Romantic Inns of New England

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Romantic Inns of New England

 

 

 

 

New England B&B Locator. Discover your perfect Romantic Getaway at one of our distinctive New England Bed & Breakfasts

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DISTINCTIVE INNS OF NEW ENGLAND
A Collection of Luxury New England Bed & Breakfasts and Country Inns

Introducing itineraries starting with two original historic inns

LocatorMap We’re planning to introduce a new series of itineraries on the DINE blog.  Knowing that a visit to one DINE property is wonderful, we can only imagine how guests will feel about visiting two, three or even four of the Distinctive Inns of New England.  To make it easier, we plan to create a number of itineraries in the upcoming weeks.  Stay tuned to the blog for ideas for your DINE escapes organized by location, like our Coastal Route, or themes such as historic, culinary and more.  You might choose an itinerary featuring tea at a different inn each day or another featuring the best in zip lines, the best single malts or maybe even the best in cheeses!  You’ll find a number of ideas for ways to organize trips to visit two or three DINE inns at a time this year.

The Distinctive Inns of New England is an organization of 11 member inns that were originally chosen by location to create the ideal itinerary for travelers seeking luxury inn accommodations throughout New England.  Then and today too, each inn is within an easy one-tank drive from the next, offering a perfect route for not only exploring New England, but savoring luxury accommodations, fine food and haute hospitality.  While some of the members have changed since the inception of Distinctive Inns of New England, the concept of an easy itinerary for exploring all that New England offers is still at the heart of the organization.

OriginalHistoricInnsofNewEngland-smallerToday, we’ll start with an itinerary geared toward serious history buffs. While each of the Distinctive Inns of New England have a historic legacy, The Grafton Inn and the Deerfield Inn are among the original six historic inns in New England.  Said to be among the oldest historic country inns in New England, the six original inns were all built along popular stagecoach routes to provide lodging and “victuals” for those traveling throughout the region.  Formerly called The Old Tavern and recently renamed The Grafton Inn, this inn joins the Deerfield Inn in a historic setting, both of which have been beautifully preserved by foundations dedicated to maintaining their historic significance.

Visit the Deerfield Inn and tickets to explore the thirteen colonial homes in Historic Deerfield, an authentic 18th century English settlement,  come with your stay.  Take a step back in time as you stroll down the mature tree-lined historic Main Street exploring this colonial village beautifully preserved in time.  At the inn, you’ll stay in rooms named after local residents whose contribution to the town’s legacy is explained in each room.  A few of those local characters are still hanging around, and if you’re lucky, you may just have an interaction with the likes of Cora Carlisle, whom many have seen in friendly encounters, as she returns from her resting place to check in and make sure everything is just right at the hotel she formerly managed.

GraftonInn_Exterior-smallerFrom Deerfield, head about 1.5 hours north to the Grafton Inn and once again, you’ll feel like you’ve taken a step back in time.  A collection of  beautifully preserved buildings, the main inn, Phelps Barn and surrounding cottages offer accommodations and meeting/function space. The Grafton Inn and its renowned cheese making facility are wonderfully preserved.  Even the shuttered doors that once allowed guests privacy in their inn rooms, while providing a way for  summer breezes to reach the hallways, are still very much a part of the stay in the main inn.  Visit the Grafton Village Store for locally made cheeses and syrups or tour the cheese making facility. Be sure to get a photo beside the covered bridge too.

DeerfieldInnExterior_2088-courtesyofDeerfieldInn-smallerAnd while history buffs may love exploring yesteryear, modern amenities are still nice when it comes to the end of the day.  Both Grafton Inn and Deerfield Inn offer beautiful accommodations within a historic setting, with all the modern touches including free wi-fi, eco-friendly bath products, guest computers and TVs seemlessly incorporated into the historic setting.  A full breakfast featuring locally made and grown products and ordered from a menu offering a number of options, are included in the stay, putting the icing on the cake for an enjoyable stay.

It’s just 57 miles and under an hour and a half between Deerfield Inn and Grafton Inn via I-91, plan to explore one inn and its environs, then take an easy trip to the next.  For availability at Grafton Inn and Deerfield Inn, along with the other Distinctive Inns of New England, visit the DINE availability page to plan your next stay.

It's just under 60 miles from Deerfield Inn to Grafton Inn.  Source:  Google Maps.

It’s just under 60 miles from Deerfield Inn to Grafton Inn. Source: Google Maps.

May is Health Care Professional Recognition Month at DINE

HealthCarePros-1In an effort to recognize those who selflessly take care of others, the Distinctive Inns of New England have declared May as Health Care Professional Recognition Month.  Nine DINE inns have “doctored” their rates to give health care professionals the shot in the arm they need to schedule a little much-needed R&R in May.  While every month is a good month for a romantic New England getaway, the Distinctive Inns of New England want to offer a reason for those who tirelessly care for others to receive a little restful escape for themselves.  Each participating DINE inn has crafted their own offer for Health Care Professional Recognition Month.  Please note that all offers are subject to proof of employment (i.e. a pay stub, hospital ID or other clear proof of employment in the health care profession) at time of check in.  All offers are valid May 1 – May 31, 2014 and may not be combined with any other discount, offer or gift card. These offers are not valid on existing reservations; only on new reservations. Mention these packages and offers when booking your stay.

