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Monday, December 30, 2013

First Night Sandwich - Happy 2014

Can you believe Christmas is over and the new year is almost here. It feels like we just decorated our bed and breakfast for the Christmas events and now we are only days away from taking down the tree and unplugging the outside lights until next December. Even as this year draws to a close, we still have a lot going on in our quaint little village.
This New Year's Eve will be the second celebration of "First Night" in Sandwich. The events are centered around Main Street and Shawme Pond, which is literally at the end of our driveway. All of the festivities are family friendly and run from 4:00 pm until the beginning of the finale at 9:00 pm. A food court will be conveniently located in the Sandwich Library parking lot on Main Street.

Outdoor activities are free and access to all indoor events is obtained with the purchase of the First Night Button, which is available in advance online or at numerous locations around Sandwich. The buttons are $10 each for adults and $6 for children 12 and under. Kids under 3 attend for free. Indoor activities for the kids include mask making and puppeteers.

The very special Bioluminescence Parade begins at the Wing School at 6:00 pm and will proceed down Main Street. There will be numerous  musical and dance performances at various locations throughout the village. All of the festivities lead up to the "Grand Countdown" that  will be held by the Dexter Grist Mill on Shawme Pond. The countdown features one of the fabulous Michael Magyar  "Giants" which will be lighted at 9:00 pm to celebrate the beginning of 2014.

A special treat at this year’s First Night is the kick off of the year-long celebration of Sandwich’s 375 Anniversary. Although the village was founded in 1637, it was not incorporated until 1639. From January through December, 2014, special celebratory events will be going on almost every month to commemorate the founding of the oldest town on Cape Cod. 

Here at the Inn the tree will still be up and we are welcoming guests. See our packages that include Buttons to First Night to help you celebrate the arrival of the New Year. We hope you will join us for some of the many special 375th events throughout 2014.  The Sandwich 375th website has a listing of these events and the details. Our 375th Special will be posted on our website.

Happy New Year!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Fall on Cape Cod

With the Autumnal Equinox on September 21st, Fall has officially arrived. With it comes mild days and cool nights and perfect weather for outdoor activities in Cape Cod. We are looking forward to beautiful leaf color this year and lots of visitors at our bed and breakfast inn.

Fall is such a wonderful time to visit Sandwich. The Sandwich Glass Museum has some great exhibits for those rainy days and Heritage Museums and Gardens is still open where you can enjoy the colorful foliage. There is still time to see "Driving our Dreams: Imagination in Motion". Strolling the 100+ acres of the botanical gardens is a joy in the fall.

All of the restaurants in Sandwich are open and, for your dining pleasure, not nearly so crowded as they are during the summer months. You will find everything from the superb fine-dining a the Belfry Bistro to the casual setting at Seafood Sam's. The Sagamore Inn is still open and serving great Italian food and fresh seafood. Their lobster roll remains, in Charlie's opinion, one of the best on Cape Cod. The Aqua Grille has changed hands and has a terrific new seafood menu. There is still time to sit in one of their Adirondack chairs on the lawn overlooking the marina and enjoy a cocktail. In the early evening, dinner on the patio is nice as they have a fire pit for warmth.

 The Brown Jug has just installed their fire pit out on the patio for the season. On Saturday and Sunday afternoons, Gregg Harper's dulcet tones can be enjoyed with a tasty cheese platter and wine or you can ask Michael to prepare a warm drink for you.

There is no better way to enjoy the fall than a visit to Sandwich. As you stroll about out quaint, historic village, you will catch the aroma of logs burning in antique fireplaces, fall wreaths adorn many of the front doors of homes that are 200+ years old, and the trees are sporting their fall attire. Take a walk through Old Town Cemetery for a history lesson of the town's founding families. Stop in at the Dunbar Tea Shoppe for a pot of tea, served the English way, and one of their succulent treats.

All around Sandwich there are hidden paths to hike, rivers and streams to kayak, and trails to bike. Come for a visit and we will provide you with maps and directions to wherever you would like to go.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday The 13th and All is Well on Cape Cod

It may be Friday the 13th but, so far, no black cats or ladders around anywhere. Fall is pushing its' way in and the weather is perfect for outdoor activities. There are lots of fun things to do on Cape Cod this time of the year. In Sandwich, everything is open and everyone is taking advantage of the cooler weather and smaller crowds.

