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Downton Abbey Visits the Biltmore

Costumes from the popular TV series are on display at America’s largest home.                             Fans of the popular PBS television series Downton Abbey don’t have to travel to Highclere Castle to experience firsthand what life was like at Downton Abbey or to view original costumes of their favorite characters. The Biltmore House, the grand 250-room Vanderbilt estate in Asheville, North Carolina, is showcasing 47 costumes from the show during its exhibition: Dressing Downton: Changing Fashions for Changing Times, which runs from February 5th through May 25th,...

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Spring and Luxe in Amsterdam

You are standing in a springtime garden. As you slowly turn, sunshine blazes on a riot of colors in every direction. Lush beds of tulips, daffodils and azaleas surround you. For eight weeks each year, you can find yourself among seven million tulips on seventy-nine manicured acres at Keukenhof. You probably won’t find Keukenhof in your spell-checker but you will find it less than an hour’s drive outside of Amsterdam in Lisse, South Holland, Netherlands. Keukenkof, which means “Kitchen Courtyard” in Dutch, was originally part of Teylingen Castle, and the wooded land provided food and game as far back as the 15th...

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Mendocino County Events for Spring and Summer 2015

Mendocino County Events for Spring & Summer 2015 VERITABLE VINO: It’s a 10! Long known for its Alsatian varietals and corner pocket of sparkling wine producers, Mendocino County recently received a new American Viticultural Region (AVA): Eagle Peak.  Situated 10 miles northwest of Ukiah, the petite wine-growing region is home to four commercial winegrowers and one tasting room (Masút Vineyard and Winery) featuring artisan Pinots crated by Jake and Ben Fetzer; www.masut.com.  The AVA encompasses nearly 21,000 acres of rugged terrain with vineyards on east and south-facing slopes adjoining two other hard-to-find, easy-on-the-palate neighbors: Redwood Valley and Potter Valley AVAs. WALK WITH THE...

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Vienna Hosts the Life Ball for AIDS Charity

On May 16, 2015 Europe’s largest AIDS charity event will be flying the flag for solidarity and tolerance. Rathausplatz will be transformed into a riot of color for the Life Ball, ahead of a wild night inspired by this year’s title of Gold | Ver Sacrum | Santa Primavera | Sacre du Printemps. The main event and party will take place inside City Hall. The Life Ball, one of the world’s largest Aids charity events, will play out under the banner of Gold | Ver Sacrum | Santa Primavera | Sacre du Printemps this year. On May 16, 2015...

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Vienna Celebrates its Spanish Riding School’s 450th Anniversary

Vienna’s Spanish Riding School celebrates its 450th anniversary in 2015. In addition to a special gala performance by the world-famous Lipizzaner stallions, the Fête Impériale summer ball at the Riding School on June 26, 2015 will also take its inspiration from the jubilee. The world-famous Spanish Riding School will mark its 450th anniversary with a spellbinding jubilee performance by the Lipizzaner stallions on Heldenplatz. Visitors can admire the equine choreography on the square in front of the offices of the Federal President on June 26, 2015 at 7pm. The riders from the Real Escuela Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre will...

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Vienna’s Ringstrasse Celebrates 150th Anniversary

Vienna’s Ringstrasse celebrates its 150th anniversary by hosting events throughout 2015. From military grounds to showpiece boulevard: Vienna’s Ringstrasse celebrates the 150th anniversary of its opening in 2015. The largest construction project in Vienna’s history marked the capital’s transformation from an imperial capital to a truly European metropolis. Throughout the year the Ringstrasse provides the backdrop for a diverse range of large-scale events that play out in the buildings lining the boulevard and its squares and parks. Cultural highlights include the world-famous New Year’s Concert by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at the Musikverein, the Music Film Festival on Rathausplatz...

