Monday, April 30, 2007

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ April 30 through May 6, 2007

You probably have heard of sister cities. Our pairing of a different country with a different state, as we go through the rotations alphabetically sometimes amuse me. Just look at this week's flag pairs. What would we call this? Sister Country-States?

Morocco and Iowa for instance. Not too much at all in common there. Maybe Iowa could export the idea of one of their fall specialties, a corn maze (maize-maze?) to Morocco? What might Morocco have that would interest the majority of Iowans? Having lived in Iowa for four years, I am not sure that there would be much. Not to put down Iowans, some of whom are my very best friends. :-)

Monday , April 30 ~~ Mexico and Idaho
Tuesday , May 1 ~~ Monaco and Illinois
Wednesday , May 2 ~~ Mongolia and Indiana
Thursday , May 3 ~~ Morocco and Iowa
Friday , May 4 ~~ Mozambique and Kansas
Saturday , May 5 ~~ Myanmar and Kentucky
Sunday , May 6 ~~ Namibia and Louisiana


Sunday, April 29, 2007

Musical Theater Right in Salem's Back Yard -- The North Shore Music Theater

One of the best-kept secrets in the Boston and North of Boston area is The North Shore Music Theatre. Every seat is perfect, as well as comfortable. There is plenty of parking, and most of it is free. Try that in Boston!

Their current production is CRAZY FOR YOU which is playing through May 13, 2007. For tickets and information or (978)232-7200

The 2007 season kicks off with an all new production of CRAZY FOR YOU, a dazzling tap musical story about the adventures of a stage-struck New York City playboy in a Nevada mining town — where romance, mistaken identities, and show-stopping musical numbers all add up to irresistible fun. Winner of three 1992 Tony® Awards, including Best Musical, this zany comedy is filled with high-energy singing and dancing and hilarious plot twists. Featuring classic Gershwin songs like “Embraceable You,” “I Got Rhythm,” and “Someone to Watch Over Me.”

Why not come for a visit to Salem, and make the NSMT part of your entertainment while you are here?

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Shania -- "America's Most Stylish Dog"

This past week we had a "site inspection" from a dog. Not just any dog, but Shania, who has been voted by All You Magazine as America's Most Stylish Dog.

Here you can see her with her owner, John, from Lisbon, Maine. Shania likes to ride with John on his Harley. In addition to being a stylish dog, Shania is also somewhat of a medical barometer for her other owner, who has diabetes. Shania will know before her owner does that "her human" is having a diabetic reaction.

As you can tell by the last photo in this series, Shania is also a very docile dog, not at all like some of her breed we have met!

Thanks for stopping by, Shania and family. We look forward to welcoming you back next month.


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Friday, April 27, 2007

Do you think you cannot afford a wedding at the Hawthorne Hotel?

Our first photo, a kind of silly accident, is representative of how skewed an impression can be.

This couple, Sergio and Ignacia, came in on a Friday afternoon in late February. They were on their way to a local function hall to see about booking their wedding, even though it had always been their dream to get married at the Hawthorne Hotel. They simply assumed that they could not afford us.

While they were walking by they said to each other "Let's get it out of our system and go into the hotel." They did this to assure themselves that what they believed was true, perhaps a kind of longing "window-shopping".

On that day they met with Christine Turner, our Assistant Director of Catering, who was taking walk-in appointments.

After reviewing the many packages we have they realized that our pricing was actually about half of the cost that they had anticipated at the Hawthorne Hotel.

They left here that day, happy in the knowledge that they could afford us, and only needing to wait for the priest to give them the dates that were open.

Here you can see them in our catering conference room. They are obviously happy with their new plans, and their world is settled and upright.

In the early part of March we went forward with the date in July.

They attended our wedding tasting this past week, and were just thrilled to look ahead at what their big day would be like.

Today we met and worked on the details of the wedding. They were even able to make some upgrades that they did not think they would be able to have.

Here you see Sergio and Ignacia with Christine, who has become an important part of their happy plans.

We will continue to detail more of their wedding right here on this blog, so stay tuned.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Our Guests Make Us Happy To Be Of Service to THEM!

Here are photos of guests at last night's wine dinner that we hosted here at the Hawthorne Hotel. As you can see, everyone was having a great time.

