If you’re looking for a European vacation that hasn’t been covered extensively by Instagram yet, I highly recommend a trip through Switzerland. Perfect for a honeymoon or a family occasion, Switzerland is a trip you can do basically any time of year, though it will look a lot different depending on when you go. Everything in Switzerland is more expensive from December to March, which is considered “the season”. However, if you go during this time, the Lake Como extension of the itinerary doesn’t really work, as many hotels there shut down in the winter. So if you still want to do a Northern Italy leg in winter, other options would be Milan or the Italian Alps for skiing.
I went on a mother-daughter trip in mid-October, so I have to make a disclaimer that some of this itinerary reflects mom-is-paying prices. But we’re not *that* fancy, so we tried to go a step up from a millennial budget and a step down from the most expensive options. One caveat is that the food in Switzerland is pretty expensive in general, and we had very few meals that were under 100 dollars once drinks were involved (every meal).
Switzerland is pretty small so it’s easy to fit in a few cities in one trip. Driving wasn’t horrible, although some of the cliffside roads can be a bit windy and intimidating if you’re not a great driver.
We organized the trip so we could stay everywhere two nights, giving us a day of travel where we would stop and see cool sh*t along the way (never more than a four-hour distance in one day), and then spend one full day without traveling in the place we were staying. I would characterize a Switzerland trip as mostly walking around looking at sh*t and eating, so it’s not like you need a ton of time everywhere unless you purposely want to settle down and relax for a more lengthy stay.
We flew direct into Zürich and rented a car without spending any time there, but these are some recommendations I was sent in case you want to vary this itinerary.
Activities: Lindenhof Park, boat ride on the lake, walk along the Bahnhofstrasse (shopping street), Great Minster Church, Sukkulenten Sammlung (botanical garden), try Rosti (a Swiss potato dish which is kind of like potato pancakes and hash browns combined); go to rooftop bars (Widder Hotel Bar, OOO Rooftop, Old Crow, CLOUDS Bar, Skybar, Griederbar rooftop, Quai 61) and Laderach (for homemade chocolate).
Restaurants: Brasserie Lipp (classic), Sprungli (also a chocolate place; expensive), Klingers, Caninetta Antinori, Bindella, Kronnenhalle (old school and famous), Lindenhofkeller (steak), Saltz at the Dolder Grande, AuGust at the Widder Hotel
We spent two nights in Lucerne and stayed at Chateau Gutsch, a castle built in 1859. For such an old building they take great care of it, and even though our original room had kind of a musty smell, they upgraded us to a suite that was really nice and smelled totally fine. The hotel was extremely clean and was recently redesigned by Martyn Lawrence Bullard, who also designed Kylie Jenner’s living room.
When we got to Lucerne, we were pretty tired from traveling so, for dinner we just had drinks and appetizers at the Gutsch Bar outside on the patio overlooking the city. Not cheap, but a nice atmosphere and they had a huge cocktail menu.
We spent the next day exploring the city, walking around the Old Town mostly and along Lake Lucerne. There are a ton of cute places to eat along the river; we went for fondue at Restaurant Schiff which was great (plus other options below). The city is very pretty and you can easily get a feel from walking around for an afternoon. See the Chapel Bridge, a hyped up statue of a lion (kind of an icon in Lucerne tbh), and a lot of stores that sell watches.
Other hotel options: If you’re looking to splurge on a hotel for Lucerne, the most consistent recommendation I got was for Buergenstock Resort, which is actually several hotels on one property and slightly above/outside the city, meaning amazing views; also Villa Honegg (next door to Buergenstock), Hotel Montana (city), Grand Hotel National (city), Park Hotel Vitznau (outside city).
The next day we drove from Lucerne to Adelboden. On the way we stopped at Lake Lungern for literally the most gorgeous lake I’ve ever seen, both in real life and on the explore page.
We also stopped in Interlaken (approximately an hour from Lake Lungern) because we heard there was a cute chocolate shop we had to go to…and also because we wanted to check out what the town was like. I wasn’t particularly obsessed with the town but the chocolate shop (Funky Chocolate Club) was the world’s most perfect abroad-girl trap.
Adelboden is a low-key tiny town with incredible views, so the main draws are the mountains and outdoor activities. It’s a ski town in the winter with schnitzel-y vibes. We stayed at The Cambrian, an adorable, modern hotel that wasn’t insanely priced, which the owner claims “really took off due to Instagram.” Overall, I’d highly recommend this hotel.
When we got there, we spent some time at the pool before dinner at Alpenblick Restaurant and then spent the rest of our night sitting on the deck at the Cambrian having drinks.