Provincetown begins Ten Days of Art Festival which will run until September 22nd. The kickoff is Friday, September 13th from 5 - 8pm at the Town Hall. For 10 days, more than 30 Provincetown artists will be performing and exhibiting their work. This is the third year for this now annual event and it is entitled "The Hidden Treasures of Provincetown". This event is being done in conjunction with the Center for Coastal Studies to bring awareness to the hidden treasures that surround the area.

 The Harwich Cranberry Arts and Music Festival is Saturday and Sunday, September 14th and 15th. Enjoy work by artists and artisans from Cape Cod and southeast Massachusetts in the beautiful setting of Brooks Park at the corner of Main and Oak Streets. The Cranberry Jam music festival will feature a number of performances from 2:30 - 8:30 pm in the parks ball field. There will be lots of food vendors serving gourmet hotdogs, ice cream, and more. More information is available on their website.

For nature enthusiasts, the Long Wild life Sanctuary is holding the 4th Annual Cape Cod Wildlife Festival on Saturday, September 14th from 10 am - 3 pm. The are located at 345 Bone Hill Road off Route 6A in Cummaquid. There will be wildlife experts on hand to answer questions and lots of food and activities. Rain date is Sunday, September 15th and admission is free. Call 508-362-7475 for more information.

For bird lovers, the first ever Cape Cod Bird Festival is being held in Brewster at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History. Birdwatching is second only to gardening as the most favorite hobby in the United States. On Sunday, September 15th, Family Day is a wonderful free event. Enjoy craft projects, ask the expert sessions, and bird exhibits.

Other fun awaiting visitors to the Cape are:
--Tours of the Cape Cod Brewer at 11 am daily except Sunday. The brewery is located at 1336 Phinney's Lane in Hyannis. The tours are free and you can get more information by calling 508-790-4200.
--Walking tours of historic Sandwich Village from 10 - 11:30 am on Saturday from the Sandwich Glass Museum on Tupper Road. Donations are welcome and you can contact them at 508-888-0251.
---Lighthouse tours of Nauset Light in Eastham 1 - 4 pm on Sunday, the Three Sisters Lighthouses at the National Seashore in Eastham from 4 -5 pm on Sunday and Tuesday, and Chatham Lighthouse at Coast Guard Station in Chatham from 1 - 3:30 pm on Wednesday.

If you are planning a get-away to Cape Cod, we hope you will come stay with us and have some fall fun.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Barnstable Oysterfest 2013

One of the nature habitats we love on Cape Cod, and one of the places we encourage guests staying at our inn to visit, is the Massachusetts Audubon's Long Pasture in  Cummaquid. It is one of those little hidden treasures on the Cape and is such a beautiful place to visit for hiking, kayaking, and exploring the beauty of the marshes of Cape Cod Bay.

In addition to the many wonderful things to do there, On September 21st, 2013, that will be the location for the First Annual Barnstable Harbor Oysterfest. It is an opportunity to learn about the oyster farms of Barnstable and to enjoy a wonderful late afternoon event featuring tastings from some of Barnstable's great restaurants.

The event will feature oysters from Cape Cod Oysters, Wianno Oysters, and Barnstable Sea Farms. Some of the participating restaurants are the Barnstable Tavern, the Dolphin, Mattakeese Wharf, Osterville Fish Too, and the Naked Oyster. Along with the food will be Cape Cod Beer, wine, and chamber music to enjoy. The musicians are members of the Cape Cod Symphony.

Even though you may not live on Cape Cod, this is a wonderful event to enjoy while visiting and you will be supporting the efforts of the Massachusetts Audubon Society, the Barnstable Land Trust, and the Barnstable Village Civic Association. The mission of these nonprofit organizations is to protect the environment we call home for future generations of residents and visitors to this beautiful area.

The event will be held under a tent on the grounds of  Long Pasture located at 345 Bone Hill Road in Cummaquid from 3 pm to 6 pm. Tickets are $100 each and can be purchased on line from the Barnstable Oyster Fest website.

