XV Beacon celebrates being number one

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Today, Condé Nast Traveler announced the results of its 27th annual Readers’ Choice Awards, which placed Boston’s XV Beacon as #1 in the 25 Best Hotels in the U.S, and #22 in 100 Best Hotels in the World. To celebrate, the property has a special welcome amenity for all check-ins through the end of the month and a limited time “Best of the Best”  stay package, which includes an overnight stay, Roederer champagne, a complimentary upgrade, and a special XV Beacon keepsake. Additionally,  an in-room chocolate surprise awaits all guests in their room, through the end of the month. The “Best of the Best” package is bookable now for travel dates now through March 31st 2015. Rates starting at $395. 

For further info: 617-670-1500, www.xvbeacon.com.

Photo credit: XV Beacon

Putting on the seasonal Ritz at the Ritz-Carlton, Boston Common

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Boston, MA — The Ritz-Carlton, Boston Common has an array of exciting events for the upcoming holiday season, including Breakfast With Mrs. Claus, Sugar Plum Fairy Teas, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. Additionally, the hotel’s Nutcracker Suite returns, adding a dedicated room paired to the Boston Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker at the nearby Boston Opera House.  Here’s the schedule:

THANKSGIVING BRUNCH A feast of traditional carving stations with roast turkey and prime rib, and a seafood station with shrimp, Jonah Crab claws and oysters. Live music and dessert decorating stations for children are also featured. Thursday, November 27, in The Ballroom. Seatings available from 12 noon to 2:30 p.m. $98 per adult, $48 per child

CHRISTMAS DAY IN ARTISAN BISTRO Enjoy a pre-fixe three-course festive mea in the award-winning, modern Artisan Bistro. Thursday, December 25, 12 to 9 p.m. $78 per adult, $35 per child

NUTCRACKER BREAKFAST WITH MRS. CLAUS Buffet breakfast with Mrs. Claus and her friends includes some of the cast of Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker for live musical entertainment, storytelling, and interactive holiday activities. Local charitable organization, Catching Joy, offers craft projects for the entire family, along with an exclusive presentation from American Girl.  Sundays, December 14 & 21 at 10 a.m. $68 per adult, $44 per child

SUGAR PLUM FAIRY TEA An enchanting tradition featuring costumed characters from Boston Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker. Expect desserts, sing-alongs, and interactive holiday crafts courtesy of Catching Joy and American Girl. Saturdays, December 13 & 20 at 11 a.m. $58 per adult, $42 per child

HOT COCOA BAR We hate to say this, but winter is coming and few things make it more worthwhile than hot cocoa! In Avery Bar, sit by the fireplace and warm up with a cup of hot cocoa. Choose from white, milk or dark chocolate, and top off with a selection of candies, cookies and creams, served with scrumptious holiday sweets and pastries. The pastry chefs will offer festive tips for children who can decorate their own gingerbread men. Saturdays, December 6, 13, 20, & 27, from 1 to 4 p.m. $36 per adult, $28 per child

THE NUTCRACKER SUITE PACKAGE Starting at $995 per weeknight and $1,295 per weekend night, The Nutcracker Suite Package includes:

  • Overnight accommodations in a custom-designed suite decorated with holiday trimmings and elements inspired by Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker. The suite has been generously designed by our friends at Be Our Guest, Michael Barnum Studio and Winston Flowers with exclusive gifts from American Girl. Master bedroom features a king bed; connecting double room is a magic-inspired children’s room.
  • Teddy Bear tuck-in service with a holiday treat from the hotel’s Pastry Chef, Kerry Meister
  • Satin pointe shoe, autographed by a Boston
  • Ballet company dancer
  • CD recording of The Nutcracker, performed by the Boston Ballet Orchestra and Music director Jonathan McPhee
  • A Sugar Plum inspired bubble bath from the Land of the Sweets drawn by The Ritz-Carlton Bath Butler
  • A personalized American Girl shopping experience including casual dining with a special touch for four (two adults, two children) in their in-store Bistro.
  • Customized American Girl photo frame and Isabelle DVD.
  • Overnight valet parking
  • For assistance with tickets to Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker [not included in package], please contact The Ritz-Carlton, Boston Common concierge for VIP services.

The Nutcracker Suite package is available Friday, November 28, 2014 through Sunday, December 28, 2014. .

For more info: The Ritz Carlton, Boston Common

 

Photo credit: The Ritz-Carlton, Boston Common

Viceroy Palm Springs adds new chef at Citron

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Palm Springs, CA — The Viceroy Palm Springs new French-born Executive Chef, Patrice Martineau, will head its Citron restaurant. The Champagne, France native trained at some of the France’s best known Michelin Guide-starred restaurants before joining the team at Daniel in New York City.

