Switzerland Travel Guide: Zurich & Interlaken

So last May we went to Europe for 2 weeks and randomly decided to fly home out of Zurich. We knew we wanted to see France & Amsterdam, but wanted to take advantage of United’s open jaw flights so debated which 3rd country to visit. We ended up on Switzerland because we’ve heard time & time again how beautiful the country is. Once we found out that we could fly home direct via Zurich, we booked it.

Best. Decision. Ever.

We were only in Switzerland for a short 72 hours but we had the best experience and cannot wait to go back. We stayed at the Sheraton Neues Schloss which was a bit outdated and very pricey, but an excellent location. I’d recommend it, especially for those enrolled in SPG. Below is my Switzerland travel guide, specifically for Zurich & Interlaken.

Tip: Switzerland is expensive. Like, insanely expensive. Be prepared for all costs (hotel, transportation, dining out, etc) to be very inflated.

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Walk around Zurich

Despite being a small city, it’s a huge hub for large financial institutions and banking giants. It’s divided into 12 districts, each containing 1-4 neighborhoods. The public transportation here is stellar, making it extremely accessible and simple to get around. There’s the “old town” and the “new town”, divided by the water. There are endless churches, galleries, museums, restaurants, stores, winding streets, gardens, etc. Get lost and explore!

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This city is very clean, very safe & very walkable. One of the first things we noticed is how impeccable everything in Zurich is – the buildings, the greenery, the people. Everyone looks like a wealthy banker and is dressed to the nines. Honestly, we saw so many good looking people it was kind of intimidating! Lucky for us, they were all very friendly and all speak English.

View the City by Boat

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Zurich is located in north-central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zürich.We didn’t know much about the area, but the boat tour was really fun because you can hop on/hop off in different towns around the lake. The weather was a bit misty & overcast when we went, but we grabbed a bottle of wine made the most of our two hour boat adventure. I totally recommend doing this!

Day Trip to Interlaken

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So, on a whim we decided to try to head down to Interlaken for a day. I have a zillion friends who went here while studying abroad and I’ve heard endless good things! The train was quite expensive (maybe because it was last minute?) so we were able to snag a rental car for under $100 total. Lucky for us, this is Switzerland and the “economy” car was a new C-Class Mercedes Benz….don’t mind if I do!

Let me start by saying- if you are ever within 2-3 hours of Interlaken, GO! We so desperately wish we could have stayed 1-2 nights here and just explored. Oh my gosh this town is SO adorable- filled with super friendly people, restaurants & bars, parks and endless outdoor excursion opportunities! We were originally signed up to go canyoning but due to the heavy rainfall the previous few days, the trip was cancelled and we were offered a white water rafting trip instead. Best $100 we ever spent and hands down, the best day of our entire trip to Europe. Words cannot describe the magical, out-of-body experience that happens as you’re floating down a river, tasting fresh (crystal clear!) water and looking up to see the majestic Swiss Alps staring back. It was truly one of the best experiences of my life and I cannot recommend this enough. The tour itself was exciting and we met a lot of awesome people. We stopped by the Balmers Hostel after for a few beers and snacks on their back porch – they have an amazing lawn filled with hammocks, picnic tables & killer view of the Alps. We wanted to spend the night here but it’s super popular & sells out way in advance. It’s on my bucket list to come back.

Train to Utielberg

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A friend-of-a-friend who lives in Zurich recommended that we check out Uteilberg and I am so glad that we squeezed it in! We took train (so easy and only S10) to Utielberg and climbed to the top for some seriously amazing views. The summit gives you a panoramic view of Lake Zurich, the Limmat Valley & Swiss Alps. There’s a restaurant up there (we didn’t go in) and the entire trip only takes about an hour. Worth doing!

Favorite Restaurants

B. Good

Funny story – as we were meandering through Old Town, we turn the corner and the first thing we see is B. Good (those of you Boston folks are probably getting a kick out of this!). They said this location was the first international spot & that so far, it was very well received. I had to support my local business, so we shelled out 33CHF for a salad & burger w/ fries (yup, it’s pricey!)

The COOP

  The COOP is the local grocery and has everything!Since Zurich is so expensive, we wanted to get a few items for the room. We picked up baked goods, fruit, chocolates (duh), wine and snacks for our trip. This grocery is clean, affordable & has everything you need! It’s great alternative if you want to avoid dining out for every single meal. 

