50 Great Bed & Breakfasts and Inns: New England

Includes Over 100 Signature Brunch Recipes


By Susan Sulich

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Susan Sulich takes readers on a trip across New England to explore the top B&Bs and inns. From the Brewster House in Freeport, Maine to the Steamboat Inn in Mystic, Connecticut, the book will provide a brief history of the inn, its locale, as well as suggestions for activities in the surrounding areas.

For those who don’t want their vacations to end, it’s also a delectable cookbook including more than 100 of the bed and breakfasts’ signature dishes, such as Carrot Cake Pancakes with Cinnamon Syrup and Cream Cheese Icing, Crab Cake Eggs Benedict, and Maine Blueberry Stuffed French Toast. 50 Great Bed & Breakfasts and Inns: New England is perfect for anyone looking to see New England from the comfort of their home, or enjoy a country breakfast, New England- style.



Hundreds of vacation experiences await the traveler in the six New England states. From skiing on powdery snow-covered mountains, to gathering shells on sandy beaches, to driving a scenic road when the fall foliage is setting the hills ablaze with spectacular color, the offerings multiply with the passing seasons.

Bed and breakfasts and inns, each with its own personality and style, offer unique accommodations from which to explore the region. The lodgings become part of the adventure, with unexpected surprises awaiting you at every turn: period furnishings, charming gardens, innkeepers, and guests with interesting stories to tell.

Breakfast, that most humble of meals (often filled with meager and unimaginative fare or skipped altogether), gets top billing when you stay at one of these establishments, and many of the recipes are inspired by the region. Indulge in Lobstah Eggs (page 241) as you sit at a table overlooking a Maine harbor and watch the boats bob in the waves while imagining the wonders that await you at spectacular Acadia National Park. Savor a slice of fresh-out-of-the-oven Cranberry-Zucchini Bread (page 133) as you ponder the path of the first pilgrims in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Enjoy a bowl of Maple Granola (page 208) during maple-sugaring season in the heart of Vermont. These are just a few of the mouthwatering ways to start your day that you’ll find within these pages.

Before setting out to see art exhibits, wine trails, and living history museums, your palate can explore new breakfast flavors with imaginative combinations, like Duck and Green Chile Hash with Poached Eggs and Chipotle Hollandaise (page 168), Maple-Banana-Bacon Muffins (page 144), and Mascarpone Cheese and Fruit-Stuffed French Toast Croissants (page 24).

This book will take you on a tour of the most unique, luxurious, and welcoming bed and breakfasts and inns in New England. They are found snuggled into mountainsides, dotting the endless miles of shoreline, and standing guard on the main streets of quaint towns. Many are situated to take full advantage of New England’s diverse and breathtaking landscapes, with features such as an outdoor hot tub, where you can feel the cares of the world ebb away as you listen to the waves washing up on a nearby beach, or a breakfast room with floor-to-ceiling windows that bring the outdoors right up to your orange juice. When was the last time there was something worth lingering over with your coffee?

New England also offers a doorway to the past and is richly steeped in early American history. Scouting antiques on Connecticut country roads, you can time-travel back to our country’s early days and truly immerse yourself in the time period by lodging at a bed and breakfast that’s furnished with colonial period pieces, then greet the morning with Applesauce Parfait (page 25) made with New England brown bread, a recipe the earliest settlers learned from the Native Americans, or maybe some Cranberry-Walnut Scones (page 114), a holdover from Mother England. The traveler who wants a more diverse weekend can stay over at an inn where Robert Todd Lincoln and President William Howard Taft may once have supped, and wake up to an Apple-Cheddar Quiche (page 184), made with Vermont’s most famous cheddar, before heading out for a day of outlet shopping.

It’s safe to say that there is an appealing New England getaway for everyone. The diversity of activities, accommodations, and menus affords limitless possibilities. You could visit all fifty inns in the book and have a distinctly different adventure at each one.

As you use this book, you’ll find a few easily identifiable features to help inform you. Tasty Tidbits shares fun foodie facts; Sweet Additions gives you variations on recipes; Local Color reveals interesting trivia and historical bits; and Things to Do offers suggestions for both well- and little-known excursions within striking distance of the inns and B&Bs.

