Tag Archives: wine bar

Best of Downtown Tempe, Arizona

Tempe, Arizona is home to Arizona State University and located in the heart of the Valley of the Sun.  I am no stranger to Tempe, graduating from both high school and University. Many years later, I am back to walk down memory lane and explore my hometown. Tempe is no longer just a college town in the shadow of Phoenix and Scottsdale, this little town has grown up!  Offering an amazing variety of excellent independent restaurants, shops, and activities, Tempe is a wonderful blend of modern and hip fitting along the rich history of the town.Best of Downtown Tempe AZ

Visiting twice in the last two months, I have discovered some new and wonderful activities and am reminded of the spots that are better than ever.  Here are my recommendations for the Best of Downtown Tempe Activites, Shopping, and Dining. Continue reading Best of Downtown Tempe, Arizona

Visit London’s Borough Market

The Borough Market in London is a foodie lover’s dream come true.  With fresh fruit and produce stalls, meals to go available in every type of cuisine that you can imagine, nibbles galore, and refreshing beverages of all kinds there is still more to explore.Visit London's Borough Market

Located a few feet from London Bridge tube station for easy access and nestled against the spectacular Southwark Cathedral, the Borough Market is one of the oldest markets dating around 1,000 years in some form, and certainly a permanent fixture in London. The market is a mix of mobile kiosks, tents, and built in structures. Continue reading Visit London’s Borough Market

Exploring the Champagne Region of France

Champagne is my go-to beverage for celebrations, Sunday brunch, a quiet night in, and every other occasion that I can think of. 

In February 2002 I spent a week in Reims, France to explore part of the Champagne region.  The main purpose of my visit was to enjoy as many varies of Champagne as I could!  I called to reserve my cellar tours (before online reservations), booked my hotel (through a travel agent), and rode the TGV train from Paris Gare de l’East to Reims.  My hotel was a short walk from the train station, and I stopped at a local café for dinner and pastry.

Between Champagne tastings and cellar tours, I managed to visit the Palais du Tau and nearby cathedral of Notre-Dame de Reims.  I walked to most places with the occasional taxi ride.  Exploring the city as a solo female traveler was easy and safe.

The down side of travelling solo all those years ago (before smart phone with built in cameras) is that I have a fuzzy memory and very few, poor quality photos.  Admittedly, the photos were made even worse by the massive amounts of Champagne consumed during operation.

My friend Lisa recently went to the Champagne region, and was kind enough to share her experience and photos. 

During a recent trip to Europe to visit family, my husband and I snuck away to France for just a couple of days.  We thought about visiting Paris, but then I ruled against it… I wanted to go to the Champagne region instead.

Continue reading Exploring the Champagne Region of France

Page Springs Cellars and Wine Tasting

One of the best kept secrets in Arizona is the growing wine making community.  My Sister and I recently took a girl’s getaway trip to Sedona, and I made sure to include Page Springs Cellars on the road trip.  Page Springs is located between Sedona and Cottonwood, just 10 miles southwest of downtown Sedona.

2016-page-spring-cellars-front-porch
Page Springs Cellars Front Patio

Page Springs is a small, family owned vineyard.  The grapes are grown in vineyards surrounding the Cellar and nearby land, sectioned by varietal.  Breaking from Arizona expectations, Page Springs is most similar to the Mediterranean climate, without as much humidity.

Continue reading Page Springs Cellars and Wine Tasting

One (Little Piggy Goes to) Market, San Francisco

Recently, my friend Jack was travelling for work and asked for restaurant recommendations in San Francisco.  Years ago, I spent considerable time there for work.  Based on the location of his hotel and the style food that he likes, I recommended One Market for a short walk and delicious dinner.  Here is Jack’s review of One Market.  Enjoy!  

I arrived at One Market in the Embarcadero District of downtown San Francisco at 6:45pm on a Thursday night and asked the hostess for a table for one.  She looked me up and down — fat man dining alone.   “I think we can squeeze you in, sir.”

2016 SF OM RoseI’d hoped for a half bottle of rose, but nobody ever sells rose in a half bottle.  I compromised and ordered a full bottle of 2014 Archery Summit Pinot Noir Rose from the Williamette Valley.  The color was almost ruby, with a full bodied (for a rose), dried fruit taste.  There was nothing sweet about this rose, and at that moment, I resigned myself to drinking the whole bottle.

The food menu was somewhat limited, with starters capturing my attention far more than entrees.  Of particular interest in the starters column were thinly sliced lamb tongue, a pan seared foie graas, grilled octopus, and ocean trout.  My waiter recommended the ocean trout with an enthusiasm that indicated that the item was either fantastic, or on its last day in the walk-in.  I decided to order the lamb tongue, grilled octopus, and ocean trout, foregoing the foie graas as I was unsure of the penalty for consuming it in the State of California.  The last thing I need is to be part of some weird televised foodie sting.

2016 SF OM AmuseBThe amuse bouche was a new potato puck topped with domestic monkfish caviar.  Whatever.  I was not all that amused. Continue reading One (Little Piggy Goes to) Market, San Francisco