Article by: Norm Goldman, Editor Sketchandtravel.com
Paintings by: Lily Azerad-Goldman
Prior to our visit to Belgrade Lakes, Maine, I had done some homework pertaining to one of Maine's best kept secrets and it was quite a revelation when I discovered that for many years well-known artists and writers had vacationed at this popular lakeside community including one of America's most prominent playwrights, Eugene O'Neill. O'Neill spent the summer of 1926 at
During the 1920s
In the 1950s playwright Ernest Thompson arrived on the scene and wrote his award winning play On Golden Pond at his family's cottage on Great Pond and he even included in his play the mail boat that is one of the few remaining delivering mail to the cottages along the shore line. Even today, you can still ride along during the summer months on the scenic pontoon mail boat that has been touring the thirty-five mile route around Great Pond since 1900 and dropping mail into over one hundred mail boxes.
When a petition was drafted to create the new town in
Although, you won't find here all the appointments that some urban resorts offer, you will nonetheless be able to commune with mother-nature and bask in the simple delights of serenity, relaxation, sounds of loons and waterfalls, and a spectacular view of the sun setting on Long Pond. The
The historic roots of the property that house the inn dates back to around 1800 and until 1988, it was a private home.
Present owners, Chris and Tracey Anderson purchased the inn in 2000, after working several years as innkeepers in
The architecture of the inn is a restored circa 1800 post and beam farmhouse, carriage house and stable. The section comprising the farmhouse has a one hundred foot wrap-around, screened porch where, and as weather permits, a three-course breakfast is served as well as the evening feast. Each of the inn's six rooms is tastefully decorated in muted, natural tones with a great deal of taupe and soft, pale greens and roses. All rooms come with private baths.
The common room, known as the great room, has an open hearth and fieldstone fireplace with oversized and overstuffed, comfortable furniture. It is here where you will find candy dishes, games and puzzles, paperbacks, snacks and beverages.
What is unique about this young husband and wife team is that not only did they have extensive experience as innkeepers before committing themselves to own their own property, but they are also talented chefs as they both graduated of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, where they first met, and as they mentioned to me, their relationship developed at first bite.
Chris's culinary skills are exemplified in the five-course superb candlelight dinners offered to their inn guests as well as to outsiders that are served inside the inn's three dinning areas or on the wrap-around screened porch overlooking the beautiful lawn where you can also view the sun set over the water. His superb cooking abilities and creative dishes bring out the best in his ingredients.
Technically, the inn is located in
Tracey involves herself with the three-course complimentary breakfast that is served every morning consisting of a beverage, fruit and a hot entrée-either an omelet with all of the trimmings or your choice of hot and cold cereals. Guests are even greeted with a welcome menu that indicates who are the new arrivals and who will be bidding their farewells. In the afternoon, there is delicious tea and cookies served in the great room.
Although civilization seems far away, the inn is an excellent base to explore historic
As for romance, there are several choice spots to enjoy a wonderful romantic picnic such as on Blueberry Hill directly across the lake from the inn that overlooks the village and lakes. There is also the summit of The Mountain featuring trails that view the lakes on both sides. Another great romantic pastime is kayaking on Great Pond, especially during the morning hours or on Long Pond at sunset. The
Incidentally, if you are wondering if the famous still pay visits to
Apparently, one of his assistants, who dined at the inn purchased a gift certificate for the Newmans and booked a dinner reservation for them. Unfortunately, at the last minute there had been a change in plans for the film schedule and Paul and Joanne had to cancel. The most disappointed person was Chris's mother who happened to be traveling to the inn for a prescheduled trip that day. Who knows, if you should be visiting this exquisite getaway venue one day, you may bump into your favorite celebrity!
Route 27, Belgrade Lakes, Maine