Transitions sometimes lead to new traditions. My daughter Jessica and I decided that a mother-daughter weekend was in order – in fact, long overdue. For this intrepid intergenerational team, only the best would do. Of course, we chose the Black Point Inn.
Of the guesthouses that once adorned Prouts Neck, only the Southgate House – now known as Black Point Inn – remains. Surrounded by ocean and spectacular views, this gracious and historic inn overlooks the lovely horseshoe of secluded Ferry Beach. At day’s end, guests are treated to breathtaking views of the setting sun with a ghostly Mt. Washington in the distance. Mornings on the “sunset porch” are lovely too — Jess and I enjoyed several maple-syrup fueled rounds of Bananagrams in the comfy wicker chairs.
Jess likes to exercise for an hour before breakfast. I like to drink coffee and admire the view. After exquisite eggs Benedict — Jess has an egg-white omelet — we head for the Cliff Walk, a mile walk around the Neck. The rugged path climbs along ocean cliffs and rocky coast lined with wild
roses, grasses and evergreens, and we pause often to admire the glorious views, thundering waves, wheeling gulls and endless blue horizon. The Cliff Walk is rough in spots, so wear sensible shoes — even Jess eschewed flip-flops for sneakers.
The Cliff Walk passes the Winslow Homer Studio, currently undergoing restoration, due to open to the public in September 2012. Prouts Neck’s incredible views inspired some of his most memorable works, including “The Fog Warning,” “Undertow,” and “Weatherbeaten.”
It’s a short walk to tennis courts, a beautiful green golf course, bird sanctuary, and miles of beaches. There is a saltwater pool for those who prefer pristine laps to waves and sand. Prouts Neck is a mecca for walkers and joggers, and they’re everywhere — solo and in groups. Drivers should use caution as the s-l-o-w speed limit is rigorously enforced. I was pulled over and issued a stern warning while Jess stifled giggles.
We settled into the Chart Room in late afternoon as groups and families gathered, and small children’s voices rising above the friendly din. Our mother-daughter weekend blended seamlessly with the multigenerational mix at the inn. We conducted our own mini-tasting with bartender Bennett Luja and some of the Inn’s most popular cocktails — the Prout’s Neck, Maine Blueberry Martini, Chart Room Cosmopolitan, and our favorite, the Casco Bay Bloody Mary, garnished with a giant tiger shrimp. The Bloody was an intergenerational slam-dunk — Jess loved the Old Bay seasoning; I loved the shrimp.
“Let’s do local,” my daughter said, “a real Maine meal.” In the friendly and casual Chart Room, we started with B.P.I.’s signature salad of greens, blueberries, and goat cheese —fresh, tasty, and very local. Our first plate of Damariscotta oysters was so briny and delicious we ordered a second. The chef’s signature crab cakes were sweet and spicy, and bursting with meat. Unrepentant, we looked back on the Cliff Walk and indulged in Maine blueberry pie with whipped cream and candied ginger.
The Point dining room is more formal but equally charming. Guests dine beneath an old beamed ceiling. Walls of large windows frame dramatic ocean views. From our table, we watched waves crashing over a rocky crag over another round of Damariscotta oysters. We followed this with duck with wild rice and cherries. Don’t miss the Maine seafood scampi, a trifecta of lobster, shrimp and scallops. We shared a strawberry rhubarb tart with whipped mascarpone cheese, sampled the house-made salted caramel ice cream, and decided that mother-daughter weekends are really all about dessert.
The Black Point Inn staff is warm, intuitive and best of all, relaxed in true Maine style. They treat guests like family — only better. Manager Beverly Palmer chirps “Welcome Home!” when guests arrive, a subtle gesture that speaks volumes about the inn’s dedication to the comfort of their guests.
Out and About
If you feel the need to explore the area, Centervale Antiques on Route 1 in Scarborough is filled with lovely old silver, home furnishings, and rugs, plus has a lush outdoor seating area with Adirondack chairs for the weary traveler. Don’t miss the Cheese Iron next door, an artisanal cheese, wine and specialty food shop where we lingered over samples of Golden Rae Allagash, Beemster, and Silvery Moon cheeses, and managed to topple a display of chocolate-covered Maine blueberries. I’m sure they’re still finding them everywhere. At Len Libby, saltwater taffy and a life-sized chocolate moose draws both tourists and locals. I confess an unhealthy addiction to the chocolate covered potato chips — sinfully good.
A True Grand Dame
If you’re looking for an authentic Maine resort, Black Point Inn has it all — elegance, charm, history, sandy beaches and serenity. Miles of beautiful coastline and incredible views. Hikes and walks, plus 18 holes of golf, tennis courts, and a swimming pool. Sunsets, oysters, and Tuesday night jazz. And if that isn’t enough, fine dining in both casual and formal settings. This will always be “Perfect Prouts Neck” — a mother-daughter retreat to relax, reconnect … and eat dessert.