bed and breakfast blog

Winter Wonder In Maine

November 20th, 2012 by englishmeadows

Maine is a true winter playground, offering myriad ways to get out and explore the beautiful landscape, but also packs plenty of indoor ways to enjoy the season. The Inn at English Meadows is the perfect place to use as a base for your winter adventures, whether they involve sliding through wooded glades on cross-country skis or learning new cooking techniques in a cooking class. Afterwards, return to the Inn to relax by the fire with a mug of hot cocoa or a glass of wine. We have compiled a sampling of some of the many ways to enjoy Maine in the winter below:

Cross-country skiing in Maine image

Cross Country Skiing – In southern Maine you can cross-country ski alongside the ocean, across golf courses and through scented pine forests. Check out the trails at Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm or the lovely Bridal Path. L.L. Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools offer inexpensive “Walk-On Adventures” in cross-country skiing and snowshoeing right from their retail store in Freeport. Some other resources for cross-country skiing include:

  • Harris Farm XC Ski Center - Dayton, (207) 499-2678, www.harrisfarm.com - This 1,000-acre center has 40 kilometers of trails for novice, intermediate and advanced skiers, with skating lines. Snowshoeing also available. Amenities include a day lodge with woodstove, snack bar, rentals, and ski shop.
  • Smiling Hill Farm - Westbrook, www.smilinghill.com – 34 kilometers of trails for novice, intermediate and advanced Nordic skiers and snowshoers, as well as marked nature trails. Amenities include rentals, a farm building with snack bar, woodstove, changing area, gift shop and dairy store.
  • Five Fields Farm - Bridgton, (207) 647-2425, www.fivefieldsski.com – This 70-acre orchard offers 27 kilometers of trails for novice, intermediate and advanced skiers and snowshoers. Of special note is the unlimited backcountry terrain to the top of scenic Bald Pate Mountain and the surrounding 450-acre land preserve. Other amenities include a warming house and rentals.

Ice skating in Maine image

Ice Skating – Close by, the Park at Crow Hill in Kennebunkport offers a skating pond and a former gas station in downtown Kennebunk has been transformed into an outdoor community ice skating rink. West Brook Ice Rink in Biddeford is also a popular outdoor skating destination. When the conditions are right, the pond in the middle of the beautiful 52-acre Deering Oaks Park in Portland is considered by many to be one of the best ice skating spots in Maine. City crews make a special effort to keep the ice cleared and its surface well groomed for skating. Up for a bigger challenge? The ice goes on for miles at Sebago Lake and other lakes of the nearby Lakes Region.

Skiing in Maine image

Skiing – Some of the finest skiing in the east is to be had at Maine mountains. Located less than two hours away are Shawnee Peak in Bridgton and Lost Valley in Auburn. Sunday River in Bethel is close enough for a day trip, as are numerous ski areas in the White Mountains of New Hampshire like Cranmore Mountain ResortBretton Woods, Black Mountain, Wildcat and Attitash.

Snowmobile in Maine image

Snowmobiling – Northeast Snowmobile Rentals, with locations in Gorham and Fryeburg can set you up with everything you need for an adrenaline-filled adventure over miles snow-covered trails and open fields. (800) 458-1838 or www.northeastsnowmobile.com.

Horse-Drawn sleigh image

Go for a sleigh ride – Enjoy snow sprinkled pine trees and frost tipped fields while you glide leisurely in a horse-drawn sleigh. Rockin’ Horse Stables offers horse-drawn sleigh/carriage/wagon rides. 245 Arundel Road, Kennebunkport 207-967-4288.

Bowing in Maine image

Bowling – The classic indoor sport is a favorite of young and old alike! Vacationland in Saco is a quick drive away, offering candlepin lanes and a billiard room. At Bayside Bowl in Portland’s revitalized Bayside neighborhood, you can bowl in an intimate, upscale alley and enjoy excellent food served right at the lanes.

Ice Hockey in Maine image

Catch a game – The Portland Pirates tear up the ice at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland – look for their home games all winter long as well as those of Maine’s D-league basketball team, The Maine Red Claws.

