Monday, November 2, 2009
Dave and I just got back from our long weekend in South Florida, where we had a wonderful, relaxing time. I apologize for not posting while we were away (I had the best of intentions, I promise!) but somehow the days managed to get away from me.
But in a place this beautiful, can you really blame me?
Outside our hotel room
We stayed at The Standard, which is located right on North Bay (which separates Miami Beach from the mainland) and within a short cab ride from the action of South Beach. So while you're definitely a bit off the beaten path (which suited Dave and I just fine), the Standard's luxe boho-beachy vibe makes you feel every bit as indulgent and pampered as you would at the Delano or the Shore Club but at a fraction of the cost. And while I question a few design choices (like putting a full-length mirror right next to the toilet!) and wish they served breakfast on weekends, all in all I highly recommend the hotel.
Jonathan Adler boutique!
On Thursday Dave and I kept things relatively low key as I was still recovering from a nasty cold I picked up earlier in the week (great timing, right?!). We walked up and down Lincoln, a street so chock-full of trendy eateries and boutiques that a large portion of it is pedestrian-traffic only. I wasn't feeling particularly up for shopping (I said I was pretty sick!) until we literally stumbled across the Jonathan Adler boutique on our walk back from lunch, at which point I immediately perked up, cold be damned. Though small, the store managed to contain just about every Adler product you could desire. While Adler has a top notch e-commerce site, it was still helpful to see all of his accessories and furnishings in the flesh to get a feeling for size, scale actual color, etc.
Thursday night we met up with Dave's brother ("M.") and his wife ("D.") for dinner in the Design District. We started the evening out at Grass, which we had high hopes for. Alas, the menu had changed drastically since the last time M. and D. had gone and we were so disappointed with our appetizers that we got the check and left before we ordered the main course. Quick to recover the evening, we headed a block down to Michael's Genuine, where we enjoyed some fantastic food and excellent service. Without question though our favorite course was dessert, where we split homemade dough-nuts and a banana toffee panini.
The Sauna at The Standard
While I felt significantly better the next morning, we didn't manage to muster up a great deal of energy to get out and about on Friday either. Instead, we spent the bulk of the day enjoying all the amenities that The Standard has to offer, including their incredible spa. Both Dave and I enjoyed massages, and I even indulged in a facial as well. Both treatments were well done and (bearing in mind we were on Miami Beach) reasonably priced. My favorite experience though was the sauna, a large very Romanesque space covered in heated marble. Just a few minutes laying on the warm stone was incredibly relaxing.
The Standard's (saltwater) pool
A few more hours lounging by the pool, sipping on pomegranate margaritas rendered Dave and I practically comatose.
Fortunately, after all our lazying about, we managed to rally for a second night out with M. and D. This time though we went straight to the heart of the nightlife, South Beach. We dined at Nobu (which managed to live up to all the hype) and then sipped on drinks at the Skybar, an indoor/outdoor bar at The Shore Club. With ample Moroccan lanterns and plenty of seating, the Skybar is a wonderfully intimate and romantic venue that was far more understated, far classier than I would've expected for South Beach. In fact, both Dave and I agreed it was the best bar we'd ever been to. Anywhere.
On Saturday while Dave and M. headed back up to Ft. Lauderdale to watch the UF-UGA game and relieve the babysitter of her duties, D. and I headed back to the Miami Design District to check out some of the boutiques and stores. Designed primarily for design professionals, the MDD is not exactly a hopping retail district on Saturdays. In fact, D. and I were surprised just how deserted the place actually was. We had just about every store to ourselves.
The Jalan Jalan Collection
Our favorite store for browsing was the Jalan Jalan collection, which has a great global eclectic-meets-beachy vibe that's very popular right now in home decor. Custom products are shown alongside popular lines like Visual Comfort, Oly Studios, and Lee Industries. There were almost too many great pieces to count, but some personal favorites include a gorgeous white lacquer side table with shagreen top (above left), giant square upholstered ottoman, the oversize porcelain lamp and mother of pearl throw pillow (all three pictured above right).
The Jalan Jalan Collection, cont.
Our hands down favorite vignette though had to be the one pictured above. I love the soft blues juxtaposed with the bright orange throw pillows and that reclaimed wood coffee table, while you can't tell from the pictures, is absolutely to die for.
After a few minutes salivating in the Ann Sacks store (if only I had dozens of kitchens and bathrooms to redo!), we headed over to a more retail-friendly part of MDD to explore some more.
Our biggest discovery of the day though was EQ3, a Canadian furniture store that is only just beginning to work its way into the U.S. market. Prices were similar to those of West Elm and the style on offer was a similarly modern one, though with colors and patterns more akin to Orla Kiely. The big story though is all the custom upholstery options, something that's generally unheard of at that price point. With over one hundred fabrics to choose from, and even custom leg options, you can get a very personalized sofa for under $1000. All I can say is, please, please, puh-lease come to Houston next.
After our shopping excursion we headed back to Ft. Lauderdale to spend Halloween with M. and D.'s adorable kids (who are 5 and 3, respectively). We had a thoroughly wonderful time during our kid-centric Halloween as Dave and I got to bond with our niece and nephew and to enjoy a great block party with their very social neighbors.
But enough about my weekend, how was your Halloween?