Maine

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Our weekend in Camden, Maine was one I would love to repeat over and over. It involved great food, gorgeous New England scenery, and fun friends. The Hartstone Inn was our home-away-from-home for the weekend and is the coziest little retreat for a relaxing weekend. Our friends have been going for a few years, and when they invited us, we jumped at the chance. We booked way back in September, and when the weekend finally came in April, we were so excited.

Hartstone Inn

We booked the Manor Suite, which was spacious and beautiful, with two bedrooms, a big Jacuzzi soaking tub, a fireplace, and a little foyer. It was in the same house as one of the couples we were traveling with, so we were back and forth all weekend, hanging out for snacks and drinks in the living room in their suite and enjoying their sunny balcony. 

Hartstone Inn

 

Hartstone Inn, Camden, Maine

Our room included a half bottle of wine and chocolates and some cute welcome literature like a recipe for one of the inn’s delicious cocktails.

Hartstone Inn, Camden, Maine

Downstairs, a sunny, enclosed porch welcomed us. Everywhere we looked there were beautiful little touches and cute details. I want the Hartstone Inn to come and decorate my house.

Hartstone Inn, Camden, Maine

 

Hartstone Inn, Camden, Maine 

The main house of the inn was home to reception and the dining room, along with some cozy little rooms for reading and relaxing. Our package included breakfast each day and a credit toward the tasting menu. Food is carefully prepared, creative, and focused on being fresh and local. And it was amazing.

Hartstone Inn, Camden, Maine

Happy Hour featured $5 specialty cocktails and small bites to get us ready for a feast.

cocktail hour

One at the table, we started with a little seared tuna amuse, which we paired with bubbly and a toast to the weekend.

tuna 

While others made some substitutions, I went straight off of the tasting menu.

MAINE SEAFOOD TIMBALE with  citrus aioli, pickled red onions, rye toast points
SWEET POTATO, RUTABAGA AND GREEN APPLE SOUP with maple cream
SORBET – Maine blueberry
PAN SEARED BISTRO STEAK with roasted fingerling potatoes, blue cheese butter
BLUEBERRY-ALMOND SOUFFLÉ with amaretto crème anglaise

It all looked so good to me, and I ended up devouring every delicious bite.

seafood timbale 

You can’t go wrong with Maine seafood, and I love pickled onions. Tart, tangy, refreshing, and light, this dish was a perfect starter.

 

sweet potato soup

Temperatures had dropped during our walk around Camden, and this rich and velvety soup was a yummy way to also warm up and get a dose of veggies. My eating has been terrible lately, especially when I travel, and I appreciate any way to eat vegetables that also tastes really good!

Maine blueberry sorbet

Maine blueberry sorbet cleansed our palates and gave us a taste of summer.

bistro steak

As it got darker, my photos did the food no justice. The bistro steak was perfectly cooked, and you really can’t go wrong with blue cheese butter and potatoes.

blueberry souffle

And then there was dessert. Swoon. The soufflé was hot and fluffy, and the decadent sauce poured over as the top was cracked open was just the icing on the cake, so to speak. Heavenly.

Hartstone Inn      

Breakfast at the inn was just as good. I only ate the first morning as I had some work to do the second day during breakfast hours. We started the morning with a cup of coffee in the parlor, enjoying the super cozy vibe. I rarely feel truly relaxed, and this was one of those moments.

Once at our breakfast table, I had a mimosa in hand and a fruity breakfast starter with a home baked scone followed by an egg strata with the best homemade chicken sausage ever.

breakfast

egg strata with homemade chicken sausage The Hartstone Inn Chef was not on property, but the food was some of the best I have had. I’ve heard that it’s even that much better when Chef is there. When not actually at the inn, you can find the Chef/owners leading culinary trips in Europe, which look like complete dream getaways.

If you’re looking for a lovely weekend away, I can’t recommend the Hartstone Inn enough. We’re looking forward to next year’s visit!

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Tags: Camden, Food, getaway, Maine, New England, Travel, travel blog, vacation

I say it all the time, just how lucky we are in Boston to have access to so many beautiful New England locations for weekend getaways. There are SO many beautiful areas to explore, and I want to see them all.

