bed and breakfast blog

Announcing Our Guest Rewards Program

April 13th, 2013 by Liz Brodar

Gourmet breakfast on the patio

Gourmet breakfast on the patio

We are excited to announce our new Guest Rewards Program. The more times you stay, the closer you are to earning a Gift Certificate that can be used for a future stay or given to someone else as a gift. Who doesn’t like to be rewarded for doing something that is enjoyable all on its own.

Here is how it works: each time you have stayed at The Inn at English Meadows for ten nights we will reward you with a Gift Certificate that is worth 10% of the total of those ten nights.

For example, if you stayed ten nights in a room that costs $249.00, the total from your ten nights would be $2,490 which would earn a Gift Certificate valued at $249 (taxes not included). The ten nights are cumulative and do not have to be completed in one stay. The Gift Certificate is transferable.

As an added incentive, if you stay with us in 2013 your stays from 2011 & 2012 will be added to your total, which means you might be closer to earning your Gift Certificate than you think! Your loyalty deserves to be rewarded, get started earning your 10% bonus today by escaping the everyday and wrapping yourself in luxury at our Kennebunk / Kennebunkport bed and breakfast.

Springtime in Kennebunkport

March 21st, 2014 by Eric Brodar

sailing

Spring is an interesting time in Maine. It’s the season where you can still enjoy downhill skiing while watching the early spring bulbs begin to peak through the soil. With the anticipation of the summer season, restaurants and a variety of warm weather attractions begin to open offering a sneak peak at what’s to come.

foodieCULINARY
Celebrate Maine’s culinary staple cuisine at the annual Gulf of Maine Seafood Celebration taking place in April. Local chefs and the Culinary Partners of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute will be providing an array of ocean delicacies for your tasting pleasure. The Inn at English Meadows has also partnered with Epitourean.com for an out of this world culinary package for food enthusiasts. The special includes a five-star dining experience at the premier White Barn Inn Restaurant and a hands-on cooking class with Chef Ross, where you will learn the intricacies of creating New England culinary masterpieces.

skiOUTDOORS
Combine your love of skiing and reggae for a spring jam at the Sugarloaf ski resort. Now in its 26th year, the annual Bud Light sponsored event, brings together music lovers and skiers for a weekend of fun on the slopes.

kayakingOur beautiful lakes, rivers and ocean can be enjoyed in a variety of water activities that the entire family will love. Coastal Maine Kayak offers fabulous guided kayaking tours to nearby Cape Porpise Lighthouse, the Kennebunk River, Mousam River and Casco Bay. Enjoy the sites of coastal Maine landmarks including numerous historic buildings, open salt marshes and rich woodlands. Take a ride on the Casco Bay Ferry or set sail on a Portland Schooner for a scenic view of the Casco Bay Islands. Explore the marine life by chartering a fishing boat or take a whale watching tour off Maine’s beautiful coast. For a more thrilling outdoor excursion, take a day trip to West Forks, ME and enjoy a whitewater rafting adventures on the Kennebec River.

Beat the crowds and visit Kennebunkport this spring for a sea-side getaway full of adventure.

Recipe: Gluten-Free Fudgy Chocolate-Walnut Cookies

February 28th, 2014 by Eric Brodar

Fudgy Chocolate-Walnut Cookies

If you’ve stayed at the Inn at English Meadows, then may have tasted my Gluten-Free Fudgy Chocolate-Walnut Cookies.  Bring the memories of your getaway from our inn to your kitchen by making these tasty treats:

Gluten-Free Fudgy Chocolate-Walnut Cookies

Ingredients:

2 ¾ cups of walnut halves (9 ounces)
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
½ cup plus 3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Position 2 racks in the upper and lower thirds of the over. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Spread the walnut halves on a large rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 9 minutes, until golden brown and fragrant. Cool slightly, then finely chop them.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the confectioners’ sugar with the cocoa powder and salt. Whisk in the chopped walnuts. Add the egg whites and vanilla extract and beat until the batter is moistened. (Do not over beat or it will stiffen). Spoon the batter onto the baking sheets in 12 evenly spaced mounds.
4. Bake the cookies for about 20 minutes, until the tops of the cookies are glossy and lightly cracked and feel firm to the touch.
5. Slide the parchment paper (with the cookies) onto 2 wire racks to cool completely before serving.