Spas in Maine image

Relax in a spa – What better way to unwind in winter than by pampering yourself at a day spa. Treat yourself to massage, a facial and aromatherapy; it’s the perfect antidote to the mid-winter blahs. Cottage Breeze Day Spa is right around the corner and numerous other spas are mere minutes away.

Cooking classes in Maine image

Take in a cooking class – Schedule a personal cooking class here at the Inn at English Meadows. Alternatively, at Stonewall Kitchen’s company headquarters in York, classes are held almost daily on such savory topics as bread making, holiday menus, ethnic specialties and seafood delights. 877.899.8363 or www.stonewallkitchen.com. Wine lovers can often find a tasting at Down East Wine Imports in Lower Village Kennebunk or at Browne Trading Company or LeRoux Kitchen in Portland’s Old Port.

Fiery Foliage

October 11th, 2012 by englishmeadows

The Kennebunk River in Fall

The Kennebunk River dressed in its fall finest

New England is famous for its glorious foliage as billions of leaves change from green to a kaleidoscope of colors. The air is crisp and cool – perfect for hiking, biking or a classic drive along back roads, where farm stands are piled high with crunchy apples and orange pumpkins.

The leaves started turning colors in the northern regions of Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire around late September and will probably peak around mid-to late October. Along the coast of New Hampshire and southern Maine, color starts later and often lasts up until November.

Maine’s official tourism website has put together a particularly interesting driving route that begins in Kittery and loops up along the southern coast through York, Ogunquit, Wells, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Saco, Old Orchard Beach, Scarborough, CapeElizabeth, Portland, and Freeport. After checking out the iconic L.L. bean flagship store, the route heads west through the Sebago Lakes Region and includes a covered bridge and an historic Victorian village before looping back to Kittery. The route offers myriad vistas of woods, water, and mountains while pointing out great opportunities to take in some of the most interesting cultural, historic, and scenic spots in Southern Maine. To check out the route, click this link: Antiques and Boutiques.

For those more inclined to explore on foot some excellent spots to get in a quick hike are listed below:

  • The Kennebunkport Conservation Trust preserves tracts of land that have helped maintain the scenic and idyllic charm ofKennebunkport Maine and the surrounding areas.  The Trust maintains large parcels of land with excellent trails. In particular, the Smith Preserve is well known for its trees and unique wildlife.
  • Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm features seven miles of easy to moderate trails that cover a variety of habitats and offer rich opportunities for discovery.  Take the beach trail down to the ocean, passing trees and grasses reaching their peak of color.
  • The North Loop Trail at Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park in Freeport presents an exceptionally bright yellow display that normally peaks in mid-to-late October.
  • Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal provides views of surrounding forests and Casco Bay’s Calendar Islands. The foliage color peaks usually occur in late September to mid-October.

Regardless where your interests lie, Maine in Autumn offers a beautiful destination rich with tradition and endless entertainment opportunities. We will gladly offers suggestions to help you tailor the perfect visit to Maine and Kennebunk / Kennebunkport.

Fall Fun

August 27th, 2012 by englishmeadows

Image for the Great Gatsby at On The Marsh

September is a perfect time to visit Southern Coastal Maine. The beaches are less crowded and the weather tends to feature warm, sunny days and evenings with cool breezes. Ideal conditions for sitting by the ocean or exploring everything Kennebunk and Kennebunkport have to offer. September is also a great time to take advantage of fairs, festivals, and events. An upcoming special event that promises delicious food, distinctive cocktails, and an opportunity to mingle and dance in a picturesque setting will be held at On The Marsh Bistro on Saturday, September 15, 2012. On The Marsh will present “The Great Gatsby” to benefit The Food Pantries of York County tented in the meadow outside their restaurant. 6pm Cocktails and hearty Hors d’oeuvres will be followed by 7pm Dinner and dancing to the ever popular “Straight Lace Band.” Dress for Prohibition times, and be prepared for an evening of surprises! $110 per person all inclusive, Cash Bar. Limited seating. Reservations for the event have begun. The phone number for On The Marsh is 207-967-2299. Download a PDF flyer for more information here. Come for a weekend getaway at the Inn at English Meadows and remember the Roaring 20′s at a fun event that also supports a worthy cause.

