February 16, 2015 § Leave a comment
Philly is such a great city. It's literally packed with a ton of absolutely incredible restaurants, coffee houses, bakeries, and cafes. Not to mention the shopping, all the history of the city, and some really fun tourist attractions and parks. Even after living there, and spending a large amount of days off in the city, we still are always finding new things to do, restaurants to try, or going back and revisiting some of our favorites.
I know that sometimes the hardest part of planning little day trips are figuring out what to do, so I decided I would start blogging about some of our little adventures (or sometimes just mine:) when we visit. Hopefully these posts will give you some inspiration if you live in the area and are looking to change things up, or if you're just visiting and maybe looking for other things than just want you'll find on the basic tourist websites. I also love the idea of just doing it for myself to be able to look back at all the fun things we've done!
On Valentines Day Frank flew back in from a job he was away for, so he suggested having lunch in the city and making our own little dinner that night. I loved that idea! Personally, I'm not huge on going out for dinner on Valentines Day. Restaurants are always packed and most do specific (more limited) menus. I just don't feel like I get the true experience of the restaurant on days like that. But lunch is a much more relaxed affair.
Pub and Kitchen sits only a couple blocks away from Rittenhouse, but in a spot with a much more neighborhood feel to it. It was lightly snowing as we walked up to the painted brick exterior and turned the charming little antique door knobs. The bar is clearly a main attraction of the space, and it greets you immediately. We sat at a quaint little table between several other couples right off the bar. I love that their brunch menu (which is only served on the weekends) includes a good mix of breakfast and lunch and isn't just heavy on one or the other. Of course, I couldn't resist getting actually breakfast, and Frank tried one of their burgers. For how busy this little place was, our food actually came out fairly quickly. Frank let me steal some of his fries, which made me kind of wish I just had a whole plate of them. I love those shoe-string extra crispy fries like they have! Yum yum yum.
I was glad we had come at the end of the brunch rush though, since it was quite loud when we first got there, but quieted down as we ate. It's definitely a place I would go back from brunch to again though, my eggs and bacon were especially delicious, and I would love to try a burger too. It's also in a pretty great spot too, since it's not right in the middle of the Rittenhouse craziness finding a parking spot wasn't too bad (which is always something to consider in Philly!).
Termini Brothers Bakery is one of those places that just oozes with vintage charm. From the old school neon sign that greets you a block away, to the antique counters piled with traditional Italian sweets. Since we decided to make our own Valentines dinner we thought we would treat ourselves and bring home dessert!
This was our first time at Termini's and decided to go right to their flagship store in south Philly. Of course, the whole feel of the store stole my heart, with its original tiled floors and tin ceiling. We did a lap around the bakery to survey the goodies, and I had a hard time deciding between their amazing looking Tiramisu or a cupcake. But it was Valentines Day after all, so how could I pass up something covered in pink and red and topped with a heart? Frank got a slice of their classic cheesecake, and while one of the sweet girls was ringing us up an older man insisted we take one of their unique chocolate covered bananas, on the house. Needless to say, everything was delicious and had that perfectly unique Italian bakery taste. I was actually a little scared to try the banana, but it ended up being amazing! Color me smitten.
Since it was snowing, we headed home to enjoy a quiet Valentine together, but I've already been thinking up a long list of things I can't wait to do this summer and new places I want to try! Oh summer, come a little faster, won't you?
August 14, 2014 § 7 Comments
(Eastern Point, MA // Enjoying the streets of Portland, ME // Pretty details in Hartford, CT // Gloucester, MA // The Mark Twain House)
If you follow me on Instagram, I'm sure you already know, but me and Frank snuck away for a long weekend to New England! We did Boston twice together while we were dating (once was mostly just to see the Red Sox game that was rained out the first time we were there) and we loved it, and have talked about doing other parts of the area for a while.
It was sort of a whirlwind. He picked me up right from work on Thursday and we drove straight to Portland, Maine. The next day we hit Salem, and Gloucester in Massachusetts. Then Boston the next day, and hit the Mark Twain House in Hartford, CT the last day. We mostly just ate and toured historic houses, like the old people we are, but I thought it'd be fun to share some of our favorite stops!
Portland, Maine - Portland in itself gets a mention because, helloooooo, it's stinkin' adorable! Seriously. It's got a great vibe. It's historic, right on the water, and packed with some amazing places to eat and shop.