Zeughauskeller

Our favorite Zurich spot! This actually came recommended by quite a few people. It’s actually an old armory, still decorated with tanks, canons and huge rifles. It’s a really cool vibe. Sure, it’s a wee bit touristy, but not overpriced or tacky. We sat outside because the weather was awesome. This spot is a fun, traditional Swiss restaurant with about 90 entrees and 88 of them being sausage. Ha! T got spicy sausage, while I ordered the chicken. All entrees comes with the world’s best potato salad, a traditional potato cake & green salad. Of course, we both had house beer. It was so awesome that we came back again for dinner (we usually are not repeat diners!) and had an even better time!

Santa Lucia

Since we had clearly had our fix of sausage & potatoes, we opted to try some Northern Italian food. Located down a winding road in Old Town, this was a hidden gem! We sat outside on the adorable back patio and split a glass of wine, salad & pizza. This did not disappoint. If you want a cute date or Instagram-worth spot, this is it.

Ristorante Italia

One of T’s clients who is a chef/restaurant owner here in Boston recommended this place and let me tell you…it was to die for! Given that it was in the opposite direction of where we spent most of our time, we never would have found this place. Upon entry, it feels super swanky and sultry- perfect for a date night. The delicious Italian red wine was pricey, but not by Zurich standards. They brought homemade bread & olive oil right away, which was incredible. We shared a starter salad of parmesan and fennel carpaccio…y’all, this salad was hands-down one of the best things I have ever tasted. Omg, I still dream about it! For entree, I had linguini nere with shrimp & pomodoro sauce, while T has ghnocci al pomodoro. Everything was fresh, handmade & beautifully presented. My only regret is that we didn’t have enough room to try the tiramisu because I’m sure it was outstanding. 

Side note: It was too dark to take any food pictures, but trust me and just go here!

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Overall, I can’t recommend Zurich enough! Yes, there are many other places in Switzerland that are high on my list, but if you happen to be passing through it’s a good city to have as a base to explore the area. Switzerland, we can’t wait to be back!

First Day of Spring & Vase Roundup

Happy first day of Spring y’all! I don’t know about you, but I am THRILLED that winter is *almost* over and warm weather & sunshine is on our horizon! To me, Spring signifies fresh blooms! Hence, my Instagram picture this morning:

IMG_1523.jpgAren’t they beautiful?!

While we’re on the topic of flowers, I thought I’d round up some of my favorite vases! I love finding unique vases, as I think a $5 bouquet from Trader Joe’s can go a really long way when styled properly. Flowers truly are the best accessory! So while I’m a fan of classic glass vases (I have about 5 myself- tall, short, round, square, low, etc), it’s fun to have a few funky ones on hand to mix things up. Here are a few I’m currently loving:

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Which one is your favorite?!

Green Inspired Interiors

Happy St Patrick’s Day Y’all!

Whether you’re part Irish (like me!) or just enjoy celebrating fun holidays (me also!), I hope you have an enjoyable day full of green beer & minimal pinching (y’all know what I’m talking about, right!?)

Green is HUGE in design this year and I am loving it. While I’ve always loved greenery (hence my wedding tablescape post), I’ve never had too much greenery in my designs. I tent to lean towards bring the color green in via plants and flowers. However, lately there is some green decor that’s really catching my eye. Take a look at these 3 green inspired rooms:

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Not overly green but it works, right?! I’m leaning towards the darker shades of green, for a more mature look, mixed in with neutrals. If you want to dabble in green as well, here are some current finds to help you get started and incorporate this versatile color into your home:

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{ottoman | vase (<– get 3 various sizes to use as a trio)| pillow | art | headboard}

Jackson Hole Part 2: Food & Drink

A few weeks back, I (finally) started writing about our Jackson Hole vacation (you can read it here). That place is truly something magical with so much to do that I had to break it down into 3 parts: the wedding, the food & drink, and the activities. Given that we went in June, this is primarily a summer travel guide; however, food is good year round!

Jackson is full of restaurants and we hopped around quite a bit to try and taste as much as we could. Here are some places I recommend.

