Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Santa Fe Holiday Concert

As the holidays approach, we often play holiday chorale music during the breakfast hours at The Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast Inn.  How much better, though, to hear this same music live!  Here is just such an opportunity for out-of-town guests and locals alike.  The Zia Singers and Santa Fe Men's Camerata will be performing together in a Holiday Concert on December 4 at 8pm and December 5 at 4pm.

Santa Fe Men's Camerata is a group of 33 seasoned vocalists who have been thrilling audiences with its rich sonorities and various moods of passion and play since 1998.

The Zia Singers, a Santa Fe women's choral ensemble is a group of 24 women.  The Zia Singers was founded in 1992 in the living room of singer and voice teacher Marilyn Barnes. 

Come hear these two ensembles as they sing a selection of holiday music, including both familiar songs and more esoteric pieces.  Program highlights from the Zia Singers include The Moon of Wintertime, The Storke and Still, Still, Still.

Highlights from the Men's Camerata are Holy Savior, O Holy Child, Er is een Kindetje and Mary Had a Baby.

The two groups will sing together as well, with such beautiful melodies as Ave maris stella, For He Shall Give His Angels, Deep River, Magnificat in D, O magnum mysterium, Before the Marvel of This Night and The Christmas Story According to St. Luke. 

Holiday Refreshments will be offered at intermission.
Scottish Rite Center, 463 Paseo de Peralta
General Admission Tickets are $20
Singers from other chorale groups get in for $15
Students are given free admission.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Winter Spanish Market in Santa Fe

Santa Fe's Summer Spanish Market attracts huge crowds every year, but equally fabulous is the Winter Spanish Market, now in its 22nd year.  The Market will take place on December 4 and 5 at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center (an easy four-block walk for guests of The Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast Inn), from 9am-4pm.  The free event, put on by the Spanish Colonial Arts Society, showcases traditional Spanish art, including retablos (religious paintings on wood panels), Santos (carvings of devotional figures), Straw Applique work (intricate crosses and boxes made using hand-cut straw), tinwork, textiles, furniture, jewelry, pottery and ironwork.

The Market gives visitors a chance to actually meet and talk to the artists of this juried show, making for a more meaningful purchase.  In order to be considered for this prestigious event, artists must be of at least one-quarter Hispanic decent, and must hail from either New Mexico or Colorado.

The artist's skills are typically passed from one generation to the next, and the market makes an effort to showcase works done by the younger artists.  In fact, a "Best of Show" prize is awarded  to a young exhibitor, and his or her piece is then used for the Winter Market poster.

Whether you are looking some unique Christmas gifts or to shop for your own personal collection, the Spanish Winter Market is the place to be.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

More Thanksgiving in Santa Fe Dinner Options

This year, guests at the Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast Inn  have more Santa Fe Thanksgiving Dinner options than ever before. Previous years saw only the big hotel restaurants open and serving this feast, but I see several smaller and more intimate establishments will also be serving turkey with panache this year.

The Compound Restaurant
The Compound is a very elegant landmark restaurant located in an historic adobe building just off Canyon Road.   This Thanksgiving, chef Mark Kiffin will be serving a three-course prix fixe menu, starting at 3pm, for $75/person ($20-25 for a child's plate).   First Course offerings include Autumn Potato Soup, Caramelized Bosc Pear Salad and Duck Confit, among others.  Main Courses range from Roasted Organic Turkey with all the fixings, Grilled Beef Tenderloin, Seared Alaskan Halibut or Wild Mushrooms and Organic Stone Ground Polenta.  Desserts include Chocolate Layer Cake, Southern Pecan Pie, Spiced Pumpkin Tart and Apple Cider Sorbet.  Yum yum!
653 Canyon Road

Another option, within easy walking distance for guests of The Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast Inn, is:

La Casa Sena
This restaurant is also in an historic adobe so has lots of charm and warmth.  Thanksgiving Dinner will be served from 3 p.m.-8p.m, with a limited Ala Carte Menu in addition to a prix fixe Thanksgiving Menu.   The menu is priced in two ways.  For food only, $63/person.  If you opt to take advantage of the wine pairings, the price is $82/person.  This menu offers some interesting selections indeed, with starters such as a Spiced Quince/Bay Scallop Tarlette and a Mesquite Smoked Pumpkin Soup.  For an entree, choose between a Maple-Chimayo Chile Glazed Free Range Turkey (with all the trimmings) or an Achiote Roasted Pork Loin.  Desserts include Sunken Chocolate Cake or a Caramelized Pear Upside-Down Gingerbread.  Tough choices to make!
125 East Palace Avenue

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thanksgiving Dinner in Santa Fe

If you are planning to savor a Thanksgiving Feast in Santa Fe, we recommend that you book in advance. Most of the big hotels will be serving throughout the afternoon and early evening, and some of the smaller restaurants will also be open.  A couple of these places are within easy walking for our guests at the Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast Inn.  My top picks are:

Santa Cafe
(Just about five blocks from Hacienda Nicholas)
From $45-$58, Child's Plate is $25
Seating 2-8:30pm

Menu Highlights:
Lobster Bisque
Crispy Calamari with Lime Dipping Sauce
French Onion Tart with Arugula and Goat Cheese
Roast Organic Turkey with all the Trimmings
Prosciutto-Wrapped Sea Bass  with Sweet Red Pepper Cream
Roasted Butternut Squash with Mascarpone Cheese Ravioli, Truffles, Sauteed Leeks
Pumpkin Pie
Tres Leche Cake
Warm Chocolate Upside Down Cake

Fuego Restaurant
(just one block from Hacienda Nicholas)
$90/person, $70/seniors, $35/children
Seating from 3pm-9pm

Menu Highlights:
Roasted Butternut Bisque
Whole Roasted Turkey & Trimmings - carved at the table!!!
Warm Chocolate Ganache with Raspberry Syrup and Cardamon Ice Cream

Tabla de los Santos
(at the St. Francis Hotel)
Seating from 1pm-7pm

Menu Highlights:
Chile Relleno
Stuffed Sopapillas
Butternut Squash Soup
Roasted Free Range Turkey
Grilled Quail or Salmon
Grilled Filet Mignon
Tres Leches Cake
Dixon Apple Pie

Terra Restaurant
(at Encantado - a 15 minute drive from town)
Seating from 11am-8pm

Menu Highlights:
Butternut Squash Soup
Warm Goat Cheese Salad
Chilled Seafood Plate
Turkey Dinner with all the Trimmings
Foie Gras-roasted Turkey Breast
Prime Rib of Black Angus au Jus
Agave-grilled Tasmanian Salmon
"Three Sister's" Enchiladas
Infinite Dessert Buffet

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Traditional Feast Day Dances at Santa Fe Area Pueblos

Every winter guests at the Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast enjoy the sacred dancing, drumming and prayers of Feast Day Dances at some of the nearby pueblos.  These dances are not meant as entertainment, but rather religious ceremonies.  Each part of these ceremonial dances is a prayer, for everything from a bountiful harvest or hunt to good weather and good health.  These age-old rituals are performed for the good of all people and the entire planet.  The belief is that the energy of these prayers and ceremonies will have a profound and positive effect on the spirits who dictate weather and conditions on a global scale.

It is important to remember that these traditional Feast Day Dances are religious ceremonies, therefore proper etiquette is required.  Guests are asked to be respectful and act as they would when attending a church service.

Winter Feast Day dances take place from November 12 through February 2, with many choices on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Click here for a schedule of dances at various area pueblos.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus Present Handel's Messiah

Over the years, guests of the Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast Inn have enjoyed many world-class events at Santa Fe's historic Lensic Performing Arts Center.  Coming up on November 21, at 4pm only,  is an opportunity to hear the renowned Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra's acclaimed annual performance of Handel’s Messiah.  The performance will  feature the full symphony and chorus, with Guest Conductor Tom Hall, Choral Director Linda Raney, and acclaimed guest soloists: Martha Guth, soprano, Katherine Drago, mezzo-soprano, Jorge Prego, tenor, and Stephen Morscheck, bass-baritone.

