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Houston - Hotels, Restaurants, Bars and Galleries

1 May 2014

They say that everything is bigger in Texas, and Houston is no exception. The sprawling city covers more turf than some US states, and the diversity of places to go and things to do is proportional to its massive scale. Visitors to Texas’ largest city will find relaxed cowboy culture, alongside sophisticated, metropolitan cool. Houston’s bars and restaurants rank among America’s best, while its excellent museums mean there’s equal time for cultural pursuits as well as down-home relaxation.

Hotels

Hotel Sorella
Sleek enough to be in New York yet still definitively Texan, there are plenty of ways to beat the heat at Hotel Sorella. From walk-in showers to rooftop cabanas and infinity pools, luxury here has an aquatic element.
hotelsorella-citycentre.com

Hotel Granduca
Houston is far from the Mediterranean, but Hotel Granduca, modelled on an Italian villa, imparts a genuine feel of la bella vita. When you’ve had your fill of relaxing on a poolside chaise longue, its northern Italian restaurant might tempt you indoors.
granducahouston.com 

The Lancaster
Open since the 1920s, The Lancaster was once a Jazz Age mainstay. It’s still possible to imagine flappers shimmying in the Theatre District landmark, though spacious suites and renovated features ensure modern visitors are just as well looked after.
thelancaster.com 

Hotel ZaZa
Hotel ZaZa isn’t shy when it comes to interior design. Bold concept suites range from the SoHo Loft to the lunar Houston We Have a Problem, while a luxurious pool and spa round out an inventive array of boutique offerings.
hotelzaza.com

Restaurants

Oxheart
James Beard award-nominated chef Justin Yu is rumoured to be a vegetable whisperer, and under his hand humble legumes sing. Yet the modern American restaurant is still carnivore friendly serving plates such as roast sirloin with black tea.
oxhearthouston.com

The Pass And Provisions
Two restaurants in one, The Pass And Provisions are a prime destination for visiting foodies. While the latter is an accessible, anytime spot, the former specialises in playful combinations of ingredients such as uni with bone marrow and hamachi.
passandprovisions.com 

Underbelly
Underbelly’s aim is to “tell the story of Houston food”, but that narrative stretches beyond BBQ and Tex-Mex to accommodate thrilling Asian flourishes that reflect the city’s changing community. Plates such as Korean braised goat and dumplings capture the fusion ethos perfectly.
underbellyhouston.com

Brennan’s
A cousin of several New Orleans restaurants, Brennan’s provides a masterclass in Creole cooking. Going strong for four decades, it still serves classic regional plates, from shrimp remoulade to turtle soup, alongside a helping of southern hospitality.
brennanshouston.com

Bars

Anvil
A leader on the city’s cocktail revival scene, Anvil is, shall we say, enthusiastic about drinks. Take the 100-strong cocktail list as evidence of its fervour, though its friendly bar staff and appetising snacks make it comfortable for lounging, too.
anvilhouston.com

Captain Foxheart’s
Bad News Bar And Spirit Lodge Captain Foxheart’s perfectly exemplifies Houston’s curious mix of laidback cool and urban sophistication. At this wood-panelled speakeasy, the drinks are highbrow, but the outdoor patio scene is perfectly relaxed.
twitter.com/BadNewsBar 

Camerata
In a sea of beer and cocktail bars, Camerata steps up to the plate to represent the city’s wine scene. This cosy nook offers more than 100 bottles, while the menu even highlights wines best suited to the Houston weather.
pauliesrestaurant.com/camerata 

3rd Floor
On sunny Houston days when the humidity doesn’t level you, drinking and dining al fresco is as good as it gets. 3rd Floor, located on a terrace, is perfect for taking in skyline views while sipping American-made beers and wines.
3rdfloorhouston.com

Galleries

Museum Of Fine Arts, Houston
Not just Houston’s definitive stop for culture vultures but also one of the largest museums in the United States, the Museum Of Fine Arts houses more than 60,000 masterpieces that range from antiquity to modernity.
mfah.org 

Contemporary Arts Museum Houston 
Located in a sleek, stainless steel building in Houston’s Museum District, the Contemporary Arts Museum is celebrating its 65th anniversary this year. Come for its blockbuster temporary exhibitions – up to 10 are planned annually.
camh.org 

Pearl Fincher Museum Of Fine Arts
Those curious about Houston’s native art scene flock north to the Pearl Fincher Museum Of Fine Arts. While the museum displays work from diverse eras and cultures, many of its exhibitions highlight local Texan artists.
pearlmfa.org 

The Menil Collection
Housed in a Renzo Piano-designed structure that is itself a destination for visiting art lovers, the Menil Collection houses more than 15,000 works, including masterpieces by Max Ernst, Andy Warhol and René Magritte.
menil.org

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