In 2005, after several years as Daniel Boulud’s second-in-command, Chef Patrice returned to Europe as the youngest executive chef of London’s legendary Savoy Hotel, and then moved to Tokyo as chef de cuisine of the acclaimed Peter at the Peninsula Hotel.

Most recently, Chef Patrice created the culinary offerings at the newly re-opened Belmond El Encanto Hotel in Santa Barbara. New menus at Citron are expected launch on October 27.

 

For more info: 760-320-4117, viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/palmsprings 

Photo credit: Viceroy Hotel Group

Riff Chelsea opens in Manhattan, Riff Downtown to follow

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New York, NY — Located at West 30th Street and 8th Avenue, Riff Chelsea traces its ancestry to a rundown hotel called the Chelsea Star, where Madonna crashed in the early ‘80s — it’s the rumored inspiration for the pop goddess’s first hit, “Lucky Star.”

Just opened this fall, Riff Chelsea aims to channel the legendary ‘80s Downtown arts scene – the era of Danceteria, day-glo, post punk, no-wave, and street art. A former flower shop on the hotel’s ground level is a rotating gallery curated by Chashama, an acclaimed New York artists’ collective that creates pop-up art spaces for local emerging artists.

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The hotel consists of 44 rooms, from budget-friendly singles with shared bathrooms to more expansive guest rooms with seating areas and en-suite bathrooms. The property also features six apartments in an adjacent building, connected by the hotel’s central 600-square foot outdoor courtyard.

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Starting rates at Riff Chelsea range from $99 for standard accommodations to $249 for the apartments.

In 2015, Riff Chelsea’s founders plan to expand with Riff Downtown, a 36-room apartment-style hotel at 102 Greenwich Street near the World Trade Center and Tribeca – another neighborhood where New York’s boundless creativity flourished in the 1980s. The property has a black and white themed look with curated mix of pop art by legendary artists Francesco Scavullo, Richard Avedon and Richard Corman displayed throughout. Huge windows and loft ceilings capture some of Tribeca’s singular flavor and history, and each room will feature a kitchenette and a washer/dryer unit. Riff Downtown will also have a 2,500 square-foot rooftop terrace and bar.

 

Photo credit: Riff Hotels/Salt Equities

Charles Hotel’s Rialto restaurant hits 20

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Cambridge, MA — Chef Jody Adams recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of her signature Italian restaurant, Rialto. Tucked inside the Charles Hotel in Harvard Square, the elegant modern space was closed to the public for a private celebration.

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On arrival, guests were given take-home wine glasses etched with the event’s date. Before they became souvenirs, though, the glasses were filled with tasty Italian wines to enjoy with a variety of small plates created by guest chefs such as Joanne Chang (Flour) — her chocolate mousse was not to be missed. (PS: We did not miss it!)

 

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Photo credit: Rialto

Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival

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Edgartown, Mass. – From Oct. 16-19, the annual Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival is a great excuse to head to Cape Cod. The four-day festival will showcase local and regional chefs, include a Grand Tasting, and add seminars with wine experts from around the country. To celebrate the festival, Harbor View Hotel has a special package that includes overnight accommodations in an elegant Captain’s Cottage suite, two tickets to the Grand Tasting event on Saturday, Oct. 18, and a bottle of sparkling wine delivered in-room, upon arrival. Saturday night starting rates are $799, and a Friday night can be added for a starting rate of $499, excluding tax.

Harbor View Hotel is also hosting two events, the Gourmet Wine Cellar on Friday, Oct. 17, an exclusive dinner for fine wine collectors featuring 16 wine personalities and a gourmet menu, and the Grand Sunday Brunch at Water Street, the hotel’s fine dining restaurant.

Based on availability, restrictions may apply, and this cannot be combined with other offers. For more info: 800-225-6005,  Harbor View Hotel

 

Photo credit: Harbor View Hotel

Hotel Belleclaire adds Halloween fun — with prizes

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New York, NY — Hotel Belleclaire’s annual Harvest Week (10/26 – 10/31) packs fall fun into a stay on the Upper West Side. There’s pumpkin carving and painting, a Halloween Cocoa Party, hot apple cider and caramel apples, and a Sixpoint Brewery Tasting — all set in the luxurious lobby at this historic New York gem. To cap it all off, Batman will make an appearance for Halloween.

