While the weather outside may be frightful, the winter in Boston offers views and scenery you won’t find anywhere else. While the historic city is a blend of sophisticated architecture, museums, five-star restaurants, and some of the best shopping on the East Coast, just a few miles away are majestic landscapes filled with beautiful woodland scenery, wildlife, and picturesque streams and ponds. Once you leave the city, even just a few miles away from the hustle and bustle, and visit some of the beautiful local parks, you’ll feel like you’re in another world.
While all of the parks are stunning year-round, with blooming flowers in the spring and brilliantly colored foliage in the fall, winter offers a completely different experience. Noanet Woodlands, located on Powisset Street in Dover, is about 15 miles outside of the city. This 600-acre park features 17 miles of walking trails, making it the ideal spot for those who love winter sports such as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Noanet Woodlands is the perfect spot for an afternoon filled with adventure.
In Lincoln, Mass about 20 minutes west of the city, you’ll find the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, which offers the best of both worlds: nature and contemporary art. The 30-acre park, located at 51 Sandy Pond Road, just 20 miles from the city, hosts 90-minute snowshoe tours and includes more than 60 contemporary art sculptures, making it one of the more unique spots on our list.
Rocky Woods, located in Medfield, 27 miles southeast of Boston, boasts nearly 500 acres of woodlands, including frozen streams, brooks, and ponds during the winter months. The park features 6.5 miles of trails, including a 2.3-mile walking loop and a 435-foot hike to the top of Cedar Hill. You’ll enjoy the varied terrain and the stunning vistas as you explore this park filled with nature’s treasures.
World’s End, a 250-acre coastscape located 15 miles south of Boston, was designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead and boasts dazzling views of the city’s skyline. With tree-lined walking paths that circle saltwater marshes, this park juts out into Hingham Harbor, offering sensational walking trails along the coast. While the harbor rarely freezes during the cold winter months, you can still catch a glimpse of frozen ice chunks as they move through the water. Voted the top attraction in Hingham, this park is a favorite of residents and tourists alike.
Douglas State Forest, a nearly 6,000-acre park that borders Connecticut and Rhode Island, is located about an hour southwest of the city. The highlight of the park is the pond that straddles Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and is the perfect spot for ice fishing during the cold months. If you’re interested in snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, this winter paradise boasts miles of impressive trails, including a boardwalk trail that opens up to the 5-acres Atlantic White Cedar swampland, a rare gem that was named an official Massachusetts Wildland.
Our turn-of-the-century mansion, located on beautiful Beacon Hill and overlooking the Public Garden, is a magnificent setting for a wedding. You can envision your special day starting with a breathtaking entrance on our grand staircase, illuminated by gorgeous crystal chandeliers, and followed by dinner and dancing next to one of our intimate fireplaces. As you stroll through the venue, you’ll be greeted by nearly 20 different vendors, all on hand to answer your questions as you prepare for the biggest event of your life.
Meet with Boston’s top florists, including Jeri Solomon Floral Design, Artistic Blossoms, and New Leaf Flores, and view their latest creations for the 2018 wedding season. Browse through collections of invitations and signage with Lynn Graham Designs and Invitations & Company. Both full-service stationary firms create custom-made invitations as well as save-the-date cards, shower invitations, table numbers, and more.
One of the most important vendors you’ll hire for your wedding day is the photographer. After all, they’re responsible for capturing every beautiful moment so you can treasure them for a lifetime. In addition to hiring a professional with phenomenal artistry and talent, you also want someone who understands your vision and can translate your ideas onto film. Meet with some of the area’s leading photographers, including Person + Killian Photography, Johnson Photography, Nicole Chan Photography, and Generations Cinemastories.
And what wedding is complete without top-notch entertainment? You’ll meet with local entertainers Groove Events, Entertainment Specialists, and Gilded Harps to learn more about what they can bring to your special day.
Peak Event Services, New England’s premiere event rental company, will also be on hand with linen samples and specialty settings. You’ll get an in-person view of how their products and designs will look when displayed inside Hampshire House.
