Friday, June 10, 2011

PSG: Harding House Babymoon Review

It is Monday June 6th and I am writing this review from the Harding House - "The best lil' Guest House in Cambridge." So thankful for this little break and a time to relax!

If you asked me a year ago, I would say that Babymoons are silly - who really needs one? ... Uhm, what was I thinking? What mother doesn't want some quality alone time with her husband before yet another baby joins the family?! With the first baby it was a little different. The entire pregnancy my husband and I were alone, enjoying every moment of this amazing time in our lives. Now with a toddler, we're lucky if we can spare 15 minutes a day for a conversation. I realize just how important it is to take a little time off with your spouse and enjoy some adult conversation sans kids before another baby arrives. The last week long vacation my husband and I had was our honeymoon five years ago. Since then we have had two weekend getaways before we had kids. So being alone again even for just two nights is a big deal!

I am really thankful for the wonderful owner and staff at the Harding House for letting us stay for two nights and take a small brake from the demands of parenthood (and of course for my mom who is staying with our toddler!). The Harding House Babymoon special is a nice treat for tired parents, you receive a discount on one night in a Deluxe Queen room with a goodie bag to keep you entertained and introduce you to some great local businesses. This is definitely something I will always remember and I'll think back to those two days of our Babymoon if I'm frustrated with my husband, it will make me forget the small things that don't matter!

Location: The Harding House is located in Cambridge on a quiet green street, away from major traffic. While it isn't exactly an 'away from it all' location, I find this place quite peaceful for a city. You'll hear the birds chirping and you can enjoy a small summer garden outside your windows. Yet you can walk to all the best restaurants and shopping in the area, Harvard Yard, MIT, and a variety of museums. A short T ride and you're in the midst of everything Boston has to offer. A central location where you can have it all or nothing and just chill in your room (and take lots of naps like we did).

Accomodations: The little guest house has all the modern amenities you may want. Free wi-fi, private bathrooms, flat screen TV with over 100 channels, iPod docking radios, AC in each room, a computer in the lounge for your use, 24 hour snacks, coffee, and tea. You can feel at home, use the guest refrigerator, borrow an umbrella, read a book and even keep it if you wish! The historical charm of the property and furnishings is quaint and inviting but not outdated. Tasteful decor, plenty of artwork, and a friendly face at the front desk!

Do consider that the house is an old Victorian building, so the noise transfer is a little more than you may be used to. We could hear our neighbors, but it wasn't anything unreasonable. Everyone was quiet after hours. This of course matters little if you will not be in your room much and want to explore the area.

Area attractions: Cambridge and Boston, of course there is so much to do! It all depends on what you are into. Tour a chocolate factory? Check. Art museums? Check. (The front desk may even hook you up with some passes). Fine dining. Best shopping. Theaters. Parks. Aquarium. Sports events. A day at the spa, prenatal massage. It's all here.

Dining: Pregnant women... They eat... All the time. Well, at least I do. The Harding House has you covered for breakfast and snacks. There is always fresh and dry fruit available, nuts, coffee and tea, and a scrumptious coffee cake. Oh, and don't forget the biscotti.

For lunch and dinner your options are virtually endless, for any budget or taste. My husband and I have pretty discerning tastes, so we browsed Yelp to find something we'll love yet we can afford. We had lunch at Cambridge 1 on Church Street near Harvard Yard. Passing by the place I would never think to come in, it is dark, modern, not particularly inviting. But we saw their menu online and decided we must try the Lobster Pizza, the reviews were pretty good too. It turned out to be a great choice! A little stark on the warehouse feel inside, but the modern warm wood paneling made it all better. Amazing lobster pizza (we got half), and an even more amazing portabello mushroom pizza (the other half). More than we wanted to spend for lunch (over $30), but amazingly delicious.

If you're into locally grown, gourmet prepared food, we highly recommend Rendezvous for dinner. We came with reservations on Monday night, the place was packed. The chef/owner was there, making sure every detail is right. We looked at their menu online and thought the prices were reasonable for the quality of the food (locally grown and/or organic). Little did we know that the portions are 'french size'! Nevertheless, we didn't regret coming there. The lamb with octopus and the duck were perhaps the best thing I have ever tasted at a restaurant (granted we only dine out a couple of times a year). The lemon-buttermilk pudding with huckleberry sauce was a heavenly dessert - compliments of the chef because my husband found a piece of wire in his duck! Yikes! Nobody got hurt.

Looking for something else? I recommend Oleana, The Red House, Evoo, Bondir, and Life Alive Cafe (organic/vegetarian).

Service: The service at Harding House is very helpful and friendly, but not intrusive or nosy. All of the staff we met were very pleasant, professional women. Looks like the Inn is rather busy even on weekdays. With Harvard and MIT, along with other universities, there are always a lot of visitors and tourists.

The breakfast is delicious and outstanding. Each day a hot entree is prepared. We had a spinach quiche and an oatmeal peach baked pudding. If the hot breakfast isn't something you like, there are bagels, toast, organic boiled eggs, organic yogurt, fresh pastries from the local Danish Pastry House (scones, muffins, croissants, pecan sticky buns), fresh fruit salad, variety of breads, variety of preserves, organic peanut butter, Nutella, sliced cheeses, granola, cereals, instant oatmeal, organic milk, etc. You get the drift - you will not go hungry at breakfast! It is served from 7:15 to 10 am. We've learned that the first servings of the hot breakfast are usually gone between 7:30 and 8, you may have to wait a little for the second batch. You can always ask them when it will be ready.

Value: Harding House rates start at $139 per night in the winter months and the peak rate depending on the time of year is up to $375. Regular summer rates are $175 to $265. Rates for all accommodations in this area are comparable, but it looks like you get more for your money at Harding House. Gourmet breakfast and museum tickets aren't the norm at other hotels! Not to mention the cozy, home like atmosphere and great personal service.

Book your stay at Harding House and be sure to mention the Babymoon Special!


  1. Sounds like a wonderful trip! and a beautiful li'l b&b! Hopefully we'll need one of these soon:)

  2. this looks really neat. thanks for posting. really fun blog! glad I found it,

    twitter: kathblogger

  3. Thanks for sharing! I would love to come here for a babymoon, or even with kids!


We LOVE your comments, please share your thoughts!

Blogging tips