A last post on the beautiful city of Chicago to cover a couple of things to visit, one really very convenient place to stay and a couple of great bars.
I’m coming clean. I’ve been all over the show of late and the blog posts have slipped a little by the wayside. I’m working on it, I promise. One other thing I’ve neglected is the Suitcase constituent of my blog. In fairness, no one regrets it more than I – I haven’t been away, but there’s an exotic escapade on the horizon and I can’t wait. In the meantime I certainly feel like Chicago merits a travel post. So here goes…
I’ll be perfectly honest, the states don’t get me giddy with excitement. Typically, when I think about travelling long haul I am invariably more intrigued by Asia which feels a step apart from London life. However, this trip was a ‘needs must’ kind of affair and I’m not too proud to say, Chicago won me over. No, it doesn’t have anything truly one of a kind from a cultural or historical point of view but what it does have is a buzz, great shopping and the added charm of it’s location on the south-western shores of Lake Michigan.
I did pick out my one must-see ahead of time – the Chicago cultural centre. I’m a sucker for beautiful architecture and this building delivered in spades. It’s free to enter and you can wander between the rooms at your leisure.
Each room is different to the next spanning the history of the city up to the futuristic present – at the time of our visit they were exhibiting the history of house music in a space-age cavern.
Another entertaining way to pass a spare moment or two is to go and get snappy happy at Cloud Gate or as it is more fondly known, the bean.
Do the loop about town the over ground metro…
I said I would talk about a couple of great bars too, one is Red Door Kitchen and Bar in Bucktown. They can boast an expansive patio which is a beautiful spot in the sunshine and a signature cocktail list and beer menu to keep even the most demanding drinker amused. I have it on good authority the brunches are excellent and their other offerings don’t half look good too.
The hotel is tucked just off the magnificent mile which makes it the ideal base camp for enthusiastic shoppers. A neat little 4* with a great lobby and café to match the impressive rooftop bar, the rooms don’t quite live up to the shared spaces’ panache but they are infinitely functional and, ours at least was a really decent size for the price tag. The breakfast on offer wasn’t included in our booking and I’m glad we didn’t fork out the extra – don’t bother it’s really underwhelming.
Never one to end on a negative… Ultimately, I reckon the accommodation is irrelevant in this city. Get out of the room and explore, there are more interesting things to see than the inside of the minibar. If you haven’t guessed, I would like to go back.