Greenwich Village Travel Guide

In the midst of a whirlwind early summer this past year, it looks as though we never got around to posting about the quick girls trip I took with my mother to New York last May – what a shame! It all works out though, because I’m happy to be reliving the warmth and colors of spring in New York during the middle of winter, aren’t you? While my mother spent a day working with a client, I was happy to wander around the Village, photographing charming stoops, popping into cute shops, and having some delicious meals. Here are a few highlights from our trip last spring! 

The Marlton + Margaux

The Marlton’s rooms, branding, and restaurant, Margaux, are all packed with a quirky personality that perfectly balances style and expression. I loved every moment of my stay there. Read more about our time at The Marlton here. 

Cafe Cluny

Dining at Cafe Cluny has been high on my list since reading about it on Cup of Jo ages ago. It was our first meal in the city during this trip, and easily one of the tastiest. Our meal reminded me of one of Michael’s favorite restaurant critiques – the food was simple, yet perfectly prepared. The charming atmosphere and the meandering walks we enjoyed to and from Cafe Cluny only added to our experience.

Jeffrey’s Grocery

While my mother was working with a client in the city, I moseyed around the Village before I ended up at the delightful oyster bar, Jeffrey’s Grocery. The weather was just right for a glass of rose, a heaping salade Niçoise, and plenty of people watching!

Mermaid Oyster Bar

I walked down to the Mermaid Oyster Bar for a snack before I had to head uptown to a client meeting of my own – the happy hour specials here are not to be missed, neither are the shrimp & avocado sliders!

Cafe Gitane

A recommendation from Mackenzie’s blog, Cafe Gitane, inside The Jane Hotel, was a perfect spot for us to spend our final morning in New York. We swapped stories from the day we spent apart and watched the rain come down while feasting on the most comforting of breakfast foods – baked eggs and pain au chocolat.

What are some of your favorite spots in the West Village/Greenwich Village? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below. I have my heart set on trying Rosemary’s, Palma, Red Farm, Perla, or Claudette for our next visit. But returning to Buvette would also be a treat! Read more about our past trips down to New York here

The Marlton Hotel NYC

Margaux NYC

Cafe Cluny NY

Cafe Cluny

Cafe Cluny Salmon

Washington Square Park

West Village Travel Guide

Jeffrey's Grocery

Jeffrey's Grocery NY

West Village City Guide

Greenwich Village City Guide

Mermaid Inn

Mermaid Oyster Bar

Greenwich Village NYC

West Village NY

Friends Apartment

Cafe Gitane Jane Hotel

Cafe Gitane West Village

Cafe Gitane

Greenwich Village

Washington Square Park NY

All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu

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Moorings-Village-and-Spa

Escaping to a warmer climate has been on my mind all week during this horrendously cold spell here in Maine. Since many of you in similar climates have braved the same temperatures, I thought revisiting last year’s Winter Getaway Daydreaming post and coming up with another list of warm destinations might be a welcome distraction from the cold. 

El Blok, the newest hotel on the small Puerto Rican island of Vieques, is high on my list of places I would love to visit with Michael, namely to sample the cuisine of the hotel restaurant headed by James Beard nominated chef, Jose Enrique. Of course, the island destination and stylish design only adds to El Blok’s draw.

Belize’s Turtle Inn, owned by Francis Ford Coppola, keeps popping up on my radar these days. I could definitely get behind the idea of showering outdoors in a private garden, couldn’t you?

I’m not quite sure I can imagine a more beautifully luxurious escape than spending a few days at the recently re-opened and rebranded stunning Cheval Blanc property on St. Barts.

I hadn’t heard of Saba, a tiny island in the Dutch Antilles, until I came across a mention of the Queen’s Gardens Resort in an AFAR article. The island itself reminds me of the lovely, seemingly untouched Nevis we visited a few years ago.

Harbour Island has been on my travel bucket list for a few years now. If we ever make it down to this charming island in the Bahamas, known for its pink sand beaches, I’d have my eyes on The Landing, The Saltbox, or the soon to open Bahama House Inn.

Although I don’t feel quite as relaxed while vacationing in a city, I think I would make an exception for the pool alone at Hotel Tribal in Granada, Nicaragua.

What warm weather destinations are on your radar? We’d love to hear some of your favorite spots or dream-worthy vacations below!

