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PORTLAND VISIT OF TALL SHIPS

April 11th, 2015 by Scott Gile

July 18 – July 20th will mark the Portland visit of Tall Ships 2015, the first return of this event in 15 years, and the final stop of the 2015 Tall Ships Challenge!  The Challenge being a series of races beginning in Cape Charles,Virginia which makes stops up the East coast in Philadelphia, Camden, NJ, and Greenport, NY before finishing in Portland.  These races are crewed by young people in a friendly competition, as a means of sail training and education.

Square riggers racing under sail in open ocean with clouds in background

TALLSHIPS RACING

Portland will host at least eight tall ships, being lead by the US Coast Guard barque Eagle (295’) , and  including the Oliver Hazard Perry (210’ square rigger out of Newport, RI), the Picton Castle (179’ baroque home-ported in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia), and the El Galeon (180’ from Seville, Spain).  The list of participating sailing ships is still being finalized, but will likely include the Bowdoin, 100’ schooner famed for it’s Arctic explorations and formerly captained by Donald MacMillan http://www.bowdoin.edu/arctic-museum/biographies/macmillan.shtml (who grew up beside Brewster House), and other Maine based windjammers.

If you’ve never had the privilege of seeing and hearing these amazing specters from our past under sail, you owe yourself the opportunity to experience what is a deeply evocative and emotional experience!  It is truly a unique historical moment you will never forget!!  The fleet will sail in parade fashion into Portland Harbor on July 18th at 1PM, and dock for tours along the Portland waterfront. You may tour the Eagle for free, but tickets to tour all of the ships may be found at www.tallshipsportland.com for $15 (which will support sail training and education).  Ship tours will be offered from 9AM to 9PM on Sunday, and 9AM to 6PM on Monday.  The event will also include live music and food, which is remarkable in Portland, SO DON’T MISS THIS SUMMER HIGH POINT!

As I write this blog, Brewster House still has several rooms available, so make this getaway complete by booking your stay with us NOW!

Wine Walk (and food) on Congress Street

April 4th, 2015 by Josh Wise

Red and white wine caught in amber light aside a wreathing footer of plump grapes On Saturday, April 11, 2015, 2:45-5:00 pm, join the Wine (and food) Walk on Congress Street in Portland, Maine, as hosted by Wine Wise, who specializes in wine education, enjoyment, and experience. Tickets are $49 in advance and $55 (if available) the day of the event, and can be purchased here.

Sommelier Erica Archer will be your guide as you explore both the edible and potable tastes along Congress Street, starting with Congress Squared. It is guaranteed to be an exploration of delicious, savory wines paired with undeniably delectable foods as you make your way to each location. Because a Sommelier is

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ROAD OR MUD RUN?

March 31st, 2015 by Scott Gile

Road or mud run, choose your pain!  We know, it’s been one long painful winter and we’re all DYING to get out and play in the sweet outside we all know will return!!  Here are some inspirational opportunities to motivate you with the prospect of mud, pain and the great satisfaction of finishing… followed by the sublime rest and relaxation of a hot shower, nap, glass of wine in the garden, fine dinner and an elegant night at Brewster House.

For those of you who favor the simple, relatively clean discipline of road running, we’ll open with “Race the Runways” 1 mile, 5K and half marathon at the former Naval Air Base in Brunswick on April 4th.  Sign up now www.racetherunways.com!

golden retriever running with a group of runners on grass

Run with your dog!

On May 23rd & 24th, share the sublime and expansive beauty of Pineland Farms in New Gloucester and, you could run with your dog!  Saturday you can choose 5 or 10K, Canine Cross 5K or Barefoot 5K.  Sunday, more challenging distances of 25K, 50K or 50 miles are on the agenda www.pinelandtrails.com.  You’ll be running their network of hiking and cross-country skiing trails spread over 15,000 acres!

A few miles west of Brewster House is Bradbury Mountain State Park.  They’re offering 6, 9 and 12 mile dirt trail runs labelled “The Scuffer,” “The Breaker,” and “The Bruiser,”  and you have 3 chances at it;  Sundays – July 12th, August 9th and September 13th!.  www.trailmonsterrunning.com/bradburydirt

OK, HERE’S THE REAL MUD!   First up, “Into the Mud Challenge” Costume up and crawl through 2.5 miles of muck, mire and obstacles for the scholarship fundraiser on May 3rd at Gorham (Maine) Middle School www.intothemudchallenge.com

runners in athletic clothes, crawling under barbed wire through mud and mist

Tough Mudder!

