A 4th Of July History Lesson From Capella DC

Fourth of July Capella DC

Just imagine what Washingtonians of years past would have thought of our upcoming July 4th rooftop experience at Capella Washington, D.C.!  Georgetown is after all, one of the most historic of American towns and it is especially rich in 4th of July history.  Did you know for instance that on July 4, 1828, President John Quincy Adams officiated the groundbreaking ceremonies at the C&O Canal with the musical accompaniment of the US Marine band?  And back in 1850, Washingtonian William Gordon wrote this about his fourth of July experience at Parrott’s Woods in Georgetown, in his book, “Recollections of a Boyhood in Georgetown.”

Fourth of July Capella DC

“On arriving at the woods the day was celebrated. Patriotic songs were sung, the Star Spangled Banner never being omitted, and addresses made by young college graduates. Later in the day speeches were made by the elders. Townsmen of all classes participated, and barrels of lemonade and abundance of eatables of every kind were provided; everything was free and all were welcomed. After a somewhat strenuous day parents and children returned home tired out but patriotically happy.”

There is no better place to celebrate America’s independence than our nation’s capital.  The Fourth of July Parade is one of my favorites!

More interesting July 4th facts:

1801 – The first public Fourth of July reception at the White House occurs.

1848 – In Washington, D.C., the laying of the cornerstone of the Washington Monument takes place with the President James Madison, First Lady Dolly Madison and other VIPs in attendance.

1947 – In Washington, D.C., the July Fourth ceremony at the monument grounds is televised for the first time.

1964 – A recorded reading of the Declaration of Independence by slain President John F. Kennedy is broadcast over radio airwaves. In Prescott, AZ., Senator Barry Goldwater rides a horse in the annual Frontier Days Rodeo parade.

1966 – President Lyndon Johnson signs the Freedom of Information Act into law.

Source: James R. Heintze. Librarian, American University, Washington, D.C. 

4th of July Capella DC

All I can say is that we’re aligning the stars and stripes once again for a most patriotic 4th of July weekend.  Our exclusive rooftop bar & lounge is the perfect location to view fireworks and enjoy a variety of handcrafted cocktails.

Our overnight package includes:

  • Overnight stay in one of our luxurious accommodations of your choice with views of the C&O Canal and historic Georgetown
  • VIP access to our private rooftop bar, lounge and infinity pool
  • Viewing of the National Firework Celebration
  • Live musical entertainment
  • Capella’s Culinary Team will have delicious barbecue action stations from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm, for $49 per person and $29 for children. (All food and beverage orders are charged separately from the Fourth of July package)
  • Breakfast the next morning in The Grill Room.

To reserve this incredible experience at Capella Washington, D.C., please contact your Personal Assistant at 202-617-2400 or e-mail res.dc@capellahotels.com.

To book today, please click here.

www.capelladcjuly4.com

A Truly Unique Mother’s Day Gift

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May is one of my favourite months.  This is because the second Sunday of May is Mother’s Day.  As a new mother, it has become even more meaningful — signifying to me the true beauty of life.  I have learnt to appreciate my own mother a lot more as well. As such, I decided that instead of buying my mother a generic Mother’s Day gift this year, I would do a bit of my own research so that the flowers I buy her will have significance and meaning.

What better place to learn about flowers than the Singapore Botanic Gardens — which was where I headed to last weekend.

Opened in 1859, the Singapore Botanic Garden is home to the National Orchid Garden, which features the largest display of tropical orchids in the world.  As the Vanda Miss Joaquim orchid is the national flower of Singapore, I thought it fitting to give my mother a bouquet of orchids for Mother’s Day.  Covering more than 3 hectares of ground with more than 60,000 orchid plants representing 1,000 orchid species and 2,000 hybrids, I was sure to find the perfect orchid for my mother.

National Orchid Garden Singapore

When I was there, I found out that many famous people had orchids named after them, such as, Princess Diana, Lady Margaret Thatcher, Nelson Mandela and even the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge!  Apparently, the National Orchid Garden has named more than 100 VIP orchids.

