STAY | HAVANA HOTEL
Team Bunkhouse is (not surprisingly) behind another one of our favorite boho boutique hotels, this time in San Antonio. In 1914, local grocer, Edward Franz Melcher, opened Hotel Havana with a vision to recreate the tropical allure of the hotel’s Caribbean namesake and it still shows today. He built it in the Mediterranean Revival style that was popular in Cuba at the time, and many of the surrounding cypress, palm and magnolia trees he planted still remain. Bunkhouse refurbished and reopened the hotel in 2010, and kept the historical landmark and feel updated while giving it a youthful vibe. (Think Chateau Marmont meets Hotel St. Cecilia). The hotel’s adjoining restaurant, a stone’s throw from the Riverwalk, hosts pan-Latin cultural influences from Mexico, Cuba and Texas, while the subterranean, dimly candlelit Havana Bar serves cocktails suitable for intimate meetings and secret rendezvous. (Insider’s tip: Ocho has a new and seriously delicious lunch menu - get on it.) No matter where you’re traveling from, we say Havana is well worth the stay.
Our in house favorite and Texas’s very own Garrison Brothers Distillery (the first bourbon producer to open outside Kentucky) has just released a very special second round of limited edition whiskey that you’re gonna want to get your hands (and lips) on. Their multi-award-winning twice-barreled bourbon, named Balmorhea after the majestic West Texas swimming hole, was named the 2019 “American Micro Whiskey of the Year” in Jim Murray's Whisky Bible, the most comprehensive guide to whiskey ever written. The Balmorhea bourbon is aged three years in new American white oak barrels made from wood grown in the Ozarks, then the liquid is transferred to a second new American white oak barrel made from trees grown in Minnesota and aged for another two years. Distiller, Donnis Todd, describes Balmorhea as “bourbon candy, frozen fudgesicle bars, amaretto coffee with cream, sticky buns and pecan brittle with thick white chocolate syrup.” Holy spirits that sounds delicious! You can read more here from Forbes and also see how G.B.’s recent generous donations to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation from Good Bourbon for a Good Cause is helping keep the park beautiful and preserved - just how it should be.
EAT | MA' COCO COCINA MEXICANA
About 25 miles east of Austin on Highway 71, you’ll see an exit for historical downtown Bastrop. Pull off and head to 813 Main Street, then get ready to feast upon the finest Mexican fare we’ve come across in years. San Diego natives and brother/sister duo, Javier and Judith, left their jobs as NBC news producer and Google/Yelp consultant to relocate to Bastrop, Texas, and open their very own restaurant. You think that’s wild, well just wait. Their food is so crazy good that we think they made the right decision, and we’ve literally had everything on the menu. It’s focused, concise and tastefully not overwhelming; a simple single one sided page. We have and will order it all again. If you need a starter, the Torta is amazing, and the Mexican Street corn is just as good and then some. Taste it to see exactly what we’re talking about.
ADMIRE | NICOLAS V. SANCHEZ
We stumbled upon this artist on Instagram, saw his ink pen drawings and next thing you know we’re utterly mesmerized. Nicolas’s ingenuity and technique is astonishing and not to be missed. Browse through his website and see for yourself that a majority of the pen work is like photographs. We’re so glad that the internet has given more artists like Nicholas a chance to make a living through his incredible skills, and make his work available for us to see and experience. His small paintings and charcoal pieces are also incredible, both being pieces of art that are so remarkably rich in detail. Amazing.
El Cosmico hosts a masterful series of workshops ranging from ceramics to candle making that are taught by celebrated artisans. Now it’s almost time to fine tune June by learning your new favorite hobby in beautiful West Texas. The classes last all Summer long and the series starts with Marbling and Ceramics 101. Click the names and classes here for details and more info. Saturday, June 15 at 4pm Ceramics with Kimmy Rohrs. Saturday, July 6 at 5pm Marbling with Mercedez Rex. Sign up now, then go to the desert and create!
GIVE | MARY LEE FOUNDATION
Mary Lee Foundation is a private, non-profit service provider, specializing in residential treatment and vocational services for people with disabilities. A pioneering force that is striving to de-institutionalize and normalize the lives of intellectually disabled clients, MLF provides the opportunity to live, learn, and work in the community. Founded in 1963, the foundation inspires and involves persons with disabilities through specialized programs, advocacy, and education. Today, the foundation is as strong as ever, continually adding and expanding new programs and services. They are a community of people from all walks of life, connected by their passion to serve the less fortunate with care and compassion. Their mission is to serve adults with special needs so that they can develop a sense of dignity, a feeling of self-worth, and the skills necessary to socially integrate with and contribute to the community in which they live. You can watch a video here to learn more about the foundation.