We hope that those involved in the health care field will allow DINE innkeepers to be their primary care givers for a short getaway with extra benefits built in!  Here the offers from participating DINE member inns for Health Care Professional Recognition Month in #DINEcountry.

From  Gateways Inn, Lenox, MA

Knowng that health care professionals give 120-percent to their job, Gateways Inn and Restaurant is giving back that extra 20-percent in a 20-percent discount on rooms, food and gifts on any two night stay during May for all health care professionals.  Offer valid on two-or-more night stays in May.

From Chesterfield Inn, West Chesterfield, NH

For the bubbly personalities of all those who take such good care of their patients, Chesterfield Inn will give a complimentary bottle of champagne upon arrival for all those who book a May stay.  Proof of employment in the health care profession must be shown at time of check—in.

HeatlhCarePro-Doc-with-StethescopeFrom Rabbit Hill Inn, Lower Waterford, VT

Calling all Hospital Healthcare Providers – You need a break STAT!  You are always there for us, 24-7. The Rabbit Hill Inn wants to thank you for all that you do for so many. This special May getaway offer is just for YOU, our loyal hospital workers!  Book your 2-night escape in May, use promo code SCRUBS and save $135-$171. This special 2-night package includes:

  • Two nights in a Superior or Luxury Category Room
  • Three Course Dinner for Two on One night of your stay
  • Afternoon Sweets & Tea daily
  • Full breakfast each morning.
  • All gratuities for staff
  • Package valid in May (excluding Memorial Day Weekend)

Superior rooms $525.00 (save $135.00). Luxury rooms $639.00 (save $171.00). State tax and additional pub charges not included. Please use promo code: SCRUBS. Upon arrival, simply present your hospital employee badge.

From Captain Jefferds Inn, Kennebunkport, ME

Captain Jefferds Innkeeper, Sarahm was a physical therapist for 35 years and she knows first hand what a stressful job health care can be at times. To help ease the stress and encourage a relaxing three day/ two night stay on the coast of Maine, Captain Jefferds Inn will give all nurses, doctors and health care professionals a bottle of wine and a fruit and cheese plate upon arrival, plus tickets to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.

From Manor on Golden Pond, Holderness, NH

The Manor On Golden Pond wants to offer a nice “shot in the arm” to energize health care professionals.  To honor health care givers for all the extra care given to patients, health care employees will receive an extra day on the house on 2 night stay reservations for the entire month of May.  That means health care professionals can stay three nights and only pay for two.  Simply mention Armshot discount when booking your stay.  Stay must be completed by May 31, 2014. Can not be combined with any other discount, promotion or gift certificate bonus. Offer valid on 2-night stays.

HealthCarePros-2 From Deerfield Inn, Historic Deerfield, MA

May 6-12 is National Nurses Week. Who nurses you when you need some TLC? The Deerfield Inn is doctoring their midweek rates for health care professionals during the entire month of May. All those in the health care profession will get 20-percent  off the rate midweek and 20-percent off any enhancements you choose to add on, such as a deep tissue massage to work away those workplace stressors. Call the Deerfield Inn at 413-774-5587 to make your appointment for an alternative form of health care! Deerfield Inn rates include admission to Historic Deerfield, afternoon tea and cookies, and a country inn breakfast to set you up for the day.

From Grafton Inn, Grafton, VT

Grafton 2 Yr  Aged CheddarAt the Grafton Inn, present proof of working as a professional in the healthcare industry and receive a quart of medium amber grade maple syrup made right in Grafton and an 8 ounce brick of two-year aged cheddar from the Grafton Cheese Factory.  It’s a bit of local flavor for all those who work so hard to keep their patients healthy.

Captain’s House Inn, Chatham, MA

In conjuntion with other Distinctive Inns of New England properties, Captain’s House Inn is offering a special discount for those in the health care field. For all health professionals feeling a little under the weather, the Captain’s House Inn is offering a $98.60 discount on a two night or more mid-week stay to help you get back to “normal.” This discount applies to any available room and is valid for any and all health professionals. Please mention this special when booking. Special cannot be combined with other offers.

Camden Maine Stay, Camden, ME

To recognize the hard work and excellent care health care professionals offer, Camden Maine Stay Inn will take extra care of all those working in the health care profession with a 20% discount for a minimum two night stay in May.  Proof of employment will be requested at check in via a pay stub, hospital ID or other.

Whether you’re in the health care profession or another one, May is a great time for a getaway to one of the 11 Distinctive Inns of New England.  Visit the DINE availability page for an easy one-stop spot for your getaway planning.

Spring Fling Recipe Collection

In our last two DINE blog entries, we visualized spring via a collection of flower photos.  For a short moment it helped us forget the snow outside our windows.  Slowly but surely Old Man Winter himself is even growing weary, and we’re seeing glimpses of spring from beach combing on the Connecticut seashore near Inn at Harbor Hill Marina to crocuses blooming on Cape Cod near Captain’s House Inn.  The motorcycles will soon be seen again on the the streets of Newport, especially the one owned by Cliffside Inn owner, Bill Bagwill and spring getaways to properties in DINEcountry are already underway!  After a winter like the one we’ve recently had, everyone will soon have spring fever, and nothing feed spring fever better than some great grilled food!  Unless, of course, it’s a breakfast after your spring getaway to any of the 11 DINE properties!

We thought we’d help you celebrate spring this year with a few ideas for some yummy hot-off-the-grill treats and sides to match.  Try these out and enjoy them with your travel partner as you plan your next DINE getaway.

