after party.

Bonhomie
22, rue d’enghien 75010
+33 1 9 83 88 82 51

It’s always fun to find a restaurant in France that isn’t French, and Bonhomie is a fantastic example of what I mean. The Mediterranean menu is small but mighty — you can easily order one of everything — all served by the friendliest staff in all of Paris.

Café de la Mairie
8, Place Saint Sulpice 75006
+33 1 43 26 67 82

This simple bistro on the Place Saint Sulpice is my favorite in all of Paris. A perfect place for a morning coffee and an omelette or a lunch of a croquet monsieur served on Paris’ famous pain Polâine.

Dersou
21, rue Saint Nicolas 75012
+33 9 81 01 12 73

It’s not the incredibly hip ambiance or the amazingly delicious food that you should come here for. In fact it’s the 5, 6 or 7 course tasting menus that are paired with cocktails — not wine — that should have you clicking “reserve” right now. Sounds weird, I know, but it works. I promise. a

Ducasse sur Seine
Port Debilly 75116
+33 1 58 00 22

Leave it superstar chef Alain Ducasse to take one of the cheesiest and most tourist-y things Paris has to offer, the Bateaux Mouches, and turn it into the chicest, most delicious floating restaurant you’ve ever seen. There’s no better way to see Paris then from the Seine, and there’s no better way to do it then from Ducasse’s boat, tricked out like any 5-star spot should be. PS: the butter is not to be missed.

Girafe
1, Place du Trocadero 75016
+33 1 40 62 70 61
Located inside the Palais de Chaillot, Girafe is relatively new and absolutely stunning. If you’re lucky enough to dine in the warmer months, take a seat on the patio and you’ll have a front row view of the Eiffel Tower. The menu, which is seafood heavy, is a welcome departure from heavier French fare, and the room is so well designed you’ll want to stay all day.

Huîterie Regis
3, rue Montfaucon 75006
+33 1 44 41 10 07

The teensiest tiniest oyster bar you ever did see, but, OMG. Pop in for a dozen and a glass of bubbles after an afternoon of shopping.

L’Atlas
11, rue de Buci 75006
+33 1 40 51 26 30

The seafood tower + a bottle of Chablis + sitting outside on the Rue de Buci = perfection.

L’Enfance du Lard
21, rue Guisarde 75006
+33 1 46 33 89 65

I’ve learned that when it comes to bistros, you can land in some subpar places in Paris, which is why this find was such an inspiration. Tucked away by Saint Sulpice, the husband-wife team who run this super cozy spot are welcoming and warm and the menu is a solid as it gets. If they have the fried smelt on the menu (tiny fried white fish) get them, and the frisée aux lardons is thankfully more lardon than frisée.

Le Servan
32, rue Saint Maur 75011
+1 33 01 55 28 51 82

Everything you’ve heard is true. The space, the food, the service — amazing, amazing, amazing. If there are broccoli fritters on the menu, get them, devour them and then get them again. Have lunch and then take a stroll through Père Lachaise, the gorgeous cemetery where such luminaries as Chopin and Jim Morrison are buried.

Monsieur Bleu
20, avenue de New York 75116
+33 1 47 20 90 47

Maybe the most beautiful restaurant I’ve ever eaten in, in one of the most spectacular settings right outside the Palais de Tokyo with views of the Eiffel Tower. And the food. OMG. The pork belly is off the charts and the chicken for two is to die for. Eat here early on your trip so you have time to go back. It’s that good.

Sebillion
20, avenue Charles de Gaulle 92200 Neuilly
+33 1 46 24 71 31
We found this “temple to leg of lamb” (their proclamation, not mine) when we were looking for a lunch spot after visiting the Louis Vuitton Foundation, but honestly, it’s worth a solo excursion. White table cloths, old school waiters and that infamous lamb will make you glad you took the trip.

Severo
8, rue des Plantes 75014
+33 1 45 40 40 91
This old butcher shop might lack ambiance (you could perform surgery in the dining room), but the steak tartare and the côte de bouef more than make up for it in spades. Plus, you’ll be hard pressed ot find another American at any one of the 10 or so tables, which is always a good sign.


WHAT TO DO

Atelier des Lumieres
38 rue Saint Maur 75011
+33 1 80 98 46 00

Trippiest experience ever. The works of Gustav Klimt digitized and projected on the walls, floors and ceilings of this uber-industrial space in the 11th. And BONUS! Le Severo is right across the street, making it the perfect way to send an afternoon. (Note: It looks like the Klimt exhibit will end on January 6, 2019, but the space will remain open showing the work of various artists in the same way.)

Palais de Tokyo
13, avenue de President Wilson 75116
+33 1 81 97 35 88

I will admit that I’ve avoided this museum on every trip to Paris because I’m just not into Asian art. Well, the joke’s on me because while it’s called Palais de Tokyo, it actually has nothing to do with Tokyo. In fact, it’s a super modern, incredibly industrial space that showcases some of the most spectacular work I’ve ever seen. The exhibit when I was there is on until June 1, 2019, called Carte Blanche to Tomás Saraceno, is almost impossible to explain but I’ll try. Think a totally black room filled with glass boxes and inside are cobwebs. Yes. Cobwebs. And spiders. And it’s magnificent. But honestly even if that exhibit is gone when you visit, there is bound to be something just as spectacular to follow.

Paris Walking Tour
93200 St Denis, France
+33 01 48 09 21 40
Walking tours can often be dry, but these are fun, informative and there’s no better way to get your steps in.

TORONTO | WHERE TO STAY

Hotel X

Hotel X

Bisha Hotel

Bisha Hotel

The Drake

The Drake

The St. Regis

The St. Regis

Hotel X
111 Princes' Boulevard
+1 647 943 9300
If you’re the type of traveler who likes to get a sweat session in to keep you energized during your holiday, then Hotel X is the place for you. Why? Because it’s got the largest hotel gym in all of Canada. I mean, seriously what could be more memorable than the chance to get your namaste on at Hotel X’s bikram yoga studio as you stare out to the iconic CN Tower? Inside the property’s 400 rooms expect contemporary interiors lined with vibrant art by landscape photographer Neil Dankoff.

Bisha Hotel & Residence 
80 Blue Jays Way
+1 416 551 2800
The Bisha in two words? Dramatic Decor. Think a lobby that features crushed velvet chairs, black marble walls and moody lighting. Of course, the beautiful people sipping martinis at The Bisha’s Mr. C lobby bar are pretty easy on the eyes as well. And yet, the hotel’s real claim to fame is its 7th floor, which was designed by none other than rockstar and full-time badass Lenny Kravitz. If you’re in town during the summer months, be sure to check out Bisha’s rooftop where light Baja bites are served up at KOST with a side of sensational city views from the hotel’s wraparound sun deck. 

The Drake 
1150 Queen St W
+1 416 531 5042
With zero affiliation to the rapper, the Drake has made a name for itself on its own accord. Since opening in 2004, the boutique property (19 rooms) has become the ultimate hub for creative types looking for a place to rest their heads in Toronto. And bonus: the hotel has a rotating calendar of screenings and concerts to keep culturally curious Canadians as well as out-of-towners satisfied. 

The St. Regis 
325 Bay St
+1 416 306 5800
Big news: The St. Regis is scheduled to open its first property in Canada at the end of November. Oh, and it’s right smack in the center of Canada’s financial capital — one of the most desirable addresses in the city. Translation? A stay here promises *endless* layers of luxury, from butlers and a heated saltwater lap pool to nightly champagne saberings in the hotel’s lobby.

