Sunday October 11, 2009
An unexpected repeat performance
Last week our 2009 student workers returned home to Turkey after a whirlwind visit to New York. It was great to have them with us and they enjoyed meeting our guests. However, often when our international friends leave, we can get a little glum....especially as our long, busy season winds down to a November 1 closing.
That's why it was a delightful surprise that Mihaela (see left) was able to come and work with us once again for the month of October. Mihaela was part of the crew during our 2008 season and we've stayed in touch via email and Facebook. We're excited to have her back!
While this is Mihaela's 3rd stint working in the US she's very connected to her life in Bulgaria and to Bulgarian culture. Here at the Inn, staff, innkeepers and especially guests enjoy her cheerful demeanor and graceful charm during breakfast service. Plus, it sure doesn't hurt that she's an 'old' pro at the behind the scenes workings at The Bass Cottage Inn.
Sunday October 4, 2009
Acadia Fall Foliage - Not Yet At Peak
This year it looks like our fall color will be better than ever. A wet, cool summer has been followed by a seasonal temperatures this autumn with cool nights. This is bringing on some incredible foliage displays. The good news is that you still have time to get up here and see it.
According to the State of Maine's mainefoliage.com site, Downeast Maine is at 30-50% of peak color. Typically areas to our north and west reach peak foliage first. So, instead of the inland mountains head for Acadia's rocky coast.
We're seeing some incredible oranges, yellows and deep reds juxtaposed with evergreens and the blue sky and ocean. We should have plenty of foliage color to see through the third weekend of October. And, we still have some availability at The Bass Cottage Inn where you can take advantage of reduced rates starting on October 12.
Monday September 28, 2009
Queen Victoria - Maiden Voyage to Bar Harbor Wed. September 30
While Bar Harbor gets more than it's fair share of cruise ship arrivals each fall, it is fair to say that the Town of Bar Harbor and the cruise lines have made substantial improvements that have eased the impact of cruise ship passengers. This has made a visit to the town more enjoyable for both cruise shiip tourists and land based tourists alike.
So it's with some degree of excitement that we look forward to celebrating the first arrival of Cunard Lines' QUEEN VICTORIA on Wednesday September 30 The ship itself will anchor close by in Frenchman Bay, providing lots of opportunities to view this majestic boat.
Better yet, the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce have planned lots of special activities that Bass Cottage Inn guests can enjoy.
Festivities will begin at 9:00 a.m. with the Swallowtail Fiddlers at Agamont Park just behind The Bass Cottage Inn.
9:30 a.m. Welcome Ceremony cake and presentation
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. In Agamont Park: Exhibit Center
- Abbe Museum
- Lobster Institute
- Smokey the Bear
- National Park Ranger
10 to 10:30 a.m. Sukulis (Native American drumming band) Agamont Park
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Vintage Cars on Cottage Street
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Juggler (traveling in Pedestrian Mall)
11 a.m.to12:30 p.m. Sukulis in Village Green
10 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. Criterion will show Jeff Dobb's new HD film "Acadia Always" ($5)
9, 10 and 11 a.m. Whale Watch boat trips to view QV from the water ($5 suggested donation, proceeds go to Whale Museum)
10 a.m.-12 p.m. Open House at Alone Moose Gallery- 2:00-4:00 p.m. featuring Sculptor, David Smus; 78 West Street
2:00 p.m. David Weeda, Bagpiper at the Village Green
3:00 p.m. ImprovAcadia (comedy), Bayside Landing
You might consider, also, a trip up to the summit of Cadlilac Mtn. to way goodbye to the Queen as it steams out of port as twilight approaches.
Saturday September 26, 2009
Frost you say?
Anyone familiar with Marshall Dodge of "Bert & I" fame will remember the oral essay called "Frost You Say?" It's a long monologue of Downeast performance art. Humor so dry it will pucker your funnybone. But, I digress
Here it is the end of September and winter has already sent out a scouting party to Mount Desert Island. It was in the 30s when we woke up this morning to a beautiful yet chilly day. When the air has an autumn nip to it the ocean and lakes are much warmer -- hence we get lovely mists that rise off the water to play with the leaves and the early morning sun.
Here's a shot from early this morning in Somesville. The pond in the foreground feeds into picuturesque Somes Sound. Those of us who live here all too often take scenes like this for granted because they happen every day.
We hope you pay a visit to Bar Harbor, Acadia and The Bass Cottage Inn this autumn. Bring your camera!
Monday September 21, 2009
Recipe: Bass Cottage Inn Baked Spiced Pears
These pears always elicit "oohs" and "aahs" when we serve them at breakfast. They are delicious and obviously present very well. Serves 8
4 Bosc pears, cored and peeled. Cut in half
¼ t cinnamon (preferably Vietnamese cinnamon)
1/8 t ground nutmeg
4T soft butter
4T brown sugar
1c Plain yogurt
1-1.5T Powdered sugar
1t real vanilla extract OR vanilla bean paste
Preheat oven to 350F.
