These winter months are making me stir crazy! Cabin fever is alive and well at our home, yet I can’t bring myself to brave the cold for any time span longer than it takes to get from my house to my car. Can you relate? The upside of all this cold is that being forced inside creates a romantic ambiance, a perfect setting for an anniversary. If your anniversary falls during these colder months, and you’re looking for a way to celebrate indoors, I have the perfect solution.
You’ve spend all week cleaning the home and preparing a Thanksgiving feast for family and friends. Thanksgiving day arrives and you spend it eating, talking, reminiscing, and napping. And then…Friday rolls around – you still have the entire weekend! What to do? Thanksgiving weekend provides the perfect opportunity for you and your sweetheart to get away for a night, after the business of Thanksgiving subsides and before the chaos of December begins. All four Anniversary Inn locations provide the perfect one-night getaway. I have a few non-themed suites I’d like to recommend. Though these suites are not as ornately decorated or as adventurous as some of our other suites, after a week like this one, “low-key” may be right up your alley. Continue reading
As August winds down and the temperature starts to cool, I always ask myself, “Where did the summer go?” The months seem to fly by. One way to treat the blues that inevitably accompany the last few weeks of August, is to making “saying goodbye” to summer a momentous occasion, giving yourself something to look forward to. May I make a suggestion? Plan a staycation! It’s an easy, cost-effective way to enjoy one last weekend before school starts and the leaves begin to fall. Not to mention, a staycation requires very little planning and can be booked at the last minute. Below, I have an itinerary that will make for a perfect way to squeeze the most out of these last weeks of summer. See what you think!
Salt Lake City has a vibrant culture of music and boasts numerous picturesque venues where artists can perform. Every summer, bands come in from all over to play at the Summer Twilight Concert Series held at Pioneer Park. Concerts are held every Thursday night and tickets are only $5. It’s a large open venue that attracts thousands of people every week. For musicphiles, it’s a real experience. Too crowded for your tastes? Grab authentic Thai food from Ekamai or an indulgent Belgian waffle from Bruges Waffles and Frites and sit across the street (tables on the street and above the restaurants) – you’ll still hear the music while being able to avoid (some of) the crowd.
Red Butte Garden also hosts a summer concert series, bringing in bands that have more of a following (such as Earth, Wind, and Fire – performing this Friday, August 29th). Though tickets are more expensive, the ambiance is more organized and spacious. The best part? The backdrop. Red Butte Garden is stunning to say the least, and the soaring mountains behind it aren’t too shabby either.
If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, check out the array of options here. VisitSaltLake.com is a great resource in planning any Salt Lake City-based staycation. The Bluegrass and BBQ night at the Utah Museum of Natural History sounds especially summer-esque.
And the staycation doesn’t have to end there. Take a short jaunt over to South Temple and check in to stay a night at the Anniversary Inn. Request the Savannah Nights Suite and continue on basking in the warmth of summer. The suite includes a king-size bed, a jetted tub, television, cozy robes, and – as always – complimentary cheesecake, apple cider, and breakfast in the morning. What this suite offers that most don’t is a Turret with a table and chairs surrounded by windows where you can enjoy the beauty of the outdoors from inside the suite. I can’t think of a better place to spend either a lazy summer evening or bright summer morning – both allow you to enjoy the warmth that August brings before it makes way for cool breezes of Autumn.
Many of the posts on this blog describe ways to celebrate your anniversary or plan a staycation in a grand and creative manner, taking advantages of all the local events that Utah and Idaho have to offer. Though a creatively planned anniversary is fun and exciting, sometimes the most enjoyable evening is one that involves a romantic dinner and a relaxing get-away. Fortunately for you, Salt Lake offers superb options for such a night.
One of Salt Lake City’s most valuable gems is Em’s Restaurant. Em’s is located in the heart of downtown Salt Lake on Center Street, just below the Capitol Building. It rests in a small, cozy space that is endlessly romantic: dimmed lighting, candles, beautiful art, small tables – you’ll never want to leave. And the food, oh the food! Head Chef – Emily – is brilliant. Starting out in a much smaller space serving lunch and catering on the side, she soon found more space would be necessary as the reputation of her delicious and creative cuisine grew. She relocated to Center Street where the restaurant expanded once more into the neighboring space which provided more seating for the ever growing group of patrons. Em’s cuisine is gourmet using seasonal and local produce which means the menu changes throughout the year.
