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Wanda Mann
New York City
I am a native New Yorker with a passion for travel, food & wine, and little black dresses!
Recent Activity
On this strutting on sunshine kind of day, I was craving a white wine that was equally drama-free and upbeat. Matua 2013 Marlborough Sauvingon Blanc was the perfect choice. This lively wine perks up the tastebuds with zesty flavors of grapefuit, lime, and pineapple balanced by a subtle grassiness. Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand may seem like a pretty standard sip but Matua is truly a trailblazer - in 1969 they were the first to plant the grape in the country. People called them crazy but Matua was clearly ahead of their time and they have the awards and fans... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at The Black Dress Traveler
At the La Quinta Resort & Club beyond Palm Springs. Sunshine and stunning desert landscape by Mother Nature. Little black dress by H&M, suitcase by DELSEY. Yours truly just returned from a three-day business trip to California, but of course, I packed my little black dress and made time to have some fun. After the endless snow storms we've endured in NYC, it was nothing less than therapeutic to shed my coat and feel the golden sunshine on my skin. Here are a few highlights from my West Coast whirlwind. In Los Angeles, I stayed at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2014 at The Black Dress Traveler
Opening a restaurant in New York City is no easy feat but staying fresh and relevant after ten years in business is an absolute cause for celebration. So, I was delighted to raise my Hibiscus Margarita in a toast to Chef Richard Sandoval and opera legend Placido Domingo on the great success of their culinary collaboration - Pampano. Located in East Midtown Manhattan (209 East 49th Street), Pampano serves sophisticated coastal Mexican cuisine, inspired by the shores of Mexico, in an elegant and airy space. The Pampano Margarita with white tequila and hibiscus is as delicious as it looks. In... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2014 at The Black Dress Traveler
I love a wine without pretension and attitude that still demonstrates a commitment to quality. After all, if the wine doesn't taste good, why bother? Far from fussy and so much fun to drink, Matua 2013 Marlborough Pinot Noir (about $13) is a casual wine with serious credentials. I sipped a glass with a porterhouse steak and Matua's vibrant lush cherry flavors with a hint of peppery oak paired perfectly. Pizza and spicy Asian foods would also make a great match for this versatile beauty. Not familiar with Matua? In 1969, this award-winning New Zealand winery was the very first... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2014 at The Black Dress Traveler
A completely full overhead bin on a plane can frustrate the calmest of travelers. Here's a little mantra to help you through it! Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2014 at The Black Dress Traveler
view from my building - day two. Are you okay? Where were you when it happened? I've been answering those two questions constantly since yesterday's devastating explosion in East Harlem. Calls and messages have been pouring in from concerned friends and loved ones from all corners of the globe. Like me, they don't understand how and why this tragedy happened. As I write this, eight people are confirmed dead and there are many injured. Rescue teams have been working around the clock outside my living room window. I gaze out and the scene is surreal and heartbreaking. "I'm okay" is... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2014 at The Black Dress Traveler
Something very special is blooming in the Bronx - the annual Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden. On display until April 21, the theme of this year's show is Key West Contemporary. With just a swipe of your MetroCard, you can leave the winter doldrums behind and be transported to a mosaic of orchids inspired by a modernist Key West estate garden. Throughout the exhibition, there will be an array of events and activities that capture the ambiance of the Keys, including weekend musical performances and Orchid Evenings - evenings featuring cocktails and music amidst the orchids. All-Garden... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2014 at The Black Dress Traveler
Today, during a very boring meeting, I found my mind wandering to Paris. Specifically, the 1920's Paris of Josephine Baker. In this vivid daydream, my business attire was replaced with shimmer, feathers, and a whole lot of va va voom. My coffee mug transformed into a champagne flute and the office became a very chic cabaret with moi on stage. A little crazy, I know, but I've always felt inspired by Josephine's fearlessness. She left her home in St. Louis and took Paris and the world by storm with her talent, charisma, and sensuality. She was also an activist and... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2014 at The Black Dress Traveler
