snow

Week 30: Utah. Stein Eriksen Lodge Review

Stein Eriksen Lodge hot tub. Review by blogger Ulia Ali Pillmore.

First of all, I cannot believe that I have been leading Pastiche.today for one year already! I have been amazed by the amount of support and love I have received, and still cannot believe with how many of my favourite brands I have been privileged enough to work with. Thank you very much!

To celebrate my blog's one year anniversary, Ben and I decided to fly to Utah for a little, snowy adventure. We were lucky to stay at the, I dare say, legendary Stein Eriksen Lodge. The hotel is a luxurious, 5-Star, 5-Diamond, chic, Norwegian-style property with ski-in, ski-out access to Deer Valley Resort

Deer Valley Resort is not only one of the top skiing destinations in America, but in the world. Hence it was chosen as a site for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. By the way, the hotel was founded by Norwegian, Olympic-Gold medalist, skier Stein Eriksen, and there is a huge display of his trophies and awards in a beautiful, hand-painted case in the Main Lodge. 

Stein Eriksen awards and medals

The hotel has a beautiful chalet-chic decor - cozy, warm and gorgeous. Each room in the lodge has a unique Nordic design, but all of them have dark-wood furnishings, amazingly comfortable beds, stunning views and spacious bathrooms with Molton Brown amenities. 

My husband and I were staying in a luxury suite with a full kitchen, dining area, two enormous fireplaces, huge bath and walk-in shower, and our own private deck with a hot tub overlooking the snowy mountains! I can honestly say that it was an incredible experience to relax in a hot tub with steaming water, after a long day of skiing, breathing that fresh mountain air, taking in the breathtaking, picturesque mountain view, while being super warm and cozy.

Cozy warm winter morning by Ulia Ali.
Stein Eriksen Lodge Review.

Stein Eriksen Lodge is a top hotel, therefore if you don't think you will be able to stay there just yet, at least make a reservation at one of their celebrated restaurants: Glitretind or the Troll Hallen Lounge. The food is original and delicious, and their selection of hot cocktails (I am a sucker for any good variations of mulled wine or Irish coffee) is PHENOMENAL, and I don't use that word lightly :)

Stein Eriken restaurant

There is also a huge, heated outdoor(!!!) pool, which is so cool! The experience of swimming in warm water while white, fluffy snowflakes land on your head is quite surreal, and should be added to your bucket list.

Heated pool in snowy mountains

And of course, the hotel has a beautiful spa, with many individual massage rooms that bare the names of Scandinavian Gods.

 

By the way, Stein Eriksen Lodge is a year-round mountain resort, and it is worthy of a visit in summer as much as during the ski season.

Deer Valley skiing resort
20170228-_DSC1954.jpg
Stein Eriken Lodge review
20170227-_DSC1701.jpg
Hot tub in Stein Eriksen Lodge
20170228-_DSC1830.jpg

Park City is a charming city and has deserved a name of one of the most beautiful and prestigious places in the United States, so I definitely recommend you to explore it! While you are waiting for my upcoming Utah posts, here you can find my Park City summer adventures and a visitor's guide I prepared for you. Enjoy and let me know if you visit Park City!

 

Week 28: Scandinavian Adventure. Ice Hotel in Kiruna review.

North by North North - The Ice Hotel

by Benjamin Pillmore (my hubby!)

pinterest-kiruna-swedish-lapland.jpg

When most people think of the Arctic Circle, they imagine a cold, white wasteland devoid of even the smallest signs of life.

Good news!

The frozen north has a plethora of life (human and otherwise) and is quite manageable if you have a sense for adventure. Ulia and I decided to make the trek up to Kiruna, Sweden which is about 90 miles north of the Arctic Circle and Sweden’s northernmost city. There, resides the original Ice Hotel (Jukkasjärvi): a resort situated on the frozen banks of the Torne River that boasts the world’s first and most famous hotel made of ice.

