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Filtering by Category: Travel

48 Hours at The Dewberry in Charleston

Jordan Rhodes

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In late October I took a trip to Charleston with my little boy for his birthday. Having gone to college there I feel like somewhat of an expert on the city, but with the ongoing explosion of hotels and restaurants over the last few years, I need to get down there often in order to keep up with the pace of additions. Six visits with my kids over two years means I’ve finally figured out the best way to see the city in two days, so I decided to create a short itinerary for those looking to spend a weekend in the Lowcountry (but don’t forget we have a full city guide to Charleston on our app). And because our guides are for luxury family travel, it means they work with or without kids.

When my little boy and I landed we headed straight to The Dewberry hotel, Charleston’s newest hotspot. I had heard from so many friends how cool it is, and I was very intrigued by the design. They took a historic building from the 60s and incorporated the original elements from that era to create updated luxury, but with mid-century influences. The results are impressive, and you really feel like you have stepped into that decade. Here are a few photos, some taken by me, and some provided by the hotel:

The Living Room. Photo by the hotel

The Living Room. Photo by the hotel

The bar in the Living Room

The bar in the Living Room

Henrietta’s restaurant. Photo by the hotel.

Henrietta’s restaurant. Photo by the hotel.

The Concierge. Photo by the hotel.

The Concierge. Photo by the hotel.

Cocktails and the famous popcorn.

Cocktails and the famous popcorn.

The entrance. Photo by the hotel.

The entrance. Photo by the hotel.

Our room was beautiful, and very spacious with a four-poster bed, stunning marble bathroom, and the hotel’s own signature bath products. I could have soaked in the large, free-standing tub all day followed by cocktails in the living area, and Don Draper could have been transported to our personal bar and felt right at home on the velvet sofa. Besides hanging in our room, we also spent some time in the lobby bar area where kids are welcome, and my little boy fell in love with the popcorn.

Our personal bar.

Our personal bar.

The living area of our corner room.

The living area of our corner room.

The Dewberry bath products. I love the font they chose.

The Dewberry bath products. I love the font they chose.

The spacious bathroom.

The spacious bathroom.

This is the bread basket from room service! Perfect after a night out on the town.

This is the bread basket from room service! Perfect after a night out on the town.


The design aside, the staff is also a reason to stay here. Everyone we encountered could not have been friendlier, and it seemed like there was a balloon for my little boy every time we turned around. There’s nothing better than staying at a luxury hotel where you feel like your kids are really welcome. I also think the location is perfect, situated right in the middle of the stunning mansions down on the water, and the new foodie spots that have popped up in a renovated part of town. Plus the square right across the street is a great place for kids to run around, for older kids to ride bicycles provided by the hotel, or for the entire family to enjoy at the well-known, seasonal Farmer’s Market.

Bicycles to borrow.

Bicycles to borrow.

Garden & Gun magazine has a boutique in the lobby with amazing curated goods.

Garden & Gun magazine has a boutique in the lobby with amazing curated goods.

While we didn’t get a chance to enjoy the spa, which I hear is amazing, we did make use of the hotel’s car service which will drop you off at most of the tourist spots and restaurants on the peninsula. It was very tough for me to narrow down my picks for the perfect two-day visit, but here is what I would recommend:

Day 1

Lunch - after landing and checking in, head to Cru Cafe which is nice and quick, and not too far from your first activity. My kids devour the macaroni and cheese.

Afterwards, take a boat to Fort Sumter for a tour of this Civil War-era fort. The kids will love the boat ride, and you will enjoy the view of the historic homes and steeples. Reservations can be booked ahead of time here.

If there’s still time before dinner, pop into the aquarium next to the boat landing.

Dinner - dine at The Ordinary. While I wouldn’t recommend eating at its famous sister restaurant, FIG, with kids, they are perfectly welcome here and the seafood-based menu is incredible. I still dream about the oyster sliders.

Day 2

Breakfast - Henrietta’s at The Dewberry. My photo of the bread basket, above, says it all.

