Summer’s End

HeronPoint-6

It was the best of summers here in Seattle. Day after sultry golden sun-filled day, followed by night after velvety warm summer night spent drinking pistachio sours with friends up on our roof deck. (One day I’ll blog the recipe for these).

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I’m always conflicted about summer. On the one hand there’s the obvious glorious summeriness of it all (see above), which I love and adore, but on the other school is out (for thirteen weeks no less), so sometimes it seems I spend more time driving the Minx to various camps and desperately trying to cram all my assignments into a few hours than lying on a lounger working on my Vitamin D levels.

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HeronPoint

This year though, I was determined that things would be different. We’d already been to Europe in the Spring, so we decided instead to rent a house out on Whidbey Island, and just hang out as a family. I had in mind the sort of place I wanted – near Coupeville, my favourite town on Whidbey, close to the beach, and just as comfortable and relaxing as being at home

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But soon, after spending long hours poring over vacation rental sites with a fine toothcomb, we were starting to despair. Everything was either too big, or too small; too booked or too expensive; frankly rather shabby or decorated in various distressing shades of shit brown (all too common unfortunately in the Pacific Northwest).

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Until, out of nowhere, the most perfect little house popped up. Close to Coupeville, right on a point with beaches to the front and side, and newly decorated in soothing shades of grey and blue.

Heron Point Beachhouse

Heron Point Beachhouse-5

I spent the whole summer wondering what on earth would be wrong with this place but when we arrived in August it was immediately clear that it was absolutely, utterly, perfect.

We met the charming owner and it turns out the property was being remodeled over the spring, only became available in May, and had been immediately booked solid.

Heron Point Beachhouse-4

See, manifesting WORKS people! Soon I will be a skinny blonde millionaire with a three-masted yacht, a Brazilian toyboy and lavender farm in Provence.

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Heron Point Beachhouse-3

I  was deeply, fabulously content here.

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We watched the sun rise over Mount Baker through the huge glass windows, as herons tiptoed daintily over the sand dollars left at low tide.

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We paddleboarded out in the tranquil bay – thankfully avoiding the orca that hung out near the point – kayaked round the mussel beds and rented a yacht from a local skipper.

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The Minx (on the right) and her friend who stayed with us

We ate wonderful foods crafted by local artisans, produce which had woken up that morning on a nearby farm and pretty blue eggs that our neighbours were selling on an honour system. A local roaster crafted a coffee blend just for us and dropped it round personally.

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We found the best places for lunch, dinner and wine and ate vast quantities of fresh mussels and clams, plucked out of Penn Cove that very morning. We instigated a ‘no electronics’ rule – and did bizarre things like read books, play board games, do jigsaws, and make art.  I joined a nearby yoga studio for morning sessions and watched the sun go down over the point every night.

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We laughed. A lot. And I felt all the knots in my shoulders and in my mind slowly unwind.

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I even got through a ton of work, though it didn’t really feel like work. Instead they were fun day trips with writing attached. Here are some ideas for things to do in Coupeville, in Port Townsend and on San Juan Island, which I wrote and photographed for Seattle Refined. And here are some ideas for restaurants on the island which appeared in Zagat’s.

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Since we’ve been back, it’s been one thing after another – the Minx is off to middle school, our beloved Flora was hit and killed by a car and I’m just coming to the other side of a snotty cold, but through it all memories of my happy place keep peeking through.

And I’m only able to tell you about it now, because we’ve already booked it again for next year.

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Hello Autumn.

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Looking for Orcas in the San Juans

 

Orcas in the San Juans - photography by www.paolathomas.com

This weekend we were dropping the Minx off for an eleven day camp at magical Canoe Island in the San Juan Islands, a couple of hours north west of Seattle (overnight camp!!!) and decided to make a weekend of it. On a bit of whim, we booked ourselves on a whalewatching trip to see the islands’ pods of resident orcas in the San Juans. Long time readers of this blog may remember that we’ve been twice before and not spotted even the fin of a single whale -  the mythical orcas were obviously a figment of the Washington Tourist Board’s imagination.

