Local Insights: Houston | Spring 2012

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Local Insights

St. Regis Houston concierge Tim Hess and his team share the bountiful array of spring offerings just outside the doors of the St. Regis Houston.- By Andrea Landis

As a member of the concierge team, Tim Hess has gained inside knowledge of all the best places to indulge and unwind in Houston. Here are his recommendations for where to brunch, beautify and blossom your home and wardrobe during the sunny spring months.

Brunch

A scrumptious start awaits you at Houston standbys for the beloved combination of breakfast and lunch.

You won’t have to go far to get an exceptional first meal any day of the week at OUISIE’S TABLE. “Just down the street from the St. Regis, Ouisie’s Table has a great Saturday and Sunday brunch as well as weekday breakfast,” Hess says. Decadent South-inspired plates on the brunch menu include shrimp and cheese grits and crab cake benedict. (3939 San Felipe; 713-528- 2264; ouisiestable.com)

Or, enjoy the warm spring air, a flavored mimosa and your choice of nearly 50 brunch menu options on “one of the best patios in the city” at BACKSTREET CAFÉ. The café’s selection of “seasonal American cuisine” is diverse enough to please any palate. (1103 S Shepherd Dr.; 713-521-2239; backstreetcafe.net)

For a “unique and casual” atmosphere, Hess recommends EMPIRE CAFÉ. Wake up with Empire’s great coffee or a cocktail from its list of “Good Morning Potions” inside the cozy coffee shop or on one of two patios. (1732 Westheimer Rd.; 713-528- 5282; empirecafe.com)

“The best Sunday brunch hands down,” though, goes to BRENNAN’S OF HOUSTON. The sister restaurant to Commander’s Palace in New Orleans has been serving elegantly plated Creole favorites to satisfied Houstonians for 45 years. (3300 Smith St.; 713-522-9711; brennanshouston.com)

Relax

Nothing follows brunch or shopping better than a well- deserved pampering session at one of Houston’s best spas or a leisurely afternoon at one of Houston’s notable landmarks.

“THE SPA AT THE ST. REGIS HOUSTON is our top choice for pampering,” Hess says. Guests of The Spa at The St. Regis Houston are enveloped in the utmost comfort and relaxation, with luxurious specialty treatments exclusive to the St. Regis, like the Thai Yoga Massage and the Caviar Facial. (The Spa at The St. Regis Houston, 1919 Briar Oaks Ln.; 713-840-7600; stregishoustonhotel.com/spa)

If nature entices you, the serene MEMORIAL PARK promises a lovely afternoon. The 1,500-acre wooded oasis in the middle of the city offers jogging trails, golf, bird watching and endless other sports and recreational activities in addition to the peaceful beauty of its environs. (Memorial Park, 1001 E. Memorial Loop; 713-863-8403; memorialparkconservancy.org)

For beer lovers, SAINT ARNOLD BREWING COMPANY hosts tours of its brewery Monday through Friday afternoons and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. See firsthand how “Texas’ Oldest Craft Brewery” creates its 11 original beers, from the hops to the glass. (Saint Arnold Brewing Company, 2000 Lyons Ave.; 713-686-9494; saintarnold.com)

Shop

Liven up your freshly spring-cleaned home and closet with pieces from Houston’s sought-after galleries and boutiques.

For furniture and home accessories, Hess recommends KUHL-LINSCOMB. “Fantastic is really the only word to describe them,” he says.

Kuhl-Linscomb has five separate showrooms in its single 70,000-square-foot location, brimming with fresh and modern designs that have earned the center numerous awards, accolades and ardent customers. (2424 W Alabama; 713-526-6000; kuhl-linscomb.com)

Hess also directs guests to BERING’S HARDWARE for quality entertaining essentials. “Don’t jump to conclusions about a hardware store,” he says. “Bering’s is unique and has some of the finest china, silver, glassware and home décor in town.” (3900 Bissonnet; 713-665-0500; berings.com)

RESORATION HARDWARE has just opened its new flagship store in Highland Village, just south of the hotel, Hess adds. It is the “biggest and most expensive store to date” for the hugely popular retailer of classic furniture and textiles. (4091 Westheimer Rd.; 713-850-8838; restorationhardware.com)

After refreshing your space, refresh your own—or a special lady in your life’s—spring wardrobe with apparel from TOOTSIE’S. Hess calls it “the best women’s retailer in Houston.” Occupying an entire city block, Tootsie’s is reputed for right-on-point styles and cutting-edge trends. (2601 Westheimer; 713-629-9900; tootsies.com)