Saturday - December 10, 2022

What?s Hot Across the Pond?

October 15th, 2007

Stroll through the many home interior shops in Europe and one thing will become readily apparent. Eclecticism is the design trend of the day. “There is really no ‘look\’ in Europe,” says Olivier Cardon, CEO, Roche-Bobois US. “Just the opposite.” Visit a European home and you may see a contemporary sofa, for example, paired with the bergere your friend inherited from her grandmother or a lamp picked up at a weekend flea market. “Reinventing the past” is how Belgian-headquartered Flamant Home Interiors describes their design concept. Minimalism... Read More

The Enchanting Emerald Isle

September 14th, 2007

If you\’re short a few friends in your life, all you have to do is cross the Atlantic, arrive in Ireland, and within days-if not hours!-you will be embraced (literally as well as figuratively) by the friendliest people in the world. Before I left for a two-week trip to Ireland this fall (my first), my father, who has made three trips there, said, “The friendliest people I\’ve ever met are the Irish.” When I stopped in the camera store to buy film, the manager said, “Oh, you\’re going to Ireland…my family\’s from Galway…they\’d just love... Read More

Bonjour Quebec!

August 7th, 2007

For a vacation with European flair, without having to spend the time or the money to fly over an ocean to get there, you\’d do well to point yourself north and head to the charming Canadian destination of Quebec City. This unique walled city on the St. Lawrence River combines a scenic location, architectural beauty, gourmet dining, fashionable shopping, year-round activities, and-here\’s an added bonus-the exchange rate won\’t put a dent in your wallet! You\’ve gotta love a city that doesn\’t hunker down and hibernate when the weather turns frosty-actually, that\’s... Read More

Grandeur at The Biltmore

July 11th, 2007

What do I have in common with former President and First Lady Clinton…or Martha Stewart (and Rob Stewart for that matter)…or Oprah Winfrey? Unfortunately, not as much as I\’d like, but at least I too was able to enjoy the stately elegance and grandeur of The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida. World leaders, television and movie stars, and music legends have all been guests of this beautiful retreat-and now, so have I! Built at the height of Florida\’s land boom in the 1920s, the Biltmore was the dream of Coral Gables developer George Merrick and Biltmore... Read More

Southern Charm Lives On in Charleston

June 11th, 2007

It won\’t take you long to figure out what Rhett-yes, that Rhett-was talking about when he told Scarlett that he was going to return to Charleston, where he could find “the calm dignity life can have when it\’s lived by gentle folks, the genial grace of days that are gone. When I lived those days, I didn\’t realize the slow charm of them.” That slow, Southern charm is still pervasive in this beautiful coastal city that today is known as much for its fine dining, world-renowned arts festival and architectural preservation as it is for the fact that the nation\’s... Read More

A Gem of a City

April 13th, 2007

Antwerp has had a long reputation as one of the world\’s great diamond markets, but in recent years, this Belgian city, just 45 minutes from the capital of Brussels, has become something of a gem itself. Once home to artists Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony Van Dyck, Antwerp has now become a center of fashion and home design, and a modern city that still honors its medieval heritage. In its very early history, Antwerp was a maritime city, owing its very existence to the river Scheldt. Through the centuries, the city center and the port eventually diverged, and today Antwerp\’s... Read More

North of the Border

March 5th, 2007

I have to admit that I was not one of the legions of readers of the popular “Anne of Green Gables” books. Yet somehow, the appeal of Nova Scotia, the setting for the fictional childhood series, has always fascinated me. So when I was looking for a quick getaway recently and found out that nonstop flights were now available from Dulles International Airport to the capital city of Halifax, I wasted no time in booking a flight. Once on the plane, I was across the border in less than two hours and ready for my Nova Scotian experience. After picking up my rental car at the very... Read More

A Fling in the Land of the Bagpipes

November 14th, 2006

Given that one of my all-time favorite movies is “Brigadoon,” and one of my favorite television programs, “Highlander”-the story of the immortal “Duncan MacLeod of the clan MacLeod”-it was surprising that I had never made it to Scotland before, a lack in my travels that I had been intending to remedy as soon as possible. So when my friends said they were going to Edinburgh to visit their son who was spending a semester abroad, and suggested I join them, it didn\’t take much to convince me to take them up on their invitation. It was to be a short... Read More

A Theaterlover\’s London

October 11th, 2006

If you love theater, two destinations come to mind—New York, of course, and also London. If you\’re planning a trip to London, like I recently did, indulge your “culture vulture” side and enjoy the London stage, but from a different vantage point—behind the scenes. To set the stage—so to speak—for your theater-loving experience, choose a hotel that\’s in the very center of the West End, London\’s theater district equivalent to Broadway. For me, that meant the Savoy. This historic hotel first opened its doors in 1889, the vision of Gilbert & Sullivan impresario... Read More

Following in the Footsteps of Jane (Austen, that is)

September 15th, 2006

“Bath is the finest place on earth, for you may enjoy its society and its walks without effort or fatigue,” wrote 18th century Scottish essayist James Boswell of this English town that dates to Roman times. I daresay should Boswell visit Bath today he would find those walks somewhat more tiring as he dodged the throngs of tourists and vehicles alike, but once he took those in stride, he would likely discover that Bath is still indeed a fine spot for a visit—as I recently found out for myself. Bath is just a 90-minute train ride from London (whether you\’re coming or going,... Read More