Hotels and bars are transforming as the holiday season is upon us. Escape to a charming winter wonderland filled with treats, impressive décor, luxury amenities and so much more. From New York City to Scottsdale, Arizona to London and Paris you will be left in the best of holiday spirits.
Celebrate the splendor of the season in Scottsdale with holiday festivities galore. Enjoy a romantic skate around the ice rink and curl up by the rink side fire pits. Explore the three million LED lights as you stroll through the resort’s majestic lagoons via the princess express trains. Wander through the Nativity Garden and enjoy a variety of shows at the Enchanted Plaza.
Delight in this one-of-a-kind Italian Alps pop-up restaurant while dining in a cute cabin. Maintaining a cozy feel, the rooftop bar is enclosed by a retractable roof with heaters throughout. Views of the city skyline will take your breath away as you enjoy delicious tastes from northern Italy like Barolo-braised hearty beef shanks, rustic polenta, house made sausage and mulled wine.
Gordon Ramsey’s York & Albany Hotel offers gingerbread house décor with a seasonal menu of the finest dishes around, naturally pulling inspiration from the storybook itself. Complete with venison croquettes and the Gingerbread Espresso cocktail, a blend of gingerbread-infused vodka, L’Orange, Kalhua, amaretto and espresso. A joy for all foodies alike.
Danico has joined the small group of “Miracle Bars” initially inspired by the Manhattan pop-up bar Christmas tradition for the 2016 edition of Miracle of 9th Street. The eggnog party at Danico is unforgettable with handcrafted creamy cognac cocktails to get you in the Christmas spirit. Not to mention it’s in Paris. Paris, the holidays is surely a memorable treat!
Would you like more information? Just reach out and let’s chat! Call me at 214-769-2142.
Cheeze Wizz on crackers and onion dip with potato chips fuel many low budget parties, but your guests expect the sophistication of fine offerings elegantly presented and served. Following are some suggestions that raise the bar on luxury and will be sure to please your guests:
A wine that has reached its peak of maturity offers nuances and textures a young wine cannot achieve. An old, fine wine is a sure party-pleaser that illustrates your elegant taste. No old wine should be opened until it is brilliantly clear, and the sediment has completely settled. So be sure to order these wines well in advance of the party. A bottle of old red wine can take two or three weeks to settle after it is delivered. Keep it in a cool, dark place.
According to Food and Wine, some of the best older vintages include 1999 and 2001 Red Bordeaux, 2001 and 2003 Red Burgandy, 1996 and 1998 Barolo, 1999 and 2002 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, and 1993 and 2002 German Riesling. Reported as “outstanding” are 1999 Mondavi Private Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet and 1993 Forstmeister Geltz Zilliken Spätlese Riesling.
Uncorking the wine will often involve removing an old cork, and the wrong corkscrew can plunge pieces of cork into a prized bottle. Food and Wine recommends the Corkfish wine cork retriever, which is available from Amazon. Decant most red wines about two to three hours before serving. However, if the wine is twenty or more years old, decant immediately before serving because the amazing aromas and flavors quickly vanish.
Serve caviar in the original container on top of ice. Do not use silver spoons, which may affect the taste. Mother-of-Pearl spoons are elegant servers. Garnishes can include chopped onions, hardboiled egg, chives, dill, crème fraiche, and lemon wedges. Be sure the crackers are top of the line, crispy, and fresh. You can also serve caviar with freshly buttered toast points. Beluga is the rarest and most desirable caviar, a coveted delicacy, but it has an acquired taste. Orange or red salmon caviar has larger pieces and a more subtle flavor. White sturgeon caviar is very salty with milder fish flavor. If most of your guests have a sophisticated palette, go for the Beluga. Otherwise, offer milder caviar along with Beluga.
There over 60 varieties of truffle. The Italian white truffle is one of the most sought after and highly regarded. This fungus that is worth its weight in gold is an elegant addition to a party. Truffle cones are elegant, tasty finger foods. Twist thinly sliced, cured bresaola into cones and fill with arugula, shaved cheese, a spread of truffles, and serve with lemon wedges. Put a half teaspoon of truffles on deviled eggs. The best way to use truffles is in eggs, cream, and butter. They lose their taste quickly when combined with other ingredients, so plan ingredients and cooking times accordingly. Serve as soon as possible after preparing.
