Who actually makes up all these random and quirky pseudo holidays? National S'mores day is certainly one I can get behind. Check out the unusual and unique Smore's recipes I have compiled to elevate the iconic treat at your next campfire roundabout. And be sure to read the last one, it's a campfire cocktail sure to tantalize the senses. Cheers to National S'mores Day!
A letter to my kids begins here. Cape Cod has always been our special place to reconnect with ourselves, the earth, the ocean, and with each other. Just as the moon has a certain dance pushing and pulling the tide, I hope you, my children, will always feel my encouragement pushing and my undying love pulling. Everything in life has a dance and it can certainly give you some hard kicks, but it's important to push it right back. Allow the Cape to be your grounding force, feel the sand conform to your particular foot as you walk it. Allow the salty mist replenish your exhausted sweet faces and look it straight in the eye. Remember all the hopeful souls that first stepped foot on her land and recognize you are meant to be there, as a symbol of their advantageous spirit. Let the wind take you to new heights and allow any fear to simply filter through. With that comes tremendous growth, strength, and confidence. You will need all of these things!
In your innocent eyes, Cape Cod is merely a place to run with a pail & shovel and eat at every ice cream shop in sight, and that is exactly what you should see! There will be a time when you wish to define a Cape that is your own version and you will choose what to explore with your future children. I hope you are reminded by the traditions we have instilled in you, and always feel the tide kissing your toes. When the sand gets pulled out from under you, keep dancing along until you find a new footing. Mom & Dad will always be with you in mind, body and spirit walking you through all of life's journeys big and small.
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. - Edward Abbey
This post comes to you from the voice of an artist that lies deep within me. The artist that always wanted to come out and scream, "here I am!" but was always a little timid. A mousy voice whispering amongst a crowded ballroom is more like it. So when it came time to hop in my car and take a ride into the mountains by myself, my nerves were playing a game of twister all on their own. But hey, that's the artist talking... the self doubt, the fear, am I good enough? Maybe I should've brought my daughter with me. Upon my arrival at Scribner's Catskill Lodge, my breathing had slowed and just like the clouds wafting over Hunter Mountain itself, my heavy pillow of anxiety suddenly and quickly lifted. There is an aura of calm from the minute you enter the front lobby. This occurs when an environment is thoughtfully curated and the tiniest of details are recognized. Touching upon all the human senses within the first 60 seconds of a setting is something Scribner's Lodge has obviously mastered.
Creatives rejoice! This is not your grandparents Catskill vacation complete with Gin Rummy and Pinochle in the game room. Although vintage charm comfortably remains, the contemporary amenities have made their way north and thank God for that! Subtle hints of yesteryear are noted in the mid-century furniture, the occasional aluminum dome light fixture, and the classic old school fireplaces, I mean what better place to catch up on the latest issue of Surface Magazine? Scribner's Lodge dances beautifully between the binary of old and new and leaves us with a level of nostalgic comfort. The kind that fosters artistic growth but also lends itself to a spa like retreat. Most notable; they offer expertly designed acoustic headphones to inspire creatives to brainstorm and produce. Genius if you ask me.
In the summer, you’ll take a dip in water surrounded by mountains. In the winter, you’ll gather by the fire under the stars. The rooms, of which few are alike, have fireplaces and lofted beds. Downstairs, you’ll come together for an alpine dinner prepared just for you by the house chefs. At night, you’ll rally your friends around the bar and watch the sun sink behind the peaks in the distance. On your way home you'll wonder in silence if you should tell others or just keep this secret to yourself.
Feeding the urban explorer at Prospect...
