Pinterest has me seeing details. Here is my late father-in-law Bob’s beloved pipe collection, which now adorns our living room wall.
The hooked sunflower valance is an early birthday present from my mother-in-law Babs. She hooks rugs in a church basement with other seniors. The priest always greets them: “Welcome, hookers!”
It’s the end of an era: Annalena and Hannah hung up their headphones last week after more than five years hosting “Our Funky Cheese Shack” on WBCR-lp, Great Barrington’s community radio station. During their final broadcast, the girls played excerpts from their very first show, when they were geeky 7th graders stressing about the middle school semi-formal dance. It’s been a long and hilarious run. We’re so grateful to the station for for giving our kids such a steadfast and supportive place to find their voices. There’s no shutting them up now…
My mom and I checked out the Hotel Matilda Spa this week. The Matilda, which opened a year ago, is located in the charming neighborhood near Parque Juárez on the site of the former Hotel Villa Jacaranda.
The property has been completely transformed from its Colonial roots. It’s now sleek and modern, decorated in a subtle palette designed to showcase the hotel owners’ serious collection of contemporary Latin American art, along with San Miguel’s brilliant blue sky.
The intimate spa has a Zen-Mex-Moroccan vibe to it. We were treated to side-by-side pedicures in a private room that looked out on a rock garden planted with cacti, wild grasses, and bamboo. While our feet soaked in hot water, therapists Alma and Esther rubbed camellia-scented avocado oil into our hair and massaged our scalps. The spa offers many scrubs and wraps that utilize indigenous ingredients, such as nopal, coffee, and coconut.
After the pampering, we enjoyed lunch on the terrace. The restaurant has a new chef, Jorge Boneta, whose upscale menu riffs on Mexican street food. It’s a winning concept that feels just right for the Matilda, which is about world-class, yet unpretentious hospitality that’s steeped in the flavors of 21st century Mexico, as opposed to generic fancy “continental” cuisine and style.
We shared four appetizers: Yucatecan suckling pig tacos cooked in banana leaves, spicy sea bass ceviche topped with a tangle of cucumber ribbons, Zihuatanejo shrimp cocktail, and chopped salmon served in lettuce cups with garlic sauce and crispy fried leeks.
My mom and I agreed that it was the freshest seafood we’d ever tasted in San Miguel. The shrimp cocktail, in particular, was transcendent. The succulent shrimp were served in a dark beer-hot pepper sauce on a bed of citrus with whisper-thin slices of radish. My mom said, “This shrimp cocktail is so good, it makes me forget every shrimp cocktail that came before it.”