Saturday, April 30, 2005

Jayne Murray of New England Chocolate Demonstrates Chocolate Fountain Posted by Hello

Chocoholics, We Are Ready For You

At our wedding tasting last week, Jayne Murray, the President of New England Chocolate Company demonstrated their divine chocolate fountain for all of the attendees.

The fountain is filled with melted Callebaut chocolate, and sends a drenching shower of warm chocolate for guests to use in dipping an array of items, such as strawberries, pineapple, biscotti, pretzel sticks, and marshmallows.

I think what got me was the wonderful aroma of chocolate that pervaded the room -- as I approached the ballroom, one of my favorite flavors came out and dragged me to their table!

As I write this BLOG, I realize that one of the real drawbacks to the Internet is the lack of any kind of aroma. We can see things, read things, hear things, but nothing can be done for the lack of taste and smell.

If you are interested in learning more about this wonderful chocolate fountain, please feel free to contact Jayne and her company at 978-465-9295, or click on the links below to go to her website, or to Callebaut's website:


Friday, April 29, 2005

Flag Update

For those of you who are interested, and keeping track, the flag schedule for this weekend is as follows:

Friday April 29 -- Switzerland and Wisconsin
Saturday April 30 -- Syria and Wyoming
Sunday May 1 -- Tajikstan and Alabama

Stop by and take a look. Come inside and read the thumbnail descriptions of the places -- we do this flag changing exercise to, in our own small way, try to help make the world a more peaceful place.

The combination of a rotating set of country flags, matched up to a rotating but smaller set of state flags makes for interesting partners on the face of the Hawthorne Hotel.


Some of the unique items at Sophia's Gifts Posted by Hello

Ye Olde Pepper Companie Candies on Display Posted by Hello

Marie Cardillo, Proprietor of Sophia's Posted by Hello

Sophia's Gifts of Artistry & Elegance Posted by Hello

Sophia's of Salem

A Parisian-style boutique is now located at 105 Essex Street, right across the street from the Hawthorne Hotel -- and very special it is indeed. The name is Sophia's and it is named for Sophia Peabody who was the wife of Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Interestingly, besides the name association with the Hawthorne Hotel, when she was a child Sophia Peabody lived upstairs in that very building just across the street from the Hawthorne Hotel.

Back to this charming shop -- Sophia's sells gifts of Artistry and Elegance, according to owner Marie Cardillo. Marie has become a great friend of the Hawthorne Hotel, and we are very happy to have her in the neighborhood. If you want to contact her, you can phone her at 978-741-1809.

In addition to very lovely gifts, she also sells Ye Olde Pepper Companie candies, which are made right here in Salem at the oldest candy shop in the United States.

A bit of trivia, we do know that the pronounciation of Sophia is like this: so-fie-ah, not so-fee-ah, as is commonly used in the U.S. We learned this because we have a function room in the Hotel that is called Sophia's.

Another wonderful fact that you should know about Sophia's Gifts is that the shop is open into the evening hours, so you can shop there after many of the other shops and attractions in Salem are closed for the day.

I hope you will enjoy seeing the photos of Sophia's and will stop by and tell Marie you learned about her shop through our BLOG. This is a case where you really have to see for yourself what lovely and unusual gifts you can purchase there -- just beware that you may want to keep the gifts for yourself!

Have a great day,


Thursday, April 28, 2005

Catholic Charities RAZZMATAZZ!

Last night we hosted the annual spring gala fund-raising event for Catholic Charities of the North Shore at the Hawthorne Hotel. The themed event, called RAZZMATAZZ!, featured the foods of New Orleans, including the Garden District, the Vieux Carre, the French Market, and Jazzfest.

As you know if you've read other posts on our BLOG, Catholic Charities of the North Shore is one of the Hawthorne Hotel's special interests. The entire staff works very hard to insure that this is a one-of-a-kind event, with special decor, music and entertainment, along with food, FOOD and MORE FOOD!!!

If you would like to know more about Catholic Charities of the North Shore, you can click on this link to access their website:

Here are some photos of the event for you to enjoy.


