Bring your tired coffeemakers, your weary blenders, and just about any other small appliance; this repair shop will make them work like new at prices that will probably leave you with enough change in your pocket to pick up one of their factory seconds. 271 Moody St., Waltham, MA .
Trust Jenny Luu with your bridal makeup, and she’ll do so much more than expertly blend your foundation and apply false lashes. Weeks before you walk down the aisle, Luu (a self-proclaimed “skinthusiast”) will equip you with a personalized skin-care routine to ensure that your face remains blemish-free. Then, on the big day, the Boston-based artist will use products from Charlotte Tilbury and Dior, among others, to create a look that not only highlights your natural beauty, but also outlasts the after-party (seriously). 460 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA 02118, jcluu.com.
Sure, you can find a crib or changing table at any old baby-furniture warehouse, but here's what you'll be missing: design staffers who will come to your home, interview your child (who may or may not answer back), and determine the best furniture match for her budding personality. Meanwhile, they'll scope out the rest of your pad to ensure the nursery jibes with your carefully chosen décor. Expect high-end contemporary pieces by the likes of Oeuf and Monte, streamlined beauties that are still comfortable enough to take the edge off those 3 a.m. feedings. 82 Boylston St. (Rte. 9), Brookline, MA 2445, bellabambinidesign.com.
Some pedicures are utilitarianfile, buff, polish, and out the door in 30 minutes or less. Bliss’s glam foot treatments are anything but. Want to watch your favorite show (headphones provided) while a technician buffs your calluses? Zone out with a fashion mag during your calf massage? Or just polish off a few mini brownies as your polish is applied? Done, done, and done. The spa’s heavenly scented scrubs and lotions, meanwhile, make pedicures here a delightfully sensoryand, yes, positively blissfulexperience. 100 Stuart St., Boston, MA 2116, blissworld.com/spa/locations/massachusetts/bliss-boston.
Mimosas, freshly baked pastries, and a raw-bar-and-charcuterie tower for you and as many friends as you can fit around the table — what more could you ask for on a leisurely weekend afternoon? At the Inn at Hasting Park’s prix-fixe champagne brunch, a lot more, actually — namely, elevated breakfast classics such as 48-hour beef brisket hash and buttermilk pancakes topped with apple compote and pecans. With seating in a cozy fireplaced dining room or al fresco every Saturday and Sunday, it’s an occasion brunch, even when the occasion is just being with the people you love again. 2027 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington, MA 02421, innathastingspark.com.
When Peter Ungár’s 20-seat Somerville restaurant temporarily shuttered back in March, he knew transitioning to ordinary takeout service couldn’t possibly re-create his restaurant’s expo-kitchen intimacy. So instead he launched [email protected], a unique, interactive alternative. Over two hours, the chef remotely guides online “guests” through assembling multicourse meals using the provided components. By the time you’ve put the finishing touches on the King crab risotto and almond cake with seaweed caramel, you’ll agree: This is officially the coolest online dinner party around. 14 Tyler St., Somerville, MA 02143, tastingcounter.com.
When you book an hour here, it's wise to leave room for two. Owner Deb Larson has designed her fetching new seaside spa as a kind of anti-errand, flush with incentives to loiter. The glassed-in lounge and balcony spread a sparkling Scituate Harbor at guests' (comfortably propped-up) feet; down the hall are a rainforest shower and a steam room for gratis luxuriating. Factor in the anti-big-city prices for the marine-inspired wraps, massages, and facials, and it's not just hard to leave SpaScape—it's also darn near impossible to not keep coming back. 3 Mill Wharf Plz., Scituate, MA 2066, spascapedayspa.com.
On any given night you'll find some of the city's top chefs here after work with chopsticks waving. The eight water tanks filled with live seafood make fish and shellfish obvious choices. Crispy calamari with jalapeño peppers go down like popcorn. And whole fish in a sweet and spicy sauce may cause you to look left, then right, then lick the plate if no one's looking. They're all stellar examples of fresh and delicious Hong Kong-style cuisine, but the kitchen also soars with pork chops, garlic-laden fresh pea tendrils, and eggplant. Added bonus: Jumbo stays open into the wee hours of the morning. 5 Hudson St., Boston, MA jumboseafoodrestaurant.net/.
