Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Where To Go Holiday Shopping In Boston

There is no better place to get your loved ones holiday gifts than Boston! With so many different shopping districts it is difficult to know where to begin, but we have compiled a list of the best three spots to go holiday shopping in Boston.

Prudential Center and Copley Square
First on our list is the Prudential Center and Copley Square Mall. With two malls connected by a beautiful glass skywalk, you won't be able to find more shops in one area. Located downtown in Back Bay, these two malls have just about any store you can imagine. Known to locals as "The Pru", it holds many big name retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor, Vineyard Vines, and Barnes and Noble. If you are looking to splurge, Copley Square has many upscale stores that may hold the perfect gift. These include brands such as Tiffany's, Louis Vuitton, Barneys, and many more. Aside from the malls being decorated for the holiday season, there are also pictures with Santa everyday, and complimentary personal shopping services in Copley Square. With such holiday spirit and countless stores, you will surely find what you are looking for here!

Faneuil Hall Faneuil Hall is next on our list, and it is by far the location with the most personality. With shops from boutiques to big commercial stores, there is a little bit of everything at Faneuil Hall! This is the jackpot for Boston branded gifts, as well as sweet treats to top off any gift. The entire marketplace is decorated with holiday lights thanks to the Blink! Light and Sound Extravaganza. If you want a little entertainment to break up your shopping, there are also talented street performers everywhere in the open air market. 

Newbury StreetLast but certainly not least, is the infamous Newbury Street. Newbury Street has always been the place to shop in the city, and lives up to its reputation by holding some of the most popular upscale stores. Just a few of these names are Valentino, Chanel, Vera Wang, Burberry, and Armani. If you are looking to be a little more budget friendly, there are also stores such as H&M, Madewell, and National Jean Company. As well as popular chain brands, there are also countless small boutiques that carry beautiful pieces. Newbury Street is also holding an Elf Challenge during this holiday season. In various participating stores there will be holiday elves posted for participants to find. Once you find them and post them to social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, you will be entered to win a prize! For more information check out the instructions on the Newbury Street website.  

Completely emerse yourself in Boston's holiday culture beyond the fantastic shopping. Stay at the Clarendon Square Inn, and experience the holidays like you are one of the locals. Located in a beautiful neighborhood in the South End, you surely have an experience to remember! 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Nutcracker

For many tradition is a large part of the holiday season, and in Boston this is no different. The classic tale and critically acclaimed production, The Nutcracker, is now being shown by the Boston Ballet for all to enjoy!

This winter tale follows the journey of Clara, a teenage girl who is given a stunning nutcracker on Christmas Eve. When the nutcracker comes to life, he takes Clara on an ethereal journey to where she meets countless characters. Toy soldiers, princesses, and the Sugar Plum Fairy are just a few of these characters who create this enchanting story. 

Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker is rated as New England’s number one Holiday Classic Ballet. This production started in 2012, and since the start there have been 72 artists from the Boston Ballet working with 99 exceptional students from the Boston Ballet School. These dancers and artists work hard to ensure that every show is something to marvel at!

Did you know that up to 182 costumes appear during a single performance? On top of that there are 350 individual costumes that have been made for different casts! Over 200,000 jewels are embroidered into all of the costumes to ensure that an incandescent sparkle will be seen in every show. Be sure to purchase tickets ahead of time to grab a seat to this exquisite holiday masterpiece!

The winter magic does not have to end when you leave The Nutcracker. The entire city will be decorated for the holiday season, as well as the Clarendon Square Inn. Check out our roof-deck where you can see the entire city shimmering with holiday lights!  

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

2014 Holiday Boston Pops

Did you know that The Boston Pops originated in 1973, and were originally called "A Pops Christmas Party"? Since then, the Pops have become a tradition in Boston during the Holiday season, and this year the tradition continues with conductor Keith Lockhart. As well as traditional shows, there will also be a Kids Matinee show, Home Alone performances, and a New Years Eve show. Starting on December 3rd, shows will be held to warm your heart for the holidays!

If you are looking for a musical performance that will entertain everyone from the family, be sure to check out the Boston Pop's Kids Matinee Performances. These performances are special family programs that are shorter, and have no intermission. During the show there will be family-friendly music and a sing a long. If you stay after the show, there will be pictures with Santa! Floor seat tickets include kid-friendly meals and holiday treats. There seven showings for the Kids Matinee, so be sure to buy tickets ahead of time!