Some other events of note:

SCHOOL AROUND US SUMMER CRAFT FAIR

School Around Us 37th Annual Summer Craft Fair is Saturday, September 1st, 2012 from 9am to 4pm, on the Green, Ocean Ave, Kennebunkport, Maine. Featuring 70 juried artists and artisans, live music and food. Rain date Sunday, September 2nd, Info: (207) 967-3143, www.schoolaroundus.orgsaucraftfairs@yahoo.com

ANNUAL CAPRICCIO & FESTIVAL OF KITES

A celebration of the Arts! in Ogunquit. Festival of Kites to take place on September 8, 2012. Rain date: September 9, 2012. Directly on Ogunquit Beach. Sponsored by Ogunquit Rotary Club and Ogunquit Performing Arts. Info: (207) 646-2261.

UNITED MAINE CRAFTSMEN’S FALL FESTIVAL OF ARTS & CRAFTS

A show and sale of unique handcrafted products, made by over 100 Maine Artisans, on the grounds of Smiling Hill Farm. Exhibitors will be selling, locally handcrafted Pottery, Fused & Stained Glass, Jewelry, Baskets, Folk & Fine Art, Wood Products, Specialty Foods, Fiber Arts, Soaps, Candles and much more. Ample Free Parking, Food Vendors, Rain or Shine.

Smiling Hill Farm
781 County Rd
Westbrook, ME 04092
September 8th, 2012
10am – 4pm
$2.00 at the gate. Children under 12 free.
www.unitedmainecraftsmen.com/
Contact: Laurie Kelley
(207) 621-2818

SHAKER HILL APPLE FESTIVAL

A beautiful old Shaker village in Alfred, Maine, comes alive on Sat. Sept. 22, & Sun. Sept. 23, 2012, from 10-4. Juried arts & craft fair, Shaker Museum exhibits & demonstrations, book & yard sales, silent auction, apple & pumpkin picking, wagon rides of Shaker village, live music, children’s activities, antique car rides, farm & food booths, Museum shop, continental breakfast, Giles Family Farm Store, pie sales, chili & chowder lunches, Bakery at Notre Dame, Brothers’ Apple Store, apple crisp. Free Parking & Free Admission. Proceeds benefit homeless children of York County Shelter Programs, Friends of the Alfred Shaker Museum, and Giles Family Farm.

York County Shelter Programs
Shaker Hill Road
Alfred, ME 04002
September 22nd, 2012 — September 23rd, 2012
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Free admission, free parking
www.shakerhillapplefestival.org/
Contact: Mary Doyle
(207) 324-1137

CELLARDOOR WINERY VINFEST 2012

Vinfest 2012, our annual fall harvest celebration takes place Saturday, September 29th and includes a full day of family-friendly fun! Grape-stomping, food and wine pairings, BBQ, music, winery tours, demonstrations and much more. $10 per person. Check out our website for many more events, classes and tours. http://mainewine.com/events/special-events/

Cellardoor Winery
367 Youngtown Rd
Lincolnville, ME 04849
September 29th, 2012
10:00 A.M-5:00 P.M.
$10 per person
www.mainewine.com/
Contact: Jasie Costigan
(207) 763-4478

CAMDEN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Located on the rugged coast of Maine, the Camden International Film Festival will return for its eighth season. Recognized as one of the top 25 film festivals in the world for documentary films and filmmakers, the festival highlights work that show dedication to craft and a unique and artistic approach to telling a darn good story. Films are selected because of their ability to arouse discussion on documentary film as an art form, a catalyst for change and as an outlet for the independent voice. For information on the festival, the purchase of passes, our film selection or the Points North Pitch forum, visit http://www.camdenfilmfest.org/

Theatres in Camden, Rockport and Rockland
September 27th, 2012 — September 30th, 2012
www.camdenfilmfest.org/
Contact: Lara Sitruk
(617) 817-5376

FRYEBURG FAIR

Maine’s Blue Ribbon Classic! The largest agriculture fair in Maine! Eight days of entertainment and education for the whole family – A variety of livestock, draft show horses and ponies, pulling horses and oxen, a forestry research center, an agricultural exhibition center, crafts, a flower show, educational exhibitions and demonstrations, sheep dog trials and a huge parade on Saturday. A thrilling midway with amusement rides and delicious food. Live music all day, and nightly entertainment. The Fair attracts upwards of 300,000 visitors each year.

