Looking for London Business Travel List for Dining , Museum Visits and Things to Do this Season

July 19th, 2013

When I’m creating a travel itinerary for any city around the world, I want to know details about the city, the best places to see, where to stay, where to shop, where to eat, where to walk, and where to get pampered I make sure to get the best luxury lifestyle news, travel reviews, and information about my favorite cities to visit, so I always know where to find the best dining, lodging, and events.  In order to create a luxury focused travel itinerary, it’s important for travelers to find the right tools and information.

My next upcoming trip is to London.  Before I leave, I’m getting into the London spirit by watching some of my favorite London-based films.  While staying at The Dorchester Hotel in Mayfair, my itinerary includes dining at London’s best restaurants (including Alain Ducasse), lots of luxury shopping, a spa day, and even a few museum visits.

If you’re looking to plan a luxury travel itinerary to London, visit Carnet for the best recommendations, tips, and travel guides!

Looking for London Business Travel List for Dining , Museum Visits and Things to Do this Season

July 19th, 2013

Have an upcoming business trip to London?  Jet Lag is one of the most common problems business men and women experience when traveling overseas.  Why not indulge yourself to a relaxing spa day at your hotel after your flight? It can erase those bleary eyes and disoriented state of being from jumping through time zones. The Mandarin Oriental Hotel near Hyde Park features a luxurious spa offering hydrotherapy, color therapy and an opportunity to create a custom spa experience. There’s also Urban Retreat (for the ladies) and The Refinery (for gentlemen) at Harrod’s .Harrod’s also provides a menu of services as a quick jump-start for the hard-working businessperson.

Once you’ve relaxed your mind, body, and soul, there’s nothing better than a rich meal to top it off. Treating yourself to luxurious restaurants and outings can really turn a trip around.  London is home to some of the finest and luxurious restaurants you can find. West End restaurants in London to enjoy dinner at include The Ivy London, Thames Barrier and dinner by Heston Blumenthal. The Fat Duck, the Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park location of Din-ner are all restaurants from acclaimed 3 Star Michelin Chef which are packed with foodies who come for degustation of ofal and classic British country fare prepared with modern gastronomic technique.

If you have a morning free before you head off to your meetings, you should enjoy an authentic English breakfast at The Wolseley. It offers an award-winning full English breakfast starting as early as 7 am for early risers (or those not yet adjusted to London time). The breakfast menu features a viennoiserie basket, the famous The English (eggs, bacon, sausage, baked beans, tomato, black pudding and mushrooms), and lighter fare like grapefruit or granola. Reservations are recommended as this event is very popular amongst the business set during the week. Then you can soak up the city by going to some of the most controversial and intriguing contemporary British art at the Saatchi Gallery. Located in a 70,000 square-foot space in Chelsea, exhibitions of sculpture, painting, photography, video and installations keep the eye and mind engaged. After that, you can stop by Buckingham Palace and try and see the queen!

Explore London between meetings and after the business day ends with Carnet ‘s entertainment and dining guide for the on-the-go business traveler, for both the jet-lagged and the ambitious explorer.

Fashion Week Spring 2013

September 6th, 2012

Fashion Week (or rather, Fashion Month) is one of my favorite events of the year.  Traipsing through all the major trend-setting cities of the world, gawking at the amazing designs of top fashion houses, rubbing shoulders with celebrities and fashion elite while sipping bubbly–what’s not to like?

Obviously, I’m in town for the clothing and accessories–but a girl’s gotta eat (sometimes).  A handy guide to local hot spots, especially the ones popular for fashion types, ensures I’m in the right place at the right time.  The fact that many of these places also offer lighter fare doesn’t hurt.  The eblast I got below links to a whole list of places to eat and clubs to visit for each of the major Fashion Week cities–just in time for my trip.

Carnet Travel Insider for Fashion Week
Carnet Couture New York Fashion Week NoMad Hotel Bar
Carnet Couture Paris Fashion Week Insider Kinugawa Sushi
Carnet Couture Insider Milan Fashion Week Il Bacaro del Sambuco Carnet Couture Insider London Fashion Week Wyld Bar at W Hotel
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Travel Insider Tips for Booking Hotels, Packing, Shopping and More

August 23rd, 2012

Below are some great insider travel tips for before you depart and after you land, that I’ve found helpful in navigating trips, no matter how long or short.

Save on VAT While Shopping in Paris
Follow Carnet’s tips on VAT refunds to avoid paying the 19.6% VAT tax in Paris.  (Hint: only members of the European Union have to pay the fee.)  Follow the steps outlined to save a pretty penny.

