10 Accessible restaurants in the UK
10 Accessible restaurants in the UK
Subscribe 10 Accessible restaurants in the UK
In the UK you’re never too far from a restaurant whether you go, but how accessible are they? Global stairlift manufacturer, Acorn Stairlifts is on hand to list their top 10 most accessible restaurants in the UK. Check out what venues made the cut, which are listed in no particular order.
Mazala Zone Throughout London there are seven Masala Zone Restaurants to choose from, to tuck into delicious and genuine Indian cuisine served by fantastic staff within exciting interiors. All the key spices used in the dishes at this restaurant are picked from the best spice farms following India’s spice harvest and then shipped to the UK.
Since the first Masala Zone restaurant opened its doors in 2001, they have received so much praise. The Daily Telegraph has rated it among London’s best restaurants, the Evening Standard sees it as one of London’s six best Indian restaurants, and the Zagat London Restaurants Survey saw it voted as London’s Most Popular Restaurant Group.
Types of cuisine Indian Accessibility All the Masala Zone restaurants apart for Masala Zone Soho restaurant, provide wheelchair access and accessible toilets.
Locations Masale Zone can be found in seven locations in and around London: Masala Zone Bayswater
Address: 75 Bishops Bridge Road, London, W2 6BG
Monday to Friday: 12:30pm – 3:00pm, 5:30pm – 11:00pm
Saturday: 12:30pm – 11:00pm
Phone number: 02072 210 055 Masala Zone Camden Town
Address: 25 Parkway, London, NW1 7PG
Monday to Friday: 12:30pm – 3:00pm, 5:30pm – 11:00pm
Saturday: 12:30pm – 11:00pm
Phone number: 02072 674 422 Masala Zone Covent Garden
Address: 48 Floral Street, London, WC2E 9DA
Monday to Friday: 12:00pm – 11:00pm
Saturday: 12:30pm – 11:00pm
Phone number: 02073 790 101 Masala Zone Earls Court
Address: 147 Earls Court Road, London, SW5 9RQ
Monday to Friday: 12:30pm – 3:00pm, 5:30pm – 11:00pm
Saturday: 12:30pm – 11:00pm
Phone number: 02073 730 220 Masala Zone Islington
Address: 80 Upper Street, London, N1 0NU
Monday to Friday: 12:30pm – 3:00pm, 5:30pm – 11:00pm
Saturday: 12:30pm – 11:00pm
Phone number: 02073 593 399 Masala Zone Selfridges
Address: Garden Cafe 4 th Floor, Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, London, W1U 1AT
Monday to Saturday: 9:30am – 9:00pm
Sunday: 11:30pm – 4:00pm
Phone number: Not available, though restaurant can be emailed via email@example.com Masala Zone Soho
Address: 9 Marshall Street, London, W1F 7ER
Monday to Friday: 12:00pm – 11:00pm
Saturday: 12:30pm – 11:00pm
Phone number: 02072 879 966 Official website
Corse Lawn House Once you visit Corse Lawn House, you will quickly notice that the entire hotel resolves around various dining rooms situated within the site. The Kitchen is the place to head to when you’re after a delicious dish, with talented chef Martin Kinahan running the proceedings and producing wonderful food each day.
Everything from the bread to the canapes and the petit fours are made in the kitchen of Corse Lawn House, while local and sustainable produce is used with the help of the hotel’s loyal suppliers. As well as the food menu, be sure to check out the restaurant’s extensive wine list — it’s received awards from both the AA restaurant guide and the Good Food Guide!
Type of Cuisine Variety Accessibility The ground floor of the Corse Lawn hotel is where you will find the restaurant, bistro and toilets. There are no steps to enter building or anywhere on the ground floor either.
Address: Corse Lawn, Gloucestershire, GL19 4LZ
Monday to Saturday: 7:00pm – 9.30pm
Sunday: 12:00pm – 2:00pm, 7:00pm – 9.30pm
Phone number: 01452 780 771 Official website
L’Ortolan At the L’Ortolan, you’ll be able to enjoy a fine meal at the only Michelin Star Restaurant in Reading. Situated within an eye-catching Grade II listed building in the quiet village of Shinfield, you’ll enter the restaurant through a set of grand Gothic front doors and then be able to eat and drink within a luxurious and timeless setting.
The head chef Is currently Tom Clarke, who has been recognized by the Good Food Guide 2016 which they reviewed that “Clarke has brought some welcome freshness, invention and ‘focused flavours’ to proceedings’ and The Fine Dining Guide’s editor Simon Carter stating that “Tom’s cooking is impressive, showing technical adventure and accomplishment”.
Types of cuisine Variety Accessibility The staff at L’Ortalan do everything they can to accommodate everybody’s needs, with wheelchair access to the restaurant dining room. However, the staff are bound by various constraints within the Grade II listed building due to its historic construction and status. For instance, standard wheelchair access is unfortunately unavailable to the restaurant’s bathroom facilities. Location
Address: Church Lane, Shinfield, Reading, Berkshire, RG2 9BY
Tuesday to Saturday: 12:00pm – 2pm (last orders), 7:00pm – 9:00pm (last orders)
Phone number: 01189 888 500 Official website
Laurent At Royal London’s Hotel Café Royal had recently installed a new grill and sushi bar called Laurent at Café Royal. It’s run by the internationally renowned chef Laurent Tourondel, who has already set up successful restaurants in Miami, Florida; Charlotte, North Carolina; and New York.
The restaurant can be found on the first floor of Hotel Café Royal and offers diners the opportunity to sample the finest cuts of steak which are sourced from the British Isles, Japan, Australia, and the US. Fish, seafood, and obviously sushi are all on the menu too. Type of cuisine
Wheelchair access is available through the Laurent at Café Royal, and the Hotel Café Royal itself offers accessible rooms. Location
Address: 68 Regent Street, London, W1B 4DY
Monday to Sunday: 7:00am – 10:30pm
Phone number: 02074 063 310 Official website
Tharavadu Tharavadu takes pride on being home to Kerala Cuisine, offering guests the choice of a wide selection of vegetarian and non-vegatarian dishes that are prepared using fish, poultry, and read meat. What’s more, the chefs at Tharavadu were born and raised in Kerala — adding to the authenticity.
The restaurant is based in Leeds and has been named the Best Indian Restaurant at the Oliver awards three years in a row. It has also been recommended in the Michelin Restaurant Guide two years running and had positive feedback from The Walking Dead’s Andrew Lincoln saying that he “fell in love with this place” after dining there.
Type of cuisine
Head Chef – Versatile Consultancy
We are urgently hiring a ‘Head Chef’ for an upcoming Bar & Restaurant in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Designation: Head Chef Package: AED 15K plus Accommodation plus Transport plus Food Industry Preferred: Food & Beverage/ Restaurant Note: The candidate must have a standalone work experience at a Restaurant. The candidate must have a Modern Indian Background. Must have experience in preparing Indian/ Continental/ International Cuisines. He/ She must be able to do a creative fusion of International & Indian cuisines. Key Responsibilities: Overseeing Operations: Executive chefs oversee the daily operations of the staff and kitchen. Innovation: To be financially viable, an executive chef must create new menu items that reflect innovation. Direction: All kitchen staff are under the direction of the executive chef. Cultivating Business: Since responsible for culinary arts, executive chefs consider the needs and desires of the customers. Purchasing: Executive chefs are responsible for ordering ingredients and maintaining necessary inventory. Training and Education: Executive chefs hire, train, and educate new staff. Safety Regulations: All safety regulations must be enforced by the executive chef to ensure employee safety and restaurant cleanliness. Customer Satisfaction: Executive chefs ensure customer satisfaction and seek feedback on menu items. Maintaining Quality: To be successful, an executive chef must continually check the quality of the culinary product. Administrative Duties: Although an executive chef often focuses on the culinary aspects of the industry, the chef must also perform administrative duties. Skills
A perfect January trip
We just returned from our 17th visit (yes we are booked already for April thank goodness!) We did some things a little differently for us this time and it was an amazing trip as always. Travel: RDU-PHL-SXM on AA. All flights were on time and pleasurable. Even the return was smooth and efficient (Global Entry is the key there.) From SXM to AXA we flew AAS. This was our fourth round trip with them and all legs but one have always left earlier than scheduled once all passengers were there. I love that! I also love being whisked past the long lines via the transfer path. We don’t check bags so that helps. Accommodation: For the second time in all of our visits we chose a non beachfront Airbnb. Those oceanfront in season prices are just so high plus staying in a different area forces us to not be lazy beach slackers. This time we stayed in the Pool House at Eden House (“Swim, Sun, Fun” on Airbnb) in the George Hill/Little Harbor area. This little gem was so special I forgot I wasn’t oceanfront. We loved it very much and will definitely stay again. The location was perfect – 10 to 15 minutes from almost everyplace we wanted to be including our beloved Shoal Bay East. We rented a small car from Andy Connor and headed out each day with ease. Activities: We saw the Arch, the steps to nowhere, and revisited Shoal Bay West, Meads Bay , Rendezvous Bay, Maundays Bay, Sandy Ground, Crocus Bay, and of course Shoal Bay East (the most). We are not fans of Savannah Bay, Captains Bay, Mimi’s Bay, etc so we opted out of going to those. The water on Shoal Bay East was surprisingly calm and warm-ish for January so we spent a fair amount of time in the ocean. Our villa had chairs to use but we either used Gwen’s for free or rented from Jamal at Sunshine rentals in front of Uncle Ernie’s. Jamal’s loungers are the most comfortable we have experienced in Anguilla and for $10 you get two loungers and large umbrella. His are the red umbrellas if you go to that section of SBE. We alternated paying the $5 to park in that area with parking for free at Gwen’s and enjoying that section of SBE. On this visit we also fell more in love with Sandy Ground. The water there was the calmest, clearest, and warmest of all. Water at the other beaches mentioned was rough when we visited, including Maundays. Meads was the worst on the day we went. Eating and drinking: We tried several new places this time and revisited old favorites. The highlights (in no order)…. Sharky’s – we loved the cozy front porch setting and the lobster cakes were to die for. The rest of our meals were fantastic (pork tenderloin for me, whole snapper for others) but lobster cake is what will make me return. Good Korma on the strip – excellent British-Indian cuisine which you can takeaway or eat there. We chose to eat there to enjoy the relaxed, local vibe of the strip and had a great time. Ember – amazing view and delicious food. Not that expensive considering the gorgeous setting and excellent food by Marc Alvarez. Great wine selection also. We both had the grilled tuna and shared the shiitake mushroom “snacky bit”. Kens BBQ – it’s everything people say it is… great tasting and cheap. Roy’s Bayside Grill – absolutely fantastic breakfasts with intoxicating view. I am sure everything else is good to but breakfast was our choice and I took a million pictures from our table every single time. SandBar – for the varied choices, the excellent tastes, the romantic view, and price point, SandBar remains my top pick for a special night out. I especially love the zucchini carpaccio and tuna poke. Madeariman – Has always been our go-to and still is. I had a delicious blackened snapper filet one night, coconut shrimp on another, and of course pizza. We love being there when Darvin plays and we also love breakfast there. Gwen’s – lunch at Gwen’s is a tradition as well as Sunday music. I don’t think any chicken and ribs beat Taps. Falcon Nest – is it the fish or the sauce we love? It’s the sauce. And the Island Harbor setting. Food from Falcon Nest and beer from Everett’s make for a great Friday night. Waves – cold beer, friendly service, and great view watching waves crash on Meads Bay (hence the name I guess.) Uncle Ernie’s – We were so glad to see this reopened under Madeariman management. The menu is still being worked out but I had a delicious cheeseburger with rice and peas. We went to more places but the above were my favorites. Shopping: Bracelets and anklets from Beverly, necklaces from Michael, Anguilla colored bead bracelets from Aunt Bea, Hand painted necklace by a local artist at Madeariman, T-shirts and hats from Raymond, Hank’s, and Beach Happy. Wine and grocery items from Albert Lake Wholesale and Syds. Missed going to Limin Boutique and Irie Life this time but certainly spread the money among the lovely beach vendors. Low points: Having to leave, of course. And also overhearing a British man filming a travel documentary mispronounce Anguilla and then say to the camera “it’s not my favorite island”’while standing in the stunning SBE water. I wanted to splash him in the face and tell him he at least had a responsibility to learn how to pronounce where he was. I managed to maintain self control though. For next time: Sandy Island . We intended to go this trip but time got away from us. We still have not been to Little Bay either. It’s always nice to have something on a future list. Parting thoughts: It’s the people. From old friends to new acquaintances, Anguilla for me is all about the strength, grace, intelligence, humor, and kindness I have seen in locals. Each visit I learn more about myself and the kind of person I want to be because of the people I have met here and what they have accomplished. Bonuses of course are the gorgeous beaches, fantastic local chefs as well as non local chefs, and the truest beach shacks in the Caribbean . Thank you, Anguilla. See you again soon.
Have food retailers succeeded in bringing that taste from ‘back home’
How far can you go to satisfy your craving for authentic food that carries the flavour and aroma you associate with your home town? With the ever increasing tide of people moving away from their home town/state in search of career opportunities, we are all very familiar with the trend of people carrying food items with them from their ‘janambhumi’ to their ‘karambhumi’.
If one were to scan the check-in luggage of millions of passengers criss- crossing across the country, it would not be far-fetched to say that ready-to-eat delicacies and ingredients to prepare region-specific food would be a common thread across many a luggage. Once would find panchphoron of Bengal and Odisha to Byadige chilli of Karnataka to masalas for chicken of Tamil Nadu or a galouti kebab of Uttar Pradesh to the perfect Singdana from Gujarat to bamboo shoots from Nagaland.
Retailers have tried to latch on to this trend, though in spurts. As a retailer, I have seen various chains conduct ‘rice melas’ carrying Sona masoori from Karnataka, Kolam from Maharashtra, Gobind-bhog from Bengal, Ponni from Tamil Nadu, red matta from Kerala or ‘mango melas’ with the Andhra Banganapalli , Karnataka Badami, Maharashtra Apus, Gujarati Kesar, UP’s Dussheri and Langra, Chaunsa from Himachal. There have been instances where a retailer like the erstwhile ‘Total Hypermarket’ tried to build and call out region specific sections.
SPAR hypermarket also has attempted to offer regional based food items to its customers. However, the effort has been largely to integrate some region-specific ingredients, say, masalas in the overall category section. There has been no separate segregation.
Browsing through the store or online site of a specialty store like Nature’s Basket showed me a wide selection of world cuisine from a tahini to a tabouleh to a tempura. There was a very thoughtfully laid out “international cuisine’ section, which had Mexican, Italian, Middle- Eastern to Japanese essentials.
But I found only Indian groceries section; no sections devoted to Bengali, Gujarati, Malayalee or Goanese cuisine. Considering the large number of organised retail chains, it is surprising why most, if not all retailers are yet to pick up this obvious need gap in the food assortment.
