Fraunces Tavern, My New Favorite NYC Bar

After my weekend with the girls, the next stop on my journey was to visit a few more friends in New York. One, who knows me too well, was dying to take me to Fraunces Tavern for drinks, or food, or whatever, but mostly for the design of the place.
DSCN5592 What a cool place this was! From the moment we walked in, my eyes wandered up, down, all around, admiring the way they combined modern and antique elements to create an environment that truly moulds your experience here.DSCN5576 Their sunken dining room (The Tallmadge Room) at the front of the building featured creative re-use of church pews as dining seating. To me this is so much cooler than a booth, and would be a fun dining experience with a group of friends.DSCN5577

They had a huge whiskey menu (which my hubby was surely jealous of) that went lost on me. But I’m sure if I were a whiskey drinker, I would have loved to settle in at their Dingle Whiskey Bar.

DSCN5578 The main bar (The Porterhouse Tavern) was very rustic feeling, my favorite element of which was the cowhide banquette seating throughout.DSCN5579 DSCN5583

Glass shelving filled with bottles made for unique dividers to separate one banquette seating area from the next, creating a more intimate experience.DSCN5590I wish I could have walked the tavern with one of the designers so I could have asked where this bar came from! It looked like an antique, salvaged piece from somewhere. I guess I’ll never know.DSCN5585 DSCN5586 Behind the main bar, I kept wandering and discovered what a maze the place is! Around every corner there seemed to be one more cool room. This is the Chef’s Table, set in a wine cellar-esque setting.DSCN5580 Beyond that I found the Speakeasy, which was unoccupied but still looked like a great setting for a few beers on a Friday night.DSCN5582 And lastly, the Bissell Room. Even though this dining room felt quite a bit more formal than the other spaces, it would none the less be a comfortable place to sit down and stay awhile for a leisurely meal and a few cocktails.DSCN5581Which is your favorite room?

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A Day in The Hamptons, Breezy and Free

As you may know, I recently finished a pretty intense design program. I’ve been loving my new found freedom! So what’s the first thing I did with it, you might ask? Well, I jumped straight onto a plane for an epic vacation on the other side of the country. First order of business: girls weekend with some high school friends. It was too quick, but we had a fantastic time together, catching up and just enjoying each others company. Since we’d visited New York City together in the past, we decided to mix it up this time around and spend a day in the Hamptons.

First stop: Tate’s Bake Shop in Southampton, for the most delicious baked goods! My favorite was the cookie dough cupcake. And the setting for such a bake shop was just adorable, in what surely used to be someone’s house long ago. It was easy to feel right at home.DSCN5420 DSCN5417 Of course we made time for a quick walk on one of the windy beaches.DSCN5442 Before lunch, we stopped at Wolffer Estate winery in Sagaponack for some wine and girl-chat time. What a beautiful setting to be with friends! DSCN5449 DSCN5448 Lunch was sea food at a Hamptons icon in Amagansett, where they happily boasted the names of all the celebrities who have lunched there.DSCN5458 Next we made our way all the way up to the top of the Island and took a walk on the ocean around the Montauk Point Lighthouse.DSCN5472 DSCN5462 DSCN5474While we were in Amagansett, I couldn’t resist urging the girls to pull over for a little shopping. Love Adorned is one of my favorite shops in SoHo, so I had to see what their Hamptons location was like!
DSCN5483 I’m always up for a good farm stand, and the Round Swamp Farm country market in East Hampton was above and beyond. I would do most of my grocery shopping here if I lived nearby.DSCN5484 DSCN5489 DSCN5485 Since we weren’t quite hungry for dinner yet (having just stuffed ourselves with lobster rolls, fried clams, and chowder) and it was beginning to rain, we did a little more browsing and shopping in East Hampton.

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I loved Book Hampton. It was comfortable, cozy, and was the kind of book shop you could take your time in, especially on a rainy day like it was.DSCN5492 DSCN5490 And finally, we ended our day with drinks and The American Hotel followed by an incredibly delicious dinner at Tutto Il Giorno in Sag Harbor.DSCN5495What a wonderful, leisurely day it was wandering through the Hamptons with great friends and my new found homework-less freedom!

Have you been to the Hamptons? What is your favorite spot there?

Today We Are In: the United Arab Emirates

At this point in the week, we have been in the UAE for four days visiting with these wonderful friends.

469We’re spending this week in Abu Dhabi, where they live. Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates, and is second to Dubai as the largest city in the UAE. Because it is a quickly developing city and one of the most expensive cities in the world, we are expecting to see lots of newly constructed skyscrapers and gorgeous resorts. We’re also expecting a hot sandy desert surrounding the city. We’ll be staying with our friends right near Emirates Palace.

Abu Dhabi is also home to Ferrari World, which is “the largest indoor and first Ferrari theme park.” It looks gigantic!

We’re also planning to get into Dubai this week, since it’s only about a 45 minute drive from Abu Dhabi. Dubai is a bit of an older city, and so we’re expecting more historical structures among the giant sky scrapers there. Dubai is home to the tallest building in the world and architectural phenomenon  the Burj Khalifa. I’m super excited to see it in person, and even better we will be celebrating my husband’s birthday over dinner there. It will be a birthday to remember, for sure!

Have you been to Abu Dhabi or Dubai, or do you want to go? What would you want to see there?