LATEST

Spain’s Other Coast

Europe has always been a popular destination for American travelers in the summertime. While flights to France, Italy and the United Kingdom can be pricey this time of year, Spain tends to be a bit cheaper. But instead of heading to the overcrowded beaches of tony Marbella or touristy Barcelona, take a detour to the northwest Basque coast. Here are my top-three reasons to visit San Sebastian this summer.

You Gotta Have Art

Guggenheim Museum in Bilboa (Guggenheim.org)

San Sebastian is home to a thriving art and cultural scene, showcasing the region’s unique history—the Basques are an ancient culture and vehemently independent. Throughout the summer, the city hosts music and cultural festivals galore. The 54th Heinekin “Jazzaldia,” the city’s jazz festival, happens the last week of July and is the longest running festival of its kind in Europe. Classical music concerts are held throughout August at the Musika Hamabostaldia. Film lovers flock to the region in September for the world-renowned San Sebastian Film Festival. Basque culture is celebrated during Basque Week in early September. If you love art, head to one of the city’s many museums, but don’t forget to take a side trip to nearby Bilbao, home to the Guggenheim museum.

Dinner is Served

Arzak (Trip Advisor)

Most of us who have tried Spanish cuisine stateside have encountered regional fare from Sevilla and Madrid. Basque cuisine is entirely different. Fish and meat are grilled over large coals, and hearty stews and bean dishes are extremely popular. The area is home to a large proliferation of Michelin–starred restaurants—second only to Paris—including Arzak, Akelarre and Mugartiz. For less chichi dining, opt for a cider house, which can be found throughout the region.

The Great Outdoors

Surfers at Zurriola Beach (San Sebastian Tourism)

While most visitors to Spain don’t do anything more strenuous than climb a cobblestone street to visit a historic site, for more adventurous travelers, San Sebastian offers a wealth of great outdoor opportunities. You can hike to the top of Monte Urgull or one of the other peaks or bike the surrounding hills. Surfers head to Zurriola, Fuenterrabia and Hendaia beaches for their great waves and relative breathing room.

Inman’s Endless Crush Rosé of Pinot Noir

If you read my article on Ehlers’ Rosé—made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc—then you may recall my affection for new world rosés. Yes, the classic Provence style, driven primarily by Grenache and Cinsault (Syrah and Mouvedre to a lesser degree), will likely reign supreme for a long time—both in terms of market cap and perceived authenticity (what a rosé should taste like in most people’s mind). And in the dog days of summer this style of rosé is usually what I look for too. But rosé as a segment of the wine market is unique in its sheer size and endless possibilities. Remember, you can make rosé out of almost any red varietal—from a single varietal or a blend of several. This is why the number of rosés on the shelf of your local wine merchant has probably grown over the years. They are everywhere and constantly evolving.

One varietal that has proven to work well for rosé is Pinot Noir. However—and this is key—it depends on the region. You don’t see many rosés coming out of the Côte-d’Or in Burgundy, for example. Yet this region is world famous for Pinot Noir. So why so few rosés? Rosé needs very ripe, bright fruit to achieve the kind of flavor profile that people have become accustom to—in my opinion. That’s not to say some earthiness is not also a key factor in making quality rosé. Provence has both, but it’s the warm climate in the south of France that is paramount. When I think of wine regions of the world that have the kind of soil to grow world-class Pinot Noir but also have plenty of sunshine, California and Oregon come to mind above all other regions. Particularly California.

Established in 2000 with the planting of their Olivet Grange Vineyard in the heart of the Russian River Valley, Inman Family Wines is the result of Kathleen Inman’s love of Pinot Noir and the soil that produces it. Since her first small vintage in 2002, she has been an ardent supporter of non-interventionalist winemaking practices, ignoring the critically acclaimed riper-style and leading the movement towards more subtle, nuanced wines with a sense of place.

 

The 2019 Endless Crush Rosé of Pinot Noir, OGV Estate is no exception to these practices and reflects the winery’s success with “intentional” or “direct-to-press” rosés. Some rosés are made as a by-product of red wine by bleeding off some of the juice early in the production process to create a higher ratio of skin to juice, which concentrates the resulting wine. Whereas rosés made “intentionally,” rather than simply by drawing off the free run juice, tend to have greater complexity and structure because the entire grape is used.

 

As you might expect this wine has flavors of a classic rosé as well as the alluring, delicate flavors of a premium Russian river Pinot Noir. Strawberries and raspberries intermingle with stone fruits (peach and apricot)—held up with great minerality. This wine is indeed a result of the “direct-to-press” approach with good complexity and layers of flavor that last a while on the finish.

