Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Pop the Cork - Where to Celebrate National Champagne Day in Boston

It's no wonder National Champagne Day falls on the one day of the year it's encouraged to drink champagne - New Years Eve. Pop a cork with us to celebrate!

RumBa Rum Bar & Champagne Lounge - Waterfront, 510 Atlantic Ave

Located in the Intercontinental Hotel, a must location if you strictly want to go all out for national champagne day! The champagne lounge is a private retreat to sip and surrender to all things bubbly!
Taj Boston - Back Bay, 15 Arlington St

Although National Champagne Day doesn't fall on a Sunday this year, you might be best to wait until Sunday to enjoy the Taj's Sunday Brunch with endless champagne. A little extra money, but totally worth it for those of us that need extra champagne
Top of the Hub - Back Bay, 800 Boylston St
If you're looking to truly celebrate, and make a commitment to take advantage of National Champagne Day, you should definitely have a glass at Top of the Hub. Known for killer views, there's no better place to enjoy your bubbly while watching the sun set over Boston.
The Beehive - South End, 541 Tremont St
Now we're getting into the good stuff - how to celebrate National Champagne Day in tandem with New Years Eve! The Beehive is hosting an evening of fun, dance, and live funky music. You'll be treated to a buffet of small bites, and unlimited Mo√ęt & Chandon champagne. Go for it - splurge! And it is about a 7 minute walk from Clarendon Square!

Row 34 - Seaport, 383 Congress St.
We dare you - head over to Row 34 for New Years and feast on caviar and champagne. They go all out with Ossetra caviar and all the trimmings, chilled lobster tail with caviar vinaigrette and sunchokes, and to put a cherry on top - sips of NV Krug Grand Cuvee. You know you want to!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Holiday Appetizers You Need to Try

Christmas is this week and New Years is next week. As the year draws to a close so does our window to have holiday parties and serve holiday themed dishes. We decided to list some of our favorite appetizers, which are sometimes the most overlooked portion of the meal. Move over chips and dip, because we've got some much better options.

Oyster Tartlets - New Orleans chef John Besh places the oysters in mini tartlet shells, then tops them with a creamy horseradish sauce and crispy bread crumbs.

Baked Brie - Warm brie paired with honey and apples is the perfect combination.
Baked Brie

Rosemary and Smoked Salt Roasted Almonds - Everybody knows salted almonds, well this rosemary twist adds a fun spin on an old favorite.
Roasted Almonds with Rosemary and Smoked Salt

Goat Cheese Stuffed Phyllo Swirls - These sweet and savory swirls are perfect for an appetizer or dessert.

Salt Cured Salmon with Juniper and Vodka - Perfect for Christmas brunch.
Lox and pickled fennel Bruschetta! This simple recipe for Salt Cured Salmon with rosemary, juniper berries (optional) vodka and lemon zest requires only a few minutes of prep, and then watch as nature takes its course. |

Roasted Butternut Squash Dip - Move over spinach artichoke dip, there's a new crowd pleaser in town.
roasted butternut squash spinach dip I

Carmelized Pineapple, Ham and Cheese Turnovers - It's like a Hawaiian pizza in turnover form.
Caramelized Pineapple, Ham and Cheese Turnovers | @hbharvest

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Holiday Light Displays in the Boston & Greater Boston Area You Need to See

This time of year the days are shorter, which is okay with us because that gives more time to enjoy the light displays in and around Boston. We've rounded up some of our favorite spots that you can enjoy any night of the week.

Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Blink! is a state of the art light and sound performance that takes over Faneuil Hall during the holiday season. This show uses over 350,000 LED lights to the sounds of the Boston pops to create a seven minute show that runs on a continuous schedule from 4:30 pm - 10 pm daily.

Boston Common & Frog Pond

The Boston Common has a large Christmas tree from Nova Scotia and is lit up with thousands of holiday lights. In addition to viewing the lights, you can take a skate on frog pond so grab your skates and a cup of hot chocolate.

Christopher Columbus Park Trellis (North End)

The Christopher Columbus Park Trellis is a Boston staple with its beautiful wisteria flowers in the spring and it's holiday lights in the winter. After a delicious North End italian meal, stop by and see the lights with a cannoli or cappuccino.

