Skimbaco Lifestyle | online magazine » SKIMBACO TRAVEL Skimbaco Lifestyle, online magazine inspiring you to live life to the fullest. Travel, home, food, fashion, family. Tue, 30 Sep 2014 16:23:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Combination travel: Train from London to Paris, then Cruising French Country Side Tue, 30 Sep 2014 11:44:32 +0000
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I have written before about combination travel – combining different destinations on the same trip – and often also combining different transportation methods, either as means of getting from one place to another, or as a unique experience. Combination travel also makes a lot of sense if you are travelling to another continent: the incremental cost on terms of time and money is smaller since you are already there.

Combination travel with rail, cruising and flying

Combination travel with rail, river cruising and flying

last Spring I did a combination travel to France, but instead of flying like I normally do I finally took the Eurostar train – and it was an excellent choice! This is an experience I’d definitely recommend for overseas travellers: a return ticket cost me just £67.50, which translates roughly to $100 USD, so it’s  way cheaper than flying.

The key allure of the train travel is not the cost though, but a combination of factors: the speed: it took me 3 hours from home to the center of Paris vs. 7-8 it would with driving to the airport, parking, checking in etc (but note that I boarded in Ashford, not central London), there is no limit to the luggage (but might be a small surcharge if you bring a ton), no worrying about liquid limits and no tasteless plane food.

The train is fast, silent and clean – and has great food on offer too. The end station, Gare du Nord, was within a walking distance to my hotel vs. 15 minute walk and an hour’s bus drive it took to reach the Charles de Gaulle airport on my way to Spain after the river cruise. So train vs. airplane from London to Paris goes 6-0 for the Eurostar!

Walking distance to hotel Westminster

Romantic Hotel Westminster was only a walking distance away from Eurostar stations Gare du Nord

So train was my first leg of the journey and a great experience, which was followed by a couple of days in Paris, and then I continued to a river barging cruise in Burgundy. The last leg of this combination journey was a few days spend under the basking sun of Spain exploring a historic city: now the weather was quite sunny in Paris too, but all but the last day were still somewhat cool temperature-wise, so Spain was a welcomed final leg for this trip.

Exploring Beaune

Exploring the delicous French foods in liltle town of Beaune

This trip lived to the full expectation of combination travel as it was filled with different experiences from wine tasting and culinary journey and cycling French country lanes to sampling night life and busy tourist attractions in Paris: a great mix of fast life and slow lane and something in between! If you are interested in trying something new and booking your next adventure – possibly even a combination travel there are a few ways to go about it: do it all yourself, have a professional agency organise your itinerary, or a combination of the two.


Biking to a restored abbey for cocktails and canapes

If your choose do do it yourself, be aware of the stress and amount of work it takes to find the information, book, confirm and coordinate everything – so start early enough. If you decide to use a company there are many available such as Shearings Holidays , which offer a bit of everything from self-drive itineraries to rail and cruises, tours and multiple-stop flying holidays (note that Shearings is UK based but offers global destinations, so works well if you are coming from US as many people start from London their European adventures)

Night in Alcala

Ending the holiday with a high note – trying something new again: guided night time city tour, which bring a whole new perspective and of course some great tapas and wine at the end of the tour!

reeta laaksonen

I love luxury travel and bringing global inspirations to our daily life. As a mother of three, I am always in the look for best places to visit with the kids. If you like the global lifestyle as much as I do, subscribe to Skimbaco Lifestyle weekly feed.

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Roccafiore: Winelover’s Destination in Umbria Italy Fri, 26 Sep 2014 07:08:04 +0000
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Located in the heart of the Umbria region of Italy, Roccafiore offers a unique experience with nature ranging from its winery to its spa and halls filled with art. The Roccafiore project was founded by Leonardo Baccarelli when he fell in love with the location in the 90′s, which then began to serve as a place for him to reconnect to nature. Roccafiore, managed mostly by staff under 30, is located near Todi and combines a winery, resort, restaurant, and spa. It is truly a place to immerse yourself in the countryside while tasting strictly organic wines.


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Leonardo realized that wine had to be a part of his Roccafiore project, and thus wanted to craft a wine unique to the Umbria region. He had a seemingly by chance encounter with expert wine maker Hartmann Dona of the Alto Aldige who become the consultant on the project. The winery utilizes a unique system of planting vines on terraces for maximum sunlight. This system demands up to 7 times more labor than planting in rows. This classic method of planting is among just one of the many classic methods Roccafiore uses to keep the process as harmonious with nature as possible.

