Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Thanks -- Part 2

Thanks to Good Morning Gloucester for including a note about our recent Por Cristo fundraising open house. GMG does a great job capturing happenings around Gloucester. Those of us who call Gloucester home -- and that includes you folks who consider the Shutters your home away from home -- should check GMG out regularly. You'll thank yourelf for it.

Thankgiving Thanks -- Part 1

A simple thanks -- for all the friends who have joined us over these past four (almost) years since we took over the Blue Shutters. There are those who have been with us for ages -- and those who have become great new friends during these Shutters years. You know who you are. Thanks for helping to make this a fun place -- where we can laugh, relax and enjoy the beauty of Good Harbor Beach together!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Living on the Beach -- Blue Shutters Apartments Available Through May 2011

While most folks know the Blue Shutters as a place to come for a getaway -- in the summer or the off-season -- there are those who stay with us longer-term, in one of our one- or two-bedroom apartments. From October throught May, we make our four apartments -- Deckside, Beachside, Portside and Starboard -- available for long-term stays (that's a shot of the spacious Deckside kitchen/living area in the photo here). These apartments – specially priced for long-term renters -- have been popular with teachers, students, business travelers, those relocating to the area and others seeking accommodations for a month, a season or longer. Our location is a plus -- and not just our proximity to the beach, Route 128 and downtown Gloucester. Renters like having Stop & Shop, CVS and a neighborhood laundromat just a block away -- and parking right on the property. If you or someone you know is looking for an apartment, we want to hear about it!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Getting Ready for the Holidays...Blue Shutters Tree Trimming Party on December 4

Driving through Gloucester this morning, you can see the holiday spirit starting to build. City workers were stringing lights on the tree by the fisherman statue. Wreaths are hung on lamp posts downtown. Storefronts are dressed for the holidays. Here at the Blue Shutters, we're getting set for the season. We've pulled the decorations out of the attic, we've cleared a spot for the Christmas tree...and now we're spreading the word about our holiday kick-off party. Mark your calendars for Saturday, December 4 -- on that afternoon and evening we're inviting you to join us for our annual holiday tree trimming. Come stay for a night or two and enjoy some Christmas goodies and “holiday cheer” by the fireplace. While you're here, you can walk the beach or head downtown for some shopping. There are “Christmas on Cape Ann” holiday events being held all across Gloucester, Rockport, Manchester & Essex all weekend. Check out the Cape Ann Chamber website -- or our November newsletter -- for details. Remember, we’re offering a special discount for this weekend -- simply bring an ornament for our tree and get 25% off your bill! Call or email us for more information.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Friends of Blue Shutters and Por Cristo Get a Taste of Latin Gloucester

With Good Harbor Beach as a spectacular backdrop, friends of the Blue Shutters, together with friends of Por Cristo, came together Sunday afternoon to get a "taste of Latin America" -- food and wine with a South American flair, scarves and jewelrey from Ecuador, and conversations with some of the folks behind the medical missions to one of neediest parts of the world. Our open house spotlighting the work of Por Cristi was a hit, with dozens of guests who came to sample some Latin American cuisine (another big thank you to Langham Hotel chef Mark Sapienza)and check out the items Por Cristo's Medical Services Director Deborah Clark brought back from her trips to Ecuador (in the photo here, you can see the "bazaar" Deborah created in our Fireside room). All the funds raised from sale of these items goes to support the work of Por Cristo. The organization's executive director Joe Reardon was on hand to share more background on Por Cristo's work -- and the Blue Shutters innkeepers chipped in with wines from Argentina and Chile, and some regional music. Gloucester and Good Harbor Beach may be thousands of miles from Ecuador, but for few hours on Sunday we all got a "taste of Latin America" -- and, more importantly, provided some support for a very good cause. Thanks to everyone who joined us -- we hope you had as much fun as we did.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Tomorrow's Blue Shutters Open House Featured on Good Morning Gloucester Website

If you're a fan of the Cape Ann area, you should check out the Good Morning Gloucester website. Lots of interesting notes about happenings around the region and some great photos (the shot above -- on their home page -- is the view of Good Harbor Beach from the Blue Shutters!). For those of you who are friends of the Blue Shutters, there's yet another reason you should visit the site...our "Taste of Latin America" open house was featured today (along with a photo of our guest chef, Mark Sapienza). A reminder about the open house -- it's tomorrow, Sunday November 14, from 2-5 pm. It promises to be a great day weatherwise (today was spectacular) so you can walk the beach after you've popped in for some food (from Mark), conversation (with lots of other friends and former guests) and shopping (for the items the Por Cristo folks brought back from Ecuador). Hope to see you tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Check Out the Menu for Our Taste of Latin America Open House -- Join Us This Sunday from 2-5pm!

We're just a few days away from our Taste of Latin America open house, and we've just gotten a preview of the menu from our chef, Mark Sapienza of the Langham Hotel. Here's what he's working on:

Tortilla Chips with Salsa Aji
Seviche de Camarones -- Shrimp Seviche with Cumin Popcorn
Chorizo Quesadilla with Homemade Guacamole
Chicken and Corn Empanadas
Dulce de Leche Cheesecake

We'll also have wines from South America for our guests, which they can enjoy while checking out the unique items for sale that afternoon -- a collection of artisan-crafted sterling silver jewelry and items made from sustainable resources of the Amazonian rainforest and elsewhere in Ecuador.

