Drive 7 miles off the beaten track in rural Maine , onto Westport 'island' (actually a peninsula) and you will find the Squire Tarbox Inn situated on 10 pastoral acres. The Inn looks quintessential with all the New England features , adjacent barns , real free-range chickens , and the resident friendly dog.
The Inn is a family affair with Marion and Roni di Pietro , the owners , daughter Lara as the chef , and son Kyle who lives close by and runs an organic farm , which , of course, supplies the Inn with fruit and veg fresh daily.
I chose to stay at the Inn , precisely because it is off the beaten track , but also because they also offer a high quality dinner menu in the Inn's cosy and decorative restaurant. (The closest alternative is to drive back up the peninsula to Wiscasset for other restaurants.)
The food is a distinctive blend of European (Mario is originally from Switzerland) , with local flavours of fresh veg , combined with a few inventive twists from Lara , who was trained as a chef in Europe.....for example "Sauerbraten" (beef marinated for several days in red wine vinegar before roasting) with a juicy and sweet spinach and cheese 'timbale'. Good wine-list by the glass , (including the rarely seen Swiss 'Dole' red wine) and offered as part of an 'honour bar' to residents before dinner.
The rooms vary in size and price , and the small but comfortable room above the refurbished original coach-house was delightful (but watch your head on the low door-frames if you are tall !) - en-suite bathroom , and aircon if needed. I paid $119/night for B&B in mid-June for single occupation , just before the start of the main tourist season (most prices in the $130-200 range for a room). The breakfasts are definitely not 'cookie-cutter' , with a nice buffet to choose from , and cooked egg/bacon dishes if you want.
Mario and his wife Roni are in attendance , serving in the restaurant at most meals, and Lara appears from time to check if you like the cooking - always with a smile , and never intrusive.
If I were to own a B&B with restaurant , it would look and feel much like the Squire Tarbox , and the opportunity to stroll down to the picturesque saltwater marsh on the Inn's property is a definite bonus not to be missed - but load up on bug repellent when you walk , as the mosquitos in the woodland are voracious and unforgiving!
Budget for around around $200 per night for B&B and dinner including wine , which is what I paid as a solo traveller - I guess the per adult cost would be a bit lower when travelling as a couple or family - but its a great location for kids to experience something rural , different , and away from the normal Maine tourist attractions - by the way no TV , and Wi-Fi only in the reception room of the Inn.
- Also Known As:
- Squire Tarbox Wiscasset, Maine