How Does Your Garden Grow?
Gardening is a big part of life here at The Inn at English Meadows. It has been our passion project, to make the grounds as beautiful as the inside of the inn. Our big plans are beginning to come together. Cedar raised beds are being assembled and filled with Coast of Maine Organic Soil, only the best for our plants and our guests. We love to use homegrown ingredients in our breakfasts. Today we served fresh lemon – peppery arugula, straight from the garden for our pita pizza. Soon zucchini for the frittata, chives and dill for our goat cheese scramble and blueberries and rhubarb for our breakfast cake.
Vegetables aren’t the only thing in our garden. Today, three new Viburnum will grace our grounds as well as an Alaskan Cedar. The bright yellow Tamarack Tree and Landscaping trucks’ arrival this morning was thrilling for our grandson Wren. Bob Palmer, a local arborist well known for saving the Elm Trees of Kennebunkport, has taken us on as a pet project. We have become fast friends while he worked with us to rejuvenate our 100 year old lilacs, and tame what will be our woodland garden.
We are so glad to see many indigenous birds and pollinators making our garden home, blue birds are nesting in our blue-bird box, and a family of wrens staked their claim on another. It’s a magical time of year, full of new growth, and new birth, and new gardens. We are creating a beautiful sanctuary for our guests, and on your next visit we hope you enjoy a game of bocci in the garden or a glass of Channing Daughters Rosato di Merlot on our patio. This summer we are saying yes to rosé!
Spring is here and we all know what that means, “ay-yuh”, it’s time to get out of the house – Waahoo!! Pack a bag, jump in your car and hit the road, don’t look back just get here. Let The Inn at English Meadows sooth away your winter woes with our complete spa package and begin the unwinding.
Then swing through the car wash to relieve your ride of the winter slush (while you do the same for your soul) and take a road trip. Cruise along the coast (the summer Rte. 1 traffic excluded), take in the sites you’ve been waiting all winter to see again. Then stop off to visit the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and be among the first to see the early spring bulbs and ephemerals while strolling through their gardens which comprise 295 acres of tidal shoreland
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!
English Meadows Culinary Occasions!
Congratulations, you made it through January! For we New Englanders, it is the hardest winter month to plow through. Now it is time to think of having some fun before it all melts away to Spring. Meanwhile, enjoy something fresh, convenient, and mouthwatering to break the monotony. Time to look forward to the weekends again!
Hot Fresh Breakfast is Served!
This Saturday or Sunday, sleep in a little, clear the driveway and head over to The Inn at English Meadows for a tantalizing 3-course breakfast. Everything is homemade so go ahead and relax, have a Mimosa, Bellini or an Espresso. Settle in, meet someone new, hobnob with a local you haven’t seen since the cold and snow trapped you indoors or enjoy a long overdue date while pleasing your pallet. Had a fantastic time? Do it again, Breakfast is now available every weekend morning from 8:30-11:00 through April 30th. Don’t miss out, call and make a reservation as seating is limited!
Not a morning person? Many of us aren’t, no worries, we get it and have something for you too! A “Pop-Up Dinner” February 11th starting at 7 p.m. Take a pause with the ones you enjoy and romance your food senses together! Allow yourselves to be pampered with a freshly prepared with local ingredients – 4-course dinner – after sipping on your welcome cocktail fireside. Make this Valentine’s Day date truly special, the nearby restaurants will be there every other day… Seriously, let Chef Chris Groman and The Inn at English Meadows warm your senses and ease your winter tension with a well-deserved scrumptious meal! Didn’t make your reservation in time? No worries, subscribe to our newsletter, follow us on Facebook or visit our website to learn when our next “Pop-Up Dinner” will be. Yes, there will be more!
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
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
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
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!