Hotel Belleclaire Harvest Week Schedule:

  • Sunday, October 26: National Pumpkin Day – grab a pumpkin from the front desk and get painting – the best one wins a prize. Available until 10/31
  • Monday, October 27: Halloween Cocoa Party – enjoy complimentary candy corn treats (1-4 p.m.)
  • Tuesday, October 28: Guests enjoy complimentary hot apple cider and caramel apples
  • Wednesday, October 29: Sixpoint Brewery Tasting – nibble on trail mix treats between brews (3-6 p.m.)
  • Thursday, October 30: Special appearance by Batman! (2-4 p.m.) and Pumpkin Carving Demonstration (3-6 p.m.)
  • Friday, October 31: Sweetery NYC Gourmet Food Truck serves complimentary gourmet desserts, coffee, cider, hot cocoa from (2-4 p.m.) followed by another Batman appearance from (4-6 p.m.)

The best costume and pumpkin painting each win a prize! Guests who take a picture of their costume in the hotel lobby and post to Facebook or Instagram are entered. Both winners from the pumpkin painting contest and costume contest will receive one complimentary night in a deluxe room. Winners will be announced on Halloween, October 31, via social media.

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For more info: hotelbelleclaire.com

Photo credit: Hotel Belleclaire

Cloudy Bay 2014 Sauvignon Blanc unveiled at Park South

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New York, NY — Last night, Cloudy Bay unveiled its 2014 Sauvignon Blanc at a private event at the Park South hotel’s Roof at Park South bar. Accompanying the wine were incredible bites from Tim Cushman, chef and owner of O Ya in Boston, who helms the high level bar’s food, prepped truffle oil soaked hamachi, chili-garlic roasted shrimp, and Island Creek oysters — the latter paired particularly well with the delicate mineral undertone of the piney, passionfruit, and citrus noted wine.

 

 

The R returns to the month, so the Sea Crest Beach Hotel celebrates oysters

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North Falmouth, MA – The Sea Crest Beach Hotel has partnered with the lengthily titled International Oyster Symposium of the World Oyster Society to host the first annual Oyster Grand Tasting on Oct. 26 in Sea Crest’s newly renovated Nauset Center. The tasting will highlight dishes utilizing oysters harvested from waters spanning Provincetown to Nantucket from leading area chefs, including Sea Crest Beach Hotel’s own Executive Chef Daniel Kenney. Participating chefs include Florence Lowell from the Naked Oyster in Hyannis, Timothy Ames from Mooncussers Tavern in Harwich Port, and Matt Tropeano from Pain D’Avignon.

The tasting, designed to raise awareness for the 6th International Oyster Symposium, which will be held at Sea Crest Beach Hotel for its East Coast debut in October 2015, is priced at $95 per person and will run from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets to the tasting can be purchased at OysterGrandTasting.com.

To celebrate the oyster, Red’s Restaurant and Lounge at Sea Crest Beach Hotel is offering $1 local oysters on the halfshell every Friday night from 5-9 p.m. Grand Tasting attendees can also take advantage of Sea Crest’s The World Is Your Oyster package the night of Oct. 26, including two tickets to the Grand Tasting and breakfast for two in the Ocean View Room. Rates start at $353 and include all taxes and gratuities.

 

For more info: Sea Crest Beach Hotel.

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Photo credit: Sea Crest Beach Hotel

 

Hyatt Herald Square New York announces three dining and drinking spaces

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New York, NY – This fall, the  122-room Hyatt Herald Square New York is due to open in Midtown Manhattan’s Herald Square neighborhood. The Hyatt Herald Square New York will include three themed food and beverage outlets, each with its own distinct identity, headed up by the hotel’s Food & Beverage Director and Executive Chef, Gunnar Steden.

The self-explanatory Espresso Bar boasts locally roasted beans from Stone Street Coffee Company and a wide variety of barista-prepared espresso, coffee and specialty drinks, as well as freshly baked pastries from Balthazar Bakery. The seating area has swing out stools set in front of an art installation featuring Dali-inspired clocks. In line with the fashion theme of the hotel, each clock will be set to the local time of a major fashion capital, including Paris, New York, and Hong Kong.

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The lobby bar and restaurant, The Den, will feature a causal bistro menu of Large Bites, Light Bites, and Even Lighter Bites — the latter possibly something to do with that fashion theme? The Den will include rocking chairs and the bar area will look like a finished bar cart that one might have at home.

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Hyatt Herald Square New York’s rooftop bar, Up on 20, see above, has views of the midtown skyline, including — we’re told — the Empire State Building and Freedom Tower.

For more info:  Hyatt Herald Square New York

Photo credit: Hyatt Herald Square New York

Too early to be thinking about, you know, Christmas?

