Tuesday Travel

Brooklyn

Oh Brooklyn… I certainly did fall hard for you last weekend and of course returned home and began the search for the perfect apartment in Carroll Gardens. While I don’t think a move is in my imminent future, today’s blog post is so let’s get to it.

Although it is not the largest borough of New York, Brooklyn is the most populated with over 2.5 million people and approximately 136 languages spoken. Walking the streets, you just feel the energy and the culture all around you. This was the first time I really explored Brooklyn. For a girl who loves NYC, I had high expectations for our Brooklyn weekend and nearly every one was blown out of the park. I didn’t want to cross the river to head to Manhattan once.

I have our wonderful hosts, with whom we traveled to The Catskills with, to thank for making sure our weekend was perfect. If you are addicted to Instagram like me, feel free to take a look at our Brooklyn adventure by searching #mrktbkvisit.

Stay

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The Wythe Hotel. I stayed here about six months after they first opened back in 2012 and I must say, it is just as good as I remember. K even said this may just be her favorite place we have stayed as so it is safe to say, I don’t think we will ever stay anywhere else in Brooklyn!

I booked the Historic Corner King for our one night stay (as we had saved a little $$ by staying with our friends in their new Prospect Heights apartment on Friday and Saturday night). We made it to the hotel a little before 2 pm, just in time for The Ides, the rooftop bar to open. It was a glorious, sunny day and we enjoyed cocktails and the amazing views of the city skyline. The Hibiscus Cooler was my drink of choice. We also treated ourselves to the cheese plate and dessert around 10 pm at Reynards, located in the hotel lobby. The tile alone is reason enough to go in my book. One new addition to the hotel offerings since my last visit is Marlow Goods. A beautifully curated shop including leather goods, rugs, bath products, clothing {including my favorite Ulla Johnson}, candles and jewelry. The perfect place to pick up a gift for a loved one and yourself.

Eat

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As with most weekend getaways, our itinerary revolved around food. A few places not to miss include:

Sisters – On our drive to our friends’ apartment we drove by Sisters and based on the facade along I said “we need to go there.” As luck would have it, Sisters was the site of our first meal in Brooklyn. Saturday brunch. I had the avocado toast {pictured above} while the rest of the table enjoyed the egg sandwich on a biscuit. Light and airy, Sisters is also a great spot for late night.

Poppy’s Pop-up – I’ve been admiring Poppy’s Catering on Instagram for quite some time so was excited to learn that their bi-monthly pop-up was taking place on the Saturday of our visit. Beet cured salmon with cream cheese  on multi-grain toast. Yes, please!

Grand Army – After exploring Carroll Gardens, the Brooklyn Bridge and walking through Dumbo, we needed some hydration. Grand Army is the perfect neighborhood spot to do just that. Their cocktail list is spot on, they do brunch till 4 pm and they have the most delicious ricotta toast with brussels sprouts. A must visit!

Emily – It’s like a thing that you have to eat pizza while in NY and Emily’s pizza did not disappoint. Although the wait for a table was nearly 3 hours, we were able to place a to-go order and enjoy Emily’s from the comforts of the apartment within 30 minutes!

Tilda All Day – Tilda’s could just be my favorite breakfast spot. The soft scrambled egg sandwich is delicious. Even better, they have a to-go case with the most delicious chocolate chip cookies so after brunch, make sure to grab a coffee and cookie to go.

Cafe Mogador – Located just two blocks from The Wythe, K and I had a delicious late lunch/early dinner at this spot. The cucumber/mint yogurt dip is to die for and the chicken salad with rice and salad was simple but perfect. I was licking my plate!

Do

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My favorite thing to do in any city is To wander. On our first day we walked nearly 8 miles. Pretty impressive, right? It also offset our weekend food and drink intake 😉

A few not to be missed Brooklyn activities include walking the Brooklyn Bridge, exploring Dumbo and capturing the iconic view of the Manhattan Bridge with the Empire State Building perfectly framed {as pictured above}. I also enjoyed strolling down Atlantic Avenue in Prospect Heights and popping into the shops. My favorites include Steven Alan Home and The Primary Essentials.

We are in talks about our next #MRKT adventure. Berlin, London, and Seattle are just a few places on the table. Do let me know if you have any recommendations!

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Tuesday Travel

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Tuesday travels. One of my favorite blog posts to write. This week, I am excited to share the itinerary from our recent weekend escape to Vermont. My girl had a big birthday last week and to celebrate I stole her away for a northern getaway. Did you know that Vermonters claim to have six seasons? Fall, twig, winter, mud, spring, and summer. Who knew?! Although the foliage was past it peaks, my girl and I managed to have a terrific little getaway in the Green Mountain State!