The Engagement Celebration will also host two justices of the peace, Elizabeth Gemelli and Barbara Kahn, makeup artist, Katrina Hess, as well as three of the city’s best wedding planners, Marrero Events , Unique Weddings by Alexis, and Lo McShay with The #Girlbossbride Guide.
While you mingle with some of the wedding industry’s top professionals, Hampshire House welcomes you to sample our exquisite wedding fare and delightful cocktails. Learn all about our wedding packages, which include everything from traditional grilled beef tenderloin and grilled lamb chops, to seared yellowfin tuna and cardamom sautéed shrimp and scallops Hampshire House is also able to custom design a wedding menu just for you.
You won’t want to miss our annual celebration. The event takes place Thursday, January 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. Please RSVP online or call 617-854-7628.
Once a rare occasion, winter weddings have continued to gain popularity, and why not? Beautiful snowscapes create a magical atmosphere for the big day and make for memorable photos you’ll always cherish. The Hampshire House, directly across the street from the famed Boston Public Garden, offers some of the most striking scenery in the city. So, while you’re planning your special day, what are some of the most popular winter wedding trends this season?
Groom’s Second Look
For the better part of the last decade, brides have embraced the two-wedding dress trend, wearing a formal gown for the ceremony and then changing into a more casual party dress to dance the night away. But who says brides get to have all the fun? Grooms have also taken a shine to this trend, wearing two different looks as well. While not as elaborate as wearing an entirely different outfit, men will often change up their look by donning a less formal jacket, changing their shoes, or wearing a different tie. Expect to see multiple looks on the groom this season.
Frozen Flower Sculptures
Ice sculptures are nothing new when it comes to wedding receptions, but frozen flowers? That’s a new one even to us! We couldn’t think of a more appropriate look for a winter wedding than these works of art. They catapult the ice sculpture to an entirely different level by filling the blocks of ice with beautifully arranged flowers. The arrangements are fully encased in the ice, giving the illusion that the flowers are floating. It’s as though you’re looking into an aquarium. In addition to their stunning beauty, the sculptures keep your flowers perfectly preserved so you they won’t wilt halfway through the night.
One of this year’s hottest trends is personalized neon signs. Add a fun pop of color and show off your last name, wedding date, or something meaningful to you and your fiancé. It’s one of the most important days of your life, so shouldn’t your name be in lights?
Hot Chocolate Bar
Candy bars and ice cream sundae bars are always a hit at weddings, but for a new spin on an old idea, consider a hot chocolate bar. What better addition to your winter wedding than having your guests enjoy creamy hot cocoa while cozied up to one of our fireplaces at the Hampshire House? We can fill a table with delicious accouterments such as miniature marshmallows, candy canes, caramel sauce, and whipped cream. And don’t forget the adult beverages, like Baileys and Frangelico.
An updated take on the traditional tiered wedding cake, drip cakes feature lavish icing dripping off of each tier. When iced in sophisticated shades of silver or gold, these cakes look especially luxurious.
While winter weddings usually conjure up images of faux fur stoles and lavish wraps, the latest trend shows edgy leather jackets paired with formal gowns. While ideal for keeping the bride warm throughout the day and in between photo sessions, this look offers the best of both worlds — sophisticated and a little offbeat.
Whether you’re thinking of having a winter wedding, or you’ve already chosen your date, let the dedicated staff at the Hampshire House help give you the wedding of your dreams.
The holidays in Boston are unlike any other. Storefronts and restaurants are decorated for the season, the parks’ trees are strung with delicate Christmas lights, and spirit of the holidays permeates the entire city. Boston offers a number of fun activities during the winter months, so take a look at the schedule and plan a trip downtown.
The biggest celebration of the year is First Night Boston, which takes place on New Year’s Eve in Copley Square and Boston Common. More than 1 million people attend this family-friendly event, which kicks off during the day with ice sculptures, crafts, entertainment, and an awe-inspiring parade. A spectacular fireworks display explodes over Boston Harbor when the clock strikes midnight, so what better way to ring in the new year?
Celebrate New Year’s Eve with the Boston Pops or spend the evening with the Boston Ballet as they perform “The Nutcracker.” Spend the day touring Boston’s many museums and enjoy a bite to eat before the performances.
