About a month ago, my favorite coffee shop, Lamill, housed inside the Four Seasons in Baltimore closed its doors. I was so disappointed in the news, that Doug made the comment "Wow. I knew you'd be upset, but you're really taking this harder than I thought."  A little dramatic, perhaps, but nonetheless, it was the place where everyone knew my name, my order and that I really enjoyed their baked goods and coffee. Now, another one of my favorites has shuttered its doors for good. Read on.

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Four Season Baltimore Turns One (and gives YOU a reason to Celebrate!)

Na, Na, Na, Na, Na... They say it's your Birthday! Well, Happy Birthday to Ya!

Other than Christmas, my birthday is truly my favorite time of year.  When I was younger, it was the day on which I became older! And who didn't want to be older when you're 5.  "How old are you," someone would ask.  "I'm 7 and 1/2" I would proudly say.  That one-half a year really gave me clout on in the school yard.

This week, The Four Seasons Baltimore turns one.  It's no secret that it's one of  my favorite places in my hometown.  LAMILL Coffee is my go-to destination when I'm in Charm City, whether it's to write, meet a friend or simply enjoy a cappuccino and take in the lovely view.  Originally from the West Coast, LAMILL has settled nicely here on the East.  Offering guests a daily assortment of Chris Ford's delectable creations and its own roast, it's always a buzz with hotel guests and locals daily.

The adjacent restaurant, Wit & Wisdom, is a Michael Mina creation and offers seasonal Farm to Table options.  Anthony Kinn and the staff of waiters are knowledgeable and ready to help answer a question, make a recommendation or accommodate any and all food requests.  Even when I asked for a vegan option.  What came out was a delicious and creative fennel "steak" on a bed of lentils, whipped sweet potato and fennel foam.  Fantastic.  All the desserts are made in-house (again by Chris Ford) and anything you select is worth the calories.  Trust me.  I've tried them all.

And the spa? There aren't enough compliments to adequately do it justice.  With a heat experience, individual "chairs" inside a large whirlpool and a shower to top all showers, it's a calming and centering place to spend an hour or a day.

This week, the property is celebrating and invites YOU to help them! One year ago today, the property cut its ribbon and first invited guests into the space, with the opening bash hosted by its modern American tavern, Wit & Wisdom.  The Four Seasons Baltimore is the first establishment in the city to offer guests and local patrons a resort oasis, with a bi-level terrace overlooking the Inner Harbor, an infinity pool, whirlpool, reflection pool, lounges and cabanas.  Not a guest? That's ok.  When you book a treatment at the spa, you have access to the pool and lounge area for the day (not relevant now with the chilly weather, but something to keep in mind for when we start coming out of hibernation.)

"It's been a tremendous year for Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore," notes General Manager Julien Carralero. "I first arrived in Baltimore on January 1, 2011 with the task of opening the 86th Four Seasons hotel, knowing that it would be the first of its kind in a city that has already seen an impressive transformation in the last two decades.  The Hotel has played an important role in this urban renaissance by helping to establish Baltimore as a leading destination in its own right.  In return, the great city of Baltimore has welcomed us with open arms, and made or guests from near and far feel right at home.  It is truly deserving of the nickname of Charm City."

In its first year, the hotel was named one of the Best New Hotels in the World by Conde Nast Traveler Hot List 2012; Food and Wine designated the property as one of the Best Hotels for Food Lovers (with Wit & Wisdom, PABU and LAMILL Coffee) and received top honors with nods from local publication Baltimore Magazine for Best Spa and Best Pastry Chef.

Best part? They want to celebrate their birthday with you! Check out some of the fun festivities listed below.  Come in for coffee, stay for lunch and book a pampering massage. Celebrate with the Four Seasons Baltimore and see for yourself why they have raked in numerous rewards and accolades in their first year.

