Eating + Drinking Dublin

Happy Monday Friends! It’s a rainy, dreary morning here in Richmond, similar to a typical day in Dublin which got me thinking about our trip last month. This post is all about where we ate and drank while visiting the Irish capital. Although Dublin is well known for their pubs, the food scene goes a bit unnoticed, and despite the misconception that you can’t eat well there, we found some really yummy spots! Below is a short guide to my favorites:

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Five Reasons Why You Need to Visit Prague RIGHT NOW

When planning a trip to Europe most people typically envision the charming café lined streets of Paris or gondoliers dressed in stripes singing along the Venice canals. The truth is, Prague isn’t usually the first city that comes to mind when planning a trip over the pond, and I’ll admit, Prague hasn’t always been on the top of my must-see list either. But after talking with a friend who had been (and loved it), along with it continually popping up when I googled “foodie cities in Europe” (yes, I google things like that), it was quickly added to our summer trip itinerary and let me tell you… I fell in love! I don’t think Prague gets the attention it so rightly deserves, so I’m here to spread the word!

1. It’s Breathtakingly Beautiful
Known as “the City of a Hundred Spires”, the city of Prague boasts a variety of architectural styles making it quite the visual delight. Walk through the winding cobblestone streets to find grand cathedrals at nearly every corner, or even better, view the city from above to marvel at the sea of burnt orange roofs and picturesque bridges. The best view we found was the Old Town Bridge Tower at the end of the Charles Bridge. It seemed to be somewhat of an unknown tourist attraction compared to the Petřín Tower or Prague Castle (also nice views though!), so we were able to walk right up without waiting in line – always a bonus!

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Petřín Lookout Tower on Petřín Hill. Tip: take the elevator to the top and use the stairs to walk down. You’ll find different gorgeous views at the various heights along the way.

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View from Petřín Tower

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View of the Charles Bridge from the Old Town Bridge Tower

2. Great Bang for Your Buck
During our visit, I heard more than once “the beer in Prague is cheaper than water” …at $1 – $2 per pint this was no joke. Not only is the beer practically free, we found hotel rates to be very reasonable, along with restaurants and tours/attractions.

3. Foodie Destination
Czech cuisine is typically associated with meat, stew and bread, and while you’ll find plenty of that in Prague, the city has so much more to offer. While on a tour with Taste of Prague, we learned that there has been a culinary resurgence going on since the end of communism and the city’s food scene has come a long way. We honestly didn’t have one bad meal there. Perhaps because of my amazing trip planning skills? Quite possibly. But it could also be that they have some really solid options. My favorite picks are below…

Sisters Bistro
We went here on the food tour and it was one of my favorite stops. They make the most delicious little open-faced sandwiches called chlebíčky.

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Café Savoy

Go for brunch. The best Irish coffee I’ve ever had!

Sansho
Asian inspired restaurant offering a delicious and affordable tasting menu. Casual vibes with fine-dining quality food.

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Salmon course from Sansho

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These dumpling were EVERYTHING

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Watermelon and pork belly course. Who knew these two together would be so delicious?

Eska
Another stop on the food tour. Eska combines old school Czech cuisine with new, while specializing in vegetarian fare.

FullSizeRenderBurnt potato in ash with potato espuma from Eska. It might not sound like much, but take my word for it, this was quite yummy!

Cukrkavalimonada
Desperately needing a salad half-way through our trip, we stumbled upon this cute little cafe right near our hotel. We even ate lunch here twice which is rare for us. Although I didn’t order it, the pasta from what I saw while stalking the neighboring table’s food also looked and smelled amazing.

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This strawberry goat cheese salad gave me life!

Naše Maso
A butcher shop that’s doin’ it right. We had the opportunity to sample a variety of menu items on the food tour.

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Sausages, meatloaf and steak tartare. All delish!