What better way to celebrate holiday tradition than with music and a classic holiday film? This year, the Home Alone performance will be shown three times. The Home Alone performance includes a screening of the holiday classic Home Alone, and live orchestral accompaniment. The film is about a boy who is accidentally left at home for the holidays without his family, and his adventures as two thieves attempt to rob his house. This heart-warming and hilarious show is a must see this season!

Looking for a musical and exciting way to spend your New Years Eve? On December 31st, at 10 pm, the Boston Pops will be putting on a show to remember. The Boston Pops Swing Orchestra will be performing all night long, so put on your dancing shoes and get ready to dance the night away! Complete with a cash bar and several dining options, is there a better way to spend your New Years Eve?

Top off your musical night with comfort and luxury. The Clarendon Square Inn is an elegant and relaxing bed and breakfast that is located in a quiet neighborhood in the South End. With a friendly staff and an amazing continental breakfast, you will surely have an wonderful Boston experience!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Boston Tree Lighting Ceremonies

As the autumn leaves begin to dwindle, the holiday season will begin to take over. In Boston, the season kicks off with etherial tree lighting ceremonies that will surely bring warmth to your heart for the holidays! 

Faneuil Hall Blink!
Beginning at Faneuil Hall on November 22nd, Blink! will have a light show to remember! For the last three years, a new tradition has been born where every inch of the open marketplace is transformed into a holiday wonderland. This is the first tree lighting ceremony of the city, and it uses over 350,000 low energy LED lights to light up the marketplace, as well as a giant Christmas tree that is even bigger than the one at Rockafeller Center! To top off the ceremony there will be recorded music by the BSO Holiday Pops. Do not worry if you cannot make it to the ceremony starting at 4:30 pm on November 22nd, because there will be nightly performances until January 4th. Stop by, and bring a toy to donate as Faneuil Hall is an official toy drive drop off station!

Boston Common Holiday LightingThe Boston Common Holiday Lighting on December 4th will be the 73rd annual ceremony to be held. This tradition lights up the entire Boston Common and Public Garden, and includes a breathtaking tree from Nova Scotia. This special tree on Tremont Street symbolizes the friendship between Boston and Nova Scotia. After a horrific explosion in the Halifax Harbor on December 6th, 1917, Boston was the first to send help.  To compliment the magnificent tree sent from Nova Scotia, there will also be 10 fully decorated trees around Frog Pond. This event will be televised on WCVB beginning at 7 pm!

Commonwealth Avenue Mall
After the Boston Common Holiday Lighting, Mayor Walsh will gather with Back Bay residents at the Commonwealth Avenue Mall on Arlington Street. At this lighting ceremony there will be complimentary hot chocolate and warm cookies for all! If you cannot make this event, the trees will all be lit in magnificent white lights until April 1st. 

Explore the entire city during the holiday season! Boston is filled with whimsical decorations and heart warming spirit at this time of year. After a day of exploring the city, make sure you rest your head at the Clarendon Square Inn. This bed and breakfast is the perfect spot for a romantic holiday get away!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Boston Magazine's Taste Festival

Do you want an endless supply of the best food and drinks in the city, all while supporting a great cause? If you do, be sure to check out Boston Magazine's 5th annual Taste Festival, on November 17th. In order to celebrate Boston Magazine's Dining issue, and to help the Greater Boston Food Bank, Boston Magazine will be putting on an event at the Boston Children's Museum that cannot be missed!

Boston Magazine's Taste Festival features the cities top chefs and star mixologists who will be at work all night to ensure that you have a delicious and fun filled night. Chefs who have attended in the past include Andy Husbands from Tremont 647, Michael Serpa from Neptune Oyster, Leah Dubois from 80 Thoreau, and Frank McClelland from L'Espalier. Local dessert connoisseurs such as Cakeology and Robins Candy Shop will also be there to be able to satisfy anyone's cravings!

Boston cocktailsAs you munch on your delectable morsels, there will also be amazing mixologists. In the past, Chris Olds from Park and Josh Taylor from Westbridge have attended. Custom cocktails, as well as a large selection of the finest wines and beers, will be available for your enjoyment. With your drink in one hand, and your meal in the other, explore the museum or relax in the lounge complete with live music!

Boston Children's MuseumAside from meeting chefs and mixologists, seeing them in action, and tasting all their creations, a portion of the proceeds from your ticket will be given to the Greater Boston Food Bank. Ticket prices vary between VIP and general admission, and they can all be purchased at Boston Magazine's website. VIP entrance will be granted into the Boston Children's Museum between 6-7 pm to beat the crowd, and general admission will be from 7-9 pm.

