Tag Archives: S&C on the road

A beer drinker’s holiday

Attention beer drinkers. Specifically, Belgian beer drinkers. More specifically, lambic style beer drinkers. This may be a post for you.

Ms. S&C recently took 10 days to spend some time in London, Belgium (Bruges and Brussels), and Amsterdam. When you’re on a holiday such as this one, it’s hard not to visit a pub or a beer bar *at least* once a day. Ms. S&C would argue it’s one of the best ways to settle into a new city, get to know a neighborhood and just get off your feet for a bit. And when visiting these cities in particular, the most interesting — and perhaps the most refreshing — thing to order is beer.

In London, you’re gonna order a pint and you’re gonna order something on draft. Or, there may be a time or two when you order a half pint and that half pint may be cider. Either way, cheers!

In Belgium, ordering beer can be intimidating. Even the smallest of beer bars will have a hundred or more beers to choose from. Ms. S&C stuck mostly with lambic style beers. They’re funky and earthy, and sour, and sometimes with a touch of sweetness. They’re complex. And despite my choice of adjectives to describe them, they’re really, really good.

Here’s an almost complete list of what two beer drinkers can drink in three short days in Belgium (in order of appearance):

  • De Ranke XX Bitter
  • 3 Drei Fonteineri Oude Gueze
  • Girardin Gueze (black label)
  • Girardin Kriek
  • Boom Mariage Parfait
  • Cantillon Gueze
  • Moinette Blonde
  • Brugse Zot
  • Rochefort 6
  • Saison Dupont
  • Troublette
  • Duchesse de Bourgogne
  • Hanssens Artisanal Oude Gueze
  • De Garre Triple (on tap)
  • Gulden Draak (on tap)
  • Petrus Gouden Triple
  • Duvel (triple hop)
  • Cuvee De Ranke
  • Saison de Dottignies De Ranke
  • Cantillon Faro
  • Cantillon Lambic (on tap)
  • Cantillon Kriek (on hand pump)
  • De Rank Gulden Berg
  • Houblon Chouffee
  • Boon Oude Gueze
  • Cantillon Rose de Gambrinus
  • Oerbier

When visiting a new city, one may ask: how do you know where to go? Sometimes you can rely on just popping into the nearest place when your legs are too tired to take you any further. But much of the time, you can benefit from a little research beforehand. For instance, Tim Webb’s Good Beer Guide to Belgium is worth the purchase. Rick Steves is a pretty reliable source too (he also recommended our favorite bar: t’Brugs Beertje in his travel guide). A few spots Ms. S&C would like to find herself drinking a beer again:

  • The Lamb and the Fog (London)
  • Lounge Bohemian (London, cocktails)
  • The Rake (London)
  • The Jugged Hare (London)
  • t’Brugs Beertje (Bruges)
  • De Garre (Bruges)
  • Poatersgat (Bruges)
  • Chez Moeder Lambic (Brussels)

When in Amsterdam, after seven days on the road, you might want to chill out, have a smoothie and stick with a beer you know. Amstel, particularly Amstel Light, has always been a personal go to. But, it’s also a city when you may just want to sit back at a coffeehouse overlooking a canal, drink some mint tea and watch the bicycles go by.

posted by Ms. S&C

Happiness awaits

There’s a sign for Palm Grove Bar & Grill that reads “Where happiness awaits you.”

Ms. S&C just returned from her third trip to Anguilla, and her second to Palm Grove. It was this recent trip that she had the honor of chatting with Nat, the owner, while she ate her grilled lobster (with a tasty curry butter) and drank her Red Stripe. The conversation covered everything from Johnny Cakes, to American politics, to Anguillan heritage, to what it’s like to own a shack (Nat’s word) by the water. Ms. S&C likes this shack by the water. But, Ms. S&C pretty much likes all the shacks by the water in Anguilla.

Ms. S&C and her Red Stripe at Palm Grove, one of many favorite spots on the beautiful, relaxed, 16-mile long island of Anguilla.

Other Caribbean beverages of choice: Pyrat Rum, Carib, and Presidente. And, where are some good spots to drink said beverages? Favorite bars include: Dune Preserve (and if you’re lucky, reggae legend and owner, Bankie Banx, will be around; and if you’re really lucky, maybe you’ll show up on his birthday), and The Pumphouse (if you don’t see Bankie’s son Omari at the Dune, maybe you can catch him here on Friday night).

Favorite restaurants to wine and dine (there are so many!): Tasty’s (the best Johnny Cakes on the island, and they serve them for breakfast, lunch and dinner; Ms. S&C knows because she went there for breakfast, lunch and dinner), Picante (*really* good Mexican), Blanchard’s (for beachfront chic), and Smokey’s (great for live music and fresh fish sandwich). New places that she’ll be back to: E’s Oven (best bite of the trip was the grilled grouper with tomato jam), and Bonjour Cafe (a hippy-ish spot tucked back in the woods with a great vegetable roti).

