Luxury for Rent in the Turks and Caicos

A great way to get away from it all is a visit to the Turks and Caicos islands, a hidden slice of Caribbean paradise. Boasting some of the prettiest beaches in the world, colorful coral reefs, and a laid-back lifestyle, it’s easy to fall under its spell. Add in luxurious accommodation surrounded by swaying palm trees, and you’re left with one sophisticated destination perfect for a discreet Caribbean getaway.

Below, we’ve rounded up the top 5 luxury villas to rent in Turk and Caicos, so all you’ve got to do is kick back, drift off, and enjoy your slice of paradise.

Villa Coral House

 

PIN IT

 

The five-bedroom Coral House villa on Grace Bay is mere steps from the gorgeous stretch of sand, regularly voted as the best beach in the world. It’s a dream setting for a luxurious Caribbean getaway, with airy living areas that open to the ocean on one side and a sublime jungle-clad courtyard on the other.

The use of Coral Stone in the villa’s construction enhances the Caribbean vibe, as does the colonial architecture and designer furnishings awash with shades of cream, white, and island timber. Features include your very own volleyball court, everything you’ll need for a day by the beach and in the water, a well-equipped gym, library, and even your very own breezy yoga room.

And as a part of WIMCO’s Special Reserve Collection, the villa also comes with unlimited access to your own private chef – it doesn’t get much better than that.

Photo Credit: WIMCO – Villa Coral House (PL COR)

Villa Salacia

 

PIN IT

 

Villa Salacia is an intoxicating six-bedroom residence, boasting an expansive outdoor setting that will leave you in a permanent dream-state the entire time you’re staying. Bringing the island paradise straight to you, there’s an expansive deck looking over the nearby ocean, a swimming pool, spa, and a huge outdoor dining area with a grill and pizza oven.

For balmy nights at home, the villa also comes with its own in-house bar complete with a pool table and pinball machines, or you can opt for cocktails around the outdoor fire pit. The unobtrusive chef, butler, and housekeeper cater to every need you might have, and the private location is surprisingly close to plenty of restaurants and shops nearby in Grace Bay – if you can drag yourself away, that is.

Photo Credit: WIMCO – Villa Salacia (PL SAL)

Villa Amazing Grace

 

PIN IT

 

Set on its own sprawling 18-acre estate on Grace Bay beach, Villa Amazing Grace is a lavish and secluded setting for any sojourn into the Caribbean. With five bedrooms, a Tuscan-inspired kitchen with its own wine cellar, elegant living and dining areas, and a games room, this villa is a great option for those looking to spoil themselves.

A private chef caters to your meals, and the outdoor pool and dining area are steps from your very own deserted stretch of sand, meaning you can visit the beach on a whim. A plush outdoor living area features snug sofas for admiring the view towards the ocean, while temperate

Caribbean evenings are best enjoyed outside when the lush garden is illuminated with its very own custom-designed lighting system.

Photo Credit: WIMCO – Villa Amazing Grace (PL AMZ)

Villa Hawksbill

 

PIN IT

 

For larger family getaways and special events, the Villa Hawksbill offers a Caribbean escape with unrivaled comfort and class. The eight bedrooms are spread across several buildings, so you’ll feel as if you’ve booked out an entire resort for yourself.

Open plan living and dining areas boast sublime views of Grace Bay, and big windows let in plenty of the Caribbean sun to illuminate the designer furnishing. Guests can also enjoy the jacuzzi, heated pool, fire pit, gym, and tennis court on the grounds, or simply wander across to the nearby beach, which is a few tantalizing steps away.

With your own private chef, you’ll be free to make use of your day lazing around the villa or getting active on the water with easy access to kitesurfing, snorkeling, and diving.

Photo Credit: WIMCO – Villa Hawksbill (PL HKB)

Villa Sentosa

 

PIN IT

 

Located in a private and upscale community called Leeward, Villa Sentosa is a refined and alluring option for a holiday in Turks and Caicos. This eight-bedroom villa features a contemporary curved design, capturing views of the sparkling waters and white sand outside from the bedrooms and serene living areas.

As guests head outside, they’re greeted with plush sun loungers lining a pool, a jacuzzi, and even a sun deck built discreetly over the beach, perfect for slow afternoons in the sun. The modern and clean interior is great for families, with a media room, ping pong table, and access to all snorkeling gear and anything else you’ll need for a day in the water, even your very own sailboat.