Jan Preus, the Innkeeper, chef, and artist in residence at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Visit Historic Sandwich's Dexter Grist Mill

One of the first grist mills on Cape Cod is located right here in Sandwich Village and just across the street from our bed and breakfast. You can visit the mill during the summer months to learn about a little piece of Sandwich history and watch as they grind corn just as it was done in the 1640's.

Gray grist mill with pond and trees.
The mill got its' name from the Dexter family, which was one of the original ten families to settle in what is now Sandwich in the year 1637. They built the mill as a community resource to grind corn for making bread. During this time in history, corn was a main staple for families trying to survive in the harsh new world of New England.

In 1640, the mill was located at the bottom of lower Shawme Pond so that the water power could be harnessed  to drive the paddle wheel. After being idle for decades, an historically accurate restoration began in the 1960's. The process returned the mill's machinery to the earliest type used in this country. It is once again driven by water power from the adjacent pond.

As you tour the mill and watch as its' work is performed, it is difficult to imagine the effort and skill required during the 1600's to create the massive, grooved, grinding stone and mechanical leveraging necessary for the grinding process.

The Dexter Grist Mill stands proudly today as a memorial to the early inhabitants of Cape Cod and their creativity and determination to survive. It is one of the most photographed sites on the Cape making it the Cape's own Motif #1.

The mill is located adjacent to the Sandwich Town Hall in the heart of historic Town Hall Square and is surrounded by 17th and 18th century homes. One of these restored homes is the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center where we proudly welcome guests and even on occasion serve Rosemary Roasted Corn Muffins made from cornmeal ground at the Dexter Grist Mill.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Great Lunch at the Pickle Jar Kitchen

We love visiting Falmouth Village. There are lots of cute shops and great places to eat. It is a real treat for us to be able to take a few hours off from the inn and head down for lunch.

We used to love to go to Laureen's on 170 Main Street. Several years ago they closed and the eateries that appeared in that location have never quite made the grade. At least not until now with the Pickle Jar Kitchen.

Outdoor diners at the Pickle Jar Restaurant with tables and patrons.
 This charming restaurant is the joint venture of Benjamin and Cassandra Gallant and Kevin and Elisabeth Lay. Benjamin has been chef at several well-known Cape restaurants and he and Cassandra operate Dine Catering. The Lays are the owners of Butterqueen Cakes, whose bakery items are served at the restaurant.

The Pickle Jar Kitchen serves breakfast and lunch every day but Tuesday, when they are closed. The menu items are interesting and contain wonderfully fresh ingredients. The salads are beautiful and have unique combinations of ingredients, as do their "Sammiches". The Chicken, Kale, and Quinoa soup is wonderful. My personal favorite menu item is the Quinoa Tabouleh Platter and Charlie is quite partial to the Nobska Light Sammich, which has their house-cured salmon pastrami, pea shoots, carrot curls, shaved marinated fennel, mixed greens with a herb-yogurt dressing in grilled lavash. It is beautiful as well as tasty. Their House Fries are amazing as are the Fried Pickle Chips. Of course, most of their lunch items have pickles on the side and their iced tea is served in pickle jars. So charming.

The House Pickles vary according to what produce is available seasonally. Some of the tasty blends
Photo of the Pickle Jar blackboard with a welcome note on it.
are the Mexi-Cali Carrot and Jalapeno, Spiced Pickled Red Onion, Marinated Mushrooms, Olives and Capers, and their House Garden Pickle which is seasonal veggies in champagne dill vinegar. The varieties are for sale at the restaurant.

Next time you are in Falmouth, stop by the Pickle Jar Kitchen for a bite. You can sit inside in their cute dining room or grab a table outside. You'll love the food. The menu is available on their website.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

It's Time for Cape League Baseball 2013

Red, white, and blue Cape league logo
 By Charlie Preus

All is good in New England, the Red Sox are leading their division, yes I know its way early, but any time we are out front of the New York Yankees is a good thing. Even better than the Red Sox for us Cape Coders, is the fact that the Cape Cod Baseball League starts playing this week. The CCBL is a one of the country’s premier leagues for displaying college level talent. Select college players from all across the United States are invited to spend the summer on the Cape playing for one of the ten teams in the league. Nine of the teams play at Cape Town’s from Bourne to Orleans and the tenth is just over the Bourne Bridge in Wareham. All ten teams kick off the season with games on Wednesday and you can see a game somewhere almost every night of the summer until the playoffs start on August 6th.

