Scientists have proven it: many shades of blue (especially a deep sky hue) cause the release of 11 tranquilizing hormones in the brain.
Whenever a person gazes on a patch of blue, it’s heaven. Baby blue to deep marine, all the glorious blues in the spectrum not only calm the mind and soothe the psyche, they help focus attention and cognitive skills.
Blue is busy working its magic on the minds of home and fashion style gurus, too. Pantone®, House Beautiful, Elle Décor, InStyle and more have christened blue a trend for 2016.
Is it any wonder our outdoor collections sing the blues so beautifully?
Creamy light blue edged in white relaxes like wisps of clouds in the sky and froth on the ocean.
Saturated and dramatic or tranquil and uplifting. Color connoisseurs are talking a blue streak about the hue of the moment. Discover the ocean of blues in our latest outdoor furniture collections and on Pinterest.
Literally a desert oasis, Palm Springs has always beckoned with its own brand of charisma.
In the 1940s, innovative architects broke nearly every rule, blueprinting midcentury modern design here. In the ’60s, Hollywood glitterati flocked here to pool-hop and party. And recently, a fledgling music festival has been luring nearly 200,000 revelers to the Coachella Valley every year.
Is it any wonder Palm Springs cast its spell on us too? We chose it as one of the locations for our 2016 photoshoot … and we were thrilled to see our outdoor furniture against the backdrop of its dazzling midcentury homes and towering mountains.
We’d definitely recommend you put Palm Springs on your bucket list. And to get you started, here are a few ‘musts’ to squeeze into the itinerary.
Start at Ernest Coffee (1101 N. Palm Canyon Drive). Formerly known as the Don the Beachcomber Restaurant in the ’50s, this coffee bar has tiki torches outside and a view of the mountains from the outdoor patio. By day, it serves fresh baked pastries and all manner of caffeine. Consider coming back in the evening when the alcohol is uncorked. You must be 21 or over to walk in.
The best way to immerse yourself in the midcentury and modern architecture this town is famous for is through Palm Springs Modern Tours. Be sure to reserve your place online, because there’s a limit of six guests per tour.
You’ll start at the Palm Springs Visitor Center (2901 N. Palm Canyon Drive), an Albert Frey-designed gas station with a spectacular, soaring roofline. Three hours later you’ll have seen dozens of masterworks by the most visionary architects of the 20th century; heard quirky, inside stories about the Hollywood royalty who lived in them; and vicariously experienced a little of the party lifestyle of the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s.
If a three-hour tour is not for you, but you still want to hit Palm Springs’ architectural highlights, get the Palm Springs Modern app and take a self-guided tour. You can center your sightseeing in a single neighborhood or several. We highly recommend Twin Palms (Frank Sinatra’s residence) and the Kaufmann Desert House.
After gazing on this city’s most opulent homes, it might be nice to come back down to earth for lunch at Jake’s (664 N. Palm Canyon Drive). Dogs are welcome to dine with their owners, and in fact Jake himself is the owner’s West Highland Terrier. It’s a relaxed and easy environment serving hit-the-spot salads, sandwiches, and a Bloody Mary made with horseradish-infused vodka.
Did we say come back down to earth? Well, it’s time for liftoff again. Hop on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway for an unforgettable view of Mount San Jacinto and Chino Canyon. Board the tram at the Valley Station, and try not to hold your breath for the 10-minute, 8,516-foot ascent. The views of this pristine wilderness are magnificent, especially from the tramway’s rotating cars.
A daily occurrence here between 4 and 6 p.m., Bootlegger Tiki (1101 N. Palm Canyon Drive) puts on a novel and kitschy happy hour. Featuring rum-based drinks like Mai Tais, Daiquiris and Blue Hawaiians, this bar has the same owners as neighboring Ernest Coffee, where we started our day.
Finish this jam-packed 10 hours with a leisurely dinner at Workshop Kitchen + Bar (800 N. Palm Canyon Drive). Start with the shaved Brussels Sprouts. Then linger over a 22-ounce Iron House Ranch ribeye for two, or a cacao-dusted elk chop. Talented chef Michael Beckman changes up the menu per the season with delicious results. Workshop is the perfect end to a day spent exploring Palm Springs, the coolest spot in the California desert.
Want to bring the Palm Springs look home? Get inspiration from our Pinterest board!
Winter will surrender. Spring will come. Within weeks, we’ll be dining al fresco on fresh treasures from the fishmonger and farmer’s market.
What better wine to have on hand than one that grew in an Eden-like environment next to the sea: Heredad Chávarri’s sensational Albariño.
|The Wine:||Heredad Chávarri Albariño 2013|
|The Maker:||Ruth Chávarri|
Made with the smallest grape on earth in one of the lushest locales, Chávarri’s Albariño balances crisp orchard, citrus and tropical fruit flavors with traces of salty sea breeze and spice notes. It marries well with swordfish, shellfish and fresh salmon.
The cool, coastal birthplace of the Albariño grape is called Rias Baixas, and it is unlike any other region in Spain. Locals describe it as “Spain’s Ireland” and “a vision of Eden.”
So when the family of fifth-generation winemaker Ruth Chavarri invested in the region, she jumped at the chance to work there and create this top-notch wine.
Those who love Rieslings will be intrigued by Albariño’s acidity, and Pinot Gris fans will fall in love with its floral bouquet. It was inevitable this white would chart on the trendiest wine lists and create a cult following.
Served chilled, Albariño is our featured Wine of the Month. Try it with guests as soon as the weather warms, alongside this delicious chive-crusted salmon with apples and radishes.
Courtesy of Food & Wine
Makes 4 servings
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 Tablespoon chopped drained capers
1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon minced chives
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into matchsticks
2 celery ribs, sliced diagonally 1/4 inch thick
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Four 6-ounce skinless salmon fillets
8 medium radishes, thinly sliced crosswise
In a medium bowl, mix the mayonnaise with the lemon juice, mustard, capers and 1 Tablespoon of the chives. Stir in the apples and celery, and season the remoulade with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, stir 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil into the remaining half-cup of chives. Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper. Press the chive paste onto one side of each salmon fillet.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1 Tablespoon of oil. Add the fillets, chive-side down, and cook over moderately high heat until lightly browned, about three minutes. Turn the fillets and cook for three minutes longer. Transfer the fillets to plates. Spoon the remoulade alongside, scatter the radishes on top, and serve.
Frontgate stands for Grand Living. Meaning homes that are grand in spirit … generous, welcoming, beautifully appointed. Comfortable homes, infused with touches of luxury and ease.
But a grand life is also a well-run life. And that’s where our Essentials Collection comes in. These are your life’s supporting players … intent on helping you manage, organize and care for every aspect of your home.
Want to learn more about these behind-the-scenes helpers that keep your life beautifully organized and your home impeccably run? Read “Introducing Grand Living Essentials: Life’s Supporting Players.”