Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Top-Ten Tavern Menu Items

Everyone seems to like "Top Ten" lists, so I thought I would share with you the top ten entrees that we sell in the Tavern Restaurant.

10. Small Penne Pasta with Chicken, Smoked Mozzarella, Roasted Tomatoes and Basil

9. Tavern Crab Cake Sandwich

8. Grilled Cheese, Bacon and Tomato Sandwich

7. Traditional New England-Style Baked Haddock

6. Roast Turkey Sandwich

5. Fried Haddock Sandwich (a personal favorite because our haddock is always so very FRESH!)

4. Portobello Mushroom Sandwich on Grilled Sourdough Bread with sauteed fresh Spinach (another personal choice -- layers of flavors!!) See photo below:

3. Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich

2. Chicken Club

and. . . drum-roll please. . .

. . the number-one (1) best-selling entree on the Tavern menu is our awesome 1/2-pound Tavern Burger.

So, the next time you are looking for great pub fare, give us a try in the Tavern at the Hawthorne Hotel. The food is outstanding, and the service is top-notch. You will be delighted, I am certain.

I hope to see you here!


Monday, August 30, 2010

Another Lovely Thank You Letter

It is so nice to set that people still know how to write thank you notes!
We certainly enjoy receiving them.

I hope to see you here.


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Thank You to the Hard-Working Chefs of the Hawthorne Hotel

This is a lovely note thanking our chefs for the excellence in food preparation at a recent event.

To enlarge this for better reading, just click on the image.
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I hope to see you here.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ August 30 through September 6, 2010

Well, it seems that our habit of flying the flags of the various states of the U.S.A in alphabetical order has stirred up a bit of a local tempest. This past week we flew the flags, as is our custom, and as we have done for well over 11 years, but this past week I received a phone call and two commentary posts on our blog about flying the flag of Mississippi. The comments came from some neighbors of the Hotel who were incensed that we would fly a flag that in their opinion was representative of slavery and oppression.

It seems that flag has the remnants of the Confederate flag as part of its design, and those neighbors thought that wasn't something we should choose to allow. While not wanting to rekindle another Civil War, I have to say that it is far from the province of one solitary, independent hotel to make one of the properly admitted states of the U.S.A. an exception from our flag rotation because of the design of its flag. What do you think, fair blog readers?

This is as close to a controversy as we have ever had in the five years of this blog, which finds itself to be more of a daily magazine for the Hawthorne Hotel and for Salem. But we are game for some conversation, and would be interested in knowing how you feel about this subject? So, here is the question (not that this is a poll or anything even remotely like that) for you to comment upon:

"Should we omit flying the flag of the State of Mississippi due to its design?" If you have an opinion, for or against, we would love to hear from the rest of you!

Meanwhile, here is this week's lineup:

Monday , August 30 ~~ Papua New Guinea and Nebraska
Tuesday , August 31 ~~ Paraguay and Nevada
Wednesday , September 1 ~~ Peru and New Hampshire
Thursday , September 2 ~~ Philippines and New Jersey
Friday , September 3 ~~ Poland and New Mexico
Saturday , September 4 ~~ Portugal and New York
Sunday , September 5 ~~ Qatar and North Carolina

By the way, there are no special requests for this week.

I hope to see you here.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Salem Willows

Whenever I go to visit a new place, I always want to know about the places that the locals love. The Salem Willows is one of those places for those of us in Salem and the North Shore. Here are some photos I snapped with my trusty iPhone earlier today:

The namesake weeping willow trees provide both a lovely backdrop, and great shade.

Tennis and basketball courts augment the traditional boardwalk amusements of skee-ball and other kinds of "feed me a quarter" games.

Just beyond this sign is the best place for popcorn on the planet -- Hobbs!

Hobbs makes popcorn in an old-fashioned drum popper, and then dresses it with real, old-fashioned melted butter. They toss it around so it is nicely distributed -- not too greasy, and every bite singing butter's praises on real, tasty and fresh popped corn.

Another old-fashioned aspect of the Willows is the Carousel.