This recipe makes 12 cookies that will stay fresh for up to 3 days in air tight sealed container.  For more information on this recipe check out Food & Wine magazine.

Soothe Your Mind, Body & Spirit in Kennebunkport

February 24th, 2014 by Eric Brodar

zen

Are you looking for ways to clear your mind? Body tense from stress?  Spirit uneasy with worry? Peace and happiness is just a click away here at English Meadows in Kennebunkport. Our charming village offers several ways to soothe your mind, body and spirit.  Take a holistic getaway and work on getting back your inner peace during a weekend stay at the Inn at English Meadows.

spa-4

Revitalize your body at the White Barn Inn Spa for a day of treatments, decadent hors d’oeuvres, massages and complimentary product samples at the March 8th Spa Wellness Event, exclusive only to Inn at English Meadows guests.  Known for its unique services, this spa boasts bathrooms with rain showers and treatment rooms with soaker tubs. For a personal touch, you’ll be assigned a concierge to help tailor your pampering session. The special treatment does not have to end at the Spa Wellness Event; guests also receive a 15% discount on any spa treatment at The White Barn Spa throughout the year.

yoga

Let the worries of the world roll off your shoulders during a Kripalu yoga session at the Village Yoga of the Kennebunks.  This session offers a holistic practice of yoga that is not just reduced to physical activity, but helps you to understand the unity of the body and mind.  You’ll leave this class with a feeling of control over your life.

massage

Lastly, free your spirit during a Reiki treatment at Holistically Yours.  Reiki is a hands-on healing practice and focuses on the energy flow through the body to enhance your health and well-being.  This is the perfect way to release the bad energy you may have pent up inside.  You’ll feel like a new person after a treatment with Jayleen Hayden.

A holistic experience is not complete without rest. Your body will enjoy a sweet slumber on our Vera Wang hyper allergenic mattresses with down duvets and pillows.  The warmth from your room’s gas fireplace will create a cozy atmosphere to relax in. Feed your soul with our gourmet breakfasts that will keep you energized for a weekend of self-reflection and pampering.

So pack your bags and escape the madness for a getaway filled with tranquility.

14 Fun Ideas for Valentine’s Day in Kennebunkport

January 30th, 2014 by Eric Brodar

frozen_heart

Some may call him mischievous, but we call him romantic. Cupid is busy this time of year, and he has his arrows pointed right at Kennebunkport. With its picturesque views, delicious food and quaint atmosphere, it’s the perfect place for a romantic getaway. Plus, Valentine’s Day falls on the Friday of President’s Day weekend, so you could come visit us for a three-day affair!

Here are 14 Cupid-approved Valentine’s Day weekend activities in and around Kennebunkport:

1) Find a special gift for your sweetheart at Dock Square in Kennebunkport. Head there for an afternoon of shopping and sight-seeing.

snowboarding2) Start up some friendly competition at Sugarloaf during an afternoon of downhill skiing and snowboarding on Maine’s Western Mountains.

3) Declare you love for one another in the pristine sand of Goose Rocks Beach during a quiet stroll.

4) Reenact a scene on the very same pond Whitney Houston and Denzel Washington skated on in the movie, “The Preacher’s Wife,” during an afternoon of ice skating at Portland’s Deering Oaks Park Pond.

Champagne5) Enjoy a Valentine’s Day rendezvous with our Be My Valentine special. Turn your room into an enchanted cove filled with scattered rose petals, a bottle of champagne and homemade chocolate truffles. Enjoy a three-course gourmet breakfast accompanied by two Bellinis or Mimosas.

6) Have a divine dining experience for Valentine’s Day dinner at The White Barn Inn’s AAA Five Diamond restaurant located inside a rustic, renovated barn.

7) See and be seen at David’s KPT for a nice causal meal at the newest trendy waterfront social hub in Kennebunkport.

