Once again it’s the most wonderful time of year! Kennebunkport Christmas Prelude is in its’ 35th year and shows no sign of slowing down. Known for its beautiful seaside setting, winter is a highly anticipated time of year for Kennebunkport residents and visitors alike. Christmas Prelude has been a “must do” holiday experience for thousands over the years and it’s clear why. Like something out of a story book, Kennebunkport is a picturesque backdrop for such an occasion. Steeped in small town charm and an unparalleled commitment to community Kennebunkport Christmas Prelude was a recipe destined for the history books. Since its inception in 1981, the tradition of Christmas Prelude has been the signature event celebrating the holidays in the Kennebunks for the past three and a half decades.
With such signature events as the tree lighting in Dock Square, to Sants arriving in what else, but a Lobster boat, Kennebunkport Christmas Prelude has something for everyone.
Still not convinced? Just ask yourself; “when was the last time I went to a really good Hat Parade”? That’s right, a Hat Parade. Now in it’s 11th year this unique parade of holiday hats for children and adults led by the Patriot Fife and Drum Duo is one of a kind. Show off your handmade or store bought creations. All hat wearers welcome! We know we know, you only have one question; “where can you get more information?” Have no fear, click here
So come wander the streets, join in the festivities, discover new flavors and make some new memories with us at this years’ 35th annual Christmas Prelude. Just once, and you’ll be hooked.
Once you’ve satisfied your need for Holiday cheer, kick back, relax, and stare at the fire… We hope to see you soon.
When Sarah and I decided to move to Maine, a family friend told us that Mainers eat lobster more often than they eat ground beef. While I’m still not convinced that this is entirely accurate, does anyone have time to not eat a lobster when they’re in Maine? Not I. Not here. Not now. So buckle up, we’re going on a Lobster Expedition!
Note: this list is not exhaustive, apologies to the other wonderful chefs and restaurants who prepare delicious crustaceans for the people of Kennebunk and Kennebunkport.
1. Our very first stop is David’s KPT. If you’re looking for dinner with a view, this is your place. It’s right on the water, with a lovely view of all the neighboring ships and river traffic.
They serve a lovely lobster roll with an option for DOUBLE LOBSTER, as well as David’s Lobster Dinner, which include a chowder, blackened shrimp cocktail, and a steamed Maine lobster.
2. Next up, we’re heading to Mabel’s Lobster Claw! They’ve got every kind of lobster on the menu: a Lobster roll, Lobster Scampi pasta, Lobster Salad, as well as an entire section of Every Lobster Thing. Lobster stew, baked and stuffed, steamed, and Mabel’s Famous Lobster! YEAHHHH
3. Alright lobster friends. Our third Lobster destination is Stripers at the Breakwater Inn and Spa. They have a lovely restaurant, with outdoor seating looking over the river and lawn. They serve whole steamed lobsters and lobster raviolo with oyster mushrooms and portobellos. But the star of the show is their outdoor Lobster bake on Monday evenings, complete with Lobster, Steamers, Corn on the Cob, Potatoes, and Blueberry Cobbler! You couldn’t ask for a more Maine-ish evening!
Remember; these are only a few of the amazing restaurants in the area, and if you have any questions we’d be happy to offer recommendations and make reservations for you at any time! If you need us, we’ll be out researching more restaurants. It’s a tough life.
The summer is going fast, so don’t forget to book your stay at the Inn at English Meadows! You can call us at (207) 967-5766, or check our availability online right here! We can’t wait to meet you!
The Inn at English Meadows
We’re deep into rhubarb season here in Maine! We’ve been using it in our cocktails, on our bread, and now in our rhubarb scones! We used Kate’s recipe for Dreamy Blueberry Cream Scones, and adapted it to make use of our abundance of fresh produce! And now you can make them yourself! Here’s how:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt
5 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter, cut into ¼ inch cubes.
½ cup finely chopped rhubarb
1 cup heavy cream
Heat oven to 425 degrees
Slice your rhubarb stalks into narrow lengthwise strips. Chop into 1/4 inch cubes.
Place flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in large bowl or work bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade. Pulse six times.
Chop butter into 1/4 inch cubes. Using food processor, remove cover and distribute butter evenly over dry ingredients.
