Highlights include anything whiskey, like the many Old Fashioned and Mint Julep variations go with the Frosty, a sweet, earthy mix of root beer-infused bourbon, sugar and mint in addition to the Bible-thick bottle list. As for snacks, the playful Southern comforts steal the show. Go ahead and pair your Pappy with a suped-up bologna and cheese artisan bologna, housemade pimento cheese, sharp cheddar, house BBQ for the ultimate high brow-low brow experience.
Then hit the bar for a revitalizing Shoot the Messenger vodka, local cold brew coffee, stout syrup or the fiery Angry Goat bourbon, Lillet Rose, strawberry habanero syrup, lime. Bar bites like fried sriracha pickled green beans and a juicy bacon-cheddar burger smothered in bourbon-spiked ketchup should keep you going. To pair, the snack list is brief but delicious pro tip: get the charcuterie. You know those people who were born to do what they do? The ones that have turned something they not only love but seemingly effortlessly excel at into a full-time job?
Monarch head bartender Brock Schulte fits that bill to a T. Be they thoughtful Negroni twists like the Dufftown Monarchy The Balvenie year Sherry Cask scotch, Aperitivo Rinomato, Amontillado sherry, rich sweet vermouth or coupes brimming with the tropical martini-inspired Chestnut Tiger gin, kiwi, black sesame, mirin, yuzu ponzu his diverse panoply of creations is worth a plane ticket to KC alone. A glimmering swarm of 1, acrylic butterflies floats over the central marble-topped bar, surrounded by loungy velvet and leather seating and large-scale modern art, all cloaked in a white and slate grey palate.
Stashed in the back is a handsome reservable VIP room stocked with a coveted array of high-end spirits for a more intimate escape. This is Kansas City, after all. At once poised and laid back, this Westport Champagne bar is a welcome respite in a section of town with a bit of a rowdy, late-night rep. Inside, what seems like hundreds of candles illuminates the narrow space where a long marble-topped bar set against crisp white subway tile contrasts with heavy drapes, a line of bistro tables, and gilded mirrors hung above a small upright piano.
A serene brick-laden side patio completes the romantic Parisian vibes. And thankfully, Groa is a far more likeable character than Lady Macbeth. I loved Thorfinn from his very first appearance.
This is the moment we meet him for the first time as a child, seen through the eyes of his foster father, Thorkel Fostri:. Not the lovely young Rognvald his son. But a scowling juvenile, thin as a half-knotted thong, with a monstrous brow topped by a whisk of black hair over two watering eyes, thick as acorns. It raised one arm and called. Its voice had not even started to break. His foster-son. He is capable of all the plotting, scheming and negotiating that is necessary to keep up with the ever-changing rivalries and alliances between various leaders, while also dealing with the threats from England, Norway and Denmark and trying to do what is best for his people of Orkney, Caithness, Moray and the rest of Alba.
The story of how she and Thorfinn come to love and understand each other is beautifully written and it was wonderful to watch their relationship develop over the course of the novel. Apart from the relationship between Thorfinn and Groa, the other one I found particularly fascinating and complex was the relationship between Thorfinn and his nephew, Rognvald.
The encounters between the two of them throughout the first half of the book provided what, for me, were some of the most dramatic and exciting scenes in the book. The descriptions of the landscapes of Orkney and Alba are so vivid and evocative. This is one that I particularly loved:. They entered Loch Bracadale with the sunrise, rose-coloured oars laying darkling folds on the rose-tinted pool of the fjord.
A dusting of guillemots, asleep on the water, roused and dived with almost no sound, leaving pink and verdigris rings on the surface. A charcoal rock needled with cormorants became suddenly bare, and from the shore came the scalloped cry of an oyster-catcher, joined after a moment by others. Then the longships slid past, and the sounds died away. And now here I am, seven months and eight books later, at the end of Gemini and finding it hard to believe that there are no more adventures of either Lymond or Nicholas left for me to discover.
After causing damage to the Scottish economy in the course of his long-running contest with his wife, Gelis, Nicholas has returned to try to make amends.
Soon after his arrival in Scotland, Nicholas finds himself having to contend with a possible inherited illness porphyria? I did love Gemini overall, but I confess to getting a little bit bored with the political aspects of the novel. I was also a bit disappointed that a true reconciliation between Henry and Nicholas never happened, despite there seeming to be some steps in that direction earlier in the book. I get the impression that opinion is divided over the Epilogue with some readers finding it unnecessary, but personally I liked it and was pleased to see that some of the links with the Lymond Chronicles were explained at last.
I had been coming up with various theories about the significance of Bel of Cuthilgurdy, but not the right one. Now for one of the most shocking revelations of the novel: Julius. When I get around to reading this series again I will certainly be looking for clues about Julius and paying more attention to everything he says and does in the earlier novels!
While I was reading the Lymond Chronicles and sometimes even now, a year later I was thinking and worrying about Lymond all the time, even when I was away from the books, but I never really connected with Nicholas on the same level. Still, I did love the series as a whole and am looking forward to reading all the books again and looking out for some of the things I know I missed during the first read.
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April 30, April 30, 28 Comments. July 15, 31 Comments. The Lymond Chronicles This series of six novels, published between and , follow the adventures of Scottish nobleman Francis Crawford of Lymond in 16th century Europe and beyond.
Next month I will be choosing another historical fiction author to feature, but for now I look forward to hearing your thoughts on Dorothy Dunnett… Have you read any of her novels? November 4, 24 Comments. The thief ends up as a headles McRannoch is in the Bahamas with her father, who has moved there from Scotland because of asthma.
She is a savvy and tough young lady who shows much independence of mind and spirit. However, when Sir Bart Edgecombe, a British agent who has bee Life in Ibiza can be glorious and fast, especially for those who have money.
Sarah Cassells is an intelligent girl and has many admirers. Having completed her training as a chef, she hears of her father's violent death on the island, and refuses to b In thisfourth book in the legendary Lymond Chronicles, Francis Crawford of Lymond desperately searches the Ottoman empire for his kidnapped child.