ALICE SHANE


Bread Board & Beyond





BEAUTY, BEAUTY EVERYWHERE … BUFFFLEHEAD COVE INN: AN INTIMATE KENNEBUNK B & B SURROUNDED BY WATER, DUCKIES, BLUE SKY…

A Striking Elegance Characterizes an Intimate Hostelry …

Initially, our rationale for overnighting at Bufflehead Cove Inn in Kennebunk, Me, was that we’re lobster lovers and wanted to celebrate my husband’s birthday at our favorite restaurant in nearby Kennebunkport (exactly one mile away) -- minus the overwhelm of Kennebunkport’s touristy atmosphere.

Never did I expect to discover so much beauty and elegance in one place, especially in a town as small and remote as Kennebunk. But here it was, as we drove through a woodsy path, dense with Fall foliage, to Bufflehead Cove Inn, a B & B skirting the banks of the Kennebunk River and its in-and-out tide. We were in need of peace and serenity and this was it.

Our arrival was heralded by Bufflehead Cove Inn’s owner, Harriett Gott, whose hospitality extended to personally delivering glasses of wine, cheese and crackers to our room, goodies that we eagerly welcomed, having driven 150 miles. Mrs. Gott, her husband, James Gott, and son, Erin, run this B & B, with the attitude that their guests should receive their undivided attention.

Our spacious accommodations (The Hideaway), were nestled in a separate cottage next to the main building, with the Kennebunk River only a few feet away, floor to ceiling windows revealing the entire watery, woodsy, ducky panorama.

Our room (some people would describe it as a suite) had a double-sided fireplace that warmed the bedroom area and living room (replete with comfy couch and easy chair) in the cool of the evening. An outdoor porch faces the river. Indoor amenities include whirring paddle fans; a double Jacuzzi in the bathroom, a refrigerator discreetly hidden in a closet, WiFi., luxury bed linens, pillows galore.

Of course, none of this poshy-woshyness comes cheap, even in an out-of-the-way place such as Kennebunk, but this was my husband’s birthday and a splurge was in order. Rates vary from $190 for the smallest room to $420 for the luxurious garden cottage.

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UPSCALE KENNEBUNKPORT: INDULGING IN LOBSTER,
A PRIVATE COTTAGE AT MAINE STAY INN

A Luxurious Mini-Vacation That Renews …


Several times a year, my husband and I journey to Kennebunkport for one purpose: to gorge on lobster. True, you can get lobster anywhere, but we happen to think that some of the best specimens come from Kennebunkport.

This year, we tried something new: we reserved a cottage instead of a room. We figured that we’d have more privacy. We also liked the idea of parking our car right outside the cottage door so that parking in this busy touristy town would a non-issue. To that end, we reserved a cottage at the historic Maine Stay Inn, located in the center of Kennebunkport, on Maine Street.

Our comfy cottage had a gas fireplace that took the edge off of the evening chill, a king-sized bed with cushy linens, plus a kitchenette with a fridge to chill our wine, plus a microwave.

The color scheme was tasteful – subtle shades of blue, highlighted by white. The bathroom was all white, meticulously clean, replete with a whirlpool bathtub, lots of towels and the usual lotions and creams we like to find in our accommodations.

Our comfy one-night stay over was topped off by a dinner at the Hurricane Restaurant: perfection. The service was impeccable, our stuffed lobsters divine, and our appetizers – a shared plate of Oysters Rockefeller and Clams Casino – yummy. We also ordered a bottle of sparkling wine, priced at a miniscule $23.00. Desert was an ultra delicious chocolate mousse confection.

This type of mini-vacation allows us indulge our love of lobster and totally relax without disrupting of our busy lives.

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WINO'S WORLD: UNCORKING THE TRUTH BEHIND SYNTHETIC CORKS, SCREW-OFF CAPS


If you’ve been having problems uncorking bottles of wine, it’s because, increasingly, vineyards are using synthetic (plastic) corks instead of the natural product. Plastic corks are notoriously difficult to extract from bottles, which is why I prefer the real thing.

Wineries are jumping on the synthetic cork band wagon because they want to avoid “corked” wine, whereby cork can become moldy and/​or crumbly, supposedly affecting the taste and smell of the wine. But wine experts say the mold is caused by seepage which is no big deal.

Either way, my preference is for real cork because I hate struggling with plastic. There’s another minus associated with synthetic corks: no one knows how they effect wine over the long term – something I don’t give a hoot about because the wine around here doesn’t last long!

SCREW OFF CAPS STINK!

If you’ve been assaulted by the stench of rotten eggs upon opening a bottle of wine with a screw off cap, you’ve got lots of company – particularly if you drink New Zealand or Australian wines.

Industry mavens say screw off caps eliminate “cork taint” which supposedly attacks 5% to 10% of all wines. Yet, wine analysts at the International Wine Challenge this year reported that 2.2% of screw cap closed bottles emitted foul odors due to sulphidisation, resulting in smells reminiscent of sulfur, burning rubber or burnt matches.

Industry stats reveal that 1 in 50 screw capped wines are afflicted with this odiferous chemical reaction. However, these aberrations haven’t stopped the well-known Australian winery, Wolf Blass, from screw capping all of its wines by the end of 2007.

Remember: Hold your nose if you happen to buy a bottle of screw capped wine!!


© Alice Shane/​Alice Shane Communications. All rights reserved.



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