The Hipstamatic Blog



By Jen Pollack Bianco

Rock the Kasbah
nown as the Red City, Marrakech has a bohemian mystique that has been drawing the cool kids since Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones visited during the 60s. Equal parts gritty and glamorous—and only a few hours by plane from major European cities, it’s never been easier to ride the Marrakech express.

Sheik Sleeps
Traditional Moroccan homes that have been converted into private hotels are called riads, and staying at one is a must.

Located within the ochre colored walls of the medina is the stylish and intimate Riad Farnatchi, with only nine suites. The staff is excellent and serves the best mint tea in town next to the gorgeous courtyard pool. It’s also close to the not-to-be missed Maison de la Photography. 

Arabian Nights
For dinner, head to Dar Marjana, a magical restaurant located in a former Pasha’s palace. Local Gnawas musicians set the mood while you drink and feast on endless plates of chicken tangine and pigeon pastille. Then the belly dancing begins.

Desert Oasis
Escape the chaos of the city and head to the nearby Agafay Desert and spend the day at the La Pause eco-resort. There you can ride a camel and visit a Berber village. Stay for a relaxing lunch served under a nomadic tent. 

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Sopporo, Japan

Sopporo, Japan

By AJ Heiner

Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido, is the northern most prefecture in Japan. Hokkaido is the birthplace of ramen and is well known for its crabbing and farming industries, Hokkaido cheese, and staples in Japanese northern cuisine.

While Sapporo is famous for its countless number of ramen shops and beer breweries, Furano is famous for its pizza, and Hakodate and Kushiro are most known for seafood specialities such as squid and crab. So, what can be gathered from these quick tips? A trip to northern Japan is not complete without ramen, crab, beer, or pizza. 


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Istanbul, Turkey

Photos and Words by Sezgi Olgac

As Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “If the Earth was a single state, Istanbul would be its capital.” In Istanbul, simply by wandering the streets, you can feel the heritage of centuries of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman times. On the other hand, the simple daily life has its own charms. Take a walk along the Bosphorus or Golden Horn, watch the ferries passing by, carrying crowds of people and seagulls chasing them. This is a simple but charming composition Istanbul creates for you everyday, again and again.

If it is your first time in Istanbul, you should start with the historical sites and then discover the culture, the music, the art scene and the tempting Turkish cuisine. Or simply get lost in the narrow streets around Karaköy, Galata and Çukurcuma areas and get amazed by the things that you’ll see.

Welcome to the unofficial, humble and soulful capital of the earth.



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Cochon Heritage Fire in Napa

Cochon Heritage Fire in Napa

Photos and Words by Mario Estrada


On August 11th we headed to the Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena to indulge in a smorgasboard of delicious bites by chefs from all over northern California.

The menu included lobster, spit-roast sturgeon, 400 pounds of Waygu beef, peking duck, oysters, pig, lamb and more by chefs from French Laundry, A16, and Goose & Gander, to name a few.

“Heritage Fire is my favorite expression of the Cochon US Tour,” says Founder Brady Lowe. “This celebration of live-fire cooking celebrates responsibly raised heritage breed animals and produce and the people growing them with purpose and passion. It’s a perfect equation of beautiful location, amazing people, our natural desire to eat honest food over live fires while drinking amazing wines, ice- cold brews, and crisp ciders, all in the most celebrated wine valleys in the world.”

Here is a sampling of some of the incredible dishes…


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Gin & Tonic: NYC’s Best


By Linnea Covington


Gin Tonic Albahaca: A refreshing combination of Junipero Gin, Q Tonic, lime and basil. The basil and lime are infused with the gin for 30 seconds, and one large ice cube is placed in the stemless bubble glass. Half of a bottle of the tonic water is then poured in the glass carefully, avoiding the ice cube. The drink is then served alongside the remaining tonic.

Gin Tonic Clavo: Made with Hendrick’s Gin and Fever Tree Tonic, this version is served with cloves and cucumber.

Gin Tonic Uva y Naranja: For a more citrus-forward version of the cocktail, the Gin Tonic Uva y Naranja features G’Vine ‘Nouaison’ Gin, Fever Tree Tonic, grapes, and oranges.

Any gin with one of four homemade tonics—bitter, citrus, sweet, and spicy.

Both just called gin and tonic, but the orange one is Beefeater, Campari, and grapefruit, and the clear one is Hendrick’s, cucumber, and lemon.

Any gin of your choice with either Q Tonic, Fevertree, or Tomar’s Tonic.

Tanqueray with fresh strawberry, elderflower, tonic water, and lemon.


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City Guide: Stockholm


Photos and Words by Mario Estrada

In a little land far, far away where the people are tall and trendy, lies a super clean city made up of 14 islands. The largest city in Scandinavia, Stockholm is a beautiful metropolis easy to navigate.

