Thursday, October 25, 2012

Staying at the Belmont

I've always wanted to take a solo vacation in my own city. Last week, my mother-in-law swept into town to watch my boys and hold down the fort while I drove 20 minutes south to the Belmont Hotel. I've written about the Belmont before, but this time I was able to stay as a guest for four days!

The Belmont is a historic motor inn that was built in 1946. It fell into disrepair over the decades and was lovingly reinvigorated and restored in 2005. I love the vintage vibe, the groovy pool, the beautiful community spaces and the free internet. The shot below is a view of my junior suite.

The suite I stayed in was an upstairs / downstairs number with views of the Dallas skyline. The first floor had a mini kitchen, daybed, TV and bathroom.  Upstairs housed a queen bed, desk, TV and second daybed. The furniture was all very West Elm-ish and very comfortable.

My purpose in leaving home for such a long spread was to work on my manuscript - a book I've been writing in sputtering bursts for the past year.  It's difficult to maintain a long thought arch when surrounded by a non-ambulatory two-year-old, a constantly questioning four-year-old, a barrage of appointments, household chores and other random deadlines. The Belmont was the perfect place to escape the charming avalanche of my daily life and enjoy a self-imposed writers retreat.

As you can imagine, I spent my nights at the Bar Belmont, which has another spectacular view of the city. My drink of choice?  Grey Goose Martini up and dirty with extra olives.  Their bar tender would shake the shit out of my drink, creating a chipped ice surface with olive froth.  It was divine.

Every morning, I'd visit the bar for coffee and sunrise on the patio at BarBelmont.

All of the current artwork in the lobby and bar is by local artist, Tamara White.

I spent most of my time in my room working on the book or painting while Dallas buzzed away in the distance. The space was so clean, fresh, open and ready for creative work. The pool was always there, heated and ready for a dip if I was suffering from writers block, but that never happened. I just clicked away on the keyboard for four days and was a little stunned when it was all over that the time had passed so quickly.

This was the view from my second story window.

When I got hungry, I'd visit Smoke, the amazing restaurant connected to the Belmont Hotel.  This place is totally off the hook.  Smoke takes the Texas BBQ joint to a whole new level. I had the most beautifully smoked fish, mashed turnips and grilled collards the first night I dined.  And at brunch on my last day, I devoured their brisket and cornbread hash served with a poached egg, smoked Hollandaise and roasted jalapenos. Their food made me love Dallas a bit more.  In fact, the whole experience made me appreciate my surroundings more than I have.

The light fixture over the bar at Smoke is such fun - an upcycled and reconfigured wood pallet with a granny chic chandelier in the center.  So cool.

I'd love to make this an annual event - something I could save up for all year and use to reinvigorate my work and rest my head. The bonus of not having small ones around was that I was able to get some much needed sleep.

I was happy to get home on Sunday, hug my happy babies and worship at my mother-in-law's feet for the amazing gift she had bestowed upon me.  Do you know what she said when she left town?  "Just tell me when we're doing it again!"  Can you imagine?  I'm the luckiest woman in the world.

(Thank you Betsy.)


Jeanne said...

Awesome news! That must have been so nice to have time to get reacquainted with yourself, and your muse! I'm so happy for you, I can't even be jealous! You deserve a break, Mama!

Belle de Ville said...

Wow, what a cool place. I love the low key retro feel and the great view.

Betsy said...

Calendar is open and ready to mark the next 'chapter' in Sarah's Sabbatical!! I loved being with 'the guys' and such fun to have a few days of us all together before and after. Enjoyed this post and we're on for "SMOKE" next trip! xxoo

Grace @ Sense and Simplicity said...

What a gorgeous hotel. I love seeing a city from afar like that. I'm glad you had a fruitful writer's retreat.

ECW74 said...

So glad you are doing well and were able to enjoy a respite from the day to day. And I am always interested to hear of reasons to like Dallas more than I do. Those places sound very cool and we will have to check them out.

Loretta Fontaine (APPLESandRUBIES) said...

Sarah- Ah, now I know how you book is coming... What a beautiful gift of time you were given!