A Farther Weekend: Chicago

3 min read
Mar 10, 2021

A Farther Weekend: Chicago

Travel is still but a dream for most of us, but a dark freezing winter or dreary spring in Chicago doesn't have to be gloomy. Make the most of your time at home while supporting local businesses with these ideas.


West Loop Fun

Check into The Publishing House for a cozy change of scenery. The boutique hotel has just 11 rooms, the perfect size for buyouts, including a large common area with a fireplace and piano. Each room is a literary celebration of the city, with décor inspired by different books set inChicago and copies of the books available in your room to read. Innkeeper Kimberly Lowery makes a mean breakfast each morning, like veggie frittatas served with Publican sourdough and homemade granola with fresh fruit and yogurt. She keeps the pantry stocked with freshly baked pastries as well if you're feeling snacky.


From The Publishing House, you're within walking distance of many of Chicago's best restaurants, like the Alpine yurt village at Swift & Sons. It's the most luxurious outdoor dining experience in the city this season in partnership with American Express and Resy. Each of the 10 tents(seating up to six people) was designed by Kehoe Designs with unique themes like “Future” and “Gatsby.” The $85 six-course prix-fixe menu by chefs Chris Pandel and Leigh Omilinsky includes tartiflette en croûte (basically a fancy puff pastry) filled with melted Reblochon cheese and leeks, buttery celery root agnolotti and a decadent ribeye and bone marrow entrée. Chicago winter comfort food with a side of wanderlust.


Serene Spa + Movie Night

Waldorf Astoria Chicago, with its elegant courtyard and stately service, has long been a bastion of discreet luxury in the bustling city. Even now, stepping inside evokes a sense of precious calm as you sip a Valrhona mocha from lobby coffee shop Petit Margauax and your bags are disinfected and whisked to your room. Book the Waldorf Winter Escape package for a room upgrade, valet parking, in-room movie credit, and a theater amenity of movie popcorn, candy and soda. At a time when we can't go to theaters, this is the next best thing. The spa is open Wednesday through Sunday for massages and body treatments like a warm lava shell massage or hammam-inspired coffee scrub and rhassoul clay wrap. The pool and fitness center are open daily by appointment too.


Home Sweet Home

If leaving home sounds stressful, don't fret. Plenty ofChicago food artisans will deliver treats to your door. West Town Bakery just started shipping their cult-favorite cake balls nationally, with new flavors like coconut toffee, rum raisin and Snickers. The bite-sized balls are made of crumbled cake mixed with frosting or icing, then rolled in nuts, sprinkles, candy or drizzled with chocolate. Plus, they're small enough that you won't feel guilty for indulging.

Lost Larson also offers both pick-up and delivery from Andersonville and Wicker Park locations. Pastry chef Bobby Schaffer worked at multiple Michelin-starred kitchens before opening thisSwedish bakery with his sister, paying homage to their Scandinavian roots with cardamom buns, cloudberry preserves and lingonberry almond cakes. Schaffermills all his own flour for bread and pastries and the tebirkes – a Danish specialty croissant covered in poppy seeds and stuffed with almond cream– is a must try.


Photo credit Joshua Haines for Publishing House photos.

Amber Gibson

Amber Gibson is a Farther ambassador who lives a pretty incredible life. Living out of hotels for 360 days per year, she has unconvenitonal goals that Farther is helping her reach. As a freelance journalist, she specializes in travel, food, wine and wellness. Her work has appeared in Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Robb Report, Departures, Hemispheres, Saveur and Architectural Digest. Champagne, dark chocolate and gelato are her biggest weaknesses.

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