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Rosa Loves… Brunch in DC. 

You all know that brunch is my favorite meal and every weekend I look forward to enjoying a morning of delicious food with friends. The photos of these wood-fired pecan sticky buns I took at Blue Duck Tavern over the weekend are evidence of how awesome brunch can be in the city. Yes, brunch in DC rocks, especially when hanging out with lovely people like Arlita

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. 

{Photos by RosaLovesDC and taken with her iPhone}

Rosa Loves… The perfect tote and sunglasses for a day at Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens.

For the final post of my mini tour of DC with Ann Taylor, I have chosen an incredibly beautiful place: Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens. Hillwood is truly spectacular and a place that some people call one of DC’s best kept secrets. 

My friend Anne introduced to Hillwood a few years ago; after a day of exploring the mansion and walking around the gardens, I was in love with the estate. Hillwood is the former residence of socialite and General Foods founder Marjorie Merriweather Post, who was known for her exquisite taste and love for the arts. Marjorie was particularly fascinated with Russian Imperial art and her collection at the museum is one of the best in the world. The gardens are just stunning and the landscape is divided into several garden ‘rooms’ that are intended to feature different historical styles. The French Parterre and the Japanese-style Garden are among my favorite garden rooms and I never get tired of admiring their beauty. In addition to the art collection and the beautiful gardens, Hillwood also offers special exhibitions. A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to see the paper dress creations of artist Isabelle de Borchgrave at the Prêt-à-Papier exhibition. Currently, the museum is showing an impressive display of Marjorie’s collection of Cartier jewelry, which I have seen and I strongly recommend. Sometimes, I feel the need to escape the noise of the city and Hillwood is the perfect place to do so; the estate is hidden away in a quiet residential neighborhood overlooking Rock Creek Park. My day at this gorgeous place, usually involves mini tours of the mansion, leisurely strolls around the gardens, and lunch or coffee at the Café. Therefore, my camera, sunblock, and sunglasses are all essential items that I always carry in my fabulous tote during my visits. 

This concludes my series of favorite spots in DC with Ann Taylor. I sincerely hope you enjoyed the posts and each of the places featured as they are all truly special to me.

Hillwood is located in Northwest DC. The estate can be reached by car or taxi; parking is free. The Van Ness-UDC Metro station is within a 15-20 minute walk. Non-flash photography is allowed inside the mansion and there is a $15 suggested donation.

{Tote and sunglasses featured in this post were courtesy of Ann Taylor}

{Photos by RosaLovesDC}

Rosa Loves… The perfect necklace for dinner at Oyamel. 

Today’s post is the second part of my collaboration with Ann Taylor featuring my favorite places in DC. As you can see by the photos, it involves delicious food and a fabulous sparkly accessory.

My mini tour of DC wouldn’t be complete without Oyamel, an amazing Mexican restaurant owned by local chef José Andrés who has been internationally recognized for his culinary innovation. I spent my childhood in México and the food at Oyamel always brings back wonderful memories and makes me think of my grandmother’s cooking. The quesadilla huitlacoche (Mexican corn truffle), the nopalitos (baby cactus) salad, and the gorditas de pato (masa cakes with duck confit) are among my favorite dishes. In terms of cocktails, I highly recommend the signature salt air margarita and the mojito Dorado. The restaurant also holds an annual Tequila and Mezcal Festival, which features unique dishes and cocktails inspired by these two Mexican spirits. I have been able to attend the festival before and it is incredible. Oyamel is very close to several museums and other attractions in downtown DC so it is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat after a day of exploring the city. I love meeting friends at Oyamel for dinner during the weekend; it is not only a fabulous way to catch up and unwind after a long week at work, but it is also a great excuse to wear one of my favorite accessories, a very sparkly necklace.

Interesting fact: If you are curious about the meaning of name of this fantastic restaurant, oyamel is a fir tree found in the forests of Michoacán, México, where monarch butterflies seek refuge every winter after traveling thousands of miles from the U.S. and Canada. 

Dishes featured in this post:

  • Albóndigas (traditional Mexican meatballs)
  • Chilorio de res (taco with shredded beef braised in sauce of pasilla and guajillo chile)
  • Taco pescado Baja California (seared mahi mahi taco)
  • Quesadilla huitlacoche (traditional folded corn tortilla with Chihuahua cheese and Mexican corn truffle)

Oyamel is located in the Penn Quarter neighborhood of Washington, DC. Reservations can be made online and walk-ins are welcome.