 

 

 

 

 

Where the Figawi?

The Story Behind the Annual Boat Race Between Hyannis and Nantucket

In 1972, a friendly conversation among friends at Baxter’s Boathouse in Hyannis, MA escalated to a challenge to see who could sail their boat to Nantucket the fastest over Memorial Day weekend. This was the inception of Figawi Race Weekend, a Nantucket and Cape Cod tradition that has grown considerably in popularity since it’s informal start in 1972 thanks to names like Kennedy and Koch joining the competition in the 80s and beyond.

Continue reading

Summer Cycling With Aspen’s Little Nell

There are certain bragging rights that come with riding my beat-up used bike as I slalom between the trucks and taxis in New York City. Last July, however, I decided to exchange the exhaust of Manhattan’s avenues for the pristine air of the Rockies and my $200 Taiwanese ten-speed for a state-of-the-art Orbea road bike as I put my vacation in the hands of the “adventure concierges” at Aspen’s Little Nell.

Continue reading

TRENDING

Where the Figawi?

The Story Behind the Annual Boat Race Between Hyannis and Nantucket

In 1972, a friendly conversation among friends at Baxter’s Boathouse in Hyannis, MA escalated to a challenge to see who could sail their boat to Nantucket the fastest over Memorial Day weekend. This was the inception of Figawi Race Weekend, a Nantucket and Cape Cod tradition that has grown considerably in popularity since it’s informal start in 1972 thanks to names like Kennedy and Koch joining the competition in the 80s and beyond.

Continue reading

Laying Low in Napa Valley

Napa Valley can stoke some excitement in people who visit for the first time. There is nothing wrong, after all, with the obligatory stretch limo, cellar tours, buying wine by the case and boisterous conversations with the winery folk. Continue reading

6 New England Seaside Resorts to Stay at This Summer

Note: We don’t recommend anyone take any chances by traveling, dining out or participating in other “travel and leisure” activities during the Covid-19 crisis. But we’ll continue to write about these lifestyle activities for your knowledge and current daydreaming pleasure.     

 

While booking a summer rental has its merits, there is something about beach resorts—convenience, amenities and hospitality to name a few perks—that can make it much easier than hassling with the research and paperwork normally associated with summer rentals. Here are 6 resorts in New England that are sure to satiate your summer travel cravings, without any hassles. 

Continue reading

Summer Cycling With Aspen’s Little Nell

There are certain bragging rights that come with riding my beat-up used bike as I slalom between the trucks and taxis in New York City. Last July, however, I decided to exchange the exhaust of Manhattan’s avenues for the pristine air of the Rockies and my $200 Taiwanese ten-speed for a state-of-the-art Orbea road bike as I put my vacation in the hands of the “adventure concierges” at Aspen’s Little Nell.

Continue reading

MOST POPULAR

Nomad Hotel Library Bar

Best Library Bars

Ah, the library bar. An urban oasis steeped in history (quite literally). Vintage, deep-seated armchairs, mahogany shelves and leather bound books ease the soul, while a single malt scotch calms the nerves after a long day of work. Ron Burgundy’s kind of place. My kind of place. Continue reading

culinary appliances

Culinary Comforts—Best Kitchen Appliances 2020

If your personal preference is centered on design and style, or on food and entertainment, here’s our list of the top high-end culinary brands that will suit your preferred lifestyle.

Best Kitchen Appliances 2016jpg

Live, and dine, in luxury with these incredible kitchen appliance brands, as Pursuitist presents the Best Kitchen Appliances for 2020:

Bertazzoni. Italians are renowned for their passionate love of food. Bertazzoni continues that tradition, as a fifth-generation, family-owned Italian manufacturer of high-end kitchen products. The company’s products include free-standing ranges, built-in cooktops, ventilation hoods and other design-coordinated accessories.

Bertazzoni

Gaggenau. Gaggenau is the world’s preeminent brand of high-performance restaurant-grade cooking technology for the modern home. Specializing in cutting-edge, built-in home appliances, its sleek portfolio includes ovens, gas, electric and induction cook-tops, ventilation, dishwashers, modular refrigeration and freezer columns and wine storage units. Gaggenau also produces specialty appliances such as steamers, grills and deep fryers, and the Asian-influenced Teppan Yaki – all crafted for the luxury American kitchen.