TORONTO | WHERE TO EAT

Saks Food Hall

Saks Food Hall

Don Alfonso 1890

Don Alfonso 1890

La Palma

La Palma

The Drake Commisary

The Drake Commisary

Saks Food Hall by Pusateri's 
176 Yonge S
+1 416 365 3130

Trust us, this isn’t just any food hall. Nope it’s 25,000 square feet of amazing. Filled with aisle after aisle of the world’s most delicious delicacies, it gets extra points for having a champagne bar, as well as the fact that you can fuel up on whatever your heart desires  before heading upstairs to shop.

Don Alfonso 1890
19 Toronto Street 
+1 416 214 5888 

What should you expect from renowned Michelin Star Chefs Alfonso and Ernesto Laccarino? Everything. And you’ll get it! With incredible decor in a setting that can’t be missed (this new restaurant is located inside an historic building featuring soaring ceilings, moldings from the 1850 and artwork by Philippe Pasqua) and two Mediterranean tasting menus that will literally blow you away.

La Palma 
849 Dundas St
+1 416 368 4567
Being the new kid on the block isn’t easy, but La Palma has managed to fit right in. With amazing Northern Italian fare and a gorgeous ambiance, it’s well worth the carbs - we swear. Sweet potato agnolotti and fig pizza with tuscan kale and honey are just a few of the menu items being served inside the pastel-doused dining room. Oh, and the cocktails are just as dreamy with their signature La Palma featuring Montenegro, Aperol, orange, lime, egg whites, fresh mint and housemade bitters. 

The Drake Commissary 
128 Sterling Rd
+1 416 432 2922
Located next to MOCA in Toronto’s otherwise sparse Junction Triangle is the Drake Commissary. This creative culinary hub (in a past life the building was a pickle factory) now functions as a multipurpose space that boasts a restaurant, a bakery, a bar and a general store. Let Chef Jonas Grupiljonas, whose name you might recognize from his brief stint at San Fran’s Tartine Bakery, tempt you with everything from fresh sourdough to house-cured charcuterie and gelato prepared from scratch. 

TORONTO | WHAT TO DO

Museum of Illusions.jpg
MOCA Toronto 2.jpg
TIFF photo courtesy of Toronto Star.jpg

Museum of Illusions 
132 Front St E
+1 416 889 2285
Thanks to the Museum of Illusions, we can all live out our Instagram dreams. This is a place where photography is not only encouraged, but it’s a key part of the exhibition. With 14 locations around the world, each has the same goal: To play with ideas of imagination, the mind and the human sense of perception. 

MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art)
158 Sterling Rd
+1 416 530 2500
Toronto’s Museum of Contemporary Art recently moved from the city’s west and to its new home inside a former aluminum factory, and its curatorial range, spread across five floors, has expanded from a sole focus on Canadian artists to a more international roster. The inaugural group show, BELIEVE, featured pieces from up-and-comers like photographer Awol Erizku, who shot Beyoncé when she was pregnant with her twins. 

TIFF (The Toronto International Film Festival) 
Not new but noteworthy nonetheless, is the annual Toronto International Film Festival, which brings a flurry of screenings, parties and celebrities into the city. Want in? The next festival comes to town on September 5th 2019. 

TORONTO | WHAT TO BUY

Ziggy Egg CXBO.jpg
The Dot photo courtesy of @dylangracetravels.JPG
ql_5-1024x683.jpg

CXBO Chocolates 
193 Baldwin St
+1 416-588-2926
Brandon Olsen and Sarah Keenlyside’s handcrafted chocolate confections are truly a work of art. We’re talking hand-painted jewel-like bonbons with insane flavors like cinnamon brown butter and lime, ginger, and black pepper. For something really gram-worthy pick up CXBO’s signature ‘ Ziggy Stardust ‘Disco Egg’ made up of a colorful chocolate shell filled with shattered chunks of white and milk chocolate. 

The Dot 
687 Bloor W
+1 416 780 9099
We stumbled upon this women’s clothing store while traipsing through Koreatown. A minimalist’s dream….inside the sparsely decorated space staple pieces such as cozy sweaters, faux fur bags, and delicate jewelry from up-and-coming designers around the world make it one of the coolest shopping destinations in Toronto. 

House of Anansi Press and Groundwood Books
Lower Level, 128 Sterling Rd
+1 416 363 4343
After lunch at the Drake Commissary head to this adorable neighboring bookstore to peruse the best in Canadian literature. Although you’ll find books for all ages available for sale, Groundwood’s selection of children’s books is really something special as the publisher specializes in creating books that focus on underrepresented children around the world. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable and friendly so don’t be surprised if you find yourself unable to pull away from this little literary haven. 

NAPA | WHERE TO STAY

Calistoga Ranch Pool.jpg

Bardessono
6526 Yount St, Yountville, CA 94599
+1 707 204 6000

Located in downtown Yountville, Bardessono’s bragging rights include one of the best locations in the valley. Yountville is the center for many world class restaurants and mere footsteps away from this luxury eco-friendly hotel and spa. Guests can expect sexy, sleek décor, large accommodations with modern amenities, lush, green grounds and exceptional service. Don't miss a drink at Lucy’s Restaurant and Bar located inside the hotel — a perfect spot for aprés dinner cocktails and conversation. 

Calistoga Ranch Resort and Spa
580 Lommel Rd, Calistoga, CA 94515
+1 888 947 6442

Hidden high up in the hills, this 50-room Auberge Resort focuses on reconnecting and revitalizing guests through the beauty of its surroundings. A private lake, rock-hewn stream and hiking trails make the grounds pretty exceptional and up the romance game a notch. Each nature-chic room features an outdoor shower, gas fireplace and private deck, and as an added bonus, the ranch has a private vineyard on site, offering guests the experience to join the pruning, harvesting and crushing of the grapes during the fall season. 

Hotel Yountville
6462 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599
+1 707 967 7900

Situated next to Bardessono, the intimate, European-village design of this hotel features cascading fountains amidst beautifully manicured grounds. In the morning, hop on one of the hotel’s complimentary bicycles and grab breakfast at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery (6528 Washington Street; +1 707 944 2253). After a long day of vineyard tours, relax by the pool, situated under towering Italian cypress and majestic oak trees. The premium suites with garden patios are the most popular options. 

Los Alcobas
1915 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574
+1 707 963 7000

What was originally a Georgian-style Farmhouse constructed in 1907 is now Napa’s latest luxury property. Situated next to Beringer Vineyards (2000 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574; +1 707 257 5771), it's the perfect spot for a wine tour  if you can pull yourself away from the magical sunset views you'll have from your room.  And if you're looking for something a little more luxe,  book a terrace suite, and get your own private fire pit and sexy alfresco tub. 

Meadowood
900 Meadowood Lane St. Helena, CA 94574
+1 877 963 3646

This secluded hotel nestled in the heart of Napa Valley is a true gem. The luxury estate’s accommodations come with all the classic trimmings: stone fireplaces, natural lighting, vaulted ceilings and crisp, white linens. Adults can spend their time golfing, playing tennis or croquet, swimming or enjoying the incredible spa treatments, while kids attend the hotel's amazing sports camp. Foodies will enjoy the customized wine pairings, culinary and craft cocktail classes and the award-winning restaurant that draws from the hotel’s bountiful farm. 

NAPA | WHERE TO EAT

Single Thread Farm.jpg

Archetype
1429 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574
+1 707 968 9200

This neighborhood farm to table spot serves up killer dishes all day long. The lemon ricotta pancakes draw long brunch lines, while the crab cakes and tater tots hit the spot after a long day of vino. 

Bottega
V Marketplace, 6525 Washington Street, Yountville, CA
+1 707 945 1050

James Beard nominee and Food Network host Michael Chiarello focuses on southern Italian inspired dishes at this award winning eatery. The chef’s buzz and dishes such as Raviolo di Uovo, Uova Verdi e Pancetta Cotta draw huge crowds so reservations are a must.