We set off on a glorious afternoon through the beds of bull kelp.

Orcas in the San Juans - photography by www.paolathomas.com

Orcas in the San Juans - photography by www.paolathomas.com Orcas in the San Juans - photography by www.paolathomas.com

The Husband and the Minx were excited.

Orcas in the San Juans - photography by www.paolathomas.com

We spotted bald eagles

Orcas in the San Juans - photography by www.paolathomas.com

and very charming seals

Orcas in the San Juans - photography by www.paolathomas.com

and other whalewatching boats (always a good sign).

Orcas in the San Juans - photography by www.paolathomas.com

And then, behold! A fin!

Orcas in the San Juans - photography by www.paolathomas.com

In fact several fins.

Orcas in the San Juans - photography by www.paolathomas.com

Orcas in the San Juans - photography by www.paolathomas.com

Coming closer

Orcas in the San Juans - photography by www.paolathomas.com

and closer

Orcas in the San Juans - photography by www.paolathomas.com

Orcas in the San Juans - photography by www.paolathomas.com

until, peekaboo I see you!

Orcas in the San Juans - photography by www.paolathomas.com

Wildlife photography is HARD, people! The boat is always gently rocking, the boats are not permitted to get too close, and those pesky whales would pop up and disappear when you were least expecting it. These pics are the best out of dozens and dozens I took, of several different orcas. Male orcas have straight side fins and females have curved ones, and that’s mostly all you get to to see.

Orcas in the San Juans - photography by www.paolathomas.com

We also had the company of a whitesided dolphin who kept racing our boat before moving over to the side to breathe. Our captain was really excited by this as apparently they’re rare in the San Juans and it was the first he had seen all year.

Orcas in the San Juans - photography by www.paolathomas.com

The movement blur on the below was unintentional but I like it…

Orcas in the San Juans - photography by www.paolathomas.com

Orcas in the San Juans - photography by www.paolathomas.com

After a while the dolphin spurned us, to go and play with one of the orcas! I would have loved to have had an underwater camera at this point.

Orcas in the San Juans - photography by www.paolathomas.com

Orcas in the San Juans - photography by www.paolathomas.com

Orcas in the San Juans - photography by www.paolathomas.com Orcas in the San Juans - photography by www.paolathomas.com

Orcas in the San Juans - photography by www.paolathomas.com

 

After that we headed back to Eastsound, and into the most glorious sunset. The stunning beauty of the day and of those playful giants of the ocean will live for a long time in my mind. Sometimes magical is not a strong enough word. How lucky we were.

 

Orcas in the San Juans - photography by www.paolathomas.com

Orcas in the San Juans - photography by www.paolathomas.com

Orcas in the San Juans - photography by www.paolathomas.com

Orcas in the San Juans - photography by www.paolathomas.com

Orcas in the San Juans - photography by www.paolathomas.com

Orcas in the San Juans - photography by www.paolathomas.com

Orcas in the San Juans - photography by www.paolathomas.com

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Panna Cotta with Candied Kumquats from Peasant NYC

Panna Cotta with Candied Kumquats from Peasant NYC - photography by www.paolthomas.com

Recognise that platter?  It was my purchase from dBo Home last seen gracing the wall here.

On the first evening on #BlogTourNYC – still reeling from visiting Michele Varian’s shop – we were led down some steps in NoLiTa and a wondrous sight met our eyes at Peasant NYC. Wineglasses and goodie bags. What else does a woman need?

Peasant NYC - photography by www.paolathomas.com

The long worn tables were in Peasant – a wonderful subterranean Italian restaurant, full of atmosphere and candles (and fiendishly difficult to photograph as a consequence).

The food throughout was fabulous – an array of gorgeous salads and other antipasti served family style, followed by superb gnocchi and pastas – and the wine kept flowing in the most ridiculous way.

Peasant NYC - photography by www.paolathomas.com

Peasant NYC - photography by www.paolathomas.com

This was the stage in proceedings when I realised that #BlogTourNYC might be a bit heavy on the liver.

