Brewster House Bed & Breakfast (Freeport, Maine Coast)

Category Archives: Portland

Boating Portland, Part 1

June 21, 2014 by Scott Gile

Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, Freeport, Maine

Wow, boating Portland offers so many great boating opportunities, this blog will be confined to that City, and I’ll follow up with a subsequent blog for boating choices from Freeport, and East.  Commercial St. is 20 minutes from our door, so after the bustle of a day on the water, and lunch or dinner around the Portland waterfront, there is no better respite than a glass of wine on the porch of Brewster House on the quiet north side of little ole Freeport!

Please refer back to my piece of July 29th, 2013.  In that blog I referred both to Atlantic Seal Cruises and The Portland Schooner Company.

Wendameen on a port tack

Wendameen on a port tack

The Portland Schooner Company runs two vintage, beautiful schooners “Bagheera” & “Wendameen” several times a day, including sunset cruises http://www.portlandschooner.com.  Sailing is a beautiful & unique experience in which the power of nature is both moving and soothing!   See their website for schedules.  This experience  is very economical and exhilarating, when there is wind!!  Our Seafarer Adventure Package includes a trip with Portland Schooners for two!

A simple and inexpensive approach to appreciating Casco Bay by ferry would be Casco Bay Ferry Lines http://www.cascobaylines.com.  They offer a great variety of adventures, everything from the “Mailboat Run” (to most of the inhabited islands in the Bay) for a 3 hour round trip for just $16, to “Sunset” and “Sunrise” runs.  Can you think of a better way to while away a few hours, taking in the Bay on a summer day?  I’ll bet you can bring your own cooler too!

Of the same ilk, but a hair more tourist oriented would be Portland Discovery Land & Sea Tours http://www.portlanddiscovery.com.  While much of their business is bus based, they do sell a couple of “Lighthouse Tours” of the Portland Casco Bay area, one of which is a sunset tour!  All for a piddling sum!

White & Blue hulled lobster boat with smiling crew aboard

Lucky Catch Lobstering

One of our favorite themes is lobsters, so the Lucky Catch Lobstering Tours www.luckycatch.com are a hoot!  For $30 (adult), you’ll get to participate in being a lobstaman (or lobtsawoman) and even take home a lobster for dock price!!  These tours are 1 hour 45 minutes, and they also lead seal watches as well.  Seals remind me of dogs a bit.

Humpback tail on wate & Tour Boat

Odyssey Whale Watch

There are whale watch boats from both Boothbay Harbor and Portland, but for this installment, we’ll confine our attention to the latter.  Odyssey Whale Watch Tours http://www.odysseywhalewatch.com operate a good size boat (above) out of a Commercial Street wharf.  They leave at 2PM in season, and go out up to 20 miles out for a 4 hour trip, during which you may see humpbacks, fin whales, minke whales, and often porpoises.  Remember, on any of these trips, once you leave the dock, the air temperature will reflect the sea temperature (which is now in low 50’s), so bring an extra layer!  It is an amazing experience to hang at the bow of the boat looking down at porpoises riding the bow wave, as they turn and look back at you!

Whatever your taste in ocean adventure, Brewster House has the best beds (choice of pillows, choice of layered blankets, ironed sheets), quietest rooms and most incredibly delicious breakfast in Freeport, so come back to recoup!!   We’ll deal with the Nova Scotia Ferry as a whole other subject!  Remember, this is only Part One!  Next blog, we’ll work up from Freeport North and East to New Harbor, stay tuned!!

Epiphany

March 23, 2014 by Scott Gile

Scott & Mary
Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, Freeport, Maine

Epiphany
I know, I know, it sounds so overused, so trivialized!  Sometimes, maybe it’s simply a matter of re-examining your situation, or gaining a different perspective when we feel these little light-shafts of joy and revelation.  I also believe they usually come at a quieter time when you have the opportunity to really listen and feel, and not over-think your situation.  I had such a moment while touring the FABULOUS Maine Boat Builders Show with my good friend Mike last week!
It was one of those forty degree, sunny days in late winter when spring feels like a real promise, plus, being proximate to the ocean (like the mountains) always offers a promise of renewal and opportunity.  Mike and I can be comfortable effortlessly, and immersing ourselves in that cleansing boat/ ocean fantasy that was that fine exhibition was the perfect backdrop for such reflection and appreciation of our new home and work here in Maine!  I’ve been to lots of boat shows, but none so replete with the melding of artistic line, extreme quality, and expert craftsmanship, whether sail, power or human powered as this show!  Know that a similar show will be offered on the waterfront in Rockland at Harbor Park from August 8th to 10th, including a boat dog contest.  I will remind you!  Check out www.maineboats.com for details.
Rowing Canoes!
Anyway, I regress…….it occurred to me how lucky we are to be living in a thinly populated State complete with such enormous raw beauty and natural opportunity, and for us, working at a job where our guests are sharing our pleasure!  We get to take in the world from the top on those cold, crystalline days, before dancing down that magical white silent carpet through such magnificent wild forests.  In the spring & summer, we get to watch our world be reborn in soft greens and lilac smells, and that salty, earthy tang that comes with the tides breathing in and out.  Then there’s the water…..full of living things, especially where it splashes against the rocks, and the wind to ride with sails billowing!  In summer, we’re too busy to play in boats, but you aren’t!  I miss it!!  I think all of that is why coastal Maine has such a pool of amazingly talented cooks, artists, innkeepers and adventurers concentrated here. 

