Embargoed until a few hours ago ~ it’s been driving me crazy to sit on these pictures from my few hours in Reims, France for lunch a few weeks ago! Veuve Clicquot’s Hotel du Marc, which is barely a hotel at all ~ more of a magical guest mansion of sorts in Reims that Veuve Cliquot uses for special occasions ~ has recently finished its restoration/remodel which now includes some lovely themed guest rooms filled with modern art as well as hints of its past! From the beautiful staircase and the Chanel like faceted mirrors, to the Veuve-yellow Smeg and wall of champagne… the ornate chandeliered dining rooms to the modern portraits lining the hallway to the guest rooms… there is so much to take in, but here’s a first peek into their world!
you can also catch me in a few reflections rocking the super yellow veuve apron…
Cave hunting in Thailand, stunning Sardinia and a 48 hour adventure in Amman are all part of this week’s roundup from NotVentures. To find out more about each destination, click on its individual image.
Visits to an elephant camp, idyllic Antarctica and the Valley of the Sliding Stones are all a part of this week’s roundup from NotVentures. To find out more about each adventure, click on its individual image.
Our London-based editor Justine Aw catches up with the latest action from the London Design Festival!
Stunning. It really is all about the details in this beautiful wooden steamer trunk. Method furniture created ‘The Journeyman’, a modern portmanteau steamer trunk for a jeanmaker. The trunk was created in collaboration with Denham and is a modern take on a classic design to be used for both display and transportation of stock. The framework of the piece is constructed of solid ash and gently curved rather than straight, almost canoe-like, creating greater rib-strength and allowing the trunk to rest comfortably on its side. The design is thoughtful and elegant throughout as well as lovingly constructed by hand with over 200 interconnected traditional joins and over 150 hand-Japanned custom engineered fixings. See pictures of it from London Design Week as well as the making-of video, pics, and sketches on the next page…
After the Mercedes-Benz Bremen factory, we drove down about 6 hours (Fun! Intense! Autobahn adventures!) to Stuttgart ~ and getting in around midnight, we promptly settled in to Der Zauberlehrling, a cute little design hotel, with only a few hours to work, clean up, sleep ~ and hop back on the road by morning! Nestled in the Sunrise room, you can get a peek at the unique space! The patio made me wish i colud have stayed longer to relax a bit! See it all on the next page.
This one is for everyone who keeps asking me where i am… and an excuse as to why i’ve been so behind on emails/everything. 9/11: FLY Los Angeles to Frankfurt. 9/14 FLY Frankfurt to Paris. DRIVE Paris to Reims. TRAIN Reims to Paris. 9/15 DRIVE Paris to Ouistreham. FERRY to Dover. 9/16 DRIVE to Chichester. DRIVE to London. 9/17 FLY to Mallorca. 9/21 FLY to Barcelona. FLY to Hamburg. DRIVE to Bremen. DRIVE to Stuttgart. 9/22 DRIVE to Affaltarbach. DRIVE to Stuttgart. FLY to Frankfurt. FLY to Nice. 9/23 DRIVE to Monaco. DRIVE to Ventimiglia. DRIVE to Monaco. 9/24 FLY (Helicopter!) to Nice. FLY to Munich. Which is where i am now! Hiding out, catching up for a day ~ then more adventures and hopefully on 9/27 FLY home to LA. As to what comes after that ~ a few things up in the air, but hope you understand why it’s been a bit crazy! So far its been planes (and helicopters) and trains and cars (both super vintage and SUPER new) and a ferry…
While Nalden and I were cruising to the Monaco helipad to catch our ride back to Nice airport this morning, there was a loop of an intersection that confused me far too much, and this bizarre concrete truck/cow thing on a building nearby… so, luckily the quick snapshots came out so i can show you what i’m talking about! I only found two other pics online. Any one know what the story is?
Get inspired for your next adventure with this roundup from NotVentures. This week’s picks include hot restaurants in Paris, a guide to Budapest and Istanbul reimagined. To find out more about each post, click on its individual image.
Flew Spanair for the first time ~ noticed a fun graphic ad in their inflight magazine… and found it HUGE when i landed in Barcelona. The icons on it for each city they fly to were so cute i couldn’t help taking pics! See the details on the next page!
As painful as waking up at 4am was to grab a 5am cab to catch a 7am flight out of Mallorca earlier than planned (but for good reason! Off to german adventures to see siblings of my car being made and meet the guy who built my engine! but more on that later) ~ the sunrise was gorgeous out the airplane window from Mallorca to Barcelona… take a peek on the next page!