While you’re lounging about the villa and on the beach, your private chef and butler will be taking care of everything else to ensure that you’re staying as relaxed as possible.

Photo Credit: WIMCO – Villa Sentosa, (PL SEN)

TCI offers something for everyone, whether you enjoy being pampered in your private beachfront villa, or want to experience the full range of water and land activities on your vacation. And for those of you who are foodies, there are dozens of high-end restaurants and waterfront bars. TCI strikes the perfect balance between undiscovered Caribbean paradise and a world-class destination.

Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo, México, Opening 2021

  • Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo, opening in 2021, will be located in a protected eco-reserve
  • Most of its 155 rooms will boast panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, enveloped by the surrounding jungle

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has announced a new luxury resort located in Tamarindo, Mexico. Opening in 2021 as Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo, México, the project will be located on a private peninsula along the Pacific Ocean. The area, known as “Costa Alegre” or “Joy Coast” is acclaimed for its picturesque beaches, lush landscape and unique topography.

“As we grow the Four Seasons portfolio in Mexico, this project in Tamarindo is the ideal opportunity to do so, offering our guests access to the natural wonder of the region, paired with Four Seasons renowned service and quality excellence,” says John Davison, President and CEO, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “

Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo will be located in a protected eco-reserve 25 miles north of the Manzanillo Airport. Most of its 155 rooms will boast panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, enveloped by the surrounding jungle and lush golf course. The contemporary architectural and interior design by the firms of Legorreta + Legorreta and Taller Mauricio Rocha + Gabriela Carrillo will blend with the natural surroundings and showcase local materials and textures.

 

PIN IT

 

The Resort will be part of the 2,100 acre El Tamarindo master planned development featuring multiple beaches and private coves. The development will be built to take advantage of elevations ranging from sea level to approximately 120 metres (394 feet) above sea level, providing breath-taking views of the landscape, golf course and ocean. Accommodations are well suited to both adult travellers and those visiting with children.

SEE ALSO

 

The Resort will offer four dining and beverage venues, including an ocean view bar and restaurant, beach bar and grill and golf club restaurant. The grounds will also feature three pools, a full-service spa set amid a tropical forest and a fitness centre, young adults centre and lounge, water sports centre, tennis courts and 370 square metres (4,000 square feet) of meeting space. The highly acclaimed 18-hole, par 72, Robert Trent Jones Jr. and David Fleming designed links golf course will round out the amenities.

Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo will join a growing collection of Four Seasons properties located in Mexico, including Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City, the recently opened Four Seasons Resort and Residences Los Cabos at Costa Palmas, and the recently announced Four Seasons Resort and Residences Cabo San Lucas at Cabo Del Sol.

Celebrate Negroni Week

Imbibe Magazine and Campari, the iconic Italian aperitif, launched Negroni Week in 2013 as a celebration of one of the world’s great cocktails with and an effort to raise money for charities around the world. Since 2013 Negroni Week has collectively raised nearly $3 million for charitable causes in 70 different countries. With COVID-19 this year, celebrations will be done virtually. Campari pledges to match a total of up to $200,000 towards hospitality relief as #NegroniWeek2020 goes virtual to support bartenders.

 

History has it that at a cafe in Florence in the early 1900s, an Italian count named Camillo Negroni asked bartender Fosco Scarselli, for a boozed-up riff on an Americano- an even more easygoing concoction of Campari, sweet vermouth, and soda water. Scarselli swapped the American’s customary lemon peel for an orange peel,  and the Negroni was born.

 

Now a globally beloved classic, the Negroni cocktail has been voted as the second most popular cocktail in the world and is listed as one of the main ingredients in the prestigious IBA Official Drink List.

Recipe ingredients: 

  • 1 part Campari
  • 1 part Sweet Red Vermouth (Campari recommends 1757 Vermouth di Torino)
  • 1 part Gin

Recipe instructions: 

  • Pour all ingredients directly into a rocks glass filled with ice
  • Stir gently
  • Garnish with an orange slice

 

 

 

Negroni cocktail lovers around the world are invited to safely support the by enjoying a Negroni at home. Choose from one of the many online classes listed below with some of the country’s most esteemed bartenders.

