love.lauren

i love things. these are them.

November 30, 2016

places I love (NOLA).


when we were in college, my sister and I began a tradition of turning thanksgiving weekend into an adventure. it's taken us to the uk, nicaragua, joshua tree, nyc more times than I can count, & more. this year, we decided to meet halfway - which meant all signs pointed to a weekend in new orleans, LA. 

new to her (and only a work destination for me in the past), we arrived armed with no plans, but a giant list of all the food and cocktails imaginable. three days, a few breaks for football and jazz, + a food coma later, we made a pretty admirable dent in our list + enjoyed some of the best nola (maybe anywhere?) has to offer. if you visit, here are some of our favorites. 

stay.
naturally, we set up shop at the ace. it made our hip little hearts burst, and was in the perfect part of town. away from the chaos + totally walkable. 

drink. 
one of my favorite nights of the weekend, we headed out to bacchanal wine. adorable employees help you pick out a great bottle, you buy some meat and cheese, and you head out back. grab a bucket, some ice, and your own glassware, and pull up a chair on the twinkly patio to hear live music and relax. oh, and that meat + cheese you bought? it magically shows up turned into the best charcuterie platter you've ever had. 
stop by for the namesake drink at the classic, arnaud's french 75 bar
go for a spin at the carousel bar

eat. 
josephine estelle at the ace was hands down one of the best meals of my life. the snapper crudo was so good we went back the next night. and maybe the night after that. make it happen. no matter what. 
st. roch market is a great stop in the colorful bywater neighborhood. full of options (southern + otherwise). 
cane + table was perfect for fancy drinks and caribbean southern. 
do it up big and go for a white tablecloth french-southern breakfast at brennan's. the wallpaper alone is worth the trip.
dinner at sylvain
grab your treats at drip + willa jean

other favorites included a jazz show at historic preservation hall, a messy stop at cafe du monde, shopping at freda (we love the sister shop in marfa), dno, hattie sparks + krewe, wandering around the french quarter and the garden district, a self guided walking tour at lafayette cemetery no. 1, and a saints game at the super dome. 

new orleans, you're kinda dirty, quite intense, and an overload for all the senses. and I can't wait to come back. 


















































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October 17, 2016

places I love (mexico city).


hola! back in august with 6 days off and a passport to put to good use, a friend and I headed south of the border for six days in mexico city. I didn't know what to expect. everyone I mentioned the trip to gave me the same, quizzical look immediately followed by concern for our safety. sure, mexico city - in the past - has had a reputation. not one to shy away from a challenging location, off we were anyway - and those nervous pals couldn't have been more wrong. 

guys. mexico city was epic. very few cities I've been to compare. I loved it so, so much. 

I can't say enough good things about it. the food (whether by cart, perfect restaurant or abuela on a corner) was amazing. the people were all wonderful and warm and helpful. the traffic. okay - it was heinous. but uber drivers and an efficient metro system made it palatable

sprawling and crowded, with slight euro-vibes, mexico city has more museums than any other city in the world. we spent our days wandering memorable neighborhoods like roma and condesa, stopping for snacks or pulque or photos at every corner. we made friends out of strangers, marveled at the pink and yellow dreamscape that is casa luis barragan + took a street food tour that was one of the highlights of the adventure. 

mexico city, my friends, is a gem. I can't wait to go back and explore more. until then, here are some of my favorites (places, food stops, things to do, etc.) from a week well spent. 

hasta la próxima, DF. xo


places to stay. we divided our time between hotel carlota + chaya b&b. both were great (carlota is a newish hip hotel - c'mon, a clear cube for a pool? - with friendly staff and stark, but thoughtful rooms). it was chaya that stole my heart. perched on the rooftop of an old building, the 9 room oasis is beautiful and clever, and is a new favorite. 


all the food. of all the things I loved about the city, it was the food scene that stood out above anything else. 

lardo - the darling of the trip. so delicious we had TWO dinners here, tried it all + spent half our meals using hand signals and smiles to communicate with the pastry chef. 
buna - coffee. real good coffee. 
churreria el moro - a staple of every good traveler's instagram, this blue + white beaut that's been around forever is home to the best churros around. 
j & g grill - some would say an instagram shoutout to j&g's avocado pizza was the entire reason we went on this trip. it lived up to the hype. and I dream about it still. 
mercado roma - a fancy market of sorts, with counters serving up everything from paletas to pho. always crowded, but shoot for a spot in the beer garden! 
licoreria limantour - to be fair, we didn't eat here. but the cocktails are out of this world. wait for a seat at the tiny bar - it's worth it. 
lalo!  a colorful and playful spot where we had dinner (although we were told their breakfast is equally, if not more, epic). 
la faena - a cervecería, allegedly haunted by bullfighters. kitschy and perfect. 

things to do. hands down, my favorite day was the afternoon spent touring casa luis barragan. the home studio to mexico's famous architect, few places in the world have left me quite so inspired. another highlight was a street food tour with club tango hambre, a small outfit doing really, really cool things. four hours, seven (?) stops, an awesome tour guide, one fried ant and a lot of tacos later, we were unbelievably full and even more in love with the city. honorable mentions included a day trip (do the earliest one you can - it's HOT) to teotihuacan, a visit to the beautiful museo nacional de antropologia, and a sugary trip through pasteleria ideal to eye the mountains of cakes and sweets. 

shops. admittedly, we didn't do too much shopping (there was too much food to try!), but when we did, we loved it. get lost in the stalls of mercado de artesanias, stop by taxonomia in the carlota for the best of young mexico design, grab vintage at goodbye folk + new tunes at la roma records. just make sure you bring a bag big enough to cart home all your new treasures! 











 









































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