It all unfolds this Sunday, November 14, from 2-5pm at the Blue Shutters.

Again, this is our way of spotlighting the work of Por Cristo, a Massachusetts-based non-profit organization that has been providing healthcare to the poor in Ecuador for the past 30 years.

We hope to see you then!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Meet Our Wine Consultant: The Traveling Vineyard's Kathy Hill

Kathy not only brings us great wines to taste -- a selection of whites and reds, paired with all types of food at our tasting events. She also helps us learn how to enjoy these wines -- and how to select wines for any meal. Kathy is a wine consultant for the Traveling Vineyard -- when she's not helping us with wine tastings here at the Blue Shutters, she's doing these events in homes all around the Boston area. While we'd love to have you come to our next food and wine tasting here at the Blue Shutters, you may want to think about doing this at your home. If you're interested in learning more, call or email us and we'll put you in touch with Kathy.

Meet our Visiting Chef: Mark Sapienza of the Langham Hotel

For our Food and Wine Tasting, Langham Hotel Chef Mark Sapienza prepared a special menu -- five courses, ranging from New England cheeses to pizzas made with wild foraged mushrooms; from shrimp pot stickers to yummy beef sliders. Here's a shot of Mark preparing our final item -- smoked manjari chocolate cake with brandied cherries and chantilly. You can try some of Mark's creations at one of our upcoming food and wine tastings (starting again in January) or at other events here at the Blue Shutters (including our "Taste of Latin America" open house on November 14). You can also visit Mark any time at the Langham Hotel in Boston -- for drinks or dinner at Bond or breakfast or lunch at Cafe Fleuri...or for a special treat, try their famous Sunday brunch or their truly unique Chocolate Bar. If you do make the trip to the Langham, ask for Mark and tell him you're a friend of the Blue Shutters.

Blue Shutters Guests Enjoy Great Food and Wine at our November 6 Tasting Event

We've had a number of Food and Wine Tastings in recent years, and each one is made possible by our friends Mark Sapienza, executive chef of the Langham Hotel in Boston, and Kathy Hill, a wine consultant with the Traveling Vineyard (that's them in photo here). But while they've been responsible for all the food and wine each time, every event is different -- and each time the experience is fantastic. Our guests on Novemeber 6 clearly agreed. Here's a look at the menu for our latest tasting:

Cielo Torrontes -- Argentina 2007
New England Cheese – Fruit and Crackers

Scotto Chardonnay Marsanne -- California 2008
Shrimp and Ginger Pot Stickers with Honey Soy Dip

Bailando, Mendoza Malbec -- Argentina 2008
Foraged Mushroom and Fontina Cheese Pizza

Vina Alamosa Premium Cabernet Sauvignon -- Chile 2003
NEFF Beef Sliders with Red Onion Jam and Shelburne Cheddar

Tanglerose, Sonoma County Backyard Red -- California
Smoked Manjari Chocolate Cake, Brandied Cherries and Chantilly

If you like the sound of this, keep in mind that you'll have a chance to join us for other food and wine tastings...we usually do a few in the winter and early spring. Call or email us for more information!

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Little Bit of Gloucester in Key West

The four Blue Shutters innkeepers traveled all the way to Key West, but we still couldn't escape Gloucester. While in the Keys for "Fantasy Fest" we ran into our friends from the Topside Grill and Pub, Dennis and Dawn. We met a lot of great folks in Florida, but the nicest people were the ones from back home.

Blue Shutters Heads South to Key West

Just before Halloween the Blue Shutters innkeepers slipped out of town, heading south to Key West. The beaches weren't nearly as nice as Good Harbor, and our hotel couldn't compare to the Blue Shutters -- but the Halloween celebration down there couldn't be beat. It's a weeklong "Fantasy Fest" on the streets of Key West -- pet parades, toga parties, decorated floats and a massive outdoor costume bash. The theme this year was "Habitat for Insanity" and the the four of us -- together with friends Brenda and Danny -- joined in the fun as crazy doctors/patients. That's us above. A big thank you to our friends and back-up innkeepers Joe B and Connie -- and chambermaid Wendy -- who kept the Shutters running while we had fun in the sun.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fall and Winter -- Great Times for Family Fun

There's a group of "girls" from western Massachusetts who stay with us each summer --there's Mom Janet, a bunch of her lovely daughters and their young girls...and every once in awhile there's a husband or son tossed into the mix (we jokingly describe this as our "girl scout jamboree"). That's a few of them in the photo here. They use this time to get away and get together, from homes near and far. Why bring up this summertime story now? Well, a few weeks back, they decided to take this show into the fall months -- it was a smaller group, but not surprisingly they brought alot of laughs to the Shutters. It was a surprise for Mom, who was celebrating a birthday. There were walks on the beach, dinner in town, conversations by the fire. We offer this up as a reminder that the fall and winter months can be a great time to plan that weekend getaway. You might just have as much fun as these girls!