If you’re looking for more cold weather activities, stop by the Frog Pond in Boston Common, just across the street from the Hampshire House, and put on your ice skates. The Skating Club of Boston is also offering a free show on New Year’s Eve from 6 to 7 p.m. Recently named the top outdoor skating rink in the country by USA Today’s 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards, the Frog Pond is open every day with evening hours for nighttime skating. Tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for children, and free for kids under 58 inches. Season passes and skating lessons are also available.
The party doesn’t end once the clock strikes midnight. New Year’s Day is chock full of fun activities, including the L Street Brownies’ annual Polar Plunge, which takes place at 10:30 in the morning. For more than 100 years, this has been one of the city’s oldest traditions. More than 600 people are expected to jump into Boston Harbor’s freezing cold water.
The Boston Wine Festival, the longest running food and wine event in the nation, kicks off with the grand opening reception on January 12. People from all over the country fly in to Boston to enjoy the festivities, which take place through the end of March. The event features dinners that celebrate a specific wine as well as seminars, brunches, and dancing. This two-month event is a celebration of food and wine, and should not be missed.
The New England Aquarium, located in the city’s North End, is another exciting way to spend the day. Visit the aquarium’s 80 penguins, check out the 150-pound giant octopus, and learn about the habits of the northern fur seal and Atlantic harbor seal. Get to know the sharks up close and personal in the touch tanks, and view a variety of interesting specimens like the lionfish and the leafy sea dragon. It’s open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends.
Forget hibernating during the cold months — Boston has activities to keep you busy all season long.
Congratulations on your engagement! Now the real fun begins: Planning for the big day. Massachusetts’ premiere wedding venue, Hampshire House, located in downtown Boston across the street from the Public Garden, cordially invites you to our annual engagement celebration. This two-hour event will give grooms- and brides-to-be the opportunity to view the Hampshire House venue and meet potential vendors while enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.
Our annual celebration puts you face to face with some of the top wedding vendors in Boston, from florists and musicians to photographers and caterers. You’ll view (and sample) their work firsthand while asking questions and learning more about their services. Never mind making endless appointments and researching countless merchants online. We bring the professionals to you, all in one beautiful setting, so you can truly envision your big day.
You’ll also get to explore the elegant Hampshire House, with its crystal chandeliers and exquisite décor. This historic turn-of-the-century mansion harkens back to the glamourous days of the early 1900s. You can just imagine making your entrance on our grand staircase and treating your guests to cocktails next to one of our cozy fireplaces. Just one look at our magnificent setting, which overlooks fashionable Beacon Hill, and you’ll fall in love. We couldn’t think of a better place to host your wedding.
The celebration takes place Thursday, January 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. Bring your 2018 planner so you can take plenty of notes with all we have to offer. Feel free to ask family members or your maid of honor to tag along. Please RSVP online or call 617-854-7628.
‘Tis the season for making joyous holiday decorations, and Hampshire House invites you and your family to get creative at the annual Gingerbread Brunch. This fun event takes place at our historic mansion on Beacon Hill, and tickets include a delicious brunch from our fine menu. Each person attending the brunch receives everything needed to design and build a unique gingerbread house.
Brunches are held each Sunday in December, (the 3rd, 10th, 17th) before the Christmas holiday. Two brunches are held on the same day (11:00 AM and 1:30 PM), making it easier to carve time out of your busy schedule to relax and enjoy working on a seasonal craft project with loved ones. For more information, please check our special events section for announcements.
Brunch Menu for Kids
Children are always excited to go to an event where they get to eat and participate in an art project. At Hampshire House, kids get their own Gingerbread Brunch menu that includes kid-friendly selections of familiar comfort food. They can enjoy breakfast favorites such as eggs, toast, and sausage. Or, perhaps they’d prefer chicken fingers with a side of home fries. Whatever they choose, they can wash it all down with a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice, cranberry juice, or pink grapefruit juice.
Brunch Menu for Adults
The adult menu is quite extensive and features numerous appetizer and entrée options. Indulge in servings of cinnamon brioche French toast with a raspberry cream cheese stuffing, drizzled with warm maple syrup. Or select Belgian waffles topped with fresh fruit, a dollop of whipped cream, and drizzled syrup. Eggs Benedict is a brunch winner, and the classic omelet with cheddar cheese, ham, peppers, and onions is always a brunch favorite. These are just a few of the entrees you can enjoy along with fresh bagels, muffins, salad fixings, and your choice of coffee or tea.
