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Sara Bliss is an author whose articles on travel and design have appeared in Travel & Leisure, Town & Country, House Beautiful, Yahoo Travel, and Refinery 29. She is the founder of the weekly travel and design site HotelChicBlog.com, which has a devoted readership in over 180 countries. She’s written seven books, including Exotic Style: Great Ideas for Bringing Global Style Home.
We had the opportunity to talk to her a bit about her latest book, Hotel Chic at Home, and ask her for a few ideas to get some design inspiration in our own homes.
We met with Dorothy Pfeiffer of Cornucopia Flowers for some advice on setting the perfect table for your holiday party. We hope you find her answers as helpful as we do!
Portugal, just a quick jump from New York City, has the same cracking glaze of history as Italy but the shorter distances between regions makes it easier to see more in less time. Fly into Lisbon and take it all in: eat, hunt and see all of the quirky museums. I stayed at the York House, a boutique hotel on the cobblestone streets of Alfama. A block away is the old mansion housing the Museum Nacional Arte Antique, filled with marvellous Anglo Indian Portuguese furniture and porcelains from all over. Take a break in the museum’s leafy garden café overlooking the bay. Also right nearby is the amusing Museum da Marinetti. Grab an espresso and make your way farther along the bay to the Oriente Museum, where you will find a truly incredible collection of crafts from former Portugese colonies, including my favorite, Indonesian Warung puppets. For dinner or lunch hit the Time Out Market, lined with food stalls from Lisbon’s best restaurants. Catch a soccer match on a huge screen as you sample hams and creamy cheeses accompanied by some light Portuguese wines.
In honor of International Coffee Day October 1, we asked Todd from Chilmark Coffee Company a few questions. John met Todd and his wife Jennifer in 1984 while studying at Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania, and they've remained friends ever since. We even get to enjoy his coffee here at the office. He had some great stories to share.
"Better the spear that missed an elephant than the arrow that killed a hare." -Indian proverb
Gavin, my pal in Delhi, tells me about a remote town in the deep South of India with rows and rows of antique shops filled with castoffs of wealthy Indian merchants. I am always on the hunt for new ideas and old markets and I jump at the chance to tag along with him. Every season I hit the road to find new ideas in painted monastaries atop soaring mountains or local bazaars down sweltering warrens. Either way, it usually works.Read More
Creating furniture upholstered in my own fabric has always been a dream of mine. This dream is now a reality in my partnership with Duralee furniture: eighteen upholstered pieces that capture the essence of our brand. Incorporating my admiration for the sumptuous adornment found in palace architecture or traditional tea house seating, the Duralee team and I worked closely in this labor of love to guarantee that each frame is not only beautiful and visually stimulating, but also functional and comfortable.Read More
I’ve just returned from Leh, the Indian town on a perfectly blue, high-altitude desert bordering China and Pakistan. Set at the crossroads of the Punjab and central Asia, Kashmir and Tibet, it was once the hub of 17th century caravan trade. I warn you there is a lot to do here, so plan your trip with a generous amount of time. I wish I had. I was there shooting so only stayed a few days, gorging myself on the ancient Buddhist monasteries and the delights of the town itself. Close by are lakes and other mountains that deserve weeks to explore, such as the Nubra Valley and Pangong Lake, which I will have to hit next time. Watch out for the altitude---a mere 12,000 feet. The first day just rest and hang out at your hotel.
Thailand and I go way back… 20 years, in fact. I was a recent art-school graduate trekking across India in search of block printing workshops, and frankly, I was worn out. I flew to Bangkok for a break, showed up at an art opening for Julian Schnabel, and somehow emerged from that party with a job working for a Thai who was developing what can only be summarized as the Barneys of Bangkok.
I stayed, and fell for that dysfunctional, seductive city. It inspired me then, and continues to, even when I’m in my Manhattan studio. It informs my sense of color, pattern, and texture. But more than that, it informs my life. No matter where I am in the world, I keep my watch set to Bangkok time.Read More
“…Whereas, Pepper has nothing in it to that can plead as a recommendation… its only desirable quality being a certain pungency; and yet it is for this that we import it all the way from India!” Pliny The Elder, 77 CE
I am always searching for pungency, and Cochin Fort seemed like the perfect place to explore. Tucked in a corner of the state of Kerala, Cochin was once the center of the Indian spice trade. Its port was settled by traders from around the world, so I knew I’d find some incredible history to step into.