Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A winter urban adventure

Myself, and the General Manager recently spent a very pleasant afternoon treating ourselves to lunch at a local sandwich shop followed by taking in the traveling Pompeii Exhibit currently at the Boston Museum of Science (leaves February 12, don’t miss it!). We enjoyed it so much that we felt compelled to share our experience with you.
We started off at the All Star Sandwich Bar in Inman Square. All Star has a reputation of offering meat laden sandwiches and tasty sides. This reputation proved to true…prepare to nearly dislocate your jaw if you plan to take the turkey club on.  Though noisy and a tad crowded at lunchtime, the atmosphere is relaxed and the menu offers choices not normally seen in Cambridge (“Beef on Weck” and Cubano, for example). The wait staff is very friendly, but busy, so don’t be afraid to speak up if you don’t get you side order of sweet pickles.
In my opinion, no meal in Inman Square is complete without a trip to Christina’s Homemade Ice Cream, conveniently located next door to All Star Sandwich Bar. Offering traditional, as well as their own special, flavors of ice cream, Christina’s is a local institution that should, in my opinion, be a mandatory stop for anyone visiting Cambridge. Personally, I have never had better Coconut Butterfinger ice cream (that is coconut ice cream with Butterfinger candy pieces mixed in) anywhere.  Of course, I don’t think I have ever seen the flavor anywhere else, and I visited more than my fair share of ice cream shops.  The unique flavors may be in part due to the fact that the owners also run a fantastic spice shop next door. Christina's ice cream is a true delight for all the senses.
Finally, the real point of the outing was to take in the Pompeii exhibit at the Museum of Science. If you have any interest in the Roman Empire or life in ancient times, this is a fascinating, must see exhibit. Many everyday objects from the ill fated town are on display, including coins, glass jars, medical tools and assorted pottery.  Perhaps the most touching, if not a tad disturbing, part of the exhibit is the room filled with body casts of people and animals killed when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79A.D. Even now, nearly 2,000 years later you feel almost like you are witnessing the final moments of their lives. The emotional impact of the exhibit may not be suitable for all.
If you get the chance, in Cambridge or elsewhere, the Pompeii exhibit should not be missed.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Happy New Year!!

Believe it or not, visiting Cambridge in January can be a pleasant experience. There are even a few advantages to coming in the middle of winter. For starters hotel rates are at their lowest this time of the year. If you don't mind bundling up you can save hundreds of dollars on accommodations by traveling during the off season. In addition to the savings, the lack of crowds makes visiting many of the locale attractions a more peaceful experience compared to the summer rush. It is a great time to really explore and take in all that the city has to offer. The city can be all but yours this time of the year!

With a few exceptions, most museums and points of interest remain open year round, though many do shorten their hours. If there a particular attraction you would like to visit, we suggest checking their winter hours ahead of time.

Although, we do not advocate combining alcohol and automobiles, two special events occurring in January do bring out the wine lover and car lover us. The first of these is the New England International Auto Show from January 12-16th showcasing the latest models from all the major manufacturers, imported and domestic. Is there a better way to spend a cold January day then being inspired by dreams of hitting the open road in a brand new car? The Auto Show will be held at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. For details visit

We recommend not getting behind the wheel, the following weekend-January 21st and 22nd if you are planning to visit the Boston Wine Expo. The expo runs January 16-22nd, however the feature events for the week take place on the 21st and 22nd. From seminars, to tastings and food pairing, this is a wonder event for those interested in the ever expanding world of wine. For those more interested in food than drink, there will also be a culinary stage with local chefs, including chefs from restaurants in Harvard Square, offering demonstrations and sample tastings.
The Boston Wine Expo will take place at the Seaport World Trade Center, Boston.
 For more information visit

No matter what brings to town this January, rather it is returning to school for the start of the spring semester or finally having the time to take in the Degas exhibit at the MFA, we had Harding House hope that you enjoy all Cambridge and Boston have to offer all year long.

We look forward to seeing in you 2012!