Luxury Hotel News in Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill

How are you? You know how it is! Life is crazy when you are a parent, and I've had very little time to chat with you all here.  I've been out and about in Triangle lately. As a result, I wanted to share some things with you that I felt needed sharing sooner rather than later.

I love her new owl gown from Company Kids
First off, our owl pajamas for National Family Pajama Night arrived this week.  I love The Company Store. 
The Siena Hotel used Vietri China for the luncheon. 

Last week on my TriangleMom2Mom column for the News and Observer, I received a lot of positive feedback on my column titled, "Do Really Skinny Women Eat?" You can read that post here. I'm back on the food-eating wagon, and apparently off of the exercise wagon since I wrote about my attempts to lose weight on the Denise Austin eating plan. The scale is moving up again, if I indulge at all. The "Do skinny women eat?" post idea came after I attended a fabulous luncheon at the Siena Hotel to celebrate Vietri's 30th Anniversary. I'm working on a story for Skimbaco Lifestyle about how a trip to Italy inspired the start of Vietri, the North Carolina based tablescape company. I'm hoping to sit down soon so I can devote some time it.

I am a big fan of Vietri, and am so glad I was able to attend this luncheon and meet, CEO Susan Gravely. The table setting was stunning, and I certainly ate like a queen. It will be a cold day in hell that I pass up food prepared by an outstanding chef like Executive Chef Adam Rose of Il Palio. 

I was also at the Washington Duke Inn in Durham last week for the luxury hotel's Fall Menu preview. Here, I'm enjoying the tasting with food blogger, Ron Wen of Foodalicious Follies

Executive Chef Jason Cunningham always seems to impress my Southern, simple taste. His menu is based on the farm-fresh ingredients that are abundant this time of year. I didn't get a photo of my favorite dish, but the Ashley Farms Sweet Tea Poulet Rouge really stood out as a favorite for me.  I also tried my first cinnamon sugar cronut. The Cinnamon Sugar Cronut was served with poached sour cherries and root beer ice cream. I loved it. 

Cinnamon Sugar Cronut 

You can view the fall menu on the Washington Duke Inn website.  As the days grow shorter, the fall season's happy hour menu, served daily in the Fairview Dining Room, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., is a $30 three-course prix-fixe menu that includes a choice of appetizer, entree and a sample of sweets. 

Christopher Marley's collection is on display at the Umstead Hotel and Spa to January 1, 2014

I was also at the Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary to view the new art exhibit, Pheromone, by Christopher Marley. It is amazing! Actually, it is unbelievable that someone can make something so beautiful out of natural artifacts, such as bugs.

Marley uses beetles, butterflies and other arthropods as an unconventional artistic medium. He displays them singly or arranged in exquisite mosaic and prismatic patterns that take full advantage of their naturally vivid colors and almost architectural forms.

These are insects, not jewels. 

The Marley exhibit will remain at The Umstead through Jan. 1, 2014. Interested parties can purchase his works through The Umstead Gift Shop.  Prices range from $250 to $4500 and up. 

Anyone can visit the Umstead's art collection at any time, for free. The hotel has a fabulous brochure that will guide you through its remarkable permanent collection as well.  If you want to make a special evening, the fall menu is now available at Herons. I've not had anything from it yet so I can't recommend anything in particular, but I bet that pumpkin soup with marshmallow would be great on a fall evening.  You can view Herons fall menu here.  

Herons’ autumn prix fixe dinner menu offers guests the option of three or four courses.  A three-course menu is priced at $75; four courses for $85. Complementary wine pairings are also available for an additional cost.

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