It’s winter on the Maine coast and Georgetown is left to its permanent residents, including the loons, eagles, foxes. It’s been a cold winter, so far, and walks along the beach at Reid State Park can be bracing, as can the occasional sled ride down our hill toward the cove (as shown above). We’re making preparations for the coming season, however. If you’re planning a trip to Maine next summer or fall, you’ll have best choice of dates and rooms if you reserve soon. The busy summer months are already filling up. You can check availability and make reservations on our website — CovesideBandB.com.
Local Scene & News - Coveside Blog
Coveside B&B was visited in September by a film crew from the popular Chronicle video magazine produced by WCVB, the abc affiliate in the Boston area. They were doing a story on Maine’s mid-coast and spent a couple of days in Georgetown, filming at Coveside for most of a morning. We think they managed to get a nice feel for the B&B and of the Georgetown area in general. There is an especially nice segment on Reid State Park. Click on the picture, below, to see the video.
This has been quite a year of good publicity for Coveside, with kind words and a “centerfold” picture of our view of Sheepscot Bay in Yankee Magazine in July, and now this great story on Boston-area television. And no, we didn’t hire a PR firm; we just happen to be located on a very special island on a magnificent coast.
The July/August issue of Yankee Magazine contains an article on “Maine’s Peninsulas: A World of Their Own.” The article by Annie Graves provides beautiful photographs by Sara Gray and comprehensive descriptions of each of the Midcoast peninsulas: Harpswell, Phippsburg, Boothbay, Pemaquid, and — of course — Georgetown. The picture below of the chairs looking out to Gotts Cove from Coveside occupied a two-page centerfold and the writeup was very complementary. Here’s what Yankee had to say about Georgetown and Coveside, along with the Georgetown pictures included in the article:
Coveside B&B in George-town feels like a secret tucked down a lane, overlooking Sheepscot Bay. Gardens edge the shingled house and cottage that Tom and Carolyn Church have brought back to life; our deck overlooks a verdant lawn sloping to Gotts Cove. In the morning we linger over strawberry shortcake and a mix of scrambled eggs with goat cheese, red fingerling potatoes, bacon, arugula, and nasturtiums. “Less schmoozing, more schlepping, those are my instructions,” Tom says, before setting down the coffeepot and joining the lively talk between tables. “The thing about Maine,” he says, “you begin to let go.”
Naturally, he has a few suggestions: Five Islands Lobster Co. and Reid State Park, Maine’s first state-owned saltwater beach. “Each of the fingers [peninsulas] has its own personality,” Carolyn observes. “Topographically they may be similar, but Georgetown is the wildest. You couldn’t get here until the early days of the 20th century—it wasn’t served by the bridge.” (Nice, too, that we can see across the water to Southport Island, where Rachel Carson built her summer cottage in 1953 and found inspiration for her environmental classic Silent Spring, and where her ashes are scattered. “Here at last returned to the sea,” reads the bronze marker.)
Reid State Park is the perfect place to walk off breakfast. Distractingly beautiful, its Half Mile Beach is mounded with smooth stones, like slumbering elephants; beach roses crowd the sand; golden tidepools are edged with algae; and Mile Beach curves like a smile. The convergence of colors—sand, sea, stone, and sky—is a palette of perfect paint chips for creating your own oceanfront room. If time seems to slow down on the peninsulas, you could say that it stops on the beaches.
That’s not the only thing that stops. “I can’t feel my legs!” a delighted teen, up to her waist in the sea, announces to her brother. Ethan, a lifeguard who trains at Mile Beach every morning, sometimes in a wetsuit, confirms that today’s late-June water temp is a frosty 50 degrees. (Popham, he says, is warmer.) So is Mile Beach really a mile? It doesn’t look it. “Mile-ish,” he smiles, “but almost two miles with all three beaches combined.”
Post-beach, we succumb to the tiny Post Office Gallery, brimming with the work of four local artists, from wood-fired pottery to landscapes (cards, too). I’m admiring Lea Peterson’s color-splashed portrait of a lobsterman at Five Islands Lobster Co., a lively wharf/eatery where families crowd picnic tables, butter dripping from fingers and chins, celebrating the day’s catch. “He’s over there right now, working on his pots, cleaning them up,” she says of the lobsterman. Small peninsula: Paint or be painted.
Frankly, it would probably be a peninsular crime to slink past Georgetown Pottery, an institution since 1972. The porch groans with pots and bowls, and in the studio, you can watch the artisans at work. Owner Jeff Peters doesn’t look like a ceramics mogul—he’s busy lifting a heavy tray of mugs—but this is the mother lode of pottery. Room after room displays sinks, lamps, clocks, anything that can be rendered in clay. The patterns are pure Maine—blueberries, lighthouses, birches filled with light. It’s the best kind of success story: Guy starts off in a one-room log cabin (sound familiar?) and makes good.
