You guys!!! It’s official. My boyfriend and I are headed to France next month! For two weeks to be exact.
Have you been?!
After brain storming a few different destinations, we ultimately decided that we wanted to visit the South of France. Italy, Spain and Greece were all contenders but as you guys already know I’m obsessed with France. So, c’est la vie!
Once we decided on the destination, Josh wanted to see if we could squeeze Paris in as well since he’s never been. My answer (as you could probably guess) was YES. So to break up the trip from the South of France to Paris, we will be stopping for two days in Provence. God forbid we have to wine taste in one of the best wine regions in the world! So here we are with an amazing 12 day agenda to look forward to. I’m partnering with a few amazing luxury hotels and Haven in Paris. Remember our super cute Haven in Paris apartment from 2015?! I’m so so excited to team up with Haven in Paris again and cannot WAIT to show you guys the place we are staying this time around.
P.s. I’m looking for any and all South of France recommendations! We’re starting out in Saint Tropez and then working our way up the coast. If you have any restaurant, tourist or shopping recommendations – I’m all ears!! Email me! Lauren@Lauren-Nelson.com.
I’ve heard about the opening of the Graydon House, a Nantucket hotel for months now! My friend Gabby keeps me up-to-date on the best and chicest hotels around so of course she knew about the Graydon House. I (of course) was like what the heck is the Graydon House?! Where’s it located and what’s the big deal? Mind you I’ve only been to Nantucket once last summer and my knowledge of the island is pretty minimal at this point. Anyhow, after seeing the first reveal photos of this gorgeous Nantucket hotel I finally got what all the fuss was about.
Designers Robin Stander and Stephen Alesch, the duo behind world renown design firm Roman and Williams built the Graydown House. The pair is also married and have had a home in Montauk for years. The two are also the genius’ behind the original Ace Hotel which hopefully everyone has heard of by now. What I loved reading most about Robin and Stephen is that they didn’t want to re-create their own success – aka repeat the Ace in a different location. Rather forcing the aesthetic of Ace, the design team studied Nantucket history evaluating how they can revitalize this 1850’s Nantucket hotel in the center of town to a must-see destination for both locals and tourists. What I love most about the first look photos are the moody undertones, brass accents and history incorporated throughout each and every room. It’s safe to say the Graydon House has made it’s way on my must-visit hotels next summer. For more photos and information you can head to Architectural Digest for the exclusive first look. Happy Tuesday, friends! Xo. Lauren
You guys! First off, happy Monday. How was everyone’s weekend? I was back in Montauk with Amy and Gab and the weather was beautifulllll. You can catch up on my instas here.
Second off, I’m so excited to share that I’ve teamed up with Gray Malin again!! Gray and his team have asked me to contribute once a month to his lifestyle blog and of course I said yes! We’re kicking off the series with my “72 Hours In New York City.” I haven’t done a recap of my favorite spots in New York in quite some time. Of course you can see some of my go-to restaurant recommendations over on my NYC Travel Guide but it was so fun to provide some updates, especially for you out-of-towners. Whenever I have friends visiting the city, it’s typically for 2-3 days a time so I try to provide a good balance of must-visit tourist destinations as well as some local neighborhood favorites. I always share rule number one to visiting New York as well: Stay away from Times Square. Unless you are with someone who “must” see Times Square, it’s usually over-crowded, over-priced, and usually results in the quote “I would never live in New York.” Well, duh. I would never live in Times Square, either.
So with that, read on for what to do in New York City! I’ve basically provided an entire ternary for your next visit to the Big Apple! Hopefully I’ve sparked some ideas for your next visit OR if you live here, I hope I introduced you to some fun new restaurants! Have a great week, ladies and gents. <3 Lauren
Check in to the Standard Hotel Meat Packing. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes as New York requires a lot of walking! I always stash a pair of “just in case” heels in my purse for wherever the day may take me.
Head on over to brunch at Buvette, a French tapas restaurant located in the heart of the West Village. Be prepared to wait, as this is a local neighborhood favorite—but trust me when I say it’s worth the 20-30 minute wait. In case you are in more of a hurry, I’d recommend Bluestone Lane Cafe or Sant Ambroeus.
After brunch, take a stroll around the West Village. If you’re skincare obsessed like me, pop into Caudalie‘s only NY location on Grove Street.
Head on over to SoHo for some more great shopping. I recommend shopping down West Broadway or Prince Street. Although this area is crowded, it’s less so than the stores located on Broadway. Every store you could imagine is located off of Prince. Don’t miss the Illesteva store (Prince and Mulberry), the AG Jeans Store, Club Monaco, J.Crew and so on. You can also venture down to Spring for additional shopping options!
Grab a late lunch at the Dutch, located at Sullivan and Prince Street. Order the Lobster Roll.
After lunch head back to the hotel for a little R&R.
Grab a pre-dinner cocktail at the Brass Monkey rooftop. There are gorgeous views of the Hudson that make it the perfect spot for a cool summer night. Afterwards make your way to Santina, one of my absolute favorite restaurants in New York. You HAVE to order the Calabrian Tune Cecina, basically a tuscan chickpea pancake with spicy tuna tartare. Delicious.
Grab a cab up to Central Park and grab brunch at the Boat House. A can’t-miss New York City staple, it’s also one of my favorite places to dine during the holidays.
After brunch take a stroll around Central Park. I always love visiting the Pond (located at the 75th entrance) that has little remote control sailboats that kids can play with.
After Central Park, head south down 5th Avenue. Grab a coffee at Ralph’s. If you’re not shopped out, you can pop in to the high-end luxury stores located all up and down 5th Avenue. I always think it’s fun to see when visiting!
There are a few places I would recommend uptown for lunch. First and foremost, the cafe at Bergdorfs. The restaurant is full of birdcage chairs (so fun) and the food is delicious. This is perfect spot for a girls’ trip! Other notable favorites uptown include: Nobu, The Plaza, Quality Italian, or Fig and Olive.
For an easy but fun tourist afternoon, head west to 41st and 11th Avenue to catch the New York City Water Taxi. This is one of my favorite things to do when I have friends in town! The tour takes you up and down the Manhattan coastline giving a ton of background on the city, takes you close to the Statue of Liberty, and has several stops along the West Side including Chelsea Market, the West Village and South Street Seaport.
After your fun-filled day, head back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. A few of my go-to’s for dinner include: Rosemary’s, Jeffrey’s Grocery, Charlie Bird, or Babbo. If I’m playing favorites, Rosemary’s would win. It’s a spacious Italian restaurant located in the West Village. Order the caprese focaccia bread. You can see all of my favorite dinner recommendations here.
For your last morning in the city, I would grab a quick cup of coffee and a blanket and head over to the Pier on the Hudson. Located right on the water, it’s the perfect location to relax, catch some sun and city views.
Afterwards, head down to lunch at Grand Banks. This old ship turned restaurant on the water is one of my favorite restaurants in the city. Order the skipper key cocktail and the lobster roll.
One of the best parts about New York are the Broadway and comedy shows at your fingertips. I always love going to a low-key pizza place (Ribalta is so good) and catching a show at the Comedy Cellar at the Underground! It’s not uncommon for big name comedians to show up last minute!
For an after-show cocktail, head over to Happiest Hour. With palm tree wallpaper and delicious cocktails, I might even meet you there!