Orchids named after Princess DianaOrchids named after the late Princess Diana

Orchids named after Margaret ThatcherOrchids named after the late Lady Margaret Thatcher

It was at the National Orchid Garden that I realised that you did not have to be a VIP to name an orchid after someone.  An orchid can be named after your loved one for a fee of anywhere from S$5,000 to S$15,000.  The National Orchid Garden can put you in touch with a local orchid breeder who confer a unique hybrid after the name of your choice.  He will then send the details to the Royal Horticultural Society in London.  How amazing is that?  Who wouldn’t want an orchid named after them?  Don’t you think it is a truly unique Mother’s Day gift?  One that will live on forever.  I might just name one after my mother this Mother’s Day!

For those who are interested in finding out more about naming orchids, please contact your Capella Singapore Personal Assistants at pa.singapore@capellahotels.com / +65 6591 5034.  Alternatively, The Knolls is offering guests the opportunity to create a bouquet of flowers for their mothers during the Mother’s Day Sunday Brunch on 11 May 2014.  Please contact theknolls.singapore@capellahotels.com / +65 6591 5046 to find out more.

Christmas At Breidenbacher Hof, A Capella Hotel

Christmast at Breidenbacher Hof

Waiting for Christmas – I love it! My day starts with a walk to my Advent calendar to open the next window with great excitement.  The anticipation for Christmas grows every day.  But if you ask me, the best part of the day is, when I walk through the lobby of the Breidenbacher Hof, A Capella Hotel.  Our great pianist Ulli plays the most beautiful Christmas songs, the hotel gleams in its ceremonial brightness everywhere you look.  A wonderful Christmas tree with a mountain of presents under it welcomes every guest, client, deliveryman and employee entering the hotel lobby.

Christmast at Breidenbacher Hof

One of my favorite elements this year is our Christmas wonderland display featuring giant Steiff stuffed animals.  Provided by our neighbors Kaufhof an der Kö, this wintery display delights not only children, but adults as well!

I love to watch as the people enter the hotel.  At first, they may seem overwhelmed by their day or the bustling of the city outside.  But, then there is this moment: they look up, and suddenly are enveloped by the season’s good cheer.  Next thing you know, a smile stretches across their faces.  It doesn’t matter how exhausting the journey has been or how many people are rushing through the city – in this moment the Christmas season has overtaken them.  You can’t imagine what kind of privilege it is to welcome a guest at Christmas time!

Will you be visiting Breidenbacher Hof this holiday season?  Christmas at Breidenbacher Hof truly is a special experience.  If you are in Dusseldorf do come by for a cup of hot cocoa and some holiday cheer—you won’t be disappointed!

Weihnachten Im Breidenbacher Hof, A Capella Hotel

Christmast at Breidenbacher Hof

Auf Weihnachten warten – ich liebe es! Mein Tag beginnt mit einem Gang zum Adventskalender,  um mit großer Spannung das nächste Türchen zu öffnen.  Und die Vorfreude auf Weihnachten wächst mit jedem Tag.  Aber wenn ihr mich fragt,  ist meine tägliche Runde durch die Lobby Lounge unseres Breidenbacher Hof, A Capella Hotel der beste Part.  Unser wunderbarer Pianist Ulli spielt die schönsten Weihnachtslieder, die Dekorationen im Haus erstrahlen in feierlichem Glanz und ein prachtvoller Weihnachtsbaum mit vielen bunten Geschenken erfreut unsere Gäste, Kunden, Lieferanten und Mitarbeiter in der Hotellobby.

Christmast at Breidenbacher Hof

Eines meiner Lieblingselemente dieses Jahr ist allerdings die Winterlandschaft mit Steiff Plüschtieren in unserer Lobby Lounge.  Unser Nachbar Kaufhof an der Kö, hat uns diese als Weihnachtsüberraschung für unsere kleinen – und großen – Gäste freundlicherweise zur Verfügung gestellt!

Das Beste ist, wenn man beobachtet, wie unsere Gäste das Haus betreten.  Im ersten Moment könnte man meinen, dass sie vom Trubel auf den Straßen gestresst sind.  Aber in dem Augenblick, in dem sie das Hotel betreten und aufschauen, scheint all dies Dank der weihnachtlichen Stimmung vergessen.  Innerhalb von Sekunden blitzt ein Lächeln in ihrem Gesicht auf, egal wie anstrengend die Anreise oder wie groß das Gedränge in der Stadt war.  Genau in diesem Moment steht nur noch der weihnachtliche Gedanke im Mittelpunkt.  Ihr könnt Euch gar nicht vorstellen, wie schön das Gefühl ist, unsere Gäste zu dieser Jahreszeit zu empfangen!

