July fourth marks the unofficial start to the Hamptons season, so we decided to pull together the outfits that will be in heavy rotation in our wardrobes this summer from the beach at Gurney’s to Surf Lodge. Think stripes, boho beach vibes and pastels and you can’t go wrong!
I’ve been eyeing this Misa dress FOREVER. It’s super versatile for any sort of beach vacation, but can personally see myself wearing it for dinner at The Crow’s Nest in Montauk. It’s $370.
As much as I love Manhattan, I itch to get away on the weekends, whether that means heading out East to The Hamptons, going hiking or flying somewhere for a long weekend. So, this past weekend, we decided to get away for the day just an hour and a half north of Manhattan to Cornwall, New York.
In this upstate town there is a world-class outdoor sculpture garden called Storm King Art Center that is truly breathtaking. Founded in 1960, Storm King is situated on 500 acres of land near the Hudson Valley, and it is home to massive sculptures from artists such as Alexander Calder, George Cutts and Mark di Suvero. The entire place is extremely peaceful (and very Instagrammable).
There are a few options of getting to Storm King if you don’t have a car to drive yourself. You can take the train, but it takes well over two hours and requires getting a cab from the station. Or, you can do what we did, and take a bus from Port Authority via CoachUSA. For $47 each, you will get transportation right up to the entrance of Storm King as well as a return trip and it also includes your entrance fee to the Center. It’s really great value and gives you more than enough time to explore the entire grounds.
We packed a picnic to eat not he grounds and a bunch of snacks and then set off for the bus ride, which takes 90 minutes door to door. There is also a cafe not he premises if you want to buy food there. We ended up buying wine there, which made the second half of the day a lot of fun.
This mirror fence was on of my favorite pieces and creates a really fun optical illusion when you take photos in it. If you search Instagram you can see a number of examples of this.
Anyone who knows me well will tell you two things. One: I pretty much live wearing all black. Two: I love to work out and that means athleisure is a big part of my wardrobe. So, you can imagine I was extremely excited when I heard about luxury athleisure compant Vayayama, which makes fashion-forward yoga pants and workout clothes and also has a patented technology that prevents their black coloring from fading.
Part of their clothing line is called Kalablak, which is a rich black coloring that they have developed that withstands the test of time, laundering, sweat and other factors that would typically cause your blacks to fade over time. I wear my Kalablak leggings ($145) at least twice a week and they’ve been washed dozens of times and the color still looks brand new.
The range is made of a material called Tencel, which is made from sustainably farmed eucalyptus. (Most yoga pants on the market are made from synthetics). The material is super breathable and wicks sweat, which also prevents it from retaining any smell post-spin class.
I also adore their light-weight cashmere. The shirt pictured above ($150) is a great layering piece or on its own. The fabric is gossamer thin and soft. It’s one of those pieces that is just so luxurious and comforting and versatile.
The range is still pretty small, but has really well-crafted pieces that can take you from a workout class to out with friends. I constantly find myself reaching for their sports bras, which have a great cut and also push-up quality. It’s my favorite bra to wear while cycling.
If you love black as much as I do, then Vyayama is for you. The clothing really lives up to its claims and will easily become a staple in your wardrobe.
This exclusive, upscale Japanese restaurant is a splurge, but well worth it. The head sushi master, Hidekazu Tojo, is world renowned. He has made sushi for some of the world’s most esteemed people including Prince William and Kate, Steven Tyler, and Harrison Ford. On a recent Saturday, we were lucky enough to get the royal treatment from Tojo himself when we sat down to a private omakase experience at the restaurant.
First things first, Tojo is a lifelong innovator. He left Japan as a young man after learning about Japanese fine dining and began innovating on a centuries-old standard way sushi was made and served. Ever have a California roll? Well, you can thank Tojo. He created the California roll back in the 1970s and was criticized at the time for thinking outside the box. Now, that roll is ubiquitous worldwide.
