Inn at English Meadows (Kennebunk - Kennebunkport, Maine)

Category Archives: The Arts in Kennebunkport

The Power of Chocolate

February 3, 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.

Martin Luther King Day

January 5, 2013 by englishmeadows

The Martin Luther King Memorial

The Martin Luther King Memorial in Washington, DC

The Martin Luther King memorial in Washington, DC celebrates a man of conscience; the freedom movement of which he was a beacon; and his message of freedom, equality, justice and love. Liz and I were very moved and inspired by our visit to the memorial last year. In honor of the upcoming Martin Luther King Day holiday we should all remember that freedom and liberty are priceless gifts.

Martin Luther King Day Special

Celebrate Martin Luther King Day weekend with a relaxing getaway in our luxurious and cozy inn. Stay with us January 18th and 19th and receive the 20th for free! Escape the winter doldrums. Visit our quaint waterfront village. Slip off to snowshoe, cross country ski, or ice skate. Walk the dramatic shoreline. Attend a wine tasting on January 18th at Bel Cibo da Cherie. Or maybe just snuggle into one of our plush robes and read by your in-room fireplace. Maine is spectacular any time of the year no matter where your interests lie. Take advantage of our three nights for the price of two offer over Martin Luther King Day weekend by calling us today!

The cozy Sunset Room

The cozy Sunset Room

Winter Wonder In Maine

November 20, 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 11, 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 27, 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

Celebrate the 4th of July in Kennebunk – Kennebunkport

July 3, 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.

Historic Homes and Designer Homes in Kennebunk

May 21, 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 »

Memorial Day in Kennebunkport

May 4, 2012 by englishmeadows

Memorial Day is set aside to honor those who lost their lives in the service of the country. It’s also the unofficial start of summer and a wonderful time to visit our Kennebunkport, Maine Bed and Breakfast.

Kennebunk Bed and Breakfast Memorial Day Weekend.

Stroll Kennebunk Beach over Memorial Day Weekend.

City folks have been traveling to Maine over Memorial Day Weekend for more than a century. They come for the fishing, the fresh lobster, and the first big outings of the summer: boating trips, beach walks, hikes. They come to feel the fresh breeze blow in from the sea, watch the sun set, and to see the stars at night.

kennebunkport sunset

Sun setting over Kennebunkport.

Like many small towns, Kennebunk and Kennebunkport celebrate Memorial Day with parades. Like many small towns, the parades consist primarily of local organizations, school children, floats, and bands. They bring community together, and are always enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.

Maine Bed and Breakfast in the Kennebunks.

Picture yourself here, glass of wine in hand.

Spend Memorial Day Weekend at our Kennebunk/Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast. Indulge in amazing, gourmet breakfasts. Go for long walks on the beach and paddle along the shore. Watch a parade. Poke in and out of the shops of Dock Square. Spend an afternoon sipping wine on the patio of the Inn at English Meadows. Relax. Let the spirit of summer infuse your soul.

Maine Home+Design Dinner at English Meadows

April 21, 2012 by englishmeadows

Maine Home+Design Dinner

Maine Home+Design Dinner

7pm-10pm – Inn at English Meadows

Join us and Maine Home+Design editor Rebecca Falzano for an evening of conversation and great food at the exquisitely renovated Inn at English Meadows. Chef Dennis Franceschini, Executive Chef-partner of New York City’s Bar Italia, is creating a menu with wine pairings that will become a much-talked-about end to your Kennebunkport Festival experience.

Bar Italia Executive Chef-partner Dennis Franceschini is known for conjuring savory multiregional Italian dishes that are light and well-balanced. Examples include Polenta Gratinata (polenta with mushrooms) and Tuna al Balsamica, seared slices of tuna, fennel, and balsamic dressing whose presentation is as beautiful as the dish is tasty.  Before opening Bar Italia, Dennis spent 20 years at Cipriani’s, eventually becoming the Executive Chef. During his career he opened 23 Cipriani restaurants all over the world, including in Argentina, Uruguay, Hong Kong and London.

This creative four-course dinner, which includes dessert, is $200 per person. Seating is limited to eight with advanced reservation and ticket purchase required. Reservations are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets can be purchased through the Kennebunkport Festival website http://www.kennebunkportfestival.com/tickets/.

Proceeds from this dinner benefit Share Our Strength Maine. Thanks to the Kennebunkport Festival and the commitment of the local community, including the many sponsors and volunteers, proceeds from the Art of Dining ticket sales will support Share Our Strength Maine’s efforts to end childhood hunger. With your help, we are teaching more families how to cook healthy, affordable meals through Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters™ program and by funding other nutrition education programs. And we are bringing more good people like you to the cause through the No Kid Hungry Campaign and Pledge. Your participation in the Kennebunkport Festival is helping us spread the word about how, together, we will ensure that no child in Maine goes hungry.

Special guest Erin Gates of www.elementsofstyleblog.com will be attending to blog about the event. Founded in 2007 by interior and fashion stylist Erin Gates, Elements of Style has become a touchstone for readers all over the world in search of design inspiration, advice and a few laughs.

Maine Maycations and Scenic Cruises

April 7, 2012 by englishmeadows

Kennebunks Bed and Breakfast in the winter.

Bailey enjoying a romp in the snow.

Maine is lovely any time of year; we love the snow as much as we love the warm, summer evenings, and Bailey quite possibly prefers the snow. Yet there are some people, we know, who would never dream of traveling to a Maine Bed and Breakfast in the winter.

It is undeniable that some of Maine hibernates during the winter. But these days, signs of spring are everywhere. Restaurants are opening their shutters, shops are opening their doors, and boats are coming out of dry dock and making their way up the coast. Everyone is enjoying the fragrant combination of salt water and spring flowers that permeates the air.

Many guests of our Kennebunk/Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast like to spend a few hours on a boat while they’re here. Scenic cruises are, after all, part of a quintessential Maine vacation. Happily, most boats open their decks to passengers in May.

Rugosa Lobster Tours, Kennebunkport

Picture yourself aboard the Rugosa this spring.

The Schooner Eleanor is a wonderful 55 ft sailing ship with four sails, a large teak cockpit, and a spacious, cushioned cabin. She sails up the coast daily from mid May to mid October.

Watch a classic New England wooden lobster work the Kennebunk River, or roll up your sleeves and lend a hand. Rugosa Lobster Tours opens for the season towards the end of May; the date varies depending on the weather.

Whale watching is another fun way to get out on the water. First Chance Whale Watch heads out to big waters in search of the great beasts. Finbacks, Humpbacks, Minkes, and even Blue Whales are frequently spotted during the 4.5 hour adventures. The first Whale Watch cruises depart over Memorial Day weekend.

We’re already looking ahead to the salad days of spring and summer at our Kennebunk/Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast. We hope you are, too.

Kennebunkport Whale Watching Cruises.

A Minke whale surfacing.

»