 

Variety partners have pledged to donate a portion of sales from Campari bottles, Negroni “Kits” and special mixology merchandise to the cause:

 Cocktail Kingdom (10% of proceeds from Gaz Regan finger stirrer sales),

Kegworks ($10 per kit order)

 Minibar Delivery ($2 per bottle order to CORE),

ReserveBar ($2 for every Campari bottle purchased from September 14-20, up to $1,000),

SaloonBox (10% of proceeds from kit sales to the Restaurant Workers Community Foundation)

 Shaker and Spoon ($2 from each kit sale to the Bartender Emergency Assistance Program)

Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, the world’s pre-eminent distributor of beverage alcohol, will also contribute $20,000 to Negroni Week causes, doubling their donation from 2019.

 

ONLINE CLASS SCHEDULE: 

September 14 @ 7PM ET: Liquid Lineage: the Negroni Family Tree

    • Hosts: Linden Pride, Chelsea Gregoire, Paul Clarke
    • Description: We begin our week of celebrating the Negroni with a deep dive into its history and how to make a perfect classic. This session will explore the origins of Campari in Italy, aperitivo hour, the creation of the Negroni, and the invention of the Negroni Family Tree. Join us to learn what Negroni Week is all about, both in the perfection of the cocktail and the way this event gives back to the hospitality community.
    • Featured Cocktails: Campari Seltz, Americano, Negroni
    • Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_hf1quiX2T_uUX87fohSwCw | Password: NEGRONI

 

September 15 @ 7PM ET: Mastering the Negroni: Tips and Tricks to Perfecting the Classic at Home

    • Hosts:  Lynnette Marrero, Pam Wiznitzer, Stacey Swenson
    • Description: The Negroni is a classic cocktail that takes a moment to learn and then can be modified, edited and perfected over and over. Join these four bartending experts in learning how to make the perfect Negroni at home using the standard tools in your utensil drawer. Learn ice hacks, cool garnish techniques, and the service tricks that will make your home feel like a classic cocktail bar.
    • Featured Cocktail: Campari Negroni
    • Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_HE2VACEbQhOsPLdICOQ8bQ | Password: NEGRONI

 

September 16 @ 7PM ET: Of Negronis and Barrels: Boulevardiers and Beyond

    • Hosts: Meaghan Dorman, Glendon Hartley, Emily Arden Wells
    • Description: Gin is lovely in a Negroni, but have you ever explored the aged spirit branches of the Negroni Family Tree? In this session, we dive into the dark and stirred Negroni variations and how the Negroni framework is well suited to brown spirits and stirred cocktails. If you love whisk(e)y, cognac, or rum then this is the class for you!
    • Featured Cocktails: Custom cocktails from Meaghan, Glendon, and Emily
    • Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_cpdZR7IhT0yLWBrYaLvfow | Password: NEGRONI

 

September 17: Bitter meets Bubbles: Discover the Negroni’s Lighter Side

    • Hosts: Natasha David, Felicia Chin Braxton, Fred Dexheimer MS
    • Description: Bitter and bubbles are a match made in heaven. In this session, explore the magic of light, fizzy, and low ABV cocktails. The Negroni is the perfect blueprint for elegant Aperitivo moments, come learn how to make something just in time for sunset.
    • Featured Cocktail: Sbagliato
    • Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_rQSihYAwTw-fbRC9LhQcfw | Password: NEGRONI
  1. September 18: Aperitivo Like a Pro
    • Hosts: Kaitlyn Goalen, Ashley Christensen, Julie Reiner
    • Description: ​​Negronis aren’t just a cocktail, they are the key to the perfect aperitivo. We talk with an award-winning chef, a celebrated food and drink writer, and a nationally renowned mixologist and cocktail book author about entertaining with Negronis and how to plan the perfect aperitivo party.
    • Featured Cocktails: Classic Negroni, and custom riffs from Julie, Ashley, and Kaitlyn
    • Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_hf1quiX2T_uUX87fohSwCw | Password: NEGRONI

Remote Learning at Four Resort Orlando

With millions of children going to school remotely this fall because of the Covid-19 outbreak, the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort is offering a “schoolcation” package.

“This new offering exclusively for our Resort guests will be both helpful to parents, as well as something really fun for kids to experience,” says Thomas Steinhauer, General Manager and Regional Vice President of Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort. “Many kids have been completing school work in their homes for a while now. A chance to mix up their learning environment, and combine school and playtime at the Resort, is sure to be a welcome treat and create a memory that will last a lifetime.”

