Afternoon Cocktail at the Mandarin

I hadn’t been in the Mandarin Oriental in Boston since we scoped out possible suites for our wedding weekend. It was definitely one of my favorite spaces – the suites were amazing – probably some of the finest in the city. I should have returned much sooner, as one of their watering holes – M Bar – is just as fantastically elegant as you would expect. (They have also added a bit of sidewalk dining space – which is perfect for watching the world go by on Boylston Street.) I went in through the backdoor, as is my wont.

Through the unassuming back entrance from one of the Prudential walkways, I enter an oasis in the midst of the city. There is a bit of hushed finery at work here – an atmosphere that promises the best of the best – a hint of pampered refinement around every corner. Descending to the lobby, I make my way to the bar area and sit down before a very pretty, very blonde, and very pregnant bartender. She is all smiles and engaging conversation, and she makes me a Monsieur, setting a small bowl of sweetly-dusted almonds beside it.

Made up of Grey Goose la poire vodka, St. Germain, and prosecco, the Monsieur is a refreshing pear-tinted cocktail garnished with a lychee – a seasonal treat to restore and revive the weariest shopper. There would be just one for this time – as it was a pre-cocktails cocktail before I met up with friends later on.

For me, heaven will always be a hotel bar. There’s just no place where I feel more at home. With the flow of visitors and vacationers, business folks and pleasure seekers, a hotel bar is more interesting than anything on television. You can choose to take part in the goings-on, or simply watch from a safe distance. On this day, I prefer to observe, unobtrusively taking in the scene around me while sipping the remainder of my drink. A lovely way of spending the early part of a lazy afternoon.


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