News, events, and musings from Pilgrim’s Inn
Celebrate Spring on Deer Isle
After a long cold winter the first signs of Spring are finally appearing in coastal Maine! The days are longer and temperatures are moving out of the single digits and into the 30's and 40's. Soon we will be opening up Pilgrim's Inn, painting, repairing, cleaning, organizing, and getting ready to welcome our guests back for a new season starting on May 9th.
Come celebrate spring on Deer Isle with "Wings, Waves & Woods" weekend, May 16-18. This special annual event gets more popular every year and is a great opportunity to learn more about the natural environment and the art it inspires in our special region of Maine.
Well known bird expert Bob Duchesne starts off the weekend with a trip to Marshall Island, the largest un-developed and protected island on the Eastern seaboard. Friday night offers a gallery reception with work by over 40 artists, refreshments and the opportunity to socialize with fellow enthusiasts. Throughout the weekend many opportunities exist to observe and learn about birds and our local natural environment, through walks, workshops, cruises and art classes. You can view the full schedule of events here.
When you make a a reservation at Pilgrim's Inn for two or more nights and participate in this special event, you'll receive a 10% discount off of the posted room rate.
Our season at Pilgrim's Inn in coastal Maine runs from May - October, so whether you come to the Island to welcome Spring in May, or say goodbye to Autumn in October, be sure to make your reservations soon!
Labels: birding, deer isle, Events, Maine coast
posted by Your Innkeepers @ 2:04 PM
Why a visit to Deer Isle should be on your bucket list
When friends and family ask why we chose to move to the coast of Maine to run Pilgrim's Inn on Deer Isle, it is not a difficult question to answer. It's similar to what we tell guests when they ask why they should travel off the beaten path to our little island. The answer - because you'll experience a way of life that is authentic and real; you'll find the reason why so many artists, writers, musicians, and adventure seekers find their way to our special neck of the Maine coast; you'll be re-connected to a simpler way of life and leave feeling renewed and refreshed.
Unlike well travelled areas such as Camden and Bar Harbor, Deer Isle offers the chance to experience quiet coves and hiking trails with views and vistas that help you decompress from modern life. Here you'll have the opportunity to view our beautiful coastline by kayak, sail or lobster boat, visiting the many islands surrounding ours, or cruising the world famous Penobscot Bay. Or spend your day meeting the artisans and artists who have settled here, inspired by the natural beauty to create their art. Visit their in-home galleries and workshops and watch them at their craft- you'll be sure to return home with treasures to remind you of your visit.
If you're a meanderer, follow one of our self-guided tours of the surrounding towns of the Blue Hill Peninsula. Take a lunch and picnic in the field overlooking the harbor in Brooklin then visit the world famous Wooden Boat School. Or grab a bite at "Bagaduce Lunch" (winner of a James Beard "American Classic" award) and sit on the picnic tables overlooking the falls and inlet. Afterwards visit Bucks Harbor where author Robert McCloskey wrote "Blueberries for Sal" and other classic children's books. Or head up to the town of Blue Hill whose annual country fair inspired EB White to write "Charlotte's Web."
If you're a fan of the "farm to table" or 'localvore" way of life, then you can't find a better bounty than in our section of Maine. The "back to the land" movement that started here has inspired the creation of dozens of organic farms , including the famous "Four Season Farm" in Cape Rosier. You'll find fresh cheeses, organic vegetables, grass fed meats, oyster farms, fresh cut flowers, locally roasted coffee, fresh hand crafted breads and beautiful hand made chocolates at our many farm stands and farmers markets.
And who can forget the lobster -- you wont' find any better than in Stonington, where lobstering is not just an industry, it's a way of life. As the "most productive lobster port" in Maine Stonington on Deer Isle has plenty of lobster for you to enjoy for and breakfast, lunch or dinner.
The reasons to experience Deer Isle in Downeast Maine are endless, so when people ask us why we are here, or why they should visit -- our answer is "sit down and let us tell you all about it." To learn more please view our video!
Labels: artisans, crafts, deer isle, farm to table, hiking trails, lobster, localvore, Maine coast, Maine vacation, Penobscot Bay
posted by Your Innkeepers @ 9:26 PM
Visiting the Deer Isle or Stonington farmers market at this particular point in August takes me back to my childhood when a trip to the beach, or a day on the waters of New England were followed by a stop at a farm stand, where we loaded up with plump tomatoes and sweet corn. At the often un-attended small shack on the side of the road, we felt privileged the owners trusted us to leave the correct amount of money, so we were always sure to count it out carefully.