Champagne vs. Sparkling Wine: What’s In A Name

Discover the details and history of champagne and find out why not all sparkling wines are equal. From the bottling, the grapes, to the bubbles themselves, learn how to differentiate sparkling wines from around the world before you travel.

Travel Tips for Booking Hotels
Save time and money with Carnet’s insider tips for booking hotels.  Reserve rooms in luxury hotels and find the best deals online with these ten booking tips.

Find even more tips (such as learning about the culture, avoiding tourist traps, booking hotels, packing to meet TSA regulations and more) straight from Carnet travel insiders.

Under the Sea: New York Seafood Restaurants

July 23rd, 2012

Seafood Selections at Fishtail by David Burke

Whenever I’m feeling more than a little peckish for excellent cuisine, I make it a point to jet over to New York.  A city for daring epicures, there are a never-ending array of top restaurants to pick from, with new options constantly opening to keep my taste buds tantalized.

My fellow food and restaurant enthusiasts should seriously consider this summer’s restaurant week as an opportunity to sample tastes and dishes that previously were sidestepped. With so many restaurants hosting lunch and dinner prix fixe menus, culinary explorers have the opportunity to sample a little something that’s usually out of the average person’s reach.

As a major fan of the briny delights of the sea, I am delighted to recommend a few seafood restaurant options for the New York visitor or a local, regardless of restaurant week participation.

From Aquavit

An ethereal and elegant dining experience can be found at Aquavit. This Scandinavian-inspired restaurant has an elegant décor with a modern bar and lounge. Lunch serves Nordic classics such as gravlax and Toast Skägen. Chef Marcus Jernmark’s signatures dishes include sautéed arctic char with pan-roasted chanterelles, venison tartare, and Scandinavian bouillabaisse.

Fishtail by David Burke is a sophisticated Manhattan eatery with an outdoor seating area, perfect for warm summer days. The oyster bar and lounge has a crudo menu that is to die for (and as always, for those watching their figures, an excellent option). Persons who like their seafood a little less raw can expand their culinary horizons with sea urchin risotto, monkfish paella, calamari mac and cheese,  and Maine lobster carbonara.

And last, but far from least, on my list of seafood must-trys in New York is Oceana. The fluke tartare or the snapper ceviche with blood oranges and chopped pistachios are divine choices. For a little something sweet at meal’s end, I recommend the apple risotto.

Bon Appétit!


Editor’s Note: Looking to sample more than just seafood in New York? Our Carnet restaurant list for food enthusiasts includes excellent Italian and sushi restaurants as well. For even more options, try the New York Restaurant Week website.

To Live and Eat in LA: dineLA Restaurant Week

July 19th, 2012

With the sun constantly warming up my constantly bronzed limbs, I find myself running around in little, floaty summer dresses more often than not, even if I do want to flaunt my latest Elizabeth and James rabbit fur coat. And I’m not alone. LA is a city that attracts the beautiful from around the world, so few hesitate to flaunt their tanned, toned selves. With everyone competing for the eyeballs of everyone else, I cannot afford to let myself go.

Though some days I don’t let much other than water with lemon pass my lips, it does not mean, however, that I don’t frequent the hottest and newest restaurants in LA. I love looking at food; Bouchon Bakery has lovely tarts that are beautiful to look at—the jewel-like colors of the fruit match my Cartier rings. Besides, the paparazzi love staking out the latest venture by some luminary chef as celebs can’t pass up an opportunity to be the first through the door of a new LA restaurant.

We are so lucky to have the likes of Nobu Matsuhisa (Nobu) and José Andrés (The Bazaar at SLS) grace LA with their restaurants. Sushi, seafood, and tapas are my favorite things to eat when I’m not doing a cleanse, as they’re exquisite morsels of food are easy on my waistline. I do have to fit into the gorgeous Dior dress for the red carpet after all—or those adorbs Current/Elliot jeans when I’m at the salon getting my hair done (the paparazzi are everywhere, darling).

I hear that dineLA Restaurant Week makes these fabulous options for dining accessible to more people. Even though I don’t have a problem frequenting these places regardless of whether or not they have discounted prix fixe menus, I feel more virtuous knowing that my date didn’t have to pay as much as usual to watch me push my food around my plate.

Editor’s note: Experience fine dining at a wallet-friendly price; check out Travel With Carnet’s top recommendations in haute Asian, European, and Latin American cuisine for dineLA Restaurant Week. Two-and three-course prix fixe options are available for lunch and dinner at most locations.