Back to Pineland Farms for the May 31st “Dynamic Dirt Challenge!”  4 – 5 miles of of hay bales, mud, swamps, culverts www.dynamicdirtchallenge.com

Last, but not least The Tough Mudder, and what a mudder it is!!  10 miles of brutal, soul sucking slime, including a muck coated tube, a rope swing over gross water, and to add a shocking note – a muddy crawl under live wires!!  AND YOU GET TO PAY AN ENTRY FEE FOR ALL OF THIS!!  9/26 – 27, Sunset Ridge, Westbrook www.toughmudder.com

You’re going to need Brewster House to coddle you after any of these!!  ENJOY!!

Tao Yuan’s Gastronomic Tour of Asia

March 17th, 2015 by Josh Wise

Colorful, rich, and tasty Asian mealSituated 5 miles north of Freeport and Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, there is a restaurant that offers a unique and pleasing dining experience for those seeking the best in Asian cuisine, prepared by mother-daughter chefs Cecile and Cara Stadler. It is Tao Yuan.

After successfully forming Gourmet Underground, a private fine-dining establishment in Beijing, the two determined to open a restaurant in Maine, and the result was Tao Yuan. Cara has studied under renowned chefs, and honed her culinary craft in China and France. She is currently a semifinalist for the “Rising Star of the Year” as part of the 2015 James Beard Awards, which has several restaurant, chef, and restaurateur categories.

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Visit the 28th Maine Boatbuilders Show in Portland

March 10th, 2015 by Josh Wise

Blue and White Vessel Each year, the Maine Boatbuilders Show in Portland is a success, drawing crowds to admire the varied styles of boatbuilding craftsmanship. Exhibits, seminars, and events combine to give boatbuilders and boating enthusiasts a chance to see some of the wonders of Maine’s most talented boatbuilders. If that weren’t reason enough to come to the show, this year Capt. Dave Carraro of “Wicked Tuna” will be present to meet attendees, give a couple of seminars, and sell his fv-tuna.com merchandise.

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Charge Me Up!

February 27th, 2015 by Scott Gile

Charge me up!  This old Queen Anne Victorian is about to rocket into the age of the electric car!!  We are excited to share that as members of Select Registry, in a new partnering enterprise with Tesla automobile company, this Spring we will be installing two electric charging stations for your convenience here at Brewster House.

Sleek black sedan, Tesla-S electric car

Tesla-S electric car

If you own or have ever given serious consideration to an electric vehicle, one obvious concern is where you can get them charged, especially in the context of traveling.  As the premier and most experienced international manufacturer of electric vehicles, Tesla has taken this opportunity to expand their existing charging network to include participating Select Registry inns http://www.selectregistry.com/about-select-registry/select-registry-difference.asp.  Of course, they are not the only manufacturer building battery powered cars, so these installations will include both a charger specific to Teslas, and a second universal charger adaptable to any other such powered auto.

sky blue Nissan Leaf electric sedan sideview

Nissan Leaf electric car

Our understanding is that Teslas have a range upwards of 250 miles/ charge.  From an economic point of view, you might find it interesting to note that @ $.12/ kilowatt hour, a full charge costs about $6!  Their cars are beautiful, quiet, and with no motor to fill the front or drive shaft, they are very roomy inside and have enormous luggage capacity.  See for yourself @ http://www.teslamotors.com!

From our perspective (& yours we hope), Brewster House will gain a special capability in offering owners of all electric vehicles (yes, motorcycles too soon) a beautiful and relaxing option to go away and enjoy their hard-earned vacation time without the stress of wondering where or how to power up their batteries.  Make your reservation now @ http://www.brewsterhouse.com, we’re already taking reservations for the summer and fall of 2015!