Prospect Restaurant and Bar serves a playful twist on local cuisine inspired by the rich and diverse offerings of the Hudson Valley. Their dining room has floor to ceiling windows, mountain views and a large cedar deck featuring outdoor dining and a fire pit. I recommend the Prospect Burger - Butter lettuce, red onion, gruyere, feta aioli, with french fries. For a match made in heaven, order the Peekskill Brewery Cream Ale (ok, I may be biased because that is my hometown brew). For a finishing touch be sure to leave room for their salty sweet Hazelnut Mousse - Brownie, feuilletine, Kahlua Ice Cream! Even urban explorers have to pace themselves so I have to note, the staff at Prospect will bring you a dessert to your room about an hour after dinner if you wish. It's almost too easy.
About an hour and thirty minutes from Interstate 84 and the NYS Thruway, you will be transported back into a time when you didn't lock your doors, and everyone including Fred the neighbor knew your Catskill vacation itinerary. Today it might be more like taking a relaxing yoga class, aprés ski, with a talented Brooklyn-ite. Cheers to that! I anxiously anticipate my return to Scribner's Lodge with my fearless arms flung wide open and a feeling of, ahhh... I found my tribe.
Even though the calendar and the weather is giving us all whiplash, it is, after all, Ice Cream Season! We have done expansive tasting all around New England searching for superior places to get these cool treats. Some locations we simply adore because of their longevity, kind of like, taking a trip to grandma's house. And some locations had an organic yet sophisticated appeal utilizing the finest local ingredients. No matter your northeast destination, use our handy guide on where to score gastronomic happiness like a boss!
1. Honeycomb Creamery - Small batch craft ice cream made in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The entire menu is from scratch and locally sourced. Their flavors are born from their own creative imaginations. Honeycomb Creamery made our list not only for incredible taste but their excitement factor! They're unique;
By keeping their batches of ice cream small, each scoop and each pint is different from the next. Here is a sampling of their Classic Flavors, can you only imagine what their specialty flavors must consist of? Milk Chocolate Stracciatella, Malted Vanilla, Salted Caramel Crackle, Honey & Oats, Coffee Toffee. Honeycomb Creamery offers something for everyone from taste inspiring Vegan recipes to pastries and house made waffle cones, and we have to mention their expertly crafted coffee drinks and frappes. 1702 Massachusetts Ave. Cambridge, Massachusetts.
2. Four Seas - A family favorite of ours for many generations. Diners can take a cone to go or sit on stools at the counter in the dining room enjoying old-fashioned ice cream sundaes, sodas, frappes (the New England word for “milkshake”- a real milkshake is just milk with syrup, shaken) and other sweet treats. Four Seas specializes in flavors that harken back to the good old days but are just as delicious as ever – and they’re always made with the freshest ingredients and local fruits.
For decades, they have been serving the Cape’s favorite flavors like fresh peach, black raspberry, cookie dough, peanut butter chocolate chip and coffee, as well as a few they originated, such as chip chocolate – created with melted chocolate that solidifies when it hits the frozen ice cream – and penuche pecan, an old-fashioned brown sugar flavor based on a special New England recipe. They also serve homemade sandwiches including their extremely popular lobster salad sandwich. Four Seas has been winning national and local competitions for decades, and has been named in the top ten ice creams in the country by several national publications. It's no wonder why the Kennedy's frequented this local favorite. 360 South Main Street, Centerville Massachusetts.
3. Walpole Creamery - For this cow to cone treat, the milk and maple syrup is sourced from nearby farms. One of their most famous flavors, Real Maple Walnut, was featured in Yankee Magazine Where to Eat, Stay and Play issue. Proud to be named among the Best of New England super scoops! “From Cow to Cone” What does it mean? More than a slogan, this is what makes their ice cream truly unique. Walpole Creamery crafts its own proprietary Sweet Cream base mix using only fresh, hormone and antibiotic-free milk from Elm Island right in Walpole, NH, and fresh, hormone and antibiotic-free cream from Vermont. Their 100% pure New Hampshire maple syrup comes from Twin Spruce Farm also in Walpole. Using only natural flavors and ingredients, Walpole is classified as an all-natural product in Whole Foods stores. Their Super Premium ice cream also qualifies for the Vermont Non-GMO Standards. The Walpole Parlor, 532 Main Street on Route 12 next to the Walpole Wash N Dry. Keene Café 149 Main Street Keene, New Hampshire.
