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Nov 16, 2010 01:07 PM

Suggestions for renting/borrowing/swapping Thanksgiving day kitchen/dining space

Hi, My daughter and grand-daughter are extremely allergic to cats, both my sister andI have the only houses in our family suitable for holiday gatherings, unfortunately we both have 2 cats each. We've gone out for Thanksgiving for the past 3 years but would really like to have a family home-cooked dinner this year. We thought about asking our friends to swap houses with us but most of them are hosting their own family dinners or they have cats too!

Any suggestions about how to find a fur-free space for our Thanksgiving gathering (there would be 7 of us)? We are open to any ideas including renting an apartment for the afternoon, cooking extra food and sharing our dinner, etc.

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  1. Where are you located? If you're really up for renting an apartment or something like that, you can rent hotel studio suites or 1-2 bedroom suites. It won't be festively decorated, but most have full-size kitchens that you can use to cook or reheat. Think Homestead Suites, Towne Place Suites, etc. I don't know where you're located, but if you're in the South Bay, St. Francis Arms in Sunnyvale has full-size kitchens - they're corporate apartments that are available for rent on a nightly basis, but of course lack the festive decor. Check for condition of kitchens, whether there's a full-size oven or not, etc.

    Or if you want to mix it up with a little vacation, look for vacation rentals within driving distance. Since it's a holiday weekend, some vacation rentals might have a minimum stay requirement, but look around.

    4 Replies
    1. re: kcchan

      I stay in a lot of these when traveling for work, and I wouldn't want to do any serious cooking in one. The full size ovens are not all that large (when they have them), and the stovetops are always electric. Pots, pans, cutlery, etc. are minimal (and not great). The dining table is usually sized for no more than four. That said, I still think it's your best bet.

      If you're able to do the bulk of your food prep at home, this could work. Two bedroom/penthouse suites at Residence Inns tend to be pretty big. If you choose a Residence Inn that has the Murphy bed in the downstairs bedroom, that will leave lots of room for everyone when it's folded away. I would serve buffet style from the dining room table. I would buy fancy paper plates and plastic cutlery, rather than bring in my own (the kitchen only has place settings for four). You will, however, be able to wash any pots, pans, and containers you bring -- there's always a dishwasher. The living room (and bedrooms) will have TVs for football viewing. They'll also have an outdoor sports court, bbq area, and possibly a small pool and/or whirlpool.

      You should be able to get a good rate for the holiday. Rates are highest during the work week because these properties are generally used by business travelers rather than vacationers.

      1. re: lexdevil

        Agreed - food prep beforehand in your own kitchen will make things so much easier, if you decide to go this route. However, we had stayed recently in a TownePlace Suites in Phoenix and successfully roasted a turkey in the small oven - so it's doable, if you're really committed to it.

      2. re: kcchan

        Many thanks for all of the great suggestions - I live in San Francisco so this might be a terrific solution!

        1. re: Roxxie1

          i would look for a vacation rental in the Russian River. There are plenty of beautiful homes for rent and they usually have full kitchens and can sleep plenty of people. Plus you're in a gorgeous area when you want to walk off your turkey meal after.

      3. I think those are good suggestions. If you really want to have a home setting, you could board your cats for a couple of days (or send them over to your sister's) and have a service come in and deep clean the house (or at least the areas the family will have access to).