With such an eventful night, you will need a relaxing place to stay! The Clarendon Square Inn is conveniently located in a quiet neighborhood in the South End, and is a quick walk to the train to get you to any part of the city.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Where To Eat Your Thanksgiving Feast In Boston

There is only one Thanksgiving feast a year, so it is important that you do it right! Whether you are visiting the city or a local,  it is important that if you are eating out for your feast that you pick the right place. With so many different options offering amazing mouth watering meals, it is difficult to choose which place is right for you. Below we have compiled a list of three amazing restaurants that will surely leave you filled to the brim with Thanksgiving treats. No matter where you chose, make sure you make reservations quickly as restaurants fill up fast!

Hampshire House BostonThe Hampshire House Prix-Fixe Thanksgiving Feast is one to die for. Located in a Beacon Hill mansion right above the original Cheers location, Hampshire House only opens its kitchen doors on special occasions, and lucky for you Thanksgiving Dinner makes the cut! This special 3 course prix-fixe menu includes your choice of a first course, main course, and traditional dessert. The main course options include roasted turkey, oven-roasted salmon and halibut, and grilled beef tenderloin with Gulf shrimp. Hampshire House is open 12 noon to 6 pm at a price of $55 a person. Call to make a reservation at 617-227-9600.

75 Chestnut Boston
The Hampshire House's sister restaurant, 75 Chestnut, also serves a fantastic Thanksgiving feast! 75 Chestnut is a cozy restaurant that makes you feel right at home, and is in a secluded spot in Beacon Hill. Their meal starts off with pumpkin bisque topped with roasted pecans and chèvre. After this comes the traditional oven-roasted turkey but with a twist of walnut stuffing, giblet gravy and cranberry orange sauce! Your turkey is complemented by garlic mashed potatoes, butternut squash puree and sting beans as well. If you can imagine having more room in your stomach, your meal is topped off with your choice of dessert: apple and cranberry cobbler with cinnamon gelato, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, or rum raisin pudding with fresh berries and chocolate sauce. This feast is open from 12 noon- 6 pm at $55 a person, so be sure to call and make reservations at 617-227-2175!

Top of the Hub Restaurant and LoungeThe Top of the Hub Restaurant and Lounge is providing a Thanksgiving 4-course-prix-frixe menu, as well as a panoramic view of the city from the 52nd floor of the Prudential Center. On top of an amazing meal and view, you will also receive a complimentary ticket to the Skywalk Observatory, and live jazz music from 4 to 8 pm! To start off your meal, you can choose between duck confit and acorn butternut squash bisque. After you enjoy your appetizer, you get to devour your entree choice. Choices include a traditional turkey, braised short ribs, haddock, or pork. There are also vegetarian options available upon request. Before enjoying your choice of dessert, there is also an arugula salad to munch on. Pricing is $65 for adults and $25 dollars for children over 5. To make a reservation call 617-536-1775.

After stuffing your stomach at one of these amazing restaurants, be sure to check in at the Clarendon Square Inn where you can recuperate from your feast in one of our luxurious guest rooms. With a choice from three different styles of guest rooms and an extended continental breakfast in the morning, the feast can continue! 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Swan Lake Grand Opening

The Boston Ballet will be opening its doors to the public on October 30th for everyone to enjoy the classic fairy tale of Swan Lake. Choreographed by Mikko Nessinen, this story is about the Swan Queen Odette and Prince Siegfried, and the intense love, betrayal and magic that unites them forever. This year the show features breathtaking new costumes, sets and choreography that will leave you spellbound. 

Swan Lake Boston BalletRobert Perdziola, the designer of the show, is also the set and costume designer for the Boston Ballet’s, The Nutcracker. With Perdziola teamed up with Mikko Nissinen, this will surely be a show to remember. This year the performance has a new prologue and scenic details that recall the passion and impact of Pepita and Ivanov’s original ballet. 

Swan Lake Boston BalletIf you are looking for a sophisticated evening on Halloween night this year, Swan Lake will be putting on the perfect event for you. At the Black and White Masquerade showing of Swan Lake, not only will you be watching a magnificent performance, but you also will get to match your best black and white attire with a complementary Swan Lake mask! Purchase tickets at their website to grab a seat.

Swan Lake Boston Ballet

On Saturday, November 1st, there is a free pre curtain talk at 7:30 for ticket holders of the show that evening. At this event there will be an informal discussion with the dancers, choreographers, musicians, and special guests to offer audience members the inside scoop on everything from the story-line to the music. Make sure you stop by, enjoy the show, and take in all the artistic talent that goes into the amazing performances!