Stay

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I am a huge fan of Lark Hotels, a group of hotels in iconic New England locations {and soon expanding to Napa and Nashville} that focus on a sense of place and a bit of fun. Each location is designed by principal and head designer Rachel Reider, who was recently honored as one of the “5 under 40 designers” to watch. When I saw pictures of the newly opened Field Guide in Stowe, I knew this was the place to stay. Just look at our room above… updated cabin chic. We stayed in a King Suite in the Trail House, set apart from the main hotel. Our room had a fire place, deck, soaking tub and one of the most comfortable beds we’ve ever slept in. And the best part, breakfast was delivered to our door each morning. I can guarantee this will be a place we stay for years to come.

Do

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Have I mentioned my girl is a huge craft beer fan? If you are in the know about craft beer, then you know Vermont is the place to go. And while there are several notable breweries in the area, my girl’s favorite is Hill Farmstead Brewery. Saturday morning, after enjoying our delicious breakfast delivery, we drove northeast for about 45 minutes to Greensboro. With luck on our side, we arrived a little before 11 am and joined about 20 fellow beer enthusiasts to wait for the 12 noon opening. And you know what? They decided to open early. We were fifth in-line to have our growlers filled {I won’t share how many we bought} and then enjoyed a tasting. I sipped on Works of Love, part of their philosophical series, which is a hoppy blonde ale brewed with Earl Grey tea and quite delicious. Heading to Vermont, I highly recommend a visit to this beautiful and popular spot.

We always joke that my girl loves breweries and I love bakeries so of course we had to check out a local Vermont bakery. My pick Cold Hollow Cider Mill in Waterbury. Their sign claims they have “world-famous donuts” and I am here to confirm they most certainly do. I typically prefer mine with cinnamon sugar but they do a plain cake donut that is perfection.

Vermont is known for idyllic country roads and covered bridges. Before leaving Stowe on Sunday, we visited Emily’s Bridge, highlighted in this picture. For a full list of covered bridges in the state, check out this link.

Eat

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Since I knew we were going to be doing our fair share of drinking over the weekend, I wanted to make sure we started the trip with a good meal in us. After a bit of research, I decided to make our Friday dinner reservation at Hen of the Wood. This restaurant has one goal: to provide a true Vermont dining experience that showcases the vibrant foods of the state. What a dining experience we had. Perfection! If you are planning a trip to Vermont, I encourage you to get online and book now.

A few other spots not to miss:

Doc Ponds – sister restaurant to Hen of the Woods. They have a fantastic beer menu and delicious bites. A far more casual spot with the same attention to food and service.

The Bench – a stone’s throw from the Field Guide, this lively restaurant has a terrific menu of comfort food. Saturday night, we shared the pizza and a yummy spinach salad but the real star of our meal was the s’mores featuring a homemade marshmallow in a cast iron skillet with graham crackers and chocolate. Sinfully good.

Harvest Market – a two-minute drive from Field Guide, this was our morning coffee spot.

Prohibition Pig – located in neighboring Waterbury, Prohibition Pig is the place to go for lunch and/or dinner. Be prepared to wait. Fortunately we were able to grab two seats at the bar for a late lunch on Saturday post brewery. Burgers, mac and cheese, duck fat fries. Food to help cure a beer buzz!

And last but not least, should you find yourself in Woodstock, I highly recommend Worthy Kitchen. We stopped here for a late lunch on Sunday to break up the trip home. I told our waiter we may just drive north for their food. It really is that good!

While we didn’t have much time for shopping, might I suggest a quick stop in to the Stowe Mercantile to pick up some maple syrup, penny candy and snap a photo in the vintage Stowe mountain gondola.

All in all, a perfect weekend getaway. I think my girl would agree!

Tuesday Travel

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For the longest time, I thought New York City was the place I was suppose to be. A city where the streets will make you feel brand new and the lights will inspire you {name that song?!}. There is a pulse and energy to New York that always draws me in. As luck would have it, my big plans of relocating to NYC never did work out {life is all about timing}. Lucky for me, New York is a quick and easy weekend getaway from Beantown.

 Stay

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The Marlton Hotel – K and I stayed here over the summer and absolutely fell in-love with this chic hotel nestled in the heart of Greenwich Village. Although the rooms are small {we stayed in a Queen Deluxe}, our bathroom was insane with a big tub complete with Cote Bastide products and plush robes. And the lounge in the lobby is the perfect place to meet friends for a pre-dinner cocktail. I guarantee we will be staying here again.