Coated in sand and salt and glowing with the effects of the sun, we'd take our bounty home where my mother would serve the tomatoes with a pinch of both sugar and salt, and dinner would offer that perfect combination of fresh corn, sliced tomatoes, and boiled new potatoes with butter. For me, those wonderful vegetables were the stars of the meal, and the meat or fish was the accompaniment. If blueberries were still lingering, then homemade blueberry pie would complete the experience. This was back in the day when August was lazy and relaxed, and excessive use of sunscreen, or the dread of returning to school before September didn't exist.
I can't imagine a life without these experiences, which is why Deer Isle and this particular neck of the Maine coast are so wonderful and unique within the context of our busy, complicated world. We are blessed with many organic farms and farmers markets, and you'll still find those un-attended farm stands that bring out the best in us. That intoxicating combination of salt air, a day on the water, late summer sun, and earthy vegetables, is something every child should have in their memory bank.
The Deer Isle farmer's market takes place every Wednesday starting at 9:30AM, and the Stonington market is Fridays at 10AM. For a day at the beach or on the water, Sand Beach in Stonington, and Old Quarry Ocean Adventures for a kayaking trip are good bets. -- Tina Oddleifson
Labels: August, deer isle, farmers markets, Maine coast
posted by Your Innkeepers @ 5:29 PM
The view "from away"
This week I had the opportunity to experience Deer Isle as a visitor "from away" when a family member rented a house for an extended stay on the island and offered me a few days respite from managing and owning Pilgrim's Inn during our busy season. Exploring the island from the perspective of a guest reminded me of how truly relaxing and wonderfully unique our Down East island is for those looking to shed the stresses of modern life.
We explored several nature preserves and public lands owned or managed by Island Heritage Trust
including the Barred Island Preserve and Scott's Landing, along with visits to Sand Beach and Mariner's Park owned by the Town and local Garden Club. Each offered classic Maine coastal views and opportunities for quiet reflection in nature -- wisps of fog floating in the air made the landscape mystical.
Exploring our numerous art galleries (see a list at Deer Isle Galleries
and Stonington Galleries
) resulted in the purchase of two beautiful necklaces, one from the Turtle Gallery
, in Deer Isle village where owner Elena Kubler arranges thoughtful collections of fine art and crafts in her classic Maine barn and gardens; the other from Marlinespike Chandlery
in Stonington, where owner Tim Whitten creates unique knotted necklaces encasing stones and sea glass, amongst the many other things in his eclectic shop. A stop by Dockside Gifts offered us a winning view of Stonington Harbor from its back deck, along with an outstanding collection of books from local authors and others with Deer Isle connections
Lunch on the deck of "Aragosta", a new restaurant on Main street.in Stonington inspired my aunt to retrieve her traveling water color set from her purse, so she could sketch and paint the working harbor, with Isle au Haut emerging gracefully in the background. A delicious "farm to table" lunch was followed by an old fashioned ice cream cone from Harbor Ice Cream in Deer Isle village, enjoyed while sitting on the outside benches, watching the world go by. After our cones disappeared on the hot summer day, we strolled across the street to the Periwinkle, where owner Neva Beck offers just the right amount of books, gifts,and penny candy in her charming gift shop.
On Wednesday morning we visited the Deer Isle Farmers Market where vendors offer organic produce, cheeses, artisan breads and other prepared foods, and in the afternoon a visit to Nervous Nellies Jams and Jellies
where relatives loaded up on jars of jam, was followed by a stroll through the whimsical creations of sculptor Peter Beerits. We ended our day with a cold drink while seated in an Adirondack chair overlooking the mill pond at Pilgrim's Inn, followed by a delicious meal at our restaurant, the Whale's Rib Tavern.
A few days were spent exploring the treasures of the Blue Hill peninsula, above Deer Isle, but that's a story for another blog post. A trip to Deer Isle, overlooking Penobscot Bay on the Maine coast is an experience not to be missed -- even by those of us who live here. --- Tina Oddleifson, Pilgrim's Inn
posted by Your Innkeepers @ 11:07 AM
Local, Organic, Vegan, and Gluten Free
One of the biggest challenges we face at the Whale' Rib these days is designing a menu that meets an increasingly complex list of demands from customers --from local, organic and sustainable, to gluten free, vegan, and affordable. We also must minimize food waste and create a manageable menu for our size, while appealing to a wide variety of people within a small area so that everyone feels welcomed at the Whale's Rib.