Take a walk down towards Waterfront Park where my kids are obsessed with splashing in the fountain. It is seriously all the want to do whenever we’re in town. If you’re interested in a horse-and-carriage tour they embark from the market area on the way here, but I find they are best for older kids. Afterwards keep walking towards the bottom of the peninsula where there is a great playground for kids at 70 East Bay Street. You can then wander along the water checking out the enormous historic homes if you did not take a carriage tour.

Lunch - Hop in your rented car and head to Taco Boy. You’ll love the delicious Mexican food and the boisterous ambiance is perfect for kids. I particularly love the enclosed courtyard where they can walk around.

After lunch make your way to Magnolia Plantation in your car. Kids will love the petting zoo with animals like tame deer and peacocks, and there are also train and boat rides. Adults will enjoy getting a glimpse of the antebellum south, with the moss-covered trees and house with sweeping front porch. You can also pop over to other neighboring plantations like Middleton Place and Drayton Hall. If the kids are still up for activities, Charles Towne Landing has a mini zoo and other fun activities.

Dinner - head to Leon’s Oyster Shop for insane oysters, or their famous fried chicken for those with less adventurous kids (like mine).

Day 3

Breakfast - after a long day sleep in a bit and head to Hall’s Chophouse at 10 am. The Sunday brunch with gospel choir is really special.

Next take your car out to Sullivan’s Island for some beach time. We like this beach because it is more families, less college students and surfers like at Folly Beach.

Lunch - enjoy a late lunch at nearby The Obstinate Daughter. The pizza and pasta will be enjoyed by all.

Finally, start planning your next trip to Charleston. Because we promise you will fall in love with this town full of southern charm, noteworthy restaurants, and architectural beauties.

Horse-and-carriage tours.

Horse-and-carriage tours.

Petting deer at Magnolia Plantation.

Petting deer at Magnolia Plantation.

Stunning homes.

Stunning homes.

The fountain at Waterfront Park.

The fountain at Waterfront Park.

A walk along the water.

A walk along the water.






The Carnegie Club at Skibo Castle

Jordan Rhodes

The Carnegie Club at Skibo Castle

The Carnegie Club at Skibo Castle

In 1898, Scottish American steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie returned to his beloved birthplace in the Highlands of Scotland with the hope that his wife, Louise, and their daughter, Margaret, would also fall in love with the wild, romantic landscape. After paying a visit to Skibo Castle just north of Inverness, much to Carnegie’s delight his family did fall under its spell, and after purchasing the property one year later they set about updating the dilapidated estate, while also tripling its size. Until Carnegie’s death in 1919, many well-known historical figures, including Winston Churchill, Woodrow Wilson, Rockefellers and Vanderbilts enjoyed the glorious gardens, nine-hole golf course and well-stocked fishing lochs he so lovingly created.

The historic castle grounds

The historic castle grounds

The great hall

The great hall

Gardens

Gardens

One of the sitting rooms

One of the sitting rooms

Arrivals

Arrivals

One of the private dining rooms

One of the private dining rooms

Drinks

Drinks

Today, members of the castle’s exclusive Carnegie Club can also indulge in its storied past. The current owners possess the same vision as the Carnegie family to restore the property to its former glory, and guests can enjoy an experience quite similar to one in the early 1900s, albeit with completely modern, luxurious facilities and amenities. The castle has retained its original splendor of mahogany finishes, stone accents and stained glass windows, while bedrooms boast antique furniture, marble bathrooms and breathtaking views of the gardens and grounds. A typical day includes rising to the sound of bagpipes on the front lawn, followed by a full English breakfast in Mrs. Carnegie’s dining room. Afterwards, guests can partake in a number of recreational activities, which vary from season to season. These might include falconry, a round on the 18-hole championship links golf course open only to guests, spa treatments in the world-class facility, sporting clays or a scheduled pheasant shoot, salmon and trout fishing surrounded by glorious views of the Highlands, or horseback riding across the golden fields. Each evening, guests retreat to their spacious accommodations to dress for the spectacular dinners. Typically, multi-course meals with wine pairings are held in Mr. Carnegie’s dining room following a cocktail hour, and afterwards, dependent on the day of the week, a wide variety of entertainment can be enjoyed, such as piano sing-alongs, dancing to Scottish reels, games of snooker, or nightcaps and cigars in the gun room. For those who dream of living the life of Mr. Carnegie, there is surely no better way to do it.

