An Insider's Guide To Austin's Hidden Gems.
An Insider's Guide To Austin's Hidden Gems.
“He had this three-story house a few hours south of Paris and he filled it with his travel treasures, like an Egyptian sarcophagus and sperm whale teeth,” Ramona Flume says of Pierre Loti, the eccentric French writer who has inspired the name for her new online travel journal and shop. With collaborator Kelli Nastasi, Flume launched Loti in late October as a way to share photo essays, personal profiles and city guides from around the world. The pair met in Austin in 2008 and became pen pals as they traveled, with Nastasi settling in Paris. Always on the go, Flume shares her favorite escapes for winter adventures.
Cartagena, Colombia—It’s a good winter destination because of its great coastline and there’s lots of jungle. It’s a really short flight. Just paradise.
Pico Bonito National Park, Honduras—It’s an amazing cloud forest, and there are wonderful luxury ecolodges that you can stay in within the protected land. There are jaguars that roam around, and hundreds of endangered bird species.
Round Top, Texas—I love taking road trips. I love little B&Bs in the country. The Prairie, run by Rachel Ashwell, feels like a total recharge and it’s only about an hour and a half away.
On tour for her book Not That Kind of Girl, Lena Dunham made a stop in Austin in October that included a women’s writing workshop for volunteers of the Austin Bat Cave, a non-profit that offers free writing programs for kids. Emily Smith, a current MFA student at Texas State, shares what she learned from the creator of HBO’s hit, Girls.
As the executive chef and new operator (as of October) of Weather Up, and consultant to Mulberry, Kristine Kittrell keeps lots of plates spinning. At East Austin’s Weather Up, she just launched Saturday brunch and added a $45 caviar service. While the menus change seasonally, there’s one thing she always has around the holidays: escargot. “We love to have snails,” Kittrell says, “They’re delicious and they surprise people.” Kittrell serves them in an Indian curry butter with celery and shoestring potatoes. “They’re very versatile, and they don’t take much in terms of cooking at all.” Kittrell recommends preparing the curry butter ahead of time and then adding it to a boiling mixture of white wine and lemon juice before finally tossing in the snails. Pair them with a champagne cocktail and toast to the new year. For more information, visit weatherupnyc.com.
Tessa Halstead knows chocolate. “It’s always been a part of me,” she says. Halstead’s father, Rex Morgan, opened his first chocolate shop in Dallas the year she was born. Three decades later, Halstead is following in his footsteps with Chocolaterie Tessa (which opened November 5), her own shop of handmade artisanal chocolates. Using all-natural French and Belgian chocolate to make truffles and bon-bons, the chocolaterie specializes in gift boxes, but will break out special antique molds for the holidays. Halstead’s favorite? A Santa climbing down a chimney with a bag of toys that her father designed. She says: “Its such a unique mold and it comes best in milk chocolate!” For more information, visit chocolaterietessa.com.
After spending 11 years in New York working for Burberry, Michael Kors, Dolce & Gabbana and others, Ben Freedland founded his own brand, ZINK, in 2009. The following year he made Austin the headquarters for ZINK, which specializes in travel-ready durable handcrafted leather bags for men and women. Freedland designed the unisex flat-folding Ferry Weekender bag ($445), part of the newly re-launched “Everyday” collection, with the avid traveler in mind. He let us take a look at what he won’t leave home without this holiday season.
by Joanna Steblay
As the warm weather begins to set in and patio parties hit our calendars, we can’t help but embrace that summertime has returned to Austin. If you’re anything like us, you’ll be celebrating the return of the season with decadent ice cream, healthy smoothies and icy cocktails from your favorite local spots.
For those days when it’s too hot to venture out, we went to Austin’s sweet treat professionals and compiled the ultimate collection of DIY recipes to make from your home. Click through the galleries below to learn how to make everything icy and sweet, from poptails for date night to ice cream sandwiches for a dinner party.more
The spring edition of the Renegade Craft Fair returns for its seventh year in Austin May 14-15 at Fair Market. With over 125 makers on the roster, the scene is sure to be bustling with local artisans and DIYers slinging their unique, one-of-a-kind wares. In addition to great shopping, the RCF offers activities, special showcases and plenty of food and drink options for visitors. This year, celebrate your hard work shopping with a snack from Burro Cheese Kitchen and Lucky Lab Coffee Co. before commemorating the afternoon with some snapshots from Magnolia Photo Booth Co. But before...more
by James Ruiz
Inspired by the beautiful outdoor living spaces featured in our May feature The Space Between, we went window shopping and found some great outdoor furniture and accessories to liven up your outdoor patio, porch and pool. Flip through the galleries below to see how you can add a pop of color and style to your outdoor hideaway.more
Hundreds of people are moving to Austin each day, and downtown is one of the major hubs of growth for the city. Local real estate expert Jude Galligan discusses smart urban growth and what to expect this year as the skyline continues to evolve.
Your blog keeps Austin updated on the latest news in downtown. What is the most exciting development happening right now?
From my point of view, the most exciting development is the Waller Creek District Master Plan. Decades in the making, this transformative project came to life after designers competed for the contract. It is finally coming to downtown, bringing an imaginative chain of parks,...more
by James Ruiz
As you flip through the pages of our February Love Issue, one thing you’ll notice is the beautiful blooms that pop up throughout the magazine. We got some major googly eyes for the bouquets featured in our "Real Weddings" features, and earmarked the TRIBEZA Wedding Guide for even more Pinterest-worthy petals.
Instead of letting all that inspiration go to waste, we tried our hand at flower arranging to see what we could create. Since we consider ourselves floral design novices, we asked a few top designers...more