4. Beer!
Would you believe me if I told you Czech Republic consumes the most beer in the world? Well it’s true and like all good debates I have the Wikipedia page to prove it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_beer_consumption_per_capita

Even though the beer is dirt cheap (see #2) in Prague, you won’t just find mass produced options. The city has plenty of breweries making delicious craft beer. A great brewery to check out is Stahov Monastic Brewery located about a 15 minute walk from the Petřín Tower. Plan an afternoon to explore Petřín Hill and afterwards head down to the brewery and enjoy a tasty adult beverage. Lokal is another great options to sample a variety of beers and some yummy bites.

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Wieners and beer at Stahov Monastic Brewery

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Stahov Monastic Brewery


5. Castle, Bridges, Parks, Oh My!
Similar to #1 but I want to emphasize there is so much to see, do, and discover in Prague. The city has beautiful and expansive parks to explore including Petřín Hill and Letna Park, both perfect for a picnic or to enjoy the gorgeous views of the city. The magnificent Prague Castle grounds are certainly a must see, and with 17 bridges over the Vlata River, there is an endless supply of river views to take in.

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Vendors on the Charles Bridge — Old Town Tower Lookout in the background

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A candid photo that came out kind of cute while exploring Charles Bridge… thanks Joe!

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Charles Bridge

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Prague Castle

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Checking out the gardens on Petřín Hill

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So that about sums it up folks. Our trip to Prague was pretty spectacular and we found the city to be bursting with culture. I hope you’ll consider adding it to your own must-see list; it truly has something to offer everyone!

Thanks for reading and happy travels!

 

Kentucky Derby Weekend in Louisville

Whether you’re a fan of horse racing fan or not, you’ve likely heard the Kentucky Derby referred to as the most exciting two minutes in sports. While I can confirm the truth of this statement after experiencing first hand the running of the roses a few weeks ago, what you probably didn’t hear is that the entire derby weekend in the city of Louisville is an experience in itself. The excitement was contagious from the moment we touched down in Louisville on Thursday night. It’s no surprise that the city knows how to do it right though. After all, this isn’t their first rodeo — the Kentucky Derby has been going strong for 143 years.

Races begin on Thursday with the Thurby, which means so does the partying and festivities throughout the city. The welcome reception at our hotel, Aloft Downtown, was in full swing by the time we checked-in and we jumped right into the complimentary hors d’ oeuvres and derby cocktails. The Aloft’s hospitality continued through the weekend with mimosas and screwdrivers provided on Friday + Saturday mornings, along with a professional photographer on derby day free of charge.

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Welcome reception at the Aloft — mint juleps and oaks lillies, along with a delish spread.

Derby Survival Kit Derby “survival kits” provided by the hotel. The band aids in particular came in handy 🙂
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On derby day we arrived to Churchhill Downs around Noon. There is so much to see, especially for us first timers, so we wanted to get there early to take it all in.

IMG_1894 (1)View of the track from from our seats — to the left are the twin spires.

IMG_1899 (1)In our derby best with juleps in hand.

IMG_1999It had been raining all week so the outfield was basically one giant mud pit.  Gotta love the derby though, no one seemed to mind and everyone was still having a great time.

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I’m somewhat of a celeb junkie so after finding our seats and getting a mint julep, our next stop was the red carpet at Gate 10.

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Kix Brooks of Brooks & Dunn walking the red carpet.

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My favorite celeb sighting of the day — Katie Couric.

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After some good ole’ fashion celebratory stalking, it was time to place our bets and focus on the races for the rest of the day; and of course enjoy a few more mint juleps and some derby pie.

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Coming from a self proclaimed non-sports fan (for the record I do like college basketball), I have to admit I had the most AMAZING time. The derby certainly lives up to the hype and is an experience like no other — mint juleps are flowing, there are a gazillion loony hats everywhere you look, and the energy in Churchhill Downs is electric. If you’ve never been before, definitely add it to your list!

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Not only was the derby a bucket list experience, we had a blast exploring Louisville with our friends. Although the city is best known for horse racing,  it’s also a destination for delicious restaurants, bourbon, and lively nightlife.

