Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.




Teatime at The Tea Room

on August 17th, 2012
Print This Post Print This Post



  • pinitbutton Teatime at The Tea Room
the library 225x300 Teatime at The Tea Room

The Library

Afternoon Tea, Southern Style

by Patricia Mack

Afternoon tea is so civilized, so comforting, so refined, so… so… Southern. Yes, Southern, and that is said with all due respect to our English cousins who standardized this lovely daily ritual centuries ago. Thank you, but I’ll take my “cuppa” with a little Tupelo honey and a genteel Georgian accent.

There are many cozy tea rooms to be found in America’s Southeastern cities, where in times past “Afternoon Tea” with invited guests was a singular social event in the homes of upper class families. Culinary historians dazzle us with descriptions of the food: Madeira cake, fruity, buttery and winey; caraway seed cake, sliced thinly and incredibly fragrant; oatcakes; scones; toasted currant bread…. And the tea, clear amber and hot poured from fine china or silver-plated teapots. Those days are largely gone but tea aficionados still prize the wondrous taste of a cup of freshly brewed tea in a serene environment where remnants of ceremony are still observed.

Continue reading “Teatime at The Tea Room” »

  • pinitbutton Famed QE2 Cruise Liner to Become Floating Hotel in Dubai   Travel News
queen elizabeth2 300x199 Famed QE2 Cruise Liner to Become Floating Hotel in Dubai   Travel News

The Queen Elizabeth 2

Many cruise liners are likened to luxury hotels, but few are as iconic as the Queen Elizabeth 2. Entering serving in 1969, this legendary vessel — known as the QE2 — sailed under the Cunard flag for nearly 40 years, transporting passengers across the Atlantic (and at least 26 times around the world), and even aiding Britain’s war effort in the Falklands. Purchased upon its retirement for $100 million by the Dubai state company Istithmar World, it languished, a victim of the country’s financial crisis. But times have changed and it is now preparing for new life as a 300-room floating hotel.

Continue reading “Famed QE2 Cruise Liner to Become Floating Hotel in Dubai – Travel News” »

National Rum Day

on August 14th, 2012
Print This Post Print This Post



  • pinitbutton National Rum Day
vizcaya 214x300 National Rum Day

Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21, one of our Top 10 Rums

by Jeff Hoyt

Thursday is National Rum Day. Celebrate with one of our Top 10 Rums. Better yet, celebrate with two of them! They are all good choices for sipping, either neat or over ice.

Not a rum fan? Trying one of these spirits might turn you into one. But there’s nothing that says you can’t start your weekend Thursday night with one of our recently published Top 10 Tequilas instead. These south-of-the-border specialties are also designed for sipping, but we can show you how to make the perfect margarita to keep you cool. Or a pitcher of them. Or even a carbonated margarita!

Continue reading “National Rum Day” »

  • pinitbutton NICO Kitchen + Bar Rolls out the Red Carpet for America’s Got Talent
depersio in the kitchen 300x158 NICO Kitchen + Bar Rolls out the Red Carpet for America’s Got Talent

Chef Ryan DePersio in the kitchen

by Patricia Mack

Now that the Olympics are over, the popular NBC series “America’s Got Talent” returns to airing live shows from the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. That puts the pressure on chef Ryan DePersio of NICO Kitchen + Bar; the stage where AGT broadcasts live every Tuesday and Wednesday nights through September 13 is under the same roof and just steps away from the restaurant’s doors.

Continue reading “NICO Kitchen + Bar Rolls out the Red Carpet for America’s Got Talent” »



  • pinitbutton The Vines and Wines of Numanthia
STK 21 Copy 199x300 The Vines and Wines of Numanthia

Numanthia wines

by Barnaby Hughes

Estates & Wines, the Moët Hennessy Wine Division, produces vino around the world. Among its vast inventory is our current wine of the week, Cloudy Bay Vineyards 2009 Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc, which stems from New Zealand. I recently got to taste the three wines produced by Bodega Numanthia from Toro, Spain, another of the division’s holdings.