On the way back, make a slight detour down a side street to see this quintessential New England seascape with the salt marsh grass in the foreground, and a safe cove filled with small boats.
The Willows is a very short ride from the Hawthorne Hotel, or if you are up for a looonnng walk, allow yourself about 45 minutes to walk there, turning left down Essex Street from our side door.
I hope you enjoy this look at Salem in the summer, and I hope to see you here (or there) soon!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Happy Hour in the Tavern at the Hawthorne Hotel

Salem, MA ~~

Here is an updated list of our Happy Hour Specials offered in our Tavern Monday through Friday evenings, from 4:30 pm to 6 pm. Does that make it a Happy Hour-and-a-Half?? Happy 90-Minutes? Doesn't have the ring, does it?!

In any case, this is a terrific value for anyone who wants a drink and something to munch on (beyond the dry snack mix that we always have available) while making a stop in the Tavern.

Here is the list:

Monday - Jumbo Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce

Tuesday - Buffalo Chicken Slider, with Bleu Cheese Dressing

Wednesday - All-Beef Slider, with traditional accompaniments

Thursday - Fried Shrimp Cozy, Sesame Garlic Dip

Friday - Baked Stuffed Clams, Lemon Wedge

Each of these yummy items cost only 90 cents each. Order one, order a bunch! (But no to-go orders, please) and you must pay for a beverage when you enjoy this special. But of course, you would want one anyway, right?

I hope to see you here.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hurray for Sunshine!

You would think from that headline that we have had a miserable summer here in Salem, MA, but that would be untruthful. We have actually had a lovely summer this year, with the singular exception of the past four days of rain.

But the SUN IS OUT in Salem, and the Northeast for that matter, and we are all smiling again.

This is a great time to take advantage of the last week of our new Summer Special. We have created a 'new weekend' that consists of Sunday and Monday. This is great for people who have to work on Fridays and Saturdays, or for people who are on vacation.

Our special is this: Stay Sunday night, and receive a 20% discount off of our regular room rates. Stay Sunday and Monday night, and receive a 20% discount for Sunday and a 50% discount for Monday, AND get breakfast for both mornings. This is one of the most consumer-friendly deals we have ever offered, and it ends this week, so make sure you contact us SOON and get in here on this deal for the final week of the Summer!!

This special is only available through the hotel, so call us at 978-744-4080 or toll-free at 800-729-7829 (800-SAY-STAY).

I hope to see you here.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Bit of "Witch City" History

A good friend of the Hawthorne Hotel send me these two items of interest recently, and I thought they were too special to keep to myself. I just love the photo of the members of this club (over 90 years ago) all in their "witch" outfits -- it is too-too funny! If you want to see it more clearly, just click on the image to enlarge it.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will also note that this property is 329 Essex Street, and that is the property that I posted about recently (across from the Ropes Gardens) that has the awesome front doors.

I hope you enjoy this bit of Salem history as much as I do.

And I hope to see you here, in "witch" costume or not!


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Borrowing Madly from a True Expert

Some people think that the definition of an expert can be summed up this way: "An ex is a has-been, and a spurt is a drip under pressure."

However, in the case of a visitor needing information about Salem, the real definition, "someone widely recognized as a reliable source" is the definition we are referring to here. And that expert is Kate Fox, the Executive Director for Destination Salem -- Salem's very own visitor organization, also known as http://www.salem.org/ .
Every now and then I love to borrow Kate's information and post it for our fair blog readers right here. Yesterday's post on the Destination Salem blog is just such a terrific post -- one that begs to be borrowed, because it asks and answers a question that we are often posed right here at the Hawthorne Hotel.

The only difference between Kate's advice, and the advice I would give to anyone staying at the historic Hawthorne Hotel is to skip parking in the parking garage, and come park in one of our two parking lots (after obtaining the requisite parking pass from our front desk staff, of course.) That will save you some dollars, and otherwise you will be all set, because the Hawthorne Hotel is located in the heart of Salem, just one block from the Visitor's Center, one block from the Peabody Essex Museum, right next door to the historic Salem Common, right across the street from the most-visited Witch Museum, and one block to the waterfront.

Don't forget that if you arrive before check-in time begins (4 pm) you can still get your parking pass, and park in our lot for the day of sightseeing, dining in our great restaurants, and shopping in our unique shops here in Salem.

