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Winter getaways seem to be the topic of conversation more than ever this year. I don’t know about you, but I have become desperate to unplug from the world on weekends, and being near the ocean has been my saving grace.

A few weeks ago, we started discussing a possible winter trip to Martha’s Vineyard. We craved being on a boat, hiking, good food and wine, and quiet, and we knew that we could find all of that close to home on MV.

As fate might have it, just a couple of days after that discussion, I received an email from the owners of the Nobnocket Boutique Inn on Martha’s Vineyard, inviting us to come and stay for a Valentine’s getaway. The timing was absolutely perfect, and after swooning over the inn’s website photos, we were soon counting down the days until we left Woods Hole for Martha’s Vineyard.

One major perk of visiting Martha’s Vineyard off-season? We left mid-day on Friday and hit absolutely no traffic. The ferry was fairly empty, and the entire trip was a breeze. Once we drove off the ferry in Vineyard Haven, it was about two minutes to Nobnocket. Vineyard Haven’s adorable town center is easy walking distance from the inn, and you’ll likely encounter a few dozen turkeys along the way!

Photo via Nobnocket Boutique Inn website

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Upon our arrival, we were welcomed with offers of coffee, tea, water, wine, and we chose tea, which we enjoyed while chatting with inn owners Annabelle and Simon.

tea time

The common areas of the inn are welcoming and cozy, and, like the rest of the property, decorated with beautiful little details everywhere you turn.

Nobnocket Boutique Inn

Nobnocket Boutique Inn

The breakfast room is also an all-day oasis, with coffee and tea, cold drinks, filtered water, snacks, and a few nightcap options.

Nobnocket Boutique Inn

The surroundings are just as lovely as the inside of the inn. A fresh snow on the island made things just a bit more sparkly, and the trees, including massive holly trees, brought a nice touch of natural beauty right up to the doors of the inn. Another perk of winter? The trees aren’t grown in, and you can easily see the harbor in the distance.

Also, the turkeys! Who knew that Martha’s Vineyard had SO many turkeys?

Martha's Vineyard

 

lighting

 

Nobnocket Boutique Inn

Before settling into our room, we toured the other guest rooms, each delightfully appointed with its own unique details. The above room is as it was in the original home, with details like a brick fireplace and lots of beautiful dark wood that has been lovingly treated, giving it a more lodge-y, masculine look than the others.

Nobnocket Boutique Inn

Rooms upstairs are bright and sunny, each with its own color scheme that’s perfectly woven throughout. I appreciate an eye for detail like this immensely; I certainly don’t have it! Throughout the weekend we continuously pointed out little details that we hadn’t noticed earlier.

Nobnocket Boutique Inn

inns of Martha's Vineyard In our luxurious yellow-and-black room, even the beer opener was yellow!

Martha's Vineyard Nobnocket Boutique Inn has managed to perfectly blend chic design and clean lines with beachy coziness, making every space feel warm, welcoming, and relaxing. Our room was no exception, with a plush and comfy bed, lots of pillows, bathrobes, slippers, a fireplace, and a bathroom that was to-die-for.

luxury on Martha's Vineyard

How amazing is this tub? What I didn’t capture is the flat-screen TV on the wall behind it. I love a good, super hot soak more than anything, and I am surprised I left that space all weekend long.

Martha's Vineyard inns

luxury bathroom

Attention to detail extended beyond design and into every aspect of the day,  from turndown to turndown.

On our first night we were greeted with homemade lemon cookies (which I knew about from their Instagram post earlier in the day!) And yes, we turned in for the night by 8:08 on our first night.

cookies for turndown

Breakfasts were works of art. On our first day, yogurt parfaits, poached eggs, bacon, and toast started our day.

Nobnocket Boutique InnAfter a busy day of exploration, we relaxed by the fire with our wonderful hosts and another couple (Hi Matt and Dave!) before dinner. . .

Nobnocket Boutique Inn

And when we arrived back home were greeted by the most decadently delicious chocolate chip cookies and chocolate covered strawberries. To.die.for.

cookies at turn down

The next morning there was more breakfast art; a bento box of yogurt and fruit, flaky homemade sausage rolls, local baguette and scones, and the best ginger pear marmalade from New Lane Sundries.

Nobnocket Boutique Inn

We were thoroughly spoiled with treats, comfy spaces, and lots of laughs throughout the weekend, and it wasn’t easy to leave. If you’re craving a relaxing getaway, keep Nobnocket Boutique Inn at top of mind. Their specials and packages page is a great place to start!

More on Martha’s Vineyard in the winter to come. . .

Our stay was generously hosted by the inn. All opinions are my own. Thank you again to Annabelle and Simon for such a fantastic weekend!

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Tags: inns, luxury travel, Martha's Vineyard, New England, New England travel, travel blogger, travel. Travel Tuesday

Truth be told, I wasn’t going to blog about our last visit to Ashford Castle. It’s a place I have had the true pleasure of visiting many times, and I’ve already blogged about it a couple of times.

But, truth be told, I am disgusted with the state of our country right now, and looking at photos of places I love is one escape that seems to lower my blood pressure and soften the rage at the people who have sold out our country to a maniac.