Back row: Hilda Spates and Cori Morse
Front row: Steve Morse and Bill Spates

Jared Stansfield and Sylvia Coulter

Jayne and Frank Germano
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People at the Heart of What We Do

Brad Donovan

Lionello Marchesi with Claire Kallelis
Juli Lederhaus, Lionello Marchesi and Walt LederhausPosted by Picasa

Reception Passed Hors d'oeuvres




Scallops wrapped in pancetta
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Appetizer, Fish Course, Meat Course

Spinach Pappardelle,wild mushrooms, pearl onions, roasted eggplant and veal glace

Grilled Swordfish Rollatini, capers, green olives and Parmesan,
oven-dried tomato sauce with “super Tuscan” reduction

Lamb Ossobuco
Braised with sun-dried cherries and blood oranges,
white beans, carrots, cipollini, Tuscan kale and sage gnocchi

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A Sweet Ending to the Wine Dinner

Our dessert was a secret. Why? Because Chef Steve never likes to create a course for the wine dinners without having tasted the wine beforehand, and he was not able to taste this one until just a few days ago. Once he tasted the Vin Santo, he knew! Our dessert was a fig-infused creme brulee, served with a pine nut biscotti for dipping, Tuscan-style, in the wine. It was heavenly!
Lionello Marchesi, owner of Lionello Marchesi Wines and our special guest last night with Amanda Middleton of our staff. As a happy accident, Lionello learned that Amanda was a singer, and Amanda learned that Lionello loves show tunes, so she sang to him, "Someone to Watch Over Me" as part of the dessert course. We thought it was sweet.

The grand finale was the introduction of our culinary team into the room. Here you see them with Lionello -- left to right are Sous Chefs Brad Donovan and Jen Normant, Executive Chef Steve Nelson, and Offsite Catering Chef, Ken O'Keefe
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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Our Guests Really Love Us. . .

Here is a note we received recently from some of our repeat guests who hosted a Seder dinner at the Hawthorne Hotel this month:

"Dear Christine,

Thought you'd enjoy hearing that the comments were that this Saturday was the best ever! They loved the table arrangement and raved about the food and service.

Thank you again for your caring and patience in making this such a success.


Barbara A."

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Last Chance to Try the April Specials in Nathaniel's

There are some months that simply seem to FLY away. This April has been one of those months for me. Has it been that way for you, too?

Today and Tomorrow are your last opportunities to try our Two-For April specials, and I thought you might like to see what you have been missing all month in Nathaniel's. Here is the menu, along with some photos.

Two, Three-Course Meals for only $25 per person, $50 for you both! This is a terrific way to celebrate the arrival of Spring.

I hope to see you here.


Spinach Salad
Mandarin oranges, walnuts,
shaved onions, balsamic vinaigrette

Choice of Entree
Sautéed Scallops Mornay
served with broccoli and baby carrots

Pan-Seared Duck Breast
caramelized-candied orange sauce, whole wheat couscous,
grilled asparagus and roasted peppers

Oreo Cookie Ice Cream Pie

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ April 23 through 29, 2007

We are back to wonderful weather here in Salem, Massachusetts. Today is glorious, and no one has any worries that these flags won't be flying in all their colorful splendor this week.

We hope you enjoy thinking more about the wider world, as you consider this week's countries and states.

Monday , April 23 ~~ Malaysia and Colorado
Tuesday , April 24 ~~ Maldives and Connecticut
Wednesday , April 25 ~~ Mali and Delaware
Thursday , April 26 ~~ Malta and District of Columbia
Friday , April 27 ~~ Marshall Islands and Florida
Saturday , April 28 ~~ Mauritania and Georgia
Sunday , April 29 ~~ Mauritius and Guam

We hope to see you here.


Sunday, April 22, 2007

A Peek at the Salem Marine Society

Last Friday we hosted John Donlon and his friends, Lon, Dan & Andrew, for a look inside the Salem Marine Society atop the Hawthorne Hotel. John was the successful bidder on this very rare auction item. I thought you might enjoy a look as well.

For more information on the Salem Marine Society, check out the blog post on Monday March 28, 2005, in this blog's archives.

During the month of May, we are offering, as part of Historic Preservation Month, an overnight guest room package that includes a tour of the hotel including the Marine Society's room on the roof. For more information on this limited package, go to and click on the link to our reservations system.

I hope to see you here.

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

A Birthday Surprise for One of Our Favorite Guests

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Here are Charlene and Ace Chase, who were in Nathaniel's on Thursday night to celebrate Charlene's birthday. Ace, ever the gentleman with a twinkle in his eyes, bought a very lovely gift for Charlene months ago, and then continued right up until this week asking her what she wanted for her special day. Meanwhile, we had the gift locked up in our safe, awaiting the magic moment.

