Tip of the Week
Santa Fe Garden Club: 2014 Behind Adobe Walls
The flowers are in bloom at Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast Inn, providing the perfect spot for weary travelers to kick back and relax after a day of touring Santa Fe. While our historic home and gardens are always open to the public, many of Santa Fe's most stunning homes and gardens are hidden from view behind protective adobe walls. This July you will have an opportunity to visit eight of these notable homes and gardens, when the Santa Fe Garden Club offers it famous tour: Behind Adobe Walls. Four spectacular homes are featured on two consecutive Tuesdays in July (7/22 and 7/29), showcasing historical homes, impressive private art collections, and a variety of memorable gardens.
The tour, which began in 1941 (with a break for the war), is the oldest and one of the most prestigious of its kind in the country. Because it is so very popular, with tickets selling out every year, you will want to make your reservations as soon as possible.
Reservations: Call Westwind Travel at 800.283.0122 or 505.984.0022.
You may also email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Buses depart from Hotel Santa Fe at 12:30pm and return at 4:45pm. The price of each tour is $75 per person, per tour, with proceeds benefiting various horticultural and conservation projects throughout the state of New Mexico. A prix-fixe lunch is available at Hotel Santa Fe from 11am-noon for an additional $22.
For additional information go to www.santafegardenclub.org
The World Famous Santa Fe Folk Art Market
The upcoming International Folk Art Market is a not-to-be-missed event for locals as well as visitors to The Hacienda NIcholas Bed & Breakfast Inn. Now in its 11th year, this festival of folk art, food, music and dance continues to get bigger and better with every passing year. The market is the largest such event in the world, with a mission to preserve and support folk art culture and traditions of the over 60 countries represented.
This year's market features 150 different artists, showcasing and selling everything from masks to baskets, embroidery to pottery, jewelry to musical instruments and so much more. The Folk Art Market provides a professional venue for master traditional artists to display and sell their work, as well as to demonstrate how it is created. A full 90% of the proceeds from these sales are then brought back to communities around the world to improve the quality of life, helping to fund wells for clean water, schools, medical centers and more.
In addition to beautiful handwork from around the world are drummers, flute players, singers and dancers from continents all around the globe. Last but not least is a vast selection of ethnic food from some of Santa Fe's top restaurants.
The remarkable success of the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market was key in Santa Fe being designated a UNESCO City of Folk Art. The highly-acclaimed organization is also a member of the Clinton Initiative.
If you are anywhere near Santa Fe this weekend you will want to check out this fabulous event - a riot of color and sound. Of the thousands of unique handmade pieces of folk art available, you are sure to find memorable gifts for friends, family and yourself.
Museum of International Folk Art
July 11, 12 & 13, 2014
Ticket prices range from $10-50, depending on Date & Time
Buy Tickets Online or at the Market
725 Camino Lejo
Santa Fe, NM 87505-7516
Santa Fe Opera 2014 Season
Every summer the Hacienda Nicholas enjoys the company of opera lovers who come from far and wide to enjoy the world-famous Santa Fe Opera. Guests typically sit together over breakfast on the garden patio for hours, comparing notes on the previous evening's opera, and planning their meals before the next evening's opera. The 2014 season, running now through August 23, 2014, features six operas, all of which are new productions: these include everyone's favorite, Carmen, along with Don Pasquale, Fidelio, The Impresario, Le Rossignol, and the American Premiere of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen.
This opera house is a remarkable adobe structure nestled in the mountains just north of Santa Fe, with majestic views of New Mexico landscape providing a dramatic and memorable setting. The world's most talented young singers, conductors, directors and designers are invited to participate in what is considered one of the most prestigious opera festivals around.
I recommend arriving early for two reasons. First of all, the scenery is not to be missed, and many people choose to tailgate (some make this a formal affair, with fine china, crystal, candles and very elaborate cuisine) so as to enjoy the surroundings by daylight. Enhance your opera experience by attending one of the Prelude Talks, given twice before most performances. These informative talks are free for ticket-holders and are given both two hours before the performance and one hour prior. Consider attending the earlier of the two Prelude Talks, then having your tailgate dinner, and then off to your night at the opera.