50 Great Bed & Breakfasts and Inns—New England tells you where to go, what you’ll find when you get there, and how to bring a delicious slice of your trip back home. Get a cup of coffee and thumb through the pages. You’ll be enticed by recipes you’ll want to serve your family for breakfast or to guests for a festive brunch. You’ll also be inspired to start planning your next New England getaway.

Godspeed and bon appétit!

—Susan Sulich


When I was a child, I saw lots of movies about happy people living in Connecticut. And ever since then, that was where I wanted to live. I thought it would be like the movies. And it really is. It’s exactly what I hoped it would be.

—Polly Bergen


The Bee and Thistle Inn was built in 1756 as a residence for Judge William Noyes and his family. The house was originally set near the Boston Post Road but was moved back to its present position and restored by the Hodgson family at the turn of the last century. A sunken garden and inviting porches were added at that time.

100 Lyme Street

Old Lyme, CT 06371



House Specialty

“Legendary” Scones

In the Bee and Thistle’s earlier days, scones with honey were a staple at dinner. Today, these renowned treats are served for both breakfast and afternoon tea at the inn.

Sweet Additions

While the scones are delicious just the way they are, you can vary the flavor by adding 4 tablespoons of diced or small plump dried fruits, such as currants, raisins, apricots, or figs, to the dough at the same time that you add the zest.

“Legendary” Scones

Yields 12 scones

3 cups all-purpose flour

⅓ cup granulated sugar, plus 4 tablespoons for sprinkling on top

2½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon salt

¾ cup (1½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 cup buttermilk, plus more as needed

1 tablespoon grated orange or lemon zest

¼ cup heavy cream

1.     Position the oven racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat to 400°F.

2.     In a medium bowl, stir the flour, ⅓ cup of the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together with a fork. Add the cold butter pieces and, using your fingertips, a pastry blender, or two knives, work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. It’s okay if some largish pieces of butter remain—they’ll add to the flakiness of the scones.

3.     Pour in the buttermilk, toss in the zest, and mix with the fork only until the ingredients are just moistened. You should have a soft dough with a rough look. (If the dough looks dry, add another tablespoon of buttermilk.)

4.     Gather the dough into a ball, pressing it gently so that it holds together. Turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it very briefly; a dozen turns should do it.

5.     Cut the dough in half.

6.     Roll one piece of the dough into a ½-inch-thick circle about 7 inches across. Brush the dough with half of the heavy cream, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar, and cut the circle into 6 triangles. Place the scones on an ungreased baking sheet and repeat with the remaining half of the dough.

7.     Bake the scones for 10 to 12 minutes, or until both the tops and bottoms are golden. Transfer the scones to a rack to cool slightly. The scones are best served warm but are just fine at room temperature.

Things to Do

Explore Local Arts

The town of Old Lyme was home to a famous art colony from 1899 to 1937. Its founder, landscape artist Henry Ward Ranger, said the area was reminiscent of pastoral scenes of the lowlands and coastal areas of Holland. The beautiful scenery attracted many artists who would take their easels outside to paint en plein air.

The Lyme Art Colony was key to the development of the American Impressionist movement, due in no small part to its most famous member, Childe Hassam. The hub of the colony was a boarding house owned by Florence Griswold, located right next door to the Bee and Thistle. Today, the Griswold home is a museum (860-434-5542 or visit www.flogris.org) showcasing the works of American Impressionists. There are several other galleries and art associations in the town, which continues to be a strong supporter of the arts.

The Bee and Thistle shares this love of art and honors the town’s tradition by featuring the works of local artists in the inn and on its grounds. Sculptures dot its five and a half acres, and works in many mediums, including photography, pen and ink, oil, and textile screen printing, decorate the walls of the common areas and the rooms at the inn. Guests can learn about the art and the artists from the Bee and Thistle’s gallery catalog and even arrange to purchase one of the artworks to take home.

Childe Hassam, Church at Old Lyme, Connecticut, 1905

The Fox and the Pineapple is by Brian Keith Stephens, a local artist whose work is shown at the Bee and Thistle.


