Lincolnville: Mid-Coast Magic

Moody's Diner & Motel early morning

We sold our home surprisingly quickly and had a huge case of seller’s remorse.  Friends recommended a getaway to the Inn at Ocean’s Edge in Lincolnville, a serene, secluded 22-acre compound set on beautiful Penobscot Bay about a mile from the Camden border. The luxurious cottage-chic rooms and suites with ocean views, granite-edged infinity pool, woodland setting and award-winning restaurant sounded like a perfect setting to recover from our real-estate blues.

A soft fog was rolling across the quiet Camden Hills as we arrived. Birds called and cooed.  Curved pathways follow artfully stacked firewood from pool to restaurant to inn to oceanside.  A grassy slope rolls down to the bay past contemporary poolside condos, infinity pool and sophisticated landscaping — nice.

We enjoyed a leisurely start on a sunny terrace overlooking the sea. Breakfast included mugs of steaming Carrabassett coffee, freshly baked breads and muffins, ripe berries and two perfectly poached eggs.  And I mean perfect.  The real world was definitely receding, fast.

Fragrant Glendarragh Farm shop in downtown Camden

Wonders and Wares

In downtown Camden, the heady scent of lavender drew us into Glandarragh Farm shop with an incredible array of dried and fresh bouquets, soaps and lotions. Impressed, we headed for its namesake farm in Appleton where the varietal lavender is grown and harvested. Watch for the opening festival the first week in July, and taste the lavender shortbread cookies!

On your way to the farm, stop at the Hope General Store for specialty sandwiches — try the Barnestown or Hatchet Mountain.  Both taste best when eaten on the banks of the Saint George River.  This “real” general store also carries eclectic items like Vegemite and Gentlemen’s Relish.  Definitely worth a peek.  And don’t miss the Ben Leavitt Metalwork barn across the way where even a simple hinge is a work of art.

Windsor Chairmakers

At Windsor Chairmakers in Lincolnville I fell in love with a robin’s egg blue Shaker stool.  The friendly owners don’t mind folks wandering through the open workshop and barn — visitors receive a crash course in crafting fine furniture.  Best of all, you’re encouraged to touch the smooth, wonderful wood surfaces.

Swans Island Blanket Company in Northport weaves the “salt air and happy sheep of Maine” into each blanket, runner and throw.  The gorgeous espresso-brown blankets woven from rare black sheep reminded me of my husband, David — also a rare Maine breed.

Another ten minutes up Route 1 will get you to beautiful Belfast. We love the quaint, sleepy waterfront and farmers market where we tasted some exquisite artisanal cheeses and honey, yum.

R&R

We returned to a crackling wood fire at the inn’s Tantalus Lounge for an Edge Martini, robust burger and hand-cut English pub fries. We noticed that almost every other table had a plate of fries as well — Chef Jan Wittle has elevated pub-food to an art. For fine dining, guests may head upstairs to The Edge restaurant where Wittle serves up comfort food with an upscale twist using locally sourced ingredients. Don’t miss his delicate crab cakes.

Sip and Savor

Cellardoor Vineyard in Lincolnville offers tastings, tours and wine-food pairings, a great way to demystify the wine experience. Try Cellardoor’s Viognier and see if you can taste hints of peach and honeysuckle.  If you feel like more than a taste, try Ephemere wine bar in Camden, a relaxing, intimate café with a generous pour.

For robust refreshment, try Zoot’s coffeehouse in Camden where the java is rich, smooth and served in a hand-thrown mug. Try their legendary seasonal smoothies — the Maine blueberry and banana is my favorite.

Francine, an intimate bistro with twinkly lights and neighborhoody ambience, is a favorite.  The fresh dayboat halibut and scallops taste of the sea.  Succulent.  The steak is always, well, perfect, and I can’t get the warm mushroom salad with truffle salt and shaved parmesan out of my mind.  Don’t miss their nearly naked salads — the baby lettuces salad is tender perfection.

On Our Way Home

After another ultra-restful night’s sleep, we head for Moody’s Diner (one egg any style and toast, $1.69), and then on to the Farnsworth Museum in Rockport.  This Maine jewel houses distinguished works by Warhol, Nevelson, and all the Wyeths — and there’s always something new. This summer’s exhibition, “Andrew Wyeth, Christina’s World and the Olson House,” includes watercolors and drawings of the Olson family and the iconic house in Cushing, Maine.

Camden shop window is a work of art

Restored

Our luxurious escape to Lincolnville offered enough privacy, comfort and fine dining for anyone going through anything.  A mere two hours from Portland, it’s a world apart from appraisals, escrow and closing costs.  Seller’s remorse was quickly replaced by salt air, exquisite flavors, and the endless horizon of Penobscot Bay.  Midcoast magic worked wonders.  •

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