February 11, 2013

Corte della Maesta, Italy ~ Hotel Crush

I first traveled to Italy while I was still in High School - I remember being completely swept away by the culture, the wine (yea, my parents were liberal like that) and most of all, exploring it's walled cities and charming hill top towns. So it is no surprise that I've fallen head over hills, for Corte della Maesta - perched  on a mountain peak between Orvieto and Viterbo, Corte della Maestà is "an antique residence (aka small hotel) found in the suggestive valle di Civita di Bagnoregio, the silhouette of which rises up like some remote outpost accessible thanks only to a footbridge."... Hello, Heart Strings! 
Album Corte della Maestà Civita di Bagnoregio
The newly renovated residence was formerly a Bishop's house, and has only five rooms, all decorated with antique pieces and vintage art. The design is so perfect - I'd figure I'd let the images speak for themselves. Lets explore this Italian gem room by room...Starting with my favorite room in the house...the Kitchen
La Cucina di Fratta Corte Della Maestà Civita di Bagnoregio
La Cucina di Fratta Corte Della Maestà Civita di Bagnoregio

The Abbess     This room’s four-poster bed once belonged to the Abbess of a monastery (hence the room’s name) and is meant as a tribute to Stendhal’s ‘The Abbess Of Castro’.

 La Badessa Corte della Maestà Civita di Bagnoregio
La Badessa Corte della Maestà Civita di Bagnoregio
La Badessa Corte della Maestà Civita di Bagnoregio

The Sleepwalker     The bed’s headboard came from an early nineteenth century theatrical production, and is a tribute to Vincenzo Belli and to the great tradition of Italian opera

La Sonnambula Corte della Maestà Civita di Bagnoregio
La Sonnambula Corte della Maestà Civita di Bagnoregio
La Sonnambula Corte della Maestà Civita di Bagnoregio
The Intruder     Looking out across the valley, one can glimpse the house where the Argentine poet and writer Rodolfo Wilcock lived and died. He was a great friend of Jorge Luis Borges, to whose work the room is dedicated. 
L'Intrusa Corte della Maestà Civita di Bagnoregio
L'Intrusa Corte della Maestà Civita di Bagnoregio 
The Writer      The wallpaper in the apartment’s study is a reproduction of that covering the walls of Virginia Woolf’s London home. It has its own private entrance from the garden, up stone stairs with Roman columns to a terrace covered by a pergola of roses.
La Scrittrice Corte della Maestà Civita di Bagnoregio 
La Scrittrice Corte della Maestà Civita di Bagnoregio
The Loner     The forty-square-metre apartment, the Corte’s oldest and most austere, is dedicated to Giacomo Leopardi and to the traditions of great Italian poetry. 
La Solitaria Corte della Maestà Civita di Bagnoregio
La Solitaria Corte della Maestà Civita di Bagnoregio

Album Corte della Maestà Civita di Bagnoregio 
Album Corte della Maestà Civita di Bagnoregio

October 12, 2012

Apple Picking ~ Inspiration for Fall

Fall has officially arrived in Southern California. The last two day's have been filled with the most beautiful cumulus clouds, sporadic rain showers and the smell of fires. Fall my most favorite season. It's the perfect excuse to load up on fresh baked breads, sleep in late, bundle up in layers, read a good book, take a long bath, be with friends and family..... and pick apples (of course).
Thanks to my good friend, and fellow blogger The Lush Chef, today's itinerary is easy to come up with (because it's hers)!  For a sweet and simple day trip (only 90 minutes from the west side) spend the day in Oak Glen and come home stocked with organic apples for pies and pumpkins for carving. The day itinerary is as follows:
  • 9 am – Depart Santa Monica
  • 10:30am – Arrive at Rios Los Rancho for apple picking - 
  • Noon – Grab lunch at Oak Tree Village
  • 2pm – Pick up cider & indulge in mini donuts at Snowline 
  • 3pm – Head home
So there you have it. The perfect get me out of LA fall day trip, brought you by my friend with the most outstanding taste. My only addition would be to top off the trip with one of TheLushChef's fall themed cocktails. I mean... The Fig Old Fashioned has me freakin'
Photo courtesy of The Lush Chef blog
I've also posted more fall inspired photos below ~ TGIF everybody
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ReBlogged from ThatKindOfWoman

