February 27th, 2013 by Mike Cassels
One of Boston’s best kept dining secrets is The Courtyard. If one needed another reason to visit Boston Public Library, this delightful restaurant is surely a good one. We had read and heard so much about The Library, which claims to be the oldest in the USA, that we could not resist a visit and the opportunity to sample a traditional afternoon tea at the restaurant.
Leaving the Cape – it had been a while – involves crossing Sagamore Bridge and leaving behind that reassuring insularity, which makes many a Cape Codder tremble at the prospect. Even we joke about it and feel a sense of relief each time we cross the bridge on our return. After living in London for so many years, navigating the Boston traffic comes easily to us. If only London’s streets could be even half as clean as Boston’s though. We always enjoy the trips we make to this impressive city, and this was no exception.
We decided to spend the night at one of our favorite hotels, The Lenox in Back Bay, which just happens to be nextdoor to The Library and within touching distance of The Prudential Centre, another favorite of ours. We just had time for our effortless check-in (beautiful room with great view) before we went off to tea.
The Courtyard is an elegant stylish restaurant which instantly reminded us of The Pump Room in Bath, England, which is also an historic tea room with a huge reputation. This exquisite Boston affair has that added classy understatement that sets it apart from so many tea rooms. Not a doilie in sight! The creative and mouthwatering Luncheon Menu means we shall be making a quick return next time we are in town.
As for the afternoon tea, it was beautifully prepared and presented to us on a three tiered pastry stand. I shall not attempt to describe each delicate little sandwich and tartlette. I could not possibly do them justice……check it out for yourself. We particularly enjoyed the scones served with traditional clotted cream and artisanal preserve. Oh I nearly forgot to mention the petit pain with lobster – I got to eat Helen’s as well. We were seriously impressed by the whole experience and will recommend it to this season’s guests, especially the Brits amongst them, who are always looking to us for ideas of things to see and do in Boston. The check came to $70 ish with tip – I can hear the groans already – worth every penny too!
Before leaving, we explored some of the incredible reading rooms in this magnificent library, Bates Hall, entrance foyer and lavishly ornate main staircase should not be missed. We left plenty yet to be explored on our next visit.
Now I wonder what’s for dinner….
February 22nd, 2013 by Mike Cassels
Happy Birthday Mr Gorey! We’re sure most of you know that we are very priviliged to have the Edward Gorey House just a 5 minute walk from the inn, and today EVERYONE gets to see his imaginative works as the “Google Doodle” of the day!
The museum, which was his home until his death in 2000, is one of the most fascinating places we’ve ever visited………you walk in here and now, but you are transported into the magical, dark and surreal world of this genius, and when you step outside it is a bit of a shock to be back in the real world! But it’s really worth it, and the icing on the cake is the small gift shop where you can buy unique items for yourself or someone special.
The museum re-opens for the season on April 18th, with a new exhibit to celebrate the 50th anniversary of “The Vinegar Works”, so why not plan a stay at the inn and tie in a great morning or afternoon at the Edward Gorey House. Quote this blog and we’ll pay for your entry!
November 4th, 2012 by Mike Cassels
The first weekend in December this year brings two fantastic opportunities to get into the holiday spirit BIG TIME! Sunday Dec 2nd is the Yarmouth Port Christmas Stroll, where you can stroll along beautiful Old King’s Highway in our village from store to B & B to eating and drinking establishments, all offering samples of their home-cooking plus warming hot drinks. You’ll get some great gift ideas too, and that’s always a good thing a couple of weeks before Christmas.
The same weekend also brings the Nantucket Christmas Stroll, so pretty and jovial with all the stores and streets decorated in the holiday spirit.
So we have decided to wrap both Strolls into a fantastic weekend special deal, take a look and see if we can tempt you!
September 15th, 2012 by Mike Cassels
The Great Outdoors has never been more enticing here on beautiful Cape Cod. For the next six weeks, you will no longer have to stand in line for your favorite ice cream nor find the beach car park full at 9.30 am. The kids are back to school and Route 28 is once again moving freely.
During all those years Helen and I spent living and working in London, we would get out of town as often as we could, to a country house hotel somewhere in the beautiful English countryside, where we could unwind a bit from the stress of our city life-style. New Yorkers and Bostonians alike can so easily come to Cape Cod and the Islands for similar get-aways to de-tox and get their worries into perspective: if you like, a sort of therapy courtesy of Mother Nature. The English and Cape Cod landscapes are so similar – there is something quite soothing almost therapeutic, about them both. The Cape however, has that added dimension to it when you visit The National Seashore. You need only stand on the cliff top at Marconi Beach for a few minutes to be mesmerised by it’s huge horizon.
Come and visit the Cape this Fall. Our location is second to none: the tranquility, beauty and historic environment of Cape Cod Bay takes some beating and yet our luxury bed and breakfast inn is so close to everything, and centrally placed to effortlessly explore the best this stunning area has to offer. In the hope you might choose to stay with us please visit the area pages on our website………..you’ll need no further convincing!
