Popham Beach State Park

We’ve heard so many great things about Popham Beach over the years, but we’d never really made the time to visit this lovely stretch of sandy beach in Phippsburg. Crowded shores in the summertime really aren’t our thing, and it’s hard to pass up the smaller beaches within walking distance to our home, but last Sunday when we noticed how nice the fall weather was going to be, we decided that there would be no better way to spend an early fall evening than picnicking on a beach! We packed up our picnic basket with a few favorite items from Scratch, prepped Orvis for the adventure, and headed up the road to Popham Beach State Park.

The expansive beach was surprisingly empty when we first arrived and by the time the sun set and the park closed, we were essentially the only people in the park. From the time we stepped onto the beach, we were completely captivated by Popham’s naturally beautiful setting, stretching as far as we could see on either side. The sun was making its way down over the wooded hills to the west and because the tide was just right, we could see a handful of people walking around Fox Island (a mere 45 minutes later, the tide had shifted and the island was no longer accessible – thank goodness we didn’t choose the island for our picnic spot!). Orvis was mesmerized by the six or so galloping horses who came down to Popham to stretch their legs, and watching them run on the beach in the golden light of the setting sun only added to the dreamlike setting.

The sun continued to drop while we enjoyed a lovely dinner, stretched out on our favorite blanket, watching Orvis dig a gigantic hole in the sand to protect his pint-sized bone. We hadn’t anticipated such a memorable and beautiful evening when we set out earlier in the day, but we found it almost impossible to leave as the sun finally disappeared. Hopefully we can return to Popham often in the coming years.

Popham Beach State Park

Popham Beach State Park

Popham Beach State Park

Popham Beach State Park

Popham Beach State Park

Popham Beach State Park

Picnic at Popham Beach

Popham-Beach-Sunset

Popham Beach State Park

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Popham Beach

This past weekend has me so excited about our future fall adventures! It was just the right balance of work, relaxing, and because it’s us, eating, all capped off with a beautiful night on a beach.

After taking a few days off mid-week to travel to North Haven, we took advantage of the rainy weather on Saturday and got some work done before we made the quick trip down to Biddeford for lunch at Palace. We finally tried the Tuna Melt that our friends (and others) have been raving about for months now and also the double cheeseburger ‘royale’ that is equally amazing. No trip to Biddeford is complete without a stop by Rabelais, which is always accompanied by a fascinating and enlightening conversation with the owner, Don. We picked up a couple of new books on his recommendation and headed back home to settle in for an afternoon of reading on the couch.

We had every intention of visiting Popham Beach this summer, but time got the best of us, and we just never got around to it. Waiting proved to be beneficial for us though, as dogs are now allowed back on the state park beaches. Yesterday was much too lovely to be spent doing anything but soaking up the sunshine, so we packed a picnic dinner and headed up to Phippsburg with Orvis. How we’ve lived in Maine six years and not visited Popham until yesterday is beyond me – it might be a new favorite of ours, especially in the quieter off-season. More to come on that in a future post!

Hopefully you all had a splendid fall weekend as well. And thank you, all of you, so much for your sweet support over last week’s print shop announcement. It means so much to us!

Palace Diner Biddeford

Palace Diner Tuna Melt

Rabelais

Rabelais-Biddeford

Orvis

Picnic at Popham Beach

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Map and Menu Print Shop

Last week, we hinted at a number of changes happening around Map & Menu. We’ve updated our logo and are making adjustments to the site that will continue to roll out in the weeks to come, but the addition we’re easily the most excited about is the launch of our new print shop, Map & Menu Prints!

Since we created Map & Menu, we’ve had many readers ask us about prints of photos from trips similar to their own adventures, but we’ve never really known how to handle these requests. After some wonderful results printing some of the images for our own home, we set out to carefully select a few of our favorites to offer in both limited and open editions. Our first collection features 12 photographs from the trips we’ve taken to Scotland, California, and France, along with a few of our more memorable coastal Maine images.

As with every photograph, each image in our collection of prints has its own story – memories that we’ve recounted through our travel guides here on the site – and while these particular photographs capture a specific time and place from our personal travels, our hope is that they’ll inspire memories in others of their own journeys.

Now for the giveaway – to enter to win a 16×24 limited edition print of your choice, simply follow us on instagram@mapandmenu – and leave a comment below telling us your favorite photograph from the shop. You have until midnight this Friday, October 3rd. (Plus, you can always sign up for our mailing list to receive 10% off your first order and notifications of future collection releases!) 

Map & Menu Prints

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Hunt & Alpine

It’s no secret that we think the drinks at the Portland Hunt & Alpine Club (pictured above) are consistently some of the best we’ve tried, and we know that many of you feel the same way, so we hope you’ll take a moment to vote for them – they’re a contender for The People’s Best New Bars from Food & Wine, and we (and clearly so many others) think they deserve to win!