The indoor swimming pool

The indoor swimming pool

The golf course

The golf course

The entrance to the spa

The entrance to the spa

The peaceful spa

The peaceful spa

Afternoon tea

Afternoon tea

Pheasant sightings

Pheasant sightings

A morning walk in the garden

A morning walk in the garden

Fishing on the lochs

Fishing on the lochs

Snooker

Snooker

Falconry on the front lawn

Falconry on the front lawn

Bagpipers on the front lawn

Bagpipers on the front lawn

Golf course dining

Golf course dining

Shots after a round of golf

Shots after a round of golf

Many fellow Fairfield County, CT residents are among those who enjoy the club. According to Greenwich resident and member, Jeffrey R. Jay M.D., “we’ve been coming here for 20 years. We love the links golf course on Dornoch firth which is one of the top 10 in Scotland, the traditional castle accommodations, the spa and indoor pool, and the attentive staff. What other private club has 6,000 unspoiled and undeveloped acres for hiking, salmon and trout fishing, grouse hunting, riding and tennis and that holds no more than 150 guests at a time? That’s 40 acres per guest, so it is very easy to find peace and quiet, unwind and disconnect from our hectic world around us in Greenwich.Our guests routinely tell us it is the nicest place they have ever stayed in the United Kingdom with rooms that are amazing, immaculate grounds and the best vistas in the Highlands.”

A typical Castle bedroom

A typical Castle bedroom

A bathroom

A bathroom

A stairwell to the bedrooms

A stairwell to the bedrooms


Another Greenwich resident, Alease Fisher Tallman writes,
”Our family has been going to Skibo for 10 years for the charm and gracious living The Carnegie Club lets you revel in. Here is a typical Saturday: awakened by bagpipes, hearty breakfast in Mrs. Carnegie’s graceful dining room, visit from the falconer and his falcons and owls that swoop and dive in the Great Hall, nature walk with the kids and with the very-well-informed and entertaining guide, Andrew, ride in your golf cart through the rhododendron forest to the golf course for lunch overlooking the moors, round of golf for the men, horseback riding for the ladies, massage at the spa, dinner in Mr Carnegie’s opulent dining room, followed by spirited dancing in the Great Hall! What’s not to love?!”


Families will also have a ball while visiting, and the carefully cultivated programs at the fully staffed Children’s Barn ensure they can enjoy the best the castle has to offer. Activities are planned around all ages, and evening babysitters are included in the daily charge, so parents are free to experience the nightly festivities.

The Children’s Barn

The Children’s Barn

The playground

The playground

Horseback riding for all

Horseback riding for all

Bikes and golf carts are available

Bikes and golf carts are available


Truly unrivaled, The Carnegie Club at Skibo Castle is the ultimate luxury, Scottish experience, and the club is currently accepting membership applications for the coming year. For more information, please email membership@carnegieclub.co.uk.

A Family-Friendly Guide to New York's Art Gallery Scene

Jordan Rhodes

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By Katharine Earnhardt

The New York gallery scene is one of the best in the world, but it's also SUPER intimidating; there are so many options that aren't always apparent or welcoming, and figuring out a route that's family friendly (i.e. near some snacks) is so tricky.  As the Founder of Mason Lane, a Brooklyn-based art advisory that styles walls nationwide, I'm into art and efficiency, and as a fellow mama I'm always all about family-friendly anything. SO, I wanted to share some ways to approach the New York gallery scene and have your kids enjoy the ride with you.  

