A life changing eating experience in Maine
We really made then most of our last few months on the East Coast for the immediate future. In addition to the Brimfield Antique Market and Providence (to come...). Lia's mother, Krista, was kind enough to treat us to a weekend trip to Ogunquit, Maine.
Ogunquit is a small beauty resort town on Maine's coast. Lia spent a lot of time up there as a young'un, or so she tells me, so I was excited to see some more of her childhood. I keep telling her how much I want to share England and Hong Kong with her, but unfortunately her upbringing 45 minutes north of our apartment is the more immediately accessible of the two. So we'll exhaust her memories first.
(There was daydrinking, but in this specific incidence, Krista was picking the discarded bottle up to stop it getting broken, not to drink it. But it's funnier to pretend otherwise!)
We stayed at a super cute coastal hotel, The Beachmere Inn, which had gorgeous views of the green-blue Atlantic Ocean, and the sand bar that it would race over as the tide came in over the course of the day. The difference between high tide and low tide was the most dramatic I've ever seen, and it was really incredible how dramatic it was. And we had front row seats right from our room window.
We also had cornhole, and looked like a freaking vineyard vines ad while playing.
The hotel's grounds were bordered by the Marginal Way, a rather famous pathway that loops around the coast, connecting various hotels, beach, and the next town over, Perkins Cove. Along the way are plenty of astronomically expensive houses that will soon be eroded off the cliff face, gorgeous coastal views, and one majestic seagull.
(The aforementioned majestic seagull)
Along the way, I even managed to get Lia to pose for some photos. And I think she looks really cute.
Perkins Cove is home to the only pedestrian operated drawbridge in the USA, a lobster boat tour we took the next day, and Barnacle Billy's. Morbidly, it's where Krista says she wants to have her ashes scattered — much to the irritation of future diners, no doubt.
It also has some seriously quaint signage.
The drawbridge was really nifty, and through careful positioning, Lia and I thought we'd be ready to lift it for a friendly boat when called upon. But some lady working at the docks beat us to it and raised it remotely. Probably a good job too, as we were far too busy looking at the wrong boat.
I did the dumb thing where I forget to bring my camera charger on vacation, where I take the most photos, so my camera died halfway through our lobster boat tour. But not before I snapped some A+ lobbos we were shown while being told lots of lobster facts.
And a trip to the beach wouldn't be complete without some actual beaching!
There was a small cove right by our hotel, as well as the main(e) beach a bit further down the road. Just to illustrate how dramatic the tide was, at low tide, you could walk between the two on the sandbar, but at high tide, it was far too deep to walk. High tide also probably washed away our cute writing.
The highlight of the weekend was easily the meal we ate on our first night in town. After driving for a good chunk of time into the wilderness and forest — and only for a very short amount of time in the wrong direction — we found the restaurant Krista had made reservations at.
Earth At Hidden Pond is tucked behind a series of large luxury cottage properties on a kind of high end holiday campus. There's a spa, two pools, bonfires, a beach shuttle, and plenty of outdoorsy activities. But we were there for Earth, the restaurant. We were there to eat.
Having just finished Chef's Table, Lia and I's standards for wow-factor food have been set pretty high. But Earth was easily the most foodie place we've ever eaten. We balled out. The interior was like a giant lodge with stick art dangling from the ceiling. Romantic despite being a major hazard, flames warmed the enormous room from the fireplace to make up for the dipping temperature as the evening drew in. There were also giant dining sheds for private parties too. The whole restaurant was an experience in hygge before anything was even brought to the table.
The food is taken even more seriously than the on-point interior design. It's all prepped with a local-bent, and is only open half the year (that would be the half that Maine is habitable and people are traveling there). The pig I ate was spit roasted on site that very day. The gin drinks Lia and I had were infused with peas from the garden behind the dining room.
We gorged on starters of grilled octopus and crunchy salads, and overindulged on entrees like Lia's seafood paella, the slab of pig I signed up for topped with crackling skin, the spicy lobster noodles Krista had, or the WHOLE ROAST CHICKEN that Krista's friend, Tamara, ordered and couldn't finish. And almost everything was decorated with artfully placed blossoms from the garden.
Tamara also treated us to a lovely (and also expensive) bottle of red to wash the whole thing down with. Sincerely, thank you to both of them for what was the coolest and best food experience I've ever had. It was an incredibly kind gesture, and was one of my favorite things I did in my entire time in New England. I'm incredibly grateful, and my tummy is even moreso. The food coma lasted a week. But, like, in a cool way.