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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.Leave a comment
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.1 Comment - Leave a comment
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.
All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.Leave a comment
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu & Furbish Studio.
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!
All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.4 Comments - Leave a comment
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.6 Comments - Leave a comment
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!
All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.8 Comments - 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.3 Comments - 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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