The highlight of the evening though (aside from starting to really get to know all my new found friends, natch) was the stunningly good panna cotta with candied kumquats that we were served for dessert. As an Italian I consider myself something of an expert in the ways of panna cotta, but this was exceptional – the smooth, sweet creaminess marrying perfectly with the citrusy bite of the candied kumquats, which I had never tasted before.

Peasant NYC - photography by www.paolathomas.com

After we got back I idly asked Veronika Queen of BlogTour if it might be possible to get the recipe and Veronika being Veronika, the next thing I knew, the owners of Peasant were emailing the recipe to me.

And so dear hearts, here I am sharing with you. You guys, this is SERIOUSLY worth candying kumquats for. You can’t ever say we don’t spoil you on this blog.

Peasant NYC - photography by www.paolathomas.com

 

Candied Kumquat Panna Cotta
Serves 6
A delightfully smooth and creamy panna cotta with an intriguing topping of candied kumquats in syrup.
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For the Panna Cotta
  1. 2 gelatin sheets (I used 1 sachet of powdered gelatin softened in 2 tablespoons of water)
  2. 4 cups heavy (double) cream
  3. 1/2 cup baker's (caster) sugar
  4. 1 vanilla bean (split)
For the Candied Kumquats
  1. 1 pound kumquats
  2. 2 cups water
  3. 2 cups sugar
For the Panna Cotta
  1. Soften the leaf gelatin in 1 cup of cool water for 5 minutes and drain. Alternatively sprinkle a sachet of gelatin in the water and leave for 5 minutes until soft and spongy.
  2. Bring the cream to the boil in a heavy saucepan and remove from the heat before it bubbles over.
  3. Stir in the sugar and the vanilla bean and then whisk in the softened gelatin, making sure it is thoroughly mixed in.
  4. Discard the vanilla bean.
  5. Pour the mixture into six 1 cup (8 fl oz) ramekins, which have been lightly greased with a flavourless oil.
  6. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
For the Candied Kumquats
  1. Fill a medium-sized heavy bottom saucepan halfway with water and bring to the boil over a high heat.
  2. Drop the kumquats into the boiling water and blanch for one minute.
  3. Drain the kumquats in a colander and discard the blanching water. Clean and dry the pot.
  4. The little nubs on the kumquats where the stems were can be easily rubbed off at this stage.
  5. Put the sugar and water into the pot and bring to the boil over a medium high heat.
  6. Reduce the heat to medium and add the blanched kumquats.
  7. Simmer the kumquats in the syrup for 45 minutes to 1 hour until their skin is soft and translucent. Keep an eagle eye on them to make sure that they only just simmer. If they start boiling, they will collapse and get wrinkly (ask me how I know).
  8. Remove the candied kumquats to a glass jar.
  9. Simmer the candying liquid over a medium-low heat for another 10 minutes or so until it turns into a thick syrup (stop cooking before it browns otherwise you'll end up with a delicious citrusy toffee - again ask me how I know).
  10. Pour the syrup over the kumquats in the jar and leave to sit until cooled.
  11. Cover and store in the fridge for several weeks.
To serve
  1. Unmould the panna cottas on dessert plates and spoon the candied kumquats over each one.
To serve
  1. Unmould the panna cottas onto dessert plates and top with the candied kumquats and syrup. Eat greedily.
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Peasant NYC - photography by www.paolathomas.com

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Skagit Valley Tulip Fest

Skagit Valley Tulip Fest - photography by www.paolathomas.com

It’s the that time of year again where I bore you with photos from Skagit Valley Tulip Fest, about ninety minutes drive from Seattle. For those of you still in the depths of winter, I apologise.

Skagit Valley Tulip Fest - photography www.paolathomas.com

Skagit Valley Tulip Fest - photography www.paolathomas.com

Skagit Valley Tulip Fest - photography www.paolathomas.com

You’ve gotta love a road trip where you get to see this out of the car window.