Designing a Gingerbread House
All gingerbread houses start from a place of inspiration, and your design starts with a spark of an idea. Inspiration can come from anywhere, including books, movies, and magazines. Use your own home, or someone else’s home you admire as a blueprint. Strolling through the historic Beacon Hill area is also a great way to form a basic design plan. Sometimes ‘winging it’ is the best plan of all, and you’ll have a wonderful time creating each part of your house as you build it. There’s no right or wrong way to create a gingerbread house. There’s just your way, and as the main designer, you can be as creative as you wish.
Delicious Decorating Tools
Every gingerbread home builder needs the proper tools of the trade, and at the brunch, you’ll receive a plain pre-baked gingerbread house to decorate. Additionally, you’ll have access to plenty of sweet decorating supplies. Each table is supplied with a generous amount of white icing to use as bonding material and as a decorative accent. Choose an array of candies in various shapes, sizes, and colors, and go to town gluing them onto your house using the supplied icing.
As you work with your candy materials, you may decide to eat a few pieces here and there, and that’s fine. This is a tantalizing task, and all materials are edible, so eating a candy cane or gumdrop is A-OK.
Thanksgiving is a time to come together with cherished family and friends to celebrate everything you’re thankful for in life. There is no better place to partake in traditional Thanksgiving favorites than the venerable Hampshire House. Located in Boston’s historic Beacon Hill neighborhood, Hampshire House has a warm, welcoming environment that every Thanksgiving table should have.
Enjoy a Delicious Three-Course Meal
Sharing a great meal with loved ones is a tradition you look forward to, and Hampshire House is all about preserving all things timeless. Guests are treated to a beautifully prepared Thanksgiving meal. Start things off right with pumpkin martinis, a delightfully savory harvest pumpkin bisque, and the crisp freshness of an autumn salad.
You have a choice of three exquisite entrees, and the traditional oven-roasted turkey is one of the star attractions. This holiday favorite comes to your dining table with a walnut stuffing, which is marvelous when combined with authentic giblet gravy. Feel free to request extra gravy for your table to ensure there’s plenty to go around for gravy lovers.
Your turkey dinner comes with traditional sides such as mashed potatoes, pureed butternut squash, and julienned vegetables. Diners in your party who prefer fish or beef can order the char-grilled Atlantic Salmon dinner, or the filet mignon dinner. Both dinners come with tasty sides that complement the chosen entrée.
The Thanksgiving dessert sampler is sure to tickle your palette. Enjoy pumpkin pie and pecan triangles, petit cinnamon cheese cake, and a fall-inspired cranberry apple miniature tart. After this filling meal, you may be ready to take a stroll through the always lovely Boston Public Gardens, which is within easy walking distance of Hampshire House.
Special Food Requests
Here at Hampshire House, we realize that some guests have certain dietary needs, and our staff is more than happy to make the necessary adjustments. While placing your order, inform the server about any guest food allergies to foods such as shellfish and nuts. If someone requires gluten-free dishes, let us know. Chefs and waitstaff work in tandem to ensure each plate of food served to your dining party is equally enjoyable for everyone.
Feel at Home as Our Guests
From the moment you arrive at our door to the moment you leave, you are treated as honored guests by Hampshire House staff. Your dining party is seated promptly and the waitstaff is always available to take care of your requests. Everything is done to ensure your Thanksgiving holiday meal is exactly what you expect to experience in a fine dining setting. All you need do is relax, chat, eat, and enjoy the moment. We’ll take care of serving the meal and clean up.
Historic Dining Atmosphere
The Beacon Hill neighborhood is filled to the brim with historic significance. This neighborhood features beautifully preserved buildings, and one of them is the Hampshire House, a local treasure built in 1910. For over 100 years, this building has been the scene of many celebratory occasions, including holidays, and everyone who comes here to enjoy a wonderful dining experience is included in that long-standing tradition.
