Category Archives: high life

Do You Need a Space 10 Growroom?

I am rather confident that your immediate answer will be “no”. But wait! Check it out!

The Growroom

You have to admit that it is funky! And while you might not be drooling to build one of these yourself, it is cool that IKEA is paying designers to think of how urban gardening might look in the future.

This one looks a bit more my size

Image result for IKEA growroom

BTw, you cannot buy this, but you can build one yourself.

This is very cool! But will it fit into the living room?



Hygge is out, Lagom is in!

Too bad for me! I was just getting used to a bit of hygge, too!

If you don’t recall, hygge is a Danish word that describes an aspect of the good life. It is about comfort – putting on warm socks by a roaring fire and sipping hot chocolate when it is snowing outside.  that is hygge!

What could be wrong with that? Apparently, some of us hygge a bit too much. Now we need some lagom!  Lagom is a Swedish idea for moderation. Toning down the appetite to enjoy just the right amount.

What might a more lagom-oriented culinary plan look like? Not finishing that whole pint of ice cream in one sitting, for one. Embracing modest, simple foods: A soft-boiled egg. Buttered multigrain toast. Roast chicken, probably. Cooking #wasteless and without a lot of meat, since lagom emphasizes sustainability. And what says chill, healthy, and unostentatious better than a grain bowl? Or a potluck, where there’s enough to eat for everybody?

Ok. I am willing to try it out. But after a bit more hygge!

Celebrating Bulleri and Mongiardino

I find it inspiring that a man would devote his life to mastering the craft that he loved from childhood and find reward in that devotion. That would describe the life experience of Giacomo Bulleri, who left home at the age of 11 to find his way  from rural poverty to life in the city.

From Deborah Needleman’s enchanting NYT article

At the age of 11, clutching a tiny, tobacco-colored cardboard suitcase with the aroma of mushrooms clinging to it, Giacomo Bulleri left his home in the rural Tuscan village of Collodi and boarded a train to try to find work. His mother had neatly folded and packed his country clothes — not appropriate for a city but the only clothes he had — to send him off to a place neither parent had ever been. The sixth child of poor, hardworking farmers, Bulleri was sent to Turin, where, his parents had heard, there was “a need for swift legs and sharp eyes.” In the city, he found work as “a jack of all trades” in a restaurant, he says. It would be two years before he would return home or see his parents again. By then, he had changed.

I find it even more inspiring that a man like Bulleri could team up with another man who was as devoted to his craft as Bulleri was to the kitchen: Monjardino, the architect. The two have collaborated to provide Milan with unique dining settings. Here is one

Check out the article! It will make your day!

Do You Long for a Return to the Gilded Age?

Every now and then, I do get the urge to splurge. Not every day. That would be over doing it. But on and off. It is all the more fun when the splurging is done for a special occasion with people you care about.

And if I were in New York experiencing that urge to splurge, I mgith head over to the Beekman Hotel. The interior is very cool.

Image result for Beekman Hotel

and now they have a restaurant that has pretty high level ambitions to be cool as well. It is called “Fowler & Wells”.  Pete Wells offers a review for NYT, which is largely positive.  Here is a peek inside that space

Image result for Fowler & Wells

What’s not to like? Well, Pete thinks there may be a tad too much marketing going on.  The restaurant is pitched as a trip back to the gilded age, but the menu is more modern high level New York stuff.

I think I might get over that after a few glasses of the bubbly.

Heading to Perthshire for Heather Honey?

One of my hobbies is to find links between localities and the special local products that they make. Usually, these products are made the same way now as they have been for centuries, and this adds to the charm.

Saveur offers a very nice example – heather honey from Scotland.  As the article points out, you have to be really, really determined to make this.. The heather blooms only for a few days in September when most bees are already hibernating. And heather honey is very solid in consistency, making it devilishly difficult to extract from the comb.

But a few enterprising Scots do this — and I read that it is indeed worth the trouble. The taste is unique. Hmmm … a trip to Monachyle Mhor for the breakfast honey?  You would get scenes like this

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and you might find yourself enjoying a dram here

Image result for Monachyle Manor

And they keep their own bees!

Here is a promo

This chic hotel may be easy to get to from the Central Belt, but hidden down a quiet glen it feels a million miles away. They are serious about food here and offer their own cookery courses to help you develop your knowledge, as well as farming their own sheep, cattle and hens. Check out their kitchen garden on arrival – the aroma of herbs and array of vegetables will build up your appetite for dinner, which features quite a lot of the garden’s produce alongside the likes of Perthshire lamb and Srabster-landed monkfish in a five-course extravaganza that showcases Scotland’s bountiful culinary larder to the full. The accommodation is as ambitious and impressive as the cooking, with suites rather than rooms, laden with oversized beds and stand-alone baths.

Checking Out “One Night” in New York

One of my goals during my last trip to the US was to test a travel app called “One Night“. I wanted to test it because its claim is so outrageously cool. That claim is to provide you with a quality New York hotel room at a discount on the same day you need it.

It works like this.. Each da,y starting at 3:00 pm., the app lists deals that are available at listed hotels for that night. In other words, you can just arrive, wait until 3 and then book a super room.  What’s not to like?

My first experiment came when I took the LIRR from East Hampton into Manhattan. I arrived at 2:30 — too early to book — and so I stopped at a cafe for some lunch. Good food was important, and more important was the wifi connection.

Sure enough, at 3 pm, the deals started appearing. Just by pushing a button, I was able to book a room at the Standard on the High Line at a very deep discount.

Image result for Standard on the High Line

After lunch, I waddled over to the Standard, checked in, and took a nap. How cool! BTW, I give very high marks to the Standard. Very nice room, great hospitality and a great restaurant.  And the Standard has an absolutely killer bar on the top floor.  They offered one more perk. Anticipating that at least some “One Night” app users are booking to do a one night stand, they gave me a complementary toiletry case, with two toothbrushes and other assorted items that might come in handy.

BTW, if you are wondering why a hotel might participate in One Night, consider that while the rate was discounted, the room might have sat empty that night. Moreover, I spent a ton on dinner and booze. And they can use this as yet another marketing channel. So I think it is a good deal for them.

I tried the app again when I came back to the city from a trip up north. Same deal. This time the Standard was booked, but at a somewhat higher price — still discounted — I was able to book a room at the NoMad at 28th and Broadway.

Image result for Nomad Hotel New York

Again, I would give high marks to the hotel. Great room, great service and bar. They also agreed to extend my stay for a day, though not at the same discounted rate.

So this was all very cool. And when I got home the other day, I got an email from One Night. Apparently, they were having a promotion when I used the app and will send me a Raden carry on suitcase as a gift. Sadly, they need a US address to offer free shipping.  Regardless, this is a seriously nice gift!

So I tip my hat to One Night. The app worked seamlessly, it offered serious value and made my stay over a lot more fun. Can’t wait for the carry on suitcase!

What more could you want?