The Roccafiore winery produces 9 varieties of wine and 1 extra virgin olive oil. These wines range from intriguing whites such as the Fiorfiore Todi Grechetto Supeiore to lucious reds like the Rosso Roccafiore Todi Sangiovese Superiore. The former has a deep straw yellow color with hints of apple, small yellow flowers, and sweet spices. The Fiorfiore restaurant on-site chef recommends pairing with cold cuts. The latter is a ruby red color with hints of ripe plum, tobacco, and liquorice with recommended pairings of sausage, salami, or roast beef.


Interview with Luca Baccarelli, son of Leonardo:

What does wine mean to you? When did you get to know it for the first time?
I started to learn about it when I was still very young, picking grapes in my grandfather’s vineyard when I was 6 years old. At 21 I started at Roccafiore, with the first vintage we made. I deepened my knowledge by studying the wine scene at an international level, a step I think is fundamental if you want to be competitive in the market worldwide. My goal is a constant search for quality and the best way to learn about this world, in my opinion, is to taste the wine during its evolution and consider how it is going to develop. It is for this reason that today I follow every stage of production with the same enthusiasm as when I tried to remove the bunches from the vine at the age of six.

You were born in 1984, and you were managing this winery a good while before you reached 30. All of your staff is made up of young people. Is this by choice or by chance?
It’s a choice: the energy of young people and their innovative drive are an essential resource for this type of work. We have focused on young people so as to give them some prospects at a time that is anything but easy in our country. The younger generations bring a different approach; they are attentive to technological developments, in every sphere. Among the innovations that we have introduced, for example, is an App that guides one through a tasting of our products. Everyone in the company has the opportunity to carve out their own space and follow their own inclinations. As soon as I joined the company I had to do everything, from the vineyard to the cellar. I remember when, at the end of an exhausting day when we had filled about 10,000 bottles, my father asked me, “Now who’s going to sell all of these?” That’s when I realized that I’d be taking care of the commercial side of the business.

How has the company changed in the last few years?
We are constantly evolving; our goal is to keep on improving, so as to offer consumers a wine that we have thought up and made in a responsible manner. I believe that today wine has to have a modern approach, one which combines respect for the vocation of the terroir with listening to the needs of the marketplace. I believe that making simple wines is the hardest thing. Our commitment is paying off and we are now featured on the wine lists of some of the best restaurants in Italy and around the world. This goes to show that if you work seriously, nothing is impossible.

How many countries do you export to?

At least 50% of our production is destined for sale abroad. We export to the United States, to Asia, in countries such as China, Japan and Taiwan, and we sell our bottles in Australia and Israel, but also in the European market. As regards the latter, I should mention for example Switzerland, Denmark, Belgium, Finland, Norway and England. The foreign consumer pays great attention to quality and to choosing organic wines, produced by companies that respect the environment. This is a challenge that we have invested in since day one. A major contribution has been made by Valentina Davide, our consultant for foreign markets, with whom we have been working for three years now. She is a very experienced professional who has enabled the company to grow in a rational way, by choosing the most strategic countries.

Since the very beginning, Roccafiore has only produced organic wines. Why did you take this decision?
It’s a matter of being consistent. We wanted to be a company that respects the environment and to do this we decided to make a drastic choice: to use organic farming methods for all our crops. We accompany the wine in its development, but we have to intervene as little as possible: that’s our philosophy. Everyone who opens one of our bottles has to have the perception that that product is made with us protecting the ecosystem that surrounds it. Hence the decision to also focus on renewable energy, on recovering used-up grape pomace (which we use as fertilizer in the vineyards), on the use of lighter bottles and the adoption of biofuels for our agricultural vehicles, as well as on reducing our water consumption.


Bac. 49


From the beautiful winery to the resort and spa, Roccafiore is truly a winelover’s destination in Italy. A place to reconnect with nature, the winery is a modern project with an ode to classic methods.




Monsieur Curations - Men's Lifestyle at Skimbaco Lifestyle, feature by Wes Holland

I dream of being a business leader in the fashion world. Whether that be creating and running my own luxury retail consulting firm, or heading a department for a renowned fashion house, I want to mix the intellectually stimulating side of business with the creativity that the fashion world offers. Make sure to subscribe to Skimbaco Fashion weekly feed.

