Monday, December 8, 2008

Debrett's Guide for the Modern Gentleman

I recently bought Debrett's Guide For the Modern Gentleman as research for a project I'm working on, but discovered that it would be a great holiday gift for the guy with fine taste, or the anglophile. It's filled with very practical information such as: what you need to know when buying a suit or having one made, what every guy should have for a well stocked bar, manners for the office or when on a date; as well as, less useful information such as: how to behave when you are a guest at a country house (although it might apply if you know someone who is in the landed gentry.) It is so very English, and looks great on a coffee table. I ordered mine from an amazon seller in England for $19, but you can also get them from Debrett's directly.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Paolo Olbi Shop - Venice

When people think of beautiful Italian paper goods, they think of Florence, but Venice has equally lovely photo albums and journals. Paolo Olbi is one shop in particular that exhibits excellent craftmanship and elegant designs. His patterns remind me of the friezes decorating the aging palazzo's.  EyeItalia, a california based company imports several of his above albums, which can be found on their website. I have been eyeing the blue byzantine album. 
Paolo Olbi
Venezia, San Marco 3653
Tel: 041 5285025

Roseberry Winn Pottery - Rhode Island

There are so many things to love about Little Compton Rhode Island: beautiful farmland, pristine beaches, quaint stores and markets, (more on those places later) and Roseberry Winn Pottery. Their pottery has a nostalgic feel and the matte glazes and patterns remind me of collectible pottery from the 1930's and 40's such as Mccoy. I love the oversized coffee mug and bud vases particularly in turquoise. They are offering 25% of pieces for the holidays on their website here:
3842 Main Road, Tiverton, RI 02878
Tel: 401-816-0010

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Miller's Residence - London

The Miller's Residence in London is not for the minimalist, but if you want to pretend you're a guest in the home of an eccentric Lord, then it is for you!  Owned by an antiques dealer, it is packed with antiques, and I mean packed. Each bedroom is unique with decor inspired by the English Romantic poets, the rates are under 200 pounds a night, and it is very centrally located in arty Notting Hill. Spend a Saturday perusing the nearby Portobello Road Market, and you can pick up some antiques of your own. Basically, this hotel had me at the persimmon door (I often fantasize about having a house with a persimmon door) and yes, I do want to imagine I'm staying with an aristocrat. 

Monday, December 1, 2008

Cavallo Point Lodge - San Francisco

Seems like every magazine I read these days has an article about Cavallo Point Lodge, a recently opened hotel in Sausalito. The hotel lodgings are in the quaint buildings of former military base Fort Baker, which is now a state park. Set on 10 acres of nature, the views look amazing and you're getting the best of both worlds: nature and wildlife just minutes away from San Francisco. If you get tired of walking the city, the hotel has many activities you can engage in including, hiking, kayaking, and cooking classes.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Black Halo Sample Sale - Los Angeles

The sample sales just keep coming, and in this economy we need them! Black Halo is selling samples and new merchandise this Friday and Saturday at big discounts. This is a perfect sale to hit for holiday tops and dresses. If you're not familiar with Black Halo, check out their styles here:

Friday December 5th - 12:00 - 5:00
Saturday December 6th - 9:00 - 3:00
588 Mateo Street
Los Angeles, Ca 90013
Cash and Credit

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Liberty Window Decorations - London

One of my favorite things about Christmas time in the city is all of the elaborate holiday window displays. Unfortunately, here in L.A. we don't get as much of a show, but New York and London go all out. This year, Liberty's windows bring the snow indoors with dreamy icy homescapes. Liberty's also has a famous Christmas shop with unique ornaments and a vintage looking advent calendars. You can check out the goods at:

Rachel Pally Fall Sample Sale - Los Angeles

It's sample sale time! Daily Candy has been posting about a plethora of sample sales that won't be letting up until Christmas. Here is one more to add to your list. Rachel Pally is having a sample sale of Fall 2008 merchandise including her cashmere collection:

Thursday December 4th - Sunday December 7th, 9:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
2301 E. 7th Street Suite C 100
Los Angeles, CA
Check, Cash, Visa and Mastercard

Go to to view the collection.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Rob Ryan Shop - London

I love London based Rob Ryan's whimsical cut paper illustrations. With their child like innocence, it is only fitting that he is putting his designs on toddler tees.  The above shirt is so sweet: "Why are you so naughty? Because I'm so happy!!

And, I've always thought the above print would be beautiful in a nursery.