This grand Queen Anne Victorian was built in 1890. The house was a wedding gift to Georgianna Simpson Hull and Charles Tibbits from her parents. Her father, Gurdon W. Hull founded Simpson, Hall & Miller Company, a prominent silver manufacturer that eventually became International Silver Company. The inn is an outstanding example of Victorian design. Its many exquisitely crafted hallmarks include hipped slate roofs capped with finials; textured, multipatterned shingles and clapboards; latticed porches; and intricate relief work.

245 North Main Street

Wallingford, CT 06492



House Specialties

Beet Pancakes with Ricotta Stars

Drizzle syrup or honey on these pancakes and serve with sausage links and dry, scorched peach slices.

The New Englander

This tasty breakfast consists of eggs over easy with corned beef and lentil hash accompanied by fresh-caught Atlantic salmon.

The shores of Connecticut have always been an abundant source of fresh seafood. Atlantic salmon, drizzled with a vinegar reduction, gives this traditional breakfast a regional flair.

Beet Pancakes with Ricotta Stars

Yields about 12 4-inch pancakes

1 cup tapioca pearls

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 large beets, peeled, shredded and placed in a sieve to drain (about 1½ cups)

½ teaspoon cinnamon

3 large eggs

12 ounces sparkling water

½ cup high-quality farm-fresh ricotta

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1.     Put 2 cups of water and the tapioca pearls in a small saucepan and cook on low heat for ½ hour, or until done.

2.     Put the flour in a large bowl.

3.     Fold in the beets and cinnamon.

4.     Beat the eggs and pour them into the beet mixture.

5.     Slowly mix in enough sparkling water to create a thin batter (a little more than a cup should be enough).

6.     Pour scoopfuls of batter onto a hot, greased griddle or skillet and cook until bubbly on one side, about 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the pancakes over and finish cooking.

7.     Whip the ricotta cheese together with the nutmeg. Put the mixture in a pastry bag with a star tip and pipe stars on top of the pancakes.

Tasty Tidbit

A famous sweet treat has its home in the state of Connecticut. In Orange, you’ll find the PEZ factory and museum. First created in Austria in 1929, these small, pressed candies immigrated to the United States in the 1950s. To make the candy more popular in this country, the company began producing its signature dispensers in fun shapes and with cartoon characters, which are now collectors’ items. You can visit the factory to learn more about the candy’s history and to actually see PEZ in production. Go to www.pez.com for more information.

The New Englander

Yields 4 servings

4 cups lentils

1 pound corned beef, uncooked and diced small

1⅓ cups chopped onion

4 cornichons, chopped fine

12 ounces fresh salmon

Salt and pepper

8 large eggs

4 handfuls arugula and baby kale

Vinegar Reduction (box, below), for drizzling

1.     Steam or boil the lentils until cooked, about ½ hour.

2.     Lightly coat a small sauté pan with olive oil and place on medium heat.

3.     Add the corned beef to the pan and brown, stirring frequently.

4.     Add the onion and continue cooking until the onion is soft and translucent.

5.     Once the corned beef is browned and the onions are cooked, fold in the lentils.

6.     Stir in the cornichons.

7.     In a separate pan, season the salmon with salt and pepper and pan-sear up to 4 or 5 minutes per side, depending on desired doneness.

8.     Cook the eggs over easy. Remove from the pan and throw in the arugula and baby kale to wilt slightly.

9.     Put the greens on a plate and place the salmon on top. Drizzle the vinegar reduction over the salmon.

10.   Add the eggs and hash.

Vinegar Reduction

You can easily make your own vinegar reduction. Start with 8 ounces of your favorite balsamic vinegar. Bring to a low boil and continue cooking until the vinegar is reduced down to about a third of what you started with and has a thick, syrupy consistency. Just be sure to open the windows when you do this because the steam from the cooking vinegar will sting your eyes and lungs!


Named after the large copper beech tree growing in the front yard, this inn is situated in the quaint town of Ivoryton, which is dotted with colonial homes all along Main Street. Nearby are historic landmarks, including Gillette Castle, the highly acclaimed Ivoryton Playhouse and Goodspeed Opera House, antique and outlet shopping, and beach and shoreline attractions.

