SOUTH AFRICA RECOMMENDATIONS?

The Pursuit of Style

Since starting my business it feels like the months have been flying by at lightening speed and I can’t believe we’re headed to Africa to celebrate our first anniversary in just 5 short months! We decided to do a mini-moon in Charleston after the wedding and plan our “real” honeymoon, a South African safari, to coincide with our first anniversary; hopefully starting a tradition of travel for each anniversary to come.

Being the organization freak that I am, I thought planning two and a half weeks in South Africa would be a breeze… Let’s just all let out a collective laugh on that one. We’ve both traveled internationally but this is the first big trip we’ve planned on our own and the nitty gritty of logistics can be overwhelming!

We finally nailed down our rough itinerary last weekend: 10 days on safari in Sabi Sand, and another 8 days split between the Cape Winelands (we’re staying here for a few nights and to say I can’t wait would be the understatement of the century) and Cape Town.

The ability to crowdsource recommendations from you my chic readers is by far one of the best things about writing this blog so if you have any suggestions for sights we simply cannot miss, things we have to do, and especially places we must eat I’m all ears and would be so grateful!

Thanks and happy Monday!

GETAWAY: TWIN FARMS

Twin Farms | Vermont

Twin Farms | Vermont

Twin Farms | Vermont

Twin Farms | Vermont

They say if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em and the more I’ve indulged in virtual escapism this week, the colder and more cutting the winds seem to have gotten. So, let’s try a different tactic… Embracing winter with a virtual getaway to quite possibly the chicest resort in Vermont: Twin Farms.

A fortuitous pin lead me to discover the five star resort, located unassumingly in Barnard, Vermont, just a short 3 hour drive from Boston or 5 hours from New York City. The muraled foyer and idyllic setting drew me in, but what sold me is the completely unexpected and fabulously whimsical Moroccan themed Meadow cottage.

Conde Nast Traveler UK put it best, describing the room as: “sort of Arabian Nights fantasy with tented ceilings and Persian rugs.” I happen to be on a tented ceiling kick, and with our trip to Morocco in October quickly approaching I could not be more obsessed with this cottage.

Twin Farms is undeniably an aspirational getaway, but its unique inclusive experience and promise of exceeding your expectations makes it one to put on the bucket list. At any rate, I’d have an excuse to break out my Sorels!

Stay warm and have a great weekend!

INSPIRED BY: HALCYON HOTEL

Halcyon House | Australia

Halcyon House | Australia

Halcyon House | Australia

Halcyon House | Australia

Halcyon House | Australia

Halcyon House | Australia

Do you ever worry that you have so many places on your wanderlust list that you won’t possibly be able to get to them all in a lifetime? I do.

Australia has always been one of the places I’d like to go, but worry I’ll pass over in favor of more exotic locales. Of course, that was before I discovered the Halycon Hotel.

The soon-to-be opened boutique hotel located in Cabarita Beach, Northern New South Wales (confession: I have no idea where that is) has definitely bumped Australia up a few notches on my must-visit list.

Designed by Anna Spiro (you already know I’m obsessed) I’ve been almost as captivated following the hotel’s story on Instagram as a fanatic Serial fan.

Decorated in signature Spiro fashion, the hotel features an enviable mix of textiles, wallpaper, art and antiques–many found on buying trips to NYC and the Brimfield Antique Show.

On this frigid day in DC, color me inspired.
Now, who’s coming with me?!

COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG WITH BENJAMIN MOORE

When the wonderful team at Benjamin Moore invited us to spend a weekend in Colonial Williamsburg  for a behind-the-scenes look at the inspiration for their Williamsburg Color Collection my RSVP was an immediate YES. All the better that the trip happened to fall exactly one week from our wedding because at that point I really needed a distraction!

Neither of us had been to Williamsburg before, and I can honestly say that it surpassed our expectations. I’ve been told it’s even more beautiful when it’s all decked out for the holidays, so if you’re in the area, definitely consider making the trip–the drive was surprisingly painless from DC!

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

We kicked off our visit with a tour of the grounds led by Matt Webster, Director of Architectural Resources, at Colonial Williamsburg. The Wythe House was our first stop. Its manicured lawn, perfect symmetry, and classic red brick made this one of my favorites.

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

The appreciation for color and pattern in historical houses never ceases to inspire me. Of course, there was an element of keeping up with the Jones’ behind these seemingly bold choices, and a home owner’s ability to paint and paper their home indicated a degree of wealth and status.

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

The Governor’s Palace, with all the pomp and circumstance you would expect for the home of the King’s representative in America, really is breath taking.

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

Sans the massive gilt framed oils, the Prussian blue walls and patterned carpet could be contemporary, right?

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

With its intricate molding and chinoiserie inspired pediment and door frame, the vivid green Supper Room was my favorite from the visit.

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

Can you even imagine the level of craftsmanship that went into carving that dentil molding?!

