Almost every fall since moving to Maine, Meredith and I have found the time to do a little apple picking of our own, and almost every fall, we’ve chosen a new orchard to try, but after our trip to Hansel’s Apple Orchard this year, we might have found the orchard that will become as much a part of our tradition as the flannel shirts and bean boots we wear.
Hansel’s is a smaller, family-owned orchard in North Yarmouth that is somewhat unlike the other orchards we’ve visited in the past few years. Without the pumpkin patch, barn store, tour bus turn-around, or long lines, Hansel’s is refreshingly all about the apples. Nestled on a cozy patch of land, you can walk up, grab a real basket (from quarter-peck to full bushel), and get to picking your McIntosh, Cortlands, Macouns, Jonagolds, a Honeycrisp or two, and even a mystery varietal of their own. Meredith and I filled our peck in no time, snapped a few photos, and returned home to days of apple snacks, crisps, and homemade applesauce.
If you’re looking for a new orchard to try this year or next, we highly recommend checking out Hansel’s – we think you’ll really enjoy the change of pace.
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Eager to take advantage of a wedding-free weekend, Michael and I headed up the coast on Friday evening after work to spend a night at my family’s home in Wiscasset. Whenever our schedules slow down in the fall and winter, we love using this spot as a jumping-off point to explore other parts of Maine.
Saturday’s destination was a tried & true favorite day trip – Camden. While I’ve been sneaking in work-related trips to Long Grain since our first visit in 2012, Michael on the other hand, hadn’t been as fortunate, so we set our sights tastebuds on a lunch at the wonderful establishment. After our fill of some delicious pork belly pad kee mao, a tasty crab fried rice bowl, and “the spring rolls that ruined all other spring rolls for us”, we were anxious to stretch our legs, so we ventured up Maiden’s Cliff, eager to take in the colorful foliage and the beautiful view of Megunticook Lake. Even Orvis, whose tail is always happily spinning in search of the next adventure, seemed to be taken with the stunning vista before our eyes, and laid down for a bit at the top.
On Sunday we enjoyed a slow morning around the house – made complete with breakfast from Scratch – before meeting some friends for a hike at Wolfe’s Neck. Spending time outdoors both days this weekend reminded us how thankful we are to live in such a richly beautiful state, and even though our hikes will soon lack the vibrant fall color of October (and will require many more layers), it’ll be enjoyable to welcome all of the new fun that the next season brings.
All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.1 Comment - Leave a comment
Our mid-week getaway to North Haven couldn’t have been more enjoyable. We just missed the peak season, so we felt as though we had the quiet island all to ourselves. With an adorable village, a handful of trails, and more island to bike than one could possibly fit into a short trip, we had plenty to do on our own and with Orvis and Mason. Unlike many remote Maine island experiences (North Haven is an hour ferry ride from Rockland), the restaurants and the food on the island left little to be desired, and over the course of four days, Meredith, her mother, and I ate our fill, laughed a lot, and relaxed even more. Here are some of the highlights from our trip:
Staying at Nebo Lodge has been high on our list of places to visit since Bon Appétit listed the inn as one of “The Best Food Lover’s Hotels in America.” Although the inn is plenty old (the building was the original inn on the island), it’s styled in a clean, modern cottage aesthetic, with Angela Adams accents and carefully selected art throughout to balance with its age. Read more about our time at Nebo Lodge here.
In their off-season, the restaurant at Nebo closes on Thursday nights, which gave us the perfect opportunity to enjoy a meal around the corner at Calderwood Hall, the local pizza shop and market. The weather turned out to be beautiful on that last night, so we decided to switch up the plans a bit, ordered our dinner to go, and returned to the inn for a picnic with the pups on the porch. Our fall pie, with butternut squash, sage, caramelized onions, and ricotta was simply amazing, and the pork tacos we started with were easily some of the best we’ve tried. As we polished off the last of our dinners on the island, we couldn’t help but reminisce about our meals on North Haven and note the fact that the food was a major selling point of our trip.
