Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Another Funny Cape Cod Song...That Reminds Us Why We Love Cape Ann

In an earlier post, we shared a song parody that joked about the traffic jams on Cape Cod around Memorial Day weekend. We found another song about Cape Cod recorded by the same radio personality, Tom Doyle, and this one does an even better job of reminding us of all that Cape Ann offers -- or rather, what it doesn't offer: no mini-golf courses, beach crowds or traffic jams. Listen to this clip -- it's funny stuff, especially if you've ever had this kind of Cape Cod experience. We have -- and that's why that although there's much about Cape Cod that we love, we just think Cape Ann is so much better.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Cape Cod over Cape Ann? Not Unless You Prefer Traffic Jams

There are many great qualities about Cape Cod, but we here at the Blue Shutters prefer "the other cape" -- Cape Ann. First, there's Good Harbor Beach -- nothing comes close on Cape Cod...or any other part of New England for that matter. Then there's the convenience -- four communities where you can find easily move from the beach to the art gallaries, from the restaurants to nature walks. And finally there's getting here. We just heard a song parody on the radio by local radio personality Tom Doyle that spotlights the long backups getting to and from Cape Cod. Sure, you'll find beachlovers flocking to Cape Ann and Good Harbor Beach this summer, but you won't find the crowds and the traffic. Take a listen...you'll chuckle, especially if you've ever made the trip. And it will remind you to shave a few hours off your travels and head right to Good Harbor Beach instead.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Summer Preview Special -- Save on Your Visit to the Blue Shutters in June

As the end of May approached, spring became very summer-like, and it reminded us how wonderful the month of June can be on Good Harbor Beach. So, for the first time, we're doing some special to help our friends get a head start on their stay at the Blue Shutters....and that trip across the footbridge to Good Harbor Beach.

Starting June 1, we're charging off-season rates for those who stay with us Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday nights through June 21 (the first day of summer). If you stay more than one night, you'll save even more - book one night and get half off the second night on those dates.

Sounds like a nice deal, right? All you need to do is mention our "Summer Preview Special" when you make your reservation.

June can be a great time to visit, with warmer weather than the spring months and fewer beachgoers than you'll find in the summer -- especially mid-week. And, June also marks the start of the summer event season across Cape Ann -- check out the post below about these events.

So, get in on the fun by calling us to book your "summer preview" at the Blue Shutters. We hope to see this month!

Cape Ann Warms Up With Special Events and Activities in June

We just checked the Cape Ann Vacations website -- a favorite online destination that includes news on upcoming events in Gloucester and surrounding towns -- and found that there's some exciting plans in place for June. The site's June events page has details on the Rockport Chamber Music Festival (at the extraordinary Shailin Lu Performing Arts Center), the Cape Ann Artisans Studio Tour, Essex River Day, St. Peter's Fiesta and other events and activities set for this month. You'll find dates and details on the website -- or call us for more info. If that's not enough of a reason to visit us in June, how about the beach -- check out the photo above for a taste of what's waiting for you this month at the Blue Shutters.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Blues&Brews Band Warms Up the Blue Shutters Crowd

Here's another shot from Saturday's Blues & Brews...a photo of the band that entertained us during the afternoon. That's Innkeeper Ann Marie's brother, Arthur Zervas, on the far right -- he took the lead in assembling the band for the day. They provided a great backdrop for the beer tasting and for the celebration of the sun's return. This Back to the Beach Bash is meant to get us all in the mood for those summer and summer-like days. With these days approaching, we encourage you to watch this webpage for news on a special offer for the month of June -- just our way to get you to come check out the Blue Shutters and Good Harbor Beach before the busy season starts.

