Brewster House Bed & Breakfast (Freeport, Maine Coast)

Category Archives: Brewster House News

5 MAINE MARITIME LIGHTHOUSE EXCURSIONS

April 22, 2016 by Scott Gile

I’m sharing these amazing five Maine Maritime Museum lighthouseexcursion boat heading upriver with shipyard in the background excursions with you, because they are so fun and interesting that they book up well in advance! If you wait until just before you come to Brewster House, you probably either won’t get on the trip you most want, or may not get to go when you want. Not only is the Museum a fascinating depiction of the history of wooden (and modern) ship manufacturing as practiced on the Kennebec River and Bath, Maine, but also offers these dynamic river and coastal boat adventures, and Bath Iron Works & Town trolly tours. Share my passion and jump on one of these trips!

Bath has been a shipbuilding center in Maine since 1607, when the Popham settlement decided one Winter was enough in Sagadahoc (Maine at the time) at the mouth of the Kennebec River, and built their escape ship onsite. The Bath Iron Works continues that tradition, now with contracts for guided missile destroyers, and hopefully in the near future for the new generation of US Coast Guard cutters. The Trolley Tours are centered on sharing the history of the Town and BIW’s history from the building of the “Ranger” Americas Cup winner in 1937, through todays generation of stealth destroyers based on the Zumwalt (DDG-1000) & Arleigh Burke classes. Although the schedule is not in place as I write this, it will be daily (except Sundays), $32 for Museum non-members. See Maine Maritime Museum Tours for details. For the best view of the yard from the River, combine this tour with the Shipyards & Lighthouse Cruise! Again, daily @ noon, one hour, $32.

white lighthouse with red house on green grass with sea to rearAll the Lighthouse and River Cruises run from 6/13 – 9/5 Maine Maritime Museum boat cruises. There is a 6 Lighthouse Cruise and a 7 Lighthouse Cruise, the first being mostly confined to the Kennebec River lighthouses (but does go out to Sequin Island Light beyond the mouth of the Kennebec), and the second is a slightly longer river tour that includes a full river circle, including the Sasanoa and Sheepscot Rivers. The first is 2 hours in duration, and is offered on Sunday and Tuesdays @ 3:30PM for $39. The 7 Lighthouse Cruise is 3 hours long, and takes place on Mondays and Wednesdays, for $44 for non-members.

The Lighthouse Lovers Cruise is a 4 hour cruise that takes in some coastal beacons further east along the coast. So, not only do you enjoy the River lighthouses and Sequin, but it also takes in The Cuckolds (off Boothbay), & Ram and Burnt Island lights. This is a much more relaxing way to enjoy these from the water, than driving out to end of all of these peninsulas – $50. These are only on Saturdays @ 3:30PM.

Last, but not least, the Wildlife of Merrymeeting Bay takes you upriver to this unique huge natural sanctuary of fresh water, formed by the junction of 6 rivers, that is home to scores of bald eagles, ospreys, and migratory birds and fish of all sorts. Sturgeon and striped bass spawn in this beautiful bay! This trip is 3 hours long and is only run on Thursdays at 3:30PM. Of course, a naturalist will be on board to guide and inform you.

Freeport is right at the hard glacial turn east of the Maine coast, and so an amazingly well centered point to tour the coast, mountains or City of Portland from. Brewster House is perfectly located just a couple of quiet blocks from the busy LL Bean shopping mecca of Freeport, and the most luxurious spot to rest your tired body and renew your metro seared spirit! Call and we can help plan your time here, or book directly @ Brewster House B & B!