Hopkins Wharf Gallery
One of the more beautiful pieces of art at Nebo was the dining room wall mural, painted by David Wilson, one of the owners of the Hopkins Wharf Gallery just down the hill from the inn. We highly recommend stopping into the gallery to see their collection of locally-inspired, coastal Maine paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and furniture.
Upon our arrival, the innkeeper at Nebo, Liz, immediately pointed out this short hike to the highest point on the island, just outside of the village. We enjoyed the view and the fern-lined hike so much, that we ended up taking the dogs up Ames Knob three separate times during our stay on North Haven.
A gorgeous sister property to Nebo Lodge and Calderwood Hall, Turner Farm is an organic vegetable, flower, poultry, herb, and egg farm that overlooks the water from a beautiful hilltop barn. They also produce a variety of livestock and operate a dairy and creamery, and all together, supply a good portion of the food for Nebo and Calderwood. Sadly, we missed their seasonal barn dinners farm stand (next time, this will be a must), but just enjoyed adding the farm and the view to our bike ride.
Mullen Head Park
When our waitress at the inn found out that we were planning on borrowing a few bikes to explore the island, her eyes lit up and she insisted that we visit Mullen Head Park. Michael and I made the trek out to this beautiful, expansive park, and although it was incredibly windy on the particular day we chose, we took a moment to enjoy the views of nearby Deer Isle and one of the three beaches that make up the park. Our trip to Mullen Head was the one time we realized that we missed not having a car on the island, as the dogs would have had the entire park to themselves to run and play. Maybe next time!
FOX i Printworks
As our mid-week October visit coincided with what is considered to be a quieter time on the island, not all of the shops were keeping summer hours, but we were hoping that at some point we’d be able to pop into FOX i Printworks, a print shop located right downtown, after seeing a few of their stylish signs posted on the various island message boards scattered about. Fortune would have it that the doors were wide open on our last full day, so we took the opportunity to duck inside, eager to browse their colorful collection of cards, tea towels, pillows, t-shirts, and other gifts in person. A few of our favorite items were their waves tea towel, triangle-patterned pillow, and silkscreen printed leather key chain (which now holds onto the studio keys for me!).
We enjoyed two relaxed and delicious lunches (thick BLTs + tasty wraps) with the dogs right on the porch of Cooper’s Landing in the center of town. Even in October, Cooper’s was bustling – I can only imagine how busy it must be in the height of the summer.
All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.1 Comment - Leave a comment
There are no shortage of coastal Maine islands from which to choose for your next getaway. Close, remote, big, or small, there’s probably one to fit your needs, but until our most recent trip to Nebo Lodge on North Haven, we weren’t quite sure that we’d found that one to fit our own “quiet island, comfortable and stylish accommodations, delicious food, and dog-friendly” requirements.
The island of North Haven is 13 miles off the mainland, and an hour’s ferry ride from Rockland, making it one of the more remote islands we’ve visited in Maine. We’ve been wanting to visit Nebo Lodge ever since reading about it in Bon Appétit when it was listed as one of “The Best Food Lover’s Hotels in America,” and this month, we finally had the opportunity to plan a mid-week visit with Meredith’s mother and her dog, Mason.
Although the inn is plenty old (the building was the original inn on the island – a print in our room showed it in the later part of the 19th century), it’s styled in a clean, modern cottage aesthetic, with Angela Adams accents (a North Haven native, herself) and carefully selected art throughout to balance with its age. It sits just up the hill from ‘downtown’ North Haven (more about that in a future post!), and from the moment we walked through the door, we felt right at home. There are bicycles to borrow to explore the island, plenty of options for walking, and large front and back porches (and a second floor deck) to enjoy a morning coffee, a midday book, or an afternoon drink. Each room presents an opportunity to notice new details, and art like the full-wall mural in the dining room (painted by David Wilson) are impressive touches that make for a beautiful stay.
The food is something at the inn that just can’t be overlooked. We ate at the inn’s restaurant both nights it was open during our stay, and enjoyed wonderfully prepared meals across the board. With locally-sourced ingredients and a variety of different choices, we ate to our hearts’ content on the first evening, and then scaled way back the second – but both nights couldn’t be happier with the quality, flavor, and atmosphere of our meals. The food alone is a reason to visit the inn, but I don’t know how you could make the trip and not want to stay a while.