I hope to see you here.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Halloween 2010 Logo is Ready ~~ Bedlam Behind Bars

Each and every year we commission a new logo for our Halloween Ball. The logo carries the theme of the Ball for us, and it is placed on the souvenir tee-shirts that are a good-bye gift to each Ball guest. It is also used on advertising posters, the tickets (for the "real", non-electronic tickets), and the other VIP gifts that are given to all of the guests who are staying in the Hawthorne Hotel for the Ball Package Weekend.
This logo was designed by our own Megan Campbell, who has talents beyond those of her current assignment as our Executive Housekeeper. It was also Megan who designed our really cool "Local's Package" booklet last year. So, please join me in thanking Megan for her great design work on this year's visual!
Our Ball will feature all the creepiness that is embodied in prisons -- historic, fictional and real. I hope you are getting ready for the biggest, best Halloween Ball ever, and that you have gotten your tickets to this year's event. If you have not, now would be a great time to get them, since the early-bird pricing will end on September 15.
I hope to see you here.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ August 23 through 29, 2010

We still hear the question often. What are those flags doing flying on the front of the Hawthorne Hotel?

This post is for those of you who still do not know that this is our effort to help the people who live in Salem, and visit the area, remember that we are part of the larger place called the World, and that the simple act of recognizing another country's existence through the flying of their flag can be a useful exercise in that quest for a more peaceful World.

I hope you enjoy thinking about that concept, and taking a look at our daily flag changes.

This week we will be flying:

Monday , August 23 ~~ Niger and Massachusetts
Tuesday , August 24 ~~ Nigeria and Michigan
Wednesday , August 25 ~~ Norway and Micronesia
Thursday , August 26 ~~ Oman and Minnesota
Friday , August 27 ~~ Pakistan and Mississippi
Saturday , August 28 ~~ Palau and Missouri
Sunday , August 29 ~~ Panama and Montana

Of course, if we receive any special requests, these could change, so check back here often. And if YOU want to make a special request, please call 978-825-4322 or 4444.

I hope to see you here.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

More of Our Friends at AAA

Thomas MacDonald of the Hawthorne Hotel with Frank Ritz, Branch Manager, AAA Warwick, RI office.

At the AAA Worcester, MA office, left to right are Christopher Davis, Paul Kozlowski, Alicia Carbonello, John Bryan and Jacquelyn O'Brien.

Helen Sisco, Members Service Counselor, AAA Cumberland RI office.

Donna Gibbons, Patricia Vosocchi, Thomas, and Mary D'Agostino of the Acton, MA AAA office.

Christopher Davis and Thomas MacDonald. Christopher told Thomas that his buddies always tell him he looks awful in caps, so he hardly wears them. But he told us that he intends to wear our cap just to defy their opinions!!

A visit with the Marlborough, MA office of AAA with Chad Gagnon, Branch Manager, and Jodi Porter.

Thomas MacDonald, of our Hawthorne Hotel Sales Department, has made visiting a majority of the AAA offices in New England one of his missions this year, and to that end here are some photos of his new friends at a number of offices. In addition to promoting our very special package that is available ONLY to AAA members (and by the way, if you are not a AAA member, but thinking of coming to our hotel, the savings on booking using this package will likely pay for your AAA membership -- something to consider!) Thomas was also introducing a special to the AAA counselors for their own familiarization visits to Salem.
We know that Salem is a destination that can use an extra hand in getting folks to realize that there is so much more to this place than a day trip, so we are offering this kind of 'fam' trip to AAA travel counselors to help them understand our location that much better.
I hope to see you here, and don't forget to consider joining AAA to take advantage of our special package. You will definitely be amazed at the savings!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Wedding Shower with Cupcake Tree

Melissa's bridal shower had some very sweet detail that we thought you might like to see. We especially thought the cupcake tree coupled with a small cake, was a charming idea.

The flowers were lovely!

The extra-huge rings on top of the cake were darling.

Can we help you plan a special event? Are you already planning a wedding reception here? Don't forget that any related event to a wedding reception (i.e. a wedding shower, a rehearsal dinner, or a post-wedding breakfast or brunch) can be booked with a discount of 10%.
I hope to see you here.

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

iPhone App for Salem

If you have an iPhone, you need Salem's official iPhone app. It's FREE!!!

And if you get it, you can buy your tickets for some of Salem's neatest attractions right on your iPhone. How cool is that? Here is a link that goes to Destination Salem's blogpost, that will tell you more:


Oh, and by the way, if you don't already subscribe to Destination Salem's blog, you really ought to. I only copy her posts every few months, if that often, so you could be learning even more about my favorite little city, Salem, MA.