The Boston Ballet will be holding all of its performances this season at the Boston Opera House, located at 539 Washington Street. Finish off your ornate night with a marvelous nights sleep at the elegant Clarendon Square Inn. Complete with a creative continental breakfast in the morning and excellent service, you will leave the bed and breakfast delighted!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Dark Side of Boston

As the leaves are changing into vibrant hues and pumpkins line doorsteps, there is no better time to explore the dark side of Boston. The city is well known for its historical part in the American Revolution, but there are many other important events that have taken place in Boston that make up its entire history. Explore Boston's dark side and embrace the Halloween spirit!

Goody Glover BostonWhile Boston is not as well know for witches as Salem, it still had its moments. “Goody” Ann Glover was the last women to be hanged in Boston as a witch, and was an Irish slave employed by John Goodwin. When four of the five Goodwin children fell ill, Glover was charged with with witchcraft. She became a suspect after one of the daughters fell ill soon after an argument with Goody Glover. During her trial, Goody Glover refused to speak English even though she knew how to, and Reverend Coton Mather, pastor of the Old North Church, found her guilty. On November 18, 1988, the Boston City Council recognized the injustice done to Ann Glover 300 years earlier, and proclaimed that day “Goody Glover Day”.

Great Molasses Flood Boston
The Great Molasses Flood in the North End occurred on January 15th, 1919. As everyone was going about their daily routines, a large molasses storage tank unexpectedly burst, and a wave of molasses rushed through the streets at an estimated 35 miles per hour. At the peak, the wave of molasses was 25 feet high! The goop acted in a similar way to quick sand in that the more the victims struggled, the deeper they sank. This dangerous mess killed 21, and injured 150 Bostonians.

Brinks RobberyThe Brinks Robbery occurred on January 17th, 1950. This was an armed robbery in the North End where $2,218,211.29 cash was stolen, as well as $1,557,183.83 in checks money orders and other securities. This was the largest robbery in the entire country at the time, and it was the work of an 11 member gang. Joseph “Big Joe” McGinnis was the originator of the heist, and he and his other ten gang members were all arrested. Eight of the gang members received the maximum sentence of life in prison, however all of the members were paroled by 1971. McGinnis was the only one who did not make it out because he died in prison. Only $58,000 of the 2.7 million was recovered, so even over 64 years later, aspects of the Brinks Robbery will continue to remain a mystery.

With Halloween approaching, there’s no better place than Boston to be during this ominous holiday. Check in at the Clarendon Square Inn to experience a Boston Halloween like one of the locals! Located in a stunning and secluded neighborhood in the South End, you will surely have a true Boston Halloween experience.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Where To Go Apple Picking Around Boston

City living does not mean you have to miss out on fall festivities like apple picking. There are many amazing orchards around Boston that make the perfect day trip for friends and family! Below are a few of the amazing orchards that allow you to fully embrace the fall season.

Boston Hill Farm
Boston Hill Farm is located in North Andover, and is open year round! Different crops are available in different seasons, but during the autumn months, apples and pumpkins are the available pickings! Macintosh, Cortland and Macoun apples are grown at Boston Hill Farm to fulfill baking and munching needs. The Pumpkin Patch grows pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, so whether you want to carve them or use them for the perfect fall decoration, you can find your perfect pumpkin! Aside from a beautiful farm that you can wander through either on foot, or on a festive hayride, there is also a charming farm store! The store includes fresh deli and bakery items, soups, coffee, hot chocolate and apple cider.

Carlson Orchards
Carlson Orchards in Harvard is the gold mine of apple picking. With 20 different kinds of apples to pick, there is no orchard around that will give you a better variety! On 120 acres of breathtaking farmland, there are 40,000 bushels of apples ready to be picked, as well as a fall raspberry patch, a pumpkin patch, and a frog pond. There are also six different varieties of peaches and five varieties of nectarines. With so much to choose from, you'll be sure to leave Carlson Orchards with a full bag of delicious pickings!

Belkin Family Lookout Farm
Belkin Family Lookout Farm is one of the oldest continuously worked farms in the country, and is located in Natick. Opened in 1651, this 180 acre farm has over 60,000 fruit trees, and is just under 20 miles away from Boston! Right now Asian pears are ready for picking as well as Golden Delicious, Jonagold, and Cortland apples. Aside from miles of breathtaking orchard, there are also farm animals and a Children's Play Area. If you happen to visit on the weekend, there are also magicians, singers, and "Lookout Larry", a ten foot tall man on stilts! With so much entertainment this is the perfect place to pick fantastic apples, and bring your family!