My parking tip is to park close to the exit, if you are able to walk the distance with ease. Otherwise you are stuck in a very long line of traffic easing its way back onto the highway.
Tickets may be purchased by calling 505.986.5900 or 800.280.4654 or online at santafeopera.org. There is a wealth of information online, including schedule, pricing and seating. The best seats of the house are pretty pricey (up to $299), but standing room room only can be had for as little as $37. For those wanting to see each of the five evenings of opera, those run from July 28-August 1, August 4-8, and August 11-15.
Santa Fe Bandstand on the Plaza
The Santa Fe Bandstand, a series of free summer concerts on the Plaza, is now underway for the 12th consecutive year. This summer's schedule features over 100 shows, most of which take place right on Santa Fe's Plaza. A broad range of musical styles will be featured, including world music, big band, salsa, zydeco, alternative rock, rhythm and blues, jazz and opera. Along with local bands are a number of nationally-known names including The Wheeler Brothers (roots-rock), Peter Rowan (bluegrass), The Derailers (country-dance) and the Greencards (Americana & progressive bluegrass).
New this year will be the presence of food trucks serving dishes connected to the musical theme of the evening.
Concerts run through August 28th. A schedule of events can be found online at santafebandstand.org.
Amazing New Mexico River Rafting
Between the melting snow and the recent big rains in New Mexico, you can now experience some exceptional river rafting along the Rio Grande and Rio Chama. From mild to wild, half day to multi-day, the tour companies of the Santa Fe area have something for everyone. We generally recommend New Wave Rafting, having had some great family outings with them over the years. They have been running trips since 1980, and really know what they are doing. Along with excellent guides, well-maintained equipment, and fabulous food, they will ensure you have a memorable, fun and safe adventure. Along with whitewater rafting, New Wave also offers kayak excursions and guided fly fishing. For reservations call them at 800.984.1444.
10th Annual Native Treasures: Indian Arts Festival
You don't have to fight the crowds of Indian Market to purchase museum-quality Native American art in Santa Fe. Over 200 top Native American artists will be showcasing their work over Memorial Day Weekend at the Santa Fe Convention Center, located just a few blocks away from the inn. On display will be jewelry, pottery, paintings, sculpture and baskets, including both traditional and contemporary styles. The event also includes music, food booths and artist demonstrations, creating a fun and festive atmosphere.
Hours are 9am-4pm on Saturday, May 24.
10am-4pm on Sunday, May 25.
Tickets are available at the door:
Early Bird tickets (9am-10am Saturday) are $20.
After 10am tickets are $10.
Free Admission all day Sunday.
Mother's Day in Santa Fe
Mother's Day is fast approaching. Not surprisingly, Santa Fe restaurants tend to get very busy, so you will want to make some advance reservations. My recommendations for the day are as follows:
Santacafe does a lovely brunch, made all the better when one is seated on their beautiful outdoor patio. Please specify you want the patio when reserving, and you will have a glorious time. My personal favorites are the Crispy Calamari, Spring Rolls, Salad Nicoise, and the Pineapple Mascarpone - Stuffed French Toast. They also have an amazing Santacafe Green Chile Burger, Poached Eggs on Housemade English Muffin w/ Mexico Chorizo, Wild Gulf White Shrimp Tempura, Blue Corn Chicken Confit Enchiladas and so much more. Santacafe is priced a la carte, with items priced from $11-$16, so can be quite reasonable. For reservations call them at 505.984.1788.
Another great choice is Luminaria, which also has very pleasant patio dining. Start with a Spinach Kale Salad or Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes, followed by Salmon Eggs Benedict, Roasted Prime Rib, Lemon Poppy Seed Waffles or a Ratatouille Tart. Leave room for dessert too - some of their tantalizing choices are a Chocolate Marcona Almond Torte or a Fresh Peach Tart. This is a Prix Fixe Menu - $50 for adults and $22 for children. For reservations call 505.984.7915.