THREE MAGICAL SUMMER SEA PACKAGES

April 11, 2016 by Scott Gile

April is a great time to review the three magical summer sea packages we offer at Brewster House to make your Maine vacation uniquely special! Since most folks come to Maine with our great and magnificent oceanfront at the fore of their imaginations, let’s start with lighthouses, boats and beaches.

red & white horizontally stripped lighthouse w/ blue sea & sky as background

West Quoddy Light

Lighthouses have to be the #1 draw for non-local visitors to Maine! Their lonely, rugged visages, and history of drama and life-saving must be the basis for their powerful draw. Our Lighthouse Tour Special offers a book and maps for the basis of your exploration, a lighthouse themed gift basket, $50 gas gift card and a $50 gift certificate to Freeport’s award winning Azure Cafe Restaurant. Be forewarned, although these beacons may be close by sea, many are a good distance apart by car! Lighthouse Tour Special

Our Maine Seafarer Adventure brings our guests into more intimate contact with Casco Bay, featuring an amazing sailing experience on a traditional schooner and a visit to the expansive and magnificent Maine Maritime Museum, on the mighty Kennebec River. The Museum includes the entire grounds of the Percy & Small boatyard, including the museum, blacksmith shop, boat shop, construction-ways, docks and even the owners personal residence. This is the only surviving 19th century wooden boatyard that has survived into the 20th century! I’m saving this for another blog, but in season the Museum also offers tours the Bath Iron Works shipyard (building stealth destroyers now) and all kinds of fascinating boat tours of the River and Coast. Of course, our special also includes a welcome backed and gift certificate to the Azure Cafe. Maine Seafarer AdventureWhite schooner under sail near sunset with land in background

The Perfect Maine Adventure, Land & Sea, is our latest novel idea, and all of the guests we’ve discussed it with thought it an awesome offering!! Having sailed most of my adult life, some family members and I signed on the schooner Heritage for a 6 day voyage from the East Coast of Penobscot Bay, to Mt. Desert (Acadia National Park) & back. Gorgeous, powerful (145’), elegant, comfortable cabins and great food! Bring a good book or two, binoculars, and relax on deck, or jump in with the crew, raise the sails, play with their amazing sailing and rowing dinghies, wash off the anchor or discuss navigation with the Captains, YOUR CHOICE! Throw in your own case of wine for seem evening stargazing, and you’ll have on of the finest adventures of your life! Call me to discuss if you’re interested, but the idea here is to combine time on the schooner, with some soft time and legendary breakfasts and cookies at Brewster House, reveling in the pleasures of the Casco Bay area, Portland distractions, local beaches and other “mid-coast” pleasantries. IN OUR BOOK, THAT IS PERFECT!! Perfect Maine Adventure, Land & Sea

For the beaches, you’ll have to book a stay, let us spoil you, and be schooled on the best local secrets, while basking in the glow of your 3 course gourmet breakfast!! See us at Brewster House

MAGIC OF THE FRENCH PRESS

March 24, 2016 by Scott Gile

3 different size French press on a red towel

Baby, Just Right & C5

One of our Brewster House offerings that consistently draws the most compliments is our coffee, and the magic of the french press. Of course the quality of the beans we buy helps immensely (the Dark Harbor blend from Green Tea in Lincolnville, Maine)! http://www.greentreecoffee.com I can’t tell you the number of guests we host who after having about how wonderful our coffee is, confess that they have a french press, but don’t use it because they don’t know how. So here is the “secret sauce!”

At this point, I will add that we use three different size Bodum Dome type french presses at Brewster House, depending on how many cups the table needs. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_xo_0_6?url=search-alias%3Dgarden&field-keywords=bodum+french+press&sprefix=bodum+%2Cstripbooks%2C182 The press we use the most of is marketed as a 34 ounce, 8 cup or “1 liter” press. It will provide 3+ mugs of coffee. For a single, a “12 ounce” will do. For 3 or 4 coffee drinkers, we pull out the “Saturn C5” 51 ounce (12 cup or 1-1/2 liter) monster, that will provide up to 5 mugs.

Secret #1; Coarse grind the coffee beans! You can do that at the coffee display at a grocery store, or in your own grinder, but it may require a bit of a lighter hand with an inexpensive blade type grinder. We use a conical burr type grinder for its consistency, but we use a small blade type for decaffeinated beans to avoid mixing the two. With the conical burr version, we set the grind on just above coarse. When using the lighter grinder, I give it 3 or 4 short bursts, allowing the larger beans to drop down to maximize them getting ground, but to avoid making the whole grind too fine. The goal here is to simply avoid grinding the coffee so small that you end up spitting out coffee that snuck through the the press screen!

