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Travel Loot

Packing for a City Break? Don't Forget the Cheese Knife

by Phoebe Connell and Nora O'Malley

Packing for a City Break? Don't Forget the Cheese Knife

Cheese and fruit plate. Photo courtesy of Phoebe Connell and Nora O'Malley.

We asked Phoebe Connell and Nora O'Malley, the ladies behind adorable East Village wine bar Lois and specialty food product line Aida, to put together a shopping list for a weekend getaway — complete with wine selection and picnic accoutrements, of course.

Sparkling Chardonnay

Photo courtesy of Donkey & Goat.

Donkey & Goat's Lily's Pet Nat

This sparkling chardonnay is the perfect wine to sip by itself or with fresh produce. ($35)

La Cote Cheese Knife

Photo courtesy of La Côte Homeware Designs.

La Cote's Folding Cheese Knife

A great knife or folding knife: Perfect for picnics in the park, general utility, and cheese of all kinds. ($12-$40)


Photo courtesy by Daphne Zepos / Flickr.

L'amuse Gouda

A go-to cheese can be tough to find. This one is a hard, salty, nutty crowd-pleaser and a perfect pairing for any accoutrement and a midday park beer. ($18, half-pound)

Photo courtesy by Aida.

Aida Pepitas

A great purse carry-on and pantry staple. We came up with these seedy, sticky, sweet-and-crunchy pepitas to eat on the go or to add to salads, curries, and yogurt. ($10)

Photo courtesy by Aida.

Aida Sourdough Crackers

A great cracker for quick picnics and versatile snacking. Tangy and crunchy, these have essentially become a food group of our diet. They're that good. ($9)

 Utilitarian Tote

Photo courtesy by Enat.

Utilitarian Carry-All

Enat makes beautiful bags in Ethiopia from sustainable materials. Made in partnership with local entrepreneurs to ensure fair labor practices, the tote is all about utility and chic simplicity. ($128)

Tropical Drank Denim Jacket

Photo by Phoebe Conell and Nora O'Malley.

Tropical Drank Denim Jacket

Fall's coming. A trendy extra layer like a denim jacket will keep you warm. We're partial to this embroidered one for its extra flare. Nora even commissioned one with lyrics from her favorite Bruce Springsteen song. (Price varies)

Carhartt Beanie

Photo courtesy of Carhartt.

Carhartt Beanie

Hats, like jackets, are both no-nonsense and fashionable. While Carhartt has become a bit of a hipster go-to, they are universally utilitarian, comfy, warm, affordable, and come in an array of colors. ($10)

Jade Roller

Photo courtesy of GingerChi.

Jade Roller

Great for on-the-go de-puffing after serious travel or a serious night of drinking. We've been known to cool them off in a hotel ice bucket before applying to our faces. ($26)

Kiehls Face Wash

Photo courtesy of Kiehl's.

Kiehl's Blue Mineral Face Wash

A savior for stressed, sensitive skin. This is Phoebe's favorite for TLC on the road. ($22)

Moleskine Notebook

Photo courtesy of Moleskine.

Moleskine Notebook

A must! We each always have a Moleskine and a good pen (like the Seven Year Pen) in our bag to take quick notes about a recipe, wine notes, or to record something we simply can't forget. ($13)

Hydraulic Acid Serum

Photo courtesy of SkinCeuticals.

SkinCeuticals Hydraulic Acid Serum

This keeps skin hydrated and balanced while traveling, no matter what the weather. Nora is partial to SkinCeuticals H-5, but there's a serum to fit every price point. ($88)

Linen Waffle Towel

Photo courtesy of Shop Fog Linen.

Linen Waffle Towel

Phoebe discovered that these are ideal for traveling because they are fast-drying, light, and can be packed away or used as a shawl on chilly airplanes. ($10)


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Phoebe Connell and Nora O'Malley are friends and founders of Lois Wine Bar, NYC's wine-on-tap bar, and specialty foods line Aida. Have a tipple and taste at their place on Avenue C in NYC, or follow them on Instagram @loisbarnyc and @aida_eats. They travel for the inspiration and delicious food (and the wine that goes with it).


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