For a more casual Mother's day, try Chez Mamou, a French Bistro/Bakery just two blocks from the inn. They offer a typical French menu of Croque Monsieur, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Mussels, Quiche, to name just a few choices, along with Chocolate Mousse and an extensive selection of patisserie. Their phone number is 505.216-1845.
Happy Mother's Day!
Civil War Re-Enactment at Rancho de las Golondrinas
Rancho de las Golondrinas (Ranch of the Swallows) is a fabulous living history museum just outside Santa Fe, dating back to the 1700's. Visitors learn about the history, heritage and culture of New Mexico in the 18th and 19th centuries while wandering through the original colonial buildings and other historic structures brought in from other areas of northern New Mexico.
Special weekend events are offered throughout the year featuring historical events, lifestyle, music and dance from the Mexican, Spanish and Territorial periods of the Southwest.
This coming weekend (May 3 & 4, 2014, 10am-4pm), is the annual "Battlefield New Mexico: The Civil War and More". Rancho de las Golondrinas will be transformed into a Civil War Battlefield zone, featuring military drills, camp life, lectures, demonstrations and battle reenactments that took place in New Mexico during that period of history.
Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors (over age 62) & teens, and free for children 12 and under.
Please ask your innkeeper for directions to Rancho de las Golondrinas, which is about a 20 minute drive from the inn.
Easter Dinner in Santa Fe
Santa Fe is famous for its culinary offerings, with an array of restaurants offering Northern New Mexican, East Indian, Native American, French, Italian and Japanese, to name just a few. Easter Dinner tends to be of a more traditional nature, though one can certainly indulge in the more esoteric selections as well.
For a traditional Easter meal, I would recommend making reservations at any one of the following fabulous restaurants.
The Compound Restaurant is a favorite of locals and visitors alike, who love the elegant dining found in this historic adobe building located just off Canyon Road. Award-winning Chef Mark Kiffen, known for his innovative and memorable cuisine, will be serving an a la carte Easter Brunch from 11:30am-3pm. Call 505.982.4353 for reservations.
Another Easter Brunch option is La Casa Sena, with one of the loveliest garden patios in Santa Fe. Located at 125 E. Palace Avenue, just a short walk from the inn, La Casa Sena has put together an extensive spring menu for just $27/person. Choose from Flapjacks, Pasta Primavera, Prime Rib, Poblano Chile Rellenos and so much more, followed by a heavenly dessert. When you call for reservations (505.988.9232) be sure to ask for a table on the patio, weather permitting. Easter Brunch will be served from 11am-3pm.
La Posada's Easter Brunch includes a selection of appetizers, desserts and Bloody Marys plus your choice of entrees including Prime Rib, Pollo con Arroz, Stuffed Dover Sole and more. Families will enjoy the Easter egg hunts and baskets filled with toys and candies for the children. La Posada is located just one block from the inn. For reservations call 505.986.0000.
Spotlight on Gustave Baumann
It is clear to our guests at The Hacienda Nicholas and The Madeleine Inn that we are fond of the work of Gustave Baumann, as his prints are hanging in many of our guest rooms. Baumann, a one-time resident of Santa Fe, is beloved for his woodblock prints of Southwestern landscapes. His work has been shown at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.
Now through December 30, 2014 the New Mexico Museum of Art is showcasing an exhibit of original Baumann prints, drawings, painting, studies, and furniture. Also of interest in this exhibit is a group of whimsical hand-carved marionettes made by the artist to entertain Santa Feans over the holidays, beginning in the 1930's. While these originals have been fully restored, they are too fragile for continued use. Nonetheless, the holiday puppet show tradition continues with two Christmas shows each year featuring replicas of these wonderful puppets.
Santa Fe Restaurant Week
Be sure to take advantage of Santa Fe's Restaurant Week, running now through March 2, 2014. Many of Santa Fe's finest chefs will be showcasing their unique culinary styles at unbeatable prices. With almost 60 restaurants to choose from, most of which will offer three course prix fixe menus, you are sure to find the perfect meal for your tastes.