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Evan Williams located in downtown Louisville — enjoying the bourbon cocktails

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God I’m just so clever aren’t I?

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Ribs from Doc Crow’s — the most amazing lunch!

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The boys enjoying some Pappy Bourbon Whiskey.

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One of the most amazing meals I’ve ever had, no lie, from Jack Fry’s. Worth a trip to Louisville just to eat here!

Brunch
Post-derby brunch from Harvest A++

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Made it out to Maker’s Mark for the tour and tasting. Such a fun afternoon!

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SO now I have you planning your trip to Louisville for next year’s derby amiright? Well, if that is the case, and I hope it is, then I’m going to leave you here with my top ten Kentucky Derby must-dos that might come in handy. Thanks for reading and enjoy 🙂

1. Ladies: wear that hat. Do it or you’ll regret it for the rest of your life! Okay wow, that escalated quickly, but seriously, this is numero uno derby MUST.

2. Gentlemen: Wear a jacket at a minimum. Bonus points for a bow tie.

3. Eat derby pie. Self explanatory.

4. Drink a mint julep. Also self explanatory.

5. Drink an oaks lily, the official drink of Friday’s Kentucky Oaks races.

6. Bet on a horse; even if it’s only $2.

7. Actually watch a few of the races. Sounds crazy to add this to the list but you’d be surprised.

8. Take a picture with the Secretariat statue. Truth time: we did NOT do this, whomp whomp, BUT only because we arrived at the opposite entrance.

9. Find a celebrity — c’mon at least one!

10. Don’t leave without a souvenir. A hat, mug, t-shirt… anything! They even hand out free pins that say things like  “First Derby” so make sure to grab something!

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Top Five Must-Eat Disney Snacks

Happy hump day folks! I hope the week has been going amazingly for y’all so far. I’m pretty sure I’m still hungover from our trip to Louisville and the Kentucky Derby last weekend (blog post will be up soon!) and I’ve been in recovery mode — i.e. taking a hiatus from alcoholic beverages. This got me to thinking about some of the more “innocent” activities I enjoy and my mind went straight to Disney. Call me a five year old but where else can you completely escape from real life into a world of your favorite childhood characters, thrill rides, and most importantly SNACKS?! It took me a few Disney trips before truly discovering the best of the best bites, so I wanted to share a list of my top five must-eat snacks in the most magical place on earth.

1. Mickey Pretzel 
I know, I know, what an obvious choice, but seriously, it never disappoints. Note: the cheese sauce is a must.

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2. Matterhorn Macaroon
I’m a sucker for anything kitschy and making a macaroon in the image of a Disney ride is just about as kitschy as it gets. This sweet treat can only be found in Disneyland so you’ll have to make sure to snag one the next time you’re visiting Mickey in California.

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3. Giant Pickle
You’re probably thinking how can a pickle make the list? Well this isn’t just you’re run-of the-mill jar pickle. No my friends, these guys have been genetically mutated into 1-inch diameter spears of goodness. You can find them at the fruit stands in Adventure Land.

4. Dole Whip
If you are even the slightest fan of Disney you’ve heard of a Dole Whip, and if you’ve had the privilege of eating one, you understand the hype. Pineapple soft serve with a pineapple juice float; sweet, delicious, and especially refreshing after standing in a 90-minutes line for Space Mountain.

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5. Corn Dog
Let me preface this by saying I never eat corn dogs, but Disney corn dogs are made of magic and probably baby tears. They can only be found in California Adventure at Disneyland so they are quite the rare phenomenon. These hand battered and perfectly crisp dogs on a stick can be found along the park’s replica of the Santa Monica Pier knock-off.

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What did I leave off the list?! What are some of your favorite Disney eats?

The Markets of Hong Kong

Hello! Welcome to my final Hong Kong post about the markets in Kowloon we visited on a tour with Urban Adventures. The city’s markets have been around for 100+ years so it goes without saying they are an integral part of Hong Kong’s culture and heritage.