Map showing Cape Cod baseball league team locations
The Cape league, in addition to providing great summer time entertainment to the locals and visitors, is a major proving ground for prospective Major League Baseball players. In the 2013 MLB draft held June 6-8th, the Draft’s number one overall pick by the Houston Astros was Mark Appel who played for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in 2011. The second pick was Kris Bryant who played for the Chatham Anglers and at number six was Colin Moran who played for my team, the Bourne Braves. In fact twenty of the top thirty-three first round picks spent their summers playing in the CCBL. These new draftees will be joining the 253 other CCBL alumni that played on MLB teams in the 2012 season. The alumni includes catcher Buster Posey of the World Champion San Francisco Giants who was the National League Rookie of the Year in 2010, National League MVP and batting champion in 2012, and leader of the team that has won two of the last three world series. In 2006 and 2007, you could have watched him all summer as he played shortstop for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox. 

If you like baseball and plan to visit Cape Cod, stay with us at our Sandwich Inn and we will direct you to the ten great fields. All of the regular season games start between 5:00PM and 7:00PM. You can spend the day visiting the many Cape Cod attractions and at the end of the day catch a game. Better yet, if you have a relative or favorite local college player in the CCLB, stay with us and we’ll help you with a sight-seeing schedule around their games so you can end each day viewing his next game.

Check out the full Cape Cod League ten team schedule and pick the dates to stay with us based on the local team you want to support or the future MVP you want to watch.

Note: Charlie Preus is the assistant innkeeper, wine steward, and general entertainment for the guests at our inn.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A New Season of Sandwich Farmers' Markets

photo of fruits, vegetables, and a lobster on a farm
Farmers' markets on Cape Cod have been multiplying in recent years to meet the growing demand for locally grown foods. From Sandwich to Provincetown and the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, no matter where you are visiting, it is easier than ever to find a farmers' market.

Varying in size and types of products, the modern farmers' market provides much more than the fruits and vegetables of yesterday. With new growing techniques and the interest in organically grown products, terms such as hydroponic, aquaponics, sustainable agriculture, and dietary movements such as slow food and raw food are becoming more familiar.

Here in Sandwich we are fortunate to have two farmers' markets each week. On Tuesdays from June to October, purveyors of an array of locally produced products populate booths at the Sandwich Farmers' Market on the Town Green at 164 Route 6A. From the end of April through early October, a field at 34 Mettinghouse Road is the site of the Oakcrest Cove Farmers' Market. This market is open from 9 am until 1 pm.

display of strawberries at Sandwich Farmers' MarketBooths with breads, handmade soaps, live lobsters, cheese, pasta, wine, pastries, fruits, herbs, veggies, and other local products for your shopping pleasure are available at both Sandwich Farmers' Markets. Some of the purveyors you will find are Burgess Farm, Salty Lou's, Fromage A Trois, E & T Farms, Dave's Cape Cod Smokehouse, Pain D'Avignon, Summer House Natural Soaps, Nantucket Wild Gourmet Smokehouse, Coastal Vineyards, and Allan Farm.

The farm at Camp Burgess in Sandwich is a year-round organic farm growing vegetables, herbs, and producing eggs. A flock of dwarf goats "mow" the weeds and a recently adopted barn cat is the resident mouser. This educational farm teaches campers about local and sustainable farming as they learn about the cost of food and the importance of farmers in any culture. Of the food produced at the farm, some is used in the camp's dining hall, some goes to the Sandwich Farmers Market, and a portion goes to local food pantries.

Salty Lou's from East Sandwich, a direct to you lobster business, sells live lobsters that are harvested from Cape Cod waters. Fromage a Trois from West Barnstable, a pasta and cheese shop, sells handcrafted cheese and pastas. E & T Farms from West Barnstable has hydroponic vegetables, herbs, blueberries, and their local honey.

