Peony Lim, before Viktor and Rolf, Tuileries, Paris, September 2012.
You can read about Peony's exquisite Vietnamese traditional coat on her blog here.
Recreate Peony's look (kind of):
Even if you aren't able to travel to East Asia to buy your own glorious coat, adding a beautiful Oriental-inspired piece to your wardrobe will at least have you imagining a wonderfully exotic adventure.
South Korean model Ji Hye Park (Elite), after Louis Vuitton, Paris, October 2012.
Recreate Ji Hye's look (kind of):
After seeingElsa's and Carlotta'squilted leather jackets, and then Ji Hye's after Louis Vuitton, I am rather smitten by this alternative to the biker jacket. It reminds me of an edgy classic Chanel jacket....
Hermosa Inn, Paradise Valley, Arizona, late January 2013.
off the plane at Phoenix, Arizona airport(it was the wee hours of the morning UK-time) into an agonisingly long
and slow-moving immigration line, I was just about ready to curl up on the
floor of the airport for the night. Fortunately, my desire for a warm, comfortable
night’s sleep won out over a “coat and pile of M&S knickers” makeshift bed,
and we were soon piled into our Chevy SUV and heading to our destination for
two nights: The Hermosa Inn.
Tucked away in the
affluent suburb of Paradise Valley, The Hermosa Inn is the antithesis of the
large resorts which dominate the Scottsdale, Arizona luxury accommodation
scene. Hand-built in the 1930’s as a traditional adobe hacienda by accomplished
cowboy artist Lon Megargee as his home and studio, The Hermosa Inn is a
treasure of a boutique hotel where, as the hotel brochure states “Tomorrow…Starts Tonight with Cowboy Dreams
At The Hermosa Inn”.
Despite it being past
10pm by the time we arrived at the Inn, we were greeted warmly at reception and
guided to our Deluxe Casita along paths slick and glossy with freshly fallen
rain. Um, yep, rain! It doesn’t rain very often in Phoenix (which boasts an
average of 306 days of sunshine a year hence the proliferation of golf courses and
celebrities who call Phoenix home), but our visit just happened to coincide
with some unstable weather.Luckily the thoughtful staff at The Hermosa Inn had anticipated the
weather, (and our late check-in) and our beautiful suite was toasty warm for
our arrival. With Spanish guitar music playing softly in the background, dimly
lit lamps casting golden shadows, a tiny plate of homemade lavender infused
chocolates on the side-table together with a welcome note setting out the
weather and suggested activities for the next day, all thoughts of the long
flight and delays were swept from our minds.Eyes pouncing on the gas fireplace, I couldn’t resist cranking
it up while we explored our accommodation.
Decorated simply and
tastefully with subtle nods to the Inn’s Southwestern heritage (apart from an
artist, Lon Megargee was a cowboy, broncobuster, exhibition roper, and stud
poker dealer!) with high, exposed timber beam ceilings, vintage cowboy posters
on the walls, rawhide lampshades, a Mexican-tiled fireplace and king-size wrought-iron
bed, our casita opened through wooden plantation shuttered French doors onto a private
terrace (which came in handy in the early hours of the morning as my
enthusiastic usage of the fireplace had rather overheated the room!). A small
hallway led to a dressing room/walk-in wardrobe, and an enormous
bathroom....and I do mean enormous! A beautiful Waterworks freestanding
roll-top bath plus a shower large enough for a party of five had me squealing
(quietly!) for joy. A quick splash about in the bath, fragrant with the Hermosa
Inn’s signature organic citrus toiletries, and I was ready to drift off to
sleep. I am not quite sure that I can attest to cowboy dreams (those came later
in our Arizona trip!), but I woke early the next morning refreshed and ready to
Having arrived under
cover of darkness, it was so exciting to finally see the property (and indeed
our first glimpse of Arizona) in the daylight. Even with ominous grey clouds
rolling in, the beauty of the manicured grounds and the surrounding area blew
me away. Impossibly tall palm trees, dozens of variety of cacti, lush green
lawns, desert flower gardens and in the distance, the magnificent Camelback
Mountain and Piestewa Peak (formerly Squaw Peak). The Hermosa Inn has also
collaborated with a local art gallery to create a fine-art sculpture garden
featuring life-sized sculptures by artists such as Allan Houser and Paul Moore
which are dotted throughout the grounds (one of which – a magnificent bronze of
a Native American called Finger That Kills - gave me a terrific fright as I wandered
past it in the darkness on the first night!).
In the middle of the
property, sits a lovely pool area (the pool is heated during the winter months)
with cabanas and lounges, together with a hot tub. Pool towels and bottled
water are provided free of charge. I forgot my swimsuit so had to be content with lounging about
under a cabana with my book and willing the sun to come out (it sort of did!). There
is also a spa on-site, but I didn’t have time to try that out unfortunately.
Lon’s Restaurant, Hermosa Inn: If you are staying at The Hermosa Inn (or even if you aren’t!) you
must eat at least once in Lon’s restaurant. The food was wonderful.It was also really busy on the night we
ate there (Sunday evening) so I would advise booking in advance if you plan on
going. The highlights of our meal were the fried Dungeness crab on a bed of
micro sprouts served with slivers of giant clam, braised beef short ribs with
roasted root vegetables and truffled ricotta gnocchi (so unctuous and
melt-in-the-mouth, perfect for a winter’s evening in the desert), spit roasted
prime rib with fire roasted poblano pesto (we watched the chef roasting the
beef over the fire pit in the afternoon so couldn’t resist ordering it), and the
Mexican chocolate pudding cake with raspberry mint compote.
We ate inside because
of the weather, but during the summer month’s Lon’s has a fabulous terrace with
fire pits and adobe fireplace, with magnificent views towards Camelback
Joe’s Farm Grill:Great for a burger stop if you are driving
towards Tucson (like we did after we left The Hermosa Inn)
Over Easy: A fun place
for breakfast/brunch if only to say you have eaten The Wolfpack and waffle dogs
(as seen on The Food Network).
Cartel Coffee Lab – We
visited all four of the Cartel locations during our trip to Arizona. Excellent
coffee. We even brought home a bag of whole beans (roasted in their Tempe store)
and a mug.
Press Coffee(Scottsdale Quarter) – Another place for great coffee in Scottsdale.
Each room at The
Hermosa Inn has a Keurig coffee maker, and there is one in the Reception area
as well should you need something to conquer jet lag on-site ;) Each time we
visited Reception, there were also little treaties to tempt: chocolate brownies
and teeny caramel tartlets in the afternoon, and mini croissants and pastries
We only had one full
day in Scottsdale due to our flight arrival time from the UK so barely scratched
the surface of things to do.I
would go back to Scottsdale, and The Hermosa Inn, in a heartbeat….and stay for
at least a week (hello golf, hiking….or simply lazing by the pool!)
We managed a small
hike on Camelback Mountain plus spent a good hour just driving around ogling
the incredible houses nestled into the side of the mountains. Our stay at The Hermosa Inn was compliments of the hotel.
Teen Vogue's Senior Fashion Market Editor, Mary Kate Steinmiller, after Karen Walker, NYC, September 2012.
LOVE this look on Mary Kate.....cute, feminine, wearable (I know I use that word a lot but when I am photographing people at the fashion week's I kind of always think "Would that work in "real" life, outside of fashion week") and chic.