Wednesday, February 28, 2007 

Things to do in Kennebunkport

What is there to do in Kennebunkport? We're glad you asked.

Historic Maine House Party
Saturday, March 3, 2007

This Saturday evening at the Historic Nott House, the Historic Inns of Kennebunkport are hosting a house party and all of our guests are invited.

~This classic 1853 Greek Revival home is furnished with original Victorian period decor.

~Guests will enjoy a reception and special tour of the Historic Nott House, Kennebunkport Historical Society's House Museum.

~Delicious hors d'oeuvres, chocolate desserts and refreshments.

~Raffle for a $100.00 gift certificate to each of the Historic Inns.

Kennebunkport Cookie Madness
Saturday, March 10, 2007

Come discover the art of the Chocolate Chip Cookie as you participate in a tasting tour of the seven Historic Inns of Kennebunkport Inns' secret cookie recipes.

~Enjoy a tour of each of the fine Historic Inns of Kennebunkport.

~Sample each of the Inn's signature cookie and take home their secret recipes.

~Vote for your favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie
(vote for the Maine Stay).

The Art of Boat Building
Saturday, March 17, 2007

Have you ever dreamed of building your own boat? How about simply owning one? This weekend's for you!

~Tour the acclaimed Landing Boat School.

~Attend the Portland Boat Building Show.

~Return to the Maine Stay Inn where a gift of delicious chocolate sweets sloops awaits.

Savor Maple Sugaring Memories
Saturday, March 24, 2007

Discover authentic Maine as you take a special guided tour of one of Maine's traditional maple sugar farms.

~See how the native maple trees are tapped and sap collected (and why Maine Maple Syrup is the best).

~View the syrup making process first hand in a genuine Shaker barn.

~Enjoy a New England lunch complete with maple sugar dessert!
(with vanilla ice cream)

Wine Tasting, Fine Dining and Decadent Chocolate
Saturday, March 31, 2007

Come join us at Grissini Italian Bistro, one of the region's most celebrated restaurants, for an evening of fine dining with wine tasting and decadent chocolate.

~Indulge in an exquisite four course meal paired with complementary wines.

~Discover the art of fine chocolate dessert.

~Revel in the romantic setting of one of Kennebunkport's most enchanting establishments.

These are just some of the great things to do and this is just for March.

Come join us at The Maine Stay Inn where, "we have the nicest guests."

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Sunday, February 25, 2007 

Coming to Kennebunkport? Bring Your Brownie

Photo by Robert Dennis
There are many wonderful "camera worthy" sites in and around Kennebunkport. Popular subjects include the rocky coastline, our wonderful lighthouses, Walker's Point and, of course, The Wedding Cake House.

The Wedding Cake House is located a short drive from The Maine Stay Inn. It sits directly on Route 35 and as you drive along, it is hard to miss. You'll often see one or two buses pulled over, its occupants spread out on both sides of the street with cameras clicking. You will have to slow for these pedestrians, so why not pull over and take a picture or two for yourself. If you don't bring back a picture no one will believe your description.

Built in 1825, by shipbuilder George Washington Bourne, this brick Federal-style home didn't start receiving its "icing" until 1852. Bourne was inspired by Milan's Gothic Cathedral. Using only hand tools, Bourne completed the decorations shortly before his death in 1856.

The romantic legend of this architectural marvel actually began many years later. A clever Kennebunk businessman published a postcard and named the house The Wedding Cake House. From there the legend began, at first about a recently married sea captain. He was said to have spent many a lonely night at sea, carving the intricate decorations as a way to cope with the long separations from his new bride.

The story got more and more romantic through the years.

The Wedding Cake House is privately owned and unavailable for tours of any kind. The current owners opened it for the first time ever for several months following Hurricane Katrina. They took a small donation from the many thousands that took advantage of the opportunity and donated all proceeds to the Hurricane relief efforts.

Don't miss seeing this amazing building and thank your lucky stars that you don't have to paint it.


Saturday, February 24, 2007 

What Do You Say in Kennebunkport? Tonight...Say Cheese

It was cheese, cheese and more cheese at The Maine Stay Inn this evening as our guests enjoyed the opportunity to sample a variety of offerings.

From a light tasting D'Affinois, all the way to an aged sharp cheddar, there was something for every taste.

As all epicurean delights should, this evening's event ended with dessert. Dessert for the evening was a tasting of the Maine Stay Inn 2007 Chocolate Tasting winner, the 71% Organic Dark Chocolate from The Grenada Chocolate Company.

Another enjoyable Tasting at The Maine Stay Inn.

