Capri – Crazy Beautiful

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My four days on the island of Capri are almost done. The whole island is gorgeous! Full of flowers, fascinating people and fantastic food. I’ll definitely be back one day. I’m very glad we stayed in Ana Capri. It’s less crazy, less expensive and the people are so nice and so much fun.

Jamie Oliver Italian Victoria – Fast Food at its worst – Stay Away!

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We made a trip to England in December, decided it would be a good thing to introduce my son-in-law to family he’d never met because not everyone made it out to Colorado for the wedding.

As expected England was cold, and sometimes very wet, but it was a lovely worthwhile trip. We at great food in pubs and restaurants. “M” on Victoria was fabulous. Great cocktails, fabulous food and incredible service. The pub grub and restaurants up north and in the midlands were amazing. I’ll tell you more about them in another blog. I want to dedicate this blog to Jamie Oliver’s Italian on Victoria.

Our reservation was made almost three months ago. We picked the food in advance from the celebration menu. I made a reservation for five people. It was supposed to be a perfect New Years Eve Meal before heading to the fireworks (which were Spectacular).

We were greeted by the hostess at the restaurant who didn’t say “Welcome to Jamie Oliver”, but said “We need the table by 8:30 so you need to finish your meal by then.”

“What” I’m almost sixty, and a traveling foodie who likes to dine in restaurants all over the US and Europe. I have never ever been greeted so rudely.

We were taken to a booth upstairs and when our waiter turned up to take our order I explained to him I’d ordered everything for our table back in September, including the wine. He looked confused! Eventually the food started to arrive. My smoked salmon was just OK (how hard is it to put salmon on a plate?) No one was impressed with their appetizers, which were a bad start to a terrible meal. The wine eventually came and WAS NOT what I ordered. I can’t drink Sauvignon Blanc, it’s too acidic for me, but that’s what they brought me. A carafe of cheap undrinkable wine.

Main course. Mine was pan-fried cod floating is a sludgy mass of something green! Not good, but perhaps the best of the five main courses we were served. Everything looked like warmed up congealed leftovers , with exception to the vegetables. They were burnt beyond recognition. The Tiramisu Pavlova, ordered for dessert by two people in our party was inedible. You get the drift. We paid over two hundred pounds for this disaster.

Yes I complained, no they didn’t care.

Mr. Oliver, I’ve watched you on television for several years, you are quite a star here in America, but I will no longer be a fan or waste my time on your shows. In my opinion you have put your name to this restaurant as a money-making machine and nothing else. I don’t eat fast foods, but in my opinion, your restaurant in Victoria is an overpriced fast food restaurant (very overpriced for the slop you serve). As a chef, you should be ashamed of yourself.

My advice to anyone wanting a nice meal. Go to “M” which is close by, has great ambiance, and serves good food. Or save your pennies and go to Gordon Ramsay’s Maze where you aren’t herded in like cattle and you’ll be served a meal you’ll remember for the rest of your life, for the right reasons.

Black Friday at the Old Stone Church

Black Friday here in the US. Everyone is bustling for bargains. I’m not really sure that the so-called bargains really exist, but I’m certainly not going to brave the crowds to find out.

Last year, on Black Friday I wandered through the beautiful streets of Vail, where I bought a couple of things, had a couple of glasses of Champagne, and relaxed. As each year comes to a close I tire of stress. This year has been more stressful that most, construction problems, health problems and just a lot to contend with. My construction is finished for the most part. I’ve got my head around my health issues, so now, I’m going to sit back and relax. Today is my husband’s birthday SIXTY ONE! Can’t believe it. How did we both get so old. When we met, back in the seventies, we thought we’d be young forever. Well, nothing lasts for ever I guess.

the-church-restaurantToday we’re going to celebrate his 61 years on this earth with a nice lunch and a couple of glasses of wine in the ‘Old Stone Church’ restaurant in Castle Rock Colorado, and then maybe do some shopping small town style.