The hotel is divided into three types of rooms, grouped into three separate structures. The first is the warm, which is, well, warm, as in not made of ice. The second is the newly-opened (November 2016) 365 building which houses a series of rooms that are maintained year-round at -5ºC. The third, and most renowned, is the original Ice Hotel; a building comprised of massive blocks of ice harvested straight from the Torne River but a hundred meters away.

Now, for those of you who are wondering why anyone would go that far north to stay in what essentially amounts to an oversized igloo, let me enlighten ye with the top five coolest things you can do at The Ice Hotel.

 

1. Airport Transfers

At this point, you have read the heading and are probably wondering what lavish or outlandish vehicle could possibly pick you up from the airport in Kiruna and drop you off at the Ice Hotel. A hummer? A snowmobile? Some Swedish cross-country skiers? Alas, no. But you can have a team of adorable huskies come pick you and three friends up for a dogsled transfer to the hotel!

The dogsled airport transfer is not cheap, but it is an experience unto itself and should definitely be considered if you want a very original method of getting from A to B or have a thing for dogs, sleds, snow and adventure.

 

2. The Ice Bar

For those of you who drink, you are in luck. The Ice Hotel crafts an awesome bar made of sheer ice every year and serves all of its mixed drinks in glasses made of ice, cut straight from the Torne River. For the hypochondriacs (I’ll save you the google: people who are scared of germs) in the crowd, the ice has been tested and verified bacterium-free before it is cut into the glasses you drink out of. The bar itself has a mascot named Mr. Fuzzy who happens to be the portrait of a lion that overseas the goings on in the bar area. There is comfy seating adorned with animal hides (probably reindeer, I did not get a proper look) and plenty of space and music for both personality types.

Pro-tip:

Ask for the off-menu drinks and make sure you keep your glass so you can break it later (for fun of course!)

3. Lingonberry Juice

Yeah, yeah: "oh this sounds so boring! ’Tis but juice!". Well, guess what? The idiom: 'When in Rome, do as the Romans do', is very applicable here. Backstory: in Sweden, there is a concept known as "allemansrätten" or 'Everyman’s Right" which essentially grants anyone the freedom to roam the land, sail the water, camp, and forage for food, pretty much anywhere in Sweden (this custom exists in many nordic countries). This centuries’s old edict is still just as strong today and as Lingonberries grow quite commonly all over Sweden, consuming them in various forms is a part of life. The Ice Hotel is no exception and makes it a habit of providing hot Lingonberry juice at opportune moments throughout your stay; from your first arrival to your morning wake up call, Lingonberries will be in your face and I recommend you be Roman.

A Song of Ice and Fire? 

A Song of Ice and Fire? 

4. The Ice Hotel Art Suites

Every year, ice artists and sculptors (from the cold parts of the world), descend on the Ice Hotel to showcase their woks in the form of exquisitely detailed suites made entirely of ice and snow. Each room has its own theme, ranging from the instantly recognizable 'Casablanca' with its Moroccan geometric embellishments, to the more subtle (and frankly unsettling) 'Faces' room which contains a 3m tall face staring at your bed while another ten faces gaze down at you from the ceiling, judging your dreams and snickering at your snores. The Ice Hotel commissions thirty five unique suites every season and offers one of the few places in the world where you can essentially sleep inside a sculpture.

 

5. The Northern Lights

The Sámi people have inhabited the northern portion of Scandinavia for a millennia and developed their own belief system, much like any other people, around their environment (think :sun gods, weather gods, ocean gods, etc). In this case, the Sámi people believe that the Northern Lights are the sparks flung from the tail of a fox as it bolts across the sky and represent the souls of fallen relatives. 

At this point you may be scratching your head over how we just went from a solar particle phenomenon to foxes, but just bear with me and I will connect the dots! The Sámi people stem from the northernmost portions of Scandinavia which, as some of you geography buffs are aware of, contains a little country called Finland. Now here’s the line between the dots: The Finnish word for 'Northern Lights' is 'Revontulet’ which literally translates as 'fire fox'. Voila! Pretty cool, right? Anyway, this is the main event at the Ice Hotel, this is the once-in-a-lifetime experience you drag your loved ones with you to see. Our guide advised us that it needs to be cold, clear and dark to experience the revontulet at its finest, so bundle up, be patient and keep your eyes on the sky.

