Liana Estates in Caneros Opens New Tasting Rooms

Liana Estates  has opened its new Cultivator’s Club Lounge and private wine tasting loft, completing the winery which opened its 100-acre estate  October 2016 in Caneros.

According to Lisa and Ariana Peju, second generation of the Peju Province winery owners, the sisters’ objective is to produce distinct wines including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, unique varietals, and sparkling wines and create immersive experiences for wine enthusiasts in this cooler AVA that includes part of Napa and Sonoma counties.  From al fresco vineyard tastings to interactive workshops and culinary pairings, guests can immerse themselves the area’s natural beauty while enjoying all aspects of its wines.

“We are thrilled about this next phase in Liana Estates’ evolution,” said Abdullah Vural, President of Liana Estates and Peju Province Winery. “Our goal has always been to combine Lisa and Ariana’s vision of a one-of-a-kind, lifestyle winery with our luxury hospitality background to further enhance the guest experience, and these new tasting spaces are the ultimate expression of both. We look forward to welcoming our guests to enjoy these elevated tasting spaces.”

Above the first floor tasting room, the Cultivator’s Club provides a sophisticated yet relaxed setting in which to enjoy wines of the moment via a private concierge service and seasonal bites from Chef Alex Espinoza. Soft earth tones with design elements  such as vintage wine barrels, brass detailing, and studio light fixtures are complemented by a contemporary fireplace, modular furniture, and tasting bar.

The Loft, on the third floor, boasts the finest views of the winery, San Pablo Bay and Carneros Valley.  The contemporary space features concrete tile, metal permeate, dramatic vaulted ceilings and natural wood accents that mirror the colors of the landscape.  A built-in dumbwaiter brings culinary bites up from the kitchen right onto the custom, live-edge table which can accommodate up to 12 guests, making it perfect for private social and business and events.

The Tasting Room on the ground level features similar design touches including metal bar carts, a leather banquette, large concrete tile, metal bistro tables, blown glass light fixtures, a rollup garage door, and reclaimed wood walls made with wood from the Peju family’s Pope Valley property. The adjacent renovated barn also features a rustic yet modern feel and is available for private events.

On the ground level is the winery’s main Tasting Room which features similar design touches such as rusted metal bar carts, a leather banquette, large concrete tile, metal bistro tables, blown glass light fixtures, a rollup garage door, and reclaimed wood walls. The adjacent barn also features a rustic yet modern feel and is available for private events.

The Tasting Room is open daily 10:00 am – 4:30 pm.  Reservations are required for groups and private events.  www.lianaestates.com | 1.707.302.1160.

Photos courtesy of Liana Estates and Peju Province Winery

Café Royal Opens First Dessert Restaurant in London

Hotel Cafe Royal c

Hotel Café Royal

Café at Café Royal, London’s first dessert restaurant just opened in London, is the only café in Regent Street between elegant Mayfair and innovative Soho.  Created by executive pastry chef Sarah Barber, café offers the selectable breakfasts, light lunches, patisseries, afternoon teas, hot drinks and wines.

Once the haunt of distinguished patrons from royalty and celebrity to the creative and the notorious, Café Royal has been an iconic landmark for 150 years. In its recent reincarnation as a luxury hotel, it remains a favorite for locals and international travelers being within walking distance of London’s finest shopping streets, tourist attractions and theater district.

Loaf Cakes

Loaf Cakes

Available from 10:30 pm, In the evening, the Café at Café Royal’s dessert restaurant features a creative selection of tasting menus served with optional wine pairings. Each includes a range of savory bites to prepare the palate for the sweet journey ahead.   plates all highlighting Chef Barber’s contemporary, playful style. The dessert tasting menus include such themed offerings as:

Sarah in Wonderland (five-course tasting menu), including:

  • Milky Way with goat cheese, wild honey and beetroot snow
  • Chicken Foie with quince and brioche
  • Queen of Hearts (raspberries, Champagne and roses)
  • Mad Hatter (BFG, kirsch and cherries)
  • Eat Me, Drink Me (Snickers, chocolate malt shake)

Childhood Memories (three-course tasting menu), including Sarah’s take on nostalgic favorites such as:

  • Rhubarb & Custard
  •  Jaffa Cakes

Pick ‘n Mix (four-course customized menu), including guests’ choice of:

  • White Rabbit with Acapella cheese, artichokes and black truffle
  • Salmon Tart with silky avocado
  • Jaffa Cake
  • Eat Me, Drink Me
  • Queen of Hearts
Five course tasting menu

Five course tasting menu

Wine flights will be available to accompany each menu, with diverse and inspired choices including, sparkling Prosecco di Valdobbiadene with the Milky Way; Henriques y Henriques madeira with the Jaffa cake; and classic dessert wines such as Château Roumieu, Sauternes with the Eat Me, Drink Me.