 Lime-GrilledShrimp-GoogleImagesGrilled Lime-Tequila Marinated Shrimp from Rabbit Hill Inn

 Preparation of the Marinade    Yield 1 ½ cups

¼ cup lime juice, fresh squeezed

¼ cup tequila

½ Tbls garlic

2 Tbls shallots

6 Tbls olive oil

1 Tbls Dijon mustard

¾ tsp fresh black pepper

2 Tbls minced cilantro

4 Tbls minced parsley

Combine all ingredients and incorporate well.

 Preparation of the Shrimp:

2 lbs large shrimp

 De-vain and shell shrimp. Soak in the marinade for 2-3 hours (longer if possible). Remove shrimp from marinade and let drain for 2-3 minutes. Oil the hot grill rack to prevent sticking. Grill on both sides until done (3-5 minutes total).

PestoPastaSaladwithArugulaPesto Pasta Salad from Camden Maine Stay Inn (with pesto, arugula, mozzarella and cherry tomatoes)

Ingredients:

Dried corkscrew or spiral pasta (short pasta

6-8 oz Mozzarella balls

1 dry pint of ripe cherry tomatoes

Arugula (cut in small pieces) – enough for one salad

4 tablespoons of oil

4-6 oz pesto (You can make your own pesto or use a prepared one)

Preparation:

Cut the tomatoes into quarters and the arugula in small pieces. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and add the tomatoes. Cook for three minutes until they fall apart. In the meantime take a bowl and add the pesto, mozzarella balls, the arugula previously cut and the other two tablespoons of oil.

Boil the pasta and when it’s ready add the warm tomato sauce and the other ingredients.

Whether your spring fling takes you to Western Massachusetts and the Gateways Inn and Restaurant or the Deerfield Inn and Champney’s Restaurant and Tavern, or perhaps to New Hampshire and the Manor on Golden Pond or Chesterfield Inn or in Maine, the Captain Jefferds Inn, spring brings delicious and fresh recipes for you to enjoy during your stay! We look forward to helping you welcome spring with delicious foods and memorable getaways!

Part II: Visualizing Spring

Cliffside-Hyacinth-april2012Well, we’re a little closer to spring, as it’s officially hit New England this week.  The good thing about #DINEcountry is the variation of weather from our Northern parts to Southern parts.  It means there’s a little something for everyone.  In Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine they’re still skiing, boarding, snowmobiling, dogsledding and sleighriding.  While in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Cape Cod, the temps have been in the 50′s already.  Throughout New England birds are returning, tiny buds are beginning to show, and spring getaways to romantic New England inns are on the mind.  Each of the 11 DINE inns are ready to welcome travelers with everything from outdoor getaways to culinary capers.

Even if you don’t see spring in your backyard, we’re making it easy to see it in ours. Just visualizing spring and summer gardens puts spring in our steps and a smile on our faces.  We hope it does the same for you!

Visit the Grafton Inn in historic Grafton, VT and while the award-winning cheese making operation dominates the town, tulips are what’s front and center at the Grafton Inn.  Visit the Grafton Inn’s nursery and it’s alive with color, especially during the spring months.

Grafton-Tulips-4-24-12

GraftonInn-Nursery-pinkflowers

Next, head to the Chesterfield Inn and you’ll find flowering bushes surrounding the inn and the patios.  Spring comes a little later here, but by late April, we hope to see buds on the bushes surrounding the patio!

Chesterfield-springshere

Spring will come a little later to the Rabbit Hill Inn this year too, after another record snowfall year.  But look what we have to look forward to!  Tulips, daffodils and color galore!

RHI-tulipsanddaffodils-April2012RHI-tulipanddaffodil-2-April2012

Visit the Deerfield Inn and if you look very closely, you might just see a cute bunny coming out for some springtime exploration.  No, he’s not a transplant from Rabbit Hill Inn, he’s a friendly Deerfield woodland creature.  Pink dominates the flower scene in springtime here.

DeerfieldInn-Bunnyintheherbgarden2-JanephotoDeerfield-pinkhangingflowers-4-24-12

It won’t be long now before these scenes of spring during your spring getaways to DINE country. We look forward to welcoming you on your next romantic New England getaway.  Make it easy on yourself!  Check the DINE locator map and plan your itinerary from there.  Next week, scenes from Manor on Golden Pond and Gateways Inn & Restaurant.

Visualizing spring in DINE country – Part I

We may have just received upwards of two feet of snow in the Northern parts of DINE country, but it doesn’t mean we can’t still look forward to spring.  Given the winter we’ve had, spring may not spring forth anytime in the next month, so we thought it might be fun to show you what you have to look forward to.  Nothing gets you psyched for spring like a view of the colorful flowers you’ll find at the eleven Distinctive Inns of New England.  And nothing beats a romantic spring getaway at one of the DINE inns either.  We promise it won’t be too much longer until you see scenes like this when you visit #DINE country.

There are so many beautiful spring garden shots from DINE inns, we’ll split this story into two parts and feature some today and some next time.

When it comes to gardens, Camden Maine Stay offers a strolling garden like no other.  Follow the trails through acres of beautifully landscaped gardens.  Pause awhile on the benches and chairs and take in the spring flowers.  All photos were provided by innkeeper Claudio Latanza who does a great job with the camera!

