The 8 Best Mediterranean Restaurants in the Middle East and Europe

It’s no secret that Mediterranean food is delicious, and eating your favorite food in the country where it originated makes for an authentic dining experience to remember. During your next vacation to a destination near the Mediterranean Sea, you’re sure to be impressed by the delicious plates served up at fine dining restaurants throughout the region. Take a look at some of our choices for the best mediterranean restaurants throughout the Middle East and Europe.

Photo: La Vague d’Or

 

Teoric Taverna Gastronomica – Barcelona, Spain

This classic Spanish restaurant serves some of the best Mediterranean food you’ll ever taste. With great service, amazing food and a friendly atmosphere, Teoric Taverna Gastronomica is a must-visit for the next time you find yourself in Barcelona.

 

Photo: Teòric Taverna Gastronòmica

la Montgolfiere Henri Geraci – Monaco Ville, Monaco

This restaurant is a true Monaco staple, serving excellent French, Mediterranean, and Western-European menu options. Everything they create at the world-class La Montgolfiere Henri Geraci is made with care and precision, giving an end result that is sure to satisfy.

 

Photo: La Montgolfière, Henri Geraci

La Vague d Or – St Tropez, France

St. Tropez only has two Michelin-starred restaurants, and La Vague d’Or is one of them. Meaning ‘the golden wave’ in English, this three-Michelin star restaurant is at the top of its class. With a menu rooted in Mediterranean origins, this destination on the French Riviera is sure to provide a feast for your palate.

 

Photo: La Vague d’Or

Le Petit Nice – Marseilles, France

This restaurant is revered for their food, but loved in part because of its breathtaking views of the sea. Situated right on the Corniche Kennedy, running along Marseilles’ coast, every table is in the perfect seat for a beautiful seaside meal, especially at sunset. Being so close to the coast also brings forth their history of creating outstanding Mediterranean cuisine.

 

Photo: Le Petit Nice Passedat

Konoba Stari Grad – Budva, Montenegro

The city of Budva has gained popularity surrounding their food, and of all the eateries in Budva, Konoba Stari Grad truly stands out. With a specialty in seafood stemming from their location right by the coast, they create exquisite menu options for foodies visiting from around the world.

 

Photo: Konoba Stari Grad

Ricks Cafe – Casablanca, Morocco

Rick’s Café is a complete recreation of the bar made famous by Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman so many years ago in the movie Casablanca. Large staircases, classic Moroccan architecture and a grand piano on display add to the incredible food served at Rick’s.

 

Photo: Rick’s Café

Varoulko – Athens, Greece

This restaurant by the sea has some of the best views of the water in the whole city. Lefteris Lazarou, a Michelin-starred chef, takes fine Mediterranean dining to the next level. With a full view of the fishing boats that bring in the day’s catch every morning, you can enjoy some of the best Mediterranean cuisine that Athens has to offer.

 

Photo: Varoulko Seaside

Fayruz Lebanese Restaurant – Cairo, Egypt

Egypt may not be the first country that comes to mind when you think of Mediterranean food, Fayruz has created a name for themselves offering a menu consisting of Lebanese and Mediterranean classics. If you’re in need of an intimate dinner, you can request a private room or a table on their outdoor terrace. If you find yourself in a more “Arabian Nights” sort of mood, you can also be entertained with a live belly dancing show during your meal.

 

Photo: Fayruz Lebanese Restaurant

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For information on reservations and accommodations in the Middle East and Europe, contact concierge@zochagroup.com

 

The 8 Best CBD-Infused Drinks and Dishes from Around the Country

Cannabidiol or CBD has been all the rage in recent years with plenty of buzz about out-of-this-world health benefits with zero negative side effects. While science is still in the process of proving the the perks, people with adventures taste buds are loving the potential. Dive into the trend with some of the best CBD drinks and dishes from around the country.

