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.
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.
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.
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!
A Gathering of Maine’s Best Food Professionals
One of the finest experiences you’ll ever have 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.
Entertainment Inside During Winter
Among the many reasons to visit Freeport, Maine is 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.
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:
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Portland 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!
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 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.
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.html. Lost 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!
The 8th annual return of Freeport, Maine’s foodie-fest – Flavors of Freeport – is scheduled for February 20th through the 22nd, 2015 with a host of culinary events including a lobster brunch, cocktail competition, and creating your own doughnut!
Flavors of Freeport is a premier, culinary event highlighting Maine’s rich and diverse food scene. Chefs, restaurants, distillers, and other stars in the Maine food firmament come out to showcase their very best talents and offerings for your palate’s benefit
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Come and let us host you at the the best inn in Freeport!! I was going to title this blog “Value,” but I came to the conclusion it made more sense to simply cut to the chase! What we’re talking about here is described partially by buzz words like “elegant, relaxing, gourmet, built in details, fire-placed rooms, and attention to service.” Really, I want to paint you a picture of why Brewster House is where you will prefer to stay in Freeport!
Mary & I got into the hospitality lifestyle and business with two predominant ideas in our heads;
1. One was to own an intimate lodging (which quickly looked like that would mean 6-10 rooms) so as to “keep it simple.”
2. The second was to provide the highest levels of comfort, relaxation, kindness and a breakfast “to die for.”
If you’re like most of us 21st century humans, your leisure time is very limited and so by definition, precious! When you finally get to escape the overbearing demands of work, family and home, the commute needs to disappear behind a relaxing, quiet experience, totally different in character from your everyday grind, the answer is a turnkey escape. You don’t want to be distracted by a less than immaculate room, a not-so-comfortable mattress, less than a bone warming shower, or a just so-so breakfast, amidst a herd of loud pajama clad, rude, cardboard waffle & Aunt Jemima addicts. What you had in mind were a cool glass of wine by a warm fire in a beautiful room, with a great bed and ironed sheets, your perfect pillow, plush robe and a breakfast you’ve been dreaming about…… Add to that your choice of white sand beaches, shopping, golf, museums, sailing or learning a new sport! In this perfect escape, your hosts would be there to help, but not intrusive, full of ideas (when asked) about where to eat, where to explore, what to do, what micro-breweries to visit, or who to go out on the water exploring with. The intimacy of a quiet, private breakfast, or the choice of chatting and laughing with other folks from a world you may or may not recognize, as your option.
Our focus is totally on you and your FREE time. We want to help make this special moment in life the best it could possibly be! So, our eyes are on the issues that we would look for in a great place to stay; In summary, bed, bath and breakfast. At Brewster House we also take pride in our “concierge services,” be that recommending great places to go, things to see, unique experiences to try http://brewsterhouse.com/2014/05/01/eight-awesome-mid-coast-maine-things-to-do/ or simply picking you up at the Amtrak station from the Downeaster. Our bathrooms are large (6 of 7 include full tubs), private and are furnished with the finest, most absorbent towels and fine toiletries. We recently upgraded our WiFi system to a true high-speed fiber-optic cable to help make your stay seamless, be it purely leisure, or if you’re stuck with including a bit of work on your escape. We’ve partnered with the best local restaurants, charter boat captains, museums and outdoor experiences, such as the LL Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools http://www.llbean.com/llb/ods/33?page=outdoor-discovery-schools.
Mary is constantly adopting, inventing and embellishing in the kitchen, as spectacular breakfasts are truly her primary mission here. I’m always looking to add landscaping features, make sure all of our building systems work well and appear seamless, as well as for ways to bring real Maine to our rooms and public spaces. This year, we’ll be adding a Maine Funbook to the living room with ideas for things to do, see and eat, including provisions for our guests to add their own great recommendations.
If VALUE is what you’re looking for in your Freeport adventure, you can’t do better than Brewster House Bed & Breakfast!!
This was not the blog I started out to write, but it is the blog whose time is right, a real Maine Christmas gift!!
With all the seasonal brouhaha getting cranked up with Christmas ads, Black Friday, etc., etc., we get to the question of what is it that we collectively want, or need……? As you might imagine, Mary and I move through Freeport with some frequency and observe, and are always amazed at the quantity of stuff people seem driven to acquire. This observation reinforces the question of what would be a great gift to give a loved one for Christmas? We’re not talking here about the not-so-close nephew, brother-in-law or co-worker for whom the compulsory tube socks, cheap bottle of wine or lottery ticket will do, but the folks who are really dear to you and for whom you really want to make smile!
Come on, we all have years, tons, massive levels of semi-useless stuff! How many things do you own that you’ve not touched in over a year? So, let’s move beyond stuff, on to what we all really remember years later, THINGS WE DID AND PEOPLE WE DID THEM WITH!! That’s right, what do your favorite photos show? Things like that great, delicious raucous meal with family or friends, that outrageous white-water rafting trip, that fabulous bluebird sailing trip, that sweet weekend away with best friends, or just that pure escape with great food and none of your usual demands and pressures. All of those were good for lifelong, soul-level smiles!!
Maine is a very fertile ground for such adventures……mixed up in the away-ness, stark natural beauty, lack of crowds and traffic, and the special places to visit, do, eat and stay. Consider giving a Maine Gift & attendant smile for Christmas!! THE POSSIBILITIES BOGLE THE MIND!!
