I was so excited last Fall when I learned that renowned chef and restaurateur Alice Waters had written another children’s book about her daughter Fanny. I remember well when I first saw Fanny at Chez Panisse in a bookstore back in the mid 90’s.
You know that feeling when you see a book that looks interesting, and you casually pick it up, and as you’re fanning through the pages, your pulse starts to quicken and your senses go on high alert because, because — oh my, what’s this? wow! LOVE, yes! it’s love at first sight!?
I had not seen a book like that before — a children’s story with illustrated recipes! Usually stories were stories and recipes lived in cookbooks. But to combine the two? Brilliant!
So began my obsession newfound interest in food-related children’s books and illustrated cookbooks. I also wanted to move to Berkeley, California, immediately so I could dine regularly at Chez Panisse.
“England, with its history and air of magic, the soil and woods thick with meanings that survive in fragments, is an empire of imagination.” ~ T.S. Eliot
Fancy a drive along a winding country road, rolling green hills and grey stone walls as far as the eye can see? Perhaps a leisurely stroll along an ancient footpath across a meadow resplendent with wildflowers?
Maybe you’d rather visit Beatrix Potter’s house, explore the formal gardens of a stately home, find a welcoming inn for a spot of tea, or join the convivial conversation at a neighborhood pub.
This gorgeous, handwritten, illustrated diary chronicles the two months in 2012 when Susan and her true love Joe wandered around England from Tenterden, Kent, up to the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales, and down through the Cotswolds.
One of the “main” reasons I was anxious to visit Southern Maine recently was because I kept hearing about the great food in Portland.
Bon Appétit called it “The Foodiest Small Town in America,” while others in-the-know freely describe Portland as “a foodie’s paradise,” a major dining destination not only in New England but the entire Northeast.
Second only to San Francisco in restaurants per capita, the largest city in Maine may not be a major metropolis like New York or Boston, but when it comes to good food, it’s big on appeal, quality, and innovation. If you know Portland at all, you know it’s fertile ground for creative types, so it’s no surprise that cooking is enthusiastically celebrated and embraced as a fine art. It’s all about showcasing fresh local ingredients and maximizing the unique wealth of resources that circle the city (farms, apiaries, fishing grounds, dairies, smokehouses).
The Pomegranate Inn — funky, whimsical, eclectic, fun, beautiful, sophisticated and surprising — is the art museum of your wildest dreams.
Not only can you feast your eyes on sumptuous prints, paintings, textiles, mosaics, sculpture, antique furniture, rugs, murals, mirrors, lamps, and fetching objets d’art, you can live, read, nosh, daydream, and sleep in their midst.
Did you ever think an innkeeper could curate fantasy and imagination in the name of comfort and hospitality? Or blend classical art with contemporary, East with West, throwing in a bit of vintage chic to stunning effect, making you feel like you were house-sitting an artsy friend’s very cool digs?
This distinctive gem of a boutique inn, located on a quiet residential street in Portland’s West End, doesn’t feel like a typical small city hotel, and it’s certainly not your grandmother’s Victorian lace doily B&B. The Pomegranate is Alice in Wonderland meets Aubrey Beardsley and Matisse meets Duncan Phyfe and Architectural Digest with a twist of the Eastern Han Dynasty. And that’s just one room.
I used to think I’d never want to be a sea captain’s wife. Waiting, always waiting for his ship to come in. Pacing, forever pacing the widow’s walk. Are those his sails I see on the horizon? Is another storm rolling in? Maybe he’ll bring me a cache of fragrant spices from the East Indies. 🙂
Well, all this was before I stayed at The Captain Jefferds Inn, one of several former sea captains’ mansions in Kennebunkport that’s been converted to a Bed & Breakfast. I guess those salty sea captains, engaged as they were in lucrative trade and shipbuilding, liked having tangible symbols of their wealth and status on full display in the community. It was good of them to provide their left-behind wives with a nice place to hang out in their absence, don’t you think?
Captain William Jefferds was especially lucky. Rather than having to build his own mansion, he and his wife Sarah received their beautiful Federal-style home as a wedding gift from Sarah’s father. It was built in 1804, and it wasn’t long before the pitter patter of twenty-two little feet echoed within its walls. I doubt Sarah was ever bored when William was out to sea. Come to think of it, with eleven children, it doesn’t sound like William was gone all that much. 🙂