Wow. So when i first heard about Orient Express’ rebranding and “A Journey Like No Other” campaign coming up, i didn’t quite grasp how magically inspiring it would all be. Then amidst the chaos of running literally ALL over europe at lightning speeds for a few weeks of work trips, they offered the opportunity to experience it first hand, so i’ve been hiding out for a few days in between the madness in Mallorca at La Residencia in Deia. I supposed the truth is, i’m a sucker for other worldly escapes ~ be it in film or photography, there’s something nice about being pulled out of your everyday life, pressing pause for a moment, slipping into as much inspired relaxation as possible before leaping back into the thick of it.
The Orient Express’ seems to have captured the essence of this other worldly escapism perfectly through the 4 perspectives of a family in their new campaign ~ from Father, Mother, Son, and Daughters views spanning travel via luxurious train, boats to Venice, drives to Rio, and more. The mini films (and matching instagram-esque photo galleries) help you feel like you’re peeking into another life ~ and it’s so fun seeing the same trips from various perspectives… both nostalgic and modern, watching them while curled up in Mallorca, a mere few hours before hopping a 7am flight, just makes me want to duck away into yet another Orient Express styled adventure in luxurious relaxation… but perhaps a few more work bursts before the next one is needed! As for now… take a peek at some of the first few “A Journey Like No Other” videos on the next page ~ and see more on the site!
On great escapes, the Orient Express (and their Journey Like No Other) seems to know how to do it ~ this week in particular we’ve been hiding out at La Residencia in Deia, Mallorca, Spain in between trips (See the madness surrounding this escape and a peek at the views at night). I can guarantee your stress levels will drop ten fold even from the drive in from Palma (or via private jet)… the softly twisting roads bring you deeper into the island’s canyons and terraced lush green hillsides. The hotel and surrounding town have apparently changed little over the last few decades, and before joining the Orient Express family in 2002 was owned by Richard Branson since the late 80s, and a favorite escape for many high profile clients over the years. Luxurious accommodations, great service, and breath taking views… not to mention divine tapas… while you have multiple pools, tennis, spa and lots of hiking, sailing, and more available, it’s hard to beat taking a few hours curled up on the patio of our suite staring out at the mountains and ocean… so take a peek inside the Alfabia suite, our ridiculously large bathroom, luscious four poster bed (with tv that pops out from the foot of the bed)… in addition to a few other fun details ~ from the call buttons that are poolside… to the various donkeys, sheep, and olive groves around the property (which they make their own olive oil from!) as well as an organic garden next to the spa!
You have to see the amazing little cove that is a quick walk/hike down into the canyons to the water…
Well before another week not too dissimilar than the last, the Orient Express has invited me to experience one of their relaxing escapes, and the timing seemed perfect to see the world of Hotel La Residencia, nestled in Deia, Mallorca, Spain while catching my breathe. Currently curled up on the patio lounge chair in a bathrobe with laptop staring out at the most serene town, mountainside, and peeks of ocean 5 minutes away as i write this post. And last night after getting in, you can see the delectable tapas and wine we indulged in… before coming back to a nice bottle of bubbly cava they kindly left for us… at which point i couldn’t not grab my camera and share the stunning star filled night and glow of the town. So before i give you a peek into the room ~ take a look at the breath taking night! Exactly what i needed after quite the euro-whirlwind of a week!
I’m all smiles when NOTCOT favorites team up ~ and i really can’t stop grinning when a rough few days get turned around by thoughtful little surprises ~ like this exclusive Dopp Kit from Incase and the Ace Hotel New York which matches the new Incase x Atelier Ace FW2011 collection. Complete with Ace/Incase logos cobranded on the zipper pull ~ and all the favorite Rudy’s Barbershop goodies usually in large pump containers in the Ace NY bathrooms now in adorable mini form ready for other travel adventures! It’s as if they knew i’m running around in a packing frenzy trying to pack for a few weeks in europe, and as i get to organizers, the perfect sized dopp appears. In standard Incase fashion, the quality is amazing, nice sturdy yet soft cotton ~ bright “taffeta” orange interior making it easy to fish around for things. This may just be the perfect bag for the many action HD cameras and mounts and cables and madness i need to pack for this trip! Take a peek at all the details on the next page…
A Zambian safari, an escape in the Philippines and top destinations for volcano lovers are all part of this week’s roundup from NotVentures. To find out more about each post, click on its individual image.
An unexpected discovery on the way to FARM:shop, the Dalton Eastern Curve Garden looked irresistibly welcoming. The unexpected wildlife friendly garden is a beautiful sanctuary from the busy streets, like a big communal backyard complete with butterflies and bees drifting from flower to flower, children playing and locals relaxing in the sunshine as the pizza oven was being fired up.
