One of my cousin’s got married earlier this year, so I found myself in a place that was definitely not on the bucket list…MIAMI.
Initially we booked in at the Mandarin Oriental because it was on the recommended list of hotels and thought it was close to where the wedding was being held. It was not. Located in Brickell Key, it was about a 40mins drive (in traffic, which we always seemed to be stuck in) from Miami beach.
In the end, we got fed up with the commute and ended up moving to the recently opened Thompson in Miami Beach. A large boutique hotel housed in a restored 1940s Art Deco building, it was kitted out by interior designer Martin Brudnizki in Mid-Century modern style pieces. It’s going for that laid back 1950s chic vibe but everything just seems so perfectly designed and uniform to an extent, that it actually ends up feeling a bit plastic.
However, I do appreciate the need for having certain elements be the same, as it would be outrageously expensive to have a bespoke look throughout. For what it is, it’s good and I did enjoy my stay here and found the staff to be charming and polite. Other good things are the open air rooftop where different exercise classes are held each day and the pool area with the pretty cabanas, which leads straight to the beach.
I didn’t hit the clubs once in Miami. Yep, I’m a loser. What was cool though was having a whole bunch of my extended family together chilling out; we had a lovely pre-wedding barbecue and even made a day trip to Fort Lauderdale where my uncle lives.
A splinter group of us spent a lot of time hanging out at The Standard which it’s perfect for, sipping cocktails by the oceanfront and at night hanging by the mini bonfire.
On our last day, we headed out to Wynwood where we checked out the wall murals and ate probably the best and cheapest meal we’d had in Miami our entire stay.
Miami is neither a cultural nor culinary hotspot, so I didn’t have high expectations for the food. However, I was pretty irritated by the prices I paid, for what I consider to be very mediocre fare. Food at the Seagrape in the Thompson, the hotel we were staying at was pretty poor as was the food at The Standard.
We had lunch at Michael’s Genuine (a farm to table kind of joint) in the Design District which had killer cocktails like this rosemary infused ‘Bulletproof Manhattan’…
but the food was so so. I’m obsessed with duck so I went with the duck confit with a rocket and tomato salad but it was pretty dry and unimpressive. We ordered some starters including a bowl of charred zucchini hummus cashews, sumac and housemade pitas which was good. For Miami, I think this place is probably one of the better options but that doesn’t mean it’s amazing and at £45 for a lunchtime meal of drinks, a few starters shared between a group and an entrée, it wasn’t exactly cheap.
The best food (and cheapest) I had in Miami was actually at a small cool little Mexican restaurant in Wynwood called Coyo Taco
We got chatting to a couple and they recommended a couple of other spots in the neighbourhood including Zak The Baker, where I had a very tasty donut and apple pie.
To be honest, I took Miami for what it is and enjoyed my time whilst I was there but it’s not a place I was desperate to go to from the start and my mind hasn’t changed since visiting. Would I go again? Sure, who doesn’t like sunshine and palm trees…so long as someone else is footing the bill.
Images from thestandardhotels.com, thompsonhotels.com and me