Category Archives: high life

On Your Next Trip to London: The Belmond British Pullman

If you are not in a hurry, what could be better than spending a day enjoying a luxury train journey, meandering along in the countryside. Not to mention the great meals and cocktails! That is what the Belmond British Pullman offers.

Here is a quick glimpse at what you get.

Count me in!

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Living Bella Figura

From a new book by Kamin Mohammadi

“She walks down the street with a swing in her step and a lift to her head. She radiates allure as if followed by a personal spotlight. She may be tall or short, slim or pneumatically curvaceous, dressed discreetly or ostentatiously―it matters not. Her gait, her composure, the very tilt of her head is an ode to grace and self-possession that makes her beautiful whatever her actual features reveal….She is real and gracing the streets of every city, town, and village in Italy right now. She is the embodiment of bella figura and she cuts an elegant dash through our mundane modern world.”

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The author explains

“My version of bella figura is a philosophy of life for appreciating the beauty in everything, making everything you do in life as beautiful as possible,” she explained during an interview from her home outside Florence, where she’s lived since 2009. “It’s not necessarily the traditional definition, but I think that’s its essence…I’m very conscious that my book focuses on the positive.”

There is something to this!

Misunderstanding San Fransisco Food Culture

Cultural trends are sometimes misunderstood for failures to meet old standards. So, for example, dear old mom thought I had gotten lazy when I came home from my first year at university sporting a beard.

“You brought home the wrong boy” my mother said to my brother.

How could I explain that sporting a beard back then was a badge of hipness? And that it went very well with my beat up jeans and t shirts. Errr … that my mother threw out when I turned my back, explaining that they looked worn out. “Get some new stuff!” she said unhelpfully as I mourned my lost identity.

And so could one expect that great New York Times, steeped in the traditions that make New York dining experiences what they are, would not get the idea of “fast fine – casual dining”?`The New York Times did not get it.

But you can get it! And you can go to San Fransisco to experience it.Here is the scene at Souvla, a great example!

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I may take  a pass, however, I am too caught up in my own old fashioned ideas of what fine dining is all about!

Venturing Beyond the Rue do Bretagne

There is nothing wrong with the Rue de Bretagne. To the contrary, it makes lots of  folks very happy.

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It is in the Marais, which is very chic.

And that is the crux of the matter. Because when chic is the measure of appeal, there is always something more chic. And those seeking that  more chic than chic feel, venture beyond the Rue do Bretagne into the haut Maris.

You might stay, for example, at the Hotel du Petit Moulin, which has 17 rooms all decorated by Lacrioix. Here is one

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Of course, you will want to stop at Merci, the shop that started it all in the haut marais

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And then? How about this

… continue north along Rue Charlot and discovered the wonderful food stalls at the Marché des Enfants Rouges, Paris’s oldest food market, with its fresh produce, fish, beef, and flowers. You can also sample an international array of prepared foods—sushi, tagines, pasta, crêpes—at outdoor tables. In typical French fashion, a store called Première Pression Provence sells an astonishing array of olive oil and olive-oil-based products, including Méli-Mélo Provençal, with artichokes, red peppers, and basil.

Hmmm … an astonishing array of olive oils? Count me in!

Writing for the Independent, Kasia Dietz has this to say

A neighbourhood of artisanal shops, the Haut Marais reveals the essence of Parisian craftsmanship within a community of international creators sharing a passion for art and design. It’s just one of the many reasons I’m proud to call this talent-stuffed treasure trove my home.


To Do in London: Lunch at The Marksman Pub

From Jay Rayner writing for the Guardian

If there’s a better lunch to be had in Britain right now than the beef and barley buns with horseradish, the kid goat curry with the fried potatoes and the brown butter and honey tart served at the Marksman pub on the Hackney Road, I want to know about it.

Marksman was also raved by Bon Appetit

When you walk into this 150-year-old East London every-pub, you’ll swear you’re in the wrong spot. Head upstairs into the dining room that Italian designer Martino Gamper designed with signature wit (you’ll never see linoleum the same way again), and join the interesting crowd here for Tom Harris and Jon Rotheram’s food. It all goes down quite well with a pint.

From the outside

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And, as BBC notes, there is that Pub of the Year award from Michelin. Just thought you might like to know.  They offer a nice before and after the make over contrast photo

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Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa!!

For a spectacular retreat

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From their website

Striking the perfect balance of seclusion without solitude, Monastero Santa Rosa allows guests to determine the tone of their stay, whether they’re looking to disappear for an intimate getaway or gather with the group and make new acquaintances. It’s hard to imagine that the generous grounds, filled with four levels of gardens, lush landscaping, plentiful lounge chairs, and canopied daybeds, serve just 20 rooms and suites. Where most boutique properties might only offer in-room massages, Monastero Santa Rosa hosts a fully equipped spa to rival any major city spa, offering not just treatment rooms, but large-scale amenities that include a sauna, steam, mosaic-tiled experience shower, hydro pool, and tepidarium.

Guests are welcome to feel a part of the scene at the library and bar. Engage in a game of chess or cards or read while sipping a martini in the modern cocktail area. Relax down by the pool or discover the resort’s secret gardens, quiet sun decks, and indoor relaxation areas. Get the best of both worlds by making your stay as energizing or relaxed as you wish, by selecting different spaces to suit your mood at any time.

What do you think? Sounds nice to me!