The garden is situated on the abandoned Eastern Curve railway line. The area was transformed into a green space by the Design for London initiative Making Space in Dalston. The collaborative EXYZT built the ‘Dalston Mill’ for three weeks as part of The Barbican Centre’s ‘Radical Nature’ exhibition and returned to create the pavilion in 2010. The gardens opened just over a year ago in July 2010.
“A meeting place for people and plants”, the garden hosts courses, events, workshops and all sorts of activities for children and adults, it is a wonderful space and perfect way to escape for a few hours. More photos of this spectacular urban garden and pavilion on the next page.
Here’s the latest discovery from Justine based in London!
20 Dalston Lane in the heart of East London seems an odd address for a farm. But Dalston’s FARM:shop is literally a farm in a shop. Once a derelict store, the shop is now a shop/cafe/meeting place and farm all in one. It is home to hundreds of growing plants arranged in every setup imaginable from a backyard polytunnel to hydroponics setup where plants are fed by the fish. It is even home to a flock of rooftop living chickens!
A perfect combination of public spaces/projects with urban farming, I knew this one would be right up our alley, and when I heard about the hydroponics and chickens on the roof, I knew it would be one not to miss. More photos on the next page!
Get ready for the weekend, with a roundup of travel inspiration from NotVentures. This week’s roundup includes picnics in Portland, emigrating to New Zealand and the undiscovered charms of the Antilles! To find out more about each post, click on its individual image.
Running around San Francisco this weekend, popped by a few of the old spots ~ and had to go by Magnolia Gastropub and Brewery on Haight. My other old neighborhood fav that we also went to this week, their sister spot up Haight, The Alembic. Food and drinks at both were spectacular as always ~ but what made me grab my camera was the menu redesigns… both the their interior and branding were done by Nothing Somthing: NY. The attention to detail ~ beautiful typography ~ the little type snippets hidden about ~ the images on the flip sides of the pages… also Magnolia had some delicious Devils on Horseback (goat cheese stuffed dates wrapped in bacon) and Pulled Pork Poutine. And we couldn’t help but try two cases of the 6 beer samplers to work our way through all of their latest brews. Take a peek at it all on the next page!
If at The Alembic - Slow Cooked Farm Egg (with quinoa, chorizo, fava beans, maitake mushroom, idiazabal) is a must try. Also the Bone Marrow. Mmmmm.
Last night we stayed at the Dream Inn Santa Cruz, and from the balcony there was an amazing view of the wharf, boardwalk, and the bay… and all night we heard a mix of waves crashing, fog horn going, and what sounded like tons of sea lions barking… but we never saw them! When i asked about the upon check out ~ i didn’t believe the woman that they were all tucked away on the pylons beneath the wharf… so, first stop was the wharf! And she wasn’t kidding… you have to see it for yourself ~ they balance and nap beneath the wharf on the thin pylons. They even leap up on to them (sometimes after many tries and much splashing) ~ and you can get closer to all of them than at a zoo, etc. It’s fascinating. They are SO loud with the echo created under the wharf. You can peek at them at a few spots ~ under the wharf, on the floating barge near the boat launch, and through various areas in the center of the wharf near the far end… Endlessly amusing, and a gorgeously sunny day in Santa Cruz ~ take a peek at our post-car-weekend adventure on the next page…
We went offroading in the new Range Rover Evoque! I had no idea while wandering around between the beautiful cars on the golf course at The Quail that just behind the course is one of 4 Land Rover Driving Schools. It takes you straight up into the lush trees of Carmel as you twist and turn along their dirt track… occasionally with a camera man popping out as you round a corer ~ after all, this was fun test drive experience Range Rover set up for Quail visitors to experience what the Evoque can really do. The highlight? The glass roof is amazing! And when clean, the pictures and view you get through it are incredible! While having grown up in many SUVs, i must say the clearance in the front was a bit tough, particularly while trying to navigate their offroad course, but there are some UI details that are pretty interesting… take a peek on the next page at the mini-adventure and some Evoque details!
Just launched today ~ Bluelounge MiniDock! This magical little contraption means you can now charge your Apple gadgets directly from the wall socket, saving counter/floor space and cables. Perfect for hotels, sitting in airport lounges, bedside charging… you name it! As usual with Bluelounge the product feels great in your hands, the details are perfectly simple ~ as the press kit cover says “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler,” quoting Albert Einstein. Take a peek at the unboxing as well as examples of it in use (and video!) on the next page!