#DestinationDempsey

When creating our Jet Set collection, we wanted to honor four iconic cities that would resonate with locals and travelers alike. Each unique city features engraved correspondence cards and envelopes that are hand-lined with city maps and vintage artwork. 

We worked with four influencers from around the world to create a blog post with their top hidden gems and experiences with our Jet Set Collection.  Follow along to discover Paris, London, Los Angeles, and New York with highlights from our #DestinationDempsey campaign.

 

Paris

We started in Paris, as Emily Jackson (@theglitteringunknown) shared her five can’t-miss places in the City of Lights on The Glittering Unknown. From strolling through the popular Marais neighborhood, to enjoying a cocktail on the Seine River by Le Pont Alexandre III, the “Je ne sais quoi” of Paris was beautifully captured.

 

London

We then took a trip across the English Channel with Andrea Cheong (@fleurandrea) as she wrote about her favorite places in London, a bustling metropolis that juxtaposes historic sites with modern architecture and technology. We followed her handwritten clues on The Haute Heel to discover instagrammable hot spots like Plum Spilt Milk, along with classic spots like The Victoria and Albert Museum.

 

Los Angeles

We flew across the country to sunny California to meet Caroline Juen (@loveandloathingla) in the City of Angels for her guide on Love & Loathing LA. Whether you’re soaking in old Hollywood glamour at the iconic Beverly Hills Hotel, or cheering for a baseball game at Dodger’s Stadium, there are plenty of great experiences to be had by Angelenos and tourists alike in Los Angeles.

 

New York City

What better way to end Destination Dempsey than Alyssa Ponticello (@runwaychef) as she shared her love letter to New York before beginning her cross country trip to move out west? Alyssa’s guide on Runway Chef brought us all over our home city, from brunch at West Village hot spot Buvette, to taking in skyline views at Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO. New York is, after all, the city so nice they named it twice!

 

Where are your favorite spots in Paris, London, Los Angeles, and New York? Discover our Jet Set Collection to inspire your next trip and use the #DestinationDempsey hashtag on social media to share your travels. 

24 Hours in London with Mark Ingram

Mark Ingram BreakfastWorking out of his Manhattan atelier, Mark Ingram is best known for pairing the most beautiful brides to the most gorgeous wedding dresses. Dempsey and Carroll’s Austin Ackles recently asked him to take note of his very favorite delights and inspirations while out and about in glorious London. Spot on, Mark!

  How to get There

I absolutely adore London–I have traveled there one or two times a year for the past 14-15 years. One of the reasons I find myself there so often is that I love to fly Virgin Atlantic Upper Class service ‘across the pond’.  Whenever I am going to Milan, Rome or Barcelona, I will normally fly through Heathrow, have a small layover, and then go on my way via British Airways. I could spend a full day in the Virgin Upper Class lounge as it remains one of the few full service clubhouses with complimentary menu dining, full bar selection, showers, and rest options.  A layover is a pleasure!

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse

The 15 minute ride on the Heathrow Express train to London makes that trip painless, with train platforms just below the Virgin Airways terminal.

Where to Stay

My preferred hotels in London are mostly part of the Firmdale boutique hotel chain. I will trade full service and larger (usually poorly designed) rooms for the decor, ambiance, spa-like bathrooms, high thread count linens, and location of these exquisite boutique hotels. I have stayed in Firmdale properties in Covent Garden, Knightsbridge, South Kensington and Dorset Square a number of times. They may be pricey, but hotels are a huge part of the travel experience whether away on business or pleasure.  I don’t treat it with a “well, I just sleep here” mentality! Firmdale Hotel

About two years ago I discovered the charming Radisson Blu Edwardian-Mercer St. Hotel, and the lobby and restaurant were just upgraded recently. If you enjoy theater as I do, then this Covent Garden location is amazing. Located on a charming corner where seven small streets meet at a roundabout and monument, this is also a favorite place to stay when budget is more concerning.

Radisson Hotel

Overall, I prefer the Soho/Covent Garden, Marylebone and Chelsea/South Kensington neighborhoods to rest my head. I always love to use the remarkable and very efficient London Tube subway system to zip around the city!

 

Where to Eat and Drink

  • Adventures in Notting Hill will usually lead to a stop at the fabulous Ottolenghi for lunch and/or dessert.
  • A visit to the Art Nouveau Michelin Building in South Kensington must include lunch at Bibendum upstairs (the entire area is quite charming).
  • Any of the Carluccio’s restaurants are perfect for enjoying a light meal or coffee and dessert
  • The Wolseley, a London restaurant staple located in Piccadilly, used to be a grand bank before it was converted to a very popular eatery about a decade ago. The tall ceilings and marble décor make it very appealing along with a broad range of food on the menu.
  • Nothing is better than High Tea at Browns Hotel and evening cocktails at Claridge’s Hotel.Claridge's

Top London Sites and Experiences  

  • The hustle and bustle of the narrow, two lane Oxford Street, with pedestrians, double decker buses, street vendors and grand old emporium department stores like Selfridges.Oxford Street
  • The curve of Regent Street as it approaches Piccadilly; the limestone Regency office buildings at that vantage point are so grand, impressive, elegant, and stately.
  • A walk across the Thames River on almost any bridge (especially Waterloo Bridge) with clamor of the railroad trains just beside you at street level as they leave and approach Waterloo Station and Embankment.
  • Arriving at the Baker Street tube station and learning that it was built in the 1860’s for the underground steam engine subway line. Steam was released at holes in the tunnels leading up to the street level.South Kensington
  • A stroll through Chelsea and South Kensington (just off the tube station), through the beautiful streets and courts of stately town houses with immaculate gardens and window boxes, on the way to Harrods and Harvey Nichols. A walk through Pelham Crescent off of Fulham Road is a must, as you will see pristinely preserved architecture from the Regency Period.

