With October drawing to a close, our Maine bed and breakfast is gearing up for some exciting renovations and one is already underway! While we’re not going to spill the beans on what is coming during the rest of the winter in terms of new room designs, we’re happy to announce that the Victorian Charm Room (#15) in the main house is no more. The wallpaper has come down, the walls given a new coat of plaster, and are already boasting a new color palette. And with all these changes, “Victorian Charm” is not going to suit the new look, and in a week or so we’ll be announcing its new style and new name. Now, this room was much loved, and we’re not going to change that – we’re just going to add more of the things you love about our Maine bed and breakfast! You can be sure that you’ll find a blissful bed, comfy seating, and all the modern amenities you expect from the Maine Stay Inn. But we’re not ones for spoiling a surprise, so stay tuned for pictures and updates about all the changes going on around our Maine Bed and Breakfast!
October 30th, 2013 by Judi Hauer
October 28th, 2013 by Judi Hauer
It’s the end of October and signs all around Kennebunkport say that Halloween is on its way! While many trees are still boasting some incredible fall foliage, many are shedding theirs and sporting their winter look. But at this time of year, you’ll spot loads of mums all across Kennebunkport (and the Maine Stay Inn is no exception) and pumpkins galore. Whether they may be perched atop scarecrows or the monument in Dock Square, you’ll surely enjoy picking them out in some unexpected places. One of my favorite things to enjoy at this time of year is a stroll through the historic districts of Kennebunk and Kennebunkport, viewing spectacular historic homes dolled up in their Halloween finest while hearing the crunch of fallen leaves under foot. No matter how you spend your days during a getaway to Kennebunkport, you’re sure to discover why Halloween and late fall is such a great time!
October 24th, 2013 by Judi Hauer
I am probably breaking some kind of cardinal rule in New England by writing this blog while the Red Sox are playing in the World Series, but I realized that not everyone knows where to find sports bars or similar settings in Kennebunkport. And while I enjoy watching the game all curled up in a cozy bed or sofa, I know that a lot of people live for the group dynamic when lots of people are cheering together. Given how fanatical New Englanders are about their Red Sox, there are more than a few sports bars to grab a drink and cheer for your team. St. Louis fans, just keep your jerseys under your jacket. When you’re visiting, you won’t just be confined to your room or the living room at our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast, so here’s a selection of great local spots to cheer for your favorite team (as long it’s one from New England – kidding, kind of):
- Federal Jack’s is definitely a favorite spot, because with a dozen or so big screen TVs you’re sure to get your fill. Plus, as the home of shipyard ales (with seven different homemade brews tapped directly from the brewery below), and a huge assortment of other draft beers, you’ll find just the thing to quench your thirst! And with their big menu of traditional pub food (and more sophisticated entrees as well) there’s lots to satiate you, even if the game goes into extra innings.
- Alisson’s Restaurant, located at the very center of Dock Square, just a stone’s throw from the Maine Stay Inn, features quite a few TVs and a great bar. Plus, their assortment of finger food is just as extensive as that at Fed’s.
- You’ll find a small gathering of local folks at Pier 77‘s the Ramp, which, while only offering 2 viewing screens, has a great homey atmosphere. Looking around, you will find the walls and ceilings plastered with vintage sports memorabilia, which just adds to the viewing experience. And with standout food choices, this the Ramp is a great spot for the non sports fan and the enthusiast alike.
- Looking for something a little different? Check out Pedro’s Mexican Restaurant in Lower Village Kennebunk. The food’s pretty stellar (and not at all like commercialized Mexican eateries) and their margaritas are out of this world. So pull up a seat at the bar and enjoy!
- While the bar areas are not too big at Tia’s Topside and Ryan’s Corner House, both are sure to draw a good crowd for the World Series. Plus, since you can walk from the Maine Stay, you can grab a beer or two and not worry about hopping in the car.
And, really, this is just the tip of the iceberg! So instead of wishing you had an “in” for World Series tickets, you can sit back, enjoy a drink and some finger food, and watch the big game in Kennebunkport.