Even large chains like Big Bazaar , MORE , Reliance have not done justice to food assortment reflecting regional variations in an organised manner. There have been sporadic attempts in the past across various chains where, say, a store in Mangalore gets one or two bays dedicated for Mangalorean local food. But why do we not have our big retailers do something that our counterparts across the world do routinely, i.e., dedicate and demarcate a clear space for culinary specifics?
In Singapore, hypermarkets clearly call out country-specific sections. Considering the amazing diversity and variation in food preference seen in a country like India, it makes more sense to do so here.
On speaking to practitioners in the F&G sector, everyone acknowledged this need gap and agreed that a section catering to region-specific products definitely is an idea whose time has come. They mentioned supply chain bottlenecks as one of the reasons why this concept has not been pursued. There is a lot of effort, time and money that needs to be invested in a venture like this, where the retailer needs to deploy resources. They will have to go across the country, speaking to small stores/ brands, which are big in their native regions. These stores/ brands need to be explained the concept, the organized retail model and the trading terms, which are not the easiest, I must admit! Supplies need to flow seamlessly through, which has proved to be a hurdle. A lot of small players cannot handle the large volumes that come with a big organized player. Neither can they handle the stiff terms and credit period required. Unless there is a mutual advantage and quick volumes seen on either side, one party loses interest and the project fizzles out and this is precisely what has happened in a lot of cases, as per industry feedback. Another perspective is the fact that with scale comes centralization and SOPs, which are inimical to creativity, localization and decision making at operational levels.
Large retail chains have decision makers at head offices who may or may not be aware of regional variations and who will more often than not adapt cookie cutter approaches for ease of implementation. Concepts like these get sacrificed at the altar of standardization. While the Goliaths had their version of the story, let us see it from the perspective of the Davids, the smaller kirana store players.
The Kirana Way
Local kirana shops, on the other hand, have always tried to cater to increasing diversity of their clientele by bringing regional flavours. Online players have gone further and put forth curated items from across India. Bangalore, two decades ago, had packed ‘panchphoron’ in kirana shops. Over the years, there have been similar instances where people in Bangalore swear by the friendly neighbourhood store which makes sure specific needs are met for people who live around it, whether it is for products from the Northeast or Kerala or even Dubai.
Maybe this customisation and catering to customer needs is what sets apart the kirana stores from their more ‘organized’ counterparts and is a reason behind their seeming success. When organized food retail started proliferating first in 2001 with Big Bazaar and then in 2006 with Reliance, there were concerns about local kirana stores being wiped out of business. Many a protest across States like UP, Odisha, Bengal and Kerala were held over this issue.
More than a decade later, the kirana story is not only visible but has gone from strength to strength. But then, that is a story for another day.
The Online Version
A quick search revealed that online players definitely have an edge over physical stores in this story. There are two very interesting sites which cater to regional tastes and preferences. While one cannot comment on the quality and service of these sites, the thought behind the assortment and the width of the offering on the site was definitely impressive.
The first site is ‘Place of Origin’, which sells sweets, snacks, dry fruits and grocery items across 100 brands and 20 States. The website’s objective as stated in the site is: “At PlaceofOrigin.in, our objective is to bring online all those special foods that you crave the most and that are difficult to find locally.”
Browsing through this site, you will be amazed at the curated selection. It had in its menu ‘place of origin’ food ranging from Karnataka, Kerala to Uttarakhand, J&K to Mizoram and Jodhpur. The brands included a Mukhrochak from Bengal to a Shreedas Barfiwala from Nadiad, Gujarat. Products ranged from Bansiwala mathri from Agra to Balram Mullick nolen gur sandesh or a Maganlal chikki from Lonavla.
The grocery product portfolio includes perilla seeds from Aizwal, sukhi fali from Jodhpur, anardana from Ranikhet, among others. While there’s a lot left to be desired, it is at least a good beginning. The categories have been created; now the products need to be filled!
The second interesting site that caught my fancy is called “Flavors of my City”. This is yet another site based on the same concept.
Here one can shop by store and choose a Chitale Bandhu from Pune, Ganguram from Kolkata, Makaibari from Darjeeling or a Pracheen Petha from Agra. A customer gets a mind boggling 100-city choice, ranging from a little known ones like Salepur, Odisha to Virudhunagar, Tamil Nadu, to mega cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore. So the ‘smaller’ kirana store players and niche online players definitely seem to have given a thought to this screaming gap in the market and have taken concrete steps to address it.
One wonders when larger organized players will wake up to this need for personalisation.
Former Saveur editor James Oseland found punk-rock salvation in 1970s San Francisco
Former Saveur editor James Oseland found punk-rock salvation in 1970s San Francisco By John Birdsall Feb 05, 2019 | 2:55 PM An author photo of James Oseland for his book “Jimmy Neurosis.” (James Roper)
There are no more than half a dozen 24-hour eating places left in San Francisco. In the late 1970s tweaked-out art kids, mohawked punks, off-the-meter cabbies and Castro clones in leather angled for counter stools in diners all across a city where rebelliousness and reinvention ruled; these days in SF, everyone has to get up early to board two-story tech buses bound for jobs in Silicon Valley. But the Pinecrest, an all-night diner open since 1969 at the margin of Tenderloin and tourism, is a survivor.
This morning vacationers and a few construction workers mob the host stand. James Oseland and I are in dubious luck: There’s an open booth in back, near a down stairwell whose walls are a sickly shade of mint. The basement belches up sour vapors laced with bathroom cleaner, but for 57-year-old Oseland — 40 years ago, he was one of those arty queer kids who found punk-rock salvation in San Francisco — it’s all good. He’s just as much of a survivor as the Pinecrest. This is his sweet spot.
Outside food media, Oseland is known as the balding, nerdish and kinetic head judge on all five seasons of Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” (the series went dark in 2013). Inside he’s a legend. As editor in chief, Oseland made Saveur magazine into a photojournalistic exploration of global cuisine. His 2006 book “Cradle of Flavor,” on the cooking of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, won a James Beard Award. Nowadays he splits his time between New York and Mexico City, where he’s getting ready to launch “World Food,” a cookbook series for Ten Speed/Penguin Random House.
Oseland says the project focuses on “the authentic, thriving, traditional food cultures of the world’s greatest food places.” (The first two volumes, scheduled for release in 2020, cover Paris and Mexico City.) And in February, Ecco/HarperCollins releases Oseland’s personal memoir, “Jimmy Neurosis,” following three years in the author’s life as a teen, from 1977 through 1980. It’s naked, and raw in places. Oseland spent eight years writing it, and says the way it peels open a difficult and crucial period in his life makes him feel very, very vulnerable. It’s not about tacos or baguettes.
“Jimmy Neurosis” traces Oseland’s journey from bullied and blindly thrashing gay teen to becoming an artist learning film and photography at the San Francisco Art Institute. Its outline is that of the standard bildungsroman, but Oseland’s path to art has the peculiar texture of queerness in the time before AIDS , and the swirling anarchy of San Francisco’s early punk-rock scene: a portrait of the artist as a young gay man in the mosh pit.
After his father essentially abandons them, Oseland and his mother find themselves in an apartment in San Carlos, a suburb halfway between San Jose and San Francisco where the blandness is toxic. Soon, the underage Oseland is sneaking away on the bus north to the city, where he discovers art film houses, sex with older guys and shows at places like the Mabuhay Gardens, a Filipino restaurant that converts to a punk club after hours. Meanwhile, Oseland struggles with an obsessive-compulsive disorder that gets harder to hide.
The Pinecrest server is tall and blond and has a Sally Struthers perm. She’s tough and sounds Russian (maybe Polish), and Oseland, who shows flashes of John Waters–grade wickedness, loves her. “Amazing, amazing, amazing,” he says, after she drops off plates of scrambled eggs and toast. “That’s three amazings. She’s like a reality show of some part of the world that I want to go. It’s just so brilliant.” But as we start to talk about his book, he turns serious. A book jacket of “Jimmy Neurosis.” by James Oseland. Credit: Ecco Ecco
I read “Jimmy Neurosis” partly with an ear to find clues about the genesis of your food life. When it does appear, food is very much about discovering a world that is not San Carlos: a peeling back of the skin of the world you’ve been forced into, and finding delight in unexpected places. Was food in any part of your mind as you were writing?
Through the period in my life I depict in the book, the enjoyment of food was not at the center. After our family imploded, heavy matter and a lot of dust were falling for a few years. It wasn’t a time for seeking out fine olive oils from artisanal producers, we were just trying to get through. Really, it’s an attempt to tell the story of a young gay person’s life, and it’s one not told very often. I was a teenager when being gay wasn’t something looked upon very positively, and not only did I survive but I thrived. And also I had a really interesting time of it, too, and I wanted to document that. The lead character — me — who didn’t have a lot of opportunities, threw himself out into the world and learned some things. The time period during which I was a young gay man, which happened to be in the late 1970s (and in San Francisco, a kind of epicenter of gay consciousness in the United States), I felt it wasn’t well documented. And I felt a compulsion to do my best to encapsulate what that time period was about, not only for me as a young man discovering himself, but for historical events, including the murder of Harvey Milk and the White Night riot.
The way LGBTQ history is told now tends to be very canonical. It’s settled into a kind of normative story of gay pride: there were the bad old days, then there was Stonewall, then we all marched to freedom …
The story line is not so simple, is it? And this was also a time before AIDS, which in the 1980s completely recontextualized what it was to be a gay American. Everybody’s worst nightmare actually came true.
Were you involved with ACT UP or Queer Nation after the events of the book?
I was involved with an AIDS health service organization in Los Angeles — during the heights of the AIDS deaths, that’s where I lived. I lost a lot of people, probably about a third of the people I knew, including lovers and my best friend ever, who appears at the end of “Jimmy Neurosis.” And I was an active part of many people’s deaths, many more than any young person should have to go through. But you go through what you have to. In a way I realize I’m still recovering from the post-traumatic stress of a number of things that happened in the timeline of “Jimmy Neurosis,” and then a few years after that during the AIDS pandemic.
There was a lot of violence and trauma inflicted on the gay community when we started to express ourselves publicly in the late ’70s. It was a way of controlling us, of trying to make us afraid to come out and be visible. All those stories in the SF queer press at the time about attacks and murders: It felt like the systematic terrorizing of a population.
A hundred percent, it was a form of terrorism.
Maybe because AIDS came right after it, we sort of shrugged off the trauma and moved on. I don’t think we’ve really been able to absorb it all and grieve the way we should have.
But we do overcome. We do get better, and we do make progress. I believe that. I’m eternally an optimist. I think that’s clear by the character presented in “Jimmy Neurosis,” because boy, does he get kicked down often, but each time he stands back up. He dusts himself off, no matter how hard or how deeply he’s fallen. He might have to put on a new pair of pants because this one got ripped up by gay bashers, but I think the story I tried to tell is of someone who doesn’t just sit in bed and think about every terrible thing that’s happened to him, but instead sneaks out of the house and goes cruising in the forest at night without a flashlight. We all have our own version of that, and I think it’s a miraculous thing. An early photo of James Oseland in a look back on his years as “Jimmy Neurosis.” From James Oseland
Certainly that’s the personality of the artist: to use everything, including really painful things, and create something, to turn it all into expression.
Even more than being an artist, it’s being a person who’s curious. And I think the character in the book (which is very different from the one I am now) is somebody who’s very curious, and that curiosity becomes a useful tool for diving headfirst into the world.
And obviously, that curiosity has really informed your pursuit of food — food and the world.
Fully, it’s what it is. That’s what I do.
How do you see the food media landscape these days, the legacy cooking magazines? Do you see a decline in these times of struggling revenue?
I see a diffraction in food media that concerns me. Forgive me if I sound a little old fashioned, but curators — people who’ve been at it for decades — have things to tell us still. Like the boy described in “Jimmy Neurosis,” we’re all hungry to know more, and we need guides, like the Indian food writer Madhur Jaffrey, for instance, to get us to our finest level of knowledge. We also need to get out and travel and break away from Yelp ’s Top 20, to not know where we’re going to end up for dinner. It might be a mediocre dining experience or it might be a life-changing one, but being trapped inside a Yelp Top 20 review isn’t going to take anyone there. We’ve all got to find our own inner Jimmy Neurosis and just get out there. That’s what makes amazing experiences. Be the first to comment Hide Comments
Mile 0, Year 2
“It takes a lot of damn work to get down here…it ain’t easy…and I say that as someone getting paid to be here! So, I truly appreciate each and every one of you for spending your money and time to be here with me. It ain’t easy, but it’s worth it…right friends?” – Jack Ingram
Pirates and poets. Miscreants and misfits. Vacationers and locals. Key West is a haven for just about everyone. Heading into year 2, Mile 0 Fest and Oh Wook! Productions have created a destination for fans of this music with an environment second to none. Want a loud rock show? You got it. Want an intimate storyteller show in a historic theater? You got it. Want a songswap next to the ocean? You got it. Want a sunset cruise on a boat while being serenaded by your favorite songwriter? You got it. Add in the built in tourist infrastructure of Key West and it simply can’t be beat. There are more than ample hotels, bars, restaurants, good times, adventures and misadventures to be had.
In year one, none of us knew what we were getting into. Not the fans. Not the bands. Not the locals who had agreed to let us all invade their precious island. And most certainly of all, the organizers. It was a calculated gamble. That gamble paid off in spades in 2018 and set high expectations for 2019. Thankfully, I am happy to report that those expectations were met and even exceeded in some cases. This year featured more music, more stages, more opportunities and more people.
I learned a lot from my first trip to the Keys. For as long as I can remember, Hemingway and Buffett were cultural beacons in my development. The idea of literate escapism in a paradise that is still part of the lower 48 seemed like the coolest thing ever. Then, I got to see it up close and realize that yes…it is as cool as it seems. Add in some of my favorite bands, friends and people and it’s a pure home run of existential fulfillment.
Traveling to Key West is a mission oriented process. There are flights that connect direct into the picturesque and tiny Key West airport. Last year, was an aforementioned gamble so we chose a shuttle service from the Miami airport. A shuttle that I detailed at length in last year’s wrap up. A shuttle full of boisterous young songwriters headed to the festival with Corn Nuts and hangovers. We again decided to skip that direct flight in and rent a car so that I could drive down US 1 to the strains of Buffett et al. It was a therapeutic end to a long day of travel. Unfortunately, we had missed the giant Shinyribs kick-off party that included a shutdown show on Duval. No artist embodies Key West’s spirit of unpredictability and variety quite like Shinyribs. Shutting down Duval for him was a genius move from the Oh Wook team. It would have been great to see him also play on the Amphitheater stage later in the week, but cool is cool. Since we arrived a day after that massive party, we hit the ground running around like a hamster on a wheel. A hamster that had been doused in Yuengling and hadn’t slept in 24 hours that was dropped into a rave.
