Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ September 1 through 7, 2008

Every day we change the flags on the front of the Hawthorne Hotel. Here is this week's schedule.

Monday , September 1 ~~ Indonesia and South Dakota
Tuesday , September 2 ~~ Iran and Tennessee
Wednesday , September 3 ~~ Iraq and Texas
Thursday , September 4 ~~ Ireland and Utah
Friday , September 5 ~~ Israel and Vermont
Saturday , September 6 ~~ Italy and Virgin Islands
Sunday , September 7 ~~ India and Delaware ~~ India is by Special Request

I hope to see you here.


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Harvest Fest is THIS WEEK AND NEXT WEEK at the Hawthorne Hotel

BY SPECIAL REQUEST we have decided to hold this over through September 7.

Three times this year our chefs are producing a week of special menus focusing on all locally-grown and/or locally-sourced meat, chicken, fish, cheese and produce. The menus will change as the products are available, even within the week. Last night's selections are shown in the photos below. There are also wines available from Nantucket, by the glass and bottle, to go along with these items.

Be sure to make plans right away so you don't miss out on this wonderful opportunity to experience the fresh local ingredients, and our chef's creativity, here in Nathaniel's Restaurant. For reservations please call 978-825-4311.

This was the chef's amuse, a complimentary mini-appetizer of locally-grown orange cherry tomatoes with onion confit.

Eggplant 'moussaka' -- sliced local eggplant rolled around a lovely savory locally-raised ground lamb filling, with Bechamel sauce. A lovely appetizer, which I am hoping the chef's will consider serving in an entree-sized portion as well -- it was so delicious.

Pan-fried wild flounder, lemon-thyme butter, heirloom squashes and fingerling potatoes.

Char-grilled New England Family Farms top sirloin steak, heirloom garlic-mashed potatoes, grilled local sqush, and sauteed New England wild mushrooms, red wine and tomato butter sauce.

Fresh peach upside-down cake with vanilla ice cream. It was served warm, so the ice cream just slid right off, and I can assure you it was luscious.

Fried Green Tomatoes were served with chow-chow, a kind of pickle, all made from locally-raised ingredients.

This demi-portion of the line-caught striped bass with fresh shiitake mushrooms and pineapple basil and locally grown chard and legumes, served in a light tomato broth was exquisite. I just wished, in this case, that I would have ordered the full portion because it was SO GOOD!!

Yellow watermelon with summer fruit granite (a kind of fruit ice) was so light and refreshing. It was the essence of summertime.
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Friday, August 29, 2008

A Hotel Named for a Famous Author Naturally Loves Books

So, when we received a guest comment card from a young guest who asked that we consider adding children's' books to our bookcases, my administrative assistant saw an opportunity and simply acting upon it. She knew that it was time to clean out her own children's' bookcases at home, and she brought in a huge box of those books to add to our library here in the Hawthorne Hotel.

After that she wrote a note to the little girl telling her what she had done. Below you will see that little girl's mother's email back to Christine.

Just a note of thanks to Christine.

You wrote to my daughter about adding children's books to your shelves and my daughter was thrilled that her letter produced action!

Thanks for the letter as well. You made her ( and our ) day.

We will be back.

Marie Bruggeman

I hope you enjoy this small story about a day in the life of the Hawthorne Hotel, and we hope to see you here.

Juli (and Christine)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hawthorne Hotel Thanks Our Team Members

The balloon guy was a big hit with the small ones.

So was the spin art, especially for the creative kids.

The 'pie eating' contest was fun for all age groups. Here you see the winner of the youngest age category. She wisely chose a face painting that kept her mouth and cheeks out of play for the pie-eating contest. Now that is a smart girl!

Chef Ken wore goggles while he grilled, to keep the smoke from smarting. Another smart move!

Bobby ASKED me to take this photo of him chowing down on his burger. Now that is a guy-thing to do, since we would never expect a gal to do this!

Just chillin' was part of the fun.

The view of the water made a great backdrop.