FINE AND RARE SPIRITS
To help you chose the finest spirits for your guests, Forbes suggests the following among others:
Auchentoshan American Oak, Scotch Whisky is smooth and light with notes of vanilla and caramelized sugar and a bit of spice;
Hibiki 12 & 17, Japanese Blended Whisky. Japanese spirits have become increasingly available and desirable, and they are receiving an increasing number of global awards, including the world’s best whiskey;
George Dickel Rye Whiskey differs from similar bourbon because of a final charcoal filtering that removes taste impurities;
Bowmore Small Batch Single Malt, Scotch Whisky has the traditional Islay character without overpowering the palate. Tropical fruit flavors and a rum-like note make it different from most spirits on the market today;
Green Spot, Irish Single Pott is rare and prized and made in the traditional copper pot still instead of large, commercial stills;
Midleton Very Rare, Irish Blend won the Double Gold at the San Francisco International Spirits Competition. The triple-distilled whiskeys are aged in bourbon casks that are more than 12 years old.
Balblair, Single Malt Scotch Whisky is smooth, rich and full-bodied. Spirits’ Expert Larry Olmsted calls it “perhaps the greatest hidden gem in the world of Scotch.”
The most expensive spirits you may wish to serve discerning guests may run your home bar tab into the tens of thousands. Click here to see the most expensive bottles on the market today and select your favorite(s). Hint: it is mostly Scotch. Prices range from $3,500 to $50,000. The Balvenie 50-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Speyside tops the list, but your guests will not feel diminished when served the $4,000 Bunnahabhain Limited Edition 40-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Islay.
The top five cigars of 2018 include The Wise Man Maduro Robusto, Padrón Family Reserve No. 44 (Natural), H. Upmann Sir Winston. Arturo Fuente Hemingway Work of Art, JFR Lunatic Habano Short Robusto, and Olivia Serie V Melanio Churchill. Invite your cigar smoking guests to a separate area with comfortable conversation area seating, abundant ashtrays, low light, a fire if possible, and enjoy their appreciation of your thoughtful hospitality.
Please your guests with these lavish treats at your next dinner party and relax knowing you are providing the finest.
Would you like more information – just reach out and let’s chat: 214.769.2142.
The days are growing darker and there’s a chill in the air–Halloween is near and we’re ready for a scare! Spooky season is in full swing, and the frightening festivities in Dallas kick off this weekend. Whether you’re looking for a kid-friendly fest, a high stakes costume contest, or a swanky holiday bash, we’ve rounded up all the best bashes in town.
The Forth Worth Zoo will host their annual Boo at the Zoo event October 25-27. This family-friendly event will have Halloween-themed activities throughout the park all day included with the price of admission.
Winfest at Win Kids will be held on October 27 at 2p.m. to 5 p.m. Open to kids of all ages, there will be bounce houses, games (including a ninja warrior course) and a costume contest.
Malloween, hosted by Music City Mall in Lewisville, will provide a safe, indoor trick-or-treating opportunity on October 31 from 6-8 p.m. Tickets are free; characters will be attending for photo ops, and popcorn and cotton candy will be provided while supplies last.
Denton’s Day of the Dead Festival will be held October 26. Activities for the day will include coffin races, a pumpkin patch and the Twilight Lantern Parade, where the kids can walk the streets of historic downtown Denton with their own paper lantern.
The Fort Worth Stockyards will host their annual Treat Street event on October 31 from 5-7 p.m. Full of treats, games, and hayrides, this free event is fun for the whole family. Kids that come in costume will also have the opportunity to enter the Cowtown Cattlepen Maze for half-price.
Friscovania, a massive Halloween extravaganza, returns to Toyota Stadium on Saturday, October 26 from 3-8 p.m. This year, the free event includes a haunted carnival, games, DJs and live entertainment, a costume contest, and a fashion show and concert.