If you visit Tojo’s, in addition to tried and true classic rolls, you’ll find creations that can’t be found anywhere else in the world, which makes it a truly unique experience.
We got to watch Tojo in action with his go-to Japanese headband at work behind the long sushi bar. After working diligently, he brought out a platter of creations for us to try. Among those was his famed California roll, smoke salmon, a quinoa (!) roll (yes, you read that correctly), an albacore tuna roll, and a crab roll.
Now, I usually use both wasabi and soy sauce with my sushi, but the quality of the fish as well as the way it was prepared made both of these accessories unnecessary. Let’s start with the salmon roll. Now, heading into this experience, I didn’t eat salmon because I never found it appealing. But, this salmon was world changing. The way the fish was smoked brought out a ton of flavor and it ended up being my favorite dish of the night.
Next, was crab wrapped in egg crepe and topped with fish roe. This was my boyfriend’s favorite roll. The crab has a ton of flavor and the roll it is in is hard to find outside of Tojo’s.
The quinoa roll was so different than anything I’ve ever tasted. It was tied for my second-favorite roll. It had a soybean seed wrap and was filled with quinoa, bell peppers, pickled cucumber, fish, asparagus and other flavors that really popped. It was truly a testament to Tojo’s innovation and his pulse on modern cuisine trends.
The tuna was lightly seared and then marinated in a secret sauce and topped with daikon radish, fresh ginger and onions. It pretty much melted in your mouth and had so much flavor.
I can’t believe I’m admitting this but even after ALL these rolls, Tojo sent us out two desserts, and we happily ate them. One was a sorbet and the other was an Asian crème brullee, both amazing.
After eating here, I can truly recommend that you make a reservation as soon as you book your flights so that you can guarantee a seat in the restaurant, which is frequently attended by actors, celebrities and politicians. It’s a hard table to secure but worth the effort.
If you are looking for the ultimate brunch experience, The Teahouse in Stanley Park should be on your “must” list. It’s the perfect way to spend the day and experience several of Vancouver’s tourist activities at once. It’s in the middle of Vancouver’s Stanley Park, which is a beautiful space that I spent a lot of time in during my stay. You’ll see in our prior guide, that we rented bikes to ride around the perimeter of the park and stopped halfway through at the Teahouse for brunch.
The building of the restaurant itself is super charming. It has indoor and outdoor seating, all of which has the water as the focal point. We went for brunch, but am also told that dinner is a great time to go and sit on the patio because it has great views of the sunset.
After a brisk bike ride in the park where we visited the famous totem poles and saw other sights, we parked our bikes at the restaurant and chose outdoor seating on the patio. After ordering brunch cocktails (mine: a gin cocktail with muddled cucumber, his: a bloody mary with shrimp cocktail garnishing) we set about exploring the menu.
Narrowing down the menu was near impossible because so many of the dishes sounded amazing. With a little help from our waiter, who was amazing by the way, we settled on some Teahouse classics. To start, we had their mussels, which were prepared with tomatoes, garlic, fennel and a white wine sauce. These mussels were ginormous and packed with flavor. Really loved the broth.
For our mains, I ordered the steak and eggs and he got the duck and waffles. The steak and eggs came with scrambled eggs, a New York strip sirloin and a cabernet demi-glace sauce. It was ridiculously good and I nearly finished it, which is big news for me. The boyfriend’s duck and waffles were equally good, and the amount of food could have fed three people. It came with duck leg confit, bourbon bacon jam, Belgian waffles and a sunnyside up egg. We couldn’t finish all the food even though we gave it a really good try.
I loved the ambiance of the patio. They have heat lamps and blankets if there is a bit of a chill, but luckily for us, the weather was cooperating that day.