The first market we visited was the Flower Market. Bursting with bright colors, unfamiliar fragrances, and exotic vegetation, this was my favorite out of the eight markets we saw. As you walk past dozens of shops and wholesalers you are immersed in a jungle of exotic house plants and vibrant floral arrangements.

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This Flower Market is an essential shopping destination especially before the Chinese New Year. Locals decorate their homes with “good-luck” plants before the holiday to bring prosperity and fortune for the coming year.

Pitcher Plant
One of these auspicious plants is the pitcher plant; a carnivorous plant with”pitchers” that is said to lure in all the good luck that the new year will bring.

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Solanum Mammosum or better known as “nipple fruit” (cue the ten year-old boy giggles) are used to create Chinese New Year trees because of their gold color and five “fingers”.

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Buddha’s Hands Citron

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Yellow and Green Orchids
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The next stop on the tour was the Bird Market or the Yuen Po Bird Garden. The market was filled with intricate wood cages, live insects, and miscellaneous accessories. It’s also a central location for bird owners, especially older men, to gather. We saw them “walking” their birds in cages while socializing with fellow bird owners. Although somewhat of an odd sight, I imagine it’s kind of like our version of walking the dog to the neighborhood coffee shop.

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Next up was the Ladies’ Market which gets its name from the 100+ stalls selling a variety of women’s clothing and accessories, as well as souvenirs. A bargain can always be found here; haggling is welcomed and expected which I personally enjoyed. I didn’t end up buying anything here, which if you know how much of a shopaholic I am, wasn’t easy.

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On to the Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market where our senses were overwhelmed with the sweetest exotic smells. Walking by stalls selling all kinds of fruit you don’t typically find in “western” grocery stores, I found the most beautiful, pesticide filled, strawberries I’ve ever laid my eyes on. I was so mesmerized I forgot to take a pic, but did snag a photo of a cool, freaky-ish, melon-like fruit.

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After the fruit market we checked out the famous Jade Market and then the Fa Yuen Street Market that sells “everyday” household goods to locals. After these brief stops it was on to the most unique market, the Goldfish Market.

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A 100 year old turtle for sale. Kind of sad 😦

GoldfishFish are an ideal pet for locals because of the tiny living spaces. The street was lined with shop after shop selling vibrantly colored fish and sea life for home aquariums.
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Our final stop was the Temple Street Night Market. In addition to the hundreds of stalls of souvenirs, there are numerous food vendors cooking up locals eats. Although our tour guide gently suggested it my not be in our best interest to eat here, especially if you have a sensitive stomach, I did purchase a souvenir; Chinese kitty bowls with chopsticks. They are so precious and because I’m a crazy cat lady, I HAD to have them, no matter how difficult they were to fit in my suitcase.

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Kitty Bowls

Overall this tour was an awesome way to see a big chunk of the city and take a closer look into Hong Kong’s culture. Our tour guide, Danny, provided interesting tidbits along the way about the city in general, and even took us to a local juice bar where I tried hemp seed juice; tasted like dirt and chocolate, but surprisingly not bad! It was the perfect way to spend our last day in Hong Kong.

 

 

RVA Events & Happenings

It’s Thursday y’all! You’ve almost survived the work week dealing with stressful deadlines and annoying coworkers eating your clearly labeled yogurt from the breakroom fridge. You’re one day away from opening up a frosty beverage and enjoy some fun events around town! To ease you into the weekend I’m sharing my top five events and happenings in RVA this weekend and into the following week:

1. RVA Earth Day Festival

Manchester District
Saturday, April 22nd
Noon to 7:00pm

Everyone loves an excuse to nosh on bites from local restaurants, listen to music, and enjoy local craft beer; and what better way to do it then while celebrating the Earth and supporting Feed RVA. This festival has an interesting food vendor line up including Ellwood Thompson’s and Goatacado, as well as breweries from all over town and plenty of local artisans to get your shopping on. There’s also a full band lineup to keep the party rockin’ all day.

