Monday, October 21, 2013

What is better Mike's Pastry or Modern Pastry in North End Boston

If you are like the staff at Boston boutique hotel, then you will love the pastry shops in Boston's own Little Italy, the North End. If you visit the North End, you will be told one of two places to indulge your sweet tooth, either Mike's Pastry or Modern Pastry. Almost everyone you speak to in Boston will have their personal favorite shop. Here is some information about each pastry shop, so that you can choose the best place for yourself, the next time you are taking the Boston Freedom Trail through the North End!

Let's start with Mike's Pastry. This bakery was opened on Hanover Street in 1946 by a man named Michael Mercogliano. Since its opening, Mike's Pastry has become renowned for its delicious cannolis and other scrumptious treats. All the treats at Mike's Pastry will look enticing, but if you are only going once, we recommend trying their Chocolate Chip Cannoli! However, be prepared to wait for your cannoli if you go to Mike's Pastry, because there is almost always has a decent size crowd and line out the door. Also bring your old fashion dollar bills, this is a cash only establishment, which can be very common in the North End.

Now for Modern Pastry. This quaint bakery is smaller than Mike's Pastry and does not have as wide of a selection. Do not let the small size deter you from trying out a cannoli from here though! One major benefit of Modern Pastry is that they fill your cannolis right in front of you! You get the option of choosing which cannoli pastry casing you would like. The shell is then taken to the kitchen to be pumped full of ricotta, and  handed  back to you fresh. By doing this, the crust stays crispy and dry, and stands up to the creamy filling. If you think you will desire a more personalized dessert experience, then choose to visit Modern Pastry.

While Mike's Pastry is a bit more commercial, it has an impressive selection of decadent pastries. Modern Pastry, is more personalized in their service and does not normally have an excessively long line. Our suggestion is, Indulge! Especially if you are traveling with someone else, you should try out both of these famous pastry shops and share your treats! If you would like more information about things to do in the North End consider looking at Clarendon Square's suggestions like the North End Culinary Tour.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Five things you may not know about The South End Boston

Clarendon Square Boston Bed and Breakfast is located in one of Boston's most stylish and thriving neighborhoods - The South End. Guests of the Inn are often amazed at the distinct charm, character and offerings that the neighborhood treats them to. The location of the Inn offers guests a prestine gateway to all Boston has to offer. From the diverse and lavish cuisine found on "Boston Restaurant Row" to the talented artists and their flourishing galleries, the South End offers a gateway to a more sophisticated side of Boston. Though it has become one of Boston's most sought after locations to live in, dine in and visit, there are still a few lesser known things about the South End.

  1. Boston College was originally founded on James Street in the South End in 1863. It later moved to its current Chestnut Hill location to accommodate rapid expansion.
  2. The neighborhood is home to a series of 11 residential parks, many of which boast a central fountain, cast iron fencing and are elliptical in shape.
  3. Most of the cross streets in the South End - including Clarendon Square's Bed and Breakfast location on West Brookline Street - are named after cities that were serviced by either the Boston and Providence Railroad or the Boston and Albany Railroad.
  4. The first settlement houses in Boston were founded in the neighborhood. They included the South End House, Haley House, Lincoln House, the Harriet Tubman House and the Children's Art Center. At present, they are the United South End Settlements.
  5. The South End was built on a formal tidal marsh, which was filled in as a small part of the larger Back Bay project.

The South End is truly in the center of Boston. With beautifully preserved Victorian architecture, lush tree lined, brick and cobblestone streets, the neighborhood offers a quiet reprieve from the hustle and bustle of downtown. We recommend anyone traveling to the area spend time in this historic, hip and beautiful neighborhood.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

3 Place to see John Singer Sargent in Boston, New MFA Exhibit!

The New York Times says "Prepare for bedazzlement," and are Boston bed and breakfast definitely agrees. Anyone who has seen the work of renowned American artist, John Singer Sargent can expect an amazing collection of his work at the Museum of Fine Art's newest, upcoming exhibit John Singer Sargent Watercolors, MFA. Mark your calendar for October 13th, the best thing to do in Boston, when this exhibit will open a 13 week run. During that time the MFA will present over 90 of Sargent’s watercolors thanks to exhibition co-organizer, the Brooklyn Museum, which along with the MFA is one of the largest holders of Sargent watercolors. This is also an important occasion for the MFA & Sargent as this exhibit will mark one century of Sargent watercolors at the MFA.  We are told the exhibit highlights some of Sargent's most magnificent works produced between 1902 & 1911at the height of his career.

Boston Public Library, John Singer Sargent Murals
If you are too eager to wait for the opening of this highly anticipated exhibit consider these two other locations that will satisfy your Sargent desires. First, we must recommend the Boston Public Library. Here you will find an impressive collection of murals by John Singer Sargent. His master piece titled the Triumph of Religion is a true highlight of our city's beloved library. His murals were quite avant-garde for the time and multimedia in nature, employing concepts of relief, papier mache, painting and inset glass. His murals depict his interpretation of the Enlightenment and its effects on religion and its place in society. The Boston Public Library is conveniently located to our bed and breakfast and many of the back bay hotels. Check the Boston Public Library site for visiting hours of these murals.

El Jaleo at the Isabella Stewart Garnder Museum

Another Place to see John Singer Sargent, before the special exhibit, is actually just around the corner from the MFA at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Here you will see Mrs. Gardner had really been taken with Sargent's artistry as she has what seems like an endless supply of Sargent paintings. If you do visit the Gardner Museum be sure to look for the portrait John Singer Sargent did of Isabella Stewart Gardner, as it was said to be quite a controversial depiction of a lady in 1888. However, it is the El Jaleo which is a real show stopper at 12 feet wide. The movement evoked from this painting is said to eliminate any barrier between the viewer and the artist in this appropriately theatrical depiction of Spanish Dance. What will your favorite Sargent painting at the Gardner Museum be?

At Clarendon Square Boston Bed and Breakfast, we always have great tips and ideas on things to do in Boston. This is especially important as we all eagerly await this fantastic new exhibit. Though the crowds will certainly flock to see Museum of Fines Arts in the initial weeks, we are sure you can find a quite week day in the middle of the exhibition of a quiet and relaxing visit to the MFA and perhaps even our bed and breakfast.