The final instalment of #scandigoesstateside was a city break in Boston. Our plane was three hours late taking off from Detroit, and when we landed into Boston Logan airport, we were welcomed with heavy rain.
Deciding against heading out into the rain for cocktails, instead we got cake delivered to our hotel at 11pm. It was one of the best decisions we ever made, as I got to discover the existence of turtle cake, which is something I’ve come to love!
On our first full day in Boston, we were ready to explore. The temperature and humidity had dropped, which meant that I got to feel a bit more human.
We were staying in the Boston Christopher, which were serviced apartments in South End. The flat may have been small, but it was the first place we stayed that actually had a kettle, so I could have as many cups of tea as I wanted for free!
The first place on our list was Newbury Street, which was a fifteen minute walk away from us. We stopped off at Stephanie’s on Newbury for brunch. The red velvet pancakes with cinnamon butter and syrup were a winner with me – it was probably my favourite breakfast during the whole of my American adventure.
The vibe in Boston was so different from both New Orleans and Miami – it’s was like an American/British hybrid. There were loads of different British shops on Newbury Street, although the buildings were much prettier than what you’d find in England!
We walked all the way up Newbury Street to Boston Common: Central Park it ain’t, but it was like a little green oasis in the heart of the city! Seeing the lake with the swan boats, and a backdrop of skyscrapers was very pretty. My favourite bit about the park was the squirrels – they were so friendly, and kept coming up to people.
From there, we continued our walk into downtown Boston, stopping off at Urban Outfitters on the way (obvs).
The weekend we were in Boston coincided with when the tall ships docked in the harbour. Because of this, there were huge crowds trying to get to the area, and everyone had to go through a security search. It also meant the harbour cruises were stopped for the day, which was a shame, as we’d planned to go on one in the afternoon.
Having seen enough ships for one day, we had a drink before heading back to Newbury Street for more shopping (and I may have bought something from Brandy Melville!).
We dropped our bags off at the apartment and had some more tea (classic Brits!), before heading back out for dinner. We were both craving mac ‘n’ cheese, which was good seeing as it’s a Bostonian classic!
We went to Quincy Market in Downtown for ours – an indoor market full of street food from all corners of the globe, it was a cheap place for us to eat. A huge American-size portion of buffalo chicken from Mmmac ‘n’ Cheese Boston cost me $9 – the cheapest meal I’d had during my whole time in America.
In Boston, unfortunately all the bars and clubs shut at 2am, so we headed back to the apartment to get ready early, so we could make the most of the Saturday night.
I wore my new blue Urban Outfitters playsuit that I’d bought in New Orleans, with my trusty Monki platforms. We’d purchased a day pass for the metro for $12, so caught it out to Charles/MGH, where our first destination was: Alibi.
Located in a former jail, Alibi is now a lounge with an outdoor patio that serves some really great cocktails. I kept going back for another Kissed by a Rose: Ketel One, raspberry tea and rose water.
Not gonna lie, we came across a lot of strange people on this night. At Alibi alone, we met:
- Guy #1: his chat-up line was offering to fix my friend’s teeth
- Guy #2: came up to tell us that we both looked like we were keeping a massive secret (he was so “disappointed” when we wouldn’t let him in on what that “secret” was)
- Guy #3: very complimentary of my “Attention” dance moves, and a bit too into the fact that we were both ballerinas
But whatever. The cocktails were strong, and as it got close to 1am, we quickly left so we could catch the metro up to Cambridge. Our next destination was Brick & Mortar: a hidden bar and somewhere where we found actual hipsters. And obviously on the way we had to sing some classic Paris Hilton obviously (did you know that jealousy is such an evil thing?).
Much absinthe was consumed here with the White Mercedes Coupe cocktails – lemongrass infused gin, coconut, lemon and absinthe. 🙂
We then met many more strange people – my personal favourite was the guy who claimed to be Russian, but had never actually been, and he totally believed me when I told him we were Danish. When we turned him down, he didn’t take it very well – he told my friend she looked like a man and then shouted down the other end of the bar that he “wished me a turbulent flight”… nice guy.
Unfortunately the 2am rule was true, and with nowhere else to go, we had to go back to our apartment.