Grease a baking dish with butter. Place pears cut side down in the baking dish. Combine the butter and spices and spread over the pears. Bake 20-25 minutes. Test tenderness with a toothpick. Serve warm.
To make the sauce, place yogurt in a dish, add sugar and vanilla. Whisk until well blended and smooth.
To serve, place a spoonful of vanilla yogurt sauce on a plate and spread it around a little bit. Place the pear in the middle of the sauce, cut side down. Garnish with a little of the butter spice sauce and a mint leaf.
Extra special yummy! Make them yourself or, better yet, book a visit to The Bass Cottage Inn.
Saturday September 12, 2009
Harvest Breakfast Menu at The Bass Cottage Inn
Chef Chris, Teri and I just finalized the Autumn Breakfast Menu for guests at The Bass Cottage Inn. Lots of delicious breakfast treats are in store for the weeks ahead.
We actually change the 8-day menu three times during our season. This lets us take advantage of seasonal local ingredients, as well as try new things in the kitchen. We plan lighter fare for the warmer summer months and heartier fare for the cooler days that lie ahead. (In fact, it was 44F early the other morning! Fall is just about here on MDI.)
Here are some of the new items we are debuting next week. Picture yourself in the Atrium (at left) enjoying.....
- Harvest Frittata: a delicious open faced omelet with local zucchini, summer squash, tomato and goat cheese.
- Eggs Piperade: a Basque dish, features fluffy scrambled with piperade sauce (red and green pepper, smoked ham, onion, tomato and some heat) served on buttered country toast
- Buttermilk Pancakes with Bananas Foster Sauce: rich and decadent, with bananas, brown sugar and rum. Yum!
Among some of the returning favorites are our hearty Swiss Farmer Omelet, Cranberry Walnut Pancakes and our amazing Creme Brulee French Toast. So, you'll start your active day in Acadia or on the water with the best breakfast possible!
Wednesday September 2, 2009
The Bass Cottage Inn featured in launch issue of Maine Magazine
Maine Magazine, formerly Port City Life, has been launched. While Downeast Magazine remains the queen of the Pine Tree State monthlies, "Maine" is targeting a fresher, hipper tone and appears to capture the artsier side of culture, business and life in Maine.
We are pleased that The Bass Cottage Inn is featured in a Lodging article (p. 78) by Hilary Nangle. The piece profiles two beautiful inns - The Bass Cottage Inn and our neighbors at the Ullikana Inn - located in The Field. The article says both inns share location as "a pocket of quiet and seclusion few tourists stumble upon, but also a heritage as cottages for elite rusticators" who built both inns in 1885.
The Bass Cottage Inn is described as a "most un-Victorian Victorian" and that's just the style we were going for. Ms. Nangle writes of the environment at The Bass Cottage Inn: "It's light and airy, with cream and pastel painted walls and a blend of antiques and timeless furnishings. There is not clutter, no frou-frou."
For pure entertainment, the article also relates the chain of event in our pre-innkeeping lives that brought us to Bar Harbor and The Bass Cottage Inn. Check out Maine Magazine - a welcome addition to the scene in Maine.
We also got our September 2009 copy of Coastal Living. There's great piece on Ten Great Road Trips. No. 9 is Downeast Maine. Coastal Living's recommended place to stay in Downeast Maine? The Bass Cottage Inn!
Tuesday August 25, 2009
Late Summer Musings
HOW DID YOU FIND US? BEST INNS IN AMERICA???
That's what we ask when guests call to make reservations. It's good marketing practice and we often get interesting answers. About a third of callers are repeat guests or those who were referred by past guests here at the Inn. Nothing's better than WOM (word of mouth) and we thank you! Many others who call have read our great reviews on Tripadvisor or seen us listed on directories such as Bedandbreakfast.com and BBOline.com.
This past weekend I asked "how did you find us" and the caller said: "I went to Google, typed in "Best Inn in America" and The Bass Cottage Inn came up". Hmmmm..
So I tried it myself. And got a travel article listing seven of the best inns in America. The Bass Cottage Inn was number one! Writing for Bootsnall Travel - The Ultimate Resource for the Independent Traveler, Jennifer Knoepfle recognizes EXACTLY the hospitality paradigm were were shooting for when planning The Bass Cottage Inn in 2003.
"The evolution of the Inn is possibly one for the science books. What was formally a concept that conjured up old-lady lace and tacky wallpaper has morphed in to a different one all together. In the last decade, it seems that the "Inn" has undergone a facelift (like so many these days). All over the USA, modern, stylish and luxurious Inns are popping up in the quaintest of places. A traveler can have all of the comfort of a high-class hotel while avoiding the inevitable pitfalls that can accompany them."
You never know what the world is saying about you unless you Google!
They grow some wicked tasty garlic here on Mount Desert Island. This is all celebrated on September 19 at the 12th Annual MDI Garlic Festival to be held at Smuggler's Den Campground in nearby Southwest Harbor. For 20 bucks you get an all you can eat pig roast and all sorts of tasty treats from local restaurants and microbrewers. Word is that some of the food will have some, uh, garlic. It's all to benefit the Ark Animal Shelter.