Ticket prices range from $20-$70  and include a pre-concert lecture at 3pm.  Tickets may be purchased by phone at (505) 988-1234, at the Lensic Theater or online.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ride the Range with the Broken Saddle Riding Co.

Many a guest of The Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast has enjoyed a ride with the Broken Saddle Riding Co.  Imagine yourself as a Wild West cowboy as you are treated to spectacular views while riding the beautiful hills and canyons of the Cerrillos Hills Historic Park and amble through abandoned silver and turquoise mines.  Harold and his guides have a stable full of well-trained and smooth-riding Tennessee Walkers and Missouri Fox Trotters.  Groups are never larger than five, and depending on skill level, you can walk, trot, canter or gallop.

I have done these rides on a few occasions. The first time was with my children, at a slower pace, when we had time to really investigate the mines and hear about the history of the area.  The second time was a spectacular sunset ride, when we were able to get going at quite a gallop.  Whew - what a blast!  The third time we had to bundled into dusters, provided by Broken Saddle, as it had begun to rain and was getting pretty chilly.  The dusters kept us warm and dry, and I really got to feeling like a buckaroo, riding rain or shine.

For more information or to make an appointment, call (505)242-7774 or see what they have to offer online.  They are open year 'round, and will make sure you stay happy and comfortable, no matter what the weather.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Kowboyz - A Dream Come True for Lovers of all Things Cowboy

Our Cowboy Innkeeper at Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast, Greg Uzmann, has quite an impressive collection of vintage boots, hats and shirts.  Almost all have come from a little shop in the Railyard area of Santa Fe called Kowboyz. While Greg is serving up his Southwestern Breakfast Enchilada or Blue Corn Waffles, he will happily tell you the tale behind his newest boots or hat, and give you a special discount coupon for the store so you too can get outfitted in style - while also staying within your budget.

There are plenty of western wear shops in Santa Fe, but many of them are very pricey and don't have anywhere near the inventory of this shop.  Kowboyz professes to have 5000 pair of new and 'happily' used boots for men, women and children.

In some ways it is preferable to get the 'happily' used boots so you don't have to suffer through breaking in a new pair of boots yourself!

They also offer a large selection of vintage cowboy (and cowgirl) shirts for only $10 each.  These are bargain basement prices compared with most anything else you will find in town.

The store, originally located in Hollywood, has outfitted many a star.  They also supplied the wardrobe for the film, 'Crazy Heart', which was filmed in Santa Fe.  Check out Kowboyz, and come out dressed like a star!

The shop is open seven days a week, from 10am-6pm, and is located at 345 W. Manhattan, across from the Santa Fe Train Depot.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Superb Hiking in and Around Santa Fe

 The Hacienda Nicholas Bed & Breakfast Inn attracts many hikers and, more often than not, they avail themselves to our hiking books and maps of the area.   In addition, there are some great outdoors stores nearby, in case you left your hiking attire at home but can't resist the call of the wild.  One of the better local stores is Sangre de Cristo Mountain Works,  located in the railyard area.  Their staff is a font of knowledge on all mountain sports available in the Santa Fe area, from hiking to rock climbing, snow shoeing to skiing.  You will find a number of the more popular day hikes of Santa Fe on their website, and of course they can supply you with all the best hiking boots, outerwear, hats and miscellaneous outdoor gear you may need.

On occasion our guests prefer the services of an experienced guide in order to go places they may not easily find on their own, or to take advantage of the guide's wealth of knowledge.  We have found the services of Outspire to be outstanding.  Karen Dennison and her staff will tailor a hike suitable to any level of physical ability and specific area of interest.  You may call them at (505)606-0394 to schedule a hike to meet your needs - choose from hiking through spectacular volcanic canyons, viewing the aspens, marveling at the unusual Tent Rocks and so much more.