Introduced to Scampo by a friend who loves Italian food, I’ve now been to The Liberty Hotel three times. Incidentally, although it is is a Starwood property, it is unlike the usual luxury chain brands – it is one of their Luxury Collection hotels and houses Scampo among three other swanky places to eat and drink on the premises – Clink, Alibi, and the Liberty Bar.
What’s the story of The Liberty Hotel? The obvious reason why this is special place is that it used to be the Suffolk County Prison – completed in 1851. The Liberty Hotel is one of the prime examples of mid-19th century “Boston Granite Style,” combining elements of Romanesque and Renaissance architecture. Part of the charm of this hotel is the fact that when you’re strolling about inside, you can see the cells behind bars where criminals were housed at one point. At night, the cells happened to be lit up with a cool purple. Still interested in the history of this historical and intriguing edifice? Read more here. It is equal parts cool and strange being in this space.
Isn’t it a tad ironic that a former prison is called the L I B E R T Y hotel?
I’m in the midst of reading How to Write a Sentence and How to Read One, by Stanley Fish, and incidentally I came across a parallel thought to the paradoxical name of this hotel. Fish quotes a sonnet by William Wordsworth which steps around this idea that within constraint is a sort of freedom from the weight of too much liberty.
Nuns fret not at their convent’s narrow room;
and hermits are contented with their cells;
and students with their pensive citadels.
The furnishings include pockets of varying character – outside the courtyard furniture glows and would be a fun place to catch up in the summer. I have yet to see what the rooms themselves look like, but if I do, I will be sure to report back with any interesting character notes on the design of the space.
Recently, they’ve taken to hosting fashion shows beginning at 10 pm at night. We discovered this one evening after dinner, when some ladies in fancy outfits were getting photographed and bodyguards popped up around.
It is likewise a fun place to visit during the day. I met up with a few fellow Boston blogger gals, Erika, Danielle, Emily, and a few other new friends this weekend and we had a great time hanging out on the whisky leather couches and laughing like old friends.
When getting together with fashionable-minded gals, the predicament of what to wear crosses the mind, but with a busy weekend of goodbyes (which strangely came out as the typo “foodbyes”, but also appropriate 😉 ) and celebrations I needed an outfit that could roll through the day. With 10 min to grab and go from my home closet, I grabbed the comfiest layers and accessories, and off I went. It achieved a balance of edgy and classy with a lot of sparkle and gold strung through. What do you think of the cold-shoulder trend or vests?
Dress – Heavenly Couture, San Diego
Sparkly flats – Jeffrey Campbell and Havaianas via Nordstrom Rack
Clutch – Rose gold West Elm pouch (I usually keep my essentials in it in another purse, but it easily transitions into a clutch!)
Vest – zips off at three lengths, lu lu lemon
necklaces – a custom baublebar engraved bar and inspireebys beaded bar piece
cuffs – madewell and &otherstories
earrings – porcelain and stone, from local craft fair
Now that you’ve been properly introduced to The Liberty Hotel, on to the food!
Once you enter Scampo, which is on the left when you enter, you will find that there are different sorts of dining experiences you can opt for. You can sit at the bar overlooking the plates being arranged and pizzas emerging from the oven, in the lounge, or in the main dining area. They bring out skinny Italian breadsticks and an intriguing housemade dip to tide you over while they prepare the food.
We paired our meal with the first of Peyrassol rosés this time.
They change the menu seasonally, and you’re bound to find your favorite foods paired with different flavors and vegetables to make your eating experience fresh. Check the menu here before you go!
When you’re through with your delicious Italian meal, step through the rest of the hotel and admire the lighting fixtures and dramatic, yet distinctly contemporary vibe. If you’re visiting Boston, you should put this on your to-visit list. It is hard to come to Boston and not take in at least a little cobble-stoned history, and if you want to, you may request a tour from the concierge about the prisoners who were former tenants of the space. It is at the foot of the historic and gorgeous Beacon Hill neighborhood and there is plenty to see and do on foot in the area – great boutique shopping, good eats, and the Boston Commons and Public Garden a couple blocks away, or the Esplanade and Charles River.
Until next time, happy dining and exploring!