11.04.2011

La Fonda on the Plaza - A Legendary Hotel


This wonderful, historic hotel - just up from the Plaza and across the street from the Cathedral - is one of Santa Fe's must-see gems.


Stepping inside is like being in a beautiful sepia photograph that has captured the history, art and culture of early Santa Fe.













Touted the oldest hotel in the oldest capital city in the United States, La Fonda on the Plaza has hosted the famous and the infamous over the years and is filled with history, lore and a handsome collection of original (and contemporary) Southwest art.   It is one of Santa Fe's favorite gathering places.


When the weather turns nippy, two lovely and inviting fireplaces are kept burning brightly.  One just off the lobby...


The other just off La Fonda's beautiful dining room La Plazuela.



La Plazuela was originally an open-air patio, but over the years it was enclosed and a recent renovation filled this airy space with  skylights,  handsome textiles and beautiful hand-crafted furniture and lighting. All the original and signature hand-painted windows are intact and surround the dining room, adding a lovely folk-charm to the room.




One of my favorite La Plazuela treats is breakfast, especially on the weekend. I simply love their Brioche French Toast.


But this time, I opted for dinner and tried their new Fall menu, created by La Fonda Executive Chef Lane Warner. The Pork Belly appetizer beckoned...


 It was smashing. Braised in Santa Fe Nut Brown Ale and served with spicy cranberry-green chile relish and cauliflower puree.
Next came the Felix River Ranch braised lamb shank with a wonderful white-bean-poblano succotash.
And a friend ordered a medium-rare Filet Mignon that arrived perfectly medium rare.
 Clearly, a meat night out... and the dessert - a sensational warm Mexican chocolate cake with  home-made roasted banana ice cream -finished it all off quite nicely.

And, if you'd like to delve into La Fonda's history a bit more, they
just published a small, delightful book - From Every Window - a Glimpse of the Past - available at their lobby gift shop.

  LA FONDA ON THE PLAZA

100 East San Francisco Street
Santa Fe, NM

505.982.5511

www.lafondasantafe.com

10.31.2011

Day of the Dead - Santa Fe Style

D I A   D E   L O S   M U E R T O S

Photos by C. Whitney-Ward

When I lived in Mexico, the Day of the Dead celebrations were always a treat. Flower 'paintings' filled the plaza and at night we'd meander the cobblestone streets stopping at open windows to admire each family's personal altar. It was truly a celebration of life. But, Santa Fe also does itself proud with a myriad of Day of the Dead celebrations - el Museo Cultural to the International Folk Art Musuem - I tried to capture some of that vibrancy with my camera...Here goes...