Monday, September 26, 2011


Although we've been feeling as though we got a little short-changed with the last few weeks of summer, now that the calendar has marked the official arrival of fall on Friday, we are absolutely looking forward to all that autumn makes possible in this scenic part of the U.S.  October is less than a week away, and Frenchtown is getting ready for a month-long celebration throughout the town.

The Frenchtown Business and Professional Association (FBPA) has organized a terrific array of events with over 50 businesses in Frenchtown participating to make this an unforgettable month.  The streets will be lined with more than 25 scarecrows created by the Frenchtown Elementary School.  The FBPA's website says it best:
"The event kicks off on Friday, Oct. 1 with”First Fridays In Frenchtown” where shops and galleries have extended hours. There will be special events, demonstrations, refreshments, sales and discounts as well as street musicians and artists. Throughout weekends in October there will be fun activities for everyone, including Kayak Races, Pumpkin Decorating, Pet Photos, Pie Baking Contest, Jack-O-Lantern Glow, Parade, Trick or Treating, Live Music and much, much more."
We'll do our part too, launching a new fall menu that will feature seasonal dishes that take advantage of the best ingredients from the area, and as always, supporting our local and sustainable farmers.  The National Hotel is committed to delivering the very best dining experience for our patrons, marrying a tradition of excellence with a contemporary aesthetic.  Our fall menu is a true extension of what Pete and I envisioned when we decided to "reach for the stars" and embark down the path of renovating and relaunching The National Hotel.  We've listened to the feedback that you've given us, and have developed a menu that we are certain will please many different tastes.  Here's just a little sampling of what's to come:

     Rittenhouse-Style Braised Short Ribs over Creamy Bacon & Onion Potato Risotto
    Pan-Tossed Ravioli, Smoked Chilies, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, Cilantro Butte
    Sliced Coca-Cola marinated Brazilian style steak, over a Creamy Bacon & Onion Potato Risotto & Choice of Sauce**
    Roasted Eggplant Spread, Manchego Cheese, Roasted Sweet Peppers, Mixed Greens, 7-Grain Bread 
    Available as a wrap with paratha bread
    Fish Marinated in Indian Spices over Tamarind, Mustard Seed, Basmati Rice in a Sweet Spice Sauce

And there's so much more!  It's super exciting for us to be able to feature different dishes that beautifully merge traditional American fare with Indian and Spanish ingredients that complement each other, all the while  taking advantage of the wonderful local harvests that are abundant in our area.  We hope you'll join us to try our fall menu in the next few weeks.  When you're done enjoying your meal, don't forget to join us for some of our music and arts programming that we feature regularly:

  • Weekly Thursday Open Mic Night, 9 p.m. - closing
  • Weekly Saturday Night Live Music series, 9 p.m. - 11 p.m.
  • Weekly Sunday Musical Afternoon series, 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Bi-weekly Tuesday Trivia Night, 8 p.m. - 10 p.m.
  • Bi-weekly Wednesday Scrabble Night, 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
  • 3rd Sunday of the Month Poetry Open Mic (People's Poetry), 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
On October 8th you'll be welcomed into Frenchtown by musicians performing throughout the town, in honor of the season's last Second Saturday night, where the shops remain open later than usual.  It's such a vibrant and unique town, that we hope you'll make the time to visit us.  It would be wonderful to have you plan an overnight trip and spend a little more time in our little corner of the world.  We've had such fantastic feedback from our overnight guests, who have raved about the comfortable beds, the luxurious and inviting linens and pillows, and of course, the exceptional attention to detail that our staff has provided, that they'll "surely be back," and that they "enjoyed every minute of our stay," in their own words.  When you come to The National Hotel, be sure to open our guest book that sits at the concierge desk, which has these comments in our hotel guests' own words and handwriting.  No matter how long our day has been, reading these comments puts a smile on all our faces each and every time.  We invite you to come by and see them for yourself.

While the weather is still good, make sure you stop by for a meal or even a fabulous drink that our bartender will fix for you.  Why not have it on our front porch, where you can sit right at the crossroads of 3 county routes?  The beautiful antique cars, high-end luxury sports cars, and numerous cyclists that traverse these roads are just delightful eye-candy.  

Or head downstairs to our cellar pub, The Rathskeller (a.k.a. The Rat), where everyone feels the warmth of The National Hotel and is swept up in the many conversations that arise, some patrons dishing out some of the best nuggets of advice for those seeking a learned opinion, while the area's best drinks are served and thoroughly enjoyed.  You'll feel swept away into another time, another place, full of warmth, good conversation, and terrific food.

Do join us!  And don't forget to contact our knowledgeable staff with any questions, at 908.996.3200.  Please continue to email us your comments and feedback...they are truly helpful...or just leave a comment on this page.  Stay up-to-date with everything being planned, by:

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering & Honoring 9-11. WE WILL NEVER FORGET!