This past weekend we did a getaway in Camden, Maine with some friends, and I can’t recommend it enough. On the way up we stopped at the outlets in Freeport, Maine for some L.L. Bean action (and Sperry and Bass and Vineyard Vines. . . ). I had never been to the Freeport outlets and was overwhelmed by great stores and deals. The outlets are an easy two hour ride from Boston and totally doable for a day trip.

LL Bean

The friends we traveled with visit Camden every year and have their own set of stops they make, including Red’s Eats, a lobster shack in Wiscasset, Maine. It’s cash only, with a few outdoor tables and a long line, but it is so worth it!

Red's Eats Maine

Lobster rolls are served naked, an entire lobster stuffed into a buttered, toasted roll, and served with butter and mayo on the side, just the way I like it. We also shared fried scallops, the best I have ever had.

Red's Eats lobster roll

Camden was a short drive away; breaking it up with a few stops made the drive more bearable and definitely more delicious! We stayed at the Hartstone Inn in Camden, which I will cover in a separate post.

Our first order of business, after some wine and snacks, was a walk down to the harbor, which is quintessential New England.

Camden, MaineWe got some gorgeous weather over the weekend, and it felt SO good to wear flip flops and a dress. Being outdoors and by the sea makes me positively giddy, especially with the whole summer stretching out ahead.

Camden, Maine

  Because the weather was so nice, we got to spend a lot of time outdoors, including a hike up to the top of Mt. Battie. It was a fairly easy 1.4 mile hike up, and the views were outstanding. Having a mountain that close to the sea is just about perfection for me. Hike in the morning, and boat in the afternoon!

Mt. Battie Mt. Battie  Camden, Maine

Mt. Battie Isn’t it stunning?

 

The Drouthy Bear, Camden

Post-hike, we did some wandering around Camden, including some shopping and indulging in deliciousness offered by local pubs. The Drouthy Bear was just across from our inn and the perfect place for a Pimm’s Cup, hand cut fries, sausage rolls, bacon butties, and live Celtic music, which brought my husband back home for a couple of hours. Such a sweet bar!

 Vintage Lounge Camden Maine

Our wandering also included the newly opened Vintage Lounge at 16 Bayview, a new luxury hotel right on Camden harbor. Cocktails and local smoked salmon filled us up, while the lounge vibe made us cozy and relaxed. 16 Bayview, Camden Maine

Half of our group works in hospitality, and we ended up taking a site tour of the hotel, including checking out the stunning roof deck, which I could sit on for days, just staring out at all that blue. Seriously, I may have some mermaid in me.

16 Bayview Camden

Camden Harbor

The suites at 16 Bayview were gorgeous and so impressive. I especially loved the giant soaking tubs in them! We definitely are bookmarking the hotel for a future stay!

16 Bayview

All in all, Camden is a place you could easily fill a weekend, with cute boutiques, plenty of restaurants, spas, outdoor activities, and more. I could even see spending a week and exploring other neighboring towns like Rockport.

Stay tuned for my review of the Hartstone Inn, coming soon!

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Tags: cocktails, Food, Maine, New England, Travel, travel blog, weekend getaways

Looking Back

Hello from Portland, Maine! I am working here today before heading north for a little weekend getaway. Stay tuned to this spot for a full recap!

We headed up to Portland after work yesterday and visited two favorites, Central Provisions and The Porthole, and every step, bite, and smell reminded me of our last visit here when I started working with Nova Star, just about 11 months ago.

Nova Star was the first freelance client I had in my soon-to-be-new adventure at the time.  I had given my two weeks notice and had a fresh start ahead. It was a beautiful, misty Portland evening, and my heart was full of excitement and anticipation of taking the leap back to self-employment. Last night when we were walking the cobblestone streets, I felt that same excitement, remembering the journey this year has been, soaking up the sea air and the feeling absolutely giddy that summer is coming.

I guess I am writing this post as a reminder that possibility is around every corner. If there’s something big you’ve been wanting to accomplish, go for it. Whether you chip away at it bit-by-bit or take a huge leap, you never know until you try.

Have a great weekend!

Past trips to Maine:

Scenes from a Coastal New England Weekend

Eating in Portland, Maine

Central Provisions,, Portland

Central Provisions,, Portland

Portland, Maine

The Porthole, Portland    

 

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Tags: career, Maine, motivation, Portland, Travel

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