Midcoast Magic

Elizabeth Margolis-Pineo 2010 © Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Store windowWe sold our home surprisingly quickly and developed a sad case of seller’s remorse.  Friends recommended a getaway to the Inn at Ocean’s Edge in Lincolnville … a 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 would be a perfect antidote to the real-estate blues.

As we pulled up, a soft fog was rolling across the serene Camden Hills. Birds called and cooed.  Curved pathways followed artfully stacked firewood from pool to restaurant to inn to ocean.  A grassy knoll swept to the Bay past contemporary poolside condos and sophisticated landscaping — nice.

We enjoyed a leisurely start on a sunny terrace overlooking the sea. Breakfast was steaming Carrabassett coffee, freshly baked breads and muffins, ripe berries and two perfectly poached eggs – and I do mean perfectThe real world was receding, fast.

Buy Local

In downtown Camden, the heady scent of lavender drew us to Glandarragh Farm shop with its array of dried and fresh lavender bouquets, soaps and lotions. Impressed, we headed for its namesake farm in Appleton where the fragrant lavender is grown and harvested. Watch for their opening festival the first week of July, and don’t miss the lavender shortbread cookies.

Stop at the Hope General Store for specialty sandwiches like the Barnestown or Hatchet Mountain, best when eaten on the banks of the Saint George River.  This authentic but eclectic general store stocks offbeat items like Vegemite and Gentlemen’s Relish. Don’t miss Benjamin Leavitt Metalworks across the road where even a simple hinge is a work of art.

At Windsor Chairmakers in Lincolnville a Shaker stool in robin’s egg blue caught my eye – it was love at first sight. Owners Nance and Jim Brown don’t mind visitors wandering through the open workshop to study the art of crafting fine furniture. Best of all, you’re encouraged to touch the smooth surfaces of tiger maple or wild black cherry. And the blue stool looks even better in our home than it did in the factory.

Swans Island Blanket Company in Northport weaves salt air and the happy sheep of Maine into each blanket, wrap, and throw.  Dyes of organic indigo, cochineal, and madder produce vibrant hues that are simply stunning.  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 and you’re in beautiful Belfast. We loved the quaint, sleepy downtown and waterfront farmers’ market where we tasted  exquisite local artisanal cheeses, breads, and honey, yum, and admired the profusion of flowering plants and vegetables. 


We returned to a crackling fire at the inn’s Tantalus Lounge for an Edge martini and an appetizer of hand-cut English fries. We noticed that almost every other table had a plate of the popular fries.

For fine dining, head in-town to one of Camden’s wonderful restaurants, like Francine, an intimate bistro with twinkly lights and neighborhoody ambiance. “Francine” serves up the freshest dayboat halibut – always succulent, tasting of the sea.  Francine’s steaks are perfectly prepared, and I can’t get enough of the warm mushrooms with shaved Parmesan and truffle salt.  The nearly naked baby greens are a garden-tender knockout.

Sip and Savor

Cellardoor Vineyard in Lincolnville offers tastings, tours, and food pairings to demystify the wine experience. Check out their delicious Viognier for hints of peach and honeysuckle.  If you feel like more than a taste, try Ephemere wine bar in Camden, a relaxing, intimate café known for a generous pour.

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

Heading Home

After another ultra-restful night’s sleep at Ocean’s Edge, we headed for Moody’s Diner where two eggs and toast is still around $2.00.  Fortified, we continued to Rockport’s Farnsworth Museum, a Maine treasure, with distinguished works by Warhol, Nevelson and all the Wyeths, plus watercolors and drawings of the Olsons and their iconic home in Cushing.

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 works.  •

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About Epicurious Travelers

Ms. Margolis-Pineo created EpicuriousTravelers.com to showcase her published work and ongoing food-travel adventures. Based in Portland, Maine, she travels frequently both in her home state and north to Montreal, her favorite North American city. Although she refuses to use the word "foodie," she has an abiding interest in food and wine. Ms. Margolis-Pineo is also a graphic designer, giving her site a decided edge in an oversaturated blogosphere. New contacts, "likes," subscribers and content are welcome!
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