Start your meal with her famous potato pancakes served with creme fraiche and fresh herbs. They are delicate and savory with complex flavors that pair perfectly with creamy creme fraiche. Her flatbread with seasonal toppings is also a great choice. Follow up the appetizer with a salad. Whether you prefer something light (mixed greens with balsamic vinaigrette, croutons, and shaved parmesan) or something more hearty (roasted potatoes and caramelized onions with Italian sausage on seasonal greens, tossed with a bacon, sherry vinaigrette), she has something for you.
The list of entrees is substantial, each includes a perfectly prepared meat (lamb, short ribs, salmon, etc.) that is paired with sauces and vegetables that are prepared to accompany the meat perfectly. For vegetarians, she has an excellent potato lasagna and nightly pasta special. Let’s just say, if she’s serving her famous house-made ravioli…you can’t go wrong. What is dinner without dessert? Em’s list of desserts presents a comforting, classic selection. Sorbets, bread pudding with caramel sauce, raspberry creme brulee, homemade ice cream served with a warm chocolate chunk brownie….is your mouth watering yet? Read more reviews here where Em’s earns 4/5 stars on Yelp!
The best part about Em’s is the AMBIANCE. My husband and I have been there a number of times and every time we visit I feel the need to hold his hand across the table and lean over the table to engage in intimate conversation. It feels like a place where we can share secrets and exchange romantic glances – the perfect restaurant to host your anniversary celebration.
***Important Note: due to it’s popularity, Em’s recommends that you make reservations a few days in advance. Having been disappointed once when arriving at a full-to-capacity restaurant, I strongly encourage following this policy.
***Em’s also serves Sunday brunch and lunch throughout the week. I highly recommend both.
After a romantic evening spent on Center Street in Salt Lake, take a short drive to the Anniversary Inn on South Temple, just minutes away. There, book the Anniversary Inn Suite. This suite stands in contrast to the others in its classic interior. It is elegance at its finest. No frills, no distractions – just comfort. relax with your sweetheart in the jacuzzi tub for two before crawling into our king sized bed and watching a movie while a fire burns in the fireplace. Complimentary apple cider and cheesecake come with every suite. Indulge! There’s nothing wrong with enjoying “second dessert.” Let the morning greet you with a complimentary full breakfast.
Craving a classic, romantic, and intimate anniversary celebration. Reserve a night at Em’s and the Anniversary Inn on South Temple and you won’t be disappointed.
Salt Lake City has always had a reputation of featuring real talent in the realm of the arts. Between the Utah Symphony, Ballet West, Pioneer Theater, and the Utah Opera, theater goers have their pick of truly excellent, local performances on stage throughout the year. If tourists from around the country are coming to Salt Lake to see these shows, shouldn’t we be taking advantage of the prolific artistic culture in Utah as locals?
As the 2014-2015 theater season begins this summer and fall, consider planning an “opera-style” staycation right here in Salt Lake. This year, the Utah Opera has a fabulous line up, starting with Puccini’s Madame Butterfly that begins on October 11, 2014 at Capitol Theater. As one of Puccini’s most famous works, Madame Butterfly is the tragic tale of the boundaries race and status place around love. The story begins in Nagasaki, Japan when a U.S. Naval Officer and a common Japanese woman – Butterfly – fall in love and are married. Soon after the marriage, the naval officer leaves for the United States and does not return for years. When he does return, he brings with him his American wife in hopes to adopt the son he shares with Butterfly. The encounter yields devastating consequences. Written in 1900, the opera has influenced many other works including Schonberg and Boublil’s Miss Saigon. With elaborate sets and opulent costumes, this masterpiece is not to be missed.
To cap off your enjoyable staycation, book a night at the Anniversary Inn on South Temple, just blocks away from the Capitol Theater. You and your sweetheart could forgo the stress of finding a parking space and take a romantic walk down South Temple admiring the sites along the way. To carry on the opera theme, reserve the Phantom of the Opera Suite. With painted murals from the musical combined with ornate decor reminiscent of an opera house, you will find yourselves the star of the show as you and your honey spend the evening relaxing in grandeur. And you didn’t even need to leave your home town!
Tickets to Madame Butterfly go on sale July 20th – check the Utah Opera site for further updates. The opera runs October 11, 13, 15, and 17 at 7:30 pm and on October 19 at 2 pm. The opera is sung in Italian with English subtitles projected above the stage. Under 30 years of age? Check out these amazing discounts from Utah Opera! For the full season preview, see this video. Subscriptions to the Opera can be bought here.