Travel Archives - InspiringKitchen.com

Experience The Peninsula Hotel’s Chocolate at the Pen

Posted by | Dessert, Hotel, Travel | 21 Comments

For most people, there is nothing better in this world when it comes to sweet treats than chocolate. In any form. Rich, decadent chocolate made from only the finest cacao beans.So, it should be no surprise that the elegant Peninsula Hotel Chicago is offering an adventure in to the world of chocolate from the eyes of a world-class pastry chef. Chocolate at the Pen is a chocolate bar like no other. Executive Pastry Chef and Chocolate Sommelier, Dimitri Fayard, sets the stage for an evening of sweet indulgences that range from desserts to chocolate truffles to a hot chocolate station to homemade ice cream all presented to appeal to your eyes first.… Read more

A Vacation Guide to Lake Geneva

Posted by | Restaurants, Tourism, Travel | 13 Comments

Vacation. What does that mean to you? For me, it is something to look forward too. An escape from the real world of stress, work, traffic and just life. It doesn’t have to be long. Doesn’t have to be far away. Just has to be new scenery. In other words, days off but not staying at home as that is not a vacation in my eyes. You go SOMEWHERE.

Maybe you are able to get on a plane and land in a place that is your piece of heaven. Or maybe, you are lucky enough to have a small piece of sunshine just a short drive away.… Read more

Exploring the World of Food Tours

Posted by | Education, Entertainment, Tourism, Travel | 21 Comments

You know the expression “be a tourist in your own city”, have you ever done that? I haven’t and am just now realizing all that I am missing by not taking advantage of the awesome services, tours and events that go on in my own town.

Inspiring Kitchen Exploring the World of Food Tours

I recently had the pleasure of learning about an experience that any one interested in the culinary scene must investigate: food tours. No matter where you live, your town has a food personality and history all its own. Living in major cities where dining out is a big part of our entertainment, it never occurred to me to learn the history of restaurants, chefs, and products sold in my backyard.… Read more

A New Way To Remember Your Vacation

Posted by | Favorite Finds, Tourism, Travel, Vacation, Wedding | 22 Comments

The moment I begin planning a vacation is when the anticipation of escaping reality begins. And if I am honest, when the countdown begins! So, when I finally get to my vacation spot, I am  just brimming with happiness. There is no way I will think of my return home until the very last second of the vacation. All those days of carefree lounging on the beautiful sandy beaches of wherever I am with the waves crashing peacefully in the distance will not go wasted by a reminder of the traffic, work and chaos of everyday life.

Inspiring Kitchen Jewelry Sand VacationAnd yet, within the deep recesses of my mind, I know that day is going to come.… Read more

Debut of Chicago Food + Wine Festival

Posted by | Culinary Event, Education, Festival, Travel, Trends | 16 Comments

In a food town like Chicago, having the opportunity to learn about new restaurants, dishes, foods, wines, spirits, beers and cocktails is always a reason to gather. Food makes us happy after all. Something that the Chicago Food + Wine Festival knew as they launched their first fest this weekend in Chicago’s Lincoln Park.

Inspiring Kitchen Chicago Food + Wine Festival

This two-day food and wine celebration highlighted our local chefs and their restaurants including those that are soon to be opening in Chicago. (See Monteverde from Chef Sarah Grueneberg and Earl’s Kitchen and Bar). The fest was held in a beautiful park just to the north of Chicago’s famed Magnificent Mile.… Read more

Virgin Hotel Launches in Chicago

Posted by | Hotel, Tourism, Travel | 32 Comments

Ready to stay in a hotel that does not feel like a hotel? Where you feel like you are staying in an exclusive yet creative space. Leave it to Sir Richard Branson to launch Virgin’s first US based hotel in Chicago. And he thought of everything!

The Chicago property, located just off Michigan Avenue in the business district, has a history of it’s own having once been the Old Dearborn bank building. In fact, throughout the hotel you will see hints of what the building’s previous business was just adding to the hotel’s ambience.

Inspiring Kitchen Virgin Hotel


From a business traveler’s perspective, it’s all in the details of how the hotel is run.… Read more

Airport Dining on the Run from AirGrub

Posted by | Dining, Technology, Travel | 23 Comments

Having been a business traveler (aka Road Warrior) for much of my career, finding good and hopefully healthy food while running through an airport is usually just a fleeting thought. The ultimate goal is to make the flight. How many times have you had to find a way to make a meal out of what you find in the newspaper shops at the airport? I have lost count! While airports have definitely improved their assortment of restaurants and quality of menu options, sometimes having the time to get to the restaurant, place the order and wait for it to be packaged to-go can be challenging.… Read more

New Modern Hotel Lands in Chicago

Posted by | Art, Design, Hotel, Tourism, Travel | 15 Comments

There is a new hotel in town. And it is different from the rest. This property is a partnership between Marriott and the Marcus Corporation. It’s called the AC Hotel. The brand is not new to the marketplace. It is actually a brand out of Spain with a strong presence in Europe with approximately 75 hotels. In the United States, this is location number 4 with many more to come in the next couple of years. 

The AC Hotel is designed to be a modern, approachable lifestyle brand with an appeal to the creativity and passions of travelers with a millennial mindset.… Read more

Luxury Dining at Casa Velas Hotel in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Posted by | Luxury, Mexico, Puerto Vallarta, Restaurants, Travel | 34 Comments

When you think of an international culinary experience, do you think of Mexico? How about Puerto Vallarta? If you answered “no”, then you are missing out on a wonderful experience. I recently had the pleasure of dining at the lovely Emiliano’s Restaurant located in the Marina area of Puerto Vallarta. This Four Diamond restaurant is nestled in the luxury all-inclusive Casa Velas boutique hotel.

 Inspiring Kitchen Casa Velas Mexico entrance dining

 Entering the grounds of Casa Velas sets the mood for what the evening will be like. The meticulous landscaping, gracious staff, peaceful ambience and attentive service begin when you first enter the property and continue through out the night.… Read more

Inspiring Kitchen Puerto Vallarta sunset Jan 2015

Escape to Sunny Puerto Vallarta

Posted by | Luxury, Mexico, Puerto Vallarta, Tourism, Travel | 28 Comments

The best part of winter in Chicago is escaping to a place where the sun shines bright, warms you all the way through, the water shimmers while the waves crash on the beach and you are welcomed by the locals who want to share their home with you. For me, that is found within the beauty of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. 

Inspiring Kitchen Escape to Glorious Puerto Vallarta

As someone who has been fortunate to travel for both work and pleasure, finding a warm weather vacation spot is always a bonus. And Puerto Vallarta, or P.V. to those frequent visitors, is a small piece of heaven.


Traveling from Chicago to PV is relatively easy if you are able to grab the one or two airlines that offer direct flights.… Read more