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Relaxing weekend with food by a pond? Suggestions for accommodations near good food? [moved from Greater Boston Bd]

WilderPenfield May 20, 2012 05:36 PM

I'm looking for an anniversary getaway, thinking about eating Sofra-caliber goodies while lounging by pool, pond or shore. Is this possible within 90 or so minutes of Coolidge Corner? Downtown is a possibility too, but I'd prefer a change of scenery. Thanks!

  1. t
    tartandfit May 20, 2012 06:30 PM

    You can make a picnic with items from Sofra and head to Walden Pond, Crane's or Wingershaek Beach.

    1. opinionatedchef May 21, 2012 01:07 AM

      I'd direct you north to Portsmouth N.H. area or up further to So.Maine, maybe Kennebunk.There is some excellent eating in both places. You'd have to research accomodations and i don't know of any that give you both of what you seek.

      Ct. shore between New Haven and Mystic is another possibility but again, not both great room and great food. And both Ct shore and Kennebunk are a bit beyond 1 1/2 hr.

      1. cassis May 21, 2012 06:02 AM

        Spreads, salads, breads from Arax or Massis, dessert from Sofra, and picnic on grounds of Decordova, Lincoln, or the Arnold Arboretum.

        5 Replies
        1. re: cassis
          Allstonian May 21, 2012 06:12 AM

          The Arnold Arboretum only allows picnicking on Lilac Sunday, which happened a week ago.

          1. re: Allstonian
            C. Hamster May 21, 2012 01:00 PM

            Really? I've pickings there many times but never on lilac sunday

            1. re: C. Hamster
              Allstonian May 21, 2012 01:09 PM

              Yes, really. Follow the link I posted above, and you will find this:
              "The Arnold Arboretum welcomes visitors but must also protect its world-class collection of plants and historic landscape. Picnicking on the grounds is not permitted, and barbeques are prohibited."

              Or you can go here:
              and read this:
              "Tours of the lilacs and other special collections, live music, family activities, food vendors and picnicking (on this special day only), make for a memorable day."

              1. re: Allstonian
                hiddenboston May 21, 2012 02:23 PM

                It's true. I lead hikes there and was told that we can't eat lunch in the park, though it's ok on Lilac Weekend.

                1. re: hiddenboston
                  C. Hamster May 22, 2012 09:22 AM

                  Cant tell you how many times Ive spent a Sunny Sunday with a picnic and a book ... But I always go to the back side.

        2. hiddenboston May 21, 2012 07:15 AM

          Maybe get sandwiches, drinks, and desserts from Vanilla Bean Cafe in Pomfret, CT (75 minutes from Boston) and bring them over to one of the beautiful ponds at Bigelow Hollow in Union, which is about 15 miles west (and near Route 84, which would get you back to Brookline in an hour). Here's what Bigelow Hollow looks like: http://www.bostonhikes.blogspot.com/2...

          2 Replies
          1. re: hiddenboston
            trufflehound May 21, 2012 09:01 PM

            Or BBQ from BT's and head to one of many lakes in the area.

            1. re: trufflehound
              CookieLee May 22, 2012 05:22 AM

              trufflehound has actually the answer to your question. The Sturbridge Host Hotel is on a lake! BT's is just down the street! There is also a restaurant on the grounds, not particularly chowish, but it has patio seating, a screened in porch seating, and indoor seating.

          2. Berheenia May 21, 2012 07:17 AM

            Jamaica Pond is very close to you and a short distance to Centre St JP with all kinds of options.

            1. g
              galka May 21, 2012 09:21 AM

              Look here for ideas and inspiration. Bea is a queen of picnics and always goes to the most beautiful places around Boston. Just search her blog for the word picnic and you will get all sorts of great ideas.

              1. j
                Jenny Ondioline May 21, 2012 02:30 PM

                Spy Pond is the other obvious answer, besides Jamaica Pond.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Jenny Ondioline
                  WilderPenfield May 21, 2012 03:29 PM

                  Thanks for the tips and links everyone! I think my original post wasn't entirely clear: our regular Saturday outings include Sofra/Arax/taco/Clear Flour picnics at the DeCordova, East Boston Piers Park and various ponds. What I am daydreaming about -- which may not exist -- is water-adjacent inn for a weekend escape, where we could roll out of bed and enjoy scenery, pastries and coffee without doing the packing and schlepping.

                  1. re: WilderPenfield
                    hiddenboston May 22, 2012 06:26 AM

                    Hmmmm, maybe head to Scituate if you don't want to go too far?


                    1. re: hiddenboston
                      Madrid May 22, 2012 08:41 AM

                      what food would you recommend in Scituate? Restaurants, bars, and take out? Inn seems to have great views but mixed reviews/

                      1. re: Madrid
                        hiddenboston May 22, 2012 08:55 AM

                        Not sure about picnic food in Scituate, but the Barker Tavern is a very romantic old spot that has traditional American food--nice place for dinner.

                        The park area by lighthouse in Scituate is a great place to have a picnic, by the way.

                2. q
                  QCumber May 22, 2012 08:03 AM

                  How about Ermerson Inn by the Sea in Rockport, or the Ocean View Inn in Gloucester? - there are several other places pretty much right on the ocean there. Both are interesting little towns for an afternoon excursion.


                  1. m
                    momoftwo May 22, 2012 08:37 AM

                    you can put together a nice picnic at La Provence in Concord Center, then head to Walden Pond

                    1. g
                      gracenote May 25, 2012 06:51 PM

                      I agree Gloucester and Cape Ann would be a sweet overnight excursion. A warning- although there are a couple of coffee/espresso shops, the pastries are completely lackluster. If you headed a bit south to Manchester by the Sea, Essen- bakery/cafe is good.

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