Speaking of Food & Wine, this month’s issue is easily my favorite of the past few months. With no less than a dozen recipes from this issue bookmarked, we set out to make this amazing rice bowl earlier this week – do yourself a big favor and whip this up over the weekend.

If we were making a trip down to New York this fall, you can bet we’d be stopping by a few of these art openings.

We love the vintage designs of these customizable, printed luggage tags that Lizzie of Tomboy Style has teamed up with Paper Chase Press to create!

I’ve more than once discovered a place that I now have to visit because of Instagram browsing. If you’re looking for more travel inspiration, here are a few more feeds to follow.

Finally, if you’re reading this post in a feed reader, do us a big favor and click over to see the new Map & Menu logo we released this week. We’re pretty excited about some of the changes we’re making on the site, and cannot wait to share an even bigger Map & Menu announcement next week… (!!)

Have a fantastic weekend, friends!

Photo taken by Meredith Perdue for Portland Hunt & Alpine Club

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Fall in South Portland

I guess it’s officially time to say farewell to summer, pull out our flannel & bean boots, and welcome fall. This is a gorgeous season in New England and if you don’t mind the chill, there are plenty of things to do – here are a few activities we’re looking forward to this fall!

Plan a few hiking day trips.

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

Pick apples.

One of our very favorite fall traditions that we’ve done every year since moving to Maine is picking apples. I’m really excited about trying new apple recipes this year, but I think that the donuts that many farms sell are one of the bigger draws for Michael.

Carve pumpkins.

Just this morning a lady stopped me as I was heading up our driveway to tell me that all of the neighborhood kids are looking forward to seeing what we (read: Michael) carve for our pumpkins this year. The pressure is on, friends! See our previous pumpkins from 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010.

Brunch.

We hardly ever go to brunch in the summer, but come fall, it’s all I think about on Sunday mornings. Bring on the pancakes, please!

Run 5Ks.

Once our travel and wedding seasons slow down in the fall, there are a few 5K races I always look forward to running – the Bayside Trail 5K (with Orvis!) and the Turkey Trot.

Take a daytrip.

It’s always fun to take a few more small trips each fall after the crowds start to disappear. Last year’s trips to Tamworth and Newburyport were two of our highlights, so we can’t wait to try out a few more places this fall.

Attend a cooking class.

This is an item on our “30 by 30″ list, and after taking a look at the new culinary arts courses offered at MECA this year, we can’t wait to pick one out.

Surely there are fall activities we’ve missed – if you have any favorites of your own, we’d love to hear them!

Michael and Orvis

Bradbury Mountain State Park

Orvis Meredith and Michael at Tumbledown

Sabattus Mountain View

Orchard Hill Farm

Moustached Pumpkin

Piccolo Maine Brunch

Bayside Trail 5K

MTC Turkey Trot

Sheepscot River

Plum Island

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Petite Jacqueline Happy Hour

Before we officially welcome fall, we just couldn’t let summer go by without one last nod to our love for rosé season with our second Drinks with Orvis post.

During one of the warmest weeks this summer, we cut out of work a little early to go enjoy a drink on one of our favorite outdoor patios in Portland – Petite Jacqueline. We love taking Orvis along to meals in Longfellow Square – he’s happy as can be people watching in the square… that is until our food comes and he starts begging.

As it turns out, hot temperatures don’t stand a chance against a carafe of rosé and a tasty cheese plate on a shaded patio in the summer, and the fact that Orvis was there alongside us made the afternoon even better!

Tell us, where do you like to drink/eat with your pup? We’d love suggestions for any city!

Petite Jacqueline Portland Maine

Drinks with Orvis

Petite Jacqueline Maine

All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.

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2 Note Storefront

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

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

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

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

Cafe Le Perche

Hudson New York

Finn

Finn

Hudson Food Studio

Hudson Food Studio

Hudson Food Studio

Hudson Food Studio

Huggles

Enzo

Hughbert

Enzo

Hughie

Hudson NY Shop

Hudson NY Shopping

Hudson NY Shops

Hudson NY

2 Note Perfumery

2 Note Perfumery Hudson

All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.

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The Pinnacle Trail Stowe VT

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!

Topnotch Resort & Spa

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.

Stowe Recreation Path

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!

Pinnacle Trail

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.

Bingham Falls

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!

Hen of the Wood

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.

Stowe Vermont Recreation Path

Stowe Recreation Path

Dog Friendly Stowe Vermont

Topnotch Resort Stowe

The Roost Stowe VT

Ben and Jerrys Waterbury

Hen of the Wood Waterbury

Bingham Falls

Topnotch Dog Friendly

Pinnacle Trail Stowe VT

Stowe Vermont Hiking

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Topnotch Resort Stowe

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.

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Topnotch Resort Stowe

Topnotch Resort Stowe

All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.

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Pimiento Cheese Crab Dip

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

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

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

Scribe Wine

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