Sarah Barber, Executive Patry Chef c

Sarah Barber, Executive Pastry Chef

Chef Barber’s new daytime food and drink menus and wines offered from 8 am to 6 pm daily. The Pâtisserie presents petits gateaux including pistachio and apricot mille feuille, strawberry lemon candy cane, raspberry rose sphere, and large entrements (multi-layered mousse-based cakes of various flavors and textural contrasts) such as strawberry crispy mousse with almond sponge and lemon curd, and Black Forest gâteau with chocolate mushrooms.

The Café at Café Royal is open daily from 8 am to 11 pm. The new dessert tasting menus are priced from £26 per person.  For more information, visit www.hotelcaferoyal.com or phone call +44 (0)20 7406 3310.

Iconic Los Cabos Resort Expands Fine Dining Options with New Steakhouse

One&Only Palmilla, one of Cabo’s finest luxury resorts, recently reopened with totally-refurbished guest rooms, new adult outdoor lounging areas, new One&Only Spa and Fitness Center, and  SEARED  ̶  a new steakhouse created with Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

A long-time fave of celebs and jet setters, this lavish hideaway delivers refined tranquility amid colorful gardens fragrant with tropical flowers bordering gentle pathways leading to the sea.  Here on the tip of the Baja Peninsula where the Pacific merges with the Sea of Cortez and the mountainous desert meets the sea,  you are warmly embraced by the ambiance of Old Mexico’s red tile-roofed buildings, whitewashed walls, exquisite gardens and fountains.

With the addition of the new SEARED by One&Only™ restaurant, the resort has also become one of the country’s most interesting dining destinations. You have the choice of comfortable indoor elegance with original Mexican touches of tawny marble, amber chandeliers, and Aztec geometric marble floors or al fresco dining on the restaurant’s expansive terrace overlooking the ocean. The menu features the finest steaks and freshest seafood along with one of Mexico’s most comprehensive wine lists.  Some 15 different cuts of the highest quality beef from Wagyu A5 and Kobe certified to succulent rib eyes and tenderloins are served along with local spiny lobsters, whole grilled red snappers, a complement of chilled seafoods, Hamachi sashimi with Yuzu dressing, and beef carpaccio with black truffle fritters  ̶  all bearing the signature of Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

Recipient of numerous accolades from Condé Nast Traveler, Travel+Leisure, U.S. News & World Report and others, the refurbishment included new décor and furnishings with hand-crafted Mexican accents for 172 guest rooms and suites, all of which feature expansive views of the Pacific or Sea of Cortez from a private patio or balcony and 24-hour butler service. The newly-restyled 10,000 sq. ft. beachfront Villa Cortez offers four-bedrooms, its own private beach and pool, lavish entertainment areas, 12-seat private screening room, staff quarters and much more.

Suviche, adjacent to SEARED, also has a fresh look with its new back-lit alabaster bar enhancing dramatic floor-to-ceiling views of the Sea of Cortez.  Featuring sushi and sashimi, the cuisine is also choreographed by Chef Jean-Georges who selected Chef Yoshiaki Akaike to oversee the preparation.  Next to Suviche is the One&Only Lounge with its vast array of cocktails and extensive selection of Mexico’s finest tequila and mezcal. Live entertainment is offered nightly.

Another popular local and guest favorite, Agua by Larbi’s large, airy space has been re-imagined in new earth-to-sea tones by David Mexico. Chef Larbi Dahrouch and his team prepare farm-to-table dishes of authentic Mexican cuisine with Mediterranean influences.  A protégé of the late 3-Michelin-star-chef Jean-Louis Palladin, Dahrouch’s culinary travels throughout Mexico have enabled him to provide guests with unique, authentically-Mexican cuisine while the open kitchen allows you to observe the preparation. Agua by Larbi also offers guests a wealth of beverage options from the dedicated tequila and mezcal trolley with blanco, reposado and anejo varieties of tequila to unique, lesser-known mezcal. The restaurant’s menu is constantly varying with daily and seasonal changes which are served with fresh, hand-made tortillas, authentic moles, signature guacamole and ceviche prepared tableside.

The resort’s central terrace leads guests to the casual outdoor Breeze café overlooking one of the resort’s two free-form pools edged by a stunning vista of the Pacific. The restaurant offers a variety of breakfast options, light lunches of salads and Mexican delicacies, and all-day snacks showcasing fresh and organic produce.

The newly-redesigned One&Only Spa and Fitness Center offers 22,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space with signature treatments provided in 13 private treatment villas  ̶  each with its own secluded courtyard and many with plunge pools, rain showers and swinging day beds plus relaxation  and light lunches in the Yoga Garden.  Also new is the OBO beauty salon created and partnered with Beverly Hills celebrity stylists Jonathan Antin and Amanda George in their first off-site  venture, and for the guys, Barber&Blade is One&Only Palmilla’s exclusive new men’s salon.