Stonehenge, UK’s Unmissable Wonder?

July 3rd, 2012

“Stonehenge, UK’s Unmissable Wonder” is boldly written across the Stonehenge home page.  And the four photos featured in rotation are breathtaking, supporting the assertion.

No one knows how the massive trilithons were assembled over 4,000 years ago nor why. It was probably intended as a solar or lunar calendar, but a conspiracy over the last 20 years as turned this magical and mysterious place into a tourist trap!

Stonehenge, some 85 miles away from South West London, is a short drive on Highway A344. Actually, the highway passes so close to the UNESCO World Heritage site that you can avoid buying a 6,90 pounds entrance ticket, and just view the historic site from your car.

The site is demarcated by a fence and surrounded by souvenir stores, ice cream vendors and chemical toilets. With a ticket you are allowed to walk around an inner fence and take photos of the site…with the A344 in the background. More interesting is taking photos of the sea of tourists coming out of the buses, ready for their Mystic, Celtic, Druidic experience.

If, despite this fair warning, you still want to visit Stonehenge, book a Stone Circle Access visit well in advance. There is no guide, and there is no touching of the stones either. These visits take place during off-hours, and the website warns “the gift shop and catering services are closed.”

Alas. Alas, alas.

Insider entertainment guide and tips for Paris

June 4th, 2012

The Travel with Carnet editors have visited countless attractions and entertainment options and share a well traveled perspective on the must sees and dos in Paris. Customized to particular needs, here are a few trip planning ideas that answer your most asked questions.

Ideas for exploring Paris for the jet-lagged

Spa: Arrive bleary-eyed from a long flight and need a refresher before heading out into the City of Lights? Take advantage of your hotel spa for a quick pick-me-up before entering the boardroom. If your flight lands before check-in, choose a hotel with a notable spa. Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome features a luxurious spa, Le Spa, offering massages, facials, and body treatments.  The in-spa salon hours are from 7 am to 11 pm, though services start at 9 am with the last reservation available at 8 pm. Other hotels to consider are the Hotel Bristol, the Hilton Arc de Triomphe, and the Four Seasons Georges V.

Late night movies: Traveling through several time zones sometimes means odd hours.  Forget about in-room entertainment, head to the Champs Elysees and join the locals in a late-night movie theater.  Most movie theaters in Paris play films in English, and often have releases that are not yet available in the US, ranging from art-house films to blockbusters.  Le Champo Cinéma is known for its midnight movie screenings in which moviegoers can watch not one but three movies—and are offered breakfast as well.

Early morning breakfast: Alternatively, if being awake in the early hours is the challenge, take advantage of being up before everyone else and be the first in line for the freshly baked croissant.  Corner bars, also knowns as cafes, are a great alternative to early morning room service. Fresh baked baguettes are sliced and slathered with creamy French butter alongside your choice of fruit jams. Patisserie Gerard Mulot’s Saint Germain location opens at 6:45 am; Poilane’s three locations are open at 7:15 am.

Entertainment suggestions for the bright-eyed

Walking tour: A great way to take see the amazing architecture of Paris is to travel on foot.  Discover monuments, statutes, gardens, and of course, patisseries offering amazing mille-feuille. Find the perfect gift or souvenir in the chic boutiques that line the streets of the left and right bank of Paris. Travel with Carnet has a short list of recommended Parisian neighborhoods worthy of a walk.

Museums and restaurants: Explore centuries of art and culture in Paris’ museums.  Home to examples of the finest and most renowned artwork in the world, strolling through museums should be on any list of things to do in Paris. Make a day of the event by dining in one of the many excellent museum restaurants.

This short list is only a glimpse of the reviews and hints available on Travel with Carnet.  For more tips on things to do or ideas on what to eat in Paris, register now to check out current articles available to subscribers only and to create a personalized trip using the Travel with Carnet trip builder tool.

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Quintessential Restaurants in Paris: Le Bristol, Guy Savoy, and Le Grand Colbert

May 23rd, 2012

Our guide to restaurants in Paris includes three of the top tables in Paris’ fine dining scene

With no shortage of options, answering the question of what to eat in Paris can prove a challenge. Restaurants in Paris offer something to please every palate and taste. Travel with Carnet suggests a few of the most popular and sought-after tables in Paris to help guide dinner reservations.

In a city known for its haute cuisine and fine dining, it is no surprise luxury hotel restaurants boast exquisite dishes and the quintessential Parisian experience. Le Bistrol Paris is home to two restaurants notable not only for the French fare, but also for their lavish architecture.