Cover and pulse 12 times, each pulse lasting 1 second. Add rhubarb and pulse one more time.
Transfer dough to large bowl.
Use your hands to shape a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the cream into the center of the well. Stir in cream with a rubber spatula or fork until dough begins to form, about 30 seconds.
Knead dough by hand until it comes together.
On a lightly floured surface press into a 8 inch circle, smoothing the edges. Cut into 10 to 11 wedges.
Place wedges on a parchment covered baking sheet. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with brown sugar, (optional) and bake until very light brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
Cool 10 minutes and enjoy warm, or at room temperature.
Yumm!!! Now invite all your friends over for tea and scones, and discuss literature and flower gardens, and feel very fancy. Tra la la.
If you get these into the oven and your kitchen looks rather worse for wear, do not fear your mess: our kitchen looks appalling after baking, too. And we’re pretty much professionals, so you can definitely feel better about yourself about that one.
America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook
We’d love to see how your Dreamy Rhubarb Scones turn out, and what other interesting variations you can think of! You can tag us in your photos on Instagram or share them on our Facebook Page– We can’t wait to see what you dream up!
The Inn at English Meadows
It’s been such a whirlwind at the Inn recently! Kennebunk celebrated its first ever LAUNCH! Maritime Festival last weekend, and English Meadows took part in the town-wide Historic Inns of Kennebunkport Garden Party! Guests visited several parties, ferried between events by the lovely Hydi Drive, and were greeted with a wonderful rhubarb cocktail and delicious hors d’oeuvres to complement the tours around our lovely grounds.
Alex of Curate Maine, a lifestyle designer and personal concierge, brought us the most amazing strawberries from the farmer’s market, and we used them to make party bread for our party guests!
The star of the show, however, was definitely Kate’s homemade Rhubarb Shrub cocktail! Our guests loved it so much that Kate made them for scavenger hunt participants at the LAUNCH! festival last weekend! If you ever have the occasion to try it, it is absolutely impossible not to love. And it’s so easy to make! Here’s what you do:
Kate’s Rhubarb Shrub Cocktail
6 c. Rhubarb
1 c. Fresh or Frozen Strawberries
1.5 c. Brown Sugar, or to taste.
1.5 c. Water
1 medium piece fresh ginger root
For the Cocktail:
Prosecco or Champagne
Apple Cider Vinegar
Pick the reddest stalks of rhubarb- these are the tastiest!
Wash and roughly chop the stalks. If they are very large, slice lengthwise down the center before chopping. Cut the ginger into large pieces for easy removal after cooking. Throw together into a large stock pot and stir in the sugar and water, and place on medium heat.
About halfway through the cooking, add the strawberries. These help to add a little more natural sweetness to the rhubarb, as well as enhance the red color! Because pretty food is the goal of cooking, obviously.
When the rhubarb has cooked all the way down, taste and add more sugar if desired. Place a large, fine sieve over a bowl or pitcher, and strain the liquid out of the sauce. It may be reluctant to drain out, in which case you can add more water to the mixture, or help it along with a spatula. Pour the Shrub syrup into an airtight container, and keep in the fridge up to a week!
To make the Shrub cocktail: pour one part syrup, a splash of apple cider vinegar, one part ginger beer, one part Prosecco. Adjust to taste.
The leftover purée can be used for a ton of things! Some of our favourites include, on a baguette with ricotta cream and strawberries, a rhubarb version of banana bread, and added to margaritas! Seriously, try the margarita thing. It’s killer.
Time to party!
We hope you have a wonderful time making our favourite cocktails, and don’t forget to book your relaxing getaway at the Inn! We’re even running a special for the summer- you can book a night in a gap in our calendar and receive 20% off your stay! How awesome is that? You can call us at (207) 967-5766, or check our availability here!
See you soon!
The Inn at English Meadows
What a beautiful day here at English Meadows! Is it spring or is it summer? Who can know. After another of Kate’s wonderful breakfasts, lemon blueberry scones, berry yogurt, and zucchini frittatas (yum I’m DYING), we’re going to force the issue. It’s summer, and we’re having a beach day.
