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; 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; 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; 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; 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; 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; 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; 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; 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; 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

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

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

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

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Supervisor

    £24800 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As one of London's leading Muse...

    Recruitment Genius: Centre Manager

    £14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Guru Careers: Accountant

    £28 - 45k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Accountant is needed to take control of the ...

    Day In a Page

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before