Monday, May 30, 2011


Life is good! Yesterday I had the good fortune of being interviewed by Tom Drake, from NJ Skylands Magazine.  He surprised us by also taking a webclip of The National Hotel in addition to the write-up that should be online soon and in the July issue of the print magazine.  This follows a very nice write-up about The National Palooza in this week's Bucks County Herald.  Thank you for helping us spread the word about what is sure to be an even better installment of our annual outdoor live music festival!

This Friday, June 3rd, be sure to tune-in to WDVR (89.7 FM), at 2 p.m. when two of the artists who will perform in The National Palooza II, CC Coletti and Top Soil, will be interviewed during their Bleecker Street CafĂ© (12 - 3 p.m.), hosted by Chris Poh and Ed Peterson Folk.  You can even listen to it live by clicking on the link in the navigation bar on their website!

General John A. Logan
It's been a fantastic month of May, and today being Memorial Day, I feel as though I've been given the gift of a day to reminisce, a day to enjoy, a day to look ahead.  Today is a day that the nation pauses to remember our fallen heroes who have given their lives in our nation's service.  This special day, originally called Decoration Day, and officially proclaimed Memorial Day in 1868 by General John Logan, National Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, and Waterloo, NY was proclaimed the official birthplace of Memorial Day in 1966 by President Lyndon Johnson--although many towns and generations have claimed bragging rights for establishing this special day.

Add to this special day the fact that it is is the unofficial start of summer for many--passing thunderstorms and all.  I'm looking out my window and everything looks so green and fresh.  The temperature is just perfect right now, although I know it will increase later on.  But for right now, it's a perfect way to start the day.  And this echoes how I feel about the whole month of May.

From finally being able to hang the beautiful flowers that now grace our porch, to being able to feature musicians right there on our front porch, where everyone walking or driving by can share in the enjoyment of beautiful music, May has been a good month to us.  If you joined us yesterday to enjoy the music of James McBride, you know that I'm not exaggerating when I say that we were treated to a top jazz musician and his accompanying artists, where we ended up having people who ate in our upstairs Bar area, standing by the entrance to the Restaurant, just to be able to listen to James McBride and to see his band.  He's not only an award-winning musician, but also a critically acclaimed author, whose books, Song Yet Sung and Miracle at St. Anna have received high praise.  His book, The Color of Water:  A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother, spent more than two years on the New York Times bestseller list.

James McBride

And yesterday's program followed on the heels of a ton of musical programming at The National Hotel.  From Mike Pfeiffer, to The Delton Walker Band, to Dallas Vietty, and 15 Keys, it's truly been a spectacular month.

Music wasn't the only highlight of the month--from our terrific weekend Additions to the Menu that continuously receive rave reviews from our lunch and dinner patrons, to recent reviews about our hotel guest suites and our travel guests' experiences posted on TripAdvisor, our spirits are soaring!  Here's a little snapshot of one of these reviews:
My husband and I just returned from a weekend stay at the National. We went for a quiet getaway for our wedding anniversary but what we got was an EXPERIENCE. The National is unbelievably charming. It's updated decor is classic and elegant but does not take away from the feeling of history. This building was constructed in the mid 1800's! Our room was clean and nicely decorated with a gorgeous and extra-large bathroom that included a soaking jacuzzi tub. The GM, Aldon, was one of the nicest, most personable and accommodating people we've ever had the pleasure of meeting. He was attentive but not intrusive, and really takes pride in his job at the National. After we enjoyed the delights of the fabulous Frenchtown, we were elated to come back and discover live jazz being played in the dining area! The breakfast the next day (homemade blueberry muffins, quiche, and fresh orange juice and coffee- yum!) was the cherry on top. We only regret that we were not able to enjoy the food in their dining room. We WILL be back.  

I hope that you'll help us make June an equally fantastic month, by sharing your feedback, giving us your thoughts on other ideas to help improve your experience at The National Hotel.  I really thank those of you who have reached out to me via email or have shared your comments with Pete in person.  As always, stay up-to-date by liking us on facebook, subscribing to our YouTube channel, and following us on Twitter.  You can certainly feel free to post a comment here too.  Thanks for your constant and continued support!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


