Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Little Gem For Chicago Visitors

Our birthday fell midweek this year, so we did our traditional  2-night "outing" over the July 4th holiday weekend. We took a chance on a little Bed and Breakfast we had seen in our many trips to Evanston.  The rates proved  reasonable, the drive was quick, and it would be a refreshing change before the post-holiday work- week started again.

To our friends who will someday visit the Chicago area, we definitely recommend the Margarita European Inn in Evanston (the town just north of the city limits, on Lake Michigan, and home of Northwestern University).

Originally known as The Margarita Club for Working Women, it served as  a hotel/apartment for young business women needing proper housing starting in 1927.  Father David O'Leary and his sister Margaret Lynch purchased the land and built the facility. They named it after their mother Margaret.

Margaret O'Leary, after whom the Margarita Club was named, was the first female resident of Evanston, and was active in the Evanston community for 60 years, until her death in 1900 at the age of 99.

The Margarita European Inn now houses 42 rooms, each of them uniquely decorated, most containing  appointments and antiques found in the original Club. 

The Main Lobby/Ballroom is not only beautifully furnished with antique rugs, furniture, mirrors and dishware, it is also one of the most comfortable spots to relax in town.  Breakfast is served here every morning.  Small groups can gather around a baby grand piano for entertainment, read a book from the Inn's gorgeous library, or work on their laptops using free Wi-Fi provided.

More "adventurous" guests may climb to the 5th floor to enjoy the view from the rooftop deck.

In the evening the Pensiero on the garden level serves authentic Italian delicacies.  On a mild day, you can't beat the atmosphere on the small outdoor patio.  On Sunday there was a fixed menu served family-style. We were treated to homemade bread, a variety of bruschetti, pasta with pork, meatballs and "Sunday gravy" (red sauce), lemon chicken, seafood stew, and a banana-chocolate bread pudding. Bellissimo!

Within walking distance are the beaches by Lake Michigan, myriad shops and eateries, including the awesome Bookman's Alley Antique Bookstore, and one of the best movie theaters in all of Chicagoland.

Guests from all over the world are attracted to The Margarita European inn for its historic charm, comfort, and reasonable rates.

I'm sure we willl start a tradition of visiting here.

(Photos courtesy of the Inn's Web Site.  Next time we visit, I will have ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPHS!!)

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