Boston is a gorgeous city to visit and the obvious jumping off point for any visit to New England. We’ve spent a few days here before so at the start of our trip to Maine we chose to stay overnight, lose the jet lag whilst pottering, and see some other parts of the city to before.
We stayed at The Liberty Hotel which I was actually rather disappointed with. It was a free stay as it was on points so it wasn’t a problem, but it was by no means up to the standard of other Luxury Collection Hotels we have stayed at. A shame really. As it is well located and is in a fantastic building. The hotel used to be a jailhouse and so the communal areas have all been restored and there is a choice of themed bar and eating areas. All very clever and very interesting too. What lets it down however is the rest of the hotel – i.e. the rooms. Really lacklustre – aside from the themed ‘do not disturb’ door sign and the always-great SPG beds. But that is really it. It could have been a hotel anywhere and reminded me much more of a London Hilton…
Notwithstanding, we slept well and woke reasonably late (6am…) despite the jet lag. Thankfully I had taken good local advice and just along the way in Beacon Hill is Tatte Bakery and Cafe. A cake and pastry lovers dream, sadly not quite dairy-free ready but plenty of egg and bread options instead. The cafe was buzzing at 8am and is fantastic for people watching.
Appropriately fuelled, we proceeded to walk the city. We didn’t really have any plans for the day – I hadn’t even opened the guidebook which isn’t my normal style. So we pottered down to the waterfront as the day started to brighten and enjoyed the view and plotted out our day. We decided to head over to Bunker Hill and follow bits of the Freedom Trail. This was a very pleasant walk and the pavement marking of the trail does make it very easy to get from A to B (although for some reason we did lose it at one point). It is a lovely city to walk round – very flat and plenty of public open space. And if you need coffee – well there seems to be a Starbucks on every street corner.
Boston Common is a personal favourite – I love the little duckling figurines and we went back to visit them on this trip. We also saw some real ducklings, but they were much harder to photography. Beacon Hill, and Charles Street particularly, are fantastic for mooching and shopping – we actually ended the day with some retail therapy!
Once we had reached Bunker Hill we had another look at the map, Cambridge and Harvard weren’t far on really. In fact they were – but the map wasn’t to scale. It is well worth heading out to Harvard – it was interesting to visit one of the ivy league campuses and we took the obligatory photograph at the statue of three lies which is famous for not being what it should be! Harvard as a place to is a bustling town, much more of a community that many places I’ve been to in the US. There was a farmer’s market in Cambridge the day we went through so we enjoyed some tasty Whole Foods takeaway in the sunshine.
The real treat of the day, however, was supper. We wanted to eat at Toro which is a renowned tapas restaurant that does not take bookings. We caught a lift down there with the hotels car service and at 6pm on a Tuesday the place was already heaving. Luckily we were shown straight to the one remaining table, outside in the sunshine. The food and service was fantastic – we were clearly first time visitors and so got lots of attention to help us choose (and spend lots). Neither of us had any meat, quite by chance. This is very rare and a clear sign that the food was good if we didn’t need meat. We walked back to our hotel in the early evening light, right across Boston Common – it was a gorgeous evening and the start of the weather that we would have for the rest of our trip.
A relaxing and enjoyable 24 hours in Boston. I had wanted to visit the Maparium, but the weather was too good for a day inside. On another trip I would also like to take a day trip to one of the beach islands that are easy to reach from the waterfront. Until next time Boston!
More to follow soon about Maine – for now, enjoy the Instagram album.