Participating restaurants range from Spanish (La Boca/Taberna and El Farol) to Caribbean (Jambo - one of my absolute favorites!), French (Ristra & L'Olivier) to Italian (Pranzo and Il Piatto), as well as sushi (Shoko) and total health (Body), to name just a few.
You may want to view the list of participating restaurants and their menus by going to santafe.nmrestaurantweek.com/restaurants
. One restaurants that particularly attracted my interest is Geronimo's, Santa Fe's only Four Star & Four Diamond Restaurant. They are offering a four course dinner menu for $40/person, which is an incredible deal.
You will want to make your reservations ahead of time, as these restaurants tend to get very busy during Restaurant Week. Bon Apetit!
Santa Fe's Art Feast Weekend
During the upcoming 16th annual ARTfeast, from February 21-23, 2014, enjoy a weekend of delicious food and wine, fashion and fantastic art, all for a good cause. Since its inception in 1998, this veritable feast for the senses has raised over $1,000,000 to help fund art classes and projects in Santa Fe's public schools.
The Edible Art Tour, perhaps the most popular event of the weekend, brings together over 35 Canyon Road and downtown galleries with Santa Fe's top restaurants and vintners, each showcasing their best talents. This evening of superb food and art takes place on Friday, February 21, from 5-8pm. Tickets are $35.
New this year is Fashion Feast, also on Friday night, from 8pm-midnight. Project Runway star Mondo Guerra will be presenting designs from his 2014 collection, paired with shoes from the local Goler Fine Imported Shoes. After the runway show stick around for Dance Beat - Denver DJ Rose will be spinning beats so you can boogie until midnight while also enjoying heavy hors d'oevures, a cash bar and an exciting live auction. Have a fabulous time while supporting art programs in the Santa Fe schools. Tickets for this event are $40. Attend both events and save - just $70 for both tickets.
For more information and to buy tickets, go to the ArtFeast/ArtSmart website: artfeast.org
For a Romantic Valentine's Celebration in Santa Fe
Should you find yourselves in Santa Fe this Valentine's Weekend, looking for a particularly romantic way to celebrate the occasion, you will want to reserve ahead of time. Here are a few of my top picks for such a celebration.
Joseph's Culinary Pub has perhaps the most intimate and romantic atmosphere of Santa Fe's top restaurants. Decorated with softly draped fabrics and murals, this small space a truly most magical environment. Joseph's is known for its innovative menu using local ingredients whenever possible. They do not have a special Valentine's menu, but you are sure to find delicious options for the most discerning of palates. Book ahead by calling 505.982.1272, as this place is very popular with locals and visitors alike.
Another of my favorite restaurants is The Compound, an elegant and historic landmark restaurant located on Canyon Road. Chef/owner Mark Kiffin is a recognized leader in Southwestern cuisine: his menu is a melding of Spanish and Mediterranean influences, resulting in what he calls "Contemporary American". The Compound will be a more quiet environment than Joseph's Culinary Pub, though again, due to its popularity among locals, you will want to reserve in advance by calling 505.982.4353.
The Anasazi Restaurant, just a short walk from the inn, has created a "Romance by Candlelight" Valentine's Dinner. For you diehard romantics, this might be the perfect choice. They are offering a three-course prix fixe menu at $75/person on both the 14th and 15th of February. Celebrate your romance in the high-end version of Southwestern rustic decor and choose from a menu filled with gourmet American/New Mexican cuisine. For reservations call them at 505.988.3030.
To make this an especially memorable Valentine's Day, consider a luxurious couples treatment at our own Absolute Nirvana Spa. Start with one hour full body massage, as our Master-Level therapists drench you in warm oils and work out all the stress from head to toe. Then slip into a hand-carved granite tub filled the petals of two dozen red roses as you nibble on tropical fruits & handmade truffles and sip Javanese ginger tea, a fire burning at your feet. Wow!
New Exhibit at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum
As many of you know, the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum changes its exhibit twice a year. On February 7th a new and very exciting exhibit will open featuring artwork created in Hawaii by both Georgia O'Keeffe and Ansel Adams. Displayed for the first time ever are paintings by O'Keeffe and photographs by Adams revealing how deeply moved they were by the islands' beauty, flora and fauna. These are not your stereotypical Hawaii vacation photos: rather, the works show how these two artists sought to explore well past the beaches and convey the intimate connections they formed with the land and spirit of Hawaii.