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Washington, D.C. — Fall has barely begun, yet the Fairmont Washington, D.C. has announced its Georgetown’s Holiday Lights and Breakfast Delights Package. Who can blame this discreetly luxurious hotel from getting excited about the holiday season? The hotel’s festively decorated lobby is one thing, but the courtyard, which is transformed into a Crystal Garden filled with thousands of tiny white lights, shimmering holiday trees and over 30 animated Reindeer, well, that’s quite another level of magical.

The Holiday Lights and Breakfast Delights Package allows guests to start their day with a healthy continental breakfast for two of fresh juice, coffee or tea, seasonal berries, fresh fruit, yogurt, cheese and cold meat selections, bagels, muffins, Danish and oatmeal. Follow up with shopping in Georgetown and at the Downtown Holiday Market, ice skating at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, catching “A Christmas Carol” at Ford’s Theatre, the Washington Ballet’s “Nutcracker” at the Warner Theatre, Handel’s “Messiah” at the Washington National Cathedral and admiring the National Christmas Tree and the National Menorah on the White House Ellipse.  At the end of the day, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and holiday cookies in the Loggia by the Crystal Garden, where the interior holiday tree and the a gingerbread display created by the hotel’s pastry chef complete the seasonal picture.

Available from November 16, 2014 through January 18, 2015, the Holiday Lights and Breakfast Delights Package includes overnight accommodations, continental breakfast for two daily and hot chocolate and cookies in the hotel lobby.  Rates start from $219 per night, based on double occupancy and availability, and do not include taxes or gratuities. For reservations, 202-429-2400/1 800-441-1414,  www.fairmont.com/washington.

Photo credit: Fairmont Washington, D.C.

Historic Italian winery hit won’t produce Amarone Classico this year

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Valpolicella, Italy —  Bertani, the historic winery in Valpolicella, will not produce an Amarone Classico 2014. The decision was made because constant rain this year prevented the natural partial drying grapes undergo before fermentation. “We made this choice for Bertani Amarone Classico,” explains Emilio Pedron, CEO of Bertani Domains Group. “It was an important decision, costly, but consistent with our style and our identity, and above all, highly respectful of our consumers and customers.”

Since 1958, its first year of production,  Bertani Amarone Classico was made with a specific technical expertise and the use of a unique, high-quality fruit: perfect, intact grapes laid to rest exclusively on bamboo cane racks (rush mats), in naturally aired rooms on the hills of Valpolicella Classica.

 

Willy Wonka has nothing on the Langham, Boston’s chocolate wonderland

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Boston, MA — Bostonians looks forward to September. Not because the wicked humidity finally drops, but because  The Langham, Boston revives its utterly decadent, nutritionally pointless, completely unmissable Chocolate Bar. The 26th season of the all-you-can-enjoy chocolate buffet presents a new theme, the “World of Langham,” and pays homage to the upcoming 150th anniversary of the brand and its flagship, The Langham, London. As part of more than 100 chocolate dessert combinations, Executive Chef Mark Sapienza and Executive Pastry Chef Ryan Pike feature chocolate dishes from Langham Hotels across the globe, every Saturday in the hotel’s pretty Café Fleuri restaurant.

Wait, chocoholics, there’s more: a new chocolate-themed guest room suite! Like a scene out of “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” the suite is fully stocked with chocolate and candy as far as the eye can see. For dinner, guests can order from a special room service chocolate-infused menu with items such as piri- piri chili shrimp with cocoa nibscocoa dusted filet mignon, and cocoa butter seared New Bedford sea scallops. Breakfast in bed options include dark chocolate croissants and Nutella, banana and hazelnut brioche French toast. In the afternoon, chocolate remains front and center as guests enjoy The Chocolate Bar buffet. Downtime can be spent in the suite watching some of the top chocolate-influenced movies of all time including “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Chocolat” and “Forest Gump.”

The Chocolate Suite is a two-story loft featuring a distinct living room and bedroom with a king bed and queen sized sleeper sofa. Rates begin at $697 per night.

The Chocolate Bar at The Langham, Boston takes place from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. every Saturday through June 27, 2015. Adults: $42, kids: $29. For reservations and more information: 617.451.1900, Boston.LanghamHotels.com.

Photo: Langham, Boston

A cocktail is born, well, two actually: twins!

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Boston, MA — InterContinental­­ Boston, in collaboration with Bacardi, will take part in InterContinental Hotels & Resorts’s first ever international Top Shelf Cocktail Competition. As one of six hotel finalists, InterContinental Boston’s head mixologist, Dragan Gajica, has been busy creating the ultimate cocktails to submit to this competition, held in Miami on November 13. Gajica is road testing two drinks next week. The winning cocktails will be featured on InterContinental Hotels & Resorts’ new Signature Cocktail menu at all the brand’s Americas properties.
Photo: InterContinental Hotels & Resorts

The James Chicago is ready to race

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Chicago, IL —  With the Chicago Marathon just around the corner, The James Chicago, a residentially-styled boutique hotel, located steps off Michigan Avenue and near key points of the marathon, is treating guests to special perks before and after the race.