If you want to take a dog to the beach, Gooch’s beach is the place to go! (Starting June 15th however, dogs are only allowed in the mornings and evenings to make sure everybody has a good time.) Lola and I decided to visit to make friends with all the other pups having a beach day. We ran all over the place meeting dogs and their people, and Lola had a great time! I thought she might enjoy to learn how to swim; as it turns out, she has been watching way too many scary ocean movies, and is not on board with swimming at all. She is now feeling highly put out.
When swimming turned out to be a bust, obviously the best thing to do to follow up a beach day is to drive into Kennebunkport and go to Rococo Ice Cream!!
I always love to walk by the Library, because obviously the library is a great place to visit, and because look how cute the green door is! Also, I’m obsessed with how adorable all the signs are in Kennebunkport. What are we, in Maine or something?! I can’t get over it.
Rococo always has different flavours every single time you go, and they will ALWAYS be so delicious it is ridiculous! This time, I got Lemon Pink Peppercorn and Pink Lemonade Mint Sorbet. They were skeptical of me mixing the sorbet and ice cream, but I figured they’re both lemon and pink, so they can’t be wrong together. I was right, obviously.
Did you remember that next week is the LAUNCH! Festival?? Ah! It’s going to be crazy fun, we can simply not wait. We still have one or two rooms left available for the weekend- it’s definitely time to be spontaneous, drop ALL your weekend plans, and come to Kennebunk for the festival!! It’s going to be a blast and a half, and I’m getting a time machine so I can go to every single one of the activities- see the full itinerary here. To book a room with us, just call Kate or David in our office at (207) 967-5766, or you can check out our beautiful rooms and suites right here! And don’t forget, if you’d like to bring your dog to cuddle with on your beautiful vacation, we have a luxurious private Bungalow that allows dogs!
See you soon!
The Inn at English Meadows
Wow. There is such an amazing festival coming up in town- are you even ready to hear about this? This month is the very first annual LAUNCH! Maritime Festival in Kennebunk!! There’s going to be all kinds of yummy seafood everywhere, cooking contests and parties, a boat parade, and art walks! They really have things for everyone- a 5k run, historic costumes, and a seafood pizza night! You definitely will NOT want to miss this festival!
The whole thing is going to be kicked off by the Landing School Boat Launch, which is so much fun to watch. Everybody in the school has been working on making their own boats entirely by hand, and now that they’re ready they’ll all take them out for the very first time and christen them!
The Launch is followed by local brew and wine tours, cooking classes, open house tours, parties, they really have a killer lineup- check out the full itinerary here. It’s a whole three days of fun, planned for June 17-19th. Some events require a sign up as there are limited spots available, so you should definitely get a move on! We’re all very jealous of Kate and David, as they will be attending the Rock the Boat after-party on the Spirit of Massachusetts, which you may have seen docked in the river!
For everyone who didn’t get tickets to the VIP party, our consolation is participating in the town – wide historical landmark scavenger hunt! It’s hosted by all the historical Inns in the area, English Meadows included, and the prize is $100 that can be used at English Meadows or any select registry Inn!! How cool is that? I have a feeling I’m about to be staying at English Meadows very soon… I’m already figuring out where all the landmarks are! Here’s a hint… This might be one of them!
Then again, you should absolutely not take my word for it, as I have a very poor sense of direction.
Right now, we still have openings available at English Meadows for the Launch weekend, but we’re anticipating our rooms to be booked quickly as more people hear about all the fun going on! You can call Kate and David at our office and book directly at (207) 967-5766, or you can check out our rooms and their available dates right here!
See you soon!
The Inn at English Meadows
Everyone needs souvenirs from a great vacation! Either to remember how awesome it was, or to apologize to the people you didn’t want to invite.. Don’t even worry. Sarah and I went scouting for the best souvenirs in the Kennebunks, so you can get such amazing presents that you will end up keeping them for yourself!
The first and best place to start is the Inn, of course. They have all the luxuries from your stay available for purchase! Malin + Goetz soaps (don’t they just smell all kinds of amazing??), English Meadows coffee mugs and gorgeous hand-blown Italian drinking cups, Tea Forté tea bags and tea trays, the cute little tea pots, everything! These are the perfect things to bring home to remind you to relax and enjoy yourself, and to bring to people who don’t like trinkets!