Just Enough Sun for the Blues&Brews Bash

While it wasn't the warmest and sunniest of days, Saturday afternoon provided just the backdrop we needed for the Blue Shutters Blues & Brews Back to the Beach Bash. We had a little help, with some live music -- courtesy of Arthur Zervas, brother of Innkeeper AnnMarie -- and the free beer tasting -- courtesy of the Cape Ann Brewing Company. Arthur brought along a few friends, who jammed on our front lawn, and TJ from the brewery dropped off cases of thier Fisherman's Brew, Bavarian Wheat (a big hit with today's crowd), IPA and Ale. In this photo, you see our friend Carl from NH helping innkeepers Ed and Tony with the beer tastings. Thanks to the guests,friends and neighbors who joined us -- and those who just stopped by after hearing the music wafting across Nautilus Road.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sun and Warmer Temps Coming this Weekend -- Join Us for Blues & Brews on Saturday and Welcome Back Summer!

It's hard to believe after the rainy week we've endured, but warm and sunny weather is not to far off. In fact, the forecasters predict there'll be a break this Saturday -- just in time for our Blues & Brews Back to the Beach Bash. This annual Blue Shutters event is the perfect way to shake off the nasty weather -- live music on our lawn, free beer-tastings and a return to the firepit for some late day/evening fun. Sunday promises to be even nicer, so if you come and spend the night with us, you could wake up to even more sunshine and warmer temps the next morning. Call or email us today and reserve a room while there are still openings. And get ready to welcome back the sun...just as these kids are doing in this photo taken on Good Harbor Beach last summer (it's one of our favorites, thanks to the Roy girls of western Mass.)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Another Great Girls Getaway at the Blue Shutters

We've always said the Blue Shutters is a great spot for a Girls Getaway -- and this weekend provided further proof. Innkeepers Patty and AnnMarie are experts when it comes to these getaways, planning several of these every year with friends Brenda and Deb (some of them here at the Blue Shutters...well before they took over the inn). This weekend, Patty was part of a Girls Getaway with another group -- friends Mary, Nadja and Mary Rose from Woburn Pediatrics (that's them in the photo above -- standing beside our brand-spanking new Blue Shutters sign!). If you're looking for a spot to plan your Girls Getaway, call and talk with Patty or AnnMarie -- you won't be disappointed.

Happy Birthday to a Blue Shutters Friend

Our friend Mary is a longtime fan of the Blue Shutters. She has been here for our Wine & Food Tastings, Murder Mystery Nights, Holiday Tree Trimmings and New Year's Eve celebrations -- and she has planned many of her own special visits here, often with her Mom from NY. This weekend, Mary was here for a birthday celebration, actually planned by innkeeper Patty and other friends from Woburn Pediatrics (where Patty works when she's not innkeeping). We always hope to see more folks like Mary, who make the Blue Shutters their favorite spot for a special getaway.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Back to the Beach Bash on May 21 -- Blues & Brews 2011

Our Food & Wine Tastings are retired until the fall, but there's still an opportunity to come to the Shutters to sip and sample (this time it's beer)...and enjoy some live music by the beach). On the afternoon of Saturday, May 21, we'll hold our annual Blues & Brews Back to the Beach Bash on the lawn of the Blue Shutters. The Cape Ann Brewing Co. will be on hand to offer tastings of their beers, and some musician friends will entertain us throughout the afternoon. And if the weather cooperates, we'll all head across the footbridge to celebrate the return of those warm summer beach days. Call or email us to reserve a room at the Shutters for that Satuday and party with us into the night -- we'll be roasting marshmallows by the firepit and playing games inside late into the evening. Those of you who have joined us in past years know how much fun this can be -- and the 2011 version will be no exception!

Blue Shutters Around the World: Cancun

One final Latin America note -- this related to Tony and Patty's recent trip South of the Border to Cancun. Whenever we travel and whereever we go, we bring a Blue Shutters T-shirt to mark the B&B's growing global presence. Here's a shot from our hotel room, overlooking the beach in Cancun (the water was warmer, but Good Harbor is much better). If you have a "Blue Shutters Around the World" photo please share it!

