Monthly Archives: April 2017

Long weekend in Boston: A pictorial tour

Long weekend in Boston: A pictorial tour

Welcome to Boston. City of the future. Cradle of American history. Hotbed of innovation, bastion of tradition (…) Boston has so many facets that discovering it can entertain visitors for days on end. It dazzles with renowned museums, great shopping, lush gardens and parks, and vibrant public spaces. (…) The easiest way to fall in love with Boston is to explore it on foot.”

Top 10 Boston, Eyewitness Travel.

Last week, I returned to Boston for the first time in 30 years. Boston is often listed as one of the most European cities outside of Europe. I agree. I realized the opening words in the Eyewitness Travel guide I had brought along apply to Boston, but also to Paris, London, or Barcelona, all favorite European grandes dames. The mix between the old and the new, the rich historical background, the cobblestone streets, the compactness of the downtown area, the high walkability factor, not to mention the efficient public transportation system, made me feel at home right away. I love to travel alone, but was lucky to have an enthusiastic sidekick with me this time, a friend and colleague who shares my love of urban environments (best discovered on foot,) history, good food and wine. We were in town for our company’s annual conference, but we flew in early (Who else could convince this French Girl, who never sleeps on airplanes to book a red-eye flight?) For a long weekend, we walked; explored; enjoyed fabulous meals; stayed out of the rain when we could; and had a jolly good time.

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Two friends toast a great city, a great meal… and Cognac.

I loved Boston when I first visited thirty years ago as a Tour Director for a leading company in global education. I remember walking for hours in the city that summer, with a group of French teenagers I took around the East Coast. We traveled from Maine all the way down to Mississippi and Louisiana. It was a great trip, full of exciting discoveries, but I never forgot “the City on a Hill.” Last week, Boston and I finally got re-acquainted, and we hit it off right away. Here are some of the highlights of the visit. It included – bien sûr – a meal (or two) at a local French restaurant. My friend Jessica, the blogger behind A la Prochaine, a Boston-based publication, had sent me a generous list of some of her favorite “French-flavored” haunts. My travel companion is a bit of a foodie, and he selected several great spots for us as well. French Girl in Seattle readers, who were following the trip on Facebook, provided other excellent recommendations. Merci à tous!

Bon appétit, Boston!

From the French Bistro Ma Maison, where I enjoyed two delicious meals, to Tatte Bakery in Beacon Hill, the Salty Pig, and Porto and its Mediterranean fare, we did not hit a single bad note.

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Escargots — because we can.
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Moules-Frites, with a generous serving of baguette to…

Boston

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Sancerre has officially become my favorite white wine
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La sélection du jour chez Tatte Bakery, Beacon Hill
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Brunch #enterrasse – Quelle chance!
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Charcuterie and cheese platter chez Salty Pig pushed down with…
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French wines were a theme during the weekend: My friend is nice like that!
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Going Italian in the North End, as Paul Revere looks on
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Cannoli chez Mike’s Pastry (where the Sunday afternoon lines compete with Paris-based Berthillon’s)

Boston: Rues et quartiers

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Affluent, historic, and residential Beacon Hill
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Beacon Hill
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Beacon Hill
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Beacon Hill
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Quincy Market, the historic marketplace, near Faneuil Hall
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Inside Quincy Market
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Just like in Paris: “Distracting” architectural details
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Inside the Old North Church, North End, the oldest standing church in Boston
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The Old Granary Burying Ground, founded in 1620
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Famous (and not so famous) Boston patriots lie here, like Paul Revere
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A reminder that life was precious and often short, 200 years ago

Boston: All great cities have at least one great park!

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The Massachusetts State House and the Boston Common
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Parkman Bandstand (1912) is said to be modeled on Versailles’ Temple d’Amour.
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The elegant Public Garden, the US’s first botanical garden

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George Washington

Like many {european} grandes dames, Boston, Massachusetts, has it all. Best of all, the city is compact enough that one can truly enjoy its essence in just a few days. Boston had me at “Hello,” but nowhere was I more impressed than during my afternoon visit at a local landmark, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. This amazing building, and the unique art collections it showcases, is the result of a woman’s vision, taste, and great personal fortune. Words don’t do it justice, but maybe a few photos will. The building itself, known as Fenway Court when it was still Ms Gardner’s residence, is remarkable. The magnificent Courtyard and its lush landscaping, maintained by an army of gardeners year round, will take your breath away, even if the art does not. A must-see in Boston, and a fitting conclusion to this long blogpost. I hope you have enjoyed your visit as much as I did mine.

A bientôt.

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Isabella Stewart Gardner (1840-1924,) by John Singer Sargent, Gothic Room
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Isabella Stewart Gardner museum. The Gothic Room
The Cloister
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The Courtyard: A masterpiece and a gardener’s dream

All photos by French Girl in Seattle

Please do not use without permission.

22 Responses to Long weekend in Boston: A pictorial tour

  1. Boston is one of my favorite cities. I have visited several times. There is much to see and do. And I love the history! Thank you for sharing your wonderful weekend trip and photos. I always enjoy your posts so much. This Boston trip photos provided me with familiar places I visited. So nice. Thanks again.

  2. I have never been to Boston but need to change that especially since I know I can navigate the city using public transportation. Great pictures!

    • Thank you Jeanne. Boston is extremely easy to navigate. The public transportation system seems pretty good, but I always give enthusiastic thumbs-up to a city that is mostly “walkable” i.e., to this French Girl, “civilized.”

  3. Loving this post, Veronique! C’est parfait!! I’m so happy you had a wonderful stay in Boston and enjoyed Ma Maison. I had a feeling you might like it there! 🙂

  4. I have been there too, 30 years ago…There was no Cabernet but I still remember the lobsters…
    Great pictures, Véronique!

  5. Cela donne effectivement envie de s’y rendre…. Pour manger. Je n’ai pas accès à ce type de délice dans mon bled au Tennessee
    Katrien. Bellaventure USA

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