What's next? Next Saturday night, guests of the Maine Stay can choose to participate in a special tour of the Kennebunkport Historical Society's, Nott House. You will see what life was like for the Nott family during the bustling Victorian era.

Hors d’oeuvres will be served and guests will be entertained by the heavenly sounds of a local harpist.

One last enticement, all our guests attending this special event will be entered into a drawing to win a $100.00 Maine Stay Inn gift certificate. Call us today.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007 

Where to Get the Best Hot Dog in Kennebunkport?

Who would even ask such a question? Is it blasphemy to ask about hot dogs in Kennebunkport? After all, the only thing hot dog rolls should be doing in our quaint village is getting themselves stuffed with lobster.

Well, I'm sorry but I love a good hot dog. So, I have been in a search for the best hot dog in Kennebunkport. I have been searching for 5 years now. I have even expanded my search to include the County of York. After all, we have a very well known hot dog stand down in the city of York and another just north in Saco. I tried them both.

So what are my results...hold on, I have felt the need to further expand my search to the entire State of Maine.

Then I had a tough decision to make. I was in search of the best. In theory if there were 2 or 3 hot dogs to compare you could always choose the best among them. But, if an expert and professional food connoisseur like me (self proclaimed) is to name "The Best Of" shouldn't the winner be at least good? If I am to put my "stamp" on a winner, someone may take that as my recommendation.

I truly am sorry. I haven't found a good hot dog in Maine. At least not yet. I'll keep on looking.

Please send me your suggestions for a great hot dog. It can be anywhere, not just Kennebunkport, not just Maine. I will travel for a great hot dog.

Oh, I should list my personal criteria for a great hot dog:
  • Grilled or griddled? Yes and yes.
  • Boiled? Absolutely not.
  • Grill or griddle the bun? Yes please.
  • Steam the bun? What is wrong with these people?
  • Mustard? Oh yes.
  • Relish? That'll be okay.
  • Ketchup? Ya for the fries (the kids can put it on the dogs).
  • Mayonnaise? Stop right there. If that is an option, leave without eating anything.
  • Chili, sauteed onions, cheese, sauerkraut? Yes x 4.

Let me know what you like. And, don't forget, July is National Hot Dog Month.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007 

Kennebunkport Maine ~ Home of the World's Best Lobster

People travel to Kennebunkport and other Maine destinations from all around the world for the taste of what has come to be known as the very best lobster in the world.

When Janice was asked by one of our guests last summer, "what is the difference between a Maine lobster and any other lobster?" she immediately responded, "that's easy...the taste!"

Today on CNBC, Melissa Francis posed a similar question, "when you order Maine lobster in a restaurant, how can you tell it's from Maine? You can't ask the lobster, he's already boiled."

The answer is simple, branding. The State of Maine has developed a plan to tag Maine lobsters. This effort is designed to protect the dining public, the Maine lobstermen (and women) as well as the future viability of the marine environment.

Insist on the finest and ask to see the tag. You're in Maine for that sweet and succulent flavor of the world's best. Don't accept anything less.

When you're in Kennebunkport ask me where to get the best of the best.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007 

Destinations of the Rich and Famous ~ Kennebunkport

Can anybody identify our guests from last weekend? You're a daisy if you do!
(click on the picture, it gets a little bigger)

Here at The Maine Stay Inn,
"We have the nicest guests."


Monday, February 19, 2007 

Kennebunkport's Arts in the Inns Adds Exciting Events

Photo from Arts in the Inns website.
This year's Arts in the Inns will see some exciting enhancements to its list of events.

The program is now in the advanced planning stages so, save the date. The events will be held from May 30th through June 3rd.

Art Lovers...don't miss this.

New England artists will, once again, be displaying there work at various historic inns all around Kennebunkport and Kennebunk. In addition, a schedule of private gatherings with artists, prominent local chefs and a limited number of interested guests will help propel this year's program to be the first in what will certainly become a growing regional event. These renowned chefs will create offerings inspired by the artists with which they are paired.

If you are interested in fine art make your plans now. This is sure to become a very busy weekend here in Kennebunkport.

If you have questions, give us a call. We will update you as more information develops so check back.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007 

Cheese Tasting in Kennebunkport

The Maine Stay Inn is holding it's 3rd Annual Cheese Tasting next Saturday, February 24th.

Always a popular event, this year's affair will be no exception. Those choosing to join us for some good cheese and good fun will gather in the living room around the fireplace. We have selected five cheeses to enjoy and, as a finale, we have saved some chocolate from our chocolate tasting earlier this month.

The 2007 winner of our Chocolate Tasting was the Organic Dark (71% cocoa) from The Grenada Chocolate Company. This will serve as our award winning dessert.