 First, some basics:

1. Don't sweat. Galleries can be quiet, stark, and echo-y, and if your kids come in not bathed and making noise, that's OK. The gallery model is a retail one - people come in and out all the time. Some buy and some don't, and despite the moderately awkward and unwelcoming set up, it's totally fine to pop in, make noise, and take pics. 

2. Ask questions. Galleries will always have a staff member and some reading materials at the front desk. Depending on the gallery, it could be a 22 year old receptionist OR the owner. Either way, ask that person to tell you about the show. The answers you get will likely be much more informative and fulfilling than any marketing collateral that you grabbed and will likely never read. 

3. The Two Rules. No touching, and no wet, dripping foods are really the only two rules to follow in the gallery. The second issue is under your control, and the first is straight forward. I do, however, recommend taking snacks on any gallery hop, and Cheerios in those no-spill containers are an all-around win.  

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Next, the gallery hop

The Lower East Side is a great place to take kids and enjoy some art. The galleries are small and manageable, they lack pretension (in general), and there's a wide variety of artworks that would be amusing to people big and small.  Plus, there are retail shops and restaurants everywhere (unlike in the Chelsea gallery district), so taking a break is easy and encouraged. Here's a recommended route: 

1. Rachel Uffner Gallery - A contemporary art gallery, representing an impressive collection of emerging to mid-career artists that are gaining recognition on an international level. 

2. Anastasia Photo - 143 Ludlow Street. One of the city's only true documentary photography galleries that has branched out into mixed media works including collage and painting.

3. Denny Gallery - 261 Broome Street. Specializing in emerging artists that produce compelling, beautiful pieces that are engaged with contemporary issues, materials and technologies.

4, McKenzie Fine Art -55 Orchard Street. A Sizable gallery space showing mid-career artists who work in painting, drawing, and sculpture.

5. Gavin Brown Enterprise - 291 Grand Street. Known for edgy emerging art. 

6. Nathalie Karg Gallery - 291 Grand Street. Showing a colorful mix of abstract contemporary art across various media

7. Canada - 333 Broome Street - One of the most established and largest galleries on the Lower East Side, representing artists with a gritty New York aesthetic

For more on Mason Lane Art Advisory head to www.masonlaneart.com or check out their Instagram at @masonlane_art

Stress-free Packing Tips by Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, founder of Gilt Groupe

Jordan Rhodes

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Stress-free Packing Tips by the Founder of Gilt Groupe

As frazzled parents who can barely keep our lives in order – this most definitely includes myself! – the last thing we want to do is organize our closets. So I was thrilled when my friend Lindley Pless of The Sentimentalist introduced me to Gilt Groupe and GlamSquad founder Alexandra Wilson who just launched a brilliant new organization service called Fitz. The company’s personal stylists will come to your home, go through your closet, and help you decide what to keep, how to organize it, how to wear it, and also which pieces to sell. And they’ll do it for your kids, as well. Afterwards, you will receive a list of recommended products and outfits to purchase, and they will also resell the items you no longer need. For $300 for three hours, I can’t think of a better way to spend money on my house (and my sanity). As a bonus for Glimpse readers, Wilson and Fitz’ head of marketing, Rachel Sacks-Hoppenfeld, have compiled a list of packing tips for your summer travels:
•    Less is more!
•    Pick a color theme for your travels (this will ensure that your pieces are all interchangeable and will help you create outfits easily, and then you will need fewer options!)
•    Pick your travel outfit well (try to wear your bulkier items, e.g.. outerwear & denim, and make sure they coordinate with the other pieces in your suitcase)
•    Use packing cubes or zip lock bags to stay organized and save space
•    Roll instead of fold! (it takes up less room and clothes come out surprisingly less wrinkled!) Undergarments, socks, and other small items can be rolled inside shoes or bags!