Victoria Mansion // Portland, ME – So gorgeous! It's a mansion with not only a crazy amazing staircase, but some incredible painting throughout the house.
Fore Street // Portland, ME – Frank has a gift for finding amazing restaurants, and did not dissapoint here. We were worried when we tried to make a reservation and it was already booked, but it turns out they keep 1/3 of the restaurant tables open for "walk ins" each night. And by "walk ins," I mean you wait in a line outside before they open to try to snatch one! It's actually pretty fun. The menu changes every night, and is incredible. The bread is from Standard Baking Co. which is downstairs – and it's amazing (PS. they got some tasty coffee too:). I even had an amazing drink too! The pound cake for dessert though…. UGH. That's all I can say.
Eastern Point // Gloucester, MA – We ended up coming here on a whim, when Frank found the Beauport House (which is amazing, and a must see!). We had some time until the next tour, so we drove down to see the old lighthouse. It wasn't open but we were able to walk out to the end, which is such a picturesque view.
The Phillips House // Salem, MA – One of our favorite house tours. The house itself has a great story, and is packed full of the original family's items. It's a gorgeous house and has so many fun quirks:)
May 1, 2014 § 3 Comments
It's been rainy, and just plain nasty here all week, which means no outfit posts (bummer!). But I thought I'd do something fun and share a more in-depth list of some of my favorite spots in Philly! I'm always finding new things to do int he city. It is seriously packed with some great stuff, and there seems to be a never ending list of amazing restuarants to try.
I won't pretend I know every bit of the city, so I decided to make more detailed list of my favorite shopping and eateries in Center City and Old City, and then a seperate list of some intersting other spots!
Anthropologie – If you come to Philly you have to stop in the Anthropologie! It sits right across form Rittenhouse square in what was once an incredible estate. You can still see some of the amazing original fireplaces, as well as an insanely cool ceiling in one of the rooms. Oh, not to mention, it's Anthro, so it's always packed with fun things to buy and some incredible displays.
Shopping on Walnut – If you're not from the area it's good to know that most of the higher end shopping in the city is right on Walnut Street from 19th Street down to Broad Street. You have everything from Juicy Couture, Jack Wills, and Free People and a ton more. There's also some on Chestnut Street (the next street over).
The Dandelion – So the food is really good, but the decor is amazing. They left all the original fireplaces and what-not from when it was just a home, so it feels super cozy, but is also packed filled with really fun and interesting art, wallpaper, and nick-nacks!
Estia – We make it a point to come here every winter. It's definitely a "splurge" restaurant, but it's the best Greek food I've ever had, and has such a cozy atmosphere.
MagPie – Who doesn't love pie? It's the best. This little spot is dedicated to some pretty kick-butt pies and is totally worth a little extra walking from Rittenhouse to get some!
Di Bruno Bros – Need a quick, to-go meal, or some super fancy groceries? This place is it. It's a grocery store that also has quick meal options that are pretty amazing, and some places to sit inside too. With Rittenhouse Park so close, it's a perfect place to grab a picnic to-go and relax and people watch in the park.
Our old neighborhood! Old City is one of my favorite parts of Philly. It has it's own unique charm. Most of the shops and boutiques are locally owned, and is home to some amazing historic buildings.
Art in the Age – A very "Philly" little boutique! They work with and sell pieces from a lot of local artists, which is great. They also carry a selection of Warby Parkers, so it's always fun to stop in and try a bunch on:)
Lost + Found – I love Lost + Found because they have a great, unique selection of clothes (especially dresses!), but are pretty reasonable when it comes to price too.
Vagabond – Another great little boutique. I love that they carry both interesting and unique designer pieces, as well as some really fun vintage pieces.
Franklin Fountain – It's really not a proper visit to Philly without a little ice cream from Franklin Fountain (or A LOT if you go with the Mt. Vesuvious). It's an authentic ice cream parlor that only takes cash, and makes some of the best ice cream around.
Positano Coast – Me and Frank have been coming here since we started dating. We especially love eating in the lounge during summer. They open all the doors, and it's just beautiful. Not to mention, the food is really tasty!
Nick's Roast Beef – One of our little go-to spots for lunch when we lived in the city. They really do have great roast beef. It's definitely not a "fancy" spot, but good food always wins. Tip – make sure you bring cash, that's all they take:)
Museums + Spots to See
The Philadelphia Museum of Art – Sure, any list online of "things to do in Philly" will probably have it, but it really is worth a visit. It's amazing, beautiful, and just plain inspiring.