October 21st, 2013 by Judi Hauer
Finding great lobster in Kennebunkport is probably at the top of nearly every visitor’s list (except you shellfish allergic folks – I send my condolences), and visiting during the winter months doesn’t change that. And surprisingly, it doesn’t make it much harder! But yes, I said it. The W word. And while there is still tons of
glorious fall weather to enjoy, the days are getting a bit shorter and the temps a bit cooler. I for one am always reluctant to admit that fall will undoubtedly fade into winter and I will have to eventually break out a real coat. And mittens. But there is one thing that always jars me into acceptance, and it happened this past weekend. Nunan’s Lobster Hut closed for the season. Don’t fret! There are still lots of spots to enjoy that perfect Maine lobster you’ve been craving, and you won’t have to venture far from the Maine Stay Inn to enjoy it.
- For the next few weeks, you can still get that old fashioned lobster shack experience at Mabel’s Lobster Claw on Ocean Avenue, or the down home Maine feel at Arundel Wharf, just a block from the Maine Stay. Both offer that traditional charm you think of when you think of classic Maine. Once the weather gets too cold for them to keep their pipes from freezing, pop over to Mike’s Clam Shack in Wells for that old fashioned flair.
- You can almost always count on Federal Jack’s to be serving, and since they keep tanks for lobsters, it’s a spot that has never disappointed when it comes to delivering a fresh, hot old fashioned lobster dinner. Even in January!
- David’s Kennebunkport also whips up a mean lobster dinner within walking distance. And by that I even mean walking in the snow kind of walking distance. Seriously it’s like 2 minutes away. It will take longer to warm up the car than get there on foot. Plus, they earn big bonus points in my book for a stellar water view.
- In the heart of Dock Square, just a hop, skip, and a jump from our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast, you’ll find Alisson’s Restaurant, which is almost as consistent as Federal Jack’s when it comes to operating hours. So while you won’t get a great water view, you can pop in for a quick (and award winning) lobster roll that’s sure to satisfy.
- In Cape Porpoise, situated right on the harbor, you’ll find Pier 77 and the Ramp, which offers breathtaking views of Goat Island lighthouse and Kennebunkport’s fleet of lobster boats. And great lobster. Obviously.
Now, I know that this just barely scratches the surface of places to get great lobster in and around Kennebunkport, but it’s a handy list to keep in mind during an off season visit – now get eating!
October 16th, 2013 by Judi Hauer
Throughout much of the country, fall is synonymous with pumpkins, and Kennebunkport is no exception! You’ll find pumpkin spice lattes in area coffee shops, pumpkin creations on most restaurant and bakery menus, and on the front steps of homes and businesses across town. You’ll even find them topping the festive scarecrows on the door steps of many stores and restaurants in the area, and the best one is floating in a row boat on the river But the best spots to see some great big piles o’ pumpkins, is at one of the great farms stands in Kennebunkport – happy fall!
October 15th, 2013 by Judi Hauer
Kennebunkport Maine restaurants have done a great job jumping on the gluten free bandwagon, but the coffee shops and bakeries have been slow to meet the demand. Earlier this year, Mornings in Paris, an “old world” style coffee shop located in the heart of the Old Port of Portland, opened a new location here in Kennebunkport Maine. They’ve brought a tremendous assortment of teas and coffee varieties, great WiFi (for free), and delicious treats to town. But since the Maine Stay Inn has oodles of tea and coffee available 24 hours a day and bakeries and gluten free diets generally don’t mesh well, a visit to Mornings in Paris was not at the top of my to do list. This weekend, though, an old friend dropped by for a visit, so we decided to go for a stroll through Kennebunkport Maine and enjoy the glorious fall weather. After exploring town and taking lots of pictures of the fall foliage, we decided that a warm beverage was just what we needed, so I finally got to cross off this item on my “to-do” list!
The outdoor bistro tables and market style umbrellas set the tone for a relaxing and inviting afternoon respite. After opening the doors, a wave of wonderful spices and the aroma of freshly brewed coffees got my appetite going. Much to my surprise, there were quite a few gluten free treats available! How could I have ignored these gluten free treats all
summer?! With cookies, whoopie pies, and cupcakes available, I felt like a kid in a … bakery! The only thing that I needed to complete my afternoon rendezvous was a warm drink to hold during my walk along the ocean, and while the Pumpkin Latte was getting rave reviews, I needed something a little lighter to wash down my gluten free indulgence, so an Oolong tea fit the bill nicely. While I chose to take my nibbles to go, the inside eating areas were comfy, cozy, and interesting to look at – no plain white walls here. So even during weather that’s not quite as ideal as yesterday, Mornings in Paris is going to be a great spot for an afternoon cup o’ joe. So all of us at the Maine Stay are happy to welcome the Mornings in Paris Bakery and coffee shop to Kennebunkport Maine and love their gluten free options!
October 11th, 2013 by Judi Hauer
Just in time for Columbus Day Weekend, officials at the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry have reported that the fall foliage in Kennebunkport Maine is nearing its peak of color. Predicting the most vibrant time to see fall foliage in New England can be very tricky, if not impossible, but you can pretty much
guarantee that you’ll see some stunning shades between the last 10 days of September and the first three weeks of October. Honestly, though, that does not mean that you won’t see great colors before and after that period. While I’ve never given too much thought to the different factors that go into guestimating when the trees are going to be painted with the most vivid shades, but this recent article from Seacoast Online got me thinking. I mean, I’ve always realized that the temperatures make a difference, and that a cool early fall moves the timeline earlier, but warmer temps move it a little later. Rain definitely has something to do with it – just don’t ask me how! And windy weather really messes with the timeline, because the leaves get knocked to the ground before they even reach their most lovely stages. And we in Kennebunkport Maine have enjoyed the glorious warm and sunny weather recently, which means that the painted trees are hanging around even longer (yay!). But best of all, the unpredictable winds that come with living on the coast, have been much more tame than they can be in the fall, which also means that the colors are staying on the trees and not on the lawn. Plus, with the percentage of leaves hitting their peak color rising, Southern Maine is experiencing a truly stunning fall foliage season. We at the Maine Stay Inn are certainly looking forward to suggesting scenic hikes, bikes, and strolls this Columbus Day Weekend so that everyone can enjoy the peak of fall foliage in Kennebunkport Maine!
October 8th, 2013 by Judi Hauer
In honor of National Country Inn and Bed and Breakfast Day, Hotels.com compiled a list of their favorite B&Bs across the nation, and we were so excited to find the Maine Stay Inn on that list! Their article “10 Charming American Bed & Breakfasts Around the US” got me thinking about what exactly makes Maine bed and breakfasts so charming and romantic. Now, let’s be clear – charming is not the same thing as cute. Or old. To me, the word “charming” evokes these warm feelings of relaxation and comfort, without pretense or fan fare. So here are just a few things about Maine bed and breakfasts that make your travel experience charming:
- Smaller scale – now there is something about walking into a cavernous hotel lobby where high heels clickety- clack on tile floors that is decidedly not charming. It’s not cozy, and doesn’t really make me think
“Yeah, I want to put on a robe and snuggle.” And even though all Maine bed and breakfasts are different, their smaller size automatically puts them closer to achieving charm at first glance.
- They’re unique! And not just from one another. When you check in at a hotel, you can pretty much be sure that room 201 is going to look just like room 304 and 406. At the Maine Stay Inn, and many other Maine B&Bs, each room is individually designed, so as you select your room, you can actually envision your getaway, and when walking down the hall, you’ll notice that, much like in a home, each room is different! And I personally feel that is an important part of making a place feel homey… and one step closer to charming!
- Many are historic. And while that does translate into being chronologically old, it really means that they tend to boast fine craftsmanship and details that you can’t find in modern buildings or typical hotels. Our floating staircase is a prime example! Things like detailed moldings and stained glass definitely bring charm to the physical structure.
- Personality! Yes, it’s possible! And while some of that has to do with the staff, the care, design, and attention to detail also gives the physical structure its own personality. But the people are huge in making you feel at ease and welcomed at a Maine bed and breakfast. Chances are pretty good that those responsible for cleaning your room are also going to serve you at breakfast or make your dinner reservations, and they want to get to know you so that they can help make your stay exactly what you’re looking for!
The truth is, defining “charming” is really hard. And frankly, I’d rather use the words “warm,” “welcoming,” or “inviting” to describe Maine Bed and Breakfasts, but all of us are so honored to be named one of the nation’s most charming inns!