October 11, 2012

Pool Time ~ 7 Amazing Infinity Pools

Condé Nast Traveler posted the most amazing photo gallery of the worlds best infinity pools this morning. Interesting timing, considering it finally feels a bit like Fall in LA, so it already has me nostalgic for summer. Today I'm day-dreaming about their selections and adding a few of my own to the list. One from a vacation rental I frequent in Sayulita, Mexico (here) and the ah-inspiring pool at the Rosewood Mayakoba, which was included in my Hotel Crush column (here).
Rosewood Mayakoba, Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula                                             

The Adults-Only Serenity Pool at the Four Seasons Maui at Wailea Maui, Hawaii

Estrella del Mar,  Sayulita Mexico Vacation Rental

Sanctuary Swala Tanzania, Africa 

Ubud Hanging Gardens Bali, Indonesia

Zen Grand Pool Grand Velas Riviera Maya

Reefs Hotel & Club Southampton, Bermuda

Here's to 6 long months till Summer!

October 10, 2012

Vacation Rental ~ Stinson Beach, CA

There is nothing that symbolizes the Northern California Coastline more than the overexposed grey siding of an adorably bohemian beach bungalow. It's today's VRBO Stinson Beach Rental that makes a warm fire, dense fog, smells of cypress and the sounds of the pacific endlessly romantic. Just 30 minutes north of San Francisco it would make the perfect cozy and comfortable wintertime beach getaway.
This beachfront home has a well-equipped kitchen and cozy wood stove (firewood provided) and/or a lovely separate cottage you can fill with friends. If you are going on a romantic getaway you can rent just the detached studio cottage for $1300/week; or if you are on a couples weekend you can rent the 1 bedroom house, $2200/week. Or why not rent them both for $2800/week. Regarding the design - I'm completely obsessed with the red doors and copper bathroom accessories!

October 2, 2012

Santa Ynez via Sunset Magazine

Continuing my entree into the world of Twitter, yesterday I participated in a @SunsetMag photo contest and submitted a photo from a trip I recently took to Santa Ynez Valley.... The picture (below) was taken during a summer screening at Kalyra Winery, and has since been selected, retweeted and included in Sunset Magazine's Facebook Photo Album!
I couldn't be more excited about this considering Sunset Magazine is by far my favorite publication and this particular trip to Santa Ynez was one of our best trips yet! To build upon this momentum ~ I've quickly put together a list of my top three wineries to visit in the Santa Ynez Valley, each with some pictures and I also listed a dreamy vacation rental I posted about previously, to complete the post.
 Top 3 Wineries in the Santa Ynez Valley
1). Sunstone Winery
Its like a taste of Tuscany only 2 hours from LA.  Bring a picnic, sneak around in the caves or lay out on the lawn, Sunstone Winery is a must-stop for me whenever we are in Santa Ynez. 
2). LaFond Winery & Vineyard
The definition of Spanish Colonial Revival style, with a modern twist, LaFond is in Bullerton but well worth the trip. When we were there, we were the only people tasting....and they even let you take home the glass!
3). Kalyra Winery (Pictured at the Top)
So you know that scene in SIDEWAYS, yes the movie, where Jack (Paul Giamatti) meets the flirtatious Stephanie (Sandra Oh), well that's Kalyra! A fun, funky, laid-back winery with great Gewurztraminer and movies amongst the vines. Its also next to Sunstone, so its an easy 1-2 stop. 
If you want to plan something really special - I'd stay here
For just $375 its steal for a house with so much style. Simple Spanish ranch architecture, decadent chandeliers, overly abundant white decor and the clean SoHo lofty feel, the entire property has me swooning!