The Shops at Willow Bend in Plano are hosting an unusual holiday affair, a Halloween and Christmas Mashup on Saturday, October 26 from 5-8:30 p.m. You can carve pumpkins and decorate ornaments, meet Santa, and watch a screening of The Nightmare Before Christmas. It’s a free event.
Mutt’s Canine Cantina in Dallas hosts its annual Howl-O-weenparty on October 19 from 1-4 p.m. Arrive early to enter your pup in the costume contest!
Fangoria and the Dallas Museum of Art are teaming up for Mid-Century Modern Horror, a day full of retro thrills on the big screen in the Horchow Auditorium. There’s a screening of A Bucket of Blood at 3:30 p.m., a screening of Peeping Tom at 6:30 p.m., and a special preview screening of A24’s In Fabric, which will include a conversation with the film’s costume designer, Jo Thompson. Tickets are $10-30.
Danielle Georgiou Dance Group and Theatre Three present a haunting new dance musical, The Bippy Bobby Boo Show, from October 25-November 2. The play is styled after a ‘60s musical variety show, with talented ghosts taking the stage one after another to entertain you with music, dance, and comedy. Ticketsare $20.
The Mesquite Arts Theatre, which is housed in an old hospital, revisits its past during its annual fundraiser on October 26 from 4 to 7 p.m. The Haunted Hospital Tour will be filled with surprises and restless souls. The event is open by donation.
Halloween Bash at the Boo-tanical Gardens in Grapevine is happening October 26 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. There will be activities, food, a costume contest and live music from the Michael Hix Band. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids.
Spooky Sprint North Dallas will take place on October 26 at the Carter Softball Complex and Duck Creek Trail in Garland. Entry fees start at $33, and they are partnering with Hope Clinic-Garland to collect personal hygiene items and basic medical supplies. Be sure to stick around after to show off your costume, and participate in one of many activities.
Rainbow Vomit will open its doors to guests to bring a special Halloween version of “Night Mode.” Their art exhibit will be transformed for a new interactive Illumination Station, which features a curated sonic experience. This event is 21+, and is BYOB. Costumes are encouraged, and tickets start at $23.
Stomping Ground Comedy Theatre presents Slay: Halloween Variety Hour, a holiday-themed improv on October 26 at 8 p.m. Hosted by Jamie Zeske, the sketches will feature local comedy talent. Tickets are $5; The event is 18+ and BYOB.
The Dallas Symphony Orchestra is performing the haunting score to The Nightmare Before Christmas while the movie plays on the big screen at the Meyerson Symphony Center from October 31-November 3. Costumes are encouraged. Find tickets here.
The Statler is hosting Leather and Laces: Halloween Edition on Friday, October 25. The party will be hosted by Jeremy Piven (a.k.a. Ari Gold) and DJ’d by Brandon Olds. Tickets start at $45–but with $10,000 in prizes at stake in the costume contest, you might come out a little richer.
Denton Halloween Fest, hosted by Denton Pride Foundation, will take place on October 31 at the North Texas Fair Grounds. Think your costume has what it takes? Along with their drag shows, they will also host costume contests and a catwalk, where there are multiple prizes, including a first place prize of $500. This event is free and open to all ages.
Join the Terror at Texas Live!Halloween Party on October 26. The night will include music from DJ Dynamix and a costume contest starting at 11 p.m. that has prizes valued over $5,500. Tickets are $5, or $10 at the door.
Heroes Lounge will host the 9th annual Heroes Halloween Ballon October 26. Tickets are $15, and there is a cash prize of $500 for the costume contest. This event will include live music from DJ Petro, as well as a full bar and a Caribbean-based menu.
Celebrating their 20th anniversary, Dragons Halloween Ball, hosted by the Wyndham Garden Dallas North Hotel, presents their theme for this year; ‘Once Upon a Time.’ Doors open at 8 p.m., and the $1,000 and other prizes will be given away at 11:30 p.m. Tickets for this event are $40.