Georgia O'Keeffe and Ansel Adams: The Hawai'i Pictures, will be on display from February 7, 2014 through September 14, 2014. The museum is just a short walk from the inn - let one of our innkeepers highlight the museum location on your walking map.
Goya Print Exhibit in Santa Fe
Thanks to New Mexico Museum Director Mary Kershaw, Santa Fe was selected as the only stop in the U.S. for an international exhibition of drawings by Spanish artist Francisco de Goya. The show, "Renaissance to Goya: Prints and Drawings from Spain", is showing at the New Mexico Museum of Art now through March 9, 2014.
The show's contents were selected by Mark McDonald, a curator at the British Museum. This museum, famous for its tremendous collection of prints and drawings, has such a vast collection that many of these pieces were pulled from the vaults and have never before been on display. McDonald and Kershaw felt that New Mexico, with its Spanish heritage, was the ideal US locale to showcase this remarkable exhibit.
The exhibit includes more than 130 sketches and prints from the mid 16th to the early 19th century, reflecting over 200 years of Spanish religion, social commentary and changing society. Along with Goya are works from such well-known Spanish artists as Diego Velazquez, Vicente Carducho, Bartolome Esteban Murillo, Francisco de Zurbaran, Juan Ribalta and Jose de Ribera.
These drawings are actually quite rare, as they were not considered works of value, and thus were not deemed as collectable at the time. Most of the drawings are torn and soiled, indicating they were used over and over by the artists as they worked out the compositions for their paintings, or recorded finished work before sending it out of the studio.
This remarkable exhibit is a 'must-see' for anyone visiting Santa Fe.
Sales Galore in Santa Fe
Santa Fe is famous for its plethora of shops, with everything from museum quality Native American artwork (The Morningstar Gallery and Joshua Baer & Co) and jewelry (Ortega's, Things Finer, The Golden Eye) to hand-tooled boots (Lucchese Boots and Back at the Ranch) and custom made hats (O'Farrell and Montecristi).
The city is also a favorite haunt for women looking for unique apparel, and January is an excellent time to take advantage of great sales. Bodhi Bazaar currently has all their Fall Holiday Fashions on sale, along with boots, for 25-50% off. For those looking for a selection of globally-sourced fashions, check out Origins, with its selection of tribal jewelry and ethnic clothing from around the world. Here you will find one-of-a-kind items, now at 40-70% off!
Two other well-known Santa Fe stores specializing in home decor are also having sales this month. Design Warehouse, featuring contemporary furniture and household items, is currently discounting every item in the store. ACC (formerly known as American Country Collection) is a beautiful and very high end furniture store, with a selection of luxurious Scandia Linens now for sale at 20% off.
Of course there are plenty of other stores throughout the downtown area that are also offering great prices. Happy shopping!
Celebrating the New Year in Santa Fe
There is plenty going on in Santa Fe to celebrate the New Year, running the gamut from the spiritual to the spirited.
If you are inclined towards a more quiet and contemplative marking of the day, there are two organized meditations happening early on December 31. The Santa Fe Center for Spiritual LIving is holding a World Peace Meditation Service from 4:45am-6am, or you can attend the Everyday Center for Spiritual Living's World Healing Meditation from 5am-6am.
Another spiritually based option is the 23rd annual "Light up a Life" event on the Santa Fe Plaza. Hundreds of farolitos are set out to commemorate the lives of loved ones, both living and deceased. You may purchase your own farolito at the event, and it is suggested that you put a photo of your loved one on the farolito. The $20 donation goes to provide hospice services for those in need. You will want to arrive no later than 5pm to purchase your farolito so as to be present for the ceremony scheduled from 5:30-6pm.
