York + Kittery
4:30 p.m. on I-95
I cut out of my office in Portland a little early to swing back to Kennebunk to pick up my 12-year-old daughter Sabrina, who is ready for our first 48HRS adventure in the beach towns of York and Kittery.
5:55 p.m. @ Anju Noodle Bar
We grab two seats with views of the kitchen at Anju Noodle Bar. We spot, and later meet, chef and co- owner Julian Armstrong. Sabrina and I share chili- citrus-cured scallops, green papaya salad, and green beans. For dessert, Sabrina orders the chocolate cream pie.
7:00 p.m. on Route 1
We make our way up Route 1, passing Bob’s Clam Hut, Rococo Ice Cream, Robert’s Maine Grill (the deck is open), and Yummies Candy and Nuts. We can smell the wood oven when we drive by When Pigs Fly Pizzeria.
7:30 p.m. @ the Chapman Cottage
This weekend we are staying at the Chapman Cottage, a seven-room luxury inn, which is part of the York Harbor Inn, and is located just a half-mile down the road. Our room is on the third floor and has a nice deck overlooking the beautifully landscaped grounds. I am especially excited about the room’s cozy corner nook for reading.
7:50 p.m. @ Long Sands Beach
The beach is calling our name. I love the drive to this beach because it reminds me of visiting the area as a kid. We pass Mimmo’s Italian Restaurant and York Beach Ice. When we pull up to the beach, it’s low tide, perfect for beach strolling.
8:20 p.m. @ Fun-O-Rama and Goldenrod
Sabrina wants to play Skee- Ball, so we head in to Fun- O-Rama. There are lots of kids and families in the arcade; we like the bowling alley next door and have it all to ourselves. Later, we walk around the corner to the Goldenrod, where we sit at a cute corner table. The restaurant is warm with hospitality and history. We meet the general manager, Chris Wilson, who makes us feel so welcome and taken care of. A lime rickey comes for me, with a hot-fudge sundae special for the two of us. Sabrina is happy to discover it’s sprinkled with chocolate-covered blueberries.
9:20 p.m. @ Chapman Cottage
Back at the Chapman Cottage, we settle in for the night and share the bag of Goldenrod kisses we bought earlier.
7:30 a.m. @ the Chapman Cottage
Downstairs, I help myself to coffee in the front parlor. The staff has set up New England Coffee, pastries, yogurts, cereal, and homemade granola. It’s drizzly and gray outside, but the roaring fireplace sets the scene for a perfectly cozy day.
10:15 a.m. @ St. Joe’s Coffee
St. Joe’s Coffee is packed; it’s clearly a local favorite. Sabrina orders a cinnamon bun and I get an iced vanilla coffee.
10:30 a.m. @ Rocky Mountain Quilts
At Rocky Mountain Quilts we meet with owner Betsey Telford-Goodwin. Her shop has over 550 quilts from the early nineteenth century to today all organized by color and date. Telford-Goodwin also restores quilts and uses vintage fabrics to make colorful teddy bears.
12:00 p.m. @ 207 Inc.
This Maine-made goods store just opened in Kittery in June. I buy a bracelet by DelMac Designs. Sabrina gets a keychain by 163 Design Company. I chat with Anne Andrews, the owner, who grew up in the area. Next door, Doo, a salon, isn’t open, but I wish it were; I heard from a local friend that they have art shows as well as great hairdos.
12:15 p.m. @ Wallingford Square
We visit Tayla Mac Boutique, which carries great gift items. Owner Mikayla Parsons is not here, but I talk with her mom, Marie, about the store. As I admire the design of the space, she explains that Alice and Bird Interiors helped with the interior concept. I used to work with Sara Simpson, who is a co-owner of Alice and Bird. I love how you can always make a connection with someone in Maine. Next, I follow a friend’s tip to Kazimierz European Market. Inside I chat with the owners, Danielle Moura and her husband, Kris Kucala, who opened the store 15 months ago. Next, we stop in to MEat, which makes me wish I had a grill with me. We check out the fresh and locally sourced meat, as well as a great selection of dry goods. Lil’s Cafe is next door. I have a cup of coffee and a flourless peanut butter cookie. Sabrina gets a grilled cheese. Before heading back to York, we browse the jewelry, stationery, and clothing selection at Folk.
2:30 p.m. @ Stonewall Kitchen Company Store
Sabrina is leaving me for a 5 Seconds of Summer concert with her friend Annika. I meet Melissa, Annika’s mom, at Stonewall Kitchen. After they leave, I shop and buy Sabrina’s favorite strawberry jam.
4:00 p.m. @ Foster’s Clambakes and Catering
I stop at the Chapman Cottage, then head out for a little walk to Foster’s Clambakes.
6:15 p.m. @ the Central Restaurant and Bar
I am greeted by the owner, Kiersten Mayes. She and her fiance, chef John Ernst, have owned the restaurant for two seasons, and tonight it’s packed. My friend Aja Bowley meets me and we sidle up at the bar. We order brisket tacos, homemade chips and guacamole, and the heirloom tomato salad. The food is prepared in an open kitchen. I love to watch the chefs, and I spy Eric Murdough, my friend and former co-worker at Kennebunkport Resort Collection, on the line.
9:00 p.m. @ Chapman Cottage
It’s raining out so I decide to enjoy an early night in at the Chapman Cottage, where I sit in the parlor by the fire and read a magazine before heading up to bed.
8:45 a.m. @ Chapman Cottage and Nubble Light
After an excellent weekend from arrival to departure, I say goodbye to the staff and check out of the Chapman Cottage. I drive over to Nubble Light, where it’s windy and rainy, but the red- roofed lighthouse looks like a page in a storybook.
12:45 p.m. @ Tulsi Indian Restaurant
At the Sunday buffet, I scoop rice, carrots, and curry chicken onto my plate and grab a seat at the bar. Chef and owner Rajesh Mandekar has created a menu of authentic Indian food, and I am excited for his new Wells location to open.
1:35 p.m. @ Tributary Brewing Company
On Sundays Tributary Brewing has music, but I have arrived a little too early. Instead I buy a jug of Oyster Stout to bring back for my friend as a dog-watching present.
2:30 p.m. @ Wiggly Bridge Distillery
Wiggly Bridge Distillery makes aged rum, white whiskey, bourbon, vodka, and gin. You can take a tour or just stop by to try the various creations. I buy Maine Gold maple syrup, which is aged in rum barrels.
5:00 p.m. at home in Kennebunk
I am thankful for this weekend away. Sabrina and I reminisce about the meals prepared by innovative chefs, shops curated by passionate business owners, and the scenery we were able to admire in the coastal towns of York and Kittery.