Navigator Dinner: Exploring the Glass City
Last week Rob and I got to experience the Glass City like never before, during the Marriott International Renaissance Hotels Seventh Annual Global Day of Discovery.
Toledo's Renaissance was chosen as one of the spotlight hotels along with Bali, Paris, and New York. So proud of this city!
The worldwide celebration is open to global guests and local residents. Created to encourage travelers to discover the hidden gems that give neighborhoods their soul, from underground art, to exotic local cuisine. Inspired by the idea that Renaissance Hotels can set the scene for the spontaneous to unfold - inviting guests to go off-script and experience the unexpected.
Off-script is my kind of night! I live for those moments of surprise and delight! The Renaissance delivered.
We had been told guests would experience an immersive dinner, paying homage to Toledo's history as the glass capital of the world. What we didn't expect was the sweet memories we would make and take with us.
As you entered the lobby, you were met with a variety of local eats and artists - both the heart of the city of Toledo. We hit up the Swatch Studios photo booth, sipped some Toledo Spirits, oooh-ed and awww-ed at the acrobats and enjoyed the live music. The event was open to the public, and you could feel the creative energy!
The Navigator's Dinner took place on the rooftop - which literally elevated the experience! From the cityscape views, to the glassblowing demonstrations - it was feast for the eyes! The tablesetting menus were made of glass and served as our memento from the night. The hotel’s executive chef, Aaron Lawson, partnered with Gathered Glassblowing Studio to put on a show - literally cooking the 12 course meal with glass! 2,000-degree molten glass and various techniques were used to serve up the most creative (and mouth-watering) meal.
It was all things divine dah-ling! Each plate was an experience in itself. I am a sucker for a pretty presentation - some of the flower garnishes were almost* too pretty to eat! My favorite might have been the elderflower oysters (seen above.) The warm breeze and pink haze sunset added to the amber-atmosphere. It was enough to transport you to an other-worldly time and place. Not to mention the steady flow of libations - if you know me, you know I am always down for a cocktail!
More than food and drink, what I crave is good conversation! I love making new friends, and sat with the sweetest journalist from USA Today (she was visiting from Chicago and brought her puppies along! Any hotel that is pet friendly deserves an A++ in my book!) and met a design historian who reminded me of Charlotte from SATC! It was a fun table. World travelers, Toledo-proud locals, and some hip social medias influencers rounded out the scene and added to the glow of the night.
The evening ended with a 3-D projection on the hotel front showing off some of the artistry of glassblowing. It was larger than life!
I know I've said it before, but if you haven't been you need to go and check out the Renaissance Toledo Downtown Hotel! Book a night! (You deserve it!) Stop in for a cocktail or have a delectable meal at one of their restaurants. If you book a room, tell them Jess from The Weekender sent you (and you might end up with a bottle of rosé!)
Make sure you are following Renaissance Toledo Downtown Hotel on social media! They have a top-notch Navigator (QUEEN!) who has fabulous events planned all summer long!