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RESTAURANTS

Hatch– We actually didn’t make it here, but our friends told us that when in Jackson, this is the joint to enjoy Mexican food & margaritas

Jackson Hole Grocers– This local, organic grocery is basically a whole foods meets neighborhood market. We came here at the beginning of the week to stock up on healthy snacks & treats

Snake River Grill– A good fine dining spot in J. Hole, this restaurant is a bit pricey but worth it. All of you steak lovers, this is your go-to.

Persephone Bakery– This is the perfect brunch spot in downtown. This charming spot has awesome organic eggs, granola, bacon & baked goods. Be sure to sit al fresco on the patio!

BARS

Silver Dollar Bar in Wort Hotel– It’s no wonder this place came so highly recommended. We ended up here at least 2 nights. It’s so much fun and features cheap drinks & live music. My kind of bar!

Million Dollar Cowboy Bar– This is the most famous spot in Jackson Hole and for good reason! It’s a cowboy inspired local watering hole with bar seats made of real leather saddles. We witnessed a few real cowboys and some authentic country line dancing. You have to go here when you’re in Jackson Hole!

Town Square Tavern– I can’t speak for this place at night, but we spent a couple of hours here one afternoon, enjoying an ice cold beverage on the back deck. The space overlooks the town square and its ideal for people watching!

Who’s been to Jackson Hole? Anyone heading there in 2017? I’d love to hear your travel guide and favorite local spots!

Green & White Wedding Tablescape Ideas

For all of you not in the Northeast, I’m jealous. We are in the midst of a blizzard, which hasn’t fully hit yet but we’re in “preparation” mode, anticipating 12″-18″.

So. Over. The. Snow.

That being said, I’m taking full advantage of this snow day and doing some wedding planning (eek!). I’ve been cautious to keep the wedding posts to a minimum because (a) this is a design/travel blog, not a wedding blog and (b) I want the big day to be a surprise! I’ve got a fabulous event design team I’ve hired (shout out to BellWether Design), incredible vendors & want to let the pros do their job. I’ll share everything after the big day, once we have our professional pics!

One thing I am l-o-v-i-n-g for weddings and that I am hoping to stay involved in is the tablescape! I just love the white & green & rustic + classic look that comes with this style. Here are  ton of examples of what I’m loving.

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Let’s take a vote! Which is your favorite?!

Home “Cloffice” E-Design

Ahh, the home “cl-office”…I know y’all know what I’m talking about. It’s the room that so many use as their closet + office. If you live in an older home (like me!) or don’t have enough extra bedrooms (me again!), then you likely have a cloffice. The key is to gather versatile pieces that can be used in multiple ways. For example: a modern, neutral bookcase can be used to store books & magazines, or to display shoes & purses. Woven baskets can be used to store blueprints or scarves. You get this idea…

Let’s take a look at what I’ve put together:

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{Rug // Art // Desk // Basket // Bookshelves // Chair // Paint}

Do you have a “cloffice”?

My Wedding Registry Strategy

So I must say, one of the most fun parts about being engaged so far has been registering for gifts! As an entertaining enthusiast, wannabe dinner party host & lover of all things visually beautiful, I am in heaven with this. The hardest part so far has been picking which stores & which items – there’s too much to choose from! I was tempted with one-stop-shop places like Zola and honeymoon registries like HoneyFund, but ultimately decided that I want to build a base of quality, classic pieces that can grow with us as a family. Plus, lets be honest- a lot of people give money (and that is Fine. By. Me.)

Here are some examples of categories that I used to help get me started:

The Big Ticket Items

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{Kitchenaid Mixer // Vitamix // Knife Set // Le Creuset Pot // Espresso Maker}

The Classics

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{ Pitcher  // Cake Stand // Dinner Plate // Salt & Pepper Shaker// Flatware // Measuring Spoons}

The Practical Goods

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{Luggage // Bedding // Towels // Stainless Cookset // Marble Mortar & Wood Board}

Collectively, all of these pieces give us a great base to start with. As expected, I stuck with a neutral color pallet- white, silver/gold, blues, marble, wood. Call me boring, but I like to think of it as classic. Plus, it’s always fun to pop into Homegoods & pick up trendy, patterned pieces here and there.

For those of you married ladies, or those who love house stuff as much as I do…what am I missing? Any tips or advice when registering?!