USA Trip Part 2 – Boston, New England

Boston was certainly a surprise, it was majestic and steeped in history. From Harvard to the Freedom Trail, The Boston Tea Party and more. Journey with me and take a look into this outstanding city.

There are amazing walking trails you can follow whilst walking around Boston, the most important is The Freedom Trail (2.5 miles long so wear trainers) — you simply follow the brick trail and you will walk into days of yore covering 16 historical sites. From Faneuil Hall 1742, Old South Meeting House, The Granary Burying Ground, Bunker Hill, Old Ironsides, Paul Revere’s Home, Old North Church and more…. As we were staying at The Eliot Hotel in Back Bay (stunning hotel and centrally located, near a metro and close to the bus route, highly recommend this hotel) located at the side of the Charles River. We asked the concierge for advice and he supplied some superb tips such as doing the Freedom Trail in reverse to save slogging up the hill.

The fun part of doing the Freedom Trail is going at your pace and you can dive in and out of places along the way such as a tea room or to view the Old South Meeting House which is now a historical museum dedicated to the Boston Tea Party and shows the meeting prior to this historic time (to see where the colonists got the tax removed after throwing the tea into the harbour which started the American Revolution).

From Bunker Hill we walked around the streets following the Freedom Trail and enjoying the delights of homes enroute that were stacked with pumpkins and adorned with skeletons, cobwebs and ghoulish things.

If you are lucky you will be able to see the USS Constitution (one of the oldest warships still in commission) whilst on your walk.

At the end of your trail (if doing in reverse) you will walk through Boston Common do allow time to sit in the gardens and watch the squirrels run around, look at the golden ducklings and sit by the water. Good place for an ice-cream break or a much needed coffee.

The famous bronze ducks created by Nancy Schön on Boston Common.

Whilst in Boston there are a few important things to see, one of which is doing a tour around Harvard. It is tricky to book but do always try your luck and pop up at the meeting place. The guides are extremely helpful at getting you on a tour. Our tour guide Scot insisted on walking backwards and was a hoot, he was a thespian and a member of Harvard’s collegiate Hasty Pudding Theatricals, this institute dates back to 1770 and is known locally as the Pudding Club and is the third oldest theatre organisation in the world. The quadrangle in the fall is a sight to behold, a great opportunity for leaf crunching and it lends itself for good photography.

After your Harvard tour you will be taken to a gift shop — so don’t fear you will be able to make a few keepsake purchases then adjacent to the shop you will find a superb tiny pizza shop called Pinocchio’s. I highly recommend it for a ‘slice’ of deep dish pizza and a ’slice of life’ the walls are steeped with celebrities who have dined there whilst in their Harvard years.

From Ben Affleck, Mark Zuckerberg to John Sparks offer great entertainment whilst enjoying your slice.

One absolute must in Boston if you have a sweet tooth is to experience cannolis at Mike’s Pastry est 1946 and a stalwart of the Boston’s North End. You may have to queue but they are totally worth it. Be careful to eat with your eyes and don’t over purchase as they are huge and less is more… these old world desserts have modern twists not only with their size but the imagination of flavours (20-30 varieties), Oreo, peanut butter, ricotta, pistachio, pecan caramel, choc chip with chocolate sprinkles and more. They are thick and stuffed full, If you decide the queue is too long then hop across the road to Modern Pastry there cannolis are more delicate and more traditional in flavours with a thinner casing. The choice is yours, try them both and let me know which you prefer and why? The competition is on!

After all the day’s eating, why not take a bike (download the Bluebikes app and enjoy) and ride around. It is a great way to cover more territory and drivers around Boston are fairly respectful of bike riders and you can leave the bike safely whenever you need to stop.

Remember tips are 20% pre-tax dining at a table with a server as opposed to the food.

Talk to your concierge and obtain a map of the Freedom Trail and obtain advice which direction to start.

Compare your cannolis — bit of fun!

Grab a Bluebike and see the city in its glory.

Note: This trip to Boston, USA was taken pre Covid. I just wanted to create a little escapism for the many in lock-down around the world.

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