Brunch at City Table and Sightseeing

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My sister is now in her final year at Boston University so I have visited her in Boston several times. One of the places she always takes me and the rest of the family to is City Table, and this visit was no different. The restaurant is located in Back Bay which is a great area to explore. It’s close to Newbury street, a great street for shopping, as well as other Boston attractions, including the Public Library.

The restaurant is attached to the Lenox Hotel, making it very easy to find. Inside is pretty swanky but the menu is very eclectic with various breakfast and lunch options. When we come with the whole family, Dad always gets a sandwich and my sister and I always get the eggs. This time, I opted for tea as well and that was delicious! Perfect for a chilly fall day.  

After brunch we had some time to kill so we wandered around the area and went into the Boston Public Library. I’ve walked by the outside many times and admired it but had never been inside. Inside is even more breathtaking than I imagined! The city of Boston has such a unique identity from many cities in the United States because it is one of the few with such a rich and long history. 

This location of the Boston Public Library was completed in 1895. In 1986, the National Park Service designated the McKim Building a National Historic Landmark citing it as “the first outstanding example of Renaissance Beaux-Arts Classicism in America.” Within the McKim Building are fine murals series, fine collections of rare books and manuscripts, maps, and prints, and splendid gallery space for displaying the numerous treasures assembled over the past 160 years. 

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 The Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel is across from Trinity Church and the Public Library. The hotel cost $5.5 million dollars to build and opened in 1912. The Copley Plaza Hotel has been host to many famous people. Every U.S. President since William Howard Taft, and royalty from Greece, Thailand, Abyssinia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Belgium, Denmark, and the United Kingdom have visited the hotel. Celebrities including John Lennon, Tony Bennett, Lena Horne, Dorothy Lewis, Frank Sinatra, and Luciano Pavarotti have also been guests. But I think one of the best parts about the hotel is Carly Copley, Canine Ambassador. Carly, a black Labrador formerly trained as a guide dog, warmly greets guests upon arrival to the hotel. She is also available for scheduled walks and runs with guests. 

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Trinity Church, directly across from the Boston Public Library was completed in 1877. Trinity Church is the only church in the United States and the only building in Boston that has been honored as one of the “Ten Most Significant Buildings in the United States” by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). In 1885, architects voted Trinity Church as the most important building in the U.S.; Trinity Church is the only building from the original 1885 list still included in the AIA’s current top ten list. The building was designated a National Historic Landmark on December 30, 1970.

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The Old South Church on Boylston Street was completed in 1873. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1970 for its architectural significance as one of the finest High Victorian Gothic churches in New England.

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My Top Historical Sites of London: The Tower, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Imperial War Museum

This post is not for the history faint-of-heart. *Nerd alert*

The Tower of London is one of the most infamous sites in London. The Tower has served variously as an armory, a treasury, a menagerie, the home of the Royal Mint, a public records office, and the home of the Crown Jewels of England. However, two most infamous urban legends about The Tower are about when in late 15th century the castle was the prison of the “Princes in the Tower” and the Ravens. If you haven’t heard of these two legends before, I suggest you visit The Tower’s website and learn. Particularly the story about the two princes is better than any historical fiction I’ve ever read. See, history is cool! I love the stories of The Tower so much that I bought a guidebook while I was there. My friends really loved seeing the Crown Jewels that are display here so there is something for everybody!

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London Through A History Nerd’s Eyes

When I travel, I am that friend that loves the dorky, guided tours. I want to know everything about everything and I think tour guides and detailed tours are the best way to learn. Partially, because as an amateur historian I have a great deal of respect for the amount of time and energy that goes into researching and preparing information for the masses. So my poor friends were dragged along on countless tours with me, but I think they enjoyed it and maybe learned something too!

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Our first stop was Westminster Abbey. Standing in front of this impressive structure is really humbling. As an American, it is hard to grasp that this building has over 1,000 years of history. That’s over four as long as the United States has been in existence! Westminster Abbey’s age is reason alone to visit but it’s importance in England’s history, particularly political history, is an even better reason. Coronations, weddings and funerals for incredibly important historical figures have been held here since 1066. I could go on and on about the historical significance but the website for Westminster Abbey does a much better job than I could ever do, http://www.westminster-abbey.org/our-history.

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If you are planning to visit, I would purchase tickets ahead of time on Westminster Abbey’s website and for the full experience, I would purchase an audio guide when you arrive. If you are going to take the time to wait in line to see it, take the tour and really appreciate what you’re seeing. Or you can do what we did, which is I tell my friends all about my dorky history knowledge and then we have a photoshoot in the cloisters afterwards.

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