Happy National Wine Day!

Salut! Cheers! Prost! Sláinte! Drink Up ….

But really, like we need a day to celebrate wine. Amiright??? Wine is such a popular drink/beverage/lifestyle/roughnightmorningcocktail that it is an extremely popular theme on all the products I sell.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

this could be wine
This could be wine

book club
My book club only reads wine labels

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Winesday Briefs

this might be wine

This Might Be Wine Travel Mug

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Yes Way, Rosé

I have found my summer wine.

It is crisp, elegant and so very tasty. And it is a Spanish rosé. Perfect for the summer months that will soon be here! I had it just last week at a new restaurant in Ses Salines and I really wished someone would have ordered another bottle but alas, it didn’t happen.

Naranjas Azules (Blue Oranges), from the bodega Soto y Manrique, is the name of my new favorite.

I love the name.

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Made from the Grenache grape found in northeast Spain. It has a fresh aroma, with notes of strawberry, cherry, jasmine, mint and fennel.

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It pairs excellently with fish, white meat, pasta and cheese. My cheese plate was exquisite with my Naranjas Azules to accompany it.

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Tell me your mouth is watering and you are dying for a glass of this rosé.

If you live in Spain, I found Naranjas Azules in the gourmet section of Es Corte Ingles.

Check it out and post a pic!Would love to see your pretty face and that beautiful rosé. Cheers!

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A Weekend In London

SATURDAY:

First things first. I needed to return to the pub I worked at when I was a young, twenty-year old, think I know everything chica. Yeah, that was a long time ago, back when I was almost finished with college! Because now I am old enough to REALLY know everything. 😉

12:00 p.m. – Walk through Hyde Park to the pub. Check out my Hyde Park blog here.

1:30 p.m. The Scarsdale Tavern

I mean seriously, just look how cute this place is! Ahhhhh, my old stomping grounds for a few months in 199- …. er, awhile ago.  In the lovely neighborhood of Kensington.

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The food was super scrumptious. I finished everything they set in front of us. We shared the tomato, basil, pine nuts, roquette and buff mozzerella bruschetta. And hell yeah, we added the prosciutto! And then we shared the Scarsdale burger with stilton cheese. I have been dying for a good burger lately, Spain just can’t seem to find really good ground beef for some reason. And when I’m in England, vinegar goes on the chips. That’s fries to you Americans. Everything was so darn good. Plus my Guinness with black currants and then a cider. What a way to start off my weekend in London Town.

The Scarsdale Tavern – 23a Edwardes Square, Kensington   +44.020.7937.1811

4:00 The Tate Modern Museum

Not only is this a cool place to view international contemporary and modern art but it’s free admission (except for special exhibitions)! I love free. Amazing art.

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And through May, the exhibition – The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography From The Sir Elton John Collection is at the Tate Modern. It’s an amazing private collection of photography, drawn from the classic modernist period of the 1920s–50s. It’s £16.50 and well worth every penny.

Also, check out the restaurant at the top with panoramic views of the London skyline. It’s a nice place to grab a bite and a drink after a few hours of art viewing.

Tate Modern – Bankside, London   +44.20.7887.8888

8:30 Chiltern Firehouse

This is the new hot spot. The place to see and to be seen. There are two parts – the hotel side and the restaurant side, both are great. If you get here early enough and the hotel restaurant isn’t busy, that is the place to see the famous peeps. But the other side is just as cool and popular. We had some appetizers at the bar to start out with – fried chicken (YUM), deviled eggs and bacon cornbread. And then for the main course we had the Iberico Pork and the Welsh Lamb. So freakin’ yummy. My mouth is watering now just thinking about it. It gets busy quick so don’t forget to make a reservation.

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Chiltern Firehouse -1 Chiltern St., Marylebone  +44.20.7073.7676

 

SUNDAY:

Time to do some shopping. But not any shopping, I wanted to do some vintage shopping in East London. And off we go.

12:00 Vintage Shopping on Brick Lane

Grabbed a cheesy toast and a latte with an extra shot of espresso from Starbucks at the Bond Street Tube station and headed for the Liverpool Tube stop. Once there we headed north – walk up Commercial Street, turn east onto Fournier St and your second street will be Brick Lane. That is where all the good vintage shops are. First stop was Blitz on Hanbury St. This place puts the other shops to shame. Seriously good stuff here for good prices. Two floors of rails and rails of neatly presented vintage fashion. Good book selection too.

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If you want more of an eclectic selection, head back to Brick Lane and just a block up is the Vintage Market. Lots of smaller booths run with a large selection of clothes, jackets, hats, records, books. A bit claustrophobic but an excellent selection to browse through.

Blitz –  55 – 59 Hanbury Street   +44.20.7377.8828

The Vintage Market – F Block 85 Brick Lane   +44.20.7770.6028

4:00 Big Chill Bar

Vintage shopping sure works up a thirst! Right around the corner from the Vintage Market is the Big Chill Bar. A reggae vibe runs through this lounge bar with its own resident DJ. I had a cider, Donita had a Bloody Mary. Food looked good but we only had drinks.