CamdenMaineStay-gardensign

CamdenMaineStay-gardens-upcloseandpersonalwithtulips-5-21-12

From Camden, head south on Route 1 to Captain Jefferds Inn in Kennebunkport.  Innkeeper and Master gardener, Erik Lindblom takes great care to create a garden oasis for his guests.  Gardening is a passion for Erik and it shows.  His guests enjoy the fruits of his labor in colorful arrays of flowers throughout the spring and summer months.

Captjefferds-SpringGarden-aroundfountain

CaptJefferds-SpringGarden-yellowandRedflowers

From Maine , head south to the Inn at Harbor Hill Marina, and you’ll find that spring is a little further along on the Connecticut Coastline.  Here’s a shot that was taken last year just before summer started.  Can’t you just picture yourself on that porch overlooking the marina and the gardens, soaking in that warm late spring breeze?

Inn at Harbor Hill-summer-gardensNext it’s on to Rhode Island and the Cliffside Inn.  Stroll along the Cliff Walk, then return to the inn where spring flowers welcome guests in containers on the front deck and on flowering bushes throughout the inn.  Spring time marks the re-opening of the firepit too.  Most importantly, mascot Koty is always available for a romp through the daffodils.

Cliffside-Koty in daffodils

Cliffside-flowers at cottage

We’ll end this blog entry on Cape Cod in Chatham.  The Captain’s House Inn offers everything from wild strawberries to flowering trees and planted gardens throughout the property.  Spring time on Cape Cod comes by early April, so look forward to tiptoeing through the tulips during your April or May getaway!

CaptainsHouse-Springflowersinbloom-4-23-12

Whether it’s on the Connecticut or the Cape Cod shore, a spring DINE getaway isn’t very far away.  Yes, the snow will melt, and soon those spring rays will add to the romance of your next visit to one of the 11 DINE inns.  Tune in next week for more garden tours.

Celebrate all things maple in March

Gingerbread PancakesFrom the looks of it, most of the Northern New England states will hold festivals to celebrate the maple syrup running on the weekend of March 21 – 23.  This is the time of year when the sap starts running through the New England maples, and sugar houses open up to not only sell but demonstrate how to make maple syrup. March 21-23 is the weekend to schedule your sweetest visit of the year to one of the Distinctive Inns of New England. Not only are you very likely to be served some of that fresh maple syrup, created from trees nearby, but you will also enjoy a fun itinerary including visiting sugarhouses across the state.  Each of the 11 Distinctive Inns of New England offer sweet maple treats throughout the year, but visit on the weekend of March 21-23 and you’re in for a treat in many of the New England states.

According to the Vermont Maple Sugarmakers Association, Maple syrup is nature’s sweetest gift to mankind. It’s packed with a powerhouse of naturally occurring minerals such as calcium, manganese, potassium and magnesium. Maple syrup also has powerful antioxidant qualities, trumping tomatoes, cabbage and cantaloupe for healthy qualities. Best of all, when it comes to natural sweetening, maple syrup is more nutritious than all other common sweeteners, contains one of the lowest calorie levels, and has been shown to have healthy glycemic qualities. Best of all, according to the Vermont Maple Sugarmakers, researchers have found that pure maple syrup contains numerous healthy phenolic compounds, commonly found in products such as blueberries, tea, red wine and flax-seed.  So next time, you reach for that glass of pinot noir for dinner during your DINE getaway, follow it up with a sweet maple syrup-filled dessert and you can rest assured you’ve done something good for yourself!

MapleSyrup-NutritionalValue

Distinctive Inns of New England innkeepers have created a number of delicious maple-syrup filled recipes for you to try at home, taking maple syrup to the next level.

Maple & Moxie Chile from Manor On Golden Pond

Ingredients:
4 ea. onions, small diced
2 ribs celery, small diced
2 ea. carrots, finely grated
1 bulb fennel, small diced
1 ½ T kosher salt
4 oz. unsalted butter
3-4 T vegetable oil
Chili-wikipediaphoto1 lbs. smoked ham, peeled and small diced
2 ounces chili powder
1 ounce paprika
2 T ground cumin
2 T ground allspice
3 T garlic powder
¾ c all-purpose flour
1 quart tomato juice
1 liter Moxie (a New England regional soft drink)
1 c red wine vinegar
1 pint maple syrup
½ T ground thyme
20 – 25 lbs lean, flavorful beefsteak, such as tri-tip, flank, skirt or sirloin flap, well-trimmed.
Method:

Combine onions, celery, carrots, fennel, salt and butter in a large, non-reactive pot and sweat over low heat until very tender and aromatic, 30 minutes or more.  Over a hot grill, sear all of the trimmed beef so that it is richly browned, with pronounced grill marks. The intent is only to sear the outside: it should remain very rare. As it comes off the grill, rest in a watertight container to retain all of the juices it releases.

In a large, separate pot, heat 3-4 T vegetable oil to medium-high. Add the diced ham and sauté until deeply browned, almost burnt. Remove from the heat. Combine the chili powder, paprika, cumin, allspice, garlic powder, and flour. Whisk to combine before sprinkling over the browned ham in an even layer. Return the ham and spices to the flame, stirring to coat. When the pan is moderately hot and the spices are becoming aromatic, carefully whisk in the tomato juice in a thin, steady stream, carefully deglazing all of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add the Moxie, wine vinegar, maple syrup and thyme. Stir to combine and reduce the heat to low.  Add the accumulated juices from the resting beefsteak to the pot, and dice the very rare steak into ½ inch cubes. Add the diced steak to the pot also. If necessary, add water to the pot as well so that all of the steak is submerged.