Photo: Jimmy at the James CBD Cocktail

 

Ankeny Tap and Table – Portland, OR

This hip neighborhood pub boasts quite an extensive list of CBD infused beers on tap. With a laid back family-friendly atmosphere, it’s easy to get stuck here for quite a while enjoying the tasty local beers and good company.

 

Photo: Zocha Group

Koku – New York City, NY

Koku is truly one of a kind. Owner Carli Blum has created a healthy and natural alternative to soft serve ice cream, and even offers CBD-infused toppings. With shops located all across the city, you’ll never be too far away from getting your sweet tooth fix and your CBD fix in the same shop.

 

Photo: Koku

Fuel – Philadelphia, PA

This health-food chain is doing something a little different than its counterparts. After your workout, you can stop into any Fuel location and grab a smoothie or a juice, and request to add in a shot of CBD oil. It’s sure to make for the perfect way to relax after an intense workout.

 

Photo: FUEL CBD Oil Smoothies

by CHLOE. – New York City, NY

This organic, vegan sweet shop uses all-natural and locally-sourced ingredients to create CBD-infused brownies, cookies, and other fun treats. In addition to the sweet, they have also started offering a full menu of vegan food items. If you have an uncontrollable sweet-tooth and need a moment of relaxation, by CHLOE. is definitely the spot to be.

 

Photo: by Chloe.

Glazed and Confused – Denver, CO

This donut shop in Colorado takes their “Mary Jane”-infused food pretty seriously. They serve up a variety of CBD-infused products, but their signature item is a donut topped with a CBD glaze and a whole candied marijuana leaf to finish it off.

 

Photo: Glazed and Confused

Caffeine Underground – Brooklyn, NY

Stop into this hip and trendy coffee shop and grab yourself a latte with a little bit of something special to top it off. Caffeine Underground makes delicious coffee-based drinks with CBD oil included so you can take great Instagram pictures, but also enjoy your relaxing drink.

 

Photo: CBD Coffee

Monarch & The Milkweed – Burlington, VT

Monarch & The Milkweed is a unique shop with a menu of cocktails, pastries, and also fine dining cuisine. The unlikely combination of offerings also includes the addition of CBD and also the psychoactive THC into many of their dishes. All doubts quickly drift away after a visit as everything they create is made even better with their signature secret ingredients.

 

Photo: Monarch & the Milkweed

Bubby’s – New York, NY

Bubby’s is a classic American restaurant that serves hamburgers, pies, milkshakes and the works. This chain of downhome diners has been a New York staple since 1990, and they’ve recently branched out by serving up CBD drinks right alongside the apple pie. The great food and atmosphere are enough for anybody to enjoy Bubby’s, but for adventurous types, there’s a little extra on the menu for you.

 

Photo: Bubby’s

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For information on restaurant reservations or travel accommodations, contact concierge@zochagroup.com

 

10 Fun Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day in LA

When it comes time to have a romantic experience with a special someone for Valentine’s Day, choosing the right date activity can make all the difference in the world. Making a reservation for dinner is always a good choice, but consider thinking outside the box to explore everything that LA has to offer. This Valentine’s Day take an adventure with your significant other to enjoy the holiday in a new and exciting way.

Photo: Zocha Group

 

Tour a Winery, Distillery, or Brewery

Grabbing a drink at a bar is a common plan for a night out with a love interest, but for Valentine’s Day, consider the enhanced experience of taking a private tour. Downtown Los Angeles has a number of breweries like Angel City or Boomtown or try out Lost Spirits Distillery for a fresh approach to sharing your buzz.

 

Photo: Angel City Brewery

OUE Skyspace

Take your relationship to new heights by checking out the view at OUE Skyspace in Downtown Los Angeles. The featured interactive technology will teach you a bit about Los Angeles while the glass Skyslide will give you a thrill as it sits 1,000 feet above the city. You can also grab a drink at the Skyspace bar while taking in the one-of-a-kind view.

 

Photo: OUE Skyspace

Hiking

If you and your date are both outdoor-lovers, why not go for a hike to enjoy Los Angeles’ unbeatable weather and scenery? Make your way up to the Hollywood Sign or try out one of the numerous trails in the hills of West LA to bond over a refreshing workout.

