It’s a strange sensation when the excitement of travelling to Miami is scotched by knowing that you’re heading into Little Cuba to stand in an exhibition centre for 5 days. Under the cold air conditioning and bright lights; in a pair of Oxford Brogues, which truth be told are not too comfortable when you’re in them for 10 hours a day, knowing full well that on the other side of a concrete wall is the 32 degrees hustle and bustle of Miami. Well I say hustle and bustle, what I really mean is the relaxing and sunbathing on Miami Beach; sipping on a giant margarita on Lincoln Road and yes (it really happens) watching the occasional beach goer, roller-skating along the ‘sidewalk’.
However, It was business not the beach that had brought us to Miami. The well renowned European interior design show, Maison et Objet, decided to put on its inaugural exhibition in America and chose Miami as the perfect venue for this event. A mixture of European businesses, Asian and American, came together for the show. Items on display ranged from beautiful crystal decanters, the finest linen, handmade furniture to, of course, our luxury board games. It was safe to say, you really could select the furnishings for a whole house in one visit to the exhibition.
After 5 days, depleted of business cards and catalogues but with a notepad bursting with new contacts from designers, luxury stores and private individuals, the trip was deemed a great success. The show came to a close and after a gruelling pack down the exhibition was over, the reward for all the hard work during the week was to come – a free day in Miami.
What to do in Miami, if you only have one day to spend? Simple answer, I went straight to the beautiful beach. A great way to start the day – taking a swim in the fantastic warm blue water. I spent the morning there, lounging with an enthralling book and the occasional dip in the sea to keep cool. Just before lunchtime I took to a hugely touristy, open top city tour bus – in my opinion, there is no better way to see a city than by an open top bus, that is if the sun is shining and it certainly shines in Florida. Utilising the hop on hop off bus, I found a tiny Cuban restaurant down a narrow little alleyway and had the best Cuban meal of my life. I knew I was in for an authentic meal when the waitresses only spoke Spanish and I didn’t have to order anything, food just began to appear at my table. I have no idea what I ate, but I can tell you it was fantastic! I ended my sightseeing on a more serious note, with a poignant visit to the Holocaust memorial.
That evening, I soaked up the atmosphere of Lincoln Road along with a couple of margaritas (would have been rude not to!) before jumping in a cab to the airport for my return journey back to the UK.
I had a great time in Miami and I am glad I got to experience the fun and sun, even for just one day – the good news is, looks like I’ll be back again next year, so keep the margaritas on ice and I’ll bring my roller-skates!