HotelCrush: a vehement, furious, downright pathological appreciation for hotel design and culture
We love hotels. We love room service. We love poolside cocktails. There is nothing more decadent than a trip to a hotel, the epicenter of our social circles and respite from our daily life. They are destinations in themselves, with the acumen of the location converged in the design and the sensibilities of its inhabitants. Hotels are daydreams made real, with amenities at your fingertips and a dip in the water just steps away. More than temporary homes, today's hotels aspire to be just like home - whatever home it is that you are looking for.
10/23/11: campaign champagne
In addition to the iconic hotel bar, there are certain lounges that scream low-key glamour and off-the-clock indulgence. Usually positioned in well-trafficked retail neighborhoods, these spots are just as much journey as destination.
Cipriani Dolci – Grand Central Station: We're deeply smitten with Grand Central Station and the gorgeous Main Concourse. Our favorite stops at GC include the Transit Museum Store and the subterranean mezzanine food hall, but our top scenario to wind away an hour is over a martini (Ketel, twist) at this lovely bar overlooking an afternoon's worth of transportation logistics.
Neiman Marcus: If you're avoiding New York City and sunning on the West Coast, we recommend an afternoon cocktail at Neiman Marcus's lovely Rotunda Bar in San Francisco. White, bright, modern Gilded Age style greets you, along with comfortable plush seating and an afternoon tea service featuring your mandatory glass of bubbly. The bonus? A couple glasses of champagne makes the wait for a fitting room a bit smoother.
Bergdorf Goodman: Back to New York. (You knew you couldn't stay away that long..) Sometimes you find yourself stranded in Midtown during a flash downpour with no chance of a cab. Moments like these were made for Bar Americain at Bergdorf's, situated off the lower right-hand corner of Central Park and vigorously far from public transit. You'll find a warm restaurant bar finished in the dark wood paneling that subtly declares, "We're downright timeless."
Cipriani Dolci, the Rotunda Bar, and Bar Americain:
9/19/11: hollywood, speakeasy swank, campaign champagne
We love the Hemingway known to Gerald and Sara Murphy – brooding, ambitious, and calculatingly absorbed in a sort of post-war carelessness. It's this Hemingway, untainted, that's arrived in a storefront lounge on Hollywood Blvd. dimly lit (to discourage reading, no doubt) and crushed wall-to-wall in books. The drink menu is as spare as Hemingway's prose, and our Death In the Afternoon cocktail featured absinthe, sour mix, blackberry juice, and a float of champagne. As undrinkable as the Old Man and the Sea, we gamely downed the glass in three gulps over fast conversation with a party of Munich natives. Our curiosity sated, we cut out before the weekend crowd, borrowing a move from the pages of Hemingway himself.
7/19/11: campaign champagne
It's no secret that our favorite drink is rosé champagne, so we were thrilled to discover the effervescent Graham Beck Brut Rosé at a 4th of July dinner party. From South Africa, this sparkling wine shares all the qualities of our perrenial favorite. Our hostess explains: "I went in to buy a bottle of Laurent Perrier but the guy told me that I absolutely HAD to try a bottle of this. So I did, LOVED it, and went back to get four cases."
The taste: Tart enough to balance anything sweet, but a hint of sweetness to complement anything savory. Basically, perfection.
The look: Pale pink, think Veuve rosé or Essie Ballet Slippers.
The price: Will shock you, in a good way.
7/15/11: hollywood, speakeasy swank, campaign champagne
We remember sleepy weekday evenings in the Cahuenga corridor when you could still find street parking and grab a martini for less than $10. Those days are as over as Spider Club, but what's lost has been gained in swinging pendant lights and the refreshingly good sound system of the new spot called Sayers. References to the Edison and PDT are liberal, and It's rare to find DJing or cocktailing this solid in Hollywood (anymore). We love the blitz on our tongue of the French75, a champagne flute drizzled with lemon juice and perfectly in beat with our Tuesday night.