All in all, we’d highly recommend the Nebo Lodge for anyone looking for a Maine island vacation. For us, it was the perfect mix of comfort and style, peace and relaxation, and some very very tasty eats.
All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.6 Comments - Leave a comment
On Sunday, Meredith and I were thinking that it’d be nice to change up our normal routine and maybe have lunch somewhere we hadn’t been in a while, so we loaded Orvis in the car and headed to Kittery. Our plans were to take Orvis for a short stroll around town (he can’t go too far while he’s recovering from a little procedure on his foot), and then have lunch at Tulsi, but after passing by Lil’s, MEat, Folk, and Anju – an entire stretch of shops and restaurants we’re pretty sure didn’t exist the last time we were in Kittery – we changed the game plan and decided to stay in Wallingford Square.
When Meredith first ducked inside Folk – a neat shop and gallery with a fun collection of print good, clothes, art and jewelry – I could hear her immediately hitting it off with Emily, the employee running the shop. On Emily’s excellent suggestion, we decided to try Anju, the noodle bar next door for lunch, and after a delicious meal that included some awesomely refreshing pork buns and duck confit rice cakes that should not be missed, we found ourselves starting to contemplate the logistics of a move to Kittery. We followed lunch with some Tandem coffee and a cider crueller from Lil’s, and even had the chance to briefly pop into MEat, where I strongly regretted not always traveling with a cooler in the back of the Subaru. When you add places like The Black Birch and Tulsi, it’s hard to ignore Kittery’s quickly-growing culinary scene, and after taking a drive along Whipple Road to explore Kittery Point with Orvis, it’s also hard to ignore how beautiful the coastal town is.
For an unplanned Sunday road trip, I think we did pretty well. Do you have any recommendations for similar towns that we might be able to add to our radar?
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We’ve heard so many great things about Popham Beach over the years, but we’d never really made the time to visit this lovely stretch of sandy beach in Phippsburg. Crowded shores in the summertime really aren’t our thing, and it’s hard to pass up the smaller beaches within walking distance to our home, but last Sunday when we noticed how nice the fall weather was going to be, we decided that there would be no better way to spend an early fall evening than picnicking on a beach! We packed up our picnic basket with a few favorite items from Scratch, prepped Orvis for the adventure, and headed up the road to Popham Beach State Park.
The expansive beach was surprisingly empty when we first arrived and by the time the sun set and the park closed, we were essentially the only people in the park. From the time we stepped onto the beach, we were completely captivated by Popham’s naturally beautiful setting, stretching as far as we could see on either side. The sun was making its way down over the wooded hills to the west and because the tide was just right, we could see a handful of people walking around Fox Island (a mere 45 minutes later, the tide had shifted and the island was no longer accessible – thank goodness we didn’t choose the island for our picnic spot!). Orvis was mesmerized by the six or so galloping horses who came down to Popham to stretch their legs, and watching them run on the beach in the golden light of the setting sun only added to the dreamlike setting.
The sun continued to drop while we enjoyed a lovely dinner, stretched out on our favorite blanket, watching Orvis dig a gigantic hole in the sand to protect his pint-sized bone. We hadn’t anticipated such a memorable and beautiful evening when we set out earlier in the day, but we found it almost impossible to leave as the sun finally disappeared. Hopefully we can return to Popham often in the coming years.
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This past weekend has me so excited about our future fall adventures! It was just the right balance of work, relaxing, and because it’s us, eating, all capped off with a beautiful night on a beach.
After taking a few days off mid-week to travel to North Haven, we took advantage of the rainy weather on Saturday and got some work done before we made the quick trip down to Biddeford for lunch at Palace. We finally tried the Tuna Melt that our friends (and others) have been raving about for months now and also the double cheeseburger ‘royale’ that is equally amazing. No trip to Biddeford is complete without a stop by Rabelais, which is always accompanied by a fascinating and enlightening conversation with the owner, Don. We picked up a couple of new books on his recommendation and headed back home to settle in for an afternoon of reading on the couch.
