Maiden Cliff Camden Maine

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.

Orvis in the Subaru

Treats Wiscasset Scones

Orvis in Wiscasset

Camden Maine in the fall

Long Grain Spring Rolls

Long Grain Camden Maine

Camden Maine

Camden ME

Maine Fall Foliage

Maiden Cliff Lake Megunticook

Megunticook Lake Maine

Maiden-Cliff-Trail

All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.

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Folk Shop and Gallery

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?

Anju Kittery Maine

Anju Kittery ME

Anju Kittery

Anju Pork Buns

Folk Shop Kittery

Lil's Coffee Shop

Kittery Maine

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Popham Beach State Park

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.

Popham Beach State Park

Popham Beach State Park

Popham Beach State Park

Popham Beach State Park

Popham Beach State Park

Popham Beach State Park

Picnic at Popham Beach

Popham-Beach-Sunset

Popham Beach State Park

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Popham Beach

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!

Palace Diner Biddeford

Palace Diner Tuna Melt

Rabelais

Rabelais-Biddeford

Orvis

Picnic at Popham Beach

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Fall in South Portland

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.

We had such great fall hikes last year at Tumbledown, Sabbattus, and Bradbury, that this might be the fall activity I’m looking forward to the most this year… besides eating apple pie, of course!

Pick apples.

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.

Carve pumpkins.

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.

Brunch.

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!

Run 5Ks.

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!

Michael and Orvis

Bradbury Mountain State Park

Orvis Meredith and Michael at Tumbledown

Sabattus Mountain View

Orchard Hill Farm

Moustached Pumpkin

Piccolo Maine Brunch

Bayside Trail 5K

MTC Turkey Trot

Sheepscot River

Plum Island

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2 Note Storefront

When our dear friends, Darcy & Carolyn, announced that they would be moving their shop from Portland to Hudson, NY, I don’t think any of us would have anticipated how much we’ve been able to see them since the move. Earlier this month I made my third trip of the summer down to Hudson for a shoot and had yet another remarkable time!

This blog post could more accurately be titled, “Dogs of Warren Street,” seeing as Finn, Enzo, and Hughie take up nearly half of the photos here – I simply couldn’t help myself. These three (and their humans, of course) were easily some of the highlights of my few days in Hudson.

Per usual, when I wasn’t shooting, I was either eating or exploring! It appears that no trip to Hudson for me is complete without a pain au chocolat from Cafe Le Perche, dinner at Hudson Food Studio, and ice cream from Lick – we visited all three spots in June, and I was thrilled to sample each one again this time around. It didn’t take me long to learn that lunch from Bruno’s is a Hudson-must, as is a visit to both Hudson Mercantile locations. A few other shops on Warren Street have opened since my last day trip in August, including Hawkins New York, an amazing design store where I easily could have spent the remainder of my day.

Of course, the real highlight of the trip was spending time with Darcy & Carolyn (and their dogs, clearly) and meeting the new friends they’ve made since moving to Hudson. The design and aesthetic of their new shop and home continue to impress me after each visit. We’re so lucky that these great friends of ours give us the perfect excuse to make repeat trips to the Hudson River Valley. Any guesses as to how many more times we make the trip before 2014 comes to an end? I’m holding out for at least one more!

Cafe Le Perche

Hudson New York

Finn

Finn

Hudson Food Studio

Hudson Food Studio

Hudson Food Studio

Hudson Food Studio

Huggles

Enzo

Hughbert

Enzo

Hughie

Hudson NY Shop

Hudson NY Shopping

Hudson NY Shops

Hudson NY

2 Note Perfumery

2 Note Perfumery Hudson

All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.

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Pimiento Cheese Crab Dip

Sometimes the most perfect of summer weekends are also the most simple of summer weekends.

After a Friday afternoon spent window shopping – for actual windows – we rewarded ourselves with Duckfat milkshakes and grilled salmon on the patio. On Saturday, we finally made our way over to the new Tandem Bakery in the West End – where the scones and sticky buns are dangerously delicious. After breakfast, we made a trip to the peak-season farmer’s market, and then over the course of the day, ended up at the beach three separate times with Orvis before the peaceful afternoon storms. Sunday, we started with a run and a swim, followed by a mid-morning treat from Scratch, and then capped off the day by trying multiple new recipes for dinner (and dessert) on the patio.

