Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Santa Fe Charmers

Every year we look for new treasures in Santa Fe.  This year we discovered 4 new spots to share with you.

My mom and sister sitting in the rock pavilion. Santa Fe, October 2010

At The Chocolate Smith on Cerrillos Road, we found a delicious and highly unusual chocolate bark made of white chocolate, tamari almonds, lemon zest and culinary lavender.  This was the first time I have ever consumed lavender flowers and I loved every bite!  A unique snack, for sure and it's something you can order for home delivery on their website. You won't be disappointed.

Hotel St. Francis was our favorite hotel of choice for many years past.  They recently went through a dramatic restoration so on Saturday (day 2 of our trip) we decided to revisit our old friend for Afternoon Tea in the lobby. If you are looking for a traditional Afternoon Tea of scones and little tea sandwiches you will be disappointed because you'll find neither of them here. Here the unique offerings with tea are a cheese plate which included the best St. Andre ever, a few local goat cheeses that were also wonderful, rice crackers, and fresh fruit, all very beautifully presented (and super wonderful of them to serve rice crackers instead of ordinary wheat ones). Also included were their chef's pastries honoring some of the local revered Saints including St. Francis himself.  Everything was delicious and artistically arranged for sharing.

Everything in Santa Fe is within walking distance which always makes this trip so great.  After a 5 to 6 hour drive from Denver, the last thing you want to do is get in the car again.  So, shortly after we arrived we decided to stretch our legs and walk across the street from our hotel to visit The Monks Corner.  Now, I'm not Catholic, but no matter, the minute I walked into that store I was swept up by Gregorian Chants and by the delicate hand-made items made by local artisans, and monks too. And these monks have a sense of humor (see the classic saints below).  When I was making my purchase I told the saleswoman that "I'm not Catholic, but this stuff really moves me!"  We laughed because she said to me, "I'm Jewish! So I know what you mean.  It's all the same God anyway."  So true, and I think that's why I felt so comfortable in that store.  It's all the same God anyway.

Lastly, we've finally discovered Bittersweet Designs which is a delightful little boutique on Canyon Road. Tucked into an adobe courtyard we entered the turquoise wooden doors and then said a lot of oohs and ahs.   Exquisite necklaces, crowns, vintage home decor. Let me just show you!

The owner of Bittersweet, Laurie, with her daughter.  Laurie designs the Bittersweet paper line and all the necklaces.  

Actress Ali MacGraw is a Santa Fe resident and she wore one of Laurie's necklaces (above) during her recent TV interview with Oprah.
The paper flower garland is a Laurie signature. Sometime she wears one like a scarf.  In this photo a garland is attached to a white garment.
I'm a sucker for crowns...not to wear, but to adorn my Venus statue, so Bittersweet won me over easily. They had many crowns, some vintage and some reproductions.

I hope this short travelogue inspires you to take the trip to Santa Fe...it's so worth it, especially if you have never been there and live close enough to drive it. Wishing you a wonderful week filled with creative projects!!

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