Farmstead Restaurant at Long Meadow Ranch
738 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574
+1 707 963 4555

Centered around an open styled kitchen, Farmstead delivers a unique experience focused on family style dining and a farm to table menu sourced from the estates winery and farm. Once a month they host a live fire event where guests can gather around the fire pit alongside highly acclaimed guest chefs and watch them roast, smoke and sear a feast served to them right from the flames and paired with Long Meadow Ranch wines.

Gott’s
644 1st St, Napa, CA 94559
+1 707 224 6900

Napa’s Roadside institution is a dream. Grab a picnic table and order some burgers, shakes and fries with a side of damn good wine. 

Morimoto
610 Main St, Napa, CA 94559
+1 707 252 1600

Iron Chef Morimoto's Napa outpost serves up innovative Japanese fare and serious sushi with sake and whisky. 

Oenotri
1425 1st St, Napa, CA 94559
+1 707 252 1022

Southern Italian Fare offering 20 varieties of housemade salumi, vintage wines, thin crust pizza and seasonal dishes comprised of produce from their culinary garden. 

Press
587 St Helena Hwy, St Helena, CA 94574
+1 707 967 0550

One of the best restaurants in Napa, this modern American steakhouse decor and wine list is as chic and sophisticated as the guest list. Book a table outside or pull up a stool at the gorgeous handcrafted walnut bar. 

Redd Wood
6755 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599
+1 707 299 5030

Casual hip spot with a laid back vibe serving up yummy wood burning pizzas and handmade pasta dishes. 

SingleThread Farms
131 North St, Healdsburg, CA 95448
+1 707 723 4646

Make a reservation like now. Serving up heaven on earth, their expansive farm supplies vegetables, fruit, herbs, flowers, honey, eggs, and olive oil to their restaurant kitchen that serves up an 11 course bespoke tasting menu. 

Solbar
Solage, 755 Silverado Trail N, Calistoga, CA 94515
+1 707 226 0860

Inside guests can enjoy Solbar elegant grey schemed decor and innovative California soul food dishes. Outside, Solbar boasts the best terrace Napa has to offer, with glowing fire pits, a small bites menu and stunning mountain views.

The French Laundry
6640 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599
+1 707 944 2380

Having been named “Best Restaurant in the World” by Restaurant Magazine, Thomas Keller offers a nine-course tasting menu where no single ingredient is ever repeated throughout the meal. Reservations book months in advance so plan accordingly to experience this once in a lifetime destination.

The Restaurant at Meadowood
900 Meadowood Ln, St Helena, CA 94574
+1 707 967 1205

Arguably one of the best in California, head Michelin starred chef Christopher Kostow and top mixologist Sam Levy curate smart, sophisticated menus reflecting the property farm’s glory and passion for local sustainable cuisine. Sam’s famous “whisky for breakfast” is not to be missed.

NAPA | WHAT TO DO

Napa Valley Hot Air Balloon.jpg
Rutherford Hill Winery Picnic .jpg

Culinary Class
+1 707 227 5036
Private chef/instructor Julie Logue-Riordan (Cooking with Julie) focuses on cooking with local ingredients. Julie takes clients on tours of the Napa or St. Helena Farmers Markets to shop and meet the artisans before teaching hands-on three-course lunch classes. 

Napa Valley Balloons
4086 Byway E. , Napa, CA 94558
+1 707 944 0228

For those seeking a bit of adventure, NVB offers one hour tours with an experienced private guide, educating guests on all local points of interest and showcasing the exquisite beauty of the valley from high above. 

Picnic Lunch
Reserve a picnic table or private cabana and enjoy a picnic lunch at Rutherford Winery (200 Rutherford Hill Rd, Rutherford; +1 707 963 1871). This coveted spot is set up high above the valley floor with the best panoramic views of Napa Valley. Stop by Oxbow Public Market (610 1st St, Napa) a gourmet farmers market with every offering imaginable to fill your picnic basket. For those who prefer to order lunch, swing by Ad Hoc-Addendum (6476 Washington Street,m Yountville; +1 707 944 2487) which is an addition to Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc family, that serves up boxed lunches to go.

Uptown Theatre
1350 3rd St, Napa, CA 94559
+ 1 707 259 0123

A historic Napa landmark, offering amazing live show performances with world class headliners.

Vineyard Tours
There are over 400 vineyards in Napa Valley, each offering different experiences. Vineyard tours vary from as simple as strolling the grounds to more advanced tours of production facilities, cave exploration, guided lessons about the the aging process and tasting rooms offering food pairings. Plan on 2-4 vineyards per day during your visit to Napa Valley. Here are my top ten favorites….

Inglenook
1991 St Helena Highway, Rutherford, CA 94573
+ 1 707 968 1100

Nickel and Nickel
8164 St Helena Hwy, Napa, CA 94558
+1 707 967 9600

Schramsberg
1400 Schramsberg Rd, Calistoga, CA 94515
+1 707 942 4558

Spottswoode Winery
1902 Madrona Ave, St Helena, CA 94574
+1 707 963 0134

Quintessa
1601 Silverado Trail S, St Helena, CA 94574
+1 707 967 1601

Cade Estate
360 Howell Mountain Rd. S, Angwin, CA 94508
+1 707 965 2746

Cakebread
8300 St Helena Hwy, Napa, CA 94558
+1 707 963 5222

Castello di Amorosa
4045 St Helena Hwy, Calistoga, CA 94515
+1 707 967 6272

Chateau Montelena Winery
1429 Tubbs Lane, Calistoga, CA 94515
+1 707 942 5105

Clos Pegase
1060 Dunaweal Ln, Calistoga, CA 94515
+1 707 942 4981

BERMUDA | WHERE TO STAY

Whether you’re thinking old world glam, bohemian beach vibe, country inn quaint or ultra-modern hipster, there’s a hotel for you in Bermuda. In fact, for such a small place, there are literally dozens of resorts to choose from, and all of them deliver on their promises. My selects run the gamut from renovated B+B to secluded and sleek to the grandest of dames, and all are worth the trip.

Elbow Beach
60 South Shore Road, Paget PG04, Bermuda
+1 441 236 3535

Elbow Beach is one of Bermuda’s best-known resorts and for good reason — built in 1908, it was the island’s first beachfront resort, situated on one of the most beautiful pink sand beaches Bermuda has to offer. Set on 50 acres, Elbow Beach has everything you could ever want in a resort hotel: A state of the art spa, tennis, water sports and a few great restaurants, including Mickey’s Bistro, which is one of the only restaurants on the island to sit directly on the sand.

Hamilton Princess & Beach Club
76 Pitts Bay Road, HM08, Bermuda
+1 441 295 3000

The Hamilton Princess, one of the oldest and grandest hotels in Bermuda, is ideally situated within walking distance of Hamilton, the island’s capital.  Built in 1885, the hotel just underwent a huge 150 million dollar renovation in advance of the 2017 America’s Cup, and today is home to the owner’s private art collection, which rivals any Modern Art museum you’ve ever seen. With works by Andy Warhol, Rene Magritte, Roy Lichtenstein, David Hockney and Jeff Koons (and way more), this is a true art lover’s paradise. Tours can be arranged even if you’re not a guest of the hotel. Other amazing amenities include an Exhale Spa complete with their famous barre classes, a fitness room overlooking the marina, Marcus’, a great restaurant by celeb chef Marcus Samuelsson (don’t miss the wings and the jerk cauliflower), and bathrooms outfitted with products by Le Labo. It’s also worth noting that The Princess is the only place on the entire island where you can rent a Twizzy, a sort of open-air, moped-golfcart-electric smart car hybrid that are ridiculously fun to drive and are, in my opinion, the best way to get around the island.

