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15 Apr 2015

SNOWBOARDING IN NISEKO, JAPAN

After 3 days in New York and LA, it was time to get to the meat of our holiday - snowboarding in Niseko. We flew from LA to Tokyo via JAL, which, by the way, I cannot recommend enough. Excellent service, food, seats and drinks. My favourite was their Royal Blue tea, pictured below - it comes in a wine bottle and is worth up to £120 per bottle, due to the fact that the tea leaves are rare and picked only once a year ... I honestly couldn't get enough. The only slight fault to point out about JAL is that the entertainment isn't very extensive, although I had plenty of movies to catch up on, so it wasn't an issue.

Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | JAL First class
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | JAL First class
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | JAL First class
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | JAL First class
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | snowboarding at the Hilton hotel, Niseko, Japan
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | snowboarding at the Hilton hotel, Niseko, Japan
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | snowboarding at the Hilton hotel, Niseko, Japan
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | snowboarding at the Hilton hotel, Niseko, Japan
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | snowboarding at the Hilton hotel, Niseko, Japan
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | snowboarding at the Hilton hotel, Niseko, Japan
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | snowboarding at the Hilton hotel, Niseko, Japan
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | snowboarding at the Hilton hotel, Niseko, Japan
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | snowboarding at the Hilton hotel, Niseko, Japan
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | snowboarding at the Hilton hotel, Niseko, Japan
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | snowboarding at the Hilton hotel, Niseko, Japan
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | snowboarding at the Hilton hotel, Niseko, Japan
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | snowboarding at the Hilton hotel, Niseko, Japan
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | snowboarding at the Hilton hotel, Niseko, Japan
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | snowboarding at the Hilton hotel, Niseko, Japan
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | snowboarding at the Hilton hotel, Niseko, Japan
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | snowboarding at the Hilton hotel, Niseko, Japan
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | snowboarding at the Hilton hotel, Niseko, Japan
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | snowboarding at the Hilton hotel, Niseko, Japan

The Hilton hotel, Niseko is a family-friendly ski resort which caters to your every need on a ski trip. Various bars and restaurants, a beautiful onsen, snow activities (including snowmobiling, though we did this at another resort an hour away, as they only had 30 minute rentals at the Hilton), lessons for beginners in both skiing and snowboarding, ski passes and shuttles available for access to all resorts around the area; we wanted for nothing.

While the boys ventured off to board on the highest slopes, I spent the first day in a one-on-one snowboarding lesson at the Hilton. When 4pm rolled around and the ski lifts began closing, we rested our weary bodies in the lobby lounge, drinking Irish coffees and cosying up to the fire, before heading off for dinner and Happy Hour (which spans over 3 hours in various bars). This is how a holiday goes at the Hilton, Niseko. And what more could you want?

9 Apr 2015

FROM SNOWSTORM TO SPRING - LOS ANGELES

After arriving to a bit of a blizzard in New York, L.A welcomed us with warmer temperatures (although nothing close to the 30 degrees they'd been seeing prior to our arrival - what is it with our weather luck?!). One of my besties from London happened to be there at the same time, so on the Sunday we all met up for brunch and a drive around Beverly Hills in a rented Mustang - what an amazing way to see some of L.A!

Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || cruising in L.A
Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || Pink Taco on the Sunset Strip, Hollywood, L.A
Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || Pink Taco on the Sunset Strip, Hollywood, L.A
Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || Andaz, West Hollywood, L,A
Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || Andaz, West Hollywood, L,A
Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || palm trees, L.A
Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || The Grove shopping center, L.A
Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || the Polo Lounge at Beverly Hills Hotel, L.A
Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || Andaz, West Hollywood, L,A, view from rooftop pool
Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || Andaz, West Hollywood, L,A
Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || Andaz, West Hollywood, L,A, wearing Banana Republic stripe zip dress

Wearing: Banana Republic dress (now out of stock), similar here and here.

Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || Andaz, West Hollywood, L,A, girls
Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || Andaz, West Hollywood, L,A, view from rooftop pool
Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || Andaz, West Hollywood, L,A, rooftop pool
Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || Andaz, West Hollywood, L,A
Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || view of Hollywood sign from Hollywood & Highland
Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || Andaz, West Hollywood, L,A, view from rooftop pool


Here's how we spent a day and a half  in L.A:

Sleep: We stayed in West Hollywood, at the Andaz hotel (known as the 'Riot House' due to previous rockstar guests' wild antics and debauchery). Since Jarv is hugely into rock and metal (and I am more than partial to it), we felt like we were staying somewhere with an interesting and exciting history - all around the hotel there are posters, photographs and references to the rock and roll royalty that has previously graced its rooms. 

The Andaz also has the highest rooftop pool in the Hollywood area, with beautiful views across L.A.