{Necklace and clutch featured in this post were courtesy of Ann Taylor}

{Photos by RosaLovesDC}

Rosa Loves… The perfect pair of flats for an afternoon at the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

The name of my blog says it all: I love DC. I truly believe that DC is such a beautiful city with a rich history and wonderful places to visit. Today’s post is the beginning of a series where I will take you on a mini tour of DC. A few weeks ago, Ann Taylor asked me to share three of my favorite places in the city and I thought it would be a fun project to do. I will also feature some of Ann Taylor’s fabulous pieces which happen to be perfect for exploring DC. I sincerely hope you enjoy my picks.

The National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum are on the top of my list of favorite places in DC. Both museums are located in downtown DC and share one of the city’s oldest buildings, which is a National Historic Landmark and once housed the U.S. Patent Office. The exhibitions offered by the museums never disappoint. Last year, I had the opportunity to see ‘A Democracy of Images’, an amazing collection that explored the evolution of photography in America. I enjoy the new exhibitions, but I often make time to visit the ‘America’s Presidents' permanent collection and the interesting display of modern and contemporary art in the Lincoln Gallery. A coffee break is always a good idea while spending time at the museums and Kogod Courtyard, which is also part of the building, is the perfect place to do so. The courtyard is filled with natural light and the wavy glass and steel canopy is just breathtaking. Since it is easy to lose track of time at this incredible place, a pair of comfortable flats is a must. I can honestly spend an entire afternoon walking around the exhibitions and admiring the building’s architecture.

In case you were wondering, yes, Lola decided to interrupt my photography session so I had to include the photo in the post. 

If you live outside DC but are planning to visit in the future, make sure to include the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in your itinerary. Non-flash photography is allowed throughout the building with a few exceptions and admission is free.

{Flats and clutch featured in this post were courtesy of Ann Taylor}

{Photos by RosaLovesDC}

Rosa Loves… Dine-N-Dash & World Central Kitchen.

Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend Dine-N-Dash, a fabulous culinary tour some of the best restaurants and food trucks in Penn Quarter. DC foodies basically took over the streets of DC and enjoyed a night of food, drinks, and live music. The Dine-N-Dash event is truly special because all proceeds benefit World Central Kitchen, a humanitarian organization established by chef José Andrés with the purpose of providing sustainable solutions for hunger relief. Chef José Andrés was at the event and I have to tell you, his energy is contagious. I saw him at a few of the participating restaurants and he was always so cheerful while talking to other foodies and taking photos with fans. Amazing. It was my first Dine-N-Dash and I loved it. I was able to go and visit some of my favorite restaurants and learned about new ones. As you know from reading my blog, I love food photography so I was in heaven with all the delicious dishes to photograph (and eat) around me. Funny story, when I arrived at Cuba Libre, I realized that it was very dark inside for me to take photos. However, some folks came to the rescue and brought food and drinks outside for me to photograph. So there I was, snapping photos of some beautiful food at the volunteer table on the sidewalk. After I was done with the photos, the volunteers, which included the lovely Carmen, and I devoured the incredibly tasty food (thank you Cuba Libre!). I honestly cannot wait to do this again next year. Good food for a good cause, sign me up!

To learn more about World Central Kitchen and how you can help hunger relief, visit their site here.

Participating Restaurants:

Participating Food Trucks:

{Photos by RosaLovesDC}  


Rosa Loves… The Weekend.

I was so happy when the weekend finally arrived because I had made plans to catch up with some of my friends. Before meeting my friend Anna on Saturday, I was running errands around Penn Quarter. I suddenly got caught in the rain so I took refuge at the National Portrait Gallery which was kind of perfect because I love this place and I was able to snap some test shots for an upcoming photo shoot. Once the rain stopped, I had brunch with Anna at Poste. She’s one of my very first DC friends and we always have wonderful chats when we get together. On Sunday, I knew I would be running around town a bit, so I went with a comfortable outfit, but I added a little sparkle of course. After a quiet walk around Georgetown and a quick cupcake stop at Baked & Wired, I had breakfast with my friend Liza at Kafe Leopold. I hadn’t seen this lady in a while and it was so good to catch up. I then got on the metro and headed to Fairfax, VA to visit the new Anthom store, which was founded by three fabulous DC friends, Carla, Ashley, and Marshall. While browsing the store, I had a lovely conversation with Ashley and Marshall and I got a gorgeous silver ring. I decided to pretend Lola gave it to me as a Mother’s Day gift because she’s the sweetest dog ever. Overall, I think my weekend was pretty awesome because I was able to see some friends and to visit a few of my favorite places and restaurants in DC.

{Photos by RosaLovesDC taken with her iPhone and processed with PicTapGo}