We turned in our rental car at the airport and headed for check in. I dropped my bags at the hotel and we sprinted to the Amphitheater. Fun fact, Key West’s main mode of travel is walking. A healthy business exists to rent you a golf cart, ATV, scooter or bike…but if you make your accommodation reservations in the proper location you never have to get off your own two feet unless you just want to. The only vehicle I was in all week was an Uber from the airport and an Uber to the airport. Lots of my friends whizzed past us on tricked out golf carts and those can be a blast. But, make sure you check into the parking situations of where you’re headed. I saw some towed, some ticketed, some stolen etc. The festival folks did an amazing job shuttling the artists between venues and their runners had white vans buzzing all over the island. Nobody missed a showtime, save for Jack Ingram at the Charlie Robison tribute…but we’ll get to that later.
I hit the Amphitheater just in time to hear Mike McClure and The Great Divide bend into the strains of that unmistakable time period of Break in the Storm. Multiple rushed introductions and conversations led me to discover that the lay of the Amp land was much the same as last year save for some new wrinkles. The most noticeable and effective was the wristband scanning system to make sure each armband stayed in its assigned area. This saves some p/t security person from discerning whether you need to go to the bar on the right or the bar on the left and keeps a line from building up. Again, one of the best things about the festival is that it is not oversold. Even at its fullest, you can move around and get as close or as far away from the action as you want. This was a fear of many going into this year and I can attest that it felt as free and vibey as the inaugural year despite an increase in attendance.
Mike McClure is as important to everything that has happened and continues to happen in this music scene as anyone. His influence can be felt everywhere. He turned so many folks onto this scene with the Great Divide and then used his solo and production work to expand the audience’s parameters of what this music could be. It could be Townes AND Neil Young. It could be Guthrie AND Zeppelin. Want to wear a pearl snap and cowboy hat? Go for it, but you could also hit the stage in the same clothes you wore in the van ride down…and have it be cooler. Mac is a legend for a reason.
The legend theme was one that would permeate the night as following TGD was the duo of Jack Ingram and Bruce Robison. Jack and Bruce set about performing an Unleasehd-style set minus Charlie. They were backed by a crack band featuring Brother Pete Coatney on drums, Scott Davis on lead guitar, Jon Michael Schoepf on bass and Geoff Queen on steel/everything. It was an impressive display of knowing showmanship and class. Jack’s always been one of the most electric performers anywhere and Bruce’s understated intensity was a nice match. The night was chillier than normal in Key West and Jack rocked the entire set in a black leather jacket and freshly shorn head complete with vintage Adidas on his feet. It was a rock star move for a rock star moment. His name is Jack Ingram and he plays country music. He also took the baton to become the mascot of this festival. He was everywhere. In the crowd. Onstage. On Duval. On the beach. At the pool. At the bar. On a golf cart. Walking past. I don’t think he slept more than 90 minutes a night. He lived it up and rocked the island. And it all started with this boisterous set alongside Bruce. They played each song you’d expect and a few you wouldn’t have. Much like when, in a nod to Charlie’s absence, they launched into “My Hometown”.
Raul Malo and The Mavericks closed out the mainstage on this night and they were triumphantly funky, eclectic and great. Malo’s voice never quite soared like it does on the records, but the performance was a damn good time. It was energetic and upbeat even in the most intimate of moments. The Mavs had the entire place dancing with Latin grooves on top of country standards. The guitarwork of Eddie Perez was a definitive standout during this set.
As the Amp closed down on night 1, most folks headed to Corb Lund at Irish Kevin’s. We ambled to Smokin’ Tuna. It’s become our favorite bar in the Keys, shoutout to Jerry the bartender (he’s the best), and we wanted to take in a set from River Jam alum Garrett Bryan. Few young artists are as dynamic as Bryan. His ability to move between piano and guitar is reminiscent of John Fullbright. The intensity with which he performs is palpable. He had the Tuna packed and rocking. I tried my best to fight through to the super late night sets happening elsewhere, but when GB was done…so was I. I scooted up the street to grab some much needed sleep.
Garrett and his crew had been tasked with Day 2 of our GW Instagram takeover. Kelley Mickwee started the fun on Tuesday and set a high bar of performance, relaxation and place-setting. GB took it next level. Going live, showing the island, hitting other shows. The amount of content he cranked out was a sheer miracle. The template had been created for the rest of the week.
The loud beep was followed by a Siri-like monotone that said “WARNING- CARBON MONOXIDE!”. The noise and phrase repeated itself every 3 seconds or so. An unwelcome disruption to some very welcome sleep. Once I realized what the alarm was saying, I was concerned that we had narrowly escaped death in Key West. We alerted hotel staff and within minutes, hotel maintenance man Steve was on the scene. White hair, wrinkles the size and frequency of which only come from working hard labor ears in the sun, and a knowing smile. His glasses rested on the end of his nose like readers, but these were to see far away. You could tell Steve just wanted to get this problem solved and get back to his cigarette and Key West life. He immediately assuaged our fears and said it was just a faulty alarm. That if it was actual CO2, we’d have heard at least 3 alarms…and maybe nothing at all because it would have killed us. The latter portion of his statement was punctuated with a throaty laugh that hinted at perhaps a New England past.
Alarm problems solved, Steve back to his cigarette, we immediately headed out for breakfast. When you’re in Key West, there are numerous options for anything. The only thing I’ve come to love more than the music and vibe is the food. Key West cuisine is special. And the most special place I’ve come across is Blue Heaven. It’s pure Key West and combines the best of island influence with traditional American fare all delivered in a uniquely Key West venue. Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s are the main options for drinks before 2pm. Coffee is more often than not going to come with Bailey’s instead of Sweet N’ Low. You can build your own omelettes with fresh seafood like lobster. But, the true calling card may just be the homemade banana bread that comes with each plate. Needless to say, Blue Heaven fueled me up and made me forget all about the loud alarm that had rustled me from my sleep.
I was in no hurry to get into the groove. Key West and Mile 0 are the type of things you have to ease into. This day was going to provide quite the complex decision making. The scheduling gods had created a situation where if you were a couple you were playing at this time somewhere. Courtney Patton and Jason Eady; Kaitlinn Butts and Cleto Cordero, and Walt and Tina Wilkins were all performing simultaneously across the island. Where do you start? Where do you finish? How do you fit in this day’s Intsagram takeover artist? A good festival problem to have. Throw Kylie Rae Harris’ same time set in the mix and you have 7 artists hitting the stage all at once. We tweeted about this conundrum and KRH suggested she was the 7th wheel to all these couples…and a challenge was born. The 7th Wheel Challenge. Here’s what we decided to do. Hit all of the shows for at least 15-20 minutes. That’s just what we did.
Starting at Cleto and Kaitlinn in the courtyard of a historic hotel Papa’s Pillar, situated next to the ocean and in full view of a boss swimming pool, this duo tour through the song after song. A standout moment was Cleto’s acoustic rendering of the new Flatland Cavalry song “Old School Look Cool”. After six songs or so, we crossed the street and made the short walk across the white sandy beach to hear CP and Eady at the Southernmost Resort beach. A large crowd took in the songs from this fantastic duo as Adam Hood stood sidestage and waited his turn to join in on the fun. Picturesque views joined in with stone cold country from the Eady’s. After 30 minutes of this we bounded down the street to hit up the Viva Saloon. The quick 5 minute jaunts are made even more enjoyable with any number of island-flavored cocktails. We arrived at Viva in time to hear Kylie Rae belt out a couple new tunes from her upcoming album. Then, we were off again. Making our way all the way to the opposite end of Duval and Durty Harry’s where Walt Wilkins was making music with his lovely bride Tina. Durty Harry’s is an interesting venue. It’s got a cool vibe with a second level viewing area and two long bars. Walt spent as much time looking up at the crowd gathered above as he did gazing at the one directly below him. The songs of Kevin Welch and Kristofferson flowed alongside the gems from the pen of Wilkins. Tina accompanied in the way that only she can by injecting harmony, humor and a big smile to every proceeding. As Walt wrapped up his set, he mentioned “It’s now my day off, I’m going to spend it drinking and hanging with you all. Cheers friends!”
Walt Wilkins’ toast was still ringing in our ears when we noticed it was time for Shane Smith and the Saints set to start at the Amp. We hustled, still on our feet, over to Truman just in time to catch the set start. Smith and the band tore through their hits and several new songs that had the early sunbaked crowd bouncing along to the Celtic beats and in a frenzy of solar elation. This band is poised to get even bigger with the release of this next record and their live show is already at arena-filling status. Smith gave praise to The Turnpike Troubadours for helping them break into new markets throughout the midwest and honored Charley Crockett, whose spot they were filling.
Our afternoon of chasing music wasn’t complete yet. We bounded back over to Duval to catch Todd Snider at the Theater. We snagged a couple of the last seats remaining at the standing room only show. Todd came out, surprisingly on time, and went into many of his classic yarns, jokes and songs. Some I’d heard many times, others were new. As I said on Twitter, seeing Todd Snider is like seeing your favorite comedian. You know the bits and punchlines, but when you hear them delivered live it’s funnier than the first time you ever heard it. Snider’s delivery and songs filled the fancy room with folk debauchery.
It’s hard to keep a schedule in Key West, but it is mandated when you have so much music to absorb. So, we made a break to grab some grub and fuel up before Stoney LaRue hit the mainstage. Dinner took longer than expected, which would normally be reason to uproar. However, the food in Key West is immaculate. We were at a seafood joint enjoying crabs, oysters and fresh shrimp with Yuengling piled on top. If you’re in Key West, it’s your duty to try as much of all the fresh seafood as you can stomach. And maybe even more. Living like Buffett isn’t great for the wasteline, but it is good for the soul.
As we ambled up Southard St, and were about 500 yards away from the Amp we began to hear the familiar strains of “Oklahoma Breakdown” and we knew we had made it just in time. Along the way we passed a neighborhood group of locals sitting on their porches marveling at all the crazy Texans strolling through their burg. It reminded me of hearing a local door guy spot a cowboy hat coming into his bar and remark “Oh, another cowboy hat…you must be hear for that country music festivus.” Country music festivus indeed.
Todd was from southern Oklahoma. He left his wife and young son back home to come out here for a guy’s trip. But, the guys bailed on him. He rolled the dice and came alone, confident he would find some like minded folks to party with. Todd was a tall guy with a mouthful of the whitest teeth I’ve ever seen. He made friends easily. The type with natural small talk skills and the hyperbolic stories to inject them with enough juice to keep people actually listening. I chatted him up in the beer line after hearing him tell his story to the bartender. He was sporting his faded Turnpike Troubadours shirt. You know the one. The blue one with the red and white lettering and the font busting out of the shape of the country. Patriotic to the core. Todd said he was wearing the shirt because he loved the band, and that as a good Oklahoman he had to do with Cody Canada asked him to do. Cody had made a plea earlier in the week for everyone to wear their Turnpike gear and support the band in spirit. Todd and hundreds of others obliged. When I asked him if he was upset that Turnpike wasn’t here, he said “Naw man…Evan’s got to figure himself out before I try to figure him out. I’m just here to have a good time and show my support while rocking out to some Ragweed and Aquarium.” And that was pretty much the vibe from the crowd and stage all of Thursday night.
The spectre of Turnpike’s absence hung over the event like an albatross and it could’ve been disastrous for the vibe if the bands hadn’t set the tone and the fans followed them. Cody Canada bounded onstage and while still showing the effects of his recent vocal issues, ripped through hits old and new. He seemed completely happy and at ease. Joyfully playing old Ragweed songs alongside newer stuff. He thanked festival co-founder Kyle Carter for beating him in a battle of the bands as kids. He brought out Jamie Lin Wilson to sing with Jeremy Plato. Stoney LaRue and some Red Dirt Rangers sang about rolling their joints all wrong in a flashback to festivals of yore when one of the biggest highlights was seeing what new verses guys and gals would create. (ed. Note at Mile 0, Stoney sang the one about an 8 foot bong).
Thus, the stage was set for American Aquarium. BJ Barham and his (relatively) new gang of rabble-rousers were primed to showcase their stuff in an extended set. The crowd was pumped and the adrenaline coursed through Barham’s veins as he sang his rock n’ roll heartache to the masses. In a set of monumental moments, perhaps none was greater than when Barham was joined by Wilson and John Fullbright for a rousing rendition of Turnpike Troubadours “Every Girl”. The cover came after a lengthy dialogue from Barham addressing what Turnpike has meant to him, his band and this music. He also expanded to talk about addiction and how to support folks in times like this. “ If you call yourself a fan, and call yourself a member of somebody’s family and you do not support them at their lowest times, you are a piece of shit. That’s the easiest way I can say it,” Barham said.
After the heavy, rollicking nature of the Truman Amphitheater nightcap, we again hoofed it over to Smokin’ Tuna. Jerry wasn’t working, but each member of that barstaff was impressive in their own way. And the crew on shift this night was no different. We ordered something tropical and set about finding a spot to see the stage. The problem was, Ray Wylie Hubbard was going to be playing soon and about a thousand other people had the same idea. The door was 1 in, 1 out. Across Duval, Jamie Lin was setting up her Jamboree and down the street, Mike and the Moonpies were setting up to play a joint called Cowboy Bill’s. Like most of the festival, this opportunity presented a little something for everyone. Ray’s downhome grooves, Jamie’s jam session and the Moonpies playing honky-tonk in a place akin to the LaGrange chicken ranch. You could not go wrong any way you turned. We ended up dropping in on all 3, but staying at Irish Kevin’s the longest to watch everything unfold.
Jack Ingram would soon take the Tuna stage after RWH for one more nightcap. Jack is a legend. The first time I ever saw him play, he wore corduroy pants in a honky-tonk dive bar. The man does what he wants and has the personality to pull it off. He can be dangerous and elusive or warm and engaging. Sometimes all in the same 5 minute span. At Mile 0 Jack has become a leader. He’s at everyone’s shows. He’s all over Duval. He’s on the beach. He’s on a moped. He’s sidestage. He’s onstage. He’s in the crowd. Ingram has embraced his role as Texas Music elder statesman and pulled from all the best influences. He’s affable like Willie. He’s cunning like Kinky. He’s ornery like Waylon. He’s witty like Townes. He’s smart like Kristofferson. And he can be as wild ass as Jerry Jeff in 1975. You put all that together and you have a recipe for the perfect person to lead the party and songs at Mile 0. Jack burned the candle at both ends for 5 days. He was seen everywhere, and in the same outfit each time. Black t-shirt. Black jeans. Vintage Adidas sneakers. Pure Texan.