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The Optimist Hush Puppies

Up next in our Best of 2014 are this year’s highlights from the meals and drinks we’ve enjoyed the most while traveling. (Our favorites for our home state of Maine will be up tomorrow.) It’s no easy feat choosing just one favorite from many trips that often revolve around eating, but here are some of this year’s standouts. We clearly enjoyed eating our way through the southeastern US this year, but can you blame us? There’s a lot of good food to be had down there these days. We hope this list helps with your own travel planning for 2015. We’d love to hear some of your favorite food destinations in the comments below!

Cocktails

Michael: Our drinks at the James Beard nominated, poolside craft cocktail bar, The Broken Shaker, certainly lived up to our expectations.
Meredith: I have the vanilla-infused spiced rum, and velvet falernum Sailor’s Delight from The Optimist to thank for my tiki cocktail craze this year.

Appetizer

Michael: We had a wonderful time sampling the Southern farm to table cuisine at Empire State South, but the “In Jars” selection of spreads (pimiento cheese, bacon marmalade, catfish rillette, and more ) was brilliantly delicious and a great way to show our friend from Germany a taste of the south.
Meredith: After polishing off the last one at The Optimist, I found myself wondering why all hushpuppies aren’t served “beignet-style” with cane syrup butter and powdered sugar.

Entree

Michael: The decadent braised short rib (with a side of the macaroni au gratin, of course) at Poole’s Diner in Raleigh, North Carolina was the ultimate way to end a fantastic day spent exploring the city.
Meredith: My friend, Betsy, prepares some of the tastiest scallops I’ve ever eaten in my life, and I’m positive even she would love the scallops at Empire State South just as much as I did this past spring.

Dessert

Michael: With deliciously creative flavors like Birch + Marshmallows and signature flavors such as The Milkiest Chocolate in the World, we were in heaven at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams – so much so, that we may have indulged two nights in a row…
Meredith: The famous ice cream sandwiches at Miller’s Union definitely lived up to the hype.

Brunch

Michael: What more could one want while vacationing in Vermont than a plate full of blueberry pancakes topped with delicious Vermont maple syrup? The pancakes at Topnotch were so good, I ordered them two days in a row.
Meredith: Our tasty post-hike brunch at the Prairie While this summer was, hands-down, my favorite of our meals in Great Barrington.

Lunch

Michael & Meredith: One of the many meals we enjoyed while eating our way through Charleston was lunch at Xiao Bao Biscuit. The casual ‘Asian soul food’ restaurant struck us with its bold style and amazing dishes.

Bakery

Michael & Meredith: Even after visiting three (!) other bakeries in Charleston, we still managed to return to Brown’s Court Bakery three times. Everything – the croissants, the sticky buns, the cinnamon rolls, the charming building, and the friendly staff – made Brown’s Court the perfect bakery experience.

Wine Shop

Michael: Wine Authorities is a comfortable neighborhood wine shop in Raleigh (and Durham) with a very knowledgeable staff and a great selection of estate wines based on an even greater concept – every bottle in the store is less than $50 because “wine should be enjoyed, not collected.” That’s a mission I can easily get behind.
Meredith: In the 30 minutes I spent in Kingston Wine Co., I witnessed a dozen or so people walk through the shop, eager to hear the opinion of co-owner Michael Drapkin about which wine they should select. It became immediately apparent just how much of a community Michael and his wife Theresa have created within their shop, a store that is undoubtedly worthy of planning a trip to Kingston, NY.

Dining with Orvis

Michael & Meredith: The fact that we could eat outside with Orvis at Topnotch during both breakfast and dinner easily secured many future visits to this fantastic dog-friendly resort in Stowe for our little family.

Experience

Michael: Food wasn’t the concentration of our time in the Scottish Highlands, but dining in the old stone crofter’s cottage overlooking Loch Dunvegan at the famous Three Chimneys restaurant on Isle of Skye turned out to be one of the more memorable dining experiences of my entire year.
Meredith: It’s hard to beat the combination of fresh fish tacos and a tasty mojito underneath the palm trees at Morada Bay Beach Cafe!

Decor

Michael: The food was so good that I ate at The Dogs twice during my relatively short time in Edinburgh (once with my co-workers and once with Meredith), but the unassuming, low-key feeling of this restaurant, tucked away in a loft, with its quirky dog-related art, is one of the reasons I insisted on bringing Meredith here for our single dinner together in Edinburgh.
Meredith: Stepping into The Ordinary is an almost surreal experience. The oyster hall on upper King St. has plenty of classic charm and many leftover details from its history as a bank, including the vault from which the raw bar is now served.

