I recently took a trip to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard and fell absolutely in love with both. Island-goers usually frequent one *or* the other (not both) and typically take sides. I could never choose! They are both incredible for different reasons, and both insanely charming in their own way. I gathered a ton of ideas for our new home in California and left completely inspired… and eager to go back!
Monet: the late years is on exhibit at the de Young Museum in San Francisco now through May 27. Even if you’ve seen his work many times before, I recommend going. It just never gets old!
Here are a few articles I’ve come across and enjoyed recently. I hope you find them equally as delightful. Happy Monday!
Landscape designer Libby Russell is really making me want to move to Somerset! Her garden is straight out of a fairytale.
A look back at famous Kennedy brides (the ever so classic and understated Carolyn Bessette wins time after time).
A laid-back and very chic California wedding.
Blackberry Farm has been on my list for quite some time, and now I have Blackberry Mountain to add to it.
When we lived in London, my husband was lucky enough to get invited to the Henley Regatta– as we approach spring, here are some fun facts about it.
A super charming rebuild by the insanely talented Mark D. Sikes has me wanting to redecorate my entire home.
Making these vegan banana pancakes ASAP.
My husband and I lived in London for 6 months in 2017 and it was one of the best times of our lives. I’ve been thinking about a trip back ever since we returned! I have countless lists here and there of things we did and places we ate… now I finally have some of our favorite spots in one place. Here you will find some of my top London picks! Hopefully these inspire you to get out and explore the city on your own.
E A T & D R I N K
Daylesford Organic: a perfect stop for a casual breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea. There are a few locations throughout London and the food is fresh and delicious. Take some bites and groceries to-go, or sit and eat in the restaurant.
Afternoon Tea at Fortnum & Mason: a wonderful afternoon tea experience! With a rich history and a store you definitely will want to shop through, I’d recommend booking your afternoon tea at Fortnums. (Other spots for tea: The Ritz, Sketch, Claridges, The Wolseley, Dorchester, Lanesborough)
The Connaught Bar: a ritzy bar in the ultra-stylish Connaught Hotel in Mayfair. The drinks and décor won’t disappoint. Be sure to order a martini which will be made to your liking table-side on the martini trolley. One gin with ginger and grapefruit, please!
The Shed: one of the most delicious meals I’ve had in a long time. Beyond fresh and chuck full of seasonal flavor. This is a must try in Notting Hill.
Dishoom: this is also one of the most delicious meals I’ve had in a long time. A fun Bombay-style stop for Indian street food. Even if you don’t like Indian food, I’m still fairly certain you’ll love Dishoom both for it’s food and vintage décor.
Barrafina: a delicious diner style Spanish tapas bar. They don’t take reservations, but you can have a cocktail while you wait and the line moved fairly quickly.
Scarfes Bar at Rosewood London: a really, really beautiful hotel that you should consider staying at! But, even if you don’t stay over night, you will definitely need to stop into their Scarfes Bar. It’s gentleman’s club-esque, complete with a fireplace, cozy armchairs, live music, beautiful woodwork, and even better cocktails. We went there for a few drinks and snacks before dinner at…
The Barbary: a cozy spot in the popular Neil’s yard in Covent Garden for an absolutely delicious Berber-style meal. We waited almost 2 hours, and you will too unless you show up at 5. But, I promise it’s worth it, especially considering you can wait inside the lively little spot with a drink in hand.
Duke’s Bar: a famous, classic London bar – go for a martini!
Yauatcha Soho: absolutely delicious dim sum
The Churchill Arms: you’ve definitely seen this Notting Hill pub on instagram. Flower-decked and filled with Churchill memorabilia. Stop for a pint!
Granger & Co: The best fluffy ricotta hotcakes ever! An excellent spot for brunch, lunch or dinner. This is a classic in Notting Hill.
Chiltern Firehouse: Super hot spot for dinner and drinks. If you can’t get a resy, just try to sit in the bar.