The next day, we had reserved outdoor activities and hiking (aka leisurely walking). We took the cable car up Tschentenalp (one of the Alps) for some even more incredible views. Then we drove about 10 minutes to Engstligenalp, an even higher Alp. They have golf and restaurants at the top of the mountain, as well as a hut with raclette, a food where you watch someone put a ton of melted cheese on top of bread and vegetables and then eat it. Different from fondue where you dip the things into the cheese.
Crans-Montana was sort of similar to Adelboden but felt a bit more ritzy, while still not at all pretentious. It’s also in a more French area of Switzerland, while Adelboden is more German influenced. Don’t I sound like I know what I’m talking about?
We stayed at LeCrans Hotel and Spa, which was literally a perfect mountain hotel with lodge vibes. It’s ski-in/ski-out in the winter and we’re already planning another trip back there. Not #spon, just loved it. The service was unreal and they gave us a double room upgrade so we ended up with a large balcony and fireplace in the room.
For dinner our first night we ate at the restaurant in the hotel, Le Mont Blanc, which had a ridiculous tasting menu of foods I can’t even name. It’s Michelin-starred so it wasn’t cheap, but the overall price was relatively lower than many of the other restaurants we went to given what we got for the price. This is how I justify financial decisions to myself.
The next day I decided to chill at the hotel and go to the spa and pool, while my mom went into town for the day. We had dinner at La Desalpe, the classic spot in Crans village for traditional Swiss food. So good, so much cheese.
The next day we took a four hour drive from Crans to Lake Como. We drove through Passo Della Novena right on the Swiss border and finally got to see some snow. We didn’t realize we’d be driving through this climate surprise but it was so incredible and truly a highlight of the trip. Also, they do amazing snow maintenance on their roads.
On the way, we stopped at the Foxtown Outlets in Mendrisio, very close to the Italian border. It had amazing designers with genuinely worthwhile discounts. Like Gucci shoes for 200 dollars, plus you can claim the VAT, so I basically made money on this trip.
**An option if you want to continue in Switzerland and skip Lake Como would be to drive to Montreaux, a small city that’s famous for having a music festival and a castle on Lake Geneva. So, we spent an hour exploring the Chateau de Chillon for 25 Swiss francs pp (yes they are on their own currency because these neutral bitches are not in the EU). The castle basically looks like Kings Landing, at least according to the fellow tourist who kept screaming “GAME OF THRONES!” In addition to Montreaux, an alternative would be to visit the town of Gruyeres and do a tour of Maison Cailler, a v famous chocolate factory.
We were only there for one full day, but it was enough time for a fall trip when the weather isn’t great for lake lyfe. We stayed at the Palace Hotel in Como, which was a good price even with the George Clooney Tax, aka the premium for being anywhere your phone will pick up the Lake Como geotag. It wasn’t especially lux, but totally nice enough for the time we spent there. However, if you go in the summer and want a longer and more relaxing vaca, this is a destination where a hotel would be worth a splurge or total wipe-out of your Chase points.
We got to the hotel pretty late with post-outlet fatigue, so we had dinner outside at the hotel bar. The food was okay but still tasted amazing since we had pretty much only been eating squares of chocolate since breakfast. Had we not spent almost five hours at Foxtown (45 minutes of which we were just lost inside the mall trying to find the parking lot), we would have gone to the town of Bellagio to walk around and have dinner (recommendations for various Como towns below).
The next morning we woke up late and went to Villa d’Este, an iconic spot worth exploring because it’s gorgeous, but beware the pretentious vibes and excessive botox from the clientele. To get into the villa you need a reservation, so we made one for lunch at Veranda. The food was so f*cking good, but if you don’t want to spend 45 euro on 30 bites of penne, you can just as easily eat at the terrace bar (but still make a reservation at Veranda just in case so you can get in). We explored the gardens for about a half hour after lunch and waited for the boat tour we had arranged to pick us up at the Villa d’Este dock.
Boat ride: We were expecting it to rain the day we were there, but luckily it didn’t so we booked a last-minute boat tour. Having done no research prior, I just googled a boat tour and found a great guide through Lago di Como Boat Tour. The driver’s name was Giacomo, who was extremely nice and knowledgeable about everything on the lake, and also said he drove John Legend to film the “All Of Me” video. It cost 400 euro for two hours, though it’s completely possible you might find something cheaper if you don’t book totally at the last second and you actually put in the research. Many of the hotels on the lake also have boats you can take yourself included in the price.
Villa Balbianello: 16th century villa where Star Wars was filmed with gorgeous gardens. Costs 10 euro to tour the gardens only, or you have to book a guided tour to go inside. We just looked at it from the boat.