The room was spinning when I woke up, and it took a lot of motivation to actually sit up, let alone get out of bed. In fact, the only thing that did get us out of bed was the thought of a nice, big grilled cheese sandwich (Boston is not good for the waistline!).
The sun was shining and it was New Orleans temperatures, so I put on the summeriest of summer dresses I could find, and we headed back up to Cambridge in search of the perfect grilled cheese.
Where did we go? Flat Patties. A grilled cheese sandwich and vanilla milkshake was just what I needed; and as we relaxed in the sun, we we decided the best thing to do today was take it easy.
Being in Cambridge, we obviously had to go and visit Harvard – it’s like, the most famous University in the world after all! An hour’s tour cost $12, and although we got to learn a lot about the history, I was disappointed by the complete lack of mention of Elle Woods and Legally Blonde on the tour. Not gonna lie, it’s always been a bit of a dream of mine to one day bleach my hair back blonde and go study law at Harvard. Maybe one day.
Once the tour had ended, we sought refuge in the closest Starbucks, and were there for a good 90 minutes. It took such effort catching that metro back to downtown, but we wanted to go on a harbour cruise.
As the tall ships were still there, the cost of the cruise was almost double – we essentially spent $50 on a 90 minute cruise. Still, Boston looked really pretty from the harbour, especially as the sun set!
We were both craving Chinese for dinner, so our plan was to go back to Quincy Market; but as we got there at 8pm, we were confused to find that it was shutting (maybe because it was Sunday?).
Instead, we went to Wagamamas… and decided to never speak of it again.
Our final night on holiday meant lots more cocktails, regardless of our still slightly hungover states. I saved my navy velvet dress for the last night, and we Ubered it over to Top of the Hub, which was only a two minute drive away.
The bar was located on the 52nd floor of the Prudential Tower in Back Bay – we were basically there were the views (and they were pretty amazing!). The cocktails weren’t bad either – I’d recommend the Boston Bee for sure: sweet tea vodka, lemon juice, agave nectar and ginger beer.
Our final destination for the night was the super classy City Bar Boston. Tucked at the back of the Lenox Hotel, it was dimly lit and very opulent. Also, it was surprisingly busy considering it was like, 1am on a Sunday (or Monday). Again, I would definitely recommend the cocktails – the China Rose (gin, St Germain, rosemary, grapefruit syrup and lemon juice) was particularly nice.
It was so sad that our American trip had come to an end after just ten short days, but it was a nice way to end the holiday.
We had to leave to go to the airport at 2pm, so our final day felt like we were just hanging around, waiting. Once we’d dropped our cases off, we made our way back to Newbury Street for something to eat.
Initially we headed back to Stephanie’s for one last dose of pancakes, but it turned out they’d stopped serving brunch, so I had mac ‘n’ cheese (again) instead.
As we arrived at the airport, we realised both of our flights had been delayed (mine to Manchester, my friend’s to Seattle). Essentially we could have spent a bit longer in the city, which was a shame.
My flight eventually took off at 7.30pm, and I was back in Manchester at 6am, slightly delirious as the jetlag was just kicking in, with my holiday already a distant memory… how tragic.
What did I think of Boston?
I really liked Boston – it was like a mini New York, and I really liked all of the bars I visited. Finally: great cocktails, where people our own age went (doesn’t sound difficult to find, but it surprisingly is!).
There was however, so much more we wanted to do. Whilst we’d seen most of central Boston, we both really wanted to go to Salem, which is a town famous for its witch trials. You can catch a ferry from the harbour to Salem, which takes just 30 minutes.
The other places I would have loved to have seen were Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. Still, Boston isn’t that far from the UK, so it’s not like I can’t go back and explore more. And for sure I’ll be heading back to Cambridge for plenty of absinthe cocktails.
We couldn’t have picked three cities that were any more different to each other, but that was what was so great about it. It meant that we got three entirely different experiences, and couldn’t really compare the three.
Miami was chosen first as we’d be at our skinniest, before we flew over to New Orleans. I think New Orleans was my favourite overall as it felt so European – plus I got to see lots of alligators and raccoons.
But Boston was great too, as it was an actual American city, how I imagined it to be. And the nights out here were the best.
I still prefer Europe to America, as there’s such a variety of culture, but there’s so much more of North America that I want to explore, and I just know I’ll be back soon…