Nestled in East Boston's Day Square, Uncle Pete's is the kind of barbecue place locals keep to themselves. And, really, we'd never have suspected that this lopsided setting, a former Dairy Queen, could produce the most mouthwatering flavor-packed pork, beef, chicken, and ribs we've gnawed this far north. Pete himself makes everything daily, using special combinations of dry rubs and marinades and smoking the meat for five hours or more with a result so succulent that extra sauce and garnishes are superfluous. Equally noteworthy is the care taken here with side dishes, including frosted sweet-potato biscuits, homemade baked beans, and hand-cut fries. 309 Bennington St., East Boston, MA .
Kristen Repa has seen (and made) a lot of wedding cakes: Before launching her own bakery more than a decade ago, she honed her sweet skills at local institutions like Konditor Meister and the Catered Affair, and even trained at the renowned Konditorei Gerstner, in Austria. Whether you want your cake to match your theme, your personality, or your gorgeous gown, Repa and her team of pastry chefs will turn out an exquisite confection that tastes as good as it looks (dulce de leche or lemonsummer berry, anyone?). 302 Providence Hwy., Westwood, MA 2090, dessertworks.net.
In a town where moving is a way of life (and everyone moves at precisely the same moment), finding a mover to do the job quickly and affordably can be a challenge. When we needed to move on a Sunday and at the last minute, though, the friendly people at Nick's said it wouldn't be a problem. And it wasn't. The courteous, energetic moving team got the job done quickly, safely, and efficiently, with no complaints about fourth-floor walkups. What's more, this moving service is comparatively inexpensive, with hourly rates of $115 for a three-man team or $90 for a two-man team—all of which makes the yearly relocating habit in this town affordable vice. 495 Columbia St., Somerville, MA bostonmamovers.net/.
McWhirk and partner Antoniou work out of A&M Motors, 47 Webster Ave., Somerville. A&M won't do body work, and 90 percent of their effort is put into foreign cars, but they're reliable and will work on American models if asked (reasonable, too; sixteen dollars an hour for labor). "We do repairs, and we stand behind them," McWhirk says. "We're pretty open. We figure out what has to be fixed, what should be done first. I treat each job like my own car." A & M Motos, 47 Webster Ave., Somerville, MA .
Vacationers can play it two ways as they settle into this welcoming, wood-filled space for a midday meal: fuel up for an afternoon of high-impact romping in the sand, or just plain fill up for several hours of indolence under the sun. For the former, there's leaner fare such as grilled chicken on Portuguese muffins and a salad with gorgonzola, walnut, and sun-dried cranberries. For the latter, choose from plus-size portions of clam chowder, crab cakes, fish and chips, and other Cape Cod classics—and enjoy the wistful glances from those sticking to moderation (poor things). 23 West Road, Orleans, MA 2653, beaconroom.com.
What becomes immediately clear upon entering the small shop are the hours needed to fully appreciate it. Cases chock-full of vintage jewelry line the perimeter of the room and reach almost to the ceiling. And there's even more than meets the eye; ask to see cuff links, for example, and numerous trays appear from the bottoms of cases that weren't initially visible. Ask to see more (if you dare) and bags and bags, filled to the brim, materialize. It's as if all of Beacon Hill's grand dames came here to empty their jewelry boxes. 73 Charles St., Boston, MA 02114, boston-vintagejewelry.com.
The chance to sing for hours in a disco-ball-outfitted private den with loud, sweaty friends armed with tambourines is reason alone to love DoReMi, but did you know this bastion of Asian-style karaoke offers off-key nightlife in 13 languages? In the rec-plush lobbyinexplicably furnished with an exercise bikeyou’ll inevitably bump into the purest international cross-section of Allston. Way preferable to battling a bachelorette party, dumped out of an SUV limo, at one of those downtown singalong joints. Note to budding Demi Lovatos: Croon here soon before the space gets razed by redevelopers, who have been sniffing around. 442 Cambridge St., Allston, MA 2134, doremikaraoke.net.