Werdet ihr auch während der Feiertage im Breidenbacher Hof sein?  Wenn ihr in Düsseldorf seid, dann kommt auf eine heiße Schokolade vorbei—ihr werdet es nicht bereuen!

Capella Singapore’s Foie Gras Terrine

Foie Gras Terrine

December is probably my favourite month in the year, simply because the air is just full of festivities and good cheer.

One of the things that I always look forward to is the scrumptious, mouthwatering Christmas meals.  Capella Singapore’s Executive Chef David Senia, was kind enough to share with me a recipe for a very festive appetizer which The Knolls will be serving this festive season – a Foie Gras Terrine with Apple Chutney and Brioche.

I love the simple preparation that impresses with its beautiful flavours.

Foie Gras Terrine

Terrine of Goose Liver, Vanilla Apple Chutney and Brioche Toast

Foie Gras Terrine

1kg  Foie Gras

10g  Salt

3g  Pepper

4g  Sugar

  • Marinate the Foie Gras with salt pepper and sugar and place it in a terrine
  • Put the terrine in a hot water bath and cook it at 55 degrees Celsius for an hour
  • Allow it to cool and set for one day
  • Remove the foie gras from the terrine and slice it evenly

Apple Chutney

500g  Sugar

1.5kg  Granny Smith apple (peeled and cored)

5pcs  Cardamom

5  Vanilla Pods

  • Dice the Granny Smith apple into fine pieces.
  • Combine all the ingredients, including the diced apples into a large saucepan and cook
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally
  • Reduce the heat and continue allowing the mixture to simmer while stirring occasionally until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  • Remove from heat and allow it to cool.

Assembling the dish:

  • Place the sliced foie gras terrine in between two slices of toasted brioche and smear a generous helping of apple chutney across the plate.
  • To garnish, chop some nuts (hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, pistachios) and gooseberries in a bowl toss it with vanilla olive oil

Additional festive garnishing tips from Chef David: you can add some micro herbs, such as coriander leaves, which not only add a decorative touch to the dish but also enhance the taste.

Bon Appétit!

Christmas Shopping In Georgetown

Wink

Christmas season is one of my favorite times of the year!  Washington D.C. does holidays right and I love to explore and shop the streets of Georgetown- just outside Capella Washington D.C.’s door!  To make your gift shopping a bit easier, I have some ideas and style tips just for you from a few of my favorite shops in Georgetown!

Wink

Wink

This boutique carries some of the best local designer fashions.  From gold blazers to sequenced skirts and vintage necklaces, there are so many great gift options for the holidays.   Owner, Paige Speyer shared with me her tip for this season: “Spice it up in the city with a wintery hat and bright scarf.  Don’t be afraid to step outside the box just because you think you’re being over the top.”  Paige was wearing a gorgeous teal and lapis blouse, two colors that she says are in this season!

Karen Millen- England

This luxury women’s designer store is one of my favorites, especially after taking a look at their new collection of holiday dresses.  After speaking with the store stylist, she shared with me that Karen Millen’s holiday styling inspiration comes from their autumn and winter fantasy story, focusing on the maximalism trend.  “It is full bodied romance of a dark and tough nature with a penchant for extravagant decoration and embellishment, intricate baroque patterns, and laces that are heavily beaded in deep colors.” Their new fashion line is perfect for all holiday dressing and embodies the maximalist trend for your holiday wardrobe.

Jack Spade

Each year for the holidays, Jack Spade features a table in their store with unique gift ideas for men.  This year, they are featuring a vintage throwback game: a miniature ping pong table!   Jack Spade also carries a variety of great outerwear pieces that can be spiced up a notch with a Santa hat for Christmas.  When speaking with the store manager, he told me that they try to focus on classic sensibility with a quirky twist.  What also impressed me was the lifetime quality of their wax cotton jackets… great gift for the men this season!

April Yvonne

Don’t forget to ask your Personal Assistant about Capella D.C.’s resident stylist, April Yvonne.  April has exclusive relationships with some of the most upscale fashion labels like Burberry, Christian Dior, Elie Tahari and upscale retailers such as Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.  Particularly for the holidays, April can provide you and your guests with personal fashion and shopping advice and services, including private after-hour shopping excursions and bringing fashion selections based on your individual preferences right to the hotel!

Where do you like to go Christmas shopping in Georgetown?