You can buy select prints and merchandise on Rob's etsy site, but  he has also opened a store in London which sells tea towels, prints, pillows and the above tee. His prints run around $400. Not cheap, but very reasonable for a work of art. His shop is Ryantown, 126 Columbia Road, E2 7RG, Open Saturday from 1-4 and all day Sunday.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Luzzo's Pizzeria - New York

I have to admit that on my last trip to New York, I cheated on Lombardi's! Whenever I am in New York, I have to get my pizza fix and Lombardi's is usually my pie of choice. On this trip, I decided to take my friend Maya's advice and try Luzzo's in the East Village. I was skeptical, and I won't say it's better than Lombardi's but I have to admit it is just as good. There are a lot of similarities between the two: a perfectly charred crust, and a thin layer of sauce topped with gooey blobs of cheese. The difference in my opinion is Luzzo's sauce is just a little bit sweeter, and the fresh mozzarella a little bit softer (sorry Lombardi's but it's true). They even have secured a coal oven, which is one of the secrets to all the best pizza shop's pizzas. I thought New York only allowed 2 original coal ovens to remain: Lombardi's and Grimaldi's, so I'm not sure how they have pulled it off, but I'm sure glad they did! 

Luzzo's Pizzeria, 211-213 First avenue, New York, NY  
Tel: 212.473.7447

Monday, November 3, 2008

Lyell Boutique - New York

Lyell is a beautiful clothing line and boutique on Elizabeth street in Soho/Little Italy. The thirties and forties inspired fall collection includes feminine silk tops, dresses, and hand knit sweaters embellished with hand detailed beading or lace. The quality of construction and fabric is impeccable, which the prices reflect. Not for every day, but a silk dress would make a great invest piece for a very special occasion., 172 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012, Tel: 212.966.8484

Friday, October 17, 2008

La Mill Coffee Boutique - Los Angeles

Today I decided to leave the comfort of my neighborhood and do a little exploring in Silver Lake. I've been reading a lot about La Mill Coffee Boutique on Silver Lake Blvd. and decided to check the place out for myself. The decor is an unusual mix of sleek modern and tea room luxury. Somehow red and grey walls, a neoclassical mural, and mid-century modern peacock and baby blue ostrich and crocodile print chairs work. It is a great space that felt very European to me, similar to places I have seen in London or Italy where decorators combine modern elements with nods to the past. The coffee is very good, but not exactly cheap. I was smitten with their blue coffee tin, but quickly fell out of favor when I noticed it cost $65 full of coffee. 
This definitely is not your average neighborhood coffee shop. The menu was designed by the chef of Providence if that gives you any indication. I tried the Sofia panini which consisted of a pungent goat cheese, olive tapenade, basil, and tomato compote. It was good, but the highlight was the home made potato chips that accompanied. A small coffee and a panini set me back around $20. The breakfast sounds intriguing particularly the cinnamon French toast, but the ambiance at La Mill is so nice, that the next time I go back I hope to have a leisurely cup of coffee or tea with friends.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mulberry Friends and Family Sale - New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles

I just received an e-mail from Mulberry offering a 30% "friends" and "family" discount on all in store items, including those on sale. Alas, even with a discount, I don't think a Mulberry bag is in my budget. But, for those of you looking to splurge, I am happy to e-mail you the invite.

There are a few items on their website that are under $100, including the cute heart shaped luggage tag below. In the white or hot pink option, these tags would make it a lot easier to spot your bag on the luggage carousel!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Saxelby Cheesemongers - New York

A trip to New York would not be complete without sampling a few cheeses along the way. One of the best cheese shops for American artisanal cheeses is Saxelby Cheesemongers in the Essex Market. Really friendly and knowledgeable staff will help you pick that perfect cheese. We tried the Grayson from Meadow Creek Dairy in virginia, a pungent cows milk cheese with a buttery flavor perfect on bread, and Weston Wheel from Woodcock farm, a hard salty sheep's cheese delicious for snacking. We also had to pick up a sampling of cheese curds, which are so buttery and deliciously soft.

Saxelby Cheese also offers Day -A-Whey (very clever) weekend excursions during October to cheese making farms in New England. The next and last trip is to Sprout Creek Farm in Poughkeepsie on October 26th.

Charlotte Moss Townhouse Closing - New York

I'm so sad to report that the Charlotte Moss Townhouse, my favorite home store in New York, is closing! Wandering the three-level brownstone was one of my favorite pass times on trips to NYC. Everything in the store is currently 50% off until the store closes in November. I picked up a box of her witty cocktail napkins and stationary for only $12.00. Some items might still be available online through her website at: The stationary and napkins would make excellent Christmas gifts!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Little Branch Bar - New York

(Image from Chowhound)

(Image from Chowhound)

I just returned from a week in New York, so there will definitely be a lot of New York posts in my future! The first of which is Little Branch, a charming Soho speakeasy with delicious vintage cocktails. Traveling downstairs to the lantern lit low ceiling bar is  a trip back in time with wood booths and vintage photographs. Drinks are served by suspender wearing mixologists who chip rectangle ice cubes from blocks of ice to achieve maximum coldness. A menu features custom drinks including delicious hot toddys for those cold nights, but you can also get the basics: a perfectly made martini. Drinks run around $10, not too bad for Manhattan. 