The best way to hydrate? Fresh coconut water! (A rastaman that’s handy with a machete is particularly helpful in this endeavor.) And hydration is needed after sea kayaking, yoga on the beach, a Thai massage, and a night out at The Pumphouse.

Happiness awaits at many spots on Anguilla. This sunset spot was taken from Ms. S&C’s patio. She viewed it for eight full days. If you are ever thinking of visiting, please let her know (after three trips, she has copious notes that she’d love to share!).

posted by Ms. S&C

Lake favorites

Okay, okay, Ms. S&C promises this will be the last of the lake-related blog posts, Twitter posts, and Facebook posts. But, she couldn’t wrap up this year’s lake trip without sharing more of her favorites.

Drink favorites
Bloody Mary’s, Grapefruit Crushes, Pimm’s, Champagne cocktails, red wine, beer, beer, and more beer: there are lots of drink options at the lake. (You saw this picture from last year, right?) Thankfully, Ms. S&C is not charge of them all. Last year, a friend (we’ll call her Mrs. Smith) introduced us to Banks Rum and the Five Island Watermelon Punch. This year, Mrs. Smith, prepared for us a traditional Bajan Rum Punch. We didn’t keep score, but it was likely this year’s winning cocktail.

When Ms. S&C inquired about the recipe, Mrs. Smith shared the traditional (and delightful) saying to help one remember: 

One of Sour
Two of Sweet
Three of Strong

And Four of Weak

It translates into this:

  • 1 cup lime juice
  • 2 cups simple syrup
  • 3 cups white rum, preferably Banks Five Island White Rum
  • 2 cups of ice and 2 cups of cold water

Directions:

Stir all ingredients together in a large pitcher. To serve: fill a highball glass with three or four additional ice cubes. Garnish with a splash of Angostura bitters and a dash of grated nutmeg.

I want to think it is the perfect balance of sweet and sour that makes this a winning cocktail, but I really think it is the bitters and fresh grated nutmeg.

Favorite moments
Like the numerous drink selections, a lot of games are played at the lake: bocce, horseshoes, Scrabble, Mexican train dominoes, Left-Center-Right. But, it was during a competitive guys-against-girls game of Celebrity where a Coach Taylor impression (from Mr. Smith, coincidentally) will go down as my favorite charade moment of all time. With one turn of a hat, breaths were taken away. #fullhearts

Ms. S&C would consider almost any yoga session by the water a perfect moment, but her favorite yoga moment came on a rainy day — with first day jitters behind her — when she led an extensive indoor session that turned into a truly blessed experience. #namastebitches

Playlist favorites
Where there are booze and games, there is music. We marked this occasion with a collaborative playlist, in which everyone submits two song requests. Below you’ll find the complete list of songs, with notations for those currently in heavy rotation in the S&C house.

  1. Mercy — Duffy
  2. When Did Your Heart Go Missing? — Rooney
  3. Birthday — Kings of Leon
  4. Little Lion Man — Mumford & Sons
  5. Loving Cup — The Rolling Stones
  6. Jingling Baby — LL Cool J
  7. Price Tag (feat. B.o.B) — Jessie J
  8. Can I Kick It? — A Tribe Called Quest
  9. Walk On The Wild Side — Lou Reed
  10. Toob Amplifier — The Presidents of the United States of America
  11. Rolling in the Deep — ADELE
  12. Give Me Everything (feat. Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer) — Pitbull
  13. Otis (feat. Otis Redding) — JAY Z & Kanye West
  14. My Mistakes — Eleanor Friedberger
  15. Holdin On to Black Metal — My Morning Jacket
  16. Hold You Back — JC Brooks & The Uptown Sounds
  17. Metal Firecracker — Lucinda Williams
  18. Get Me Bodied — Beyoncé
  19. Look At Me Now (feat. Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes) — Chris Brown
  20. Am I the Only One — Dierks Bentley
  21. Cheers (Drink to That) — Rihanna
  22. S&M — Rihanna
  23. Baby Got Back — Sir Mix-A-Lot
  24. So Lucky (Eurovision 2011 – Moldova) — Zdob Si Zdub
  25. Your Touch — The Black Keys
  26. Evacuate the Dancefloor (Radio Edit) — Cascada
  27. Everybody Gets to Go to the Moon (Live) — The Three Degrees
  28. True Loves — Hooray For Earth
  29. That Way (feat. Jeremih & Rick Ross) — Wale
  30. On My Level (feat. Too $hort) — Wiz Khalifa
  31. I Gotta Get Drunk — Redbird
  32. Rehab — Amy Winehouse

Until next year!

posted by Ms. S&C

At the lake

When you’re with Ms. S&C and her perfectly awesome friends during the annual lake trip, you get things like:

Incredible water view + cute kids (plus morning yoga on that dock)

Happy dogs

Good food (two words: shrimp boil)

Drinks on the go (that’s a portable grapefruit crush you’re looking at)

Fireworks! (and, um, please notice the amusingly appropriate tee)

Ms. S&C hopes to post a longer recap, to share an excellent rum punch recipe, an excellent lake playlist, and many other excellent activities that make up her favorite.weekend.ever.

posted by Ms. S&C

When in Denver

When in Denver, there’s:

Hiking

Biking

And Drinking.

