Food

  As an expert for Travel + Leisure, I get to do a lot of very cool test drives: chocolate tastings in London, cooking classes in Paris, spontaneous hotel reviews and more. But, writing this story about Chicago’s best rooftops was one of my favorite projects. Not only did I get to taste delightful cocktails, I also got to sit down and drink in the city’s incredible views. Walking around Chicago is one thing. But, sitting...

  Her father may be fashion royalty. But, Dylan Lauren’s singular achievements in the sweets sector have cemented her status as America’s Confectionary Queen. With her just-opened Dylan’s Candy on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, Ms. Lauren has gobstopper sized plans for the Midwest. Not only is it her largest store to date, the airy space (a converted museum in the iconic Tribune Tower) will serve as a sun drenched backdrop for some new initiatives. To wit: a candy...

My morning coffee in Provence was not a minor detail of the day. It was a highlight. Why? A Provencal petit dejeuner is epic. Presentation is everything. Details as minute as the placement of a teaspoon (it is leaning upon a mini pot of local honey) requires serious consideration. Great care is taken to transform a breakfast table into a multi-sensory tableau that beckons with the promise of excellence. Wicker tables are dressed to impress...

Beyonce’s youthifying skin serum. Clooney’s shades. J-Law’s fave cold pressed juice. Star sanctioned products offer big time buzz to a brand. But, in the UK, there is an imperial nod of approval that puts an entertainers’ endorsement to shame. It’s called the Royal Warrant. And, it’s a big f-ing deal. Since the 15th century, the Crown has bestowed a mark of distinction upon top drawer “tradespeople.” Favored suppliers of goods and services to the royal families (Queen,...

Why Chicago Needs Another Steakhouse   You wont find a caesar salad in Jose Garces’ new Argentine steakhouse. Or, creamed spinach. Not even that sacred of sacred sides, the blue cheese coated tomato wedge. Broiled T Bone? Nope. No way. No how. The Iron Chef is not dissing these classic chophouse offerings. A born and bred Chicagoan,  marbled beef and hash browns practically gallop through his veins. Rural Society is just a different sort of spot. It’s a...

I really miss spending time alone with my girlfriends. But, between work and family commitments, there is scant time for that leisurely hang out of yore. I had fantasized about an actual girls getaway with my best friend from college. It was challenging to organize. But, after a few years of planning, we made it happen this past January. Here, in Travel + Leisure, I report on all that we stuffed into 96 hours in London.  ...

What to See, Do & Eat in Chicago Over the Holidays The food. The sports. The art. The theater. There is a lot to love about the city of Chicago. And I have the good fortune to report on all things fabulous in the third coast for Travel + Leisure Magazine. With the holidays upon us, everyone is talking about what to do over the vacation. So, herewith, I am spilling the cultural beans on some excellent...

Then Recover with Delicious Tarts and Pommes Frites My story from FoodAndWine.com It’s the thrill of the hunt. For decades, treasure seekers have scoured the allées of Paris’s famed flea market Marché aux Puces for vintage trinkets and eclectic furniture. To inveterate hunters and gatherers, the aha! moment of plucking bric-a-brac vintage serving pieces, an art deco sconce, textiles and quirky French hotel signage from the back of a dusty stall offers an incomparable high. But the Puces has gotten a bad...

My Story from TravelAndLeisure.com I have schlepped my kids everywhere: Provence, London, Northern Italy, Southern Spain, Budapest, Iceland, and, most recently, Marrakech. Sure I love expanding their horizons. But, the pressure to accommodate their decidedly non pint-sized needs can become tiresome. I guiltily longed for the old days; specifically pre-parenting romps in Paris as an unencumbered culture vulture. Wait, why not dump the kids with the in-laws and jet off with my husband for 96 hours...

I am knee-deep in an extended project for Travel + Leisure magazine, spotlighting all that is fabulous in my hometown of Chicago. The best part? I get to explore the nooks and crannies of my city to cull the best experiences for locals and tourists alike. Here are some of my favorite finds. Wrigley Field, View from Tilt, the New Attraction at the John Hancock Center Caffe Streets, Wicker Park Hyde Park - 57th Street Books, Robie House, Plein...