Pop-up shops are the newest thing in food and retail, and Boston’s luxury hotels have been getting in on the action. In December, Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Mandarin Oriental, Boston, kicked off the city’s hotel pop-up craze with the launch of The Parlor, a lobby pop-up that offered traditional afternoon tea by the fireplace. This holiday treat catered to lobby guests with a trolley full of sweets, which included gingerbread man decoration kits for kids, tea sandwiches, sweet confections, old-fashioned hot cocoa, warm apple cider and signature hot toddies.
On the other side of town, Five-Star Boston Harbor Hotel launched a Hot Cocoa Pop-Up Bar in the Rowes Wharf Sea Grille. The chocolate hot spot opened on 12-12-12, coinciding with National Hot Cocoa Day, and featured 12 specialty hot cocoas, including gourmet flavors such as candy cane, butterscotch, almond and more, as well as spirits for an extra charge.
With the winter pop-ups being such a success, Boston Harbor Hotel is already planning its next concept, and meanwhile the Mandarin Oriental just launched its most recent pop-up: PHO@MO, a pop-up noodle shop offering traditional pho daily throughout the month of March. Choose oxtail or ginger-scallion chicken broth from the mini-menu, as well as a meat — either shaved steak or chicken — to accompany the customary pho garnishes.
“We launched our pop-ups as a way to surprise our guests and neighbors,” Alain Negueloua, general manager of Mandarin Oriental, Boston, says. “We like to be able to offer new and exciting things for our guests, and pop-ups allow us room to play with different kinds of cuisine and design. These pop-ups are also a way for our talented culinary team to show their strength and creativity. And now we have guests wondering what’s next.”
Part of the excitement of a pop-up is that you never know what will be featured until it’s set up and open, but Negueloua shared a little insight on the next big idea: “I can tell you it’s a play on dessert, which is perfect for the warm, bright afternoons in the spring.”
Photos Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Boston and Boston Harbor Hotel