Book a spot now, because Boston’s newest food tour is going to fill up fast. On Friday I was fortunate enough to be invited to Boston Food Finds’ inaugural Beacon Hill/ Back Bay food tour. I worked my work schedule around taking Friday afternoon off, and while it made for some overwhelming moments during the week, it was 110% worth it.
I met the tour group at 1:15 in the swanky lobby of the Liberty Hotel, and we then made our way down the stairs to Lydia Shire’s Scampo for an unforgettable experience.
Scampo’s GM gave us a complete tour, pointing out some of Lydia Shire’s personal touches, like this chandelier, which she shipped to the hotel by individually wrapping each of the crystals by hand. It is in Scampo’s beautiful private dining area which can also be part of the main dining room when groups are not using it.
Our tour even brought us into the small kitchen where all of Scampo’s magic happens.
We got in their way a little, but everyone seemed happy to see us!
When we arrived back at our seats, we were presented with gorgeous plates of food. A perfectly fresh tomato, topped with soft mozzarella, a chiffonade of basil, and balsamic and olive oil was paired with spicy local arugula. Scampo uses local ingredients whenever possible.
The best part of our visit to Scampo was meeting Lydia Shire’s son, Alex. Alex showed us how to make the naan bread for Patrick’s Naan, which we then got to devour. Alex also chatted with us about his incredible future culinary plans, his mother, and his family. He was delightful and makes some tasty naan!
Patrick’s naan is house made naan topped with arugula, prosciutto, and saba sauce, a reduction of red wine, clove, juniper berries, and cinnamon. It was crunchy, salty, spicy, and sweet, all in one bite. Our tastes of Scampo definitely have me wanting more!
Once we said goodbye to the folks at Scampo, we headed just across the street to another air conditioned refuge, Savenor’s. The Saveor’s brand is over 65 years old and has been a Boston favorite of many, including the Kennedys and Julia Child, who bought the meat for The French Chef from Savenor’s for 11 years.
Savenor’s is gourmet to the hilt. Their cheese case had me drooling, and their butcher shop is known for its unusual offerings like kangaroo, alligator, and bear bacon, as well as its high quality beef. We were treated to sandwiches made with wild boar and yak!
I have been to Savenor’s before, and it is definitely a place you can spend an hour or more, browsing around and planning the perfect dinner party.
My final stop on the tour, because I had plans to meet a friend, (but only the halfway point for the actual tour!) was Beacon Hill Chocolates. I have been wanting to visit Beacon Hill Chocolates for some time, and I was so happy that it was part of the tour.
Once inside this gem of a boutique, we were presented with multiple sweet treats including chocolate orange ladybugs that were decadent and as smooth as silk. We also got to sample gelato and to bring home either a brownie pop or S’more pop and another sample of chocolate. We were treated so well, and each sample was sweet perfection.
After I left them, the tour went on to the Copley Square Farmers Market, Turner Fisheries, and Sweet cupcakes. If the second half was anything like the first, I would imagine everyone had a great time.
The Boston Food Finds Beacon Hill/Back Bay food tour was well organized and perfectly paced, with delicious, manageable samples of each culinary destination. Founder and tour guide Audrey had done her homework and was able to share lots of fun facts with us. It was definitely a special experience and one I would recommend.
If you were to put together a food tour, what area or cuisine would it focus on?
Disclaimer – I was invited on this tour as a guest and therefore did not pay for the experience. However my opinions and observations are entirely my own.