After spending eight weeks in the village of Villefranche-sur-Mer, next to Nice on the French Riviera, we took the ferry to Corsica, the extraordinarily beautiful island that the French call “L’Ile de Beauté.” Here are a few snapshots from our week-long adventure, which involved several hikes, driving on hair-raising roads through the mountains or along the sides of cliffs dropping into the sea, and much good food and wine. This is an area where few Americans venture, but if you like fabulous hiking, beautiful beaches and mountain scenery, and few crowds (except in July and August) we highly recommend it. We made the trip in early April, and not all the hotels and restaurants were open; but the lack of crowds in the villages and on the winding roads made up for any inconvenience.
The long, frigid winter is finally over and we opened Memorial Day weekend for the 2015 season to sunshine and warming weather. The Five Islands Lobster Company wharf is now serving up great seafood meals every day; our gardens are coming into their summer glory; our favorite gourmet food shop around the corner, Five Islands Farm, is back in business; the beaches at Reid State Park are as lovely as ever. What else could you ask for?
Well, as an added bonus, we received on opening day a notification that we had again won Tripadviser’s “Certificate of Excellence.” This prestigious award is based entirely on guest comments on Tripadviser’s website. Out of 155 guest reviews posted on Tripadviser, we received 147 five-star “excellent” ratings. (You can check out our reviews here.) We’re delighted that we have so many contented guests!
The 2015 season is shaping up to be a busy one, with many weekends already fully booked and the high season months of July and August filling up rapidly. You can check availability and book a stay on line on our website, or contact us directly by email or (even) telephone.
We returned to Coveside B&B the first day of Spring, March 21, after spending two months in the South of France (where the weather was beautiful). We knew it had been a very hard winter on the coast of Maine, but we weren’t prepared for the three to five feet of snow still on the ground. In fact, it was snowing quite hard as we drove up to Maine from Boston. Old timers tell us the winter of 2015 has been the snowiest and coldest they can remember.
This said, we figure that the hard winter will surely lead to a particularly beautiful Maine summer. We promise the snow will be gone when we open on Memorial Day weekend, May 22! Bookings are strong for the coming season, so the earlier you can firm up your plans, the more likely you will be able to have your choice of room and dates. You can check on availability by clicking on the “reservations” link at the top of our home page, here.
It’s been a tough winter on the Maine coast — more snow and more frigid weather than anyone can remember. And it’s just mid-February. These pictures were taken by a neighbor and friend who keeps our driveway plowed. Lucky us, we’re spending February and March in France! If you’re interested, you can follow our adventures on Covesiders.Blogspot.com.
For 4 servings:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal (preferably stone ground)
3 TBS sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup low fat yogurt
2 oz. unsalted butter, melted
Mix together dry ingredients. Whisk together yogurt and eggs and add melted butter, then. stir into the flour mixture.
Cook on medium-hot griddle. Start with a scant 1/4 cup of batter per pancake and experiment with size since they grow a bit as they cook. Flip when top is bubbly and the bottom is nicely browned. Remove from griddle when 2nd side is browned. Serve with maple or blueberry syrup.
Featured in a recent article in the travel section of the Boston Globe, Georgetown is described in the headline as “A shy jewel of an isle off Bath.” The article lauds Georgetown’s attractions: Reid State Park, the Five Islands Lobster Company wharf, the Newman Preserve. It also has nice things to say about Coveside Bed & Breakfast:
The sweeping lawn at the secluded and surprisingly elegant Coveside Bed and Breakfast (6 Cotts Cove Lane, 800-232-5490, www.covesidebandb
.com, $145-$225) leads to the shoreline of pretty Cotts Bay and a private dock, with views into Sheepscot Bay. Seven rooms, housed in the main house and separate modern cottage, are bright and airy, with water views, private baths, and plush linens; some have private porches and gas fireplaces. Guests have access to bikes and kayaks (this is a great place to pedal or paddle), and rates include a full breakfast prepared by co-owner Carolyn Church, a former pastry chef.
Despite the misspelling of Gotts Cove, we’re delighted to receive kudos from the Globe.
Finally, after perhaps a decade of nursing along our tree peonies, this year they decided to put on quite a show. Our gardens are just waking up from a particularly nasty winter, but snow cover protected most of the perennials from the “Polar Vortex” that blasted through here in January. Shrubs and some of our more delicate trees didn’t do so well. Here are some shots of the peonies in their glory.