Skagit Valley Tulip Fest - photography www.paolathomas.com

But unfortunately several thousand other people had the same idea.

Skagit Valley Tulip Fest - photography www.paolathomas.com

Skagit Valley Tulip Fest - photography www.paolathomas.com

Skagit Valley Tulip Fest - photography www.paolathomas.com

Skagit Valley Tulip Fest - photography www.paolathomas.com

Skagit Valley Tulip Fest - photography www.paolathomas.com

Skagit Valley Tulip Fest - photography www.paolathomas.com

Skagit Valley Tulip Fest - photography www.paolathomas.com

I even got to try out the pano feature on the iPhone for the very first time (no one can accuse me of being a gearhead) which was super duper impressive.

Skagit Valley Tulip Fest - photography www.paolathomas.com

After a glorious day we chased the sunset back to Everett, where we stopped off for fish and chips.

Skagit Valley Tulip Fest - photography www.paolathomas.com

Skagit Valley Tulip Fest - photography www.paolathomas.com

Not a bad day on the whole.

If you’re in Seattle the fields are at their absolute peak right now. I’ve never seen them so pretty. Previous dispatches from the tulips here, here and here.

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Food Photography Workshop–Saint Simons Island

So while I was on blog hiatus I did yet another food photography workshop with the brilliant and captivating Helene Dujardin, Senior Photographer at Oxmoor House and of Tartelette blog fame.

Food Photography Workshop-Saint Simons Island photography by www.paolathomas.com

This time the focus was not so much on still-life food photography and composition as in the previous workshop I attended but instead gave us a chance to photograph food in action.

Helene had teamed up with the incomparable chef John Ondo of Lana Restaurant in Charleston, and while Helene talked about food styling and plating, lighting for food photography and gave us invaluable insights into her day-to-day working relationships with her styling team and editors; he whipped up fabulous gourmet meals, all the while discussing his cooking techniques, answering questions and letting us take as many photos as we liked.

Photography Workshop-Saint Simons Island photography by www.paolathomas.com

Helene and John had rented a house by the beach on Saint Simons’ Island about an hour out of Savannah, Georgia,  and the workshop included a day in Savannah, a field trip to the cute and exceptionally photogenic Back in the Day Bakery and dinner on the outside terrace of a Savannah restaurant. I absolutely adored Savannah, of which more in a future post, while the Bakery also was a dream to photograph and also warrants a separate blog post. Chaps, I have so much pent-up bloggery to share with you!

John showed us how to make gnocchi with a couple of different sauces.

Photography Workshop-Saint Simons Island photography by www.paolathomas.com Photography Workshop-Saint Simons Island photography by www.paolathomas.com

Photography Workshop-Saint Simons Island photography by www.paolathomas.com

Photography Workshop-Saint Simons Island photography by www.paolathomas.com

Photography Workshop-Saint Simons Island photography by www.paolathomas.com

While Helene got us styling salads, pasta and bruschetta (please ignore the shitty prop styling and iPhoneography – the bruschetta below is just placed on a garden chair -  and look at the FOOD!  All of these sessions ran over as Helene had so much good stuff to impart).

Photography Workshop-Saint Simons Island photography by www.paolathomas.com

Photography Workshop-Saint Simons Island photography by www.paolathomas.com Photography Workshop-Saint Simons Island photography by www.paolathomas.com

Then John prepared one of the most incredible hunks of herb-encrusted lamb it has ever been my pleasure to experience.

Photography Workshop-Saint Simons Island photography by www.paolathomas.com Photography Workshop-Saint Simons Island photography by www.paolathomas.com

Photography Workshop-Saint Simons Island photography by www.paolathomas.com

Photography Workshop-Saint Simons Island photography by www.paolathomas.com

Photography Workshop-Saint Simons Island photography by www.paolathomas.com

Photography Workshop-Saint Simons Island photography by www.paolathomas.com Photography Workshop-Saint Simons Island photography by www.paolathomas.com

Even the lamb though paled into insignificance against the fact that Libby was there again. Libby acted as the workshop’s sous-chef, photographer, general factotum and mother hen and is one of the kindest and most thoughtful people you’ll ever meet. Nothing is too much trouble for her.