4. Bedford Farms - Since 1880 - Does longevity and history have a taste? We think so! Located in historic New England towns - Bedford, Burlington and Concord, Massachusetts - Bedford Farms offers over 60 flavors of fresh made, locally sourced ice cream, frozen yogurt and soft serve. Enjoy your scoops knowing that your great grandparents most likely enjoyed the same exact recipe. Something this time tested and tried and true, must be doing something right! 18 North Road, Bedford, 19 Third Avenue, Burlington, 68 Thoreau Street, Concord, Massachusetts.
5. Milk Craft CT - Famous for their proprietory (and totally rad) Bubblecone, Milk Craft also offers other vessels to house your scoops such as the Creameebun, and Scoops 1,2,3. All their flavors are from the best local ingredients and all natural whenever possible.
Milkcraft small batch creamery began with an inspiration from a stroll down a via in Capri, Italy. Their goal has been to create ice cream from scratch and express their passion for artisinal flavors. "It is very important to us to develop relationships with local farmers in pursuit of the purest all natural ingredients." They freeze every scoop to order with food grade Liquid Nitrogen, which creates smaller ice crystals when freezing, and results in the smoothest possible ice cream. Their caramelized HONG KONG style waffles are made from scratch to order, and hot CREAMEE buns are made fresh daily, along with artisan toppings. Two locations 1215 Post Rd, Fairfield, Connecticut, 967 Farmington Ave, West Hartford, Connecticut.
6. Rococo - Seek out unusual artisanal flavors at this woman-owned and operated business in Kennebunkport Maine. Rococo Ice Cream has become a favorite stop among the local community of Southern Maine and their guests from around the globe. Lauren Guptill, a 10th generation Mainer, continues to compose inventive flavors that expand upon global culinary trends with a desire to introduce visitors to flavor profiles from every corner of the world. She draws inspiration from the spice markets of North Africa, to the villages in the French Alps, to the bustling barrios of South America. Rococo ice cream is made in Maine yet inspired by travel. Having a vast global palette to draw up new flavors, Lauren is excited about the future of Rococo Ice Cream as she explores new neighborhoods of the world for flavor inspiration. In her free time, she is working on her first recipe book, in the hopes of inspiring both amateur ice-cream eaters along with connoisseurs to bring a little more art, culture and flavor into everyone’s favorite summertime treat. Our favorite part of this whole thing? Delivery!!! Join the pint program and have Rococo at your doorstep. 6 Spring Street Kennebunkport, Maine
7. Canteen is a locally owned and operated modern snack bar "take out" joint that specializes in fried chicken and creemees but they also do so much more. Local, wholesome, creative and prepared in house. Canteen is located in the Village Square Shopping Center, Waitsfield near Mehuron's -Just a few minutes from Sugarbush Resort. Wildly known for their signature Vermont Soft Serve, to take a video glimpse inside this hip stand click here. 5121 Main Street, Waitsfield, Vermont.
8. Mt Desert Island Ice Cream - Mainers sure know their blueberries so it's obvious they would be the experts when it comes their signature fruit getting the starring role. Try the Blueberry Sour Cream Strudel! Mt.Desert Island Ice Cream aka MDII was voted Best Ice Cream in Maine with it's artisanal small-batch ice cream thoughtfully sourced with forward-thinking flavors. Former President Barrack Obama has even been seen indulging in one of MDII's daring flavors. Three locations and more on the way! Be sure to check their website before your visit, the Portland location is the only one currently open. MDII also has a fun Instagram presence @mdiicecream. 325 Main Street, Bar Harbor, 7 Firefly Lane, 51 Exchange Street, Portland, Maine
If you think it's perfectly normal to plan a road trip solely based around ice cream, then you are our kind of people! Here at New England & Me, we believe life is a lot like ice cream, enjoy it before it melts!