The Loren
116 South Road, Tucker’s Town Smiths, HS01 Bermuda
+1 44 1293 1666 | 1.844.384.3103

The Loren at Pink Sands has the honor of being the newest build on the island in the last 45 years, and what it lacks in history, it makes up for in design. Like a breath of fresh air amongst the older and maybe grander properties, The Loren is decidedly fresh, modern and sleek. The 36 rooms are enormous, beautifully decorated and each has impressive balconies overlooking the sea with room for 4 to lounge comfortably. Bathrooms are tricked out with Malin + Goetz products and the public spaces throughout the hotel are simply sublime. The hotel also has 2 restaurants: The Pink Beach Club which offers open-air dining in a more casual setting and Marée, the resort’s fine dining spot with one of the prettiest private rooms I’ve ever seen.  And don’t let the location deter you – while The Loren might be a bit secluded, that can be a good thing, especially if a romantic getaway is what you’re after. Besides, as expected, they’ve thought of everything, and in addition to the hotel’s shuttle and the abundance of taxis on hand, they’ll also rent you your own Twizzy which makes getting around that much more fun.

Rosedon Hotel
61 Pitts Bay Road, Pembroke, Bermuda
+1 800 742 5008 or +1 441 295 1640

The Rosedon bills itself as “Uniquely Bermudian” and I’d have to agree. With a brand new renovation that brought the hotel from quaint B+B to Boutique status, it’s one of the most idyllic spots, with a definite old-world vibe. While it’s not on the beach (it sits across the street from the Hamilton Princess, just a stone’s throw to the main drag on the island’s capital), it does have a shuttle and privileges at Elbow Beach Resort, which gives it some serious street cred. The Rosedon is also home to Huckleberry, one of the best restaurants in Bermuda, with Michelin-Starred Chef Lucy Collins in the kitchen. Don’t miss breakfast on the front porch, and make sure to order her avocado toast, which just might be the best anywhere.

Rosewood Bermuda
60 Tucker's Point Drive, Hamilton Parish, HS 02 Bermuda
+441 298 4000

Perched on a cliff above Castle Harbor, nearly every room at Rosewood Bermuda offers a direct view of the sea, which makes it one of the island’s most sought-after properties. What makes it even more exciting is the comprehensive $25 million reno it’s currently undergoing (the plan is to reopen in April 2018), which includes a total redesign of the resort's guestrooms, beach club, golf clubhouse and Sense, the hotel’s spa. And PS; While there’s a shuttle to take guests to the beach club every 30 minutes, the more expensive rooms come with their own golf carts, which, in my opinion, is totally worth it.

The St. Regis
If your plans to visit Bermuda can wait a year, book a room at the St Regis on St Catherine’s Beach for early 2019 (fingers crossed). This property, located just outside Fort St Catherine, will be one of the few on the island to boast a beachfront location, a casino and its own 18-hole golf course.

 

BERMUDA | WHERE TO EAT

As with its options for places to stay, Bermuda’s restaurant scene is vast and varied. From traditional Bermudian fried fish sandwiches to more upscale continental, and a few celebrity chefs thrown in, you could stay in Bermuda for a month and never eat at the same place twice. These are my standouts.

 

1609
Fairmont Hamilton Princess
76 Pitts Bay Rd.
+1 441 298 2028

Great cocktails, ceviches, burgers and salads are served al fresco outside overlooking the Hamilton Princess’ marina. Sit back and enjoy watching the yachts float by.

Bailey's Ice Cream
Blue Hole Hill, Bermuda
+1 441 293 8605

With flavors inspired by Bermuda (yes, they have Rum Swizzle and Dark + Stormy), Bailey’s is definitely worth the stop (and the calories). It’s also across the street from The Swizzle Inn, so I think it’s perfectly acceptable to drink the drink and then eat the ice cream and call that lunch.

The Beach House at Blackbeards
5 Coot Pond Rd, St George's
+1 441 297 1400

I can’t say anything about the food here at this open-air café overlooking Achilles Bay, because I haven’t tried it. But I’m not sure it even matters, because the views are so spectacular that whatever they’re serving will taste that much better. It’s also the perfect place for a sunset cocktail.

Blu
25 Belmont Drive, Warwick WK06
+1 441 232 2323

The only negative thing I can say about Blu is that it’s only for open dinner, which is a shame because the views overlooking the Great Sound from its spot on the Belmont Hills Golf Course are spectacular. Come here for the sushi, which is always fresh, or if you’re feeling celebratory order a bottle of bubbles and an ounce or two of Osetra Caviar.

Bolero Bistro
95 Front St, Hamilton HM 12
+1 441 292 4507

Tucked into a narrow alleyway behind Front Street, Bolero is a family-run neighborhood bistro offering some pretty classic French dishes. What makes it a star in my book is the fact that you’ll be hard-pressed to find a tourist in the place, which is always a good sign.

Bouchee Bistro
75 Pitts Bay Rd
+1 441 295 5759

With 7 varieties of Eggs Benedict, there’s no better spot for breakfast in Hamilton. And, on Saturdays and Sundays, they serve the island’s traditional Codfish and Potatoes which is hard to find and impossible to resist.

Food Trucks
Various locations
Food trucks have hit Bermuda in a pretty significant way, and this is where you’ll find real, authentic cooking. Look for Smokin’ Barrel near the ferry station in Hamilton for some insane BBQ and DeGraff’s at City Hall for their meat pies.

Huckleberry
The Rosedon Hotel
61 Pitts Bay Rd, Hamilton
+1 441 478 2256

Huckleberry is everything I love about Bermuda in a nutshell: totally unexpected, incredibly charming and really, really good. Chef Lucy Collins who hails from Charleston via New York (she worked at Momofuku and Michael White’s Marea before heading back South to Bermuda) has a Michelin Star and a brilliant way of turning ingredients into magic. Her restaurant, located inside the uber-quaint and newly renovated Rosedon Hotel, brings farm to table to a whole new level. Everything on the menu is locally sourced, non-GMO and organic, and her menu manages to marry the flavors of Bermuda with her incredibly varied pedigree. Her avocado toast leaves all of the other avocado toasts you’ve choked down over the years in the dust, and her Tomahawk Pork Chop is so good you’ll likely be back for seconds. And this will sound insane, but I’m suggesting you do at least one breakfast on the front porch and one dinner in the dining room — both experiences are totally different and totally sublime.

Harry’s
96 Pitts Bay Road, Pembroke HM 08
+1 441 292 5533

Overlooking Hamilton Harbor, Harry’s is a finer dining spot, but the lounge area — Harry’s Bar – is great and serves some good tapas-like apps. And don’t miss Harry’s special rum blend, which was made to the specifications of Harry Cox, the Bermudian for whom the restaurant is named.

Mad Hatters
22 Richmond Rd, Hamilton,
+1 441 297 6231

Rumor has it that when the owner of Mad Hatters told his grandmother he was planning to get into the restaurant business, she told him he was “mad as a hatter.” And that’s how magic gets made. Chef Ben Jewett turns out new menus on a weekly basis based on what’s fresh and what he can get from the local farms.

Marcus’
Fairmont Hamilton Princess
76 Pitts Bay Rd.
+1 441 298 2028

Inside the Hamilton Princess is celeb Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s airy spot with a gorgeous bar, a view of the marina and a menu of his greatest hits. Try the wings (I promise, this is NOT bar food), the jerk cauliflower, and any of his specialty cocktails.

Mickey’s Bar & Bistro
60 South Shore Rd.
+1 441 236 3535

This is another spot where I can’t attest to what you’re going to eat, but Mickey’s, which sits in the sand at Elbow Beach, is virtually the only restaurant in Bermuda where you can dine al fresco while you have your toes in the sand. So, does it really matter what’s on your plate?

