What to do for Labor Day Weekend in Boston

Thu, 3 September 2015
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum BostonIsabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Ah, Boston – the city of baked beans, underaged drinking and the Red Sox. School might have just started but come Labor Day weekend much of the city will empty out to escape to the beach or further down south. If you’re one of those left behind, here’s how to entertain yourself:

Visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Isabella Stewart Gardner’s eponymous museum is a true reflection of her revolutionary vision as a curator, and has secured her place in history as as one of the most badass art patrons of all time. Her collection, which ranges from Roman mosaics to masterpieces by John Singer Sargent and Whistler, is housed in a 1903 building in the marshy Fenway area. The building, modelled after Renaissance palaces in Venice, is a piece of art to behold in itself. Gardner built it with the purpose of a museum and music venue in mind, creating a year-round oasis of beauty in the centre of Boston. The glass-covered courtyard garden, filled with tropical flowers and fountains, serves as the centrepiece of the museum – the three floors above it look into the courtyard through stone balconies. Explore the collection in rooms dictated by Gardner’s unique style where she mixes periods and cultures – Titian’s Europa hangs near a 17th century Japanese Namban chest, for example.

Eat your way through South End

If you’ve been wandering Boston’s streets alone while others party in the Hamptons, nothing will cheer you up like the food in the South End. Start with brunch at The Beehive – load up on bloody mary’s and shakshuka while enjoying live jazz music from the stage. Move along to dim sum for lunch at Myers + Chang – be sure to order some pork belly bao buns and the Indonesian fried rice. Around the corner, Coppa is the perfect place for an intimate dinner. Plates like pig’s bones and tails, with spicy roasted red pepper sauce and crushed amaretti are sure to please tastebuds as well as the imagination. Start with sea urchin and roasted tongue with pickled mustard seeds and follow up with squid ink angel hair. The bone marrow pizza is also mind-blowing. Too hardcore? Classic Boston seafood joint B & G is just around the corner, where you need to order at least one lobster roll. Otherwise, you can enjoy Spanish tapas restaurant Toro a couple blocks away – do not miss out on the grilled corn with aioli, patatas bravas and mussels. Stuffed.

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