Today marks a solemn day in our history, a day full of memories for many of us.  How many of you have spent the last few hours watching the images and tributes to their loved ones on TV?  It felt like the world stopped as we watched and listened to words of comfort and support coming from the podium, words that brought tears to our eyes as we reflected and took in the impact that 9-11 had on everyone around the nation--and the world.


It was a few months ago that we saw the United We Stand, United We Sew project created by Tom McBrien being brought across the Frenchtown-Uhlerstown bridge "giant 9-11 memorial flag created by Upper Bucks County residents in 2002" according to its creator, Tom McBrien.  It crossed the bridge, part of a special motorcade as it made its way to Newark Airport.  The story of that flag, of the significance of "We Will Not Forget" evident in the conviction of the people accompanying the flag.

In our own little way, Frenchtown remembers too--and celebrates the resilience of the American people.  Many of our patrons work in New York City and have shared numerous stories from 10 years ago--as well as from these past few weeks as the city geared up for today's ceremony in honor of the 10-year anniversary of the 9-11 attacks.  Pete and I were there, on that day 10 years ago.  It's a day that will live with us forever. I recall friends saying to me about the JFK assassination, that they remembered where they were and exactly what they were doing on that fateful day.  I can now empathize with that sentiment.  But what will shine through the sadness is the spirit and determination of the people, the ability of our neighbors, co-workers, friends and family, to show the world that THEY will not win, that THEY will not stop us from rebuilding, from continuing with our lives and not live in fear.

This was the feeling during Frenchtown's Riverfest, as festive and joyous as it was, with Frenchtown and area residents pushing past the post-Hurricane Irene days that were still present in everyone's recent memories, as well as the upcoming 10th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks, which was part of so many conversations throughout the day.  Those who came to Riverfest were buoyed by the entertainers, the great vendors, musicians--and even the dogs-(and animals in general)-in-costume contest!


Visitors to Frenchtown and residents alike, couldn't help but smile at the sight of the tiny animals on display, from the "Tortoise and the Hare" to the larger dogs and birds.  The enthusiasm was contagious!

      This has to be what is at the core of being an American, because even here in Frenchtown, where life is usually idyllic, we have seen the Delaware River crest and flood neighboring roads and homes--but even this did not daunt the spirits of our fellow Frenchtown residents.  They actually went to the river, in awe of its magnificance, its strength, and its power.  Neighbor helped neighbor, businesses stayed open to serve their patrons, and our little town moved past this.  There's a willingness to help, a desire to extend yourself, that is part of the culture of Frenchtown.  Every day that passes, Pete and I learn more and more about the "humanity" that is one of the innate qualities of our little corner of the world.

And our hotel guests have noticed this too.  The feedback they give us in our guest book is a testament to how Frenchtown has touched their lives.  For instance, Jeanne and Steve said, "Thank you for your hospitality and making our first visit to Frenchtown a great experience and will return our favorite stay..."  And, Juliet and Ben wrote, "Thanks for everything--your hotel is beautiful and so much fun."  "Very relaxing stay.  Thanks to all the staff for making it possible to unwind from too many non-stop work weeks...," shared Rick and Sue. 
It's a great feeling to read these statements.  When you're in the service industry, and hear back from your regular customers honest feedback as well as from new guests, genuine complementary comments, it makes it all worthwhile.

Knowing that Frenchtown will continue to offer great programs throughout the fall, is a wonderful piece of news to share with our patrons.  For instance, these Second Saturdays (yesterday), where the shops are open until dusk or later, and where musicians perform live throughout Frenchtown, and even more activities are planned for EVERY WEEKEND IN OCTOBER!  Come on over and enjoy the changing leaves as the colors of autumn come to life.  There will be something for everyone to do and see, from carriage rides to pumpkin luminaries and kayak races.

Perhaps that's why so many of our local area residents from Hunterdon and Bucks Counties continue to make this area so special, sharing their talents, and demonstrating how they are so in touch with their artistic sides.  We see this at The National Hotel every Thursday night during our weekly Open Mic Night, when musicians unite to find inspiration from each other while they share their talent with the room.  And we see it Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons during our weekly musical programs, every single week.  This couldn't be more true though, than when we take time out from the hustle and bustle of our lives, and listen to our local poets who come to The National Hotel to read from their own works or from those of their favorites during our third Sunday of the month People's Poetry.  The words stay with you, conjuring up images that are often haunting, often inspiring, and always moving.  Carve out some time and come on over to Frenchtown, walk through the town and visit the wonderful and unique shops that line the streets, and then head over to The National Hotel for a wonderful meal, accompanied by fantastic libations.  And if you can, why not extend your visit into an overnight stay.  You won't be disappointed!

Please feel free to contact our knowledgeable staff with any questions, at 908.996.3200, and do continue to email us your comments and feedback...they are truly helpful...or just leave a comment on this page.  Stay up-to-date with everything being planned, by:

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Visit our blog
Follow us on Twitter

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