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

The arms room cleared up any questions about who was boss…

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

I loved this grouping of black and white engravings on mustard walls.

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

I left the trip desperately wanting a canopied bed…

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

Definitely one with scallops…

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

After our tour we headed over to the lab where we learned more about how the colors for the Williamsburg Color Collection were created. The level of historical and scientific research that goes into the process is actually really fascinating. The Colonial Williamsburg team has some pretty high powered tools at their disposal that enable them to analyze the tiniest specimens–looking back through centuries of paint layers to get to the true color.

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

Once they establish the make-up of the paint they grind the pigment by hand with mortar and pestle to recreate the color. Verdigris (formed by giving copper an acid bath) is one of the key pigments for some of my favorite colors.

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

After our science lesson we headed over to the museum to take in their beautiful collections. The import porcelain was one of my favorite exhibits.

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

But there was also inspiration to be found in the textiles–I thought this quilt would be beautiful framed.

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

We had free time on Sunday to explore on our own and given that it was a week before our wedding and our vows weren’t exactly written we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to find a quiet spot and spend some time working on those. The gardens at the Governor’s Palace proved to be the perfect spot.

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

I mean, look at this…

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

The sentimental sap in me thinks it will be pretty cute to re-visit the same spots when we’re old and gray.

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

We stopped by Williamsburg at Home on our way out of town where I picked up a bolt of leopard print fabric for a steal. In typical fashion I have absolutely no projects in mind for it at the moment but I know the perfect thing will come up eventually–maybe a pair of x-benches?

A big thank you to the Benjamin Moore and Colonial Williamsburg teams for hosting us for the weekend. If you’re not already familiar, be sure to check out the Williamsburg Color Collection it really is an exceptionally well curated collection and learning more about the research process gives me even more respect for a brand I (and I’m sure you) already know and love!

GETAWAY: ZERO GEORGE, CHARLESTON

It’s been just over two weeks since we left Charleston and I would be only mildly dramatic in saying I’ve missed it every day. When we initially decided to delay our “real” honeymoon–an African safari–until our first anniversary, I was a little bummed (cue the violins, I know) but our Charleston mini-moon ended up being the perfect getaway.

We called the charming boutique hotel, Zero George, home during our stay, and I can say with confidence that it is the only hotel we will be staying at on subsequent trips to the Holy City.

Zero George | The Pursuit of Style

Zero George had been on my must-visit list, and after pulling up to the early 1800s restored carriage house and entering through the courtyard, I knew we had made the right decision.

There’s nothing I love more than a thoughtfully designed hotel and the well appointed interiors are sophisticated but still warm and inviting–a delicate balance that I’m convinced Southerners have a natural born gift for creating.
Color this Yankee jealous.

Zero George | The Pursuit of Style

A European influence–a nod to Charleston’s history as a port city in colonial times–is evident in the design decisions throughout the hotel’s common areas as well as its 18 rooms. I’ve been hunting for a French Louis Philippe mirror similar to the one above for years!

Also note the candles in the fireplace which were lit each evening and created such a romantic ambiance.

Zero George | The Pursuit of Style

No detail was spared, as evidenced by the sea grass covered guest book and brass key fob.

Zero George | The Pursuit of Style

These beautiful sculptural brass lamps (similar) were not missed by my roving design eye.

Zero George | The Pursuit of Style

My wedding gift to Garrett was a Lotuff Leather duffel (purchased via Roztayger). A much needed upgrade from the tattered Patagonia he’d been carrying since boarding school.

Zero George | The Pursuit of Style

At some point each day we ended up reading on the veranda. I picked up a copy of this and laughed my way through with drink in hand, listening to the whir of the fans. It was pretty much perfection and fulfilled all of my Southern belle fantasies.

Zero George | The Pursuit of StyleBreakfast is included with your stay so each morning we nibbled on (or more accurately gorged ourselves on) Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits, quiche, fruit, and prosciutto at a picture perfect bistro table.

Zero George | The Pursuit of Style

This pair of seafoam crusisers were the latest addition the the Zero George arsenal when we arrived.

Zero George | The Pursuit of Style

I snapped this photo on our way to dinner at Zero Cafe. Charleston has no shortage of amazing restaurants–a few of which I’ve posted about here–but Chef Vincent Petrillo’s food was so delicious we ended up canceling one of our reservations and dining in for a second night.

The menu changes almost daily and both of our meals were unreal. Garrett thinks the octopus appetizer we had at both dinners was his favorite dish of our entire visit.

I should also add that the staff was unfailingly gracious, friendly, and accomodating. I had booked the room under my name and knowing it was our honeymoon they greeted Garrett as Mr. Souza throughout our entire stay which we found too funny to correct!

If you’re headed to Charleston at any time in the near future we can’t recommend Zero George highly enough, and are looking forward to our next visit.

P.S I hate that I have to qualify gushing reviews, but this post was not sponsored in any way, shape, or form, we just genuinely loved our experience and hope you’ll visit too!