Sunday, February 24, 2013

An Evening with Zen Master & Calligrapher

The Madeleine Bed & Breakfast Inn, built in 1886 by a railroad tycoon, is a unique blend of Victorian and Asian architecture.  Having been constructed by Chinese railroad workers, the building melds classic Queen Anne Victorian design with a strong Asian influence, which is primarily evident in staircase and intricate carved wood throughout the downstairs of the building.

Those who appreciate the Asian art and design sense are welcome to stop by for a tour, and will also want to attend a special presentation of Zen Master and Calligrapher Shodo Harada Roshi at the St. Francis Auditorium on Tuesday, February 26.  The event, offered by the New Mexico Museum of Art and the One Drop Zen Community of Whidbey Island in Puget Sound, is scheduled to take place from 6-8pm.  Shodo Harada Roshi will share his teachings on the the practice of calligraphy as a spiritual art form, as well as how it has affected his personal journey as a monk.  During the two hour demonstration Roshi will create large-scale scrolls from start to finish, and a translator will provide on-going commentary to illuminate the process.

St. Francis Auditorium/New Mexico Museum of Art
107 West Palace Avenue (on the Plaza)
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Suggested donation at the door of $5

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Calling all Foodies for Santa Fe Restaurant Week

Santa Fe has many acclaims to fame, bringing guests throughout the year to The Madeleine Bed & Breakfast Inn.  Along with our colorful history, world-renowned art, depth of culture and scenic beauty, Santa Fe also boasts a wide array of highly-acclaimed restaurants.  From Native American Indian to east Indian, French to New Mexican, African to Italian, Santa Fe has something for every palate.  A great time of year to try out these fine restaurants is during the 4th Annual Santa Fe Restaurant Week, taking place from February 24-March 3, 2013.

All 49 participating restaurants will be offering specially-priced dinners (many also offer special lunch menus as well), some as low as $25 for a couple, and on up to $40/person for a serious culinary feast.  My personal favorites of the high-end restaurants are The Compound (Contemporary American) and La Boca (Spanish Tapas), each offering a $40/person menu of delectable choices.  Among the more ethnic and exotic options, my top picks are Jambo Cafe (African) and Shoko Cafe (Japanese).

In addition to the special dining deals, you can also take advantage of a plethora of cooking classes, demonstrations and tours.  Learn to make "Gnocchi Like an Italian Grandmother" or "How to Make Fresh Pasta" from Chef Andrew Cooper of the Four Seasons Rancho Encantado.  Sign up for the "Tour & Taste of New World Cuisine" offered at the Museum Hill Cafe in conjunction with the Santa Fe International Folk Art Museum.  For those preferring a class centered on libations, check out "The History of Beer" being held at the Cowgirl BBQ.

Due to the popularity of this culinary event, advance reservations are highly recommended - they can be made by calling each participating restaurant directly, or finding them on Open Table. This the ideal time to dine at your favorite tried-and-true establishments, or to branch out and try something new and different.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Violin Virtuoso Hilary Hahn in Santa Fe

Recognizing that people these days travel with their music stored in MP3 players, we have docking stations and speakers in each guest room of The Madeleine Bed & Breakfast Inn.  While iPods and other such devices make it ever so easy to store music these days, nothing can compare to the magic of live music, particularly when one has the opportunity to hear a true virtuoso.  Residents and visitors to Santa Fe will soon have such an opportunity, as violin superstar Hilary Hahn will be performing on Tuesday, February 19th at the Lensic Performing Arts Center.

Though only 31 years old, Hilary Hahn is one of the most sought-after artists of the day.  She performs with the world's most prestigious orchestras, has won two Grammies, and has received multiple Diapason "d'Or de l'Annee" and "Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik" prizes.  Her technical brilliance, thoughtful interpretations and tireless work to communicate her love of classical music with other others led to her being recognized in 2011 by Time Magazine as "America's Best Young Classical Musician".

Santa Fe is one stop on a US tour titled In 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores, which includes works by Beethoven and Bach as well as specially commissioned pieces by two dozen contemporary composers.

Tickets for this remarkable performance are available online or by calling the Lensic Box Office at 505.988.1234.  Ticket prices range from $20-$75, with student discounts available.