Toast to Good Health During the Spa’s Birthday Week

Monday, November 12 through Friday, November 16 Spa guests can rejuvenate and recharge in Baltimore’s luxurious day Spa with a special rate of $99.00 for 50 minute facials or massage. Nestled at the edge of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor East waterfront, guests will be pampered from head to toe in the 10,000 square foot state-of-the art zen playground. As a departing gift, spa goers will receive a complimentary offering from ESPA, the Spa’s signature line that offers natural, sustainable, and ethically sourced ingredients supported by the best science.

Monday, November 12 – Friday, November 16: Local Appreciation Dinner Experience a fresh taste of Wit & Wisdom with new Executive Chef Clay Miller’s three-course showcase menu. Inspired by the Mid-Atlantic region and focused on the Eastern seaboard’s culinary heritage, the restaurant pays homage to the area’s history, tapping locally sourced ingredients, prepared using classic wood fire grilling and hearth cooking techniques. Chef Miller has cultivated great relationships with farmers and ranchers in Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, and actively supports the Baltimore area farmers markets and small-scale farms by sourcing the majority of the restaurant’s produce within 100 miles. In appreciation of their support, and that of loyal patrons over the past year, Chef Miller will highlight these purveyors and offer guests the opportunity to enjoy multi-course sustainable menus for $39.00.

Wednesday, November 14: First Birthday Celebration

Celebrate the big day with complimentary cupcakes at lunch and a Champagne toast at dinner - Wit & Wisdom’s birthday present to valued diners. Cheers! (Special menus and complimentary promotions are available in the dining room only with lunch or dinner.)

A Party to Remember at PABU Wednesday, November 14: Japanese Culture Festival The newest addition to the Hotel may not be celebrating a first birthday just yet, but the izakaya style Japanese restaurant is joining in the festivities with a culture festival that honours its rich heritage. The celebration will include action stations featuring modern Japanese street food from Executive Chef Jonah Kim, sake specials and education with Master Sake Sommelier Tiffany Soto, a Japanese Beer Garden, and live entertainment including Japanese taiko drummers and a DJ spinning tunes. The unlimited tasting of PABU fare is $ 21.14 with specially priced $1.00 sake on draft and $1.00 Sapporo draft beer. Kanpai(Reservations are available by calling 410 223 2802, complimentary valet parking will be available.)

Monday, November 12 – Friday, November 16: Enjoy a Tasting of PABU for $39.00 Celebrate the week with Executive Chef Jonah Kim’s tasting menu, an experience that pulls signature dishes from each of the menu sections so guests can explore and discover what they like best. The menu highlights some of the chefs' favourites, approachable options that showcase the quality of PABU’s ingredients and their support of local farms. The multi-course tasting affair is $39.00.

Friday, November 16: All Night Happy Hour at PABU As a culmination to the week-long series of events, on Friday, November 16, guests are invited to gather post-work at PABU to eat, drink, and dance the night away. PABU will offer Happy Hour pricing all night along with sake education led by Master Sake Sommelier Tiffany Soto. A DJ will be on hand spinning tunes throughout the evening. As a token of their appreciation, all guests who dine in PABU or Wit & Wisdom during their birthday week will receive a complimentary drink card to continue the celebration in the future.

LAMILL COFFEE Marks the Big Day with $1.00 Coffees and Beignets November 14 LAMILL COFFEE, the Hotel’s specialty coffee and pastry café that offers extraction coffees, house-blended juices, a wide array of teas and delectable pastries, is marking the special occasion with $1.00 beignets and coffees available throughout the day on November 14.

Guests can make reservations to join in the festivities at Wit & Wisdom or PABU online or by calling 410 223 2802. For reservations at The Spa, guests can call 410 223 1440.


A few weeks ago, I spent some time with Kristopher Fulton, of LAMILL Coffee in Baltimore's Four Seasons Hotel.  What I saw was just how many different ways one can make coffee.  Here is a small clip of what I saw.  A trailer leading up to the full sized video, coming soon! Click HERE to enjoy the video!