Tag Archives: vacation

Montreal- an unexpected foodie city !

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Loved all the places we ate our way though !
Friday night – Foxy. Super grill food , just deliciousness !

Saturday brunch at Olive + gourmando. We waited for 30 mins – it was so worth the wait !! Owned by the same people that own Foxy. I had a summer salad with pumpkin seeds , quinoa , cauliflower , chicken.
DH had eggs. We both had spritz. Yummy.

Dinner was at Le Mousso. An 11 course tasting menu ! Heavenly. We did the wine pairing to go along with it. Every dish was creative , well done , superbly thought out.

Sunday brunch , our last meal was at Lawrence. Loved the food , scene , vibe and the chilled out neighborhood. I ate the eggplant on a flatbread with egg. So ,so good.

I need to come back to try all the other restaurants this city has to offer. Till next time Montreal- you were fun to visit !
#canada #foodlovers #foodiecity #greatvacation

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When in doubt , head to Italy ! 

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Italy is my favorite country in the world.  New York is where I wanted to live as a child , Italy (  Regions of Tuscany or Umbria ) are where I would love to retire. 

Day 1 in Milan. We checked in at the Bulgari. A true test of a hotel is what they do when they are in trouble. With that internet down , printers not working the hotel was in trouble. But with a smiling face and no stress visible they handed it like complete pros. 

We had the 4 th floor room , garden view. Very nice. 

Candy and a tamarind drink at the lobby. 


Drinks at the ever popular bar with outdoor seating. Felt like an oasis in a busy city. Loved it. 

We did lunch at convivum restaurant. It overlooks this piazza.  Everything is gorgeous here. 


We dined at the 2 Michelin star restaurant , Seta. We really enjoyed our meal. The lamb was one of the best I have ever eaten. ( At the Mandarin Oriental ) 


Day 1 – a success !! We also went to the gym – so that was great. Could slightly justify the over eating. 

Day 2- Portofino, Italy 

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We were well rested this morning , having slept 12 hours !! The bedroom was so dark and we had no screaming kids ! 

We got ready and walked down to the town on Portofino. The Belmond has 2 properties here. One high up on a hill ( where we were staying ) and one right on the water ( Belmond Splendio Mare). The hotel has a shuttle service back and forth every 20 mins as well. 

   

Walking this path led to the habor. For a fishing town , it has some very beautiful high end designer stores. 

I love buying fruits as they taste so different and natural. 

  
Morning espresso. A Double. 

  

Pictures below of the harbor. 

   
     
Lunch was at a restaurant called o Magazin. Delicious fresh pasta and seafood. 

   
 

Portofino is around 1:20 mins drom Thr UNESCO world heritage site of Cinque Terra. More on that day 3. 

We ate dinner at a restaurant called PUNY. Super food. They take themselves quite seriously and if they don’t think you should , they will advise against cheese in their food lol. 

The speciality if this area is pappardelle pasta , made with pesto and tomato sauce. 

Steven our waiter shared that Denzel Washington is a big fan and has come back at 1 am ( after an earlier meal) to prepare this with the chef. 

In any case ,  the pasta and the fish we ate were so delicious we decided to come back the next night. 

Dessert was gelato ! 

Dubai madness!

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I planned this trip 4 months ago as a mini escape from Delhi ( great opportunity to leave the kids behind with grandparents and escape).
My best friend of 32 years lives here and I wanted to surprise her. My hubby’s best friend lives in Singapore- he came to surprise my hubby as well. The surprises were a huge hit and we have been having a fantastic time!!
We are staying at the One and only Palm, a true oasis in this crazy city. It’s away from everything and truly a beautiful , small 90 room , 4 villa property.
More pictures to follow.