Every year about this time we host a picnic for our team members and their families. This year the weather was perfect, and the food, games and fellowship was very enjoyable. I hope you enjoy seeing this other side of life at the Hawthorne Hotel.


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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hawthorne Hotel Honors Manuel Pena as Employee of the Month

At our annual hotel picnic this week we gave Manuel his award as full-time employee of the month. Manuel works for our offsite catering division at PEM, but he also helps us out at the Hawthorne, and this is where he started with us 7 years ago.

Left to right are: Ramon Rodriguez, Kitchen Supervisor; Manuel; Steve Nelson, Executive Chef; Ken O'Keefe, Executive Sous Chef and Brooke O'Keefe, Offisite Catering Chef.

I snapped this photo of Manuel when he wasn't looking, because I thought it was a great backdrop, and he looked so relaxed and content.

We are so pleased to have such a terrific team working with us at the Hawthorne Hotel and Hawthorne Catering. I hope you enjoy learning a little bit more about 'us'.


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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Fall Harvest Week Starts Today in Nathaniel's at the Hawthorne Hotel

Here is the menu that our chefs have created with the locally available bounty of the late summer harvest in New England. This menu will be served in Nathaniel's from Tuesday, August 26 through Sunday, August 31. To enlarge the image, simply click on it.

For reservations, call Nathaniel's directly at 978-825-4311.

I hope to see you here.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Hawthorne Hotel's Flowers with Brick

If you have been following our blog this summer you will know that I have a series of 'flowers with brick' photos that I have taken. The arrival just last week of our new flowers for the planter boxes prompts this latest entry in that series. Sunday was such a gorgeous day, and everything seems to look so much better on that kind of day. I hope you enjoy seeing these photos.


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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ August 25 through August 31, 2008

Monday , August 25 ~~ Guinea-Bissau and Ohio
Tuesday , August 26 ~~ Guyana and Oklahoma
Wednesday , August 27 ~~ Haiti and Oregon
Thursday , August 28 ~~ Honduras and Pennsylvania
Friday , August 29 ~~ Hungary and Puerto Rico
Saturday , August 30 ~~ Iceland and Rhode Island
Sunday , August 31 ~~ India and South Carolina

There were no special requests for this week.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Sunflowers are blooming at the Ropes Garden

If you are a frequent Hawthorne Hotel Blog reader, you will already know that I love the Ropes Mansion Gardens, located about 5 blocks south on Essex Street here in Salem. Right now there is a huge area of sunflowers in bloom. Here are some photos I snapped with my iPhone for you to enjoy.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Happy 44th Anniversary!

Here on the staircase leading to the Grand Ballroom at the Hawthorne Hotel, you see Pat and Bob Donahue of Weymouth, Massachusetts. They came to have a small celebration of their 44th wedding anniversary, because they had their wedding reception here, after a wedding at St. Mary's in Lynn, forty-four years ago this weekend. At the time they were from Winthrop. When they told me that one of their photos from their wedding was of them on these stairs, I offered to take a photo of them today. They were delighted, and here is the result.

One of the things that Mr. and Mrs. Donahue said was that it was so nice to see the Hotel being so lovingly and well-maintained, and not torn down for another strip mall someplace. That is one of the benefits of having an organization like the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Historic Hotels of America -- we celebrate and promote our historic nature, so that hotels like the Hawthorne can continue to survive and thrive for future 44th wedding anniversaries such as this one.

I hope to see you here.

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Thomas Makes More Contacts for the Hawthorne Hotel

Recently our corporate sales manager, Thomas MacDonald, went to the National Business Travel Association conference in California. He made a number of contacts, and thought the trip was very worthwhile, in spite of the earthquake on July 29.

Here are some photos:

Thomas with Kevin Maguire, President & CEO of NBTA

Left to right, from the Historic Hotels of America Booth: Leslie Ingiald, the Saint Paul Hotel; Thomas MacDonald, Hawthorne Hotel; Michael DiRienzo, Historic Hotels of America; Scott Grigelevich, The Lenox Hotel; Gary Kohler, the Hotel Whitcomb; and Beth Pollock, the Grande Colonial Hotel.