Lensic Performing Arts Center
211 West San Francisco Street
Santa Fe, NM
Tuesday, February 19, 2013  7:30pm

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The St. Francis Auditorium, just a short walk from The Madeleine Bed & Breakfast Inn, will be hosting piano virtuoso Gabriela Montero on Sunday, February 10, 2103.  Gabriela will be playing Three Intermezzos by Brahms and Schumann's Fantasy in C Major.  The concert, presented by the Santa Fe Concert Association, begins at 4pm.  Ticket prices range from $20-$50 and may be purchased online at or by calling 505.988.1234.

Gabriela Montero, born in Caracus, Venezuala, got her start playing the piano very early in life.  The toy piano of an older cousin was placed in her playpen when she was only 7 months old, and rather than banging on the keys with her fist, she immediately begin picking out notes with her index finger.  Before she could even speak, she had picked out the melody for the country's National Anthem on her piano, by then her favorite toy.  Gabriela began formal lessons at age 4, and gave her first public concert at age 5.

Ms. Montero tours worldwide, most recently in Spain and Germany, and is particularly known for her remarkable performance improvisations.  She encourages her audiences to suggest various melodies and themes, and then she rewards them with unique interpretations of these requests.  Her ability to come this with a career as a serious classical artists results in a close connection with her audiences.  Santa Fe is fortunate to have the opportunity to enjoy such a gifted and highly-acclaimed pianist.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Celebrating Valentine's Day in Santa Fe

The Madeleine Bed & Breakfast Inn is the perfect place to wow your sweetheart this Valentine's Day, or any time of the year you might be inspired to rekindle your romance.  The 1886 Queen Anne architecture, complete with stained glass and ornately carved fireplaces, creates an ideal amorous backdrop.

Enhance the mood with a couples treatment at the Balinese-inspired Absolute Nirvana Spa, located in the back garden of The Madeleine.  They are offering a Valentine's Spa Special throughout the month of February.  This couples treatment begins with a Master's Massage in a candlelit room as you are both drenched with warm oils permeated with rose and chocolate essence.  Following your massages, slip into a hand-carved granite tub, filled with the petals of two dozen red roses, a fire burning at your feet, as you nibble on tropical fruits and homemade chocolate truffles.

After your blissful time in the spa, head out to one of Santa Fe's many fine restaurants.  If your stay coincides with Valentine's Day itself, there are several restaurants offering dining specials.  The Old House Restaurant is featuring a four-course 'Aphrodisiac Menu' which includes oysters, lobster tail, New York steak, fresh strawberries and chocolate.  The price for this is a reasonable $119 per couple, or $149 if a wine pairing menu is chosen.  Their Valentine's Day menu will be served from February 14-17.  Reservations are highly recommended, and may be made by phoning 505.995.4530.

Another top pick for a romantic meal is Santacafe, located just a few blocks from The Madeleine in an historic adobe compound.  The casually elegant setting consists of four intimate, candlelit rooms and is a lovely atmosphere in which to savor the delicious menu of contemporary American and Southwestern cuisine.  Again, reservations are recommended - call Santacafe at 505.984.1788.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Santa Fe Opera 2013 Season

Every summer The Madeleine Bed & Breakfast Inn fills up with opera lovers from across the country, many of whom have been staying with us for 15 years or more.  The 2013 Santa Fe Opera summer season schedule is now posted, so you will want to plan your trip soon:  the preferred seats and the best hotel rooms tend to sell fast.

This summer brings revivals of two very popular operas:  Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro and Verdi's La Traviata.   A real treat will be the world premiere of Oscar, by Theodore Morrison, based on the life of Oscar Wilde.  This opera was co-commissioned and co-produced by The Santa Fe Opera and Opera Company of Philadelphia, and features David Daniels as Oscar Wilde.   For operatic hilarity, plan to attend Offenbach's The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, which has not been performed since 1979.  This newly staged production will be performed on opening night, June 28, and features Susan Graham in the title role.  Last but not least is Rossini's romantic La Donna del Lago, starring acclaimed mezzo soprano Joyce DiDonato as the mysterious lady of the lake.

Winter is hardly the time of year to be thinking of outdoor picnics, but you will want to plan a tailgate supper so as to take advantage of the spectacular sunset and mountain views available from the opera's parking lot.  Stop by Whole Foods and choose from their extensive deli array, choose take-out from one of Santa Fe's many fine dining restaurants, or order a box meal directly from the Santa Fe Opera.

Tickets range from $30 (standing room only) to a whopping $943 for top tier orchestra seats.  Serious opera devotees will want to plan their stays so as to enjoy all five operas back-to-back.  This option is available from July 30-Augst 3, August 6-10 or August 13-17.

Tickets may be purchased online or by calling 800.280.4654.