 

 

Where are your favorite destinations to visit in London or other cities around the world?Discover our Jet Set Collection to inspire your next trip and use the #DestinationDempsey hashtag on social media to share your travels. 

 

 

 

A Spotlight on Mary Lee Herrington

Dempsey & Carroll curator, Austin Ackles, sat down with Mary Lee Herrington to discuss her work as an event planner.

 

AA: After working in London for several years, welcome back to New York! What’s changed the most about our city?

MLH: One of the things I’ve always loved about New York is that even though facades can change and stores go out of business or new buildings pop up in place of old, the city’s energy and personality never really changes – I’ve always felt like it was my home no matter how long it had been since I last lived here or visited. So when we moved back here in October 2013, I fell right back into step, as if I’d never left. But if I had to point out some changes that, for whatever reason or another, I noticed the most, they are: taxi cabs taking credit cards (I hated swinging by ATMs in order to grab taxis before! I also love Uber!), and the construction/opening of Brooklyn Bridge Park. London’s parks are all really lovely, but this one with the spectacular views, picnic tables, barbecue grills, lawns, Smorgasburg, Jane’s Carousel and clean playgrounds just takes the prize! Also on the subject of change, it struck me the other day that back when I started college in ’97 at Columbia, the subways were still taking tokens! If that doesn’t make me feel old, I don’t know what does!

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AA: What do you already miss about London?

MLH: As much as I love the playgrounds and Brooklyn Bridge Park near where I live in Brooklyn Heights, I have to say that London’s attitude towards dogs and letting dogs off-leash at any time in their expansive parks is something we miss every day. We walked our dogs in Primrose Hill every single day off-leash and our dogs loved it so much. For dogs to be able to run freely in a park is so much better for them than the cramped dog runs that we have here, many of which are too small for high-energy dogs. I also used to take my Morkie* Sammy (who is my business mascot!) with me to cafes, pubs, restaurants all the time. Some clients even asked that I bring Sammy with me to meetings with them and with us on venue site visits!

I also miss the proximity to other parts of Europe. We loved being able to board a train at San Pancras in London and, a few short hours later, be in the heart of Paris!

AA: Traditionally, British weddings are midmorning followed by a wedding breakfast or brunch. Is this still pervasive?

MLH: Not really! These days, British couples prefer early to mid-afternoon ceremonies. The term “wedding breakfast” is still used predominantly, however it doesn’t mean that it literally has to be served in the morning or as a breakfast! It basically means the first meal shared as a married couple with their guests following a wedding. Most of my clients and British couples at large tend to have mid-afternoon ceremonies, followed by a “drinks reception” (what we call cocktail hour) that serves canapés and drinks, and then are asked to sit for the wedding breakfast – which can be early, such as 4pm, or served around dinner time, such as 6pm. It’s really up to the couple and the availability of the chosen venue.

AA: Another tradition in England is that guest names are written directly on the invitation. Are you still seeing this done?

MLH: It is still done by many and is considered to be a very traditional custom, but to be honest, I would be horrified to see a beautiful invitation – and all of my clients go for beautifully designed wedding invitations – only to see a guest’s name written at the top in ball-point pen! Unless the entire wedding invitation were handwritten by a calligrapher – all in the same ink and penmanship – and included the guests’ names at the top in this vein, I would be okay with it, but to write the names with another writing implement is horrible! None of my clients opted to follow this practice!

AA: In terms of paper goods, is there much difference between what’s commonly used in England and what is usually done here?

MLH: One of the biggest differences that I saw was the use of a “seating plan” in lieu of escort cards. Mind you, many British couples opt for escort cards after being educated in the whole stationery process, however, most British couples still go for a seating plan, which is typically a poster-sized list of guests’ seat assignments that is typically propped up on an easel by the entrance into the reception area. The seating plan can be designed to look lovely – framed, or written on a mirror, chalkboard, or canvas (one of my clients had their stationer custom-make a canvas tablecloth printed with their seating plan and we hung it on the wall like a tapestry), the sky’s the limit. Basically, just like with escort cards, you can get creative with how you design the seating plan.

AA: What venues in England were the most thrilling for you to design? And what venues in New York would be thrilling for you to design?

MLH: I always loved the venues that provided a blank canvas for me – this could either be something like a warehouse or the grounds of a breathtaking estate where we pitched tents (or “marquees” as the Brits call them). It allowed the clients (and myself) to design the wedding truly to their specific and unique vision. One of my all-time favorite weddings to work on was one along the British Riviera, where the cocktail hour (or “drinks reception,” as the Brits say) was held overlooking the sea by a cliff’s edge. It was stunning and the weather was incredible (how very un-British!).

I also loved doing destination weddings in France and this became a specialty of mine. I’ve designed and produced weddings on private beaches (turning the beach into a sophisticated night club of sorts for the guests!) in France and weddings in picturesque medieval villages.

There are so many incredible venues in New York, both within the city and upstate. One of the things I love about working on weddings in New York is that the venues and the vendors are all so willing to go the extra mile. They understand that clients really want to make their wedding day unique and design the wedding as an expression of who they are. Because many venues in Britain are so historic, there can be quite a few restrictions on what could be done to the space, or the staff could be wary of permitting too much leeway. I think as a reflection of the ethos of the city, New York wedding venues are very open to clients’ requests and to meet them as much as possible (within reason, of course!).

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AA: Before we say goodbye, I have the most important question: Which city is more dog friendly?

MLH: Definitely London! New York needs to get with the program!

 

 

 

 

Photos courtesy of: Caught the Light and  Aneta Mak

Morkie: A Maltese-Yorkie mixed breed dog.