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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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!
All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.3 Comments - Leave a comment
Recently, after a particularly busy few weeks, Michael and I were looking for a short getaway to help disconnect, relax, and recharge. In keeping with our August tradition of a night or two in Vermont, we decided to take Orvis along with us to Stowe. One of our favorite parts about living in New England is how accessible the region is by car – we left Maine just after breakfast and got to Montpelier just in time for lunch!
A guaranteed route to the top of Map & Menu’s favorite hotel list is one that includes the following: a well-executed sense of design and comfort, a friendly and helpful staff, delicious food, and the willingness to embrace our furry buddy, Orvis. Stowe’s Topnotch Resort checked off every one of those items, with extra emphasis on the dog-friendly point, and after three wonderfully relaxing days spent there, I find myself anxiously anticipating a return trip in the future. Click here to read more about our stay at Topnotch.
I traveled to Stowe a couple of years ago for work and took Orvis along with me since Michael was in California for the week. During that short trip of ours, Orvis and I walked along the Stowe Recreation Path twice, and I remember coming home raving to Michael about the 5.3 mile long greenway that runs along the West Branch River. There are several access points throughout the town, including one right across the street from Topnotch. Orvis was all too excited to stretch his legs, look at the horses, and go for a quick dip in the river after we’d checked in. Michael even brought him back the next morning for the length of their run together, making a stop in the river afterwards for another swim, of course!
When we asked the concierge at the resort where we should go for a dog-friendly hike, she smiled and said, “Oh, Vermonters love dogs, so he’s welcome anywhere!” Naturally, we were thrilled to hear this, and ended up taking her recommendation to hike the Pinnacle Trail, a two or so hour long hike with stunning views of Mt. Mansfield and plenty of off-leash time for Orvis.
Some of our favorite memories in the state of Vermont came to being while watching Orvis swim at Buttermilk Falls in Ludlow, so visiting Bingham Falls, just down the road from our resort, was a must for us this time around. After our hike up the Pinnacle Trail and a quick picnic lunch, we ventured over to the falls, and even though the water was colder than anything I’ve experienced in Maine this summer, I couldn’t resist joining Orvis swimming for a bit and even (uncharacteristically) found myself jumping off of a boulder into the falls!
Last summer, a highlight of our trip to Vermont was the meal we shared at SoLo Farm & Table, and this summer, we enjoyed another exquisite Vermont culinary experience at Hen of the Wood in Waterbury. 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 our meal, from the heirloom tomatoes, to the bluefish toast, roasted eggplant, or slow-cooked rabbit was deliciously prepared and carefully presented.
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A guaranteed route to the top of Map & Menu’s favorite hotel list is one that includes the following: a well-executed sense of design and comfort, a friendly and helpful staff, delicious food, and the willingness to embrace our furry buddy, Orvis. Stowe’s Topnotch Resort checked off every one of those items, with extra emphasis on the dog-friendly point, and after three wonderfully relaxing days spent there, I find myself anxiously anticipating a return trip in the future.
If you’ve heard us mention it once, you’ve heard us mention it one thousand times – traveling with Orvis can present its fair share of difficulties. Finding hotels that we’re drawn to aesthetically, that simply accommodate dogs of any size is difficult enough, but finding one that goes out of their way to be overly dog-friendly to our large-ish travel companion, and does so without ushering us around to the back door of a forgotten side of the hotel, is almost an impossibility. It’s the reason that places like Hotel Fauchere, the Porches Inn, the Inn at Perry Cabin, and Palmetto Bluff hold such special places in our traveling hearts. Topnotch easily deserves its own spot on that list. When we arrived, Orvis was greeted with open arms and more than his fair share of treats. Each of the resort’s restaurants had outdoor seating where dogs were welcome, and with the exception of the pool area, the entire property seemed to be open to its guests and their pets. Not that Orvis needs any more of an ego boost, but at one point, a young guest walked by with her mother and proclaimed “That dog is horrendously cute!”
I don’t know that in all of our travels, Meredith and I have ever been quite as comfortable with Orvis as we were at Topnotch. That, combined with the comfort and style of the resort made for a pretty unforgettable stay that could easily become a recurring part of our annual Vermont getaway.
All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.1 Comment - Leave a comment
It’s safe to say that just about whenever we’re traveling to a new area, I always try and pop in the local wine shop. I love seeing which wines catch the attention of various shop owners around the country and am always excited to try a new bottle (or four.) Of all the random wine shops I’ve visited on our travels, however, I’ve only really ever sought out one as a destination – Kingston Wine Co.
While driving north from New York City a few weeks ago to visit my friends in Hudson, I decided a stop in Kingston was an absolute must. I’d read about Kingston Wine Co. on the Ann Street Studio blog awhile back, and had always mentally bookmarked it as a place to visit on one of our trips to Hudson. The opening of our friends’ shop seemed like the perfect excuse for me to finally stop in and pick up a celebratory bottle!
Michael, who owns the shop with his wife, Theresa, a talented artist, was delightfully helpful. After listening to me describe our friends, their personalities, and their all-natural perfumery, he hand-selected a bottle of wine (from a case in the back) that he thought would be perfect for them. Michael was right, of course – a text last week from them let me know how much they enjoyed the wine as a part of their birthday celebration.
The bottles I grabbed for my Michael and I to enjoy at home were chosen thanks to the well-branded Kingston Wine Co. recommended tags. How could one ignore suggestions like “Sancerre + Goat Cheese + Baguette = Perfection?”