Breathtaking Northern Lights in Swedish Lapland!

Side bar:

The Northern Lights experience at the Ice Hotel comprises three arctic adventures rolled into one. First off, you take a snowmobile on a 2.5 hour journey from the hotel to a secluded wilderness camp with Finnish style cottages. Secondly, your guide will prepare dinner for you and talk about the history and culture of the area. Last but not least: The Revontulet will hopefully make an appearance (I still have a lawsuit pending with the Swedes over the clouds that ruined our chances but I doubt I will hear back from them).

 

Until next time - BAP

Ice Hotel Kiruna review

Week 24: Candy Shop. Winter Pastels

Winter pastels look. Stuart Weitzman boots, long pink coat, blue sweater

Winter is indeed coming, and for many people it means foregoing dressing up, wrapping yourself in layers of black and grey, abandoning high heels in favour of comfortable boots and locking up your flirty skirts. This Theme Week I wanted to show you that even your cold weather outfits can be heartwarming, fun and candylicious

And if you can't be convinced to wear pretty pastels when temperatures drop below 50°, at least stock up on delicious candy from shops I will be recommending to you this week.

Utah's favourite blogger Ulia Ali showing her winter outfits. Pink, blue and grey combo.

SHOP THE LOOK:

Blue Sweater - SheIn |  Pink Coat - Boohoo (also like this one) | Boots - Stuart Weitzman | Skirt - similar here | Brooche - Chanel | Bag - Lady Dior


Park City street fashion. Sundance is coming!
Winter look by Ulia Ali. Wearing long pink coat and grey Stuat Weitzman warm over the knee boots.
Азербайджнаская блогер Улия Али живущая в США показывает зимнюю моду окрашенную в пастельные цвета.
Blogger in pink and blue combo wearing Stuart Weitzman grey boots.

Week 2: War & Peace. Russian Winter Fairytale

Russian winter fairytale love war and peace peasant look Walter Baker

I have created several War & Peace inspired fashion looks, especially the ones that I could imagine Natasha Rostova wearing if she would magically appear in our era.

Here is my first look, the one I call 'Russian Winter Fairytale'. It has a very soft, feminine touch to it. The outfit is a little bit peasant-y, but still very rich in fabric and somehow noble; something Natasha would wear when she and other Rostovs visited her uncle in the village of Mihkaylovka. There, in his wooden hut, surrounded by peasants and dancing to a Balalaika, Natasha wonderfully connects with the spirit of simple Russian men and women. 

Blogger Ulia Ali in Park City, Utah. As Natasha Rostova in War and Peace on pastiche.today blog

Of course such open shoulders are a little bit more risky than what women usually wore during the beginning of the 19th century. Additionally, women of the aristocracy during that era would wear their hair up. However, films often disregard historical facts, and I wanted to show more of Natasha's closeness to simple folk by braiding my hair in this look.

Braid-spiration:

Russina braid inspiration. Art 

Regency Era Fashion:

Pink and red Regency Era dress
azerbaijani blogger in Utah. Fashion look
beautiful-girl-Park-City-Utah-blogger-fashion-history-fiction-braid-Ulia-Ali
Ulia Ali in Utah. Style blogger in New York and Utah 
Ulia Ali - top fashion blogger in New York and Utah.
beauty-forest-print-Walter-Baker-blog-blogger-fashion-Utah-Salt-Lake-City-Park-City
Outfit by  Walter Baker .

Outfit by Walter Baker.

   The screens from the series taken from another wonderful blog  Frock&Flicks

 

The screens from the series taken from another wonderful blog Frock&Flicks

I hope you enjoyed my first pastiche of Natasha Rostova's character. Stay tuned for more looks this week!

SHOP THE LOOK: