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

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!

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

    1. 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. 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

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

          1. re: Allstonian

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

            1. re: C. Hamster

              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

                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

                  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. 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

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

            1. re: trufflehound

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

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

                4 Replies
                1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                  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: hiddenboston

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

                      1. re: Madrid

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

                    1. 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.