 

Photo: Zocha Group

Paddle Boats at Echo Park

Make Valentine’s Day special by taking your loved one to Echo Park and renting one of their iconic swan paddle boats. Build some teamwork by paddling across the lake in this fun and romantic environment.

 

Photo: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

Malibu Wine Safari

Take a unique adventure to Saddlerock Ranch to get an up close and personal view of a variety of animals you’d never expect to see in Los Angeles. Sip the locally sourced wines while you buckle up in their safari vehicles for a one-of-a-kind experience.

 

Photo: Malibu Wine Safari / The Cheeky Brunette

Bowling

Enjoy your time out with your significant other by knocking over some pins at LA’s coolest places to bowl. Spare Room is a classic destination within The Roosevelt Hotel for an intimate experience, or head to Highland Park Bowl as a group date to toast drinks during a lively game.

 

Photo: Highland Park Bowl

Grand Central Market

Any couples who consider themselves foodies are sure to enjoy tasting the variety of bites at Grand Central Market. With a diversity of cuisines available in the open marketplace, you can wander the aisles trying out all the best flavors in this expansive space.

 

Photo: Grand Central Market

Griffith Observatory

The view from the Griffith Observatory can’t be beat, and is sure to create a romantic atmosphere for you and your date. Head to the top of the hill to learn a little science about the stars while looking out onto Los Angeles’ expansive skyline.

 

Photo: Griffith Observatory

Bike Ride in Santa Monica & Venice

This Valentine’s Day, head to the beach to rent a few bikes and take a ride along the shoreline. The ocean waves are sure to create an air of romance, and if you’re feeling extra adventurous, try a tandem bike to truly connect with your date.

 

Photo: Zocha Group

Visit a Museum

Los Angeles is full of cultural experiences and visiting a museum may be just what you need to bring a dose of creativity to your relationship. Take photos at the iconic street lamp installation outside of the LACMA or browse the Broad hand-in-hand to enlighten your senses with visual pieces that are sure to spark conversation.

 

Photo: The Broad Museum

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The 7 Best Wineries to Visit in California

California is globally known for its exceptional wine, and for good reason–some of the best wines in the world come out of the Golden State. When deciding where you should spend your Sunday afternoon wine tasting session, it can be overwhelming to choose with such a massive number of wineries throughout California. To help in your decision-making process, take a look at some of the best California wineries that will be the perfect spot for you to toast glasses.

Photo: Zocha Group

 

Sterling Vineyards – Napa Valley

Sterling Vineyards is known to be a Napa Valley legend. They started producing wine in 1969 and has been internationally known and award winning since 1981. Offering breathtaking views of the Valley, art galleries, wine production viewing areas, and classic Greek architecture along with incredible wine, Sterling Vineyards is sure to end up with another visit.

 

Photo: Sterling Vineyards

Malibu Wines – Malibu

When thinking of winemaking areas in California, people are quick to think of Napa Valley and Sonoma rather than Los Angeles. However, Malibu Wines may change that perspective for you. If you ever need a break from the hustle and bustle of LA life, just take a quick trip north for stunning views of the countryside and some excellent wines.

 

Photo: Malibu Wines

Melville Vineyards & Winery – Santa Ynez Valley

This Mediterranean-style villa is the perfect weekend escape for anyone who loves great wine and a picnic with a view. With an expertly styled tasting room and an expansive patio along with a large lawn right next to the vineyard, you can truly enjoy your tasting any way you would like.

 

Photo: Melville Vineyards & Winery

Heitz Cellar – St. Helena

Heitz Cellar is truly a cornerstone of American winemaking. This 375-acre estate is a large part of the reason Martha’s Vineyard became internationally known for great wine. If you appreciate learning about the history of the wine you’re drinking, you will love this iconic destination.