Dave's Cape Cod Smoke House from Harwich has natural hickory smoked meats, fish and shellfish. He has a different produce for each season of the farmers market. Pain D'Avignon from Hyannis, a traditional French bread bakery, sells their wonderful fresh-baked breads.

photo of jars of homemade granola
Honey I/m Home Granola
In addition to their handcrafted natural soaps, the Summer House Natural Soaps from West Barnstable sells their herbs and flowers. Nantucket Wild Gourmet Smokehouse from Chatham sells the smoked salmon that they make, and Coastal Vineyards from South Dartmouth has boutique, local wines. Allan Farm from Westport, MA has organic greens, herbs, and produce.

Honey I'm Home from Plymouth, MA has a selection of their products that are made with local ingredients. Some of the yummies you will find in their booth are breads, granola, galettes, cookies, and cupcakes.

Other farms with booths at the Sandwich Farmers Market are Freitas Farm from Middleborough, MA, with fruit and veggies, and J. H. Beaulieu Livestock and Produce Farm with their naturally-grown and field raised beef.

Visit a local farmers' market and support your local farmers and artisans. Regular updates on the vendors appearing at the Sandwich Farmers' market are posted online at Buy Fresh Buy Local on Cape Cod. You can also see a map that shows locations of farmers' markets on Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Heritage Museums & Gardens Rhododendrons are in Bloom

Rhododendrons at Heritage Museums and GardensOne of the most stunning events of the season at Heritage Museums & Gardens is the Rhododendron Festival with the blooming of their 10,000 rhododendrons from late May to early June. This occurrence is breathtaking in the sheer volume and numbers of these bushes. What is so exciting is the uniqueness of some of the colors and varieties. Dexter Rhododendron garden at Heritage Museums and Gardens

Charles Owen Dexter once owned the farm that is now Heritage Museums & Gardens. His life-long love of gardening led him to hybridizing rhododendrons. He raised thousands of these beautiful plants around the property that he, with the help of a landscape architect, had turned into a country estate. He was able to produce plants with heavier foliage and larger blossoms of superior color. He produced thousands of seedlings annually and was very generous in sharing them free of charge with nurseries, other horticultural gardens, friends, and acquaintances. The Dexter rhododendrons are among some of the best in the region.

Path and pink rhododendronsThe Heritage grounds are covered with rhododendrons but there is an area devoted to the Dexter rhododendrons. When you purchase your ticket to tour the gardens and museums, you can get a map showing where this area is.

Magnolias outdoor cafe at Heritage with diners under a tent and a sign.
Magnolia Cafe
On a recent beautiful and sunny afternoon, we donned our walking shoes, grabbed the camera, andheaded up the hill from out bed and breakfast to Heritage Museums & Gardens to see the rhodies. We have a membership to the gardens and have been there many times, but have never made it to see the rhododendrons in full blossom. I also had promised Charlie that, if he would go with me to see the rhodies, I would go with him, again, to see the concept card exhibit in the auto museum at Heritage. The truth is, I really wanted to see the car exhibit again and he enjoyed the walk around the gardens.

After a lovely walk, we stopped off at Magnolias, the outdoor cafe on the grounds, for a brownie
sundae. What a treat.

We hope you come to Sandwich this year and take the opportunity to visit this crown jewel of Cape Cod. If the rhodies aren't blooming, something else beautiful will be. Stay at our bed and breakfast and choose our "Sandwich by the See Summer Fun" package, we include tickets to Heritage Museums & Gardens.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Cape Cod Artists Shanties Return to Hyannis Seaport

Each year we look forward to the arrival of warm weather to Cape Cod. With it comes the opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities. On a recent warm Sunday afternoon, we headed down to Hyannis Harbor to check out the HYArts artist shanties that are situated along the boardwalk on the waterfront.

The small houses that are referred to as art shanties are moved to their seasonal location on the harbor in May. Artisans throughout the Cape are invited to submit an application to show their work for a specific period of time during the season. For this reason, any time you visit the area, there are likely to be different artists displaying their work. There is always something new to see, and everything is for sale. Painters working in acrylics, oils, watercolors, and pastels will be represented. There are photographers, jewelers, potters, wood carvers, fiber artists and artisans working in other mediums represented.

