Captain Jefferds Inn - Kennebunkport, Maine
After all, there are plenty of options for historic inns and bed & breakfasts located along the southern Maine coast, and especially in Kennebunk and Kennebunkport (even consider the Franciscan Guest Housewww.franciscanguesthouse.com[as in Franciscan Monks], just across the bridge over in Kennebunk Beach).No, better scratch the monks probably not our style.
We wanted to travel to Maine for the weekend and there are plenty of places to stay and we wondered why so many people have so many nice things to say about the The Captain Jefferds Innwww.CaptainJefferdsInn.comIt is especially suspect when the establishment is self-anointed with the tag line of A Very Special Place.
However, the LuxuryLink.com three night package was priced right and it seemed like a perfect fit for our travel schedule, and there was space available!
We decided to book a suite for a weekend and we could draw our own conclusions.
Upon arriving at the property, the first thing we noticed were the grounds were all extremely well maintained.The attentive restoration and level of exterior care were obvious, no peeling paint and no shortcuts in details....the inn was an old seafaring captains house many, many years and it still looks great today....maybe even better than when the original built and occupied it.
Stepping inside, it is tastefully but not overly furnished or decoratednot like some inns and B&B accommodations in New Englandmany appear to be little more than cluttered antique stores or indoor flea markets.
Arrival at Kennebunkport and locating the Captain Jefferds was a breeze....our GPS directed us right up to the front entry gate of their ample off-street parking lot.
The front door was open, so we let ourselves inside.
Hi, announced Steve, the weekend manager we've been expecting you and thought you might enjoy the Adare Suite for your stay. It's on the third floor, but if you dont like climbing steps, we have other space available.
Want to look Adare?
I can handle those bags for you, he offered, as we climbed up the main hall staircase.
I love the Adare Suite, he continued, as he skillfully maneuvered both bags (heavy because we had spent the morning at the outlets in Freeport and managed to load up on bargains).
Check out the two sided fireplace, it opens into both the bathroom and right here in the bedroom, he carefully pointed out, as we entered the suite.Nice way to keep your bottoms warm on these cool Maine mornings!
Good point Steve.Nice feature to have warm bottoms on cool mornings!
After inspecting the bath, which had both a separate shower (dual shower heads interesting possibilities) and a soaking tub, complete with a small yellow duck and bubble bath, we decided this suite would do just fine
Squeeze it, said Steve, the little duck lights up!
Well, you get the idea; just starting a weekend with an illuminating yellow duck for your tub soaking time in the dark, somehow boded well for the entire stay.
Would you care to come back downstairs, suggested Steve, I can offer you a glass of wine, or maybe some coffee or tea while you finish your paper work and I explain how breakfast works.
Didnt seem like explaining breakfast would be all that complicated or necessary, but the offer of a free glass of wine was enticing.
Turns out breakfast is a big deal.Served on a fixed schedule in the formal dining room with full china and flatware and linen napkins, the meals becomes the culinary showcase for Erik Linbolm, who is the co-owner, along with is wife, Sarah.Breakfast is always a three course affair and allows the guests to meander through introduction, food and interesting chatter.During our stay, most of the other guests were return visitors from as far south as NYC and as far west at Albany.
What is impressive, is the fact Erik doesnt have a single commercial grade appliances in his small kitchen.but the magic happens morning after morning!
We were told, over the years, almost everyone asks for at least one recipe, they are neatly printed and available on handy cards, if requested.
All of the staff, including owners, Sarah and Erik Linbolm, are charming, engaging and not the least bit intrusive.They seem always to be available if information or suggestions are needed (this can be a delicate balance in guest relations.many places fail to accomplish successfullytoo much or too little, but almost never just right).
We loved the high thread count Frette bed linens (after all what is not to love about bed sheets that can range upwards of a thousand dollar a set).Frette linens are sheer luxury and all but guarantee A comfortable nights sleep.especially when teamed up with a salty Atlantic breeze wafting through your suite.
Wasnt expecting a wine listanother surprise!Although they dont serve lunch or dinner, they do maintain a small wine cellar.. what it may lack in its brevity, it more than makes up in high quality boutique choices.if champagne is your vice.you may wish to savor a bottle of Pol Roget (not many small inns in the US can boast carrying this exquisite French nectar on their wine lists).Good choice, Sarah!
How about some morning exercise?The staff has a variety of detailed maps for great morning walks or speed treksbest views of the beachestake this routewant to see the summer home of George Herbert Walker Bushtake this route down Ocean Avenue....want to get the best photos of the fishing boats.take this route.and the lists continue!
Also, a big thanks to Sarah and Erik for directing us to The Ramp Bar & Grill over in Cape Porpoise Harbor.Something special about a hardcore sports bar stuck under a gourmet restaurant, mostly filled by locals rather than tourists (ThePier 77 Restauranthttp://pier77restaurant.com/[kudos to the chef on the Moroccan cous cous with harissa] in Cape Porpoise Harbor)!
Sarah and Erik certainly seem to know all of the good places to eat and willingly assist in getting a table reserved (we especially enjoyed our meal at Grissini Italian Bistrohttp://www.restaurantgrissini.comand the Friday Night Flights proved to be a real bargain and an opportunity to ramble through their impressive wine list).
However, the late night meal at Bandaloop http://www.bandaloop.biz/proved to be one of the highlight dining experiences of the weekend. This is a very tiny establishment and it appeared everyone knew everyone (with the exception of us), so it is about the food and getting caught up on local chatter that makes for a fun time. Scott and Bridget Lee, chef/owners, have taken great efforts to source their provision from local providers and the symbiotic relationships result in fresh and healthy meals.
Most, if not all, of the popular dining haunts are crowded and it can be tough to score a weekend reservation.but check with Sarah and/or Erik and see if they can work their magic before giving up.
So, if your travels draw you to southern coast of Maine, consider The Captain Jefferds Inn.
It really is all about the details and these folks do just about everything perfect!