 

Photo: Heitz Cellar

Tablas Creek Vineyard – Paso Robles

If you’re interested in the conservation and preservation of the planet, Tablas Creek Vineyard is a place you simply must check out. Along with their award-winning wines of all varieties, they are the global leader in earth-conscious practices while growing and harvesting their grapes.

 

Photo: Tablas Creek Vineyard

Au Bon Climat Winery – Santa Barbara

Ranked as one of the top wineries in all of America, Au Bon Climat Winery has been producing some of the country’s best wines for more than 30 years. If you’re ever fortunate enough to taste some of Jim Clendenen’s fabled wine, it’s a taste you won’t soon forget. This incredible reputation along with stunning views of the estate’s countryside vineyards has earned Au Bon Climat Winery global recognition.

 

Photo: Winery

Round Pond Estate – Rutherford

If you’re looking for more of an experience than just a simple wine tasting, you’ll need to check out Round Pond Estate, known for their great wine as well as exceptional wine-related activities. During your outing, you can expect to create their own custom blend of wine alongside winemaker and owner Jaime Dowell. If you visit during the fall season, you can participate in the grape picking process and watch as the winemaking takes place. This immersive experience is a must for anybody with a taste for quality wine.

 

Photo: Round Pond Estate

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10 Best Activities for a Rainy Day in Los Angeles

When LA’s iconic sunny weather turns to a downpour, it may seem like staying inside all day is the only option. However there are plenty of exciting ways to spend your time in Los Angeles that don’t involve being drenched by the cloudy skies. To help you through LA’s drizzly season, here are 10 of the best activities to do to keep your spirits up.

Photo: Zocha Group

 

Visit a Museum

Los Angeles has an incredible number of world-class museums scattered throughout the city and beyond. Just about any neighborhood you visit, there’s a museum only a short drive away. Many of these museums take advantage of Los Angeles’ normally warm weather with indoor/outdoor designs, but if it’s cold and raining, there are plenty of indoor spots to check out like the Broad or MOCA.

 

Photo: The Broad Museum Los Angeles

Visit the Griffith Observatory

As one of LA’s most popular attractions for locals and tourists alike, Griffith Observatory not only has great views of the city, but is also one of the country’s leaders in public astronomy education. Join a loved one or a few friends and head up Mt. Hollywood to view Griffith’s telescopes, astrological exhibits and beautiful grounds that are open to the public every day.

 

Photo: Griffith Observatory

Grab Some Vietnamese Pho

Pho is the ultimate rainy day food with soup, noodle and plenty of mix-ins to warm you up on a cold day. Places like Viet Noodle Bar will serve up a bowl of warmth in the city, or head to Alhambra for locations like Golden Deli that’s a staple for LA’s pho lovers. You’ll be able to grab some delicious Vietnamese stew to warm you up and make you forget about the stormy weather outside your window.

 

Photo: Zocha Group

Catch a Basketball Game

After loading up on a pho dinner, head over to the Staples Center in Downtown LA to catch a Lakers or a Clippers game. You’ll enjoy an exciting and warm indoor activity without being bothered by the rain–you won’t even hear it as you’re cheering along with 20,000 other screaming fans.

 

Photo: LA Lakers / Lebron James

Indoor Rock Climbing

If getting your heartrate up is more your speed, there are numerous indoor fitness options to give you a workout along with a fun, new experience. Rock climbing gyms like Rockreation in West LA offer huge indoor climbing walls that accommodate experts and novices alike.

 

Photo: Indoor Rock Climbing

Hit the Spa

Need to relax after hitting the rock wall all afternoon? There are tons of spas and full treatment centers around the city, but one of the best is offered by the Ritz-Carlton in Downtown LA. With 8,000 square feet filled with steam rooms, massage tables, relaxation pools and more, it’s a definite must for anyone who likes to be pampered.