We had every intention of visiting Popham Beach this summer, but time got the best of us, and we just never got around to it. Waiting proved to be beneficial for us though, as dogs are now allowed back on the state park beaches. Yesterday was much too lovely to be spent doing anything but soaking up the sunshine, so we packed a picnic dinner and headed up to Phippsburg with Orvis. How we’ve lived in Maine six years and not visited Popham until yesterday is beyond me – it might be a new favorite of ours, especially in the quieter off-season. More to come on that in a future post!
Hopefully you all had a splendid fall weekend as well. And thank you, all of you, so much for your sweet support over last week’s print shop announcement. It means so much to us!
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Last week, we hinted at a number of changes happening around Map & Menu. We’ve updated our logo and are making adjustments to the site that will continue to roll out in the weeks to come, but the addition we’re easily the most excited about is the launch of our new print shop, Map & Menu Prints!
Since we created Map & Menu, we’ve had many readers ask us about prints of photos from trips similar to their own adventures, but we’ve never really known how to handle these requests. After some wonderful results printing some of the images for our own home, we set out to carefully select a few of our favorites to offer in both limited and open editions. Our first collection features 12 photographs from the trips we’ve taken to Scotland, California, and France, along with a few of our more memorable coastal Maine images.
As with every photograph, each image in our collection of prints has its own story – memories that we’ve recounted through our travel guides here on the site – and while these particular photographs capture a specific time and place from our personal travels, our hope is that they’ll inspire memories in others of their own journeys.
Now for the giveaway – to enter to win a 16×24 limited edition print of your choice, simply follow us on instagram – @mapandmenu – and leave a comment below telling us your favorite photograph from the shop. You have until midnight this Friday, October 3rd. (Plus, you can always sign up for our mailing list to receive 10% off your first order and notifications of future collection releases!)28 Comments - Leave a comment
It’s no secret that we think the drinks at the Portland Hunt & Alpine Club (pictured above) are consistently some of the best we’ve tried, and we know that many of you feel the same way, so we hope you’ll take a moment to vote for them – they’re a contender for The People’s Best New Bars from Food & Wine, and we (and clearly so many others) think they deserve to win!
Speaking of Food & Wine, this month’s issue is easily my favorite of the past few months. With no less than a dozen recipes from this issue bookmarked, we set out to make this amazing rice bowl earlier this week – do yourself a big favor and whip this up over the weekend.
If we were making a trip down to New York this fall, you can bet we’d be stopping by a few of these art openings.
Finally, if you’re reading this post in a feed reader, do us a big favor and click over to see the new Map & Menu logo we released this week. We’re pretty excited about some of the changes we’re making on the site, and cannot wait to share an even bigger Map & Menu announcement next week… (!!)
Have a fantastic weekend, friends!3 Comments - Leave a comment
I guess it’s officially time to say farewell to summer, pull out our flannel & bean boots, and welcome fall. This is a gorgeous season in New England and if you don’t mind the chill, there are plenty of things to do – here are a few activities we’re looking forward to this fall!
Plan a few hiking day trips.
One of our very favorite fall traditions that we’ve done every year since moving to Maine is picking apples. I’m really excited about trying new apple recipes this year, but I think that the donuts that many farms sell are one of the bigger draws for Michael.
Just this morning a lady stopped me as I was heading up our driveway to tell me that all of the neighborhood kids are looking forward to seeing what we (read: Michael) carve for our pumpkins this year. The pressure is on, friends! See our previous pumpkins from 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010.
We hardly ever go to brunch in the summer, but come fall, it’s all I think about on Sunday mornings. Bring on the pancakes, please!
Once our travel and wedding seasons slow down in the fall, there are a few 5K races I always look forward to running – the Bayside Trail 5K (with Orvis!) and the Turkey Trot.
Take a daytrip.
It’s always fun to take a few more small trips each fall after the crowds start to disappear. Last year’s trips to Tamworth and Newburyport were two of our highlights, so we can’t wait to try out a few more places this fall.
Attend a cooking class.
This is an item on our “30 by 30″ list, and after taking a look at the new culinary arts courses offered at MECA this year, we can’t wait to pick one out.
Surely there are fall activities we’ve missed – if you have any favorites of your own, we’d love to hear them!
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