Sunday, January 26, 2014


January always signifies a fresh start to me--even with these sub-zero wind chill temps.  I'm looking forward to listening to Rob Lanter's music this afternoon, to help me take the chill off the day and reconcile so much that's happened!  Each new year is an opportunity to assess goals and plans.  Interestingly, reflecting back is also a part of the process, and one thing that sticks with me is the topic of a meeting I attended last year while wearing my other hat as a fundraiser in the not-for-profit world, where we discussed the concept of "Joy" in the workplace.  Even though, I confess, I was somewhat skeptical, it made me think of my work at The National Hotel.  There isn't a moment when I'm working here that I don't experience a sense of pride, a sense of fulfillment, and the absolute joy of having the privilege of being able to work to bring this historic establishment well into the 21st century, while preserving the legacy of the original family who built it and proudly operated it back in the mid-1800s.

Joyful.  Yes, that's definitely the correct way to describe how Pete and I feel.  Joyful, when we have the opportunity to share our passion with our patrons and friends.  Joyful, when we are able to source items from local and sustainable farmers for our menu, allowing us to contribute to our local economy in a meaningful way, while providing our Restaurant patrons with the freshest ingredients, especially as we planned and worked on our Valentine's Day menu.  Here's my plug:  Reserve your table NOW!

Joyful, when our guests recount stories about The National Hotel from years gone by--this oral history is an invaluable part of The National Hotel's history.  Joyful, when our overnight guests write notes in our guest book that describe why they enjoyed their stay, whether it be the food, the hospitality, or the weekly entertainment--and often, how they can't wait to plan their next trip to Frenchtown, NJ and The National Hotel.  Just plain joyful!

Photo courtesy of Borough
of Frenchtown website
And why not?  There are so many things to do in our area, so many possibilities of how to add a true quality of life factor to one's experience in Frenchtown, that it is no wonder that guest after guest conveys their desire to return.  As a quick example, how about the free ice-skating "rink" that just opened in town, thanks to the Frenchtown Fire Department and the town government.  Last night's opening night was a huge success, a real old-fashioned small-town moment that brought young and old out, even with the cold temperatures, to enjoy a slice of Americana, with a bonfire to boot!  Truly, Frenchtown is a unique hidden gem, filled with artists, one-of-a-kind shops and galleries, activities to please the soul, body, and mind, from relaxation workshops, to a high-end spa right in town, to fitness studios offering yoga, pilates, and more--all with the personal touch and attention to detail that can only be possible by having the proprietors deeply involved in their establishments and in the community.

And speaking of community, let's take a moment to acknowledge the work the Frenchtown police department did during the storms:  They delivered prescription medications to those who couldn't drive in the inclement weather, especially the elderly Frenchtown residents and those whose health prevented them from leaving their homes.  There are so many wonderful people in town, helping each other, being "neighborly" to neighbors and visitors alike.  We are lucky, really fortunate to enjoy the benefits of being a part of this small town.
A small town, in fact, nestled in an absolutely beautiful and pristine area.  Let's not forget just how beautiful a simple walk on the Delaware Towpath can be--parallel to the Delaware River, peaceful, lovely--especially with the sun setting west of the river.  And now, with all the snow (even with the shoveling that goes along with it), the area can aptly claim its name of a "winter wonderland."  Those of us who have the privilege of calling this area our home, are blessed indeed, as are those of you who are fortunate enough to have discovered Frenchtown and the surrounding areas, with each season bringing a new dynamic and a different experience to your visit.

Pete and I hope that 2014 has started for you in a remarkable way, full of promise and renewal.  We hope to see you in Frenchtown and at The National Hotel in the near future.  Please do email me with any feedback or questions, or leave a comment on this blog.  You can also reach us at 908.996.3200, or fill out our guest inquiry page on our website.  Stay up-to-date with all of the activities and programs we have planned for this special season:

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Thank you again.