I know so many of you have plans for a weather break from our winter, what are your spring break plans? A few months ago I was trying to rally a weekend trip with friends but it kept falling through from various reasons…what we did end up with is a 24-hour road trip to our sister city, DETROIT, Michigan…and I gotta say, I would highly recommend it. A few of you had messaged me to find out some details of the trip so I thought I would share the details.
We left late on a Thursday morning and headed through Toledo with a detour to the Libbey Glass factory outlet. This store was out of control amazing and SO affordable, you gotta check it out. I ended up buying MULTIPLE dozens of glassware for various cocktails, occasions and uses. It is seriously the perfect place to explore when looking for glassware for furnishing a new kitchen or for gift giving…we are talking incredible champagne stems at $1 pop! Crazy affordable and the selection was wonderful, worth the exit off the highway for sure.
From there we headed into Detroit to check into our hotel. We stayed at the newly designed Trumbull & Porter Hotel that was once an old Holiday Inn. The overall decor was California-chic, lots of grand open areas for conversations, tons of white and light topped with lots of local artwork sprinkled throughout. Our rooms were clean and almost utilitarian in feel. Simple beds, nice linens, rolling carts in the bathroom for all your stuff, I enjoyed the design. I will say, if you are headed there, just keep in mind it is in the “up and coming” part of the city and just to be aware of your surroundings…follow me?
We were starved for lunch so we tracked down the ultimate diner, Rose’s Fine Food located on the East side of town. While it might look like a typical diner from the outside, the moment we stepped in the door we knew we were in for a dining treat. The smells of fine bakery and unique spices filled the space, it was a sensory explosion. The food? Incredible. I had a wonderful rice, kale, egg bowl with a piece of homemade toast, ricotta cheese and jam, so perfect together. Next time you head tot Detroit, you’ve got to make time to visit Rose’s…let’s just say Bon Appétit Magazine gave it a more than favorable review!
With full, happy belly’s we stumbled upon the historic Pewabic Pottery Studio & Museum just down the street. This place was like walking into Detroit’s history of arts and culture providing an understanding of how this group of artisans impacted the cultural growth of the city. Pewabic was founded in 1903 and still today celebrates artists doing innovative work in the ceramics fields. Upstairs, there is a museum filled with bits and pieces of early works of pottery and architectural designs; while downstairs they had the studio for making pottery and they also had a wonderful store showcasing many new and modern clay artists on the Detroit and Michigan scene. Let’s just say we couldn’t decide what treasures to bring home from there but one of us purchased a gorgeous hand thrown mug!
After that we were headed for a drink when we drove by John King Used and Rare Books Store…Michigan’s largest used and rare bookstore…so we made a U-turn and went to do some more exploring. Warning, this 4-floor warehouse is not for those with any allergies or issues with claustrophobia…enough said. For those of us who can handle it…this store is filled with rows and rows of one of a kind books, with everything from kids books from the 1930’s to music coffee table books from the 80’s and everything else you can imagine. This rare book store will make those of you who A) love to collect books (me) or B) love to actually read books, go crazy. We both picked up a books and I thought it was really sweet how they actually brushed the books off with a small broom/brush as you paid for them to rid them of the layer of old-book-dust. So, If you like books…you should check this place out.
Finally we ended up where we had planned to grab dinner and a drink, but first we had a few shops to explore. Have you ever heard of Will Leather Goods? It seriously might be one of the coolest, best-smelling leather stores I have ever been in. While this family owns store may be based out of Oregon, the owner was originally from Detroit and hence opened a gorgeous retail space in an old neighborhood grocery store. The best part? I loved the tee-pee in the center of the store and how you can make custom belts, while you wait. The staff was incredibly knowledgable about the store and the neighborhood and we really could have stayed all night just to chat…but we had to keep exploring.
Also located in the Midtown neighborhood is the most exquisite retail experience, Shinola Detroit. This store not only offers luxury watches; it also sells sleek bicycles, leather and paper goods, as well as a coffee and flowers for their customers. They will monogram any purse, bag or book you buy while you wait and again, the staff was so chic and so helpful, such a wonderful shopping experience. BONUS…did you know they are going to open a Shinola at the new Shaker Heights, Van Aken District next summer? Get psyched!
Finally we landed at our dinner destination Selden Standard and enjoyed an incredible meal of all veggies prepared various ways. My favorite dish was a vegetable carpaccio..I plan to try and recreate the dish some summer when all the veggies are so readily available. We also had Manhattan-like drinks and after not really drinking much for a few weeks…they were incredible!
We couldn’t leave Detroit without stopping into the authentic speak easy in Corktown, Sugar House. The space was awesome and the drink menu totally over-the-top. There were so many cocktail options we ended up just taking the recommendation of our bartender and we were super satisfied with his direction. I really enjoyed how they actually peeled an orange, then used pinking sheers on the rind to make a tiny bird on the side of my cocktail…it was all in the details. When you visit Detroit, make sure to plan to stop into Sugar House, it was awesome.
The next morning we woke up pretty early and went back to Corktown to hang out a bit at Astro Coffee. Not only was my latte so picture perfect…I haven’t stopped thinking about my delicious egg sandwich with fresh herbs and a no-joke garlic aioli…nothing like garlic breathe to start the day. This coffee shop was filled with both hip artists as well as young families, it was a great place to feel like a Detroit local.
Then it was off to a “quick” IKEA trip about :30 west of the city and then we headed back home.
Detroit was the perfect 1-night getaway. A city of renewal and hope, filled with so many creative thinkers and entrepreneurs, a city who loves their food and has a keen eye for fashion. If you are craving a little get away but can’t pick up and fly far away, I promise a little overnight road trip will leave you feeling creatively recharged and refreshed.
Thanks Detroit, you surpassed my expectations, feel free to come visit Cleveland anytime…I’d be happy to share our hot spots!