The supervised schoolwork sessions will be held in small-group classroom settings, physically distanced with no more than six children per class. The spacious event rooms of Four Seasons Resort Orlando are the classroom setting, featuring airy and open rooms with a wall of windows for natural light, and a private terrace for outside break time.

Each student will have a dedicated desk area, physically distanced from the other students, and high-speed premium WiFi will be provided.

Supervisors oversee the study sessions, and they have experience working with children. With peace of mind, parents can then spend the day relaxing and vacationing on their own.

The supervised study sessions are available Monday through Friday beginning Sept. 14, 2020 for $50 USD per child for a half-day session or $100 USD per child for the full session including lunch. Reservations must be confirmed at least 48 hours in advance. The resort is also offering a special package through December 18, 2020, which includes a $200 USD nightly credit for stays in a guest room, or a $500 USD nightly credit for stays in a one or two-bedroom suite.

Once the schoolwork is done, children can take recess at the resort, which includes an island playground, a lazy river, waterslide and outdoor recreation activities and spots. Or, take a quick shuttle to experience the magic at Walt Disney World, which recently reopened.

For more information or to book your next “schoolcation,” visit the Four Seasons Resort Orlando website.

3 Outdoor Dining Spots in Montauk

Don’t let summer pass you by without hitting the beaches in Montauk for a weekend getaway. As the summer playground for well-heeled New Yorkers, this year some of the top chefs have taken up residence in the East End. Here are some of our favorite dining spots:

 

BEACH HOUSE GRILL @ Montauk Beach House 

New executive chef Salvatore Olivella is causing a stir at the Montauk Beach House with his specialty, Roman Style Pizza, as well as some delicious summer grilled dishes. Guests will appreciate the sophisticated take on delectables like the Thin Crust Focaccia and Whipped Ricotta, Tuna Tartare with Mango Guacamole, and Hawaiian Style Short Ribs. If pizza is what your palate needs, try the Pizza Truffata with caramelized onions, mixed Italian cheese, and fresh truffles or Pizza Diavola with fresh mozzarella, Brooklyn pepperoni, spicy honey, and red pepper flakes. Don’t miss Wednesday pizza happy hour with half-price pies! Pair with cocktails like the Mezcalita Cocktail (Illegal Mezcal, Ancho Reyes, agave, fresh lime juice, and a chili salt rim0, Montauk Make Out (Don Papa Rum, pineapple juice, cream of coconut, and fresh-squeezed orange juice), Frose, and a selection of MTK Brewery beers, wine, and Spiked Seltzers. For more information visit www.thembh.com | IG: thembh

 

Alternate text
Alternate text

 

 

 

Ruschmeyer’s

Ruschmeyer’s has been a staple in Montauk, and this year the iconic restaurant and hotel have over 10,000 square feet of social distancing dining space.  The dining area has 27 tables spaced 15-feet apart ensuring that current social-distancing guidelines are enforced. The Mediterranean-inspired menu by Executive Chef Giuseppe Lentini and Enzo Lentini of Ruschmeyer’s is included fresh Montauk Calamari, Shrimp Cocktail, fresh local oysters, artisanal pasta and the only loaded lobster roll in Montauk. A wood-burning oven provides Neapolitan pizza, topped with their in-house made mozzarella.

 

 

Alternate text

 

 

Join Ruschmeyer’s for some amazing weekday specials:

Tuesday’s – Taco Tuesday- Buy one get one free margarita from 5-10:30PM

Wednesday’s – Italian Family Style Dinner- $19.95/person, enjoy spaghetti and meatballs and a complimentary bottle of rosé for the table

Thursday’s – Family Style Steak Night- Includes steak and appetizers served family-style for $50/person

Sunday’s – Lobster Bake – Including 2-pound lobster, shrimp, clams, mussels, fresh corn and potatoes for $75/person

For more information please visit: www.ruschmeyersmontauk.com | IG: ruschmeyersmtk

 

Alternate text

 

 

BACKYARD RESTAURANT at Solé East

Solé East is offering breakfast, lunch, dinner & a tapas-style poolside menu under the direction of self-taught Executive Chef Adam Pitré. With a focus on seasonal cuisine, the menu features fresh, natural ingredients and sourced organic meats, locally farmed vegetables, and fresh catch from the Montauk local fishermen.  Reservations can be made on Open Table. For more information please visit www.soleast.com | IG: soleeastmontauk

INSIDE PARK HYATT MALLORCA | 5 STAR LUXURY IN SPAIN

Perched on a hilltop overlooking the valley of Canyame, Park Hyatt Mallorca is a luxury hotel infused with local art and cultural heritage that offers amazing views, services and amenities. It features the splendid Serenitas spa, 3 swimming pools, 24-hour gym and several wonderful on-site restaurants.

