MP and the kids traveled to Camden Winterfest in late January, and had the good fortune to stay at the Hawthorn Inn Bed & Breakfast. Built in 1894, the charming, 10-room inn is located in Camden’s High Street historic district and is within walking distance to Main Street. The visit marked the kids’ first bed and breakfast experience.
“This is where we’re staying?” CP#2 asked when we arrived. “It’s not a hotel. It’s a mansion!” he announced. MP told the kids that B&B’s are often large, historic houses with multiple rooms for guests. “And in the morning,” she explained, “we get to meet other guests and enjoy a special homemade breakfast.” Delighted by the news, the kids grabbed their luggage from the car and hurried to the front porch. When we reached the door, we were greeted by Lisa Weiss, who co-owns the Hawthorn Inn with her husband, Ted. The couple moved to Maine from Pennsylvania in 2014, and have owned the inn for nearly two years.
Lisa is the kind of relaxed person who makes you feel at home right away. We talked about the upcoming Pies on Parade, a fundraiser for the local food pantry, while she gave us a tour of the front parlor, library and dining room. The first floor of the inn has several cozy seating areas for families to sit and spend time together. We especially enjoyed the library, where we discovered a fireplace with a beautiful, wooden mantel and shelves stocked with novels and board games. Lisa invited us to take any games we liked up to our room.
Coffee, tea, fruit and homemade muffins are left for guests to enjoy on a nearby buffet table. To MP’s surprise, using the Keurig was the kids’ favorite part of our stay. They loved filling their mugs with herbal tea and of course, helping themselves to treats. Lisa didn’t mind, in fact, she laughed and said she remembered her own children enjoying this kind of independence.
Our family-size room, called Norfolk, was located in the two-story red Carriage House next door. Lisa helped us with our luggage and walked us into the room. “Wow! This is awesome!” CP#2 shouted. CP#1 claimed the day bed and her brother decided to take the pull-out trundle, which meant MP had the king-size bed all to herself! The room was also equipped with a gas-log stove and a jacuzzi tub (the second favorite amenity for the kids). Glass doors opened to a deck that overlooked the backyard with a glimpse of Camden Harbor.
Lisa left MP with keys for the room, and checked in about breakfast the next morning. Ted was making an egg dish with fresh fruit, and Lisa wanted to be sure these choices sounded amenable to the kids. MP had encouraged CP#1 and #2 to try everything, but she appreciated Lisa checking in on their likes and dislikes.
She chatted with Lisa about options for dinner, and was happy to discover that her favorite Thai restaurant, Long Grain, offered take out. After a busy day at the Snow Bowl, MP decided a quiet night in the room, reading and playing games, would be just the thing.
In the morning, MP awoke to the kids flanked on either side of her. Thank goodness for king-size beds! The early morning light peered through the curtains and MP got herself up and dressed. She knew the kids would want to go down for breakfast as soon as they woke.
Our breakfast included a surprising treat – a pink grapefruit prepared like creme brûlée with browned sugar and cream at the top. The juicy grapefruit and sweet topping made for a delicious start to our meal. Lisa offered juices to the kids in stemmed glasses, making them feel very grown up, and poured dark roast coffee for MP. Our next course was a roasted tomato and egg tart made with creamy ricotta cheese and gruyere, accompanied with a side of scrambled eggs garnished with green onions.
All of us felt so relaxed and spoiled, we decided to enjoy a slow and easy Saturday morning. The kids took turns in the jacuzzi and MP read some of her book. Our only plans were a visit to an ice-sculpting and ski jump competition at Harbor Park & Amphitheater around noon time. Lisa generously offered to let us keep our car in the driveway and walk to the park (there’s a path that leads to the library from the backyard).
If staying at the inn wasn’t enough of a treat, the weather outside was 55 degrees and sunny, making it feel like a spring day. We spent the afternoon in Camden, experiencing Winter Fest, browsing the shops on Main Street and enjoying a late lunch at the Drouthy Bear, an authentic Scottish pub that Lisa recommended.
We loved our overnight getaway to the Hawthorn Inn. The short trip to Camden was a fantastic way to introduce the kids to bed and breakfast stays, and without a doubt, the experience was a special treat for a busy Mom like MP! Many thanks to Lisa and Ted for their hospitality.
FMI on the Hawthorn Inn, visit here.