Find yourself with only a few days to visit Houston? Here’s all you need to have a lovely Houston Weekend Getaway.
There’s a lot that can be said for getting away as a couple. It’s something my husband EJ and I have tried to do ever since our kids were small. Everything from going away overnight, to a meal out alone, to escaping outside in our backyard with a glass of wine after the kids go to sleep. That “alone time” is precious and something that should never be neglected. Last Friday afternoon, I met my husband in downtown Houston near his office and we spent the weekend at the beautiful Hotel Granduca near the Galleria.
The Hotel Granduca is one of my favorite hotels in downtown Houston. Admittedly, I’ve only stayed at a few Houston hotels, but the Hotel Granduca is one of my top picks. From the moment you pull into the hotel, you’re met with friendly staff and warm European elegance. This boutique hotel is situated across from Uptown Park where you’ll find unique shops and restaurants such as, Apricot Lane, Lady Elle, The Tasting Room, and a favorite stop for our kids, Crave Cupcakes. My husband booked our room with the fantastic corporate rate his company offers but I’ve noticed very good rates from Kayak and Priceline if you’re interested in checking the hotel out for yourselves.
Before checking in, we stopped for appetizers and a glass of wine at Masraff’s. We enjoyed Ahi Tuna Tacos and a Smoked Salmon Spring Roll. The highlight, however, was finding a new wine that we love. We tried Siduri 2011 Pinot Noir and it was fabulous. I’ll leave the tasting notes to EJ for a later post, I’ll just say we loved it.
We began our evening with a stop to Central Market to pick up a few weekend necessities. I love the Central Market near the Galleria. I could get lost inside that store, spend hours there and still not see everything. We picked up prosciutto and coppa, a couple of good cheeses, rice crackers and this great new snack from Kitchen Table Bakers called, Parmesan Gourmet Cheese Crisps. This is quite possibly my new, favorite “cracker”. As the name implies, these baked rounds are made entirely of cheese. Brilliant!! If you’ve ever made fondue, you know that there is usually a layer of cheese at the bottom of the pot that you can peel off and eat after all the fondue is gone. These crackers remind me of that. It’s my favorite part of fondue! We brought our stash back to our hotel and decided to “picnic” in our room.
Look at our room! Beautiful, right? This is why we chose to have dinner here.
Plus, I loved the selection of shampoos and soaps they left us…
How about this view…
The next day, we woke up later than usual. One thing I love about the Hotel Granduca are the blackout curtains and we were surprised to find that we slept until about 10, something that never happens at home! We ordered up a pot of coffee and planned our day. We were in need of a futon for our upstairs. We had a sleeper sofa that was not comfortable and not in the best shape and we needed to replace it. We’re finding that even though our kids are heading off to college and graduating, they’re still making their way back home. Our second son is staying with us until he finds a job so a comfortable futon upstairs would be perfect. We went to a few stores then ended up at Gallery Furniture. Let me say this, I love Gallery Furniture – great service and quality products. We’ve bought several pieces from them over the years and have always been pleased with our purchases. Plus, I love Mattress Mack. He’s probably one of the most generous people I know. He gives back so much to his community and we love to support businesses like that.
We decided on these two futons. Futons have certainly come a long way, haven’t they?
Later, we went over the Adkins Architectural Antiques and Treasures. This is a fun place to go if you’re remodeling or building a house. You’ll find salvaged architectural artifacts for the home, antiques, doors, stained glass windows and knick knacks galore. I felt like I was in food prop heaven. So many fun finds that would be perfect for my food photography.
I’m a real cheapskate when it comes to food props and hate to spend much so we drove over to the Goodwill store off Hwy 290. For about $50.00, I got nearly $200.00 worth of unique glasses and plates that you’ll be seeing in future blog posts.
By now, we were starving so we drove over to LA Bar (right next to Ragin Cajun). They have the best chargrilled oysters! We also ordered a bowl of seafood gumbo and of course, Louisiana’s own, Abita Beer; Purple Haze for me and Amber for EJ. If you’re in the downtown Houston area, you’ve got to go to LA Bar. The owner is so friendly and greets everyone at the door and treats them like family. He’s from Lake Charles, Louisiana and the food tastes like it does back home. I’m incredible picky when it comes to gumbo and there aren’t many places in the Houston area that make a good gumbo. LA Bar’s is the best!
We ended our day with a glass of wine in our hotel courtyard. A perfect way to relax.
Sunday morning we began our day with a pot of coffee delivered to our room, read the newspaper then went off to Mass at St. Michael’s. Following Mass, we grabbed lunch at Zoe’s Kitchen; I highly recommend the Greek Salad. Of course we had to make one last stop at Central Market for macarons for the kids.
Arriving home Sunday afternoon, I can honestly say it felt like we were gone for days. Just a couple of days alone with each other was invigorating and refreshing and I highly recommend it.
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