Eat: We arrived in L.A. late on Saturday night, and went for a stroll on the Sunset Strip looking for food. Pink Taco was a mere five minute walk from our hotel. It's an awesome restaurant with outrageously friendly waitstaff, a chilled out vibe, fast service and delicious fish and meat tacos.


For breakfast, we grabbed some food from the small farmer's market next to The Grove. You'll even find a dog bakery there. That's right. A dog bakery. A bakery for dogs. Only in L.A.

For brunch on Sunday, we ate at the iconic Polo Lounge in the Beverly Hills Hotel. A gorgeous setting with some interesting characters and great (if not small-portioned) food.

Dinner was had at Animal. I have to say, though the service was lacking, the food was absolutely excellent. The place was rammed at 8pm on a Sunday night and even though we had a reservation we ended up waiting half an hour for a table to free up. If you're unfamiliar with the concept at Animal, it's pretty much all about offal - brains, sweetbreads, marrow, pigs ears, etc. All expertly done; top quality. 


Shop: We strolled around Rodeo Drive (the go-to for luxury brands), whipped our Amex cards out at The Grove (a lovely, albeit small, outdoor shopping area where you'll find Michael Kors, Banana Republic, Nordstrom, DvF and more) and spent a little more at the Beverly Center (an indoor shopping mall with everything from YSL to Uniqlo). 


See: Unfortunately, we didn't have much time for sightseeing, but we managed to make it to Hollywood & Highland to catch a quick glimpse of the Hollywood sign and have a quick nose at some of the stars on the Walk of Fame. Next time, I hope to check out the Getty Center and the Griffith Observatory.


31 Mar 2015

NEW YORK LAYOVER

New York. All my life I've been hearing about how awesome NY is, how cool, how inspiring, how diverse. The city had a lot to live up to, in my eyes. I was very excited about this trip, as was Jarv, who had lived and worked on Wall Street for a year and was one of the first to tell me that I had to go. But with only 24 hours in the city before flying on to our next destination, we wondered how we could cram everything we wanted to do, see and eat into one day without missing out. Well, of course we would miss out, you just can't do New York in one day - but I have to say, I think we took a pretty good run at it.

Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || British Airways First, LHR to JFK
Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || British Airways First, LHR to JFK
Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || British Airways First, LHR to JFK
Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || Andaz hotel on Wall Street, New York
Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || Andaz hotel on Wall Street, New York
Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || Andaz hotel on Wall Street, New York
Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || Andaz hotel on Wall Street, New York
Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || Andaz hotel on Wall Street, New York
Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || Andaz hotel on Wall Street, New York
Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || ABC Kitchen by Jean-Georges, New York
Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || Wall Street, New York
Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || subway, New York
Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || New York skyline at the 9/11 memorial
Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || New York skyline at the 9/11 memorial
Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || New York, Katz's Deli
Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || New York, Katz's Deli
Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || New York, Katz's Deli, matzo ball soup
Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || New York, Katz's Deli, pastrami galore
Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || New York city in the snow
Euriental || fashion & luxury travel || New York skyscrapers

This is how we spent just under 24 hours in New York:

Sleep: the Andaz hotel on Wall Street. It's young, hip and convenient, plus the room we had was fantastic. There was so much space, a 360 degree rotating cabinet, a massive walk in shower, and free snacks and soft drinks from the minibar plus one alcoholic drink (we chose the largest bottle - the vodka - and had two of our local friends come over before dinner for drinks). They also always serve complimentary coffee and cookies in the lobby.

Eat: For dinner, we ate at Jean-Georges' ABC Kitchen, an organic food lover's dream. They do tend to go on about where your produce comes from (anyone watch Portlandia? "Is the chicken local? Did it get to play with other chickens?"). Food was pretty good. Drinks were strong. Setting was lovely.

For lunch the next day, Katz's Deli. You know the one, from the infamous When Harry Met Sally scene where Meg Ryan fakes an orgasm and the man at the next table says, "I'll have what she's having!" Well, oh. My. God. It was the best pastrami sandwich I've ever had.

Il Laboratorio del Gelato, right opposite the street from Katz's, also does the most fantastic gelato in enticing flavours such as avocado, blood orange, lychee, dulce de leche and so many more.

See: we didn't get around to much sightseeing, but we did walk from our hotel to the 9/11 memorial site, which was eerily beautiful, framed by snow dusted trees and skyscraper giants.

Drink: We missed our reservation at PDT and Raines Law Room was too busy for walk-ins; instead we ambled down a few blocks towards a very different type of drinking hole where live (rock, usually) music is often played on stage. The name eludes me right now but if I find out, I'll make sure to add it.

Shop: Century 21 has myriad designer discounts and bargains - we spent a little too much of our time here! TJ Maxx (or TK Maxx as we know it in the UK) of course is also worth a look, but didn't hold quite as many good brands as Century 21.