Food Destination

Michael: We ate and ate and ate (and ate some more) in Charleston and there wasn’t a single meal during our entire four days there that didn’t excite us. Since our February trip, even more amazing spots have opened up, making this a food destination to which I cannot wait to return.
Meredith: Tagging along on Michael’s work trip to Atlanta was one of the best decisions I made all year. While he was working during the day, I managed to go from restaurant to restaurant and somehow kept just enough room to enjoy dinner with him each evening. Everything was delicious!

Overall Meal

Michael: Set in a rustic mill quite literally on top of the river, everything about Hen of the Wood seems classically authentic to the locally-sourced and chef-owned mission it’s based around. Each part of my meal, from the heirloom tomatoes, to the bluefish toast, or slow-cooked rabbit was deliciously prepared and carefully presented.
Meredith: As if the multiple mentions on this decently short list weren’t enough of a hint, my dinner at The Optimist was easily one of the more memorable meals of my life, and reason enough for anyone to put Atlanta on their list for 2015.

Broken Shaker Miami Beach

The Optimist Cocktails

Empire state South pimento cheese

Poole's Diner Mac and Cheese

Empire State South Scallops

Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream Atlanta

Miller Union Ice Cream Sandwich

Prairie Whale Brunch

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Xiao Bao Biscuit Lunch

Xiao Bao Biscuit Charleston

Brown's Court Bakery Charleston

Wine Authorities Raleigh

Kingston Wine Co. NY

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Fish Tacos at Morada Bay Beach Cafe

Morada Bay Beach Cafe

Three Chimneys Isle of Skye

The Three Chimneys Restaurant

The Dogs Edinburgh

The Ordinary Charleston

The Ordinary Charleston

Pimiento Cheese Husk

JCT Kitchen Shrimp & Grits

The Optimist

Hen of the Wood Waterbury

All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.

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The Marlton Hotel NYC

Recapping some of our best hotel stays each year is always an enjoyable experience reliving the memories, adventures, and meals of the past year. Here are some of our hotel favorites from 2014 that we hope will help you in planning your upcoming getaways.

Overall Aesthetic

Michael: From the moment we stepped onto the property at Charleston’s Zero George, I felt right at home with it’s classic Southern charm, style, and understated elegance. I’d be hard pressed to stay anywhere else in a town I can’t wait to return to.
Meredith: The Marlton’s rooms, restaurant, and branding are all packed with a quirky personality that perfectly balances style and expression. I loved every moment of my stay there this year.

Bathroom

Michael: The nod to Scotland’s own Sean Connery at The Balmoral in Edinburgh was a nice touch to an already classically cool bathroom.
Meredith: These days it seems as though my dreams are made of the marble sinks and brass Waterworks fixtures from The Marlton.

Dog-Friendly

Michael & Meredith: We loved everything about our time with Orvis at Topnotch – the dog-friendly green spaces, the access to trails, and the welcome package for Orvis – but getting to eat outside with him at each meal at the resort was easily the highlight of our entire stay.

View/Location

Michael: North Haven, home to the Nebo Lodge, is a picturesque and quintessential as a Maine island can get. Miles off the coast, exploring the island’s trails, village, and farms was an excellent way to spend a weekend getaway.
Meredith: Drinks atop the The Surrey in the hotel’s private garden is one of the very best views of Manhattan I’ve experienced thus far.

Breakfast

Michael: Eating pancakes and eggs on the patio by the pool with Orvis by our side at Topnotch Resort is just about the only way to unseat Hotel Fauchere from its breakfast throne.
Meredith: No other hotel breakfast has earned its own post on Map & Menu, or been the reason for a road trip detour. The breakfast at Hotel Fauchere is once again my favorite.

Hotel Restaurant

Michael & Meredith: The restaurant at Nebo Lodge is what brought us out to the island of North Haven in the first place, and after enjoying two fantastic dinners and two breakfasts there, it’s safe to say that the food was well worth the trip.

Amenity

Michael: A slightly unusual, but amazing amenity of Atlanta’s Stonehurst Place is its museum-quality art selection with works by names like Warhol, Picasso, and many others.
Meredith: The spa at the Woodstock Inn is right at the top of my list of reasons I want to return to this charming Vermont inn. I didn’t have time for a treatment, but a mere $25 gave me access to the beautiful facilities – an amazing value!

Interaction with Hotel Staff:

Michael: Maybe it was due to the fact that Orvis was their very first canine guest, but every member of the staff at the Woodstock Inn seemed to know us by name and be excited about Orvis. Everyone who knows us knows that the fastest way to our hearts is through our buddy.
Meredith: Inez, a co-owner of Table on Ten, made my trip to New York an absolute delight. She seemed to be involved in each and every part of the inn and restaurant’s operations – welcoming, cooking, etc – and her hard work and creative attention to detail was evident throughout my stay.