There were a handful of shows on the docket for Friday morning, but only one that I had my heart set on attending. The Charlie Robison Tribute show at Key West Theater was one show I was not going to miss. When I arrived, the line of hundreds snaked around the building. I grabbed one of the last standing room spots by the stage and hunkered down for magic. It was quickly apparent that this affair would be just like the man it was honoring. Free-wheeling, independent and heart-felt. As I was angling for a good vantage point, the door right beside me flew open. In walked that unmistakable Canadian tuxedo. Charlie Robison had arrived. The show was soon to start. As the first group of artists strode onstage (Adam Hood, The Coletrains and Jared Deck), some fans in the front row of tables graciously gave their seats to Charlie and his wife. Hood led things off with “The Bottom”, The Coletrains took on “Photograph” and Jared Deck did the deep album cut “Rain”. The humility and appreciation Charlie had as each artist told their personal Charlie stories and sang his songs was heavy. Smiles intertwined with tears.
The next set was Bruce Robison, Jamie Lin Wilson, Kelley Mickwee and Bri Bagwell. “The Wedding Song”, “Always”, “Down Again” and “New Year’s Day” came and went in succession. Mickwee and Wilson made jokes about fangirling over Charlie back in the day and trying to do their best Natalie Maines’ impersonation. Bri Bagwell related how Charlie was a big mentor early in her career and for one gig she decided to try on his signature denim look only to be met with the rabid, online Charlie Robison fan backlash.
Understandably, the most poignant and touching part of the tribute came from brother Bruce. “It’s hard to put into words what it’s like to have Charlie Robison as your big brother.” Bruce related how anything Charlie tried came easy. And things Bruce talked about doing, Charlie just picked them up and did it. Guitar. Songwriting. Life. Most people talk about doing things and Charlie just does them. And now the thing he was greatest at, he can no longer do. It was an emotional moment. I think Bruce would’ve gone into “My Brother and Me” if he could’ve. But, his stated words did plenty of talking.
One more round and set-change brought Keith Gattis, Micky Braun, Randy Rogers, Shane Smith, and Jack Ingram. Except Jack wasn’t there yet. Which brought the quip of the day from Braun, who remarked “We’re stalling for Jack Ingram while he finishes his morning jog.” A knowing nod to how much fun Jack had been having in Key West throughout the week. 11am start times are hard enough when you’re not in paradise. Gattis lit into his “El Cerrito Place” and made mention of how life-changing Charlie covering it had been for him. Micky Braun related being pulled into the tribute the night before while drunk on Duval and telling Bruce, “Sure, I’ll sing ‘Barlight’!”. Without knowing anything but the chorus. He had Brue and Jack help him through the verses and the whole place shouted the chorus along with him. Randy Rogers told some humorous anecdotes about sharing the songswap stages of Texas with Charlie before launching into a raucous version of “Arms of Love”. Shane Smith related how Charlie was indirectly responsible for him even having a band. At the start of his career, he won a songwriters contest in which the grand prize was opening for Charlie Robison. Smith put a band together for that show and hasn’t looked back. He gave the crowd a reprise of “Photograph”.
Which just left Bruce and Jack to close it out for Charlie…as they’ve done so many times before. The two used humor to fight through the sadness and Charlie gave several standing ovations and hat tips to the performers throughout. Jack closed the set out with back to back renderings of “Sunset Blvd” and “Loving County” before being joined by all the artists for “My Hometown”. The entire morning was one of those once in a lifetime events that I’ll always remember. I’ve written about Charlie a ton and I’m glad to see him paid tribute to in such a befitting manner. I look forward to seeing a more formal tribute in the near future and know one is coming.
How do you come down from the emotional high of a tribute to one of your favorite artists of all time? You go see Kevin Galloway play on a beach accompanied only by his guitar and a cello player. Don’t it feel good to smile indeed. Galloway boomed through many of the tracks off his solo debut, a few Uncle Lucius tunes and some select covers. The breeze flowed through the shade as he stood confident and barefoot clad in all black under the baking Florida sun. Behind him in a Norman Rockwell type scene, some fishermen cast large nets that proved to be successful with each pull. I bounced back across the street to the other beach stage to see what Adam Hood was up to. And he was being his usual self. Making the most soulful country music come out of him effortlessly. He serenaded an eager, sun-soaked crowd with deep cuts and new stuff. Hood is perhaps the greatest non Texan/Oklahoman in our scene. He interlopes through it all with six strings, a good attitude and a warchest of songs second to nobody. Then, he comes out and delivers them, in whatever the environment may be, with tons of personality and charm. He’s a gem and has been since I first heard him 15 years ago. A very welcome addition to this year’s Mile 0. It seemed like Adam played the most official sets too. He was everywhere but the Amphitheater. And that’s a good thing.
By the time I made it to the Amphitheater, John Fullbright was finishing up. There aren’t many folks more talented than John Fullbright. He’s Jerry Lee Lewis with more sense, Leon Russell that stayed grounded and one helluva singer. A fiery performance by Fullbright gave way to Jamie Lin Wilson’s big amphitheater set. JLW is a wizard at Mile 0. The only person that may get around to more spots than Jack Ingram is Jamie. Guest spots here, jams there, tributes over that way, main stage show now. Jamie was joined by Bryon White from The Damn Quails and utility lead player Scott Davis (who played with a number of acts throughout the week) on guitar. Her set featured a number of tracks from Jumping Over Rocks and culminated in her letting White take the wheel to deliver “Fool’s Gold” followed by a mini-Turnpike tribute in which we saw her give her band an early break before closing with an acoustic rendition of “Diamonds and Gasoline”. In the intro to the song, she remarked “I don’t have a lot of close friends…all of them are here this week but one…and this one goes out to him.” Evan Felker had to have felt it as hard as we all felt it in the moment. It was powerful.
Flatland Cavalry has gone from roughshod vehicle to present Cleto Cordero’s songs to a legitimate venue filling band. The most recent iteration of the band has been together since August and released Homeland Insecurity recently. The past couple years have hardened the band’s sound and made the shy Cordero a better front man. Wesley Hall’s replacement of Laura Jane Houle on fiddle was originally met with some pushback from fans, but if they go see a show they’ll see the overall product has improved. It’s a more cohesive unit firing through the songs. By the time the set rolled into “Old School”, FC had the entire amphitheater in the palm of their hand. Cordero made several mentions of Tyler Childers and the impending rush that was coming for everyone the moment they exited the stage.
The buzz throughout the island all week had been related to Childers. Every bar I was in. Every artist I talked to. Every fan I chatted with. Everyone mentioned Tyler Childers. And with good reason. Childers is in the zone of Sturgill around 2014. A super buzzed about artist that has grown nationwide appeal based on word of mouth and a one show at a time ethos. During the quick changeover between bands the entire floor of the amphitheater filled. Crannies and nooks that had been open for standing and jamming were now full-up. Appalachia was about to meet Texoma in Florida. Something had to give. And what gave was caution. It was thrown to the wind with reckless abandon the moment Tyler Childers opened his set with “Whitehouse Road”. It was a setlist that wouldn’t let up from there. “Feathered Indians” received its requisite response and the set-ending jam of Charlie Daniels Band’s “Trudy” proved that Childers’ time as the next big thing is over. He is a big thing now.
We skipped out after just a touch of Trampled By Turtles to stake a spot for Sean McConnell at Smokin’ Tuna. McConnell and Wade Bowen had been in London all week for an Americana Music event across the pond. They each landed a little jet lagged and a lot behind the buzz the rest of us had. McConnell proudly strode onstage to a capacity crowd, he toasted the crowd and launched into “Queen of Saint Mary’s Choir” and had everyone bouncing along. McConnell is a powerful vocalist who knows how to command an acoustic environment. Tons of other artists were there to take in what Sean had to offer. A true sign of respect and admiration for an artist that deserves every bit coming his way. Around the middle of Sean’s set I started solving the world’s problems and doing shots with some friends of mine I haven’t seen in a long time and next thing I knew Band of Heathens was onstage. The problem solving continued until I saw some Brauns walk in. Things got even hazier after that. My buddy’s wife joked “Nothing good happens after midnight when the Brauns and alcohol are around.” Truer words may have not been spoken all week long.
Robbie was a former Marine from North Carolina. He’d come to the festival with a large group of friends, most of them married. He and his young girlfriend were the oddballs of the group. Freshly dating, a large age gap. The euphoria and adrenaline of being on this trip caused a romantic uproar that was cut down by the reality of sharing a small living space with a relative stranger a dozen years his junior. By Saturday morning, nothing good could be salvaged from this. The entire thing had turned awkward for the pair and everyone around them. His shiny bald head glistened in the sun and turned different hues of pink. Not from the sun, but rather the ingestion of embarrassment caused by his situation. He told her in no uncertain terms, “Look Heather, just leave me alone for the rest of our time here. Go find yourself some fun and I’ll do the same. This is over!” Heather marched off to the opposite side of the venue and Robbie proudly chortled to his friends while their wives guffawed in unison. Hours later as the sun was setting and Kevin Fowler was onstage, I spotted Robbie and Heather making out at the Amphitheater. It seems they had found something in common (and some fun) after all. The loneliness of an exotic locale grows even greater with the fuel of alcohol.
Sunset Pier is one of the best spots on the island. Appropriately named, if you get a spot there in the evening you’ll be treated to one of God’s most alluring visuals. What better way to start the last day of the festival than in this heavenscape listening to Sean McConnell once more. McConnell picked right up where he left off the night before. As sailboats drifted by and the blue waters crashed into the wooden beams, McConnell sang songs influenced by Massachusetts, Tennessee and Texas. Tyler Childers was up again but I was craving something a little more chill than that at the moment. So, we retreated to Durty Harry’s and a delightful set from Randy Rogers Band bassist and songwriter Johnny Chops. He’s the modern version of Bob Livingston. A free-wheeling, happy go-lucky bassist with a trunkful of his own songs that he likes to deliver on his own. Backed by Scott Davis, Chops set the scene for the rest of the day.
In quick succession at the Amp after Chops we encountered Bri Bagwell, Micky and the Motorcars and Reckless Kelly. Hell, those three headline shows back home and they all finished playing by 6pm. Reckless Kelly whipped the early evening crowd into a frothy frenzy in a way that only they can. It is sometimes easy to forget that had they not landed in Austin in the late 90’s, this entire thing would look completely different. Reminders like their set at Mile 0 are always welcome and refreshing. Kevin Fowler was up next and ran through his hits and bits to a hearty response from the crowd. Many in the crowd were seeing the Redneck Messiah for the first time and were definitely feeling saved.
To say 2018 had been a rough year for Wade Bowen would be an understatement. Bowen worked hard to release his new record Solid Ground , only to encounter vocal issues at peak promotion time. Not knowing if you’ll ever be able to sing again is a scary proposition for a guy who has made a living doing just that for 20 years. Ask Charlie Robison about that. It’s safe to say that Wade is heading into 2019 with a renewed sense of purpose and urgency. He’ll be pushing Solid Ground hard again and playing each show like it could be the last. Those are cliche statements that Wade proved to be true in his case during his time at Mile 0. Red-eyed in from London and he jumped right onstage with Sean McConnell at Smokin’ Tuna. Fast forward to his Amp set Saturday night and he came out swinging. His band has never sounded better and his voice is stronger than it was pre-surgery. The licks were hot and the times were good as Bowen invited guests Jamie Lin Wilson and Paul Thorn onstage to join him for a few tunes. For me, it was my favorite set of the week.
The Randy Rogers Band guys were island fixtures all week long. They were at shows, at bars, on the beach and all over. It was their first time to Key West and they were soaking it all in. One of the greatest parts of the festival being in Key West is the ability of the headliner level artists to mingle freely among everyone all over the island without being harassed. Randy went largely unnoticed all week long and was even inviting every bartender he ran into to come see his show. Drummer Les Lawless unfortunately ended his week not feeling so hot, but he didn’t let the sickness keep him down. He entered the Amphitheater Saturday night with 102 degree fever and the knowledge the show must go on. The backdrop on the mainstage changed to display the upcoming album cover of Hellbent and an intricate light show lit up the silver Amp roof to make the whole thing appear like a UFO. We were all going to get lifted. Leon Russell style. The RRB kicked things off with “Buy Myself a Chance” and then cranked out hit after hit. They mixed in the new single and a Sean McConnell cameo on “In My Arms Instead” before leaving the Key West stage as conquering Texas kings.
We had one more night to rally in the Keys. We made the now familiar trek from Truman Amp to Duval Madness. We started at Durty Harry’s with Bonnie Bishop and some of the best drunk pizza on the planet. Then we sauntered down to Irish Kevin’s where Adam Hood was putting on one more stellar show complete with backing from Jason Eady, Courtney Patton and Jamie Lin Wilson among others. A few songs later, our group decided to see what was happening at Smokin’ Tuna and the Gattis jam. We arrived in time to see Gattis ending a solo song and starting a jam. Before you knew it, Jamie Lin Wilson was back onstage leading the ramshackle group through a cover of “Tulsa Time”. I tweeted out that we should all find as much joy as JLW does in Key West. She smiles the entire time and takes in sets from everyone. She loves the music as much as, if not more than all the fans and definitely more than many of her peers. Down the street at Cowboy Bill’s, Rooster Edwards was making news of his own during the RC and the Ambers set. At one point, the rumor was the crowd was 1 in, 1 out at this show; where he proclaimed that Turnpike’s demise has been prematurely promoted. One trip back down to Durty Harry’s to send Mile 0 2019 into the ether and one more drink followed by one more walk back to the hotel.
The steps we walked were thousands. The laughs we had were hundreds. The lasting memories many. Key West is the only area that could provide this type of ambiance. It’s tropical, magical and historic with the infrastructure to make it all happen. I know I’m not the only one that is eternally grateful that the Oh Wook team had the idea to turn this into Texas-Red Dirt paradise each winter. Until next year, Mile 0. We shall dance again.
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 – HEADS above the Rest®
HEADS above the Rest ® by Benoit Gateau-Cumin The Newsletter of The Boutique Search Firm, a worldwide retained recruiting firm specializing in hospitality management. Global Update: Who’s where and doing what THE AMERICAS
Ted Teng , President/CEO of The Leading Hotels of the World will be stepping down after over 10 years at the company . Prior to joining Leading Hotels, Teng was President and Chief Operating Officer of Wyndham International , and President, Asia Pacific, at Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide . Shannon Knapp , current Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, will step in for Teng as interim Chief Executive Officer.
Marilyn Spiegel has returned as President of Wynn Las Vegas , taking over from Maurice Wooden . Spiegel had previously served in the same role from 2010-2013 and is the former President of five different Caesars Entertainment owned resort brands in Las Vegas.
Bruno Vergeynst has been named Managing Director at The Line Los Angeles . He was most recently the Managing Director at Freehand New York . Vergeynst also opened the Ludlow in New York, following several years as General Manager of Mama Shelter in Paris.