After your day trip away from the city, come back to Boston and stay at the Clarendon Square Inn. Enjoy your freshly picked apples on the roof deck complete with view of the entire city, or on our outdoor patio to enjoy the fall weather!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Harvard Art Museum Renovations

The Fogg Museum at Harvard has been under renovation for the past year, and on November 16th it will be opening its doors once again with some new changes. The Fogg Museum is one of the three Harvard Art Museums, along with the Busch-Reisinger and Arthur M. Sackler museums.

Fogg MuseumThe Fogg Museum is the oldest of all of the Harvard Museums, and it is praised for many of it's pieces. Opened in 1896, The Fogg Museum is known for their holdings in Western paintings, sculpture, photographs, and drawings from the Middle Ages to the present. Their specialties include Italian Renaissance, British Pre-Raphaelite and French art of the 19th century, and their internationally renowned collection is among the largest in the U.S. The Fogg focuses on connecting encyclopedia collections to coursework, and planning exhibits that truly engage students and visitors. 

Busch-Reisinger Museum
The Busch-Reisinger Museum is the only museum in North America dedicated to the study of art from the German-speaking countries of Central and Northern Europe in all periods. Its holdings include works of Austrian Secession art, German expressionism, 1920s abstraction, and material related to the Bauhaus. Noteworthy gems include medieval sculpture, and one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of works by Joseph Beuys.

Arthur M. Sackler Museum
The Arthur M. Sackler Museum is the youngest of the Harvard Art Museums, as it opened in 1985. The museum is famous for its archaic Chinese jades as it holds the widest collection outside of China. It is also known for holding Chinese bronzes, ceremonial weapons, and Buddhist cave-temple sculptures, as well ancient Mediterranean and Byzantine collections. This renovation, which has been under instruction from the world renowned architect, Renzo Piano, aims to make the amazing collections more accessible as tools for teaching, learning, and integrate them even more into student’s curriculum and student life. The state of the art facility will be more transparent for an enhanced experience, and include a glass rooftop to control natural light in the conservation lab, study centers, courtyard and galleries. 

The new renovated museum is a must-see when it re-opens, and it will be a great visual and learning experience for anyone from students to visitors. Be sure to check out the other amazing museums in Boston, and in-between visits relax at the Clarendon Square Inn. The historic bed and breakfast is the perfect environment to take in and discuss everything seen at the museums!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Where To Try Fall Cocktails In Boston

Fall brings pumpkins, apple picking, Thanksgiving, Halloween, and wonderful seasonal cocktails. There is no shortage of amazing fall cocktails in Boston, but there are certainly some restaurants and bars that have their recipes down to a science. The following are three incredible restaurants with cocktails that you must try during this time of year!

Henrietta's Table
Henrietta’s Table opened its doors 15 years ago on Bennett St. in Cambridge, and it has become a dining room for everyone from Nobel laureates, to celebrities, and to farmers. They serve every meal from breakfast to dessert, and have an impressive collection of seasonal drinks. This fall, their menu includes, a Pumpkin Martini and an Apple Cidertini, and it is nearly impossible to pick a favorite! All ingredients from Henrietta’s kitchen are from local farmers and fishermen, so freshness is guaranteed in everything from your sweet drink to your mouth watering meal. 

Eastern Standard Kitchen And Drinks
Eastern Standard Kitchen and Drinks is located in the heart of Kenmore Square, and boasts the longest marble bar in Boston, as well as a heated patio. The quality can be seen in the restaurant itself, as well in its Contemporary American cuisine and delicious drinks. During the fall, be sure to try their Autumn Harvest Cocktail Menu. This menu includes Pomme D’Amour, Bodhi Tree, and Cha-Yen. Eastern Standard offers a glamorous atmosphere and amazing craftsmanship in both their food and drink options. 

Masa BostonMasa is located on 439 Tremont St, and is known for its “Best of Boston” Margaritas, and “Best Brunch” (Boston Globe). As the leaves change, their specialties expand to five fantastic fall cocktails. These include their, Fall Apple Mojito, Cranberry Chipotle Martini, Lemon Mint Rita, Pomegranate Tequila Sunrise, and Spiced Mangorita. Masa offers great seating options for parties of all sizes, so don’t be afraid to try out these fall cocktails with a large group of friends! Polish off your night with a scrumptious meal from their Dinner Menu, or taste a little bit of everything with their Tapas Menu!