The High Line Hotel is also on my list of places to stay. The location is ideal and they have an Intelligentsia coffee truck outside. I’m sold!

Do + See

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Whitney – You must visit the Whitney’s new home in the Meatpacking District. Designed by Renzo Piano and situated between the High Line and the Hudson River, this space is breathtaking and the views of the city well worth the price of admission. Plus, the art collection is insane. I suggest starting on the top floor and working your way down.

The High Line – A park like no other. This nearly 1.5 mile park, built on a long abandoned railway in Chelsea, is a delightful combination of wild, natural foliage, original and restored rails, breath-taking views, benches, and areas to relax. A New York City must!

Eat

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Many of my trips to NYC are planned around where I’m eating. Some favorites include:

ABC Kitchen – My absolute favorite spot in the city. The carrot and avocado salad is a must! Their sister restaurant ABC Cocina is on my list for our next visit.

Craft Bar – Located around the corner from Tom Colicchio’s Craft, Craft Bar is my go-to for a late afternoon bite and cocktail.

Jack’s Wife Freda – If you’re on Instagram, I’m sure you have come across a photo or two of this delightful cafe with two city locations. The poached eggs with grilled tomato and haloumi cheese is delicious! And be sure to check out their sugar packets. The cutest!

The Butcher’s Daughter – A vegetarian and vegan haven with a yummy juice bar next door. Their patio in the summer is where you want to be!

Clinton Street Baking Company – Blueberry pancakes is all you need to know… Oh and go early!

Dough – In my opinion, the donut has replaced the cupcake craze and Dough has some of the best. You must try the hibiscus.

Maman NYC – The cafe of my dreams. The blue paper coffee cups are just the icing on the cake at this quaint French cafe.

Haven’s Kitchen – Cafe, cooking school, event space. Haven’s Kitchen is not to be missed.

A few places on my list still to try: Russ & Daughters Cafe, Egg Shop, and Cafe Clover.

Let’s hear it for New York! 

Tuesday Travel

Providence

I had one of the longest drives of my life to Providence during the December snow storm of 2007. What should have taken 50 minutes, turned into an 8 hours ordeal. The moment I pulled into the parking garage, I vowed to myself I would never drive to Providence again.

That was until my dear friend {and fellow MHC sister} Christina introduced me to East Side Pockets, home of the best falafel wrap in the Northeast. I am known to drive just about anywhere for good food and thus decided a drive to Providence wasn’t such a bad idea after all. Especially if food was involved. But you know what, I never stayed. That all changed, though, when I read about The Dean. At that moment, Providence quickly moved up my list for a weekend getaway.

Turns out, Providence is pretty awesome.

Stay

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I could go on and on about The Dean but I will keep it to this. A 52-room boutique hotel with a coffee shop, German beer hall, European speakeasy and a Karaoke bar all housed in a former brothel. How could you not want to stay here? If you opt for a bit more traditional and classic, I suggest the Providence Biltmore.

Eat

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For such a small city, the culinary scene in Providence is off-the-hook. Here are few must try places.

Birch {Owner and chef Benjamin Sukle, a 2014 James Beard semifinalist, has created an intimate and unique dining experience with only 18 seats around a u-shaped bar. The menu is a four-course tasting and guided by local and seasonal fare. By far, one of my top dining experiences thus far in 2015.}

Al Forno {The restaurant that put Providence on the culinary map.}

Nick’s on Broadway {A delicious gourmet brunch spot. I had the baked polenta with Rhode Island corn + Vermont cheddar with poached eggs and pumpkin seed pesto. So good!}

The Grange {A great spot for the vegetarians, this cheery cafe is always a safe choice for a healthy and wholesome meal. Breakfast, lunch or dinner.}

Tallulah’s Taqueria {An East Providence gem!}

Kitchen {Truth be told I missed this place on my last two visits, but I hear it is fantastic, just look at their exterior.}

Seven Star Bakery{I love me a bakery and their lemon cakes are sinful.}

The Eddy {The place for a nightcap in Providence.}

I’m already making a list of places to try on our next visit: Olga’s Cup and Saucer, North Bakery, The Dorrance, The Shop and Ken’s Ramen.

Do + See

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One of my favorite things to do in Providence is explore. The architecture is mesmerizing and each neighborhood has such a unique feel. Typically I drive to a new neighborhood, park the car and just walk. Some of my favorites include:

A walk down Thayer Street. Located in College Hill, Thayer Street has a similar feel to Harvard Square and is bursting with energy and intellect from near by Brown University. Great shops {Berk’s for shoes is a favorite}, coffee shops and bars abound {and East Side Pockets, of course}!

