August 28th, 2013 by Judi Hauer
As I dove into my bowl of pasta and homemade pesto – made with basil fresh from the garden – I got to thinking about how there are such great opportunities for farm-to-table type dining in Kennebunkport Maine. Honestly, I feel so lucky to be in an area where there’s a real appreciation for quality food and sourcing local ingredients! I mean, at the Maine Stay Inn, one of our food suppliers focuses on using Maine products as much as
Strawberries fresh from our garden!
possible, especially given the -ahem – poor growing conditions during the chilly months of the year. But that means that our eggs come from Maine chickens and our dairy products from Maine cows! Today we even got to serve a Maine cantaloupe – who knew you could grow those here?! While we don’t have a huge herb and vegetable garden, we do grow a few nibbles and a bunch of herbs. There really is nothing better than getting up and clipping fresh herbs from the garden in the morning! And we know that is something visitors appreciate when they wake up in Kennebunkport Maine, but since we don’t serve lunch or dinner, we’ve made sure to come up with some farm fresh options for lunch locales.
Just over the border in Wells, you’ll find Joshua’s, a restaurant that specialized in farm to table cuisine long before it became trendy. Chef Joshua’s father is an organic farmer whose farm provides the produce for the restaurant as long at the weather permits, and during the winter months, they utilize other local farms that have large greenhouses which produce year round! Head a little further south of Kennebunkport Maine to Ogunquit and you’ll find fine dining establishment Arrows. With its extensive gardens and inventive menu, Arrows has been named one of the top 50 restaurants in the United States. But closer to home, you’ll find that homegrown chef David Ross knows his stuff when it comes to local farms. His sister restaurants, 50 Local and Owen’s Farmhouse, are both located in downtown Kennebunk and their commitment to supporting local agriculture permeates every aspect of the menus in both locations. And just a hop, skip, and a jump from our Kennebunkport Maine bed and breakfast, lies funky not-so-hidden-anymore gem Bandaloop. Its focus is also on providing the freshest foods from local sources, but there’s one local treat you won’t find on the menu – old fashioned boiled lobster. Sorry – we’ll send you to Nunan’s for that! The truth is, though, that there are oodles of places around Kennebunkport Maine that serve farm fresh feasts, and we at the Maine Stay Inn are happy to help you find the spot that’s right for you!
August 25th, 2013 by Judi Hauer
Kennebunkport is looking mighty pretty for Labor Day!
It seems almost impossible that Labor Day Weekend is already upon us, but it certainly is and Kennebunkport is gearing up for a great weekend. This three day weekend is always filled with fun activities and ample opportunities to unwind and relax. Plus, with great back to school sales at the shops in Dock Square, you’ll surely get in some retail therapy that is great on the wallet! And since the stores in the area are known for their unique and hard to find items, you can be sure the person next door won’t be sporting the same purchases. Now I am not a huge shopper myself, but one of my absolute favorite things is the School Around Us Craft Fair. Held on the Kennebunkport town green just around the corner from the Maine Stay Inn, you’ll find great locally prepared foods, musical performances, and, of course, incredible hand made wares.
We’ve been working on some projects all around the inn lately to make sure that your Labor Day Weekend getaway to Kennebunkport is absolutely the best it can be. And while we are content to offer breakfast and afternoon tea to guests, we are always happy to offer suggestions for area restaurants. Now that even the newest eateries have been open for quite a few months, each and every one of them is operating at their peak, so we know that you’ll enjoy delicious meals at any of them! We know, though, that not everyone is obsessed with food or shopping, and fortunately the plethora of amazing outdoor activities in Kennebunkport are incredible. So whether you head to the beach for a stroll and some fun in the sun or to a local nature and wildlife refuge you will definitely enjoy the beauty of the Maine coast. No matter what you choose to do to celebrate Labor Day Weekend in Kennebunkport, you’re in for a fun and relaxing escape!