Make sure to top off your night out with a luxurious night sleep! The Clarendon Square Inn is conveniently located in the South End, and is walking distance or a train ride away from all of these delectable restaurants. Complete with a delightful breakfast ready for you in the morning, is there a better way to experience Boston?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Best Ways to Experience Salem

The Halloween season is filled with ghouls goblins and ghosts, and in Salem Massachusetts, there is a particularly chilling history of witches. Infamous for the Salem Witch Trials, this city's entire culture turns into a bewitching scene during the month of October. Visitors beware, there is much to be seen, and much to learn at these spirited events held in Salem! 

Hocus Pocus Tours
Salem has many tours that you can take to experience Salem’s history, but Hocus Pocus Tours is an award winning touring company that offers two unique ways to take in all of what the city has to offer. The first option is to take the classic 90 minute guided tour and enjoy stories of intriguing people, learn the truth about witchcraft in the city, experience the authentic story of Salem’s most infamous murder, and see what Salem locations were used in the hit movie, Hocus Pocus. Tours fill up quickly, so make sure you purchase your ticket ahead of time! The second, and brand new option is a self guided cell phone tour called, Salem by Cell. This private tour brings you to 45 stops that stretch from the waterfront to the magnificent mansions. Make sure you try out one of these amazing touring options to immerse yourself in Salem’s Halloween culture. 

Salem Food TourWalking around a city will certainly work up an appetite! Lucky for you there is a Salem Food Tour which brings you through a cultural walk of the city, complete with tastings at Salem’s finest shops and restaurants. There are different tours available including a general tour, a vegan tour, and an AM coffee walk. Each tour provides different foods that are uniquely delicious. These tours are also the perfect events for dates, anniversaries, corporate events, and bridal part outings. Make sure you bring comfortable walking shoes, as well as a light bag to hold all the mouth watering treats that you will want to purchase! 

Salem Witch Museum
If you want to learn about Salem’s history, but want to stay in one spot, the Salem Witch Museum is the perfect spot for you. Complete with life size stage sets, live guides, and the truth behind witch stereotypes and witch hunting, this museum is a one of a kind spot in Salem that truly brings you back to 1692. The museum is keeps its doors open until 10 pm on Friday and Saturday nights, until 7pm on Sunday nights, and until 5pm Monday-Thursday. While you explore the city, be sure to stop by Salem’s most visited museum!

Although Salem is known for the eery witch trials, there were also a number of witch trials in Boston. The most famous case was the trial of Goody Glover, the last “witch” to be hanged in Boston. Learn more about these stories, and explore Boston as well during the Halloween season. After your ghost, witch and ghoul-filled days in Salem and Boston, be sure to rest comfortably at the Clarendon Square Inn in Boston, a beautiful and historic bed and breakfast!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Best Fall Foliage Sites in Boston

While breathtaking colored trees can be seen all throughout New England at this time of year, the city of Boston has many amazing sites where on lookers can gaze at the delightful fall scenery. Apple picking, pumpkin spice, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and cozy jackets would just not be complete without the infamous foliage that completes this season.

Boston Common and Boston Public GardenStart off your autumn tour of the city in the center at the Boston Common and Public Garden. Tree tops line the grassy hills, and during the fall they morph from a healthy green into fiery crimsons, warm oranges, and shimmering golds. With the Massachusetts State House in the background, it is a must see sight during this picturesque season. As you wander through the park and into the Public Garden, hundreds of planted trees and shrubs paint a sea of colors. If you are lucky and visit during the right time of the season, you can catch the weeping willow tree turn to gold on the shore of the Lagoon! 

Back Bay Fens

The Back Bay Fens is another significant spot to observe the leaves changing, and it is a part of the Emerald Necklace along Muddy River. This man made park used to be a salt water marsh until it was landscaped and created into a marvelous nature spot. Also known as The Fens, this park holds one of two remaining Victory Gardens left in the country, which further proves why this site is a truly unique spot. As you gaze around prepared to be blown away by the aura of autumn hues. 

Arnold ArboretumAnother part of the Emerald Necklace, the 
Arnold Arboretum, is a fantastic spot to take in the fall scenery. The Arboretum is located in Jamaica Plain, and is a 265 acre arboretum open free of charge from sunrise to sundown. With over 5,000 species of plants and trees, you are certain to see a mural of different leaves and vibrant hues. If you decide to make a visit on the last Sunday of October, you will be able to attend The Boston Fall Foliage Festival! Learn about different trees and shrubs on a tour complete with apple cider, story telling, music and lead crafts. This is the perfect way to have a more interactive foliage site seeing trip!