The place to go for the cutest Mainey trinkets is Definitely the Daytrip Society. They have everything you will need to impress your friends with your thoughtfulness and generosity. Also, they have great sunglasses, and a Junior store for all the babies in your life who need to be spoiled.
Their card selection is straight up KILLER. You can buy them all and send them to your inlaws like, ‘oh darn, you would love it so much here, super sorry you couldn’t come. We’ll almost certainly remember to invite you next year probably.’
Next, we went to our favourite place for KENNEBUNK merch- Saxony Imports. It’s not as adorably curated as the Daytrip Society, but they do have really soft sweatshirts, cute hats, stickers, etc: Kennebunk souvenirs are their jam. Sarah got a great hat with a leather tab at the back, and will now be representing KPT in all of her paparazzi shots from now on.
After all of that shopping, it is definitely time to walk across the green bridge into Kennebunk to relax with a glass of something at Ports of Italy. You have earned it for SURE. Ask Mike the bartender for book recommendations- he’ll hook you right up!
That was so easy! What a success. Now you can go home with all of your beautiful trinkets and remember your favourite vacation!
Thanks for coming shopping with us, we hope to see you around the port this summer! We’re so excited to show you all of our favourite places around town, pretty soon you’ll be able to tour the town like a local! Don’t forget to book your room, cause we can’t wait to have you stay with us!
See you soon!
The Inn at English Meadows
Photos by Sophie Hines
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers and children in the world! We certainly had a great weekend here at the Inn! On Saturday, we had blueberry cake, melon with mint and lime, and the most delicious breakfast sandwiches with avocado, bacon, and an egg. It was KILLER.
Kate worked her usual wizardry on the sandwiches, and everyone’s favourite sous chef, Sarah, handled the cake and fruit! What a couple of true professionals. This was my first weekend working on the kitchen crew for the Inn, and I just had a blast and a half. My name is Sophie, and I am Sarah’s roommate- she has had so much fun cooking up a storm for everyone that I started coming in to work with her! You may see me dancing around the kitchen this summer, trying not to drop things in front of the guests, and I’m also going to be exploring the whole town and reporting back to you with the inside scoop! If you want to really experience the Kennebunks like a local, the Inn at English Meadows is Definitely the place to stay. We will hook you up with the most delicious breakfasts, all the best places to go, and all the secret insider spots! Book your room now and connect with us on Facebook to follow along with the blog and start planning your trip!
Our very best and favourite spot to show you is the magical land of Snug Harbor Farm. Everyone should come here at least four times a week. They have the most beautiful collection of plants, including tiny trees in pots, a stunning array of succulents, and such cute animals!! They keep ponies, exotic birds, and flocks of geese that roam around leaving feathers EVERYWHERE. If you are an aspiring Beatrix Potter, it is advisable that you should secretly move into one of the greenhouses.
We stopped to talk to Anthony, the owner, and learn about his four dogs. He loves all the animals, and keeps four poodles, all different sizes and colors, and they go all over the property together to keep an eye on everything. They are so friendly and will absolutely want you to pet them. They are the only dogs that Sarah likes. (Including the one that we own.) If you have a dog with you, however, it is not invited to Snug Harbor on account of the delicate constitutions of the birds. But if you need any beautiful garden decoration things, the gift shop is NOT TO BE MISSED. Trust me on this one.
After Snug Harbor, we visited Parson’s Beach! We love this beach so much!! Parson’s is VERY beautiful, but also it is very small, so try to get there early to make sure there’s parking.
We showed up at high tide, and there was hardly any beach at all! We were trying to perch above the waves on a washed up tree trunk, but even so we got knocked off and got our shoes wet!! Sarah waded in, but I’m not trying to die of hypothermia of the toes so I just guarded the rosebushes (with my face accidentally).
We’ll be exploring the Kennebunks and our favourite nearby spots all summer, so keep checking back to find your new favourite spot! It’s gonna be the best summer ever! (we can already tell.) Don’t forget to book your room, cause we can’t wait to have you stay with us!
See you soon!