8) Enjoy an evening reception of cocktails and tasting plates and learn more about Kennebunkport’s history at the First Families Kennebunkport Museum for the “Love Stories Exhibition”.

9) Set the mood right with a burlesque show at Geno’s Rock Club in Portland.

10) Board a horse-drawn sleigh at Rockin’ Horse Stables for a cozy ride around Kennebunkport.

11) Walk off your Valentine’s dinner with a guided moonlit snowshoe walk on the Wells Reserve at Landholm in Wells.

12) Dance the night away at Kennebunk’s Family Valentine’s Day at the Town Hall auditorium.

chocolate-heart13) Savor a beer and chocolate pairing at Portland’s Novares Res Bier Café.

14) Treat your sweetheart to in-room Rejuvenating Massages or a Lollia Luxury Bath Package in your room’s whirlpool.

Take advantage of all of the special events and attractions taking place in Kennebunkport and the surrounding areas this Valentine’s Day. With the help of Cupid’s arrow, you will fall in love all over again!

What to Do in Kennebunkport and Beyond this Winter

January 14th, 2014 by Liz Brodar

When you think of Maine, you probably envision warm summer days strolling the docks, visiting countless lobster shacks, and walking the sandy coastline while soaking in the stunning sunsets. But did you know the Pine Tree State is also a winter wonderland of fun? Not only will cold-weather enthusiasts enjoy the endless opportunities for skiing, snowshoeing, or ice skating, but there are also plenty of indoor adventures to be had for those looking to escape the chill.

OUTDOOR

cross_country_skiingWells Reserve at Laudholm Farm in Wells, Maine, offers seven miles of trails for hiking, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. If you’re looking for a more intense cross-country skiing experience, Harris Farm in Dayton, Maine, offers 40 kilometers of trails over 500 acres, ranging from beginners’ level loops to advanced adventures. The day lodge has a wood stove, and the large sunroom is the perfect spot to warm up while sipping a hot beverage!

A day trip will get you to some of the best downhill skiing in the region, including Shawnee Peak located in Bridgton, Maine. It’s the closest ski area to the inn (about 1.5 hours away), and the drive will take you through the picturesque Sebago Lakes region. A bit further out and about 2.5 hours away, you can enjoy verticals of 2,340 feet at Sunday River Ski Resort in Newry, Maine, and also some of the best resorts in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, including Bretton Woods, Black Mountain, and Attitash.
ice_skating
A former Mobil gas station lot on Main Street in downtown Kennebunk transforms into an ice skating rink in the winters, while the Park at Crow Hill in Kennebunkport offers a skating pond. Biddeford’s West Brook Ice Rink is popular, along with the frozen pond in the center of the 52-acre Deering Oaks Park in Portland, considered one of the best spots in the state for ice skating.

Rockin’ Horse Stables offers family-friendly rides in authentic sleighs pulled by draft horses. Each ride lasts around 30 minutes and leaves from a 100-year old barn. Afterwards, you can thaw out while savoring a mug of hot chocolate next to a cracking fireplace in the reception area.

INDOOR

massageWith all the physical outdoor activity, you may need to soothe some of your sore and tired muscles. You can book a 60 or 90 minute massage here at the inn (available in the suites only), or at nearby Cottage Breeze Day Spa.

Want to raise a toast without ever having to leave the comforts of the inn? You can purchase a delicious varietal right on-site! But, if hitting the town for an evening wine tasting is on your menu, try Down East Wine Imports in Lower Village. Do you harbor aspirations of being the next Julia Childs or Mario Batali? Like you, they both started somewhere. You can schedule a personal cooking class at the inn or at Stonewall Kitchen’s location in York, and learn the foundations for becoming more proficient in the kitchen.

Mast Cove Galleries in Kennebunkport features over 80 artists and is Maine’s largest privately-owned group gallery. But they don’t just features paintings; they host a music series featuring jazz and blues. The Chris Becker Gallery also in Kennebunkport features the artist’s own works of fine art and documentary photography.