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Something Sweet and Luxe at The Langham Chicago Wed, 24 Sep 2014 11:18:09 +0000
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The Langham in Chicago is known for its signature afternoon tea on Wedgewood china, which debuted at its sister hotel The Langham, London in 1865. Now, it may also become known for its sweeter, luxury side. The Langhham, Chicago has opened the Parlour at Pavilion, so you can enjoy some more decandence following afternoon tea. The Parlour at Pavilion, a retro-ice cream parlour featuring adult ice-cream treats from pastry chef Scott Green, has a crown jewel on the menu.

Langham Chicago Ice Cream Sundae

The Victoria: Tahitian vanilla ice cream, Guittard Complexité 70% Chocolate Ice Cream, 24k Gold Leaf and Gold Dust, Hennessy Cognac VSOP, with a hand-crafted dark-chocolate crown. This jewel is served in a Wedgewood crystal bowl — yours to keep. The sundae is accompanied by a bottle of 2003, Dom Perignon.

When I saw it on Instagram, I told the hotel. “That looks big!”

The hotel commented, “Large, indeed. It’s meant for sharing.” Someone may need to share the price. This dessert will set you back $1,000.

Don’t worry. You don’t need a $1,000 to enjoy the Parlour at Pavilion. All other adult-ice cream sundaes are an everyday price. But, you may have a hard time grabbing a table without reservations. The Parlour will be open daily from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and reservations are highly recommended.

Photo credit: The Langham Chicago on Instagram

Leigh Hines, hotel and family travel expert | Skimbaco Lifestyle

I live like a tourist in my hometown and my dream is to travel the world one luxury hotel at the time. If you love traveling as much as I do, subscribe to Skimbaco Travel, and never miss any travel content from our site.

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Hot Coffee Trend: Nitro Cold Brew Thu, 18 Sep 2014 11:28:37 +0000
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At Skimbaco, when we experience something we love then we like to share it. We thought it was fitting since Satu wrapped up the Ride Wild 2014 through Ireland this month that we toast her with coffee that pours like a Guinness.

Nitro Cold Brew in Raleigh

I tasted my first-ever nitro cold brew at the new coffee bar, BREW, in Raleigh, N.C., which serves serves both coffee and craft beer to its customers. Nitro cold brew isn’t just an iced coffee. Without getting too technical, craft beer lovers are probably used to the term because many bars usually have a nitro tap as part of their draft system.  Nitro taps have less carbon dioxide, which means nitro beers are smooth and silky. When you keg a cold brew,and mix it with nitrogen, it creates a coffee that resembles a beer. It’s smooth, delicious, and so good that I didn’t even need to add cream and sugar, which is something this Southern girl always puts in her coffee.

Nitro Cold Brew on Tap

BREW uses the local coffee roaster, Raleigh Coffee Company.  Here’s to you Satu! We are so proud of you at Skimbaco for your fabulous accomplishment of biking through Ireland. And, I’m elated to discover Nitro Cold Brew in my own hometown. I love Raleigh, y’all. 

Leigh Hines, hotel and family travel expert | Skimbaco Lifestyle

I live like a tourist in my hometown and my dream is to travel the world one luxury hotel at the time. If you love traveling as much as I do, subscribe to Skimbaco Travel, and never miss any travel content from our site.

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Southern Food: Savor the South Weekend in N.C. Wed, 10 Sep 2014 10:06:46 +0000
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Savor-the-South Event in Greensboro

Peaches, biscuits, bourbon, sweet potatoes, okra, buttermilk, tomatoes, pecans, pickles, preserves, and good ole’ Southern holidays. These are the foods that define the South. As a Southern girl, I’m really partial to biscuits, tomatoes, and okra. Oh, how I wish I could fry okra like my grandmother did.

Skimbaco has been invited to cover the Savor the South Weekend in  Greensboro, N.C. on Sept. 26-28. I’ll be traveling to Greensboro,and checking into the O’Henry Hotel to  meet the  authors behind the Savor the South cookbook series and experience some of the recipes in the series.

The event is sponsored by O’Henry Hotel and Our State Magazine. Limited space is available for this once in a lifetime foodie weekend so I hope to see you in  Greensboro. Be sure to follow @HinesSightBlog on Instagram for this special weekend.