A walk around Wayland Square.

A visit and walk around Westminster Arcade.

A walk to the State House.

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There is so much to do in Providence that I haven’t yet had a chance to do. WaterFire, RISD Museum, a concert at Providence Performance Arts Center. Must start planning my next visit stat!

Main Image Credit: Parrot Design Studio

Tuesday Travel

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Hello friends and welcome to a new column Tuesday Travel. I love a weekend getaway and now that I am back in Boston, my weekends have been filled with many a getaway. Today I thought I’d share with you the first of many. Provincetown.

I grew up traveling to Ptown for high school sports but let’s be honest that was nearly 20 years ago. I was long overdue. And thus a few weeks back, one warm Friday afternoon, we battled the traffic from the Back Bay to the Seaport and boarded a fast ferry to whisk us away. 90 minutes later, paradise.

Thanks to Conde Nast Traveler, I knew the place to stay was Salt House Inn. Located on the East End of town and a short 10 minute walk from the docks (right off Commercial Street), the Salt House Inn is a boutique inn redefining the b+b experience. We stayed in Room No. 8, a deluxe king with a oars above our heads, accents of yellow and gray throughout the white-on-white palette. Updated nautical chic at its finest. The owners also opened a sister property this past Memorial Day weekend, Eben House, one of only three brick colonial homes left and built by Captain Eben Snow in 1776. Next time, I think we will stay here.

Whenever I travel, I always love to discover where the locals go. While confirming the details of our arrival, I asked our innkeepers for the inside scoop. After a little research, I decided on Victor’s for our first dinner. Located on the West End of town, Victor’s has been named as Ptown’s culinary hotspot. And hot spot it is. The bar was packed and the service pleasant. It was a little noisy for our liking but worth it after we tried the Ahi tuna napoleon. Next time, we will probably go for early cocktails and the raw bar. And a walk through the West End is a must. The homes here are perfection. Every time we turned a corner, I found a new favorite.

In my opinion, the best part of staying at a b+b is the breakfast and let me tell you, Salt House Inn didn’t disappoint. Sour cream coffee cake (so good I begged for the recipe), fresh fruit, greek yogurt with homemade granola and honey, toast and muffins. The perfect mix to start our day.

As if we wasn’t satisfied from our breakfast spread, I saw on Instagram that Happy Camper was having a little pop-up at The Canteen on Commercial Street. After picking up a quick coffee at Wired Puppy, down Commercial Street we went. K and I split the orange chai {so good} as our real goal for the morning was to get in a bike ride. Ptown Bikes came highly recommended so after our donut adventure we walked to Bradford Street to get ourselves some bikes. We decided to take the trails out to Race Point Beach, about a 2.5 mile ride from town. Little did I know that trails are actually trails. Nothing like my rides out to Madaket Beach. Should you decide to take a ride, be prepared to exert some energy. In the end, it was worth the sweat as Race Point is beautiful. A wide, expansive beach with sand dunes that are breathtaking.

After our ride back to town, we needed a little nourishment. I had read about a little sandwich shop Pop+Dutch, which just happened to be down the road from Ptown Bikes. K got their special sandwich which for the life of me I can’t remember what it was and I had their green goddess chicken salad on a brioche bun. It hit the spot. They also had a fresh watermelon aqua fresca, which helped to hydrate us both.

For dinner, we decided to grab a few appetizers and drinks at Joon Bar + Kitchen, which we were told has become the new local spot. And what a great spot it is. I decided on their White Linen cocktail, made with ginger vodka, lemonade and fresh mint. My new summer drink! The reason we decided on just appetizers was because we were holding out for Spiritus Pizza. On the walk home, we stopped in for four slices to enjoy on our deck while watching the sunset. A perfect ending to a perfect day.

Sunday was our shopping day. A few shops not to miss: John Derian, Tim Scapes, Room 68 and Adam Peck Gallery. And turns out we saved our best meal for last, The Canteen. I can’t say enough about this place. Next time we go to Ptown, I think I may just eat every meal here. It is just that good. The cod banh mi, the honeysuckle popsicle, the seating area with a view of the harbor. The Canteen is one of those places I wish I could pack up and bring home with me.

Ptown, I left a little bit of my heart with you and as an island girl, that is saying quite a bit. We can’t wait to visit again. I am most thankful I don’t need to drive to you. Cape traffic in the summer is brutal!