redefining hospitality.

March 30, 2010

Hospitality should be about pleasant surprises. The kind of reaction that makes you think this is how life should be.

The other day my friends and I were sitting on the front stoop of my apartment building. For those who know Boston’s South End, a sure sign of Spring, is the number of stoop gatherings on any given warm day. Well, albeit a bit premature, my friends and I, with our coats securely fastened, decided to enjoy a glass of wine on the front stoop.

A gentleman walked by with a black apron hanging to his knees and a grocery bag tucked under his arm. Being an obvious chef to most (correction — an obvious Boston-famous chef to most), he felt the right to gingerly joke with us. “You really should have some appetizers with that wine.” The following responses followed, “We’d love some.” “Certainly should.” “That sounds good to us.”

Unbeknownst to us, this man knew a thing or two about being hospitable. (As I am sure is often witnessed in his successful, long-standing, highly-rated restaurant. If only we got out a bit more, perhaps we would have recognized this.) And so minutes later, back he came. Popping on to the first step of the stoop, he presented us with a delectable plate of pâtés, Julienne asparagus sprinkled with truffle oil and Parmesan cheese, complimented with toasty morsels of bread to scoop up all the goodness. He even brought a knife so we could neatly partition the pâté to our liking.

Pleasantly surprised, we hooted and hollered and shouted our praise at the thoughtful man. We talked about it the rest of the week. In fact, we’re still talking about it. It’s not that it was such an unbelievable act. It’s that we all agreed, this is how life should be.

I want to be a part of lots of little moments where people say, this is how life should be. Because, quite honestly, it should.

Thank you for reminding me of this Gordon.

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choose wisely.

March 24, 2010

I used to manage a bed and breakfast right here in the heart of Boston. It’s a beautiful place, and I highly recommend you pop in next time you’re in town. Tell Stephen I sent you.

While I was there, I wanted to start following travel blogs. Specifically blogs that would help me find fabulous bed and breakfasts around the world. I had a hard time finding anything new and innovative and had to resort to Trip Advisor and bedandbreakfast.com. These are fine places to start, but I was looking for a bit more of an edge.

Well, after searching a bit longer, I found a small handful of gems worthy of perusing before booking your next accommodation:

The Kiwi Collection JetSetter
Escapio Blog
Smith Travel Blog
Bed and Breakfast Travel Blog

Check them out. Let me know what you think. Feel free to comment on others that have worked for you. own.

a room at the inn.

March 15, 2010

I do not understand why a room at so-and-so bed and breakfast needs to look like this:

Quaint, but dated. Comfortable, but disconnected.

I am thinking something more along the lines of this:

With some of this:

And a touch of this:

I do not understand doilies. What I do understand is understated elegance. A true respite. Stylish, but not pretentious. Natural, not rugged. You get me? If you do, stick around. You’ll like my bed and breakfast.

many stories.

March 9, 2010

I would like my bed and breakfast to tell many stories.
I would like the art on the wall to speak of local talent.
I would like the silver trays to speak of someone’s heritage.

I might talk about the time I was in X and learned the story of y.
Perhaps it’d be the story of these lovelies from the wonderful women in Capetown.

It’s not stories for the sake of stories.
It’s not because I just want to hear myself speak.
On the contrary, I want others to be heard.