LITTLE BRANCH: 7 pm - 3am 7 days a week. 20 7th Avenue S. NYC 212.929.4360.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Prudence Designs - New York

This summer when I was in New York, I stumbled into a floral design boutique in Chelsea called Prudence Designs. Their floral designs are beautiful and innovative, especially, the petite arrangements in Chinese take-out boxes complete with chopsticks. I am definitely stealing that idea for a future party! The boutique has more than just flowers including small vases, pillows, and home goods. You can see their arrangements on their website at:

Peter Alexander Slippers - Los Angeles

Peter Alexander, an Australian lingerie designer has just opened a boutique in Los Angeles on trendy Robertson boulevard. The store carries adorable pajama bottoms, bags, and fun gift items. I was particularly taken with the slippers which would be so cute and comfortable on a red eye or international flight. Slippers retail for around $40.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

L'Ecole Des Femmes - Los Angeles

L'Ecole Des Femmes, a new clothing boutique has just opened on third street. Dresses have a ladylike sixties appeal -- think Catherine Deneuve in Belle Du Jour.

Tonight, clothing boutique Rodan vs Griffith is having a "moustache" party to welcome them to the neighborhood. Champagne, pastries, and moustaches will be provided.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Laduree Beauty - France

Laduree purveyors of the definitive macaroon, have just added beauty products to their repertoire. Lotions, soaps, and bath gels are scented with almond: a key ingredient in the pastries they are known for. Each product comes in the exquisite signature Laduree green box, and would make a much more travel friendly souvenir then a box of sweets. I love that the bath gel bottle has a macaroon lid. Products are available at Laduree shops in France, Switzerland, London, Monaco, and Tokyo.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dolci e Dolcezze Sweets - Florence, Italy

Continuing on my quest to find the best sweets around the world, I have decided to add Dolci e Dolcezze, a little gem in Florence. This tiny bake shop is old fashioned elegance with sweets laid out in pristine glass cases like the jewels they are. Decorated with ornate gold mirrors, crystal chandeliers and mint green walls, Dolci's ambiance conjures a dream out of the nutcracker. Service is the most civilized with treats served on antique sterling silver trays accompanied by dainty sterling spoons. Only in Europe can you find such luxuries. A little off the beaten path, and a cornetto will cost more than at your average bakery, but Dolci and Dolcezze is worth it. Dolci e Dolcezze, Piazza Beccaria 8/r , Santa Croce Tel: 055 234  54 58

Monday, September 22, 2008

Henry Road Shop - Los Angeles

Henry Road in Studio City is the perfect place to pick up whimsical gifts, accessories, and knick knacks. Custom fabrics with a retro South African flavor decorate napkins, tea towels, lampshades, journals, and even furniture. Makes a trip over the hill worth it!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mackage Travel Raincoats - Everywhere

Daily Candy today sent an e-mail about Mackage's super cool travel rain coats. The light weight jackets fold up into a pocket in the back and can be reduced to a size small enough to fit in your purse. They definitely out style your basic sporting goods store variety, but come with a much more expensive price tag: $190 for the motorcycle jacket and $250. 

I also thought their trench coats were very stylish although very expensive. This trench retails for $550. 

Algonquin Hotel - New York

While most hotels have a pet ambassador dog, the Algonquin Hotel has a resident cat.  The tradition started in the 1930's when a little stray cat wandered in off the streets into the lobby and management decided to give him a home. Since that time the Algonquin has had 9 resident cats, the latest of which is the above Matilda. This year in honor of Matilda's birthday, the hotel decided to change their hypocritical no pets policy, and are allowing cats and dogs to come for a stay. Concierge will even provide litter boxes, liners, and scoops!

Peck Food Emporium - Milan

Peck in Milan, is the Dean and Deluca of Italy. Their huge food emporium sells everything from coffee, cheeses, olive oils, vinegars, and prepared food all under the Peck label. Everything is of the highest, freshest quality. On my trip to Milan, I bought a bottle of the white truffle oil, which actually had a big hunk of white truffle floating in the bottom. I don't think you can find that many other places, at least not for an affordable price! Certain items on their website can be shipped to the U.S. such as wine, oils (including the aforementioned truffle oil) and aged vinegars. Peck also has a gourmet restaurant and tea room upstairs where they will make you a perfect cappuccino. If you're lucky they'll even swirl the foam into a heart. Perfecto!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Flea Markets - Paris

One of the reasons I'm obsessed with going to Paris is that I have always wanted to shop the fabulous flea markets. The latest issue of Gourmet is all about Paris and has a nice little section about how to navigate the stalls. You can find the information on their website, as well as, restaurants, bars, and hotels.