Should you be wishing to bring in the New Year with a grand meal, many of Santa Fe's top restaurants offer incredibly decadent and tantalizing feasts. Some top choices would be The Inn of the Anasazi, serving a festive three course dinner from 4-9:30pm. Prices range from $95-$125, depending on the time of your reservation. The Compound does a fabulous New Year's Eve dinner in their beautiful historic setting, as does Luminaria, which is serving a four course prix fixe meal from 5-9pm for $95. There is also a new restaurant in town, The Thunderbird, located right on the Plaza in the old Ore House location. I have heard great reviews of this new place, and they have a mouth-watering New Year's Eve menu. Their four course meal will be served from 5pm-12am (a bargain at $75) with live music from 9pm-12:30am.
For those of you wishing to celebrate to the max, get your tickets now ($375 each, though $250 is tax deductible) for the New Year's Masked Ball, an annual black tie dinner and dance which takes place at La Posada. The evening starts at 5pm with a concert by the SFCA Orchestra at The Lensic Performing Arts Center (tickets are separate). Continue the evening at La Posada with complimentary wine & champagne, a sit down dinner, and then dancing to the band Soulstice. La Posada is just one block from the inn, making it a good choice for a full night of celebration. Call 505-984-8759 for tickets to this event.
Many guests enjoy attending the Taos Pueblo Turtle Dances, which take place on January 1 at sunrise. The dances begin officially at 8am and go until 1pm. If you plan on getting there for the beginning of this ceremony, you will want to be dressed for bitter cold, but it is well worth it. If you can manage to get there early, you will truly experience the magical mysticism of this dance. No cameras are allowed, giving you the opportunity to fully engage with the ceremonial rattles, drumming, dancing and chanting. What a memorable way to begin the New Year!
Frolicking in the Snow
Santa Fe has been getting some great early winter snowfall this year, and there are plenty of options for enjoying the powder. The Santa Fe Ski Basin and Taos Ski Valley are both open, with beginner to expert runs available. Santa Fe is the ideal spot for beginner to intermediate skiers, while expert level skiers and boarders will appreciate the steeps of Taos.
If downhill motion is not your thing, consider snowshoeing the many miles of trails at the Valles Caldera (vallescaldera.gov). If you don't have your own equipment, you may rent gear at REI for a reasonable fee.
For a more leisurely expedition, how about a Horse-Drawn Sleight Ride? Picture yourself snuggled up with your loved one as you fly across the brilliant snow-covered fields of the Valles Caldera, sleigh bells ringing, followed by hot cocoa, or a hot toddy, in front of a roaring fire. For more information, check out bearcreekadventures.com.
Winter at the Santa Fe Farmer's Market
Guests of The Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast Inn absolutely love visiting the famous Santa Fe Farmer's Market, known for its abundant produce and lively atmosphere, but did you know you could make it a holiday shopping destination too? The Farmer's Market shops are open everyday through December 24th, giving you an opportunity to shop local and find unique gifts for everyone on your list. Choose from a tantalizing selection of wines, teas, coffees, chocolates, garden items, as well as a variety of locally and internationally crafted gifts.
The shops are open Monday through Friday from noon to 6pm, Saturdays from 8am-4pm and Sundays from 10am-4pm. The Market Shops entrance is in Railyard Plaza, at 1607 Paseo de Peralta. Forget the mall and support the community of Santa Fe.
In addition, while many of us patronize the market throughout the spring, summer and fall, it is easy to forget that the market is open on Saturday mornings from 8am-1pm throughout the winter months. Stop in for fresh locally grown fruits, vegetables, honey, eggs, cheese, grassfed meats, delicious baked goods, body care products and herbal products.
Another fun day to visit the Farmer's Market Pavilion is Sundays, when the Railyard Artists Market takes place from 10am-4pm. Listen to live music and peruse the booths of over 40 local artists selling fiber art, paintings, hand blown glass, herbal products, sculpture, photography, jewelry and so much more. Yet another venue for some extraordinary holiday shopping!
Santa Fe's Winter Indian Market
The Hacienda Nicholas gets booked five years in advance for Santa Fe's Annual August Indian Market, but many people don't realize there is also a Winter Indian Market. This year the Winter Indian Market will take place on November 30 and December 1, from 9am-5pm, at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center. Now in its 8th year, the Winter Market is a much smaller and more intimate affair than the crazy Summer Market, though the calibre of the artists remains high.