GAGGENAU

La Cornue. Each Château and each Cornuchef is assembled by hand and by one person; this person will follow production through to the end and finalize every last detail. Each kitchen range is monitored, controlled and tested at all the stages of production. Even if you happen to be the Queen of England, you will have to wait at least two months for your Château La Cornue. The superior ranges simply cannot be made any quicker. For three generations, La Cornue has loved and served cuisine in the same way as a stringed-instrument craftsman loves and serves music. La Cornue cultivates an ideal of excellence.

La Cornue

Dacor. Working together to redefine the modern kitchen, the Dacor family has produced an impressive array of industry firsts. Patented features abound throughout their full line of cooking appliances. Features like an infrared gas broiler inside an electric oven, a Pure Convection system for even heat distribution, a Butterfly Bake Element for an extraordinary traditional bake, and extra-large Dacor Greats that simplify cooking with large pots and pans.

dacor.jpeg

Miele. Each Château and each Cornuchef is assembled by hand and by one person; this person will follow production through to the end and finalize every last detail. Each kitchen range is monitored, controlled and tested at all the stages of production. Even if you happen to be the Queen of England, you will have to wait at least two months for your Château La Cornue. The superior ranges simply cannot be made any quicker. For three generations, La Cornue has loved and served cuisine in the same way as a stringed-instrument craftsman loves and serves music. La Cornue cultivates an ideal of excellence.

MIELE

Viking. In spite of its tremendous growth and success, Viking Range Corporation remains essentially the same entrepreneurial company it was at its inception. This small, close-knit company culture serves Viking and its customers well, and greatly contributes to the company’s ongoing growth and success. By carefully preserving this unique, creative and stimulating environment, and through offering only the very finest, highest quality products, Viking plans to continue its aggressive growth and expansion to further increase its already strong presence in the worldwide major appliance and related culinary lifestyle industries.

THERMADOR

Sub-Zero Refrigeration. For 60 years, Sub-Zero has offered innovative, aesthetically appealing and technologically advanced solutions to meet virtually any home refrigeration need. Through foresight and responsiveness, the company has earned its position as an industry leader – a position Sub-Zero intends to maintain well into the new millennium.

SUBZERO

GE Monogram. GE has been a leader in American manufacturing for years, gaining a corporate reputation for unmatched reliability and innovation in their products. Their Monogram line consists of their premier professional-grade products, from refrigerators to cooking appliances and everything else you can dream up for your kitchen. Should you ever take issue with a Monogram product, GE employs a nationwide fleet of vans and repairpeople to provide prompt service on your appliance.

MONOGRAM

Thermador. Thermador has been at the forefront of cooking technology for more than seven decades, fusing state-of-the-art performance with classic design to satisfy the most demanding culinary enthusiasts. From introducing the first built-in wall oven almost 50 years ago, to revolutionizing gas cooktops with the patented Star Burner, Thermador’s innovations have helped to transform the kitchen from a mere workplace into the social and entertaining center of the modern American home.

THERMADOR

Wolf. For more than 70 years, Wolf has been synonymous with professional cooking equipment for restaurants and hotels. Now, as part of Sub-Zero, the Wolf line has been adapted for the serious in-home cook. With their superior performance and leading-edge design, Wolf instruments fuel a passion for cooking.

WOLF

Bosch. Also for 70 years, the beauty of Bosch exterior design is how well it blends with your kitchen decor. Their integrated system allows you to match the dishwasher to your cabinets, complementing the entire look of your kitchen with ergonomically-designed controls are at your fingertips.

Bosch

Jenn-Air. This company creates luxury appliances that are more than a facet of your kitchen, they make your house more of a home. Ranked #1 for the last four years in their creation of built-in refrigerators, Jenn-Air will never fail to impress guests in your home.

JENN-AIR

AGA. Aga has nearly a century of experience of enriching kitchens around the world. The Classic Aga Range employs cast iron construction and energy efficient heating, which combine to offer a truly unique cooking experience. Available in a variety of enameled colors; Aga ranges offer tremendous design flexibility. Now enhanced with complementary undercounter refrigeraton Aga continues to redefine upscale kitchen design coupled with professional cooking prowess.

aga

And that concludes our list of the best luxury kitchen appliances for 2020. What culinary brand, from refrigeration to cooking, do you own? Share this on social and add your favorite brands!

OPINION & VARIETY

Trying To Find The Silver Linings During COVID-19

As I sit down to write this, we’re (my family, friends, and fellow New Yorkers) heading into our 4th week of stay-at-home orders and remote learning due to the Corona virus, Covid-19. For other states it’s been longer. It’s April 5, 2020, and never did anyone think something like this would happen in our country, in our world, in our lifetime.