Anyone who frequents the island of Nantucket can verify that the Daffodil Festival in the end of April, signifies the unofficial launch of the picnic season. Historic facades festooned with yellow 'daffys' and assorted Nantucket baskets, and a festive parade of color, give it almost a Kentucky Derby vibe. Our visit began at the tail of the auspicious event but never the less, it still had the energy and excitement abound. Bakeries and chocolate shops even offered commemorative daffodil delectables. Meticulous window boxes beg for your attention along the cobblestone path, but never to be out shadowed by the equally intrguing window displays.
Journeying to the island, the first thing waving us in, is the Brant Point Lighthouse dressed in her seasonal Daffodil ring. After disembarking from the Grey Lady and following the colonial stone street up four blocks, we landed at 76 Main, by Lark Hotels. Lark Hotels embrace the locations they are in - but in playful, unexpected ways. Think "sense of place" with imagination and a touch of mischief. As their guests, we were invited to experience modern luxury in the heart of this iconic destination. To feel the pull of a nostalgic getaway while surrounded by today's amenities. To find attentive service when you want it, and privacy when you don't. This tony design-driven boutique Nantucket hotel is located in the town's premier landmark neighborhood. A desired address with modern, tailored rooms and a secluded and spacious courtyard. 76 Main feels like the upscale home of a Nantucket BFF (only bigger with loads of cool amenities).
The aroma of morning breakfast in my opinion, is the best form of a wake up call. Freshly brewed Nantucket Blend coffee mixed with a hint of warm toast equals an instant good mood. 76 Main has an attention to detail that's unmatched when making healthy offerings look indulgent and whimsical. Try the mashed pea and radish toast or the yogurt with fig and chia seeds. And even prettier, the individually plated whale tales perched upon the freshest fruit. Finally a breakfast offering that not only looks delicious but feels good, even better, someone else made it!
Rent a jeep and drive to Great Point. Let some air out of those tires and drive right onto the dunes. Of course, the rental car company will tell you not to… but since when do you listen to authority!? The sunrise is especially glorious. Make Madaket Beach on the opposite end of the island your go-to for the best sunset in all of New England. There is a sense of wilderness with it's untouched terrain and sand covered roadways. Even the effects of hard winters alter the landscape while protecting it's ever ardent natural beauty. Pushing our Jeep to the limits of sand driving, we paused to dance in the light of the 'golden hour'. Our faces warm with orange glow, our hair salty and windblown, the cooler air drifting in, the ending of a perfect day.
Because 76 Main is my new brilliant BFF, they already anticipate my craving for freshly baked cookies before bedtime, guaranteed sweet dreams with that under your pillow. I get the feeling here that the convivial staff members totally get me.
Delicious Eats & Notable Stops
- Petticoat Row Bakery located at 38 Centre Street.
- Fusaro's Homemade Italian Food located at 17 Old South Road
- Nantucket Looms at 51 Main Street, Luxury handwoven gifts, home decor and unique gifts.
- Parchment Fine papers, stationery & gifts. 11 Washington Street.
- The Downyflake Donut serving breakfast, lunch and dinner and of course DONUTS!
- The Whaling Museum located at 15 Broad Street
- Cisco Brewers Serving craft beer & wine at 5 Bartlett Farm Road. Check their events page before heading over to make the most out of your experience. They also offer shuttle service on the weekends.
Travelers have long flocked to the island of Nantucket for rest and relaxation just off the mainland. The epitome of charm, Nantucket town’s cobblestone streets, world-class restaurants, whaling museum, high-end shops and historic buildings are just a start. Together they truly make Nantucket sing.