Left to right: Kyle Eager, Air China; Thomas; Elio Usalj, Air China, and Marcie Hintz, Air China.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Upcoming Wine Dinner Menu ~~ September 17, 2008

Our next wine dinner will be here before you know it. Now that Chef Steve knows what he will be serving, I am sure you will see it and want to attend this spectacular event. If you want a larger version of the menu, simply click on it.

I hope to see you here.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sundays in Salem -- Historic Walking Tours

Tracing the Path of the 1914 Salem Fire

Historic Salem, Inc.'s Sundays in September
2008 Walking Tour Series

Historic Salem, Inc.

Salem, MA...On June 25, 1914 a devastating fire ignited on Boston Street in the leather-manufacturing district of Salem, Massachusetts, and, over the course of two days, destroyed 1,376 buildings and left 18,000 people-almost half of Salem's 1914 population--homeless and many without jobs. Join Historic Salem, Inc. and historians Donald Friary and Margherita Desy as they trace the path of the fire and examine how this blaze shaped the city's economy and society over the past century. The path of the fire will be divided into three tours.
The General Alarm: The First Streets to go up in Flames
Sunday, September 14th, 2008 at 1:00pm - Learn about the destruction of Salem's tanneries, and trace the path of the fire along the edge of the historic McIntire district. Then find examples of rebuilding in the then popular Colonial Revival style, incorporating fire-retardant techniques. This 90-minute tour will meet at the Walgreen's Parking Lot at the corner of Boston and Proctor Streets and conclude at the Broad Street Cemetery.

The Conflagration Strikes South Salem.
Sunday, September 21st at 1:00 pm - A high west wind on that June afternoon in 1914 carried sparks and embers across the Boston and Maine railroad tracks to South Salem. The resulting fires consumed not only the Naumkeag Mills and crowded tenements in the Point, but also elegant homes along Lafayette Street and boats moored in Salem Harbor. This 90-minute tour will meet at the Council on Aging Parking Lot at Broad and Winthrop Streets, and conclude at St. Joseph's Church on Lafayette Street.

The Fire Swallows Salem's Jobs: The Point, the Mills, and the Waterfront.
Sunday, September 28th, 2008 at 1:00 pm - Participants will learn about the French community that was hard hit by the fire, and will tour the former locations of the Naumkeag Steam Cotton Mills and the wharves on South River that that had employed so many in Salem. Join this tour to discover where the fire was finally stopped with a pre-emptive explosion and then imagine the enormous and heroic relief effort that began to feed, house, and clothe the refugees. This 90-minute tour will meet at the Fire Station, corner of New Derby and Lafayette Streets and conclude at Salem Common, where one of three tent cities accommodated the fire's victims throughout the summer of 1914.

Donald Friary, Principal of History for Hire LLC and Director Emeritus of Historic Deerfield, holds a Ph.D. in American Civilization. He led the 2007 Walking Tours as a convincing Reverend William Bentley. Margherita Desy, is the Historian for the Naval Historical Center Detachment Boston, working with USS Constitution. Prior to this, Margherita Desy worked for Historic New England's Phillips House in Salem as Curator and Site Manager. Both of these distinguished historians reside in Salem.

A suggested donation per tour of $5 for members and $10 for non-members for the Sept. 14th and 21st tours will contribute to Historic Salem's Preservation Mission. There is no charge for the Sept. 28th tour, which is being offered in conjunction with Essex National Heritage Area's Trails and Sails Weekend. For further information please call (978) 745-0799 or visit


Getting to Salem

Go car-free - Take the Salem Ferry or the MBTA Commuter Rail or Buses!