Villa Carlotta: Another villa with beautiful gardens, next to the Grand Hotel Tremezzo
After dinner we took the windy, very skinny roads up the mountain looking for dinner but nothing was open until 7, so we went to La Piazzetta in Cernobbio (v good, cute garden area). After dinner we stopped at Gelateria Sottozero for our one and only gelato of the trip. It was standard but amazing, though if you’re looking for “the best” gelato, I was recommended La Fabbrica del Gelato in Lenno.
Locanda Dell’Isola Comacina: a three-hour lunch experience on the only island in the lake; fixed menu with all-you-can-drink wine and they put on a show about the history of the island at the end
Transportation: If not driving, the best way to experience Lake Como is on the lake itself and to take the ferry between different towns. They only run every 30 minutes and be sure to get there early in case there are lines to buy tickets.
We flew out of Milan Malpensa. This is only worth the mention because if you rent a car, it would be criminal of me not to explain how to return it. There is no attendant, so you just leave it at Terminal 2 in a poorly-marked lot (which is impossible to find), then drop your documents and keys in a box nearby. Sounds simple, right? Well, no one is going to explain this to you beforehand. Then you have to take a shuttle bus (also hard to find) from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1, where you’ll be greeted with some of the longest airport walks you’ve ever known. Bon voyage, betches.
Season 7 of Vanderpump Rules airs Monday at 9pm, an event I’ve been anticipating with a fervor my boyfriend some have described as “chilling.” I can’t help it. As a latecomer to the series, this was the first season I could spy on via the cast’s Instagram. As such, there a lot of drama that I’m excited for. Brittany and Lala’s engagements, the launch of Kristen’s T-shirt line, and the 20-30 meltdowns I anticipate Ariana having over her still-unreleased cocktail book, to name a few. But most of all, I’m excited to watch Stassi Schroeder with her new boyfriend, Beau Clark. I’ve been stalking the living sh*t out of their relationship, and they are goals in every sense of the word. So you don’t go into season 7 totally uninformed, I’ve compiled a list of what we know about Beau Clark. Let’s dig in.
In a February episode of Straight Up with Stassi, Stassi revealed that she and Beau began dating in August 2017. They were introduced by Katie and Kristen, an opening that seems dicey until you realize the still-married Katie and Schwartz were introduced by Kristen too. Hey, maybe she has a career as a matchmaker if the T-shirt line doesn’t take off. As a reminder, Stassi’s breakup with professional sh*thead Patrick Meagher was also right around that time.
Broken up with on our anniversary after I planned a trip for us to Mexico. Call me Carrie Bradshaw. @rachaelnobrien you're coming w me now.
— Stassi Schroeder (@stassi) August 12, 2017
Don’t we all miss Patrick, guys??? JK, and I’m psyched that Beau apparently made an appearance no more than two weeks later. As a little background on Beau himself: he works in commercial casting, lives in LA, and loves the Rams (it’s a football team, I had to look it up), country music, and dogs. Here is his Instagram. On the podcast, Beau says he was reluctant to meet Stassi at first after looking through her Instagram. The bleach blonde, Botox, bottle service look was apparently not for him—but on their first meeting, they “closed down the Mondrian talking.” He’d never “laughed as hard ever with anybody,” and all around it sounds like a fairytale first date.
Flash forward six or so months and Stassi, understandably reluctant to put another relationship in the public eye, goes IG official with Beau. She posted a series of stories documenting the Valentine’s Day he set up for her. As proof that the man knows who he’s dating and how to make her happy, decorations included “dead people gloves,” handcuffs, creepy clown posters, and plenty of images of hearts being stabbed with knives. Plus, a special Valentine’s edition of their couple’s OOTD. Anyone else’s Valentine’s Day suddenly feeling totally lame in comparison? Yeah, same.
Stassi’s debut couples post:
Their Shared Life
Since then, it seems like it’s been pretty smooth sailing for the couple. At the Vanderpump Dogs Gala this past week, Stassi and Beau gushed about how happy they were, admitting that marriage is “on their minds.” While Beau had some initial reluctance to appearing on-screen for season 7 (he’d never seen VPR before he and Stassi started dating), it seems like filming went well. Notably, Beau has bonded hard with the whole Vanderpump crew, so much so that Stassi insisted they were no longer “ best friends.” “Now, they’re our best friends,” she shamelessly brags. If that isn’t the f*cking dream (never putting up with any of your boyfriend’s friends again because you both mutually agree on the 4-6 most fun people to hang out with), I don’t know what is.
Here’s their latest double date night (dogs in tow):
While I can’t find any solid proof they live together, I’d largely assumed they do from her Instagram. It’s pretty much a 24/7 reel of them eating Taco Bell, lounging on the couch with their two dogs, pulling elaborate pranks on each other and filming it, or getting ready for double dates with their friends. (Most often, actually, Brittany and Jax, which I find surprising.) Though I think the two dogs belong to Stassi, Beau appears to be a dedicated dog dad. And Stassi, for her part, now has plenty of personalized Rams gear and accompanies him to games. Seems like one of them is making the bigger sacrifice there, but he also basically became a Bravo star for her so it’s fine.
