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California | Personal Travels

April 11, 2014

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Ben and I recently traveled out to the West Coast for a long weekend of wine, food, beautiful outdoors, time spent with old friends and the making of many new memories. It was a really amazing trip - a sweet weekend together, to work & play, and a great time had in San Francisco and the Sonoma Region!

We started our trip driving up to wine country and spending our day in the highly recommended, Healdsburg, California, about 65 miles north of San Francisco. It was amazing. I would go back to this town tomorrow if my husband would let me. The sweetest, most charming, wonderful, low key town. Surrounded by beautiful, old and rich vineyards, and filled with sweet little boutiques and restaurants. Some of our highlights from the day were …

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The Shed :: an amazing place for lunch, with a full market selling everything from fresh flowers, to handmade ceramics, to unique cookbooks, to amazing coffee, to fresh olive oil. Not to mention food and wine. We picked up amazing sandwiches wrapped in butcher paper and twine for the drive to the vineyards. Absolutely do not miss this industrial spot for lunch or an afternoon coffee!
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Porter-Bass Winery :: the most stunning, organic winery that we were told to visit. We drove up an abandoned road to find a small plot of grapes growing up a hill. The owner of the house and the vineyard, Mrs. Porter-Bass herself, walked us around the property, showing us the vineyards and the olive trees, as well as the cellar (which has the most magically, intoxicating smell of wood, age and sweet wine), then finally brought us under an old tree to stand and enjoy her wines. It was just an incredible experience to look around and hear the birds, see the hills lined with vineyards and hear her story of the last 30 years on these hills, with this wine they produce. Truly a great experience and so off the beaten path of commercial vineyards, but a perfect way to start our day of wine tasting.CaliforniaTravel CLAIRE MCCORMACK PHOTOGRAPHY-8472

After winding our way back down the old river road into town, we went to the highly recommended Williamson Wines. From the moment we walked into their tasting room on the town square, I knew we’d love this place. This tasting and the experience that we were about to partake in had come so highly praised. This whole winery has been well loved for years. We sat for the next three hours with 3-4 incredibly fun, knowledgeable and wonderful guides as they taught us about their amazing wines from the Williamson family. Their story and their passion for pairing wine with food was incredible. There is too much to say about them, and I certainly will be back and we look forward to our wine arriving! If you’re in the area, the team at Williamson Wines is not to be missed. What an incredible afternoon spent with these guys!

When we finally pulled ourselves away from the team at Williamson Wines, we decided to enjoy a walk around Healdsburg before heading to dinner. A stop at the Flying Goat Coffee was wonderful. It was another highly recommended experience not to miss, this coffee shop has called Healdsburg home for over 20 years.

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We headed north about 10 minutes to the town of Geyersville and enjoyed a great dinner at Diavola Pizzeria & Salumeria. What an amazing little gem of a place! Beautiful brick walls, simply decorations, charcuterie hanging from the butcher table, and wine bottles lining the restaurant and bar. Diavola practices the time honored tradition of “Cucina Povera” which consists of using the most basic locally available ingredients combined with recipes that have been proven through centuries. They take great pride in their house cured salumi and sausages as well as their authentic Italian Pizza’s, fresh from the wood burning pizza ovens. CaliforniaTravel CLAIRE MCCORMACK PHOTOGRAPHY-8427

Truly I loved my time in Healdsburg and the Sonoma region. I hated leaving the area- it would have been amazing to spend days strolling these town streets, enjoying every winery in that area. But with great memories, we headed to San Francisco!

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Our time in San Fran was spent enjoying truly great restaurants, amazing weather and good friends! We stayed in the Pac Heights neighborhood, in the middle of everything you could need! Thank you Jill & Brian for an incredible trip- every recommendation from you two, we loved! We kicked off our SF food adventure at Tartine Bakery. My dear friends at Village Baking Co. here in Dallas, rave about their food and coffee. It was certainly worth the run down there and the run back up the hill. Some of our other favorites were b.Patisserie for breakfast, Jane’s on Fillmore for coffee, The Grove for an incredible lunch- complete with an entire lodge feel to it’s decorations, and we walked down to the Marina neighborhood for dinner at this wonderful little Mediterranean spot called Terzo- with amazing tapa’s style food and great wine.