Vanessa Williams has been has been promoted to General Manager at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills , replacing Peter Bowling . She joined the property in 2016 as Director of Sales and Marketing. Prior career stints were with the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong , the InterContinental Hong Kong and Sandy Lane .
Rich Oken has been named opening General Manager at the Clark Hotel Downtown Los Angeles , slated to open this year. For the past 4 years, he had been serving as General Manager of the Sixty Beverly Hills . Oken is the former Hotel Manager of the SLS Los Angeles at Beverly Hills .
The InterContinental Mark Hopkins has named Michael Pace General Manager. Pace was previously Area General Manager for Sonesta Hotels , based at The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel, San Francisco .
Ryan Schmied has been named General Manager of the AC Hotel Grand Rapids . He was most recently the Beverage Director at Whisk Gourmet Food & Catering . Schmied is the former opening Operations Manager at the Hotel Beaux Arts Miami .
Dragan Andrejic has been appointed General Manager of the Elizabeth Hotel in Fort Collins. He was most recently the General Manager of the Kimpton Rouge Hotel Washington, D.C .
Peter Sula has joined the Kimpton Nine Zero Hotel Boston as General Manager. He was most recently the General Manager of the Battery Wharf Hotel .
Hassan El Neklawy has moved as General Manager to the JW Marriott Chicago . He has been with Marriott for 39 years, most recently as General Manager at the Renaissance Chicago Downtown .
Evan Thomas has moved to the Hotel Wilshire as General Manager. He is the former Director of Rooms at the Standard Hotel Los Angeles and Director of Front Office Operations at the La Quinta Resort & Club .
The Orlando World Center Marriott has appointed Robert Bray General Manager. Most recently, he served as Area General Manager for the New Orleans Marriott . Bray had previously managed the Renaissance St. Louis Grand & Suites complex, as well as served as the opening General Manager of the Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel and Renaissance Arts New Orleans .
Idu Ribeiro has joined the Panama Marriott Hotel in Panama City. He was most recently the General Manager of the Marriott Executive Apartments Panama City, Finisterre .
Brent Berkowitz has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer of the Sage Restaurant Group , taking over from co-founder Peter Karpinski who is retiring. Berkowitz joined the group in 2018 as Senior Vice President of Operations.
Mario Bevilacqua von Gunderrode has joined the San Francisco Proper Hotel as General Manager. He is the former Resort Manager of the Montage Palmetto Bluff .
Arthur Keith has joined the Pocono Mountains Resort as General Manager. The Cornell graduate is the former General Manager of the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center , the Stratosphere Casino, Hotel and Tower , and the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas .
Brian Barden has been named Area General Manager at The Inn at Union Square and the Hotel Griffon in San Francisco. He was most recently with Greystone Hotels as Area Operations Manager.
Michaela Winn has joined the recently renovated King George Hotel in San Francisco as General Manager. She is the former General Manager at the Berkeley City Club .
Jorge Espindola has been promoted to Resort Manager at the Viceroy Los Cabos . He had joined the resort in 2018 as Director of Food and Beverage. Espindola is the former Director of Food and Beverage at the Hotel Esencia and Malliouhana .
TJ Pierri has been named General Manager at Noble House ’s Hotel Zoe Fisherman’s Wharf . He was most recently the Resort Manager at the Lansdowne Resort and Spa .
Barry Dorsey has been appointed General Manager at the Kimpton Goodland in Goleta. Most recently, Dorsey was General Manager at the Hotel Milo in Santa Barbara.
Niles Harris has been appointed General Manager of the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown . He was most recently at the Crowne Plaza Times Square Manhattan as Managing Director.
Randall King has been promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the Dow Hotel Company in Seattle. He was most recently serving the group as Senior Vice President Operations.
Steve Griffin has been promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at the Dow Hotel Company . He was most recently serving as Senior Vice President Finance.
Adam Marquis has been promoted to President at Pacifica Hotels . He was most recently serving as Executive Vice President.
David Ahern has joined the Timber Cove Resort as General Manager. He was most recently the Director of Operations at the Sunset Tower Hotel in West Hollywood.
Hilton Grand Vacations has named Tim Loughman East Coast Area Vice President of Resort Operations. The Cornell graduate was most recently serving as Vice President, Luxury and Lifestyle, for Hilton Hotels .
The Norfolk Convention and Visitors Bureau has named Kurt Krause President and Chief Executive Officer, taking over from Sam Rogers . Krause is the former Managing Director of the Marriott Virginia Beach Oceanfront and The Main, Norfolk .
After 13 years as Partner at Sage Hospitality and co-founder of the Sage Restaurant Group , Cornell graduate Peter Karpinski becomes a co-founder of ARRIVE Hotels and Restaurants . Prior to joining Sage, Karpinski was the Corporate Director of Operations for the Starr Restaurant Organization .
MGM Resorts has appointed Steve Zanella as President and Chief Operating Officer of CityCenter . Most recently, he served as President of Core Properties for MGM Resorts in Las Vegas.
The Harbor View Hotel in Martha’s Vineyard has named Chris Bird General Manager. He was most recently at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort as General Manager.
Brian McGuinness has been appointed Senior Vice President of Global Guest Experience for IHG . McGuinness most recently served as Global Brand Leader and Senior Vice President for Marriott , Sheraton and Delta Hotels .
Adrienne Craig-Aziz has been promoted to General Manager at the Luxe Beverly Hills . She joined the hotel in 2016 as Hotel Manager and had previously served as Director of Rooms at the InterContinental Los Angeles .
Shawn Routten has been appointed General Manager of the The Fenway Hotel in Florida. He has been with the company for 10 years, most recently as Director of Operations at the Epicurean Hotel .
Greg Kavanagh has joined the Hotel Du Pont in Wilmington as Managing Director. Kavanagh most recently served as Vice President of Sales and Operations with BridgeStreet Global Hospitality .
Chris Paulk has been named Regional General Manager for the El Monte Sagrado Resort and Spa/Palacio de Marquesa Resort in Taos. He was most recently the Vice President and General Manager of the Indian Springs Resort in Napa Valley.
Jared Dayton has been appointed General Manager at the Dossier Hotel in Portland. Most recently, he was the Director of Revenue at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach .
Vincent Yi has been appointed General Manager at the Moxy Seattle Downtown . He is the former General Manager of the Hampton Inn & Suites Anaheim/Garden Grove .
Kerry Hing from the Waldorf Astoria Park City is relocating to Atlanta as General Manager at the former Mandarin Oriental Atlanta , now the Waldorf Astoria Atlanta Buckhead . Prior to starting in Park City in 2011, Hing held the position of General Manager of The Ranch at Rock Creek , and before that as the General Manager of the Ritz-Carlton Club Aspen Highlands . His other hospitality credits include Director of Finance at the Marriott Camelback Inn .
Donte Johnson has been named General Manager at the Riggs Hotel Washington, D.C. Most recently, Johnson served as General Manager of Kimpton ‘s Mason & Rook Hotel in Washington, D.C., and prior to this, the General Manager for Kimpton’s Surfcomber, Miami South Beach .
James Wroblewski has joined the Westdrift Manhattan Beach as General Manager. He was most recently the General Manager at the W Los Angeles-West and the former General Manager at the W New Orleans-French Quarter .
Drew Berry has been named General Manager for both the Mosaic Hotel and the Maison 140 Hotel in Beverly Hills. He was most recently overseeing the Cambria Hotel & Suites LAX .
Marco Bustamante has joined the Mayflower Inn and Spa as General Manager. He was most recently serving as Hotel Manager at VieVage Los Cabos . Bustamante is the former General Manager of the Capella Washington, D.C. and Director of Food and Beverage at the Capella Pedregal .
Federico Spada has joined Las Alamandas as General Manager. He is the former General Manager at Yemaya Island Hideaway & Spa Little Corn Island and the Hotel Mukul Beach, Golf and Spa Resort .
Auberge Resorts Collection has named Michelle Caporicci General Manager and Regional Vice President overseeing the Hotel Jerome , the Element 52 , and the Madeline Hotel & Residences . Caporicci was most recently the Managing Director at the St. Regis Langkawi . She had previously spent 21 years with Ritz-Carlton , most recently as Regional Vice President Sales and Marketing, Asia Pacific, after serving two years as General Manager at the Portman Ritz-Carlton, Shanghai .
David Kingston is now in Wyoming as General Manager of the Snow King Resort . He was most recently the General Manager of the Lodge at Whitefish Lake in Montana. Kingston is the former General Manager of Brasada Ranch and the Hotel Terra Jackson Hole .
Ryan Parker has moved up the coast to join the Huntington Hotel in San Francisco as General Manager. He was most recently the General Manager at the Canary Hotel in Santa Barbara.
Dieter Schmitz has been named Hotel Manager at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown . He was most recently Area General Manager overseeing the EVEN Hotel Times Square South , the EVEN Hotel Midtown East , and the Crowne Plaza HY36 Midtown Manhattan .
Denis Espina has been promoted to Resort Manager at the Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas . He joined the company 8 years ago in Caracas. He then moved to Dallas, as a Food and Beverage Management Trainee. His first management “gig” was as Pool & Beach Manager at the Four Seasons Punta Mita . After more time in Dallas and some in Whistler, he closed the original Four Seasons Philadelphia as Assistant Director of Food and Beverage. Since 2015, he had been the Director of Food and Beverage at the Four Seasons Austin .
The Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago has appointed Gabriel Soanca Hotel Manager. He was most recently the Executive Assistant Manager at the InterContinental Washington, D.C. – The Wharf . Soanca was previously with the Trump National Doral Miami as Director of Food and Beverage.
Jane Kim was promoted to Resort Manager of the Four Seasons Napa Valley . A graduate of the Hospitality Business Administration program from Michigan State University, her career with Four Seasons began 12 years ago in Westlake Village. She quickly transitioned to the Beverly Wilshire , then Washington, D.C. and Boston.
Ortencia Morales is now in California as Director of Finance at the Four Seasons The Biltmore Santa Barbara . She was most recently the Director of Finance at the Four Seasons Rancho Encantado Santa Fe . Morales is the former Assistant Director of Finance at the Four Seasons New York , the Four Seasons Resorts Lana’i , and the Four Seasons Philadelphia .
Brad Hayden has joined Mainsail Lodging & Development as Vice President of Finance. For the past two years, he had been with Faena Hotels & Residences in Miami Beach as Vice President of Finance.
Shaun Griffin has been named Controller for the Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa . He was previously with Merrimack Health Care Group and Edgewood Life Care Services .
Khalid Mirza has been named Director of Food and Beverage at the Four Seasons Houston . He was previously the Director of Food and Beverage at the Resort at Pelican Hill and most recently at the Carmel Valley Ranch . Mirza also previously spent 20 years with Four Seasons in various locations.
The Four Seasons Boston One Dalton has named Aneesh Sharma Director of Food and Beverage. Since 2015, he had been with the Four Seasons Austin , most recently as Assistant Director of Food and Beverage.
Pasquo King has moved to the Four Seasons Nevis as Director of Food and Beverage. He was most recently serving as Executive Chef for the Four Seasons Resorts Bali .
The Dream Hotel Group has named Dimitri Mitropoulos Vice President of Food and Beverage. He was most recently with the TAO Group as Director of Operations for the Dream Hotel Hollywood .
Bill Santos has been promoted at the Monarch Beach Resort to Director of Food and Beverage. He had joined the resort in 2017 as Director of Banquets.
Robert Scully has been appointed Director of Food and Beverage at the Fairmont Royal Pavilion, Barbados . He is the former Director of Implementation for Rittenhouse Markets .
Jorge Paez is returning to Four Seasons in the capacity of Director of Food and Beverage at the Four Seasons Los Cabos . He joined Four Seasons in 2012 as Senior Food and Beverage Manager at the Four Seasons Resort Nevis following a career with Ritz-Carlton . He held several senior food and beverage roles including Director of Food and Beverage for the Gansevoort Resort in Turks and Caicos, the Jumeirah Emirates Towers , and recently to the position of Cluster Director of Food and Beverage for the Waldorf Astoria-Qasr Al Jeddah Hilton .
Keith Halliday has been appointed Executive Chef and Director of Food and Beverage at the Battery Wharf Hotel Boston . Halliday had previously served as the Executive Chef and Director of Food and Beverage at the Delta St. Johns Hotel in Newfoundland.
Owen Deignan has joined Virgin Hotels in New York as Director of Food and Beverage Operations. He is the former Director of Operations of Snap Kitchen .
Carlos Villacanas has joined the Four Seasons Anguilla as Director of Food and Beverage. He had previously served in the same role for Rotana Hotel Management and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts .
Sunny Saha has been appointed Director of Food and Beverage at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown . He is the former Director of Food and Beverage at the Monarch Beach Resort and the Millennium Biltmore Los Angeles .
Ludovic Poirier has been promoted to Director of Food and Beverage at the Hotel Alessandra . He was most recently serving as Director of Outlets. He is the former Director of Food and Beverage of the Hotel Granduca and Assistant Director of Food and Beverage at Mokara Hotel & Spa in San Antonio.
Denise Walker has been appointed Vice President of Information Technology at Virgin Hotels, based in Miami. She was previously in a similar role with Brookfield Hospitality .
Ken Ishiguro has joined Auberge Resorts as Vice President, Design and Construction. He was most recently Executive Director, Design and Technical Services, Luxury Division, for Accor Hotels .
Azadeh Hawkins has been named Creative Director at Montage International . She is the former Chief Marketing Officer at Pink Taco and Vice President, Brand Management and Marketing Communication for the Viceroy Hotel Group .
Manya Duhoffmann has joined Arlo Hotels as Vice President of Sales and Marketing. She had previously served as Regional Vice President of Sales and Marketing at the Mondrian Park Avenue for Journal Hotels and Director of Sales and Marketing at the Refinery Hotel New York . She also opened the Ace New York and the Thompson New York , in the same capacity.
Laura Castonguay has been named Director of Marketing at the Four Seasons St. Louis , taking over from Tim Powers . Since 2014, she had been with the Four Seasons Vancouver as Director of Sales.
Laura Villalobos has been promoted at the Four Seasons Mexico City to Director of Sales and Marketing. She had joined the hotel in 2017 as Associate Director of Sales before being promoted to her most recent role as Director of Sales.
The Montage Beverly Hills has appointed Jennie Hoffman as Director of Sales and Marketing. She was most recently with the Pyramid Hotel Group as Regional Director of Sales and Marketing.
Ann Sutherland Lynch has joined the Brown Palace in Denver as Director of Sales and Marketing. Most recently, Lynch was the opening Director of Sales and Marketing of the Jacquard Hotel & Rooftop .
The Curtis in Denver has named Lizzie Raudenbush Director of Sales and Marketing. She was most recently the Director of Sales and Marketing at the Kimpton Shorebreak Resort in Huntington Beach.