There are also amazing fall colors within the city, such as in the South End. The South End has stunning brick work, and when it is surrounded by autumn leaves, it is a sight to see. The Clarendon Square Inn is located in the South End, and is conveniently near the T to get you to any nature spots, and is also in the heart of the South End's exquisite scenery. Make sure you stop by, and check out more Boston and New England fall scenery on our "Fall in Boston and New England" Pinterest board

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival

Top off your September with the Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival on September 27th! Boston’s biggest block party will be held on Columbus Ave between Massachusetts Avenue and Burke Street in the South End, and is free to the public! 

Terry Lynne Carrington
This years festival celebrates Jazz: The Global Ambassador, and the Artistic Director is Terri Lynne Carrington. Carrington is a Grammy winning drummer, composer, producer and clinician who was born in Medford, MA. She did extensive touring for more than 20 years with names such as Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Al Jarreau, Stan Getz, David Sanborn, and many more, and she recently has moved back to her old stomping ground, and was appointed professor at Berklee. With her unbelievable musical talent and experience, there is no doubt that this years festival will be an event to remember!

Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival
A six block stretch will be filled with three stages, amazing food, and more than 70 vendors. While music fills the air, feel free to check out the face painting, inflatables, photos, and a one of a kind instrument petting zoo! Whether you are coming with family, friends, or a date, it is the perfect way to spend your Saturday afternoon. To check out a full line up of all of the artists, check out the schedule on the BeanTown Jazz Festival website.

After your music filled experience during the day, finish off your night at one of the many amazing restaurants in the South End, and a good night sleep at the Clarendon Square Inn! On top of the amazing culture of the South End, the Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival will make the South End the place to be on September 27th, so make sure you stop by to enjoy everything that it has to offer! 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

An Evening In Barcelona

Estragon Restaurant in Boston

Step out of traditional Boston nightlife, and into “An Evening in Barcelona” on September 11th. This wine tasting spectacular will be held at Estragon where you will feel as though you stepped right into Barcelona. The restaurant boasts high top tables, a large bar, and a relaxing couch sitting area for everyone to relax and enjoy their night out. 

Gloria Collell
There will be four different types of Mia wine served throughout the evening, and these include a white, red, rose, and two sparkling Moscato wines. Mia was just launched in the US this summer by the Spanish winemaker, Gloria Collell. Gloria, who still lives in Spain, will be flying in for the event to enjoy the wine and entertainment with everyone who attends! What better way to enjoy a flavorful glass of wine than with the mind behind it? Gloria loves Barcelona because it is a mix of tradition and creativity, and is also nourished by fantastic wine and food. Her long family history of wine making sparked her passion at a young age, and she truly does connect her passions for wine, and for her country. 

Mia Wine
While wine tasting is the main focus of the night, there will also be delectable Spanish tapas, an Iberian ham carving station, traditional paella, and a vegetable option to compliment the wine. While you chat, wine and dine, there will also be entertainment provided for all guests to ensure a true Spanish experience. Not only will local artist, Lex MCDermott be creating Spanish style paintings during the event, but there will also be a Flamenco dancer accompanied by a guitarist. 

Mia Wine
If you would like to attend this unique and exciting event, tickets are available for $35 dollars online. The wine and dine experience does not have to end after “An Evening In Barcelona”! After you enjoy your lively night, be sure to check into the Clarendon Square Inn located in the South End, which is packed with fantastic restaurants.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Top Boston Chefs

There are talented chefs that fill every city, but Boston holds some of the most renowned restaurants in the world that are owned by top notch chefs. While there a numerous talented chefs throughout the city, and countless delectable restaurants, we have compiled a list of the top three chefs who run amazing restaurants in the city. 

Ken OringerFirst up is Ken Oringer, a chef and owner of restaurants from around the world. Five of his best are in Boston, including his French-inspired flagship, Clio. Located inside the Eliot Hotel, Clio has received critical acclaim, and is repeatedly named one of Boston Magazine’s 5 Best Restaurants since it opened in 1997. His success does not stop with his Boston original! He also is a proud owner of three other Boston restaurants, Toro, Coppa, and Uni. While Toro offers an eclectic Barcelona inspired tapas menu, Coppa is a mouth watering Italian restaurant located in the South End. Uni has an bold sashimi menu, and the fish is sourced by the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, Japan. No matter what type of food you like, Ken Oringer certainly has a restaurant that will have you walking away with a happy stomach!