For more information, visit One&Only Palmilla.

 

Facelift for Cabo’s One&Only Palmilla includes New Restaurant and Spa

Beachfront Pool Casitas Jr SteOne&Only Palmilla, one of Los Cabos’ finest luxury resorts, recently reopened with totally-refurbished guest rooms, new adult outdoor lounging areas, a new One&Only Spa and Fitness Center, and  SEARED, a new steakhouse by Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

A long-time fave of celebs, the jet set, and other notables, this lavish hideaway delivers refined tranquility amid colorful gardens fragrant with tropical flowers bordering gentle pathways leading to the sea.  Here on the tip of the Baja Peninsula where the Pacific merges with the Sea of Cortez and the mountainous desert meets the sea,  you are also embraced by the ambience of Old Mexico with its red tile-roofed buildings, whitewashed walls, and exquisite fountains.

BFT Casits steWinner of numerous accolades from Condé Nast Traveler, Travel+Leisure, U.S. News & World Report and others, the refurbishment embellishes an already top-rated property.  Each of One&Only Palmilla’s 172 guest rooms and suites has new furnishings, fabrics, and colors complemented by handcrafted Mexican accents.  All offer expansive views of the Pacific or Sea of Cortez from a private patio or balcony and come with 24-hour butler service.  Then there’s the resort’s Beach Front Terrace Jr ste bathnewly-restyled Villa Cortez, an exclusive 10,000-sq. ft., four-bedroom beachside hacienda accommodating eight adults and two children.  Set on its own private beach with a pool, it comes with lavish entertainment areas, a 12-seat private screening room, study, staff quarters and dozens of amenities and complimentary services.

SearedIn keeping with the rising trend of fine dining in resorts challenging  Mexican restaurant establishment, the resort’s new SEARED restaurant showcases the finest selection of steaks, chops and fresh Pacific seafood in a glass-walled curing room. The décor by Jeffrey Beers International features stylish,  comfortable elegance with original Mexican accents. You can also dine al fresco on the new terrace overlooking the water.  The 15 different cuts of meats from around the world range from rib eyes and tenderloins to Wagyu A5 certified and Kobe beef.  Local spiny lobsters and whole red snapper are complemented by chilled seafood, Hamachi sashimi with Yuzu dressing and beef carpaccio with black truffle fritters. All are accompanied by delectable side dishes and sauces and very extensive wine list — all bearing the signature of Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

Suviche restaurant has an entirely new look with its back-lit alabaster bar and dramatic floor-to-ceiling views of the Sea of Cortez.  Here 12 guests can experience sushimi and sashimi prepared by Chef Yoshiake. Floor to ceiling windows also complete the laid-back setting for One&Only Lounge with nightly live entertainment.

Aqua by Larbi rest terraceThe popular Agua by Larbi has also been redesigned in an earth-to-sea tone theme where you can enjoy farm-to-table dining with authentic Mexican cuisine with some Mediterranean influences throughout the day.  The popular Agua by Larbi, featuring cuisine by award-winning Executive Chef Larbi Dahrouch, also offers a wealth of beverage options in its al fresco dining space amid pods with tile-topped oval tables surrounded by stone and cushioned banquettes overlooking the sea.

SpaThe newly-redesigned One&Only Spa and Fitness Center offers 22,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space designed for tranquil seclusion. Signature treatments are provided in 13 private treatment villas, each with its own secluded courtyard, many with plunge pools, rain showers and swinging day beds plus relaxation or a tranquil lunch in the Yoga Garden.  Also new is the OBO beauty salon created and partnered with Beverly Hills celebrity stylists Jonathan Antin and Amanda George in their first off-site  venture.  And for the guys, Barber&Blade is being introduced as One&Only Palmilla’s exclusive new men’s salon.

For more information, visit oneandonlyresorts.com.

 

 

Jade Mountain St. Lucia Offers Weekly Culinary Calendar

JadeMountain-SaintLucia74A new Weekly Culinary Calendar has been introduced by the award-winning Caribbean resort, Jade Mountain, to supplement its celebrated annual culinary festivals.

What makes these events unique for gourmands and chocolate lovers is that all the produce comes from Emerald Estate, the resort’s organic farm in the hills above Soufriere on the isle of St. Lucia. In addition to all the perks of a luxury Caribbean resort, your farm to table experience includes visiting the farm and selecting ingredients such as vanilla beans, cocoa, bay leaf, nutmeg and fruits of cinnamon and coconut trees, varieties of mango, and sour oranges.