During our Sunday visit, we had the good fortune to come upon Laurie Goldman and Mudlark Pottery. I was immediately drawn to her lovely pottery because it reflects the beauty of the marshes and beaches of the Cape. Her work is heavily influenced by her background in whale research as a nature writer. I especially liked her mermaid series.

Laurie Goldman of Mudlark Pottery
Laurie has recently published a book entitled Into The Field Guide - A Walk on the Beach. It is a wonderful guide to all things ocean and dunes. Although the books focus is on educating young people about the natural environment of the beaches, I loved it so much that I purchased a copy on the spot to keep in our little library at the inn. I think our guests will thoroughly enjoy it and it will be helpful to them in their beachcombing while they are visiting Cape Cod. This charming book is available on Amazon and is a great gift for anyone. Laurie occupies one of the HyArts artist shanties on weekends during the spring and fall.

The park where this unique art colony is located offers stunning views of the harbor and is
Photo showing the walkway through the artist shanties on Hyannis Harbor.
surrounded by a number of seafood restaurants. Most of them have outside seating during the warmer months. What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. There is ample paid parking available throughout the area.

The shanties are currently open on weekends from 11am until 5pm. Beginning June 28th, 2013, they
will be open seven days a week from 11am until 8pm through the month of August. They will also be
open during the month of September from 1-5 pm.

The HyArts Shanties are made possible each season through the generous support of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Hyannis Main Street The HyArts Shanties are made possible each season through the generous support of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Hyannis Main Street Business Improvement District, the Arts Foundations of Cape Cod, the Cape Cod Chamber, and the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod.

While you are visiting Cape Cod, be sure to stop by the harbor and check out some wonderful local art and if you are there during a weekend in May and June, look for Laurie.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Cape Cod Melody Tents' 2013 Season

One of our favorite summer season outings is a trip to the Cape Cod Melody Tent to enjoy a live musical performance. There is simply no better way to experience a concert than at this venue. For over 60 years, some of the best performers in the world have graced the stage here. This theater is one of the few outdoor theaters-in-the-round still in existence. The intimate setting has attracted patrons and performers to this venue for decades. With no seat more than 50 feet from the stage, every concert attendee is assured a great experience.

The 2013 season performances will begin with a concert by REO Speedwagon on Friday, June 21st. Other performers appearing this season are Chicago on Friday, June 28th; a double header with Michael McDonald and Boz Scaggs on Saturday, July 6th; Lyle Lovett on Sunday, July 7th; the great Melissa Etheridge on Thursday, July 11th; The Doobie Brothers on Saturday, July 13th; jazz trumpeter Chris Botti on Friday, August 2nd; American Idol Winner and country music star Scotty McCreery on Friday, August 9th; and Lynryd Skynyrd on Friday, August 16th.

On Saturday, August 24th and Sunday, August 25th, Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons will be performing. This is my personal, all-time favorite group. Such memories their music elicits for me. I grew up listening and dancing to such tunes as "Big Girls Don't Cry", "Walk Like a Man", and "Sherry". We were fortunate to attend their performance a couple of years ago and it was indescribable. The energy under the tent was palpable. I don't think we sat during the entire show. So many people there knew all the words to all of their music, as did I, and we sang along. It was one of the most amazing and memorable concerts I have attended anywhere. The theater production "Jersey Boys" has introduced a new generation of fans to this great music.

The 2013 season at the Melody Tent will come to a close this year on Friday, August 30th with a performance by none other than Huey Lewis & The News. Their appearance is part of their 30th Anniversary Tour.