So, while we had raised our white flags and surrendered after brunch, the kitchen sent out not one, but three desserts for us to try. (Sensing a theme here?). We both swore we’d only have a bite of each, but approximately fifteen minutes later there was barely anything left on the plate, which speaks to the skill of their pastry chef. We had the chocolate Milano cake (this was my favorite and I wasn’t even in the mood for chocolate). It had a chocolate mascarpone mousse on the inside and an almond wafer crust. We also had a Tahitian vanilla bean crème brulee (yep, two crème brulees in two days, because vacation) and a lemon tart with candied lemon that had the most perfect lemon curd filling.
Having brunch at the Teahouse was truly a lovely experience. The service was top notch, as was the food and setting. Highly recommend making a reservation and a day of it.
In the charming Gastown part of town is Tuc Craft Kitchen, a great restaurant with a rustic feel in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Vancouver. The restaurant has an energetic vibe and communal feel and I really liked the decor with the exposed wood beams and lanterns.
The menu has tons of options. I went solo, so didn’t get to sample a ton, but loved everything I ate. The Cuban style breakfast sandwich was awesome. It could probably feed four people, so might be a good option to share. It had shredded pork shoulder, eggs and tomatillo cream. I went there the day after a wedding so was pretty hungover and craving bacon so I ordered a side of the bacon and wish I could have finished it because it’s exactly what I needed. Definitely appreciated the comfort food after a night out drinking and I’d also somehow gone on a four-mile run that morning miraculously, so felt OK eating carbs
I recently spent a long weekend in Vancouver for friends of my boyfriend’s wedding. I went into this trip not knowing what to expect of the city being that it was my first time there and in Canada in general. We spent three nights, which is the perfect amount of time and had a blast. Here’s my travel guide to the city.
Where to stay: Vancouver has a number of five star hotels and also Airbnb options. For those going the hotel route, the Fairmont, the Four Seasons and the W are all situated in a great part of town and will have all of the amenities you’re looking for during your stay. If you prefer something more local but still high-end, check out the Pan Pacific.
What to Do: Vancouver is known for its natural beauty and it’s a really fun place to be outdoors and very active to take in the mountainous landscape and the water. We spent a lot of time walking around, hanging in the park and riding bikes. Read below for some of our must-dos.
Rent Bikes and Explore Stanley Park: One of our favorite experiences during the entire trip was renting bicycles and exploring Vancouver’s famous Stanley Park. We rented our bikes from Bayshore Bike Rentals because it is the closest bike rental shop to Stanley Park and has a great array of bikes, helmuts, tandem bikes, etc. to choose from. Also, their rates are very fair, and it you end up late, they will charge you in fifteen-minute increments rather than for a full hour, which is unique among the bike shops in the area. Overall, their staff is great and super friendly.
After picking up two bikes, helmuts and baskets, we set off to explore the park. Now, we live near Central Park so I wasn’t sure how Stanley Park would stack up, but I was blown away by how beautiful it was. The park is TK miles to get around, and the entire perimeter is surrounded by water, giving you the most amazing backdrop for your bike ride. The perimeter of the park is a 6-mile loop, which we biked, stopping along the way to take pictures of the vista and visit different landmarks, such as their famous totem pole sculptures. We took our time and also stopped for brunch at the Stanley Park Teahouse (More on that below and in a separate food post) so the entire loop including a stop for a leisurely lunch took around four hours. It was a lovely way to get acquainted with Vancouver and its scenery while also getting an idea for the area’s topography. There were times that we were biking along the path and could literally smell maple from the maple trees.
This really was the perfect way to spend a day and something I’ll be recommending to friends who decide to visit the area. The park is also where the famous aquarium is, if that’s something on your agenda while in town.
Visit Granville Island: Our first full-day in town, we walked from our hotel in English Bay to the ferry terminal to get to Granville Island. This island is just a five-minute boat ride from Vancouver (and costs just a few dollars) and is a wonderful way to spend the day. Here’s a pro tip: skip breakfast before going to the island. We made the mistake of stopping in a shop in Vancouver for coffee and breakfast and were too full to eat in Granville’s famous food market, which has local stalls for goods such as cookies, savory pies, lobster, candy and produce. If we did it over, we would have shown up hungry and sampled the local fare before setting off to explore the rest of the island.