2. Richmond Earth Day Celebration

Various locations around the city
Saturday, April 22nd

Yup, that’s right folks, there are TWO Earth Day events going on this weekend. Looking to get your hands a little dirty this Earth Day? Then this particular one might be for you. Enrichmond Foundation is working with partner organizations to plan a Day of Service at various green spaces around the city. Projects range from park clean-ups to clearing brush at Bell Isle. There will also be the 5K Race Without a Trace along the Virginia Capital Trail.

3. Beautiful – The Carole King Musical

Altria Theater
Beginning April 25th to April 30th

I love a good night at the theater and I’ve heard nothing but great things about The Carole King Musical.  The show begins this Tuesday and runs until April 30th at Altria Theater.

4. Restaurant Week

participating restaurants
Beginning April 24th to April 30th

Spring restaurant week begins in Richmond on MONDAY, so if you haven’t made your reservations you better hit up that Open Table app.  For $29.17 you can get an amazing three-course meal at some of the city’s best restaurants, all while supporting the Central Virginia Food Bank and Meals on Wheels.

5. The Brunch Market + The Big Pig Project Block Party

The Brunch Market
Urban Roost Event Space
Saturday, April 22nd
12:00pm – 6:00pm

The Big Pig Project
Scott’s Addition
Saturday, April 22nd
12:00pm – 6:00pm

I’ve been hearing about the monthly Brunch Market for weeks now and have been dying to check it out. Shopping, live music, brunch food, and booze is my literal definition of a perfect day. This month’s market is in collaboration with Lunch.SUPPER!’s Big Pig Project supporting the Ronald McDonald House Richmond. Sounds like two awesome events packed into one epic party in Scott’s Addition and I am so down for that.

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I have friends coming into town for the weekend and I’m so excited to play tour guide! We’ll be hitting up the Brunch Market, some breweries, and maybe the RVA Earth Day Festival. What do you have planned this weekend? Any events you’re excited about that I didn’t include?

 

Richmond Spotlight: Easter on Parade

Happy Monday Folks!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter Sunday and enjoyed the beautiful warm weather yesterday! My day was spent with family having brunch at our house and then strolling over to Monument Avenue for Easter on Parade. If you haven’t been before, contrary to the name, it’s not an actual parade in the traditional sense. There’s no marching band or floating snoopy balloon; instead the “parade” is made up of attendees in their Sunday best and crazy hats “parading” down Monument Avenue.

It’s the second year in a row we’ve spent Easter this way and it’s kind of become a tradition for us. Funnel cakes, porch parties, clowns and jugglers, local artisan booths, and dogs in bonnets; what better way to spend the holiday? And not to mention the people watching can’t be beat. Below are some pictures from this year’s event:

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Thousands came out to parade down Monument Avenue!

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There were plenty of local artisans setup along the median selling all kinds of goodies!

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You know you’ve made it when your porch party has it’s own band.

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Colorful and creative hats were everywhere you looked…

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And these guys were basically just winning at life #friendgoals

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Even the pups got into the festival spirit #sunglassgoals

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And this little boy was the sweetest of them all! (i.e. my dog)

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Interesting entertainers at every corner…

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And of course the famous RVA Flower Lady. Wouldn’t be Easter on Parade without her!

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How did you spend your Easter Sunday? Is there an event around town you enjoy going to with your family every year? Or perhaps you just spent it chowing down on some holiday ham? Either way comment below and let me know!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Richmond Spotlight: Swine & Brine Festival at Ardent Craft Ales

Last Saturday, on one of the most beautiful spring days in April, I enjoyed the afternoon with friends at the Swine and Brine Festival at Ardent Craft Ales. I have to say hands down it was one of the best festivals I’ve been to in Richmond! There were several of the top restaurants in RVA serving up every pork dish imaginable, as well as raw and fried oysters. Rappahannock Restaurant, Sabai, ZZQ, The Roosevelt, Saison, Amuse, and Northern Neck Oysters were all in attendance, along with Nightingale Ice Cream Sandwiches for dessert! Ardent craft beer was flowing from the beer truck and tap room, and there was even Blue Bee Cider and prosecco available. I love bubbly so this was a personal highlight.