This year we are offering a vegan soup that changes seasonally, and our quinoa and kale cakes with grilled portabella mushroom are both vegan and gluten free. We also offer several vegetarian appetizers and entrees for those who only choose to eliminate meat. In addition many of our dishes are naturally gluten free as we do not use wheat flour to thicken sauces and of course don't use any processed foods.
You will always find a salad on our menu that is sourced from local farms like Yellow Birch and Carding Brook, and this summer we will be offering an organic chicken dish that is sourced completely from local farms. We also offer plenty of local shellfish like Deer Isle steamers and lobsters, Blue Hill mussels, Maine raw oysters (on Thursdays), and will soon have our local cheeseboard back on the menu featuring local and Maine made cheeses.
|Peeper Ale from Maine Beer Company|
We are also fans of the many Maine micro brews available today and our beer list is dominated by products made in Maine.
There are some dishes that by nature will not ever be vegan or gluten free, like our house-ground Whale's Rib burger, but can be adapted when ordering. If you are a vegetarian, you can always ask for a grilled portabella mushroom cap in place of meat if you are craving that burger experience (it's really tasty with blue cheese and balsamic drizzle), or order the meat without the bun for a gluten free option. It's a brave new world out there and we welcome your feedback.
Labels: gluten free, local, Maine, organic, Pilgrim's Inn and Whale's Rib Tavern, vegan
posted by Your Innkeepers @ 5:37 PM
New Season, New Events
April marks the beginning of a brand new season! Next week we'll be getting out the paint brushes, rakes, cleaning supplies and tools to spruce up Pilgrim's Inn so it's ready to greet our visitors starting Mother's Day weekend in May.
We are looking forward to new events and activities on the island, particularly "Wednesday's and a half" sponsored by the newly formed Deer Isle Galleries and Studios. On the second Wednesday of the month from July - September, twenty-two galleries and artisans right in Deer Isle village, will sponsor receptions, demonstrations, gallery talks, trunk shows and more. Our restaurant, the Whale's Rib Tavern will entice you to these events by offering special discounts to attendees on the day of the show. To learn more about these special events visit Deer Isle Galleries and Studios.
We are also gearing up for the "Wings, Waves & Woods" event taking place on Deer Isle, May 17-19th. This event celebrates the spring bird migration with three days of nature walks, boat trips, lectures, art demonstrations, a special dinner and more. When you stay at Pilgrim's Inn, you'll enjoy 10% off your room rate, just for participating! For more information take a look at the Wings, Waves & Woods schedule.
Spring also marks the time when we offer the very best rates and specials of our entire season. From "Hospitality for Habitat" discounts in May, to mid-week get your third night free specials in May and June, you'll find that May and June can be the best time to visit Pilgrim's Inn and Deer Isle. Take a look at our spring newsletter
for more information.
posted by Your Innkeepers @ 1:45 PM
Thinking of spring
Winter in Maine is a time to relax and turn inward. Quietness settles over us like the thick blanket of snow we see outside the window, and winter winds chase us indoors where roaring fires beckon us to relax beside their cheery flames.
Like the local fisherman who repair their lobster traps during the winter, we too spend time reflecting on the season, and looking forward to the next. New ideas and new ways to delight our Pilgrim's Inn guests are discussed and put in place as we wait for the upcoming year to begin.
We begin dreaming of the promise of spring, when the summer crowds are not yet here, and when the blues, pinks and purples of wild lupine blanket the landscape. Springtime on Deer Isle offers our guests the very best rates of the season, along with numerous activities and events to entice them to our tiny island.
We kick off our season on Mother's Day weekend, May 10th with a special offer to treat you and your mom to a three course dinner when you stay two nights at the inn. Our annual "Wings, Waves & Woods" event on the weekend of May 17th offers birders and outdoor enthusiasts the opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the island, and to take home a memory in the form of artwork by our numerous artists and artisans. Lupine Festival weekend in June attracts photographers the world over, and special outdoor activities offer you the chance to see the island from a new perspective.
We also offer special discounts through opportunities such as "Hospitality for Habitat" an annual fundraising event of the Maine Innkeepers Association , where select rooms in participating inns like ours are available at half their normal rate in exchange for a $35 donation to Habitat for Humanity. And our mid-week "stay two nights get the third night free"offer in combination with our already low spring rates gives you the chance to experience our special inn and island, all while saving you money. Visit our specials page
for more details.
But for now we are warming ourselves with a cup of tea by the fire, waiting patiently for the snows to melt and springtime to arrive. We hope to see you then!
posted by Your Innkeepers @ 11:14 AM