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Blog 08/04/2020

Virtual Journeys

  • Culture


  • Family


Welcome to the first in our weekly series of virtual journeys based on some of our favourite itineraries; designed to inspire, guide and delight you in your daydreams for travels to come.  We’ll showcase some captivating destinations alongside mouth-watering recipes, cocktails, book, TV, film and music recommendations all designed to bring the trip alive from the comfort of your own home.


For our first trip we are starting you off by focusing on America’s south west corner for this classic American road trip with a twist. Starting in Denver and finishing in Austin, Texas, you will travel via some fascinating scenery in Colorado and Big Bend National Park, Texas plus making time for some quirky stop offs in Taos, Roswell and Marfa as well as encompassing the highlights of the vibrant cities of Santa Fe and Austin.

Check out the full Itinerary here

Eat & Drink

Four Seasons, Santa Fe is a glorious oasis in the mountains just outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico. This property gives you the best of both worlds – set on 57 rolling acres in the Sangre de Cristo Foothills it is also just 10 minutes from the shops and galleries of downtown. Explore the town, end with a hike in the mountains, before relaxing with a drink over dinner and experience some Native American inspired cuisine such as Green Chile stew; why not recreate the recipe? 

Green Chile Stew 

  • 2 pounds pork, mutton, lamb, or beef, cut into small pieces
  • 3 ears corn (scrape kernels from cob) or about 1.5 pints frozen or canned corn
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 5 roasted green chilies, peeled, seeded, and diced

Brown meat in large pot. Add remaining ingredients along with water to make a stew consistency. Cover pot and simmer for approximately 1 hour.

EL Monte Sagrado Hotel, Taos is perfectly located for you to explore this fascinating New Mexico town. It also does a fine line in cocktails too; we’re currently dreaming of their lavender Margarita;

Recipe for Lavender Margarita and a Lavender Simple Syrup...

Lavender Margarita

  • 1½ ounces Reposado tequila
  • ¾ ounce St. Germain elderflower liqueur
  • 5 squeezes lavender simple syrup*
  • lime juice
  • lime wheel or wedge, for garnish (optional)

Combine first 4 ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a salt-rimmed glass filled with ice and garnish with lime wheel or wedge.

Lavender Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dried culinary lavender

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Let simmer for 1 minute, then remove pan from heat and allow mixture to steep for about 30 minutes. Pour liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a glass jar (no lavender should remain in the syrup) and refrigerate until you wish to use.


Breaking Bad – Netflix ; this spanned 5 seasons in the noughties and tells the tale of teacher turned meth-dealer Walter White; a deserved classic this also showcases the stunning vistas of New Mexico to searing effect.

Boyhood – Netfix; shot over 12 years by director Richard Linklater this has been described as a ‘love letter to Texas’ and features several scenes in Big Bend National Park, Texas.

Friday Night Lights – Amazon Prime; partly filmed in Austin this depicts a fictional small Texas town. Ostensibly a high school football team drama; it is also by turns family soap opera, sports thriller and a clear-eyed examination of the American dream.


The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy – This is the initiation story of Billy Parham and his sibling and is the second in McCarthy’s acclaimed border trilogy. Set just before and during World War II, it is structured around three round-trip crossings that Billy makes from New Mexico into Mexico. Each trip tests Billy further and further.

So far from God by Ana Castilo – Sofia and her daughters, Fe, Esperanza, Caridad, and la Loca, endure hardship and enjoy love in the sleepy New Mexico hamlet of Tome. The novel combines different genres of literature including poetry and political commentary and it encompasses themes such as gender and spirituality in this town where nothing is as it first seems.

The Tie that binds by Kent Haruf – Haruf’s first novel and set in eastern Colorado this is the story of 80 year old Edith Goodnough ; as narrated by her neighbour, Sanders Roscoe. As Roscoe shares what he knows, Edith's tragic backstory unfolds: a childhood of unrelenting chores, a mother's death, violence; this is the story of the backbreaking demands of rural America, and the steadfastness of the human spirit.


Visit Austin; the marketing board for promoting the destination globally are collating a series of live streaming events and concerts by Austin bands and musicians. Austin is the self-styled live music capital of the world and is known for its eclectic and vibrant scene centred around country, blues and rock. Click here to explore.


…and finally – artist Georgia O’Keeffe made her home in Santa Fe, New Mexico – an artist that dominated twentieth-century American art and proved herself one of its most original talents, why not read The Art and life of Georgia O’Keeffe by J. Castro to learn more?

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