Epicure is a Michelin-starred gastronomic restaurant. With windows opening onto a French garden with four majestic magnolia trees, the bright space is ideal for leisurely lunches and romantic dinners. Head chef Eric Frechon focuses on a few ingredients per plate, using only the top French produce and products, including French caviar, foie gras, and venison.

The 114 Faubourg is the newest edition to Le Bristol Paris’ roster of fine dining options. Seasonal and creative menu items feature heavily in this bright space.

Le Grand Colbert is a historic monument and one of the few independently owned brasseries left in Paris. This quintessentialParisian restaurant served as the backdrop for a scene in the Jack Nicholson/Diane Keaton movie “Something’s Got to Give”—and is very popular amongst tourists as a result. Avoid being a cliché: don’t order the roast chicken with a side of pomme frites. Serving classic French bistro cuisine, such as frog legs Provençale, La Grand Colbert’s seafood dishes like skate and sea bass are a few of their specialty menu items that are worthy of a taste.

A guide to Parisian dining would not be complete
without a review of Guy Savoy Paris
. Not only is it a destination-dining locale, but it also hosts an extensive art collection collected by Guy Savoy himself.

Known for his showmanship, this dining experience is as playful as it is elegant. Steamed Breton lobster served with lobster “foam” and the ever-popular artichoke soup with black truffles are only a few of the tantalizing items from the inventive menu. Sorbets, brioches, and the requisite cheese cart round out an exemplary Parisian dining occasion.

This short list is only a glimpse into what Paris has to offer to the epicurious traveler. For more things to do or ideas on what to eat in Paris, sign up here for our News from the Nest newsletter and get the latest reviews, articles and updates from Carnet. Or register now to check out current articles available to subscribers only.

She Sells Seashells by the Seashore in San Diego

May 2nd, 2012

Pacifica Del Mar - Seafood Restaurant with Beachfront Dining in San Diego

Pacifica Del Mar - Seafood Restaurant with Beachfront Dining in San Diego

Even as a little girl, I had an extremely well developed palate. I ate escargot when I was four, having learned to enjoy the delicate flesh of a lobster the year before. My nanny once told me that lobsters were once considered worthless and fed to prisoners. She thought it was silly that people giving lobsters to the poor—like they would understand how to appreciate such fine cuisine.

She then had the gall to tell me that lobsters are essentially giant sea-dwelling cockroaches. Well, I never could see a Lobster Newberg again without thinking of that horrible time I took a wrong turn off 5th Avenue while shopping and found myself in some ghastly neighborhood, staring down enormous cockroaches and rats the size of my poodle. That definitely put me off any type of sea delicacies for a while. My mother tried to trick me into eating beluga caviar once, but at the age of ten, even the slightest whiff of the sea sent me into paroxysms of horror.

Anyway, my hypnotherapist only recently helped me overcome my fear of all things sea-related, so I can finally pretend to enjoy all those clambakes my boyfriend keeps insisting I attend (like I’d get my feet dirty in the sand. That’s laughable.).

So after a tiring first day at the Del Mar races (where I wore a fabulous new Philip Treacy creation), the girls and I were looking for a little something to nibble on while toasting the sunset. Pacifica Del Mar’s name came up as having a magnificent view and solid wine list, and was clearly one of the better seafood options in San Diego County.

Wine room at Pacifica Del Mar

Wine room at Pacifica Del Mar in San Diego

Well, the wine list was so very solid, that we polished off a bottle of 2009 Napa Valley Caymus and started on the magnum of Silver Oak before we even remembered we were there for the sunset. Luckily, one the girls had ordered food.

This place was a block from the ocean, so no surprise that most of the options were seafood. This was my first time attempting sea creatures after the dog-sized cockroach incident, so I nervous to be sure. However, the food was prepared beautifully. The tuna tartare (gateway dish to all things sea) was fresh and slightly sweet from the bits of mango, and the scallops were cooked perfectly and dusted with prosciutto.

Seafood Options at San Diegos Pacifica Del Mar include Scallops

Seafood Options at San Diego's Pacifica Del Mar include Scallops

Now, with my palate re-educated, I’m no longer terrified of all things sea; there’s a whole list of seafood restaurants that I frequent. My editor tells me all the San Diego has a surprising number of options, which I’ll sample during my next trip for the art convention.



Editor’s Note: TravelwithCarnet.com features magazines with more articles various culinary and cultural adventures.

Pacifica Del Mar

1555 Camino Del Mar
Del Mar, CA 92014

(858) 792-0476