Secret #2; Add the correct amount of coffee to the press with the screen and press removed. That would be 4 level scoops for the medium press, 2 for the small press, or 6 for the “Saturn C5.” How many of you remember that rocket engine?? Saturn C5

Secret #3: Add BOILING WATER in the correct amount. I’m stressing boiling here, as that temperature is needed to bring out all that fine coffee beans have to offer! Simply fill the carafes to the base of the ‘arrow’ at the top of the frame of the device. By sizes that amounts to 8 ounces for the small press, 28 for the medium press, or 42 for the large press.

Now stir in the floating grounds, preferably with a wooden spoon (so as to minimize the possibility of cracking or breaking the glass carafe). 3-5 seconds will do!

Then replace the press parts in the press, being careful to place the pouring screen in the top in line with the spout on the carafe. Just settle the screen in far enough to keep the grounds below the surface at this point.

Secret #4: Check your watch and start the 3-4 minute wait to coffee nirvana. This is a matter of how strong you like your coffee! You could even go for 5 minutes, or add an extra scoop to meet your preference. Now, gradually press the screen down to the bottom of the carafe to hold the grounds out of your pour. Fill your Brewster House mug and let that fragrant, rich aroma bring you back to your time with us….. or just come back and enjoy your morning coffee, offset with the buttery sweetness of Mary’s amazing butterscotch scones!

With our European guests, I’ve learned a tradition of theirs that I like. You can agree with (or not) their practice of using more milk (as opposed to cream or 1/2 & 1/2), but I have learned to value their request of warming their dairy before serving it. Just 10 or 20 seconds in your microwave will do it! Their logic, “why spoil this delicious coffee by pouring cold milk in it?”

Bon appetit!! BUT COME TO BROWSER HOUSE AND LET US SPOIL YOU by doing all this (& more) for you!!

SIX AMAZING MAINE SPRING FLINGS!

March 7, 2016 by Scott Gile

Admittedly, Spring can be a challenging time to attract folks to come to Maine (or anyplace else in Northern New England), but let’s face it, you crave a change of scenery and being spoiled at Brewster House is always a gift, so check out these six amazing Maine spring flings!

Female ballet dancer on stage w/ blue costume

photo by CC Church

We’ll open with “high culture,” the Maine State Ballet Theater company is putting on the classic, “Sleeping Beauty” from April 1 – April 17th. http://www.mainestateballet.org. The theater is on Rt. 1 in Falmouth, only 10 or 15 minutes south of us.

The Portland Home Show opens on April 8th and tuns through the tenth. For more information click, HTTP://www.homeshows.com.

There are some amazing photographers and subject matter for them in Maine! The Boothbay Region Art Foundation is presenting the renowned Maine Photography Show, running from April 9th – 29th. For details, see http://www.mainephotographyshow.com.

We love the little City of Bath, and aside from my favorite museum (the Maine Maritime Museum), another great reason to visit Bath will be the Bath Antique Show & Sale, held on both March 13th, and April 10th. To learn more, check out http://www.bathantiqueshows.com.

Purple, blue & white lupines in green fieldAn easy 40 minute ride east of beautiful Rt. 1 through beautiful Brunswick, Bath and Wiscasset, a MUST DO for those gardeners/ landscapers in the room, the Maine Botanical Gardens reopen for the season on April 15th. Believe it or not, they have over 35,000 bulbs, among their 270 acres of shoreline and other dazzling plantings, they will be emerging for your visual and olfactory stimulation. http://www.mainegardens.org.

Also in Falmouth from May 6th to 7th , something Mary will be up for, is the Falmouth Kitchen Tour. A fabulous idea whether you’re re-doing your kitchen, or or just a kitchen voyeur! http://www.mainekitchentours.co

Of course, we’ve sweetened the pie with our Spring Serenity special, 3 nights for the price of 2! Come, let us pamper you in ironed sheets and breakfasts that will dazzle your tastebuds,while you slide into Spring! http://brewsterhouse.com/specials-and-packages/offers/spring-serenity-buy-2-nights-get-1-free-special/Tags: , ,
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WOW, MAINE RESTAURANT WEEK!!