We stopped by the Granville Island Brewery which was a lot of fun. My boyfriend tried a flight of the local beers while I had wine. We also sampled a local favorite called poutine which is essentially french fries in gravy with cheese curds. If you’re usually carb-free, you’ll have to make an exception for this because it’s delicious. For those interested, the brewery also gives tours.
After the brewery, we stopped by all the local artisans on the island. It’s really known for local artists, woodworkers, and other shops that are super interesting.
Stroll Around Gastown and Yaletown: Gastown and Yaletown are two great areas for shopping, bar hopping and eating and drinking. Both parts of town are walkable and it’s the perfect way to spend a leisurely day strolling around town and happening into their really cute and unique shops. I bought a lot of items I had no intention of buying, from gilded cactus planted to dresses.
In Yaletown, I particularly loved their flower shop, which is where I got the cactus vases. There is also a Soul Cycle there (!) and some really cute shops such as Friend Finds, which has the most delightful accessories.
In Gastown, check out Lululemon’s Lab concept, which has a factory in the back of it. I especially loved a little fashion boutique called Artemesia Clothing which has really unique, feminine designs. I bought an amazing dress there that I plan on wearing this weekend. Just next door to it is a lovely home store called L’Atelier Home which has bar cart accessories, candles and other unique finds. I also loved a shop called Old Faithful, the display is pictured above, that had great home accessories.
Where to Eat & Drink: It wouldn’t be a BVS Travel Guide without a guide to the best culinary experiences in the city. We sampled a lot of fare, and here are our must-dos. (Also, stay tuned for a more-detailed post dedicated specifically to the restaurants in Vancouver).
Tojo’s: First things first, go and make a reservation at Tojo’s the second you book your trip to Vancouver. It is the best sushi restaurant in all of Vancouver, and that’s saying a lot being that the city has more than 600 sushi spots. Its head chef, Tojo, is named one of the top 10 sushi chefs in the entire world, and he is responsible for creating the California roll. So, it’s only right you pay homage. The food here is amazing and really fresh. Thank us later.
The Teahouse in Stanley Park: We already told you that one of our favorite days in Vancouver was bike riding around Stanley Park. Part of that reason was because we stopped for a decadent brunch at the famed Teahouse in Stanley. The restaurant has the best views of the water and the park, not to mention the sunset. We went for brunch and everything we ate was just amazing and the service was impeccable. They have outdoor seating on their patio which makes you feel like you’re still partaking in the park. Rent bikes and make a reservation here on your trip, you won’t regret it.
Rodney’s Oyster House: Vancouver is known for its seafood and oysters are a staple on many of the menus. Head to Rodney’s for their oysters and bloody mary’s. There is one in Gastown and one in Yaletown, so this could serve as a much-needed break after a day of shopping in either part of town. We sampled a number of their oysters and tried all of their sauces with them. It’s a great vibe and a fun place to go with friends.
Tuc Craft Kitchen: Go and schedule yourself a brunch date at Tuc Craft Kitchen in Gastown. The brunch menu is killer as are their brunch cocktails. I also really enjoyed the vibe of the restaurant which is rustic but really hip with an energetic crowd.
From the Hamptons to Palm Springs, if there is one defining trend this summer it’s vertical stripes. It’s got a decidedly beachy feeling is way more flattering than horizontal stripes. We’ve pulled together some of our favorite looks:
I’m really into the way they’ve chosen to style this striped Drew top from Rag & Bone, on sale for $117.
We are absolutely living for this kimono dress from Larkin Hughes. The black-and-grey stripes are right on trend and we love that it gives you the option to wear it buttoned up, as a dress, or more as a robe/kimono with jeans or shorts underneath. It’s extremely versatile and can be paired with lots of outfits.
Can’t go wrong with a red and white striped mini dress. This one’s from House of Harlow, $158.
