Local Favorites

Six Things to do in Miami This Week

Miami Floral Collage

As March rolls on and the winter weather just doesn’t seem to want to leave, we here at H.Bloom HQ are dreaming of Miami. As one of our newest markets, Miami has us craving sun, sand, and cocktails… or at least a life sans winter jackets. Whether you have the envious ability to jet down there this very second, or you’re lucky enough to live near this vibrant city, here are six things to do for the rest of your week.

Tuesday - Attend the Life is Art event at Brasileiro Miami. If you want to broaden your artistic palette or do a little healthy networking, this is the perfect injection of inspiration for your week.

Wednesday – Enjoy some hump day happy hour at the laid back River Oyster Bar, and don’t forget to order the oysters.

Thursday – Grab a light lunch at the local bookworm hotspot, Books & Books. Feed the body and mind simultaneously with their cafe and impressive selection of books.

Friday – Sucker for a good cocktail? Make it a point to stop by The Regent Cocktail Club, one of Miami’s trendiest new bars. This speakeasy inspired lounge features some of Miami’s best mixologists, and is a breath of fresh air amongst all the not-so-tempting  blue slush signature cocktail of Loco Coco Pete’s.

Saturday – Spend the day in the iconic Miami sun, either renting jet skis at the Miami Beach Marina or relaxing on the picturesque Bal Harbour Beach.

Sunday – Treat yourself to some retail therapy at The Webster. The three levels offer a variety of brands from Chanel to Tom Ford, and if that doesn’t cure your woes, grab a cocktail at their in-house bar & restaurant.

Tatte Fine Cookies and Cakes

Crumbly, buttery crust, boozy poached pears, and a creamy amaretto rum-spiked custard. Toasted pistachios, cashews, and hazelnuts on a bed of salty-sweet homemade caramel. Sound irresistible? It was to hungry members of the H.Bloom team – the tarts from Tatte Fine Cookies and Cakes that made their way back to our NYC headquarters barely lasted 10 minutes before being reduced to a pile of crumbs.

One taste of Tatte’s tarts and cookies and you know you’ve stumbled onto something special. Tatte Fine Cookies and Cakes founder Tzurit Or acknowledges that the inspiration behind her indulgent baked goods doesn’t derive from culinary trends or the demands of her Cambridge, MA clientele. Instead, she draws upon her back catalog of childhood recipes, formulated through countless hours assisting her mother prepare pastries and cakes for their family in Israel. After a long career in film production and relocation to the United States, these same recipes drew Or back into the kitchen. Before long, increasing demand for her unique desserts led her to open a stand at the local farmer’s market, and ultimately, standalone bakeries in the Boston area. Tatte’s baked goods have been featured in the New York Times and The Cooking Channel, and are shipped to hungry fans around the globe.

We’re proud to offer these unforgettably delicious treats to a whole new audience via our H.Bloom Gifts iPhone app and website.

Bisous, Ciao Macarons

The H.Bloom Gifts app is off to a great start, and we’ve now added the service to our website as well! We’re so excited to be hand-delivering a wide range of gifts alongside our namesake blooms, and we couldn’t make it happen without partnerships with some truly incredible businesses in each of our cities. We’re going to be taking some time to share a little more about the talented people behind each gift. First up is Tanya Ngangan of the utterly chic and absolutely delicious Bisous, Ciao Macarons.

Founded in 2004, Bisous, Ciao has been a labor of love for founder Ngangan. Having grown up at her mother’s Thai restaurant, a love and appreciation for food was instilled in her at an early age. Several years in Paris introduced her to the macaron, and training at Le Cordon Bleu allowed her to master the art of French patisserie. Today Bisous, Ciao operates out of two elegant boutiques on Bleecker and Stanton streets in lower Manhattan. With a unique approach to the classic confection, Ngangan’s shops feature inspired seasonal creations like poppy and lavender honey, as well as flavors that harken back to her days at her mother’s restaurant, such as Thai iced tea and kaffir lime.

H.Bloom Holidays!

 

Good tidings all! The holiday season is upon us, and we’ve been hard at work spreading the cheer with holiday installations across the country. In New York, DC, Dallas, Chicago, and San Francisco, H.Bloomers have had their hands full of bright lights, wintry floral, and fragrant pines.

To celebrate all of our work, we held our first H.Bloom Holiday Instagramathon, where we tasked our H.Bloom elves with capturing their favorite installations on Instagram. (To see all of our amazing snapshots, check us out at #hbloomholiday on your free Instagram app!)

         

Without further ado, we’re pleased to announce our two winners. On the left we have our champion DC H.Bloom Instagrammer, Kathryn Suarez-Quijano, or as we like to call her, KQ. This beautiful holiday arrangement was created for an H.Bloom television segment on NBC 4 in Washington on December 5. Brightly set with a mix of jolly red and crisp white peonies and roses, this arrangement sparkled with holiday cheer with our designer’s touch of holly berries, fresh pine, and gold ornaments.

To our right are beautiful deep red arrangements for one of our premiere clients, Omega. Caught on camera by Neely Moore, an NYC H.Bloomer, these arrangements show that even the simplest design can make the “wow” statement all holiday installations hope to achieve!

What kind of beautiful holiday decor have you seen around town this year? Snap an instagram and let us know by tagging #hbloomholiday!

Summer Staycation

If a weekend away in the Hamptons isn’t in the cards, look no further. We’ve rounded up some poolside locations in Manhattan-proper to beat the 90 degree heat without leaving the city. So grab your bikini, floppy hat, and sandals and enjoy a fabulous day sunbathing or swimming. Note: You do not have to be a hotel guest to enjoy these spots!

