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.
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
We are excited to share that in the October 2013 issue, Travel + Leisure Magazine features The Inn at English Meadows as the ideal place to stay while trekking along the coast of Maine to see fall foliage. The article offers four itineraries for taking in the country’s best autumn landscapes over a long weekend. Their Maine itinerary suggests stops in Cape Elizabeth for lobster rolls at the Lobster Shack at Two Lights; Acadia National Park’s 5 1/2-mile Sargent Mountain hiking loop; off-the-beaten-path coastal towns like Stonington and Bath; and Kennebunkport for its historic feel and low-key clam shacks. The Inn at English Meadows is also one of 14 lodging properties recommended in Travel + Leisure’s guide to Hotels in Kennebunkport + The Southern Beaches.
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 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 lanes. Snowshoeing also available. Amenities include a day lodge with wood stove, 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, wood stove, 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 Baldpate Mountain and the surrounding 450-acre land preserve. Other amenities include a warming house and rentals.
Ice Skating – Close by, the Park at Crow Hill in Kennebunkport offers a skating pond and in Kennebunk center there is the newly opened Waterhouse Center skating pavilion. 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 – 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 Resort, Bretton Woods, Black Mountain, Wildcat and Attitash.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Take in a cooking class – Schedule a personal cooking class at nearby 50 Local, an acclaimed restaurant in Kennebunk. 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.
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.
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. 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.org, email@example.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.
Contact: Laurie Kelley
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
Contact: Mary Doyle
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/
367 Youngtown Rd
Lincolnville, ME 04849
September 29th, 2012
10:00 A.M-5:00 P.M.
$10 per person
Contact: Jasie Costigan
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
Contact: Lara Sitruk
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
Contact: Jane Lounsbury
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.