 

Del Frisco’s Denver Tech Center

It occurred to me that I go for happy hour after work much more frequently than I go out for dinner, so why don’t I share the best watering holes around my office? I don’t know, so I am going to start now.

Tonight I relaxed after work in the lovely, classically western Del Frisco’s. I ‘ve been there a couple of times before for dinner, but not recently. When I stepped through the door I immediately felt welcome. The oak panels, subdued lighting and wonderful atmosphere helped my troublesome day melt away.

I wish I could remember the name of the delightful young lady who served me, but I can’t. She recommended wonderful wines (and not the most expensive on the menu) and tasty appetizers.

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We sat at a table close to the bar and people watched.

The staff was attentive and friendly and everyone looked extremely relaxed and comfortable.

So there were no ‘happy hour’ wines on the menu, but the prices weren’t unreasonable. I think it has become my favorite watering hole, and it may be the oldest in the area.  If you work in the Denver Tech Center, it’s worth visiting. Heck, if you don’t work in the Denver Tech Center, it’s worth visiting. Maybe I’ll see you there.

Article by Sandra Thompson, author, blogger.

Dead of July (Small)

Escape to the Mountains

 

I survived a long tiring week. A week with so much going on it was hard to keep up. It was my birthday on Thursday. I reached the ripe old age of 56. Hard to believe as I feel at least twenty years younger. Maybe I got the dates wrong. I had a lovely day, made special by friends and family. Beautiful roses from my daughter.

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The week ended with a relaxing day in Keystone. After riding two gondola’s to get to the highest mountain peak, we arrived at the AlpenGlow Stube, where we shared a very special lunch with friends and family. After sipping champagne, I felt my troubles slip away.Alpenglow Stube at Keystone

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We all enjoyed a gourmet meal in wonderful surroundings. You can’t beat a glass of Champagne at 12,000 feet.

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The views from the top of the mountain are breath-taking and I didn’t want to leave, but all good things have to come to and end.

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Next time I visit Keystone, I will take my snowboard and enjoy the beautiful mountain the way it should be enjoyed. I am NOT the fastest snowboarder on the mountain, but I certainly enjoy the ride.

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I wish this was me, but it’s not. I am NOT quite that agile.

Monday tomorrow! Not ready for it, but the money has to be earned so I can enjoy my little weekend trips. I intend to visit the mountains a lot more in 2013. We don’t have the Ocean here in Colorado, but I think the mountains are the next best thing.

Keystone Ski Resort |Colorado Ski Vacations | http://www …

Fall in the Highlands – Denver

With a friend visiting, I was able to act like a tourist as we explored the quaint Highlands community. We walked a few blocks on 32nd between Lowell and Perry visiting lovely little shops away from the beaten track.

We worked up an appetite before eating in ‘Fire on the Mountain.’ Fantastic boneless chicken wings with hot sauce. I tasted their ‘jerk sauce’, which was so good, I had to buy a jar to take home. All of the sauces are made in the restaurant and the ‘jerk sauce’ tasted like it came straight from the Carribean.

Our next stop was Tennyson, where we wandered around the antique shops, but had ice-cream on our minds so we drove to LoHi and visited ‘Little Man Ice Cream’ store. Yum!

I had a delicious Cream Fraiche Gelato and my friend had a salty caramel ice cream concoction that was to die for. As we were in the area we couldn’t resist stopping in Anna-Be the Bridal Store. Beautiful wedding dresses lined the walls. We ate our ice creams as we walked past Lola’s and the local restaurants before taking the footbridge across the I25. As we descended on the other side of the bridge, we was the ugliest work of art I have ever seen. Take a look at the red monstrosity below and tell me what you think it is.

After a little more shopping we stopped for a glass of wine in a delightful cheese and wine bar before taking the bridge across the Platte River and crossing the park into LoDo.

As it grew dark the patio’s of Larimer Square were filled with people enjoying a cocktail and taking advantage of a warm September evening.

Finally exhausted, we walked back to LoHi, which had become alive as people ate and relaxed.

I am looking forward to visiting the area with its lovely footpaths, parks and restaurants again soon.