I was tickled to get to share one of my favorite ice cream shops, The Blue Pig, with my mother on our way back from New York City last week. Just like Michael and I did on our last trip down to NY, we stopped at The Blue Pig for a bite to eat after picking up our car at the nearby Croton Harmon train station. (Fellow New Englanders, this is our preferred way to get into the city – the drive is easy, the train ride is relaxing, and some of the best ice cream I’ve ever tasted is literally right on the way to the train station. A win-win, if you ask me.)
After debating the dozens of flavors that all sounded delicious, we each settled on a cup of Butterfinger Coconut, which was just as tasty and creamy as last summer’s Rooftop Strawberry! For me, the highlight of our quick stop at The Blue Pig was just noting how comfortable it felt to return almost a year after our last visit. There was this delightful sense of familiarity upon walking through the door – similar to the feeling that Michael and I get when checking into our dear Hotel Fauchere on our frequent road trips to North Carolina. There’s something so satisfying about reacquainting oneself with a familiar place while traveling – whether it’s a special restaurant, a beloved inn, or a favorite pastime – there’s just something wonderful about the comfort of returning to a place and reliving past memories.
Leaving The Blue Pig, I was again reminded of how thankful Michael and I are to write this blog, mainly because it has introduced us to some of the most amazing businesses, experiences, and people, and we truly look forward to sharing them all with you. We’re curious – are there any spots you like to revisit while traveling? A friend of mine always stops at the exact same diner on the way home from visiting her family. It started as a way to break up the long drive, but now they cannot imagine making the trip without stopping. I love it!
All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.3 Comments - Leave a comment
What a beautiful couple of days it has been in Maine! I’m not sure how long this lovely weather will last, but we’ve been making the most of it lately by spending as much time in the yard as possible. Unfortunately we haven’t been able to be as active outside with Orvis as we usually are, as he developed an infection from a toe injury and has been sporting a heartbreakingly adorable bandaged paw for the past few days. Fingers crossed it heals quickly and he’ll be back to his crazy self in no time!
Over the weekend we had the chance to celebrate a few birthdays, some a little early and one a bit late. Michael will be in Scotland during his actual birthday so we opened his present and had cake on Saturday night, and then the next morning we had our friends, Darcy & Carolyn, over for a joint birthday brunch in honor of Carolyn & Michael’s May birthdays and my April birthday. We picked up some goodies from Scratch, whipped up a blueberry skillet pancake, sipped orange juice mimosas on the patio, and laughed for hours while Orvis slept at our feet. In keeping with the weekend’s festive vibe, we met my mother at Frontier Cafe in Brunswick for a Mother’s Day dinner later that evening and continued laughing the day away.
This weekend’s dose of spring weather surely has us excited for more days such as these. We hope you all had a wonderful few days as well!
All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.2 Comments - Leave a comment
After reading about Table on Ten, a three room inn & restaurant in Bloomville, New York, on Designtripper last year, I mentally bookmarked it and hoped I’d have an excuse to stay and/or eat at what appeared to be a charming Catskills getaway at some point in the near future. A wedding in Cooperstown this past weekend, just an hour north of Bloomville, seemed like the perfect excuse and a pretty great way to break up at least one leg of my trip to New York.
Five hours after departing Maine, I arrived to a bustling scene – every table in the downstairs cafe was filled for Table on Ten’s Pizza Night. I quickly checked into my room and made my way back downstairs to join the crowd for some delicious pizza. The evening’s special, a fennel and spring vegetable pizza with eggs on top and a glass of wine was precisely what I needed after my drive. The food more than lived up to what I’d been looking forward to for about a year now, and from what I heard from the other patrons in the lively cafe (the line was nearly out the door when I retired to my room for the evening), they were just as pleased with their pizzas.
I loved the simple, rustic aesthetic of the entire property, especially the room where I stayed. The dark walls and contrasting accents were a dream to photograph, simply because they’re so different from many of the places we visit. Each of the three rooms at Table on Ten feature a handmade bed that deservedly end up being the room’s focal point. I was a little hesitant about the idea of sharing a bathroom with the other suite on the second floor, but as luck would have it, I was the only guest on that floor, so there was no need to share. Even if the other suite had been occupied, I think it only would have further reinforced the feeling I had throughout my entire stay – that I was a guest in the well designed home of a friend who just so happened to be a talented chef! (In case you’re wondering, the third floor attic has its own bathroom, complete with an en-suite clawfoot tub.) The following morning I enjoyed a delicious breakfast that put me in the perfect mindset for a day of shooting – a final touch to a great stay.
If you find yourself in the Northwestern Catskills or if you just have a hankering to explore the bucolic region of Delaware County, do look into planning a stay or a meal at Table on Ten – it’s a uniquely lovely experience that shouldn’t be missed!