 

 

The Park Hyatt Mallorca is on a quiet part of the east coast of the island — an hour from the airport – in the Cap Vermell estate overlooking Canyamel valley.

It is a five minutes’ drive from Canyamel beach with plenty more secluded coves and broad bays up and down the coast. Quint villages and historic towns such as Capdepera and Artà are a 10-minute drive away.

The hotel is an ideal base year round for all sorts of activities, including cycling, hiking, riding, fishing and watersport. Grab an electric scooter, offered by the hotel, and have a thrilling time exploring this exotic island.

The Rooms

The hotel’s 142 guest accommodations include 16 suites, ranging from 50 to 150 square meters, and feature upscale Majorcan style with furnished terraces. Spacious and elegant rooms and suites all include a large private balcony, free WiFi, and extra-large beds. The private bathroom comes with a rain shower and handcrafted soaps.

The Spa

Serenitas Spa offers a wide variety of treatments, which incorporate many natural elements from the island. The spa also features a sauna, sensory showers, vitality pool, and a hairdresser. It offers seven treatment rooms including couples’ rooms, sauna, sensory showers, vitality pool and an exclusive Quartz sand bed. Signature treatments are based on healing ingredients dating back thousands of years, and guests can select from a range of services incorporating the island’s minerals, herbs, fruits, salt and water including rosemary, pine, lavender, almonds, olive oil, citrus, and aloe vera. Guests can enjoy free access to Cap Vermell Country Club, located 750 feet from the property.

Food and Wine

Set on a village square, the Park Hyatt Mallorca’s restaurants include Balearic with Majorcan cuisine crafted with locally sourced ingredients, the Tapas Bar featuring dishes by a Michelin star awarded chef, Café Sa Plaça providing a relaxed bistro café experience highlighted with Majorcan artwork and award-winning pastries, plus Asia, serving authentic dishes from South Asia in a private villa setting. There is also 24-hour in-room dining available.

Summary

Park Hyatt Mallorca is a wonderful luxury retreat that reflects the style of a traditional Majorcan hilltop village with a selection of restaurants on a village square offering authentic gastronomic experiences, together with treatments based on the island’s minerals, and elegant event spaces.

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!

Walking on the beach

A Dozen Ways to Actually Reduce Stress During the COVID Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic is stressful, causing fear and anxiety that can be physically and emotionally overwhelming. But there are methods for coping. Knowing that everyone responds differently to stressful situations, here are a dozen different suggestions to reduce worry, tension, and anxiety while we wait out the COVID crisis.

Read a book.  Books take us into our imaginations, allowing for the ultimate distraction. The act of reading also relaxes your body, lowers your heart rate, and eases the tension in your muscles. 

Puzzles exercise both sides of your brain, evaporating stress and replacing it with tranquility. We especially like the calming puzzles from Lemonade Pursuits that partner with female artists around the world to create uniquely artful and peaceful tableaus.

In much the same way as puzzles do, coloring allows you to focus on a single task that can put your mind into a meditation-like state.

Speaking of meditation, a number of apps are available to help focus your attention and eliminate the scramble of thoughts crowding your mind.  Popular ones include Headspace, Calm, and Aura.  

Stretching allows the blood that has been restricted due to stress to flow more freely.  Stretching also stimulates receptors in the nervous system that decrease the production of stress hormones and isolates the muscles that store the tension.

A hobby from times past, modeling is seeing a comeback.  Whether it’s crafting model airplanes, cars, or making dollhouses, the act of working with your hands to create a product in detail can be remarkably soothing.

Cooking is not only a useful skill, but a great therapy.  It reduces negative thinking and builds confidence, encouraging creativity and activating the senses in the best way.  Have a cookbook at home you’ve been wanting to crack open or a website tempting you to new tastes?  Now’s the perfect time. 