 

Photo: Ritz-Carlton LA Live Spa

Visit the Wilshire Grand Center

Marked as the tallest building this side of the Mississippi River, the Wilshire Grand Center in Downtown Los Angeles is a extraordinary landmark for locals and tourists alike. If you’re not squeamish with heights, you can go up to the 70th floor for free and take in the scene through the glass walls that offer a completely uninterrupted view of the city. There’s also a bar to have a drink and relax, and calm any nerves about the towering heights. Their bathrooms are also a notable sight as well, with panes of glass in the mens’ room offering a view straight down to the ground.

 

Photo: Wilshire Grand Center / Curbed LA

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

As one of the best and longest-operating aquariums in the Los Angeles region, the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium offers a fun and educational indoor day to escape the frightful weather outside. The Cabrillo Aquarium has offered marine-related education for over 70 years, so you can be sure you’ll be enlightened by plenty of under the sea knowledge.

 

Photo: Zocha Group

 

Studio Tours and Show Tapings

If you know you’ll be in Los Angeles during the rainy season, consider planning ahead and snagging yourself some tickets for a studio tour or a show taping. Universal Studios well-known studio lot tour will give you an inside peek onto the sets of your favorite shows, and you might even be able to see one being created if you take a tour at Warner Brothers or Paramount Pictures.

 

Photo: Studio Tours / Parade

Go Shopping

We can’t forget about everybody’s favorite way to unwind–some good old fashioned retail therapy. LA has world-class shopping destinations such as Rodeo Drive, The Beverly Center and Melrose Ave. What’s more fun than taking some time for a little retail therapy?

 

Photo: Shopping Rodeo Drive

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The Perks of Spending on Experiences Instead of Things

In recent years, trends in consumer spending have leaned away from products and more towards experiences. Instead of investing in objects that may lose value with changing technology and styles, consumers are beginning to see the benefits of experiencing an exciting activity or new destination in interesting and unique ways. Taking another look at the benefits of buying experiences that can make the most of your paycheck while allowing you to enjoy the variety of adventures the world has to offer.

Photo: Zocha Group

 

Escapism

In a fast-paced, modern world where many are never officially off the clock, it’s easy to make work a priority and put quality time with friends and loved ones to the side. Taking the time to experience something outside of the ordinary, day-to-day routine can give you a much-needed break. Indulging in a vacation may not be a wise choice if done too often, but setting aside some time to relax after working hard can be beneficial in quieting a buzzing world with a refreshing, dreamlike getaway.

 

Photo: Zocha Group

Irreplaceability

Whether it’s a new tech gadget, piece of jewelry or clothing trend, there will always be something fresh on the market to make you feel like what you already own isn’t good enough. “Keeping up with the Joneses” makes for a never-ending cycle of replacing items that are obsolete or no longer in style. When you instead direct your spending towards an experience, it won’t ever fall out of fashion or need replacing—the happiness you get from visiting an exciting destination is yours to keep forever.

 

Photo: Zocha Group

Memories

While opening gifts can be fun, the experience of spending time with loved ones can often be what we remember most. Looking back on meaningful events from the past helps us to define who we are in the present. Having a unique experience creates unforgettable memories that bring us joy when we recall them years later. From energetic nights out on the town to romantic, sunset dinners with significant others, memories are there to become a part of our life story.

 

Photo: Zocha Group

Personal Growth

Making progress with personal, financial or career goals can help us to feel more value in our day-to-day lives. When you opt for a new experience, you’re choosing to learn more about the world around you and in turn can learn more about yourself. Whether you’re spending a birthday racing Formula 1 cars at the racetrack, riding a donkey along the Greek hillsides, or parasailing in the Bahamas, you are sure learn more about your own likes and dislikes through trying something new. Meeting new people and being inspired by your world will only be beneficial in the long run. The things we experience present challenges for us to learn from helping to shape us into who we are.

 

Photo: Zocha Group

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The Best Routes on The Yacht Week

Adventure-seekers are sure to live it up by booking a trip with The Yacht Week. This sailing expedition takes travelers on an exciting journey filled with sun, nightlife, and unforgettable memories. There are a number of routes to choose from, each with their own perks. Take a look to see which Yacht Week route is the best for your ocean vacation.

