Photographs + stories by Maine magazine staff
Bath has always been a familiar place for me. My father’s studio has been on Front Street for many years and I remember walking up and down that hill full of shops as a kid. I was always struck by the strong community and how everyone seems to know one another. I’m looking forward to experiencing this “Cool Little City” as an adult and with my husband, Joe.
7:30 p.m. @ Solo Bistro
I’ve heard so much about this place and have been looking forward to experiencing the modern and creative cuisine first- hand. The space is colorful and the word artful comes to mind. The modern interior is accentuated with splashes of lime green and melon orange. The cocktail list and dinner menu carry that same character. I can see chef Ray Franklyn preparing our meal in the open kitchen as I sip on my lavender-infused virgin cocktail. I’ve heard from the locals that you have to try the day boat sea scallops. After tasting them I understand why they are highly recommended. Friday nights the restaurant has a rotating list of jazz musicians who perform while you dine.
9:00 p.m. @ Inn at Bath
After a great dinner we are ready to check into theinn.Wepulluptoa large, white, Victorian- style inn and are greeted by innkeeper Elizabeth Knowlton. As soon as we walk in, we are immediately comfortable, and Joe and Elizabeth begin connecting over her former life as a fly fishing lodge owner and her woodworking hobbies. We spot some of her exquisite carved wood birds. She leads us down the stairs to the Captain’s Cottage, equipped with a cozy fireplace and Jacuzzi tub. The beautiful hardwood floors add elegance and warmth.
9:00 a.m. @ Inn at Bath
We wake from an amazing slumber and make our way up to the dining room where Elizabeth has laid out a beautiful spread of homemade oatmeal, fresh yogurt, fruit, and strong coffee. I grab a brightly colored mug and take a stroll through the rooms. There is beautiful china on the sunlit walls and artwork everywhere. Elizabeth comes into the dining room with lemon blueberry cornmeal pancakes, sausage, and fresh Maine maple syrup. She helps us plan our day and tells us what not to miss.
10:00 a.m. @ The farmers’ market + the Virginia
Bath has one of my favorite farmers’ markets, inside an old freight car. It appears to be closed due to the snow, but we take note of the Virginia, being built next door.
10:30a.m. on Front Street
Sometimes the best way to explore the shops is to start at the top of the hill and work your way down. I pop into Café Crème to grab a hot mocha for the stroll. Now You’re Cooking catches our eye, and we cross the street to enter this gourmet kitchen store full of gadgets and fine cookware. Across the street is House of Logan, where we find styles for men, women, and children.
10:45 a.m. @ Ornament Home and Garden
As we walk in we are greeted by the fresh smell of soaps, plants, and lotions. The only problem with this store is that I want everything in it. It has a European feel. There is an abundance of linens, custom light fixtures, and tableware. We chat with the owner, Gayle Hunt. She knows my father, John Gable, and stepmother, Bobbi, because my father’s studio is just a few doors down. Gayle is getting ready to head to New York City on a buying trip for the upcoming season. I can’t wait to come back and see what new items she has picked up.
@ Springer’s Jewelers
The friendly staff greets us right away as we step into this gorgeous showroom. It has been a jewelry store since the nineteenth century and when we walk in it feels like we’ve gone back in time: black and white checkered floors, high ceilings, and wood showcases. As we step out we walk by the hustle and bustle at Mustard Seed Bookstore, which will open soon.
11:40 a.m. @ Reny’s, Pitter Patter + Bohemian Rose
It’s hard to resist a visit to Reny’s when walking on Front Street. You never know what you will find for an amazing deal. Joe buys himself yet another pair of Carhartt pants—a woodworker can never have enough. We dip into Pitter Patter. This is the cutest store for clothes for your little one. I also stop into Bohemian Rose, where I find the best dresses, and I am pleased to hear that the owners are opening another shop, called Zest.
12:00p.m. @ J.R. Maxwell and Co
Hunger sets in and we head into Maxwell’s. We spot a beautiful bar upstairs but also see a sign for the Boatbuilders Pub downstairs. We decide to give that one a try. It’s a cozy bar with billiards. There are several friendly locals bellied up to the bar on this snowy day and the bartender, who shares my birthday, makes us feel right at home. We order salad, clam chowder, and chicken tenders before we decide to challenge one another in a game of pool.
1:30 p.m. @ Maine Maritime Museum
We have both been looking forward to our visit to Maine Maritime Museum. Once Percy & Small Shipyard, this 20-acre campus is so jam-packed with Maine’s nautical heritage that the pass is good for two days. In addition to the main building the museum encompasses several others, including one where they still work on wooden boats and another which is a Victorian-era shipyard owner’s home. When we walk into the museum we spot a large watercolor by my father of a launching at Bath Iron Works. We also find old letters written from sea, and admire old charts, tools, templates, and models.
3:30 p.m. driving around Phippsburg
The blue bird day makes for perfect driving weather. Joe takes me on a tour through the back roads of Phippsburg. I’m taken by the gorgeous water views and how the snow contrasts with the bright blue sky.
4:30 p.m. on Front Street
We head backto Front Street because there are several galleries that I have been wanting to check out in downtown Bath— Centre St Arts Gallery, Markings Gallery, and Stable On Front, to name a few. The latter is linked to Stable Gallery—the owners opened a pop-up shop on Front Street for the holidays and due to its success decided to keep it open. Joe and I discover great art, fine woodworking, and jewelry.
5:00 p.m. @ Kennebec Tavern
We are heading to dinner with my dad and Bobbi but decide to meet them first at Kennebec Tavern for a drink. This local spot is filled with personality and accompanied by an amazing view.
6:30 p.m. @ The Cabin One
of our favorite local places to eat is The Cabin. Walking into this local dining spot you feel like you are walking onto an old ship. The Cabin is known for its pizza, and we order the shrimp scampi white pizza and a Hawaiian with jalapeños.
8:30 p.m. @ The Inn at Bath
When we get back to the inn we decide to stay in. We pick a DVD from the library of movies in the kitchen and watch it on the flatscreen in our room.
9:00 a.m. @ Mae’s Café and Bakery
Joe leaves early to go skiing and I meet Dad and Bobbi for breakfast at Mae’s Café. This sunny breakfast spot is perfect for a morning bun and coffee or a full gourmet breakfast. After eating we take a short walk. We pass by Halcyon Yarn, where they sell fiber arts and have classes on crocheting and knitting, and the Chocolate Church Arts Center, where there’s always something going on, from live music to lectures to exhibitions.
10:00 a.m. @ Gable Fine Art
We visit my dad’s mural studio on Front Street. He is working on a series of pieces for the lobby of the Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington, D.C. The size of his murals never fails to blow my mind. The subject of this particular piece is Mark Twain.
12:00 p.m. on Front Street
I was hoping to drop off a print to be framed at Just Framing, but it is closed on Sundays. Next time. I arrive at my car, parked next to Byrnes’ Irish Pub. I peek inside the foggy windows. I’m not quite hungry yet, but plan on returning soon for a trivia night and fish and chips with my dad.