Speaking of eating we love to get away from the inn from time to time to sample the local restaurants and cafes. In addition to our normal favorites we have particularly enjoyed some new entries.
Mache Bistro, while not a new restaurant, is under new chef/ownership. We had a great dinner there recently with our next-door innkeeper friends. Everything was excellent - food, service, wine. We highly recommend Mache Bistro for a special dining occasion.
Side Street Cafe IS brand new. Located on Rodick St. next to Miguel's, you'll find a stylish, casual atmosphere, a creative menu and very hip bar. Great place for the innkeepers to escape for lunch!
OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS
Just this weekend Bar Harbor and Acadia were in the national news for very sad reasons. Many people were washed from the rocks near Thunder Hole. Several of our guests went to see the crashing waves brought on by astronomical tides and passing Hurricane Bil. Fortunately, they stayed well back from the ferocious and unpredictable ocean. After hours of conflicting reports we did hear that one little girl died. Our hearts reach out to her family and friends.
Each year many visitors to Acadia take chances or just simply have unfortunate accidents. When you visit please enjoy the natural beauty of the Park but remember to exercise caution so you can return again.
WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO AT THE INN
Couple of notable jazz albums:
- Christian McBride and Inside Straight - Kind of Brown -- cool jazz with a strong bass pacing the music and some great vibe work.
- Chick Corea and Bela Fleck - The Enchantment -- jazz piano and banjo. Does it work? Oh yeah!
Tuesday August 18, 2009
Recipe: Bass Cottage Inn Breakfast Rösti
Every so often we'll share one of our delicious breakfast recipes. Here's one for when the weather is a little cooler....hearty and delcious and a little out-of-the ordinary. Enjoy!
Bass Cottage Breakfast Rösti
The Swiss are famous for these potato fritters. We’ve adapted them for a hearty breakfast offering. These rösti get their delicious savory flavor from the fresh thyme, mushrooms and bacon (which can be omitted). Prepare the rösti ahead of time, warm them in a 200F oven prior to service. Top with two sunny-side up eggs and cheese, pop it under the broiler to set things up for a wonderful breakfast.
Serves 12 (you can scale it back for home use)
8-9 large baking potatoes
1.5 tablespoon salt
5 ounces smoked bacon, thinly sliced vertically
2 medium onions, diced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
3 1/2 ounces mushrooms, diced
1-2 beaten egg
¼ cup flour
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
24 eggs (2 per order)
shredded mild cheddar with shredded Gruyere mixed in
Day prior (or two hours ahead)
The day before boil the potatoes in their skins for 20 minutes, drain and leave to cool. Place in refrigerator overnight.
Day of service – advance prep
After refrigeration, peel potatoes. Using a cheese grater, grate them into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with salt.
In a frying pan saute the bacon and onions. Strip the leaves off the sprigs of thyme into the pan. Add mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes until soft. Combine with the potatoes and mix gently, taking care not to mash them too much. Mix in the beaten egg (if too dry, add another beaten egg) and dust with flour. Gently combine (the egg/flour provides a binder making the mixture easier to cook)
Heat olive oil in a frying pan and add 3 spoonfuls of the mixture so that it can be patted down into a round flat cake to fill just the flat bottom of the small sauté pan. Using a spatula, pat the mixture. Brown it over a high heat. When the bottom side is cooked flip it over. Place finished rosti cakes on greased cookie sheet and hold warm in oven to be assembled on demand.
For each order
Prepare 2 eggs sunnyside up. When eggs are almost ready, place 1 rosti cake in a small sauté pan, slide the eggs on top of it, and top with shredded cheese. Place under broiler to melt cheese and set the egg. Serve with side garnish (roasted tomato is nice).
Wednesday August 12, 2009
Fall Foliage Splendor in Acadia
If you want to experience the blazing color of the Acadian forests against a backdrop of the sparkling blue Atlantic then it's not too soon to start planning your September / October visit to Bar Harbor and The Bass Cottage Inn.
Above average summer rainfall in 2009 has the local forest foliage lush and healthy, setting the stage for another spectacular fall foliage season. Maine leads the country with 17 million acres of land covered by forest, and has more than 50 species of hardwood, leaf bearing trees that change color each fall. Of course, Acadia's pine trees stay green year 'round.
It's difficult to predict exactly when peak colors will happen since it's dependent on rainfall and temperature. However over the past 5 year we've seen brilliant colors in the last 10 days of September and first 10 days of October. Because of the more southern location of the Park along the Downeast coast of Maine, the leaves turn colors later here than in other parts of Maine.
Our earl y fall temperatures range from the upper 60s to low 70s. At night, you might need a light jacket. All told, it's a colorful and refreshing time to be in Bar Harbor. So, book now for best room selection!
Here are some useful links for planning your Maine leaf-peeing:
Acadia National Park foliage info:
Yankee Magazine Foliage Map: