Travel

Beacon Hill

Establishment neighborhood
XV Beacon Hotel
15 Beacon St., Beacon Hill
When a hotel is as beautiful as the XV Beacon and the history is as storied and the restaurant is as wonderful, you wouldn’t predict that the real reason to stay here is none of the above. If there is one thing that puts this hotel a few clicks ahead of the others it’s the staff in general and the concierges in particular. This is a team that is thoughtful and competent and—a word not often associated with concierges—kind. Ask them for help with anything and they will deliver—and then they’ll go about three steps beyond. The XV Beacon’s other stock in trade is the building. A stunning, Beaux-Arts mansion originally owned by a well-to-do merchant, the building dates back to the 18th century and has also played home to the Boston Transit Commission and School Committee during its life. Since 1999, the XV Beacon has been working as a 63-room boutique hotel that puts a premium on cozy with fireplaces and soft cashmere throws and Frette sheets in the guestrooms. For those traveling with a pack, you’re in good hands: pets are welcome, kids are greeted with cookies…
Beacon Hill Yoga
57 Phillips St., Beacon Hill
Regular classes aside, Beacon Hill offers real yoga workshops, because sometimes you may want to skip the Saturday brunch line and spend two hours stretching and decompressing, and maybe even learn how to do a handstand. The instructors are hands-on and will adjust you throughout the class to ensure you’re getting the most out of it. There is no pressure to keep up, and it’s calming and friendly. Classes are small (around ten people), so there’s none of the usual scrambling for mat space.
Dress Boston
70 Charles St., Beacon Hill
On picturesque Charles Street in Boston’s Beacon Hill, Dress is the boutique for the pieces we never knew we wanted. All the bases are covered with clothing, outerwear, shoes, accessories, fragrance, and jewelry. Dress champions smaller, more niche designers, with significant square footage allotted to Americans brands, like Clare V, Nili Lotan, and Janessa Leone. The store itself is a serene space to shop, with extra-roomy dressing rooms we wish every store had.
December Thieves
88 Charles St., Beacon Hill
December Thieves could be described as a home and lifestyle store infused with an international aesthetic. (The owner, Lara Barakat, was born in Lebanon and raised in Jordan.) Loose Japanese-style clothing and unusual bags and shoes set the store apart from others on Charles Street—Dress is just a few elegant doorways down. We’re especially partial to the interesting selection of both delicate and chunky jewelry studded with rare gems—the kind of interesting jewelry you pick up while traveling and rarely see in the US. Barakat’s boutique is the perfect place to pick up gifts or something to make your own home coffee table or bathroom more exciting, with the candles, Turkish soaps, towels, and French ceramics at the top of our list.
No. 9 Park
9 Park St., Beacon Hill
If you’re going to blow it out for one meal in Boston, No. 9 Park is the place for it. The jewel in restaurateur Barbara Lynch’s crown, this fine-dining spot is worth the long wait and the many pennies. The restaurant is tucked inside a townhouse, and the food is refined but not fussy. Lynch sticks to Italian cuisine, using traditional American ingredients and giving a generous nod to her East Coast roots. Spring pea agnolotti with crisp fried artichoke, Berkshire pork with fiddleheads (the fronds that can be foraged only in the spring), we could go on. If you don’t want a full sit-down supper, the bar menu is the best in town. The seared hanger steak is so tender, you could almost eat it with a spoon, perfect with a robust glass of wine. Each staff member is trained by the in-house sommelier Cat Silirie, and given the length and breadth of the wine menu–full of old-world labels and a selection of interesting new-world American wines–diners will probably have a few questions. Just leave room for the cheese course. It’s too good to pass up (we recommend…
J.P. Licks
150 Charles St., Beacon Hill
In 1981, at the age of twenty-six, ice cream-lover Vince Petryk opened J.P. Licks in his Jamaica Plain neighborhood outside of Boston (hence the initials J.P.). Today, there are thirteen locations in and around Boston—including the original in Jamaica Plain, Cambridge, Mission Hill, and Fenway/Kenmore—making this a go-to spot for locals and visitors alike. Part espresso bar, part bakery, part ice cream shop, J.P. Licks's awesome rotation of soft-serve frozen yogurt may be its best selling point, particularly in a city where scooped ice cream largely dominates the scene. Although...the ice cream cakes and chipwhiches at J.P. Licks are really good, too.
Tatte Bakery & Café
70 Charles St., Beacon Hill
All of the adorable locations in Brookline, Cambridge (Third Street, Broadway, Main Street), and Charles Street offer the same classic light aesthetic, brightened up by crisp subway tiles and a haphazard collection of Edison bulbs and other industrial light fixtures. Chef Tzurit Or was born in Israel, and regulars rave about her Mediterranean-style fare, like savory tarts and sweet baked goods. She's also incredibly thoughtful when it comes to her ingredients, which she sources locally and humanely.
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