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
While Michael was just getting back from a week in DC for work, I spent a good part of this weekend working myself. Saturday’s shoot took me to a new part of Maine I’d not yet seen before – Perkins Cove in Ogunquit. As it was a rather chilly day in November, I practically had the charming fishing village to myself. It’s easy to imagine how bustling and busy this area of Maine’s coast must be in the summertime, but I was pleased to experience it for the first time on a much quieter day.
After wrapping Sunday’s shoot in Portland, Michael met me in town for drinks at our favorite bar, Hunt & Alpine, where we were excited to meet Peter, half of the duo behind Maine & Loire – an extremely promising wine shop opening on Washington St. next year.
Having had to fend for myself in the kitchen all week, I was looking forward to properly capping the weekend off with a delicious meal cooked by Michael, the real culinary talent at our house. He prepared this tasty butternut risotto recipe, as I happily resumed my place as sous chef… and resident pistachio snacker. Curled up on the couch with a bowl of my favorite comfort food and Michael by my side was the perfect cozy ending to the weekend.
All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.2 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
After the busy few weeks that preceded our wedding, Michael and I were more than happy about our plans for a low-key weekend spent (mostly) at home, but only after we took a little detour to Hanover, NH on our way back from Vermont, to walk around Dartmouth with Orvis. We were immediately charmed with the darling downtown and after a delicious lunch at Pine, we vowed to plan a return trip to Hanover as soon as possible.
Once we returned home, much of our weekend was spent making plans for and working in the kitchen. Two days after we were married, our new marble countertops were installed, which involved quite a bit of prep work the day before and a little more touch-up sanding on the walls after. Thankfully, we’ve now moved on to selecting paint colors for the walls, trim, and upper & lower cabinets – who would’ve guess that Benjamin Moore offered 150+ variations of white paint?
In between the trips to the paint and hardware stores we made time to swing by More & Co.‘s autumn party, where they were celebrating the final day of their fall collection with Tandem pies, Field Florist flowers, and rosé. We enjoyed catching up with a few More & Co folks, as well as Ariela of ANK Ceramics, and came home with the most lovely vase from her beautiful collection.
Later that evening we met my family, visiting Maine from North Carolina for the weekend, out for their first dim sum experience at Empire. Sadly our two year-old nephew wasn’t nearly as into the tasty duck buns or spinach dumplings as the adults were, but he did enjoy seeing the new Robert Indiana “Seven” sculpture lit up in front of the museum during our post-dinner walk.
By Sunday, we were back to our normal routine with breakfast from Scratch, followed by a day around the house, working in the kitchen, making cozy meals, and catching up on missed shows… a perfect end to a hectic few weeks.
Leave a comment
So, we pretty much disappeared from the site for these last few weeks, but I promise we have a really great excuse…
Michael and I got married last weekend, on the day of our ninth anniversary as a couple, and in the middle of a nor’easter! It might not be the newest of news to those of you who follow us on Instagram, but we couldn’t possibly be any happier, and will certainly be sharing more details with you all once we have some photos. The ceremony was very small – there were only five people (including us) and Orvis (obviously) – and not many people beyond our families and close friends knew beforehand. The secret nature of the whole thing made it almost feel even more exciting, if that makes any sense.
A week later, we’re still overwhelmed by all the love and support we were shown from our family and friends last week, and can’t stop ourselves from smiling every time we take a look at our wedding bands. Now that the cat’s out of the bag, stay tuned as we have quite a bit of content lined up for the next few weeks – including photos from our impromptu post-wedding getaway to Woodstock, VT!18 Comments - Leave a comment
Almost every fall since moving to Maine, Meredith and I have found the time to do a little apple picking of our own, and almost every fall, we’ve chosen a new orchard to try, but after our trip to Hansel’s Apple Orchard this year, we might have found the orchard that will become as much a part of our tradition as the flannel shirts and bean boots we wear.
Hansel’s is a smaller, family-owned orchard in North Yarmouth that is somewhat unlike the other orchards we’ve visited in the past few years. Without the pumpkin patch, barn store, tour bus turn-around, or long lines, Hansel’s is refreshingly all about the apples. Nestled on a cozy patch of land, you can walk up, grab a real basket (from quarter-peck to full bushel), and get to picking your McIntosh, Cortlands, Macouns, Jonagolds, a Honeycrisp or two, and even a mystery varietal of their own. Meredith and I filled our peck in no time, snapped a few photos, and returned home to days of apple snacks, crisps, and homemade applesauce.
If you’re looking for a new orchard to try this year or next, we highly recommend checking out Hansel’s – we think you’ll really enjoy the change of pace.
Leave a comment
Eager to take advantage of a wedding-free weekend, Michael and I headed up the coast on Friday evening after work to spend a night at my family’s home in Wiscasset. Whenever our schedules slow down in the fall and winter, we love using this spot as a jumping-off point to explore other parts of Maine.
Saturday’s destination was a tried & true favorite day trip – Camden. While I’ve been sneaking in work-related trips to Long Grain since our first visit in 2012, Michael on the other hand, hadn’t been as fortunate, so we set our sights tastebuds on a lunch at the wonderful establishment. After our fill of some delicious pork belly pad kee mao, a tasty crab fried rice bowl, and “the spring rolls that ruined all other spring rolls for us”, we were anxious to stretch our legs, so we ventured up Maiden’s Cliff, eager to take in the colorful foliage and the beautiful view of Megunticook Lake. Even Orvis, whose tail is always happily spinning in search of the next adventure, seemed to be taken with the stunning vista before our eyes, and laid down for a bit at the top.
On Sunday we enjoyed a slow morning around the house – made complete with breakfast from Scratch – before meeting some friends for a hike at Wolfe’s Neck. Spending time outdoors both days this weekend reminded us how thankful we are to live in such a richly beautiful state, and even though our hikes will soon lack the vibrant fall color of October (and will require many more layers), it’ll be enjoyable to welcome all of the new fun that the next season brings.
All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.2 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?
Leave a comment