August 22nd, 2013 by Judi Hauer
It seems like this summer has just flown by, and everyone I talk to seems to feel the same way, so our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast has decided to make squeezing in an end of summer vacation even more affordable! So starting this Sunday, you can enjoy rates starting at just $199. That
A gorgeous day at the beach!
means that any Sunday through Thursday night (with the exception of Labor Day weekend) until September 20, you can take advantage of these great rates. But not to worry, you will still enjoy all of the perks that you’ve come to love at the Maine Stay Inn. Gourmet breakfast will be served daily, and with tons of great weather in August and September, you will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy that morning meal or first cup of joe on the front porch. Our signature cookies will come out of the oven around 3 every afternoon, just in time for your return from the beach (or shopping or whatever fun activities you choose for the day). And since the water is at its warmest temperatures from late August through September, our Kennbunkport bed and breakfast has complimentary beach passes so that you can park right along the Kennebunk beaches. Plus, there’s no need to drag along sandy beach towels or rummage around for your trusty chairs, because we’ve got all of that for you! Not to mention a solid supply of umbrellas, mats, sand toys and boogie boards!
When taking advantage of this Late Summer Special, you’ve got great options, so it might be the time to try out a new option or stick with a tried-and-true favorite. At the $199 level, you can select the Victorian Charm room, the Four Poster Room, or even the brand new Abbie’s Retreat! Or for $229, two of you can sample cottage suites 4, 8, 9, or 11 and have the opportunity to enjoy breakfast delivered to your door. What’s not to love about breakfast in bed? Or for an added boost of luxury, you could try Captain Walker’s Suite 16 or Cottage Suites 3 or 7 for just $249. So don’t feel forlorn that the summer might pass you by, because there’s plenty of time to enjoy a late summer vacation to a Kennebunkport bed and breakfast!
August 17th, 2013 by Judi Hauer
Today was a very exciting day on Maine Street, as the Kennebunkport Historical Society hosted a family friendly daytime fundraiser. Last month, former President George H.W. Bush found himself all over the news, as he and his secret service staff appeared in photos with shaved heads. It was quite a sight! But the story behind the image was even more heartwarming. The two year old son, named Patrick, of one of the President’s security detail was recently diagnosed with leukemia, and after undergoing treatment, the toddler lost his hair. As a show of support for little Patrick, 41 and his staff shaved their heads too! Patrick’s Pals was set up for folks who heard the story to donate funds to support his ongoing treatment.
But today, the newly christened First Families Museum at White Columns, just up the street from the Maine Stay Inn, opened its doors and donated all proceeds to Patrick’s Pals. Formerly known as the Nott House, the White Columns mansion is the crown jewel of the Kennebunkport Historical Society. It has recently been revamped to celebrate the history of the founding families of Kennebunkport, as well as the Bush Family legacy in town. Not to worry, though, the incredible architectural and design history has been well preserved! And to make the event even more fun, the Historical Society held badminton and croquet in the side lawn. Visitors and locals alike flocked to this historic mansion for a great day and a heartwarming cause. They certainly couldn’t have asked for a better day to hold this great event, because the skies were a brilliant blue, without a cloud to be seen, and temps hovering just around 80 degrees – positively perfection! Visitors certainly enjoyed the outdoor events, hanging around for hours, sometimes just to watch the fun, and we at the Maine Stay are certainly hoping that this resulted in off-the-charts donations for little Patrick and his family. We’re so grateful to the Kennebunkport Historical Society for hosting such a fun and worthwhile fundraiser!
August 15th, 2013 by Judi Hauer
We received some exciting news earlier this summer, when we found out that our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast was named a Green Leader by TripAdvisor! Over the past six years, we have been working diligently to turn this historic property into an eco-friendly destination. At first, the task seemed daunting. I mean, how could you turn an 1860 Victorian and five guest houses into a lean, mean energy sipping machine? And since the idea
We’ve been designated a a green leader!
of recycling was not even considered, this seemed like an insurmountable task. You have to start somewhere, right? So we began recycling paper products in the office and water bottles abandoned in guest rooms. That wasn’t enough to satisfy our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast, so we went to work on kitchen waste (think the cardboard cartons produce ships in), non-returnable beverage bottles, and even sorting trash from each guest room.