On exhibit will be pottery, weavings, drums, bead work and more from over 200 Native artists from the US and Canada. A special treat are six open studio artists demonstrations by award-winning artists, as well as Native American music, dance and food. A highlight of this winter's market is a performance of "The Immersion" by world champion hoop dancer and Cirque de Soleil star Nakotah LaRance, accompanied by Brian Frejo playing the Native flute, hand drum and a mix of hip hop beats. This performance will take place at 1:30pm on both Saturday and Sunday.
Admission to the Winter Indian Market is $10/day or $15 for the weekend, with members and children admitted free of charge. Stay away from the crowds at the mall and take advantage of this cultural event - a great place to buy some memorable and unique gifts.
Thanksgiving Dinner in Santa Fe
We'll be serving up some tasty Southwestern Breakfast Enchiladas at The Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast Inn this Thanksgiving morning, but guests will surely want to make reservations now for a Thanksgiving Dinner later in the day. Many of the town's fine dining establishments go the extra mile on this holiday, serving up sumptuous feasts with all the traditional trimmings.
My top pick this year is Fuego at La Posada: located just one block from the Hacienda Nicholas, La Posada has put together an amazing five course dinner comprised of the traditional holiday favorites. Start with Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, followed by Mulled Pear with Spinach and Arugula Salad with Blue Cheese and Spicy Pecans. Then comes an Herb Roasted Turkey with Mashed Potatoes and Herbed Cornbread Stuffing, Green Beats and Carrots with Cranberry Orange Compote. End your meal with Pumpkin, Pecan or Apple Pie. The five course dinner is a reasonable $69 per person, with seatings as early as 3pm and as late as 7:30pm. The reason I recommend Fuego above the others is because they are donating a turkey to the Santa Fe Food Depot for each reservation of four or more. Executive Chef Carmen Rodriguez, named "New Mexico's Chef of the Year" in 2012, deserves kudos for this generous initiative to help those in need.
There are plenty of other great options as well. The award-winning Compound Restaurant, located on Canyon Road, is serving a 3 course Prix Fixe Thanksgiving Dinner featuring Compound Classics and Seasonal Specialties. The dinner menu, served from 3-7pm, features a mouth-watering array of choices. Start with traditional Butternut Squash Soup or try something a bit more unusual like Rock Shrimp & Grits or a Duck Confit. You may choose the traditional Thanksgiving meal, including Organic Turkey and all the trimmings, or perhaps a Braised Veal Osso Bucco, Wild Alaskan Halibut or Wild Mushrooms and Organic Stone Ground Polenta. Save room for dessert! On the menu are a Dark Chocolate Walnut Tart, Pumpkin Bread Pudding, Maple Pecan Pie and Pear Sorbet. This 3 course menu is priced at $75/person, with a $25 option for children. Call them at 505.982.4353 for reservations.
Another top pick for Thanksgiving Dinner in Santa Fe is the Inn of the Anasazi, serving both a Thanksgiving Brunch (11am-2:30pm, 3 course menu at $45/adult and $28/child) and a Thanksgiving Dinner (4-9pm, 3 course menu at $85/adult and $45/child). For reservations call 505.988.3236.
42nd Annual Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
All week long our guests have been heading off to Albquerque, whether at the crack of dawn or later in the afternoon, to experience the 40th Annual Albquerque Balloon Fiesta. If you have never seen this event, a Kodak moment if there ever was one, be sure to make it part of your New Mexico itinerary. The Albquerque Balloon Fiesta is the largest of its kind in the world, and they are always on the cutting edge of hot air ballooning. In fact it was in Albquerque, in 1979, where the idea of balloon glows originated.
My favorite part of the Balloon Fiesta is the night glow, when the burners of each balloon is fired up at the same time, creating a spectacular sight of glowing balloons of all shapes and sizes. This is followed by a memorable fireworks display.