We love to play cupid, and cupid's helper, so if you are ever in need of that kind of service, please do not hesitate to ask for our assistance.

I hope to see you here.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

A Very Special Birthday at Nathaniel's

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This is Alice Jordan (seated in red) surrounded by her family and friends, celebrating her 90th birthday with us last night in Nathaniel's Restaurant. Our staff members love to help our guests celebrate their special occasions here, and this photo is a record of just one of the celebrations taking place in Nathaniel's last night.

Do you have a special occasion coming up? Or would you simply like to make dinner out a special event? Then Nathaniel's is the place for you.

I hope to see you here.


A really nice letter from some guests. . .

Letters like the one that is copied here absolutely make my day! Being able to empower my staff to take care of guests in this way is what can make me really proud of being in the hospitality business. This is because that is what we believe we offer here at the Hawthorne Hotel -- not just a place to stay, but a HOSPITABLE place to be taken care of by caring staff.

I hope we can take care of you, here at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, Massachusetts!




Hello - my name is Eric O, and I was recently a guest at the hotel. It's not often that I feel compelled to write a positive letter about guest service, but in this case, some members of your staff deserve recognition!

My wife and I had experienced a very bad day, which included a dead rental car battery, lost luggage prior to a wedding at the hotel, a trip to Lahey Clinic, and unexpected shopping at the North Shore Macy's. So it was a great surprise when we checked into the suite and found a chilled bottle of wine and a nice note from Shannon. Shannon, Shaela and Lucie were all very understanding, and helped us in a bunch of ways throughout the day.

I thought you'd like to know that these three professionals provided above-and-beyond guest service, which we really needed that day. Please share this letter and our thanks with them!

Eric O and Jenna B,
San Francisco, CA

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Cinema Salem Sent another FUN Newsletter

Here is Paul Van Ness' e-newsletter for Cinema Salem this week. I hope you enjoy reading these. We LOVE this theater, and since it is only one block away from the hotel, it makes it very convenient for our guests. But not only is it conveniently located, but it is a fun place to go. I hope to see you here AND there!


Tidbits rule this week!

Tidbit # 1: It looks like we are going to get a print of the beautiful film THE NAMESAKE sometime soon.

Tidbit # 2: This tale of immigrants from India will dovetail nicely with our Super Secret Pitch Party on May 10 at 7pm, since BEYOND EMPIRES (the PBS-targeted documentary currently beginning production) tells the story of one of the most influential men in Indian cultural history.

Tidbit # 3: If a rooster lays an egg exactly on the Marblehead/ Swampscott border, with exactly half of the egg in one town and the other half in the other, which town would the egg belong to?

Tidbit # 4: Wow! We just heard that CinemaSalem has been nominated for TWO Salem Chamber of Commerce awards: 2007 New Business of the Year, and the Community Service Award.

Tidbit # 5: A local college is having a Movie Night tonight, bringing in a bunch of students to watch THE HOAX and have a discussion afterwards. We love to host events like this.

Tidbit # 6: The Beverly Council on Aging is planning to bus a bunch of seniors to CinemaSalem for a private morning show of one of our excellent movies in May. We're happy to arrange private shows for large groups during the day.

Tidbit # 7: We remain the only theater on the North Shore serving Bare Naked Popcorn, and also the only one serving real butter on our "regular" popcorn. We're exploring plans to bring back Gelato for the summer. Stayed tuned on that one.

Tidbit # 8: Roosters don't lay eggs.

Tidbit # 9: We're making a big effort to add fresh trivia and entertainment to our Pre-Movie Show, to accompany several new advertisers who are coming aboard. If you have an entertaining North Shore-related trivia questions, send it to

Now, here are this week's fabulous showtimes.

THE HOAX (R - 115 minutes) is "inspired by true events in the life of Clifford Irving, the writer who nearly pulled off one of the most audacious media scams in history, Lasse Hallstrom's version of the proceedings gives Richard Gere one of his best roles in years." BOX OFFICE MAGAZINE "The filmmakers catch the right glittery look and paranoid intensity, and they make gutsy speculations about the story beneath the story." CHICAGO TRIBUNE.

THE HOAX will play Friday and Saturday at 11:10; 1:45; 4:20; 7:05 & 9:45; Sunday at 11:10; 1:45; 4:20; & 7:05; and Monday through Thursday at 4:20 & 7:05.