 

Photo: The Yacht Week / Michael Vanarey

Croatia

The Original Croatian route, where The Yacht Week began, is packed with ways for you to make the most out of your getaway. The charming towns along with sparkling blue water will transport you to a dream getaway. For those that can appreciate a good party, Croatia is the best for nightlife lovers who want to spend their time dancing and partying until dawn on Hvar Island.

 

Photo: The Yacht Week Croatia / Louis Agace

BVIs

Emerge yourself into the tropical oasis of the British Virgin Islands. Become a part of the culture filled with lazy days on the white sandy beaches and floating in the blue ocean waters surrounded by plenty of palm trees and sunshine. Reggae fans will love the laid back nightlife while the locals will keep you entertained in their delicious restaurants and bars.

 

Photo: The Yacht Week BVI / Gustav Hammarskiöld

Italy

For those who want to get a taste of another culture, the Italy Yacht Week may be just for you. With more of a focus on getting to know Sicily, you’ll experience the area through diving into the numerous activities available on the islands. From swimming in the clear blue ocean to hiking a volcano to sailing to unique islands in the Mediterranean Sea, this beautiful route is perfect for taking in a relaxing vacation.

 

Photo: The Yacht Week Italy

Greece

You’ll get a little bit of everything when you take the Greece route. From shore side day parties and bottle service at nightlife events, you’ll get to live life to the fullest during this lavish route. Visit inexpensive restaurants on land for authentic Greek eats and explore the islands for an adventure with a view.

 

Photo: The Yacht Week Greece Adam Bertalan

Montenegro

It’ll be a feast for the eyes if you choose the Montenegro route, with beautiful landscapes that involve towering mountainsides and plenty of hidden caves to explore. Hike to the Sveti Ivan Fortress to see the ocean from amazing heights or attend a seaside yoga session to get in touch with your inner self. You’ll party surrounded by breathtaking views of the coastline and end your nights dancing under the stars.

 

Photo: The Yacht Week Montenegro – Mike Verstraten

 

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Photo: The Yacht Week

Photo: The Yacht Week

Photo: The Yacht Week – Mike Verstraten

Photo: The Yacht Week

Photo: The Yacht Week Croatia / Louis Agace

 

The Atlanta Party Guide for Super Bowl 2019

For those planning to attend Super Bowl LIII on February 3rd, Atlanta will feel like a playground with plenty of events and parties happening to celebrate the big game. The city will be filled with revelry as celebrity hosts attend exclusive parties held throughout the area. Watching the Rams and the Patriots battle it out at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium won’t be the only highlight of the weekend when you attend any of these exciting events.

Photo: Super Bowl LIII – Patriots vs. Rams

 

Bootsy Bellows x E11EVEN Miami: Big Game Weekend

Thursday, Jan 31st – Sunday, Feb 3rd

One of the hottest nightclubs in Los Angeles, Bootsy Bellows is known for throwing parties surrounding events like Coachella, Art Basel, and anywhere else with a celebrity crowd. Their pop-up parties for the Super Bowl in collaboration with E11EVEN Miami will occur Thursday through Sunday at Ravine ATL with performances from Gucci Mane, Tiesto, French Montana and Kaskade.

 

Photo: Ravine Atlanta

Sports Illustrated: Saturday Night Lights

Saturday, February 2nd

Fans of the iconic sports magazine will enjoy the festivities of this year’s party held at the College Football Hall of Fame. Snoop Dogg will be taking the stage as “DJ Snoopadelic,” along with live performances by Lil’ Wayne and DJ Irie. Los Angeles’ famous Hyde Sunset nightclub will be hosting a pop-up Celebrity Lounge for you to party alongside Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit models at this trendy event.

 

Photo: College Football Hall of Fame

Maxim Big Game Experience: ATL Royalty

Saturday, February 2nd

This highly-anticipated Super Bowl party returns to the scene to establish itself as being one of the most exclusive events of the weekend. The Fairmont in Atlanta will be filled with A-list guests to honor successful people from sports, music, and fashion who all call Atlanta home. The unique activations and live performances by Diplo, Future and Jamie Foxx will be the cherry on top of this lavish event.