Yes to everything about this striped cold shoulder dress from Storets, $74. It’s perfectly flouncy.
Loveshackfancy’s Pamela dress hits on all cylinders. One shoulder, ruffle, stripes, you got it.
Nestled in the post-card perfect hills of Santorini’s Caldera in Oia, is the Andronis Boutique Hotel, a five-star luxury hotel that we had the pleasure of staying in for three nights this July.
Andronis Boutique Hotel is in the most prime of locations In Santorini. It’s smack in the middle of the caldera: those white-washed homes in the hills and blue domes that you conjure up when you think of Santorini, and so many of the island’s other hotels aren’t located in this area so they don’t have the idyllic views you come to expect when you imagine Santorini.
Andronis is one of three hotels run by this boutique hotel group. It is built into the side of the mountain in all white with giant suites carved into the side of the cave, making the hotel part of the beautiful scenery in Santorini. It’s on Oia’s main stretch, meaning walking outside of the hotel puts you in the middle of Santorini’s best restaurants, bars and shopping. And yes, even the famed donkey trail.
We were greeted upon arrival at Andronis with glasses of chilled champagne and the most unbelievable views. This set the tone for the rest of our stay, where the staff went above and beyond to make our trip perfect.
The hotel itself is beautiful. Think white washed buildings and bright pink bougainvillea flowers growing throughout the archways and walls. Our room blew us away. It had arched ceilings because of the cave and a zen-like atmosphere. An example of the type of luxury service provided at Andronis: there is a pillow menu so that you can specify which type of firmness you prefer best while sleeping.
The bathroom was a showstopper. Gray stone and a giant shower with a rain drop faucet as well as a swim in-swim out jacuzzi that overlooked the Mediterranean ocean. We pretty much spent the end of each night in the jacuzzi sipping on Greek white wine and Ouzo. The bathroom has luxury, organic bath products and a killer blow dryer by hotel standards. Our room had an amazing outdoor deck with two sun loungers that fit the aesthetic of the hotel: they were light wood and really eclectic-looking. What we loved and missed once we left was that the views from literally any place you stand at Andronis are just breathtaking. This included the views from our terrace.
The pool area is spectacular. There is an infinity pool and a separate pool overlooking the Mediterranean and lots of beach loungers and umbrellas to take the sun on. In another sign of how Andronis knows its clientele and caters to it: Vogue and other fashion and travel magazines are in a basket at the pool for guests to enjoy. The views from the pool are breathtaking and when the sun starts to set, the whole area is awash in a pink/red glow reflecting off of the mountains that is truly beautiful.
The pool staff is super attentive. From the second you sit down, they are over with chilled bottles of water on ice with lemons and lime. They also treated us to a bottle of their very own white wine. (Andronis also produces its own olive oil!) our first day after we arrived we laid out at the pool and took in the scenery while eating Greek salads from the hotel’s restaurant, and they were the most fresh Greek salads we’d had on our trip. The chef later sent over a Greek yogurt mousse with fresh berries that we are still talking about.
While we’re on the topic of food, Andronis had the most delicious breakfast buffet, which is included in the charge of your room. The breakfast area has every local delicacy available from spinache and cheese pies to local cheeses and cured meats, to our favorite: The Greek Yogurt bar featuring what they call the “Breakfast of the Gods.” Side note: Andronis has ruined Greek yogurt in America for me. the yogurt at Andronis was a million times better than what we get at home, and I made sure to have the breakfast of the gods each morning alongside delicious fruit and pastry. The breakfast of the gods is a toppings bar for the yogurt featuring everything from pistachios to coconut flakes to raisins and currants. Legend has it that the Greek gods ate this mixture each day to give them their energy. Whether the legend is true or not, it’s delicious.
Fresh-squeezed juices and a bottle of chilled champagne also are in the breakfast room for those who wanted to start the party early (Hint: we did). There is also an amazing omelette and egg menu that is made to order for those wanting eggs. We had every intention of ordering omelette but the Greek yogurt was too good for us to pass up!