 

Maine Restaurant Week Culinary Events

February 21st, 2015 by Josh Wise

A Gathering of Maine’s Best Food Professionals

One of the finest experiences you’ll ever haveMaine Restaurant Week Will Feature Cocktail and Dish Pairing Event is the Maine Restaurant Week of Culinary Events. Food and drink professionals from all over Maine come together to highlight the best of the best and satisfy the curiosities of your palate. Purchasing tickets to the many events of the week in order to treat your tastes seems like a no-brainer. But the plus side is that the events help support Preble Street and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Maine.

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Thos. Moser Winter Art Exhibition

February 17th, 2015 by Josh Wise

Entertainment Inside During Winter

Among the many reasons to visit Freeport, Maine isThos. Moser Winter Art Exhibtion Thos. Moser’s flagship showroom & outlet annex. Because Maine’s winters are legendary for cold and snow, we think it’s important to note that there are inside attractions like Thos. Moser that you can enjoy, sheltered from the biting winds and knee deep (or deeper!) snow.

If you enjoy art and its endeavors, then Thos. Moser is sure to draw you in and delight you. Its very roots lie in Tom Moser’s desire to restore an appreciation and practice of fine art woodworking when he left his occupation as a Bates College Professor and began crafting unique furniture in Grange Hall of New Gloucester, Maine. Fine craftsmanship led the way for the restoration of a two-story, nineteenth-century home that became the showroom & outlet annex in Freeport, Maine. Learn more about the history of Thos. Moser here.

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The Best Restaurants in Portland, Maine

January 31st, 2015 by Corey A. Edwards

Portland, Maine has countless restaurants to choose from, so writing a post about “The Best Restaurants in Portland, Maine” can be a risky business: we’re bound to miss someone’s favorite! That being said, we’ll plunge ahead, regardless, with the caveat that this list is compiled from both our own experiences and those of our guests:

Best Restaurants in Portland, Maine - 555Five Fifty-Five
555 Congress St. – 207-761-0555 – fivefifty-five.com
With a host of awards and associations backing up its efforts, Executive Chef and Co-Owner Steve Corry is proud to offer locally sourced ingredients in such delectable favorites as truffled lobster mac and cheese, citrus-cured Atlantic fluke, and their to-die-for white chocolate passion fruit cheesecake.

Best Restaurants in Portland, Maine - Hugo'sHugo’s
88 Middle St. – 207-774-8538 – hugos.net
Chef-Owner’s Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley’s combined restaurateur experience allow them to run a kitchen that fosters both excellence and creativity, so you know you’re in for something special. Consistently placed among the top 10 American restaurants, Hugo’s is nationally acclaimed for its refined, New England-style dishes, such as cornmeal-crusted soft-shell lobster, local pheasant with polenta, turnips and shiitake, and rabbit salad. Fine dining at its finest!

Best Restaurants in Portland, Maine - ZapotecaZapoteca
505 Fore St. – 207-772-8242 – www.zapotecarestaurant.com
Zapoteca is known for its unique, fire-roasted, Mexican dishes prepared using a combination of modern and old world cooking techniques and using sustainable seafood and local produce whenever possible. Billed as a tequileria as well as a restaurant, Zapoteca is famous for their creative margaritas and boasts over 100 different, high quality tequilas – just don’t ask for Jose Cuervo! – along with a broad, international wine list.

Best Restaurants in Portland, Maine - Fore StreetFore Street
288 Fore St. 0- 207-775-2717 – forestreet.biz
Fore Street was one of the first restaurants in Maine to feature an open kitchen with a wood-burning oven, grill, and turnspit. Hardwood and apple wood fire cooked seafood, meats, game, and vegetables have made Fore Street a New England destination.

Best Restaurants in Portland, Maine - DuckfatDuckfat
43 Middle St. – 207-774-8080 – duckfat.com
Billed as a small sandwich shop, Duckfat is anything but run of the mill. Chef Rob, former chef-owner of Hugo’s, focus here is great homemade food made from the best quality ingredients: classic Belgian fries made with local Maine potatoes fried in duck fat, panini, soups, salads, charcuterie, and milkshakes plus a beer and wine list designed to satisfy the pickiest foodie.