Karen Cotton, Hawthorne Hotel Director of Catering, and Patricia Devoe enjoy the decor that transformed Sophia's into the Garden District of New Orleans for RAZZMATAZZ! at Catholic Charities Annual Spring Gala Posted by Hello

Richard and Ginger Blazo celebrating RAZZMATAZZ! at Catholic Charities annual Spring Gala in the Ballroom of the Hawthorne Hotel Posted by Hello

The Ballroom was festive with musical notes, instruments and Jazzfest style food, including French Market Beignets, served hot and sporting a blanket of powdered sugar, along with traditional Chicory Cafe au Lait Posted by Hello

Penny Nelson made Muffuletta Sandwiches to order, in front of a backdrop of New Orleans Jazz Greats, in the Hawthorne Hotel Grand Ballroom Posted by Hello

The French Market in the Tavern at the Hawthorne Hotel was part of RAZZMATAZZ Posted by Hello

Patricia Devoe and Virginia Doocy of Catholic Charities Posted by Hello

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Flags of Washington State and Germany

Flags of Washington State and Germany Posted by Hello

If you are wondering why we are all of a sudden not in alphabetical order, today we are flying the German flag in honor of the new Pope, because Catholic Charities of the North Shore is holding their annual fund-raiser at the Hawthorne Hotel.

Tomorrow we will go back to business as usual in our flag rotation, with the flags of Sweden and West Virginia.


Tuesday, April 26, 2005

What is a Wedding Tasting?

After a couple books their wedding at the Hawthorne Hotel, about three months before their big event, we invite them to a Wedding Tasting.

What is that exactly? It is a kind of preliminary event, held quarterly in our Ballroom, that enables the couple to taste a multitude of items before they have to make up their minds about what we will serve them and their guests.

As you can see in the photos below, we serve everything from appetizers to wedding cake, and every course in between. We set the Ballroom with a number of different table styles, chair styles, flower arrangements, all of the attendant details are in place for them to see exactly what is possible.

Several of our suppliers work with us to make this event successful, including Nina Vickers who plays the harp, Montillio's Cakes in providing the cakes for us all to taste, and Peter Barter Florist for providing the lovely centerpieces.

I have heard from a number of families that have children who have already been married and had their receptions elsewhere, that they are totally impressed with our approach, as they have not experienced it anywhere else.

I have also learned from some couples that they were pleased to be able to actually sit down and enjoy the food served at their weddings, because they knew they would be too nervous, or too busy, to actually enjoy it on the day of their reception.

In a future post I'll tell you about the Chocolate Fountain. Stay tuned.


Baked Brie with Toasted Pecans, a Stationed Hors d'oeuvre, is a favorite at the Wedding Tastings at the Hawthorne Hotel  Posted by Hello

Upgraded Tablecloth, Chair Covers and Floral Arrangement on Display at the Hawthorne Hotel Wedding Tasting Posted by Hello

Guests Gather for Hors d'oeuvre Tasting at Hawthorne Hotel Posted by Hello

Napkin Folds: Bird of Paradise, Fan in Glass, Modern, Bishop's Hat, Rose in Glass, Fan on Table, and Flat Fold Posted by Hello

An Array of Entree Plates on Display at the Wedding Tasting, Hawthorne Hotel Posted by Hello

Flags of April 26 2005 Hawthorne Hotel Posted by Hello

Today's Flags

The flags we are flying in front of the Hawthorne Hotel today are of Swaziland and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


Sunday, April 24, 2005

Mother's Day Brunch at the Hawthorne Hotel

Here is a copy of the menu that is the framework for what our chefs are planning for our Mother's Day Brunch on Sunday, May 8. I hope it will whet your appetite like it does mine.

We will be serving from 11 am until 5 pm this year. A few substitutions will be made mid-afternoon as we believe you will be anticipating fewer breakfast items at that time of the day.

If you would like to make reservations, please do so as soon as possible, as are reservation book is filling up much more quickly this year. The direct line is 978-825-4311.


