Spectacular Wedding Celebration
We just returned from a fast-paced and exciting trip to New England. Starting off in Massachusetts for a glorious wedding at The Harding Allen Estate. What an incredible venue with beautiful pools and captivating vistas everywhere. The bride and groom are just the perfect couple, and the wedding was incredible!
On Golden Pond — Lake Monomonac Sporting Club
After the big celebration, we headed to Lake Monomonock, which straddles the border between New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Our friend belongs to The Lake Monomonac Sporting Club. The club is a private men’s club and was established on September 2, 1874. The house is very rustic and steeped in history — but comfortable. We were invited to spend a couple of days there, and we loved every minute!
This is our second visit there, and we really enjoy the natural beauty and relaxing environment. It’s just like in the movie “On Golden Pond.” One of our favorite past times is looking for the loons on the lake. How special to just take the time to enjoy nature and spend time with new and old friends.
There are several rocking chairs on the porch with spectacular views of the lake. When we arrived, we went for a boat ride around the lake. The weather was perfect and much cooler than what we have at this time of year in South Florida. What a treat to escape the heat for a few days.
Then, the party begins. Friends and family are continually popping in for a visit. It’s like one big happy family.
One of the unique aspects of the club is that when a member is in residence several friends and family stop by for a cold beverage (or two), bring food and snacks and stay for dinner. Our first night at the lake house, about 25 – 30 people joined us for dinner. The seafood chowder was the best we have ever tasted, and there were lots of other delicious selections. There is a massive table in the main room that seats over 30 guests.
I hope that we are invited back, as we just love it there!
Next, we are off to explore Newport Rhode Island. It has been many years since we visited there and we really enjoyed all that this area has to offer. It was about one and a half-hour drive from the lake house to our beautiful inn. We chose the Marshall Slocum Inn, and we were so glad that we did. It’s walking distance to town and is a beautifully restored historic home. The owners have a long history in hospitality, and this was evident in all of their services and accommodations.
We opted to rent the apartment that was next door to the main inn versus getting a room in the main house. This was a great option, as there was a lovely bedroom, living area, kitchen, and bath separate from the main house.
Now, let’s talk about the breakfasts. AMAZING! We have stayed at bed and breakfast properties and inns throughout the country and abroad. Usually, you are offered a continental breakfast. Not at Marshall Slocum. They provided a full menu including a choice of Buttermilk Pancakes, Blueberry Stuffed Portuguese French Toast with Raspberry and Mango Puree, Greek Omelet, Chef’s Omelet or Traditional American Breakfast. Yum! All were served with fresh fruit coffee or tea. Juice and water were also available on a sideboard in the dining area. There is dining space either inside or out on the patio in the back. Both options are perfect!
We love the little touches like fluffy linens, bathrobes, excellent amenities, and décor. After all, we are representing Luxe du Jour! Why not live a “luxe” life while on vacation? Marshall Slocum really delivered!
Once we got settled in, we headed to the wharf for dinner and a libation. First, we drove around a bit to get a “feel” for the area. We decided to dine outside at The Black Pearl. Although the clam chowder was delicious and wins all of the awards for the best in the area, the rest of the food we ordered was not fabulous. Also, sitting outside required that we drink our wine out of plastic cups. Not a fan of that. Anyway, it was a beautiful night for a walk and to dine out in the fresh air.
The next day, after a yummy breakfast at the inn, we headed out for a scenic drive along the coast with a plan to stop at The Lawn At Castle Hill, for a lobster roll overlooking the beautiful view while sipping champagne on the famous lawn. There are numerous Adirondack chairs on the lawn, and the view really is spectacular!
Lobsta Rolls And Blood Orange Bellinis — Oh My!
We opted to enjoy the lobster roll at the outdoor bar, and we decided to pair it with a blood orange bellini. Yes, blood orange. The bar had a great view, and we were even able to get the secret ingredient for the bellinis. Perfect Puree Blood Orange Concentrate is the secret.
The Perfect Blood Orange Bellini Recipe
Just pour about one third blood orange puree into a champagne flute and top off with prosecco. Add a twist of orange, and you have a refreshing and delicious drink for a hot day.
Our Home Away From Home — The Marshall Slocum Inn
Once again, we had an incredible breakfast at the Marshall Slocum Inn before heading out for the mansion tours. What a great way to start out your day!
Mansions, Mansions Everywhere — The Awesome Guilded Age
You can get a pass to visit just 3 of the mansions or a pass that allows for visits to all of the mansions called The Newport Mansions Experience which provides access to 5 of the properties. It was only $38 per person and included audio units and headphones to guide you through each area. We purchased our tickets right at the inn. How convenient. Touring the mansions gives you a view into the lives of these visionaries that built these incredible mansions. Having the audio tablets provided fascinating historical information giving you a look into this gilded era. Trust me, there is extreme gilding everywhere. I guess that is why when these mansions were built it was referred to as the gilded era
We visited The Breakers, Rosecliff, Marble House, and The Breakers Stable and Carriage House. All were extraordinary!
An extra bonus and pleasant surprise is that Rosecliff has an art gallery on the second floor featuring different artists each season. We were thrilled that John James Audubon’s exhibit of original artwork from the Birds of America Book. We have this book, and it was featured in a recent post. The next exhibition begins later in the year and will feature works by Louis Comfort Tiffany. What a nice surprise!
By the way, the mansion shops all have some very lovely items to purchase, and the proceeds go to the preservation of the mansions.
A Special “Find” — International Tennis Hall of Fame
On our way back, I spotted a delightful shop and asked the hubs to drop me off to take a look. When I approached the shop, I noticed that the International Tennis Hall of Fame was right next door. It was kind of a surprise, as the area is mostly shops and restaurants. There is an opening with a wide entrance to the facility. We got there too late to do the museum tour but walked around the grounds. This property was once the site of the Newport Casino, a National Historic Landmark that was first opened on July 26, 1880, as a social club for Newport’s turn of the century summer elite.
In the 1950s the then-President of the casino decided that tennis needed a place of honor. The casino was in danger of demolition, and with Newport’s rich tennis history, it was the perfect spot to establish the hall of fame. As we walked around, we saw all of the tennis members all dressed in whites playing lawn tennis. It is a lovely place full of interesting history.
When we revisit the area, we would love to take time to walk through the museum. What a great “find” this was. Alongside the tennis courts is La Forge Casino Restaurant, which we heard is excellent.
We returned to our “home away from home,” aka the Marshall Slocum Inn to freshen up and rest a bit before heading out to dinner.
Great Waterfront Dining In Newport
We dined that evening at The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar. You can view some of the most spectacular sunsets from this spot, AND the food is excellent! We opted to sit at the bar. It was bustling, but we were able to get two seats at the end, and it was a fun and lively atmosphere with lots of friendly patrons.
They had one of our favorites Chappellet Mountain Cuvee wine, so we ordered a bottle. Then, there was the big decision. What to order? There were so many great options. The hubs opted for clam chowder followed by lobster ravioli topped with shrimp and scallops. I ordered two appetizers, including the mussels with Portuguese sausage in a wine sauce and tuna poke with avocado and chips. Everything was prepared to perfection and so yummy. Highly recommend going to The Mooring if you are in Newport.
We were planning to go back the next day to visit more mansions on our way to the airport but opted to visit Jamestown across the bridge and to have some lunch. It was a small and charming place, and we had a nice meal there. Not much to see except the beautiful water views. We hiked up to a high point to get a better look.
This was a very short trip, and we were able to get an overview of this special place. We would like to go back again and explore further.