While the exterior of the building is impressive, the interior is more so. Enjoy your meal in an atmosphere of sophisticated elegance that is timeless in its appeal. Thanksgiving dinner is served on Thursday, November 23, 2017 from 12:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Reserve your table today.
The meal should be the highlight of any holiday celebration, and the Hampshire House holiday menu offers distinct cocktails, appetizers, dinners, and desserts that combine to provide an elegant culinary experience in an historic setting.
Hampshire House holiday dining features fresh, seasonal ingredients and a variety of options, from signature cocktails and adventurous appetizers to luxurious entrees. All are designed to allow you to customize offerings for a rich holiday celebration.
Your guests can start the evening with hors d’oeuvres such as lobster croquettes, celery root soup, and duck confit and wild mushroom tartlets. Or, if you prefer, butler-passed miniature appetizers can be on hand, including roasted fillet of beef tenderloin, herb-de-provence crusted chicken breasts, diver scallops, or porcini mushroom ravioli.
Specialty stations with unique offerings can make your party exceptional. One example is a station with Swiss potato pancakes made to order, including toppings like ratatouille vegetables, caramelized winter squash, chive sour cream, and slow-cooked pears and cranberries. Guests can also be treated to a Warm Winter Wonder Beverage Station, with hot cocoa and warm apple cider accented with marshmallows, whipped cream, peppermint sticks, or shaved chocolate. Winter cocktails options include blood orange mimosas, tiramisu martinis, and spiked hot cocoa.
Plated dinners are a luxe affair. Guests start with appetizers such as warm Wellfleet oysters or a diver scallop rosette. Salads of winter vegetables or roasted pumpkin and gem lettuce are also available. Guests then move on to an entrée selection to suit any taste.
The choices include Lobster L’American, which is served with mushrooms, pearl onions, and roasted fingerling potatoes; a grilled pork chop, served with cider-braised cabbage, parsnip puree, roasted apples, and apple brandy sauce; a cod fillet, served with octopus, chorizo, and potato hash, tagliatelle vegetables, and romesco sauce; braised boneless beef short ribs, served with shallot mashed potatoes, glazed winter vegetables, and a red wine sauce; Lamb Noisette, served with saffron orzo pasta, winter vegetables, and rosemary jus; and a halibut fillet, served with French lentils, applewood-smoked bacon, julienned vegetables, and bouillabaisse sauce.
Dessert offerings make it impossible for guests to decline: A wildflower honey-glazed pear tart, an apple tart, or a chocolate napoleon are all tantalizing options. A Holiday Trilogy of Desserts is also available to tempt guests, offering a miniature Valrhona chocolate torte, a cranberry apple tartlet, and a frosted gingerbread cookie sandwich
All dinner entrees include an appetizer, salad, freshly baked rolls with sweet butter, dessert, and Terrazzo coffee or tea.
The Hampshire House, built in 1910, is always decorated for the holidays. Italian marble, carved oak paneling, Palladian windows, and working fireplaces combine to create a warm atmosphere that is both elegant and inviting.
The Hampshire House has been hosting special events for more than four decades and our professional events team stands ready to help you plan your celebration. All items on the Hampshire House holiday menu are available in addition to our traditional a-la-carte menu. If you are ready to plan your holiday party, please contact our event professionals at 617-227-9600 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author Elin Hilderbrand to Appear at Hampshire House on November 27
Get excited for the fourth and final installment of New York Times best-selling author Elin Hilderbrand’s Winter Street series, “Winter Solstice,” with a special author appearance at Hampshire House on November 27. Cozy up with tasty hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar as you get reacquainted with the Quinn family from this popular series.
The Winter Street series takes readers on a journey alongside a grieving family that finds solace where they least expect it. After the death of celebrity chef Deacon Thorpe, his grieving family comes together to put the pieces back together. In “Winter Solstice,” readers will be reacquainted with their favorite characters one last time, as the Quinn family deals with Kelley’s terminal brain illness, Bart’s return home from Afghanistan and Margaret’s retirement. All new twists, turns and takes on this family’s dynamics make “Winter Solstice” a must-read!
