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Wednesday was my last day in Austin, so I made the most of it. I spent the morning working from one of Austin’s newest hotels, Hotel van Zandt. Between their lobby (left) and the coffee shop, Café 605 (bottom right), I was in design heaven. It’s a great blend of super fancy yet relaxed.

On my way to a panel, I stopped by the World’s Longest Cheese Board, presented by Wisconsin. It was so cool! They were sampling more than 100 cheeses made by 50 cheese makers from Wisconsin. Even better, they had a full bloody Mary bar, crackers, and veggies.

It was so fun to try all the cheeses – ones I had heard of and ones I hadn’t. There were spreads, curds, cave aged, and everything in between. The best part was the little insulated backpacks they gave you to bring cheese along to your next panel.

Later in the day, I headed out for dinner at Guild. I had heard about from a local food blogger earlier in the week. It did not disappoint. At first I was a little bummed that the only reservation was at 5:30, but it turned out perfect. The restaurant was empty when I got there, so the staff was extra attentive and friendly – and the lighting was perfect. I started off with the ceviche in cucumber & Thai lime soup with morita chili and avocado. It was on par with the ceviche I’ve had in Costa Rica – fresh and amazing.

I also picked the coconut prawns and gnocchi parisienne. When it came I was a little freaked out because I hate olives, but it was so delicious that I didn’t mind picking them off. The gnocchi was particularly amazing, every bite melted in my mouth.

Because I went light on the meal, I had plenty of room for an incredible dessert. (Also, whenever I see a pastry chef listed on the menu, I try to save a little room.) I went with my waitress’ suggestion of the Crème Plombieres Gianduja with blackberry ice cream, hazelnuts, and whey caramel.

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