The Charles Street jail becomes the Liberty Hotel
Martha Stewart once said "prison food is so bad that airplane food would be better." She obviously wasn't referring to the food at "Clink" restaurant at what was until recently the Charles Street Jail.
That venerable pile of 19th century granite has become the Liberty Hotel, one of the most charming and accessible boutique hotels in Boston.
Remember when "hotel food" was a slam?
Today in contrast, some of the best dining in Boston is found in its hotels. This hotel's unique restaurant, Clink, is on the second floor lobby level, and offers urban dwellers and hotel guests a menu of tapas-style small plates, tasting pours of wine and exotic cocktails. A local Boston daily gave it a highly inaccurate review this past week. The food here is really wonderful, and about as eclectic as restaurant food can get. The menu is both exciting and well served.
The property is only a few months old, and it has gone through three chefs, the current one a "keeper".
The champagne house Veuve Clicquot is launching its first branded bar in the U.S. at The Liberty Hotel this week. The La Grande Dame bar, the nickname of the famous orange-labeled Champagne produced in Rheims, France, opened this past Friday.
The bar is an "elegant alcove" located on the second floor of the hotel. Flute glasses and bottles of La Grande Dame as well as a full selection of current and past La Grande Dame Vintage and Vintage Rose will be available. The Boston location joins two other Veuve Clicquot bars, which have recently opened in Hamburg, Germany and Macao, China.
Situated in the heart of Boston's Beacon Hill neighborhood, The Liberty Hotel is an historical landmark, formally the Charles Street Jail, now converted to a luxury hotel with 298 guest rooms, 2 restaurants and 2 bars. This property offers access for travelers with disabilities. The Liberty Hotel opened on June 20,2007.
Location, location, location...
If you're like us, we usually stay at a Boston Hotel near Boylston Street, or across the Charles River in Cambridge, so the Liberty opened up new shopping and dining options, many of which we always intended to get to, but never had the time.
The location in Downtown Boston is very convenient, a block from Massachusetts General Hospital at the bottom of Beacon Hill directly opposite the end of Charles Street. So right out the front of the hotel we began a delightful stroll down one side of Charles Street to the Garden and back the other side.
It's a ten minute walk to the Boston Common and Public Garden, and Faneuil Hall Marketplace and the Financial District are a short walk away up Cambridge Street and Logan International Airport is three miles distant.
Named a National Historical Landmark, The Liberty Hotel's remodeling retained the original granite work and Cupola which were built in 1851.
The Cambridge Street and Charles Street entrance, designed by Alexandra Champalimaud, takes visitors to an enormous atrium and reception area up an escalator featuring tile mosaics by former inmates.
Shown below are a few of the tapas we sampled at The Clink. Among our favorites, from the top left clockwise, the Fried Mac Cheese Balls served with crispy, salty French Fries and a special Clink Ketchup, then the Sazzadur Eggplant pate served with Pappadam Crackers, beneath that maybe the best Chocolate dessert I've had in years and on the bottom left the Foie Gras Torchon with candied kumquats and buttered toast. Not shown is the excellent Braised Lamb Shanks served with Brussels sprouts, roasted shallots which I had as my entrée. My wife raved over her Wild Striped Bass served with piquillo peppers, serrano ham and caperberrie.