luxury

You are currently browsing articles tagged luxury.

Truth be told, I wasn’t going to blog about our last visit to Ashford Castle. It’s a place I have had the true pleasure of visiting many times, and I’ve already blogged about it a couple of times.

But, truth be told, I am disgusted with the state of our country right now, and looking at photos of places I love is one escape that seems to lower my blood pressure and soften the rage at the people who have sold out our country to a maniac.

So, this Travel Tuesday, in my blog and in my mind, I am at the majestic Ashford Castle, on the shores of Lough Corrib in County Mayo Ireland. Both Ashford Castle and the little village of Cong where it is located are well-worth a visit if you ever head to Ireland.

On our last Ireland trip, we decided that a stop at Ashford on the way home from Achill Island would be a great way to break up the journey and give us a chance to have a snack and stretch our legs.

We arrived as the light of the day was starting to lower, casting a warm glow all over the castle and Lough Corrib.

Ashford Castle gin cocktail We were quickly brought to the lounge and seated with views of the lake, handed leather-bound cocktail menus to peruse.

My mother-in-law went with one of the castle’s imaginative gin cocktails, which had muddled blueberries, cracked black pepper, and grapefruit.

I have long been a fan of the Manhattan at Ashford, so I tucked in with one of those and a copy of The Irish Times. It was one of those lovely, cozy moments where we were all a little sleepy from Achill sunshine, so we just sat back and enjoyed the gorgeous surroundings.

Manhattan cocktail

Ashford Castle For lunch, the Smoked Salmon BLT was the obvious choice; I eat Irish smoked salmon and Irish bacon every chance I get, and this was one incredible sandwich.

 

smoked salmon BLT

Stuffed and in need of a bit of waking up, we did what we always do after a meal at Ashford; we took a long walk around the grounds. This is really one of my favorite things to do, and looking below, you can probably see why. Try to get there near sunset.

Ashford Castle Ashford Castle Lough Corrib

We didn’t expect to go to Ireland anytime soon, but it turned out the best rates to Italy this summer actually go through Dublin. This means I get to spend four glorious days in July in one of my favorite places. Having things to look forward to, big and small, are helping to keep me positive during these dark days.

Tell me, where do you go (even if just in your mind) when you need some uplifting?

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Share

Tags: Ashford, Ashford Castle, castles, cocktails, Food, Ireland, luxury, luxury travel, Mayo, Travel

You may have noticed that I tend to like boats and wine quite a bit. A few weeks ago, I got to spend the afternoon on a Stellar Yacht Charters yacht as a guest of Santa Maria La Palma wine.

Santa Maria La Palma is out of Sardinia, a dream travel destination of mine, and it was fun to combine their delicious wine, my wanderlust, and our beautiful Boston Harbor for a day of wine tasting and education with a fun group of people.

wine cruise

Front and center we have Igor, who was in Boston representing Santa Maria La Palma. He was charming and knowledgeable and so passionate about the wines.

wine and food pairing

  The boat itself was appointed with classic luxurious detail, and the crew was phenomenal. A huge spread of food for pairing with the wines was available to us, including lots of seafood like sushi, mussels, and shrimp, perfect with wines from Sardinia.

We were treated to quite the lineup of wines, mostly white and rosato, one red, all special and memorable and celebratory. The primary grapes making up the wines were Vermentino and Cannonau, which grow very well in Sardinia and reflect the island’s terroir in every sip. We all remarked that we wished we had these wines in front of us all summer long, but that they’re also perfect for sunshine and island dreaming throughout the winter.

What did we taste? You’ll see below the full lineup on the tasting sheet. I of course left my notes behind, but I most definitely had a few favorites.

wine tasting

 

Aragosta Vino Spumante  Brut NV– Sparkling wine from Sardinia is a treat and might be replacing some of the other sparkling wines that often grace our table. One of the things I love about being able to attend wine events like this is the spirit of discovery!

Aragosta Vermentino di Sardegna DOC 2015 – Vermentino is fun and flavorful. I got a nice bit of tartness off of this, lemons and Granny Smith apples and would love this wine with oysters. . . or even as part of a granita mignonette on top of oysters!