The Ocean Club
The Fairmont Southampton
101 South Shore Rd., Southampton, SN02
+1 441 238 8000
If you’re in the mood to sit outside, eat oysters, drink wine, and stare at the clear blue waters of Bermuda, then The Ocean Club is for you. If you’re not, then I feel sad about what you’re going to miss if you don’t at least do a drive by for a quick snack on the giant patio.

Port O' Call
87 Front St, Hamilton HM 11
+1 441 295 5373
Probably the most refined of the restaurants on Front Street, Port O Call feels a bit like a breath of fresh air on a strip of restaurants that are decidedly pub-like and on the heavier side. There’s lightness to the room as well as the menu. You can’t go wrong with any of the offerings, but I’d recommend the fish of the day, which is delivered daily by local fishermen.

Red Carpet
37 Reid Street, Hamilton
+1 441 292 6195

This is about as far off the radar as you can get. In fact, it’s virtually unknown by tourists, and I almost feel bad letting the cat out of the bag. Word on the street is that they serve the best lobster in all of Bermuda.

Rock Island Coffee
48 Reid Street, Hamilton
+1 441 296 5241

Yes, I consider coffee to be a food group, especially if it’s as good as the coffee at this Bermuda-meets-Williamsburg café. They roast their own beans and have a cute patio perfect for sipping your morning cup.

Rustico and La Trattoria
38 N Shore Rd, Flatts Village FL03
+1 441 295 5212

23 Washington Lane, Hamilton HM11
+1 441 295 1877

Once you’ve had your fill of fish, head over to either of these long-standing Italian spots on either end of the island for some surprisingly good pizza.

Wahoos Bistro + Patio
36 Water St, St.George's GE05
+1 441 297 1307

The thing to order at this waterfront eatery is — you guessed it — wahoo. The tacos are amazing (and enormous) as are the wahoo nuggets and the simply grilled wahoo. If you’re really hungry, though, order the Bermuda Triangle: Wahoo three ways. Other standouts are the traditional rice + peas and the sweet potato fries.

Waterlot Inn
The Fairmont Southampton
Middle Rd, Bermuda
+1 441-238-8000
Great steaks and perfect sunsets make this upscale steakhouse worth the trip for sure. Go early and enjoy a cocktail at The Dock.

BERMUDA | WHAT TO DO

The thing I wasn’t expecting about Bermuda, and the thing that most impressed and excited me, was the sheer number of attractions, activities and hidden gems there are to discover. There’s truly something for everyone — plus plus. Traveling with an adventurer? Go cliff diving into the turquoise sea off of Admiralty House Park, the ruins of a former naval residence. Want to explore the island on foot? Head to the 18-mile Railway Trail, built on the old train tracks that run from St. George’s all the way across the island straight up to Somerset Village. History Buff? Visit the town of St George’s, a UNESCO Heritage site that once served as the island’s capital (it was moved to the more centrally located city of Hamilton in 1815) and is home to St Peter’s Church, the Unfinished Church and Fort St. Catherine. Sun Seeker? There are beaches galore, and each has its own feel, from the cliffs of Jobson’s Cove to the calm waters of Tobacco Bay and miles and miles of pink sand in between. And this doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of Bermuda. My list is long and unfinished. I guess I’ll need to go back again — and again and again — if I want to see to see it all. But here’s my list in progress.

Rent a Twizzy. I’m starting with this because it’s the best way to navigate all 22 miles of Bermuda. Thanks to their Clean Air Act, each Bermudian household is allowed only one car, and car rentals are not permitted on the island. That leaves taxis (which can be pricey), bicycles (not for everyone) or mopeds (not the safest mode of transport for those unfamiliar with the island roads) and now, the Twizzy. At the end of 2016, the Government approved the use of these sort of open-air, moped-golf cart-electric smart car hybrids that are ridiculously fun to drive and are, in my opinion, the best way to get around the island. You can rent them at the Hamilton Princess from Current Vehicles (Ask for Somers – he’ll hook you up and let you know how to download the Maps.Me app that will show you the locations of charging stations around the island).

Get a Driver. I know I just said you should rent a Twizzy, and you should, but you should also hire a driver for at least one day to get a real feel for the island and all of its incredible history. But don't get just any driver. The one you want is Larry Rogers (+44 1 734 8024 larry.rogers67@gmail.com), and you’ll need to book him in advance. Larry’s a born and raised Bermudian with a keen sense of humor and a knowledge of the island that rivals Wikipedia. He also has ins at a few places that are off limits to tourists (ask him to take you to Palm Grove Gardens, the private residence of the Gibbons family that has some of the most beautiful landscapes you’ll ever see). I found him most helpful in going from Hamilton to St George’s as the roads in that direction aren’t quite as pretty as the ones to the South, and being in a car saved some time getting to this side of the island. And if a Twizzy isn’t your thing at all, I’d say get Larry to take you around as much as possible. And make sure to ask him to throw in some life lessons, or “Larryisms” as he likes to call them. #priceless.

Visit a Farm. This one is unexpected for sure — a farm visit might not be at the top of your list of things to do on an island vacation, but I implore you to give it a chance, because Wadson’s Farm is so much more than your average farm. Tom Wadson started farming in 1976 with one acre and he’s grown it to over 40 today.  With everything from curly kale to strawberries to hydroponic lettuces, not to mention chickens, ducks, hogs and sheep that are harvested on site, this is farm to table at its best and most authentic. No middle man, no mass distributor — just Tom’s partner, Marty Hattfield, going door to door to the island’s restaurants offering the week’s harvest. And it’s Marty who will show you the farm and give you quite a lesson in horticulture while he’s at it. Wadson’s Farm 10 Lukes Pond Road, Southampton, Bermuda +1 441-238-1862.

Check out The Naval Dockyards. Hop in your Twizzy and follow the South Road along some of the island’s most beautiful beaches, including Astwood Park, Horseshoe Bay and Elbow Beach. Take it all the way to the Northwest tip of the island, where you’ll find some amazing sites at the Naval Dockyards like the National Museum of Bermuda which houses more than 75,000 artifacts of Bermudian history, and the Clocktower Mall which is pretty much the only place you’ll be able to find any tourist trinkets to bring home.
Give yourself time, though, because there’s a ton to see on the way. I highly recommend a stop for lunch at Bella Vista Bar + Grill (Port Royal Golf Course, 5 Port Royal Drive, Southampton SB03, +441 232 0100) located at the top of Port Royal, one of the island’s only public golf courses. The food isn’t the draw here — it’s the view that will stop you in your tracks. Perched high above the sea, it’s the only place you’ll get to see the ocean from this vantage point and it is so, so worth it. Have a glass of rosé, a salad and take it all in. Moving on, swing by Glass Beach, a tiny bit of shoreline located near an old bottling factory that has now become a beach made almost entirely of sea glass. Be warned, though: It’s illegal to take anything away with you, so make sure you bring your camera. Back on the road, you’ll drive over Somerset Bridge, the world’s smallest drawbridge which connects Sandy’s Parish to Somerset Island. And I know you just finished lunch, so you may want to wait until after you’ve visited the Dockyards, but whatever you do, make a pit stop at Woody’s (1 Boaz Island, Somerset Village, Bermuda) for the best fish sandwich on the planet: Perfectly fried Grouper or Wahoo served on raisin bread (yes, you read that right) with coleslaw, cheese, tartar sauce and hot sauce. I know what it sounds like, but trust. I promise. And I’ll give you your money back if you disagree.
Note: The other option is to take a ferry from Hamilton to Somerset, which is a beautiful way to see the island, but in my opinion, you miss out on some good sightseeing. Unless of course you have time to try it both ways, then I say definitely do that.