Aaron Weegar has been named Director of Sales and Marketing at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort. He is the former Complex Director of Sales at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin and Director of Sales at the Diplomat Resort & Spa .
Simon Rodrigues has been promoted to Director of Sales and Marketing at the Chatham Bars Inn . He joined the resort in early 2018 as Director of Sales. He is the former Director of Corporate and Entertainment Group Sales at the Mandarin Oriental Boston .
Blake Smith has been promoted to Vice President of Entertainment and Brand Partnerships at Virgin Hotels , based in Chicago. He joined the company in 2014 as Executive Director of Events and Partnerships.
Lovell Casiero has joined the PM Hotel Group in Washington, D.C. as Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing. She was most recently Founder and President of FLC Business Consulting . Casiero had previously spent ten years with Crescent Hotels & Resorts as Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing.
Erik Dombroski has been named Vice President of Sales and Marketing for The Yarrow Group . He was most recently the General Manager at the Anvil Hotel in Wyoming. Dombroski is the former Director of Sales and Strategy at the Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa and Hotel Terra Jackson Hole .
Heidi Nowak has been appointed Director of Sales and Marketing at the Ballantyne in Charlotte. Most recently, she served as Director of Sales and Marketing at the Hotel Bennett in Charleston.
Eric Edmunds has been appointed MICE Global Account Director at Nobu . He is the former Business Development Manager at Questex Hospitality + Travel and Regional Director of Sales, West Coast, for Palace Resorts .
Aliz Hotel Times Square has named Maureen Murphy Director of Sales and Marketing. She is the former Director of Sales at the Sheraton Lincoln Harbor Hotel and Director of Sales and Marketing for the Westin Governor Morris Hotel .
Sade Lee has been appointed Director of Sales and Marketing at the San Francisco Proper Hotel . She was most recently Associate Director of Sales at the Kimpton Everly Hotel .
Tressa Wright has joined the Perry Lane Hotel, Savannah as Director of Sales and Marketing. Most recently, she was the Director of Sales and Marketing of the Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston.
The Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa has named Stephanie Baker Director of Marketing. Since 2014 she had been with Texas Monthly , most recently as Chief Marketing Officer.
Michael Law was promoted to the position of Senior Director of Marketing for the Four Seasons Boston . Having started in Toronto, Law moved on to Boston, and then spent his last seven years in New York City, first taking on the 57th street hotel then the last three years successfully opening Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown . He will continue to lead as DOM of the Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown, with additional oversight of Four Seasons Hotel Boston One Dalton Street .
Jeff Ouradnik has been appointed Director of Sales and Marketing at the Hyatt Regency Austin . He is the former Director of Sales and Marketing of the Hyatt Regency Lake Washington and the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa & Marina .
Heather Buss has been appointed Vice President of Sales at Associated Luxury Hotels International based in Washington, D.C. She is the former Director of Global Sales at Salamander Hotels & Resorts .
Aaron Weegar has joined the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa as Director of Sales and Marketing. Most recently, he held the position of Director of Sales at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin .
Sherry Michelson has been named Director of Sales and Catering at the Hotel Los Gatos . Most recently, she was the Senior Group Sales and Events Manager at Hyatt Carmel Highlands .
Gautier Colin has moved to the Edition Los Angeles as Director of Sales. He was most recently with the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills as Director, Luxury Sales.
Nancy Calabrese has been appointed Director of Sales at The Fenway Hotel in Florida. She was most recently a Senior Event Manager at The Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Scott Bogucki has been appointed Director of Revenue at The Dossier in Portland. He is the former Corporate Director of Revenue Management Independents for HRI Lodging and Director of Revenue Management at the Four Seasons San Francisco .
Sezin Kutlu is the new Senior Director of Revenue Strategy at Terranea Resort . She had previously overseen revenue strategy at the Langham Huntington Hotel and the Montage Laguna Beach .
Radomir Smrcka will the Director of Food and Beverage of the Four Seasons São Paulo . He previously spent 3 years at the Four Seasons Prague as Bar Manager. He worked for two years at the Grand Hyatt São Paulo as Assistant to the F&B Director. He returned to Prague, where he worked for 6 years as the Director of Food and Beverage at the InterContinental Prague .
Michael Rotondo has been promoted to Executive Chef at the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco . He joined the hotel in 2013 as Chef de Cuisine. He had previously served seven years at Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago.
Igor Krichmar has been promoted to Executive Chef at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown . The CIA graduate had joined the hotel in 2017 as Executive Sous Chef.
Adam Hyatt has been appointed Executive Chef at The Fenway Hotel for HEW Parlor & Chophouse . He was most recently Chef Partner at Tampa’s Platt Street Borough .
Daniel Elinan has been appointed Executive Chef at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa . He is the former Executive Chef at the Cavalier Hotel .
Luke Creagan has been named Executive Chef for World of Whirlpool , Chicago . He is the former Executive Chef for Bistro Campagne Chicago , Pops for Champagne , and The Watershed .
Tonatiuh Cuevas is the Executive Chef of the Four Seasons Los Cabos . Before joining the Four Seasons Mexico City in 2015, “Tona” worked for some of the best restaurants in Mexico City, including Michael Mina ‘s NEMI and Marta Ortiz ‘s Dulce Patria .
The Loews Regency New York has named Serge Devesa Executive Chef. Devesa was most recently in San Antonio where he was Chef of the Argyle Club . He is the former Executive Chef of the Willard InterContinental , the InterContinental Barclay , the Hotel Sofitel Miami , and the Sofitel Minneapolis .
The Sheraton Dallas has appointed Zeb Hartline Executive Chef . He is the former Director of Restaurants at the Gaylord Texan .
Dan Herman has been promoted to Executive Chef at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort . He was most recently serving the resort as Executive Sous Chef.
Lance Mion has been appointed Executive Chef at the Canopy by Hilton Washington, D.C. Bethesda North . The former on-call chef for the White House was most recently serving as Executive Chef at the Georgetown University Hospital .
Thierry Delourneaux has been appointed Executive Pastry Chef at the Arizona Biltmore . He most recently led the pastry department at the St. Regis Washington, D.C.
Douglas Baumann has joined the Conrad Washington, D.C. as General Manager at Estuary . He was most recently at the MGM National Harbor as General Manager of the Voltaggio Brothers Steak House .
Morgan Eagles has joined Soho House Chicago as Assistant General Manager. Eagles is the former Executive Assistant Manager of Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago .
Matt Stanley has been named Director of Rooms at the Four Seasons Atlanta . He was most recently serving in the same role at the Four Seasons Anguilla .
Director of Rooms Erin Qong , transfers from the Four Seasons Lana’i to the Four Seasons Westlake . The fifteen-year Four Seasons veteran started as a Management Trainee and spent 12 years at the Four Seasons Lana’i. She was promoted to Director of Rooms on Lana’i a year ago.
Alexandra Robertshaw was promoted to Director of Rooms at the Four Seasons Palm Beach . She has been with the company since 2004. After spending several years in Accounting and Finance, she went into Rooms, both as Front Office Manager and Director of Housekeeping.
Sandra Klempay has been appointed Director of Rooms at the Blue Harbor Resort & Conference Center in Sheboygan. She is the former opening Director of Housekeeping at the AmeriHost Inn and Suites by Radisson in Dundee. EUROPE
Per Denker Sørensen has been named Chief Executive Officer at Core Hospitality in Denmark. He is the former Chief Operating Officer at Zleep Hotels .
Alan O’Dea has been named Managing Director at Campbell Gray Hotels in London. For the past 12 years, he had been with Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts as Senior Vice President Africa.
David Collas has been named General Manager of the Mandarin Oriental Geneva , taking over from Lars Wagner . Collas was previously the General Manager of the Mandarin Oriental Atlanta , which was recently reflagged as the Waldorf Astoria Atlanta .
Chris McLaughlin has joined the Malmaison Belfast as General Manager. He is the former Deputy General Manager of the Hasting Culloden Estate and Spa in Northern Ireland.
Antonio Sanchez has been appointed General Manager of the Malmaison Cheltenham . He was most recently the Deputy General Manager of the Malmaison Oxford .
The Barton Grange Hotel has named Joseph Henry General Manager. He is the former Deputy General Manager at Staverton Estate and Hotel Manager at Eastwood Hall .
Charlotta Olsson has been appointed General Manager of the Radisson Hotel, Strand Stockholm . Most recently, she had been running the Park Inn by Radisson Stockholm Solna for two years as General Manager.
The Athenaeum in London has appointed Joanne Taylor-Stagg General Manager. She is the former General Manager of the Capital Hotel Knightsbridge and the Trafalgar St James, London .
Laurence Giordano Lovera has been promoted at the Radisson Blu 1835 Hotel & Thalasso to General Manager. She had joined the resort in 2016 as Director of Operations. Lovera is the former General Manager of Les Mas du Grand Vallon .
Hervé Fucho has been promoted to Hotel Manager of the Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg where has been the Director of Food and Beverage since 2016. He joined Four Seasons 15 years as a Sous Chef at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills . Later on, he moved as Executive Sous Chef to Caracas, before becoming the Executive Chef at the Four Seasons Punta Mita . Hong Kong was the next step, along with the achievement of no less than 6 Michelin Stars.
Camilla Jerre has been appointed General Manager of the Moxy Copenhagen , slated to open in March. She is the former Front Office Manager of the Quality Hotel View and the AC Hotel Bella Sky .
Pedro Neto has joined the Four Seasons Prague as Hotel Manager. He was most recently the Director of Food and Beverage at the Four Seasons Maui .
Alex Caetano has been named Hotel Manager at the Park Plaza London Park Royal . He was most recently the pre-opening Operations Manager at the Park Plaza London Waterloo and had previously served as Operations Manager at the Park Plaza London Victoria .
Saakshee Gahlot has been named Director of Rooms at the Four Seasons London at Park Lane . She started her career at the Waldorf Hilton . In 2009, she joined the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group which took her around the world, from Bermuda to Washington, D.C. to Kuala Lumpur. Returning to London she took on the role of Director of Rooms at the Berkeley where she has been since 2016.
Chris Rooney has been named Talent and Culture Manager at the InterContinental London – The O2 . He was most recently in a similar role for Primark .
Laura Villalobos has been named Director of Sales and Marketing of the Four Seasons Mexico City . She was previously the hotel’s Director of Sales. Villalobos was the opening Executive Assistant General at the St. Regis Punta Mita , before becoming Associate Director of Marketing at the St. Regis Mexico City.
Anne Dugenétay has been named Director of Sales and Marketing at the Peninsula Paris . She is the former Director of Sales and Marketing of the Westbury Mayfair London and the Sofitel London St. James .
Michelin-starred Chef Fabrizio Borraccino is the new Executive Chef of the Four Seasons Milano . He was previously the Executive Chef of the restaurant “Il Poggio Rosso” at the Relais & Châteaux “Borgo San Felice” in the Chianti area, where he gained his first Michelin star in 2017. Prior to spreading his wings, Borraccino worked with Pierre Gagnaire and others. His first stint with Four Seasons was at Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues as Sous Chef.
The Trump Turnberry Hotel in Scotland has promoted Callum Dow to Executive Chef. Dow joined the resort in 2017 as Chef de Cuisine before being promoted to Executive Sous Chef. ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
Bill Taylor is now in Asia as Regional Vice President and General Manager of the Four Seasons Hong Kong . He began his career with Four Seasons in 1992 at The Ritz-Carlton Chicago (when it was a Four Seasons hotel). In 1999, he was promoted to Hotel Manager in Atlanta then Chicago. He took on his first General Manager’s position at The Ritz Carlton Chicago. After spending several years as General Manager in Boston, he became an Area Vice President.
In Tokyo, Andrew DeBrito has been promoted to Regional Vice President and General Manager, Four Seasons Tokyo at Otemachi . He will also have regional responsibilities for the Four Seasons Maronouchi , Kyoto and Beijing. DeBrito joined Four Seasons at the Regent Kuala Lumpur in 1992. His career with the company took him to the Maldives, Aviara and, as a Food and Beverage Director, to Langkawi, Mumbai and Shanghai. In 2011, he was promoted to Hotel Manager in Jakarta and after leaving Four Seasons for a year, he returned as Hotel Manager in Beijing, where he was eventually promoted to General Manager.
Alejandro Bernabé has been appointed General Manager of the Four Seasons Seoul . He was most recently the Vice President Operations at AVANI Hotels and Resorts and had previously served as Chief Executive Officer at Kempinski Hotels .
Ivan Liu has been appointed General Manager of the Sheraton Langfang Chaobai River . He was most recently the Director of Operations of the Sofitel Wanda Beijing .
Dario Orsini is now in Australia as General Manager of the Ritz-Carlton Perth . He was most recently overseeing the Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort .
Damon Page is now in Australia as General Manager of the W Melbourne , slated to open in 2020. Page was most recently Area Manager, Indian Ocean, and General Manager at the St. Regis Mauritius .
Albert Rouwendal has been appointed General Manager of the Sunrise Kempinski Hotel Beijing & Yanqi Island . He was most recently the Director of Operations and General Manager Benelux at Movenpick Hotels & Resorts , based in Amsterdam.
Steven Greenwood has been appointed Area General Manager Malaysia and General Manager at the InterContinental Kuala Lumpur . He was most recently the Area General Manager of Bangkok and General Manager of the Crowne Plaza Bangkok Lumpini Park .
Ihab Kherati has been promoted to General Manager of the Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach . He was most recently serving as Assistant General Manager.
Sandro Mazza has been promoted to General Manager of the Shangri-La Al Husn Resort & Spa . He was most recently the Resident Manager of sister property the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa . Mazza is the former Resident Manager of the Shangri-La Villingili Resort & Spa , Maldives .
Stephen Morahan has joined the Tasman in Australia as General Manager. He was most recently the General Manager of the Aloft Perth .
Mark Bulmer has been appointed General Manager of the Carlton Hotel Bangkok Sukhumvit , slated to open later this year. He is the former General Manager of the Carlton Hotel Singapore .
Darren Ware takes over from Mark Bulmer as General Manager of the Carlton Hotel Singapore . Ware was most recently in the same role at the Carlton City Hotel Singapore .
Stéphane Massarini has been named pre-opening General Manager at the InterContinental Beppu Resort and Spa in Japan. Massarini was most recently the General Manager of the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa . He is the former Executive Assistant Manager at the St. Regis Bora Bora and La Réserve Genève Hotel and Spa .
Sanjiv Hulugalle has been named Vice President and General Manager of Mauna Lani on the Big Island of Hawaii. He is the former Regional Vice President and General Manager of the Jumeirah Dubai and Executive Vice President Operations at the Resort Group . Hulugalle previously spent many years with Four Seasons in many locations.
Ike Cockett has been appointed General Manager of the Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger . He was most recently the General Manager of the Ohana Waikiki East by Outrigger .