IMG_8921

Akenta Underwater Spumante Extra Dry – Just check out that bottle! This wine is aged under the sea in water that is part of a national park in Sardinia. Under the pressure of the sea and in the darkness, the bottle grows sea life on it! This was just another fascinating detail and part of the sense of place that these wines brought to the table.

wine bottle with barnacles 

aragostaAragosta  Rosé –  First of all. this wine has a lobster on the bottle and its contents are pink, which made me love it immediately. I know we shouldn’t judge a book bottle by its cover, but for th coastal living obsessed, it just makes a cute addition to a beach or boat party or a beach house themed home.

The wine is delicious, offering up beautiful, strawberry and watermelon note, fruity but not sweet. Summer in a glass and absolutely a new favorite rosé wine.

I also loved the not-pictured La Bombarde Cannonau di Sardegna DOC, a very light red wine with notes of cranberry and light cocoa, light enough for a humid boat day but warm and cozy enough for cooler weather. It would be a great Thanksgiving wine.

stellar yacht charters In addition to the wines being spectacular, the event itself was also really something special and well thought out. It was a small enough group that we all got to chat with each other, and the Captain had a pug named Junior! We had an overcast but warm fall day, lots of delicious food and wine and an opportunity to learn about the gem that Sardinia is for wine production and travel.

wine tasting on a boat

wine event

Boston skyline from a boat Life is good.

Thank you to Cantina Santa Maria La Palma and Wine & Co. for a great day!

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Share

Tags: blogging, boating, Boston, events, luxury, luxury travel, Sardinia, wine, wine blog, wine blogger, wine tasting, yachts

In the weeks leading up to our trip to Tanzania, we reviewed our itinerary about a million times and checked out the websites of the lodges and camps we were to stay at, all the while finding it almost impossible to imagine ourselves there. We’ve been back for a week, and honestly it all seems like a dream. The colors, the smells, the sounds, the food, all so vibrant that they felt part of a different world that we got to be part of for a short while.

Upon arrival we learned that there was a slight change to our itinerary for the our visit to Tarangire National Park. Instead of staying in Lake Burunge, we were moved to Maramboi Tented Camp which turned out to be a very lucky switch for us.

After a dusty day of game driving in Tarangire, we pulled up to Maramboi and were greeted with cold towels and hibiscus iced tea. Tanzanian welcomes are something I could get used to!

 

Maramboi Tented Camp

Being that it’s a camp, the accommodations at Maramboi are technically tents, but tents that happen to be permanent and luxurious.

Maramboi Tented Camp This is glamping at its finest!  Our bed was so comfy, and we had a huge shower with plenty of hot water.

Maramboi Tented Camp

We also had a porch with a view for days, which was filled with zebras, wildebeests, giraffes, warthogs, and ostriches.

Maramboi Tented Camp

The grounds of the camp were even more impressive, with a sprawling dining area and a long boardwalk out to the pool, where we happily spent our sunset each night.

Maramboi Tented Camp

Maramboi Tented Camp

Maramboi Tented Camp

Maramboi Tented Camp

Just like in all of the other places we stayed, the food at Maramboi was delicious. Dinners were more African-influenced, while lunch one day was definitely geared toward travelers with options like fish and chips in addition to lentils, spinach, rice, and quiche.

lunch at Maramboi

And as it did in every other stop on the trip. mineral-y South African white wines were flowing.

South African wine While staying at Maramboi we had the opportunity to go for a nature walk with a junior Maasai warrior, and it was just breathtaking.

 

Maasai guide

giraffes in Tanzania

zebras at Maramboi

While getting up close and personal with non-predator animals, we learned about Maasai culture and our beautiful surroundings. It was definitely one of the more memorable afternoons of the trip for me.

ostrich in Tanzania

zebras in the water

Of course it didn’t hurt to go back to our tent and watch zebras in a watering hole. They were so close at night that we could hear them ripping up grass. Another one of the tents had zebras rubbing up against the tent to scratch. We were definitely at one with nature while also in the lap of luxury at Maramboi.

sundown in Maramboi

sunrise at Maramboi

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Share

Tags: Africa, Food, hotels, luxury, safari, see the world, Tanzania, Travel, travel blog

« Older entries

new restaurant
WordPress SEO fine-tune by Meta SEO Pack from Poradnik Webmastera