The morning of the marathon, Sunday, October 12, all hotel guests are invited to a complimentary pre-marathon stretch class by Dani Ragland of AIR Aerial Fitness.  The stretch class will help runners increase muscle flexibility and mentally prepare for the upcoming race.  After the class, all runners will receive a complimentary grab & go healthy breakfast bag, compliments of David Burke’s Primehouse. Throughout the weekend, those looking to indulge before or after the long day of running, David Burke’s Primehouse will offer high-protein dinner specials.

Rates begin at $355 with a two-night minimum stay, beginning on Saturday, October 11.  For more info: 312-337-1000, jameshotels.com/chicago

Photo credit: The James Chicago

Hotel Providence gets spooky

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Providence, Rhode Island — From October 1 through October 31, enjoy the Hotel Providence’s Spooky City Package, which includes a lantern lit night-time tour of the historic East Side, led by Providence’s premier ghost hunters. Starting at $289 per room, per night, it includes:

  • Overnight accommodations in the Edgar Allan Poe or H.P. Lovecraft Suite (subject to availability)
  • Up to (4) tickets for the Providence Ghost Tour
  • Copy of “Haunted Rhode Island”
  • Post-tour dessert in Aspire Restaurant (up to 4 ppl.)
  • Trick or Treat amenities upon arrival
  • Valet parking

Note, this package is subject to availability and blackout dates. The ghost tour is approximately 1.5 hours long. Reservations: (800) 861-8990, hotelprovidence.com

 

Toast Your Post at Hyatt Times Square

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New York, NY — The Hyatt Times Square’s Bar 54 boasts that it is the highest rooftop lounge in the city perfect for snapping great views. Located on the 54th floor of the Hyatt Times Square, Bar 54 offers views north to Central Park, south to the World Trade Center, east to Queens and west to New Jersey. Add killer cocktails and it’s a night to remember. But, use hashtag #HTSxiPhone6 and tag your location at “Bar 54 at Hyatt Times Square” when you upload your pics on social media– then show it off to your bartender/server and receive a complimentary Prosecco!

The “Toast Your Post at Hyatt Times Square” promotion is available from September 19-29. Bar 54 is open Sunday-Thursday 5pm – 1am and Friday – Saturday 5pm – 2am. For more info: timessquare.hyatt.com

 

Photo credit: Christopher Villano

 

Three for Two in Kennebunkport this Fall

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Kennebunkport, ME — From now until October 30, the Kennebunkport Resort Collection is offering guests a free night’s stay when booking two nights, mid-week (Sunday through Thursday) at any Kennebunkport Resort Collection property.

Starting rates vary depending on the property:

The Tides Beach Club: $189 per night

The Kennebunkport Inn: $139 per night

The Boathouse Waterfront Hotel: $132 per night

Cape Arundel Inn & Resort: $129 per night

The Cottages at Cabot Cove: $182 per night

The Lodge on the Cove: $159 per night

Hidden Pond: $289 per night in bungalow/$449 in two-bedroom cottage

The Grand Hotel: $169  per night

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For more info: 800-573-7186,  www.kennebunkportresortcollection.com. Guests can book online by entering promotional code KRC3 or call .

Photo credit: Kennebunkport Resort Collection

The Chanler’s Scotch & Cigars on the Cliff Walk Terrace

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Newport, RI — For the past two years, The Chanler at Cliff Walk’s Tasting Series program has paired liquor and wine experts from all over the world with  The Chanler’s Spiced Pear Executive Chef Thomas Duffy for a Sunday afternoon of eating, drinking, and learning. On Sunday, October 26, The Chanler’s “Scotch & Cigars on the Cliff Walk Terrace” will match eight courses with eight classic malt pairings. An expert in classic malts will be present to discuss each one in detail and after the food presentation, the guests will be able to sample several select cigars. Cost: $125 per person.
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Williams Inn has new owners, new managers, and a new chef

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Williamstown, MA – Located in the Berkshires Hills, The Williams Inn is set on the Williams College campus and is now owned by the college. Having brought on Main Street Hospitality Group (The Red Lion Inn, Porches Inn at Mass MoCA) to tun the inn this past May,  the  124 guest room inn has a new Executive Cheff: Adam Brassard. In 2007, Brassard began his professional culinary career as The Williams Inn Sous Chef. From there he joined The Red Lion Inn as Sous Chef under the leadership of Red Lion Inn Executive Chef and MSHG Vice President of Food and Beverage Operations, Brian Alberg. A native of Adams, Mass., Brassard began his career as an intern in the McCann Technical High School culinary arts department and went on to graduate from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.