Leigh Hines, hotel and family travel expert | Skimbaco Lifestyle

I live like a tourist in my hometown and my dream is to travel the world one luxury hotel at the time. If you love traveling as much as I do, subscribe to Skimbaco Travel, and never miss any travel content from our site.

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Family Getaway Idea: Williamsburg, Virginia Tue, 09 Sep 2014 04:39:55 +0000
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The great thing about traveling to the South in the fall  is that temperatures remain warm during the day well into November. The perfect spot for families to explore the fall season is Williamsburg, Virginia. It’s a good place to have fun, but it’s also filled with history, which provides an exceptional learning opportunity for your children during the school year.

Jamestown Indian Village

You cannot visit the Williamsburg area without visiting the Jamestown settlement because they know how to make history fun.  Here, you explore America’s beginnings. This is the site of the first English Colony, founded in 1607 and 13 years before Pilgrams came to Massachusetts. Explore the the Powhatan Indian village, based on archaeological findings at a site once inhabited by Paspahegh Indians.

Jamestown Replica Ships

Learn about Pocahontas, and board three replica ships, The Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery, for a hands-on educational experiences that familiarizes you with the four-month transatlantic voyage that settlers had to take to come to America. The three ships carried 105 passengers, and 39 crew members to Jamestown. 

Jamestown Fort

Kids will love the James Fort. Inside the triangular wooden palisade are wattle-and-daub structures topped with thatch roofs depicting dwellings, an Anglican church, a court of guard, a storehouse, a cape merchant’s office and a governor’s house. 

Skimbaco Jamestown Gardens

Outside the fort, it a variety of crops, herbs, and vegetables that the settlers grew while living in Jamestown.  One thing you will not find in this garden is tomatoes. A historian tending to the garden told me that Thomas Jefferson discovered the joy of tomatoes during his travels, and brought the plant back to his home at Monticello in the early 1800. Many Europeans and Americans thought tomatoes were poisonous so it was quite a shock when he served them to guests at the President’s House in 1806.

Jamestown hosts events all year for families.

Colonial Williamsburg Fun

Families can also experience hours at Colonial Williamsburg. And if you are a parent over 40, it’s not the same Colonial Williamsburg you visited as a child either. Colonial Williamsburg is now called  Revolutionary City, and it’s filled with excitement. The tradespeople, shopkeepers, political figures, women, and the enslaved that call Williamsburg home interweave you into their story.You learn their hopes, struggles, and fears as they live  in uncertain times.

You are part of the story in Williamsburg

In the Revolutionary City, you can join angry mob as it storms the Governor’s Palace to demand the return of the colony’s gunpowder. While there, you can take part in the events and everyday life of Williamsburg, and meet famous patriots as well as lesser-known heroes.

Williamsburg Soldier camp

Kids can train to be a soldier in the militia, they can get their hands dirty in the brickyard, learn how children must behave at dinner at the Powell House, or accept a mission as an undercover spy in an episode of RevQuest: Save the Revolution! It’s also fun to dine in the Colonial taverns. I had some of the best chicken salad at Shield’s Tavern I had ever tasted. 

Colonial Williamsburg offers many events throughout the fall and winter.

Busch  Gardens Griffon

When traveling with kids, it is always fun to mix your vacation with some thrills. Busch Gardens Williamsburg is a fabulous place to let down your hair, and experience your adventure side. Busch Gardens has something for everyone, especially the little ones with Sesame Street Forest of Fun.

Busch Gardens Tea Cup

Busch Gardens Williamsburg has beer and wine tastings, and special events throughout the year.

Skimbaco  Busch Gardens

Where to Stay:  Williamsburg has places to stay for a variety of family budgets.  For our trip, we chose the Williamsburg Lodge, which is owned and operated by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. I liked the fact that I could walk to Revolutionary City, and that I had a complimentary shuttle to Busch Gardens, and Jamestown, if needed. It is a full-service hotel with room service.  For a less expensive family option, consider The Holiday Inn and Suites, Williamsburg-Historic Gateway. With rates under $150 a night, a good location, great reviews, a heated indoor pool, and a restaurant on-site, it is quickly becoming a family favorite for the area.  The Kingsmill Resort, a Preferred Hotel and Resorts, offers luxury resort accommodations for families who seek 1, 2, or 3-bedroom suites in a resort setting  with golf course and spa.