February 8, 2016 by Scott Gile

Maine Restaurant Week Will Feature Cocktail and Dish Pairing EventMaine Restaurant Week is an annual celebration of food & drink that takes place early every March, and is a fabulous excuse to “get out of Dodge” and enjoy the growing warmth of the sun, by the sea here!  It runs from March 1 – 12, and some ticket sales are limited, so don’t wait too long to commit or your options may be limited….www.mainerestaurantweek.com/

The festivities open on February 28th with “Spirit Quest,” @ 2PM on Sunday in Old Port, with a walk including combinations of delicious “bites” and cocktails through some of the finest restaurants in Portland.  The list of participating establishments is growing, but already includes such notables as David’s, TIQA, 555 and Liquid Riot!  Looks like $40/ participant to us.

The list of participating restaurants is growing, as we speak, but will include some of the most amazing restaurants in the State of Maine, offering 3 course dinners for $25, $35, $45 or $55, + special MRW lunches for only $15!  For sure our favorite, the Azure Cafe in Freeport http://www.azurecafe.com/_index.php, will be participating.  Some special MRW menus are already online, with more appearing daily, as more restaurants sign up.

Hey, on Sunday, March 13th, @ 2PM the “Coffee & Desert Pairing Event” is to be held in Portland.  This sounds like a hot one to a boy with a very serious sweet tooth!!  “Coffee by Design’s” roastery team is creating their best brews to go with bite sized tastes of the most incredible desert entrees from the likes of Dean’s Sweets, Two Fat Cats, Love Cupcakes and Scratch.  More are signing up every day too!  http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2488807  Tix are $35 and to sweeten the deal, this is benefit supporting the fine work of Preble Street (homeless shelter).

croissant covered with blueberries & surrounded by lemon peels

Brewster House’s Lemon Ricotta Stuffed French Toast!

At Brewster House, we have the breakfast gig well covered, with your 3 course gourmet breakfast, and fresh ground coffee prepared in a french press, and home baked cookies and cakes for your afternoon delight!  There are no more comfortable beds and linens, nor more commodious baths on the coast of Maine!and let’s not forget the fireplaces…..  Make you reservation today.  As a note, we will be away from 2/19 until 3/1, but our “Spring Serenity Special” kicks in on that date, meaning we offer 3 night stays for the price of 2 nights.  See http://brewsterhouse.com/specials-and-packages/offers/spring-serenity-buy-2-nights-get-1-free-special/ for details!

Perfect Maine Adventure, Land & Sea!

January 19, 2016 by Scott Gile

Schooner under full sail on a blue seaPerfect Maine Adventure, Land & Sea is what we’re talking about here!  Spend 3-6 spellbinding days and nights on the 145’ schooner Heritage http://www.schoonerheritage.com “the Queen of the Windjammers,” and recover your senses for a like time in the understated elegance and comfort of “the Queen of Freeport,” Brewster House!   Tour the coast, islands & harbors from Penobscot Bay to Mt. Desert Island (Acadia National Park), then enjoy Casco Bay, Bath, Portland, beaches, and the lakes and mountains from the simply elegant comfort of Brewster House.  This lovely large schooner will inspire you, and the breakfast, lunch and dinners created on her wood stove are incredible, not to mention the beach lobster bake the crew creates on an offshore island for your pleasure!  Captains, Doug & Linda Lee encourage your participation joining the crew in sailing her, should that be your passion, or kick back with a good book, enjoy the beauty of her under sail and the amazing coastal scenery sliding gracefully by!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vKBjprcNDjI  They offer 3 to 6 day voyages, with varying themes like “Summer Sailing Full Moon & Lighthouses”, or “Great Schooner Race”. and are home-ported in Rockland, on Penobscot Bay.

Doug is a world renowned author and expert on schooners, and he and Captain Linda actually designed and built Heritage specifically to carry passengers in the early 1980’s.  My family and I have had the exquisite pleasure to spend a vacation on Heritage and participate in raising the sails, steering and enjoying using her amazing variety of sailing and rowing dinghies.beautiful yellow schooner at anchor on a calm sea w/ blue sky behind

You know the cleanliness and quality of our inn, the amazing comfort and quietness of our beds & rooms, and the delectable multi-course breakfast Mary creates every morning.  Return to Freeport for shopping, relaxation and a dip into the gastronomic and cultural offerings of the Portland and Casco Bay areas.  Check out our video!  101179357  Incredibly, you could put a 6 day vacation together split between Brewster House and the Heritage for as little as $849/ person + tax!  Please call to discuss in detail.

