31 October 2017

Halloween in Transylvania

 Transylvania is as eerie and enchanting as Halloween--and autumn is a beautiful time to visit. Check out my "5 Great Medieval Places to Visit in Transylvania" on the U.S. News & World Report En Route blog.







22 June 2017

Vieux Carre: Best cocktail before a show at the St. Paul Ordway?

Vieux Carre: Gin Daisy 

         Tanqueray bloomsbury.rhubarb.strawberry.lemon




30 May 2017

Good Cocktails at the Bad Waitress



They're more than good. They're fantastic. At the new The Bad Waitress in northeast Minneapolis, the cocktail menu is a winner. One of our favorite mixologist/bartenders, Johnny Michaels, has done it again. Four friends, four cocktails, four happy drinkers. Meow Mix, Lady Byng (with the pansy), Tangerine Sidecar, and The Most Interesting Man in the World. By the time we left, we were the most interesting women in the world.







19 April 2016

LaCrosse, WI: The Charmant Hotel: For (real) sweet dreams


Located in a former candy factory in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, The Charmant Hotel salutes its sweet history in all sorts of ways. The best?  A 24/7 chocolate candy counter.  Adjacent to the check-in desk this means even if you wake up at 2 a.m. craving, say, a chocolate covered caramel, you can satisfy it.

25 October 2014

October in Transylvania


Transylvania is a magical place--especially in the fall when the leaves are turning, the haystacks are gold in the fields and the air begins to cool. Then it's time for tea or coffee and a pastry or cake in one of the lovely old-fashioned tea rooms in a medieval fairy tale town like Sighisoara. At the Coffee House Cositorarului (it's also a bed and breakfast), the setting is charming, the coffee is served in china tea cups adorned with roses and the room is a mix of pink velvet settees and old-fashioned upholstered chairs where kitty cats snooze. In Sighisoara "every step is filled with "poetry and mystery" says their website.   It's true.


26 June 2014

Summer means "Still Life with Rosé"


Daydreaming about another June afternoon when I was in Marseille, France and fellow friend, travel writer, and partner in pastry (thanks for the rhubarb strawberry tart recipe!) Anne Banas. and I decided to meet for a "rosé and cookie" break (cookies: Marseille's special navettes-- those boat-shaped biscuits faintly touched with orange for which the city is known) on one of our private room terrace's at the Intercontinental Marseille. First, we got "into" photo shoot mode though! Loved the models.  There was nothing left of them when we finished.

I could not find the Triennes rosé here in the Twin Cities, but I was recommended another very lovely rosé wine at Surdyk's -- a nice dry one--and a good price (about $12): the Domaine de Paris Cotes de Provence Rosé 2013. Yes, I know this is a photo of an empty bottle.  (I drank it before I decided to take the photo. It happens.)


I will  be buying more.