I was booked overnight for a single room at the College Club of Boston on Commonwealth Avenue, not far from the Boston Public Garden. From the Back Bay railway station, I had a choice of walking a few minutes, catching a bus one stop, then walking another few minutes for 9 minutes travel time, or just walking for 11 minutes travel time. I chose to walk. Of course, I think the walking times on Google Maps were set by 25 year olds in good shape wearing track shoes, but that’s just an educated guess from an older woman in her 60s.
It had been raining earlier and the streets were wet, but it was a wonderful evening for walking. The temperatures were still in the high 60s and humid, so I got hot walking to the hotel (I’d been a little cold on the train and put on an extra sweater). The streets were well-lit and it was obviously a nice area – nice businesses, hotels, well-kept older homes turned into condos/apartments. The other people on the street were mostly well-dressed older couples out for the evening or college students out on a Friday night. I did see a couple other people with suitcases, and cabs dropped people off at hotels.
The College Club of Boston was as easy to find as they promised, and I’d been given a code to get in the front door. I was greeted by the concierge, given a room key, told about the Continental Breakfast in the morning and shown the elevator. I stayed in the “Oberlin” room – all the rooms are named after colleges. Mine was a single – twin bed, charming antique secretary, dresser and bookcase, lovely lamps and artwork that all felt appropriate to a house built around 1860 as a Victorian townhouse, when the French influence resulted in a slate mansard roof. Each room is decorated with a particular style. The larger rooms have their own bathrooms, the single ones (half the size and half the price) have a shared bathroom down the hall – but it was elegant, marble, sleek, lovely.
For late dinner I walked back down Commonwealth toward the Public Garden, then a few blocks around to the Apres du Midi restaurant – which was awarded best French restaurant in 2011. They had just put out the sidewalk tables again, so I sat outside, enjoying the flower boxes on the railing beside me and passersby. After questioning my waiter, I decided on roasted chicken breasts, which were served in a delicious sauce over orzo and a few vegetables. I started out with a white wine from the Loire Valley – it was crisp and light and suited the meal and the evening. The French bread brought at the beginning was delicious, although I didn’t care for the olive oil to dip it in. There were some very tempting desserts – I almost got the lemon meringue pie with raspberry mousse, but then remembered my pants are already tight on me! But what a perfect meal and what a perfect evening!!