Living with Style, Travel Notes


Dallas in 48 Hours

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The Nasher Sculpture Center

A few days in Dallas is a wonderful shot in the arm, especially come the end of January….and especially with 75° weather! Having already enjoyed some celebratory book events for Living Newport in Big D last October (here at Madison’s),

Book Signing in Dallas

I was thrilled to have a reason to return to a city with so many friends and the opportunity to enjoy yet more fun times in a singular American city. Now, with these notes in hand (and thanks to those friends who added their favorite spots -Louise Griffeth, Kim Whitman, Carla McDonald, Jeff Johnson and Courtney Price) – you, too, can head off to Dallas. I promise you’ll be glad you did!

Fountain in Dallas TX

 WHERE TO STAY

The Mansion on Turtle Creek: This exquisitely home-y hotel, in the heart of a leafy residential area, holds a special place in my heart; as a young mail order catalog owner in Atlanta, I stayed at the Mansion the first year it opened (1980) when shopping the Dallas trade mart. With a notable Texas histoire which perhaps accounts for its level of allure…built as a cattle baron’s mansion over a century ago, and opened as a  hotel by Caroline Hunt, sister to the oil empire Hunt brothers…the romantic Mansion well deserves to be on any seasoned travelers must do stops (and take note as its name comes up again in the following categories.) Another plus? The geographically desirable location is between the temple of shopping, Highland Park Village, and the newly re-greened Downton Dallas.

The Mansion Hotel
Photo Credit: Rosewood Hotels
The Mansion Hotel Room
Photo Credits: Rosewood Hotels

The JouleOn the other end of the spectrum, this “beacon of energy in downtown Dallas” has won awards left and right for its contemporary styling inserted into the interiors of a 1927 Gothic –style bank building. With modern, slick rooms and a 10th floor pool cantilevered eight feet over open space below,

The-Joule-Hotel Exterior
Photo Credit: The Joule Hotel

the Joule gives new meaning to “destination hotel.” Star restaurants and an afternoon champagne tea service in the Taschen tearoom (this publishers luscious coffee table books are the clever decor backdrop) just may compel me to head downtown for a sleepover the next time I’m in Dallas.

DINING

Parigi’s:  For French Cuisine and fabulous wine in an intimate setting.

Savor: New American dishes, classic cocktails and desserts in sleek surrounds with floor-to-ceiling windows…and sparkling trees for an accent.

LARK:  On Klyde Warren Park,  a new addition that features seasonal, globally inflected dining in a funky space featuring clever chalk illustrations by local artists.

Lark-VIA-Lark-in-the-Park
Photo Credit: Lark on the Park

Le Bilboquet: Bred in New York, the  Parisian bistro style is carried out with rattan chairs, crisp white table linens and classic white and grey marble floors.

Le-Bilboquet-Restaurant
Photo Credit: Le Bilboquet

Uchi: A sleek destination offering a menu of modern Japanese cuisine, known for its sushi and cooked seafood.

Mi Cocina: Check out this TexMex specialty with three Dallas locations, Highland Park Village, McKinney Drive, and La Vista Drive. A favorite is the Mambo Taxi Margaritas!

Neighborhood Services: It has the American vibe surrounded by history; as my friend Jeff says, “the place yells with joy.” The quintessential neighborhood restaurant for families and friends in the Preston Hollow neighborhood.

SHOPPING

Highland Park Village: If you’re short on time (and 48 hours is definitely not long enough in Dallas!) go straight to this mecca; quaint and charming, tucked into Dallas’ most exclusive neighborhood (and across the street from the Dallas Country Club.)

Highland Park Village
Photo Credits: Highland Park Village

The first self-contained “shopping center” in the country (1931), it is an open air shopping and strolling experience that marries the best names to be found on the likes of Madison Avenue and Rodeo Drive. And you needn’t worry about cutting into your shopping time to stave your hunger pangs, for scattered among the luxury boutiques are Dallas favorites…Bistro 31 (below, looking for all the world like a café’ on the French Riviera) and Cafe Pacific.

Don’t forget! Save time to check out the newly redesigned Hermes store.

Forty Five Ten: Soon to be Downtown this fall, the Dallas ladies’ favorite offers high design, curated, modern trends, from designer clothes to home decor. FortyFive Ten also has its own café.

Neiman Marcus: No trip to Dallas would be complete without a stop at the downtown style emporium that helped put Texas on the “happen’ ” list. Visit the original store to experience a true Dallas Icon.

Canary: The chic space is splashed with canary yellow and elegant art with pieces from up-and-coming designers.

Canary Dallas
Photo Credit: Canary Dallas

Grange HallTalk about hitting the trifecta… world class luxury shopping, an elegant, edgy new cafe with a menu as compelling as its collection of curios and a florist that tastefully challenges your concept of what can be done with flowers.

Grange Hall
Photo Credit: Grange Hall

Stanley Korshak: Texas’ own…a luxury goods specialty department store, known for its men’s department and  full service bridal salon…all in an elegant chateau structure.

TO DO

The Nasher Sculpture Center: A must-see, and easy walking distance to the Dallas Museum of Art

The Nasher Sculpture Center
Photo Credit: The Nasher Sculpture Center

Klyde Warren Park: A most exciting addition to the city, the new expansive green space plays a pivotal role in the Dallas lifestyle by connecting the Dallas Arts District, Downtown and Uptown.

Exciting dining prospects await, where you may choose between chic restaurants such as Savor or LARK, or order from a gourmet food truck like Ruthie’s Rolling Deli (with the best grilled cheese sandwiches!)

Meyerson Symphony Center: A performance at the Meyerson Symphony Center is a must; the acoustics are amazing and the talent that takes the stage is magical.

Kimbell Art Museum: With collections ranging from antiquities to 20th century contemporary art.

Dallas Museum of Art: One of the largest art museums in America, located in the Art District in downtown Dallas.

DON’T MISS

The Bar at the Mansion on Turtle CreekFor a touch of history, have cocktails at the Mansion. It’s retro-chic!

Grange Hall: This deserves to be mentioned again…an incomparable shopping experience, innovative floral design and edgy new cafe all wrapped into one glorious space.

Dallas
Photo Credit: Grange Hall

EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIENCES

Dallas takes its charities seriously and being in attendance at one of their many fundraisers provides a truly unforgettable experience for all the senses. The details that go into the planning, and the resources brought to bear, well support the Texas motto…”Go Big or Go Home.” Don’t pass up an invitation.

Crystal Charity Ball: Dedicated to aiding, supporting, and contributing to children’s charities, this Dallas charity has raised over $123 million since its founding in 1952.

Two X Two Benefit: Benefiting the Dallas Museum of Art and amfAR.

Cattle Barons Ball: The largest fund raiser in a single night for American Cancer Society in the country.

Here’s hoping Dallas is in your near future plans.

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Bettie Bearden Pardee

About Bettie Bearden Pardee

Author of Private Newport and Living Newport, garden furniture designer (The Parterre Bench), national lecturer, and entertaining expert. An honoree for the second year on "The Salonniere 100 America's Best Party Hosts", she was also the host and creative producer of "The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House".

5 thoughts on “Dallas in 48 Hours

  1. I love seeing the world through your eyes .Your skills as the quintessential homemaker and travel guide, add a layer of civility to our often harsh world. Thanks for sharing your inspirations.
    Best, Rochelle O

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