A complete list of performers with concert dates and times is available on the Melody Tent website. If you are visiting Cape Cod this summer, attending a performance at the Melody Tent is something you will always remember. It is unlikely you will ever have this kind of concert experience again. Tickets are available online from their website.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Cape Cod Restaurant Week 2013 Has Arrived

For one week each year, restaurants throughout Cape Cod offer three to four course dinners at special prices. The 2013 Restaurant Week runs from Monday, May 13th through Sunday, May 19th and is a wonderful opportunity for diners to try new restaurants or just visit an old faithful. Participating restaurants have designed prix fixe menus that are at $25, $30, or $35 dollars plus tax and gratuity. The choices in cuisine include Mexican, Brazilian, Italian, French, Mediterranean, and American.

You may want to participate in the Cape Cod Restaurant Week photo contest. After you have chosen a restaurant, order one of the items from their prix fixe menu and when it arrives, snap a photo. Information about the contest and how to participate is posted on the Restaurant Week website. This website lists the participating restaurants with information about each one and in some cases gives their prix fixe menu.

Some restaurants are offering special items along with their dinners. The Black Cat in Hyannis includes a glass of wine. Alberto's Ristorante, also in Hyannis, is including a bottle of wine with their dinner or you can choose your own bottle from their wine list at a reduced price. The restaurant 400 East in Harwich is offering a complimentary bottle of wine with dinner for two. The Cape Sea Grille in Harwich Port is extending their special to a few specific dates after Restaurant Week. Call them or check online for these additional dates and times. The Dolphin Restaurant in Barnstable Village is including a glass of house red or white with their special dinners.

A complete list of participating restaurants and a map featuring their locations is available online to help you in planning your Cape Cod Restaurant Week visits. Be sure to call and make your reservations early to insure that you get a table at the places of your choice. What a great way to try something new and possibly find your next favorite place to dine on Cape Cod.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Hiking in Wellfleet on Cape Cod

Marconi Beach, Wellfleet, MA
 The weather this time of the year on Cape Cod is perfect for hiking. On a recent sunny day, we decided to go for an outing down Cape. As Wellfleet is one of our favorite places to visit, we thought we would stop by the beach, maybe take a short hike, and then have lunch at one of our favorite restaurants there.

Wellfleet is about a 45 minute drive from our bed and breakfast in Sandwich. In late April, when the traffic is very light, we made it in a little less time. That is the wonderful thing about visiting Cape Cod in the spring, there is not a lot of traffic on the roads and no long lines in restaurants.

Our first stop was Marconi Beach which is located on the Atlantic Ocean side of the Cape. Off Route 6, you turn right at the sign for the Marconi Station Site. Be careful to watch for cyclists as the bike trail crosses this road just after you make the turn. Follow the road to the end where there is plenty of public parking.

This beautiful public beach is part of the Cape Cod National Seashore. It is named for Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi, who in 1903 orchestrated the first wireless communication between England and the United States from this area. This time of the year the beach is nearly deserted except for a hearty few like ourselves. The view from the top of the cliffs is stunning. Recent winter storms have really taken their toll on the beaches of Cape Cod, both the Atlantic beaches and the Cape Cod Bay beaches. Here, the stairway down to the beach was severely damaged and is currently barricaded to prevent access. Repairs are scheduled to be completed by the beginning of the summer season.

Next we headed to the place that was the intent of our trip, the Atlantic White Cedar Swamp hiking trail. The entrance to the trail is back down the road towards Route 6. From this direction, and just before the bike trail crossing, you turn right and travel past the National Seashore Headquarters to the parking area. The hiking trail begins at the parking lot. This is an easy 1.2 mile trail and perfect for a first hike of the season. You may want to wear a hat and use some bug spray if you are visiting in the summer. There are mosquitoes and ticks in the area.

This is a difficult area for vegetation but behind the dunes flourish golden beach heather, broom crowberry, and bear oak, and the pitch pine that is so common here on the Cape. What is so uncommon in New England and on Cape Cod is the white cedar that you will see once you arrive at the swamp area.

Pathway to the White Cedar Swamp
The first part of the trail flows downward, but not at a difficult pitch, as you make your way to the swamp. Not to fear, once you get there you will follow a meandering walkway that has been constructed so that your feet will remain dry and the vegetation will not be disturbed. Once inside the swamp where there is more moisture, you are likely to see checkerberry, mayflower, and some wild sarsaparilla, all of which love the acidic soil created by decaying leaves and other organic matter. You will feel the temperature drop slightly and the humidity rise as you descend into the swamp. The white cedars grow in the water of the pools that are scattered throughout.