Rose Kennedy Greenway winter lights

The Rose Kennedy Greenway is a series of parks along Atlantic Avenue in Boston. During the dark winter months there are several light installations done in some of the parks to bring light until mid-March.

The Christmas Castle (Arborway in Jamaica Plain)

This is a private home on the Arborway in Jamaica Plain that has been attracting a crowd for years. It is one of the best light displays in the Boston area.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Where to Eat Christmas Dinner in Boston

Whether you'll be spending Christmas in Boston away from home or Boston is your home and you just do not feel like cooking -- there are several Boston area restaurants that have you covered.

37 Bowdoin Street, Boston
grotto restaurant, beacon hill | by Paul Keleher
Grotto will be serving the "Feast of the Seven Fishes." The seven fishes feast is a Southern Italian tradition that is served on Christmas Eve. Traditionally it is to commemorate the birth of baby Jesus at midnight and features seven fish dishes. Grotto's menu for the evening includes calamari, octopus, scallops and salmon.

Legal Crossing
558 Washington Street, Boston

Legal Crossing is one of Legal Seafood's newest restaurant endeavors as it is a more chic and upscale spot than the other Legal restaurants. For Christmas day, they will be serving a three course meal featuring dishes like citrus grey sole, roasted cod, and tea smoked duck.

Smith and Wollensky
Three Boston Locations

Smith and Wollensky is open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day featuring a special holiday menu which includes dishes such as a crab waldorf salad, seared duck breast, and roasted monkfish.

OAK Long Bar and Kitchen
138 Saint James Avenue, Boston

OAK Long Bar has long been a staple of Boston and they are keeping their doors open on Christmas with a special holiday menu. Traditional holiday standards such as pork prime rib, bouillabaisse, and braised short rib are the featured main courses.

After dinner, come back and relax at Clarendon Square Inn which is happily hosting guests on Christmas Eve and Day.

Cocktails to Get You Through the Holiday Season

Most people associate this time of year with food and gifts, but we can't let you forget about the cocktails. Below we have listed the best holiday cocktails to have at a party with friends or while you're wrapping gifts on a quiet Friday night.

Mulled Wine - A classic holiday beverage with flavors of cinnamon and honey to enhance the wine.
Mulled Wine

Candy Cane Cocktail - An adult twist on a childhood favorite.
Candy Cane Cocktail

Hot Buttered Rum - When it's cold outside, this cinnamon and nutmeg rum drink will warm you right up.
Hot Buttered Rum

Coquito - This coconut rim drink will make you feel like you are on a tropical beach on even the coldest December day.

Red Currant Champagne Cocktail - This is a great cocktail for any celebration throughout the year.
Red Currant Champagne Cocktail

Evergreen Swizzle - This aromatic cocktail is made with gin, Yellow Chartreuse, pine liqueur and fresh lime juice.

Rose Sangria with Cranberries and Apples - This strong but not overly sweet sangria is nicely spiced with cinnamon, anise and cloves and it has just enough crushed red pepper to give it a tiny kick.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Everything You Need to Know About Poinsettias

It’s that time of year again to decorate your home for the holidays and what better way to brighten a room than with poinsettias?

Due to their popularity this time of year, poinsettias are the best-selling potted plants in the United States. Native to the warmer southwestern U.S. climates and Mexico, poinsettias are susceptible to cold and frost. So, when you bring them home in cold weather, make sure to bring them right home. Don't leave them in your car and go back to your Christmas shopping.
Did you know?
  • Poinsettias are named after Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first Ambassador to Mexico who brought the plant back to his plantation in the U.S. He grew the plants in his Greenville, S.C plantation and gave them out as gifts to friends.
  • Originally from Mexico and Central America, they are the largest flowering plant crop in the U.S. with sales of over 63 million pots!
  • Poinsettias come in many colors, including scarlet, ivory, pink and mauve. The colorful part that we might consider the poinsettia flower is actually a collection of colored leaves called “bracts.” The plant’s true flower is the tiny, yellow bloom in the middle of the bract, called a “cyathium.”
When you first bring your poinsettia home this holiday season, check out these helpful tips from HGTV:

Find the Ideal Spot. To keep them looking good, give poinsettias a sunny, south-facing windowsill or bright filtered light. Don't press them close to a cold windowpane however, because this can damage the leaves. Keep them at about 68 degrees F during the day, and cooler at night, to prolong the display.