Big Chill Bar – Dray Walk   +44.20.7392.9180

6:00 Tower Bridge

You gotta do at least one touristy thing when in London Town. Right? My choice, Tower Bridge. We walked (!) from vintage shopping on Brick Lane to Tower Bridge. It was about a 25 – 30 minute walk, but super easy.

Tower Bridge is AH-MAH-ZING. I love it. The details, the size, the blue! Construction started in 1886 and took eight years and five major contractors to complete. The bridge is 800 feet in length with two towers each 213 feet high, built on piers. It is a very, very busy bridge with traffic (bus, car, taxi, people) continuously travelling on it.

And I find it very beautiful.

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9:00 ROKA

I was craving sushi and luckily enough one of the hippest sushi restaurants in London is just a few doors down from my friend’s apartment. Even though it was so close we still had to use an umbrella because it had been your typical rainy, winter evening in London.

Donita had been at ROKA only a week before and Steven Tyler was there. He even stopped by to say hi to her and her friend. What a nice dude! Alas, Mr. Tyler was not there that evening but we still had a fabulous time. The tasting menus looked scrumptious but we opted for our usual fare – miso soup, edamame, some sushi and a roll. Super yummy. Even had to order another round of toro (tuna belly) for me. I gobbled it up and thought about ordering even one more. I decided for one more cold saki and then sadly … that was the end of my weekend in London.

ROKA –  30 N. Audley St., Mayfair    +44.20.7305.5644

What are some of your favorite places, haunts, restaurants in London?? I can’t wait to go back. But I also miss Cornwall, England. Maybe I can talk Felix in going there soon. Cheerio mates!

Siphon Coffee Addict

siphon Siphoned coffee, y’all. Have you had it? I think I am spoiled for the rest of my life with drinking coffee. When we were in Germany for Thanksgiving, Felix’s brother talked about this coffee maker from Japan and how not only did it make delicious coffee, but it was an entertaining science-y experiment. The next morning he made us coffee from his Hario Siphon Coffee Maker. AH-Mazing.

Well, it was so good that as soon as we were back in Mallorca, Felix had to buy one of his own. And now, we too are siphon coffee maker owners. YAY! It really is quite fun to do and watch. And if you are still searching for a cool and interesting Christmas present this would be a good one for your coffee lovers out there. You can buy the Hario 5-cup Siphon Coffee Maker here on Amazon. And because I just became an affliate, I make a few coins (seriously, only coins) if you order from this link. And in advance, thank you for supporting me!

A few things to tell you about the maker. First, it says 5 cups but those are more espresso sized cups. It makes about 3 American coffee mugs. Secondly, you will need to buy alcohol fuel for it, not butane. And three, use hot water to start off with, this will save you time and money on the fuel – doesn’t change the taste of the coffee at all.

I made a time-lapse video to show you how to use it/make the coffee. It really is quite easy and SOOOOO freaking smooth and delicious.

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BEER and stuff …

Wowzers! Do we have some stuff to catch up on or what? Last week I was in Marrakech, a month ago I was in Amsterdam, late last year I was in Paris (which I did do a blog or two about but there is still more to tell!) and even before that I was in my darling hometown of Stillwater, OK. SO, needless to say, I’ve got some shit to catch up on.

I think I have gotten a bit better at managing my time!?! I HOPE! I even had a mammogram that I’ve been putting off for decades. Thank you very much. AND I cleaned out and organized my closet which had been crying out for attention for a loooong time now. So, I feel confident that I can deliver lots of exciting post about travels and Mallorca and just the general news of my life. I know you guys are just sitting at the edge of your seat. Mwuah, back at ya.

So, Marrakech, Amsterdam, Paris, you say? Well, let’s just start off with my new favorite bar in Palma de Mallorca – Lórien. It is AWESOME, y’all. They have a huge selection of beers – and that is saying a lot considering all I can usually get around here is the same – Heineken, Estrella, Mahou, Alhambra. Hell, sometimes the bar will go crazy and have a Corona available. But not Lórien, no no no. What do you want? They have it. You want ale? They got it. You want a stout beer? They got it. You want a weissbier. THEY. GOT. IT! Ale, IPA, Lager Bock, Pilsner, Micro-Beers, Sparkling Ale, Stout, etc etc etc. They got it, yo. And you want it from a particular country. Guess what. They got it.

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So after touting all the fab beers, they have even more than that. Even more than all those beers you ask incredulously!?!? Yup. They’ve got games. And sandwiches. Stop the madness. We played chess, while drinking fabulous beer, at a cool place. You could say it was magical. And in fact, it was.

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So, bring your dinero, bring your happiness and bring your swank because it is all welcome here. Come visit the best cerveceria in Mallorca.

