Friday, November 30, 2012

Rancho Palos Verdes, California - Terranea Resort

Guest blog by Mercedes Barletta ... 

As I sat watching a New England style wintery mix fall outside my window the other day, I couldn’t help but hear The Mamas & The Papas "California Dreamin’ " play in my head. And that one line in particular: ♪ “I’d be safe and warm / if I was in L.A.” ♪

While autumn in Boston has many charms, the cold temps of late November make me want to swap the icy wind chill and slushy snow for an Ice Blended and some SoCal sun. But if I really start to daydream, I’d imagine myself at Terranea.

Located just 30 miles southwest of downtown Los Angeles, this luxury resort is set on the breathtaking coastline of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. It’s impossible to arrive at Terranea without immediately thinking one word … ocean!

Sitting on 102 acres and boasting 270 degree views of the Pacific, the beauty of the resort’s location is, put simply, stunning.

View of Point Vicente Lighthouse at Pelican Cove
Complete with a 9-hole par 3 golf course, daily recreational activity offerings, an oceanfront spa and fitness center, and four on-site restaurants, the resort has a little something for anyone longing to enjoy the idyllic tranquility and restorative energy of its Southern California setting. 

My guide to a perfect day at Terranea:

  • Rise early for the Sunrise Stride, a six-mile guided power walk along the property’s scenic trails. Nothing makes exercise more pleasant than a gorgeous view!

  • Visit the Spa to grab a mixed berry smoothie made with pomegranate juice and agave nectar…and decide to stay for a spa treatment.
Reception area at the Spa  
  • Indulge in the luxurious spa facilities and then pick one of the comfy loungers on which to read and sunbath. Cleverly designed glass walls provide virtually uninterrupted seascapes for admiring the natural beauty of the resort’s location. 

  • Relax while listening to the soothing rhythm of the waves and watching pelicans fly. And if the sun gets too warm, cool your brow with a refreshing cucumber water towel provided by the spa.

  • Participate in Aquatic Conditioning for some fun in the pool or select one of the many excellent classes offered in the yoga studio featuring panoramic views. 

  • Dine on the patio at mar’sel, the resort’s fine dining restaurant serving the innovative California cuisine of award-winning Chef Michael Fiorelli. The menu celebrates seasonal and locally sourced ingredients, including herbs and citrus from the gardens at Terranea. 

  • Splurge on dessert. The caramel pudding topped with fleur de sel and served with vanilla cookies is YUMazing!

  • Cozy up by the fire pit at Nelson’s and watch the sunset just beyond Pelican Bay.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Boston, Massachusetts - Oak Long Bar + Kitchen @ The Fairmont Copley Plaza

Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in Copley Square


For my welcome home to Boston drinks, my friends organized a night out at the newly refurbished Oak Long Bar + Kitchen at the Fairmont Copley Plaza hotel. Part of a $20 million renovation for the hotel’s 100th anniversary, and seven months in the making, The Oak Long Bar, which opened at the end of July, is the new hotspot in the Back Bay.

The new space, anchored by an 83-foot copper bar, is entirely open, and features details that play up the room’s Beaux Arts-style architecture. 

In an ironic twist, for the first time in the room’s history, real oak has finally been incorporated into the design of this space.

Curtains are supposed to reference old Massachusetts colonial militia uniforms:

They are open for breakfast, lunch, afternoon snacks, dinner, late night and Sunday brunch, which means you are good to go imbibe and nibble round the clock.

Between cocktails and chit chat, we munched on two types of flatbreads from the wood stone hearth: 

Pulled Pork sweet corn, salted caramel onions, pickled grapes smoked cheddar
Organic Mushroom roasted garlic, wild arugula, farm egg
We made the men play paparazzi so we could pose just us girls ...

Love the bottles of spirits that reach to the ceiling

If you are local to Boston and want to let your friends know you have your finger on the pulse, tell them you've been to Oak Bar. 

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Boston, Massachusetts - Mario Testino In Your Face at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Run, don't walk, to Mario Testino's first US exhibition, In Your Face, at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, now on show until February 3. 2013. Photographs, taken over Testino's thirty year career, feature super models and celebrities in both brilliant color and black and white. The exhibition really underscores the immense influence Testino has had on the fashion industry and his contributions to the glossy fashion magazines we read everyday. Here is a glimpse of some of my favorites from the show: 

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Friday, November 23, 2012

Boston, Massachusetts - Mela Indian Restaurant

When I landed in Boston last Saturday on a chilly New England evening, I had a craving for a curry with all of those warming Indian spices. My dad, who spent an entire year of his youth living in the city of Lucknow, India, was more than happy to join in the fun. We picked up my Mom and our stylish friend Christine on the way, and headed to Boston's trendy South End neighborhood to Mela Indian restaurant. Mela is my favorite spot for Indian in the city, and their $12 luncheon buffet might just be the best kept bargain secret in Boston. 

Matar Paneer
Rice with cardamom
Chicken Tikka Masala diced, boneless white meat chicken, tandoori-style cooked in rich tomato cream sauce
Baingan Bhartha eggplant specialty baked over open flame, mashed and sauteed with onions, garlic, ginger & spices
Gobhi Chicken cauliflower cooked with ginger, garlic, potatoes and indian spices
Garlic naan bread
Tandoori Chicken tender chicken marinated in yogurt and spices and baked in tandoor OVEN

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