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To read about family-friendly fun near the Sonesta ES Suites Andover Boston, head over to the Sonesta Hotels blog!

My recent travel blogging for Sonesta brought me close to home, just up the road from Boston to Andover, Massachusetts and the Sonesta ES Suites Andover Boston. It turned out to be a beautiful, warm fall weekend, and our friends who live in Andover were home for us to visit.

 

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The first order of business was to check into the hotel, which is an extended stay property conveniently located near 93 and a variety of businesses, but set off from the road making it a quiet place to relax.

There’s a real emphasis on guests feeling at home throughout Sonesta ES Suites, with welcoming areas for meeting and breakfast (which is hot, delicious, and included in your stay!) and suites that offer full kitchens and living rooms. Our one bedroom suite was larger than our last apartment! I loved that we had the ability to cook right in the suite or even just to grab a proper wine glass from the cabinet for a glass of wine.

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The setup of the rooms is perfect for family travel; not only can the kids be put to bed and the adults stay up, but two TVs in our room meant no fighting over the remote.

Since Sonesta ES Suites are often the home-away-from-home for many on business travel, a spacious work area is a welcome addition.

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We were excited to get out and explore Andover, which is  beautiful New England town with plenty of our favorite things, including hiking trails and places to eat.

Our first stop was the campus of Phillips Academy, which, on a perfect blue sky fall day, was very pretty and very classic New England. Right on campus is the cozy and historic Samuel’s, and since it was 5:00, we decided on cocktails and a cheese plate.

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My Old Fashioned was delicious, and a well-stocked cheese plate hit the spot and got us ready for exploring some more. The Addison Gallery was already closed for the day, and we decided to add it to our itinerary for our next visit to Andover.

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We took the daylight time to explore more of the campus and decided on the sanctuary for our hike the next day.

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Since we’re always up for a meal, we headed to the downtown of Andover, which is adorable, and again very New England. We’d heard of Elm Square Oyster Co. from a few people, and never ones to pass up oysters, grabbed bar seats and wine specials while we browsed the menu.

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My Gruener Veltliner was perfectly acidic, great pairing with the Pemaquid oysters we slurped down.  A homemade hot sauce made it all more delicious; I am a hot sauce fiend!

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We added the shrimp tacos and chilled lobster, which came in the most incredible lemony sauce, to our feast. The Gruener and the lemon sauce were heavenly together!

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Elm Square Oyster Co. is a definite must-visit if you are in Andover, and there were several other restaurants in the area I also wanted to try.

Andover, while to many thought of as just a Boston suburb, is a destination in itself, and it was nice to get away without driving forever or dealing with airport lines.

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My stay at the Sonesta ES Suites Andover Boston was hosted; all opinions are my own.

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Tags: Andover, Boston, cocktails, getaway, hotels, New England, oysters, Travel, wine

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If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you’ll know that our first or last (okay, sometimes both ways) stop on our way to a Sonoma County getaway is at the beautiful and bubbly Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyards. It is simply the best place to celebrate the start of a holiday or to look back on an amazing time as it sadly comes to an end. Trust me, I have cried more than once on their property. . .

This past weekend, while I was on a girls’ trip to Sonoma County, Gloria Ferrer kindly hosted my group for a tasting and so much more, and it was glorious. It’s truly a magical spot, and we sipped on our favorite wines and ate delicious cheese as we took in those views and the end-of-summer summer sun. It’s just a must-visit spot.

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It’s not always easy to make it out to California, but if you live in Boston, Minneapolis, or Denver, Gloria Ferrer is coming to you, in the form of their Glorious Bites Challenge.

About the Challenge:

Gloria Ferrer is on a mission to find the most glorious appetizer in the country. With the help of four expert foodies, we’re coming to a city near you in search of an appetizer that pairs perfectly with our Sonoma Brut. So channel your inner-foodie and submit your signature appetizer recipe!

What could be better than spending an evening enjoying food, wine, and friendly competition?

I will of course be at the October 3 Divine Design Center Boston event, and I hope you will get your tickets now and join me for a taste of wine country in Boston. This event promises to be memorable, and really one-of-a-kind.

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Thank you again to Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyards for hosting us and for the opportunity to attend Glorious Bites in Boston next week!

 

Take a peek at past visits!

Sipping in Sonoma

Wine Country Bliss

Just Outside San Francisco 

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Tags: Boston, events, Sonoma, sparkling wine, wine

We’ve loved life in Dorchester for 11 years now, and while we always had a few restaurant favorites, the restaurant scene in the past year has grown like crazy. The Industry on Adams in bustling Adams Village is our new obsession. . . since they opened about a month ago we have been in five times!

Why do we love it?

First of all, it’s beautifully appointed; it definitely has an old Boston look and feel while also being chic and modern. It feels like it’s always been there.

Second, the staff is great. Everyone is super friendly and engaging, no matter how busy they are, and we like going in just to chat with them.

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And then there are the cocktails. They have an extensive selection of whiskeys, in addition to all sorts of other spirits, wines, and beers, and they’re always experimenting with new cocktails. The above grapefruit and gin with a salt simple syrup was simply amazing.

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Every meal we have had at The Industry has been top notch, from their super fresh oysters, which are always the perfect size for me to their salads. I love when a menu has a number of salads on it to choose from, especially when they aren’t just boring old lettuce. We enjoyed the burratta and tomato on our first visit, and this warm mushroom and asparagus salad was to-die-for.

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Look at that egg! This plate of truffle-y goodness made for the perfect dinner on a night where it was too hot to cook at home!

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   steak frites On the same night, we also shared steak frites perfection and a heavenly chocolate soufflé because, despite being super full from dinner, we had to try their desserts! 

The soufflé was so light on the outside and molten inside, the perfect chocolate-y treat for us to share, and one I am still dreaming about. 

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The burger at The Industry comes with bourbon and bacon jam, which tells you all you need to know. This jam is phenomenal, and the burger is equally delicious.

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When a new restaurant opens in the neighborhood, my first question is always if they are going to do brunch, and The Industry, though new, has already started serving brunch. We were some of the first brunch customers!

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It was an Irish breakfast for him. . . if there’s an Irish breakfast on the menu he will have to have it!

I went with the bacon wrapped Benedict because how could you not? Jalapeño Cornbread, BBQ Hollandaise, Pickled Red Onion, Crispy Onion . . . amazing! This was one decadent brunch, and my only wish was that I could order it in half size. Together we couldn’t finish it!

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We can walk to The Industry from our house, which is a good thing, as we need to burn off some of the stellar and indulgent meals we’ll be enjoying there. If you haven’t been to Dorchester recently, now’s the time to visit!

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Tags: Boston, brunch, cocktails, dinner, Dorchester

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