Top of Jordan Bowl, Sunday River
The more we visit Portland, the more I appreciate what a great place it is to spend time!  There is an AMAZING number of fabulous restaurants, and much of the waterfront looks like it might have in the 1800’s heydays of fishing sloops, packet ships, coastal schooners and world circling clippers.  The 3 and 4 story brick warehouses, many complete with old signs from the early 20thcentury, give it a very unique and warm flavor.    
I mentioned this in a previous blog, but it’s now official, the Nova Scotia ferry left Singapore last week and will be arriving in New England in early May, including a stop in Boston to show off.  She will start trips to Yarmouth on May 15thfor $79 each way, including an on-board casino and sleeping cabins.  So, stop here on the way out, or the way back and let us spoil you with a side adventure in Maine.  http://www.novastarcruises.com.     
Here’s a gift for putting up with my reverie;
OATMEAL WAFFLES W/ TRIPLE BERRY SYRUP
Serves 6
Ingredients-1            ½ cup flour
                        1 cup quick cooking oats
                        3 tsp baking powder
                        ½ tsp cinnamon
                        ¼ tsp salt
                        2 eggs separated
                        1-1/2 cups milk
                        6 tbspns melted butter
                        2 tbspns brown sugar
In a large bowl, mix first 5 ingredients.  In a small bowl, mix 2 egg yolks, cooled melted butter & milk w/ brown sugar. Add the egg yolk and milk mixture into dry ingredients.  In a medium bowl beat 2 egg whites until light and fluffy then fold into waffle batter.
Note:  To make this recipe lactose free, substitute 6 tablespoons vegetable oil for butter, & substitute soy or almond milk for milk.
                       
TRIPLE BERRY SYRUP
Ingredients-   1 cup of sugar
                        2 tbspns cornstarch
                        1 cup water
                        1 tbspn lemon juice
                        1 tbspn butter
                        1 cup frozen mixed berries
Note:  Fresh berries can also be used        
Combine sugar & cornstarch in a saucepan on stove.  Slowly add water & whisk until incorporated.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  When thickened, add 1 cup of mixed berries & reduce heat.  Simmer until the berries begin to burst.  Remove them from heat & add lemon & butter.
Serve over waffles w/ fresh crème fraiche or whipped cream & berries as a garnish.

Next time we make them, I promised I’ll take and post a photo! 

BAH-GUN WEEKEND & HAPPI NEW YEAH’S!!

November 10, 2013 by Scott Gile

Scott & Mary
Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, Freeport, Maine

BAH-GUN WEEKEND
Friends of Brewster, our suggestion is to save your Christmas money (and any gifts you can put off) and come to Freeport for the weekend after  Christmas to take advantage of all the over-stocking mistakes the retailers represented here made!!  Not only do you get to take advantage of LL Bean & neighbors, but Brewster House has our own BAH-GUN for you!! 
Arrive on Thursday 12/26, or Friday 12/27 and we’ll offer you 3 days here for the price of just 2!  Not only that, we’ll throw in your choice of a Mimosa or Proscecco cocktail with your breakfast on Sunday ON US!!  We’ll even handle the recycling from all of your buying victories, and provide you with a 50 gallon bag for your gifts (like Santa’s, but polyethylene) and help you wrestle that beast to your car!
HAPPI NEW YEAHS -2014!!
Hey, the Wednesday Christmas/ New Yeahs weekday makes this Holiday a bit challenging for we celebrants.  If you are among the fortunate (or committed to partying) who will go away, consider coming to Brewster House on Tuesday, 12/31!  We have OUTSTANDING DINING OPTIONS, both here and in Portland!!  LL Bean is sponsoring fireworks on New Year’s Eve.  See this link for all of the WILD goings on in Portland!  http://www.newyearsportlandmaine.com.  We’ll not only welcome you with a bottle of sparkly, but will help with “hair of the dog” at Mary’s always elegant breakfast with your choice of a mimosa or Prosecco cocktail. 

And as a tease, this was the “fruit” offering w/ breakfast a few days ago……Mary called this vanilla pannacotta w/ strawberries.  Seems to me something like “life-altering creamy slathering love-bomb of strawberries” might be more accurately descriptive!!