Ottolenghi: I visited the one on Motcomb Street in Belgravia – a delicious deli that is perfect for a takeaway lunch.
Borough Market: one of the oldest and largest food markets in London – browse 100+ food stalls and grab a delicious lunch!
Grenadier: one of my favorite local pubs if you find yourself in Belgravia and in need of a pint.
Bernardi’s: we stumbled upon this Italian kitchen and are so glad we decided to stop in. We sat at the bar, sipped on cocktails and had a delicious meal. They have some outdoor seating for when the weather is nice.
The Ivy Chelsea Garden: you’ve likely seen the front door of this spot on Instagram. It’s facade is filled with flowers and the interiors do not disappoint. Food is tasty! I loved this spot for lunch in the spring.
S E E
The Wallace Collection
Churchill War Rooms
Neighborhoods to wander: Kensington // South Kensington // Belgravia // Notting Hill // Marylebone // Chelsea // Mayfair // Soho // Primrose Hill
M E W S
aka the most charming streets in London! Originally these streets served as service lanes providing back entrances to the mansions and stables for horses– with carriage houses below and living quarters above. Today these cobblestone streets are lined with some of the cutest houses in London. Here are some of my favorites:
St Lukes Mews
Holland Park Mews
Sussex Mews West
Queens Gate Mews
S T A Y
splurge: The Lanesborough, The Cannaught, Rosewood London, The Berkeley
The Egerton House Hotel (boutique hotel and I really love the location)
Charlotte Street Hotel
S T O P S & S H O P S
Daunt Books: I visited their shop on Marylebone High Street and I felt like I was taken back in time a bit (this happened often… oh London, you’re so charming!) Pick up a few good reads for your vacation and flight home.
Soane Britain: I walked through this charming showroom off Sloane Square and couldn’t help but daydream up a deliciously English home for myself. Every piece is made in Britain and it’s beyond lovely. If you’re into interiors, this shop is for you.
Wild at Heart: Just down from Daylesford in Sloane Square, you’ll find this beautiful flower shop. A London favorite and a must visit! They also have locations in Notting Hill and outside Liberty London.
Peggy Porschen Cakes: An incredibly chic and delicious bakeshop located near Sloane Square. It’s almost Valentine’s Day, so this shop is decorated quite perfectly for the occasion. I’ll be taking the husband back to help me sample some more sweet treats.
Liberty London: Likely already on your list, this department store is a must visit for those interested in fashion. Among beautiful clothes and accessories, there’s a cute cafe and stationery shop inside, and a charming flower shop (another Wild at Heart location) out front.
La Stupenderia: Next door to a yummy cheese shop, you’ll find a beautiful children’s store. Stop in for a classic outfit for your little one.
Rachel Riley: Another favorite when it comes to children’s clothing. She makes the most darling dresses for little girls!
Pepa & Company: Aaaand… another favorite when it comes to children’s clothing! Stop in for traditional pieces worn by the Royal Family.
VV Rouleaux: I will always find the local fine ribbon store! I’m a sucker for ribbons and this store has quite the collection.
The Parent Trap House: Ok, agreed, this one is touristy of me. But I’m such a genuine fan that it really would have been a shame if I didn’t pay Annie’s home a visit. Plus, the neighborhood is beyond lovely. 23 Egerton Terrace.
Peacocks in Holland Park: I recommend taking a stroll through Holland Park. Although just off the busy Kensington High Street, the park is incredibly peaceful. Plus, you’ll likely run into some beautiful peacocks!
John Lobb Bootmaker: on St. James’s street, this family run shop has been hand making bespoke boots since 1866. In 1863, John Lobb apparently sent a pair of boots to the Prince of Wales who was so impressed by the quality of the workmanship that he appointed him his personal supplier. He then opened his London shop in 1866 and it’s still there today, supplying bespoke hand made shoes to people all over the world. They hold two Royal Warrants to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH The Prince of Wales. It’s a classic and a must-see!
