Saturday October 24, 2009
It's great to get a guest letter like this
We recently had some guests from South Dakota who had a tough time making it to Bar Harbor thanks to airline delays. At the end of a long, strong season it's just wonderful for the innkeepers and staff to get an email like the one I share below.
Dear Jeff and Teri,
I am probably not the sort of person that writes a review, and it appears even unnecessary, as you have a bounty of exceptional accolades that I can only repeat. All the superlatives have been used multiple times, and rightfully so! There is nothing more descriptive than to say everything about your inn, your staff and our stay was PERFECT! From the moment we arrived until the moment we left, everything was simply AMAZING.
The poor fellow who met us at the door at 1:30 am (!!) was helpful (helped carry luggage upstairs, which was neither requested nor even expected) and patient while we tried to figure out how to open the trunk in our rental car to retrieve our suitcases!! Our room was lovely. The bed could not have been more comfortable – perfect in every way. We enjoyed having the wonderful robes, good towels, hot shower, and comfortable chair. Honestly, you have been meticulous with every detail in your preparations for guests!!
The breakfasts were to die for each morning, and I still wish you had a cookbook I could purchase! I have a list of recipes from our stay I wish I had, and from reading other comments, it appears you have more delights on your menu we did not even taste. Besides the fabulous menu choices, the presentation was outstanding. We loved the beautiful dining room set up and time frame. Our server from Bulgaria was an absolute jewel and just so sweet I could easily adopt her!
Your afternoon baked treats were a delicious surprise to look forward to after a day of exploring, and the pantry refrigerator was such a wonderful extra amenity. Jay loved the coffee offering while I loved the diet coke!
Your common areas are lovely and so comfortable, with so many cozy places to sit. The burning fireplaces, so warm and inviting, added another layer of ambiance. We have never stayed in a bed and breakfast before, partially because we enjoy our privacy and are not the fussy Victorian type - the furniture never looks comfortable! We truly appreciated your mix of modern and old. We loved your great chairs, gorgeous stained glass, beautiful lamps, woodwork and details without all the lace and flowers! You have created a perfect haven! Lucky for us, we chose the BEST first.
Though I’m probably too wordy for trip advisor, I did want you to know how much we appreciated all the details, planning and effort you have put forth on our behalf. It does not just happen, and you deserve great praise for your hard work. As I commented in your book, you raise a high bar for others to follow!
Have a wonderful vacation and winter rest!!
Jay and Vicki
Wednesday October 21, 2009
Despite the vaguely political tone of this blog title, this blog is about the end our innkeeping season. While we're past peak foliage colors some brilliant color still surrounds use. At our house we have a Japanese maple tree that sears the fall landscape with deep, intense red.
At left is a so-called Burning Bush (Euonymus alata "Compactus"), one of our favorite shrubs and part of our plan to have color in the landscape plan at The Bass Cottage Inn every day we are open for guests. This shrub grows well in many parts of the US and Canada, so check it out.
Of course, the Burning Bush gets its name from biblical allegory.The burning bush is an object described by the Book of Exodus . According to the narrative, the bush was on fire, but was not consumed by the flames. The burning bush is the location at which Moses was appointed by God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and into Canaan.
Well, we don't know about that, but we *do* know that the secular and leafy "Burning Bush" is a sign for travelers that we're still open for guests through October 31. So it's not too late for a quick getaway to Downeast Maine.
Saturday October 17, 2009
Recipe: Bass Cottage Inn Maple Oat Scones
Bass Cottage Maple Oat Scones
This is the easiest scone recipe of all time. Guests at The Bass Cottage Inn love to nibble on these as they ponder their breakfast choices and savor a cup of rich coffee. Visitors from the UK are bemused that we serve scones at breakfast (instead of teatime), but they love ‘em all the same. Treat dough gently and you will have the lightest scone you’ll ever eat.
Below is the recipe for the scones....after that is the recipe for the maple glaze.
1. Combine the following dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse 5-6 times to aerate:
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup oat flour
¼ cup regular oats
2/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 T baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
2. With the blade running, add the cream and pulse until the mixture is processed to pea size ~ 10 - 1 second pulses.
3. Turn mixture into a large bowl, fold 1 cup of golden raisins* into the crumbly dough and pat-out onto counter into large oval. Cut into wedges or rounds using a cookie cutter.
4. Place on ungreased baking sheet and brush with cream and sprinkle with extra oats and turbinado sugar.
* You can substitute currants, blueberries or dried sweetened cranberries
Bake 425 degrees ~12-15 minutes.
Maple Icing for Scones
2 cups powdered sugar
1 T butter, softened
1/2 t real vanilla
1/4 t salt
3-4 T whole milk
1/3 - 1/2 cup real maple syrup
Combine the first 5 ingredients in a bowl and whisk them to combine. While whisking gradually add the maple syrup. (The icing will keep for up to 3 weeks in the fridge.)
Allow the scones to cool before adding the icing.
© Copyright 2004 Bass Cottage Inn. All rights reserved
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!