Travel

Massachusetts

Establishment neighborhood
Stir
102 Waltham St., South End
Stir—a dreamy all-in-one demo kitchen and cookbook store—is the kind of place you pile into with a group on a chilly Wednesday night to learn pasta-rolling and wine-swilling from the masters. A bunch of stools surround the chef’s island, bordered on one side by the open kitchen and on the other by floor-to-ceiling shelves lined with culinary tomes from kitchen gods around the world. Browsing is encouraged. If you’re more the hates-to-cook-loves-to-eat kind, Stir regularly holds tasting menu evenings where you might go with old friends or alone to make new ones. Either way, everyone sits around the intimate table, sharing food and conversation in a setting so cozy, it feels like home.
B&G Oysters
550 Tremont St., South End
Chef Barbara Lynch has her hometown all figured out. She knows what the Bostonians want: oysters, at least twelve varieties with nearly as many fixings, served in the cozy basement of a classic brownstone, with chatty servers to talk booze and bivalves with. In fact, B & E Oyster moonlights as one of the South End’s most famous wine bars—the seventy-bottle-strong list is that good. Really. We recommend forgoing the Tabasco and dousing your oysters in the restaurant’s prosecco-based mignonette instead. Oh, and book in for a shucking class with the pros—usually held on weekday afternoons, champagne included.
The Spa at Canyon Ranch Lenox
165 Kemble St., Lenox
You go to Canyon Ranch Lenox for a healthy-living reset. Days here include plenty of exercise and gallivanting around in the fresh air, which makes a trip to the elegant spa all the more satisfying. The collagen-supporting, pore-shrinking, skin-smoothing, glow-inducing treatments are the real draw (if you don’t count the bucolic New England countryside), but the dim, atmospheric lighting, tranquilizing pale-neutral color scheme, and overflowing fruit bowls are also wonderfully pacifying.
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