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Jun 18, 2014 12:16 PM

Splurge Anniversary Weekend

Hi Everyone,

My husband and I are celebrating our 12th anniversary this year with a night away and a great dinner and brunch out. It will be our first collective night away from our son and we have a sitter all lined up. Because we get out much less often than pre-kids, we like to have fabulous dinners or unique experiences when we celebrate.

For example, two years ago we celebrated at the chef's table for 2 in L'Espalier's kitchen and last year we went to Barbara Lynch's Stir in Boston. This year, I'm a bit stumped, since I am pairing a night away at a hotel. Finding the perfect mix, dinner worthy of an anniversary and the same with lodging, is not quite working.

These are the two options we have so far:

1) Apple Street Farm dinner in Essex (Frank McLelland of L'Espalier), followed by an overnight in the Cape Ann area at a quaint B&B. The next day we'd walk around quaint towns and grab brunch.

2) Stir (yes, again) followed by a night at the Liberty Hotel in Boston on points. The next day we could walk around Boston and grab a great brunch.

So, what are the issues? While #1 is a unique option, I've heard that while it's something we should do at least once, the food may not be as great as L'Espalier. Plus, there are a lot of mosquitoes (and I get eaten alive)! Also, we can't find anniversary worthy lodging. Most nice places require a 2-night stay.

As for #2, while Stir may seem repetitive, the dinners are themed, so they change nightly. You'd never have the same experience. On the other hand, it is repetitive. Also, since we are from Boston, it doesn't seem as special. On the other hand, we never actually stay in Boston and the Liberty (free on points!) is a fabulous lodging option.

So, I guess what I am really asking is what places could you recommend that would have great food options and anniversary worthy lodging? We would be willing to drive approximately 2 hours from Boston.

Someone else recommended the White Barn Inn in Kennebunkport, which is right up our alley, but the Inn doesn't have any availability for 1 night ...

I'm posting here, in the Southern New England Board and Boston Board too.

Thank you in advance!

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  1. I am partial to Portsmouth. you can't go wrong at Cava or the bar at Jumpin Jay's if seafood is high on your list.
    Cava has a chef's table,
    The Black Trumpet gets very high marks on CH but its never been a favorite for me.
    The Ale House Inn is fun, different kind of place to stay.
    Plenty of places for breakfast and lots to see walking around.
    Not alot of mosquitoes either. Happy Anniversary!

    2 Replies
    1. re: grumpyspatient

      Thank you! These places look good, unfortunately Ale House has a 2 night minimum over the summer, which is the issue I've been encountering at a lot of places, sadly.

      1. re: krisa20

        not sure if you have made your plans yet, but have you checked into

        I bet you could find a very interesting room in any location you might like for one night at a good rate. we are heading to spain in the fall and have booked a studio in barcelona for about 1/2 the price of a hotel. really worth checking out.

    2. Stowe Mountain Resort is fabulous. Very beautiful and romantic, incredibly good food at Solstice. Though it's a bit more than the 2 hours (closer to 3, depending on where you start).

      1. I'd recommend the Cape Arundel Inn and Ocean over the White Barn, but Cape Arundel also has a 2 night minimum, too.

        In Portland you could stay at the Westin Portland Harborview, (an historic 1920s hotel with a rooftop bar that's been very recently gutted and rehabbed), the Portland Harbor Hotel, or the Hyatt Place Old Port and dine at Hugo's or Fore Street. If you wanted to deviate from fine dining into high end casual, there's Central Provisions or Lolita. We're a big brunch town--a few good brunch options include Piccolo, 555, Eventide, Pai Men Miyake--

        1 Reply
        1. re: sultanaboudreau

          Thanks! Actually, we are headed up to Portland next weekend for the 4th. We are staying at the Westin on points and I just posted another post with my itinerary. Maybe you have some advice on that? Here is the post. Thanks again.

        2. Yeah I think it might be easiest to go to a city where the 2 nite minimum rule isn't in effect. Portland and Portsmouth would be my first choices cuz they have that seaside feel, Burlington w/ the lake and mountains, Providence, anything fancy in Northampton?

          2 Replies
            1. re: Morganna

              My anniversary is in August. I think we are going to stick to Boston and stay at the Liberty. We've been to Portsmouth and we are going to Portland next week. Providence would be great, as I haven't spent much time there, but all the places we want to stay at are already booked. These ideas will come in very useful for next year though. Thanks everyone!

          1. I just heard about this one night package in Ogunquit. The place is stunning:


            I would couple it with this restaurant:


            but there are lots of good dinner and brunch options in the area.