Leigh Hines, hotel and family travel expert | Skimbaco Lifestyle

I live like a tourist in my hometown and my dream is to travel the world one luxury hotel at the time. If you love traveling as much as I do, subscribe to Skimbaco Travel, and never miss any travel content from our site.

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Ireland and Wild Atlantic Way through Photographer’s Eyes Tue, 02 Sep 2014 06:41:03 +0000
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Brian Cooney Photography

It has been fascinating to follow someone I once knew first through the kayaking and outdoor scene in Ireland, moving on to the world of photography and starting to create images of the places I love, or places I want to fall in love with. First these photos started to appear here and there almost sneakily, slyly beckoning to be noticed, but pretty soon they were there to manifest the artist behind them with his own distinctive style.

As I am cycling here in Ireland at the moment, slowly making my way by bicycle along the 2500 kilometres of Wild Atlantic Way from Derry up north to Kinsale down south, I revisited a conversation I had with Photographer Brian Cooney late last year explaining his motivations, inspiration and obviously why not only Wild Atlantic Way but Ireland is such an amazing place to visit. Not that I need convincing, but what about you?

Photographer Brian Cooney

Meet Brian Cooney, a Dublin-bred fine art photographer who now resides in the small rural village of Easkey in the west coast of Ireland, right along the Wild Atlantic Way. For Brian, photography is a form of self-expression with a deeper meaning. Although he is careful to label himself, fine art photography, where the photographer produces art with the camera to tell an interesting story, whether it is related to landscape or people, is something he relates with.

His images are both beautiful portraits of Irish landscapes and timely descriptions of what is going on, or not, in Ireland, and his personal story is one of having the guts to change your direction completely and take the chance to follow your dreams and ambitions. “I could never do that, this is the path I have chosen” is a sentence he has repeated few times in his past, only to reverse that sentiment later by leaving behind his secure future in the family business and following a different path altogether.

Brian Cooney Photography

The interest in photography for Brian grew through travel, and after working in the family business straight from school and training as an electrician, he headed to South America. There, shooting lots of slides, he enjoyed the way photography made him slow down and look. Rewind several years later and at forty, realising that his heart was really not in what he was doing, Brian started to look for other alternatives. Photography, was a natural choice.

Now, while working on his degree from the Open College of Arts in UK, Brian runs photography workshops and courses in the locations he loves around Ireland and even without him saying it’s easy to see – he’s bursting with enthusiasm.

Brian Cooney Photography

What inspires Brian the most is everyday life, and through photography he wants to make something interesting out of the everyday and mundane life. Many of the projects that interest him are very personal, and photography has let him rebuilt and see the change over time in places that are familiar to him.

For Brian, it’s all about Ireland. “You don’t have to travel half way to the other side of the world. I think it’s the same advice that goes for writers: photograph what you know”.

What is so unique about Ireland, then, for a photographer? “It’s the history, culture and people. People coming here have been blown away by how approachable the Irish are. And I love he sea, it’s big part of it as it is ever changing. Also, nobody really comes here for the suntan. For a photographer it’s the amazing light, and the fact that you can have four seasons in a day…”

Brian Cooney Photography

According to Brian the Wild Atlantic Way has been a great success as it is already bringing, and will bring even more business and people to the part of Ireland that is so incredibly beautiful, but that has been badly hit by the recession.

I really wanted to find out what are the locations for a photographer along this scenic road to add to my ever going list of places to stop, but Brian had difficulty in naming just one or two. “There are great photographs everywhere, all you have to do is to be open to see them. Among my favourite places are Black Head in the Burren – especially with a big westerly swell rhythmically beating up onto the rocks and filling all the rock pools with spray.  Or just after a big shower passes by and as the dark stormy clouds clear and you’re covering in the shade of the old light house you see a beautiful rainbow on the rocky headland behind you as the sun comes out again.  The Aran Islands are one of my favourite places in Ireland.  My best sunrise this year was watching the sun light stretch itself across the green fields on Inis Mór and light up the stone walls one by one.  Even if I didn’t have a camera with me I would have rejoiced at the sight of it and to be privileged to see it.  I also love the mix between the traditional and the modern on the Islands – we often want to escape modernity for the wild, but there is always a balance to be struck and the Islands do it well I think.”