The Franklin Institute – One of my husband's favorite places. It's a fun place to go with or without kids, and also hosts a lot of really cool exhibits.
The Mutter Museum – Not for the super squimish, but amazing non the less. It's a museum of medical history, which may sound boring, but is actually beautiful and incredibly interesting.
The Mount Pleasant Estate – We just recently toured the estate and are completely in love. It's so lovely, and it's also part of "the charms of Fairmount Park" and we're really excited to check out the rest of them.
The Top of City Hall Tour – I was so suprised at how awesome this was! It's really amazing to get a whole 360 degree of the whole city from right under good ol' Mr. Penn:)
There's still a ton of places I have on my list to visit, and new restuarants I want to try, so I will occasionally be updating this list:) Oh, and feel free to share any of your favorites in the comments!
September 17, 2013 § 3 Comments
J.Crew Shirt (similar) // Buffalo by David Bitton Cords (Marshall's) // Anthropologie Belt
Minnetonka Moccasins // Scarf made by my mom // Bag made by me
Yesterday me and Frank sneaked up to Terrain for the afternoon. He'd never been, so I figured it was high time. I was so excited to see all the pumpkins out! Even back in the days when I wasn't so fond of fall, I still loved pumpkins. I love them all – huge ones, tiny ones, orange ones, white ones, squashed ones. There is just something about pumpkins I go a little nuts about. I have yet to get some for the house, I am trying to make myself wait until the "technical" start of fall, but I'm already planning what colors and types I want to get and where to put them – I can't wait!
July 8, 2013 § 1 Comment
Even though we no longer live in Philly, and it's a little under and hour away, we definitely still consider Philly "local" and I feel like it will always feel like another home when we're there. We try to take my best friends kids there every year or two for a little fun and since they're whole family is moving to Haiti this summer we decided to pack our day full this year. We had so much fun, and it got me thinking of all the great places in Philly I love, and thought I'd share some of my favorites!
Some fun tourist-y things…
Top of City Hall – this is so much fun! You can literally stand right underneath giant William Penn and see the entire city.
Philadelphia Museum of Art – One of my favorite places, I could just wander around all day.
The Franklin Institute – My husband's favorite! Also, the kids too. Even if you're not huge into science stuff it's really fun and interesting.
Franklin Square – It may not be as big or famous as Rittenhouse and Washington Square (both lovely parks, by the way) but it's my favorite. Not only is it just plain adorable, but you can sit at one of the tables by the fountain and munch on some Square Burger, putt at the miniature Philly mini golf, and there's a gorgeous carousel too. And it's just a short walk from the National Constitution Center too!
Favorite places to eat…
Honey's Sit and Eat – We just recently started coming here on mornings we're in the city, but it's easily our favorite place for breakfast now!
Franklin Fountain – If you're in the city during the summer you must stop and get ice cream! Yes, the line will probably be out the door, but I promise it's worth it:)
Lacroix at the Rittenhouse – My favorite for a super-fancy splurge dinner. You look right over the park, and all the food is amazing. Of course, my husband's more fond of Smith & Wollensky, which is just downstairs – both are great though, it's just a matter of preference.
Elixr – So glad my friend introduced me to this place! It's right around the corner from the Starbucks that's close to Rittenhouse Square, so it's nice to have an alternative that is way better then the same old Starbucks.
Favorite place to shop… Old City! It's our old neighborhood, so I'm biased, but there are a ton of adorable little shops. Rittenhouse area and Broad street are good if you want the fancy big stores, but Old city is all local-owned stores, and they're all really different and adorable. Most of them are on 3rd street but there's also a few on 2nd and also Market.
Favorite street… Elfreth's Alley. The oldest street in Philadelphia. It's short but packed with neat old homes people still live in today. A coincidence it's also in Old City? maybe…
Favorite place to people watch… Rittenhouse Square takes the cake for that one. Last time I was there there was a man slopping paint on another mans back while he layed on the sidewalk, he then proceeded to tell all the passersby that it was his masterpiece. There's plenty of interesting people to be had!
So there's just a few of my favorite things in the city. Philly is such a great place though, even after living there and going there regularly for a long time we still are always finding new things we want to do, and there's always great new places to eat at too. Like I said, I think it will always feel like my second home:)
If you've been before or are local I'd love to hear your favorites!