Overall Hotel Experience

Michael: I couldn’t have imagined a better way to kick off our Scotland getaway than by staying at Greystones in Oban. A modernly-renovated baronial home overlooking the bay, the boutique bed & breakfast was wonderfully comfortable, a short stroll into town, and served an outstanding breakfast on each of our mornings.
Meredith: Between the amazing meals, the lovely chats with Liz the manager, and the Angela Adams-clad modern cottage aesthetic of Nebo Lodge, it was easily one of the most enjoyable trips of my year. And the fact that the pups were able to join us on our adventures around North Haven made it even more memorable.

The Marlton Hotel NYC

The Marlton Hotel NYC

Table on Ten Room 1

The Balmoral Bathroom

Zero George Photos

Zero George Carriage House

Zero George Hotel Charleston

Zero George

Breakfast at Hotel Fauchere

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Nebo Lodge North Haven Maine

Nebo Lodge North Haven Maine

Nebo Lodge North Haven Maine

Stonehurst Place Art Collection

Stonehurst Place Art Collection

Woodstock Inn and Resort Vermont Dogs

Woodstock Inn and Resort Vermont Spa

Woodstock Inn and Resort Vermont Spa

Greystones Bed & Breakfast Scotland

Greystones Bed & Breakfast Argyll

The Surrey Hotel Rooftop

All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.

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Upper East Side Travel Guide

I spent a weekend this summer shooting in the Upper East Side and somehow it’s taken me this long to share some of the highlights from my solo trip to the city. Even though we now tend to gravitate towards many of the restaurants in Lower Manhattan on our trips down to New York, I’ve spent a great deal of our visits to the city (together or alone) in the UES, visiting my aunt or staying at her apartment while she’s away. The following are some of my favorite Upper East Side finds.

The Surrey

The hotel’s stunning rooftop garden is reason enough to put The Surrey high on your list of places to stay during your next trip to New York, but as it turns out, the rooms themselves also warrant a visit. Expecting a typical (almost uncomfortable) tiny New York hotel room, I was shocked with how spacious and luxurious my 330+ square foot “salon” felt. Read more about my stay at The Surrey here

JG Melon

We’ve enjoyed more than a few burgers at JG Melon over the years, and as Michael pointed out on one of our last visits, the burger “is every bit as good as its reputation.” The only thing I might add to this spot on remark of my husband’s is that the fries are also in a class of their own.

The East Pole

I bookmarked The East Pole well before my trip, while browsing Mackenzie’s blog, and I couldn’t have been happier that I took note of this eatery (partly owned by two of the partners behind The Fat Radish), for it was my favorite meal of my whirlwind weekend in New York. While there, I sipped a refreshing velvet falernum cocktail on the restaurant’s charming patio, and dove into the delicious fluke crudo and (as this was in August) heirloom tomato appetizers. This is exactly where Michael and I will eat on our next trip to the city together.

Maison Kayser

Had I not been alone, a leisurely brunch at Maison Kayser would have been a no-brainer for me, but on this Saturday morning as I prepared for a long day of shooting, I was happy to grab my croissant and tea to go. It’s maybe not fair to judge an entire boulangerie by a single croissant, but if mine was a sampling, the rest of the menu is definitely worth revisiting on a return trip.

Ladurée

It’s always a treat to be able to indulge in my favorite French treat stateside. A stop for pistachio & vanilla macarons at Ladurée Madison is a must for me whenever I’m in New York.

Joe Coffee

While I’m the tea drinker of our blogging duo, I couldn’t resist popping into the UES Joe Coffee to snag a bag for Michael, after reading about it on Find.Eat.Drink. His verdict? Excellent!

Museum Mile & Central Park 

A visit to the Upper East Side without a stroll in Central Park or a walk along 5th Avenue, home to the various institutions that make up the Museum Mile, is almost unheard of. On this visit, I popped into the Met (and the nearby Frick, which isn’t technically part of the Museum Mile, but well worth a visit regardless), but I would have loved to have spent an afternoon wandering the Guggenheim as well. A walk in Central Park is always such a welcome escape from the frantic pace of the city around me and something I look forward to on each visit.

