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I swear the weeks are flying by faster as each month passes, and I don’t know where the time has gone since my last blog post. My travel schedule has been pretty hectic, and my husband has also been traveling a ton for work. As a result, lots of other things have gotten put on the back burner. I miss my Boston blogging community!

One thing we have made an effort to do is to venture out of Dorchester for dining out, which can be difficult, especially when it’s dark and cold and Dorchester has so many great restaurants. Boston has such a great dining scene these days that it can be overwhelming, so we have been keeping a list of places to visit.

Where in Boston have I been lately?

Haley Henry

A catch-up date with an old friend at haley.henry wine bar was the perfect way to while away several hours on a blustery November night. The space is so cozy, and while our food was a bit hit-or-miss, I was a huge fan of the wine tots and pickled vegetables. The wine, however, is really where it’s at here. We went with staff recommendations for all of our wines, and they steered us in delicious directions.

While I don’t normally love Gamay, I have been thinking nonstop about one we tried from Isabelle & Bruno Perraud. It was the perfect suggestion, and it would be an incredible Thanksgiving wine.

Haley Henry

haley.henry is definitely a place I could see myself spending wintry afternoons, especially as a respite from holiday shopping.

Haley Henry

With all of our travel, fitting in date nights to reconnect have been more important than ever, and finding good places close to the airport has been helpful. I had been dying to visit Reel House in East Boston, and after a recent airport reunion, we fell in love with the beautiful space, great service, and delicious seafood.

Reel House

Tiki drinks and twinkling white lights and nautical decor won us over. Seafood charcuterie was a fresh and creative treat, perfect for sharing. The service was super warm and friendly and made us want to stay forever. This will definitely be a new favorite post-business-travel spot.

Reel House

anoush’ella in Boston’s South End is a place I now crave regularly. I kind of knew I would when I started to read the menus online, but it was truly love at first sight and first bite.

anoush’ella

I love the casual atmosphere of the space and the quick arrival of the food, which doesn’t take away from a relaxing experience. I sipped a delicious whiskey and grapefruit cocktail while devouring delights from their labne and m’anoush menus. I absolutely love yogurt in savory dishes, and this labne is super thick and tangy with perfect toppings.

anoush’ella

A sweet m’anoush to end the meal was stuffed with marshmallows and Nutella and was gooey and warm and perfectly delicious. I saw many people coming into anoush’ella for takeaway orders; if I lived in the neighborhood I would be tempted to go in several times a week!

anoush’ella

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Tags: Boston, Dining out, Food, food blog

As I mentioned last month, in addition to my usual social media, PR, and marketing work, I am also doing some travel writing for Sonesta Hotels. You can read past travel posts by following these links:

Sonesta Philadelphia, An Art Hotel in an Art City

A Poolside Event at Sonesta Philly

My most recent travels brought me to beautiful Baltimore to stay at the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore, a grand hotel situated right on the Inner Harbor. I hadn’t been to Baltimore in decades, and I am already hoping to plan a trip back. More on that later. . . first let’s take a tour of the hotel!

Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore

When I walked into my room, my jaw dropped at the stunning harbor views. My king room had the most perfect spaces for lounging and working, and I managed to do both during my stay. I loved the spacious desk area for when I had to take a long conference call, and the window seat was where it was at for catching up on all of my social media work while gazing out at the Baltimore skyline.

My room was comfy and had tons of outlets, including an outlet tree type setup on the night stand, allowing me to not just charge my phone, but my laptop and external batteries to use when I was out sightseeing.

Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore

I can’t decide what I loved more, my daytime or nighttime views!

Baltimore at night

Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore is only 30 years old, but it maintains a look of elegance from years past. It’s a wedding destination in Baltimore, and this grand staircase is often showcased in wedding photos. It’s easy to see why!

Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore

Staying fit while in Baltimore is easy when staying at the Royal Sonesta, as they not only offer a pool for swimming laps and a fully-equipped gym, but there are also group fitness classes available.

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The fitness center is inviting and well-organized, perfect for kicking off the day or winding down after a day or meetings or getting to know Baltimore.

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If your workout builds up a hunger and thirst, the adventurously decorated Explorers Lounge is the perfect place to grab a cocktail and a bite. Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore frequently features cocktail demos on their Facebook page; be sure to check them out!