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Vienna Introduces New Restaurants for 2015 Restaurant Week

Vienna introduces new restaurants for 2015 restaurant week. A new restaurant for a top chef, a crossover store for a luxury sparkling wine brand and high-end patisserie, a bastion of traditional Viennese dining culture – and that’s just for starters. There’s never a dull moment on the Austrian capital’s restaurant scene. One of Austria’s best chefs launched his own restaurant in January 2015. Christian Petz, whose career highlights include cooking up a storm as chef de cuisine at the Meinl am Graben restaurant, helping the Palais Coburg Wien on its way to a Michelin star and providing the creative...

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Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Hosts Third Annual Cheese & Wine Festival

The Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Golf & Spa Resort will be hosting its third annual Cheese & Wine Festival in Los Cabos, Mexico on March 7th. After the destruction of Hurricane Odile this past September, the Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Golf & Spa Resort is celebrating the rebirth of Los Cabos with the return of its third annual charitable Cheese & Wine Festival. On Saturday March 7, 2015 beginning at 6:00 p.m., locals and tourists alike will come together to indulge in wine, bread and cheese from 10 of the industry’s best cheese and wine vendors. “As Los Cabos continues to rebuild from the hurricane, it is important for us to help bring fun, light-hearted experiences back to the community for both locals and visitors to enjoy,” said Renato Mendonca, General Manager of the Sheraton Hacienda del Mar. “With the Sheraton being the only resort in the area with two five star diamond award-winning fine dining restaurants, we pride ourselves in bringing one-of-a-kind culinary experiences to Cabo. And similar to previous events, our Cheese & Wine Festival will benefit a local charity, Sarahuaro AC Foundation, which provides women and children with workshops focused on community action and building self-esteem.” The Sheraton Hacienda del Mar emphasizes creating events in the best interest of the local community all while providing guests with extraordinary culinary experiences. The resort strongly pushes programs that encourage...

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Chinese Automaker Unveils Unmanned Concept Car

Chinese Automaker Unveils Unmanned Concept Car Chinese automaker Guangzhou Automobile Group Motor CO., LTD (GACM), which manufacturers and markets passenger cars under the Trumpchi brand (including the Trumpchi E-Jet plugin and other vehicles from the line featured in the Hollywood blockbuster movie “Transformers: Age of Extinction”), unveiled its highly anticipated new unmanned concept car, the “WITSTAR,” at the preeminent North American International Auto Show held in Detroit during a press conference held on January 12th, 2015. The company concurrently revealed its new fuel efficient SUV, the GS4, along with an overview of its global strategy “designed to further elevate...

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The Art of Food

Later this month Sherrie Wilkolaski, our Editor-in-Chief, and I will be in Lyon, France, to attend Sirha, one of the finest hospitality tradeshows, which incorporates the French Pastry Cup and finalizes with the Bocuse d’Or—an “Olympics of Food Flavor and Talent.” After being invited many times by my friend, French Master Chef Hervé Laurent, he finally convinced me to attend in 2009. It was awesome and I was hooked.   This show is every two years and each time, it just keeps getting better. In addition to having the finest food, wine and hospitality purveyors, competition in twelve display kitchens...

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Yosemite’s Bracebridge Dinner: Christmas Old-School Style

Since its inception in 1927, the Bracebridge Dinner, held each December at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park, is a Yuletide pageant of food, song and spectacle; a unique and utterly incomparable holiday event. Famed photographer Ansel Adams not only helped catapult Yosemite to a national audience via his haunting black and white images of the park, but he was instrumental in getting the Bracebridge Dinner off the ground as its director and performer. “Ansel had a great, fine eye for detail,” says current director and actor, Andrea Fulton. “He would have a light changed by only an...

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Burgundy Terroirs: Wines of Maison Louis Latour

One of the highlights of the recent Food Network South Beach Wine and Food Festival (SOBEWFF) was the wine seminars presented by Wine Spectator and hosted by Bruce Sanderson, the magazine’s Senior Editor. I attended three seminars during the festival, including one examining the Burgundy Terroirs and wines of Maison Louis Latour. Our gracious host was Louis-Fabrice Latour, general managing director of the winery and the eleventh generation to run the company. It was a magnificent tasting of six 2009 Louis Latour Pinot Noir offerings. About Domaine Louis Latour Domaine Louis Latour is one of the few wineries in Burgundy...

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