May 14th in Frenchtown is going to be a fantastic day.  The Frenchtown Business and Professional Association (FBPA) has put together the first of a series of outdoor concerts/music programs, on the 2nd Saturday of every month, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. in the motorcycle parking lot.  Aunt Martha will be the first and of the series.  Thank you, FBPA!!!
Delton Walker performing on the porch of The National Hotel

beautiful antique & vintage cars are always passing through town
But that's not all that Frenchtown has to offer this Saturday the 14th...we'll be treated to an incredible night of jazz, 9 p.m. - 11 p.m., when The Delton Walker Band will perform at The National Hotel, $20 pp (includes a complimentary glass of wine or beer).  Delton has established himself as a new up-and-coming Contemporary Jazz artist, having studied with Tony Hayes, Willy DuPont, and Jesse Jones, Jr.  Most recently, he has studied under the direction and guidance of Walter Beasley, that helped springboard the release, "Back in Your Arms Again."  For ticket information, contact Pete at 908.996.3200 or visit Delton's website.  I have to thank Delton Walker for performing live with no cover charge, on May 1st.  It was one of those perfect spring days where people watching from our porch was the most natural thing to do.  And Delton's beautiful rendition of contemporary jazz, was an instant attraction to those inside and those walking  (or driving) by--and we have some beautiful automobiles that always grace our roadways, especially on the weekend.

Here are a couple of webclips from his recent appearance at The National Hotel:

Actually, I can already fast-forward into June; it's certain to be a wonderful month for us, with the next installment of The National Palooza II, our all-day outdoor live music festival in Frenchtown, NJ on June 4th, 4 p.m. - 2 a.m.  The day's festivities will start with the DelVal HS Jazz Band, led by their music director, Steve Cooney.  The National Palooza will then feature:
  • CC Coletti
  • Pawnshop Roses
  • Top Soil
  • Citizens Band Radio
Additional acts will keep you entertained in between the music breaks.  Please visit for more information or to purchase advance tickets for the day.

But back to May...I hope those of you who celebrated Mother's Day had a truly enjoyable day.  It couldn't have been planned better, weather-wise.  Our porch was full of patrons enjoying the warmth of the day.  And inside, the flowers lunch and dinner guests bestowed on their mothers, made the entire first floor radiate with happiness.

Delton Walker performing live
Can we say thank you to these patrons any louder for choosing The National Hotel as the place where they wanted to honor their mothers on this special day?!  Actually, I have often questioned why we're honoring our mothers on this "Hallmark-mandated" day, when as mothers we do soooooooooooo much year-round for our children.  I'll confess that I used to resent this "mandated" day, because I felt that mothers didn't need a day of recognition, but rather, appreciation for all they do year-round.  Well, the same holds true for fathers and grandparents.  Reality, however, tells its own story, which is, that we often overlook those closest to us, because we're working so hard to put food on the table, or so busy building "a better life" for our family.  And so, introspection aside, I honor those women around me who are mothers and those women who are no longer with us, but were mothers long ago.  My wish is that we not only celebrate the mothers around us, but also the families who appreciate those mothers day in and day out.

This is a special day that everyone can enjoy, especially if we remove the "commercialization" value attached to it.
Anna Jarvis

I learned over the weekend that Mother's Day originated in the hills of Appalachia, in the US, where Anna Jarvis, a homemaker there organized a "Mother's Work Day" to highlight the awful conditions of the children in that community, 150 years ago.  When she died, her daughter, Anna, worked to institute this day in 1908.  Others, such as Julia Ward Howe, who as a pacifist and feminist (who had written the Battle Hymn of the Republic 12 years earlier), felt could champion causes on a political level.

My children asked me on Saturday, "What do you want for Mother's Day?" Truly, I had no answer, because I feel as though I have everything for which I could ever wish.  I have two beautiful and intelligent daughters, a wonderful husband, a doting mother, a loyal and loving brother, a mother-in-law who adores me, a sister-in-law who confides in me and loves me, and extended family (blood and in-law) that has shown me love, trust, and affection.  On days like this, when I have the opportunity to truly think about my values and my life on a macro-level, I feel like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music:  "I must have done something good..."  And there are days when I feel as though my life is just so absolutely full, that it's just...too full.  Too much to do, too many responsibilities, too many demands.  But whether for better or worse, we have these holidays that shine that spotlight on us, and allow us to think about all the positive things we have in our lives.

So to Hallmark I say:  "Thank you!"

And I echo this gratitude to our executive chef, Lisa Frederick, who truly outdid herself planning a special Mother's Day menu just for that day, separate from the Additions to the Menu that we feature regularly starting Thursday for the weekend.  She is already working on planning a fabulous menu in honor of the fathers in our lives for next month.  Call us at 908.996.3200 for information on this special menu and to make reservations.  It's sure to be a great day!

We'll keep updating our website with more information, as well as our facebook fanpage, our youtube channel, and our twitter page.  Please continue to post your comments or email me your feedback.  I really do appreciate all of your comments and ideas for future planning.  Again, thank you for always showing your support of The National Hotel in so many different ways.