What can I say. I’m already gutted that I won’t have enough time to see it all, but at the same time I’m sure we will find plenty of spectacular locations to practise our photography skills along the route, if we just stop and look around us.

What does living the Skimbaco Lifestyle mean for Brian then? “Rather than any one thing, it is when you give what ever you are doing 100% , and no matter what comes your way or how difficult it feels you keep on going and don’t give up.” 

To see more of Brian’s photography or to sign up to one of his workshops in Ireland, head over to and to read more about this adventure along Wild Atlantic Way, have a look at all the recent posts in Destination Unknown.


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I love to explore the world to new destinations. If you love traveling as much as I do, please subscribe to Skimbaco Travel weekly email and never miss a travel post.

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Luxury Check-in: Fearrington Village in Pittsboro, N.C. Mon, 25 Aug 2014 04:10:45 +0000
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If you are looking to slow down, eat some of the best food in America, and sleep in luxury then we’ve found the perfect place for you.

Fearrington aerial

It can be found in Pittsboro, N.C. in Fearrington Village, a tiny European-inspired village about 30 minutes away from Raleigh-Durham International airport.

Fearrington Gardens

I checked into the Fearrington House Inn, a luxurious Relais & Chateaux property, for a long weekend sans children. Fearrington Village is very family-friendly, but sometimes, you just need to get away with your spouse and reconnect, relax, and not have to parent. My stay at the Fearrington House Inn, which I hightlight on the HinesSight Blog, was the perfect opportunity to do just that.

Fearrington_Pack Your Bags Feature

For two centuries, the Fearrington farm dotted the landscape in rural North Carolina between Pittsboro and the University town of Chapel Hill, N.C.  The area is not that rural these days, but when you walk onto  the property at Fearrington admist floral gardens, silos, and rare Belted Galloway cows, you immediately feel peace and tranquility. The hustle, bustle, and stresses of daily life melt away.


Local shops like McIntyre’s Books, an independent book store, offer services that big chain stores don’t. If you’re an avid reader, you can spend hours in the store reading what staff say about each book. It has one of the best children’s section that I’ve ever seen, and because of the helpful staff recommendations, I was able to leave the store with a little more confidence that my son may actually like the chapter book I purchased.

Fearrington_book store

Haven is a luxurious spa boutique in the village with top European skincare products, frette linens, elegant sleepwear and handmade soaps.  The soaps made a perfect thank you gift for my sister-in-law who graciously kept my children so I could have this tranquil adult time at Fearrington.


The Spa at Fearrington caters to Inn guests and village day guests.  It is open daily and is my favorite day spa in the Triangle.  It has a shabby chic casual vibe that makes you want to pop-in for a pedicure then enjoy a leisurely lunch with wine at the Goat, the village’s coffee shop and deli.


The cuisine found in Fearrington Village though, is what makes this area one of the top places to dine  in North Carolina.  Under the culinary leadership of Relais & Chateaux Grand Chef Colin Bedford, culinary masterpieces are created nightly at the Fearrington House Restaurant and in the more casual, Granary Restaurant, which serves one of the best twice-baked goat cheese souffle I’ve ever tasted. The food served in Fearrington Village draws locals, day visitors, and guests from all over the world.


The Fearrington House Restaurant, which changes its menu seasonally and never repeats an entree, is the only AAA Five Diamond restaurant in the U.S. to be green certified and to be ranked a top 10 restaurant in America. Yes, it’s really special.


Because of the uniqueness of  Fearrington Village,  Relais & Chateaux, founded in France in 1954,  has selected the North Carolina village as one of the places to celebrate its 60th anniversary.  Fearrington’s Executive Chef Colin Bedford will be joined by Grand Chefs Raymond Blanc, Gary Jones and Benoit Blin from Relais & Châteaux Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire, England for a culinary feast.  The special anniversary evening in October will include a 7 course tasting menu with a 60th anniversary cake finale.  

Doesn’t that sound scrumptious?

Fearrington cuisine

Visit the Fearrington Village website to learn more about its shops, restaurants,  hotel and events. 

Photo Credit: Fearrington Village and Leigh Powell Hines. This story was made possible by a media visit




Leigh Hines, hotel and family travel expert | Skimbaco Lifestyle

I live like a tourist in my hometown and my dream is to travel the world one luxury hotel at the time. If you love traveling as much as I do, subscribe to Skimbaco Travel, and never miss any travel content from our site.

