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We're hearing another snow storm's coming in and that's making us want to cuddle up with something hot and body-warming (get your mind out the guttah!). A cup of hot chocolate would hit the spot, but not some old packet of Swiss Miss, which is all we have access to right now. Sigh.
So, we're doing what we always do, daydreaming about something decadent--namely the Haut Chocolat from the Four Seasons Vail where it's 9F. And boy, do they serve it up right! The ingredients arrives in a French ceramic pot and presented on a silver tray at the hotel's Fireside Lounge.
The drink is prepared tableside, and to make it thick and rich, your server muddles Valrhona chocolate with steamed milk, then pours the mixture over two giant hand-made marshmallows and a chocolate lattice that begins to melt from the liquid heat. But that's not all. Then it’s topped with whipped cream and chocolate streusel. Then they go OTT and add chocolate shavings and even more whipped cream. The price for this indulgence? $16.
We're thinking it's snuggle time now, don't you?
[Photo: Four Seasons Vail]
The Le Mizz Fizz doesn't look so mizz after all!
It's high season in Los Angeles right now as Hollywood folks spend the next few weeks preparing for the main event, The Oscars, on February 24. Everyone who's anyone is flitting about town "doing lunch", blowing air kisses to "friends", picking up free swag and gushing about this year's nominees, whether they mean it or not.
If you're headed to LA for a visit soon or if you're a
struggling actor/screenwriter local, we've got an easy way for you to get in on the Oscar fun--by drinking at hotels, of course.
We've rounded up a bunch of Oscar-themed cocktails currently being served at a few hotels in Los Angeles as well as outside of Tinseltown. We've even included their recipes so you make your own Academy Award-winning libations. And we especially like how you don't have to book a room at any of these hotels to sip these suckers.
Keep reading for more Oscar drinks from hotels!
Hotel Cocktails / Hotel Bars / Hotel Drinks / London Hotels / Fairmont Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
January 17 1920 might not be one of those dates that’s rammed into your memory, possibly because most people like drinking and prefer to forget the bad times – but anyway, it’s the date that the Prohibition 18th Amendment was ratified.
And while a 92nd anniversary may be an odd one to celebrate, if there’s booze involved, it’s never too odd. So says the Savoy London, which turned its dark ‘n’ sexy Beaufort Bar into a Prohibition speakeasy for the night on Tuesday.
At the door, we were greeted by a lovely lady, Gemma, in a 1920s fascinator over her Savoy uniform. Once we gave her the password (Kaspar, if you please), she swept us past the velvet rope and into a booth paved with 48 karat gold. For realsies.
Instead of the normal menu, we got a gorgeous little Prohibition menu, offering six cocktails, three of which had been invented for Prohibition night, and another off-menu rum-based one that’s currently in the running for a competition to be the face of Bacardi.
The rules of the night: bottles would come in paper bags (our neighbors had champagne delivered like this), champagne would be served in special fluted goblets, and other cocktails would be poured into a tea cup from a proper tea pot. To experience as many set ups as possible (ahem), we tried four.
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Could there be a better antithesis to the horrible hotel minibars that charge you for just having a peek and a squeeze of the biscuit tin/booze bottle/sexytime kit? There we were thinking honesty bars went out of fashion in, like, the 50s, but last week we went to New Orleans, stayed at the olde worlde Soniat House in the French Quarter, and walked straight in on this scene in the living room, just off the check in desk.
Instead of minibars in the bedrooms, there’s this communal one down here. And instead of having to ask someone to give you booze, they let you pour your own. And then charge yourself. It’s not just those three bottles, either – as you can see from the gallery, there’s another shelf of spirits, one of mixers and one with wine, condiments and a cocktail shaker.
Prices are pretty high - $4 for a beer isn’t bad, but wine is $12 a glass, as are cocktails. But then again, you’re in charge of the measures, plus New Orleans is the city of generous measures, so when in Rome, etc etc.
As for the hotel… we had a suite in the building across the road and liked it a lot – but be warned, it was one of the least hotel-like experiences we’ve ever had, which can either be a very good or a bad thing, depending on how you see it.
The Standard NYC is known for its nekkid guests (and even employees) flaunting their business in front of the wall of windows. So imagine our surprise to hear that people are heading to the hotel all bundled up.
They are actually coming out to hit the brand-spankin'-new ice rink, which sits at Washington and 13th streets.
One of the main things we wanted to do in Denver?
Join the mile high club See some evidence of the place being the Mile High City. We saw it written all over the airport, after all, and we’d heard the slogan a thousand times, but we were half hoping for Alpine-type hills within the city limits, and we got nada.
He told us we should catch the sunset from the Peaks Lounge at the Hyatt Regency on 15th Street. So we did. And thus it was that, with said peaks in view, we were finally able to believe how high up we were*.
