winter

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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!

IMG_8767

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

We are embracing winter this year! If you’ve been reading/following me on social media, you might know that summer is far and away my favorite time of year, and I have a really hard time dealing with dark and cold.

Last winter and recently I have read articles on the Danish concept of hygge, the idea of coziness and a positive state of mind and mental well being. Hygge is about the feelings that come from creating a cozy space and positivity, and I am trying my best to keep this concept in mind.

After a very busy work week, we had a quiet Friday night in by the fire. Friday happened to be Nollaig na mBan, or Women’s Christmas in Irish. This is celebrated as a day for women, who tend to do much of the Christmas shopping and cooking, to relax. And relax I did! My husband waited on me with our favorite Indian takeout as I sat with sparkling wine by the fire. We watched The Missing (so good!) and went to bed early.

sparkling wine by the fire  

With hours of cozy sleep under our belts, Saturday morning was full of energy, and we walked to our favorite Irish bakery, Greenhills Bakery in Adams Village for giant cups of tea and a shared chocolate croissant. Hearing Irish spoken in Boston is always a delight, and we soaked up the homey atmosphere before walking a bit more in the snow and deciding a proper brunch at Lucy’s, also in Adams Village, was necessary!

Greenhills Bakery

Look at that biscuit!

The food at Lucy’s is delicious, and with snow falling outside, there was such  cozy vibe inside. We lingered over our meals, not checking phones, just talking and watching the snow fall before venturing out for our beautiful winter wonderland walk home.

 Lucy's Dorchester

snow day

  After another quiet night in, we decided that Sunday should be for hiking at World’s End. We should have brought our snowshoes, but instead laughed and trudged through the drifts to get to high points, where we enjoyed amazing coastal views. It was SO fun.

World's End Hingham 

World's End Hingham 

World's End Hingham

Hiking always works up an appetite, and especially when it’s snow hiking, so we headed to nearby Hingham Shipyard to try Trident Galley & Raw Bar. They had live music, an incredible brunch menu, and excellent service.

Trying to be a little healthy, we shared a beet salad and the short rib hash, which was a spot-on recommendation. It was amazing.

short rib hash

I love splitting plates like this; we were full but didn’t feel awful, and we got a taste of a couple of great dishes. The live music was a nice touch as well. Covers of old favorites, not-too-loud, and uplifting, it was a lovely addition to brunch.

 

Trident Hingham

 

Hingham Shipyard

After even MORE outdoor wandering at the Shipyard, we decided we needed a little bit more time outside, and stopped at the Milton Yacht Club on the way home to capture the setting sun and beautiful late afternoon winter light.

Milton Yacht Club 

I thawed out with a hot Epsom salt bath before pouring a glass of Navarra wine and whipping up Chicken, Bacon, and Potato Soup (with kale).

chicken bacon stew

It was the perfect weekend. I realize I can either hate this time of year or spend more time being grateful for all I have to get through it – food, shelter, warmth, love. I think if I can keep that focus, I can make it to spring!

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Tags: brunch, cooking, Dorchester, hiking, Hingham, Nature, New England, outdoors, recipes, snow, winter

I don’t know about you, but we have a LOT of shoveling to do. A few feet of snow will result in a few hours of shoveling our sidewalk and driveway, and I hope everyone around us does the same if they can. After all of the falling I did last winter, I am terrified of wandering around on treacherous sidewalks.

I am officially ready for Spring, but if you have to be stuck inside, making and eating dessert is a fun way to pass the time, especially after you’ve burned so many calories shoveling! Here are a few easy and decadent dessert recipes to make on a snowy (or rainy, or any) day.

peanut butter pretzel truffles

Peanut Butter Chocolate Pretzel Clusters – So easy, so delicious!

 

banoffee pie

Banoffee Pie – One of our favorites!

chocolate and butter in a double boiler

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Guinness

Guinness Ice Cream Floats – St. Patrick’s Day is on the way!

 

bread pudding

French Toast Bread Pudding – Since there’s always a run on bread, milk, and eggs before a blizzard, French Toast is a must. Turn it into dessert in bread pudding form!

At least in Boston, there’s nowhere to go on days like today! Make something delicious, take a nap, pop some bubbly and enjoy the pause in busy life.

 

Are you snowed in today?

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Tags: baking, desserts, Food, recipes, snow, snowed in, winter

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