And by drinking, we mean grapefruit mimosas and cucumber bloody marys for brunch (get them both at delicious, delicious Duo). And by drinking, we also mean beer. There’s so much good beer! (We can recommend Mountain Sun beer and nachos after hiking in Boulder, and Falling Rock Taphouse in downtown Denver). And while you’re in the Mile High City, you may as well check out the city’s first bar, The Cruise Room. Opened the day after Prohibition was repealed, and fashioned after one of the lounges on the Queen Mary, this art deco style bar has an extensive martini menu.

In addition to hiking, biking, and drinking, there is yoga. There is wonderful,  invigorating, heart-opening yoga (Vital Yoga is a fantastic studio in the Highlands neighborhood).

But, most importantly, there are super awesome friends in Denver. And great memories.

posted by Ms. S&C

Salute Italia

Dear Italy,

I miss you. I miss my morning cappuccino. I miss my afternoon caffe (and those well-dressed baristas with their cute hats). I miss the grazies and the pregos. I miss al dente pasta. I miss fresh seafood. I miss your vino rosso. I miss saying vino rosso, per favore. Of course I miss your pizza. I even miss your graffiti and the crowded streets in Naples. I miss taking the train to Pompeii, to Sorrento, to Rome. I miss that nocciotella gelato I had in Amalfi.

I miss the sea view from my hotel room in Positano (I miss all the views!). I miss the sound of the waves crashing on Fornillo beach. I miss the Mediterranean air. I even miss those grueling stairs and steep climbs.

Other things I miss:

Lunch in Positano: prosecco, birra, misto di verdure (mixed vegetable platter), and usually al fresco.

This view of the Amalfi Coast. Is there anything more beautiful?

Visiting musuems like the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, in Naples.

Gelato. Did I mention the daily gelato?

I’m not sure when I’ll see you again (but, I plan on seeing you again!).

Amore,

Ms. S&C

[Update: For those of you keeping track of such things — you’re not crazy — this post *has* been updated with new pictures and slightly modified text. Nothing major (and not that we’re close), but we strive for perfection at S&C.]

Beach amusements

Parades of people, salty air, smells of ice cream and boardwalk fries — there are so many delights at the beach! (Ms. S&C wishes she was still at the beach.)

She has shared Rehoboth Beach experiences before (fortunately the weather was much more cooperating this time around). Favorite spots that were revisted during her recent stay included:

  • Dogfish Head – this brewery still has the most interesting beers around. Where else can you find Sah’tea (made with black tea, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and black pepper),  Festina Peche, Saison du BUFF (a collaboration with Victory and made with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme)?
  • Nicola Pizza – when carrying around the box, on local said to another: “she knows where to get pizza.”
  • FINS Fish House and Raw Bar – great oysters and fun bar staff, one of which we nicknamed Rehoboth’s Vinny Chase.

Ms. S&C also came across some new spots that will now be included in the rotation:

  • The Ice Cream Store – homemade ice cream with over 70 flavors, including: Bacon (more subtle than you think), Better Than Sex (almost), Lucky Charms (yes, the cereal), Mayan Chocolate Cinnamon (made spicy with cayenne).
  • Purple Parrot – modeled after bars in Key West, everyone’s welcome at this karaoke bar.
  • The Starboard – a super fun, high-energy bar in Dewey Beach, who’s motto is: Happy Hour Proudly Starts at 9 am! The Starboard is also famous for their Bloody Mary Smorgasbord which includes a wall of mixers, hot sauces, spices, and tons of garnishes. Ms. S&C made herself a liquid salad indeed!

In Bloody Mary heaven at The Starboard in Dewey Beach.

The Starboard is also famous for their “crushes,” a super refreshing mix of fresh juices (orange or grapefruit), vodka, and soda. Ms. S&C first heard about “crushes,” from Washington Post’s Going Out Gurus. And, she agrees with Fritz Hahn, crushes are a favorite beach drink (recipe to come, promise!).

Orange you glad you tried those crushes, Ms. S&C? Yes, she is.

As for other beach amusements, Ms. S&C tried surfing for the first time. She arranged lessons with Rehoboth Beach Boarding School and will never forget this call: Get Ready (waves coming), Paddle Hard, and Pop-up. The adrenaline rush was pretty incredible. Plus, there’s something great about paddling around on a surfboard in the ocean. (And, there’s something badass about coming home with bruised knees and sore ribs.)

PS) You better believe that a S&C surfer playlist is in the works. Stay tuned for that because it will go great with those “crushes.”

posted by Ms. S&C

The Bloody Mary smorgesbord at The Starboard in Dewey Beach.