Hit the Beach. The topography of Bermuda is so varied that it’s as likely to feel like the South of France as it is the Bogs of Ireland, and the island’s 75 miles of coastline are no exception. From the rocky cliffs of Admiralty to the gentle surf at John Smith Bay, there’s a beach for everyone and every activity. Tobacco Bay on the North Side near St George’s is known to be a great spot for snorkeling and has a beachside café with a bar and live music, making it a popular spot for the Sun Seeking generation. Horseshoe Bay, on the South Side is, and always has been, the most popular beach on the island; and Cooper’s Island, on the Southeastern tip, which was once occupied by a NASA space tracking station, is 45-acres of mostly unspoiled terrain that boasts miles of beautiful beaches alongside one of the world’s most impressive bird sanctuaries. And there are dozens of others worth discovering as well: Elbow Beach, Jobson’s Cove, Warwick Long Bay, Church Bay, Turtle Bay and Mermaid Bay to name just a very few. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Drew’s Bay in St George’s, which a local beach for two. Yes, only for two people. That's it. It’s an unwritten Bermudian rule, so be sure to change course if you arrive and find the sliver of beach already occupied.
But regardless of the beach you choose, rest assured it will be a slice of heaven, complete with crystal clear turquoise waters, beautiful pink sand, and an abundance of sunshine.

Get Out On the Water. Whether it’s paddle boarding on the North Shore where the waters are calm, taking a JetSki tour around the island from the Hamilton Princess Beach Club or snorkeling around Tobacco Bay, the waters around Bermuda are about as clear as you will ever see.  

Go Underground. The limestone caves that run beneath Bermuda are almost as awe-inspiring as the scenery above ground. And while there are tourist spots like the more commercial Crystal Caves and Fantasy Caves ( 8 Crystal Caves Road, Hamilton Parish CR 04, +1 441-293-0640 ), which have perfectly choreographed and scripted group tours with a modern infrastructure that takes you 120 feet below sea level, my suggestion is to find those caves that are a bit further off the beaten path. Try the Cathedral Cave at the Grotto Bay Hotel, where you can actually take a swim through the cave’s crystal clear waters, or Green Bay Cave in Harrington Sound, which is the longest cave in Bermuda, with more than 2 km of underground tunnels.

Take a Walk Through History. The original capital of Bermuda, St George’s, was founded in 1906 accidentally when Admiral George Sommers’ ship carrying 150 passengers was swept off course. It was a happy accident, though, because today St George’s is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and carries with it a rich and storied history. You could simply spend an afternoon walking the streets of St George’s, which is a wonder in itself. The architecture of Bermuda really shines here, but you really need at least a full day to explore everything St. George’s has to offer. St. Peter’s Church, the oldest Anglican Church in the Western Hemisphere; The Unfinished Church which was originally constructed to replace St Peter’s but was abandoned; Somers Garden where the heart of the town’s founder, George Somers, is buried; and Fort St Catherine, a seaside fort that was used first by Bermudian Militia and then by regular Royal Artillery units from 1612 into the 20th Century, are just a few of the places you must see. Add in a visit to The Bermudian Heritage Museum (29 Water St, St.George's, +1 441-297-4126), which celebrates the history of Bermuda’s African American heritage. In fact, the first slaves were brought to Bermuda in the 1620s and the slave trade wasn’t outlawed on the island until 1807, so it informs quite a bit of the island’s story. The museum was opened in 1998 with the goal of researching, collecting, preserving, displaying, and promoting this 400-year history, and it does it with incredible pride. It's a tiny building that you would likely walk right by, but don’t. Instead take a step inside, introduce yourself to Marion at the front desk, and ask her for a brief tour. It’s another example of the uniqueness of Bermuda, and a reminder that it really is so much more than just your typical vacation spot.

Follow the Scent.  Isabelle Ramsay-Brackstone took over The Bermuda Perfumery (Stewart Hall 5 Queen Street, St George's GE05, +1 441-293-0627), a ridiculously charming fragrance shop in 2004, and her passion for scent is literally intoxicating. Her perfumes, which are all hand crafted on site (on site! By hand! Not in a factory!), are meant to capture the essence of the island: the botanicals, the beach, the railway trail, the cuisine and the music. And they do just that. My personal favorite is South Water, a unisex scent that perfectly captures the pink sands and turquoise waters that surround the island. And as with the rest of Bermuda, there’s history here, too. Ask Isabelle to show you the original bottle of perfume that was recovered from the 1864 shipwreck of the Marie Celestia, and then smell the scent she was asked to recreate. You can also take an afternoon to create your own fragrance in the shop: On Tuesdays and Thursdays in the slower months (and by appointment the rest of the year), Isabelle offers workshops that let you in on the secrets of scent-making. You can also swing by on Wednesdays and Fridays for a spot of tea with Paula, the perfumery’s on-site Pastry Chef who bakes confections almost as delightful as the shop she serves them in.

Catch a Sunset. Sunsets in Bermuda are an event that shouldn’t be missed, and luckily there are some prime spots from which you can witness nature’s greatest show. Harborfront (40 Crow Lane at the BUEI, Pembroke HM 11, +1 441-295-4207) has a terrace perfect for a sunset cocktail; The Pompano Beach Club (36 Pompano Beach Road, Southampton SB 03, +1 800 343 4155) has the distinct honor of being considered the best place to snap a selfie during sunset and the Beach House at BlackBeards, right outside of Fort St Catherine on Achilles Bay, never disappoints with its views or its cocktails.

Pack a Picnic The one thing Bermuda lacks is outdoor dining. To remedy that, I’d suggest you head to Miles Market (96 Pitts Bay Rd, +1 441-295-1234), pick up a baguette or two, some prepared salads, a bottle of wine and make yourself a picnic. There’s almost nowhere on the island that isn’t picture-perfect, but some of my selects for picnic spots are the cliffs above the sea at Astwood Park on the South Shore, Admiralty House on the North Shore where you can spend a lazy afternoon diving off the Amalfi Coast-like cliffs into the turquoise waters; and Barr’s Bay Park, next to the Hamilton Bermuda Yacht Club where you can lay on the grass and watch the sailboats drift by.

Go Gallery Hopping. There’s a good amount of art to see in Bermuda, both local and foreign. See the landscape of Bermuda through the eyes of artists such as Georgia O’Keefe and Winslow Homer at Masterworks Museum of Bermudian Art ( 183 South Rd). The Bermuda National Gallery of Art (17 Church St, Hamilton) is another showstopper located inside Hamilton’s City Hall, full of local work that spans centuries. If you’re a modern art lover, don’t miss a tour of the Hamilton Princess (76 Pitts Bay Road, HM08, +1 441 295 3000) where the owners rotate the pieces from their private collection, which is massive and rivals any modern art museum you’ve ever been to. We’re talking Warhol, Damien Hirst, Magritte and De Kooning, and that’s not even a fraction of the list.

Get High. There are two lighthouses in Bermuda, and both are worth a visit. The Gibbs Hill Lighthouse (Lighthouse Road, St Anne's Rd, Cross Bay SN 01, Bermuda), was opened in 1844 and soars 114 feet high. Climb all 185 steps to the top for a great photo op. St. David’s Lighthouse, located on St. David’s Island overlooking the South Shore isn’t quite as high, but the views are equally as stunning.

