If you were hungry Maine was the place to be this week. We kicked off Maine Restaurant Week by attending the Breakfast Cook Off at Sea Dog Brewery and what a great kickoff it was. The tastings were all amazing but the winner was The Good Table’s - Brulee French Toast, this was their 2nd win 2 years in a row! Our next stop for dinner that night was Portland, Five Fifty-Five - delish! To work up our appetite we took part in Art Walk which takes place the first Friday of every month. Although it was a little cold the attendance was strong we can’t go back. Saturday we back to Portland, our destination was Grace. Grace was formerly a Methodist Church so you have to go even if it’s just to see the transformation but highly recommend staying for dinner, what a great spot for cocktails! For our next tasting we decided to stay in Kennebunk and try Stripers – the lobster mac n cheese was exactly what I need for a cold winter’s night;can’t wait to go back and enjoy the view when the weather gets warm. I had to try the lobster pot pie at Academe Brasserie which I had seen on The Food Network as one the best things I ever ate – well all I can say it wasn’t a disappointment! A few more days to go but better find a gym quick! Hope you can join us next year – make sure to bring your appetite.
Category Archives: Things to do in Kennebunkport
What an exciting and exhausting week for us! We have finally made our move to The Inn at English Meadows. There are boxes everywhere we look but we are taking it one day at a time. After a very long day of moving in, our good friends Jan & Rick Wolf of the B&B Team stopped by to welcome us to Kennebunk by presenting us with a gift labeled I.S.K. — well, we had no idea what that could be but it was the perfect gift. The I.S.K. gift (seen in the attached picture) is an Innkeepers Survival Kit — are you wondering what that would include? Well is has all the essentials we need – vodka, olives, & toothpicks! It was a perfect gift for relaxing after a long day.
This weekend is Winter Festival in Kennebunk - it’s a beautiful sunny day, a bit cold but the sun feels really good after an all day snow storm yesterday. The snow was appreciated by all the snowshoers at the festival today! I am sure that after the day’s festivities everyone will stop by Pedro’s, which had its grand opening this week and so far it has been a sellout every night! I highly recommend the blood orange margaritas — this place will be quite a hot spot this summer!
As moving day draws near we are getting more excited about becoming innkeepers, everywhere I look I see boxes! We are looking forward to getting settled in to our new life in Maine. It will be a big change for us but one we are ready for.
Since there are so many upgrades to the inn and to lower village Kennebunk we decided to give the name of the inn an update too so it will now be called The Inn at English Meadows and for your convenience the web address will remain the same www.englishmeadowsinn.com
The adventure has only just begun so stayed tuned for more updates. We will have so many to share now that we will be living full time in Kennebunk we look forward to sharing them all with you.
The Kennebunk River has been the lifeblood of this part of Maine for 200 years. It was the basis of the economy, the creator of wealth, the provider of jobs, and has continued to be a major part of the local culture and economy. Shipyards, transportation, grist mills and the fishing industry were all dependent upon and thrived on the river. Today, “the Port” and its 18th and 19th century warehouses (which are now fashionable shops and restaurants) is still the center of activity in the area.
On Sunday September 12, the Brick Store Museum sponsored a guided kayak excursion on the Kennebunk River. Fourteen intrepid museum members/kayakers signed up for a trip called Kayaking Through History which was a tie-in with one of the Museum’s current exhibits called In the Maine Stream. This wonderful exhibit includes the Museum’s 1899 Wabanaki Indian canoe (made on the banks of the Kennebunk River) and other collections reflecting art, history and nostalgia of the Indian traditions and canoeing on the River. Coastal Maine Kayak was the official outfitter for the afternoon’s tour and guided the pack of kayakers up the river. Tracy Baetz, the Director of the Brick Store Museum, briefed the kayakers on some of the sights we’d see on the trip. Leaving from the marina alongside the bridge over the Kennebunk we headed up the river as the tide was coming in. First stop was the site of the Clark Shipyard which built some of the last of the coastal schooners including the four masted Eagle Wing in 1891, the Savannah in 1901 and the Kennebunk in 1918. Not far up the River from the Clark yard was a tidal grist mill which was still in operation up until WWII. The historic Cape Arundel Golf Club came next and once was the location of a canoe dock for the famous canoe races of the 1890’s. The trip proceeded up the River past Picnic Rock, underneath Durrells Bridge, past the early shipyards at Kennebunk Landing, and finally stopped at an old, abandoned railroad bridge (which is still an impressive bit of architecture!).
