Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Threads of Devotion - The Wardrobe of La Conquistadora

Guests of The Madeleine Inn Bed & Breakfast are encouraged to visit the first-ever museum exhibition of the garments, jewelry and crowns made for La Conquistadora, the oldest representation of the Virgin Mary in the United States.  The exhibit opened at The Museum of Spanish Colonial Art in tandem with Santa Fe's 400th year anniversary, and gives insight to the city's rich culture, history and religious beliefs.  I recommend a tour with a docent so as to gain a deeper understanding of the stories behind this lavish display.

 The statue, believed to have been carried during The Crusades, first arrived in Santa Fe in 1626, on an ox-drawn wagon from Mexico.  She remained in Santa Fe until the Pueblo Revolt in 1680, when she was rescued by fleeing Spanish colonists.  She was carried back to Santa Fe in 1692 by Don Diego DeVargas during the reconquist.  DeVargas credited La Conquistadora for the relatively bloodless victory and decreed that she be honored every year in what became La Fiesta de Santa Fe, when she leads a processional around the Plaza. 

At this time they began following the custom of dressing sacred images with the silks, velvets, orante capes and jeweled crowns worn by Spanish royalty.  La Conquistadora and her vast wardrobe of over 200 garments are housed in the Santa Fe’s Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.  Her clothing is changed once a month, except during the nine days the novena, when her clothing is changed daily. Until now, her wardrobe has been hidden from public view, so this is a momentous event.  The exhibit, Threads of Devotion, can be seen now through December 31, 2010.  This is a rare opportunity to see a real piece of Santa Fe history!

Museum of Spanish Colonial Art
750 Camino Lejo (on Museum Hill)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Boot Camp at the Santa Fe School of Cooking

We seem to attract a lot of 'foodies' to The Madeleine Inn Bed & Breakfast, and many of our guests have enjoyed taking classes at The Santa Fe School of Cooking.  The school, located just off the Plaza at 116 W. San Francisco Street, features traditional New Mexican, Native American, Mexican, Spanish, vegetarian and contemporary Southwestern cuisine.  Courses include a variety of Cooking Classes (yes, you get to eat the final results!), Restaurant Walking Tours, Wine Makers Cooking Classes, and more.

Beginning on November 1, the school will be offering a 3-day cooking intensive with a focus on the history and  preparation of Southwestern food.  The course will feature some of Santa Fe's top chefs giving tips on all aspects of Southwestern cuisine, from cooking techniques to flavoring to knife skills.  The cost for this interactive and very hands-on class is $800/person.  To reserve your spot, call (800)982-4688 and ask for Nicole.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

La Boca, our Favorite Neighborhood Restaurant

In my experience, our guests at The Madeleine Inn and Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast have very discerning palates.  Our mission is to offer the tastiest breakfasts possible, all with a southwestern flair, such as our famous Blue Corn Pinon Waffles or hearty Breakfast Enchiladas.

Likewise, when it comes to lunch and dinner choices, we do our utmost to give the best restaurant recommendations possible to our guests.  We are fortunate to be located within easy walking distance of La Boca, which offers a unique menu of tapas in an intimate and informal setting.  In spite of the fact that every guest we have ever sent to La Boca has come back raving about the place, I decided I should check it out once again for myself.  Several friends and I enjoyed a delicious meal there last night, including such standouts as the Grilled Artichokes with Goat Cheese, La Boca Fries with Roasted Garlic Aioli,  Tuna Capaccio and a succulent Paella.  For dessert, we managed to devour an entire platter of goodies, including a luscious whipped honey-almond nougat concoction called Helado de Turron.  La Boca also boasts an extensive wine list and knowledgeable wait-staff to assist you making the best food and wine pairings.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Skiing in Santa Fe!

Winter is fast-approaching, which is a joyous time of year for skiers and snowboarders.  After a delicious and hearty breakfast for guests of The Madeleine Inn or our brother inn, Hacienda Nicholas, it is just a quick drive up to the Santa Fe Ski Basin for a day of skiing under sunny blue skies.  The ski area is due to open on Thanksgiving Day and will be open until mid-April.  Skiing in Santa Fe is ideal for beginner and intermediate skiers and snowboarders, and because Santa Fe offers a plethora of other activities, this is the ideal ski/winter fun vacation spot.  Mix in a half day of skiing, or even a full day, and then choose from shopping, museums, architectural tours and award-winning spas such as our own award-winning Absolute Nirvana Spa.  Hmmm, a fun day on the slopes, a hot stone massage, and glass of wine in front of the fire, and then a delicious meal.  The perfect winter getaway! 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) Dance and Celebration

At The Madeleine Inn  we love to promote local events and flavors that are specific to the culture of Santa Fe so our guests can get the most out of their visit to our unique city.  One such opportunity is the upcoming Day of the Dead Celebration and Dance at El Museo Cultural on Oct. 29th and November 2nd, from 6-10pm.  

The Day of the Dead, celebrated in Mexico on October 31, is a wildly colorful and joyous affair.  People go to cemetaries to honor deceased friends and family, celebrating with food, music, dance and the creation of ornate shrines or ofrendas.  

At the Santa Fe event for Dia de los Muertos,  you will see the culmination of two weeks of shrine, altar and ofrenda building, which is quite a treat, as Santa Fe is known for its plethora of gifted artists.  In addition, the event features delicious local foods, music and dance performances.  You may even wish to be prepared to go in finest Day of the Dead regalia so you too can participate in the renowned costume contest.  Whether or not you choose to enter the contest, you will see Santa Feans dressed in their most festive and outrageous Day of the Dead attire.  

Location: 555 Camino de la Familia, Santa Fe Railyard

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Aspens are Peaking!

 Our guests are enjoying fabulous cool mountain air by night and beautiful sunny days hiking along the Aspen Vista Trail.  The Aspen Vista Trail is packed with visitors and locals alike this time of year, and is a mere 13 miles from the center of town, following the road to the Santa Fe Ski Basin.  With a very moderate incline, the trail is a good choice for hikers from age 2 to 92.  Most hikers choose not do walk the entire 10 miles, but for those more hardy souls, know that you can get in a good workout while seeing some breathtaking scenery.  To avoid big crowds,  we recommend that you plan your hike for a weekday, if possible.  Greg, the innkeeper at our Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast Inn, has been up to see the aspens in their glory and shares his photos of the shimmering golden leaves against a background of vibrant blue skies. 

Even if you can't get out for this year's fall foliage, you may want to consider booking at either the Hacienda Nicholas or The Madeleine Bed & Breakfast Inn for next year.  Other fall activities in Santa Fe include the world-famous Balloon Fiesta and the ever-popular Wine & Chile Festival.