So, this Travel Tuesday, in my blog and in my mind, I am at the majestic Ashford Castle, on the shores of Lough Corrib in County Mayo Ireland. Both Ashford Castle and the little village of Cong where it is located are well-worth a visit if you ever head to Ireland.

On our last Ireland trip, we decided that a stop at Ashford on the way home from Achill Island would be a great way to break up the journey and give us a chance to have a snack and stretch our legs.

We arrived as the light of the day was starting to lower, casting a warm glow all over the castle and Lough Corrib.

Ashford Castle gin cocktail We were quickly brought to the lounge and seated with views of the lake, handed leather-bound cocktail menus to peruse.

My mother-in-law went with one of the castle’s imaginative gin cocktails, which had muddled blueberries, cracked black pepper, and grapefruit.

I have long been a fan of the Manhattan at Ashford, so I tucked in with one of those and a copy of The Irish Times. It was one of those lovely, cozy moments where we were all a little sleepy from Achill sunshine, so we just sat back and enjoyed the gorgeous surroundings.

Manhattan cocktail

Ashford Castle For lunch, the Smoked Salmon BLT was the obvious choice; I eat Irish smoked salmon and Irish bacon every chance I get, and this was one incredible sandwich.

 

smoked salmon BLT

Stuffed and in need of a bit of waking up, we did what we always do after a meal at Ashford; we took a long walk around the grounds. This is really one of my favorite things to do, and looking below, you can probably see why. Try to get there near sunset.

Ashford Castle Ashford Castle Lough Corrib

We didn’t expect to go to Ireland anytime soon, but it turned out the best rates to Italy this summer actually go through Dublin. This means I get to spend four glorious days in July in one of my favorite places. Having things to look forward to, big and small, are helping to keep me positive during these dark days.

Tell me, where do you go (even if just in your mind) when you need some uplifting?

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Tags: Ashford, Ashford Castle, castles, cocktails, Food, Ireland, luxury, luxury travel, Mayo, Travel

You may have noticed that I tend to like boats and wine quite a bit. A few weeks ago, I got to spend the afternoon on a Stellar Yacht Charters yacht as a guest of Santa Maria La Palma wine.

Santa Maria La Palma is out of Sardinia, a dream travel destination of mine, and it was fun to combine their delicious wine, my wanderlust, and our beautiful Boston Harbor for a day of wine tasting and education with a fun group of people.

wine cruise

Front and center we have Igor, who was in Boston representing Santa Maria La Palma. He was charming and knowledgeable and so passionate about the wines.

wine and food pairing

  The boat itself was appointed with classic luxurious detail, and the crew was phenomenal. A huge spread of food for pairing with the wines was available to us, including lots of seafood like sushi, mussels, and shrimp, perfect with wines from Sardinia.

We were treated to quite the lineup of wines, mostly white and rosato, one red, all special and memorable and celebratory. The primary grapes making up the wines were Vermentino and Cannonau, which grow very well in Sardinia and reflect the island’s terroir in every sip. We all remarked that we wished we had these wines in front of us all summer long, but that they’re also perfect for sunshine and island dreaming throughout the winter.

What did we taste? You’ll see below the full lineup on the tasting sheet. I of course left my notes behind, but I most definitely had a few favorites.

wine tasting

 

Aragosta Vino Spumante  Brut NV– Sparkling wine from Sardinia is a treat and might be replacing some of the other sparkling wines that often grace our table. One of the things I love about being able to attend wine events like this is the spirit of discovery!

Aragosta Vermentino di Sardegna DOC 2015 – Vermentino is fun and flavorful. I got a nice bit of tartness off of this, lemons and Granny Smith apples and would love this wine with oysters. . . or even as part of a granita mignonette on top of oysters!

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Akenta Underwater Spumante Extra Dry – Just check out that bottle! This wine is aged under the sea in water that is part of a national park in Sardinia. Under the pressure of the sea and in the darkness, the bottle grows sea life on it! This was just another fascinating detail and part of the sense of place that these wines brought to the table.

wine bottle with barnacles 

aragostaAragosta  Rosé –  First of all. this wine has a lobster on the bottle and its contents are pink, which made me love it immediately. I know we shouldn’t judge a book bottle by its cover, but for th coastal living obsessed, it just makes a cute addition to a beach or boat party or a beach house themed home.

The wine is delicious, offering up beautiful, strawberry and watermelon note, fruity but not sweet. Summer in a glass and absolutely a new favorite rosé wine.

I also loved the not-pictured La Bombarde Cannonau di Sardegna DOC, a very light red wine with notes of cranberry and light cocoa, light enough for a humid boat day but warm and cozy enough for cooler weather. It would be a great Thanksgiving wine.

stellar yacht charters In addition to the wines being spectacular, the event itself was also really something special and well thought out. It was a small enough group that we all got to chat with each other, and the Captain had a pug named Junior! We had an overcast but warm fall day, lots of delicious food and wine and an opportunity to learn about the gem that Sardinia is for wine production and travel.

wine tasting on a boat

wine event

Boston skyline from a boat Life is good.

Thank you to Cantina Santa Maria La Palma and Wine & Co. for a great day!

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Tags: blogging, boating, Boston, events, luxury, luxury travel, Sardinia, wine, wine blog, wine blogger, wine tasting, yachts

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