Travel + Leisure Magazine Article

October 7th, 2013 by Liz Brodar

Oct 2013 Travel + Leisure Magazine Article
We are excited to share that in the October 2013 issue, Travel + Leisure Magazine features The Inn at English Meadows as the ideal place to stay while trekking along the coast of Maine to see fall foliage. The article offers four itineraries for taking in the country’s best autumn landscapes over a long weekend. Their Maine itinerary suggests stops in Cape Elizabeth for lobster rolls at the Lobster Shack at Two Lights; Acadia National Park’s 5 1/2-mile Sargent Mountain hiking loop; off-the-beaten-path coastal towns like Stonington and Bath; and Kennebunkport for its historic feel and low-key clam shacks. Read the article on the Travel + Leisure Magazine website. The Inn at English Meadows is also one of 14 lodging properties recommended in Travel + Leisure’s guide to Hotels in Kennebunkport + The Southern Beaches.

Your Vote Counts!

September 6th, 2013 by Liz Brodar

The Smith Hotel AwardsHelp us take on the world in the inaugural Mr. & Mrs. Smith Global Boutique Hotel Awards. From September 9th to October 9th you can vote for your favorite destination in the Mr. & Mrs. Smith collection of premium vacation properties. You can nominate a property in any of the 12 award categories which include great choices like Sexiest Bedroom in the World. As a member of the Mr & Mrs Smith handpicked boutique hotel collection, we’re delighted to be in the running for a Smith Hotel Award!

Announced this November, the Smith Hotel Awards recognize the very best in service, style and personality. So, if you’ve enjoyed staying with us and think we deserve to bring home a trophy – and would like to have a chance to win a five-night vacation – we’d be delighted if you’d take the time to vote for us at: smithhotelawards.com/2013. Show your love for The Inn at English Meadows and Kennebunk Maine!

Secret Spots

August 17th, 2013 by Liz Brodar

Image of the entrance to Parsons Beach

The stunning entrance to Parsons Beach

Kennebunkport and Kennebunk locals know about some hidden gems that boast stunning views and access to the ocean that are off the beaten track and consequently less crowded. One of the most stunning is Parsons Beach. Bordered on the north-east end by the Mousam River, this small beach is open to the public but the access crosses land that is privately owned. The road to the beach, Parsons Beach Road, is directly off of Rt. 9/Western Avenue. It is unpaved and winds its way past the bucolic fields of Riverhurst Farm, an equine facility that offers beach rides during the summer. If you’re lucky the fields will be populated with grazing horses, making the scene even more picturesque. Near the end of the road it crosses a small bridge spanning Back Creek Lake where there are a limited number of parking spaces. Back Creek undulates its way through pretty wetlands until it merges with the Mousam River, offering glimpses of egrets, herons, and other shore birds browsing for a meal in the creek’s shallow waters.

Image of path to Parsons BeachThe path to the beach is framed by clusters of rosa rugosa, beach roses that bloom all summer and scent the air with delicate sweetness. The start of the access path offers just the faintest glimpse of the ocean that lies ahead and opens out onto a pretty beach that curves around to meet the Mousam River on the left and is bounded by a rocky point of land to the right. The sandy beach stretching down to the ocean generally hosts no more than a handful of people, even on perfect Maine beach days, thanks to the limited parking and the fact that it is not well known to people outside the area. Unlike the Kennebunk Beaches and Goose Rocks Beach, Parsons does not require a parking permit, but get there early in the morning if you want to grab a parking spot since the number is limited. Alternatively, spots open back up later in the afternoon, making Parsons an ideal place to pack in a romantic picnic dinner. Pick up all the fixings for a lobster dinner at Port Lobster or some delicious prepared food at Kitchen Chicks cafe.

Image of Parsons Beach

The Mousam River meets the sea at Parsons Beach

Image of Colony Beach

Tiny Colony Beach

Another pocket beach that flies under the radar is Colony Beach. An easy to miss access road off of Ocean Avenue sits in the shadow of the historic Colony Hotel and is just beyond the property of the Breakwater Inn and Spa in Kennebunkport. Like Parsons, no permits are required to park but spaces are limited. This tiny beach is best visited at low tide as higher tides tend to swallow it. There is access to a breakwater which offers a great path to walk out over the waters of the Kennebunk River’s mouth. Both the breakwater and the beach provide great views of boats coming and going and the Kennebunk beaches.