It seemed crowded when we first arrived, but the ticket system they setup for food and beverages helped streamline the process and there weren’t any lines longer than five minutes. Plenty of picnic tables were available for festival goers to chill out on, as well as tall standing tables in the beer garden. This meant no need to balance your beer while trying to take a bite of food; we all know what a disaster that can be.

All in all it was a wonderfully organized festival and a perfect way to spend an afternoon! Can’t wait until next year’s event!

Hong Kong Part 2

Welcome to part two of my Hong Kong post! I’m so happy you made it back and hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my trip thus far. Let’s start at the very beginning this post with day one…

Our flight landed in Hong Kong around 6:00pm and since we knew we’d be exhausted after traveling 20+ hours, we hadn’t planned to do much that evening. We took the subway from the airport to our hotel, The W Kowloon, had a quick bite to eat nearby at DimDimSum, and crashed back in our room. The W Hotel turned out to be a great choice and was conveniently located above the Elements Mall, as well as a subway station. Not only is the public transportation in Hong Kong impeccably clean, it’s also super easy to navigate, so this was a great option for us to get around.

The next morning, on our first full day, we headed to Ngong Ping in Lantau Island to see the Tian Tan Buddha, also known as the Big Buddha. Unfortunately, we made a rookie mistake and thought tickets could be purchased online the same day as our visit. Although this set us back an excruciating 2 ½ hours, once we finally made it through the lines, the ride up provided 360 degrees of spectacular views. The village itself is somewhat of a tourist trap, so we didn’t spend too much time there, but the Big Buddha and monastery were very cool. After Ngong Ping we headed back to our hotel and got ready for a fancy night out since it was New Year’s Eve. We had dinner at Shang Palace and then went to a party at OZONE, the tallest bar in the world; not a bad way to ring in 2017!

For day three we scheduled a private tour with Hello Hong Kong to see the major sights. Our guide, Richard, met us at our hotel in the morning and went over the plan for the day. We started at Victoria Peak where we taxied up and then took the Peak Tram down; a great way to see the peak while avoiding the long lines! From there he took us on the Star Ferry across the harbor to the old Marine Police Headquarters and then to the Peninsula Hotel, with a few other sights along the way. The last stop of our tour was the Chungking Mansion where we had lunch at a little Indian joint on the second floor. I have to admit I was skeptical at first, as we weaved between the merchants selling keychains and phone covers, but as you’d expect from a locals only hole-in-the-wall, it ended up being some of the best Indian food I’ve ever had. I’m lit-er-ally still thinking about that butter chicken and naan. The samosas we ordered as well were also on point!

On day four we booked another tour with Hello Hong Kong that took us around to some of the must-eats in the city. I talked more about it in my previous Hong Kong post so please check it out! After the food tour, that evening, we went on a junk boat cruise with Aqua Luna. The boat they use is a converted traditional fishing vessel, so it was a pretty authentic experience. Other then being a bit sea sick (forgot my Dramamine ah!), it was great. Included in the ticket price was a complimentary alcoholic beverage which made the experience feel extra special. Even if I was white-knuckling the railing most of the 45 minute ride, the views of the skyline from the harbor at sunset was truly a once in a lifetime experience.

Our last and final day in Hong Kong we took a tour of the markets in Kowloon with Urban Adventures. I know, I know, another tour, but hey, I like tours!   There are so many interesting things I want to share with you about the markets, BUT this post is getting a bit lengthly so I’m going to sign off here for now. I’ll pick back up with part three and tell you all about it. For now I’ll leave you with our itinerary and some pictures. Enjoy and stay tuned!

