Beth’s “A-List” Favorites for All Things Essential
Whether you’re new to town or simply want the inside “scoop” on the best places for the best services and essentials, you turn to a trusted friend for advice. Ah, the power of “word of mouth.”
Over the years, several friends have asked me what my favorite places are for this and that—who to go to for the best deep tissue massage, where’s the coolest store to shop for cutting edge style combined with high quality, who in the world is the best dog walker in the area? I’ve decided to share some of my insights here, as I’ve remained loyal to these people and places for a reason—they’re simply the “A-listers” in my book, so read on to learn more.
Eats and Treats
La Campania (www.lacampania.com), my favorite Italian restaurant located on Main Street in Waltham, MA consistently serves the most delectable and authentic Italian cuisine, coupled with impeccable service. Throughout the summer months, choose the outdoor terrace for dining, with its vine covered trellises and tea lights that will definitely remind you of the old country.
Quebrada Bakery, with locations in Wellesley, Arlington, and Belmont, MA (www.quebradabakingco.com) has the best coffee in the area, along with delicious homemade scones and numerous other baked goods. It’s also one of the hottest gathering places for early morning meetings and socialization.
Located in Falmouth, MA on Cape Cod, Maxwell & Co. (shop.maxwellandco.com) is worth the drive if you’re seeking unrivaled collections for both men and women, and purveyors of unique brands from around the world. In addition to the exceptional array of clothing and accessories—from casual wear to couture—the owners Dan and Lori Maxwell and their staff, are knowledgeable, warm and attentive to their customers.
By far, the finest hair stylist I’ve known and used for many years is Denise McClellan at Daryl Christopher, with its newest location in Waltham, MA (www.dchristopher.com). Denise is a master stylist at the salon, providing the best keratin treatment, color, cut and blow drying techniques that I’ve ever experienced and have earned her accolades from her loyal clientele.
Facial and Massage
Gerta Paul, with her private studio at 48 River Street, Suite 100R, in Wellesley, MA has magical hands that can transform even the tensest client into a relaxed and rejuvenated “puddle” by the time she’s finished. With a serene atmosphere and her soothing touches—such as warm towels and hot stones—Gerta uses the finest products from France to ensure glowing results. When you’re ready for the midas touch, give her a call at: (978) 996‑2700.
Since opening its doors in 1958, the Golden Door (www.goldendoor.com) remains “the original luxury spa retreat.” Located in beautiful Escondido, CA, it’s well worth the trip if you’re seeking the finest spa experience imaginable. Focusing on balancing mind, body and spirit through its innovative approach to health and fitness, an individualized program is developed for each guest for maximum benefit and results. Surrounded by luxurious amenities and an unparalleled commitment to service, the Golden Door provides a tranquil atmosphere for the ultimate spa experience.
Make Up and Make Up Artist
Studio 28 by Stacey Frasca, located in Wellesley, MA (www.staceyfrasca.com) is the one and only destination for the finest make up application using Stacey’s signature product line. With over twenty years of experience in the business, Stacey continues to beautify her long roster of celebrity “A-listers” and mere mortals alike. Whether its make up application for a wedding, photo shoot, private event or television appearance, Stacey is a master at creating gorgeous, flawless looking skin. Equally notable are her beauty products that are available for purchase at the studio and online.
L’Amanti Studio, located at 1280 Centre Street in Newton Center, MA, (617–244-5616) is a family owned and operated business that’s well known for providing the best mani-pedi in the area. Helen has the most amazing hands that gently massage your legs throughout your pedicure, while Kyle and Hannah, are both meticulous and knowledgeable about the latest products and techniques of the trade. The salon is exceptionally clean and is always a fun destination for meetings friends.
Dellaria Day Spa (617–527-8155) located in Newton Center, MA (www.dellaria.com) is the place to go for the quickest and best waxing around. Kashmira is the highly skilled “queen” of the process and is always kind and gentle with her approach.
Naturally, I have a favorite perfume for daytime and another for evening. My all time favorite to wear during the day is Un Jardin Sur Le Nil by Hèrmes. With green mango, grapefruit, sycamore and frankincense, this light mixture is simply lovely.
For evenings, I prefer Hanae Mori Eau de Toilette, with its heady notes of bergamot, jasmine, musk and vanilla. It’s delicate yet sensational.
“YIKES!” is often the underscored term or thought associated with jeans because the fit has to be just right to look great—not too low in the rise, not too loose or too tight—jeans you can really live in. I have finally found the perfect match at National Jean Company (www.njcboston.com). Made by AG (Adriano Goldschmied), I love the fit of the “Stilt” jean style best. Available in different washes and colors, they’re purely a pleasure to wear and look amazing for nearly every occasion.