Assorted Seasonal Fruits
Assorted Fresh Breads, Muffins, Pecan Rolls, Danish and Scones
Smoked Salmon and Cucumber Relish with Red Onions, Capers with Mustard Dill Sauce
Baked Brie with Fresh Berries and Spiced Pecans
Tomato and Fresh Mozzarella Salad with Basil Chiffonnade and Red Onion Vinaigrette
Spicy Vegetable Lo Mein Salad with Garlic, Chili and Soy Dressing
Tri Colored Tortellini with Red Bell Peppers and Grilled Zucchini
with Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette
Green Bean and Vidalia Onion Salad with Toasted Walnuts and Walnut Oil
Chilled Poached Asparagus with Raspberry Dressing


Bacon and Sausage
Belgian Waffles with Strawberry Sauce and Maple Syrup
Cheese Blintzes with Fruit Compote
Scrambled Eggs with Fresh Chives and Vermont Cheddar
Potato and Herbs Gratin
Medley of Spring Vegetables
Oven Roasted Salmon topped with Sundried Tomatoes, Olives and Parmesan
Boneless Chicken Breast in White Wine with Wild Mushrooms and Spring Peas
Asparagus Chicken Sausage with Whole Wheat Pasta and Fresh Herbs


Slow Roasted Prime Rib of Beef with Horseradish Cream
Roasted Leg of Spring Lamb glazed with Minted Espresso and Mint Jelly
Roasted Pork Loin with Banana Chutney

to include but not limited to

Assorted Mini Pastries, Cookies and Brownies
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauce
Chocolate Layer Cake
Carrot Cake
Assorted Fruit Pies
Assorted Cakes and Desserts

At 3:00 pm we will make the following menu changes:
Scrambled Eggs replaced by Ham and Cheese Quiche
Waffles replaced by Chicken Ratatouille and Sausage
Blintzes replaced by Cheese Ravioli with Bacon and Peas
in Garlic Cream Sauce with Parmesan
Bacon and Sausage replaced by Roasted Red Bliss Potatoes

Today's Flags are of Vermont (near) and Sudan (far side) in this photo of the Hawthorne Hotel front door. Posted by Hello

Information on the Vermont State Flag, from the lobby of the Hawthorne Hotel Posted by Hello

Information on Sudan, from the framed version in the lobby of the Hawthorne Hotel Posted by Hello

Mourning Dove Nesting at the Hawthorne Hotel Posted by Hello

"Lucky Lady" is one name that has been suggested for our unregistered guest. Posted by Hello

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Mourning Dove in Residence

The story of our unregistered guest continues.

Yesterday Dan Harris, our Rooms Division Manager spoke with a representative of the National Audubon Society about our new hotel mascot, the Mourning Dove, who has taken up residence just outside the window of one of our sixth floor rooms. He asked her if we could properly move the nest.

Without hesitation, the reply was that not only shouldn't we move it, but it is against the law to move it. This is the nest of a migratory species, and it is against the law to move it, disturb it, or touch it.

We learned that the incubation period for these eggs is about 14 days. Then another 14 to 21 days or so until the birds are able to fly on their own.

So, we have the room 'out of order' for the time being, while we prepare some signs to be placed on the window. We hope the signs will prevent any future guest from opening that particular window, since that process will most certainly disturb this nest.

Now we're trying to decide on a name for our new mascot. Any suggestions?

Here is a link to information on Mourning Doves:

My job is always interesting.


Friday, April 22, 2005

Mystery Guest at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem

Help us identify this guest Posted by Hello

As a hotel general manager, I just never know what kind of interesting challenge will be waiting for me at the hotel each day. Today was a first for me. A bird has tried to check-in without going through the registration process.

Now, for those of you who don't know, we are a pet-friendly hotel. Yes, the sixth floor is set-up for our guests who wish to bring their pets. But a nesting bird?? Who hasn't registered?? We're just not sure what to do about her.

We have called the Audubon Society for advice. She isn't quite in the room, just nesting between the storm window/screen and the guest room window. We obviously don't want her to be disturbed, but what about the guests who will rent that room next?

Hmmmm. . . . another interesting day in the life of the Hawthorne Hotel. I'll keep you posted.