Maggy London - The Illusion Dress $148 (available for pre-order) Call me greedy but I'm always looking to add more fabulous little black dresses to my wardrobe and this chic little number from Maggy London has definitely caught my eye. The sheer neckline and figure-hugging silhouette of the Illusion Dress create an elegantly sexy look that showcases your figure without revealing too much skin. The timeless and retro-inspired design make this dress absolutely perfect for a night out on the town. And, did I mention that it is only $148? The Maggy London Illusion Dress makes a strong statement without... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2014 at The Black Dress Traveler
This dreary New York winter has made frequent reminiscing about my summer 2013 vacation to Provence an absolute necessity for my mental well-being. I'm not sure when I will take my next trip to the land of lavender fields and ever-flowing rosé, but when I do I would love to stay at the luxurious Domaine de la Baume in the village of Tourtour - 90 minutes from Cannes by car. Opening for its second season on April 18, Domaine de la Baume is part of the MAISONS & HOTELS Sibuet collection of boutique hotels. Situated on 99 acres, Domaine de... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2014 at The Black Dress Traveler
Legendary Italian actress Sophia Loren famously said, "Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti." It looks Iike wine may have played a part too - I'll have what she's having! If you can't get to Italy for a romantic Valentine's Day, take your tastebuds on a delicious journey with a sexy sparkling vino. My three picks are all priced under $20 but deliver a tantalizing taste of la dolce vita. Go ahead and unleash your inner Sophia Loren! A va va voom dress is also a must. Lamberti Rosé Spumante Veneto, NV $14 This sparkling rosé from Italy's famed Veneto... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2014 at The Black Dress Traveler
The Duchess of Alba Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) 1797 Some paintings are like cherished friends and Goya's powerful portrait, The Duchess of Alba, has always enchanted me. Goya so beautifully captures La Duquesa's confident stance. The fiery red sash on her gorgeous black dress reminds me of a matador's cape that pulls you in closer at your own risk - La Duquesa looks like she doesn't suffer fools. They say that Goya was quite in love with his subject and you can feel that affection in the portrait. The Duchess has the look of a woman who knows... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2014 at The Black Dress Traveler
As I thaw out in my living room and count down to spring, I'm reminded of just how delicious sunshine feels and tastes when I sip Mionetto Prosecco Brut DOC. Winter can dull the senses but the dancing bubbles in a glass of golden Mionetto Prosecco adds a little sparkle to a dreary day. It reminds me that seasons do change and I'll be strutting in my favorite little summer dresses before you know it. All of this for $14? That's a deal! Prosecco hails from the Veneto region in northeastern Italy. Those sloping hills aren't just pretty to look... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2014 at The Black Dress Traveler
It is great to have a go-to wine that you absolutely love but don't get stuck in a rut - your tastebuds have to travel! Yes, the options can be overwhelming but Wine Spectator always makes it easier to pick the perfect vino and their 2014 Editors' Picks in the latest issue will steer you towards wine roads less traveled via the article Off the Beaten Path. A quirky and informative showcase of wines from 30 categories, Off the Beaten Path is a fantastic resource for building your knowledge of some unique wines from around the globe. So, if you're... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2014 at The Black Dress Traveler
Can foods really be qualified as masculine or feminine? The women I know delve into bratwurst and bonbons with equal gusto! However, I'm very intrigued by a new food-of-the-month club called Mantry. Described as the modern man's pantry, Mantry showcases American artisan foods like BBQ sauce from Alabama, bison jerky from Montana, and birch syrup harvested in Alaska. Mantry packs all of that tasty goodness in an eye-catching wooden crate that is hand-made in the USA. Each crate contains 5-6 full size items along with recipes and product details. Mantry gift boxes are $75 per month and you can opt... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2014 at The Black Dress Traveler
Valentine's Day is just around the corner and for many people the holiday causes some stress. Whether you're perfectly paired, single and satisfied, or hoping that Cupid brings love your way; take time out to relax and reflect on romance with a special cup of tea from Palais des Thés. Their limited edition Valentine's Day gift set, Les Amants Miniatures, makes it easy to chicly pamper yourself or someone special. Priced at $27, the Lovers' Tea set includes 3 tins of loose tea - Green, Rooibos, and Black. I treated myself to a cup of the black tea this morning... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2014 at The Black Dress Traveler