Following a Champagne reception, Numanthia’s winemaker Manuel Louzada introduced his wines at STK restaurant in West Hollywood where they were paired with new executive chef David Gussin’s rich, hearty cuisine. All are made from organically-grown Tinta de Toro grapes – part of the Tempranillo family. We began with Louzada’s 2009 Termes, made from Numanthia’s youngest vines, which are 30-50 years old. Contrary to the usual practice of pairing white wines with fish, it was served with a crisply-grilled red snapper. We were so impressed, expect to see the Termes on our upcoming list of Top 10 Seafood Wines.

Continue reading “The Vines and Wines of Numanthia” »

  • pinitbutton North Block Hotel Wine Explorer Package   Travel Special
guestroom2 300x172 North Block Hotel Wine Explorer Package   Travel Special

A guest room at North Block Hotel in Yountville, CA

Explore Northern California Wine Country at the North Block Hotel

A stylish boutique hotel in the charming Napa Valley town of Yountville, North Block Hotel invites lovers of the good life to savor its new Wine Explorer package.

Your Wine Explorer escape will begin with tasting visits to a trio of boutique and well-known wineries. Escorted by a private driver, you will visit each winery and then enjoy a wine country gourmet picnic for two overlooking the panoramic Napa Valley. The next morning, linger over breakfast before indulging in a treatment at the pampering North Block Spa.

Continue reading “North Block Hotel Wine Explorer Package – Travel Special” »



  • pinitbutton Sunday in the Park With Jazz

by Sophie Gayot

Yesterday marked the debut of the seventh edition of Jazz on the Lawn, a free concert series presented by Santa Monica Cultural Affairs in Stewart Park on Sundays in August from 5 p.m. to 7 pm. It was my first time attending the event; I had never made it in prior years, when the concerts were held on the lawn in front of Santa Monica City Hall. The new location was just perfect: we were surrounded by huge and gorgeous trees and a playground for the children.

Continue reading “Sunday in the Park With Jazz” »

  • pinitbutton Soaring & Sipping with FishEye Winery
trapeze 300x199 Soaring & Sipping with FishEye Winery

On the flying trapeze

by Becky Sauer

Enjoying a glass of wine after a workday wouldn’t be considered too out of the ordinary. But savoring some vino after flying high on the trapeze? Now that’s something special.

This exhilarating experience was made possible by the Australian winery FishEye, which hosted a tasting and trapeze event at TSNY (Trapeze School New York) Los Angeles, located right on the Santa Monica Pier.

Continue reading “Soaring & Sipping with FishEye Winery” »

  • pinitbutton Hennessy Unveils Futura Designed Cognac Bottle
hennessy vs cognac 300x225 Hennessy Unveils Futura Designed Cognac Bottle

Hennessy VS Cognac

by Alain Gayot

While some Cognac houses have hired rappers to promote their brand, Hennessy decided to up their street cred with a street artist. The 247-year-old house commissioned American street artist Futura to design their new VS Limited Edition bottle. Futura (born Leonard McGurr) is the leader of the “Abstract Graffiti” movement, known for its focus on lines rather than letters. His colorful design will adorn 200,000 bottles, which retail for $32 each.

Continue reading “Hennessy Unveils Futura-Designed Cognac Bottle” »


  • pinitbutton Le Meridien Partners with illycaffe for Co curated Art Collection Cup   Travel News
illy art cup1 300x214 Le Meridien Partners with illycaffe for Co curated Art Collection Cup   Travel News

First ever co-curated illy art collection cup

Coffee Culture is Commemorated at Le Méridien’s New Istanbul Hotel

Curated art is one of the latest hot hotel trends, and the Le Méridien hotel group takes the fad to a new level by partnering with illycaffè to debut the first ever co-curated illy art collection cup. This functional piece of art was designed by :mentalKLINIK, a highly acclaimed, contemporary Turkish artist duo (Yasemin Baydar and Birol Demir). Selected by illycaffè Art Director Carlo Bach and Le Méridien Cultural Curator Jérôme Sans, the artists are members of LM100, a multi-generational, interdisciplinary group of cultural innovators chosen from the fields of art, architecture, cuisine and design.

Continue reading “Le Meridien Partners with illycaffe for Co-curated Art Collection Cup – Travel News” »

« Newer Posts
Page 2 of 212