I feel fortunate to live in Santa Fe; for such a small, friendly town we are graced with world class art, history, culture, and amazing geography. As part of enjoying my own backyard, I decided to take our Inn’s Goya Package out for a spin a few weeks back to answer such questions as “Is the exhibit worth it?”, “How are the food and spirits at LaBoca/Taberna”, and “just how amazing is a night’s stay at the Inn of the Governors?”
I attended The Renaissance to Goya exhibit with two friends to ensure a well-balanced perspective of the experience. All three of us agreed the New Mexico Museum of Art curated the exhibit well. The layout broke up different periods in a way that kept you focused on the style and period in front of you without distraction by the nearby artists and perspectives. The curator provided enough information to allow historical and political context to the pieces while not overwhelming you with a great deal to read or analyze. In short, the art itself was left to speak to you and speak to us it did. The collection was enlightening, powerful, thought provoking, and humbling.
After enjoying the Goya exhibit, we decided to take in another of the Museum’s rotating exhibits, “50 pieces for 50 States,” a gathering of 50 works collected by Dorothy and Herbert Vogel through the course of their 40 year marriage. I was pleasantly surprised by its different tone to the neighboring Renaissance to Goya exhibit, and equally impressed by its homage to the Vogels’ eye for unique and quality art. In total the Vogels collected over 5000 pieces over the years, receiving so much attention and respect that there has been a book published about it, The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States as well as a documentary entitled Herb and Dorothy. We encourage you to visit part of the Vogels’ collection in your very own state.
As we digested the previous hour and half’s tour of Renaissance Spain we headed over to Taberna (La Boca’s sister restaurant-offering Spanish tapas and a unique selection of Sherry cocktails). Forgive the extensive detail to follow, but each wave of culinary delight was so delicious that I simply had to record it just so I could report it with the respect it deserved. We started off slowly, sharing a locally brewed Marble Street IPA, La Gitana Manzanilla Sherry, and a Pena Roble Crianza. Chef James Campbell-Caruso personally visited with us, and, at our urging, offered up three surprise dishes whose unknown ingredients complimented each beverage perfectly. Just moments later we pushed our empty plates away and beckoned for the official menu (and round two of drinks!). A brief, yet intense, discussion ensued as we wrestled with what tapas to enjoy next, given the entire selection was so enticing. We settled on the Smoked Lump Crab Salad and the Steamed Mussels and Chorizo. Yet again, we devoured our plates with broad smiles and happy palates, turning finally to the Plato de Dulces (a plate of sweet figs and Spanish cheeses) which the quiet, but extremely attentive server paired with a Susana Balbo Late Harvest Malbec and a Cossart Gordon 15 year Madeira.
Admittedly, we did not take advantage of the pass allowing us to tour the outstanding New Mexico Museums included in our package experience, but we discussed each of our past experiences at Museum Hill and mutually agreed how lucky Santa Fe is to have such a collection of varying cultural, historical, and inspiring facilities. Each of these museums has their unique gift shop, all of which accept our $20 gift card toward a keepsake of your favorite exhibit.
And lastly, my favorite thing to talk about—The Inn of the Governors! Though I didn’t stay that night, I stay every so often to see it through the guest’s eyes. To that end, I stayed just two weeks later and was delighted to observe the Front Desk and Breakfast teams engaging and being helpful with our guests. Our full, hot Mountain Sunrise Breakfast prepared me with a full gullet and plenty of energy to go for a late morning hike. I relaxed in the room’s authentic New Mexican and Spanish elements, while feeling warm and cozy. Overall, I walked away feeling strongly that we continue to provide an elegant, value laden, and friendly experience.
I hope this helps any of you considering our package, or those of you who have already purchased it, but wonder what you can look forward to. I hope to visit with you at Tea & Sherry and hear all about your unique Santa Fe experience! Sam Gerberding