1154 Main St
Fryeburg, ME 04037
September 30th, 2012 — October 7th, 2012
Gates open at 7 – Buildings open 9-9
General Admission – $10 every day; Includes Night Shows; Children under 12 always free; 65 & over – Senior Citizen Tuesday – No Charge
www.fryeburgfair.org/
Contact: Jane Lounsbury
(207) 935-3268

Select Registry

August 10th, 2012 by englishmeadows

Select Registry Blog Image

The Inn at English Meadows is now a member of Select Registry

We are proud to share the news that Select Registry announced that the Inn at English Meadows has joined its portfolio of celebrated B&Bs.

“Only 330 properties throughout North America have qualified for the Select Registry designation,” explains Will Carlson, the association’s executive director. “Each property must pass rigorous, unannounced inspections to attain and then maintain its membership. We set the bar extremely high. Our goal is to give guests the assurance that when they check into a Select Registry inn, they’re in for an exceptional experience.”

Select Registry properties combine the charm of B&Bs with modern comforts like free Wi-Fi, flat-screen televisions and complimentary breakfasts featuring contemporary gourmet cuisine, according to Carlson. He says the 22 new member inns offer a range of getaways, from adventure travel to romantic escapes. They are located in the countryside and in major cities, from Washington’s Cascade Mountains to Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks and Florida’s sunny shores. We are pleased to join this distinguished group of properties, offering a chic and relaxing getaway in Southern coastal Maine.

How Green Does Your Garden Grow?

August 1st, 2012 by englishmeadows

The fullness of summer is upon us and our gardens are in full bloom. Pockets of green with punches of color are sprinkled around our property creating mini oases that invite rest and relaxation. Some of our favorite blooms include the showy Lacecap hydrangeas, which love the soil in Maine, and the intensely yellow Asiatic lilies. We’ve created a pallet that mixes cool purples and blues with riotous reds, sunny yellows, and punchy fuschias. We invite guests to stretch out in these tranquil spots and experience the full beauty of late summer in Maine: warm, languid days punctuated with cool, star-filled nights.

Going Green

July 13th, 2012 by englishmeadows

It’s no secret that inns and hotels can be bastions of wastefulness, with the average guest discarding about two pounds of paper, plastic, cardboard and cans each day. Pat Maher, the green consultant for the American Hotel and Lodging Association, states “Right now, half a million of those little bath product bottles end up in landfills every day.” Most are only 1/4 to 1/2 used, which sends a shocking amount of unused chemicals into our groundwater supply.

Another item that contributes to the amount of waste generated by the lodging industry is bottled water. “Each year, people are drinking 30 billion throwaway bottles of water,” said the Sierra Club’s Ruth Caplan. “If you put them end to end, it would go around the world more than 150 times.” Four out of five plastic water bottles end up in landfills, but even before they get there, they’ve taken a toll on the environment.

In an effort to be more green and waste less, the Inn at English Meadows is implementing some new eco-friendly practices – water carafes have been added to each room, which cuts down on the number of plastic water bottles needing to be recycled.

Image of New Water Carafes

In an effort to be more green, the Inn at English Meadows now supplies rooms with reusable water carafes filled with ice and filtered water.

To reduce the number of individually sized bath products that would contribute to the waste stream, the Inn is now using full-size pump bottles of (MALIN+GOETZ) rum hand (+ body) wash and neroli hand+body lotion. When guests leave, the pump bottles are refilled so nothing is thrown out. It is a wonderful marriage of offering luxury bath products while keeping an eye towards being good stewards of the environment.

Image of Malin-Goetz Hand Soap and Lotion

To help reduce the number of plastic bottles that end up in landfills, the Inn at English Meadows is now using refillable containers of hand soap and lotion.

Another green practice in which English Meadows participates is the soap recycling program managed by Partners In Development, Inc. Each year, a staggering number of children die from hygiene and sanitation related illnesses. Partners in Development works to prevent those deaths and improve community health, by recycling used hotel soap and turning it into new bars that are distributed to vulnerable populations in Haiti. With 4.6-million hotel/motel rooms in theUnited States, an estimated 2.6-million soap bars are discarded every day. By participating in the recycling program, tons of waste are diverted from the landfill. We feel that small steps can have a large impact.