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NOLA

NOLA – New Orleans, Louisiana. Ah-May-Zing! So much fun. And I feel silly for saying this, but it was my first time there. I really don’t know what took me so long. I guess it was just the distance from my older stomping grounds. In Oklahoma we would head towards Lake Texoma, Padre or once for a college spring break we drove from Stillwater to Fort Lauderdale. When I lived in Dallas, well, I went to, um, Dallas! And when I was in the New York/CT area I went to well, Manhattan, of course. But also to Mt. Snow, Vermont and a few other random Pepsi sponsored ski areas.

But I am getting off track. Jeannette (the lovely) and I went to the Big Easy for our 40th celebration. We meet up at the Maison Dupuy hotel. A very nice hotel with possibly a dead, bald guy in the hot tub. He NEVER left y’all! The rooms were clean, the shower had nice water pressure (something that is very important to me), the front staff were nice and friendly, there was a pool and free Wi-Fi. All in all, a great hotel for a decent price.

As I just said, I had never been to NOLA, even though Jeannette was a seasoned pro. We headed down Bourbon St. to see the crazies and get a drink. I was bound and determined to have a Hurricane but then thought, do I really want to throw up on my first day here? I settled for a beer and Jeannie introduced me to my new favorite beer – ABITA Purple Haze.

Abita beer whether it was Purple Haze or Amber was a constant for the remainder of our trip. Well, that and Bloody Marys, mmmmmmmmmmmmm, don’t EVEN get me started on the bloodies from Molly’s at the Market. We watched them being made: a little Guinness, half a squeezed lemon and lime, some Cajun seasoning, worchestire, horseradish, tabasco, juice from the pickled green beans (i wish i could have brought back 12,000 jars of those) and their already mixed bloody mix. The first time there we had THREE. I would have had more to stare at that mellow cat that hangs out on the tables with the customers but my stomach was rumbling and we needed to get ready for dinner.

Speaking of dinner/food we ate SO GOOD. Here were our stops and each were amazing. And in all actuality, it was mainly about the food. Don’t miss any of these.

1.  Dante’s Kitchen – Ok, this place…they have the best vegetables in any New Orleans restaurant, an outdoor patio, and an amazing wine list. They have incredible meat and fish dishes too. This is a great restaurant to get away from downtown, and one of the most inspired menus I’ve seen anywhere. The food and produce is fresh, fresh, fresh, and they accentuate the freshness with the preparation and presentation. The only thing I will say is that the portions are HUGE!!! Bring some friends and plan on having one of the best meals of your life.

2. NOLA – This is one of Emeril’s restaurants in New Orleans. Featuring an eclectic menu of New Orleans Creole and Acadian cuisine with an occasional ethnic twist, the rustic style of cooking showcases Southern Cajun, Vietnamese and Southwestern influences using Louisiana products. Private dining rooms, a bread and pastry bakery and wine cellar are located on NOLA’s third floor.

3.  Coop’s – Hands down this was my favorite place. The fried chicken was out of this world and the prices were excellent. This French Quarter bar, with its placement across the street from Margaritaville and down the street from Café du Monde, is kind of in tourist central, meh; but these guys have the real deal in red beans and rice, gumbo, fried chicken, and super authentic local favorites. Also check out the side salad, with the BEST homemade Green Goddess dressing in town. The servers are sweet and super tattooed, the kitchen is basically in the outdoor courtyard, and next door is the fantastically alt-goth bar…

4. Felix’s Oyster Bar – Besides being the name of my favorite boyfriend, it was also a fantastic place to grab a seat, an Abita and a dozen oysters. They also have Po-boys, seafood platters and some darn good fried pickles. Man, I could really go for another dozen oysters with lots of horseradish and lemon.

5. Central Grocery – Central Grocery is home of the muffuletta, one of New Orleans’ great sandwiches. A circular loaf of soft Italian bread is sliced horizontally and piled with salami, ham, and provolone, which are in turn topped with a wickedly spicy melange of chopped green and black olives fragrant with anchovies and garlic. You miss this, and you might cry.

6. Café Du Monde – World famous for its cafe‘ au lait, beignets, and the opportunity to people watch. Another New Orleans favorite, stop by for a chicory coffee and beignets to cure your morning hangover. The service was a bit slow while seated so maybe check out the TO GO line on the side if you are in a hurry. But it is a don’t miss.

7. Satsuma Cafe – Their Kale Salad, made of all local ingredients, fresh, and organic, features Lacinato kale, Parmesan dressing, and (this is New Orleans after all) a piece of bacon on the side. This is the BEST SALAD in the city, hands down. A few blocks away from Desire Street, (which kind of says it all), and in the stunning Baywater, this is the hippyish place to go for great coffee and espresso, fresh ginger muffins, super great Nutella banana pancakes, fresh BLT’s with real tomatoes, hummus, bagels and lox with all the sides, and fresh juices made to order. It’s also all organic. Sit at the Squirrel Table and read the New York Times, or a local paper with the locals (and believe me, they’re there). It has a totally great vibe and fresh, fresh, fresh organic food. These guys make an effort and it shows.

I think I will take a break here. Now I am craving an oyster po-boy, an Abita Purple Haze and some excellent fried chicken. Stay tuned for some more New Orleans news and lots of cool pics. Ciao!

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