The Hedonist: Dallas

What to see and where to be seen

Since it was put firmly on the map by that TV series, Dallas has maintained a reputation for cowboy cool. Resolutely patriotic, Dallas residents keep their fingers firmly on the pulse while staying true to their roots – and I, for one, can't get enough of its sophisticated southern style.

Upon arrival, I check into the ridiculously hip W Dallas Victory Hotel (001 214 397 4100; WHotels.com/Dallas) on Victory Park Lane. With a horse-and-cowboy motif on the curtains in the lobby, the country bumpkin décor proves that even the trendiest places in this city can't help but add a Texan touch. After enjoying a few Texan-sized bellinis by the infinity pool, I join a few friends for lunch at the in-house eatery, Sammy's BBQ. Texans take their barbecues very seriously, and Sammy's doesn't disappoint. With buffet-style service and down-home atmosphere, this place is straight-up local territory. I quickly catch the eye of a tall one named Billy (what else?) and find myself saying yes to dinner that evening. I now understand what they mean by Southern charm.

With the largest urban arts district in the US, it is a real shame to visit Dallas and not squeeze in some of the culture. However, I'm in a hurry, so I head to the North Park mall for a slightly superficial take on modern art. This retail space has hosted works from Henry Moore, Andy Warhol and many others. But before I know it, the sales assistant in the Neiman Marcus department store (001 214 363 8311; neimanmarcus.com) is sending me on my way with more new pairs of shoes than is sensible. Surely Sue Ellen didn't carry her own bags?

Time for a pampering at The Spa at the Rosewood Crescent Hotel (001 214 871 3200; crescentcourt.com). The Crescent is city-chic at its best. Located in fashionable Uptown, it offers a perfect combination of traditional elegance and modern accessibility. The super-sized changing rooms in the spa should please even the most discerning oil heiress.

After that, I've got a craving for more of those Texan flavours, so the stunning Stephan Pyles restaurant (001 214 580 7000; stephenpyles.com) on Ross Avenue is just what I need. My date suggests the tamale tart with roast garlic custard and peekytoe crab. Chef Dean Fearing's restaurant in the Ritz Carlton (001 214 922 0200; ritzcarlton.com) on McKinney Avenue also does wonders of the state's increasingly glowing culinary reputation, with southwestern-inspired offerings like tortilla soup and buffalo tenderloin.

Ready to get our groove on, we head to the warehouse district of Deep Ellum to knock back a few beers. Notorious for its influence on the local punk music scene of the early 1980s, the spirit of the area still exists, with tattoo parlours and dive bars on every block.

After catching a great live gig, we head Downtown to new hotspot PM Nightlife Lounge (001 214 261 4501; pmnightlifelounge.com) on Main Street. With oversized chandeliers, animal-hide rugs and patent red leather cushions, the décor puts me in the mood to mingle and my attention soon strays to the bartender. A few frozen margaritas later, the rest of the night is history...

I wake up with a thumping headache to match the bass of last night's music. I can't remember what happened to the bartender or the cowboy, so I drag a friend/witness to brunch at the terrace of the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek (001 214 559 2100; mansiononturtlecreek.com). The hotel earns its name with seemingly effortless glamour. As I lounge beneath the oak trees and devour my huevos rancheros, I forget my hangover.

We gather enough strength for a stroll in the Dallas Arboretum (001 214 515 6500; dallasarboretum.org) on White Rock Lake. The gardens feature countless flowers that bloom all year round. And then, after grabbing a last bite at Sardinian restaurant Arcordoro & Pomodoro (001 214 871 1924; arcodoro.com) on Crescent Court, I am once more a fully functioning person. But I am so full from good eatin' I may need medical assistance to get me home. Dallas's motto is "Think Big": here size really does matter.

A Hedonist's Guide to... (Hg2) is a luxury city guide series for the more decadent traveller. For more information, see hg2.com

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Guru Careers: Events Coordinator / Junior Events Planner

    £24K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Events Coordinator ...

    Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: Chief Executive Officer

    Salary 42,000: Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: The CEO is responsible ...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - North London - Growing business

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...

    Day In a Page

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?