Cafe Boulud

Daniel Boulud’s French bistro located in the bottom of the hotel where I was staying, Cafe Boulud has a reputation for excellence, and while I didn’t dine in the restaurant itself, the meal I enjoyed on the rooftop of The Surrey and my decadent room service breakfast, were both prepared in the cafe, , and were just as delicious as one would expect from the Boulud name.

Assouline at The Mark

While searching for bookstores on Google Maps during breakfast, I was happy to see that there was an Assouline shop at the nearby Mark Hotel. While the shop itself was tiny, the selection of big, beautiful design books was anything but. My coffee table book collecting heart melted.

Gagosian Shop

Part gallery, part store, the Gagosian Shop is located just a couple doors down from the esteemed contemporary art gallery for which it is named. Browsing the impressive collection of art books, limited editions, and gifts is, in my opinion, an ideal way to spend a slow morning in Manhattan.

The next time we find ourselves in the Upper East Side, we’re headed straight to Bemelmans Bar for a drink – I’ve always wanted to go here. The Penrose, JBird, and Tori Shin are on our list, but what else should we add? We’d love to hear about your UES favorites! 

The Surrey Upper East Side

The Surrey

The East Pole NYC

The East Pole NY

The East Pole New York

The East Pole Upper East Side

Maison Kayser Breakfast

Gagosian Shop

Gagosian Shop NY

Assouline at the mark hotel

Assouline at the Mark

Joe Coffee NYC

JG-Melon

Museum Mile

The Met

The Frick

Untitled at the Whitney

Guggenheim Museum

Central Park

Upper East Side

Laduree

All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.

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Dog Friendly Relais and Chateaux

With family holidays, weddings, and other work-related projects taking us down south, Michael and I make the drive down to North Carolina and back at least 2-3 times per year, leaving us very well-versed in the distance in between. We now know where the best rest stops are for dogs, which exits have a Panera close by, and which dog-friendly inns to visit along the way. Depending on the route we choose – the latter is typically either the Inn at Perry Cabin if we’re sticking to the coast, or Hotel Fauchere if our plans take us further west.

Lately, the westerly route always seems to win out for us. The driving is less stressful and much more scenic through the countryside of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. Plus, if we time it right, we can walk around Milford with Orvis before it gets too late, pop into Upriver Home, and enjoy a bite to eat at Bar Louis, all before partaking in our favorite breakfast the next morning.

Each time we stop in Milford as a family, we make new memories together, and this last time was no different. Here are a few new photos from our stay.

Sleepy Orvis

Hotel Fauchere Wine

Hotel Fauchere

Hotel Fauchere Breakfast

Hotel Fauchere Milford

Upriver Home Milford PA

All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.

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Lumina Clothing Raleigh

A work assignment and some plans with friends (and their adorable corgi) led us to Raleigh for the day while we were down in North Carolina, and the time we spent exploring the city was easily one of the highlights of our week away. Raleigh today is not the Raleigh we knew back in college, when we were living thirty minutes down the road in Chapel Hill. A lot is happening in the city, both downtown and in the surrounding area. New restaurants, shops, and places to explore, and we feel as though we only scratched the surface of some of Raleigh’s best offerings.

Weston Farms & State Farmer’s Market

When we were planning how we’d spend our time down in North Carolina, I moved visiting the Weston Farms booth at the State Farmer’s Market to the very top of our list. For the past few holiday seasons, I’ve kept up with their great press, and this year, I was determined to return to Maine, magnolia wreath in hand. Selecting our own style from their gorgeous line was no easy feat, especially for people as indecisive as we are, but we couldn’t be happier with our large, classic magnolia wreath, as it fits our minimal aesthetic and the magnolia leaves will certainly be unique enough for Christmas in Maine.

Bida Manda

I’m not entirely sure how Bida Manda came across my radar in the first place, but I’m certainly thankful it did. I woke up last Tuesday morning craving Asian cuisine, and Bida Manda’s Laotian menu seemed to fit the bill. Per our waiter’s advice, we ordered the Crispy Rice Lettuce Wraps (amazing, truly!) and the Crispy Pork Belly Soup, as well as the Stir-Fry Cashew Ginger Chicken. We left, incredibly happy and already planning another trip down to Raleigh so that we’d have an opportunity to sample the Bida Manda dinner menu.

Joule Coffee

We popped into Joule for a couple of warm drinks to go, but I promise you we could have stayed in this beautiful coffee shop and cafe for hours. The architectural details of the space (the copper ceiling, the two storefront window seating areas, etc.) were delightful, and the Counter Culture Coffee was delicious. We’ve definitely visited quite a few fantastic coffee shops on our travels, but Joule has to be one of the most visually inspiring.