JJ Assi has joined the pre-opening team as Hotel Manager at the Four Seasons Bangkok at Chao Phraya River . He was most recently serving as Hotel Manager at the Four Seasons Mumbai and was previously Director of Food and Beverage at the Four Seasons Sydney .
Igor Apraiz-Gunawan has joined the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo as Hotel Manager. He was most recently in the same position at the Mandarin Oriental Atlanta .
The Four Seasons Lanai has named David Emig Resort Manager. He has been with the company for almost two decades, most recently as Director of Rooms at the Four Seasons London at Park Lane .
Emmanuel Nelo has been appointed Director of Operations at the Ritz-Carlton Bali . Most recently, he was the Director of Food and Beverage at the Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Pacific Place .
Maximilian Schillik is the Director of Rooms at the Four Seasons Maldives at Kuda Huraa . He takes over the spot left vacant when Tobias Emmer left for the tented camp at the Four Seasons Chiang Rai . Schillik spent years with Kempinski in Myanmar, Hamburg and Chonquing.
Edwin Torres is now in Hawaii as Assistant General Manager of the Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger . He was most recently the Director of Food and Beverage at the Outrigger Guam Beach Resort .
Sébastien Ganry is now in South Korea as Director of Food and Beverage of the Four Seasons Seoul . He was most recently in the same role at the Four Seasons Ocean Club .
Dan Mizrahi has been transferred and promoted to Director of Food and Beverage at the Four Seasons Resorts Lana’i . He joined Four Seasons in 2006 with stints in Atlanta, Washington DC, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Hualalai and Palm Beach.
Eileen Gallegos has been promoted to Director of Food and Beverage at the Four Seasons Maui . She joined the resort in 2015 as Room Service Manager before moving into the role of Restaurant Manager for Ferraro’s and, most recently, Assistant Director of Food and Beverage.
The Four Seasons Beijing has appointed Fion Wong Director of Food and Beverage. She was most recently serving in the same role at the Regent Singapore .
Franck Huang has been appointed Head of Development, China, for Rosewood Hotels in Hong Kong. He was most recently Vice President of Development, China, at Marriott International .
Julian Crane has returned to Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts as Senior Director of Marketing, Thailand. He was most recently with Six Senses as Regional Director of Sales and Marketing, Indian Ocean, and had previously served as Director of Marketing at the Four Seasons Doha .
Mathilde Adam was promoted to Senior Director of Sales and Marketing of the Four Seasons Resorts Bali . She used to be the Director of Sales and Marketing at the One&Only St. Géran in Mauritius. Adam previously was the Director Sales and Marketing at the Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat , leaving just one year before it became a Four Seasons hotel.
The Four Seasons Resorts Maui and Hualalai have promoted Mark Simon to Senior Director of Marketing. In his new role, he will continue to lead marketing for the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea with additional oversight of the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai . Simon is a Four Seasons veteran with a career that spans over two decades with assignments at The Regent Melbourne , Hong Kong, Tokyo and Maui for the past 17 years.
The Four Seasons Guangzhou has appointed Anthony Yeung Director of Sales and Marketing. For the past six years, he had been with the Four Seasons Shanghai at Puxi in the same role.
Patsy Narimatsu has joined the Trump International Hotel Waikiki as Director of Sales and Marketing. She was most recently Area Director of Sales and Marketing and Area Director of Sales, Leisure and Transient at Highgate Hotels , overseeing six Hawaii properties.
David MacLean has been named Director of Sales and Marketing at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa . He is the former Director of Sales, Marketing and Events at the Andaz 5th Avenue .
Danat Thanoosilp has been named Director of Sales, Thailand & Cambodia, for Six Senses Hotels, Resorts and Spas . For the past five years, he had served as Director of Sales and Revenue at Twinpalms Phuket .
The Pullman Auckland has appointed Archana Kawatra Director of Sales and Marketing. She was most recently the Sales and Marketing Manager at the Amora Hotel in Auckland.
Shouma Moniz has been named Director of Sales and Marketing at the Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger . Moniz was most recently the Director of Sales and Marketing of the Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach .
Joyce Wong has been appointed Director of Sales and Marketing at the Sheraton Petaling Jaya Hotel . She was most recently Commercial Manager at the Hilton Kuala Lumpur .
Nathan Decker has been appointed Director of Sales at Nanuku in Fiji. He was most recently the Director of Sales at The Resort at Paws Up .
Robin Killett has moved over as Director of Sales to Mauna Lani , slated to reopen in November. Killett was previously at the Four Seasons Maui as Director of Sales for over 11 years.
Miku Zhang has been appointed Senior Sales Manager, Asia-Pacific, for the Four Seasons Resorts Lanai , based out of the Four Seasons Shanghai . She was most recently a Senior Sales Manager at the Four Seasons Hangzhou at West Lake .
The Four Seasons Bangkok at Chao Phraya River has appointed Andrea Accordi Executive Chef. He was most recently the Executive Chef at the Four Seasons Hong Kong .
Phillip Taylor has joined the Four Seasons Bali at Jimbaran Bay as Executive Chef. A “kiwi”, he worked in Michelin-starred restaurants in London. Most recently he was the Executive Sous Chef of the Shangri La Bangkok .
Colin Sato has been appointed Chef de Cuisine at the Moana Surfrider . He is the former Sous Chef at Azure Restaurant at the Royal Hawaiian .
Bradley Russell is leaving the Four Seasons Westlake to become the Director of Rooms at the Four Seasons Resort Lana’i. He was recruited by Four Seasons in 2005 fresh out of college. Russell has worked every conceivable rooms position, opening the (former) Four Seasons Santa Fe as Front Office Manager. He was the Assistant Director of Rooms at the Four Seasons Las Vegas prior to joining Westlake in 2016 as Director of Rooms.
Macall Newman has joined the Four Seasons Koh Samui as Director of Rooms and Residences. She was most recently serving as Assistant Director of Rooms at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills . MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
David Harb has been promoted to General Manager at the Hyatt Regency Dubai & Galleria . He joined the hotel in 2012 as Director of Food and Beverage before being promoted to Executive Assistant Manager and, most recently, Hotel Manager.
Hans Schiller has been appointed General Manager of the Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi . He was previously the Cluster General Manager at the Hilton Abu Dhabi and the Hilton Al Ain .
Guenter Gebhard has been appointed General Manager of the Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh at Kingdom Centre . He was most recently with Mandarin Oriental in Turkey.
Cornelia Mitlmeier is now the Hotel Manager of the Four Seasons Hotel Beirut . She was previously the Executive Assistant Manager at the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo .
Thomas Combescot-Lepère is now in Dubai as Hotel Manager of the Burj Al Arab . He was most recently serving as Hotel Manager at the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo .
Alvaro Acebal has been appointed Food and Beverage Director at the Four Seasons Riyadh at Kingdom Center . He had previously served as Executive Assistant Manager, Food and Beverage, at the Fairmont Jakarta .
Adnan Khan has joined the InterContinental Muscat as Director of Food and Beverage. He was most recently the Cluster Director of Food and Beverage at the Kempinski Kenya . Khan had previously overseen food and beverage at the St. Regis Kuala Lumpur and the Marriott Hotel Budapest .
Virginie Plin has moved as Director of Human Resources to the Paramount Hotel Dubai . She was most recently in the same role at the Palazzo Versace Dubai .
Purnima Sunil has been appointed Director of Sales and Marketing at the Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai . Sunil was previously at the Bonnington Hotel Dubai as Director of Business Development.
Clara De Lama has joined the Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek as Senior Public Relations and Marketing Manager. She was most recently in a similar role at the Southern Sun Hotel in Abu Dhabi.
Christophe Laplaza has been appointed Executive Chef at the Four Seasons Casablanca . He was previously the Head Chef of the Trianon Palace, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Versailles.
Yann Bernard Lejard has been named Executive Chef at the Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain Luxury Beachfront Resort . He is the former Chef de Cuisine of Plums Restaurant .
Emmanuel Pauliat has been appointed Executive Chef at the InterContinental Muscat . He is the former Executive Chef of the Shangri-La Le Touessrok , the InterContinental Doha The City , and the Crowne Plaza Kuwait .
Aditya Ramani is now the Director of Food & Beverage at the Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff Johannesburg . An 11-year Four Seasons man, he toiled at the Four Seasons Mumbai and was most recently the Director of Food and Beverage at the Four Seasons Resort Kuda Huraa .
Nicolas De Visch has been appointed Executive Chef at the Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah . He was most recently the Executive Chef at the St. Regis Mauritius and had previously served as Executive Chef at the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa and the W Hotel Taipei .
Brian Gartner has been appointed Pastry Chef at the Four Seasons Casablanca . He was most recently in a similar role at the Hotel Kempinski Ishtar Dead Sea . Do you have news for us? Please do not hesitate to send us an e-mail to Edited by Susana Parks, Benoit Gateau-Cumin & Lisa Leroy The Boutique Search Firm
24 hours in Singapore – Things to do in one day
06. February 2019 24 hours in Singapore – Things to do in one day You have only 1 day in Singapore? Relax, I’ve got you covered! This itinerary includes the best sights and things to do in Singapore, and how to enjoy this vibrant island in 24 hours!
Welcome to Singapore. Most people come here only for a quick layover, although there are plenty things to do in Singapore, this blog post is for those who come only for a short visit to Singapore. You only have a couple of hours? Or maybe just a day and a night in Singapore? This blog post is made for you. If you stay more than 24 hours in Singapore, please also check my other blog post Singapore in 3 days , it will give you plenty of ideas.
Singapore, once a small island that soon became an economic powerhouse over just a short period of time; a country that today is known to be one of the cleanest and safest places on the planet. With a population of just 5.61 million people, some would say that this entire country is smaller than most capital cities. And yet, with such a small area to call home, Singapore has more than enough to see and witness. A vibrant culture, owing to its mixed bag of races and traditions, an array of beautifully constructed landscapes and a skyline to be envious of, the home of the Merlion can be paradise for a traveler who loves walking and exploring.
Food in Singapore
Singapore is an absolute foodie heaven, with affordable hawker centers and food courts on every corner, where you can enjoy any kind of Asian, as well as Western cuisine! The amount of restaurants and food stalls can be quite overwhelming, if you’re not sure where to start, I recommend going on a Singapore food tour with a local insider! It’s a win-win, you’ll enjoy the best flavours of authentic local cuisine, while learning more about Singapore’s food culture, which is heavily influenced by Chinese, Malay and Indian flavours.
Weather and Climate in Singapore
Singapore has typically humid climate throughout the year, and the sun can get quite hot and piercing, so I made sure to always carry an umbrella with me for shade and rain showers, just in case. Don’t forget to apply plenty sunscreen to avoid any sunburn.
If shopping is one of the reasons you came to Singapore, head straight to Orchard Road, with stores from the biggest brands in the world to local delectables for a bargain. The famous road is a shopper’s paradise and the street performer’s stage, there’s never a dull moment in this long stretch. Let’s start with Ion Orchard , Plaza Singapura, and Wisma Atria , some of the bigger malls that are absolutely magnificent just to look at.
I started off with a quick breakfast at Food Republic (the food court inside Wisma Atria), complete with a hot cup of traditional Singaporean coffee. This place is perfect to try all kinds of the local cuisine for inexpensive prices.
Although I must admit, especially during the holiday season, Orchard Road is best to be visited at night, where the streets are flanked with lights and decorations. The theme for the recent holiday season was “Disney,” and no stone was left unturned to make the entire block look like a tiny Disney paradise! And even if you don’t want to shop, you can simply enjoy some ice cream while watching a talented singer or magician perform for the crowds.
A trip to Tiong Bahru is like a trip back in time, this is one of the oldest housing colony in Singapore. It’s a charming neighborhood with art deco architecture from 1920 which looks so different from the modern skyline. There’s a rather homely and warm feeling to this place, and you’ll find Instagrammable places literally on every corner.
I recommend to wander around here for an hour or two, you’ll stumble upon street art, antique book stores, quirky boutiques and hipster cafes in that area, here are some of my favorites:
Tiong Bahru Bakery – Best croissants in town, made by a celebrity baker
Chapter 55 – You must try their homemade ice cream, maybe paired with some waffles
Flock Cafe – Extensive coffee menu with items such as Banana Caramel Latte or Orange Cinnamon Mocha
Dustbunny Vintage – A boutique for vintage clothing, you can find some rare outfits and designer bags
Books Actually – A must see book store, including antiques and all kinds of random vintage stuff
One of the most amazing things about Singapore is that you can reach a pristine beach within 15 minutes from urban downtown. Singapore doesn’t have an inhabitable natural beach, so they just went ahead and created one! The Sentosa Resorts World is simply amazing, with enough activities to indulge in for both small and large groups.
There are three beach areas here, including a nightclub that is quite active on the weekends. The other must-see attraction? Universal Studios. And if beautiful views are your thing, the Cable Car ride from Mount Faber to Sentosa Island is a whole other experience in itself.
For people who come only for a few hours to Singapore, I recommend heading straight to the Singapore Flyer – a gigantic Ferris wheel. The 30 minutes trip with the capsule gives you a breathtaking overview of the city, enveloped in its majesty and aesthetics: Marina Bay with its iconic Merlion, on the opposite side you’ll see the world’s most desired hotel, Marina Bay Sands – and just behind you can spot Gardens by the Bay with its futuristic super trees.
The Singapore Flyer is a perfect place to see some of the most popular sights of Singapore within a short time frame. Admission is S$33 for adults, S$24 for seniors (above 60 years old) and S$21 for children, aged 3-12 years old.
Clarke Quay and Boat Quay
If you have a night in Singapore and sleeping isn’t on your agenda, Clarke Quay is the place to go! The Riverpoint Bridge is brimming with people by 8 pm, drinking beers and chatting away. On either side, the bridge is flanked by the river, with beautifully lit up boat restaurants just floating around.
Clarke Quay area is the place to be if you want to party all night, with tons of nightclubs and lounges to choose from. Some of the most popular clubs are Zouk and Attica, surrounded by other smaller themed clubs that are buzzing with energy and people dancing till the wee hours of the morning. The vibe here is amazing, almost infectious, and can get you into the groove!
If nightclubs aren’t your thing, head further down to Boat Quay on the opposite side, with plenty of pubs and bars to choose from. If you’re on a budget, there is a 7-11 bar, with tables overlooking the river. Draught beer is just under $5 a glass, this is one of the cheapest places in town to have a drink!
Getting around in Singapore
Singapore can be perfectly explored on foot. The pedestrian walks are very convenient here, and transport is never an issue. Singapore has one of the most organized transportation networks in the world. Both the bus network and the MRT network are extremely convenient to use, as long as you get an MRT or EZ Link card and top it up with a few Singapore dollars. This is a much easier option when compared to traveling by taxi, although taxis are quite affordable in Singapore. I use Grab and Gojek for cheaper cab rides.