Stirring often to prevent scorching, increase the heat to medium-high, bringing the chili to a gentle boil.
(Reduce the heat to medium low and maintain at a simmer until the steak is tender and the chili is thick and a deep red-brown color. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve immediately.

Maple Pecan Sundaes with Candied Bacon from Chesterfield Inn

Chestrerfield-PecanSundae-bigger4 bacon slices

2 Tablespoons maple sugar or brown sugar

¾ cup maple syrup

2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1 Tablespoon finely chopped crystallized ginger

½ cup pecan halves, toasted

vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil. Set rack in pan, lay bacon slices on rack. Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon maple sugar evenly over bacon. Bake until sugar is melted, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle remaining sugar over bacon. Bake until deep brown and glazed, 12 to 14 minutes longer. Remove from oven.  Preheat broiler. Broil bacon until sugar bubbles, watching closely so that it doesn’t burn. Cool on rack. Cut into ¼ inch dice.

Combine maple syrup and cinnamon sticks in medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until sauce thickens and reduced to 1/2-3/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks.  Mix in lemon juice and ginger. Let stand at room temperature. Can be made 2 hours ahead. Serve with vanilla ice cream. Garnish with toasted pecans and candied bacon.

Of course, rather than create all the muss and fuss in the kitchen, why not leave the maple syrup recipes to Distinctive Inns of New England?  Come visit your favorite DINE inn for a romantic March getaway, and enjoy a weekend filled with healthy phenolic compounds and distinctive hospitality.

Part II: DINE and devour – Culinary packages from Distinctive Inns

Gateway InnLast week we introduced some of the themed packages offered by the 11 Distinctive Inns of New England, focusing on romantic getaways and weekend retreats.  Because we all know the way to your loved ones’ heart is through their stomach, we’ll focus on some of the fabulous culinary vacations and wonderful foodie experiences at DINE Inns.

Wine and Dine in Coastal Connecticut

Come discover Coastal CT’s Vineyards along the Connecticut Wine Trail, dine at your choice of local restaurants and sleep in total comfort at the Inn at Harbor Hill Marina. Visit our favorite winery or stay longer and explore other fine wineries along the Connecticut Wine Trail. The Inn at Harbor Hill Marina’s Wine & Dine Package is packed with value and includes:

  • Dave and Sue Labrie from the Inn at Harbor Hill Marina know how to wine and dine their guests!A 2-night stay at the Inn at Harbor Hill Marina
  •  Breakfast each morning overlooking our marina on the Niantic River
  •  $50 dining certificate to your choice of three local restaurants
  •  A gift bag with wine glasses and certificate for a wine tour & tasting at Jonathan Edwards Winery
  •  Complimentary bottle of wine during your wine tour
  •  A visit to nearby Divine Wine Emporium which offers wines for sampling, a lesson in selection and a complimentary gift.
  •  Complimentary snacks and beverages throughout your stay)
  •  Lodging Tax included in overall costs.

The package price from $425 – $860 per couple is based on choice of room and date.

Take me to Italy!

Camden Maine Stay InnNot only will you enjoy Italian food, you’ll be in the company of innkeepers who’ve relocated from Italy when you enjoy the Camden Maine Stay’s Italian Culinary Getaway. Surround yourself with the beauty of coastal Maine in Camden where “the mountains meet the sea”. Then end your day in one of the most popular restaurants in town, 40 Paper Italian Bistro & Bar where you will enjoy a full à la carte dinner. When you return back to the inn you’ll be surrounded by artworks and antiques from Italy, and if you ask nicely, perhaps Roberta or Claudio will teach you a few choice Italian phrases!

The Camden Maine Stay Italian Culinary Getaway package includes:

  • 2 nights lodging with full gourmet breakfast
  • A four course à la carte dinner for two at 40 Paper Italian Bistro & Bar. The dinner will include: Appetizer, a Flatbread Pizza to share, Main course with a Pasta dish and Dessert. You will also be offered a 20% off any bottles of wine
  • Beverages and gratuities are not included.

Package price (per couple) varies based upon date of arrival and room choice from $345 to $615.

Make mine Mediterranean or Mexican

The Gateways Inn Weekend Culinary Experiences offer a tasting trip to a different international destination each weekend.  Head to Lenox, then take a culinary tour of a different country each weekend at the Gateways Inn & Restaurant.  Your culinary experience begins on Friday with a meet and greet social hour at 6pm. followed by a group dinner with wine in the restaurant. On Saturday morning enjoy our full European style breakfast, then don your aprons and roll up your sleeves to start chopping, slicing and dicing as you prepare the first of two themed meals of the weekend. There will be a short refreshment break during this session and when you are done, sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor for a gourmet lunch.  The next culinary adventure will begin in the afternoon with dinner menu preparation. Here again there will be a short refreshment break during instruction before you sit together with other classmates at 7:30 to enjoy the gourmet dinner you helped prepare, accompanied by wine. Sunday will be bittersweet with departure at 11:00 after a farewell breakfast.