Image of Wood Island

Wood Island from the East Point Sanctuary

The final spot we’ll mention isn’t a beach, but does offer a short, beautiful walk to views of a lighthouse and dramatic rocky cliffs dropping away to the sea. Just about fifteen minutes away from the Inn at English Meadows, right near Biddeford Pool, is the East Point Sanctuary which is maintained by the Maine Audubon Society. The trail winds past some private homes and a golf course on its way to expansive views of Saco Bay and the Gulf of Maine. Visitors can also look across the harbor to see the historic Wood Island lighthouse keeping dutiful watch over the entrance to Biddeford Pool. At various points along the trail you can access rocky areas that offer great spots for a quiet picnic. Stop in at Goldthwaite’s in Biddeford Pool before hitting the trail to pick up everything you need to have a delightful feast perched above the crashing waves. For the more adventurous, consider taking a tour of Wood Island and the lighthouse. During the summer a boat leaves from Vines Landing in Biddeford Pool to ferry visitors out to the island. Volunteers for the Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse association run the tours on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays during the summer for a suggested donation of $15.

Mr. & Mrs. Smith

July 4th, 2013 by Liz Brodar

Morning Dawn RoomIf someone mentions Mr. & Mrs. Smith, you may think of the 2005 movie starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie or perhaps your neighbors down the street, but savvy travelers know that Mr. & Mrs. Smith signifies a gateway to premier vacation destinations throughout the world. The Mr. & Mrs. Smith website takes you on a tour of the world’s most stylish and unique hotels, from New York to New Zealand, London to Los Angeles and everywhere in between, including Kennebunk Maine. The Inn at English Meadows is proud to announce that we are now part of the Mr. & Mrs. Smith collection.

Winner of Condé Nast Traveler’s 2012 “Favorite Travel Website” award, Mr. & Mrs. Smith hand-picks the best boutique hotels, luxury hotels and stylish vacation rentals to ensure you find the perfect spot for your getaway. Every boutique hotel in the Mr. & Mrs. Smith collection has been visited by the Smith team before being reviewed anonymously (and thoroughly) by a discriminating, travel-seasoned couple, who provide their own evocative first-person tale. Travelers can trust that at each Smith destination, vetted reviewers have personally tested the beds, surveyed the views and sampled the cuisine to make sure that each property really is best in class.

Mr. & Mrs. Smith is much more than just another travel website. Thanks to their exhaustive research, anonymous hotel reviews, and their dedicated 24-hour Travel Team that is just a phone call away, your special stay – whether romantic, family or anything else – is in safe hands. They guarantee the best room rates available and, because they give you a free BlackSmith membership when you first book with them, you’ll get money back and added extras, too.

You might wonder why they’re called Mr & Mrs Smith . . . In their own words: “Well, we’ve been around a lot longer than Brad and Angelina, though we have to admit we like their style. Really, it’s because we’re all about romantic escapes with your other half; a wink to couples everywhere, who might fancy checking into a fabulous hotel under this classic pseudonym used by everyone from spies to celebrities.”

So grab your other half and get the inside track on the most unique and stylish travel destinations out there, including The Inn at English Meadows. No secret spy identity necessary.

WGME 13 Show Road Trippin’ Features The Inn at English Meadows

June 13th, 2013 by Liz Brodar

Delicious breakfast tartPortland CBS television station WGME 13′s Road Trippin’ show recently featured The Inn at English Meadows. Road Trippin’ highlights the best that northern New England has to offer in places to stay, places to eat, and things to do and see. Host Dave Eid visited Kennebunk and Kennebunkport to interview Liz and showcase the lovely accommodations and deliciously creative breakfasts found at The Inn at English Meadows. Watch the video on WGME 13′s Vimeo channel.

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