If you would like to attend this enjoyable event, give us a call and, if you mention you read about the Cheese Tasting on the BLOG, we will include 2 tickets for a memorable sleigh ride. Of course, this is in addition to the other wonderful special amenities offered during the entire month of February.

Don't forget, at The Maine Stay Inn, we are celebrating Valentine's Day during the entire month of February.

"We have the nicest guests!"

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Friday, February 16, 2007 

Happy Birthday From Kennebunkport

Celebrate your birthday, anniversary or any special occasion at The Maine Stay Inn.

We will customize your visit to assure a memorable getaway to this wonderful seaside village.

We can help with spa appointments, dinner reservations to any one of our 1st class restaurants and we will put the special amenities in your luxurious room that will make the occasion extra special.

Give us a call.

PS. Happy Birthday Debbie! The big five-oh.


Thursday, February 15, 2007 

The Valentine's Day Storm of 2007

The Maine Stay Inn After the Valentine's Day Storm
The storm left us just enough snow.

Just enough to transform Kennebunkport into a picture perfect winter wonderland.

Just enough to enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride.

Just enough to have a great time cross-country skiing and,

just enough to use your new pair of snow shoes (you don't have a pair yet? What are you waiting for, it's the latest thing).

Go to our website and sign up for our newsletter, you'll get the latest information on specials and great upcoming weekend events (like our 3rd annual cheese tasting coming up on February 24th).

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007 

Happy Valentine's Day from Kennebunkport

What better way to celebrate this holiday of romance than a getaway escape to a quaint seaside village.

Relax with your sweetheart in front of your cozy fireplace, sip your favorite drink (maybe some cheese and crackers or, better yet some chocolates) and once you are fully relaxed, settle into a double whirlpool tub.

The good news The Maine Stay Inn we are celebrating Valentine's Day all month long.

Happy Valentine's Day to all!

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Friday, February 09, 2007 

Bandaloop ~ A Kennebunkport Restaurant Review

What is a Bandaloop? If I were going to define it I would say, "a Bandaloop is a semi-hidden treasure of a restaurant tucked away in the quaint seaside village of Kennebunkport."

However, the definition on Bandaloop's website identifies it as, "the name of a fictional tribe taken from the Tom Robbins’ novel Jitterbug Perfume. In the book, this tribe knew the secret to eternal life."

My suggestion...definately plan on dinner at Bandaloop and you can decide for yourself which definition is more apropos.

Bandaloop is an intimate and comfortable restaurant with a casual and funky ambiance. The owners, Scott and Bridget Lee are dedicated to serving organic, all natural local Maine products whenever possible.

We were joined for dinner this evening by our friends Jan and Rick. We all started with appetizers and, we all ordered the same thing (hey, what kind of restaurant review is this?)...Bandaloop Egg Rolls. Don't chalk this up to coincidence, these Egg Rolls are outrageous. They are filled with red onions, walnuts, gorgonzola (yum), with a sweet and sour port wine reduction for dipping. I know, a more professional restaurant reviewer would have ordered something different in order to expand the scope of the review...too bad, I've had these Egg Rolls before and I wasn't about to pass them up . You shouldn't either.

Next, the main course, for Jan it was the Pan Seared Fresh Escolar Fillet with fresh crab and basil buerre blanc (I know what crab is but the rest, I'm stumped). Jan reported that her meal was wonderful. It was the Bandaloop Cioppino for Rick, a medley of clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops and medallions of fish, steamed in a zesty tomato-lime broth, with Isreali cous cous and basil. Rick's description was, "fantastic, as usual." Janice had the Skewered Large Shrimp with a Zesty Asian Peanut Sauce. Janice talked about how good it was all the way home. And for me, it was the Portobello Mushroom-Sun Dried Tomato and Vegetable Medley with Cavatappi and Shrimp. This medley included red onion, bell pepper, broccoli and basil finished with sherry, Marcona Almonds and Parmesan. Wow, was it good!

And then dessert. I really like dining with people who enjoy dessert. Janice had Bandaloop's version of Chocolate Decadence. She enjoyed about half of it but was very full from her meal and ended up taking home a Georgie Bag. Yippee! It was really good. Jan, Rick and I all got the Mango-Peach Tart with Vanilla ice cream. The tart was warm and excellent but, if you order it, don't forget to eat the ice cream. It was also excellent. Those of you who know me, know that I am an expert when it comes to Vanilla ice cream.

As dessert was arriving, in walked Rob and Leigh from The Captain Fairfield Inn. Fortunately, they sat right next to us. I really like living in a small town.

Good food , good friends and a warm and comfortable setting, what more could we ask for?