Photography Workshop-Saint Simons Island photography by www.paolathomas.com Photography Workshop-Saint Simons Island photography by www.paolathomas.com

She is also one of the funniest people I know and yet again had me weeping drunken tears of laughter well into the wee small hours.

In fact, despite the beauties of Savannah, the fabulous education, the gourmet meals, the lovely beach, excellent wine and exquisite lamb, it is the laughter and friendship which stick with me from this workshop.

Chaps, these people are utterly bananas. In a very, VERY good way.

Photography Workshop-Saint Simons Island photography by www.paolathomas.comPhotography Workshop-Saint Simons Island photography by www.paolathomas.comPhotography Workshop-Saint Simons Island photography by www.paolathomas.comPhotography Workshop-Saint Simons Island photography by www.paolathomas.comPhotography Workshop-Saint Simons Island photography by www.paolathomas.com

I was moved to write the post as I notice from my Facebook page that there are still a couple of spaces left on Helene and John’s next workshop in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. If you’re into food photography, want to learn a ton of good stuff AND have the most incredible fun time imaginable I can’t recommend this highly enough.

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Weekend Link Love

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It’s been a week of sunshine, showers, coming down to earth from #BlogTourNYC and a fabulous celebration of the Persian New Year, courtesy of my dear friend Nazila. Spring is a much more sensible time of year to think about renewal and reinvention it seems to me. I have made a few resolutions about blogging more frequently in any case.

In that spirit here are a few of my favourite tidbits from my Internet wanderings this week.

This gorgeous food video makes me want to take up videography and overdose on carbs.

These pics on the other hand make me wish I could draw.

This article about the effect of improving every single thing in your life by 1% really resonated.

Commenter Kristin kindly provided the following informative but truly disgusting article about New York’s roof top water tanks. Now I can never drink tap water in New York again.

madmenposter

And finally, it’s coming back! I saw this groovy poster in the New York subway and did a happy dance. Refresh your memory of the first six seasons in 2 minutes.

Update: Oh and Iris Apfel is having a sale.

It’s the Minx’s rollerskating birthday party this weekend. This bad mama couldn’t postpone things any longer after her January birthday. A cake is currently in the works, though there is more to do tomorrow morning before the party than I would ideally like. Pix next week.

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Gulf Shores Food Photography Workshop

 

Sometimes you have weekends that are almost impossibly inspiring; good for the deepest depths of your soul and quite possibly life changing.

 

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This last weekend I attended a food photography workshop in Gulf Shores Alabama, with the amazing Helene Dujardin of Tartelette (and Senior Photographer at cookbook publisher Oxmoor House) and the equally amazing Seattle-based food photographer Clare Barboza. 

 

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I’m still processing what exactly the workshop meant to me (there’ll be a blog post with the images I took later this week), but one of the most quietly inspiring and good-for-the-soul aspects was the location.  Who knew that Gulf Shores, Alabama was so incredibly beautiful?

 

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Every day, we took walks on the enormous, blindingly white, sparkly sand beach – like dunes of soft sugar – and admired the seabirds and the soft pastel colours of the seagreen waves, the seashells and the pretty wooden houses on stilts, lined up like so many macarons on the water’s edge (I’m clearly in a dessert-y frame of mind). 

 

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It was one of those places that always looks different depending on the light, but always equally enchanting.

 

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Gulf Shores, I’m so sorry I doubted you.

Come take a walk with me.

 

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The name of the house where we were staying seemed hugely appropriate.

 

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And I wondered if the clouds on the flight back were telling me something.

 

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Check out Clare Barboza’s blog post, to see what fun we had.  And here’s another blog post from my lovely classmate Jerry Deutsch. I met such fabulous people on this weekend.

   
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Amtrak Train Journey from Seattle to Vancouver

 

On Friday I did something very extraordinary and made the trip from Seattle to Vancouver ON. THE. TRAIN.