The Inn at English Meadows
Photos by Sophie Hines
Are you itching to pack your bags and explore the great outdoors? You’re in luck.
June is Great Outdoors Month, which makes it the ideal time to hit the open road and explore some of this country’s natural wonders. Maine is filled with stunning landscapes and terrains for every level of outdoor explorer, including mountains, rivers, and ocean with miles of coastline. You could even decide to hike it on foot, sail by boat, or hitch a plane ride and jump out to soak in an aerial view!
Whether you’re a novice or advanced, the Pine Tree State offers thousands of miles of trails, and many of them are open all year long.
Climb the mountain peaks and scramble over pink granite cliffs and ledges along the coastline of Acadia National Park for a beautiful view of Mt. Desert Island and the Atlantic Ocean. Peregrine falcons and eagles can be seen flying over ahead, and sometimes whales and seals can be spotted offshore. Running from Georgia to Maine, the Appalachian Trail and its 267-mile portion that cuts through this state extends from the Mahoosuc Mountains to Mt. Katahdin’s summit. It’s geared towards advanced level hikers due to its extremely rugged landscape. Try the Barren-Chairback and Whitecap Ranges or explore easier and less-traveled stretches near the Carry Ponds, Sabbathday Pond, and the Piscataquis River in Horseshoe Canyon.
Each of these locations is about three hours from the inn.
Would you rather climb with the sea at your back or amongst a wooded landscape? In Maine, you can do both! There are more 400 rock climbing routes located throughout the state, including Mount Katahdin, Shagg Crag, and Acadia National Park.
In Maine, you could grab a kayak and gently glide over the state’s abundant lakes, or strap yourself in for a wild ride down one of the country’s “Big Three” whitewater rivers.
The Penobscot River offers 12 miles of rapids that begin at the Exterminator Rapid at the head of Ripogenus Gorge, continues through the Staircase Rapid and the Cribworks above the calm of Big Eddy. Twelve-foot falls at Nesowadnehunk and the rapids of Big Ambejackmockamus, Abol, and Pockwockamus, await downriver. Intense waves at Big Mama and Whitewasher lead to an exciting plunge through Magic Falls at Kennebec River. “Playboater,” or freestyle kayakers, will find space to showboat between the dam at Harris Station and the village of West Forks. The Dead River provides 16 miles of whitewater that starts with the mild Spencer Rips, and then moves on to the turbulent waves at Humpty Dumpty and Elephant Rock. The trip ends with a flourish at Big Poplar Falls.
Whale Watching Trips
Beginning each April, whales make their long voyage to the waters of Maine to feast on sand eels, copepods, plankton, and fish. They feed and play about 20 miles off the coastline which makes for the perfect whale watching trip. These majestic mammals can be spotted breaching the ocean surface, spouting water, and nursing their young. Humpback whales, pilot whales, minke whales, and the massive finback whale, which can grow up to 80 feet in length, are frequent visitors.
Whale watching cruises offer a front row seat to all of the action. Kennebunk’s Nick’s Chance Whale Watch Tour provides plenty of room on their observation deck to snap photos, along with breakfast and lunch fare in the gallery. Cap’n Fish’s Whale Watch in Boothbay Harbor is located about 1.5 hours away from the inn. Their main salon boasts cushioned seating and 360 degree viewing, while the upper deck allows free roaming for better vantage points.
Instead of walking or hiking to view Maine’s breathtaking beauty, why not try going by horse? Many of Maine’s state parks and multi-use trails welcome horseback riding, whether you’re an experienced equestrian or a newcomer. Riverhurst Farm in Kennebunk offers lessons in a variety of disciplines, including Western, English (Basic Balance Seat), Dressage (up to first level), and Jumping. You can even opt for a romantic horseback ride along the beach. You can find a full list of stables around the state here.
Moose and Bird Watching
The moose population in Maine is estimated to be close 75,000, the second largest populations of moose in the U.S behind Alaska. Moose can be seen throughout the state, but their population is greatest in the Western Lakes and Mountains, the Kennebec & Moose River Valleys, the Maine Highlands, and Aroostook County. One of the best ways of spotting a moose is to set off on a moose watching tour, otherwise known as a moose safari. A day trip to Greenville to take one of Northeast Whitewater’s moose tours or safaris will get you close to these magnificent creatures.
