Browsing Tag


The Spa Opens at Fearrington Village

Today, I have an additional reason to hurry back home to North Carolina. Fearrington Village opens the Spa and let me tell you…I’m going there all day today in my mind. As fall approaches each year in Southern California, I’m always homesick for the smell of fallen leaves, the crisp air, the wide open spaces. You will find all of this and more at this luxurious property known as the “Southern Route du Bonheur” (or road to happiness).

After your massage, facial (anti-aging of course) and mani/pedi, peruse their newly opened Spa boutique, Haven. Filled with Frette linens, elegant loungewear, down pillows, Molten Brown body products, and even a Kingsdown mattresses (as found in the Inn rooms), you can practically take your experience home with you!

After all that pampering, you might feel like settling down for a long autumn nap, but you’d be missing out if you skip dinner at The Fearrington House Restaurant. Dishes like the signature Wild Garlic Carolina Gold Risotto with Apple & Vanilla Jam, Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Boulangère Potatoes and Thyme Sauce are just the thing to really put you into a blissful comma after a day of pure relaxation.

Ok, are you as sufficiently depressed as I,  knowing you are missing this grand opening?  Awesome…I’m off to work now.

The Spa at Fearrington Village.  2000 Fearrington Village Center.  Park Building. Pittsboro, NC.  919-545-5723

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Find Your Holiday Spirit

NYC Christmas 08-croppedDoesn’t it seem like Christmas comes earlier and earlier every year? With decorations out before Halloween, it’s getting harder and harder to muster up excitement and not get burnt out come December 25th. Perhaps it was my naivety (or perhaps my parents just did a really good job of not showing me their franticness), but the memories I hold of holidays past were those of laughter, joy and a multitude of planned activities guaranteed to get you in the holiday spirit. Never thought you’d be one to mutter “bah humbug?” I’ve got a list of the best holiday events across the country sure to have all you Scrooge’s decking the halls in no time. 


Rockettes Radio City Christmas Spectacular (NYC & National Tour) – Check listings for a tour near year—this spectacular family show will hit 31 cities this holiday season. Of course if you can make it to Radio City, that is the ultimate experience, but other cities like Atlanta have created a whole Radio City Christmas Package bringing all the magic closer to home.

Christmas at Rockefeller Center (New York City) – On December 2nd, the annual tree lighting ceremony will take place from 7pm-9pm EST with live surprise musical guests. Can’t make it to NYC? This special airs on NBC, so set your Tivos.

A Christmas Carol at Ford’s Theatre (Washington D.C.) – Relish in this Christmas classic, November 23rd-January 2nd. While theaters around the world are sure to have their exceptional renditions, The Ritz Carlton Georgetown’s special package caught my eye. Enjoy luxury accomodations in a neighborhood that feels right out of Dicken’s Village—includes a night’s stay & four tickets to the show. 

The Polar Express Train Ride (National) – Want something unforgettable to do with your kids? Dazzle them with a ride to the North Pole as you live out this favorite children’s book. This magical holiday tradition tends to sell out quickly, so hurry and get on board!

National Gingerbread Competition & Display (Grove Park Inn, Asheville, NC) – On November 16th, culinary artists from across the country will be judged on their edible masterpieces. These amazing creations will remain on display from November 18th-January 3rd. A treat for the whole family, this should be on your “must do” list at least once. If a trip must wait, start by building your own-maybe by next year you’ll be ready to compete.

The Nutcracker (New York City Ballet, NYC) – From November 27th-January 3rd this classic ballet company performs this classic holiday favorite. If you can’t get to the Big Apple, check your local listings…most towns (small & large) put on a rendition of this popular ballet. Go support your local arts!

Handel’s Messiah at the Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles) – For two days only, December 15th & 16th, you can come hear the most famous oratorio of all time.  If this won’t melt your icy heart, I don’t know what will. 


Farm to Table-Ode to Asheville Part III

TableAsheville, NC has almost coined the phrase “farm-to-table dining”—so much so that you start to wonder if the expression means less than the overly debated “organic.” But, my jadedness quickly subsided as it seemed everyone actually did have their own garden and farm—from the Grove Park Inn to the grounds at Biltmore. This lush, mountain terrain is practicing what they preach and Table restaurant has mastered the concept.

When I made a reservation at Table in the heart of downtown, I had only mixed online reviews (sadly some people just don’t get it) and my own intuition that I was making the best choice for my mom’s birthday dinner. I wanted something sophisticated, a place that could battle the urban foodie bistros of which I had become accustomed. I wanted to take my family on a culinary adventure in their own backyard (so to speak) that would contradict their usual Southern upscale fare of meat and potatoes. 

As we perused the menu (that changes nightly depending on available ingredients), I felt certain we were in for a treat. Call me biased, but I gave them immediate props for a well thought out wine list—I’m always delighted to see Palmer’s picks, like the “Summertime White,” Martin Codax Albariño (our obvious choice). The heirloom tomato salad with hericots verte, hazelnut and crème fraiche tasted as if they had been picked off the vine just moments before. The seared duck breast with local mushrooms, leeks, confit potatoes and blueberry was an exciting change from the blasé redundancies that clutter most menus. Mostly, I felt triumphant that my parents raved over each bite and were glad they had stepped outside their comfort zone.

The philosophy behind Table’s cooking, while trendy, is really at the heart of what good food is all about—going back to the basics with fresh ingredients, put together in a creative way that excites your palate and sends you own a sensory adventure. It somehow broadens your horizons as you stay close to home.

Next time I’m in town, I really hope there is room at the Table.

Table.  48 College Street.  Asheville, NC .  828-254-8980