St. Louis Staycations: A Romantic Getaway At The Cheshire
Getting married is fantastic—and also time consuming, expensive and exhausting. A year later, my husband and I are still tired. When our first anniversary rolled around this spring, we contemplated heading out of town for a weekend away, only to be discouraged by the hassle and cost. There’s transportation, a pet sitter, vacation time … it all seemed more complicated than charming.
And then the solution popped into sight, quite literally, as we passed The Cheshire Hotel on the way to the store. After living in The Loop for years and driving to Clayton or University City almost daily, we have passed by The Cheshire many times, as do so many St. Louisans. The landmark has been sharing its warmth with the city since the 1920s. We’d heard about its charm, but hadn’t needed to stay in a St. Louis hotel since we live in the city. But the more we thought about an anniversary staycation at The Cheshire, the more fun it seemed. Our minds were made up.
We checked in on a Friday and stayed under the Romance Package as it was our first anniversary, which included deluxe accommodations and special perks throughout our stay. The stroll to our room at The Cheshire engulfed us in the charm of this British hotel where traditional details play perfectly with modern conveniences. While it could so easily feel stuffy, there’s a touch of humor in The Cheshire, like the Queen’s Guard in the entry, around every turn. We were blown away before we even got to our room.
Rooms at The Cheshire are named after books, and ours was the William Blake “Songs Of Innocence” suite. Greeting us near the door of our suite was an oversized chaise lounge (“We need one of these for the house!” I have since been told by my husband) and a copy of the book our room was named after, plus a bar, king-sized bed, work space and seating area. It was nearly the size of our first apartment in St. Louis, except where we had hung crumpled band posters The Cheshire had unique framed artwork on textured walls. An improvement, to say the least.
After we were settled in, the tastiest perk of the Romance Package arrived at the door: chocolate-covered strawberries and Champagne. I tried to limit myself to one—and failed, whoops—worrying it would ruin my supper. It was nearly time to eat, so we took inventory of the options of the location, as multiple establishments are situated on the property. There’s Fox & Hounds, the bar with craft cocktails and small plates of traditional English fare, located right inside the hotel. Just outside and down a flight of steps is Basso, which is one part trendy bar, one part Italian restaurant. We decided on Boundary, the newest addition to The Cheshire’s dining options. Call me Midwestern, but nothing says celebrating like a steak dinner, and with its ample selection of entrees, Boundary won out.
DINNER AT BOUNDARY
Walking into the romantically lit Boundary, I couldn’t stop pointing at decor to show my husband. “This is what I want our house to look like!” I kept saying to him. It was sweet the first time, and likely annoying the ninth. The dining room and bar is the perfect balance of styles: old-world charm and contemporary fixtures play well with industrial brick and pop-of-color seating. It’s fancy without feeling too formal. Just the right balance for our kind of romance.
Our meal began with celebratory Champagne and the Artisanal Cheese Board, an ever-changing dish that came with four cheeses, bread, jam, cranberries and pralines. What better way to start an anniversary dinner than sharing?
We were both drawn instantly to the braised heritage chicken with sweet potato dumplings, the steak frites, and the brisket. Unable to decide between a few of the dinner fares, we each selected one of that day’s specials as an entree. I chose the beef tenderloin, a delectable decision that came with potatoes, kale and a rosemary glaze. My husband opted for the seared salmon, and was highly impressed. The romance momentarily stopped while we ate in near silence when our food arrived. A good steak does that to a gal.
Dessert brought us back together, with two sweet treats: the local apple crisp and the dried cherry bread pudding, both with ice cream with coffee. They were subtly sweet and perfect to share. Thankfully, the room was only a short walk away, as neither of us could put down our spoons.
BRUNCH + AN AFTERNOON IN FOREST PARK
We woke up the next day to snow, opening the stained-glass windows and admiring the flurries before heading to the continental breakfast near the lobby. It was far from the off-brand cereal selection I’ve learned to accept while traveling: the hot and cold buffet included eggs Benedict and breakfast potatoes, as well as an assortment of fruits, oatmeal and pastries. The beverage selection was also top notch, with ample teas, coffee and juices. We brought our food back to our suite for breakfast in the sitting area and a little more relaxing. After all, with our Romance Package, our checkout time was extended until 1pm.
We leisurely got ready—taking full advantage of the luxury spa products and plush robe—before heading down the street to the nearby Saint Louis Art Museum. As Forest Park is within walking distance from The Cheshire, an evening at the hotel makes a perfect lead-in for a day at the museums. We were off to “Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade,” an elegant send-off from a beautiful anniversary evening.
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