Of course I used to take trains all the time when I was in Europe, but here on the West Coast (is it different on the East Coast?) trains seem to be few and far between and are a very much mistrusted form of transport.

 

Amtrak Train Seattle to Vancouver

 

You have to time your Amtrak train trip to Vancouver perfectly – the train only goes once a day, though there is a bus service.

 

Amtrak Train Seattle to Vancouver

 

Which is the most tremendous shame, because once on board you are rewarded with the most stunning journey.

The clouds and rain on the way to Vancouver were quietly beautiful, as the train hugged the coastline and seemed to fly across the water, before turning inland past the pastoral idyll of Skagit County.

Amtrak Train Seattle to Vancouver

 

Amtrak Train Seattle to Vancouver Amtrak Train Seattle to Vancouver

 

And then on Sunday I was welcomed back to the US by the most glorious sunset imaginable.

 

Amtrak Train Seattle to Vancouver

 

Amtrak Train Seattle to Vancouver

 

Amtrak Train Seattle to Vancouver

 

Amtrak Train Seattle to Vancouver

 

Amtrak Train Seattle to Vancouver

 

Amtrak Train Seattle to Vancouver

 

Amtrak Train Seattle to Vancouver

 

It really was ridiculously beautiful. Pacific Northwesterners, you have to do this journey at least once.

I’m back in the CreativeLIVE studios once more doing a Lightroom workshop with ace photographer and Lightroom genius Jared Platt. I highly recommend you download this course if you want to get to grips with Lightroom once and for all.

   
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Palm Springs Uptown Design District Shopping and Dining Guide

 

I’m off to Vancouver tomorrow bright and early for a weekend with friends, so I thought it was about time I posted up the last of my images from Palm Springs, before I get a whole bunch of new ones.

 

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Truth be told, last time we went to Palm Springs we had been a bit disappointed by the shopping and dining out options. We visited some great places, yes, but overall the downtown area came across as a bit tired and down at heel – resting on its laurels from a bygone era, like a vacationing grandma.

Clearly we weren’t the only people who felt like that because in the intervening three or so years since we were last there a whole district of fabulous shops and boutiques, art galleries, vintage furniture stores and cool restaurants has sprung up – the Palm Springs Uptown Design District, on North Palm Canyon Drive.

The area begins north of Cheeky’s – breakfast here is still a highlight of any trip to Palm Springs, though be sure to get there early as the lines are LONG.

On the other side of the street from Cheeky’s is Copley’s which has a beautiful outside terrace on which to drink superb cocktails and eat excellent food.  The highlight for us, though, was the fabulous sticky toffee pudding that British chef Andrew Copley has snuck onto the menu.

 

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We were told by a shop owner that Trio, just north of Copley’s on North Palm Canyon Drive had spearheaded the development of the area, and it certainly was a fabulous place to eat, big and bustly, with a fun and funky interior, impeccable friendly service, and a menu full of upmarket comfort food (and truly excellent mac ‘n cheese for the Minx).

North of Cheeky’s you’ll find some extremely cool vintage furniture stores and Jakes restaurant. We didn’t have a chance to eat at Jakes -  though we stuck our heads in and it looked like fun – but it comes highly recommended by people we met at the hotel.

 

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Carry on walking and you’ll reach a small Spanish style hidden courtyard, where’ll you find the fabulous NotNeutral store, selling beautifully designed contemporary homewares. Originally conceived as a temporary pop-up shop, it’s now a perfect fit in the design district. We could have bought the whole store and nearly did.

 

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The courtyard also hides the glamorous interior of Workshop Kitchen + Bar. We really enjoyed this restaurant, from the cool décor to the duck fat fries, the use of seasonal ingredients, the excellent cocktails and the ‘large format’ options, which led to the family sharing a large platter full of mustardy chicken and delicious vegetables.

 

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The pop-up store concept thrives at Raymond Lawrence.  Named for the delightfully friendly owners they feature a number of pop-up collections in their quirky store.

