On the corner of Exchange and Congress Street in Portland, Maine is The Press Hotel. Located in the historic Portland Press Herald building, this hotel is dedicated to the city’s local authors, artists, and culinary geniuses. In fact, local craftsmen were commissioned for the entire property! From the artwork down to the bedding. Giving it a true boutique hotel feeling. Around every corner you’ll find sophisticated quirkiness. Letterpressed walls, typewriter wall, luggage wall, and art gallery and a station where you can send traditional, typewritten letters- you know through snail mail! The hotel even provides complimentary postage.
Perched on the 7th floor, with a view unlike any other is room 707. My eyes immediately lit up upon opening the door. I was greeted by heaps of natural light contrasted by a deep navy blue accent wall. As I looked around, I noticed the artwork was similar to the rest of the hotel and commissioned by local artists. The rooms are inspired by 1920’s writer’s offices complete with a journalists desk, glass doors, wood floors, and herringbone carpets. One minor detail I loved was the book that was placed on my bedside table, a book of bedtime stories. Trust me, it felt like I was right at home!
Continuing with the sophisticated quirkiness, and perhaps my favorite part of the room, the back of the leather desk chair reads: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. If you don’t know the story behind this sentence let me fill you in. This sentence contains every letter of the alphabet and is usually used for teaching people how to type. And with this hotel being inspired by all things journalism it couldn’t be a more perfect touch!
You won’t even have to leave the hotel to explore some of the most delicious cuisine that Portland has to offer. Portland’s foodie scene has been on the rise for some time now and it was so refreshing to experience that just steps from my room at UNION.
Executive Chef Josh Berry adds his own twist on traditional recipes. The name UNION represents the restaurants relationship with the community that surrounds it. The chef uses locally sourced ingredients from fisherman, farmers, brewers and craftsmen with dishes accompanied by worldly flavors.
I nearly ate my weight in the most delicious brussel sprouts (yes, they were that good), followed by cod with just enough curry (because I can’t escape those Asian flavors), and finishing it off with lemon sorbet (because… lemon)! You’ll find all kinds of summer flavors here. The dishes are sophisticated but approachable, I loved this. There wasn’t an overwhelming amount of “fancy” ingredients or dishes I didn’t understand. Sometime people assume good cuisine means “fancy” ingredients- NOPE! The presentation is thoughtful, the flavors are vibrant, and there is a certain simplicity to it all.
In addition to Union, there is also the lobby bar, Inkwell. Go here for pre or post dinner drinks. Vintage cocktails, select wine a beer, and small plates are your options! And with the warmer weather upon us here in New England you can choose to sit outside. One more thing, in your room you’re provided two glasses- one with a fox on it and the other with a dog. Bring these glasses to Inkwell for your complimentary cocktail. Once you’re finished, the staff will wrap up two new glasses for you to take home!
An independent spirit, The Press Hotel is the perfect escape for the dreamers, doers and culinary junkies. All of which I am! Just steps away from the center of Portland you’re sure to fall in love with this property.