Commune With Nature. Every inch of Bermuda exudes perfect, natural beauty, so it makes sense that the island is also home to miles and miles of nature reserves, botanical gardens and national parks. The Bermuda Botanical Gardens (169 South Road in Paget Parish DV 04, +1 441-236-4201) are 26 acres of everything from rose and hibiscus gardens to aviaries and greenhouses. There’s also an incredibly fragrant Garden for the Sightless full of flowers and aromatics, designed for the blind. Tom Moore’s Jungle (aka Walsingham Nature Reserve, Walsingham Ln., Harrington Sound Rd., Hamilton Parish) is a 12-acre reserve in Hamilton parish named for the Irish poet who spent most of his time in Bermuda, and along with lush greenery, you’ll find several natural swimming holes (Blue Hole is the most famous) as well as Tom Moore’s Tavern, the oldest eatery in Bermuda which dates back to the 17th century. Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve is surrounded by water on the Southeastern tip of Bermuda and provides access to a number of public beaches, including Clearwater Beach at Annie’s Bay, one of the island’s most pristine spots. There’s also a wildlife observation tower, which is a great place to spot whales in the spring. And if you’ve ever wondered what a rubber tree looked like, wonder no more: The Southlands Estate is home to the largest grove of rubber trees in Bermuda.

Drink It In. Last, but definitely not least, is my favorite activity: Drinking. Just kidding. Sort of. Seriously, though, you cannot and should not visit Bermuda without a quick (or not so quick) stop at The Swizzle Inn ( 3 Blue Hole Hill, CR 04) where, thanks to their potent Rum Swizzles (the official drink of Bermuda), you’ll “Swizzle In and Swagger Out.” And if it’s nightlife you’re looking for, take a stroll down Front Street in Hamilton. Stop into The Pickled Onion for a Dark & Stormy (another local fave) or the newly opened Astwood Arms, a Victorian style pub with great drinks and even better music. If it’s local flavor you’re after, make your way to Bermuda Bistro for great pub food and even greater live entertainment.

STOCKHOLM | WHERE TO STAY

Berns Hotel
Näckströmsgatan 8, 111 47
+46 8 566 322 00

With auspicious beginnings as one of Stockholm’s most beloved restaurants in 1863, followed by a stint as a celebrated nightclub, this hotel is steeped in Swedish history. The rooms are understated and luxurious but be warned: there’s still a nightclub in the building, along with bars and hopping restaurants, so if quiet and low-key is what you’re after, you might want to keep looking.

Ett Hem
Sköldungagatan 2, 114 27
+46 8 20 05 90

The Ett Hem is synonymous with Stockholm-chic, and for good reason. It’s small, cozy and just quirky enough to remind you that you’ve landed in a very special city. Set in a residential area, the rooms are small but super luxe and the restaurant is outstanding. Note: Even if you don’t stay here, make it a point to come for a drink or dinner. You won’t be disappointed.

Grand Hotel Stockholm
Södra Blasieholmshamnen 8, 103 27
+46 8 679 35 00

A self-proclaimed haven for celebs and high-profile clients since 1874, The Grand hotel is just that: Grand. Situated right on Stockholm’s harbor, The Grand Hotel is about as over a top as an old school, high-end hotel should be with rooms that harken back to a long-forgotten era. Service is sublime and the on-site restaurant, Matbaren https://www.grandhotel.se/en/food-beverage/mathias-dahlgren/matbaren by Chef Mathias Dahlgren, is one of the city’s best.

Lydmar
Södra Blasieholmshamnen 2, 103 24
+46 8 22 31 60

This is where we stayed, and there aren’t enough words for me to describe how much we loved it. Set right in the city center within walking distance of most everything, it boasts harbor views and a great, casual but hip restaurant. Rooms are comfortable and cozy with a good mix of old world charm and modern convenience. And bonus: while the hotel doesn’t have a gym onsite, it does have XX at the Grand Hotel, just next door, whose gym is as spectacular as it should be.

COPENHAGEN | WHERE TO STAY

Hotel D’Angleterre
Kongens Nytorv 34, 1050
+45 33 12 00 95

Look up the word “plush” in the dictionary and I’m pretty sure you’ll find a picture of this hotel next to the definition. After undergoing a $110 million reno, the D’Angleterre, which dates back to 1755, is as luxurious and serene as it should be, and its location in the center of Copenhagen makes it a prime place to make your home base. 

Hotel SP34
Sankt Peers Stræde 34
+45 33 13 30 00

With daily wine hour, live concerts and DJ sessions on Friday nights, and a fully organic breakfast buffet, SP34 is definitely for the modern traveler. Located in Copenhagen’s Bohemian Latin Quarter known for its cafes, restaurants and design stores, SP34 is a great option for those looking for a more local experience.

The Nimb Hotel
Bernstorffsgade 5, 1577
+45 88 70 00 00

With only 38 rooms, you’ll have to plan ahead, but it’s worth it. The rooms are individually decorated and each boasts a view of the beautiful Tivoli Gardens (and bonus: you’ll get free entrance with your stay).

The Sanders
Tordenskjoldsgade 15, 1055
+45 46 40 00 40

The newest addition to the Copenhagen boutique hotel scene, The Sanders marries high-end luxury with quirky Danish design. Owned by former Danish Royal dancer, Alexander Kølpin, it’s no surprise that the décor is somewhat theatrical, with each of the 54 rooms modeled after the design you might have found on a luxury train back in the day (think Orient Express). All of the public spaces are equally as charming and dramatic and offer lots of outdoor options, which is huge draw in the long days of the Danish summer.

SKT Petri Copenhagen
Krystalgade 22, 1172
+45 33 45 91 00

Maybe I love SKT Petri because its housed in what used to be home to the Daells Varehus department store, or maybe it’s because even though it’s large (288 rooms) it still feels boutique-y. But whatever it is, it’s a hotel that has my heart. The rooms are well designed, bright and clean and the Garden Courtyard is an awesome spot to take lunch.

COPENHAGEN | WHERE TO EAT

Barr
Strandgade 93, 1401
+45 32 96 32 93

When Noma chef René Redzepi closed his doors to relocate in February 2017, he turned the space over to German-born Danish chef Thorsten Schmidt, and to say that my meal here was extraordinary would not even begin to do it justice. For starters, the restaurants’ design is nothing short of perfect: all warm and woody and modern-rustic farmhouse. It’s a room you want to spend the day in (and actually, we did). The menu is small enough to allow you to order everything (we did that, too). There’s not one thing I would suggest you skip, but there are a few you cannot miss: Hot Smoked Herring (and I don’t like herring), the Ribs for Two (first choice) and Glazed Cod for Two (second choice) and the thing you REALLY can’t miss? The Belgian Waffle with Lumpfish Roe and Sour Cream. It’s so good you might even order it twice (guilty). Come for lunch when the light is soft and perfect and you can spend a decent amount of time, because I promise you won’t want to leave.

Bæst
Guldbergsgade 29, 2200
+45 35350463

No matter how good it is, at some point, you’re going to need a break from Nordic food, and Bæst not only thankfully serves pizza, it serves what might be the best pizza you’ll ever eat anywhere. Lively, loud and packed at all times, the menu is great, simple Italian and you can’t go wrong with any of it. But I promise, the pizza is where it’s at. (PS: this is another spot by Christian Puglisi and Kim Rosen. See Manfreds + Relae, below).

Geist
Kongens Nytorv 8, København K, 1050
+45 33133713

Chef Bo Bech secured a loan to open his first restaurant, Paustian, by setting up a grill on the street outside a bank and making a leek dish for the bank manager. The next day he had the money. Paustian earned him a Michelin star and praise from the food world (Noma chef Rene Redzepi called him one of the world’s greatest chefs). Today he is in the kitchen at Geist, his sexy, urban eatery that checks all of the Copenhagen restaurant scene boxes: Great design? Got it. Beautiful staff. Yep. Inventive, New Nordic Cuisine? Of course. In fact, it’s the perfect marriage of modern cuisine with a hearty Danish twist. Don’t miss the Baked Silver Onions with Tamari, Ginger, Lime and Sesame or the Suckling Pig. Both are signature dishes and both are sublime. 