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Day 5: La Samana

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Day 4: was started off by us rushing for breakfast. One of the joys of vacation is not putting an alarm , though sleepy heads like us can really sleep 10 hours straight!
We made it ( barely) and then I went for a site inspection.
The villas here surpass any villa hotel properties that I have seen. Not only are they immaculate , but the super high ceilings just lends a very airy and spacious feeling to the 3 and 4 bedroom.
They all come with your own butler as well.

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The villas all have huge terraces and balconies. No direct beach access though. All rooms and bathrooms were equal in size too.

The other room that I liked was the one bedroom terrace suite. I saw the one that Donatella Versace stayed at.
I love the layout of this room.
It was a terrace outside the room , a sunken step down living room to the right and bathroom and bedroom to the left.

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We then went to Marigold to walk around and we ate lunch at a little shack by the beach. We ate “Lolo” which is bar-b-que. it was delicious.

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OE hotel is going to do a huge renovation of the lobby and restaurant starting August 1 st and from the sounds of it, it will be neat and also ready in 2 months !

Villas in off season cost $2000/ nt which is a bargain if you get a few friends to join you.
So let’s talk about your next vacation. 🙂

Day 5- Florence , here we come! :)

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Santa Croce church was our meeting point after a breakfast feast. We went to a leather and mosaic factory.
The mosaic art was created in the 16 th century by the Medici family. It was used as inserts in panels , table tops etc. They use beeswax to join these pieces together. They start with an idea- portrait , canvas etc then create a template and apply to the solid piece of slate and then just cut out with an old bow. On the weekends they go to look for stones in the hills of Florence.

   

The mosaic workshop we visited was “I Mosaici di lastrucci”.

Its on Via dei Macci, 9, -51022.

http://www.imosaicidilastrucci.it/index.php?i-mosaici-di-lastrucci-firenze

More info is on the previous post.

                               

   

       

The leather school”Scuola Del Cuoio”  http://www.scuoladelcuoio.com/index.html –

There was a dormitory that was abandoned and converted to a leather school for the orphans. The Fransicians decided to train them in the leather crafts. This was in the 13 th century. This was near a tannery as it was close to water. They uses to cover their manuscripts in leather. The family owned a leather workshop in 1932. It was specialized in artisinal leather.
In 1950 the leather workshop moved here, to this location. There is a workshop and an international school. The leather is all Italian. We met 2 of the 3 sisters who are the owners of this workshop.

       

After this, we had a little bit of free time to walk around, so I walked a little bit of this fantastic city!

      

Villa San Michele Site Inspection

http://www.villasanmichele.com/web/ovil/villa_san_michele.jsp

Built in the 15 th century. 1808 was a monastery then converted to a villa. A French owner bought it but it was destroyed in 1942 after the war. In 1952 it was converted to a hotel.

This was the 2 Nd OE hotel in Italy. Designed by Michaelango. The suite ( Michangelo is 70 sq mt and connected with 2 double suites) .
There are 2 classic doubles ( overlooking the gardens) ,10 superior doubles and 8 deluxe double rooms.
In 1994 the outside was built until 2003. There are 3 categories. Very large 40 sq mt. Private terrace or garden.
In 1994 after the major refurbishment the dining hall was covered and they were able to create the indoor restaurant.
Junior Executive deluxe, deluxe and junior superior. The lomonata suite has a plunge pool. There is 1 bedroom suite , then 2 garden suites.The chapel -deluxe double used to be the chapel of the hotel.
Total 46 rooms.

There is no spa but all treatments can be arranged in the rooms and there is an open space spa area for massages overlooking the city.

The cooking school works on Mon , Wed and Sat. The rate of the school  is 200 euros pp plus tax. During peak season there is a symphony of pasta , a 3 day stay who will prepare typical pasta and then other chefs come to prepare food and demonstrate.
  

    

  

The Last Supper 

      

  

  

 

  

  

  

The meal was perfection. This was our last dinner before we left.

The next day, we headed back to NYC on Alatalia, which was absolutely fabulous being on their flat beds. A great flight and service. I would highly recommend it.