6th ANNUAL HARVEST ON THE HARBOR

October 8, 2013 by Scott Gile

Scott & Mary
Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, Freeport, Maine

10/23 – 26, 2013
Autumn chill driving you to play inside??  Don’t miss this great southern Maine regional FOODIE/ WINE extravaganza!    
This annual event is an amazing combination of chefs, restaurants, wine and beer tastings, music and ethnic culinary opportunities spread over 4 days, starting on Wednesday, Oct. 23rd.  The Celebration opens with the Grand Tasting on the Harbor on Thursday evening, mingling guests with Maines’ best restaurants, chefs and pairing the right wines and beers with their finest creations!
Thursday at noon opens the Maine Lobster Chef of the Year  competition, followed by, International Maine:  Taste of the World, which aims to demonstrate the range of cuisine offered here by featuring the premier local Chefs offering their most diverse ethnic delicacies.  
The Wine Tasting Experience and Beer Tasting Experiences will take place on Oct. 25 at 5 and 5:30, respectively in the Oceanview Room and Oceanview Pavilions, closely followed at 7PM by the Blues & Brews BBQ in the Pavilion.  Groove to your favorite blues tunes, while loading up on barbeque and your favorites beers!!

                             

Sunday brings the event wrap-up with two sessions (starting at noon) on Casco Bay with 160 Maine food, wine, beer and distilled beverage artisans sharing their delectables with you along the waterfront. 
For great detail, see www.harvestontheharbor.com.
  
I took Bella there today (& a glorious one it was) to scope out the site (note David Geffen’s 153′ motoryacht on the right side of the photo) Right on the waterfront, by the cruise-ship dock!!  How much better does life get??
As I speak, we only have rooms open for Wednesday and Thursday, but cancellations do happen, and I can wait list folks. 

A Clearing Storm at Portland Head Lighthouse

September 11, 2012 by Scott Gile

During the busy season in Freeport, Maine (July – October), we rarely get a chance to do our own sightseeing. However, this past Sunday afternoon we did have a couple of hours, so we packed up some camera equipment and headed to one of our favorite nearby lighthouses, Portland Head Lighthouse.

Last Saturday there was a bit of a storm, so we were hoping to see some nice cloud formations and waves. We were not disappointed!

In one of the traditional photo location, just south of the lighthouse, you’ll see (top) the clouds clearing just above the lighthouse. As we walked around Fort Williams Park, we also saw the large waves breaking on the rocks below the lighthouse (middle).

Then we were pleasantly surprised to see one of the antique schooners from Portland Schooner Company make its way past Ram Island Lighthouse, before turning to return to port from its noon sail (some of our guests were aboard!). Portland Schooner supplies the “surf” portion of our Fall Foliage Surf & Turf package!

All in all, a lovely day, some nice photos, and a good walk. You should try it!

Ruth & Scott
Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, Freeport, Maine

Visit Maine Like A Mainer! Greater Portland and Casco Bay (Part 1)

June 16, 2009 by Scott Gile

Babb's Bridge, South Windham, Maine
The region known as Greater Portland and Casco Bay includes not only Portland and its neighboring communities, but also several surrounding areas that are popular with visitors, and stretches north on US-1 as far as Freeport, which deserves a separate description of its own. Because there is so much that is fun to do in this region, we’ll discuss Portland and its immediate neighbors in this post, and the next post in this series will look at Freeport and some of the other neighboring areas.

A metro area population of 230,000 and a Portland city population of 64,000, make Portland and its metro area Maine’s most populous. For the visitor from larger cities, such as Boston, New York, London, Paris, Chicago, Tokyo, etc., Portland can be an amazing destination.

Small, compared to these other cities, it is easy to find your way around Portland, and it is not far from the busy downtown streets to the bay or to the open countryside. Yet it has the feel of a much larger city, and many of the amenities, as well.

A favorite thing to do in Portland is eat. There are many fine restaurants (often far more than you would expect for a city of this size), with chefs who have departed the hustle and bustle of New York or Boston for the more relaxing atmosphere of Maine’s famous port city. Many can be found (with reviews) on the Food in Portland website.

A stroll along the Old Port district takes you to shops, art galleries, museums, restaurants and historical landmarks – even a section of the Berlin Wall on display. You can take a sail on an antique schooner, a sightseeing tour of Casco Bay and Portland, walking tours, or even a tour on a lobster boat – pulling your own lobster traps!

Portland Head Lighthouse, Cape Elizabeth, MaineVisit the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow house and museum, or see a bit of Victorian America at the Victoria Mansion.

If you are looking for something a bit more rural and unusual, a 30 minute drive west and north will bring you to South Windham, where, on Covered Bridge Road, you can see one of Maine’s historic covered bridges, the Babb’s Bridge, built in 1864 (and rebuilt in 1976 after vandals destroyed it in a 1973 fire).

Of course, no visit to Portland is complete without a visit to Cape Elizabeth’s Fort Williams Park, and Portland Head Lighthouse. The park is maintained free of any entrance fee by the citizens of Cape Elizabeth as a gift to visitors to the area. There is a small fee to enter the museum at the lighthouse. The park also includes remnants of military forts, an old mansion, a playground and a small beach. It is a great location to spend most of a day.

Of course, in a short article like this, it is impossible to discuss every activity in an area, and there are many, many, more adventures to be had in and around Portland.

There’s more to Maine!

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