Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Boulder the Better

Weekends are SO sweet. And, even sweeter when spent in an awesome place with awesome people.

With 8 month old baby in tow, I recently spent a weekend in Boulder, Colorado visiting a friend and taking in a little of Boulder life. With no real agenda and someone to lead the way I had an awesome weekend. Between the sun, good food and relaxed atmosphere being in Boulder was like landing in the west's version of Vermont - low key, "green" and fresh off the trails kind-of-vibe.

Here are a few of the trip's highlights and places worth checking out:

Overall, Boulder’s food has the west coast thing going on…fresh off the farm, clean and simple.

Hit The Kitchen Cafe. It's the perfect meld of classic gourmet meets the simplicity of farm freshness reminiscent of the Pacific Northwest. The atmosphere, like the food, is clean and crisp. It’s no fuss, earthy yet elegant. I had a bowl of tomato soup, a chicken curry salad and a perfect latte and I'd eat it all over again.

Little man and I had the best time at Breadworks Bakery & CafĂ©. It’s a bustling spot and prides itself on being locally owned and serving up award-wining organic artisan breads. We ate our lunch at the counter facing outwards, allowing us to people watch, soak up the mountain sun all the while looking up at the Boulder Mountains. It’s a great spot for coffee and a pastry, light lunch or prepared take away foods…I must say their macaroni and cheese with roasted vegetables looked amazing.

For dinner my Boulder Hostess took me to The Black Cat Farm Table Bistro. As the name implies it’s a farm to table bistro that has a reputation (amongst friends) of being the best restaurant in Boulder. It lived up to its reputation. The menu takes inspiration from organic produce, fresh picked off its own 70 acre farm. The combinations are creative, the portions delicate but not skimpy and the variety is truly impressive. The tasting menu with paired wines is a total culinary adventure, although slightly weighted toward the meaty side. But veg heads fear not – there are plenty of equally awe-inspiring options such as heirloom carrot gratin with roasted grapefruit and tender leaves that just makes your mouth water, even thinking about. Meow!

Book yourself a 90-minute massage with Naomi Boggs at While not cheap, it’s worth it. It’s at once relaxing, re-invigorating like a yoga class and makes you wonder where she’s been all your life. She hits bothersome spots you didn't even know you had. She instructs you to breathe in certain ways and at certain times and all the while you’re thinking. “How is it possible that she is more in tune with my body than I am?” Her technique is all encompassing with firm sweeping motions that make you wonder how she is massaging you ALL over ALL at once.

A few shops worth hitting include: Knit Wit (high end, carries brands like Nanette Lepore and Trina Turk- has some unique pieces worth splurging on), Weekends (slighlty lower price point, younger vibe, totally fun), Chelsea (small boutique which could rival that in any major city, carrys brands like Rebecca Taylor – we did spot the most georgeous RT jacket , James Perse and Tocca).

Boulder is a hikers’ dream! There are hundreds of miles of trails winding through foothills just west of town. Thanks to the foresight of the city planners in the 1960’s and 1970’s, a greenbelt around the city was created to preserve this land and allow anyone to enjoy it. Some of the local favorites include Mount Sanitas, just a few miles round trip, that leads to fantastic views both to the snowcapped peaks to the west and the sprawling plains to the east. Chautauqua Park offers stunning vistas of Boulder’s Flatirons, and trails and rock climbing back into them. Check out the trails at this site...

We had a great weekend and I would highly recommend Boulder for a sweet weekend away!

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