In the 30 minutes I spent in the shop, I saw a dozen or so people walk inside, all of whom were just as pleased to be chatting with Michael or selecting their own special bottle of wine. It became immediately apparent just how much of a community Michael and Theresa have created within Kingston Wine Co., a shop that is without a doubt worthy of planning your own detour to Kingston the next time you’re in the area.
All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.Leave a comment
Photographing a wedding in the Upper East Side turned out to be the perfect excuse to finally stay at the only Relais & Chateaux hotel in Manhattan, 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 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. Retreating back to my room at The Surrey each night after shooting was such a treat – even though I was in the city for work, whenever I happened to be in my room, I felt 100% on vacation.
While I didn’t have as much time to lounge around and enjoy the 17th story rooftop garden as much as I would have liked to, enjoying a glass of rosé and a plate of bruschetta from the hotel’s restaurant, Cafe Boulud, was the perfect way to spend a summer evening in the city. (Really, I’m not sure I’d ever want to visit Manhattan in the summer months without staying at The Surrey and taking advantage of that gorgeous rooftop.)
In the most leisurely of ways, I took full advantage of my final morning at The Surrey by feasting on a stack of delicious pancakes delivered to my door, while reading the Sunday paper. I really don’t think I could have imagined a more relaxing way to decompress on a work weekend in New York.
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Over the weekend I made a short but sweet surprise visit to the newly opened 2 Note Perfumery in Hudson, New York. Our friends, Darcy & Carolyn, closed the doors to their shop in Portland earlier this winter in preparation for a very exciting move, and while we were sad (heartbroken, really) to see them leave, we couldn’t be happier about their new adventure! Selfishly, we’re pretty excited to now have four great reasons (we’re also in love with their two dogs) to make many future trips to the Hudson area, a region we fell in love with immediately after we first visited in June.
While my time in Hudson on Sunday was all too brief, I did manage to snap a few photos of their beautiful new shop and the facelift the 2 Note brand received. As usual, Darcy & Carolyn have outdone themselves in the design of the new store – a must-visit for anyone making the trip to Hudson in the next few months! We’re, of course, already counting down the days until our next visit to the new 2 Note shop so that we can stock up on our favorite shave cream & face balm… and share some amazing meals in Hudson with our talented friends.
All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.2 Comments - Leave a comment
Finally! Our last Scotland post a whopping two months after the trip itself. Blogging during the height of a busy summer is difficult to say the least, but we’re excited to share some of the highlights of our Scottish adventure.
The morning of our first full day in Scotland together, which just so happened to be Michael’s birthday, I shot out of bed when I saw a glimpse of blue sky through the curtains. The day of my arrival before had been rainy, a bit chilly, and kind of gloomy, so I’d prepared myself for the worst when it came to the weather, but contrary to the forecast, Michael’s birthday turned out to be the most beautiful days of our trip. The excitement of seeing the sunshine (and blue sky!) carried us through the adventures that took us all over Argyll that day, and even when the fog began to settle during our drive through Glen Coe that afternoon, we were still elated with the weather, because the very scene in Skyfall that we were trying to recreate in our (non-Aston Martin) rental was identical to what we were experiencing firsthand. The weather was fickle during the days that followed, but to be honest, that only added to the mesmerizing beauty of this remarkably lovely region of Scotland.
Consisting of five contemporary rooms inside a beautiful historic Scottish Baronial house overlooking the pristine Oban Bay and just a short walk to the water, Greystones perfectly blends the old and new. We simply adored our bright, spacious room (with its massively tall ceilings!), and couldn’t get over the views from the breakfast nook, where we enjoyed an exceptional meal each morning of our stay. Read more about our time at Greystones here.
We made the trip up to McCaig’s Tower twice during our time in Oban. On our first night, the fog was so strong that we had no way of seeing any of the neighboring islands of Mull, Lismore, and Kerrera, but the view of Oban and the fog-shrouded water was still a lovely, calming sight. With the sun shining brightly in a crystal clear blue sky the next morning, we walked back up to the tower again and couldn’t believe how much the fog had prevented us from seeing the night before. I hope I never forget the awe-inspiring beauty of the view from McCaig’s, made only more picturesque with the crossing of a ferry to one of the neighboring islands.
This historic castle and home to the Duke of Argyll is known by many as the setting for the fictional Duneagle Castle that the Crawley family of Downtown Abbey visits in the season three. That’s the very reason that inspired us to make the drive down to Inveraray from Oban one morning, but the castle did in fact turn out to be much more than a filming location for one of our favorite shows. While we enjoyed touring the interior of the castle and reading about its history, the highlight for both of us was strolling the magnificent gardens of the castle (both manicured and wild), daydreaming about what it must be like to actually live inside the castle walls.
This restaurant boasts one of the best waterfront views in Oban, but for us, the real standout here was the Sticky Toffee Pudding – the best we had during our travels!
We celebrated Michael’s birthday with dinner at Coast, just down the hill from our B&B and one of the better meals from our time outside of Edinburgh. The seafood was deliciously fresh and well prepared, and the cozy atmosphere was perfect to relive stories about our excellent first day in Scotland.
This cute cafe in Appin, with views of Loch Linnie & Castle Stalker (the castle from Monty Python and the Holy Grail), was a great way to break up our drive to Glencoe after a morning of exploring Argyll.
Although we drove down the A82 humming the James Bond theme song (the glen made an appearance in Skyfall), the unbelievable natural beauty of Glen Coe was so much greater than any movie could have depicted. With sheer mountains rising into the fog on either side of the River Coe it’s hard to put into words the scene as it unfolded along the winding road. Even in the grey fog and light rain, we couldn’t help but stop numerous times to take pictures and just stand and stare, taking it all in.
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