Including special package incentives, we can create this vacation of a lifetime for you for as little as $849 + tax/ person, based on a 6 day vacation!  Call us for details and dates, and see Heritage’s itinerary options at http://www.schoonerheritage.com/schedule.html!!  This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to completely inhale all that the Maine coast has to offer!!

Five Freeport Area Winter Blasts

January 8, 2016 by Scott Gile

Five Freeport Area Winter Blasts

2 people racing downhill on a red plastic sled

Snowman Adventure Race

If you’re looking for something different and fun to do around Freeport this Winter, try one of these five Freeport area winter blasts!

I know, I know, our Winter has been a little slow kicking in, but if you remember the timing of last year’s Winter, it wasn’t much different. By mid-January, it had kicked in in a BIG WAY! The POLAR VORTEX is moving in!

#1 is weather bullet-proof, VISIT AN ICE BAR! Wow, they’re like Maine micro-brews, inn that you have a plethora of choices. The first will be offered at Spire & Ice Inn Gotham, January 15-16; the second at the Portland Harbor Hotel on the following weekend, third at the Brunswick Hotel & Tavern February 4-6, and finally here in Freeport on February 19 & 20 as part of “Flavors of Freeport.”

How about a biathlon? A BIATHLON is a competitive endurance event combining cross-country skiing with target shooting. For $25, this event in Jefferson, Maine (1/2 hour east) is open to all, even beginners, including the opportunity to borrow an air rifle and receive instruction before heading out. In the best tradition of Maine events, beer and hot toddies are available! By the way, Pineland Farms, 15 minutes from Brewster House is the practice ground for the US Biathlon Team!

toboggan team heading downhill in an iced chute with crowd in background

US Toboggan Championships

In the summer, Bradbury Mountain State Park hosts competitive Mountain Bike and running events, but in the winter turns to their SNOWSHOE Series. http://trailmonsterrunning.com/bradburysnow About 8 miles west of us in Pownal, these events are offered on 1/24, 2/14 and 3/6. These races range from 3 to 5 miles long. Although they have a few pair of snowshoes to loan, it would seem that if you’re up to racing, you would likely have your own (they’re on a 50% off sale as I speak @ LL Bean).

I’ve written about this before, but it’s so fun and Mainely unique, it’s worth a visit! It’s sort of a Mardi Gras built on the US NATIONAL TOBOGGAN CHAMPIONSHIPS at Camden Snow Bowl from Feb. 5-7. http://www.camdensnowbowl.com/toboggan-championships/ For $30, you can compete on your 2, 3 or 4 person toboggan, by taking your waxed up toboggan down the 400’ iced wooden chute and across the frozen pond at it’s base. Most teams are in costume, and the eats and drinks are a large part of this annual show.

February 6th brings the SNOWMAN ADVENTURE RACE on East End Hill in Portland, 15 minutes south of us. This sounds like a mini winter-biathlon! http://www.snowmanadventure.com Every piece begins with a run up East End hill and a return sled down with teammates sledding as one to the finish. This event is a 2 person relay, made up of a 4-1/2 mile bicycle race around the Back Cove, a 2-1/4 mile run around the East End and the Back Cove. There will be mens, women, co-ed and adult-kids teams as well.

No matter your event choice, we have ample toboggan, sled, bike and snowshoe parking here at Brewster House, and are well equipped to soothe your body & mind post event, with a hot bath, ironed sheets and bottle of your favorite wine! Call us at 207-865-4121, or online at www.brewsterhouse.com to reserve a fireplace room!