Furbish Studio

I was thrilled to finally introduce Michael to one of my favorite shops, Furbish. I’ve done some work for Furbish in the past and have more than once returned to Maine from a trip to NC with Furbish goodies in tow, but have never had the chance to browse their stylish, bold, and colorful collection of gifts and accessories alongside Michael. We picked up a framed holiday donkey and the new holiday mixer from White Whale, earmarked a few items for Christmas, and spent some time catching up with my friend who works there, Jessica. For those of you that can’t make it to their studio, the Furbish online shop is definitely worth checking out.

Lumina Clothing Co.

Back when I was just starting out as a photographer, and they were only in the neckwear business, I did a shoot with Lumina Clothing Co., and have been delighted to see their business grow and expand in the years since. On this trip, we were happy to have a chance to stop in their gorgeous brand new shop, chat with Barton, and check out their own collection of shirts and jeans, and other American made goods for men. Their tasteful casual aesthetic shows through in both their own products and the ones they curate, and since returning, I’ve caught Michael browsing their site more than a few times. These guys seem to have some pretty exciting plans for the future and we’re looking forward to watching them continue to grow.

Yellow Dog Bread Co.

I’d read about Yellow Dog Bread Co. on the Fresh Exchange blog a few weeks ago and couldn’t get the images of their fantastic branding out of my head, so even though we were stuffed from lunch, when Barton at Lumina insisted we stop inside the bakery next door to their shop, we simply couldn’t resist. It was a fantastic decision, as in our experience, there’s always room for an afternoon cookie, and the spinach and feta stuffed baguette we picked up was a tasty addition to our evening drinks with friends.

Wine Authorities

We loved each of the businesses we visited at Raleigh’s Person Street Plaza where using the phrase “in good company” couldn’t be more fitting. Each shop (Yellow Dog Bread Co., Lumina Clothing Co., Edge of Urge, and Wine Authorities) recommended that we visit their neighbors, and each storefront brought something unique to the total scene. This certainly held true for Wine Authorities, a comfortable neighborhood wine shop with a very knowledgeable staff and a great selection of estate wines based on an even greater concept – every bottle in the store is less than $50, because “wine should be enjoyed, not collected”. With a mission like that, it was a given that we’d return to Maine with a few new bottles to try.

Poole’s Downtown Diner

Long before Ashley Christensen won her James Beard award and her restaurants started redefining the Raleigh food scene, our friends Rachel and John told me about their favorite neighborhood restaurant, Poole’s. Since launching Map & Menu in 2012, Poole’s Diner has appeared on our list of “Hopeful Reservations” in the sidebar, and we were finally able to cross that off last week. We’d heard (from a vegan, nonetheless!) that the Macaroni au Gratin was essential for any trip to Poole’s, and along with the spectacular braised short rib and a seasonal mustard greens salad, we couldn’t have been happier about our dinner here. I’m certain that we’ll be trying the recipe above for that oh-so-amazing macaroni many times in the chilly months ahead.

We know this certainly won’t be our last trip to Raleigh anytime soon. Next time, we’re hoping to try Capital Club 16, but we’ve also heard really great things about The Stanbury. Do you know of any other Raleigh must-visits for us to keep in mind? View past Raleigh posts here.

Bida Manda Raleigh NC

Bida Manda Crispy Rice Lettuce Wrap

Bida Manda Raleigh

Weston Farms Wreaths

Joule Coffee Raleigh NC

Lumina Clothing Co

Lumina Clothing Co Raleigh

Yellow Dog Bread Co

Yellow Dog Bread Co Raleigh

Yellow Dog Bread Co NC

Wine Authorities Raleigh

Wine Authorities Raleigh NC

Furbish Studio Raleigh NC

Furbish Raleigh NC

Poole's Diner Raleigh

Poole's Diner Mac and Cheese

All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu & Furbish Studio.

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Breakfast at Hotel Fauchere

As Michael and I begin to plan our road trip to North Carolina  for the holiday season, I’m reminded of our last drive down South. Stopping for a night at Hotel Fauchère in Milford, PA, is our preferred way to break up the long journey. It’s a charming, dog-friendly establishment, with a great restaurant downstairs, but if you’ve read any of our posts about the hotel, you already know that the breakfast is easily what we look forward to the most during every stay. On this last trip of ours, we spent the night in Milford on the way down, but tried something entirely new on our return trip. Wanting to get on the road after attending our nephew’s afternoon birthday party, we knew that checking into Hotel Fauchère well after midnight was not the brightest of ideas, so instead, we opted to break up the trip by staying in a roadside hotel in Hagerstown, MD, and then woke up early the next morning to get back on the road in order to make it to our beloved Hotel Fauchère in time for the ultimate road trip breakfast.