46 Main Street

Ivoryton, CT 06442



House Specialties

Buttermilk-Peach Pancakes

This is a guest favorite at the Copper Beech Inn. You can’t go wrong with the classic combination of Bisquick and buttermilk for making perfect fluffy pancakes every time. However, if you wish, you can substitute your own favorite pancake mix. For maximum flavor, choose peaches from a local orchard and marinate them the evening before making the pancakes.

Stuffed Popovers

Popovers are never as good as when they first come out of the oven and should be served immediately after baking.

Tasty Tidbit

Popovers are an early American modification of the English Yorkshire pudding that New England settlers enjoyed back home.

Buttermilk-Peach Pancakes

Yields 4 servings

2 cups pancake mix (innkeeper’s preference: Betty Crocker’s Bisquick Original Pancake & Baking Mix)

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1½ cups buttermilk

1 large egg

Zest from ½ lemon

1½ cups diced fresh peaches, marinated in about 1 tablespoon peach preserves and a dash of peach brandy

Confectioners’ sugar and mint leaves, for garnish

Sliced fresh peaches and Vermont maple syrup, for serving

1.     In a medium bowl, mix the pancake mix, sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon.

2.     Add the buttermilk, egg, and lemon zest, stirring with a fork or whisk until blended. Allow the batter to sit for a few minutes.

3.     Place a griddle or skillet over medium-high heat. Grease with vegetable oil or, for added flavor, clarified butter. Pour the batter onto the hot griddle to the pancake size you prefer (about ¼ cup of batter will make a 4-inch pancake). Put some of the peaches on top. Cook until the edges of the pancake are dry and bubbles form on top, about 2½ minutes. Turn over and cook the other side until golden brown.

4.     Sprinkle the pancakes with confectioners’ sugar and garnish with mint leaves. Serve with sliced fresh peaches and Vermont maple syrup.

Tasty Tidbit

If you’re driving from the south via Interstate 95, you can stop along the way at one of Connecticut’s foodie landmarks: Louis’ Lunch (www.louislunch.com) in New Haven. Founded in 1895, Louis’ Lunch claims to be the place where the hamburger sandwich was born. Legend has it that the hamburger was created when Louis slapped ground steak between two slices of toast in response to a customer’s request for a fast lunch to go. Today, burgers are still cooked in the restaurant’s antique vertical cast-iron gas grills and offered with cheese, tomato, or onion—but don’t ask for ketchup or mustard; they are not allowed at Louis’ Lunch.

Stuffed Popovers

Yields 6 popovers


1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 cup all-purpose flour

1½ teaspoons kosher salt

2 large farm-fresh eggs, at room temperature

1 cup whole milk, at room temperature


1 teaspoon olive oil

3 farm-fresh eggs, beaten

½ cup diced heirloom tomatoes

¼ cup chopped scallions

1 tablespoon cream cheese

Salt and pepper

1.     Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2.     Grease a 6-cup popover pan with butter.

3.     Combine the melted butter with the flour, salt, eggs, and milk in a food processor or blender and process for 30 seconds.

4.     Divide the batter evenly among the cups of the popover pan, filling each cup one-third to one-half full. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 40 minutes, taking care not to open the oven door. Remove the popovers to a cooling rack and pierce each one in the top with a knife to allow steam to escape.

5.     Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan and add the eggs, tomatoes, and scallions.

6.     Fold in the cream cheese. Use a rubber spatula to continuously fold the egg mixture until you reach a fluffy or desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

7.     Slice the popovers in half horizontally and spoon the egg filling into the bottom half. Put the top half back on and serve immediately.



On Sale
Aug 11, 2015
Page Count
256 pages
Running Press

Susan Sulich

About the Author

Susan Sulich is an editor and writer whose work has included editing food articles and recipes for Woman’s Day magazine and cookbooks on Asian noodles, cake decorating, gelato, and more. She loves to travel with her husband and whenever possible they stay at B&Bs. Susan lives in Fairfield, Connecticut.

Learn more about this author