Mirror Lake is aptly named for it's brilliant reflection of the surrounding lights and high peaks making it a dreamlike destination. As I sit in my New York home about 3 and a half hours south of Lake Placid, I send my daydreams onward to the north! Looking forward to sitting dockside on Mirror Lake with my toes dipped in the clear refreshing water and watching the stars slowly make their appearance. I often have a tough time deciding which season I like better in the Adirondacks. Truly a setting that never gives up, perhaps it's the undying Olympic spirit.
Listed for being one of New England's 'Best Coastal Towns', we explored the charming seaside wharf of Madison, Connecticut. Offering a winning combination of culinary delights, breezy scenery and waterside experiences, this gem is sure to ground you right back into nature. Hammonasset Beach State Park (Connecticut’s largest sandy expanse) features gentle swishing of the tides from the Long Island Sound as opposed to the roar of the wide open Atlantic, allowing for an abundance of wildlife. Interestingly, evidence of what used to be a glacier can be seen from a perch looking out across from Meigs Point Nature Center. Multiple activities for generations young and old are abound in this marshy area from hiking to biking, seducing the very thought of busy city life being miles away.
While it was a short 24hr stay, it was a privilege to lay our weary heads at the luxurious Madison Beach Hotel resting on the very end of Wharf Street.
Adorned with specialty soaps, terrycloth bathrobes, and pillow top mattresses, washing the day away becomes a blissful retreat. The imminence of sweet dreams are made possible by the decadent chocolates at turn down. Mornings were laced with warm rays of sunshine rising over this waterfront property and freshly delivered hot coffee & tea. Room service breakfast was a tasty convenience and the omelets were especially fresh and delightful.
If the fairytale vibe and pampered feeling is your thing then be sure to also take advantage of their amazing spa services!
Many weddings and special events are hosted at the Madison Beach Hotel where service is clearly above all.
Eat like a local and enjoy a comfortable, unpretentious meal, byway of a 3 minute walk down to Christy's Madison, where they are known for their gigantic piping hot pancakes! Proudly boasting over 40 varieties of Pancakes you are sure to find your favorite!
Charming and quaint, Madison is the perfect coastal Connecticut destination, only about 90 minutes from NYC and the Hudson Valley. Although we love our road trips, it was so convenient to find this nautical nook without having to lug ourselves all the way out i-95 and 495. And I must give a proper shout out to the BEST place to get a Lobstah Roll! Head east on i-95 over 3 exits to Clinton. Down to the waterfront stop by Lobster Landing (open seasonally) 152 Commerce St, Clinton, CT.
Everyone's heard of mud season but with messy March mud comes sweet maple syrup! Frosty nights and sunny spring days start the snow to melting and sap to running. Before you know it, sugar shacks come alive with steam bellowing from their roofs. You can go for a visit, meet the makers, and taste pure Vermont syrup just as its made! In April, queue the symphony! Songbirds return and peepers sing while trees begin to bud. Spring is for fleeting moments, every day different than the next. Go fly fish the Vermont rivers, catch the daffodils blooming, and enjoy the world waking up.
Manchester Center is a quaint little downtown with structures reminiscent of the Norman Rockwell era. The town is dotted with luxury outlets featuring elevated brands like Brooks Brothers, Kate Spade and Vineyard Vines. Need to step up your snuggle game? Be sure to stop by the Pendleton store on Depot Street. Pendleton is known for their iconic American style woolen blankets. Admittedly I went in to feel all the wool and fantasize about having a Pendleton blanket in every room of my house and I left with a new handbag, a summer scented candle, and a wool zip hoodie. I'm pretty sure those springtime songbirds are really just whistling at my shopping talents.
Take a break from mud season, grab a book, and allow your body to slump into one of Northshire's wonderfully weathered leather couches. The Northshire Bookstore features miles of popular new book releases (as well as old classics) accompanied with quirky novelty gifts that are sure to please the most persnickety recipients. Recharge your batteries with a foamy hot cappuccino at the Spiral Press Cafe conveniently located within the book store. With it's eccentric, yet woodsy atmosphere, stress departs and contentment moves right in. A practice the locals have seemed to master.