In some places the River is so quiet and serene that it doesn’t take much to imagine you are back in the 1890’s and you are on the River to watch a shipyard launch another schooner. The River bends like a snake and because of the tidal changes it can behave very differently from day to day. It is surprisingly deep in places and there are few narrow spots, like at Picnic Rock so picking the time to be on the river is important if you want to avoid a lot of work paddling against the tide. The grassy banks attract lots of wildlife and we must have seen over 100 ducks.
On the way back, we all did a little River clean up and in addition to filling a large crate with plastic bottles, cans and bags, we also fished out a floating trash can which we managed to strap on to the back of my kayak and take back with us to the Port.
There are lots of great places to take a kayak out in Kennebunkport. Paddling trips on the Kennebunk River, the Mousam River, or in the coves around Cape Porpoise and out to Goat Island Lighthouse are all great trips to make. So bring your kayak with you (or contact Coastal Maine Kayak) and add kayaking to your list of things to do while staying at the English Meadows Inn our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast.
The Inn’s vegetable garden was a big success this year. Unlike last year when we had Noah’s Ark-like weather for all of June and most of July and the worst tomato blight that Maine has ever seen, this year has been just about perfect. The early spring was warm and wet and we never got the last late frost that we usually get in early May. This was the third season for our rhubarb plant and it is a monster. Next year I think I will split it as it is just getting too big. But it did its job and kept us well supplied with rhubarb for our strawberry rhubarb compote. As expected our herbs did great and we use a lot of our sage and thyme in our breakfast stratas and quiches.
In late May I bought three heirloom tomato plants from a local farmer at the Kennebunk Farmer’s Market (more about that later). I really like heirloom tomatoes. I think the crazy colors and wildly irregular shapes make them taste better! I know this is insane but there is nothing like a tomato that you grow and pick. The Prudence Purple is a large, multi colored, slicing tomato with low acidity. The Costoluto is red, orange and green and is smaller than Prudence Purple. And for small tomatoes, I planted a Black Cherry which grew all over the place. All did well and peaked last week but we’ll have tomatoes for at least another week or two. The zucchini are coming in late but are beautiful. We use a lot of zucchini and its the leading actor in our Zucchini Quiche. For a description go to http://englishmeadowsinn.com/breakfast.htm .
The Kennebunk Farmers Market is the source for nearly all of our other produce in the summer and fall. I make it a point to go every Saturday after breakfast. The outdoor market (it goes on whether rain or shine) is located just off Main St. in Kennebunk and over 30 farmers and purveyors are usually there. Local farms sell their produce (and a few of them are all organic), artisan cheese makers always have samples, and the best lamb sausage anywhere comes from a lamb farm in Sanford. This market has been very popular over the past few years as the community has become very “farm to table” conscious. Check out their Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kennebunk-ME/Kennebunk-Farmers-Market/79800570783?v=wall
The Farmers Market runs from the first week in May until about November 1. Its great fun and I’m sure that you will enjoy making a trip to the Market part of your stay at the English Meadows Inn.
Spring came early in Maine this year. April was warm and May was alternately sunny then wet. And June has followed the same pattern. The result is that garden is confused ! The Lilacs were three weeks early and hit their prime in mid May instead of the first week in June.
Some daylillies have already bloomed and the others are well on their way. Hostas are in midseason form already and the lupines are just about done. Daisies and bee balm are just around the corner and climbing roses are right behind them.
But the slugs and snails are attacking like armies. I’ve already gone through about a pound of Sluggo and it hasn’t made much difference. Right now the snails and slugs are winning but the garden battle has just begun (LOL). Game on!!!!