We fell in love with these limited edition portraits of vintage Barbies by Judy Ragagli.  The cutie in the middle with the curled brown hair ended up coming home with us.

 

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The jewel of the design district is Palm Springs designer Trina Turk’s huge eponymous store, featuring women’s and men’s fashions and  the world’s most colourful homewares. Spent a lot of time ogling cushions here.

 

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With the development of the design district, Palm Springs has just become even more fabulous, if rather dangerous for the wallet and waistline.  I for one can’t wait to go back and am fascinated to see how it develops over the next few years.

 

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Palm Springs Modernism Week Bus Tour

 

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Though they were officially sold out, I was lucky enough to squeak my way onto one of the famous Modernist Week bus tours.  Apparently if you show up on the day of the tour there’s a good chance of getting on one thanks to no-shows.

I can’t recommend a tour highly enough if you happen to be in Palm Springs for Modernism Week.  They’re a great way of getting a real sense of the unique architectural history of Palm Springs and spying on some truly FABULOUS houses.

Come and join me for a trip.

 

Chase Bank 1960 E Stewart Williams

 

The iconic now Chase bank designed by E.Stewart Williams (who also designed the Edris House) in 1960.

 

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The Bank of America building with its famous blue mosaic wall built in 1959 by Victor Gruen Architects.

 

Del Marcos Hotel 1947 William F Cody

 

The Del Marcos Hotel, one of the earliest examples of Palm Springs modernism, built in 1947 by William F Cody.

 

Frey House

 

This is as close as I got to the world-famous Frey House II, perched in the mountains and designed by Albert Frey in 1963 to blend into its surroundings. Would have loved to have visited this one.

 

Barbra Streisand's House

 

This rather ugly sprawling monstrosity apparently belongs to Barbra Streisand. She didn’t wave.

 

Dinah Shore 1963 Donald Wexler

 

This gorgeous house was built for Dinah Shore by Donald Wexler in 1963. I’ve found some fun photos of the interior that I will share soon.

 

Elvis Presley Honeymoon Hideaway William Krisel

 

Dubbed the “House of the Future’ and designed by William Krisel in the early 1960s, this is the hideaway where Elvis and Priscilla Presley spent their honeymoon.  The fabulous Alix Tyler of Modern Kiddo (and previously Strawberry Lemonade) wrote a great post about the interiors and the Elvis connection a couple of years back.

 

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We also saw some groovy private houses built in Modernist style.  The great thing about Palm Springs is that the style is not just restricted to a few iconic houses but covers whole neighbourhoods.

 

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These houses with steeply-pitched roofs are called ‘Swiss Misses’.

 

Kaufman House 1946 Richard Neutra

 

Here is world famous Kaufman House built by Richard Neutra in 1946. Must find my way in there one day.

 

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And this repurposed gas station is the Palm Springs Visitor Center.

 

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Here is our lovely tour guide.  He knew everything about everything to do with Palm Springs.

 

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A very bad picture of a zigzag roof.  It’s in there somewhere.

 

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Frank Sinatra’s house, Twin Palms, designed in 1947 also by E. Stewart Williams.  Apparently he had to be persuaded hard to get a house in the Modernist style. Now it is impossible to imagine him in anything else.

 

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The beautiful Catholic church of St Theresa (where the funeral of former Palm Springs mayor Sonny Bono was held, with a eulogy by Cher).

 

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A former 1960s hotel has been refurbished as the splendidly-colourful Saguaro.  We took a peek inside one day and it looks fabulous.

 

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We again stayed at the Ace which was repurposed from a old Howard Johnson motel (as immortalised in the most recent season of Mad Men).

More private homes.

 

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Nice clerestory windows.

 

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Nice butterfly roof.

 

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FABULOUS orange front door.

 

Telly Savalas Home

 

Bettered only by the pink front door on the former home of Telly Savalas. Bet you never thought of Kojak with a pink front door.

I think I’d better stop now.  I have literally hundreds of photos from this tour, but I suspect my blog is about to explode.

   
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