Though NPS does not fly in July or December, there is still stuff to be done. The solution? A working meeting at the Lorien in Old Town Alexandria. We’ve been to the Lorien a couple of times since Steph Vogel took over as GM. Sadly, Steph is in Switzerland this week. We’ll pretend that the ship runs just as well without Steph at the helm (though it’s really not true).

The Spartan balcony off 619

This visit finds us in 619, which is similar to 615 only slightly smaller and on the other side of the building. There is a very large balcony on this side too. Because it’s 100 degrees this week (with an overnight low in the upper ’70s), the balcony will be ignored due to weather. Strikes us that a remake of these balconies as a garden would make them both more inviting.

Look to the left

Look to the right

Our meeting room was cavernous and highly functional. We spent all day working.

A cocktail was in order after all that work. The bar is still very good, though barman and detail freak Phil Clark is no longer around. Phil has moved to Phoenix. You can tell. Damien is doing his damndest to keep things up.

Whey Sour
.75 cachaça (novo fogo)
.75 rye (copper fox)
1.5 whey
.75 honey
1 lemon
pinch of salt
Shake. Serve up.

Snacks at the bar took forever to arrive. That ended up making them free. Timely is better than free.

Dinner at The Warehouse was a massive disappointment. The crayfish were good. Or was that the crawdads? The wine list?
Unusable. Skip it. In other news from the evening, the bar at Restaurant Eve still holds its own, but Jackson 20 has slipped to skip it level as well. So sad that the old Alexandria Monaco is now a Marriott property.

On return from dinner around 11, we were greeted with a nice amenity. Thanks Stephani. The ice cold San Pelegrino is particularly welcome.

Sitting room 619

Sleeping room 619

The huge glass shower will do just fine.

Shower? Perfect.

Once the work was done, there were museums to see. First stop was the National Building Museum to see Hive. Well worth the visit.

Home of hive. At least for a while.

That was followed by another great lunch at Bistrot du Coin.

And a visit to the Phillips Collection. The old building is under renovation, so only half of the paintings as usual were out. But still fantastic. An NPS introduction to the stunning art of German artist Markus Lüpertz.

German artist Markus Lüpertz

The suit

Detail from Spoon

German artist Markus Lüpertz

A fantastic day. Followed almost immediately on its heels by a fantastic evening.

Roses Luxury is just as stellar as its incredible reputation. Just go. We showed up at 5:10pm and walked right in for a 180 minute dinner extravaganza.

Those poor “other people” had to wait in line

Caviar service

Yes, we took pictures of our food. We also had extensive conversations about it.

The best dish of the evening was a soft shelled crab served with Singapore-style chilli sauce (on the sweet side) over steamed buns with pickles. Delicious.

So really. Go to Roses Luxury as soon as you can.

Then there was the Columbia Room in the back booth (our usual NPS haunt), this time with the geek patrol. Excellent as usual, this time less for the drinks presentation than the company.

Columbia Room



Rum from 1857 always seems like a good idea after the tasting menu is complete.

The moral of the story is: get your work done quickly so you can spend some time being spoiled in DC!

Five showerheads and a real wish that Steph were around. We miss you Steph.

It was a quick turnaround from no travel back to travel, but Kimpton helps make it all bearable. Back at the Hotel Monaco just like December, but this time up one floor in 503 (thanks Matt).

We should probably resist comparing the welcome package, but it’s NPS, so we just can’t resist. After all, that is what this prosthetic memory of a blog is all about!

Here is 2015.



Lets compare to 2014.



Hmm. No booze?! But we promise we have not gone dry as a misguided New Year’s resolution! In fact we had quite the adventure getting an after dinner cocktail, about which stay tuned.

Meanwhile 503 looks similar to 403 but it has been updated and is slightly more stylish with a nice scent of carpet glue in the air.

Alexandria Monaco 503

Alexandria Monaco 503

Alexandria Monaco 503

Alexandria Monaco 503

The shower is not plastic, and its pressure may just scour all of the old year’s dirt right off.

Not a plastic shower.  Great way to start 2015 at NPS.

Not a plastic shower. Great way to start 2015 at NPS.

Dinner (corporate style) at the Columbia Firehouse was very good. Great oysters and a nice rendition of shrimp and grits. Sadly, they make a pretty bad Negroni (which calls into question their cocktail capability).

After dinner, we headed over around 10:30 to Restaurant Eve for a cocktail as their bar is rumored to be good. But who would ever know if the bar closes well before its advertised closing time?! Lame. We walked in and the bartender who was wiping down was not at all accommodating about making a drink. In fact, he refused to do so. Guess what Restaurant Eve, that kind of crappy behavior eradicated ALL of the goodwill built up during the last (spectacular) visit. Chef, I believe you need a new bartender post haste!

imgres-1So chaimgresstened to deal with lameness in Alexandria, we returned to the Monaco in low spirits (or with no spirits as the case may be). A pleasant surprise awaited at Jackson 20. Though I am not at all a fan of the architecture or the way the bar is situated, Jackson20 has some good bourbon and rye on tap.  And a very good barman in Alvaro Colato.

Sazarac with Sazarac 18? Yes please. And a chaser of Eagle Rare 17? Sure, why not! Fabulous.

How to make a Sazarac (video from ).

So there you have it. 2015, here we come. Five showerheads and a bourbon-based amenity for the Hotel Monaco in Alexandria.