Celebrate the 4th of July in Kennebunk – Kennebunkport

July 3rd, 2012 by englishmeadows

Image of Kennebunk - Kennebunkport Fireworks

Spectacular fireworks at Kennebunk Beach

Every year at this time America gets ready to celebrate it’s birthday, and the Kennebunk / Kennebunkport area is ready to celebrate as well! Come stay with us and have easy access to the festivities.

There will be a lovely fireworks display on July 4th held at Kennebunk Beach. For the best view of the show it’s good to arrive early because parking is limited. There are many other great places to view the fireworks such as one of the restaurants that line the Kennebunk River like the Arundel Wharf Restaurant, Cape Arundel Inn, or Stripers. Another great place to see the display is the jetty at Colony Beach. Or how about a scenic lobster boat cruise to experience the spectacular show right from the water. Whatever your plans, be sure to take your time and enjoy the show.

Elements of Style

June 15th, 2012 by englishmeadows

Interior and fashion stylist Erin Gates, who writes the Elements of Style blog, joined us during the recent Kennebunkport Festival and took part in the Maine Home+Design dinner that we hosted. Erin put together a really nice piece, including some lovely photographs, about her experience here as well as some of the other events she attended and places she visited during her stay in Kennebunk – Kennebunkport. You can find the blog entry at the following link: A Kennebunkport Weekend. Below is one of the images she includes in the blog.

Kennebunk Bed and Breakfast Memorial Day Weekend.

Maine Home+Design Dinner at Inn at English Meadows.

Seems that Erin took quite a liking to Bailey, our English goldendoodle, stating that he has an “irresistible little face.” We might be biased, but we couldn’t agree more! Erin also enjoyed the “seriously amazing food” at the dinner created by guest Chef Dennis Franceschini, Executive Chef-partner of New York City’s Bar Italia.

We greatly enjoyed hosting Erin and hope that you will check out her Elements of Style blog!

Art of Dining – Maine Home+Design Dinner

June 10th, 2012 by englishmeadows

Maine Home+Design Dinner

Maine Home+Design Dinner

On Friday, June 8th we proudly hosted the Maine Home+Design Dinner for the Kennebunkport Festival. Maine Home+Design editor Rebecca Falzano and interior and fashion stylist Erin Gates of www.elementsofstyleblog.com joined our guests for an evening of conversation and wonderful food prepared by Chef Dennis Franceschini, Executive Chef-partner of New York City’s Bar Italia. Chef Franceschini, known for conjuring savory multiregional Italian dishes, designed a creative four-course dinner with wine pairings that definitely celebrated the “Art of Dining.”

Proceeds from this dinner benefited Share Our Strength Maine in their efforts to end childhood hunger through nutrition education offerings like Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters™ program. This program teaches families how to cook healthy, affordable meals which in turn helps ensure that no child in Maine goes hungry.

Historic Homes and Designer Homes in Kennebunk

May 21st, 2012 by englishmeadows

Maine Lobster Bisque and Lobster Roll

Maine Lobster Bisque and Lobster Roll - the perfect meal.

A summer vacation in the Kennebunks necessitates lounging on beaches, perusing the shops of Dock Square, and consuming lobster rolls. Beyond that, there are whale watching cruises, lighthouses to visit, and dozens of restaurants to try.

For architecture and history buffs, there are also historic homes and Designer Homes to tour.

The history of Kennebunk and Kennebunkport is long and rich. First settled (by white folks) more than 360 years ago, the area has been a shipbuilding hub, a thriving port, and a summer destination for the rich and famous. It’s no surprise that Kennebunk and Kennebunkport are home to numerous historic buildings.

The Kennebunkport Historical Society offers tours of several historic homes in town, such as:

  • Nott House. A Greek Revival home from 1853.
  • Benson Blacksmith Shop. A historic and blacksmith shop that still has a working forge.
  • Town House School. A charming one-room school house from 1900.
The Wedding Cake House

The Wedding Cake House is just up the street from our Kennebunk Bed and Breakfast.

Read the rest of this page »

»