 

Photo: The Fairmont Atlanta

Bud Light Super Bowl Music Festival

Photo: Super Bowl Music Fest

Friday, Feb 1st – Sunday, Feb 3rd

Bud Light will be uniting with On Location Experiences to put on an exciting festival with a killer lineup. The first ever event will go on for three days at the Atlanta State Farm Arena. With artists like Ludacris, Migos, Lil Yachty, Aerosmith, Bruno Mars, and Cardi B taking the stage throughout the weekend, attendees are sure to have a star-studded experience to round out the Super Bowl LIII revelry.

 

Photo: State Farm Arena Atlanta

Shaq’s Funhouse

Saturday, Feb 1st

While he may be known as a legendary basketball player, Shaquille O’Neal has transitioned his skills to the turntables as he is set to hit the stage as “DJ Diesel” at this carnival-themed bash. A Ferris wheel and Cirque de Soleil performers will keep the party going as performances from Migos, T-Pain, Lil Jon, Diplo and Tiesto will join Shaq in putting on a show for the crowd.

 

Photo: Shaq

The Big Game Takeover

Saturday, February 2nd

Head to the Atlanta venue Compound for an exciting nightlife experience while you’re in town for the festive weekend. Cardi B and Meek Mill will hit the stage while attendees dance the night away at the exciting, multi-level nightclub.

Maxim Pregame Experience

Sunday, February 3rd

You’ll start your Super Bowl Sunday right by attending Maxim’s Pregame party with plenty of food, drinks and live music in an extravagant venue. Hosted by Deion Sanders, the experience will be a memorable one with Snoop Dogg on the turntables for the day party as “DJ Snoopadelic.”

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For information on tickets, bottle service or accommodations in Atlanta, contact concierge@zochagroup.com

 

7 Beautiful Island Countries for a Tropical Escape

Some of the most enchanting countries in the world are located right in the middle of the ocean, surrounded by an endless soundtrack of ocean waves and breathtaking views from every angle. If you’re choosing a tropical getaway, these countries make for the perfect destination as you can not only enjoy the plentiful sandy beaches, but also get to experience the nation’s history and culture. Plan your next destination at any of these island countries for an unforgettable tropical getaway.

Bahamas

This country in the Caribbean is home to over 700 individual islands that make up a beautiful nation of relaxing beaches and amazing weather. With plenty of shopping at local marketplaces and historical cultural monuments to visit, you’ll have an enlightening getaway at this island nation.

 

Photos: Staniel Cay Bahamas

Photo: Fowl Cay Resort

Fiji

Get in touch with nature surrounded by Fiji’s beautiful scenery making it the perfect environment for your beachy vacation. Set sail and take a cruise to tour the island or dive in and snorkel for a view under the sea. Enjoy fresh seafood on the romantic island at one of the nation’s most popular fine dining restaurants, Wicked Walu.

 

Photo: Fiji Sofitel

Photo: Fiji – Zocha Group

Indonesia

You’ll have plenty of choices for where to stay when you visit one of the thousands of islands that make up Indonesia. Experience world-renowned diving at the Coral Triangle or get in touch with the country’s spirituality through visiting the Borobudur Buddhist temple.

 

Photo: Borobudur Buddhist temple

Photo: Coral Triangle Indonesia

Cuba

With visits to Cuba now open to the US, tourism has skyrocketed as anyone can now experience the vibrancy of this Northern Caribbean island. Support local restaurants and businesses with your stay while gaining a cultural education in this history-rich nation.

 

Photo: Cuba

Photo: Cuba

Maldives

This tropical paradise is one of a kind with sparkling blue beaches perfect for snorkeling, scuba diving and taking in the ocean breeze. The Maldives is known for its marine life and having dozens of activities to make the most of your getaway. Splurge on a luxury stay at the Soneva Jani resort for a private overwater villa unlike any other.