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Of course a little room-service dessert surprise is always nice, and I was treated to this deliciousness during my stay. I was traveling alone, and I ate every bite. Throughout my years of working for and staying at Sonesta Hotels, one common theme is how incredibly good the food always is. There is immense care taken to create food with locally sourced ingredients and to plate it so that it is as beautiful as it is delicious. #Foodisart at Sonesta!

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It seemed every corner of the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore offered some sort of beautiful or interesting detail, from its decor and fixtures like this chandelier, to the art exhibit installed for locals and guests to enjoy.

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The current exhibit features art from the Crystal Moll Gallery, and if you are in Baltimore, it is definitely worth a peek.

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More posts on my visit to Baltimore are to come; thank you so much to Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore for generously hosting me!

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Tags: Baltimore, hotels, Maryland, Travel, travel blog, travel blogging

Our week in an Italian villa seems like it happened  forever ago, and while I am behind on blogging and blog reading and have a TON of travel coming up (Sonoma, Baltimore, Hilton Head, New Orleans) I still want to get some of these planned Italy posts up. Looking at amazing food, wine, and scenery doesn’t really go out of style, does it?

Living the villa life meant that we had not one, but two kitchens to use for making meals, something I always love to do when traveling. On our first full day in Italy, we went to the market to stock up on essentials for the week, including mineral water, wine, chocolate and sunscreen. All you really need. . .

We also took advantage of the incredibly fresh and affordable produce, meat, and bakery sections, pulling together bread, apricots, figs, tomatoes, and various types of meat and cheese for a lunch feast. This is the best way in the world to eat, in my book.

lunch at the villa  

That day, meat and cheese and veggies and pool time and naps led to a wander to nearby Lake Trasimeno, which was absolutely beautiful. My only regret of the trip was that we didn’t get to take a boat out on the lake. We did get to the lake in time for Aperol hour, complete with free, deliciously salty potato chips. I love the simplicity of cocktail snacks in Europe!

Aprol Spritz Lake Trasimeno

Our plan that day was to have dinner with some family members, but when there wasn’t room for us, we instead found the most romantic, authentic, delicious, delightful restaurant in the town next to our villa.

Osteria La Pergola was so charming and the perfect spot for a long date night dinner. None of the patrons left the entire time we were there. 

osteria la pergola

A team of two women were handling the cooking, serving, wine pouring, everything! We did our best with Italian words here and there, and there was a lot of pointing and laughing (in a good way) as we communicated across language barriers, all in the name of amazing food.

ravioli

Local bubbly, “Ca de Sass” Colli del Trasimeno, was celebratory and the perfect pairing for my pesto and cheese ravioli and then the molten chocolate cake that we just had to have.

sparkling wine Italy

Say yes to the cake and the espresso and bubbly. . . that’s my motto!

We eventually grudgingly pulled ourselves up to pay and leave, and our gracious hosts gave free limoncello and warm handshakes. It was one of those special evenings that usually only happens by accident.

limoncello

Our walk out of dinner and into the town square was pure magic.

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The next day was a travel day, and after homemade pastries at the villa, we headed to Avignonesi for wine tasting. You can read all about it here.

After that we had plans to meet a group in the stunning city of Montepulciano, which could be a post all in itself. This one, will focus just on the lunch we had, where our group of 16 took over a small cafe in the piazza. Wrangling that many people was chaotic, and I didn’t even get the name.

I did however settle in with a cold local beer. The heat in Italy made their lighter beer selections perfect especially in the afternoon when you just wanted something truly refreshing.

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The menus were huge and offered all sorts of pizzas, sandwiches, and other items, but we decided to go with various plates of cold food to share. Mountains of bruschetta, marinated vegetables, beans, olives, and more kicked off our meal.

dining in Montpulciano

bruschetta

And then we dove in once again to the local meats and cheeses. This was one of the best lunches ever. If you get to Montepulciano, this cafe was on the right, just in from the piazza, with a more formal sister restaurant across the narrow street.

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This just covers a few of our meals in Italy, and as time allows, I would love to share more. In the meantime I will be dreaming of Tuscan sun, wineries overlooking sunflower fields, and endless plates of Italian treats.

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Tags: Food, Italy, Travel, travel blog, Tuscany, wine

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