Getting in touch with nature and being in the sunlight are instant mood lifters.  This is what makes gardening such a great tool to relieve stress that can be done at any age.   

Many shelters are waiving adoption fees to relieve facilities and provide animals with foster (if not forever) homes during the health crisis.  Cuddling an animal stimulates the release of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which help relieve depression. Pets are proven to create a calming effect, and loving on them helps you focus on the present moment.

You may think it would be harder to workout with the gyms and fitness studios closed, but apps and online fitness have stepped up to fill the void.  Everything from Beachbody to Barry’s is currently offering free online classes.  Take advantage, because working up a sweat reduces the body’s levels of adrenaline and cortisol, instead stimulating the production of endorphins. 

Give journaling a go. Detailed writing about thoughts and feelings may clear them from your mind, or at least help you prioritize your fears, better understand your stresses, and problem solve more efficiently. 

Make music.  From playing an instrument to singing, every aspect of making music releases stored muscle tension and decreases cortisol levels.  It’s a bonus that this activity can be done alone or with others! 

This article was originally published on Pursuitist. Republished by permission

Inside Grand Central Terminal With Curious Traveler

Touring Grand Central With the Ambassador.

“When Grand Central opened, people were aghast! Simply aghast!”

If you can deliver that line with the best, most genuine New Yawker accent, with genuine enthusiasm and genuine dramatic arm flailings, you’ll begin to have an idea of what it’s like to spend the afternoon with the New York institution that is Grand Central Terminal’s Ambassador, Dan Brucker.

Dan is as much a part of iconic Grand Central as its clock. Well, there’s actually two iconic clocks, and only one Dan, but that’s as it should be. Dan has been interviewed on his knowledge of Grand Central’s Grand history on the Discovery Channel, History Channel, National Geographic Channel, the Today Show, and on my travel series, Curious Traveler, on PBS. He was just made for TV. So, let’s start our tour.

The world’s largest train station (or train terminal, as Dan will correct you), Grand Central, is known as the ‘Temple of Transportation’ for good reason. In 1869, the designers wrote that ‘People who come to New York should enter a palace at the end of their ride and not a shed’. And indeed, today, when you stand inside the cavernous and majestic main concourse, more than a 100 years later, you’ll look around and say, mission accomplished.

 

But it had to be an engineering marvel as well as a design marvel. Completed in 1913, with the purpose of creating an underground transportation hub that didn’t disturb that prime Manhattan real estate above. As Dan points out, with 700 trains and 750,000 visitors coming and going every day, you never see any trains! Everything is buried underground, so you have this almost spiritual moment as you enter the ‘temple’ above, and transition into your destination on foot. But why make a train station so Grand at all?

Well, the Vanderbilts, who made their name and wealth from the railroad, wanted a magnificent symbol of America’s transportation might. As Dan put it, “To shout out to the world that America was the leader in transportation!” Grand Central was to be the central point, or the home hub of their railroad. So the Vanderbilts hired the best designers to create their Temple of Transportation.

Between 1903 and 1913, the old train station was torn down, and replaced by the architectural firms of Reed and Stem and Warren and Wetmore, in that breathtaking Beaux-Arts style. Just to emphasize how palatial and grand the influences were, did you know that Grand Central was inspired by the Paris Opera House?!? If you look at a side-by-side comparison, you’ll see how similar they are. Especially the staircases. Amazing.

But what’s even more interesting is this: this temple, this palace, as grand as it is, was built for the everyday, ordinary commuter. So unlike the Paris Opera House, meant to be enjoyed only by the elite, Grand Central’s design is a truly American concept: beauty for everyone to enjoy.

So let’s check out some of that beauty. First stop: a heavenly look 125 feet up at the main concourse ceiling. You will see the most gorgeous mural, covering a staggering 35,000 feet. It’s the night sky, by artist Paul Helieu, and shows all the zodiac signs and constellations, in all their splendor. The only problem is, he got it all backwards.

 

 

As Dan explains, “The truth is: the artist was looking down and then looking up when he painted, and he got a mirror image. And the Vanderbilts, when they heard about this, they came down and they saw that the ceiling was alit with stars, and instead of ripping it all out, they came up with a much better explanation: they said, oh yes we know. which they didn’t. they said they did it on purpose, which they didn’t. “

And so the story goes. The Vanderbilts and Helieu continued to claim that the view was meant to be from God’s vantage point, looking downwards. But hey, it looks beautiful either way, right? Dan agrees, “Exactly. How many people would still look beautiful if they were turned all around?”

