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One of my goals in past years has been to explore more of New England in all seasons, and this past weekend, as part of my blogging for Sonesta Hotels, I got to take a weekend away in Burlington, Vermont at Sonesta ES Suites.

Burlington, VT hotels

We left a messy, rainy nor’easter in Boston, and when we got to Vermont we were greeted by a light dusting of snow and a cold but clear night, perfect for curling up by the fireplace in our King Studio Suite. I loved having a fireplace (with a real firelog!) in the living area of our room.

Burlington, VT hotels

Another thing I loved about this room (and other Sonesta ES Suites I have stayed at) is the inclusion of a well-stocked kitchen. Making coffee in our room, having a fridge for snacks, proper wine glasses and wine opener. . . all of those little touches make me feel so at home. And I love that you can cook a meal with the full-sized stove. These properties are often used for family travel and business travel and are ideal if you don’t want to or can’t eat every meal out. When we travel longer term, I always like to eat at least one meal a day at the hotel/house. It helps to save money but also allows exploration of local grocery stores and farmers markets.

Burlington, VT hotels

While our sweet suite was in a townhouse-like building in a quiet area behind the main building, all of the fun happened in the main building, where the lobby, pool, and breakfast area are. Sonesta ES Suites Burlington, VT offers a pool and hot tub in a toasty warm room enclosed in walls of windows. You get to swim and stay warm while watching the beautiful Vermont snowfall. It’s quite a nice way to spend a winter evening!

Burlington, VT hotels

All Sonesta ES Suites properties offer free breakfast with your stay, and in addition to lots of PJ’s Coffee, they have plenty of items, including hot options like waffles, eggs, and oatmeal.

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I don’t eat much oatmeal at home, but I always love it when I am traveling, especially when it’s cold outside. My breakfasts each day were a highlight of my weekend!

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Sonesta ES Suites Burlington, VT is located in Wiliston, VT, just a few miles on the highway from downtown Burlington. It was a very quick and easy drive, and in between visits to Burlington, we also checked out the beauty of Williston.

Burlington, VT winter

Maple sugar season in Vermont had just arrived when we visited, and we got to see some of the tapped maple trees on our travels. I blogged all about it over at the Sonesta Hotels blog.

maple sugar season

Though it was gray and cold, we wanted to be outside, and while in Burlington, we strolled along Lake Champlain, which is a massive lake that has ferries to take you across to other towns like Plattsburgh, NY. I would love to come back when it’s a bit nicer out to take one of these ferry rides!

Lake ChamplainLake Champlain

Lake Champlain was beautiful despite the weather, but when we needed to warm up, we were glad to find the locally recommended Zero Gravity Craft Brewery. Local beer is huge in Burlington, and we could easily devote a whole trip to tasting.

Burlington, VT brewery

I was most interested in their cozy fireplaces. The vibe was so relaxed that I could have fallen asleep!

Burlington, VT brewery

But there was ice cream to be eaten! New Englanders love their ice cream, even in winter, and I couldn’t pass up a trip to Ben & Jerry’s in Burlington.

Ben & Jerry's Ben & Jerry's

So much deliciousness in one place!

Ben & Jerry's  Ben & Jerry's

I’ve been a huge fan of chocolate chip cookies lately, so a cookie sundae was at the top of my wish list, complete with Americone Dream ice cream, hot fudge, and whipped cream. YUM. The cookie was absolutely amazing.

Equally amazing were the lights in Burlington, which made it look like a beautiful winter wonderland for our Saturday night out.

Burlington, VT

Stay tuned for more posts on Burlington!

In the meantime, if you would like to read past Sonesta Hotels blog posts, click here or check out their Winter Sale to book your own stay!

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Tags: beer, hotels, Travel, Vermont, winter

 

The TASTE OF CAMBRIDGE Is On The Move to

Canal Park at CambridgeSide!

Event Date: TUESDAY, JULY 11th 2017

Rain date: THURSDAY, JULY 13th 2017

5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Engage in one of the best food sampling events in the region featuring local restaurants, specialty foods, cheese, ice-cream, wine, beer, mocktails, coffee purveyors and entertainment.

Cambridge, MA– The 15th “Taste of Cambridge” is on the move! This year we are headed to Lechmere Canal Park at CambridgeSide. Enjoy spectacular food & drinks overlooking Canal Park, featuring beer and wine gardens, games, grills, craft beer, The Dirty Water Brass Band, Celebrity DJ Rich DiMare, a Mocktail Contest and dancing!

