Thursday, March 24, 2016

Celebrating Food and Arts in Tel Aviv

I was up early at the Dan Hotel Tel Aviv for another busy day on my press trip with Israel Tourism.

After breakfast, I met with the rest of the journalists and our guide, Carmela, in the Executive Lounge at the hotel with our luggage. 

We were heading to two more hotels in Israel before we would be back at this one.

Since most of the group had arrived later than me, they were all heading to the Bauhaus area I had toured on my first day.

I decided to check out some of the boutique shopping area around Sheinken Street in Tel Aviv with another journalist, Jo Piazza.

We stopped first at a café for some coffee. As interesting as the pastries looked, we had just finished a big Israeli breakfast, which focused on the sweets.

As we walked through the blocks we noted that they all looked simple and understated from the outside, despite the fact that most of the clothes and shoes were high-end.

I window-shopped while Jo picked up and dress and then we headed to the Levinsky Market to meet the group.

This market was quite different than the Carmel Market I had been to a few days ago.

Instead of booths, there were more permanent stores, though a lot of the food and products looked the same.

Our driver brought the bus to Levinsky to pick us up and take us to the Tel Aviv Art Museum.

It was a big and beautifully designed building and extremely modern.

Inside we found most of the art to be Israeli, although it spanned different eras.

Before we left the museum complex, we went to eat and greet the chef at its restaurant, Pastel.

I sipped a mint tea, which in Israel includes large mint leaves in the water.

Most of the food was fish based and not kosher, so I couldn’t eat very much. I did have some warm rolls and salad.

The chef brought us into the kitchen for the making of the desserts – a giant Rocher-like chocolate ball filled with hazelnut. It was delicious.

Since we had just had lunch and no one was in a rush for dinner, a couple of the writers suggested we head to the Florentin neighborhood, which had recently been called by Thrillist one of the hippest in the world.

I definitely felt it was eclectic, a little bit Brooklyn and meat-packing in one, with everything from art galleries and trendy restaurants to furniture stores and whisky bars.

There were also cats everywhere and I have to say they made for some great Kodak moments.

We walked for a while and Carmela said it wasn’t far to the restaurant so we decided not to get back on the bus.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t true. It was actually about two miles. Everyone was tired and hungry and my back was aching.  It had been a long day.

We arrived at Social Club for dinner and it was a set menu. I had pasta and cheesecake, which was pretty good.

The plan was to continue on to an Israeli dance performance. 

My back was still bothering me from a very long day of walking.

A few of the others in our group were also exhausted so half of us chose to go back to the hotel

I heard it was actually a Bollywood show no one liked so I didn’t miss anything.

I did get to check into an amazing room at the Dan Accadia Hotel in Herzeliya, a suburb of Tel Aviv.

The bathroom was loaded with first class amenities and the staff had left me flowers, wine, fruit, and chocolate.

What a wonderful way to end the day in Israel .


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