MEET THE ROBINSONS (G - 96 minutes) is "a rock-solid piece of animated sci-fi comedy that'll tickle the kids, amuse the parents, and leave everyone walking out of the theater on a sweet little flick-buzz." CINEMATICAL "Some of the best work Disney has done in at least a decade.: CINEMABLEND

MEET THE ROBINSONS will play Friday and Saturday at 11:30; 2:00; 4:30; 7:00 & 9:20; Sunday at 11:30; 2:00; 4:30 & 7:00; and Monday through Thursday at 4:00 & 7:00.

BLADES OF GLORY (PG-13 - 96 minutes) "sets the stage for outrageous cheesiness from its opening shot when a beautiful four-year-old orphan dressed in a cheap hand-knit body suit skates implausibly well to the tune of Andrea Bocelli's "Con Te Partiro."" SYMPATICO "It's the sort of movie you have to see twice because you were laughing so hard, you missed half the jokes the first time around." EFILMCRITIC

BLADES OF GLORY will show Friday and Saturday at 12:00; 2:25; 4:50; 7:15 & 9:40; Sunday at 12:00; 2:25; 4:50 & 7:15; and Monday through Thursday at 4:10 & 7:15

Thanks for supporting CinemaSalem!

Paul Van Ness

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Top-Secret Wine Event Now Available for You!

Every once in a great while we are able to offer our guests something amazingly special. This event is one of those times.

We have been asked to host an 'extra' wine dinner this month, and the wines are being brought to us by the owner of the wineries in Tuscany, Italy. The price of this event is worth it, JUST for the wines, let along the spectacular food created by our team of chefs here at
the Hawthorne Hotel .
If you are tired of our rainy, cold Spring weather, this sunny menu from Tuscany should really perk you right up. I hope to see you here. Just fyi, we only have 12 seats left for this extraordinary event, so call soon! ~~ Juli

Evening of Great Food and Great Wines
Featuring Lionello Marchesi’s Wineries
“Uncommon Food and Wine, on the Common in Salem, MA”

Crispy Bruschetta, steamed asparagus, diced tomatoes,
fresh pecorino and Tuscan extra virgin olive oil
Beef Carpaccio, arugula, portabella mushroom, black pepper and olive oil
Pan-Seared Scallops, wrapped in pancetta with shaved fennel salad
Veal Saltimbocca, truffle cheese and prosciutto
2005 Chianti Classico Reserva, Castello di Monastero
Chardonnay, Toscana, Castello di Monastero

Spinach Pappardelle
Wild mushrooms, pearl onions, roasted eggplant and veal glace
2001 Splendido, Poggio alle Sughere

Grilled Swordfish Rollatini
Capers, green olives and Parmesan,
oven-dried tomato sauce with “super Tuscan” reduction
2002, Morellino di Scansano, Poggio alle Sughere

Lamb Ossobuco
Braised with sun-dried cherries and blood oranges,
white beans, carrots, cipollini, Tuscan kale and sage gnocchi
2001 Brunello di Montalcino, Coldi Sole

Chef’s Surprise Creation
Lunanuova, Vin Santo de Chianti, Castello di Monastero

Wednesday April 25, 2007 at 6:30pm
$85 Per Person including tax and gratuity
For ticket information please call (978) 825-4311

Monday, April 16, 2007

No, you are not seeing double. . .

Due to the significant wind and rain storms we have been experiencing here on the North Shore of Boston (and likely a whole lot more of the New England area), we will not be changing the flags flying on the front of the Hawthorne Hotel tonight as we usually do. Therefore, we will be flying the same flags for two days in a row.

I'm just sorry it wasn't Liechtenstein and Alaska. Liechtenstein because it is such a small country, and probably doesn't get much recognition, and Alaska because it is my second-favorite state.

Monday , April 16 ~~ Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and Alabama
Tuesday , April 17 ~~ Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and Alabama
Wednesday , April 18 ~~ Liechtenstein and Alaska
Thursday , April 19 ~~ Lithuania and American Samoa
Friday , April 20 ~~ Luxembourg and Arizona
Saturday , April 21 ~~ Madagascar Arkansas
Sunday , April 22 ~~ Malawi and California

I hope to see you here.


Sunday, April 15, 2007

More photos from our most recent wine dinner

Venison Carpaccio with Fava Bean Puree, shaved Parmesan

Trio of Lamb, Scallop and Duck

Passion Fruit Sabayon on Fresh Fruit
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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Getting Started was Blissful with Beginnings like This!

Here are some of the beginning courses, including this passed hors d'oeuvres that we enjoyed at the most recent wine dinner here at the Hawthorne Hotel.

These are zucchini fritters.

This is fresh asparagus on wilted arugula with butter-poached lobster in lemon-butter sauce. It was incredible!
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