All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.2 Comments - Leave a comment
Work took me on a solo trip this weekend through a beautiful region of New York I’d never visited before – Delaware County & Cooperstown. While spring hasn’t quite graced upstate New York with its presence yet, the countryside I drove through was absolutely gorgeous! I would love to someday come back and make the same drive with Orvis and Michael, perhaps spending a little time hiking in the Catskills. After checking out of the charming inn & restaurant where I stayed on Friday night (more on that this week!), I drove right through Meredith, New York on my way to Cooperstown. I couldn’t help but stop and take a photo of the darling town sign!
Back in Maine, Michael spent most of his weekend working in the yard before heading up to Newcastle to visit Oxbow’s tasting room for the first time with my stepfather – an activity that comes highly recommended from both of them!
I made the long drive home on Saturday night so that I could spend a relaxing Sunday with Michael and Orvis before I head back to New York later this week. After a lazy morning on the couch with breakfast from Scratch, we spent some time outside with Orvis and then made our way to Tiki Sunday at Hunt & Alpine.
I feel like the weekend passed in the blink of an eye, but when I look back, I’m so thankful for how much we both got to see and do.
All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.1 Comment - Leave a comment
In the spirit of the upcoming Kentucky Derby and in celebration of all things spring, Michael and I thought it would be fun to share the recipe of one of our very favorite cocktails – The Mint Julep. The simple drink is a staple of our outdoor spring and summer living, and although there are a number of ways to make it, the main ingredients are always the same – mint, simple syrup, ice, and bourbon.
Out of all the recipes we’ve tried, we’ve found this one from Garden & Gun to be our favorite – simple, straightforward, and delicious!
Mint Julep (makes one drink)
8-10 mint leaves
3/4 oz. simple syrup
2 oz. of your favorite bourbon (ours is Woodford Reserve!)
Muddle the mint & simple syrup together. Add bourbon and top with ice. Shake and serve with a sprig of mint on top. (The julep cups aren’t required, but if you can get your hands on a couple, it sure does make drinking them a bit more fun!)
All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.3 Comments - Leave a comment
While I was in North Carolina for work last week, I had the opportunity to explore Durham with the help of my sister and brother-in-law, who live and work there. The unexpected highlight of the trip might have been the ride down the slide in American Underground – the co-working space where my brother-in-law has his office – but we also had the opportunity to visit some of my old favorites in Durham, while adding a few new ones to the mix. A family dinner at Nanataco, complete with margaritas and delicious nachos, followed by a Locopops strawberry cream dessert was the perfect way to spend our evening. Later in the week, MacKenzie and Philip took me to Dos Perros, and afterwards, we met our friend Em at The Parlour for ice cream – a place that’s been on our todo list for way too long. Michael and I are fortunate to visit the Durham area somewhat often, and always look forward to what new things our next trip will bring.
If you have a second this evening, today is the last day to vote for Map & Menu for Best Blog in the Portland Phoenix’s best of 2014 competition. We’d love if you take a moment to share your support!
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It’s no secret that I adore shop dogs! I think they’re one of the happiest sights – especially when you stumble across them in a shop you wouldn’t necessarily expect to have a happy pup waiting to greet you. I was out running errands in the beautiful sunshine on Saturday and stopped in Corey & Co. on a whim, and was delighted to meet Sadie, the resident shop dog. She let me take her photo, but only when I promised to give her lots of love in return. I thought she was too cute not to share with you all.
On another happy note, I picked up a cheerful scarf while I was at Corey & Co. and found about a dozen other items I just loved. It’s certainly no coincidence this darling shop is located on Pleasant Street!
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It’s hardly rosé weather here in Maine yet, but you can bet I’ll be looking for one of these bottles, The Best Rosé WInes at Every Price Point as seen on Domaine, soon… as in, probably this weekend.
Michael & I are thrilled about our nomination for Portland’s Best Blog in the Portland Phoenix this year – would you mind taking a quick moment to vote for us? Thanks, guys!
We never make time to explore DC, but this Capitol Hill City Guide from The Pursuit of Style makes me want to remedy that immediately.
Michael and I are both big fans of the Art of the Menu blog, so we were thrilled to see Might & Main’s work for Central Provisions (and a few photos by yours truly) on the site recently.
One more city guide to share – Ann Street Studio’s guide to Savannah, GA! With all of the southern cities we’ve visited since starting Map & Menu, how has Savannah not been one?
Kate Murphy has been one of my very favorite photographers for years now, and she recently launched a travel blog featuring her work, Four by Three, which is simply stunning. I hope you’ll take a peek!