Disco, TX is kicking off Halloween a little early with a Euphoria-themed costume party at Ferris Wheelers on Friday, October 18. Entertainment includes DJs Blake Ward and Christy Ray, drag by Bleach, Ruby Diamond, and Kylee Ohara Fatale, and more. Buy tickets here.
The famous Oak Lawn Block Party is back on October 26 from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. in the 3900 block of Cedar Springs. The area is fenced off from traffic for the event, making it perfect for a Costume Promenade with live commentary. Round Up Saloon will be decked out in Halloween decor and open during the fun.
The W Dallas will host their annual Halloween Costume Ball on their rooftop bar, Altitude. Tickets start at $35, and attendees can expect champagne, live music, and plenty of Halloween-themed party favors.
House of Blues Dallas will host their 9th annual Mega Masquerade & Costume Bash on October 26. Hosted in their VIP Foundation Room, guests are free to engage in whatever mischief they want to for a night full of live music and fun. The event starts at 10 p.m., and tickets are $15.
Canton Hall’s 3rd annual Throwback 90’s Halloween Party is set to happen on October 31 at 7 p.m. The DJs will be bringing their best playlists, including music from the late 80’s through the early 2000’s. There will also be a free photo booth, and a costume contest with a $200 prize. The show is 18+, and tickets are $10.
The SWEET BAR in Deep Ellum will host this year’s House of Halloween. This year’s theme is Glitter Party, so costumes are encouraged to get as sparkly as possible, and there will be a $500 prize for whoever is deemed best dressed. The event starts at 6 p.m. on October 26, and will include music from DJ ROGERTHAT, NIVEK and MVNKEE. Tickets are $10 at the door.
Status Night Club will have three rooms for partying on Dallas’ Horror of the Year party on Halloween night, including Top 40, Hip-Hop and EDM music from KYLECANNON and TWALK. The party starts a 10 p.m., and there will be prizes for the best costumes. Tickets for this event as $10.
Face your fears in style with Hotel Zaza’s annual Halloween Bash. Starting at 10 p.m. on October 25, the party will include light snacks, local DJ’s and spooky specials you won’t find anywhere else. Tickets are $75.
Lizard Lounge holds its 27th annual Halloween Bash on October 26 with music from DJ Johnny Funk and Xavier Grigsby, and a $1000 costume contest. It’s free for everyone before 10 p.m.
Double Wide throws its Spooktacular Halloween Bash on October 26 from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. with live music by The Rich Girls, Weezing (a Weezer tribute), and The Texas Jesus & Mary Chainsaw Massacre, a $500 costume contest with Frida Monet, and drag performances. Tickets are $10.
Would you like more information – just reach out and let’s chat: 214.769.2142
LOOK at this! Whether you are looking to overhaul your space or simply change a few accents to update your favorite room, we have researched some of the hottest trends to help you modernize your favorite room. Take a look at some of our favorite home décor trends and get inspired to update your abode.
These pieces are trending in the design space in a big way. Incorporate an antique into your living or dining room area for an interesting conversation piece.
ADD A POP OF COLOR
Update a space with a rich pop of color for fall. Pinks and greens are go-to colors for many but for a bold statement, incorporate rich reds in pillows, curtains or furnishings.
Fall’s staple color orange has been an accent color for years and now, it is coming into its own. For a daring change, try orange walls or flooring in your space.
Embrace the outdoors with a biophilic design in your home. Incorporate plants or highlight your garden area to bring the outdoors in.
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As warmer weather approaches, party planners start buzzing about outdoor entertaining. For many people, nothing can beat a springtime garden party, mid-summer poolside gathering, or early fall bonfire. With good planning and vision, your outdoor gathering can boast just as much luxury and style as any indoor soiree.
In general, the trend for outdoor entertaining in 2019 will be a blend of comfort and elegance, with well-designed outdoor spaces, thoughtful food and drink, and bursts of creative flair like unique flower arrangements or craft cocktails.