FREEPORT NEW YEARS HOLIDAY

December 12, 2015 by Scott Gile

Two cocktail glasses toasting

Happy New Year toast

If you haven’t considered “the home of LL Bean” for your Freeport New Years Holiday, it’s time! This year New Years Eve falls on a Thursday evening, so like Christmas, we share the gift of a THREE DAY WEEKEND!! You gotta love that! You couldn’t pick a sweeter base for your escape than Brewster House, especially when you consider our Happy New Year Special! http://brewsterhouse.com/specials-and-packages/offers/happy-new-year-special/ Not only will you luxuriate in our fireplace rooms with ironed sheets, legendary three course gourmet breakfast, and amazing afternoon cookies, but we’ll throw in a bottle of Champagne or Prosecco, and a $50 gift certificate to dinner at the incredible Azure Cafe. For a finale, a late check-out after a Mimosa breakfast tops the bill!!

The unique Northern Lights show at LL Bean runs every 1/2 hour, with syncopated music and lights. There’s a neat and elegant fireworks display by the High School at 6PM on Thursday. Given the snow gods will provide for us in time, there are many fine local cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing and even sledding options. LL Bean will teach you the first two through the Outdoor Adventure Discover School for a paltry $25, Wolfs Neck Farm is a great spot if you have your own gear, and Pineland Farms http://www.pinelandfarms.org nearby in New Gloucester is an amazing, beautiful and scenic place to play with over 5,000 acres!

carved mahogony mantelpiece behind esy chair, wine glasses on a table and a fire buring in the fireplace

Our living room fireplace

Should the snow fail, there are plenty of cultural options in Portland, museums in Bath and next door in Brunswick, and big theater in Freeport as well.

Go Big and cozy up with your squeeze in one of Brewster Houses special suites, complete with TV sitting rooms, your own frig, large baths, bathrobes and slippers! Call now while they last!!

Portland Harbor’s Holiday Boat Parade

November 29, 2015 by Scott Gile

DEE1412ParadeLights_3-385x580Portland Harbor’s Holiday Boat Parade is always a struggle to pin down date-wise, but we now know it will take place on December 12th!

This is a spectacular annual event in which all sorts of Portland yachts, and working boats light up their rigging and tour the Harbor for your (& their) viewing pleasure. What a perfect distraction for some last minute Holiday shopping in Freeport!!

One of our favorite “ways to sit on your duff and enjoy Casco Bay” summer & fall options are the ferries of Casco Bay Lines. They are not only sponsoring this beautiful annual event (15th year), but are offering $10 tickets aboard one of their ferries to take in the Parade. Tickets are $10 and have been on sale since 11/27, so jump on board http://www.cascobaylines.com/maine-boat-tours/special-event-holiday-cruises/ and enjoy the ride. Parade begins at 4:45PM, ferries depart at 4:30PM. Casco Bay Lines offers Special events throughout the year, including for the 4th of July Fireworks, Fall Foliage and many musical events. I think you can bring a cooler as well, should your appetite or thirst overwhelm you while watching. You can also enjoy from the Maine State Pier, or one of the many Commercial Street waterfront watering holes, such as DeMillos.

Sign up fast, and by the way, Brewster House has a sumptuous suite left for Saturday, 12/12 and several rooms open for Friday, 12/11!! Wow, maybe dinner reservations our in Portland after the Parade?? WISH WE COULD GO!

Azure Cafe, A Highly Recommended Restaurant

April 24, 2015 by Josh Wise

Pasta with bacon corn vegetables and cheeseTaste Italy While Visiting Maine

What could be better on the Maine coast than dining on professionally prepared Italian cuisine? Perhaps an Antipasto of Mussels Solamente, followed by a Green Salad, with an entree of Beef Tenderloin Balsamico or Maine Pollack Puttanesca. All this with a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, Robert Mondavi Reserve, Napa Valley, California 2005. Brewster House Bed & Breakfast recommends only the best dining experiences, and that’s why we want you to visit Azure Cafe: A Taste of Italy on the Coast of Maine.

Azure Cafe is Award-Winning

Azure Cafe is an Italian restaurant and Sea Grille. Amongst its accolades are the Freeport USA’s Person of the Year 2014, awarded to Azure Cafe Owner Jonas Werner, “Maine Chef of the Year 2015” awarded to Executive Chef Christopher Bassett, and the Freeport USA’s  “Best Food in Freeport” Award from the 2015 Flavors of Freeport. 

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