I hope to see you here.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Flowers with Brick (and a dog!)

If you follow this blog, you will already be familiar with my penchant for taking photos of flowers with our cool old brick sidewalks and buildings in the background. These photos are part of that series.

I snapped them the other day when I was walking my dogs, and one of the dogs decided he wanted to be in the photo too. Now, I could have easily cropped him out, but I thought he looked kind of like he belonged there, so you can also see Dewey, our "Morkie" (a cross between a Maltese and a Yorkie) as he tried to determine whether or not these flowers were edible.

Both our dogs love to eat greens so walking them becomes an exercise in keeping them away from what they see as the world's largest salad bar, especially this time of the year.

I hope you enjoy this slice of (my)Salem life.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Francisco Moran Wins Full-Time Employee of the Month Award

There are sometimes staff members in an organization that you would just love to clone. Francisco is one of those awesome employees who just are so special, such awesome workers, and so nice to be around, which are some of the reasons he was selected as our full-time employee of the month for July.
Getting Francisco to smile is not the easiest thing, and that is okay! We absolutely know he is smiling on the inside, and is very proud and happy to be honored by an award like this one.
Francisco has worked for us in the kitchens of the Peabody Essex Museum since we took over there about five years ago. He has never wavered in his dedication to our mission -- to serve the best food possible to all the customers at PEM.

Thank you for all you do, Francisco!

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Unusual (and Really Cool) Conference for Puzzle Enthusiasts

This past week/weekend, we had a really unusual (and I think really COOL) group in the hotel. The name of the conference was "Puzzle Parley" and before you think anything about it based on the name, you need to learn a bit more.

First, these are all artists and artisans. All of their work is hand-done, and terrific. People came from all over the US, as you can see in their blog post that I have quoted at the end of my post. Their work is spectacular in its intracacies, beauty, and detail.

They usually meet once every 18 months or so, but they had such a good time in Salem this year (their first time here) that they are perhaps going to return next year. I am so excited about this possibilitybecause this is such an interesting group. I hope if they do return that we can have a time where the general public can come and see their work, and perhaps purchase some of these very unique items.

These photos above and the two below are of puzzles by Platinum Puzzles of Canaan, NH. Their website is http://www.platinumpuzzles.com/

The puzzles above are by Jigsaw Art Puzzles. Their website is http://www.jigsaw-art.com/

This puzzle was the showpiece of the event. It is by Bob Stokes, and is valued at $25,000. A masterpiece of puzzles, I really wish you could see it in person. Amazing!

Puzzle Parley Highlights from Salem MA
The 10th "Puzzle Parley" was held this weekend at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, MA.....Witchcraft and sorcercy abound in Salem and carried into the parley....it truly was a magical event!!!.......Bob Armstong and Melinda Shebell, with Kelly Taylor did a wonderful job of organizing the event...ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!!there were 108 people who attended, the largest ever....puzzle heads came from far and near...HI, OR, WA, IL, TX, AZ, GA, FL, CA, NY, NJ, RI,DC, MA, NH, CT, OH, PA, MO, LA, NC, NV, VA (hope i didn't foget anybody!!) ......cutters, collectors and enthusiast's.....on friday, sue and i toured the salem area, including all the witch shops and took a tour of the "house of the seven gables".......salem has a beautiful waterfront area.....everything was within walking distance from the hotel..we met on friday evening for a cocktail reception and buffet dinner....and the food was terriffic at the hotel.....meeting up with the other puzzlers was really easy....everybody was so friendly and warm......then we adjourned to "puzzling in the library".....Saturday Morning was gorgeous.....bright sunshine and time to "get the party started!!"....first on the agenda was the "cutters conversation"......what was so amazing about this, was that you could ask any question and a lot of the top cutters in the country were there to answer your question...now, how cool is that!!!!!all i can say, being a newbie (1 year) cutter is that everyone would share any and all information....there were talks on collecting, a puzzle mega website, then on to show and tell.....what some cutters are doing with puzzles, will blow your mind!!Saturday night dinner in the hotal was very good with John Stokes, of Custom Puzzle Craft in san diego calif, as the keynote speaker.....if you have not seen john's work, the 100 puzzle project, please go to his website.....his puzzle shapes are spectacular and i had the pleasure to watch him cut some shapes on saturday.the Parely was un-believable!!!!...