September 4th, 2012 by Mike Cassels
If you are looking for a classy restaurant wth a spectacular setting and vibrant ambience, The Ocean House is irresistable. This Cape Cod jewel has an exceptional Chef in Anthony Silvestri. His innovative cuisine seems to have more influence from the Pacific Rim than The Cape, but he uses the best local produce to create his impressive array of dishes,each one reaching your table beautifully and carefully presented.
The breath-taking ocean setting is an ever present backdrop to the stylish split level dining and bar area, which have been cleverly and tastefully designed throughout with meticulous attention to detail. This oasis of perfection lives up to it’s star billing and impressive credentials in every way, to indeed make it Cape Cod’s” shi – shi beach house”.
Our every visit to The Ocean House over the last six years has been a consistently delightful experience and it is very much our favourite restaurant, despite our enjoyment of one or two others nearer the inn. The warm and appreciative welcome we have always been extended by Janet, Carey and their team has made us feel very special indeed.
If you are unfamiliar with this fine restaurant, you could do worse than to add it to your “must do” list on your next visit to Cape Cod. And if you are going to be a guest of ours, the good news is that The Ocean House is a mere 15 minutes from our inn. We will have the directions already printed off for you upon your arrival………..the rest is up to you!
August 29th, 2012 by Mike Cassels
If you really want to experience Cape Cod casual seafood dining at it’s best, it is probably time to place your order at Sesuit Harbor Cafe. There seems to be a general consensus among local people we know, that there can be no better lobster roll on Cape Cod, and such a generous serving as well.
With SHC hard to find, hidden behind a boat yard, you would be forgiven for thinking that the proprietor wants to keep this wonderful cafe a secret! Word of mouth is probably it’s best marketing tool and it is of course well known and cherished by locals including ourselves.
There is a raw bar, and as well as lunch and dinner, breakfast is also served. You can bring wine or beer to enjoy with your meal as SHC has a BYO licence. The freshness of the seafood cannot be beaten. The cafe’s picturesque location can be enjoyed as you tuck into your fried clams. It is a bustling harbor with pleasure boats coming and going – the salt air mixed with the slight smell of diesel remind me of childhood vacations spent in Cornwall, England.
Ahhh, it’s summertime on Cape Cod again. Sesuit Harbor Cafe epitomises so much of what is good about outdoor living in New England. The good news for our guests is that the Cafe is a beautiful 10 minutes drive away – we hand them the printed directions so they don’t get lost! On their return we suggest they might like to stop off at Smuggler’s for some great home-made ice cream.
July 9th, 2012 by Mike Cassels
Wow! Need a really good excuse to come visit Cape Cod? Summer on Cape Cod wouldn’t be summer at all without ice cream in every shape or form. Who doesn’t love the feeling of walking into an ice cream parlor and reading about all the flavors, sundaes, frozen cakes and ice cream drinks? The hardest part is actually deciding what to have! Being that my weakness in life is chocolate, I nearly always tend towards either choc flavor or choc topping, but Mike has finally convinced me that there is life after chocolate. So now I try VERY hard to avoid chocolate……….the result is that I LOVE the freedom of having so many choices that I never had before.
July 15, 2012 brings us the National Ice Cream Day where participating parlors will donate a portion of their proceeds to those served by the Cape and Islands United Way. The Fest lasts all day, and you can indulge with the sound knowledge that every mouthful is going towards helping local residents who are in need. Why not wrap the Fest into a stay at the inn? Check out our rooms and choose your favorite – hope to see you soon!
June 21st, 2012 by Mike Cassels
Various improvements were made during our slow winter season, to enhance the comfort and enjoyment of our guests this summer. From the level of luxury and ambience in and outside the inn, to the appearance of each guest room, we try hard to make the sort of changes that we would appreciate if we were the guests.
So what exactly is new? The Vineyard Rose room has been completely remodelled and refurnished, which has increased the bedroom size and produced a fabulous luxury bathroom. Our most popular Plantation Suite has had a bathroom upgrade. We have also created a guest refreshment area on the second floor, which is equiped much the same as the one in the inn’s library on the first floor.
Outside there are even more areas to sit and relax in our beautiful shaded grounds – all our towering trees were pruned during the winter, except the magnificent 300 year old Eastern Cottonwood. The new furniture rocking on the inn’s front deck includes two elegant rocking chairs and a swing seat for two. The Breakfast Terrace has had a facelift and is awash with colour from the many hanging baskets and planters.
Back inside the inn, our guests will find a tray of goodies in their room to welcome them, which will include hand-made truffles from Chatham’s Candy Manor, and there will be two splits of chilled Italian “bubbly” waiting for them in the guest “cave a vin”.
Each guest room has had a large flat screen and DVD player for some time now and this past winter we have significantly increased the selection of movies available in our complimentary DVD library. We have also added a presidential section of books to our main library. Reading in bed is even easier with two overhead lamps replacing night stand lamps in all the guest rooms.