Have a lovely spring weekend, friends!Leave a comment
Michael & I are excited to share that we’re headed to Scotland for the first time next month! We’re taking advantage of a work trip that Michael has in Edinburgh, and will make our way through the Scottish Highlands & Islands once he’s finished up working. Seven or so years later, I still remember the very conversation we had in college when Michael told me how much he’d always wanted to visit Scotland someday, so the fact that we’re making this trip together is extraordinarily special.
The reason for this post is two-fold. First, we love hearing travel recommendations from our readers – your suggestions have led us to more than a few memorable meals and experiences – so if you’ve been to Scotland, we’d love to hear any tips you’d be willing to share. We also thought it might be worthwhile to share some of the resources we’ve been using to plan our Scotland trip, in case you find yourself faced with a similar task.
Isle of Skye was at the very top of our list when we began planning this trip. After reaching out to a lot of self-catering cottages (rental homes) we noticed that almost all of them required a one week stay. While I’m certain that we would have had no shortage of things to experience on Skye for a week, in the end we decided that splitting up our stay in multiple Scottish locations might be a wiser use of our time abroad. If a weeklong stay on Isle of Skye sounds appealing to you, I would look no further than An Airigh or 15 Fiscavaig. I’ve exchanged emails with the owners and they’re delightful people with the most beautiful of properties. The cottages at Lyndale is another spot I would also go ahead and bookmark, and this website was also very insightful.
For Scotland, our Where Chefs Eat book has come in handy once again. Thanks to it, we’re looking forward to a meal at Three Chimneys on Isle of Skye, and Michael will have no shortage of great recommendations to browse for his time in Edinburgh.
Another book that has proven to be quite useful is our copy of The New York Times 36 Hours in Europe. We were both excited to read that we’ll be driving past the Glenfinnan Viaduct (seen in the Harry Potter films) on our way to Skye, and we certainly cannot wait to experience a meal at Kinloch and sample whisky at Talisker (which was also the distillery our podcasting friend, Bo, told us to visit).
A while ago, I bookmarked these photos from Vanessa Jackman’s fall trip to Scotland, for the sole purpose of getting more excited for our own trip. It doesn’t hurt that her food + activity recommendations seem to be almost as lovely as her photos.
Here are some more lovely Skye photos from Olivia Rae James!
As touristy or cliché as it might sound, experiencing firsthand some of the beautiful scenery featured in Skyfall was another must on this trip for us. Our first B&B is located just 30 miles from Glencoe, where Bond’s family’s property was set in the movie.
The final website I ended up using during this process was Further Afield – a site that features handpicked accommodation options that are open to hosting same-sex couples. While I obviously didn’t quite use the site as it was originally intended, I thought Further Afield was too good not to share – the interface is intuitive, they share useful tips about each place, and the properties they feature all appear to be lovely. Plus, some of the properties on Skye I’d originally contacted when we were considering a weeklong stay were listed, which seemed to be a great sign. Seriously, how gorgeous are these Boathouses in Perthshire that I found on Further Afield? (As an aside, we noticed that our adorable inn from our trip to Atlanta was featured on the site as well!)
As I mentioned above, we’d love to hear any thoughts you might have for our visit to the Scottish Highlands and Michael’s trip to Edinburgh in the comments below. As always, thanks for reading along!4 Comments - Leave a comment
Last night Michael and I sat down, over hot fudge ice cream sundaes, and made a list of activities we’re looking forward to completing this spring season. Sometimes we’re so focused on our favorite summer pastimes – yard games, beach visits, making “grown-up” popsicles, and trips to the farmer’s market – that we almost let spring pass us by without taking advantage of its unique offerings. (Truthfully, part of our overlooking the spring season could be blamed on our southern heritage – springtime in the South is a much longer (and warmer!) season than it is here in Maine, but I’d say we’re slowly getting used to making the most of these chillier springs here in New England.)
Our hopes in sharing the list on Map & Menu is that we’ll have a bit of accountability and actually partake in these springtime activities we don’t always get to enjoy. (Our friend Emily does a similar thing by sharing monthly progress on her her 101 in 1001!) If you have any suggestions for our list, we’d love to hear them below. Happy spring, friends!
Play a few games of tennis!
Plant our annual Easter plant, a tradition we’ve had since becoming homeowners.
A lunchtime picnic on the Eastern Promenade.
Open one of our Scribe rosé bottles. (I always jump the gun and start drinking rosé in the spring.)
Celebrate our birthdays!
Polish our julep cups in preparation for many mint juleps – our favorite spring cocktail.
Attend a Portland Sea Dogs game.
Eat our weight in fiddleheads!
Plant our baby bath with herbs.
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