We intentionally didn’t make any big plans this past weekend, and although no single part seemed out of the ordinary, looking back it’s hard to think of a better way for that weekend to have turned out – simply perfect.

Scribe Wine

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Lavender at Marianmade Farm

On either side of a little work this weekend, our travels took us to two of our favorite farms – Snug Harbor Farm and my family’s lavender farm, Marianmade Farm. On Friday after a delicious brunch at Palace Diner, we decided to extend our morning of fun with a trip down to Snug Harbor to pick up a few new succulents. We’ve been to this darling farm/nursery/gift shop a half dozen times, but somehow we’ve always missed the miniature horses who live there. Needless to say, meeting them was the highlight of our trip!

On Sunday we took Orvis up to Wiscasset to run on the farm with his best dog friend, Mason. It was a delight to take in the beautiful sights & scents of the lavender that my mother is busy harvesting these days, and watching some evening showers roll down the property and across the Sheepscot river was a wonderfully peaceful way to cap our weekend.

Miniature Horses at Snug Harbor Farm

Snug Harbor Farm Miniature Horses

Snug Harbor Farm Succulents

Snug Harbor Farm Topiaries

Sunset

Marianmade Farm Lavender

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Richard Estes at Portland Museum of Art

In a town of Portland’s size, it’s rare to have an art museum that is as well curated as the Portland Museum of Art. We find ourselves continually impressed with both the exhibitions and the events the museum sponsors. In the last month alone, we’ve been wowed by the photorealist paintings of Richard Estes and even had the chance to hear Alex Katz speak in person.

Coming off the heels of last night’s fantastic midsummer party with the museum’s Contemporaries group, we thought we’d share another PMA summer highlight – Third Thursdays. We attended last month’s Third Thursday garden party and took advantage of the museum’s extended hours by roaming the galleries, which we essentially had to ourselves. Tonight’s festivities will feature bluegrass music by Darlin’ Corey and a lecture by director, Mark Bessire, on the role of the museum in the 21st century.

If you’re looking for a slight change of pace from your typical Thursday evenings, or haven’t had the opportunity to visit the museum and see its newest collections, we highly recommend that you take advantage of tonight’s event and keep an eye open for the upcoming Third Thursdays this summer!

Third Thursdays at the Portland Museum of Art

Portland Museum of Art

Portland Maine Museum of Art

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Flea Bites Portland Maine

Meredith and I took last week off from Map & Menu in an attempt to try to pay attention to the beautiful days of summer while we still have them. Instead of evenings prepping photos and writing posts, we opted for home-cooked dinners on the patio and books in the hammock until the sun went down. We worked in the yard. We went for beach walks with Orvis. We did just about anything to minimize the non-requisite time spent in front of a screen… and it was delightful.

On Friday, we headed to the first Flea Bites of the season at the Portland Flea-for-All, where a number of the growing family of Portland food trucks were gathered together. We used the opportunity to sample the Good Shepherd Food Bank’s truck – one that’s on our radar since just after we wrote our last Portland food truck post. With a special guest chef like Damian Sansonetti of Piccolo, it’s hard imagine a better choice for dinner that evening, and we can’t wait to see more of the Good Shepherd truck around town in the future!

To cap an excellent week, Meredith and I threw what’s becoming an annual get together in our backyard to celebrate one of our favorite warm weather libations – rosé (or summer water as it’s quickly becoming known around these parts). A number of old friends and new gathered at our place to enjoy some laughs, some music, some World Cup soccer, some small bites, and plenty of that sweet summer water. Sadly, we didn’t take nearly enough photos of the party, but given the way the week started – somewhat free of Map & Menu – we could help but set the camera down and just enjoy ourselves.

Now we’re back, and ready to share some more trips, meals, and stories as we watch the rest of summer unfold. We hope you’ll follow along and share some of your own summer stories too!

Rose

Rose Party

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