And that famous ceiling has another, more recent secret. If you look carefully, you’ll see a small patch of dark brown on the carefully restored blue. That’s a reminder of all the layers of smoke and filth piling up before modern restoration. Hard to believe it ever got that bad.

Now look around the concourse, at the other historic details. Like the old ticket booth, the old ‘Campbell Apartment’ sign: Once New York’s largest ground floor apartment, now a restaurant. Just outside the apartment, look for another sign: Vanderbilt Avenue. Combine that with the Vanderbilt Hall back inside, toss in a few acorns, and you’ll start to see that the Vanderbilts really put their stamp on the place. Wait, acorns?

Yes, that’s a little Grand Central secret. You’ll see acorns atop of the four-faced clock in the main concourse, and in the relief carvings over many of the doorways. They’re hidden like little Easter Eggs all over the terminal. Why acorns? Well, the story goes that since the Vanderbilts were self-made, they had no family crest. So, they chose the acorn, saying that, ‘From little acorns, mighty oak trees grow’. How wonderfully American is that?

And dangling from the branches of that mighty oak tree that is Grand Central, you’ll see those iconic chandeliers. When they were first created in 1913, they were dipped in 24-carat gold. Typical over-the-top Vanderbilt style, right? But look closely and you’ll see plain old light bulbs there too. Why plain light bulbs? Well, this was also a symbol of America’s might. Remember at the time, most people didn’t have electricity in their homes, so these chandeliers were more Grand symbols of America’s technological advances.

Here, you’ll also see another powerful American symbol: Grand Central’s iconic American Flag, hung here in the Main Concourse since 9/11.

Now look down at that famous four-faced opal clock in the center. It’s also full of secrets. Urban legend has it that the faces are made of pure opal, with an estimated value between ten and twenty million. Actually, they’re made of opalescent glass. But they’re still pretty.

Now, to cap off our tour, Dan takes us up a hidden secret passageway high above the terminal. It’s between the walls, over a glass catwalk, with the most amazing view out a tiny hidden window. In the picture below, we were at the top of the arch of the middle window. See us? We’re waving! Hi!

Then, we climbed higher still, up some rickety, rusty old ladders (how long have they been here?) – to hang out with Roman gods. I mean, what’s a temple without some Roman gods?

If you’re outside, looking up at the 42nd Street façade, you’ll see Grand Central’s iconic clock. It’s the world’s largest Tiffany glass clock, 13 feet in diameter, and has marked time for New Yorkers for a century. And we just climbed inside it, to get a better view. How great is this?

Above the clock are the powerful symbols of the mighty American railroad: The gods of transportation. As Dan explains: “Mercury is in the center, for speed, for industry. On Mercury’s right, there’s Hercules, for strength. And on Mercury’s left, there’s Minerva, the goddess of intellectualism, of thought, of contemplation. It takes all of this to make a mighty railroad. And it sure did. ”

The artist was Jules Felix Coutan, and when it was unveiled in 1914, it was considered the largest sculptural group in the world. And today it still stands as a mighty symbol of the great railroad.

For our last little Grand Central secret, look at the number VI on the clock. It’s actually a little window. And if you’re lucky enough to get a private tour of the Temple of Transportation from the Ambassador of Grand Central, he might let you lean out that window, and hail a cab. What could be more New York than that?

But before we take a cab or a train out of this New York icon, Dan has some final thoughts to share, to remember when you’re in a rush to get from place to place, and cross through his palace: “There are many elements about Grand Central Terminal which make it the symbol of New York and the center of New York. It’s the world’s largest, it’s the world’s busiest, it’s a center of commerce, of people rushing to get someplace, but even more than that, it’s a symbol. New Yorkers get to come here everyday, and feel for themselves, a sense of rebirth, of Renaissance, knowing that you too can be as re-engineered and renewed and grand and Grand Central. It’s a great way to start the day, it’s a great way to end the day. Every single day.”

This article was originally published on Pursuitist. Republished by permission. 

The Road Not Taken

An Interview With Matthew Robertson, Founder, Momentum Adventure

Matthew Robertson is founder of Momentum Adventure, a high end, boutique company specializing in luxury adventure travel. He usually is on the road not taken, or rarely taken by others. Continue reading