Watering and Feeding. Poinsettias should be watered regularly and kept evenly moist. Never let plants sit in water; always empty their saucers or planters shortly after watering.

Getting Poinsettias to Bloom Again. With proper poinsettia care after Christmas, you can get a plant to perform again. Water it until mid-spring, then let it dry out and allow the stems to shrivel. Keep it cool. At the end of spring, cut all growth to a couple of inches above the soil and repot it in new soil. Water well and keep it warm, feeding it with houseplant fertilizer when new growth appears. A month later, move the plant outside to a shady location, pinching out the growing tips in midsummer, before returning it indoors. Give it a sunny spot, watering and feeding regularly; then from mid-autumn, keep the plant in total darkness between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. It will then re-flower and produce colorful bracts.

Top Tip: Leaf Drop. It's common for a few poinsettia leaves to turn yellow and drop off when you first bring them home. Don't be alarmed — the plant is just reacting to its new living conditions.

With some tender care your poinsettias can last you until next holiday season! 
Poinsettias at Clarendon Square!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Must See Holiday Shows in Boston

Tis the season for all things holiday; from ornaments to twinkle lights to hot chocolate. With that comes a lineup of holiday themed shows you can't miss this year.

Boston Holiday Pops - Symphony Hall
Conductor Keith Lockhart is celebrating his 20th anniversary with the orchestra, and gives an unforgettable performance with the Boston Pops filled with holiday music favorites, the traditional Pops sing-a-long, and visit from Santa Claus!

The Nutcracker - Boston Ballet at Boston Opera House
Mikko Nissinen's The Nutcracker is known to capture the imagination of all ages from the captivating dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy to the iconic snow scene. Whether you're seeing it for the first time or it's an annual tradition, this is a must.

Handel's Messiah - Boston Baroque at Jordan Hall
Another holiday tradition for many, Boston Baroque will perform Handel's Messiah on December 11th.

Celtic Sojourn - Cutler Majestic
Brian O’Donovan’s A Celtic Sojourn has thrilled radio audiences for 28 years. For the last thirteen, the Christmastime live version of the show has drawn on Celtic, Pagan, and Christian traditions to celebrate the music of this season.

Black Nativity - Paramount Theatre
Produced by the National Center of Afro-American Artists, Black Nativity is a joyous explanation of the meaning behind Christmas. It’s a celebration that tells the original story of the Nativity in scripture, verse, music and dance.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - The Musical - Shubert Theatre
The original television classic comes to life in this beloved Christmas classic - capturing the hearts and wonder of generations of fans.

Ho Ho Ho Holiday Concert - Jordan Hall
The Boston Gay Men's Chorus will premiere Forbidden Holiday from the writers of the off-Broadway hit Forbidden Broadway. They are sure to throw in some traditional favorites including a dancing troupe of Santas.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Boston area shops to visit on National Letter Writing Day

This time of year we tend to send and receive post wishing us well, telling each other about our lives, or thanking one another for one reason or another. All of these notes need to be written on something  and why not make the note not just about what you have to say, but what you're saying in on!

There are a few special stores around Boston where you can purchase the perfect card or stationary to say what you need

Goosefish Press - South End, Boston
A self described art-gallery and letter press, Goosefish Press also has cards and stationary for sale. They recently launched alphabet cards which are the perfect gift to someone who loves a monogram. You can purchase individual or packs of cards with a letter on it, and better yet they come in multiple colors!

Paper Source - Back Bay, Boston
One can never go wrong with a visit to Paper Source! We're lucky that there is one close to Clarendon Square and has the perfect selection for those last minute cards for everyone not on your list.

Rugg Road Paper Co - Beacon Hill, Boston
This is the place to go if you want the card to all the talking and your personal touch is a signature. With many, many adorable, creative and original cards you could easily spend an afternoon finding that something special.