Brassard’s return to The Williams Inn brings regional, seasonal ingredients to the kitchen, tapping into The Red Lion Inn’s network of over 80 regional farmers and food producers. The inn has debuted new menus for its two on-site dining establishments, a main dining room and tavern.

For more info: 413-458-9371, www.williamsinn.com

 

Photo credit: The Williams Inn

 

Red Lion Inn returns to James Beard House

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Stockbridge, MA – On September 5, 2014, The Red Lion Inn’s Executive Chef Brian Alberg will make his eleventh appearance at The James Beard House in New York, hosting his first solo dinner in seven years.

The evening’s menu is a personal interpretation of memorable dishes from Alberg’s favorite restaurants that have inspired him over the course of his life and 30-year culinary career. Known for his dedication to local food, the chef’s menu will adapt recipes to use locally sourced ingredients from more than 15 farms and food producers in the Berkshires, Hudson Valley, NY and Vermont.

The September 5th dinner, entitled “Summer’s End in the Berkshires,” will feature items including Hudson Valley Foie Gras Rice Crispy Treat with Frisée, Champagne Vinaigrette and Windy Hill Farm Blueberries; Himala Salt-seared Chicken Hearts with Sweet Soy and Lacto-fermented Celery; Ioka Valley Farm Maple Corn Dogs with Mom’s Bread & Butter Pickle Relish; and, Grilled Lila’s Mountain Lamb Linguica with Equinox Farm Arugula, Roasted Peace Valley Farm Baby Fingerlings and Shaved Berleberg Cheese.

Menu ingredients will be sourced from farms and food including: Berle Farm, The Berry Patch, Cricket Creek Farm, Equinox Farm,Farm Girl Farm, Howden Farm, Hudson Valley Fresh, Ioka Valley Farm, Lila’s Farm, Mighty Food Farm, Mom’s Bread and Butter Pickles, North Plain Farm, Old Chatham Sheepherding Company, Peace Valley Farm, Raven & Boar, Ronnybrook Farm Dairy and Windy Hill Farm.

Alberg is especially thrilled to be presenting this dinner on his birthday, “I can’t think of a better way to spend my birthday,” he says in a press release. “Cooking for food lovers at the James Beard House alongside my best friends and favorite cooks–best birthday present ever!”

Alberg has been a member of the James Beard House for 16 years and has presented annually for more than a decade. His first appearance in 1998 was in collaboration with Connecticut Shoreline Chefs when he was working at the Saybrook Point Inn and Spa. He curates and produces the ever-popular Berkshire Cure-All winter dinner at the Beard House, inviting a collective of like-mindedBerkshire chefs to collaborate and present the multifaceted culinary artisanship of the region. This past March was his fifth year presenting the collaborative dinner.

The evening will begin at 7 p.m. with a reception in the Beard House’s charming Greenhouse Gallery as guests enjoy an assortment of hors d’oeuvres. A seated tasting menu will begin around 8 p.m. The price is $130 per person for James Beard Foundation members and $170 per person for the general public. The James Beard House is located at 167 West 12th Street. For reservations, please call 212.627.2308.

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Start, or end, your English stay in style

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Berkshire, England —  Located around 20 minutes from London’s Heathrow Airport, Cliveden House is a historic estate-turned-five-star-luxury-hotel. The property is set among nearly 400 acres of stunning National Trust gardens and woodland.

Cliveden House is now offering a package specifically for travelers to London. Whether guests want to relax before or after a long flight or engage in a final string of activities, Cliveden can accommodate. Cliveden has hosted guests such as Queen Victoria, Charlie Chaplin, Winston Churchill, and George Bernard Shaw.

The package includes:

  • Overnight accommodation in chosen room or suite category
  • Three-course dinner in Cliveden’s restaurant, André Garrett
  • Traditional English breakfast
  • Full use of spa facilities
  • One-way private transfer in a Mercedes S Class BMW 7 Series to or from the airport
  • Option to upgrade to VIP at London Heathrow Airport

Rates begin at £218* ($364) per person per night, inclusive of tax. A National Trust admission fee of £10.50 per person will be added to your bill excluding National Trust members with valid membership cards.

Photo credit: Cliveden House

The Park Hyatt New York opens

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New York, NY —  The first uber luxury hotel to open in Manhattan in over a decade threw wide its doors today. Metaphorically speaking, of course. The Park Hyatt New York, the flagship hotel of the global Park Hyatt brand, opened today in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, across the street from Carnegie Hall. The hotel takes up the first 25 floors of the iconic, 90-story One57 skyscraper and features 210 guest rooms, including 92 premier suites, all with floor-to-ceiling windows. At 475 square feet, the standard rooms at Park Hyatt New York are unusually large for Midtown and the majority of the hotel’s deluxe rooms span 530 square feet. But, then again, nightly rates for a standard room currently range from $795 to $1,295.

