Friday, August 29, 2014

STL250 Cakeway to the West, Part 10!

Welcome to Cake Friday, which will be happening for the next 16 weeks or so! Which means the question is, what do I do for Cake Friday in 2015? Leave a comment with your suggestions!

AKC Museum of the Dog
 More on this soon!
Babler State Park
Broadway Oyster Bar
Kirkwood Train Station
Not from CC&G, but we did a wedding photo shoot at the train station!
Madison County Courthouse
Manchester City Hall
Missouri History Museum
Rockwoods Reservation
Home of the Maple Syrup Festival in February! 
SIUE
Soulard Market

Follow my progress on the STL250 Cakes tab at the top of the page. Links to relevant blogs are included with each cake photo!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

My Summer Staycation: The Cheshire Inn


We staycationed at our favorite St Louis hotel (again) last weekend! I'm sure a lot of people still remember the old Cheshire, known for it's fantasy suites, but I never had the pleasure. *winkwinknudgenudge* We stayed at the Cheshire a couple years ago on a whim, and it was one of the most relaxing weekends ever, so now it's kind of a special occasion spot for us. I've been itching to update these photos pretty much ever since I posted the first blog about it. I regret that Nikon Coolpix every single day.


In my last post about The Cheshire, I called it "nerd classy" and I am sticking to that. It's a charming boutique hotel designed as a British inn, and the rooms are all named after authors and you will find one or more of the author's books in the room. It's a delightful touch that always makes me wish that I was staying there for more than one day, especially during pool season.


I'm inclined to say that the best time to stay at The Cheshire is when the weather is nice and you can get food & beverages from Fox & Hounds out at the pool. But then on the other hand you have tea service all day, a fireplace in the lobby, and the possibility of a fireplace in your suite, and BOOKS. So, stay here any time of year.


I had every intention of reading the "room book" at the pool this time, though I had downloaded a copy of Treasure Island to my Nook instead of literally bringing the room book to the pool. Instead I got sucked into Mrs Astor Regrets, which is really just as appropriate for a decadent weekend of lounging.





This visit was kiiiind of a do-over of our last visit. See what happened was, we booked the Treasure Island Suite for the night of our wedding reception. Then it rained, and traffic was horrible, our car service was waiting for us when we got to the hotel, and I dropped my dress in a puddle because the valet was backed up. Then AFTER the reception, we spent a little too much time at Fox & Hounds, if you know what I'm saying. The next morning was unpleasant. Needless to say, we didn't take full advantage of the suite.


This time, we were sure to appreciate every amenity. I have to give Francis credit for this one, because this was our anniversary celebration, and he booked the Romance package with champagne and chocolate covered strawberries and most importantly, late check out.


I had noted in my previous review that we only had one robe and one bottle of water in the junior suite we stayed in a couple years ago. This time, two robes and two bottles of water, but no mini fridge, which was odd. This is a huge suite though, so it's possible we just couldn't find it.


Not pictured: This suite actually comes with a model ship in a glass case. This is the only novelty suite I have stayed in at The Cheshire but I'm just convinced that none of the others are as impeccably detailed. Also, my previous review said that I would stay in a poolside room the next time. I am happy to report that while Treasure Island doesn't open directly to the pool, it is about 10 steps from the patio door.



The Cheshire is more of a complex these days, as the hotel has the pub Fox & Hounds, and then another building with The Restaurant, Basso, and The Market. We have dined at The Restaurant a few times (the most recent time was absolutely flawless) and Fox & Hounds (which also covers poolside service), so this time we tried Basso, which is a gastropub under The Restaurant. We tried the fried brocolini, caimari, Emo Band pizza, and a small order of the pasta that was on special. One of my favorite things about Restaurant and Basso are the cocktail menus. Try the "Mai"ke "Tai"son Punch (say it out loud).  The food and service at Basso were excellent, but I always feel like being seated at the bar or a bistro table for dinner is punishment, and most of the restaurant is bar or bistro table seating.


The best part of staying at a hotel in your own town? You don't have to spend the next day traveling. We spent the morning at the pool and went home. Brilliant! So if you live in St Louis or are visiting, definitely check out The Cheshire!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Annapolis: Chick and Ruth's Delly

If you're going to be stuck on the east coast for a month, you should find a chance to get something fresh from the ocean, especially if you're a Midwesterner like myself. Annapolis is rife with fantastic restaurants, and I managed to get into Chick and Ruth's Delly before the dinner rush hit.

It couldn't be a world class restaurant without insane food challenges. Chick and Ruth's has four food challenges you can try. 


If you're not into crab cakes, there are plenty of other menu options. From burgers to world famous rubens, you'll find something you like.

Their extensive menu is available all day, and they named most of their sandwiches after former and current Maryland state legislators and judges. After all, the restaurant is located just down the street from the Maryland State House, and is a favorite lunch spot for the politicians.

But I'll say as someone who isn't huge on seafood, these crab cakes were fantastic. I imagine this is what it's like all up and down the east coast.




Can't get to the Deli to try for yourself? Lucky for you, they deliver all over!

Chick and Ruth's Delly is open Monday through Thursday 6:30am-11:30pm and Friday and Saturday from 6:30am to 12:30pm. Get there before the rush, otherwise you'll find yourself waiting for upwards of an hour.