Bromfield Pen Shop - Downtown, Boston
When looking for a gift to give a passionate letter writer, visit Bromfield Pen Shop. With lots of options, and friendly service, you can't get this selection anywhere else in the city.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Must have amenities for Bathtub Party Day

It is Bathtub Party Day and what better place to celebrate than our signature soaking tub in our Luxury Suite? This glamorous suite is apartment sized and appointed with the amenities you would expect at a leading 4 star property. Whether you have enjoyed this room before, are planning a stay or looking to create your own bathtub party, we are sharing some of our favorite bath time amenities.

We love this luxurious detoxifying treatment from Fresh, inspired by Japanese bathing rituals. Comprised of over 50% detoxifying sake this potent potion will easy body tension, promote relaxation and leave you with the softest skin. Enjoy your new favorite bath ritual and luscious sent of sake, ginger & real persimmons.

Rica - Soaking Stones 16oz $36

Enjoy these large salt stones in your next bath. Infused with vitamin E & chamomile an a calming Bergamot moss scent. Running these stones on the water or letting them sit in the bottom of the tub will steep your bath with skin benefits.

Aveda - StressFix Composition Oil 1.7fl oz $30

Lavendar has been proven as the aroma to reduce stress and bring calm. This oil is comprised of certified organic lavendar, lavandin and clary sage from sourced the French Alps. This oil will relieve dryness and restore skin radiance. Apply to the skin after the bath or add a few drops to the water.

La Mer - Reparative Body Lotion - 6.7oz $185
The Reparative Body Lotion
The finishing touch is almost as important as the bath itself. La Mer's Reparative Body Lotion is the ultimate body moisturizer, visibly repairing and replenishes the body's moisture. Hailed as a time eraser, La Mer brings the same award winning anti-aging power of serum to the body by renewing and soothing on contact. Infused with a nutrient rich proprietary Miracle Broth, this potent lotion will transform even the most problematic skin.

What are your favorite bath products. Share yours with us below.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Hanukkah in Boston: Where to Celebrate The Festival of Lights

Sunday is the first night of Hanukkah and Boston has several options if you would like to celebrate in the city.

Chrismukkah at SoWa
Friday, December 4 & Saturday, December 5, 5-8 p.m and Sunday, December 6, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 450 Harrison Ave, Boston
Ninety artist studios, 60 boutiques and galleries, and 50 local artisans will set up inside a 6,000-square-foot tent for a three-day holiday shopping extravaganza, located in Clarendon Square's neighborhood. Free to attend. 

Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights at the MFA 
Wednesday, December 9, 5-9:45 p.m.
465 Huntington Ave, Boston.

After a successful inaugural event, an evening of art and activities celebrating Hanukkah returns to the MFA for the second year in a row. Visitors can tour the galleries to learn about the museum’s Judaica collection, enjoy musical performances, check out the virtual-reality art installation 8 Nights, 8 Windows, and join the candle-lighting ceremony in the Shapiro Family Courtyard. Free,
Wednesday, December 9, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Assembly Row Welcome Center, 340 Canal St, Somerville

Another local Hanukkah celebration will be held at Assembly Row, where its Welcome Center will offer crafts and kosher snacks. Free.

Hanukkah Canata – A Light Through the Ages 
Sunday, December 6, 4 pm
Central Reform Temple of Boston, 15 Newbury St, Boston

Sunday, 12/6/2015, FREE. Accompanied by Zamir Chorale of Boston, this holiday experience celebrates Hanukkah’s deep spiritual meaning through story and song – and explores messages of major contemporary importance for people of all religious traditions. The program concludes with a dramatic candlelight ceremony.

The Great Menorah Lighting 
Sunday, December 6, 5:00 pm
The Edward Devotion House Lawn, 347 Harvard St, Brookline MA 02446
During the great gelt drop, kids collect as much chocolate gelt as they can as it "rains" down from above. Then everyone celebrates the Festival of Lights with a Community Menorah Lighting Ceremony. Free to the public.

9th Annual “Everyone Loves Latkes” Party
Saturday, December 12, 1:30 pm - 2:30pm
25 Brattle St, Cambridge (in front of Hidden Sweets)
Featuring the most delicious, creative and best looking latkes and condiments around, all supplied free by Harvard Square eateries.