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Next week, The Living Room bar overlooking Carnegie Hall and The Back Room at One57, an American grill, open.

Another talking point is Spa Nalai – Nalai means “serenity,” in the language of the Lenape, the original tribe of Manhattan — with its signature treatment founded on the “ancient tradition” of earthing, which is nothing to do with electrical wiring, but the practice of employing the Earth’s energy by grounding the body to the Earth’s natural surfaces, and takes place atop a warmed state-of-the-art sand quartz bed. Who doesn’t need some grounding in Midtown?

Photo credit: Park Hyatt/Extell Development Co.

Dinner by candlelight in the Berkshires

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New Marlborough, MA — An old inn such as New Marlborough’s Old Inn on the Green really deserves the description:it was built in 1760. These days, the kitchen turns out some elaborate dining, though. Choose a three-course menu compris or, at the other end of the scale, try innkeeper and Chef Peter Platt’s 11-course tasting menu. Eating well into the night means experiencing the room’s candle lit beauty—there’s no electric lighting: old school white candles light up the remarkably well preserved inn.

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Of course, there’s an a la carte selection, too. Platt’s deconstructed spring salad lines-up crisp green asparagus, bitter frisée laced with tasty toasted walnut oil vinaigrette, prosciutto, and a soft-boiled egg. While that dish allows for flavor separation, the wild mushroom risotto unites woody ‘shrooms, truffle oil, Parmesan, and boldly spikes it with thyme. Comforting and satisfying, hangar steak paired with rich short rib, Yukon gold mash, and rabé gains delicate sweetness from young spring carrots.

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For breakfast, a buffet includes fresh fruit, baked goods, and the best homemade granola you’re likely to find. The candles are out and the wide open Berkshire countryside beckons through the window. This could just be the start of a beautiful day.

For more info: The Old Inn on the Green

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One dinner you won’t want to miss

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Chef Jamie Bissonette

Chef Jamie Bissonette

New York, NY — Three great chefs; one amazing meal. Davio’s Manhattan‘s Chefs Collaborative Dinner, Aug 12, is hosted by guest Chef Jamie Bissonnette of TORO NYC, Chef de Cuisine of Del Posto Matthew Abdoo, and Davio’s Executive Chef Chad Brown. This five-course collaborative dinner menu is available for one night only. The three talented chefs will take turns presenting each course, beginning with  Brown’s Baked Heirloom Tomato, and closing with Chef Bissonnette’s Pollo a la Pigalle. The evening will end with a specially prepared Peaches and Cream dessert by Davio’s Pastry Chef Genevieve Meli. Should we say four wonderful chefs, then?

Chef Chad Brown

Chef Chad Brown

 

 

Feast your eyes on the menu: First Course Baked Heirloom Tomato Local Cheeses, Spicy Tomato Sauce, Tuscan Toast Davio’s Executive Chef Chad Brown   Second Course Lobster Ravioli Market Corn, Squash, Lemon Butter Del Posto’s Chef de Cuisine Matt Abdoo   Third Course Pan Seared Tilefish Braised Kohlrabi, Charred Shallots, Bacon Brodo Davio’s Executive Chef Chad Brown   Fourth Course Pollo a la Pigalle Pan Roasted Chicken, Mushrooms, Hay Smoked Carrots, Foie Gras & Sherry TORO’s Jamie Bissonnette   Fifth Course Peaches & Cream Vanilla Parfait, Lemon Verbena Granita, Grilled Peaches, Honey, Lavender Davio’s Pastry Chef Genevieve Meli Cost: $79 per person (tax, gratuity and other beverages not included). Reservations are recommended by calling 212.661.4810. The full dinner menu is also available. Davio’s Manhattan, 447 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY. http://www.davios.com/nyc.

Do the (Harlem) shuffle up to Harlem Shake

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New York, NY — You might want to do the (Harlem) shuffle up to Harlem Shake. Not only is this Harlem diner a slice of Americana revisited, but the food is sourced locally, and thoughtfully prepared. All organic milk and eggs, for two good things. But wait, it gets better: organic milk that goes into organic ice cream that gets mixed together into wonderful milk shakes. Try the Peanut Butter, Strawberry, or Harlem Shake–a red velvet concoction.