If you’re interested in incorporating some upcoming trends into your outdoor entertainment plans, here are some ideas to get you started:
JUST ADD FIRE
Attractive and functional fire pits are a popular choice for those who frequently entertain outdoors. Safer and more elegant than an open fire, the right fire pit can enhance your patio decor while providing a cozy spot for guests to gather. Outdoor dining tables with built-in fire pits combine functionality with comfort and fun, and fire pits can be found in many styles to match your taste. Toasting marshmallows can be a luxurious activity with specialty flavored marshmallows and whimsical skewers.
Sustainability is a trend across the board, and for outdoor entertaining that means sustainable decor and tableware. With more and more companies offering eco-friendly products, hosting a sustainable party can still be both elegant and tasteful. Melamine dishes come in a spectrum of colors and patterns and are perfect for outdoor dining. Try fun patterned paper straws instead of plastic ones. As a bonus, these alternatives feel much more luxurious than plastic.
Local food is a big part of the sustainability trend, and it fits right into the atmosphere of an eco-friendly outdoor gathering. Find a high-end catering company that sources local ingredients, and let your guests know where the food is coming from. From quality grass-fed steaks and locally caught fish on the grill to seasonal fruits blended into cocktails, sustainable food can elevate your festivities.
Adding color to outdoor spaces is an exciting trend for 2019 (no moregreige!), and what better way to embrace this concept than using Pantone’s Color of the Year? This year, the color is Living Coral, a mellow, uplifting shade. Try incorporating coral into your outdoor design with throw pillows, blankets, outdoor rugs, and tablecloths. You could even work it into your flower arrangements or cocktail recipes. Bold color choices are also trendy, so don’t be afraid to use colors that pop for your outdoor entertaining.
CREATIVE LIGHTING AND FLOWERS
Now that more extravagant lighting solutions are available and accessible, expect creative hosts to ramp up their lighting style when planning outdoor gatherings. Layered lighting, projections, and strong lighting statements are all ways to create an impressive atmosphere for outdoor entertaining.
Floral arrangements have moved beyond simple tabletop centerpieces and are often a striking piece of design in and of themselves. Monochromatic floral designs, flower ceilings, and unique plants like succulents will be gracing patios and gardens in 2019. If floral design is beyond your own comfort level as a host, hire a good local florist to help prepare for your outdoor parties.
Nothing enhances an outdoor gathering like the perfect cocktail. For outdoor entertaining in 2019, cocktails will have surprising ingredients – think turmeric or mushrooms. Locally-produced spirits (especially gin) will be a hot ingredient and educating guests with tastings and flights will be a highlight. Even mocktails will be elevated beyond the standard Shirley Temple as more sophisticated nonalcoholic mixers and recipes are available.
Whether you follow some of these trends or bring your own creative touches to your outdoor parties, this entertainment season is sure to be full of fun, comfort, and luxury.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Here’s an idea – Named the best city in the world by Travel + Leisure in both 2017 and 2018, the small town of San Miguel de Allende is revered around the world for its stunning architecture, incredible cuisine and peaceful lifestyle. Gaining attention from both retirees and expats, the city is becoming increasingly popular leaving many to wonder if home prices will increase over time. In this month’s Global Market Guide, we take an inside look at the current state and the predicted future of the luxury real estate market in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
Transactions in San Miguel are primarily done in cash, so many agents have found that it is easier to vet clients because they know that potential home owners are coming to the table prepared to buy.
Exclusive listings are prevalent among sellers in the market. Buyer representation is not dominant like it is in the United States although, there are agents in San Miguel de Allende that focus specifically on helping buyers throughout the transaction since the process is much different than in other parts of the world.
CURRENT HOUSING MARKET
Clients come to San Miguel for the high-end location, stunning views, pools and a relaxing quality of life. Recently, buyers in the area have been looking for homes with cleaner lines and contemporary design, which differ from the arches and Spanish colonial aesthetic that is dominant in the area.
There has been an influx of new construction just outside of the city within the past 5-7 years, and many luxury buyers have been attracted to these new developments. Traditionally buyers are interested in nearby attractions such as vineyard and equestrian offerings and several have been attracted to the mall and golf course near many of the new developments outside the city.
LUXURY BUYER PROFILE
Because San Miguel is a secondary market, where many buyers travel to purchase second and vacation homes, many buyers are often very clear on their preferences when purchasing a residence. These buyers are focused on harnessing the cultural experience with a level of sophistication.