Here’s the Rams gear I mentioned:
And here’s a peek at their freakin’ cute home life:
In addition to living a disgustingly adorable life at home, the couple has taken a few extremely sick European vacations. Here they are in Berlin and Paris this November:
Here they are being disgustingly cute in Italy in May:
And while these trips are enviable in their own right, they also seem to be an opportunity to hang out with Beau’s sister, Georgia, who—from what I can tell—lives there. The couple has annoyingly only documented their hangouts on their stories (and her IG account is private), but from what I saw, Stassi fit right in with the fam. Also, they’ve been a fabulous opportunity for Beau to up his Instagram-boyfriend game:
BRB, forwarding this link to my boyfriend with the caption “take notes.”
Ultimately, watching Beau and Stassi’s relationship on social media has been an absolute joy. They seem to share each other’s sense of humor, even while his laidback demeanor provides a slight contrast to the high-strung sh*t-stirring side of Stassi we all know and love. I’m no Us Weekly body language decoder, but they’re positively radiating joy in every photo together. Plus, over the course of their relationship, Stassi has invented a holiday, come out with a Witches of WeHo Pinot Grigio, written a book, and risen to 1.4 million followers on Instagram. Not only are they (seemingly) gloriously happy, they’re pushing each other to be the best versions of themselves. So, so happy for you Stassi—and can’t wait to see this all unfold, starting MONDAY!!!
Images: Twitter; Instagram; Instagram
In all the news of celebrities getting engaged after .25 seconds of dating, you might have missed that Leonardo DiCaprio has a new girlfriend. And yes, before you even ask, she is a model. She and Leo DiCaprio have actually been dating for almost a year now, so we decided that it was finally time to do a little investigating and actually get to know this lucky b*tch. Her name is Camila Morrone, and before you go typing who is Camila Morrone into Google, we did some digging. We discovered everything there is to know about the stunning 21-year-old, so you don’t have to do your own research. You’re welcome.
#LeonardoDiCaprio y #CamilaMorrone, enamorados en #SaintTropez: paseo en yate y lomazo https://t.co/dP7vJjhyZX #fielinks
— mabgia (@mabgia) July 30, 2018
Who Is Camila Morrone?
Needless to say, Camila Morrone is an actress and model. She’s obviously gorgeous and slightly age-inappropriate for the 43-year-old Leo, but at least she can legally drink. Camila is starring in campaigns for Topshop, Desigual, and Ay Not Dead jeans. Naturally, she’s besties with some other famous models like Hailey Baldwin, Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Kaia Gerber, to name a few. So basically, she’s not that different from Leo’s other model ex-girlfriends.
Morrone is currently making the segue from model to actress (eye roll). Even though she never took an acting class in her life, she was cast in the action movie Death Wish starring Bruce Willis and made her starring debut in the comedy-drama Never Goin’ Back alongside Maia Mitchell, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. I haven’t seen either movie, so I can’t determine if she’s any good at acting, but hopefully she’s better than Cara Delevingne.
Who Is Her Family?
This is not Camila Morrone’s first brush with Hollywood royalty. Her mom, Lucila Solá, is a former model and romantically linked to an actor you may have heard of… Al Pacino. In fact, Pacino is credited with introducing Morrone to DiCaprio. The guys my parents’ friends introduce me to are all ugly with emotional intimacy issues, so I’m impressed with Al for this. Camila’s dad was also a model, starring in ad campaigns for Dolce and Gabbana in the 90s, which explains her perfect appearance. Is it too late for me to get adopted by them, and will it make me better looking by association?
When Did Camila Morrone Start Dating Leonardo DiCaprio?
The two were first reported as romantically linked when Leo was spotted leaving her house in mid December. I know, you’ve been out of the loop for a long time! It’s okay, we all are. After that, Camila and Leo spent the holidays together in Aspen and were seen getting off his private plane together in LA. The following month, they were together again, celebrating Ellen Degeneres’ birthday. This summer they’ve been spending time together on a yacht in the South of France and around the Italian Riviera, sometimes with her mom, which is the only possible buzzkill we could find in this whole scenario.
Is There A Future?
I mean, who really knows. On the one hand, just yesterday, Camila and Leo were spotted snorkeling together in Italy. On the other hand, this is Leo DiCaprio. The dude goes through ex-girlfriends like I go through shampoo. I would honestly be shocked if Camila was Leo’s last much younger gorgeous girlfriend. But then again, given what’s been going on in Hollywood lately, maybe they’ll get engaged two days from now. It’s anybody’s guess.
Images: camilamorrone / Instagram