bed and breakfast blog

Secret Spots

August 17th, 2013 by englishmeadows

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 englishmeadows

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 englishmeadows

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.

Seek Serenity

April 30th, 2013 by englishmeadows

The Serenity SuiteWe are excited to unveil our newest room – the Serenity Suite. Over the winter we added an addition to the Inn to house a new apartment for us and simultaneously renovated the previous living space into a lovely suite. The Serenity Suite is unique because it is the only suite in the Inn with two rooms and two bathrooms. The bedroom features a King size bed dressed in luxurious FRETTE sheets, a cozy gas fireplace and a bathroom with a double sink vanity and an over-sized shower.

Serenity Suite sitting roomThe sitting room has a queen size pull out sofa and a second bathroom with a radiant heated floor and an indulgent soaking tub. Other amenities include: flat screen TVs in both rooms, a refrigerator stocked with soft drinks and bottled water, and a Nespresso machine. We have carried our signature chic, modern style through the furnishings and decorations, pairing clean lines with finishes and fabrics that are delightfully soft and comfortable. The Serenity Suite is located on the second floor of the main house and has a private entrance, promising a peaceful oasis for a romantic getaway. We invite you to come seek serenity on the beautiful coast of Maine.

Announcing Our Guest Rewards Program

April 13th, 2013 by englishmeadows

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.

Huffington Post Feature

April 12th, 2013 by englishmeadows

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The Huffington Post recently ran an article in their Travel section highlighting chic, modern bed and breakfasts. The title says it all: “6 Doily-Free B&Bs.” The Inn at English Meadows is mentioned as a stylish place for a getaway that offers premium amenities, access to a curated wine collection, and a location that is convenient to everything that Kennebunkport and Kennebunk have to offer. Read the full article here: 6 Doily-Free B&Bs.

Maine Magazine Feature

March 21st, 2013 by englishmeadows

Image of Morning Dawn roomIn the April 2013 issue, Maine Magazine visits The Inn at English Meadows as part of the “south coast cozy” article. Journalist Sandy Lang and photographer Peter Frank Edwards journeyed to York County to visit three inns in three days to chronicle their experience taking in all that the inns and the area have to offer. To read the article click Maine-Magazine-April.

We have also had our Roasted Tomato Soup recipe featured on the Tiny Green Mom blog and our Gourmet Hot Chocolate recipe featured on the Think Tasty blog.

Tiny Green Mom is an informative online magazine written expressively for parents interested in all things “green,” from tips on living a healthier lifestyle to the latest organic products available for the entire family. Written by a former educator and massage therapist who is dedicated to sensible, green living for her family, Tiny Green Mom offers fresh content to today’s eco-conscious family in one convenient location. To visit the blog click here.

Think Tasty seeks to provide readers of its online magazine with recipes, restaurant reviews, news, and interviews that provide food for thought. For all people, food is what sustains the body. But for others, food is also what sustains the soul. The editor and writers at Think Tasty are part of the second group. Although they aren’t professionals in the food industry, they have a penchant for delicious food and, even more than that, they love sharing it with others. To visit the blog click here.

Inn Featured in The Examiner

March 7th, 2013 by englishmeadows

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On February 28, 2013, The Examiner featured The Inn at English Meadows in an article in their travel section. The theme of the article was that women need not despair during the basketball fueled frenzy of March Madness. Our inn is one of several properties mentioned as great destinations for a Girl’s March Madness Getaway.

We are always happy to custom tailor a stay to include elements that will personalize and enhance the experience of escaping to Kennebunk / Kennebunkport and the beauty of southern Maine. To read the complete Examiner article click here

We will be announcing a March Madness special soon. The rate discounts for March are sure to cure your cabin fever and offer an attractive opportunity to plan that Girl’s Weekend getaway!

March Events

February 25th, 2013 by englishmeadows

Whether you are interested in delicious food, gardening, or boats, some wonderful events are coming up in Southern Maine during the month of March. As an added incentive to come come experience these great happenings, we are offering our Cabin Fever Special which features big savings on all rooms throughout March (rates are $129 – $199).  Also, stay tuned for our March Madness Special which will be revealed soon.  Check out all of our specials and packages by clicking here.