We laughed with anticipation as we took the exit toward Milford that morning, eager for the meal to come. The taste of the homemade yogurt was fresh in our minds after the previous week’s stay, and we knew that this little excursion of ours was by no means necessary, but would prove to be more than worth the extra travel time. Having driven a couple of hours to get there, we took Orvis for a walk around town and stretched our legs before we sat down for breakfast on the porch. The staff had a good chuckle to hear that we were back only for breakfast and proceeded to bring us the usual spread – the famous yogurt and granola, a couple of scones, and a pair of brûléed grapefruits. I think it’s fair to say that it’s hard to imagine finding a tastier roadside meal, no?

Afterwards, we took another walk with Orvis and even had a chance to stop by our favorite shop in town, Upriver Home. When we returned to the car, it felt like we were just starting our drive for the day – an invaluable feeling for such a long trip, even if it was far from true. Stopping at a lovely inn for a leisurely breakfast is hardly something most people think to treat themselves to, but we found it to be a worthy excursion, not only for our stomachs, but also for our minds.

Has anyone ever done something similar? We’d love to hear any road trip rituals or ideas on how you all break up long drives in the comments below! Also, in case anyone is wondering, we almost always book our stays at Hotel Fauchère through Jetsetter, as it tends to come up for sale on the travel flash sale site every few months. Keep an eye on Jetsetter and similar sites, they have proven to be such valuable travel resources for us!

Hotel Fauchere Porch

Hotel Fauchere Breakfast

Dog Friendly Hotel Fauchere

All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.

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Farmhouse Pottery Woodstock Vermont

The first thing we heard from most of our friends and family after finding out about our upcoming wedding was either “where are you going to eat after the ceremony?” or “where are you going to honeymoon?”. I suppose that maintaining a travel and food site sets a certain expectation in this regard, so I think most people were surprised when we’d respond that we hadn’t really given the latter too much thought. Given some upcoming house projects, our work schedules, and the relatively short planning time, we knew we wanted to spend a few nights somewhere local shortly after the wedding, followed by a longer honeymoon at some point next year, but as to the actual location for our short getaway, the whole of New England was open to us.

From the moment we drove into Woodstock, Vermont, we knew that we’d made the right choice. If a beautiful and quaint New England town was our goal, we’d hit a bucolic jackpot. Shuttered capes, brick colonials, storefronts lining a main street, and public green spaces – all set against a rolling mountain backdrop. We couldn’t have asked for a better location and over the course of the next few days, we loved finding things to do, places to eat, and shops to explore in and around town.

The Woodstock Inn

Beyond all of the red carpet treatment for Orvis, the inn’s very first four-legged guest, Michael and I absolutely adored everything about our stay at the Woodstock Inn. Located right in the heart of Woodstock, the inn was just steps away from the beautiful trails and carriage paths of a national park, and the shops, galleries, and restaurants of Woodstock’s two main streets. Read more about our stay at the Woodstock Inn here.

Worthy Kitchen

We arrived just around dusk, and after the drive, wanted something low-key for dinner. The Worthy Kitchen was exactly what we were in search of. Fresh, local ingredients, and an outstanding beer list (we were in Vermont of course) made up the tasty menu for what seemed to be Woodstock’s go-to hangout.

Marsh – Billings – Rockefeller National Historical Park

Miles of hiking trails and carriage roads make up this beautiful national park, and fortunately for the three of us, the Faulkner Park access point was just a short walk from the front door of the inn. Using the wonderfully maintained Faulkner Trail switchbacks, we made our way to the top of Mt. Tom for outstanding views of Woodstock and the surrounding area, and followed that with a leisurely stroll to the Pogue, a picturesque pond in the middle of the park. It was here that Orvis met an extremely dog-friendly horse, and to the absolute delight of Meredith, they briefly bumped noses.

Mon Vert Cafe

In search of some lighter lunch fare, Meredith had mentally bookmarked the Mon Vert Cafe for its unique sandwich menu. So after our morning hike, we dropped Orvis at the inn and headed down Central Street to grab a bite. As good looking as they were delicious, the sandwiches at this French-inspired cafe were the perfect midday meal.

