THE LUXURIOUS AND ELEGANT BRIAR BARN INN IS OPEN!

Briar Forsythe, owner of the Briar Barn Inn, recently took me on a grand tour of her newly opened inn. I had visited several times while under construction and I have to say, now that it is open, the Inn is even more beautiful than imagined. Elegant, luxurious, serene, relaxing, and welcoming are just some of the many superlatives that come to mind. Briar Barn Inn is just off Route 1A in scenic Rowley, minutes away from Route 95, yet as you head down the long driveway, you feel as though you have entered another world.

Gerald Fandetti, architect; Charlotte Forsythe, artist and interior designer; and art and antiques curating firm Electric Iris, have created a stunning first-rate inn and special events venue. The interior rooms are an eclectic mix of contemporary art, the fine antique furniture once found in ship captain’s homes, curious collections, luxurious bedding and textiles, folk art, and Arts and Crafts period inspired furnishings.

I don’t want to give the impression that Briar Barn Inn is overly serene, because the spacious and welcoming public rooms are equally as suited for fun parties, elegant events, and wonderful weddings. Whimsical details in art and furnishings surround and natural light pours into every room.

Coffee and a light breakfast can be had in the common areas found on each floor. The gathering areas are furnished with comfort in mind (think down cushioned chairs and settees you can sink into). Did I mention every guest room and gathering area has a cozy working fireplace? No two guest rooms are alike and each one either faces into a lovely central courtyard or has a bucolic woodland view. It’s an easy stroll from the Inn to the restaurant, through the expansive terraced alfresco dining area, which surrounds a large fire pit.

The fabulous country barn restaurant, boasting stunning post and beam construction, is opening very soon. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be served to hotel guests, and to the public, seven days a week. I (and my husband) simply can not wait to experience the cuisine! Chef Ben Lightbody, Briar Barn Inn’s executive chef, has developed a reputation for the wonderfully delicious and seasonally fresh food served at Willowdale Estate. The Fandetti-Forsythe Family is renowned in the Cambridge area for their hospitality (The Kendall Hotel and The Mary Prentiss Inn). With Willowdale Estate, and now Briar Barn Inn and restaurant, I think you will see why.

The pool, spa, and art gallery are opening this summer.

Briar Barn Inn is located in Rowley on the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway at 101 Main Street (Route 1A). For more information about the Inn visit the Briar Barn Inn website here. To book your stay call 978-653-5323.

WELCOME TO THE MARY PRENTISS INN POLLINATOR PARADISE!

The exquisite Greek Revival architecture of The Mary Prentiss Inn complements perfectly our lively pollinator paradise, bursting with blossoms and bees. We’ve layered the garden in an array of nectar-rich perennials and annuals that bloom from spring through fall and the garden has become mecca for neighborhood pollinators (including seed-seeking songbirds).

Plant for the pollinators and they will come!

Three-bee-species scene at The Mary Prentiss Inn pollinator garden.

The Mary Prentiss Inn Owners Nicholas and Jennifer Fandetti

Perfectly lovely prior to turning the old garden into a pollinator paradise, but everyone agreed, it was time for a change.

Bee and blossom alike dusted in a fine golden shower of pollen.

CAMBRIDGE’S MARY PRENTISS INN URBAN POLLINATOR GARDEN!

All are welcome at The Mary Prentiss Inn, people and pollinators!

Pollen-dusted Honey Bee

We’ve planted the front dooryard garden with an array of eye-catching, fragrant, and nectar rich flora for both guests and neighbors to enjoy, and to sustain the growing number of bees, butterflies, and songbirds frequenting the garden. 

Fabulously fragrant Oriental Lilies are planted adjacent to the front door to welcome visitors as they enter the Inn.

The Mary Prentiss Inn, from the pollinators point of view~

The Mary Prentiss is a stunning twenty-room Greek-Revival style inn located on a quiet street minutes away from Harvard Square. Elegant, comfortable, and charming, with period architectural detail and decor, the Inn is outfitted with all modern amenities. Visit The Mary Prentiss Inn website for more information.

Enjoy a delicious made-to-order breakfast or afternoon tea at the Inn’s secret garden.

The Mary Prentiss Inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the proud recipient of the Massachusetts Historical Commission Preservation Award for 1995.

The Mary Prentiss Inn is located at 6 Prentiss Street, Cambridge. Call 617-661-2929 or visit maryprentissinn.com

HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SPRING!

‘Twill not be long before we see these ephemeral beauties make their grand entrance!

Spring is Just Around the Corner

Tulipa ‘Greenland’

The color carmine!