ItalianCookingClass-dessertmaking-TobiasGelston-ChristinaBernalesPhotoIncluded in the Weekend Culinary Experience package is:
· Meet and greet social and group dinner on Friday
· Hands on cooking instruction with The Gateways Restaurant Chef and Sous Chef
· Refreshment breaks during morning and afternoon cooking sessions
· Group lunch featuring items prepared during morning session
· Group dinner featuring items prepared during afternoon session
· Souvenir apron
· Notebook with recipes
· Wines with dinners

Weekends Available:
March 21-23; Mediterranean/Mid-Eastern
April 25-27; Mexican

This package is $350 per person for full participation in addition to room charges and taxes; $150 per person for participation in meals only (Plus room and taxes).

Visit the Specials and Packages page on www.DistinctiveInns.com and you’ll find packages listed not only by theme but by inn.  You can search by your interest in outdoor fun or romantic getaways, for example, or search the packages for each DINE members easily from this page. We look forward to welcoming all foodies and fun-seekers for a package or stay at any of the 11 DINE inns soon.

Part I: DINE inns offer packages year-round

 Holidays2013-InnHarborHill-porch-smallerThe fact that the 11 DINE inns are distinctive is a great reason to book a stay with one of these special and romantic New England Inns.  Yet, for some, it’s the packages offered by these inns that entice couples to plan a getaway.  Distinctive Inns of New England offer a myriad of special getaway packages.  Everything  from monthly specials recognizing groups that deserve a break to romantic getawaysculinary vacations and outdoor fun are within easy reach.

The search for the perfect New England escape package starts on the Specials & Packages page of DistinctiveInns.com.  From there, choose from romantic getaways, monthly specials, Hot Deals, Weekend Specials, Outdoor Fun, Spa Packages and Culinary Vacations.  There are simply too many packages to list here, so here’s a sampling.

A winter postcard-perfect photo of the Deerfield Inn. Click on Hot Deals and you’ll find this  great deal from Deerfield Inn in the Massachusetts Pioneer Valley is making it possible to stay a little longer. Book three nights at the historic Deerfield Inn between January 2-April 30, and the third night is FREE – you just pay $6 in taxes! Mention this special when calling 413-774-5587 or enter “Third Night Freebie Special” in comments line if making your reservation online. Not available with any other specials or offers.

Click on Monthly Specials and you’ll find that the Chesterfield Inn is giving away stays to five deserving farmers. Here’s their offer: The former farm-girl-turned-innkeeper at Chesterfield Inn knows how hard our farmers work! To reward those that supply farm-fresh food to their communities, the Chesterfield Inn will give away five one-night midweek stays to farmers and/or farm-hands. Anyone involved in the farming of produce, beef, goats, or chicken, are invited to apply. Send a five sentence response complete with full contact info (name, address, phone, email) to info@chesterfieldinn.com. The first five to be received will receive a complimentary one-night stay along with a farm-fresh breakfast the next day!  Be sure to include DINE March is for Farmers Promotion in the subject line.  Free stays offered on a space available basis; proof of employment required.

CaptainsHouse-HardingRoom-smallerAnd here’s an incredible Hot Deal from Cape Cod’s Captain’s House Inn  to honor the legacy of the inn. Captain Hiram Harding, who built the Captains House Inn in 1839, would have turned two hundred this year! In honor of his birthday, the Captain’s House Inn is offering rooms for 200 cents. Stay any two nights during the month of March, and receive the third night for just two hundred cents. Please mention this special when booking. Special cannot be combined with other offers.

When it comes to romantic getaways, there are quite a few packages offered by DINE members.  Try the Two-Night Romantic Getaway Package from Rabbit Hill Inn in Lower Waterford, VT. What could be better than sneaking away for a couple of nights with your special someone? If you added afternoon tea & pastries daily, breakfast each morning, a candlelit dinner for two on one of those nights, some bubbly, chocolates, and romantic music, do you think that would make it even more special? Rabbit Hill Inn does… and it’s all available in this special package. Package pricing for two: starts at $495 for classic rooms to $885 for the Jon Cumming Suite. Prices vary by date.

How about a weekend getaway?  DINE offers a variety of Weekend Specials.  The Manor on Golden Pond suggests a perfect itinerary for some weekend R&R. With the  Manor Magic Package comes a two-night stay, breakfast & afternoon tea every day, a candlelight dinner, and a bottle of champagne to welcome your stay. Relax with your darling experiencing the magic of simply getting away on your romantic weekend retreat. Package pricing for two starts at $470 for classic rooms to $870 for suites.

This is part one of our DINE Blog series on packages offered by the 11 Distinctive Inns of New England. Stay tuned next week to learn about more perfect package ideas offered by our eleven New England inns.  If you’re working on scheduling your next getaway, be sure to visit the DINE availability chart for a quick reference to online availability and booking at any of the Distinctive Inns of New England. We look forward to welcoming you to Distinctive DINEing!

Meet the Innkeepers: Erik and Sarah Lindblom, Captain Jefferds Inn

Introducing Erik and Sarah Lindblom from the Captain Jefferds Inn, Kennebunkport, ME

Introducing Erik and Sarah Lindblom from the Captain Jefferds Inn, Kennebunkport, ME

Throughout last spring, we introduced the innkeeper owners of each of the Distinctive Inns of New England one by one on the DINE blog.  Knowing that the people behind the 11 inns that make up DINE are such an important part of the experience, we wanted our DINE blog readers to get to know a little more about each member.  After all, when it comes to entrusting your romantic getaway to an expert, it helps to know a little bit about their qualifications! Since our Meet the Innkeepers blog series last spring and summer, Erik and Sarah Lindblom of the Captain Jefferds Inn have joined the group.  Thus, here’s your chance to learn a little more about them!