The concierge and all of the hotel’s staff were super friendly and eager to help. They made us a reservation at their sister property’s restaurant, Lycabettus (a separate post on dinner there here), and arranged our transportation and activities for us. Aside from the two other hotels, Andronis has a few high-end boutiques in Oia with labels such as Pitusa, and those staying at an Andronis property get a 15% discount on shopping.
What we also loved was that Andronis is the perfect backdrop for any sort of vacation you would like. It has wonderful private areas, such as your own private sundeck (pictured above) and jacuzzis/private pools. Or, you can go to the main pools and strike up conversations with other travelers. It’s in the middle of the beautiful town, giving you access to everything you could want to do when in Santorini.
The Andronis is the definition of luxury and exclusivity. We would gladly recommend Andronis to readers, and have already recommended it to friends!
I know socks sound kind of mundane and are not the sexiest part of your workout wardrobe, but let me make the case to upgrade your sock game. I run 4-5 times a week and until recently had been wearing normal ankle socks. But, I recently upgraded my running shoes (chronicled here) so I decided not to stop there, and look into high quality running socks. Really glad I did. First off, I noticed that when running and during spin class, my feet would sweat and when I’d change my socks were sweaty which is objectively gross. Running socks have wicking and are as absorbent as your other high-tech workout gear. Also, they are way more supportive The fabric is thicker and keeps you from blistering, etc. Here are the two sock brands I’ve been rotating between, with no intention of turning back.
Bombas: These colorful socks are geared toward athletes and are super comfortable and supportive. I love that after even the sweatiest of workouts (hello, 90-minute SoulCyCle!) my feet remain dry and the socks have moisture-wicking. There’s also a feel-good factor — the company donates a pair of socks to the homeless for every pair sold. They average around $12 a pair, which sounds expensive but if you’re active, they’re totally worth it.
Thirty48: Thirty48 makes sports-focused socks across a number of categories. I was lucky enough to try a range of their running socks. They are super cushiony and sweat-proof, plus the fabric is extremely light and soft. I love that the socks are on the thicker side, so they will prevent you from getting blisters in between your toes or on the backs of your ankles, which tend to be problem areas for runners. Also, each sock is made specifically for your right and left foot. Their new super lightweight running socks series was just launched in time for summer and I’ve been wearing them on my jogs along the West Side Highway in NYC heat. Total game changer and I can highly recommend them.
As we ring in summer, you’ll probably have plans to hit the beach with your S/O which presents a fashion opportunity. It’s funny to me when I go on vacation and see men in ill-fitting swim trunks down to their knees like it’s the late nineties. So, we’ve rounded up the hottest swim trunk brands in the best cuts to help guide you and your significant other.
Frescobal Carioca is the newest “it” brand of swim shorts on the market. The cut of their swim trunks hit at just the right part of the thigh, and their prints are bold and fun. The Rio De Janeiro-based brand’s prints are inspired by the colorful scenes on the beaches in Ipanema. Their swim trunks run at around $190.
Vilebrequin has been the reigning swim short on the scene for the last five years, and the French-based brand remains hugely popular. Vilebrequin is known for its wild prints, from turtles to dolphins and crabs. Their almost like the Hermes-tie equivalent to a swim short.
Orlebar Brown is known for its frescoes of scenes that take over the entire swim trunk. I love the poolside scene pictured on the trunks above and many of the other designs from this British brand take on a similar aesthetic.
It’s that time of year where the wedding invites pile up and we inevitably go to our closets only to realize there’s nothing to wear. We have you covered with a range of fun, colorful and floral dresses that are perfect for the occasion.
I just ordered this frilly, floral-printed dress from Asosand really love the cut and pattern. It’s on sale for just $28.
I love this French Connection sequined dress for a summer black tie wedding. The cut is super sexy and sleek and the beading and sequins elevates it to black tie status. It’s on sale for $129.