Taurus season is upon us! I recently celebrated my birthday with a three-day weekend in Miami, and I wanted to share all of the details and my recommendations. The photos below are taken in the Miami Design District, which I highly recommend visiting even if it’s just to walk around for the ~vibes~.
Where to Eat in Miami/Miami Beach
I have shared some of my favorite spots in Miami in the past, including some of the most Instagrammable places at the time, but the city has grown and changed multiple times from then to now. I feel like I’ve gone on about TikTok in every blog post this year, but because of trending travel TikToks it’s easier to be overwhelmed by the choices in any given city. I’m hoping to share some more information on spots you may be stalking on social media.
Forte dei Marmi
As soon as I saw photos of the truffle cacio e pepe inside the wheel of pecorino cheese, I knew I had to go. I have this thing where I can’t go somewhere without finding truffle pasta, so I made plans to visit Forte dei Marmi ASAP. Unfortunately, the valet line was so long checking into the hotel that my best friend Peter and I missed our reservation. We decided to order FDM via UberEats because there was no way I wasn’t having truffle pasta that night. Although the UberEats fees came out to $31.95, the pasta was incredible. I hope to make it to Forte dei Marmi irl some day, but I’m so glad I was able to eat truffle pasta while in Miami.
Gianni’s at the Former Versace Mansion
The last time I ate at the Versace Mansion, I paid $65+ for chicken; it was good chicken, but it’s still a bit terrifying to pay that much for poultry. Thankfully, it looks like the place is under new management with expanded outdoor seating and a revamped menu. There was a lunch special going on at Gianni’s (no mention of it online) where you could get 3 courses for $29. I ended up getting a salad, spaghetti pomodoro, fruit, and a 24K gold margarita. I couldn’t resist the marg– I was celebrating my birthday after all! I was skeptical that the food wouldn’t be anything special, but I was pleasantly surprised by the spaghetti pomodoro. It was also quite filling, so I left STUFFED.
The only word of caution I have is that the former Versace Mansion is located off of Ocean Drive, which was shut down to traffic the weekend I was there for what looked like a block party…during a pandemic. Plenty of people everywhere, with no masks in sight. The Uber ride to and from the hotel was also ridiculously high (not surprising after the UberEats fees, tbh).
This English-inspired breakfast place has popped up on my ‘for you’ page so many times, it’s not even funny. I was skeptical that it would be one of those places that was hyped up on social media that did not actually live up to the hype. I’m excited to announce that I was wrong about that one! The first thing you notice when approaching the restaurant is the wisteria that hits you right in the Bridgerton feels. There are florals everywhere, and the afternoon tea setup looked super cute. I made a reservation for a Monday at noon and was impressed by the amount of space we had to ourselves. Parking is mostly on the street, but I thankfully didn’t have any issues finding any.
I ordered the Rose Petal Pancakes and Champagne Candy Cloud, and loved both! The pancakes are probably what Little Hen is most known for, and I found them the right amount of sweet balanced with the right amount of savory. I don’t remember exactly what’s in the Champagne Candy Cloud other than champagne and cotton candy (if there is anything else), but the drink is super cute and the cotton candy dissolves well! I would definitely revisit.
Where to Stay in Miami Beach
This time around, I stayed at the Grand Beach Hotel on Collins Ave. The hotel is located just up the street from the Fountainebleau, and it’s a little more quiet. The valet situation during check-in on the weekend was a nightmare, but it improved as our trip went on. The hotel is a good distance from other places in Miami Beach, but Uber prices have skyrocketed over the last year, so you may want to download a parking spot app and drive to your destination(s).
When Peter and I weren’t eating, we were hanging out at the hotel. My only complaint is that it seemed like common areas were not cleaned often, especially outdoor areas like the pool. It was also difficult not to track sand everywhere coming in from the beach, especially with the number of guests walking through the lobby and other hotel areas barefoot. The hotel coffee bar and restaurant weren’t terrible, but they were a little overpriced… to be expected in Miami Beach, tbh. The rooms are all spacious suites, so I made myself very at home over the long weekend. lol.
Despite the small, pandemic-related hiccups, I had so much fun! I’ve been posting photo and video content all over social media to relive those moments. I loved wearing outfits that I finally have the confidence to wear, and it was nice to balance exploring new food places with relaxation. It was a much needed getaway and I’m cautiously optimistic about small travel opportunities for the remainder of 2021.