Covid-19 has devastated the globe and its people on so many levels, it’s hard to begin to comprehend and process the situation. For that, I’ve been very quiet on this blog until now. “Where do I even begin?” I’ve asked myself so many times. I’m certainly not going to post my guide to my latest international vacation destination.

More than that, though, it’s been difficult to write. The news has been changing every day and every hour. Every minute. There’s been so much to take in, and so much to learn. Social distancing, remote learning, shelter in place, stay 6 feet apart…all completely foreign things until now. Needless to say, it’s been hard to focus.


Hike in the woods with our dog

 

In the very beginning – when news of the corona virus first came out – there were times when I came close to writing a post. I thought of writing a post on best places to visit on the East Coast within a drive’s distance from New York. As the news changed, that idea quickly went out the door. Then I thought about writing a post on best day trip ideas, but then that idea quickly went into the trashcan as well. Perhaps I’ll write a post on nice places to go hiking – but my fear is that some places might get too crowded, and I don’t want to misguide anyone. We shall see.

When the first week of stay-at-home happened, it was paralyzing in a lot of ways. I was glued to the news from my sofa in my den, and that seemed all I could do. My kids were learning how “to learn” remotely (which so far, I must say, has gone well. My girls’ teachers have been unbelievable at figuring out how to teach from afar in such a short period of time), and every time there was a glitch or they didn’t understand something, I begrudgingly pulled myself away from the sofa to help them. I was lethargic, lazy and completely consumed by the news. Let’s face it, it’s depressing!


Stationed on my den sofa

 

Then there’ve been the things like the dishes and the 20 meals a day for the kids and the cleaning. The cabin fever, the rainy days, the trying to monitor screen time (I’ve given up). These are tough times and they are a true test!

But as time has continued on, the active and positive person that I am has started to fall back into place. Like so many others, I’ve taken this opportunity to do projects that I normally don’t have time for. I’ve turned my house upside down and gotten rid of a ton of clutter and unnecessary things, and it feels good. Maybe I’ll learn some lessons from this too – no more random junk from CVS! Seriously, enough is enough!

Donations

 

 

 

 

It feels good to be donating so many clothes and books and unopened games to those in need, and to be contributing in that way too. I usually do it, but have been way behind. I’m finally going to put those photos in my stack of photo frames, clean out my kitchen cabinets, and go through the garage (currently incomplete projects).

My girls and I are in discussion about how we’re going to redesign our basement, and they’ve been perusing design websites, which I find totally cute, not to mention productive and educational as well. We’ve been taking daily walks with our dog – something usually relegated to just me when they’re in school, and our dog has loved it. He’s loved all of the family time. We even enacted an episode of the cooking show “Chopped”, where the girls each made a dessert. The strawberry shortcake won, and the Reese’s chocolate bars got “chopped”.


“Chopped”

 

As Governor Andrew Cuomo says, there are silver linings to take from all of this. Of course, no one wishes Covid-19 and all its death had happened to begin with, but it’s important to see the good things, if you can. For instance, a new family ritual has arisen, something we never did before. Most nights these days my family eats dinner together and then plays B.S., the card game. It gets raucous and competitive and is a blast. Normally, on school days, we’re crazed with after school activities, then I’m trying to get dinner on the table in a rush, and then it’s homework time. There’s no time; it’s been nice to have the time.

Another silver lining is of course all the online social connections. I’ve connected with people I haven’t talked to in 20 years. Facetime, Zoom and the good old-fashioned phone have been a god-send, catching up with everyone from my current life to my childhood friends. Cocktail hour via Zoom with my college roommates was the best. Sending texts and memes to and between my earliest friends, so fun. Side note: a shout out to all the comedians and funny people on Instagram – you have seriously gotten me through this! Laughter seems to have been my medicine.

No, these are not laughing times, but if we can’t laugh, then where does that bring us? We have to find comfort in the little things. Whether it’s through de-cluttering, walking, running, cooking, reading, working on our homes, making art, writing, spending time with our kids, playing with our pets, re-connecting with family and friends, gardening, doing home work-outs, and simply laughing – those are going to be the silver linings in all of this. The things we’re normally too rushed to do or appreciate.

 

When I was cleaning out my closets, in the last closet I was cleaning, I found an old bag I hadn’t seen in years. It says: Silverlining. I viewed it as a sign.

 

This article was originally published on fifi + hop (Travel and Adventure, with Kids). Republished by permission.