*** I should mention too that on this day, I had the great honor of photographing my dear friends- Jill and Brian- for their engagement. What a dreamy place to have an engagement photoshoot! You two- you know how dear you are to me! I cannot wait for your wedding this fall in Austin. Cheers to San Francisco and the beautiful weather we had- enjoy just one little sneak peek of their engagement photographs! Jill & Brian Engagements CLAIRE MCCORMACK PHOTOGRAPHY-8861

Back to food & travel … Saturday morning Ben and I decided to bike the city …  literally. Six hours and twenty seven miles later (don’t forget about the ridiculous San Francisco hills and the fact that we were on “city bike” in that 27 miles) we called it a day well spent. What a day it was- filled with sites, bites, scenes and memories we will cherish!CaliforniaTravel CLAIRE MCCORMACK PHOTOGRAPHY-8987

Some of my highlights :: Enjoying the Ferry Building Farmers Market (inside alone -the flowers, the ceramics, the coffee, the cheese- my mind was blown!) And then outside on the pier – the fresh vegetables, fish and food! Is there really anything better than a good farmer’s market?? And please, do yourself a huge favor and find Cap’n Mike’s Holy Smoked Salmon stand and order one of their open faced, smoked salmon toasts. Incredible. Really the whole day was incredible because we spent our day biking and eating. No apologies. From the Oakland bridge to the Golden Gate bridge, then from Sausalito to the top of the Presidio- we saw it all and ate nearly it all. In Sausalito, we stopped at the recommended Bar Bocce- a fabulous open aired bar and restaurant on the Sausalito bay overlooking the kayakers, boats and kids playing in the sand serving pizza, wine and great food- not to mention you can play bocce ball while sipping your champagne! We loved the day – the weather was 60 degrees and not a cloud in the sky! What a treat!

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And lastly, that evening, after biking and seeing the city (every bit of it) we walked down the street from our house and enjoyed a dinner at the beloved & highly praised State Bird Provisions. A dear, old friend was recently honored the position to move out to San Francisco and manage SBP, so it was a night to celebrate his work, the restaurant and the food! It was incredible- as expected and a great way to end our trip! If you’re traveling out to SF soon, do your best to book a reservation, and tell Ryan, I say hello :)

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Clearly, we had a wonderful time in California. It was a well loved trip, full of sweet memories and good food. If you’re going out that way anytime soon, you will not be disappointed with these selections. All came highly praised, and I’ll pass them all on as fabulous spots! Enjoy! Thanks for checking in!

xoxo. claire

Uchi Austin Featured on The Thrillist

April 9, 2014

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Happy to see this story featured on The Thrillist showcasing Austin’s 10 Best Grown Up Dishes that I was able to photograph … I agree that Uchi Austin makes a mean deconstructed Peanut Butter Semifreddo too! Enjoy the images and the full story!!
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Tanoshii Ramen + Bar || Spring Menu

April 8, 2014

Tanoshii Ramen + Bar is a great restaurant in Deep Ellum! In fact, it’s Dallas’s first dedicated ramen shop! I first featured them back in September of 2013 (to see that feature, click here!) when they opened. Well, they recently launched their new spring menu that I shot a few weeks ago!! Be sure to stop into the place to try their amazing food! But in the meantime, enjoy the images! Tanoshii CLAIRE MCCORMACK PHOTOGRAPHY-0184 Tanoshii CLAIRE MCCORMACK PHOTOGRAPHY-0211 Tanoshii CLAIRE MCCORMACK PHOTOGRAPHY-0372 Tanoshii CLAIRE MCCORMACK PHOTOGRAPHY-0407