Photos taken at our dooryard tulip garden at the Mary Prentiss Inn.

SPRING AT THE MARY PRENTISS INN GARDENS!

Poppies Mary Prentiss inn Cambridge MA copyright Kim Smith

Poppies popping, tulips resplendent, and flower pots poised to bedazzle, The Mary Prentiss Inn, conveniently located near Harvard University, is an utterly charming bed and breakfast, outfitted with all modern amenities (and a secret garden around back). Homemade breakfast is served daily, along with freshly baked treats for afternoon tea. Jennifer, the proprietor, and Lisa, who runs the front desk, could not be more welcoming. For graduation, business, or simply a romantic get away in the heart of Cambridge, The Mary Prentiss Inn is tops!!

Tulips Mary Prentiss inn Cambridge MA copyright Kim SmithThe Mary Prentiss Inn front dooryard gardenTulips Garden Mary Prentiss inn Cambridge MA copyright Kim Smith

Tulips in the city were hard hit by a cycle of freezing and thawing, after they had started to emerge. Nonetheless the tulips at the Inn are still blooming great guns!

Planters Mary Prentiss inn Cambridge MA copyright Kim Smith

The Welcoming Mary Prentiss Inn

Welcoming guests from all walks of life!

Cosmos American Goldfinch ©Kim Smith 2015Hmmm, looks tasty…

Cosmos Goldfinch ©Kim Smith 2015

don’t mind if I do!

Last week on my Mary Prentiss Inn garden check up I was greeted by a fine pair of goldfinches. They were breakfasting on the expiring cosmos and weren’t at all bothered my presence tidying up the garden. The garden is coming into full summer bloom and has become the neighborhood mecca for pollinators. See the Mary Prentiss Inn website with a new video showcasing the Inn’s many outstanding architectural features and lovely decor: The Mary Prentiss Inn.

Hibiscus ©Kim Smith 2015 copy

A pair of red hibiscus topiaries greet the guests at the entryway.

Mary Prentiss Inn Cambridge -3 ©Kim Smith 2015

Mary Prentiss Inn Cambridge -2 ©Kim Smith 2015Mary Prentiss Inn Cambridge -4 ©Kim Smith 2015Mary Prentiss Inn Cambridge ©Kim Smith 2015jpgProprietor Jennifer Fandetti’s colorful pots at the Inn’s secret garden courtyard.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE MARY PRENTISS INN ~ YANKEE MAGAZINE BEST OF!

Tulip Garden Mary Prentiss Inn Cambridge ©Kim Smith 2015The Mary Prentiss Inn was named Yankee Magazine’s Best Inn, Greater Boston Area, and deservedly so!

As many of our readers have come to know from photos I’ve posted here, the beautiful family-owned and operated Inn is one of my landscape design projects.

Tulip Garden Mary Prentiss Inn Cambridge -6 ©Kim Smith 2015

Jennifer Fandetti, the Inn’s proprietor, and daughter-in-law of Cambridge artist Charlotte Forsythe and architect Gerald Fandetti, maintains The Mary Prentiss to the highest standards. The welcoming hospitality, combined with the gracious decor of the meticulously restored Greek Revival manor, along with their famously delicious breakfasts and afternoon tea, will make your stay truly memorable. During warmer months guests are invited to dine and relax in the exquisite secret garden.

Centrally located in the heart of Cambridge, and appointed with every modern amenity, when planning a trip to the Greater Boston/Cambridge area I highly recommend a stay at The Mary Prentiss Inn!

Tulip Garden Mary Prentiss Inn Cambridge -4 ©Kim Smith 2015

In autumn I mix a special custom collection of spring flowering bulbs for my clients, based on their preferences and the architectural features unique to their business or residence. The colors of the tulips in this year’s collection for The Mary Prentiss Inn are simply scintillating and especially beautiful juxtaposed against the warm creamy yellow tones of the exterior paint, emerald green of the boxwoods, and forest green of the hollies. You have to be very cautious in managing the colors though because a symphony can easily become a cacophony!

Tulip Garden Mary Prentiss Inn Cambridge -5©Kim Smith 2015

Tulip Garden Mary Prentiss Inn Cambridge -3 ©Kim Smith 2015

The orange parrot tulip in the above photo is a very old cultivar. Unlike the vast majority of tulips today, which are mostly scentless, this has a dreamy fragrance of citrus and honeysuckle.

Tulip Garden Mary Prentiss Inn Cambridge -7 ©Kim Smith 2015

For more information visit The Mary Prentiss Inn Facebok Page here and website here.

 

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