Norm did us proud, because the Peaks Lounge is spectacular. It’s on the 29th floor – the top one – and it’s a long, rectangular room with uninterrupted windows on the long side and the two short ones. There are tables for two or four lined up along the long wall, and at either end there’s a little couch area for
mile high orgies groups.
The menu was fairly decent – there were four pages of cocktails – and service was relaxed and not at all pushy. We appreciated that the waiter gave us time to take all the pictures of the sunset that we wanted, before taking our order. And the drink – we chose a Strawberry Shortcake ($12) - was excellent.
Play your cards right and tattoo girl might whisk you to her $1000 room.
The colors red and blue have got a little too hijacked by political affiliations for our liking, plus we’re assiduous drinkers, so we’re fully behind the Plaza Athénée Paris’ appropriation of the colors for its new bar nights as well as the sexy new ad campaign it’s using to entice the trenders set through its doors.
Red and Blue Hours is the new name given to the theme nights in the bar. Blue nights hit weeknights 6-10pm and are relaxed, but a little sassy by the sound of things – the hotel is calling them:
An atmosphere for loosening up and letting go with friends, associates and maybe even a stranger or two.
Local and organic coffee in Portland, Oregon now has nothing on the whiskey scene at The Nines Hotel ever since they began making their own moonshine. This is the second bottling for the hotel's Urban Farmer restaurants, and they're expecting a third batch (aged over 23 months) in August.
So what's it taste like? Well, The Nines describes it thus:
Released from its New American Oak barrel in late May 2010, Barrel #2 of Urban Farmer Whiskey has been aged 18 months and comes in at 98.9 proof. It is perfect for sipping, with dark brown sugar evolving into caramel and licorice with hints of lime and cinnamon on the palette.
William’s Bar & Bistro. Not, surprisingly, James’s.
It’s always nice when posh people that you assume are going to be snobby turn out to be actually rather nice, and the same goes for hotels. Which is why we’re tickled to see the normally rather exclusive St James’s Hotel and Club going all inclusive.
It’s just announced that, for one week in July, everyone called James who has lunch in their bar or restaurant will get a free glass of champagne. Why?
Any excuse Because it’s St James’s Day on 25 July.
It seems a bit sexist to us, but then we’ll be glad that at least half the population of London has a chance of faking some ID (because they’ll ask to see it) and getting free booze. So if you’re called James, head down there between 19-25 July, and they’ll pour you some bubbly with your meal. Just be aware that, if you’ve brought a female companion, you need to buy her one too.
The COMO Suite. You know you want to.
Free stuff is always good stuff, especially if it’s a free room. And although the Metropolitan’s new deal isn’t exactly giving away a room for nothing, the London hotel is going about it in a pretty fun way.
This Spring Bank Holiday (28-31 May) if you buy a bottle of Cristal, the hotel will solve the too-drunk-to-go-home conundrum by giving you a room for free. Even better, party it up with six bottles, and they’ll give you the penthouse COMO suite: 110sq meters on the 10th floor, overlooking Hyde Park, to do your worst with. Bet that Cristal would go down well on the “balcony with Japanese rock garden”.
First it was the unadulterated success of Damian Barr as Reader in Residence. Then it was Lady GaGa’s fabby photoshoot in the Masonic Temple. This week we like Andaz London because they’re going all ethical by launching a Fair Trade cocktail in the cocktail bar at the 1901 restaurant.
The £9 cocktail is called Divine Oblivion and is not only pumped full of fair trade vodka, but is also full of fair trade chocolate and sugar. And in case you wanted a talking point for your cocktail, know this: the fair trade vodka is made from quinoa from Bolivia. How good is that?
Booze, chocolate and some ready-made date talk – something tells us they’re onto a winning combination there. Tenners at the ready.
Ps: We're gutted to hear that Damian lost out on the Arts & Business Innovation prize. Which means we're looking at these babies as consolation drinks.
We’ll admit we never really got the idea behind the whole “trick or treat” concept. We mean, really, do many kids do tricks, beyond mean-spirited pranks? We’ll save that argument for another day, but the Ritz-Carlton, Boston Common, for one, seems right up our alley, with a "NO TRICKS…ONLY TREATS" dessert and cocktail menu offered Thursdays and Fridays in October (plus, duh, Halloween) in the hotel lobby’s Gallery.
Of course, Halloween screams for punny names, from the menu's “Witches Brew and Apples Too” dessert (apple galette, caramel, cider, crème fraîche) to the Jack-O-Tini (vodka, Pumpkin Smash, lemon and orange juices). Not to mention, we’re suckers for sweet fondue, so Goblin’s Goo and Chocolate Fondue sounds mighty tasty (even though we usually avoid things with “goo” in the name). And who wouldn’t be at least a little bit voyeuristically intrigued by a drink called the Corpse Reviver (Bombay Sapphire, Cointreau, Lillet Blanc, lemon juice, and Kubler absinthe)?
Naturally, there will be a fortune teller hanging ’round the revelry as well. Due to limited space, the hotel recommends reservations. Call 617-574-7176.