Geranium
8, Per Henrico Lings Allé 4, 2100
+45 69 96 00 20

With three (yes, three) Michelin stars and a Chef who won a bronze, silver AND a gold in France’s Bocuse d’Or cooking competition, Geranium might very well be the best restaurant in Copenhagen. And what makes the Modern Scandinavian eatery even cooler is its location on the eighth floor of the country’s national soccer stadium. 

Gro Spiseri
Æbeløgade 4, 2100
+45 31 87 07 45

Really good family-style dishes served on a green roof just outside the city. The setting is as romantic as it gets, and the menu focuses on organic and local products.

Hija de Sanchez
8 Slagterboderne København V, 1716
+45 53 73 95 10

When it’s time for lunch and you need a taco (and who doesn’t?), this is your spot. Chef and Owner Rosio Sanchéz, a first generation Mexican-American from the Southside of Chicago, knows her stuff. And Mexican food in Copenhagen is sort of like finding an oasis in the desert. Sidebar: Sanchéz was the pastry Chef at Noma.

Höst
Nørre Farimagsgade 41, 1364
+45 89 93 84 09

Höst has won several International design awards, including the Worlds’ Best Designed Restaurant from the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards and the World’s Most Beautiful Restaurant from Travel + Leisure. And if you can believe it, the design takes a backseat to the food. With a menu based on seasonal Nordic cooking and a dining room that’s at once cozy AND airy, you cant go wrong with a meal here.

Manfreds
Jægersborggade 40, 2200
+45 36 96 65 93

Run by Chef Christian Puglisi and front-of-house head, Kim Rossen, who met at Noma years ago, this is the more laidback cousin to their high-end Relae. Part organic wine bar, part veggie-focused family-style restaurant (that also serves meat, to be clear), it’s cozy, intimate and super hearty. 

Mother
Høkerboderne 9-15, 1712
+45 22 27 58 98

Super casual pizza spot (with a Danish twist, obv). A great lunch option. 

Noma
Refshalevej 96, 1432
If you have heard anything abut dining in Copenhagen, you’ve likely heard about Noma, one of the most famous restaurants to ever grace this Earth. I won’t bore you with the details since I’m sure you know them already (and if you don’t, it’s been written about so many times I’d hate to even try to compete), but when we visited in January 2018, the new Noma was not yet open. We did tour the site, but alas missed eating there. All of this to say that I’ve included it not because I have first-hand knowledge of Chef René Redzepi’s brilliance, but because I firmly believe that every person who sets foot in Denmark should make a pilgrimage there. We did eat in the restaurants of many of Redzepi’s disciples, and the Noma movement is one that should not be missed. All of the food we had was extraordinary and inventive and worthy of all of the praise its been given, so I can only guess that the actual Noma will be even more spectacular.

Relae
Jægersborggade 41, 2200
+45 36 96 66 09

Choose from 4 or 7-course tasting menus that are chock full of sustainable ingredients and won’t break the bank. Run by Chef Christian Puglisi and Kim Rossen, two of Noma’s disciples, the feel is decidedly so. And while the cuisine is mostly New Nordic, it’s also something more with some Italian and even Asian inspiration.

Torvehallerne
Frederiksborggade 21, 1360
+45 70 10 60 70

One of the best food halls I’ve seen with over 60 stalls, it’s perfect for a stroll and a great, casual lunch. 

Sanchez
Istedgade 60, 1650
+45 31 11 66 40

She may have started with tacos, but Chef Rosio Sanchéz moved on to something between casual and fine Mexican dining and you should be glad she did. The perfect spot for a break from New Nordic. 

108
Strandgade 108, 1401
+45 32 96 32 92

Another of Noma’s siblings, this one with one Michelin star, the only way I can describe 108 is that it’s super cool. All steel and glass and concrete, the design is modern as is the menu. And it is GOOD. And yes, it’s New Nordic.

STOCKHOLM | WHERE TO EAT

Agnes
Norra Agnegatan 43, 112 29
+46 8 410 470 19

I would say that this was hands down our favorite meal in Stockholm. It’s a relatively new (June 2017), neighborhood spot that marries the best of Spanish-style Tapas with traditional Swedish dishes and don’t be concerned by the slightly unfocused menu — every dish we had (and I am ashamed to tell you we had them all) was spot on. Snag the Chef’s table if you can, where you can sit by the open kitchen and have a nice chat with the Chef while he cooks for you.

Babette
Roslagsgatan 6, 113 55
+46 8 509 022 24
Sometimes you need a break from Swedish food, and pizza, being the universal perfect food, is always a good choice. And the good news is that Babette's happens to be amazing.

Café Nizza
Åsögatan 171, 116 32
+46 8 640 99 50

Brought to you by former managers of Frantzén, Café Nizza is open 7 days a week  from 12-12 and is always busy. The three course lunch menu and four course dinner menu change daily, and both can be enjoyed in the huge outdoor area during the summer months.

Ekstedt
Humlegårdsgatan 17, 114 46
+46 8 611 12 10

Chef Nikolas Ekstedt grew up cooking on a grill, but one day became impatient and couldn’t wait for the coals to get hot, so he pushed his pan directly into the flames, and that’s how magic gets made. Today, he cooks at Ekstedt his eponomous restaurant, in a fire pit, a wood fired oven and a wood stove. And that’s it. And it’s amazing. The Setting is New Nordic, as is the food, and if you can snag a seat facing the kitchen, you’re golden.

Frantzén
26, Klara Norra kyrkogata, 111 22
+46 8 20 85 80
This is Stockholm's (maybe even Sweden's) most celebrated restaurant, with two Michelin stars and celeb Chef Björn Frantzén in the kitchen. Book in advance, though , because the restaurant only seats 23, and some extra cash to cover the $375 tasting menu. It's well worth any trouble, though, because the space and the food are spectacular.

Matbaren
The Grand Hotel
Södra Blasieholmshamnen 6, 111 48
+46 8 679 35 84

Michelin-Starred Chef Mathias Dahlgren makes damn good food at all three of his restarants, but Matbaren is my fave. It’s laid back, locally focused and gorgeous. And the location inside The Grand Hotel can’t be beat.

Nytorget 6
Nytorget 6, 116 40
+46 8 640 96 55

Set on a quiet street in trendy Södermalm, Nytorget 6 is a cozy bistro known for its Swedish meatballs, which should be the first thing you eat when you land, because: Ikea. Seriously, though, it’s cute and feels super authentic and not at all tourist-y. We had our first meal here, and didn’t disappoint.

Oaxen Krug
Beckholmsbron 26, 115 21
+46 8 551 531 05
Oaxen opened 21 years ago by husband and wife team Magnus Ek and Agent Green. They've come a long way since the early days and today

Fotografiska
Stadsgårdshamnen 22, 116 45
+46 8 509 005 00

Located inside the city’s Museum of Photography (which is incredible, btw), this ain’t your average museum café. A well-known (and loved) restaurant in its own right, this is serious farm to table dining, with a focus on vegetables. Open for brunch (on the weekends) and dinner. 

Sturehof
Stureplan 2, 114 35
+46 8 440 57 30

Fish is the focus at this bistro located on the South side of Stureplan. Open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, it’s always busy and with good reason. Its vibe is Grand Central Oyster bar (minus the tourists) meets any of Paris’ best bistros and it’s the perfect spot for a bottle of wine, a plate of oysters or sautéed sole and some really good people watching.

Svartgrens
Tulegatan 24, 113 53
+46 8 612 65 50

Everything here is made from scratch: They dry age their beef, smoke their own bacon, and base their stocks with bones from the same farms they get their meat (which is all locally sourced and butchered, btw). The menu changes daily but get a steak because it’s just that good.