Erik Lindblom was born and raised in Redding, CT and graduated from Redding High School.  Sarah was from nearby Danbury, CT.  They met at the Spinning Wheel Restaurant where Erik was the Manager and Sarah was a server in-between attending Russell Sage College in Troy, NY.  As Sarah describes their initial relationship, “it was hate at first sight!”  The two weren’t immediately attracted to one another, however as Sarah put it with a wry smile, “there’s a fine line between love and hate, and eventually we crossed over the line.”

Erik and Sarah dated for a few years while Sarah finished college and then became a physical therapist.  Eventually Sarah and Erik were married and lived at the restaurant with Erik’s two sons from a previous marriage, Jonathan and Ron. Erik continued managing the Spinning Wheel until it was sold, at which time Erik was not only forced to re-invent his career but his homestead too.  With the restaurant went the family apartment, so part of the re-invention was a move into the Librarian’s Quarters at the Mark Twain Library in Redding.  The other part of the re-invention was Erik’s move to become a painting contractor.  “With a paint brush, step ladder and my Mom’s connections he went to work,” shared Sarah!  Little did they know his design and painting acumen would come in handy one day after they bought an inn.

All the while, Erik dreamed of owning an inn or B&B on the coast of Maine. They were introduced to the allure of the Maine coast during beloved vacations to Port Clyde, Maine, and Erik never shook his desire to own an inn nearby.  So strong was this interest that Sarah and Erik enrolled in the first-ever innkeeping course offered by now-veteran B&B consultants Bill Oates and Heide Bredfeldt.  Erik and Sarah searched for their ideal inn for years thereafter, and upon returning from one inn-searching tour, Sarah felt sick and soon learned that a baby was on the way.  About 8 months later, Erik and Sarah’s daughter, Kate was born and the innkeeping dream went on the back burner until she graduated from college.

Meanwhile, Sarah explained that after the library, the couple bought a farm in Bethel, CT and moved the family there where Sarah describes a 4-H lifestyle. There were sheep, cows, goats, rabbits, gardens, canning, three children and two parents employed full time.  Clearly their skills in multi-tasking were established and then well-honed on the farm.  Once again, this was a great preparation for innkeeping.

Sarah and Erik pose in the living room of the Captain Jefferds Inn.

Sarah and Erik pose in the living room of the Captain Jefferds Inn.

After their daughter Kate graduated from college and the boys were on their own starting their own families, Erik and Sarah returned to their B&B search.  They made their first offer on the Captain Jefferds Inn in 2003, but the financing fell through and the search for a perfect inn continued in the Midcoast region of Maine.   However, the Captain Jefferds never left their minds.  A few years later, when the stars were better aligned, they revisited in April, 2005, made another offer, and this time the offer was accepted.  How’s that for fate?

Erik immediately put his design and painting talent to work, stripping off black and yellow floral wallpaper and creating the subtly inviting tones that are seen throughout the inn today.   Throughout their years of ownership, gardens have been established, water features were added and updates have continued regularly.  Sarah put her marketing and community leader skills to work,  eventually serving as the Kennebunkport Chamber President.  Both skill sets have served the inn well.

When asked about innkeeping, Sarah’s answer is surprising.  Sarah enjoys working with the staff and offering deserving people opportunities. She thinks this joy dates back to her days as a Girl Scout leader when she would tell the girls in her troop to live their dream.  Both she and Erik like pleasing guests, and helping travelers laugh and relax.  Sarah tells a story about a mother-and-daughter guest pair who arrived from the Bronx one summer weekend.  The mother’s make-up, hair and lavish styling were the first clue to her personality.  She arrived demanding amenities, and quickly summed up and declared  that the inn was simply not for her, much to the chagrin of her daughter.  She begrudgingly consented to staying one night. The next morning she came downstairs without the make-up and fancy clothes and surprised Sarah and Erik by saying “I was wrong.  My daughter and I stayed up talking all night long, which we’ve never done before. It was the most memorable day I could have had.” In a much more humble tone, she asked if they could stay after all.  Creating memories and an environment for families to reconnect is the kind of intangible reward money simply can’t buy for innkeepers. Sarah said she’ll never forget how it felt.

While innkeepers have little time for hobbies, Erik loves gardening.  His kitchen garden is filled with basil, lemon balm, dill, rosemary, chives and edible flowers for the breakfast plates he creates.  On the rare days he can get away, Erik also loves fishing.

Erik and Sarah are among the group of innkeepers that make DINE inns so distinctive.  Kind, welcoming and generous with their hospitality and hearts, Sarah and Erik join all of the Distinctive Inns of New England in welcoming guests to their exceptional inns. Visit the DINE blog for a complete series of Meet the Innkeepers profiles.

Erik and Sarah outside the  beautifully decorated Captain Jefferds Inn.

Erik and Sarah outside the beautifully decorated Captain Jefferds Inn.

DINE inns honor farmers in March

Farmers-thankyouYou may recall a December post in the DINE blog about honoring under recognized groups throughout 2014. We announced back then that Distinctive Inns of New England was planning a series of promotions to honor deserving groups of people who work hard throughout the year yet are rarely recognized.  We all know how important vacations are, especially a romantic New England getaway for those who work so hard all year.  This year, the 11 Distinctive Inns of New England have promised to help everyone from clergy to care givers have the chance to enjoy a very special culinary vacation and a romantic getaway in 2014.