Hilderbrand is a Nantucket-based author who makes the island a primary backdrop in her stories. And, not only does she do some of her best writing on the beaches of Nantucket, but she’s become a steadfast member of our own Beacon Hill community. We’re delighted to host Hilderbrand in the heart of our neighborhood. The author will be on-hand to speak, answer questions and sign books at the event.
How to Attend
The event will take place at 6 p.m. on Nov. 27 at Hampshire House. Not only will you get to enjoy a conversation with this beloved author set in the cozy atmosphere of our turn-of-the-century mansion, but you’ll also have the opportunity to purchase copies of “Winter Solstice,” as well as the three other books in the series through Blackstone’s of Beacon Hill. Signed copies will also be available. Please R.S.V.P. by contacting us at 617-854-7628 or via email at email@example.com.
Fall is always a special time to marry, and the fall 2017 wedding trends in food, flowers, dress, and décor promise to make for some truly unique events at the Hampshire House this season.
Let’s start with everyone’s favorite topic, and the one that often has the most impact on guests: food. Food and drink stations are becoming popular, and not just the well-known dessert bar. Stations are a time-honored way to feed guests a main course or a significant side, ensuring they get exactly what they want in whatever proportion they want.
This season, we are seeing new twists on this traditional idea. How about a carving station that serves barbeque? Or a bar offering potato pancakes with sweet or savory toppings? Hampshire House has offered station dining for years. If you have an idea, we’ll work to make it happen.
Stations can also be used to serve drinks that make your wedding unique, from specialty coffees to craft beers. A professional barista or mixologist can add to the fun. One simple but elegant idea: Borrow a page from the Hampshire House holiday menu and offer a warm beverage station featuring cocoa, cider, or even cordials.
What about the cake? In this department, less is more this fall. Where ornate wedding cakes were once in style, more modest tiers have become the fashion, often sans-topper. These elegant confections often take on a clean and unadorned look (some couples have even opted for a translucent icing effect). When they are adorned, humble greenery, and flowers are in fashion.
Here’s another fall wedding trend: Cakes are getting smaller. Often, they are large enough to facilitate the traditional cutting of the cake, but auxiliary desserts are employed to feed all of the guests. One great idea for fall: pie. If ever there was a season for it, it’s fall.
Flowers and Decor
Popular color schemes this fall will hue toward plums and burgundies, with neutral or pastel accents. Ivory, rather than glaring white, can be used as an accent to create a Victorian effect. Want something bolder? Add a metallic color to your palate. This fall, copper will be popular.
This theme continues in floral arrangements, where wine-colored dahlias are popular. Overall, wild-looking arrangements have taken hold, from bouquets to table decorations. Leafy greens are popular, including some that may surprise you. Succulents, eucalyptus, bay leaf branches, and even berries are all making an appearance on tables this fall. The natural look compliments the season well.
Indeed, tables are the subject of much consideration this fall, when it comes to décor. Many brides and grooms are looking to fill the space between the tabletop and the ceiling, which often goes unused. Formal weddings will use tall candles and candelabras, which will be perfectly at home amid the elegant Italian marble and carved oak paneling at Hampshire House. Other options might include large flower arrangements.
Calligraphy can be used to great effect throughout the event, adding a distinct touch to match elegant surroundings. For example, you can ditch the day-of stationary in favor of custom signage. Cocktail and drink offerings can be written on a mirror. A welcome message can be presented on a blackboard. Either can be adorned with floral arrangements for a custom touch.
Fashion and Dress
Perhaps the most important element in any nuptials — and certainly so for the bride — is the wedding dress. In the fall, temperature often demands longer sleeves and layers. Two-piece separates will be a fall wedding trend. One idea: A cashmere sweater over a full-length bridal skirt. It’s a unique look that can be comfortable, too.
Here’s another comfortable idea: Consider a costume change before the reception. A second, less confining dress, built for dancing, and shoes to match can make the special night painless.
Not to be left out, fashion for grooms this fall will continue efforts to move attire beyond the traditional black suit or tux. Look for fitted, two- and three-piece suits in darker browns, blues, and burgundy. Tweed is also a consideration. With suit, vest, and tie to play with, layered color combinations will be popular.
After all, fall is all about color.