Monday, August 22, 2016

Summertime in Maine

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure to leave the summer heat of DC to spend a few days with friends in Maine (photo of landing into Portland above and leaving DC below, I never tire of a window seat).
Our host was one of my best friends, the talented interior designer Michael Hampton, at his beautiful cottage in Rockport.
Rockport is a charming village just south of Camden with a small 'downtown' looking over a beautiful harbor below (with some great restaurants!) .
 Every house was more beautiful than the last.
 A true old house lover paradise (as is most of Maine).
What Maine lacks weather-wise in winter is more than made up for during their gorgeous summers where everything is in bloom; a gardener's paradise
 The town is rather hilly so nearly everyone gets a view.
 One of my favorite houses was this old farm house that was added onto over time; just the right size. Love the picket fence and bay window on the side of the main house.
 Others had charming details like this screened door with sailboat cutout.
 This house had very unusual brackets holding up the front porch.
 A lovely chapel over-looking the water was a great destination on one of our many walks.
 Many people get married here and you can see why!
 Boating is huge in Maine -it must be the state's official hobby! Everyone has a boat.
 And not just little canoes we're talking MAJOR boats, many of them in picturesque wood.
 So many gorgeous Hinkleys and traditional sail boats line each town's harbor.
 One of the highlights of the trip was a ride out to North Haven Island.
 We went directly to Nebo Lodge which is renowned for their restaurant.
 They also have a beautiful garden!
We didn't eat at the lodge however but were fortunate to get tickets to one of their barn suppers hosted at Turner Farm. Everything at these meals comes straight off the farm from cheese to produce and meat.
I'm always a tad wary of communal tables (call me anti-social....because I am) but within seconds we were best friends with everyone at the table - one of the most magical meals of my life.
 The farm overlooks Penobscot bay.
 None of us wanted to leave -but we had to get back to shore!
I love German food and the other great meal (out of so many) was at Morse's Sauerkraut -a specialty grocery story with a small 6 table restaurant. Here Michael shares a bit of his yummy Reuben with you.
 We were on our way to Round Pond, Maine, for a bit of shopping.
 The Art of Antiquing was well worth the drive; Gorgeous continental antiques at very reasonable prices.
I could have bought everything in the shop including this pair of neoclassical side chairs which will always be the ones that 'got away'. I wanted them so badly (esp when I found out the low price) but they would make for rather strange carry-on luggage.
 A set of 6 antique leather french side chairs with original turquoise leather was also tempting.
Not sure why more people don't buy antiques - these chairs had gorgeous patina and a set of 6 was less than some new SINGLE dining chairs! And yes, they were very sturdy. How can you hurt a 100 year old worn chair anyway? New furniture will always show your booboos!
Another highlight was an evening spent at the delicious restaurant at Whitehall Inn in Camden. Rocking chairs on a large porch may very well be my particular vision of heaven (particularly when margaritas and champagne are at the ready)! This piano in the lobby was once played by a famous guest in 1912, poetess Edna St.Vincent Millay who was from nearby Rockland.
If you haven't been to Maine, what are you waiting for? I can't wait for my next trip!