Each week offers 11 ways to sharpen your cooking skills and increase your appreciation of fresh ingredients. Programs include:

  • Cocoa Tree to Chocolate Bar which features a jungle stroll through the resort’s private Emerald Estate providing insights into the roasting, grinding and conching of cocoa beans (redistribution of fats to maximize flavor) with a sampling and bar of the estate’s organic chocolate.
  • A Tandoori Cooking Class on the beach in late afternoon introduces you to the spicing secrets of St.Lucian/East-Indian Fusion dishes like Chicken Tandoori.
  • Chocolate, Wine and Paradise presents surprising pointers on pairings of wine and the world’s favorite aphrodisiac.
  • Learn how to create exotic rum drinks in a Saint Lucia Rum Mixology Class led by a Jade Mountain mixologist.

JadeMountain-SaintLucia54When not focused on culinary delights, Jade Mountain offers a true island paradise escape. Juse named #5 in Conde Nast Traveler’s List of the World’s Best Beach Resorts, its tranquil setting offers views of the old French colonial town of Soufriere and Twin Pitons which are part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its 22 cantilevered suites designed as sanctuaries and reached by bridges have private pools in place of a fourth wall, inviting in the surrounding scenery.  The extraordinary architecture conceived and built by visionary owner Nick Troubetzkoy is perfectly in balance with its natural surroundings.

Enveloped by an JadeMountain-SaintLucia49infinity pool, dining in the Jade Mountain Club on a private hillside terrace has endless views from every table.  Exclusively for resident guests, its Jade Cuisine, created by James Beard Award winner Chef Allen Susser, is a modern fusion of tropical, cultural and Caribbean flavors reflective of seasonal changes. On select evenings, you’ll enjoy entertainment ranging from local jazz musicians to acoustic guitarists.

Most Weekly Culinary events accept a maximum of six participants to enable everyone to participate fully in the workshops and hands-on cooking demonstrations.  Some events are free; some involve a fee.

This year’s annual food festivals include:

  • March 20-24: Cooking in Paradise celebrating locally-grown Caribbean cuisine.
  • June 12-17: Mango Madness Festival featuring the versatility of the mango.
  • October 2-6: Jade Mountain’s Discover Chocolate offering a hands-on experience in the world of cacao and chocolate.
  • December 11-15: Spices of the Caribbean presents a look into the island’s Spice Box, creating flavors of exotic places for the plate.

For complete details on all events, go to http://www.jademountain.com/events.html.  For resort information and reservations, call 800-223-1108 or visit http://www.jademountain.com

Jefferson Starship Among 20 Acts Featured at Vallarta-Nayarit Classic Rock Festival

Nuevo Vallarta

Nuevo Vallarta

The inaugural Vallarta-Nayarit Classic Rock Festival being held December 12-14 in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit features 20 acts including American rockers the BoDeans; blues favorites Fabulous Thunderbirds; rock-a-billy specialists Lee Rocker and Slim Jim Phantom of the Stray Cats; country rockers Poco, Pure Prairie League and Firefall; and iconic classic rock bands Jefferson Starship, Kansas, Cheap Trick, Foghat and Spencer Davis Group.

Set on Riviera Nayarit’s beautiful beach coastline overlooking the Banderas Bay, fans will also enjoy gourmet tacos, tequilas and other regional specialties. Discounted room rates and event packages are offered by Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta, the Villla Group, Bel Air Collection Resort and Spa and Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort. 

“As the world’s first and only festival celebrating classic rock, our mission is to treat fans to three days of performances by some of the greatest musicians from the era while collecting toys for local children and raising money for DIF (a local children’s charity). Whether you love roots rock, blues, soft or hard rock, you won’t be disappointed!” said festival creator, John Zaring. 

In addition to the headliners, solo artists and singers performing with the festival’s all-star house band include Dave Mason (Traffic), Gary Wright (best known for his smash hit “Dreamweaver”), Craig Fuller (lead singer of both Little Feat and Little River Band), former Journey lead singer Steve Augeri, former Grand Funk Railroad lead singer Mark Farner, Monkees frontman Micky Dolenz and blues legend Sam Moore (Sam and Dave).   

The house band musicians are from several stellar rock acts include former Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan lead guitarist Jeffrey ‘Skunk’ Baxter, former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Billy Burnette, The Cars guitarist Elliot Easton, bassists Kenny Lee Lewis of Steve Miller Band and Kenny Gradney of Little Feat, drummers Curly Smith (Boston) and Kenny Aronoff (John Fogerty, John Mellencamp), and keyboardist Teddy ‘Zig Zag’ Andreadis (various artists including Carole King, Guns ‘n Roses). In addition the backing soloists, the house band will play songs from their own catalogs.  

The weekend-long event also includes a celebrity golf event benefiting DIF, an exhibit of famous album cover art and concert photography, and other events in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit. 

For tickets and hotel specials, go to http://vallartanayaritclassicrockfest.com/schedule.php.