From the Airport:
The cheaper option is the train. Walk to the MRT station between Terminal 2 and 3. Trains are great if you travel light. If you have a lot of luggage, you might want to opt for a taxi, which will cost about SG$20 -30 (US$15-22) for a ride downtown.
24 hours may not seem like a lot of time as a traveler, and yet there’s so much more to visit and view in Singapore… My experience was simply magnificent, as each new nook and street made me wonder how much thought and genius had gone into creating such a meticulous country.
I hope you enjoyed this guide and I’d love to ear about your experience with Singapore in the comments! Safe travels!
PS: I ended up staying much longer in Singapore than I had planned for, I made fantastic friends here and now this place actually feels like home. If you can, STAY LONGER! You won’t regret! 🙂
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Lamb Wrap with Fennel, Pomegranate and Yogurt
200 Barbecue Recipes: Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook Lebanese & Mediterranean lamb wrap recipe
My lamb wrap recipe is really easy to follow. All you need is fresh fennel, rocket salad, Greek yogurt, ground cumin, leftover lamb and a tortilla wrap. Of course, for a zesty and fruity bite, include some fresh pomegranate seeds for a taste of the Mediterranean. I just love cooking with lamb because it’s so versatile! You can make all types of recipes from different cuts of lamb. Of course, my personal favourites are this delicious 7-hour slow-roast shoulder of lamb or this Indian roast leg of lamb . In both, the lamb just falls apart in your mouth because the meat is so tender! try making this sophisticated sous vide lamb shoulder or the elegant bbq rack of lamb .
If I haven’t awakened the urge for you to try an incredible lamb recipe, then keep reading to find out more of the amazing qualities of lamb. lamb – try it, love it
Lamb, in my opinion, is the most underrated, superb type of meat there is. This meat should be enjoyed by all sorts of consumers across all ages! In fact, there is an EU-funded lamb campaign called Lamb Try It, Love It that’s dedicated to raising awareness about lamb. This campaign intends to put lamb firmly back on the dinner table and on your weekly menu.
Many people are of the opinion that lamb is expensive and difficult to cook. This couldn’t be further from the truth! You can cook with cheap and easy-to-cook cuts of lamb and make outstanding recipes during the week. For example, you can use lamb mince and make these minted lamb burgers . Otherwise, use the lamb shoulder cut or neck fillets to make this rich lamb bhuna , lamb tikka or lamb madras at home. Understandably, lamb is not for everyone, but when was the last time you tried something other than the usual chicken and beef recipes?
Besides, did you know that lamb is extremely nutritious and has many health benefits? It is high-quality meat that’s rich in niacin, vitamin B12, zinc as well as protein. All of these vitamins contribute to good health and wellbeing! In addition, lamb is low on sodium which supports healthy blood pressure.
Start cooking with lamb today and see just how easy and tasty it is! You can start with this easy lamb wrap recipe!
easy Greek lamb wrap recipe
Since my lamb wrap recipe already includes Greek yoghurt, why not take it all the way and go Greek? For a Greek version of the lamb wrap, you might want to consider adding dried oregano to the Greek yoghurt, hints of feta cheese, tomatoes, and lots of lemon juice. Also, keep the pomegranate seeds as they balance out the ingredients overall. You can also include tzatziki instead of the Greek yoghurt for a more cooling and savoury flavour. For an even more refined Greek lamb wrap recipe, opt for making a souvlaki lamb wrap recipe. Souvlaki is very common in Greece, and it is basically grilled meat enjoyed with lemon juice. Hence, pre-grill the leftover lamb before adding it into the wrap. Otherwise, just follow a souvlaki recipe for your lamb and use the entire quantity of grilled lamb souvlaki instead of using leftover lamb. Both choices are delicious! Mexican lamb wrap with homemade guacamole
Again, lamb is such a versatile ingredient. You can pair it with almost anything. Therefore, if you feel like eating Mexican, just combine your lamb wrap with an avocado dip called guacamole which is super creamy and enjoyable. In addition to the guacamole, add a tomato salsa called pico de gallo for a certain freshness! Top with fresh coriander leaves and some chillies for a kick! Middle Eastern lamb wrap and lamb shawarma
At first, when I hear the word lamb wrap, I immediately think of Middle Eastern lamb shawarma . Shawarma is a wrap that’s traditionally made with the meat of lamb or mutton. Today, you can find many types of shawarmas that include chicken, turkey or beef. In fact, I am sure that you’ve heard of shawarma, as it is one of the most common and popular street foods in the Middle East, Northern Africa, Israel as well as many traditional markets in Europe. If you want to get the gist of what true lamb shawarma or Middle Eastern lamb wrap tastes like, I highly recommend you visit a local market near you and request a piece.
In either case, to make this a true Middle Eastern lamb recipe, add fresh parsley, tomatoes, cucumbers, sumac spice , hummus , labneh , and red onions. Of course, don’t forget the lamb! Actually, a Middle Eastern lamb wrap recipe works best with lamb mince meatballs or lamb kebabs! Indian tandoori lamb wrap recipe
Since lamb is common in Indian cuisine, there is no reason why you can’t turn this recipe in an Indian direction. First, add traditional Indian spices into the yogurt such as turmeric, garam masala, cinnamon, cardamom and fenugreek seeds. I also love using hot madras spice for extra flavour, but this is only for those who enjoy spices that bring high heat! Next, you can add a fabulous coriander chutney or reuse any curry sauce that you have from the curry you’ve made the night before. Lastly, add fresh coriander! If you are having a hard time with some of those classic Indian spices, then check out these cardamom substitutes as well as coriander substitute s. Lamb Wrap with Fennel, Yogurt and Pomegranate Author: Michelle Minnaar
Itinerary: What to Do for 3 Days in Perth, Australia
Walking over the suspended bridge to the treetop canopy Cottesloe
Once you’ve finished in the park, it’s time to see what the Perth seaside is all about – and I don’t just mean the inner city beach this time! Take a bus back to Perth station and hop on a train there to Cottesloe. Probably Perth’s most famous beach, Cottesloe is located in a charming beachside suburb. It features 19th-century architecture which gives it a real ‘old fashioned’ seaside feel, ice cream shops, fish and chip eateries and of course, a beautiful beach.
In the summer, Cottesloe beach gets extremely hot – but the ‘Fremantle Doctor’, as the locals call it, blows in during the afternoon and cools the place down. Still, you might fancy going for a dip – the waters here are generally safe for swimming, although do be aware that there is the occasional shark sighting.
If you don’t fancy swimming, just hang around for sunset – you won’t be disappointed. Cottesloe has some of the best sunsets in Australia. While watching the sun dip over the Indian Ocean, you’ll feel pretty content about your first day in Perth City. Northbridge
If you fancy doing something else later, check out the vibrant Northbridge area. There’s lots of nightlife to enjoy as well as restaurants with Australian and world cuisine. Perth Itinerary Day Two – Fremantle
Fremantle is kind of part of Perth, kind of not part of Perth – many consider it a city in its own right. However, it’s my favourite part of the city and I promise this will be a very fun day on your Perth itinerary! How to get there
To reach Fremantle from Perth, you’ll just need to hop on a train at Perth Central Station (this takes about half an hour) or drive if you have a vehicle/ take a taxi, which takes about the same time.
You could also consider staying in Fremantle and travelling into Perth CBD on day one of the Perth itinerary. I lived in Fremantle when I was in Perth, so I can vouch for this option! Fremantle Round House
Whatever way you get there, I’d recommend firstly heading to the Fremantle Round House. Looking out over Bathers Beach, this house tells the tale of Fremantle’s convict past and even gives visitors the chance to experience the stocks (minus the rotten fruit and the length of imprisonment, of course!). The roundhouse is entry by donation. Cappuccino Strip
After the Round House, head to Cappuccino Strip for that’s right… a cappuccino. There are lots of cafes to choose from here – it’s something that Fremantle does best- but my favourite is actually a little off the main street. It’s called Moore and Moore and serves delicious drinks, cakes, and bites to eat and is located in a lovely courtyard setting. Fremantle Markets
Are you visiting Fremantle on Friday, Saturday or Sunday? If so, head to the Fremantle Markets afterward. They’re open on weekends and serve a variety of hot and cold food, souvenirs, artwork and more. There’s often live music and they always have a great atmosphere. There’s also some pretty awesome street art to check out in the area! Fremantle Prison
Once you’re fully refreshed, it’s time to go back to prison – I said I had a fun day in store for you! Fremantle Prison offers tours, telling all the eerie tales of the gaol’s past. The prison is thought to be one of the best cultural attractions in the city, and it is Western Australia’s only world-heritage listed building – making it without a doubt one of the best things to do in Fremantle. Museums & Galleries
If you have time once you’re out, there are another couple of decent museums and galleries to visit in Fremantle. The WA Maritime Museum tells the story of Fremantle’s port – which is the essence of its being, and the Fremantle Arts Centre captures the creative vibe that is omnipresent within the city today.
If you’re not a museum fan or once you have finished, take a stroll along the idyllic waterfront, with its quaint fishing boats and beautiful blue waters. Food & Drink
Once you’ve done all of that, you’ll no doubt be a bit tired and the sun will probably be beginning to set. Take a weight off your feet by tucking into lunch by the water. Fremantle is world-famous for its seafood. I’m vegan so didn’t taste any, but locals and tourists alike love Cicerellos.
Once night falls, there’s only one place to go in Fremantle – Little Creatures Brewery. This beer ships all around Australia and beyond, so you can rest assured that it’s top quality stuff! They also serve food, so if you didn’t fancy fish and chips you’ll likely be able to find something to eat here. Perth Itinerary Day Three – Rottnest Island
The reason why it might not be a bad idea to base yourself in Fremantle on this Perth itinerary is that day three again takes you out of the CBD, to an island that is easily reachable from both Fremantle Harbour and Perth City.
I’m talking about Rottnest – Western Australia’s favourite island. How to get there
Take the Rottnest Express over, and spend an idyllic day exploring. There’s world-class beaches, amazing wildlife both in and out of the water, hiking trails and a general chilled out island vibe. Visiting Rottnest Island is one of the best things to do in Perth for sure!
The Rottnest Express is pricey at $67.50 per person, but it is half price on Tuesdays. Note that these tickets sell out very quickly, so reserve your tickets early if you know that you’ll be travelling to the island then! You can also pre-book a bicycle with your ferry ticket, which is the best way to get around the island.
Once you reach the island, grab your bicycle and you’re good to go! If you don’t want to cycle, you can also use the hop on hop off buses to get around Rottnest. Trails & Quokkas
Once you arrive, I’d recommend tackling one of the trails first, before the midday heat. The walk to Wadjemup Lighthouse goes past some spectacular viewpoints. Half hour tours that detail the history of the area – including Indigenous history which is very important to learn about – leave at 11 am and 2:30 pm and cost $9.
You might spot some quokkas en-route – Rottnest island’s friendly native, they’re absolutely adorable marsupials and love posing for selfies! But do remember that they are wild animals, and are endangered, so don’t touch or feed them. They’re generally very sociable but if any look stressed don’t approach them. Beaches
Once you get back to the beach area, grab your bike or hop on a bus and explore the island! It’s generally recommended that you travel clockwise around the island. There are countless bays to visit in Rottnest, including: Salmon Bay – great for snorkelling, with a marine sanctuary zone Marjorie Bay – one of the less visited beaches on the island Strickland Bay – a popular surf beach The Basin – one of the best places on the island for snorkelling Little Parakeet Bay – a relaxed beach, popular with swimmers
Boats leave back to Rottnest throughout the afternoon, with the last departing at 6:30 pm and arriving at B-Shed Fremantle and Northport. See exact times here . Unique places to eat in Perth
You might want a fancy dinner for your last night in Perth. Head to Clarke’s of North Beach for fine dining by a multi-award winning chef, or take part in a luxury Swan River by Night Cruise to enjoy a meal on the water.
Or, are you tightening the purse strings? Visit Annalakshmi, an Indian vegetarian restaurant that operates on a pay as you feel basis. Do make sure you donate what you can though; restaurants like this thrive on people donating! Where to stay in Perth
Perth has every type of accommodation, from budget hostels to 5* hotels. I’ll include recommendations for both Perth and Fremantle because, as already mentioned, you might choose to stay in Fremantle. Hostels: Fremantle
The Old Fire Station – this is without a doubt the best hostel in Fremantle – if not the best hostel in Australia. It has a fantastic atmosphere; it’s just the right size to be a great place to meet people but also small enough to have a family atmosphere. As well as a courtyard where people party, it has a chill out area upstairs with sofas, Netflix, a kitchen that’s always clean and a girls-only area. I lived here for a month while I was in Perth, and I can guarantee you’ll love it. Perth
Billabong Backpackers is a large, social hostel offering free breakfast, events, large rooms and a pool – great for those hot summer days! Hotels: Fremantle
The Mini Hub has compact private rooms with boutique features, within walking distance to all the main attractions of the area. Each room enjoys a flat-screen TV, free WiFi, and a private bathroom. Perth
Tribe Perth is a fresh, modern hotel with beautifully clean rooms and flawless features. Each soundproofed room has an iron, refrigerator, a flat-screen TV and attached bathroom with all the necessary amenities, and there is a bar on site and free WiFi throughout the property. Where to go after Perth
So, Perth is all fair and good, but where else is there in Western Australia? Don’t worry, I wasn’t about to send you 4000 kilometres to the other side of the country without more advice about where to go from Perth!
I spent three months road tripping Western Australia and it was one of the best experiences of my life. Road trip ideas
From Perth, you can travel south to Margaret River and then across to Esperance. From there you can drive up to Kalgoorlie, an outback mining town, and either back to Perth or along the Nullarbor eastwards.
Or you can take the highway north and see the west coast of Australia. While it gets a lot less visitors than the east coast, it is well deserving – the epic-ness of the scenery is something that you just won’t get anywhere else.
Some of the best road trip spots in Western Australia include Kalbarri National Park with its Jurrasic-park-esque gorges, the Ningaloo Reef where at the right time of year you can swim with whale sharks, magical Karijini National Park which constantly looks like it’s populated with fairies, and the chilled out town of Broome – where the sunsets are the best in the whole of Australia.
You can even venture even further north to the Gibb River Road, a 660 kilometre stretch of 4WD track lined by waterfalls and gorges and then into the Northern Territory and Darwin. You’ll be a very long way from Perth by this point, but it’s a popular route for many travellers.
Wherever you decide to go, you’ll have a blast in Western Australia. There’s nowhere else in the world quite like it! Share:
Sonja is a Kiwi who now lives in Scotland, after having lived in 5 other countries along the way. She shares her living abroad experiences and best tips to make your travel experiences the best they can be! You Might Also Like