Another highlight of the Balloon Fiesta is the Dawn Patrol. Balloonists prepare their balloons at 5:45am, taking off while it is still dark, and fly until there is enough light to find a safe landing spot. While there are no mass ascension days left during this year's Festival, you can still see dawn ascensions this weekend.
The Harvest Festival at Rancho de las Golondrinas
The Hacienda Nicholas utilizes local harvests of everything from apples to chiles, but what could be more fun than spending a day at the annual Harvest Festival taking place at Rancho de las Golondrinas on October 5 & 6, 2013. The full day events run from 10am-4pm and are the most popular of their weekend events - certainly my personal favorite of the Golondrinas festivals. Watch as grapes are crushed by foot for wine, chiles are strung for ristras, burros crush sorghum in the making of molasses, and apple cider and tortillas are made (and consumed). Also demonstrated are milling, blacksmithing, bread making, dying of wool and tanning of hides. Join in the fun by making your own corn husk doll or participating in the tin stamping workshop, trying out your archery skills, enjoying storytelling with Paulette Atencio or going on a wagon ride. There is also music, flamenco dancing, and delicious food and drink available throughout the day.
Ticket prices are $8 for adults, $5 for seniors and teens, with children 12 and under admitted for free.
The 2013 Santa Fe Renaissance Fair
Guests at The Hacienda Nicholas enjoy visiting Rancho de las Golondrinas (Ranch of the Swallows) throughout the year: visitors of all ages take great delight in this living history museum. The early 18th century Spanish colonial ranch is especially memorable when visited during one of the many weekend events, such as this weekend's Santa Fe Renaissance Fair, taking place from 10am-6pm on September 21 & 22, 2012.
The Fair features music, flamenco & belly dancing, a medieval village, costume contest and medieval combat, as well as Celtic games, food and drink, including ale and mead! Of particular note on the entertainment schedule are the performances by the enchanting Clan Tynker, with its jugglers, magic shows and fire tricks.
Tickets are a modest $10 for adults, $7 for teens and seniors, and FREE for children under age 13. Proceeds from the fair benefit The Interfaith Community Shelter, an organization which serves the homeless of Santa Fe.
Rancho de las Golondrinas is located 20 minutes south of town. From 1-25 South take Exit 276 and follow the signs.
Delicious Pumpkin Spa Specials at Absolute Nirvana Spa
Just across the street from Hacienda Nicholas is our award-winning Absolute Nirvana Spa, a destination for locals and visitors seeking top-notch bodywork as well as authentic Balinese spa treatments. Throughout the year the spa offers seasonal specials, and this time of year brings two of our most popular offerings. Fall is in the air, with crisp cool nights, falling leaves, and heavenly aromas of pumpkin pies, sugar and spices, inspiring us to create two Pumpkin Spa Specials.
Along with its heavenly aroma, pumpkin is also fantastic for your skin. Pumpkin is rich in carotenoid antioxidants that repair skin damage while simultaneously polishing and hydrating dull skin. The plant is also full of natural plant enzymes that accelerate the exfoliation process to peel away dry dead skin cells, reduce fine lines and sun damage, leaving skin renewed, refreshed and amazingly soft and glowing.
Our Pumpkin Decadence treat takes advantage of all the gloriousness of pumpkin: Treat yourself to a full body massage and exfoliating body scrub of brown sugar and cinnamon, followed by a nourishing mask of warm pumpkin, honey and cloves. One and a half hours of yumminess for just $165.
Or indulge in a Delicious Pumpkin Facial, incorporating the natural exfoliating and nourishing properties of Naturopathica's Pumpkin Enzyme Peel to increase collagen production, leaving the skin firm and radiant, with increased elasticity. One our of cleansing, exfoliation, hydrating mask, steam and nourishing cream for $105.
Once you have been inundated with the tantalizing smells of pumpkin and spices, add to your indulgence with a trip to Harry's Roadhouse for a slice of Peyton's fabulous Pumpkin Pie!
Hacienda Nicholas • email@example.com • (505) 986-1431 or 1-888-284-3170 • 320 East Marcy St, Santa Fe New Mexico 87501