Jody AdamsJody Adams is a Brown graduate, who is the creative chef behind the two award winning restaurants, Trade and Rialto. Adams is known just as much for her kindness and work ethic as she is for her amazing skills in the kitchen. She has raised over $250,000 for Dana-Farber Cancer Institution through her 192 mile Pan Mass Challenge bike ride, and was also awarded the 2010 Humanitarian of the Year Award by Share Our Strength. Her restaurant, Rialto was named one of the “wolds best hotel restaurants” by Gourmet Magazine, and Trade has also received countless awards including “Best of Boston” in 2012. On top of her heart of gold and delightful restaurants, she also co wrote a book with her husband, Ken Rivard called “In the Hands of a Chef: Cooking with Jody Adams of Rialto Restaurant”.

Joanne Chang
Our third chef, Joanne Chang has talents that span far beyond the kitchen. Chang graduated from Harvard with an Applied Mathematics and Economics degree from Harvard, and also ran every Boston Marathon between 1991 and 2006. She opened her first bakery and cafe, Flour, in 2000. The original bakery was so popular that three other locations have opened in the Boston area. Flour has received countless Best of Boston awards, and has also been featured in many magazines including Gourmet, Food&Wine, The New York Times, and Lucky. Flour was also featured on the Food Network in Throwdown with Bobby Flay, where Joanne Chang’s scrumptious sticky buns took over the competition. In 2007, Chang launched her latest restaurant,  Myers + Chang, with her husband, Christopher Myers. Myers + Chang is a fun indie restaurant that has inspiration from Taiwanese soul food, and South Asian street food. Whether you have a sweet tooth, or adventurous taste buds, either of Joanne Chang’s restaurants will leave you satisfied! 

Great food does not have to stop once you are done eating at these fantastic restaurants. Top off your Boston stay with a delicious breakfast at the Clarendon Square Inn, and enjoy a creative expanded continental breakfast! 

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Best Gluten Free Restaurants in Boston

As the amount of people with gluten allergies continue to climb, many restaurants are now starting to accommodate those with allergies and provide gluten free menus. In Boston, there are countless amazing restaurants, but not all of them are gluten friendly. We have picked the top three restaurants in the city that have the best food and best gluten free variety available for those with a gluten allergy!

Myers + Chang in BostonFirst up is Myers + Chang, an Asian restaurant that offers impressive menus for those with special dietary needs including gluten free, vegan, kosher only, shellfish allergies, and nut free. The consideration that Myers + Chang has for so many special dietary needs does not limit their menu selection which is one reason why it is such a popular stop for so many people. Some of the most popular gluten free lunch dishes include, edamame and celery slaw with sesame oil, as well as the chicken and broccoli chow fun with rice noodles, tellicherry peppers and gailon. If you stop in for dinner, some notable meal options include pan roasted soy glazed salmon, and chicken and rapini stir fry. To see the complete gluten free menu that Myers + Chang has to offer, check out their website!

Al Dente Ristorante in BostonWho doesn’t enjoy a big comforting plate of pasta? Luckily if you are restricted to a gluten free diet, you can still enjoy mouthwatering pasta dishes at many North End restaurants in Boston. Al Dente Ristorante is the leader in gluten free options, and offers a corn based pasta making all of their pasta dishes available for those with a gluten free diet. You can also enjoy delicious veal, chicken and seafood dishes which can be made gluten free! Enjoy your scrumptious meal in their cozy and casual restaurant complete with an open kitchen view. 

City Landing In BostonCity Landing not only boasts a fantastic gluten free menu, but also a beautiful Boston waterfront view. Located next to The Greenway, City Landing is a casual and contemporary American restaurant that see’s chef Bill Brodsky. He is one of the most celebrated Cape Cod chef’s and he worked with architect, Stephen Sousa to provide City Landing with a restaurant that is driven from the menu, and plays up the Greenway. You can start off your meal with a variety of gluten free spreads and crackers, and then follow your appetizer with many fantastic options. Some of the most notable entrees include gluten free pizzas, burgers, and mac n cheese. There are also many other lighter meals such as salads and liver and onions with leeks, bacon, potatoes and a lemon garlic drizzle. Devour your fantastic meal that is bright and welcoming!

Gluten free options should be included for every meal of the day! Enjoy our many gluten free options during breakfast at the Clarendon Square Inn where a variety of cheeses, meats, oatmeal, fruit and more are all available.