Viva Blue Shutters -- Another Great Food & Wine Tasting....with a Spanish Flavor

When we planned our most recent Food & Wine Tasting around a Latin America theme (in celebration of Cinco de Mayo) little did we know that we'd have folks with South American roots as part of the crowd. So on Saturday afternoon when we began bringing out Chilean and Argentian wines and South American dishes like lamb and dried cherry quesadillas and grilled shrimp with almond romesco sauce, we were concerned that this might not stack up to their expectations. Well, we impressed even the girls with roots in Argentina -- as well as guests from Greater Boston and New York. Speaking of Argentina, one of the more interesting dishes was Carne Arsado with Chimicurri sauce -- it turns out the term "chimichurri" was based on the name of American cowboy Jimmy McCurry, who brought the recipe to the ranches of Argentina. So not only did everyone enjoy great food and wine -- and lots of laughs and a few cigars after the tasting; we also learned something new. A big thank you to our wine expert Kathy Hill, from the Traveling Vineyard, and our visiting chef, Mark Sapienza from the Langham Hotel, for the wine and food (that's Kathy in the photo above with Mark's brother -- and Blue Shutters innkeeper -- Tony Sapienza showing off some of the dishes from Saturday night). We'll start up our food and wine events again in the fall -- we look forward to seeing you then.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

An Amazing Menu in Store for Saturday's Food & Wine Tasting

Earlier today we passed along details on the wines for our Food & Wine Tasting this Saturday, and now, here are the dishes we'll be sampling while we sip -- courtesy of Chef Mark Sapienza and his culinary team at the Langham Hotel. Mark has provided some extraordinary dishes for our past tastings(that's Innkeeper Patty at our last tasting with some of Mark's creations) -- and based on what he's planned for Saturday, we're in for more of the same. As Kathy did with the wine, Mark has kept our "Cinco de Mayo" theme in mind, with a menu that sports a Spanish/Latin American theme. Check this out:
- Goat Cheese, Toasted Pepitas and White Grape Truffle
- Chilled Grilled Shrimp with Almond Romesco
- Carne Asardo with Chimichurri
- Slow Cooked Lamb and Dried Cherry Quesadilla
- Chocolate Financier Cake
Pretty amazing. To get in on this, all you need to do is stay with us Friday and/or Saturday night. Call or email us to reserve a spot.
(Those of you in the Boston area may have seen Mark featured in last Thursday's Boston Globe on he planned to celebrate the Langham Hotel's British connection around the Royal Wedding; if you haven't check out the Langham, you owe it to yourself to do so soon)

This Just In....Here's the Wine List for Saturday's Tasting

This Saturday, May 7, is the date for our next Food & Wine Tasting....and it'll be the last time we're doing this until the fall. This is always a great time -- whether you're a wine/food expert...or if you're like some of us and just like to eat and drink good stuff. We haven't gotten the details down on the food, but here's a look at the wines our Traveling Vineyard expert Kathy Hill has in store for us (that's Kathy in the photo above at our last tasting in March):

2 Whites:
- a 2009 Kuri Sauvignon Blanc from Chile
- a 2009 Albarino from Rias Baixas region of Spain

and 3 Reds:
-a 2007 Casas Patrolales Merlot from Chile
- a 2008 Bailando Malbec from Argentina
- a 2002 Placiego Crianza Rioja from Spain

You may have noticed a Spanish/Latin America theme here -- and it's no accident. We're doing this to help celebrate Cinco de Mayo (the May 5 fiesta popularized by our friends in Mexico). There'll be some tasty food items that go along with that theme as well.

It all kicks off late Saturday afternoon -- and again, this is free for anyone who stays with us this Friday and/or Saturday.

If you're still looking for a special something for Mom this Mother's Day (the following day, Sunday May 7), think about bringing her along (we'll have flowers for her). There are some great restuarants downtown -- perfect for a Mother's Day brunch or lunch.

Call or email us today to reserve a spot!