Every December we find ourselves in Miami, showcasing the best collectible South African design at Design Miami. It’s a highlight on our calendar and the most invigorating way to end off our year. We always stay at the Miami Beach Resort and Spa. It’s right on South Beach, and is one of the more affordable
hotels for South African travellers. I love its faded marble and grandiose chandeliered foyer — true Miami glory.  

If you have the budget, stay at The Standard, which is really more of a spa with rooms than anything else. It’s just a few steps away from the action of South Beach, but with its tranquil terraces and tropical gardens you feel worlds
away and can really relax.

Trevyn McGowan (far right) and friends
Trevyn McGowan (far right) and friends

Every morning starts off with a dip in the ocean. I’ve never seen blue waters like it. The temperature is perfect, and it’s a great wake-up call for a jam-packed day. Then it’s  a walk along the palm tree-lined boardwalk, where we often stop to get a ripe coconut, punched for a refreshing coconut-water drink on the go. This is en route to poolside at The Delano, a beautiful Deco hotel on the beachfront, to check emails. I alternate this with the tranquil courtyard garden
setting of Cecconi’s at Soho Beach House. I can never resist the tantalising choice of fresh juices, while secretly getting my fix of  extreme people-watching (Miami’s hotels are the best place to do this).

Soho House pool
Soho House pool

Shopping here is always a treat for me, with places such as 11 11 Lincoln, the Herzog and De Meuron car park that is famous for being the most beautiful parking arcade, as well as a destination for high-end designer shops. Y3 is my favourite store there, a collaboration between edgy Japanese designer Yohji
Yamamoto and Adidas.

Cecconi’s at Soho House
Cecconi’s at Soho House

This is the place to buy sneakers. Dylan’s Candy Bar is  a short walk down Lincoln Road. Because I have five kids, this is a firm fixture on the shopping calendar! It’s a whimsical, Willy Wonka-type environment. The uber-cool
Wynwood neighbourhood, full of galleries, museums, studios, bars, and quirky
little shops, is a must-visit on each trip. I love finding unique stationery gems at
Wynwood Letterpress. For high-end French fashion Maison Margiela and Marni
in the Miami Design District are my favourites. I’m a huge fan of their dynamic and conceptual aesthetic.

Street art in Wynwood
Street art in Wynwood

While in the Miami Design District, I check out as many exhibitions as I can fit into a day — there is always something new and inspiring happening. The entire area is dedicated to innovative design, fashion, and architecture, so its great place to get a feel for the latest trends.

Y3
Y3

After all this walking around, I’m bound to be ready to feast at one of the incredible eateries Miami has to offer. For a quick lunch stop, I love the fresh salads and hearty sandwiches in the outside courtyard at Michael’s Genuine in the Design District. For dinners, we are always spoilt for choice. One of my
favourites is Tamarina, focused on coastal Italian cuisine. The bar is the perfect spot for the first drink of the night, followed by dishes that are plated with such delicious attention to detail, and a real respect for natural flavours of the ocean.

Tamarina
Tamarina

We opt for The Dutch when in the mood for contemporary American food, delicious cocktails, and a fun place to hang out, or Yardbird for modern Southern fare and a relaxed and authentic atmosphere (sitting outside is the way to dine here). For the most hospitable feast, Mandolin Aegean Bistro is our
stop. The lamb chops are out of this world and dining à la Greek in the open courtyard really makes you feel as if you’re on holiday (even when you’re not!).

 Design District
Design District

There are bars aplenty in this really fun, late-night city, but our favourite is Soho House over this time of year, when there is a tent erected on the beach, decked with Persian carpets, armchairs, and settees, and serving bespoke cocktails, while the most vibey DJ keeps us partying until the early hours of the morning. 
You can choose to mingle with the who’s who inside the tent, or enjoy your drink on the beach sand, ending off the day with the sound of rolling waves by moonlight.

Soho House
Soho House
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