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The summer treats don’t end there. There are hot dogs, burgers, and traditional American food. But, also, there’s new American food in the shape of a kale and chick pea salad and veggie burger made with peanuts and mushrooms. Both are worth the hustle-just to drop in another dance reference.

Harlem Classic with fries and Red Velvet Shake

 

Harlem Shake — 100 West 12th St., New York, NY. 212-222-8300. harlemshakenyc.com

Photo credit: Harlem Shake

The Red Lion Inn has a delicious summer menu

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Stockbridge, MA — Red Lion Inn Chef Brian Alberg has long-touted sustainability and Berkshire farm produce, and co-founded Berkshire Farm and Table. Still, he’s a chef first, which means he can’t be obsessive. For the arugula and fennel salad he chooses Vermont’s Bailey Hazen creamy raw milk blue cheese, and tops it all with peeled orange segments and bitter Spanish olive oil. Organic Scottish salmon (sustainability is judged by many factors, not just distance) is served in a stew of chickpeas, roasted cauliflower, and Swiss chard. The resulting piquant broth, elevated by the indispensable onion, is heavenly.

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Red Lion Inn Chef Brian Alberg, credit Red Lion Inn

 

One item not to miss is pastry chef William Hostetter’s pink grapefruit tart, which is a genius riff on Key lime pie. Tangy-sweet grapefruit juiced custard is offset by tart unsweetened raspberry sauce, and finished with a dollop of whipped High Lawn Farms cream, skimmed a day or so before in neighboring Lee. If that’s whipped cream, what the hell is that canned stuff?

 

For more info: The Red Lion Inn

 

Grand Central Oyster Bar celebrates National Oyster Day

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New York, NY – The historic Grand Central Oyster Bar celebrates National Oyster Day Tuesday, August 5, with a grand prize drawing to win a glamorous pearl necklace and earring set from Staten Island’s Casale JewelersIn addition, the 100-year-old Oyster Bar’s champion shuckers will demonstrate the art of shucking and attendees can scoff down bivalve specials such as­ roasted Malpeque oysters with citrus-ginger butter ($11.95), and chilled Wellfleet oysters with verjus mignonette and citrus caviar. There might be an R in the month, but it sounds too delicious to miss!

For more info: www.oysterbarny.com

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Shopaholics, you’re gonna like this

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Amsterdam, ND  – Stylish luxury boutique hotel The Dylan has partnered with the popular Dutch online shopping site,9streetsonline.com, to introduce Room Shopping, a fashionable twist on classic hotel room service.

From the convenience of their Dylan guest room, travelers can now shop the trendy and charming “nine streets,” featuring the city’s smartest boutiques, upcoming designers, handmade jewelry, design, and art with the click of the remote by activating the Room Shopping button on the hotel room television screen. The complimentary Room Shopping Service menu includes a variety of shopping categories such as “Food for Thought” highlighting local art pieces, “Tiny Appetizers” featuring children’s clothes and toys, “Side Order” showcasing must-have accessories such as shoes and purses, and much more.  Items purchased via the hotel TV Monday through Friday, between the hours of 9:00am and 5:30pm will be delivered to the hotel room within an hour through a partnership with Same Hour Delivery by PostNL, the biggest Dutch postal service.  All purchases made after 5:30pm, will be delivered after 9:00am the next day.

To celebrate the debut, The Dylan is offering a special Room Shopping Package which includes:

 

  • Overnight stay in a Luxury Room
  • Dylan Buffet breakfast
  • “9streets” cocktail in Bar Barbou
  • Complimentary popcorn for two
  • €25 (approximately $34) credit towards Room Shopping with minimum spend of €100 (approximately $137)
  • Complimentary one hour delivery of purchased items in your hotel room (weekdays)

 

Rates start at €399 (approximately $546) per night; based on double occupancy.  The Room Shopping Package is available through August 31, 2014 and subject to availability. To book, email reservations@dylanamsterdam.com.

Photo credit: The Dylan

The Plaza Hotel launches Plaza-opoly

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The Plaza Hotel

New York, NYThis summer, The Plaza Hotel launches Plaza-opoly, a new board game exclusive to the hotel. Copied from the original Monopoly game, this version celebrates the property’s culturally rich history and most celebrated spaces and moments. Players can buy, sell, and trade coveted suites, restaurants, services, and shops. However, gamers have to play their cards right to avoid being sent to Hotel Security. Surprise stops include The Terrace Room, where Marilyn Monroe once had an infamous wardrobe malfunction, The Beatles’ Press Conference, or  an invitation to the coveted Black & White Ball.

Plaza-opoly is available at The Plaza Boutique in The Plaza — cost: $60.00.

For more info: 888-240-7775, www.fairmont.com/theplaza.

 

Photo credit: The Plaza Hotel