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Red Wing, Minnesota - St. James Hotel

St. James Hotel Holiday Season Red Wing Minnesota
The historic lobby of the St. James Hotel decorated for the Christmas Holiday

Red Wing, MN Pages

- About Red Wing
- More Red Wing Things to
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- Red Wing Holiday Stroll
- Red Wing Holiday Parade
- St. James Hotel Holiday Feast
- Events Calendar & Links

On Thanksgiving Day 1875 the St. James Hotel in Red Wing, MN opened for business with a lavish banquet of more than 60 dishes. 500 Guests paid $5 for the feast. Fast forward to Thanksgiving Day 2009 where guests at the annual Thanksgiving Buffet paid $24.95 for an extensive menu of gustatory pleasures, although perhaps only 30 dishes - but far more than our group could consume before our waistlines threatened to explode.

St. James Hotel Red Wing MNThe holiday banquet was held in the hotels' picturesque Summit Room, five stories above and overlooking the Mississippi River. Our reservations were for 4 pm. Prior to that we enjoyed a drink and easy conversation in the comfortable Jimmy's Pub about fifty feet down the hall from the Summit Room. The food was great, the service attentive keeping the buffet selections continually refreshed, and while busy the reservation system nicely spaced out the popular feast over a six hour period.

We also made reservations to stay overnight at the hotel, a practical solution after stuffing ourselves . . . . but also a neat experience in itself because the hotel has preserved a good deal of that Victorian elegance she had when she first opened. It was somewhat reminiscent of our stay two years prior at the historic Desoto House Hotel in Galena, Illinois.

We stayed in the "North Star" room named for one of the 19th century Mississippi riverboats. St. James Hotel Red Wing MNOn a wall in the room was a picture of the "North Star" with a short description of her history and era. Each room has a similar mascot, usually a ship or a famous person, and each is uniquely decorated. Every bed has a hand-made quilt and includes a set of both down and foam pillows for each guest. Go here to see a sample room pictures.

St.James Hotel Red WingWhile the hotel has several elevators we preferred walking the beautiful staircase as guests did over a hundred years ago. Adding to the sense of being in an earlier era were walls lined with old photographs and news clippings of people and places, hanging antique quilts, and period pieces of furniture at the landings.

Quilt St. James Hotel Red Wing MN

Hanging in the stairwell is this quilt of 99 variable stars, made in the "old scrap" tradition to commemorate the "Sea Wing" disaster on July 13, 1890 in which 98 people were drowned. Each star is different from the others - one star for each victim. The 99th star has the dedication message.

St. James Hotel Thanksgiving Holiday Harvest Brunch
Held annually on Thanksgiving Day, the Harvest Brunch is in the 5th Floor Summit Room from 11:30 am to 6:00 pm, reservations recommended.
Thanksgiving Buffet

< < < This Thanksgiving ice sculpture was the setting for the snacks and hors d'oeuvres table.

Thanksgiving Buffet St. James Hotel
The choice of selections at the main buffet table was impressive - at least 15 items available; not including turkey, smoked ham, cheeses, fruit salads, pies, cookies and other goodies offered at other serving tables.
Thanksgiving Dinner St. James Hotel


< < < Comfortable dining with a panoramic view of the Mississippi River.

Other Dining & Entertaining at the St. James Hotel
Jimmy's Pub
is also located on the 5th floor. It offers a warm and relaxing atmosphere with wood paneled walls, stately, comfortable furnishings, a huge wood fireplace, and a beautiful hand-crafted bar typical of early 1900 elegant drinking establishments.
Jimmy's Pub St. James Hotel

< < < Dan Laufenberg, wife Donna, and Donna's sister Joanne enjoying some drinks and conversation before dinner.

Jimmy's Pub main barI love the dark wood that dominates the room and the bar. The fireplace adds to that rich & comfortable ambience.

Jimmy's Pub Red Wing, MN

Port Restaurant Red Wing, MN

The Port Restaurant, located in essentially the cellar of the hotel, continues that same use of rich wood but here combined with brick and stone walls to produce a similar comfortable warmth. Known for its steak and seafood menu, but most famous for its award-winning and extensive list of over 200 wines.Veranda Cafe



The Veranda Cafe, on the second floor, is light and airy and offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. We enjoyed a breakfast of pancakes, eggs, hash browns, and their famous Sturdiwheat hot cereal.

Outdoor Patio Dining St. James Hotel

 

In warmer weather, seating in the Veranada's outdoor patio is a popular choice.

Christmas Music

Friday afternoon, after Thanksgiving, a brass combo in the historic lobby area entertained with Christmas and Holiday music.Organ at St. James Hotel Red Wing, MN

 

I had hoped someone would come by and play the 1898 pipe organ. The historic lobby, with its Victorian accents, the pipe organ, spiral staircase, and adjacent dining-meeting room is a popular locale for smaller weddings.

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red triGo Here to see Santa and the Holiday Parade

red triGo Here for the Holiday Stroll Celebration
red triGo Here for the Red Wing Events Calendar, Links & more info
red triSt. James Hotel Website
hori bar


More Great River Road Scenic Byway Pages

- Scenic Drive from Fulton to Galena to Prairie Du Chien
- Scenic Drive from Prairie Du Chien to LaCrosse to Winona
- Scenic Drive from Winona to Red Wing

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