Did you know that Diane von Furstenberg was 26 when she designed the iconic wrap dress? I won't tell you what I was doing at 26! Seen everywhere on almost every woman, it is easy to take the wrap dress for granted but when Diane von Furstenberg introduced her design 40 years ago, it took the world by storm. I'm a huge fan of DVF and her dresses always make me feel elegant and stylish. From bold prints to rich solids, DVF really does have a dress to fit every situation and personality. If you find yourself in Los Angeles,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2014 at The Black Dress Traveler
Lupita is gorgeous in Gucci at the 2014 SAG Awards. Credit: Mark Davis, WireImage Screen Actors Guild award winner and Oscar nominee, stunning actress Lupita Nyong'o (Twelve Years a Slave) is on an amazing journey and she's been ultra stylish every step of the way. Hollywood loves to appoint "It" girls and Lupita beautifully breaks the mold. All eyes will be on Lupita on March 2nd at the Academy Awards to see if she brings home the Oscar and to ooh and aah over what fabulous dress she wears next! Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2014 at The Black Dress Traveler
Exciting and expensive, creative and cruel; New York both inspires me and frustrates me. I'm a native Manhattanite and there is so much that I love about my hometown but I'm not entirely sure that I want to spend the rest of my life here. Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted something more. That yearning would explain my heading to Massachusetts for boarding school, California for college, and Spain for two years of study abroad. Clearly, I was the perfect candidate to take this Buzzfeed quiz, "What City Should You Actually Live In?" This silly little quiz... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2014 at The Black Dress Traveler
Thanks Pat for taking the time to leave a comment! You're right - it isn't easy to move away from negativity - it is all around us and so very contagious! But I'm determined to overpower it with positivity. Happy New Year!
1 reply
This iconic image of Anita Ekberg frolicking in Rome's Trevi Fountain in Fellini's masterpiece film, La Dolce Vita, captures the attitude that I want to nurture in the New Year - adventurous, playful, and carefree! And, what a dress! Happy New Year! Now that we're a few days into 2014, how are you feeling about the possibilities ahead? I've been running on all cylinders lately and this is the first quiet moment that I've had to sit back and reflect since the New Year rolled in. Hard at work last year - just a few days ago. Maybe in 2014... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2014 at The Black Dress Traveler
Delsey's very lightweight U-LITE bag comes in 4 colors, including this dazzling red. On sale for $140 (usually $199) Doesn't a new piece of luggage absolutely inspire you to set off on an adventure? I was recently gifted with a wonderful suitcase from Delsey and I can't wait to fill it with little black dresses for my next getaway - hopefully back to France! A French company, Delsey has been making stylish and innovative luggage since 1946 and sources tell me that a Delsey bag is sold every 10 seconds! Available in a wide variety of colors, sizes, and styles;... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2013 at The Black Dress Traveler
Use code LBD and save 10% on your holiday purchase at Henri's Reserve. Their terrificTasting Sampler includes 3 bottles of gorgeous bubbly - one Blanc de Blancs, a Rosé & a Blanc de Noirs. Regular price is $195, pay $175.50 with the special discount for Black Dress Traveler readers. Don't you know that bon vivants are the easiest people on your holiday list to shop for - they only want the very best! Celebrate their exquisite taste and joie de vivre with a gift of boutique champagnes from Henri's Reserve. Showcasing only champagnes from France's finest family estates, Henri's Reserve... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2013 at The Black Dress Traveler
The Spain loving and paella craving foodie in your life will shower you with besos when you gift them with this tasty collection from Spanish Suitcase. Packaged in a very elegant and travel-inspired keepsake gift box, the Chef Suitcase is $145 and includes luxury spices like San Román Premium Saffron Thread, Tagornar Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Santo Tomás Arroz Bomba Rice, an El Cid paella pan, a deck of tapas recipe cards from acclaimed Spanish chef José Andrés, and more. Visit the Spanish Suitcase website to shop for the Chef Suitcase and more of their amazing gourmet souvenirs from Spain. Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2013 at The Black Dress Traveler
The holiday season is in full swing and it is the perfect time to pamper the travelers you adore with some great gitfs. My first pick for a jet set gift comes from KAIA Jewelry and their beautiful bracelets inspired by places. Affordably priced from $50-$95, the various designs include Barcelona, Mombasa, Belize and more. Don't forget to treat yourself too! The lovely Belize bracelet ($65) by KAIA Jewelry is made of brown striped agate with silver brass spacers and a gunmetal crystal studded disco ball. Did you know that agate is said to raise consciousness, build self-confidence, foster love,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2013 at The Black Dress Traveler