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Halfway there – Satu has already biked half of the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland! (watch the video) Fri, 22 Aug 2014 10:12:36 +0000
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Skimbaco Lifestyle is the main media partner for Ride Wild 2014, as what could better encapsulate this whole adventure than Skimbaco’s motto “Live life to the fullest”!

wild atlantic way

Have you been following Satu’s #RideWild2014, the 2500-kilometer bike ride of the Ireland’s scenic coast, the Wild Atlantic Way? Watch the video of the start of the trip, and follow Satu along.

Satu is already half way through, and it’s safe to say from watching her, that she is having an experience of a lifetime. She has discovered that in Ireland you often say hello with a handshake and good-buy with a hug, and the bike ride has turned into so much more than an athletic adventure.

She knows Ireland well, or at least she thought she did before this trip, after all she has lived in Ireland before, and visited annually ever since. However, the trip where she has everything she needs in a saddle bag of a bike, and the daily biking hits around 100 kilometers a day, she has learned and experienced Ireland in a completely new way, even for her.

I will let her to return home, and tell all of the stories from the road, but I think it is safe to say: she is more in love with Ireland than ever before.


From the photos we can see that Satu and her friend Anne-Marit have been enjoying other fun outdoor activities too besides bicycling! Ireland really offers everything from exotic curragh racing to sea kayaking to stand up paddling to climbing the cliffs and yes, biking the gorgeous green scenery.


And even after three weeks away from her family she still agrees: moms need to do more adventures on their own, and her head is already spinning for new ideas what kind of adventures to do the next! This weekend will be special for Satu – her family will be joining her in Ireland, and the adventure continues with the loved ones.

Here are the latest Instagram photos from the #ridewild2014 and remember to follow Satu on Instagram as ToDestinationUnknown


Follow Satu’s trip:

In all social media you can search for #RideWild2014, and don’t forget to check the Wild Atlantic Way section of – it is beautifully done and may result in a spur of the moment flight booking to Ireland’s west coast…

Follow our journey also on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Ride Wild 2014 is supported by Ireland Tourism, North West Adventure Tours, Skimbaco Lifestyle and Birk Sport, see all the partners here.

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Grab a Table at Dan’l Boone Inn in Boone, N.C. Mon, 18 Aug 2014 06:56:47 +0000
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Boone, NC

When we find a culinary gem, we love to tell you about it. If you ever visit, Boone, N.C., which is located in the Blue Ridge mountains, you may want to dine at the Dan’l Boone Inn Restaurant.

Trust me, you will not want to miss this one. Usually, there are lines out the door, but my family walked right in at 2 pm, and boy, we were in store for a treat.

Family-style restaurant in Boone, N.C.

This family-style restaurant has been a High Country area culinary staple for 50 years, making it the oldest restaurant in the area. Each meal begins with a salad with homemade dressing, followed by ham biscuits, fried chicken, country-style steak, mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, baked apples, coleslaw, biscuits and the best black cherry preserves I’ve ever tasted.

If you really love something, the waiter will kindly bring you more. But, you must save room for dessert. We had a choice on this day of banana pudding, chocolate cake, and strawberry shortcake.

Strawberry Shortcake at Dan'l Boone Inn Restaurant in Boone, NC

Yes, the strawberry shortcake was as delicious as it looked.

The restaurant also serves a family-style breakfast on the weekends. For lunch and dinner, the cost is $16.95 per adult. Children 3 and under, dine free.

Be sure to stop at the bank for cash. Debit and credit cards are not accepted.

The Dan’l Boone Inn Restaurant is located at 130 Hardin Street in Boone.

Family Fun at Dan'l Boone Inn

Kids may want to take home a coon skin cap. And yes, the restaurant is named after Daniel Boone. The famous frontiersman lived in the area before making his home in Kentucky.

Visit Explore Boone for more information on the area and Dan’l Boone Inn Restaurant for hours and history.





Leigh Hines, hotel and family travel expert | Skimbaco Lifestyle

I live like a tourist in my hometown and my dream is to travel the world one luxury hotel at the time. If you love traveling as much as I do, subscribe to Skimbaco Travel, and never miss any travel content from our site.

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