The Salem Ferry - A 45-minute high-speed catamaran connects Salem with Central Wharf, Boston, alongside the New England Aquarium.; 978.741.0220
MBTA - Take the Newburyport or Rockport lines from North Station or Bus 450/455/451/456/465/468.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tavern Specials

Two Dinners For $28.00

The Tavern at The Hawthorne Hotel

On Sundays, Mondays,Tuesdays and Wednesdays
From 5pm – 10pm

August Choices

Grilled Sirloin on Sourdough Bread
barbeque sauce, caramelized onions
Gorgonzola cheese, served with French fries


Tempura Shrimp
Orange-scented rice, broccoli,
sweet and sour dipping sauce


Vegetarian Pizza
zucchini, peppers, tomatoes and fresh mozzarella


Each Entrée served with a Small Mixed Green Salad
Or Cup of the Soup of the Day,
Chef’s Choice of Dessert

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A nice THANK YOU email

Our customers simply say it best!

Sent: Monday, August 18, 2008 7:13 PM
To: Kelly Lilly
Subject: Landers Baby Shower

Hi Kelly, I just wanted to let you know that everything went well with our shower yesterday. The food was delicious and all of your staff were very helpful with all our needs. I would highy recommend the Hawthorne Hotel to anyone planning an event! Thanks again! Marie


May we plan an event for you?


Kensington-Stobart Gallery at the Hawthorne Hotel

The following are photos that I took of a special exhibit of encaustic paintings on display at the Kensington-Stobart Gallery, here at the Hawthorne Hotel They are so unusual, I thought you might like to learn a bit about them, so at the bottom of this post is some information on the artist, as well as the process known as 'encaustic'.

Here you see Sandy Heaphy of the gallery showing me the 'encaustic art' show that is currently featured at the gallery. I had never heard of that particular art form, and was facinated to see it. These pieces are not only beautiful, but are also reasonably price.

Robin Luciano Beaty received her BFA from Massachusetts College of Art in 1998. Since graduating, she has held positions at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, as an art instructor, a professional illustrator, graphic designer and an assistant to an internationally known artist. In 2003, Robin began concentrating solely on her own art, working out of her studio in Newbury, Massachusetts, while traveling and painting extensively in Europe and Latin America. Three previous solo exhibitions, including her most recent “Wax and Wane,” in March, 2008, were widely popular and well-received. Represented in many private and corporate collections throughout the United States, her award-winning work can also be found in galleries around New England, numerous group and juried shows, annually at the prestigious Mass Art Benefit Auction and at the Newburyport Art Association, which she is a member of and recently won the “Hills Award for Excellence.”

Most recently, Robin has taken on a much more abstract and intuitive approach to her work, concentrating primarily on the ancient wax-based medium of encaustic paint, along with mixed media, vintage materials and found objects.

The encaustic painting process.

The word encaustic originates from the Greek “encaustikos” meaning, to heat or burn in. The history of encaustic painting dates back to the Ancient Greeks and Egyptians who first mastered the encaustic process as far back as the 5th century BC. Encaustic is an ancient painting medium that mixes molten beeswax with resin and dry pigments. Used in its molten form during the painting process, the paint is applied using brushes and is kept on a heated palette at 200 degrees. Each layer of the wax medium is allowed to cool and then fused using a heat gun or torch to create a lustrous enamel effect. Fusing serves to ensure that the different layers of wax are bonded together and will not flake apart later as well as creating a durable moisture resistant surface.

Its exquisite visual properties make it perhaps the most opulent paint ever known; It is also the most durable of all artists' paints, since wax is impervious to moisture and over time will retain all the freshness of a newly finished work. The wax surface of an encaustic painting is a protective finish, nothing needs to be added to preserve the paintings; they will not deteriorate, or discolor.

The encaustic medium remains one of the most difficult mediums to work with. It takes a great deal of patience and skill since the medium is unpredictable and hardens immediately upon contact. This is also the undeniable beauty of the encaustic process. Its spontaneity and versatile sculptural quality adds intrigue and dimension that can not be achieved with conventional artists’ mediums.

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