You might think any great hotel would do. And you would have a point. There is no shortage of fantastic grand hotels that only the rich can afford.
But something special is happening at Claridges. The grand dame has just gotten quite a lot grander! Drum roll please!
Chef and co-owner of the amazing New York restaurant, Eleven Madison Park Daniel Humm will open a new restaurant in the hotel. It will be called Davis and Brook, and I WANT TO CHECK IT OUT!
Sadly, my investment bankers are not keen on this idea.
Ah, to be a rich old fart dining at Claridges in London! That’s the life for me!”
Have you been to Riga? It has a unique vibe – I find it to be a bit spooky, but not in a bad way. The old town is quite amazing (it was radically upgraded in the 19th century).
I will be headed to Riga in a short while, and will be checking out a few places.
Most likely staying at
Checking out the food
Errr … of course, after the strikes are over.
The food culture in Paris is pretty strong and diverse. Not just in the classical French style. But across the board. Want to be a part of it?
You might start by thinking about where you will stay.
Food is central to Parisian life, but the city’s best gourmet experiences aren’t just found in fine-dining restaurants and the boutiques of celebrity pâtissiers. These hand-picked spots will take you to neighbourhoods where graffiti-scrawled vans open their doors on market day to stack trestle tables with artichokes, garlic and heirloom tomatoes; to the blow-the-budget restaurants where locals really eat; to streets where you’ll find classic corner brasseries and crêperies alongside Syrian cafés and tiny udon joints. Bon appétit!
Sounds great! Here is your link. Go for it!
My pick – Hotel des Grands Boulevards!
Youthful and budget-friendly, Hotel Max is a Seattle destination for the modern traveler, where art, photography, and music meet trendy dining, playful amenities, and an unbeatable central location in the heart of downtown. Once the historic 1926 Vance Hotel, a city landmark for decades, the gleam of the neon-lit signage alerted travelers they were close to the city. Today, the rooftop sign shines brightly as Hotel Max, drawing in guests and locals alike with large leather sofas, complimentary coffee and craft beer happy hour, and an impressive collection of artwork by Warhol, Ruscha, and Jackie Barnett. The hotel also pays homage to the city’s grunge movement, where the entire fifth floor is dedicated to Sub Pop Records, the iconic independent record label that broke Seattle’s signature sound. Music lovers will appreciate the rock-star touches of old-school Crosley record players, curated vinyl, and large-scale black-and-white photos from the ’90s. Whether you’re in Seattle for work or play, single or with friends, Hotel Max impresses any downtown nomad at a bargain rate of $109 a night.
There are at least 5, and here they are!
I would incorporate one or more of these into a “fantasy journey”. Perhaps this one
The Northern Connection: Bernina Express
Not strictly in Italy, The Trenino Rosso del Bernina or “Bernina Express” is one of the most spectacular choices for lovers of train travel with a train that takes you along the alps across bridges, snow-capped peaks, mountain passes and deep gorges, thus connecting Italy’s city of Tirano with Switzerland. In fact, in 2008, Unesco classified the railway as a world heritage site for this vital connection between the two places. Considered one of the steepest journeys on the planet. Its panoramic train carriages allow for a 360° view as the train travels across the Bernina Pass at 2,253 meters of altitude, before it descends toward St. Moritz.
How about this image?
Sadly, I will not be dining out in Paris this Christmas. But a man can dream, right?
If I were, these restaurants would be on my list for special consideration.
I do not do this. But I know people who love it. If you want to give it a try, you need to know where to find it. The Telegraph offered its top five
- The Regency Café, Pimlico
- The Guinea Grill, Mayfair
- Quo Vadis, Soho
- Hawksmoor, the City
This may be all you need, but if not, Londonist goes “all in” with a map and a list. BTW, all of the above except for the Guinea Grill are featured in the Londonist list. That may be because the Guinea Grill is a bit more of a restaurant. Jay Rayner loves it! And they do a Full English breakfast!
Here is the Londonist list — go to the article for a bit of background, locations, and prices.
- E Pellicci, Bethnal Green:
- Maggie’s, Lewisham: T
- Mario’s, Kentish Town:
- Hawksmoor Guildhall:
- Riding House Café, Goodge Street:
- The River Café, Putney Bridge:
- Regency Café, Pimlico:
- The Wolseley, Piccadilly:
- Terry’s Café, Borough:
- My Tea Shop, London Bridge:
- Quo Vadis, Soho:
- The Orchard, Brockley:
- The Gantry, Brockley:
- Liz Cafe, Shepherd’s Bush:
- Caravan, Exmouth Market:
- Bistroteque, Bethnal Green:
- Jackson and Rye, Chiswick, Richmond and Soho:
- The Modern Pantry, Clerkenwell:
- Ffiona’s, Kensington:
- The Blues Kitchen, Brixton:
- The Pavilion Cafe, Victoria Park:
- The Garrison, Bermondsey:
- Pedler, Peckham:
- The Table Cafe, Borough:
- Honest Burgers, Liverpool Street, Clapham, Tooting and Peckham:
So, if you want the least expensive? It is the Regency in Pimlico. Hmmm … so what is dining at the Regency like? There is a video. I enjoyed the accent of the dude taking us to the cafe. Enjoy!