Irish Soda Bread with a Maine Twist
3 ½ cups flour
½ cup sugar
1 tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 pint Greek yogurt
1 cup of dried Maine blueberries
2 tsp caraway seeds
Mix dry ingredients, then fold in wet, then stir in berries
Very lightly knead and form 2 round loaves.
Place on a baking sheet and score a cross on the top of the loaves.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes until well browned.
*a more traditional soda bread could be made with currants or raisins
Try it toasted with butter, Yum!
The “S’s” of Winter: Clear skies, skates, sleds, skis and snow-shoes.
Clear Skies: Ay-yuh! The snow is here, the sky is clear and the air is crisp.
Skates: Lace up your skates and head over to the Waterhouse Center. An open sided ice rink with skating until 9 pm 7 days a week. Heat up your skate time on March 5th during the annual Chili cook off! Click here for details.
Sleds: Get your romance on and take a sleigh ride with “Rockin’ Horse Stables” or get the giggles going whilst sledding at the Consolidated School and the Sea Road Sledding Hill.
Skis (cross country) & Snow Shoes: 600 acres to explore at Harris Farm. They rent all equipment and offer hot chocolate and other refreshments in their cozy barn – the warm fire is free. Take an adventure, with your own equipment, at the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge or Laudholm Farm. Join Laudholm Farm on February 23rd for their Winter Wildlife Day & Snow Day. Click here for details.
Are you famished now? Add dinner, spirits and zzz’s
Maine’s “Restaurant Week” runs March 1st -12th. Take a bite out of one of the Kennebunk’s many fine restaurants. They will be offering 3+ course meals and special menus at discounted pricing for two. We suggest trying our neighbor “Toroso” who are proud participants of Maine’s restaurant week.
The moon is up, it’s getting chilly, come reside by our fire at The Inn at English Meadows, enjoy some spirits before you get your, well-deserved, long winters nap in one of our luxurious accommodations!
Stay up, Sleep Inn & Brunch with us this New Years’!
New Year’s is all about clean slates so this year get out of town, ring in the New Year in a new place, The Inn at English Meadows, Sleep in and join us for brunch and take your time with a 1:00pm check out. You’ll have plenty of time to rush in the New Year so start off on the right, rested, well-fed foot with us.
Let’s Paint the Town Red!
Celebrate all things love in The Kennebunks this February with an array of events, romance-centric hotel packages, and lovely offerings from shops and restaurants. The month long event kicks off January 28th with “Frosted”, a festive party featuring ice bar, sculptures and creative nosh and cocktails! Each weekend in February, The Kennebunks offer cooking and mixology classes, activities and engaging events that center on love and romance. The towns also adorn themselves with beautiful red lights, giant hearts and red, red, red! Check lovethekennebunks.com for a full schedule and more information!
New Year, New Traditions!
That’s right just steps from our front door is the brand new and highly anticipated Toroso Kitchen & Cocktails. Owned by the famed Shannon Bard, Toroso is a local Neighborhood Restaurant Serving Small Plates Inspired By The Flavors of Spain.
A highlight of Culinary communities Kennebunkport is your New Years Eve’ destination. Leave the car and take a stroll to over 25 superb eateries in and around Dock Square or skip the walk altogether and sample local offerings from all new Toroso (right next door)
Go Outside & Play!
Never underestimate the romance of a Sleigh Ride.
Take a walk on the snow: Snow Shoeing
Explore Nature: Kennebunk Land Trust
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
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.
The 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.
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.
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.
We spend more and more of our free time exploring our surroundings on foot. Daily walks lead us to secluded beaches, wooded trails, and down quiet lanes in historic Kennebunk and Kennebunkport. Each walk is a joyous occasion; there are always interesting scents and sounds, and of course friends to greet. It’s been great fun to see our community through the eyes of a dog.
One of our favorite spots to walk is Parson’s Beach*, which is only a few miles from our Kennebunk/Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast
Another favorite spot is the Rachel Carson Trail, in the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge. It, too, is just a few miles from our Kennebunk Bed and Breakfast; in fact, it’s close to Parson’s Beach. The flat trail meanders through woods and over wooden bridges through a salt marsh. It is a lovely, peaceful spot.
Both Parson’s Beach and the Rachel Carlson Trail are within biking distance of the Inn at English Meadows. This is good news, since there is limited parking at Parson’s Beach.
* Parson’s Beach is privately owned; please follow the posted rules and be respectful of the environment while there.