With its vast amounts of forest, isolated islands, and numerous wetlands, Maine is home to a large number of migratory and non-migratory bird species. The variety of birds grows in the summer months to include the ruby-throated hummingbird, the common loon, and the iconic bald eagle. You can sign up for a tour by checking out the Maine Birding Trail or with organizations such as Down East Nature Tour in Bar Harbor.
You’ve heard the saying, “One if by land, two if by sea.” What about adding “Three if by air?” Satisfy your inner-dare devil, and see the state’s striking beauty from 10,000 feet in the sky on a skydiving excursion. You can observe the landscape from the soaring mountain peaks all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. Lebanon’s Skydive New England, located 40 minutes from the inn, offers programs for tandem (jumping with an instructor), accelerated freefall, and experienced jumpers. Vacationland Skydiving in Pittsfield, about 1.5 hours from the inn, offers similar programs along with video services to capture the jump.
Hot Air Ballooning
If you’d prefer a more leisurely air ride, a hot air balloon excursion might be for you. You’ll still get the 360-degree views, but this time at a much slower pace! Kennebunk Balloon Rides and Balloons Over New England located near Kennebunkport will carry you 1,500 feet in the air above the gorgeous scenery below.
Whichever activity you choose, an adventure awaits you in Maine!
What’s summer like in Maine? In one word: spectacular! From the picturesque coastline to pristine parks, Maine offers countless opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. But if indoor fun is on your agenda, you’re in luck. You can spend time savoring delicious meals at some of the state’s award-winning restaurants or touring historic lighthouses.
Here are 6 reasons to make your way to Maine this summer:
1. Maine’s natural beauty is breathtaking. If you’re up for a day trip while staying at the inn, Acadia National Park is located 3 hours away in Bar Harbor. It’s 47,000 total acres are home to some 40 different species of wildlife, 120 miles of hiking trails, 27 miles of biking trails, and two beaches. Only 1.5 hours away, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay offers trails, vernal ponds and forest over 248 acres. Want to stay local? The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Rescue is only minutes from the inn and stretches along 50 miles of coastline.
2. The lighthouses will still catch your eye. There’s a reason why Maine is sometimes called ‘The Lighthouse State’. There are 65 lighthouses dotting the state’s vast coastline, and the most prominent can be viewed while driving along Route 1. One of the closest to the inn is Goat Island Light, originally built in 1892 and rebuilt in 1859, located right up the road at the entrance of Cape Porpoise Harbor.
3. You can soak in Maine and its sunsets on the sea. Riding the waves along the rocky coastline on a windjammer or schooner is an adventurous and scenic way to see the state’s beauty. You can take a day tour or book a week-long adventure and end each day with a sunset cruise.
4. Summer brings fun and festivals. From June 1st – 8th, the Kennebunkport Festival brings together delicious foods, wines, and art, with the backdrop of some of the area’s most historic homes. If you’re a fan of the blues, the North Atlantic Blues Festival is being held from July 12th – 13th at the Public Landing in Rockland (about 2 hours from the inn). And, the annual Maine Lobster Festival featuring 20,000 pounds of the tasty crustacean is also being held in Rockland from July 30th – August 3rd at Harbor Park.
5. The food is fabulous. Everyone knows Maine for its lobsters, of course. You can stop by any number of lobster shacks, including The Clam Shack overlooking the Kennebunk River. But that’s not all. Portland, only 30 minutes from the inn, has become one of the best small foodie towns in the country thanks to a bevy of top-tier, nationally recognized restaurants such as Hugo’s and Fore Street. Foodie tours are very popular in the region (buying tickets in advance is highly recommended). Stay close to the inn and set out on the Kennebunkport Culinary Walking Tour for a taste of what the area is serving up.
6. Come visit us at the inn! We love welcoming our guests and providing each one a bit of R&R. From the daily, gourmet breakfasts cooked up by Liz, to the modern, luxurious touches of the guest rooms, we strive to give our guests a truly unforgettable experience. Our specials and packages are created with our guests’ happiness in mind.
We hope to see you this summer!