Farmhouse Pottery

The subtle glaze and stonework of Woodstock’s Farmhouse Pottery caught Meredith’s eye at some point in her travel research, and after seeing the distinctly fantastic pieces throughout the inn and a few other places, we knew that stopping by their store and workshop just outside of town was an absolute must.  Not only were we drawn to their pottery, but the entire “modern farm aesthetic” of their brand, workshop, and store seemed to perfectly fit our own tastes. It was a pleasure to meet and speak with owners, James & Zoe (who coincidentally met at the Maine College of Art in Portland), along with potters Kate and Michael, who where more than happy to give us a tour of the workshop and show us the process from wheel to kiln.  We could’ve easily stayed, explored the shop, and talked for hours, but thought better of overstaying our welcome, and departed with a beautiful Farmer’s Pitcher and wooden bowl for our new kitchen counters back at home.

Simon Pearce Restaurant

Kate, one of the potters at Farmhouse, assured us that dining at Simon Pearce in nearby Quechee would make for a splendid post-wedding celebratory dinner, and after our delicious meal there, we couldn’t agree more. Set just past a covered bridge and overlooking the Ottauquechee River, the restaurant served a number of local, seasonal dishes, and afterwards we were able to tour the beautiful blown glass gallery. Rather serendipitously, Michael’s company sent us a Simon Pearce vase as a wedding present the week after we returned from Vermont!

Since this is far from our last trip to Woodstock, we cannot wait to try Osteria Pane e Salute on our next trip – we have it on good authority (James from Farmhouse) that it’s one of the best spots in town.

As always, we’d love to hear your own suggestions for the Woodstock, Vermont area if you have them!

Worthy Kitchen Woodstock Vermont

Woodstock Inn and Resort Vermont Dogs

Billings National Park Woodstock Vermont

Billings National Park Woodstock Vermont

Woodstock Vermont

Woodstock Vermont

Woodstock Vermont

Woodstock Vermont

Farmhouse Pottery Woodstock Vermont

Farmhouse Pottery VT

Farmhouse Pottery Woodstock Vermont

Farmhouse Pottery Woodstock Vermont

Woodstock Vermont Farmhouse Pottery

Simon Pearce Restaurant

Simon Pearce Restaurant

Woodstock Vermont

All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.

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Woodstock Inn and Resort Vermont Dogs

We hit a Map & Menu milestone last week when we checked into the Woodstock Inn & Resort… our very own Orvis was the first – the very first – four-legged guest to ever stay at the inn! This of course, made us the happiest people in all of Vermont. He was treated with such fanfare every time we walked through the doors. The entire staff must have been briefed about this VIP guest, because everyone we met greeted him by name and called to him from afar. He was asked to pose by the fireplace for a photo, given treats, and received lots of love from other guests who somehow also knew that he was the first dog to stay at the inn. It was as though we were with a celebrity, and naturally, we loved every minute of it.

Beyond all of the red carpet treatment for Orvis, Michael and I absolutely adored everything about our stay at the Woodstock Inn. Located right in the heart of one of the more charming towns we’ve ever visited, the inn is a focal point of Woodstock, and just steps away from the beautiful trails and carriage paths of a national park, and the shops, galleries, and restaurants of Woodstock’s two main streets. Waking up with a deliciously hearty breakfast from the inn and falling asleep on the wonderfully comfy bed became book-end highlights to a fantastic Vermont getaway.

The inn’s stunning LEED-designed spa should not be missed. Knowing I wouldn’t have enough time for an entire treatment before we had to checkout on our final day, I opted to purchase a day pass that gave me access to all of the luxurious spa facilities, including the steam room, sauna, and whirlpool. Checking out of a hotel has never been so depressing! Waiting until the final day of our trip to visit the spa was certainly a mistake on my part, but you can bet that the spa will be one of the first activities I enjoy the next time we’re back in Woodstock.

Staying at an inn as well-appointed as the Woodstock Inn & Resort is always a treat, but the fact that Orvis can join along in the fun makes the entire experience even more memorable. We’re already looking forward to our next family trip there!

Woodstock Inn and Resort Vermont

Woodstock Inn and Resort Vermont Pet Friendly

Woodstock Inn and Resort Vermont Pets

Woodstock Inn and Resort Vermont Pet Friendly

Dog Friendly Woodstock Inn and Resort Vermont

Woodstock Inn and Resort Vermont Spa

Spa at Woodstock Inn and Resort Vermont

Woodstock Inn and Resort Vermont Spa

Woodstock Inn and Resort Vermont Spa

Woodstock Inn and Resort Vermont Spa

Woodstock Inn and Resort Vermont Spa

Map & Menu

All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.

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