Key items:
•    Pack a bathing suit (they take up virtually no room and always end up coming in handy!)
•    Flip flops take up very little space and are always functional (our current favorites are Tkees, they can be dressed up or down and are incredibly comfortable!)
•    Denim shorts (they go day-to-night, with flats or heels and never go out of style)
•    Pack that easy, breezy dress (dresses take up less room than pants and can be worn day or night depending on your shoes!)
•    Minimal accessories (wear most (or all) of what you want to bring during travel, and try to include a simple pair of hoops or a statement earring to accent any easy outfit)
•    A neutral bag (right now small cross body bags work for day or night and a pale pink, light grey or tan color will go with anything this summer!)

 

Tips for Flying with Kids

Jordan Rhodes

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I'm not going to lie. I dread flights with my kids. They cry, throw food, kick the seats in front of them, stare awkwardly at the people behind them. During boarding, I literally run down the aisle to our seats and avoid all eye contact with my fellow passengers, because I know, at some point, they are going to hate me, and I can't bear any type of interaction beforehand or I begin to feel guilt (okay, I'm being a bit dramatic - there are always a few tolerant, helpful passengers who are, themselves, parents, and to them, I could not be more grateful. But I emphasize the word "few.") Even when traveling on a private plane a parent does not have the luxury of taking it easy.
However, that is not going to stop me from traveling with my family. Because to me, exploring the world, learning about other cultures, giving my children life experiences, and teaching them at an early age that they are blessed, is one of the most important things my husband and I can do for them. So, in an effort to help other parents view it the same way, I have compiled a list of helpful tips for airplane travel, for both commercial and private flights. Read it with an open mind and a glass of wine for courage.

1) Book flights as early as possible
This way you can pick seats close to the bathroom if you are in the toddler phase, and you will be able to reserve a coveted bassinet on longhaul flights if traveling with infants - typically only a handful are available, and allotted on a first-come, first-served basis. Plus, needless-to-say, tickets booked early tend to be cheaper.

2) Try to book domestic flights in the middle of the day
This way kids will not have to get up extra early or stay up late, thus disturbing that ever important necessity we parents call a schedule. And if your kids still nap, hopefully they will do it on the plane.

3) For red-eye flights, comfort is key
Pack a pillow, blanket, pajamas, loveys - whatever will help them get into a semblance of their nighttime routine. Never forget a swaddling blanket for newborns or a beloved stuffed animal for toddlers.

4) Get to the airport early
There is nothing worse than being late for a flight and having to rush. We all know how slow kids are - they're doing this on purpose, aren't they?? - and ample time will be needed to get them through security (especially if strollers are involved,) stop for juice, milk or forgotten snacks, make them use the restroom one more time in case taxiing to the runway takes a while, and get them situated on board. Rushed parents and kids equals stress.

5) Bring a carry-on full of surprises
The biggest issue we face flying with kids is boredom. I like to bring a variety of brand-new toys and simple objects, and pull out a different one each time I start to see movement. These can range from iPads loaded with movies and games, to coloring books and crayons, to thin, paperback picture books or stories. Even completely random items will do the trick, like a mirror from your handbag or a calculator from dads briefcase. Kids will take anything they think is a "present."

6) Snacks, snacks, snacks
A well-fed kid is a happy kid. So I have NO problem whatsoever plying them with goldfish, fruit pouches, pretzels, you name it. Plus there's the chance they will pass out after a meal.

7) When all else fails? Benadryl
Controversial? Perhaps. A desperate solution? Absolutely. Many parents swear by it - I'm merely suggesting what I've heard (promise...)

On a serious note, here is one final, helpful piece of information. I have traveled with my kids dozens of times, overseas and back, and I promise that once the flight is over and they have had one night adjusting to a new time zone, they will bounce back to the delightful kids you once knew, and you will immediately begin to enjoy your vacation. It's getting through the flight that is the hard part. Don't let that stop you. They serve wine.

 

A Glimpse of LA and Palm Springs

Jordan Rhodes

Jordan took a trip to LA and Palm Springs in February, and below are captured moments. Included in the trip were stays at the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Parker Palm Springs, as well as meals at Vincento, Sunset Tower Hotel, the Polo Lounge and Nobu Malibu.