Thursday, October 25, 2012


During this beautiful fall season, make sure to visit Hunterdon County's Frenchtown, NJ.  The town puts on its best fall colors with special decorations lining the streets and Mother Nature contributes to this autumn theme with the beautiful changing colors of the leaves that are ablaze in oranges and reds throughout our scenic winding roads as you make your way into town.

Frenchtown has something special to offer every single visitor, from the child looking for that special toy that Sunbeam Toys offers, or the children's book that can be found thanks to the learned and dedicated staff at the Book Garden, to collectibles, art, unique and individually designed and hand-crafted jewelry and furnishings, and so much more, all within this quaint, small, and easily "strollable/walkable" town.

Found this on the internet, but
I remember seeing this on fb.
Can't find the photographer's
name.  If you know the individual,
please leave me a comment so that
I can update this blog and give
credit where credit is due. Thanks!

I recently had a guest who enjoyed lunch at The National Hotel--YES!!...We launched our new fall menu last week--and it was a joy to get such wonderful feedback from her.  She also let me know that she was in love with architecture of the houses that are "behind" our downtown business district.  The truth is that it is worth the trip here to see that on its own.  The houses are just incredibly beautiful, some even painted pastel and unique colors, highlighting the period architecture, and many boast beautifully designed and maintained front gardens and back yards.  The local residents go out of their way to welcome visitors to the town, and even help them better plan their stay in town or around the area with tips, directions, and suggestions for dining or lodging.  We are so grateful to them!

And front and center of our town's "destination" revitalization, is the Frenchtown Business and Professional Association, made up of business owners who volunteer their time to promote Frenchtown, improve the relationship with our town's residents, local business entities, government officials, and visitors.  They are responsible for creating the highly successful 2nd Saturdays live music series where musicians performed all summer outside to entertain passersby, as well as numerous other initiatives, including events every weekend this month, and many more that will be planned out for the rest of the year and holiday season.  

On our end, we've got big news regarding the upcoming elections.  We'll soon be posting information on our facebook page about a little contest we're designing that might be more indicative of the outcome than some of the polls all the news channels are touting.  Visit our facebook page soon and find out!

Another area that has kept us busy, busy, busy, is selecting wines that we'll feature exclusively at The National Hotel for our monthly National Wine Club members.  Thank you to those of you who have already signed up and those who have asked for more information.  We've started contacting guests who have emailed us or have asked for additional information, so stay tuned if you are one of those individuals.  This is exciting on many levels, but more so because the impetus for creating this monthly club came from our very patrons, who wanted to experience a more intimate approach to enjoying wines, to learning about wines, and having the opportunity to meet others who are interested in wines when we have special wine tastings and exclusive events.  Launching this alongside our new fall menu, has been a labor of love, incorporating the many areas that Pete and I love, alongside our long-time Executive Chef, Lisa Frederick, and the rest of our staff.

In fact, Lisa took center stage recently, when we had the pleasure of having been chosen for a a wedding reception that took over the entire first floor of our building.  She was on top of every detail, from the decor of the food stations, to the wait staff continuing to come out of the kitchen with tray after tray of beautiful appetizers and finger food, to the main course, where she took it upon herself, alongside Pete, to personally serve each dish and plate them according to the guest's needs.  This attention to detail is what sets her apart, and what elevates the level of service at The National Hotel.  It truly was a memorable day for the bride and groom, but an equally memorable day where the staff showed Pete and me, just how capable they are, just how committed they are, and just how dedicated they are to providing exceptional service to our guests.

If you are planning on coming to Frenchtown this weekend, you're in for a treat.  Not only will the town be featuring numerous events (in-store and around the town, from face-painting to fall-themed events), but there will also be a couple of Halloween-themed events, including a Halloween Afternoon at Two Buttons, starting at 3 p.m. filled with "candy, stories, and SPOOKINESS," and follow that up with a great night of fun with our very own Halloween Celebration, downstairs in The National Hotel's cellar pub, The Rathskeller Pub (a.k.a. The Rat), where we'll start getting ready for a night of fun in the late afternoon, with music starting at 9 p.m., featuring one of our favorite bands, Rainbow Fresh.  

This is an annual celebration that just keeps getting better and better with patrons donning anything from a simple sheet with two holes cut out, to extraordinarily complex costumes.  Prizes will be given out all night for best costumes, as we all enjoy the music of Rainbow Fresh. 

October has already proven to be a beautiful month, and we've witnessed spectacularly gorgeous autumn days, perfect for sitting on The National Hotel's front porch and watching as the day goes by, to lovely days to stroll through the town and listen to the outdoor music that has been a part of our weekend activities, and now to this concluding weekend that will showcase a multitude of activities preceding Halloween.  

Photo courtesy of Paula Focazio
We even had a fantastic event that spoke volumes about our little gem of a town:  Our Mayor, Warren Cooper, married Bonnie Pariser (aka AmarJyothi), owner of Yoga Loka in town, and instead of limiting their reception to a select group of individuals, they opened up the celebration to THE ENTIRE TOWN!!  Talk about being inclusive, about being accepting, about being community-centered and community-oriented.  Unbelievable--except, totally expected and within the realm of possibility here in Frenchtown.

It's just going to get even better...November promises so much more, including something very close and dear to our heart:  Pete and I opened the doors to The National Hotel on November 3rd, 2009--and it coincides with one of our favorite nights of the month, our Monthly Music Themed Night.  Mike Pfeiffer will perform music that you will surely remember and that will take you back to that oh-so-special-night, starting at 9:30 p.m. with our star bartender, Donna Jane Sampler, mixing special drinks and serving great micro-brews on tap.  Come with your favorite songs to test Mike's knowledge!  In just a little over a week, we'll be celebrating our 3rd anniversary that YOU have made possible.  It has only been through the generosity of our friends, neighbors, and traveling guests, that has shown us day in and day out, that YOU want The National Hotel to be a part of this amazing Delaware River community.  You continue to support us, to stop by just to say "hello," to participate in our events, and to encourage us to try new things.  

All we can say is "thank you."  Truly, truly, thank you for all that you have helped us make possible, and for giving us bragging rights after just a few years.  We are so fortunate to be blessed with a wonderful and supportive staff, terrific friends, and genuinely dedicated patrons who continue to enter through our doors for lunch, dinner, drinks, activities, and even overnight stays.  Whether you know it or not, Pete and I look forward to entering this grand old lady of a building every single day, because we know how important she is to so many of you.

Thank you again.  And as always, do stay on top of all that's happening in town and in the area, by liking our facebook page, following us on twitter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, and of course, visiting our website.  If you have feedback that you'd like to share, please do post it here, or email it to me directly, or call us at 908.996.3200. We look forward to welcoming you to Frenchtown and to The National Hotel again in the near future.