Highlights of this Year’s Annual Taste of Cambridge include:

This year, the whole event is VIP! We are offering a “Taste and Spirit” tier for $75, which includes all food, beverages, and 4 beer, wine or specialty cocktails.        

The “Taste” tier for $50 includes all food and non-alcoholic beverages (juices, teas, and specialty coffees). Children and Families are welcome! Get the ultimate Tasting Ticket for the under 12 set (accompanied by a parent):  Kids Tasting Tickets are available for $15.00 each for children 6 to 12; kids under six are free.

Mocktail contest! This year watch Cambridge mixologists compete to make the most innovative and best-tasting mocktail in the “Peoples Republic”. Local celebrity judges will decide the winner!

Best in Taste! Everyone gets a vote to elect the best “Taste” of Cambridge.  Your vote counts!

Feel good and do good!

Buy a ticket to this benefit and provide support to local Cambridge non-profits doing direct service work in Cambridge on alcohol and drug prevention.  The Taste of Cambridge helps to support multiple non-profit alcohol and drug prevention and treatment programs each year. This year’s recipients include: Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC), Caspar, Cambridge Camping Association, Cambridge Housing Assistance Fund, Paine Senior Services, and On the Rise.

The Taste of Cambridge (TOC) was founded by the Cambridge License Advisory Board (CLAB), a registered 501 c 3, and is produced by dedicated CLAB volunteers in partnership with the City of Cambridge. CLAB works year-round to prevent underage drinking and to educate and support liquor license holders. The TOC is primarily a charitable event! Our participating restaurants, sponsors, and volunteers present the best “Taste of” event to provide financial support to our beneficiaries!

Tickets:

Tickets can be purchased online at www.tasteofcambridge.com

Please note:  This is a charitable event and we do not issue ticket refunds.

In case of inclement weather we have a rain date of 7/13/17.

SPONSORS:

Many thanks to this years site sponsor, CambridgeSide for graciously hosting the 15th Annual Taste of Cambridge.  This year’s event has been graciously sponsored by: Anheuser-Busch, Bombay Sapphire, Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, Cambridge Office for Tourism, Cambridge Savings Bank, Cambridge Trust, CambridgeSide, Down the Road Brewery, Downeast Cider, East Cambridge Savings Bank, Farmer Willies Craft Ginger Beer, GoPuff, GrubHub, Irving House, Late July, Mad River Distillers, MIT, Olivia’s Organics, PEAK Event Services, Pegasystems, Privateer Rum, Purity Juice, Sparkling Ice, and Whole Foods

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Tags: beer, benefit, cambridge, cocktails, community, events, Food, tasting events, wine

The beer scene in Massachusetts has become so great that we rarely drink beer that’s from outside the state! While we should expand our horizons outside of our beautiful home state, it’s hard to when we have places like Dorchester Brewing Co. right down the street.

Recently our travels took us to lovely Acton to visit friends. We met at True West and discovered even more great Massachusetts beer.

True West Acton

True West is a beautiful, airy space that was perfect for lunch with the most adorable baby. Who doesn’t love a kid-friendly brewery?!

beer flight  True West beer

I found it impossible to decide on a beer flight at True West and asked them to send out whatever they thought would be best. They did a great job of giving me a diverse lineup to taste. Being a fan of darker beers, I loved the Dubbel the most, but I really enjoyed all of the beers, including the Ruckus, which was a super balanced IPA. I am not always a fan of IPAs, so it says a lot when I like one! I also liked their pumpkin beer, which I haven’t been able to say in a while. Most pumpkin beers end up tasting like potpourri to me (not that I have ever eaten it), but this had a nice blend of spice with a touch of sweet.

True West beer

Tasty pub food paired well with the beer and chilly day. I went for the turkey BLT and the homemade tater tots.

BLT The BLT was on a great, hearty white bread and was well-stacked with bacon and turkey, and the tots. . . well just look at them! They were huge and homemade, served with a great house ketchup. I usually don’t like to veer away from Heinz, to be quite honest, but this was so flavorful and the perfect dip for their tater tots.

homemade tater tots

Everything from the space to the beer to the food at True West flowed together really well and made for a great drinking and dining experience. I hope we have more opportunities to visit in the future, and if you find yourself in Acton, definitely stop in.

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Tags: acton, beer, Boston blogger, brewery, Food, food blog, food blogger, local beer, Massachusetts, weekends

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