It’s historic, charming and oh-so civilised. The Peak soaks up the atmosphere of the city that starred in the American Revolution.
It’s only a 75-minute ﬂight from New York, but Boston can seem like a world away. The capital of the state of Massachusetts offers a gentler pace of life, history around just about every corner and a genteelness that gives it an upper-crust feel.
Founded in 1630, it is one of the oldest cities in the United States. It was the scene of key struggles in the American Revolution highlighted on the fascinating Freedom Trail, which is a 4km walking route past historic sites that tell the story of the then ﬂedgling nation’s ﬁght to rid itself of British colonial rule.
If you’re in or near to Boston on business, extend your trip for a few days to get to know the city and its illustrious past.
DOWNTON ABBEY MEETS THE BOSTONIANS
It’s a quaint irony that, in the city that saw some of the ﬁercest resistance to British rule during the American Revolution – like the Boston Massacre and the famous Boston Tea Party – one of its top-rate hotels has English roots.
The Langham Boston is an off shoot of the famous grande dame namesake in London, dating back to 1865 and famous for its “service with poise” – the equivalent of Downton Abbey-style, butler-quality, quietly efficient attentiveness, only updated.
You feel that old-world British elegance (minus the stiff upper lip) the minute you step into the hotel, housed in a stately building in the ﬁnancial district that was once the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Vestiges of its original 1920s Renaissance Revival details pop up throughout the architecture, like 7m-high vaulted ceilings with crystal chandeliers.
The elegance extends to the 318 classically designed suites and rooms right through to the friendly, helpful staff. Modern touches include a state-of- the-art ﬁtness centre with sizeable swimming pool and its unexpected New Age-y Chuan Spa that offers treatments inspired by traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).
Food-wise, the hotel’s two main eateries are unapologetically contemporary. Cafe Fleuri turns out modern New England cuisine in seasonal menus featuring locally sourced ingredients, while Bond is a bar-cum-restaurant offering handcrafted cocktails and classic American fare.
The hotel’s downtown location means that it’s within easy walking distance of eateries and attractions like Faneuil Hall, a marketplace and meeting hall since 1743, with arts and crafts shops, American street food and impromptu street entertainment.
FOOD OF IMMIGRANTS
As in other American cities, Italian cuisine is hugely popular and has been integrated into the modern national diet. But Boston still has pockets of small, artisanal purveyors who still produce or import food, condiments and drinks made in old, traditional ways.