Simply instituting a recycling policy was not going to win us any awards, and light bulbs were next on the agenda. Gradually we’ve changed from your average incandescent to energy sipping compact fluorescents, with plans to invest in LED bulbs as well. Unfortunately, the Maine Stay Inn can’t boast 100% use of such bulbs – often in the main house because of its antique fixtures that just don’t look right with the swirly fluorescent types. Our biggest changes, however, have been behind the scenes, with upgrades to the heating, cooling and hot water systems at our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast making everyone more comfortable, but also friendly for the environment.
So we’re proud to announce that TripAdvisor has honored us with a bronze level award for providing environmentally friendly lodging options. But unlike many, we’re not content with the status quo, so we’re constantly tweaking our energy conservation plans and making changes to make our 19th century Kennebunkport bed and breakfast as energy efficient as possible – and we’re taking suggestions!
August 12th, 2013 by Judi Hauer
Welcome to Maine – the way life should be!
While you’ll certainly go over a river, and possibly through some woods, you sure won’t feel like you’re off to grandmother’s house when you’re en route to a Maine bed and breakfast! Fortunately Kennebunkport doesn’t sit too far from Interstate 95, which means that visitors should expect and easy trip up (or down) to town. And with three exits in close proximity, even missing your desired exit won’t throw much of a kink in your plans. The truth is, honestly, that the Maine Stay Inn is a cinch to find and an easy drive from any of the metropolitan areas in the northeast. And whether you choose to travel by plane, train or automobile, there are great options to get you where you want to go.
Situated just 86 miles from Boston, our Maine bed and breakfast is a quick trip up the pike, but I always like to allow two hours – just in case you hit a little traffic around the tolls or in the event of a bathroom break or snack stop. Sometimes, though, you’ve got to allow a tad bit more time… because a girl’s gotta shop, doesn’t she?! And if you’re in the mood for some retail therapy, exit 2 off the Maine Turnpike will lead you to Route 1 and the Kittery Tanger Outlets. With shops featuring basically any brand you could imagine, the Outlets offer great products at great prices. Now, if you’re not in a hurry to end up in Kennebunkport Maine, continuing on Route 1 can be a fun trip, and a stop at Yummies Candy store, which keeps over 10,000 pounds of candy on display. Just a bit further north lies Stonewall Kitchen and its flagship location, featuring a cooking school, cafe, and tour-able factory, not to mention the shop with irresistible packaged treats. Continuing on Route 1, you’ll pass through the towns of York, Ogunquit, and Wells, each of which has a unique character and some great spots to eat and shop! Most visitors to our Maine bed and breakfast choose to do their leisurely explorations after checking in, so they usually take exit 19 from the south (or 32 if they are coming from the north). But if the beautiful Maine landscape is causing some distracted driving, hopping off at exit 25 won’t disappoint, as Route 35, the main drag from Kennebunk to Kennebunkport features some of the most beautiful homes you’ll ever see. No matter how you go about finding your way to our Maine bed and breakfast, we’re located in a great spot for all of your favorite Kennebunkport activities.
August 10th, 2013 by Judi Hauer
At Kennebunkport bed and breakfast, the Maine Stay Inn, breakfast is never just your standard bacon, eggs, and toast, so on a hot summer morning like today, we busted out a favorite breakfast recipe that always draws rave reviews. Our strawberry goat cheese bruschetta is an unusual offering that surprises visitors but delights the palate! Since we had so many requests for the recipe this morning, I decided to share the recipe.
