Tennessee Valley, Marin California
Fifteen minutes outside of San Francisco is a wonderful protected outdoor playground
Wyoming is the least populous state in the union. Jackson Hole is the 48 mile long valley that straddles the snake river
Here are some things to do in the Winter:
During the winter, if you are skiing, it’s easier to stay and eat in Teton Village- referred to as ‘the village’. With that in mind here are some favorites. Terra Café for breakfast at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain. Four Seasons resort- it is combo of chic and cowboy- it’s expensive but worth it. Note: you can rent a helmet camera from the ski concierge. If you just had the run of your life and want to congratulate yourself– or take some time to re-thinking now dropping Corbet’s – head to the restaurant on the top of the mountain called the Couloir. It’s fancy, the food is great, make reservations in advance. Osteria is also amazing for some wonderful Italian after a day on the mountain. For more casual try Teton Thai.
Outside of the village, Lotus Café is a wonderful organic place to restore your energy with some green juice and probiotic salad bowls. It is very popular with the locals- and it is very good.
For Apres Skiing:
The Mangy Moose is the place to grab a micro brew and, usually, listen and probably dance to a local band. This is one of my favorite spots- it was also the place where the shot ski from our wedding had it’s last stand. Last intact photo of the ski below (lobster not included). At the Moose try anything from Snake River Brewing Company (you should also check it out in town). Additionally, the state’s first locally produced bourbon Wyoming Whiskey has won a good deal of awards recently.
Here is a video my friend, videographer and Jackson resident Alden Wood Faust put together. It’s all all about Apres in Jackson Hole- it’s amazing.
The Red Rocks of Sedona
We recently returned from Sedona, Arizona. We make a pilgrimage to that spot now and again to visit the gorgeous red rocks. The red rocks are iconic in their beauty. And there is something else going on in Sedona.
As The New York Times put it: “Sedona is famous for its so-called vortex sites, spots where the earth’s energy is supposedly increased, leading to self-awareness and various kinds of healing. (Think of them as spiritual hot tubs without the water.)”
This land, inhabited from as early as 1300 A.D. by Native American tribes, is home to what I believe to be the best spa in the United States. It is called Mii Amo. The vibe of this spa is meditative, spiritual and rooted in Native American culture. Yet don’t be fooled, you will not be staying in anything that resembles the below teepee which sits on Mii Amo’s grounds.
Upon arrival you are greeted with “ghost beads” made by local Native Americans. You can acquaint or re-acquaint yourself with the spa. There is a vast indoor pool with a wood burning fire place on the other end. There is a crystal grotto with a red clay floor and running water with crystals in it for meditation and silent reflection. There is an outdoor pool and hot tub with views of the red rocks (there are stargazing classes at the spa too). And there is a library for lectures in addition to their men’s and women’s locker rooms with steam, sauna and whirlpool.
The rooms are very nice. They are spacious and simple with fire places, outdoor space and a large well appointed bathroom. Upon waking in the morning you will find fresh squeezed orange juice and a newspaper waiting outside for you in a basket. The newspaper, by the way, will be your only connection to the outside world. Something about the red rock canyon that Mii Amo is situated in drains cell phones and all electronics within hours.
Your days are filled with activities. A trip to the spa includes two treatments a day- many of which are traditional including all forms of massage, facials, body wraps. And then there are some which are quite unique such as reiki healing, aura photography and in water massage. In addition, activities will fill your days: yoga, pilates, yogalates, meditation, hiking the red rocks, watercolor painting, journey of the teas, cooking demonstrations, medicine walks and lectures are offered at all hours of the day.
At night you snuggle up to wonderful silence. And you look to see what nightly present Mii Amo has left on your bed that evening- a leather bound journal, teas, crystals.
Because what makes going to bed more exciting? Going to bed with a present after a wonderful spa service wrapped in your robe!
image: LIFE Magazine
Commemorative Piece for San Francisco for Louis Vuitton Cup
image: louis vuitton
First Day of the America’s Cup from the Water
image: loomis luggage
New Zealand Hosts America’s Cup
Boats Against the Backdrop of the Golden Gate
image: centurion magazine
The Trophy Arrives in San Francisco
Our Summer Love is Jackson. But it’s winter. Stay tuned for updated recommendations…
image: loomis luggage
image: point of release
For more check out: Jackson Hole Winter Guide
Kings Road has good shopping as well as Sloane Street. There, you will find the same types of shops you can find in most every major city.