 

Photo: Maldives

Photo: Maldives

St. Lucia

This Caribbean country is perfect for a little R&R along with a tropical adventure. Rent a boat to go sailing or explore the lush, green habitat on land. You’ll also get a taste of the culture when you pass through one of the fishing villages or take a tour of the Pitons, known for being the world’s only “drive-in” volcano.

 

Photo: St. Lucia – Grace Ormonde

Photo: Sugar Beach St. Lucia

Jamaica

Experience Mother Nature by venturing through the tropical forests of Jamaica, with hiking trails that lead you past exotic plants and animals. You can also get to know the country’s culture by visiting Kingston’s dancehall nightclubs or by eating freshly caught seafood on the island’s beautiful beaches.

 

Photo: Jamaica – Jamaica Information Services

Photo: Jamaica

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For more information on travel accommodations for these destinations, contact concierge@zochagroup.com

The Top 10 New Food Trends for 2019

With every new year comes a wave of new trends projected to gain popularity in the world of food products, dining and hospitality. This year’s trends will likely start to pop up on grocery store shelves and restaurant menus as the months go by. Add some variety to your diet this year by tasting some of 2019’s front runners that should be soon coming to a table near you.

Photo: Zocha Group

 

Tropical Fruits

Add something sweet to your meal with island fruits like guava, dragon fruit, passion fruit, and monk fruit that hail from the Pacific Rim region. You’ll also start to see jackfruit embraced as a meat substitute in vegan and vegetarian meals.

 

Photo: Zocha Group

Hemp & CBD

CBD made a splash onto the scene in the past few years making its way into a number of food, drinks and skin care products. That trend will continue to boom in the upcoming year by way of items like sparkling water, infusions, and coffee.

 

Photo: CBD Coffee

Oat Milk

With cow’s milk slowly but surely phasing its way out of fridges across America, non-animal based alternatives are being adopted as necessities for consumers. With soy and almond milk being a favorite, soon oat milk will be added to the group as a go-to alternative.

 

Photo: Oat Milk

Seafood Snacks

Stores and restaurants will be taking Japan’s lead in embracing seafood, including vegetables, as a snack food. Roasted seaweed and salmon skins will gain more traction along with innovative items like kelp jerky.

 

Photo: Roasted Seaweed

Orange Wine

While the name might suggest it would be made from oranges, orange wine is actually made from the same grapes used to make white wine. Keeping the skin on during fermentation gives the wine an attractive, orange coloring. The refreshing drink is expected to show up on drink menus soon.

 

Photo: Orange Wine / Marvin

Hummus

There’s no secret that hummus is a go-to snack for many people, but this year it’ll be used differently than consumers have seen in the past. Adventurous flavors will come about along with menus integrating hummus into desserts, making for a unique and healthy treat.

 

Photo: Hummus / Cooking Classy

Probiotics

Many people have integrated probiotics into their diet for digestive health, but this year the trend will also include dry items that can be stored in your pantry. Things like cereal, granola, nut butters and nutrition bars will be made to be shelf-stable for long term storage.

 

Photo: Yogurt with Granola

African Spices

Cuisine from a variety of African countries will be more popular in the upcoming year. From harissa, a spicy red pepper paste, to spice-filled dishes like the Tunisian shakshouka, African tastes will be integrated into menus bringing a burst of flavor to your diet.

 

Photo: African Spices

Vegan Meat Snacks

Veggie versions of popular dishes have made their way onto menus all over the world and will continue to do so throughout 2019. Consumers will also see vegan meat snacks line the shelves of your local grocery store with options like soy jerky and mushroom bacon chips.

 

Photo: Mushroom Bacon

Celtuce

Kale and romaine are on their way out with celtuce, a lettuce cultivar, moving in as an alternative. The health benefits to this versatile, Chinese lettuce makes it worth adding to any meal as a side dish or even as an ingredient in juices and smoothies.

 

Photo: Celtuce

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