American men count on their counterparts in the Mother Country, Great Britain, to do two things: support the White House's military policies and show the rest of us how to dress. Here in Boston, guys who seek to effect the casual cool of The Naked Chef's Jamie Oliver (as opposed to, say, the dandyish look of Foreign Secretary Jack Straw) can browse the racks at Allston Beat, which turns in the best local imitation of a fashionable-but-affordable High Street boutique. This Newbury Street shop, once better known for peddling over-the-top clubwear, now stocks a more understated inventory that leans heavily towards jeans by Levis, G-Star, and Earl, retro-inspired button-downs by Ben Sherman, and Fred Perry warmups. The back of the store is devoted to shelves lined with old-school trainers (sorry—sneakers) that you're not likely to find at Foot Locker. 348 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
You know you've come to the right place when you read a sign that says "Unless constantly nurtured, nothing is as short-lived as a good customer." Abiding by that philosophy, Dave Poutre treats each customer—as well as each item brought in to be framed—with care. Whether it's a beautiful watercolor or a black-and-white family photo circa 1920, your print is in expert hands. With a huge selection of frames and mats to choose from, Poutre goes to work, offering you frame and mat combinations until you're satisfied. Soothing background music and Poutre's good sense of humor are an added bonus. Nestledin a cozy locale in the heart of Charles Street, Boston Art & Framing ensures your picture is worth a thousand words. 100 Charles Street, Boston, MA bostonframing.com/.
They'll get your stereo to play again. 171 Amory St., Brookline, MA .
Primarily a caterer, their cookies and petits fours are unrivaled. 123 Appleton St., Boston, MA .
When the tower of too-big thrift-store finds and too-long jeans in our closet threatens to topple, we head straight to Flavio Antonio Rivas and his affable team, who nip and tuck our pants and pencil skirts to perfection, taking the time to answer our questions about fit and fabrics. Add to that the host of modern conveniences offered (They're open past 5 o'clock and on Saturday! They take credit cards!), and Newbury Tailoring Company has this category all stitched up. 116 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, .
This clean, bright, well-equipped gym is as big as your lats will be. 71 Landsdowne Street, Boston, MA .
Chef Greg Williams has given the city another great fish house. 1223 Beacon St., Brookline, MA .
Swinging at the Roxy. It's the perfect music for your dirty dancing.
So it's a big far-flung. But if you're the type of person who recoils from the thought of tossing Toto into caged care, then this is your child we're talking about. Located in a woodsy setting with a knoll where you can stroll with babe before tearfully wishing him adieu, the kennel also has a fenced play area where the staff will take your pal for a few minutes of quality time. The pens are the largest we saw anywhere, at 80 to 100 square feet for large dogs, and have attached runs, bedding with heated floors in the winter, and constantly circulating fresh air. Grooming is also available, as is nondairy canine ice cream. Best of all, stays are reasonably priced at between $19 and $21 a day. Route 97, Boxford, MA .
The Boston Children's Museum has been mobbed since it unveiled its 23,000-square-foot expansion and accompanying renovation in April, so chances are good you'll arrive to find a long queue snaking from the door. Try to tough it out: Your reward is just inside, in the form of a corkscrew-shaped three-story contraption that the museum calls the New Balance Climb, and grateful parents might regard as the mother of all monkey bars. Even if your kids don't hit another exhibit, a scamper across, up, through, and under its twisting platforms will leave them too exhausted to do anything but go home and watch their SpongeBob DVDs until the clouds part. 300 Congress St., Boston, MA 2210, bostonchildrensmuseum.org.
Kind and gentle to your treasures. 870 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA .
Loaded with sour cream and caviar. 120 Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston, MA .
Elizabeth Smith to the rescue: When we rang needing immediate attention for our graying tresses, the stylist fit us in the next day—and matched our brunette locks perfectly, all while maintaining an intuitive balance of chattiness and quietude as we lounged on a couch, waiting for our color to develop. The best part? The salon’s gentle, ammonia-free dye meant we didn’t leave with a burning scalp after color correction—just glossy, shiny hair. skysalonlincoln.com.
When we showed Michelle Lee our hair inspirationa shot of actress Kate Mara’s chic and shaggy shoulder-length bobshe nodded knowingly and got to work. As she snipped, she explained that razor-cutting the ends would create a perfectly imperfect base for her volumizing vertical layers. And she wasn’t kidding. On our way out, our tresses bounced with vigor, proving that you don’t need to be a superstar to look like one. 118 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, salonevamichelle.com.