USA Today Travel :: Press

March 17, 2014

Just a fun little day in the office when I heard that a photograph of mine landed in USA Today Travel. {To see the full article, click here} USA Today was featuring the Top Wine Destinations in the world and it was a fun day to see that my hometown of Fredericksburg, Texas was picked as one of their top 10 selections. It’s been great to watch the Texas Hill Country flourish with new wineries and growth in the last decade especially! The image selected for the feature was that of dear client, Otto’s German Bistro! The gang there at Otto’s truly knows how to do it right. If you’re in Fredericksburg for a little wine, bed & breakfast, shopping and dining in the near future, be sure to stop at Otto’s. The staff, the drinks and the food are all just incredible! Plus, enjoy the wines and enjoy this small press feature I wanted to share with my reader’s! Thank you all for your support, encouragement and I hope you continue to enjoy the work we produce!! XO.Claire

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One Small Blonde

March 14, 2014

Every now and then I get the chance to get out of the kitchen and photograph other subjects! A sweet friend from college, who is a fashion, lifestyle and beauty blogger, was the perfect opportunity. First of all, how stunning is Brooke of One Small Blonde? She makes my job very easy for our photoshoots! But she’s incredibly talented, thoughtful and a sweet friend as well. It’s always a pleasure to photograph and work with One Small Blonde for her blog posts and fashion features!

Plus, I love her featuring another client, designer and friend’s necklace - Jewelry by  Gresham!Be sure to take a look at both talented & local ladies! OneSmallBlond CLAIRE MCCORMACK PHOTOGRAPHY-0038

 Be sure to head over to her site, and in the meantime, enjoy these sneak peeks from our photoshoot! OneSmallBlond CLAIRE MCCORMACK PHOTOGRAPHY-0105 OneSmallBlond CLAIRE MCCORMACK PHOTOGRAPHY-0116OneSmallBlond CLAIRE MCCORMACK PHOTOGRAPHY-0051 OneSmallBlond CLAIRE MCCORMACK PHOTOGRAPHY-0088

Village Baking Co. || Spring Photoshoot

March 11, 2014

Y’all… you know how much I love this place. The warm, delicious smell meets you in the parking lot before you even walk into the little brick storefront. Village Baking Co. is every bit of the word “charming.” Charming in flavor of everything on the counter and in the windows; charming in simple decor & warmth; charming in expertise and origin; and charming in it’s staff and patrons alike.

Village Baking Co, Dallas, Claire McCormack Photography

In case you haven’t already calmly strolled over, wait, I mean sprinted to their doorstep. Please kindly go order one of everything for yourself (and anyone you love.) Village Baking Co. owned by Clint and Kim Cooper, started from a passion almost 10 years ago. Today it’s serving most of Dallas’s best loved restaurants their bread and croissants, while also maintaining the cutest, most friendly shop in the neighborhood. Their team of bakers and those greeting you at the counter are incredibly friendly, knowledgable and lovely. Everything about this place is lovely though.

Village Baking Co, Dallas, Claire McCormack Photography

Do yourself a favor and head over there STAT to taste items from their new spring menu. You’ll find everything from yellow peeps for Easter; to light & flavorful French meringue the size of Texas (great for you to take to a dinner party dessert); to incredibly delicious & handmade candied grapefruit pieces. I mean, stop right now. Enjoy this sneak peek of the new spring menu, but just go. Go and get your fill of french bread, granola, croissants, and everything in between! If you haven’t been to this Dallas establishment, you’re certainly missing out on a treat for your tastebuds!

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Village Baking Co. | 5531 E. University Blvd. | Dallas, TX 75206 | 214.951.9077 | www.villagebakingco.com

Daily Candy features “Things to Do in Texas, Y’all!”

March 4, 2014

My good friends at Daily Candy in New York City called a few weeks ago and asked me if I would photograph their Fashion Editor Jordan Blumberg as she traveled back to the South and explored her home state of Texas for a feature story. Any chance I get to work with Daily Candy, I love too! Enjoy this peek of Jordan’s favorites places in Texas starting off in Dallas, and going to San Antonio, Austin, her hometown of Seguin, and finishing in my hometown of Fredericksburg! We loaded her up with recommendations and photographed her around the city! Enjoy the images below be sure to check out the article yourself here!

A big thank you to Jordan and the Daily Candy team- it’s always a pleasure working with you all! Cheers!

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