1. Gansevoort Meatpacking
18 Ninth Avenue
212-206-6700
www.hotelgansevoort.com
Cost: $275 per person (includes 30 minute facial, 30 minute massage + poolside cocktail)

Talk about the ultimate splurge – but worth every penny. This rooftop pool has gorgeous views of the city and you can even listen to music underwater! There is a bar and restaurant on site and a landscaped terrace for lounging after a day at the pool.

2. The Holiday Inn
440 West 57th Street
212-581-8100
http://www.holidayinn.com
Cost: $70

Get to this roof deck early, as lounge chairs tend to get nabbed fast on the weekends. A bar and restaurant onsite make this an all-day, one-stop excursion.

3. Le Parker Meridien Hotel
118 W. 57th St
212-245-5000
www.parkermeridien.com
Cost: $150 Day Pass

This could potentially be the best view in the city of Central Park.  42 stories up, the glass-enclosed pool is a dreamlike, and room service can be delivered directly to the sundeck.

4. Millennium Health and Racquet Club
One United Nations Plaza
212-702-5016
www.millenniumhrc.com
Cost: $25 Day Pass

The Millenium Health and Racquet Club has breathtaking views of the UN. Covered floor to ceiling with windows, this pool is perfect for private laps at your own pace.

Escape to New York

Bahamas, Puerto Rico or Bermunda not on your summer itinerary? Don’t fret. We’ve gathered some of our favorite beach locations that are less than 2 hours away from the Big Apple.

1. Robert Moses State Park
Babylon, NY
——
Travel Time: 1 Hour
Hightlights: This beach is on the smaller side and less crowded. For lunch, you can either pack a picnic to enjoy in the park’s picnic area or visit the resident food vendor.
Image via Wikipedia

 

2. Jones Beach State Park
Wantagh, NY
——
Travel Time: 1 Hour
Highlights: Jones Beach is famous for its summer concert series (information here). The beach also has over four miles of bike paths, an Olympic sized pool, surf fishing and a nature center.

Image via Best of Long Island

 

3. Brighton Beach
Brooklyn, NY
——
Travel Time: 45 minutes – 1 Hour
Highlights: With a round trip total of $4.50 (via Subway) and all the Russian food you can eat, Brighton Beach has restaurants, shopping and of course, the ocean!
Image via Travelpod

 

4. Rockaway Beach
Queens, NY
——
Travel Time: 1.5 Hours
Highlights: Surfing and Volleyball? Check. In addition to being a great place for sports, Rockaway Beach is also a great spot for some grub–Rockaway Taco and Rippers are not to be missed.
Image via NY Magazine

Local Favorite: The Field Museum

The Chicago Field Museum of Natural History is one of the most beloved attractions for tourists and Chicago residents alike. Located in the gorgeous Museum Campus next to Lake Michigan, it’s the spot to see large collections of dinosaur skeletons, taxidermy, Native American artifacts, and human cultural anthropology exhibits–23 mummies are on display! The Grainger Hall of Gems, boasting a Tiffany stained glass window is not to be missed. And be sure to visit the “Evolving Planet” exhibition, which outlines the evolution of Earth over four billion years.

The museum also has working laboratories and collaborates as an educational institution with the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago. After some quick hunting around the internet we also landed upon some great floral photos from the museum’s archives. Click here to see more of the below!

Lead image via Arenamontanus.

Local Favorite: King Cole Bar

The King Cole Bar nestled in the glamorous St. Regis Hotel transports its visitors to another era. The cocktail lounge’s dark, private ambiance and mahogany is utterly reminiscent of the 1960′s–a time when a stiff drink was the approved “cure-all” morning, noon, and night.

More than just a spot to see and be seen, King Cole is famed for creating the original bloody mary. So, the next time you’re in Midtown, pull up a bar stool, order a Red Snapper, and settle in for a classic New York experience.

Image via The St. Regis on Flickr.

Local Favorite: Brookyln Botanic Garden

Brooklyn’s hidden treasure is, hands down, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. It’s where New Yorkers come to admire cherry blossoms in the spring, visit Japanese Hill and the Pond Garden (which boasts the highest number of visitors of any Japanese-inspired garden outside of Japan), and view the horticultural exhibits and rotating gallery collections. Whether you’re visiting for a picnic or taking a stroll around the bonsai museum, the Garden is a terrific place to learn, relax and play. Admission is $10 for adults, or you can become a member for $50 and enjoy unlimited free admission. For more information visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden site.

Japanese Hill and Pond Garden

Bonsai Museum

Desert Pavilion

Patrick Dougherty’s “Natural History”

Palm House

Lead image via tranquilocity on Flickr

Local Favorite: The Annex

Last year, the charmed owners of Fort Greene’s The Greene Grape expanded their neighborhood empire across Fulton Street, opening a bakery and coffee shop called The Annex. Today, the small shop boasts a unique array of baked goods. Pastry chef Audrey Leary is best known for her colorful macaroons, which are offered in inventive flavors such as raspberry lemonade, blueberry white chocolate, caramel apple cider, chocolate espresso, pear ginger, peppermint dark chocolate, and honey lavender.

While the ever-evolving menu is not to be missed, we also recommend a cup of The Annex’s single brewed Blue Bottle coffee–roasted locally in Brooklyn.

The Annex is located at 680 Fulton Street in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

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