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In case you missed it, I blogged about our stay at Sonesta ES Suites Burlington, Vermont here.

Our weekend in Burlington was a cold one, but it sure was cozy, and one of the restaurants we found (and visited three times!) really helped to make it special.

On a very chilly morning, we needed a place to get out of the cold and stumbled upon Leunig’s Bistro, which not only occupies a corner of the Church Street Marketplace with its adorable cafe and bistro, but also has a pastry kiosk right across the pedestrian street.

Leunig’s Bistro, Burlington, Vermont

I was instantly smitten with both, and while we needed heat most, I knew we would be back to visit Leunig’s Petit Bijou at some point during our stay.

Leunig’s Bistro, Burlington, Vermont Leunig’s Bistro, Burlington, Vermont

A rich and delicious hot chocolate at Leunig’s bar was the perfect respite from winter, and the lovely staff made us feel at home and unrushed as we enjoyed our chocolate and read the paper. The pace and the warmth of the space was so nice; it definitely felt far from the hustle and bustle of our Boston lives.

Leunig’s Bistro, Burlington, Vermont Leunig’s Bistro, Burlington, Vermont

Isn’t it just beautiful? It’s rare that we spend an hour just sitting and enjoying a hot drink early in the day, and this was the perfect start to our Burlington wandering.

Leunig’s Bistro, Burlington, Vermont

We loved it so much, in fact, that when it came time to find a place for dinner, we made our way back to Leunig’s to see if there was any possibility of getting a table without a reservation. While the restaurant was full, we were in luck that they keep some tables for walk-ins, and the hostess happily let us know that there was room for us.

We got settled into a cozy table and looked at the extensive menus, unsure how we would decide. We wanted mussels and fries and all the salads and truffle fries and onion soup. . . and all of the entrees.

While we decided, I also noticed that they had a nice menu of non-alcoholic drinks like the refreshing pineapple sage sour that I went with for my “cocktail”.


In the end, after devouring a basket of fresh rolls and Vermont butter, we went with the petit portions of steak frites (with truffle fries, of course) and Beef Bourguignon. I rarely finish anything, so I love when smaller portions are offered, and the size of these was perfect.


This was amazing comfort food at its absolute finest. Perfect fries, a delectably medium rare steak, creamy horseradish. . .

And my Beef Bourguignon was a melt-in-your-mouth feast. It must have cooked all day. The rich and incredibly tender meat was complemented by onions and crisp green beans and the creamiest garlic mashed potatoes. I need to make this at home when I am able to drink wine again. I know it’s a time-consuming dish, but it is so worth it!


After dinner we took a nice walk around Burlington before heading back to Leunig’s Petit Bijou for hot chocolates with French vanilla whipped cream, paired with one of their homemade chocolate croissants, which we decided to save for a cozy breakfast the next day.

We fell in love with Leunig’s and found it the perfect date day and date night spot. If you are visiting Burlington, Vermont, I would highly recommend this spot for any time of day.

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Tags: Burlington, dining, Food, Travel, travel blog, Vermont

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.


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!


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

Port and Snow

Did you know that Friday was Port Day? Thanks to the magic of the Twitterverse and some great people in the wine business, I also received some Port samples to taste for the occasion.

Since we already had plans to head to Killington, Vermont for the weekend, I brought the Port along. Port and snow go so well together!

The drive to Killington was rainy and foggy until we got close to Killington itself and started ascending the mountainous area. It was then that big snowflakes started to fall. Despite the weather when we arrived, it had been foggy and rainy all day, resulting in the slopes being closed down, and also in lots of ice and slush on unplowed roads. Unfortunately, our not-so-trusty GPS led us astray, down a very long driveway, and we got stuck. Not the best way to start the weekend. The homeowner had a plow, but he told us to call AAA. New England hospitality? Perhaps he should add a giant “Private Driveway” sign to the start of his property?

At any rate, after about 35 minutes of spinning wheels and backing down the driveway and zooming back up, we made it to the dry, salted road. My husband the driver for the win!


We arrived at our cozy house to baked ziti and salad and later, Port. I liked this Sandeman 10 year old Tawny Port the best. It exhibited flavors of both dried and ripe fruit with a warm vanilla undertone and a little bit of spice. It went perfectly with Whole Foods two bite brownies. Yes it did.

Sandeman Tawny Port

We spent the evening by the fire sipping Port, and then I had night one of the worst sleep ever.

Luckily, the next day dawned bright but chilly, and we had a leisurely breakfast while looking out over this.


Due to the icy conditions and general lack of desire to ski, a bunch of us decided to go snowshoeing instead. Those of us who needed to rent shoes did so, and we spent about four hours hiking around a pretty difficult terrain. By the time we were done, I had removed layers and was just enjoying the warm winter sun.


Blackberry pictures, unfortunately. . . I have snow shoed in the past with my camera, and it was not fun.


Throughout our hike we went over hills, past a frozen lake, and even saw some adorably furry animals like this pony.


We unstrapped our snowshoes along the way for a quick bite at the Mountain Meadows Lodge. Sweet potato and mushroom soup was just the thing to warm all of us up.

sweet potato and mushroom soup

Après-snowshoe, most of our group took naps, and then we headed to hang out with the skiers at the Lookout. A few pre-dinner beers and some bar food in the very crowded bar, and we headed home for the night, well stocked with some very mediocre Chinese takeout.

We both had another horrible night of sleep, so we ended up not skiing on Sunday and instead, after fluffy pancakes at Blanche and Bill’s, headed home to nap.

Killington is a really fun place, and while the social scene would probably have suited me better five years ago, there are plenty of reasons to return, including dinner at the Killington Ledgewood Yurt.

Vermont still has so much damage from Irene, and I was happy to see businesses booming. If you’re planning a winter trip, Killington is a good place to start!

Special thanks to Killington expert Daisy for all of her recommendations in and around town!

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Tags: Killington, Port, snow, snowshoes, soup, Travel, Vermont, wine, winter

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