Day 1
-Arrive in the evening
-Dinner at DimDimSum

Day 2 (New Year’s Eve)
-Ngong Ping 360 to see the Big Buddha
-Dinner at Shang Palace
-NYE Party at OZONE

Day 3
-Private Tour with Hello Hong Kong
(Victoria Peak, Star Ferry, Marine Police Headquarters, The Peninsula Hotel, Chungking Mansions)

Day 4
-Food Tour with Hello Hong Kong (stops at the Man Mo Temple and Antique Market)
-Dinner at Motorino

Day 5
-Brunch at Tim Ho Wan
-Kowloon Market Tour with Urban Adventures
-Drinks at Honi Honi
-Dinner at Little Bao

 

Welcome + Hong Kong Part 1

Hello! Welcome to my little spot on the internet. As many of you probably know this is attempt numero dos in an attempt to start a blog. There were a few details I wanted to iron out from the first time around and really narrow in on what exactly it was I wanted to write about. So after some thought, soul searching, and brainstorming, I decided to combine my love of travel with my favorite city and home, Richmond VA. I’ll be writing about my travels, along with periodical posts about events, restaurants, and things to do in RVA . Since this is my second go around, I’m going to jump right in and tell you about my most recent trip which took me further away from the US then I’d ever been before… Hong Kong!

Hong Kong is like the sister of NYC who lives on the other side of the world. Metropolitan, fast-paced, and fashionable, but deep rooted in history and traditions. There are so many things to love about this city it’s hard to know where to start. So let’s begin with everyone’s favorite topic, the food!

Hong Kong’s local fare is Cantonese cuisine, particularly dim sum. I had no idea before going to Hong Kong that dim sum is traditionally their version of Sunday brunch. Since Hong Kong apartments are incredibly tiny, families gather at dim sum joints for family meals. They may stay there for hours relaxing and visiting, periodically grabbing plates of piping hot dumplings from the roaming carts.

I almost always book a food tour when visiting a new city and we decided on Hello Hong Kong for this trip. I find food tours are not only a fun way to learn about the local cuisine, but you also get the chance to meet other travelers and learn a little about how to navigate the city. We started at a local tea house for dim sum where our group of American tourists stuck out like a sore thumb. It was intimidating at first but also let me know this place was legit. We tried shrimp dumplings, sautéed squid, and some of our group even partook in the chicken feet. I was too chicken (pun intended) and opted for just a photo instead.

Next stop was  Mak’s for shrimp wanton noodle, BBQ pork from Hong Kong’s version of a fast food restaurant, and then milk tea from Lan Fong Yuen. I chose the version of milk tea mixed with coffee called a ying yang which was delish! It was served cold and reminded me vaguely of chocolate milk.

During the tour our guide was able to fit in a bonus visit to the Man Mo Temple which was on my must-do list, plus a really eclectic antique market where I scored a vintage tea pot. He also took us to see the dried seafood shops where items are purchased to make medicinal tea. There were dried reptiles, fish, mussels, sea urchins, etc. Make sure you check out my photo of a lizard on a stick. I’m sure it tastes just like chicken.

Finally to finish off our tour we ended up on top of a building with a beautiful view of Victoria Harbor where we enjoyed egg tarts we picked up on the way. The egg tarts were similar to what you’d expect; slightly sweet and very eggy, but yummy! It was the perfect way to end a wonderful day eating our way through Hong Kong.

Another food highlight of the trip was a visit to Tim Ho Wan for dim sum, the most inexpensive Michelin starred restaurant in the world. By this point we just about had our fill of dim, but none the less it was the best. The pork buns were AMAZING and definitely lived up to the hype. They were perfectly toasted and salty on the outside, soft inside, and the bbq pork filling was melt in your mouth good.  I’m salivating all over my computer screen just thinking about it.

So now that I’ve hopefully made you crave some dim sum I’m going to leave you here for now with some pics. There is just too much I want to tell you about Hong Kong for one post so stay tuned for Part 2!  I’ll dive into the sights and must-see attractions, probably talk a little (or a lot) more about food, and provide our daily itinerary.

Thanks for reading!