For fun shopping, a place I discovered on my last trip (which I loved) is Dover Street Market, very cool. Otherwise, one cannot go wrong Harvey ‘Nicks’/Nichols in Knightsbridge. Right near to Harvey Nicks is a great boutique called Luisa Spagnoli, a Milan designer with just one store in England and none Stateside.
The favorite shopping of all the British-born is Selfridges on Oxford Street.
Marylebone High Street is also great with nice boutiques and some cute frommageries and pubs off on the side streets. French purveyor of tea, Kusmi Tea, has a shop on the street– try the Almond Green Tea.
Shopping for the Men:
While the women may occupy themselves shopping, the men will want to check out Anderson Wheeler- the British Rifle maker featured in the most recent James Bond film (named one of the best Bond guns of all time, too). The store in Mayfair has more than just rifles- English Men’s Clothing, details for Safari and one of a kind artwork and taxidermy adorn the store.
The Uber Fabulous:
For that, there is LouLou’s where the who’s who of London mix. It’s worth scouring facebook see if any of your friends are ‘double-barreled toffs’ who may be part of this private social club. Thought this quote was appropriate, from a piece on LouLou’s in the Pursuitist, about the club: For any expat traversing the London nightlife scene, Loulou’s may be the equivalent of walking Downing Street and believing that you can somehow talk your way inside.
To Get Outdoors:
Richmond Park is a short train stop from London and incredibly picturesque. It looks like a British fairytale with manicured lawns, gorgeous estates and the expansive park where the Queen’s Deer (just in case you thought they were your deer) roam free, as pictured below. After a stroll around the park you can sit beside the Thames and have a pint with some fish and chips at The White Cross Pub. This is a wonderful way to see more of the greater London area and get some fresh air.
For Those Into History:
Clearly, England has no shortage of rich history. So we have distilled the list. St. Pauls’ Cathedral is one of the most historic places in and around London (right up there with Westminster Abbey and possibly Shakespeare’s Globe). A architectural beauty with a incredible stories of fires and imperialism. It’s worth a visit to the crypts below. The Cabinet War Rooms is where Churchill ran the war during the blitz. A good spot for people who like WWII History.
Try to structure a visit around Ascot, Henley Royal Regatta or Wimbeldon. Each event is special in it’s own right and worth seeing…. Pimms, party dresses, top hats and strawberries and cream.
For More on London Read:
For fantastic farm raised meats in artisan fashion:
For the views:
Dinner or drinks at Sushi Samba in the Heron Tower.
For a great deal if you can get it:
Burger & Lobster: no reservations. Get there at 11.50 for lunch, or sometime before 5.30pm for dinner if you don’t want to wait for hours! Limited menu (either burger or lobster and fries, GBP20 either choice) – awesome!
For a change of pace outside the city:
River Café, relaxed Italian with great quality food, a 20 min taxi ride from Knightsbridge. The Hind’s Head is a michellin starred gastropub right next to The Fat Duck (very famous Blumenthal restaurant). The Crooked Billet is excellent near Henley.
For a power lunch:
Green’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar, very old school scene on Duke Street right next to Fortnum & Mason and the very fashionable Jemyn Street. The steak tartare composed table-side is fantastic.
For a quick cheap eat:
Pret-a-Manger- they are everywhere. And the food is very good, well-priced, with organic, vegetarian and vegan options as well. The environmental angle they have taken appeals to the Californian in me (check out the above), rendering this a go-to snack spot. It even beat out even the highly acclaimed Caviar House in Heathrow for my pre-flight purchase– the Caviar bar has fioe gras, too.
Other Honorable Mentions:
Boudin Blanc in Mayfair- in an absolutely charming location, fantastic French food. Pollen Street Social - good bistro, great cocktails and desert bar, very central. Ceccones – there is on in the SoHo House in South Beach, but this is the original one, it’s sceney. Bumpkin for good low key English. And the Painted Heron – great Indian food in Chelsea.
For More On London Read…