James Smith & Sons: the most enchanting shop chuck full of classic umbrellas and walking sticks that has been in London since 1830. This is one of my favorite places I’ve gone while in London and you really must stop in. The umbrellas are made in their shop below the storefront, which is largely unaltered since they opened. I left with a black watch tartan that I’m excited to keep for years to come! (Side note: It rains, like, every day in London. But it doesn’t ever really rain to the point where you need an umbrella. That’s beside the point though, you should still go buy yourself a classic umbrella from this shop!)
Mount Street Printers: this one might just be for this paper romantic over here. But, if fine stationery is also your thing, it’s worth stopping into this classic printery. They also have a Royal Warrant and have been printing on beautiful Mount Street for over 35 years. They mostly do bespoke orders, but also have some cards and stationery on the shelves that you can take with you. If you stop in, tell them I sent you!
Harrods & Selfridges: likely already on your list… these are department stores you can’t miss!
T O S T A Y
Zero George Street: three residences and two brick carriage houses make up this incredibly charming boutique hotel. An absolute gem and highly recommended!
Planter’s Inn: we didn’t stay here, but recommend it if you’d prefer a (slightly) bigger hotel. Great location and decorated with charming Charleston décor. Also a must is having a slice of their famous coconut cake (on their charming lantern-lit courtyard after a romantic dinner out)
Also worth checking out: Belmond, Spectator, The Dewberry
T O D O & T O S E E
Historic homes along Tradd Street, Church Street, Legare Street (all South of Broad)
Charming, historic alleyways: Stoll’s Alley, Longitude Lane, Philadelphia Alley
Carriage ride through the city
Historic home walking tour
College of Charleston
Head across the bridge and check out Sullivan’s Island
The Battery & Rainbow Row: take a walk all along the water and look at the beautiful, historic waterfront homes
King Street for shopping
Art galleries… everywhere!
Hampden Clothing: for great pieces from Theory, Rag & Bone, Tibi, Zimmerman & More…
Antique Shops: couldn’t make it into all of them, but check out John Pope Antiques, George C Birlant & Co, Alexandra Designs
Mac & Murphy Stationery: chuck full of sugar paper goodness
Club Monaco on King Street: such a beautiful store – a must-see for anyone who likes the brand
Lake Pajamas opened their first store on King’s Street. Stop in for interior eye-candy + a cozy pair of pjs
T O E A T & T O D R I N K
Butcher & Bee: one of the best tasting meals I’ve had in a really long time. Local, fresh, and FULL of flavor
Edmund’s Oast: we went for a drink before Butcher & Bee and had one of their 50+ delicious draft beers
Lewis BBQ: omg the beef brisket…
The Gin Joint: cozy spot for a cocktail. I got the pear pressure which was deliciously spicy and full of fall flavor. Snack on their famous beef jerky while you sip!
Husk: I’d skip your dinner reservation and grab a spot in their cozy, exposed brick bar. Enjoy southern bites and historic cocktails
Le Farfalle: a neighborhood osteria with incredible charm and authentic Italian food
Planter’s Inn Ultimate Coconut Cake®: famous Charleston treat to enjoy on their charming lantern-lit patio
Sugar Bakeshop: cute little bakeshop full of delicious treats
Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit: fresh, warm, southern biscuits. Need I say more? Zero George serves these fresh every morning, but also check out their storefront on King Street.
Hominy Grill: a delicious, casual spot for Lowcountry classics. Head there for breakfast or lunch and try the Charleston Nasty Biscuit
Black Tap Coffee: for delicious cold brew on tap
We couldn’t make it to these ones, but they’re on our list for next time (worth checking out!):
FIG, Magnolias, Cannon Green, Leon’s, 5Church, Living Room & Henrietta’s at The Dewberry, The Obstinate Daughter on Sullivan’s Island
We spent our last weekend getaway while living in London exploring Lisbon, Portugal. The city is full of history, culture, amazing azulejos, and delicious food. It’s quite inexpensive compared to many other European cities, and we both agreed we had some of our favorite meals there. We spent two days wandering the city, stopping for bites and cold drinks along the way. On our last day, we drove out to Arrabida and spent the day on the beach, which I would highly recommend you do! The coast was breathtaking. Below are some recommendations on what to do, see, eat and drink!