CURRENT POLITICAL CLIMATE
Last year (2018) proved to be the best year on record for our member. Sales saw a significant decrease during the election, however following the election, when it was confirmed that the peso would not be affected, sales began to increase. Since the election prices in the area have remained steady and buyers are once again confident in the market.
GROWTH IN THE MARKET
Currently, San Miguel is seeing significant price improvement in the area, which our member predicts will stabilize the market for the next quarter. The demand for real estate is high in the area as more retirees and expats flock to the area.
Both culturally and artistically dynamic, the small city is protected by UNESCO preserving much of the original architecture and historically significant monuments that draw potential buyers to the area.
In mid-2018 local authorities temporarily blocked individuals from selling buying or remodeling properties until new regulations were set up to limit and preserve architecture in the area. Since then, new construction has remedied much of this and San Miguel de Allende continues to expand welcoming locals and foreign buyers alike.
Special thanks to our memberCDR Bienes San Miguel for providing their insights about the luxury market in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
Happiest Hour in Harwood District is hosting a free Big Game Watch Party in its downstairs lounge and lawn, and a VIP watch party upstairs on its covered patio. The free party will have beer tower specials and $5 off Team Happytizers. The VIP party, which costs $35, will have an all-you-can-eat buffet. Doors open at 4:30 p.m.
Checkered Past Winery in the Cedars has a Big Game Watch Party with lots of prizes and tasty bites. $25 tickets will get you access to the game day buffet, while $50 tickets also include tickets to win prizes and guaranteed seating. Doors open at 4:30 p.m.
Sports radio authority The Ticket is hosting a free Patriots vs. Rams watch party at The Bomb Factory on Sunday. Doors open at 3 p.m. and there will be food and drink specials all day. The venue’s giant screen always draws a crowd on game day, so reserve your spot here.
House of Blues has a watch party with two big screens, a live DJ, and discounted drinks and appetizers. Admission is free with RSVPbefore 4:30 p.m. and $5 between 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Three Links Super Chili Bowl IV is on Sunday, so you can watch the game on the big screen while judging an array of meaty stews. Matt Hillyer of Eleven Hundred Springs will also give a performance during the cook off. Doors open at 3 p.m. and admission is free.
If you want to enjoy a wide assortment of snacks during the Super Bowl, Legacy Hall’s watch party might be your best bet. The Plano food hall will have happy hour from 3 p.m. to the end of the game, and there are more than 20 food stalls to choose from.
Four Corners Brewing Co. starts its watch party at 2 p.m. with food from LUCK, trivia, and pregame festivities. Admission is free and doors open at noon.
White Rock Alehouse & Brewery has a Superb Owl Party with prizes and food and drink specials starting at 5 p.m.
Dot’s Hop House & Cocktail Courtyard is teaming up with Bumble for a Super Bowl viewing party starting at 5:30 p.m. Show your Bumble app for a free drink and Bumble merch.
Watch the game at Doc B’s and enjoy happy hour specials all day ($2 off bottled beer, $4 off draft beer, $5 off house spirits, $6 off wine and champagne).
Scout at The Statler’s watch party is all about the food deals. $1 wings, $1 sliders, $1 off draft beers, $5 wells, and $20 buckets of beer. Plus: ping pong, pool, and foosball.
Perle on Maple, the newly renovated bar inside The Stoneleigh Hotel, is offering $4 draft beers and discounted bar bites starting at noon.
Watch the game and play some bingo to win beer and prizes at On Rotation. Party starts at kickoff.
Noble Rey Brewing will have the game will be playing on all of the breweries TVs. Oh, and there’s a potluck (bring your favorite dip!), complimentary hot dogs, and plenty of beer.
Go to Stan’s Blue Note to nosh on half-priced food from 4:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. and enjoy happy hour specials from 4:30 until the end of the game.
Bonus: MUTTS Canine Cantina (for the Puppy Bowl): Bring your fur child to this dog park this Sunday from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. to watch the Puppy Bowl.