At The Maine Stay Inn, we are always pleased to recommend that our guests have dinner at Bandaloop.


Thursday, February 08, 2007 

This Old House ~ The Maine Stay Inn

The Maine Stay Inn was built in 1860 by the great grandson of one of Kennebunkport's founding families, the Walkers.

In Kennebunkport, the Walker name is more commonly associated with Walker's Point, the property owned by President Bush (41) and previously by his ancestors. Of course, this is where President George H.W. Bush gets the "W" and it is where our current President gets his "Dubya."

The Walker that built the Maine Stay Inn was Melville Walker (what a great name for the owner of a stately seaside home). Melville was a merchant sea captain who travelled the oceans of the world. I wonder if he ever encountered the likes of Moby Dick?

Enough history, for now.

What do you do when an original lockset on one of the doors of your 1860 house breaks? Well, there are several solutions to this problem. Some solutions are not acceptable as they compromise the historical integrity of the home (like a brand new 21st century replacement). Some solutions are far too time consuming (for instance, rebuilding the broken parts).

Fortunately for me, here in Kennebunkport we have a hidden treasure. Well, it's not exactly hidden (we'll tell you how to get there) but, it is a treasure. It is The Old House Parts Company. How lucky is that?

Next time you visit Kennebunkport, ask someone where The Old House Parts Company is located and stop in. It really is a neat place to explore.
Photo from The Old House Parts Company website.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007 

New England Travel Made Easy

A New England vacation means different things to different people. That's because of the diversity of attractions and geography offered by this beautiful and varied section of the country.

If you are planning a summer vacation or perhaps an autumn "leaf peeping" sojourn, be sure to begin your research at the Passport to New England website or by contacting The Maine Stay Inn or any other of the Passport member inns.

Each inn is advantageously located throughout New England and provides the traveler with the best of the characteristics its area has to offer. Each inn is a Select Registry Inn, a distinction that is synonymous with hospitality and quality.

So, if it's a New England vacation that's in your plans this year, congratulations on an excellent choice and, look no further than The Passport to New England.


Saturday, February 03, 2007 

The Maine Stay Chocolate Tasting was a Big Success

We just wrapped up our 2nd annual Maine Stay Inn Chocolate Tasting and it was a huge success. Everyone had a great time and we crowned the 2007 Maine Stay Inn Chocolate of the Year.

There were ten chocolates from around the world including Switzerland, Belgium, France, Italy, USA and Grenada. The selections ranged from a Swiss white chocolate with no cocoa (it's not really chocolate as it has no cocoa) to another Swiss dark chocolate with 85% cocoa (wowee!).

By the end of the tasting our guests had tasted just a small sampling of each chocolate. This amounted to the cocoa equivalent of approximately a dozen milk chocolate bars but the sugar equivalent of less than one chocolate bar.

The surprise of the event (for me) was that the Hersheys chocolate (10% cocoa) was not very well received. I expected it to be more popular.

We had eight voting participants (I abstained) and 50% agreed on the winner. The other 50% split their votes between Caffe Tasse (Belgium 77% cocoa) and Lindt (Swiss 85% cocoa). Both were judged to have a wonderful texture and outstanding flavor.

But, the winner is...drum roll...The Grenada Chocolate Company's, 71% Organic Dark. A dark, silky chocolate with a creamy texture and a remarkable flavor. Mott Green is the owner of the Grenada Chocolate Company and we contacted him directly. Mott suggested we work through one of his retailers as he isn't set up to accept payment.

Lucky for us The Applegate Inn, located in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts had the chocolate bars we sought. We called and spoke with Gloria who happily sent out an overnight package of 4 bars of this #1 delicacy. She couldn't have been more helpful.

Next year we will include the winner and the 2 runners up (or is it runner ups) in our 3rd Annual Chocolate Tasting along with seven new chocolates from other parts of the globe.

How about some fun facts...

Chocolate contains no caffeine. The chocolate buzz people get is from the chemical Theobromine, a mild anti-depressant.

Chocolate was introduced to the United States in 1765 when John Hanan brought cocoa beans from the West Indies to Dorchester, Massachusetts. Dr. James Baker, thinking about the medicinal benefits of chocolate, opened a chocolate factory along the Neponset River. You may have heard of Baker's Chocolate?

White Chocolate is not chocolate at all. It contains no cocoa, only cocoa butter, sugar, milk and vanilla.

We will look forward to next year's chocolate event but, in the meantime, consider coming to The Maine Stay Inn during the weekend of February 23 and 24. Saturday evening, February 24th our guests will enjoy our 3rd Annual Cheese Tasting. It is always a popular event, so call now and reserve one of our romantic rooms.

"We have the nicest guests."

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