S T A Y
Memmo Principe Real, LX Boutique Hotel, Palacio Belmonte
E A T
A Cevicheria, Restaurante Insolito, Mini Bar, Time Out Market, Sea Me, Taberna da Rua das Floreas
S W E E T S
Gelados Santini, Pasteis de Belém
Walk, walk, walk! Check out the Alfama district, Bairro Alto, Alcântara and Belém. Head to Costa da Caparica or Portinho da Arrabida for a beach day.
When we booked Amsterdam, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. Actually, to be honest, I was a little skeptical. The second we arrived in the city that completely changed; I’ve actually never been so instantly in love with a place (there really is so much more than the red light district!) It is so well-kept, so charming, so clean and so beautiful. The people were extremely friendly and the city feels so quaint and laid-back. We ate our way through and enjoyed every second. Below are some recommendations on what to do, see, eat and drink!
S T A Y
The Hoxton, Pulitzer, The Dylan, Conservatorium
E A T
Ivy & Bros (lunch), Gartine (breakfast/lunch), De Kas (dinner), Singel 404 (sandwiches), Pluk Cafe, Buffet van Odette (breakfast), Lot Sixty One (coffee), Balthazar’s Kitchen (dinner), Winkel 43 (incredible apple tart), Foodhallen, Mossel & Gin, Van Stapele Koekmakerij (best chocolate cookie ever), Pllek (outdoor bar & restaurant if the weather is nice!), Confectionery Lanskroon (classic stroopwafel)
Walk, walk, walk! Visit the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum and Anne Frank House. Go antique shopping, eat in the Foodhallen, Take a Canal tour (Those Damn Boat Guys)
We spent the last few days of our time on the French Riviera in Antibes. Staying at Hotel du Cap Eden Roc was an absolute treat and, although a splurge, it is definitely recommended. You won’t want to leave the hotel, but the town of Antibes is darling and certainly worth wandering around. Definitely book a table at Michelangelo for dinner – it’s a classic!
Saint-Tropez was a very last minute add to our trip and it ended up being one of our favorite places. Because it was such a late add, we didn’t have much time to think about or pre-plan our stay there which made for some fun surprises. I did get a few great recommendations from a lady I know in London who grew up on the French Riviera, but we otherwise explored on our own. The Port of Saint Tropez reminded me of Capri because of the abundance of high-end shopping and incredibly charming streets. It was beyond picturesque and full of color (pastel-colored shutters on every single building!) We shopped, had some delicious dinners, watched the sunset on the harbor, and walked the streets of this quaint little town.
I would recommend booking at room at Hotel Byblos, which is right in town. It was unfortunately sold out by the time we booked, but it’s a darling spot in an ideal location. We stayed at Mas de Chastelas which we also really loved. It’s incredibly peaceful, has a beautiful pool and excellent service.
When you’re not shopping in town, you’ll want to be at Plage de Pampelonne, Saint-Tropez’s crown jewel of beaches, where you’ll find bright blue waters and famous beach clubs. We went to Restaurant Tahiti Beach and Le Club 55 and I cannot recommend Le Club 55 enough. Live music, amazing service, charming blue and white décor, perfectly chilled bottles of rosé, fresh and delicious food… all on a vine covered patio overlooking the glistening blue water. Before and after your lunch, you can retreat to your reserved bed on the beach. With a restaurant, darling boutique and lounge chairs on the sand, it’s a perfect spot to spend your entire day. (happy people watching!)