I apologize for the delay in posts…didn’t mean to keep you hangin’, lol! So where did I leave off? Oh yeah, I had just wrapped things up in Portland and was heading up to Bar Harbor. I decided to take the scenic route 1, as I was told there were numerous quaint towns along the way that I should check out. I can’t reiterate enough how much fun I had driving this Mini Clubman (courtesy of Mini of Peabody) up the coast. This car was made for hugging the winding road and I felt so safe behind the wheel.
I did pass through some quaint towns before making a stop at Rockland where I got out and explored a bit. This town definitely has potential for a future foodie tour. I wish I had more time, as I would have liked to stop in Camden, but it was getting late and I wanted to arrive at my Airbnb and meet my host Anny before dark.
As I mentioned in earlier posts, I decided to become a first time user of Airbnb and when planning this trip to New England, I researched and selected to stay with these specific hosts which I have been highlighting along the way. Anny and I had communicated prior to my arrival so she knew more or less what time to expect me. She and Sweetie Pie, her lovely white Great Pirinese welcomed me into their home and showed me to my room. I was staying in the Ancestor’s Room, as Anny explained and pointed to all the photos of relatives adorning the walls. I didn’t have much time to chit chat that night as I had to get over to Bar Harbor to meet with Kristi (my Ops Mgr for our Bar Harbor tours). The drive from Southwest Harbor, aka “The Quietside” (compared to the hustle and bustle of Bar Harbor in season) into Bar Harbor at sunset was magnificent. The sun was going down over the lake and I could make out the silhouettes of kayakers in the distance paddling across the water.
I was so excited to meet Kristi for the first time in person, after communicating with each other via phone and email for months. I was also super excited that she invited me to dinner at one of her restaurants, Cherrystones, which just so happens to be one of the stops on our Taste of Bar Harbor tour. For a starter, we had their crispy Brussels sprouts and OMG were they delish! Anyone who knows me, knows that my all time favorite Brussels come from Smoke BBQ in Delray Beach, with a close runner-up at The Office, also in Delray Beach. But after tasting these at Cherrystones in Bar Harbor, ME…I certainly have to rethink my hierarchy in which to base all future Brussels to. They were that good! We also enjoyed a couple entrees, and while the fresh fish dish was certainly fresh and tasty, the star in my opinion was the lobster carbonara, which included fresh picked Maine lobster sautéed with smoked bacon and a creamy carbonara sauce, served with penne pasta and topped with fresh chives.
After a delightful meal and meeting, I said my goodbyes until the next morning when we’d meet up with our tour guide Jessica and do a walk through of our tour. The next morning, after luxuriating in the most magnificently updated spa shower at Anny’s (we’re talking a rain shower head from the top and pulsating jets on the sides and music…the whole shabang), I was served a lovely cup of tea and warm pastries. Anny is a great story teller and I was fascinated by the stories she shared with me in the short time we had together. Prior to opening her home to Airbnb guests, Anny had a pie business which she started at age 60 after finding it very difficult to find a job in a new town at her age. The business was called, what else…”Sweetie Pies”.
“A Taste of Bar Harbor” tour
Guests on this tour will delight in the delicious food with a view at The Fish House Grill where they will get a little clam chowda, lobster roll & an Old Soaker Blueberry soda tasting . The party will then move on, walking through historic downtown Bar Harbor viewing sights that include The Shore Path, Agamont Park and several historic Bar Harbor homes and, of course, a great view of Bar Island. Our local guide will share fun facts and interesting anecdotes about the town she is intimately familiar with and will impart some local insider’s tips as well. Next stop, Bar Harbor BeerWorks for a gourmet burger, fries & local Maine brew tasting, followed by a visit to either Peekytoe Provisions or Acadia Country Store where guests will get a live oyster shucking demo and/or tips on selecting the freshest seafood along with a tasting of some local seafood or products native to Maine. Onward to Cherry Stones for a taste of their famous cherrystone clams & some blueberry pie ala mode. Next, guests will be introduced to Bar Harbor Popcorn and learn how they make their popcorn, the various flavors they infuse, and tastes will be provided of their most popular blueberry and other flavors. Participants will be given an opportunity to purchase bags to take home with them. The tour will conclude at the now famous MDI Ice cream shop where Obama ate ice cream when he came to Bar Harbor, before returning to The Village Green, a beautiful park in the center of town.
And there you have it. My wrap up of my 5-day adventure in New England getting my tours set up just in time for this season’s Fall Foliage cruises. So far the Norwegian Gem and the Dawn have experienced our Taste of Portland and by the time you read this, we will have passengers from the NCL Gem and the Oceania Regatta taking our tour in Bar Harbor.
Private group tours are available in all these New England towns year round with a minimum of 10 participants. For more info on how we can plan a customized tour for you and your friends/colleagues, please contact me at info@SavorOurCity.com or (954) 410-3177.
Savor Our City Culinary Tours began offering our first tours on May 3, 2014 in Delray Beach, FL. Since then, we have run a series of tours in other South Florida cities such as Palm Beach Gardens, Wilton Manors and Boca Raton. Our tours have always been open to the public as well as to private groups. We entered into an agreement this past year to create brand new food tours up in New England for several major cruise lines sailing into Boston, Portland & Bar Harbor this Fall. I am proud to say that these tours have been created and are starting this month. At this time, the only way you can take any of these tours is if you happen to be sailing on one of those ships calling into those ports OR you book a private group tour through us. (Think: corporate team building, client appreciation, birthday parties)
Here is a sample of what you would experience on our Boston Markets & Cultural Walking Tour:
This 3-hour historical guided walking food tour will take guests through the famed Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, a historic meeting place and market lined with cobblestone streets packed with ethnic foods, unique gifts and street performers, just to name a few of the elements that make this marketplace located near the waterfront so unique. It was here in 1764 that the colonists protested the Sugar Act, which led to the “no taxation without representation” doctrine. George Washington toasted America’s first birthday here, and so many impassioned orators have followed that Faneuil Hall is nicknamed “The Cradle of Liberty.”
Following your visit to Quincy Market & Faneuil Hall, you will walk to nearby Boston Public Market, another indoor haven for foodies that opened its doors in the summer of 2015. The market houses 39 year-round vendor stalls which must sell food and other products that are produced or originate in New England, specializing in items sourced from local farms and fishermen. Your guide will share historical facts, interesting anecdotes, and some local insider’s tips as you sample dishes and delicacies that reflect the area. Some of the iconic New England delicacies sampled along the way include an award-winning clam chowder, lobster roll, cheese, chocolate, nuts, honey, fresh fruit vinegars, wine, mead (honey wine, the oldest alcoholic drink known to man). Then, it’s on to the Parker House, your final stop and birthplace of the city’s iconic Boston Cream Pie, which you will have the opportunity to sample.
This tour is currently available for private tours only. If you would like to inquire about booking a private tour for your group of 10+ people, please contact us at info@SavorOurCity.com or (954) 410-3177.