This shockingly easy recipe is great for our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast but also for home entertaining, because you can prepare the parts the night before. So here’s what you’ll need – fresh, juicy strawberries, french bread, goat cheese, cream cheese, olive oil, kosher salt, black pepper, fresh thyme, and fresh rosemary. You’ll want to chop a handful of rosemary and thyme and soak them overnight in a generous amount of olive oil, throwing in a dash of salt and pepper at any point. Since you’ll be using the oil to brush the surface of the bread, add the amount of herbs that is to your liking. At our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast, we serve this with a hefty amount of sides, so we allow three pieces of bread per person (cutting the loaf into three-finger wide sections and then splitting those in half), which means a single baguette serves about 6-7 people. We bake and then slice (once cool, of course!) the bread the night before, storing it in a tightly wrapped bowl or airtight container. To make your morning preparation a little easier, we also recommend slicing your fresh strawberries the day before. We usually allow 2 medium berries per person, each cut into about 4-5 slices, depending on the size of your berries. We’ve also found over the years that folks sometimes find the taste of goat cheese a little strong in the morning, so to make the flavors a bit more mild, we cream equal portions of chevre and cream cheese. Plus, it makes spreading so much easier! You can do this the night before as well, but make sure to bring the mixture to room temperature before using.
Just prior to serving, take a large pastry brush and coat the surface of each bread slice with your herbed oil and place on a baking sheet. Then you’ll want to broil the bread until the oil bubbles and the bread begins to turn a golden brown. Since every oven broils differently, make sure to watch this very carefully! Once the bread has cooled slightly, spread liberally with your cheese mixture – we allow about a half ounce of mixture per slice. Top with about three to four slices of berries. Just before you’re ready to plate, pop these babies back in the broiler for just long enough to make them warm and gooey, but not blacken your strawberries. At our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast, we like to serve this recipe with a baby arugula and field green salad (lightly dressed and sprinkled with kosher salt and pepper), a hefty portion of soft scrambled eggs with chives and parsley fresh from the garden, and your choice of breakfast meat. It’s a light and refreshing meal that always starts the day right. So now you can try this recipe at home and pass along this Kennebunkport bed and breakfast favorite to your loved ones – it’s sure to be a hit!
August 7th, 2013 by Judi Hauer
Because the beaches in Kennebunkport are so beautiful, one of my favorite things to do is to pack a delicious meal and enjoy a beach picnic! And for that very reason, I often recommend the idea to folks visiting the area. Often, though, it’s they who request location suggestions or places to pick up tasty treats. My go to spot for a beach picnic in Kennebunkport is the glorious stretch of sand along Gooch’s beach. Speckled with benches along the path bordering the sand, it’s a spot that allows easy parking and comfortable lap dining, but with wide stretches of sand, you can also definitely find a comfy spot to lounge (or share a romantic cuddle). Plus, since the Maine
Who could resist a view like this during a sunset picnic on the beach?
Stay Inn provides complimentary parking passes, this is a great spot that’s easy on the wallet.
But since there are so many lovely beaches just a hop, skip, and a jump away, most people are more concerned about where to find the provisions for their picnic. A personal favorite is just a few minutes drive from the inn, in the heart of Cape Porpoise. Cape Porpoise Kitchen is know for its upscale prepared foods, including salads and sandwiches. They also stock a superior assortment of wines, crackers, and cheeses – all a must to complete your perfect picnic. If you’re looking for something that’s en route to the beach, you can stop at Downeast Wine Imports for a bottle of your favorite variety and hit up Market Day, another spot known for its prepared foods – just keep in mind that their frozen selection is pretty robust, so if they’re out of what your craving, you just might have to head back to the inn to heat it up.
Sometimes, though, you’re just looking for some simple snacks, and Bennett’s store has just the thing – chips, soda, and sandwiches on hoagie rolls… and ice cream to top it off! Just at the corner of Sea Road and Route 9, it’s the perfect stop at the last second or a quick lunchtime break from the sand. No matter what you choose or where you choose to enjoy it, a beach picnic in Kennebunkport is always a relaxing way to spend and afternoon or evening!
August 4th, 2013 by Judi Hauer
After a day at the beach in Kennebunkport Maine, the idea of a relaxing evening at the theater can be really appealing, and fortunately there are lots of great opportunities right nearby! So whether you want to see a live musical, a traditional Shakespearean play, or a feature film, you won’t have to venture far from the Maine Stay Inn to enjoy the production of your choice. Mainestage Shakespeare produces wonderful performances of Shakespeare’s favorites in downtown Kennebunk. Their outdoor stage in the middle of the park provides an open air experience like no other. And since their productions are entirely free, you can stay for as much or as little as
Try Smitty’s Cinema for dinner and a movie!
you like! Once called North Kennebunkport, the town of Arundel is home to a small theater company called the Arundel Barn Playhouse. But don’t let its small size fool you, because its performances are outstanding. Right now visitors can enjoy a rousing rendition of “All Shook Up,” a fun filled performance set to Elvis Presley favorites. And with tickets starting at about a quarter the price of a city show, you can enjoy a great musical theater performance without taking a toll on your wallet. But for a truly Broadway caliber show, the Ogunquit Playhouse is not to be missed. Started as a summer stock theater opportunity for New York City performers, it has morphed into a hidden gem that hosts big names in theater. In fact, right now you can catch Clay Aiken as the star of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat. And since it’s a mere 12 miles from the heart of Kennebunkport Maine, catching a show will still put you back in town with time to grab some dessert!
But if live theater’s not up your alley, you’re still in luck, because just to our south lies the Wells Five Star Cinema, which offers a selection of feature films. If the show times don’t work for you, Smitty’s Cinema to our north might have just what you’re looking for. Plus, with an unconventional style (think large comfy chairs and long tables – hold the stadium seating), you can enjoy dinner and drinks with your movie. Sometimes, though, a trip to Kennebunkport Maine is about taking a step back in time, and if that’s your goal, you can indulge in a real rarity in modern times – a drive-in theater! Not far up the road is the Saco Drive-In where you can catch two feature films for just $15 per car! So whatever your style or mood, you can enjoy a great night at the theater during your Kennebunkport Maine vacation.
August 2nd, 2013 by Judi Hauer
They say “love is in the air” around Valentines Day, but lately it seems like that should be revised, because lots of folks are looking for ideas for their romantic getaway to our Maine bed and breakfast. And obviously, the first step toward pulling off a special trip is picking the right room. Unlike chain hotels, every room at the Maine Stay Inn has its own unique decor and personality. More importantly, though, is the fact that each room and suite has
Hop aboard a sunset sail!
different features, so if you’re looking forward to snuggling under the stars, you’d want to pick the Garden Room, which has its own private deck overlooking the gardens. But if you’d rather lounge in a king size bed and soak in a whirlpool tub for two, Cottage Suite 5 is likely more up your alley. One of the important things to consider in planning your romantic getaway, is whether you’d like to have the option of eating breakfast in bed, because if you do, you should select Cottage Suites 2-11 or Suite 12 in the main house. And not to worry – there’s no charge for this type of room service!
After selecting the room in your Maine bed and breakfast, you’ll want to consider restaurants that set the right tone for your romantic getaway. Some personal favorite Kennebunkport restaurants that do a great job of providing the right mixture of relaxation and intimacy include Stripers Restaurant, On the Marsh Bistro, and Opus Ten (of David’s Kennebunkport). Just over the Wells border, you’ll find Joshua’s, a special spot with food and ambience that makes up for the not-so-sexy location on Route 1.
It comes as a bit of a surprise to me that some people’s schedules don’t entirely revolve around meals (kidding…kind of!), so planning some relaxing activities for two should probably be on the agenda. During the warm months, one of the most common activities for a romantic getaway to our Maine bed and breakfast is enjoying a leisurely schooner ride. Both the Pineapple Ketch and the Schooner Eleanor offer a variety of sails throughout the day (some even timed to enjoy the sunset!), and as each can carry a limited number of passengers, you can ensure that your on the water snuggle session won’t be disrupted. Others enjoy a more active past time, like kayaking or secluded hikes through nature preserves. Truth be told, the possibilities activities during your romantic getaway to a Maine bed and breakfast are limitless, and we’re always happy to help ensure your plans go off without a hitch!