Best Restaurants in Portland, Maine - Portland Lobster CoPortland Lobster Company
180 Commercial St. – 207-775-2112 – portlandlobstercompany.com
Of course, there had to be lobster – this is Maine, after all. Portland Lobster Company is a no-nonsense, oceanfront mecca for great lobster, consistently awarded Best Lobster Roll, Best Seafood Restaurant, and Best Patio/Outdoor Bar in Portland. Other items on the menu include some fantastic non-lobster items like fried clams, scallops, Peekytoe crab and avocado wrap, and some of the best fries out there. Okay, enough: I’m now officially very, very hungry.

Brewster House Bed & Breakfast is less than half an hour’s drive from Portland, Maine, giving you another great reason to make us and the picturesque town of Freeport your Maine destination!

Freeport Winter Sports

January 27th, 2015 by Scott Gile

 

Toboggon racing down an iced wooden chute in front of a crowd of onlookers

World Toboggan Championships

I have to admit to being addicted to the speed, spectacle and challenges inherent in downhill skiing.  Sunday River and Sugarloaf ski resorts are 90 minutes and 2 hours from here, and Camden Snow Bowl and Shawnee Peak about an hour, so we really can’t call ourselves an alpine ski base at Brewster House, but there are many fabulous cross-country  ski-skating, winter hiking and snow-shoeing to create ample Freeport winter sports choices!  Of course, Maine is loaded with all kinds of ponds and lakes offering skating, ice-fishing and snowmobiling options.  Ice-fishing and skating are largely practiced by locals on bodies of water they know well, for obvious reasons. Although there are snowmobile rental concessions as close as Oxford (one hour), because fences and snowmobiles don’t mix well, the more rural parts of Maine to our north and west are the stomping grounds for serious snowmobilers.  Given good snow-cover, good legs, a sense of adventure and any kind of hill (golf courses are prime), my childhood tells me the toboggan, sled & saucer options can be a rush!  The great annual World Toboggan Championship http://www.camdensnowbowl.com/25th-annual-us-national-toboggan-championships at Camden Snow Bowl ski area is always a wild “mardi-gras-esque” affair on February 6 – 8th!!

Let’s confine the rest of this to local meccas for cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing!  Either is a great way to enjoy the quiet beauty of a Maine winter day, while packing in a great aerobic workout!  Bradbury State Park http://www.maine.gov/cgi-bin/online/doc/parksearch/details.pl?park_id=12  offers 5 miles of trails, and they rent snow shoes.

small group of snow shoers standing about in the snow with snow shoes on

Snow Shoes

Wolfs Neck State Park is a 5 minute drive from Freeport Village and has 4.5 miles of lovely woods and shoreside trails to enjoy http://www.mainetrailfinder.com/trails/trail/wolfes-neck-woods-state-park/Pineland Farms in New Gloucester http://www.pinelandfarms.org/outdoor-recreation/news-and-events.html#StoryID189 is a beautiful 5,000 acre of woodlands and fields, featuring 25 kilometers of trails, including 2 warming huts and rentals of ski and snow shoe equipment.  Smiling Hill Farm, 781 Country Farm Rd., Westbrook is another large cross-country center including 25 kilometers of groomed trails, a warming hut and rentals of either cross-country or snow shoes.  Passes run from $8 to $12.  Check their website for details www.smilinghill.com/xcski.htmlLost Valley in Auburn is a classic old school New England ski area, includes a smaller downhill ski area, terrain park for snowboarders and 12 kilometers of cross country trails, groomed for both skate and classic style trails, as well as equipment rentals, although snow shoeing is not allowed on these trails www.lostvalleyski.com.  For a 30 minute drive, a diverse group has their choice of snow sports!  About an hours drive northwest, Carter’s Farm XC at 420 Main St. in Oxford is a substantial 30 kilometer cross-country ski center, offering the largest selection of cross-country ski equipment in the state expert service, even a sauna  www.cartersxcski.com!  Last, but not least, if you’re interested in some basic instruction, keep in mind the LL Bean Outdoor Discovery School http://www.llbean.com/llb/ods/33?page=outdoor-discovery-schools and their winter sports courses in snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing, very local and less than 1/2 day commitment.

Last, but not least, Brewster House B & B http://brewsterhouse.com/rooms/ has the gourmet breakfast to fuel your Freeport adventure, and fireplaces, ironed sheets, soaking tubs and wine cellar to soothe your cranked winter blood!

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