Hmmmm…gift certificates for;
- White Water Rafting, http://www.northernoutdoors.com
- Schooner Adventures, http://www.sailmainecoast.com
- Reconnect Weekend with all your old buddies, neighbors, friends, family,
- Ski lift ticket, http://www.sundayriver.com
- Dinner at a fine restaurant, http://tao-yuan.me
- Learn to snowshoe or cross-country ski, http://www.llbean.com/llb/ods/33?page=outdoor-discovery-schools
- Learn to build a wooden boat, https://www.facebook.com/WoodenBoatSchool
- Tickets for a fab show, http://www.portlandstage.org
- Go Fishing, http://www.mainedeepseacharterfishing.com
- Go Sledding (snowmobile), http://www.sledmaine.com/rental/rental.html
- Dog Sledding, http://ultimatedogsleddingexperience.com
- Share romance & get spoiled at a killer B & B, http://brewsterhouse.com/specials-and-packages/offers/birthday-anniversary-special-occasion-package/
Hopefully, you’re catching on at this point. THESE ARE THE THINGS WE ARE LESS LIKELY TO BUY OURSELVES, BUT WILL REALLY LOVE GETTING!! Hey, some of these are as little as $20, so you can pretty much match your budget to one of these timeless gifts! Don’t forget our 3 night 2 Winter Wonderland or Spring weekends for as little as $382 + tax, or a wild weekend with 6 rooms of your Best Buds for around $200 for each room FOR THE WEEKEND with Reconnect Weekends http://brewsterhouse.com/specials-and-packages/offers/reconnect-weekend/!! If you can’t get the kind of crowd coordinated, but want to give a fool-proof, awesome gift, give a Brewster House Gift Certificate https://secure.rezovation.com/Reservations/GiftCertificate.aspx?s=ZUl7L55CAD
Hey, we know about these items on the list, so please call if you’d like help!
Sitting on our sofa, looking out at the half-naked maples, it’s clear that Black Thursday and Christmas in Freeport are not far down the calendar road! If that wasn’t enough, the near freezing temperatures and the annual Sunday River Fall Festival are serious indicators!
A little research quickly reveals that the upcoming season presents some special seasonal opportunities in both Portland and Bath, as well! Emerging as a promising early newcomer in this arena is The Early Bird Sale (created by Reny’s). The idea is to offer BIG DISCOUNTS ahead of Black Thursday on the first Saturday of November (11/1), to give you an earlier reason treat yourselves to Brewster House, while you reward your “up & out” spirit with DEEP Christmas savings. Many local merchants (as well as in Bath & Portland) will offer a structured set of storewide savings of 40% off at 6AM, 30% at 7AM reducing to 20% at 8AM!! As I speak, we have 2 rooms that just opened up that weekend from a cancellation!! They won’t last!
What can we say about Black Friday?? Respecting our family desire to enjoy the special opportunity to enjoy each other on Thanksgiving, we will not be open to guests until the Friday after, 11/28. Hey, great opportunity to jump on the early Amtrak Downeaster train and relax! It leaves North Station (Boston) @ 9:05AM and gets into Freeport just after noon on Friday. Small Business Saturday is huge for our fellow shopkeepers locally, here, in Bath and Portland too, so please consider the unique products and personal service they offer you this Holiday Season, and patronize them!!
The huge annual Sparkle Weekend http://sparklecelebration.com, will take place starting on Friday December 5th, with a 6PM Parade of Lights on the LL Bean campus, be will be dazzling all on Saturday and Sunday evenings as well. If you’ve not seen it in the past, the display is really amazing!! Santa will be visiting from 6:30 to 8PM. Moving into the weekend, don’t forget the Sparkle Express Downeaster Train Adventure, Old Fashioned Horse Drawn Wagon Rides, Tuba Concert on Saturday, and Jingle Bell Run/Walk on Sunday morning (to benefit Arthritis). Throughout the weekend, LL Bean will also be offering all sorts of Winter sports activities, such as skiing, sledding, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing!! Leave those TV’s and computers home!!
December 9th & 10th bring the Festival of Trees to our favorite museum, the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath. There will be a Candy Cane Train from the Bath Station to Wiscasset and back, including Santa & his Elves on December 13th & 14th at 9AM, 11AM, 1PM & 3PM. Although they’ve not yet issued a date, they are organizing an evening of caroling from a trolley. Take in the stunning vista of Christmas dressed 200 year old downtown Bath!
You would think Portland (with it’s fine restaurants & long interesting waterfront) would do it up for Christmas, but their event schedule seems a bit understated… Their website starts with the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Saturday 11/29 @ 5:30PM, including entertainment by Rich Charette and the Bubblegum Band. Wow, huh?? Shop for a Cause day occurs the following day, wherein a portion of the proceeds go to local charities. On Thursday, 12/11, 5-10PM the 12th Anniversary Merry Madness (or Shop Till You Drop) will happen in the City. Horse & wagon rides will be offered on Saturday and Sunday afternoons during Holiday Season, from Monument Square on the ½ hour. Finally, artist Pandora LaCasse will create a standing display of radiant holiday light sculptures throughout downtown from December through February. For updates and more information, see www.portlandmaine.com.
We still have a room available for Sparkle Weekend and more availability for the weekends on either side of December 6th!! Stumped about what to get for a gift for that loved one who has plenty of stuff?? Buy them a good time, a gift certificate for a fabulous Brewster House Escape!! They’re available on our website, or feel free to call and we’ll get that to you quickly.