October 4th, 2013 by Judi Hauer
Fall foliage season is definitely underway, and that means that it is also prime time for apple picking, and our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast is embracing the season by incorporating the local bounty into as many tasty recipes as we can muster. I mean, apples are good at any time of year, but they just seem especially delectable now, knowing that they are fresh off the trees! And while we always try to utilize the freshest and most local ingredients, the autumn harvest bounty makes it so much easier. Apples, pumpkins, and corn – oh my! But
seriously, all of us at the Maine Stay Inn get so excited about bringing these tasty local crops into our kitchen and onto your plates. So during this time of year, you can expect to enjoy some seasonally appropriate treats each morning at our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast. Apple crisp and cranberry apple cobblers are something we love on a cool morning, because it’s something piping hot to warm you to the core. But don’t worry – the dollop of freshly whipped cream on top makes sure it’s not scalding! Sometimes, though, you might find a baked stuff apple or some homemade apple sauce as a side on your plate instead. Or how about some apple muffins or fritters? But an often overlooked favorite at our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast is Scalloped Apples. And no, that doesn’t mean smothered in cheese and cream. Because that would be gross. Much to my surprise, “scalloped” can actually refer to any dish baked in a sauce, and that’s exactly what you’ll do with these apples!
So here’s the world’s easiest recipe that will delight your taste buds: Grab a big bunch of apples (preferably right from the tree!). Peel ‘em and slice them so that they are about a half inch thick at their thickest (so like 8 slices per medium apple). Put them in a bowl and coat them with cinnamon and brown sugar so that they are brown. I hesitate to give a true amount, because it really depends on how sweet you like your apples and whether you are using a tart apple like a Granny Smith or a sweet one like a Golden Delicious. But do not be stingy – this is not the time to worry about your carbs. Meanwhile, put a rimmed baking sheet or glass baking pan in the oven with a sizable hunk of salted butter at 425 degrees. When this melts it needs to be bubbly and covering the area your apples will fill. Before transferring to the buttery pan, toss the apples in a teeny bit of lemon juice, then add them to the pan. They should be juicy and starting to make their own sauce by now. Now throw some more brown sugar on top. Pop the pan in the oven and bake about 5 minutes, before removing and stirring. Return to the oven and bake another 10 minutes. The apples should be thick and caramel-like, and the apples soft but not mushy, if not, return to the oven for a little longer. Let them cool just a little before serving (on top of ice cream, as a side with a savory breakfast, or even with a pork dinner) – if you can! Because I can’t and always end up burning my tongue, but it is so worth it! But whether you decide to channel your inner Martha and make these apples, we’ll happily make them for you at our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast this fall!
October 2nd, 2013 by Judi Hauer
So while October might be known for its candy corn and fun size candy bars, it is also National Pizza Month and Kennebunkport has lots to offer in the way of pizza pies! And while we could choose something like salad or soup to keep our blood sugar from surging, pizza is just so much more fun – and since it’s the food of the month, we’re just being festive. It’s like a rule or something. Right? Fortunately, there are options for every pizza palate right here in Kennebunkport! So here are just a few of the spots where you’ll find some stellar slices!
- Owen’s Farmhouse – While this favorite is located over the river (but not through the woods!) in
downtown Kennebunk, it’s more than worth the short drive from the Maine Stay Inn. With inventive toppings, including homemade sausage, and creative salads on the menu, this is a great spot for some casual digs. Plus, they’ve even got gluten free pizzas to enjoy!
- Federal Jack’s BrewPub – An all-American menu wouldn’t be complete without some cheesy, gooey, piping hot pizzas, and Fed’s doesn’t disappoint. Although they call their regular pizzas “flatbreads” and their gluten free option “pizza” – it’s all the same to me. Bread. Sauce. Cheese. Yum.
- Abbondante – this Italian Trattoria would not be complete without some authentic pizza pies, now would it? Even though this converted New England barn has kept its casual, unpretentious atmosphere, this new Kennebunkport restaurant channels its Italian roots so well, but you’ll have to taste it for yourself!
- In the heart of Dock Square, you’ll find some tasty pizza options at Alisson’s Restaurant, Atlantic Pizza, and some upscale “flatbreads” at One Dock. All three offer great locations, and some different flavors that will round out your pizza tasting perfectly!
With all these great options, who even needs an excuse like National Pizza Month to indulge? Nah, I’ll still take an extra reason to enjoy an indulgent slice (or two…or five…)! But no matter where you choose, Kennebunkport is lucky to have so many different and creative twists on an old fashioned favorite!