During the month of March in honor of those who help to feed America, select properties of Distinctive Inns of New England have created some very special offers for farmers, farm hands and those involved in the production, growing or forraging for food.  Knowing how hard it is for farmers to get away, participating DINE inns are hoping that a March getaway might fit the growing schedule, and have offered everything from free nights, to specially priced dinners and more. Each of these special offers is intended to offer a little R&R to farmers who really deserve it. Please note:  In each case, proof of occupation must be presented in order to take part in any of the following offers, which are available throughout March, 2014 only. These offers may not be combined with any other special pricing, promotion, coupon or gift card.

Captain’s House Inn, Chatham MA

The Captain’s House Inn is sweet on farmers! Farmers and farmhands (all those working on farms) will be offered a $25 gift certificate to the Candy Manor in Chatham as well as a jar jam from the inn’s gift shop produced at Chatham Jam and Jelly if a two nights or more stay is booked anytime throughout March, 2014. The Candy Manor has been a landmark in Chatham since 1955 and is family run. Chatham Jam and Jelly is also a Chatham institution and is family owned. Their inventory is immense with every flavor of jam you can imagine. Farmers and farmhand guests must mention this add when booking and cannot be combined with other offers. Proof of employment required.

Inn at Harbor Hill Marina, Niantic CT

Innkeepers and guests at the Inn at Harbor Hill Marina are big fans of local farmer’s markets and of restaurants that specialize in farm-to-table food and know that those in the farming industry work harder than many of us. As March is Farmers’ Appreciation month at Distinctive Inns of New England, and Inn at Harbor Hill Marina is offering all farmers and farm hands  a Buy One, Get One night free promotion. With spring just around the corner, this two-night stay is opportunity to relax and rejuvenate before the busy farming season starts.  Whatever your interests – museums, shore walks, wineries or just sleeping by the Connecticut shore – Inn at Harbor Hill Marina would just like to say “Thanks” for all you do and are happy to help you plan your getaway.  This Buy One, Get One night free promotion is valid for any night Sunday – Thursday stay during the entire month of March and open to all farmers and farm hands with proof of employment. Call (860) 739-0331 to book a stay.

FarmersChesterfield Inn, Chesterfield NH

The former farm-girl-turned-innkeeper at Chesterfield Inn knows how hard our farmers work! To reward those that supply farm-fresh food to their communities, the Chesterfield Inn will give away five one-night midweek stays to farmers and/or farm-hands. Anyone involved in the farming of produce, beef, goats, or chicken, are invited to apply. Send a five sentence response complete with full contact info (name, address, phone, email) to info@chesterfieldinn.com. The first five to be received will receive a complimentary one-night stay along with a farm-fresh breakfast the next day!  Be sure to include DINE March is for Farmers Promotion in the subject line.  Free stays offered on a space available basis; proof of employment required.

Manor on Golden Pond, Holderness NH

The Manor On Golden Pond thinks it is time for farmers to hit the hay and grab some R&R for yourselves. The Manor’s “barn” door is open to Farmers and Farm hands to come and enjoy a two night stay for the price of one. Each day will start with a hearty country style breakfast that will leave even the most robust appetites completely satisfied. So put up your saddles and come on down for some luxurious pampering in this countryside setting. Your days can be spent hiking the mountains of New Hampshire, horseback riding through the mountainous trails, enjoying a winter sleigh ride through the woods or just cozying up in our voluminous beds. Room rates start from $220 per night with breakfast and afternoon tea included. May not be combined with any other offer.  Open to Farmers and those working on farms of all kinds; proof of employment required. Call 800-545-2141 to book your reservation.

Farmers-lesssleepRabbit Hill Inn, Lower Waterford VT

Farmers don’t always get the recognition they deserve. Rabbit Hill Inn wants to thank those who tackle the toughest jobs in the searing heat and bitter cold to put quality food on our tables and provide our chefs with the finest foods for our guests. To all those who work on a farm, Rabbit Hill Inn offers the Farmers Break Package valid on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday or Thursday nights in March.

Package rate is $300.00. This midweek package includes:

  • Overnight stay in a luxury or superior room (on a best room available basis)
  • 3-course dinner for two (featuring local farm ingredients, of course)
  • Hearty full breakfast
  • Afternoon sweets
  • State taxes & all gratuities

This package reflects a savings up to $136.00. Multiple midweek nights are allowed. To make reservations, call Rabbit Hill Inn at 802-748-5168 and mention Farmers Break when booking. Pub charges not included; proof of employment required.

Deerfield Inn, Deerfield MA

Any forager, grower, farmer, brewer, producer, and anybody who finds, makes, grows, or produces anything that we put in our bodies will receive 25% off a stay, and 20% off their meal during the month of March. They must bring a card, or photo, or proof of working the land when they arrive to stay or sit to eat. Call the Deerfield Inn at 413-774-5587.

If you know a farmer, farm hand, rancher, or others involved in providing sustenance to New Englanders, be sure to forward this information to them.  Meanwhile, even if you’re not a farmer, you’re welcome to enjoy the best night’s sleep you’ve had in a long time at any of the 11 Distinctive Inns of New England.  Be sure to set aside some time for your getaway, because like farmers, we know you work hard too!

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