2013 marks the 5th year for Maine Restaurant Week. Over 70 restaurants are offering special prix fixe three-course dinners and some are also offering special $15 prix fixe lunches. Maine Maple Sunday is another upcoming event that is sure to please anyone who has affection for all things maple. The Portland Flower Show is a showcase event for anyone interested in gardening or landscaping. Rounding out the events in March are the Portland Boat Show and the Maine Boatbuilders show. The Inn at English Meadows is the perfect place to use as a base to take advantage of all of these great happenings. We have compiled details about each of these events below: maine-restaurant-week

Maine Restaurant Week – March 1 -10, 2013 – Maine’s reputation as a foodie destination is well deserved. Maine Restaurant Week celebrates the ingenuity and innovation of our favorite independent, locally-owned restaurants. More than 70 restaurants are participating this year, offering customers three-course prix fixe dinners priced at $22, $32, or $42. Customers love it because dining on special 3-course menus at these prices feels downright decadent. Some restaurants are also featuring prix fixe lunches for $15. Through annual fundraising, local non-profit organizations also benefit from Restaurant Week. For 2013, the target is the United Way. Check out the lineup of fantastic restaurants at the Maine Restaurant Week website.

maple-sunday

Maine Maple Sunday – March 24, 2013 – The Maine Maple Producers Association welcomes you to join Maine’s Maple Syrup Producers, statewide, as they celebrate Maine Maple Sunday. Most sugarhouses offer free maple syrup samples and demonstrations on how pure Maine maple syrup is made. Many farms offer games, activities, treats (including pancakes, maple sundaes, maple coated nuts, maple whoopie pies, maple butter, maple baked beans, and maple candy), sugarbush tours, music, and much more. This is a great opportunity to indulge your sweet tooth while peeking into the interesting process that syrup producers undertake to create their delicious amber product. The Maine Maple Producers Association has a great, interactive map that details the sugarhouses that are participating in Maple Sunday: Maple Sunday Map.

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The Portland Flower Show – March 6 – 10, 2013 – Northern New England’s only annual flower show. The event features spectacular garden themed exhibits, vendor booths and informational seminars. This year’s theme is “Timeless Gardens.” Check out the Portland Flower Show website.

portland-boat-show

Portland Boat Show – February 28 – March 3, 2013 – For boating enthusiasts, people interested in checking out the latest boating accessories, or folks looking to jump into purchasing a new boat, this event features the largest display area of any of the local boat shows, with exhibits including center console & walkaround fishing boats, bowriders, cuddy cabins, cruisers, pontoon boats, wakeboard boats, and tournament ski boats. For details, visit the Portland Boat Show website. Boating season is right around the corner.

maine-boatbuilders-show

Maine Boatbuilders Show – March 15 – 17, 2013 – The Maine Boatbuilders Show brings the best in Maine marine craftsmanship together with some of the most discerning boat enthusiasts. The show includes everything from a 50-foot day sailer displayed by Brooklin Boat Yard to Rangeley Boats’ rowboats, as well as all the equipment and components in between – with each booth manned by a company owner. The show draws exhibitors from around the country and customers from around the world. Check out the Maine Boatbuilders Show website for more information.

The Power of Chocolate

February 3rd, 2013 by englishmeadows

Glorious chocolate

Glorious chocolate

To celebrate the idea of romance that many people tie to chocolate, this month we have shared a recipe that creates rich, decadent hot chocolate. The recipe came to Liz from a French chocolatier. The story behind the recipe is that we were researching opening a chocolate cafe and found a French chocolatier who wanted to open in the U.S. We studied the French chocolate business for a while but couldn’t find a location that was quite right so we decided on opening a B&B instead. That turned out to be a wonderful decision, but we are still are quite passionate about the chocolate cafe idea….you never know.

From a delicacy for kings to everyone’s favorite treat, from a sacred and revered heath food to a modern scientific wonder, the history of chocolate is rich, varied, and never boring.

Chocolate has long had a reputation as an aphrodisiac, starting with the Spanish conquistadors who assumed the emperor Montezuma was said to consume the bean in copious amounts to fuel his romantic trysts. Casanova, the famous lover, considered it his “favorite breakfast dish.” His memoirs reveal that he used chocolate as a bribe for the chaperones and guardians of the women he loved as much, if not more, than as a love potion.

The two elements in chocolate which scientists ascribe the aphrodisiac qualities of chocolate to are tryptophan and phenylethylamine. Tryptophan is a building block of serotonin, a brain chemical involved in sexual arousal while phenylethylamine is a stimulant related to amphetamine, which is released in the brain when people fall in love.
Despite the persistence of the myth that chocolate is an aphrodisiac, most researchers believe that the amounts of these substances in chocolate are too small to have any measurable effect on desire. However, numerous studies have reflected what many researchers believe: if chocolate has any aphrodisiac qualities, they are probably psychological, not physiological.

The health and science worlds are abuzz about chocolate’s antioxidants which support good health. All plant foods contain antioxidants, some more than others. Cacao is especially rich in them, and antioxidants can be found in abundance in dark chocolate and natural cocoa. As more health studies come out, there seem to be more and more reasons why the Mayans, Aztecs and early physicians were right in believing in the health value of chocolate.

With all of these benefits, who can deny that chocolate is more than just something delicious that appeals to our taste buds? So go ahead, indulge, you can feel good about eating something with proven health benefits and who knows, it might also help set the mood for romance.

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