Gamla Stan, the area that housed their old town features some of the medieval street layouts and architecture that survived the modernism and functionalism movements.
The young, hip, creative types have turned the area of Södermalm into their stomping ground. The fashion set hang in Stureplan, enjoying the cafes and shops.

When to go:

The winters can be pretty brutal in Stockholm, averaging only 6 hours of sunlight in late December. Plan to visit from may through September. midsummer, their summer solstice festival takes place when the days average more than 18 hours. The young, hip, creative types have turned Södermalm into their stomping ground.

How to get around:

Getting to the city center from the airport is incredibly easy on the Arlanda Express. Within 20 minutes you can begin exploring by foot or grab a cab to your hotel. The ride is also equipped with wifi, making it easy to pull up your itinerary and double check plans for the day. With great bike lanes that spiderweb throughout the city, pick up bikes in Gamla Stan and explore the area like the locals or take advantage of the Tunnelbanna, the underground train system.

Where to eat:

Pickeled herring was the most prominent dish on menus. Some places served it
three ways, others included it as one of the samples in a tasting. But while in Sweden you must try their famous meatballs! Here are a few of our favorite restaurants: Brunch Beaumarches, Lunch at Loopen marin, Dinner at PA&Co or Pelican.

Where to play:

Stureplan is the fashion district. Plan a stop at a staple bar like Riche where you can check out the scene. If you’re looking for more of a club atmosphere, make your way over to the outdoor dance party at Wall Bar. 

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Gourmet Glamping Getaway

Words & Photos By Jen Pollack Bianco 

If you’re looking for a romantic foodie getaway that mixes the great outdoors and cuisine from Top Chefs, pack your cowboy boots and head to Montana. The Resort at Paws Up ( is located 45 minutes from the Missoula International Airport.

Happy Glampers

From May through October, it’s all about glamping in one of the luxury safari-style tents.  You’ll be not-so-roughing it surrounded by western chic décor, wifi, ensuite bathrooms, and comfy beds. There are heated blankets to keep you toasty warm on cool Montana mornings. Each camp has a butler on hand to provide personal service… and help you up your S’mores making game. 

Top Chef Grits

Top Chef alumus Dale Levitski (of Chicago’s Sprout and Frog N Snail restaurants) is currently the resort’s Resident Guest Chef. He serves refined yet rustic cuisine at Pomp Restaurant, showcasing local flavors like elk, trout and quail. 

During my visit, chef Dale Levitski held a Secret Dining Society farm-to-table dinner celebrating the best fruits, vegetables, and flowers from the local Farmers Market. All the produce was grown within 50 miles of Missoula. 

Culinary highlights of the evening included Big Sky Pie made with leek, cheddar and truffle served with cauliflower crème fraiche and Montana mystery pear. The Dry Aged Picnic — rib eye served with huckleberry barbeque sauce and rainbow chard -— paired exceptionally well with the bold 2005 Joseph Phelps Insignia Cabernet Sauvignon.

Paws Up features several foodie events throughout the year. This Columbus Day weekend, there’s a sophisticated pie camp called Upper Crust. Next May brings Master Grillers, a weekend dedicated to deliciousness cooked on a open flame. In June and July, the Montana Long Table event celebrates the finest regional flavors. Master Chefs, a food and wine festival featuring several former Top Chef contestants, happens in September.

Rustle Up An Appetite 

There are a lot of activities to choose from at Paws Up, but the Cattle Drive should not be missed. It is so much fun exploring the resort’s 37,000 acres on horseback and learning how to move a herd of Corriente cows. The expert wranglers had me rocking cowgirl know-how by the time I headed ‘em into the sorting pen. If you prefer horsepower to horses, take an ATV tour to nearby Garnet Ghost Town.  

Cowboy Poetry Slam at
the Chuck Wagon

Draft horses Pete and RePete pull a wagon full of guests to the banks of the Blackfoot River, where the Chuck Wagon Dinner takes place.  I dined on western staples like tri-tip, grilled corn, and huckleberry cobbler and washed it down with Moose Drool Brown Ale. Cowboy poets provide the evening’s entertainment under Montana’s Big Sky.


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Water for Africa

Armed with her iPhone, Lara Wineman traveled throughout Africa alongside the nonprofit African Well Fund, working to bring clean water to schools. Lara used Hipstamatic to document her journeys.

She worked to build latrines and wells to improve access to water for students in countries like Liberia, Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda. Without new wells and latrines, many children won’t attend school because they must wander into snake-infested fields to relieve themselves, and the only water was from a dirty stream miles down the road. To find out more about this important nonprofit, please visit


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