On the less interesting side, all our guest rooms have new air conditioning units, and the ongoing replacement of clapboard around the inn allowed us to finally have the southern side of the inn painted, using the new colour scheme.
Why not come and see the changes for yourself if you are one of our many returning guests or if you are contemplating a first visit, check us out. We promise you a truely unique and enjoyable time in this beautiful setting – go on, spoil yourself.
June 10th, 2012 by Mike Cassels
We are very grateful once again, to the artists of Fresh Paint Gallery here in the charming village of Yarmouth Port, for allowing us to exhibit some of their paintings in our breakfast room this season. Our guests can admire the works of five prominent local artists, including Claire Marcus, Robert Mesrop, Selma Alden, Ann O’Connell and Julie Blanchard.
Many of our guests spend some time in the Fresh Paint Gallery, which is just a short stroll from our inn. This is one of the leading art galleries on Cape Cod, with exhibits on two floors in oil, acrylic, pastel and mixed media. It is certainly worth a visit, and is one of several interesting attractions in the village.
Come rain or shine, there is plenty for visitors to enjoy, from the 48 historic Sea Captains Houses and two museums to the breathtaking natural beauty of Cape Cod Bay seen from our boardwalk or from the old Wharf, which are both a nature lovers paradise.
So the formula for an enjoyable and relaxing few days is irresistable; why not add yourself to the growing number of people who share this view, having sampled the delights of historic Yarmouth Port. There are some great B and Bs in the village, and you never know…….. perhaps we can even tempt you to stay with us!
May 29th, 2012 by Mike Cassels
This week saw a wonderful event occur in Yarmouth Port – the long-time family owned Hallet’s Ice Cream Parlour re-opened after being rebuilt following a car collision into the store-font last year. EVERYONE in the area knows and loves this old-fashioned ice cream parlor, and we are very lucky that it’s just a couple of minutes walk from us. As well as many flavors of home-made ice cream, you can get shakes, sundaes, floats, frappes and freshly-made sandwiches, sodas and coffee. And you get to enjoy these in a nostalgic “drug store” enivronment reminiscent of those 50′s movies. In fact, having written this, I’m going to head out there right now! Hope to see you soon over the cones!
May 11th, 2012 by Mike Cassels
If you need any excuse to spend some time on Cape Cod, here’s one of the best: Restaurant Week! From May 14 to May 20, 2012, you can enjoy culinary creations from the region’s best chefs, all offering prix fixe menus especially designed for Restaurant Week. No fewer than 51 restaurants are taking part this year, so you really will be spoilt for choice. Here are a few of our favorite dining establishments which we hope to visit during the week:
The Old Yarmouth Inn, which is just a very short stroll from the inn, and is a real favorite with Cape Cod locals and all our guests too. We NEVER need an excuse to go “next door” for dinner!; The Ocean House, in Dennisport , just an easy 20 minute drive from the inn. The location is stunning, ie, RIGHT on the ocean and the food certainly lives up to the surroundings it is served in; Gerardi”s, an authentic Italian eatery in South Yarmouth, just 15 minutes from us. We dined there last restaurant week and just loved it! And we cannot write about restaurant week without including The Naked Oyster which is on Main Street Hyannis, about 10 minutes away. We’ve had guests staying here that say the oysters they were served at the Naked Oyster were the best ever in their whole lives! How’s that for an accolade? So, we do hope to see you soon for a gourmet, NO DIET, week!
May 3rd, 2012 by Mike Cassels
Not long now and many moms around the country will be waking up to the one day of the year when they don’t feel guilty about NOT cleaning the place or cooking dinner! Mother’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to let that special lady in your life know how much she’s appreciated and loved.
Most moms love flowers, so that’s always a great gift idea, but how about a trip to Cape Cod where she can really be treated like royalty and have a fun time too. Here are a few ideas for your mother’s day treat:
Over that weekend there is a fantastic exhibition, Blooming Arts, at the Cape Cod Cultural Centre where there will be some incredible floral creations from celebrated designers, each one paired with a painting by a Cape Cod artist. Lovely gifts, and all this is FREE! The exhibition runs May 12-13.
How about a brunch ride on the Cape Cod Railroad? She’ll enjoy a 3-course lunch while peeking at parts of Cape Cod that can only be seen from this scenic train ride.
Or what about a massage, facial or pedicure? How’s that for being spoiled. Our favorite local spa is Solstice Day Spa, in Main Street, Hyannis, just click the link to see their Mother’s Day contest plus lots more ideas for a great original gift. Follow her relaxing and envigorating time at the spa with a tasty and original meal just next door at the Naked Oyster restaurant.
So if any of this tempts you to treat your mom to a Cape Cod getaway for Mother’s Day, you could think about combining any of these ideas with a stay at the inn – we promise to treat her like a princess!