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.
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.
There are changes afoot in Kennebunk and Kennebunkport, Maine.
We’ve been keenly interested in changes happening around Kennebunkport and Kennebunk lately. We’ve been watching the progress on The Grand, a new hotel being built in Kennebunk’s Lower Village. We’re told The Grand will also have retail space, and we’re excited to see what new shops fill it. The Grand is scheduled to open this spring, and it seems like it will open on time.
Another big change in Kennebunkport is The Landing. It’s gone. A new restaurant and inn, Portwatch, is going to be built in its place. Portwatch is owned and operated by the folks who run the Cape Arundel Inn, a place known for its amazing dinners. We’re already looking forward to our first meal at Portwatch!
Our Kennebunk/Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast has been hopping lately. Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to slip away for a little romance, and since it was closely followed by Presidents Day Weekend, many couples enjoyed several days here. It was fun to surprise some guests with Jacques Torre Chocolates and bouquets of flowers. Often it’s men who treat ladies to such treats, but this year, one lovely lady showered her Valentine with champagne, chocolates. and rose petals. Such fun.
Some people like to escape the kitchen while on vacation. Others like to spend their vacations in the kitchen. Our Bed and Breakfast in the Kennebunks can accommodate both kinds of travelers.
Most of our guests don’t get anywhere near the kitchen, of course. All indulge in three-course gourmet breakfasts, and some opt for additional treats such as homemade cocoa, marshmallows and cookies, or artisanal cheese trays with fruit. But from time to time, we hosts guests seeking to enrich and broaden their own cooking skills through a culinary adventure at our Kennebunk/Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast.
We recently hosted a bridesmaids’ dinner with close to ten women. The bride and her friends gathered in our kitchen for a demonstration by Chef Timothy Jordan. After watching him prepare the meal, the ladies enjoyed it in our dining room. They had a delicious evening here at the inn, and departed the following day with new recipes and fond memories.
The bridesmaids’ dinner was arranged through Epitourean.com, our partner in culinary travel. Plan your own gustatory adventure in the Kennebunks of Maine through Epitourean.com, or give us a call. Many talented chefs in the area are interested in offering cooking classes and demonstrations at our Kennebunk/Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast.
Fear not! You won’t spend all of your time in the kitchen. A culinary getaway allows plenty of time for visiting Kennebunkport’s Dock Square, walking on the beach, and exploring the rocky coast of Maine. You’ll have time to visit a lighthouse, drive by the summer home of President George H.W. Bush, and sip wine by the fire back at the inn. Yet you’ll also have fun in the kitchen. For some, that’s the ideal vacation indeed.
Kennebunkport’s Christmas Prelude is underway. We’ve enjoyed evening strolls down the street to the heart of Kennebunkport’s Dock Square, where a Christmas tree stands tall and holiday lights glitter. In the other direction, the town of Kennebunk is also dressed in its holiday best. The atmosphere is contagiously festive.
Christmas Prelude, 2011, continues both next weekend and the weekend of December 9th. Since we still have some availability at our Kennebunk/Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast on December 9 and 10, this blog will focus on activities for that weekend.
The Tree Lighting Ceremony in Dock Square takes place at 5:30 on Friday the 9th. It’s followed by fireworks, which are best viewed from the bridge and surrounding areas. By the end of the evening, you’ll be ready to curl up back in your warm room at our Kennebunk/Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast with a glass of wine.
Anyone interested in the history and architecture of Kennebunkport, Maine should take advantage of the Christmas Prelude Historic Trolley Ride and Historic Village Walking Tour. The walking tour is through downtown Kennebunkport. The trolley, in a delightful twist on the sleigh ride, leads through the woods.
One of the best parts of Christmas Prelude is the abundance of live music. Street performers create a cheerful atmosphere in Dock Square and the Lower Village, and performances take place in a variety of churches, shops, and pubs. At every turn you’ll hear music.
From 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, December 9, there will be live music at Fleurant, a great shop just down the street from our Kennebunk/Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast. At 7 p.m., Rock My Soul Sextet will sing “Gospelized” Christmas Carols at the Village Baptist Church. Dave Peloquin, the Wandering Christmas Minstrel, will wander through Dock Square and Lower Village shopping areas with guitar in hand from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the 10th. At noon on the same day, a Barbershop Quartet will sing favorite old tunes at Flaherty Imports and The Whimsey Shop. And when was the last time you saw a fife and drum duo? See one this year on the 10th from 1 to 3 p.m., in Dock Square and the Lower Village. Dance to a Very Cuban Christmas at the Franciscan Monastery Hall on Saturday, at 7 p.m. Or listen to the Kennebunk High School Chamber Choir perform seasonal carols and choral music at the Village Baptist Church at 7:30 p.m.
Stop by the Fire and Ice Bar if you’re in need of refreshment between 5 and 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The ice bar is a fantastic creation, and the bonfire warms even the coldest hands and feet. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres from many local restaurants and, of course, live music. Tony Boffa plays Friday, and Matt Fogg takes the stage Saturday.
It should go without saying that one of the most popular activities of the Christmas Prelude is holiday shopping. Indeed, for many people, gift shopping begins and ends with Christmas Prelude. In addition to the many shops of Kennebunkport and Kennebunk, there is also the Annual Clothesline Art Show in the the Lower Village. Here shoppers will find fine paintings, pottery, jewelry, and sculptures made by local artists. It’s a wonderful place to pick up truly one-of-a-kind gifts.
Christmas Prelude is a great way to get into the holiday spirit. And since it takes place at the beginning of December, it doesn’t interfere with other holiday plans.
Treat yourself to an early gift this year. Spend a weekend indulging in the best of Christmas, and luxuriate at our Kennebunk/Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast.
A complete list of holiday events is available at Christmas Prelude.