Hercules dry cleaners in Linden Square, Wellesley, MA (www.herculesdrycleaners.com) is by far the best at removing any sort of stain and overall “best in show” in my opinion. With a clean and friendly environment, I know I’m always going to have my items ready on time and that they’ve been treated with the highest level of care.
House of Costas, located at 107 Elliot Street, Newton, MA (617/965‑1991) is the place to go for alterations of any kind—from simple hemming jobs to customized suits, Costas Xanthopoulos is a master tailor. Established in 1974, House of Costas continues to deliver fast, meticulous and reliable service with a smile.
Favorite New Accessory
The “Tribeca 7” handbag/clutch by Holly Caldwell (www.hollycaldwell.com). It’s not truly a wallet, a handbag, or a clutch, but is a little bit of each. The greatest thing about the “Tribeca 7,” is that it holds EVERYTHING yet is so compact in size that it appears to be a wallet or clutch. I think of it as my “Mary Poppins” bag, as people are always amazed when I unzip it to reveal all that it contains inside. While I cherish and own four of these divine pieces (yes, I love them that much!), my newest favorite is a cream-colored patent leather version, fresh for this season.
Nutritionist and Trainer
Dr. Tom Halton possesses the pinnacle of experience in both nutritional counseling and personal training (www.drtomhalton.com). Holding a Doctor of Science in Nutrition from Harvard University and a Masters Degree in both exercise science and human nutrition, Dr. Halton is motivating, intelligent and knows all of the latest and greatest techniques for healthy weight loss and morphing your lifestyle into one that you can live with to support your hard work. He even makes house calls for your personal training sessions!
Favorite Movie Theater
West Newton Cinema in West Newton, MA (www.westnewtoncinema.com). I love this theater because it presents the finest foreign, independent and critically acclaimed films around. Its nostalgic feel—complete with velvet curtains and swirling staircases—makes you feel like you’re at a private soirée or pre-screening event.
Getting There – My Favorite Car Service
Christopher Hadge, of Madison Transportation, LLC in Belmont, MA, consistently delivers timely transportation via impeccable cars. He is personable, reliable and conservatively priced, so give him a call at: (781) 760‑1928 whenever you require a lift to any destination.
To Give and to Get
Favorite Hostess Gift
Candles are always a lovely gift for any occasion. My favorite is “pumpkin chai” by Nest (www.candleluxury.com), a blend of wild pumpkin, spicy masala chai, cardamom, ginger and cinnamon. Beautifully housed in brown translucent glass with orange wax, and wrapped in a lovely box with the brand’s signature stripe, it’s a gift that will be memorable and used. But this particular candle is produced in limited quantities during this season and sells out quickly so stock up on them now!
Favorite Wine Store
Lower Falls Wine Company is the finest in the area, bar none (www.lowerfallswine.com). Featuring extraordinary wine tastings with guest vintners from around the world, home deliveries, and an incredibly knowledgeable and pleasant staff, there’s something here for everyone here.
Favorite Stationer and Personalized Gifts
Toby Dondis, Ltd. of Waban, MA (www.tobydondis.com) carries a wide range of creative personalized gifts and fine stationery for all occasions—from children’s notes pads to high-end business stationery, Toby has it all. With her highly attentive demeanor and vast industry knowledge, she can easily assist with the most demanding or unique requests.
Favorite Consignment Shop
Found (www.foundsomerville.com), the new and fabulous upscale consignment boutique in Somerville, MA, is a new favorite for many reasons—gorgeous, high-end clothing to buy and sell, coupled with a wonderful and knowledgeable staff to work with. For added convenience, they come to your home to pick up your items that you wish to consign, and are extremely fair with their pricing of your gently used items.
Favorite Dog Walking Service
Decadent Dog (www.decadentdog.com) is the ultimate in premium canine and feline care with a strong focus on walking, hiking, pet sitting and boarding of your beloved furry member of the family. Julie and Sarah have been my favorite dog walkers for my 85 pound Bernese, Riley, for many years, and I cannot provide a stronger endorsement for Robert Nager, Founder and “Top Dog” of this delightful company.
Favorite Dog Park
Centennial Park in Wellesley Hills, MA is a fabulous space for dogs to run freely and “leash-free” if your pooch responds well to voice commands. This 42-acre expanse of trails, fields and a beautiful pond area is truly a dog’s paradise. Additionally, it’s the best place for dog owners to socialize with one another and to equally enjoy the experience.