Follow the walkway to the other side of the swamp where you will enter the pathway back to the parking area. This path is slightly elevated but not a difficult hike. Before you leave the area, wander  across the parking lot and take the walkway up to the  observation deck. The view of the beach in both directions is spectacular.

Come visit us at our bed and breakfast and we will provide you with information that will help you in your exploration of Cape Cod.

I am your Innkeeper, part-time chef, and artist in residence at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Visit the 2013 Nantucket Daffodil Festival

Nantucket Island's annual celebration of spring is just around the corner; April 26 - 28, 2013, to be exact. It is easier than ever to day-trip to the annual Nantucket Daffodil Festival. In addition to their regular schedule on their high-speed ferry, Hy-Line Cruises has added a number of additional trips to accommodate all the folks who would like to attend. The trip is just one hour dock-to-dock. We are offering a special weekend rate for folks who may want to stay on Cape Cod and day-trip to Nantucket to enjoy the festivities.

On Saturday, April 27th is the Antique Car Parade. Over one hundred vintage cars all decked out in
daffodils will travel along the winding roads throughout the village, making their way to Siasconset for the annual tailgate picnic. The parade begins at 12:00 noon. For your viewing pleasure, find your spot early in the day.

The Nantucket Garden Club's Daffodil show is being held at Bartlett's Farm and will be open to the public on Saturday from 2 pm until 5 pm and on Sunday from 10 am to 4:30 pm. Admission is free but donations are greatly appreciated. There will be a free shuttle bus on Saturday starting at 1:45 pm from the Greenhound out to Bartlett's Farm. The Greenhound building is located at 10 Washington Street in Nantucket Village.

All weekend there will be a Scavenger Hunt in which all are invited to participate and there will be prizes awarded. Clue brochures are available at the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce office on Main Street. You can contact the Chamber at 508-228-3643 for more information.

Other fun activities include a Daffy Hat Pageant with categories for children and adults. There will be a Daffy Dog Parade with ribbons awarded for the best daffodil costume. A used book sale will take place at the Atheneum Gallery located at 1 India Street and a jazz concert featuring the Glazer, Walder, Goss Trio will take place there in the Great Hall from 3 - 4 pm. Island children have created a Giant Daffodil Garden located on Milestone Road. A full schedule of event is available on the Nantucket Daffodil Festival website.

Hy-Line Cruises has added the following additional trips to their normal schedule for Festival Days. For a complete schedule of departures and arrival times, see their website. You can reserve online or by calling 1-800-492-8082.

Friday, April 26th
Departures from Hyannis at 10:15am, 1:10pm, 4:00pm & 6:40pm
Departures from Nantucket at 11:45am, 2:35pm, 5:25pm & 7:55pm
Saturday, April 27th  
Departure from Hyannis at 8:30am
Departure from Nantucket 5:30pm
Sunday, April 28th 
Departures from Hyannis at 8:30am, 11:05am & 1:40pm
Departures from  Nantucket at 9:50am, 12:25pm & 3:00pm

Grab you daffiest daffodil bonnet and come stay at our inn for the weekend and take advantage of our special Daffodil Festival weekend rate. Don't forget to make your reservations to travel to Nantucket aboard the Hy-Line Cruises fast ferry.

Jan Preus, the Innkeeper, chef, and artist in residence at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Time for Kayaks, Bikes, and Hikes

 Now that the weather is vastly improved, folks are looking to get out of the house and enjoy the sunshine. This is a great time of the year to visit Cape Cod. Here in Sandwich Village, all of our wonderful restaurants are open as are most of the museums. The snow is gone from the bike paths and hiking trails and the rivers and streams are navigable by canoe or kayak. It's time to get out and enjoy the fresh sea air and shake off the vestiges of winter.

Sandwich Boardwalk
Ecotourz is open for the season with kayaks ready to take to the water. Begin at the picturesque Sandwich Boardwalk and travel along Mill Creek and into the village marshes or out to Cape Cod
Bay. You can also head over to Scorton Creek when the tide is coming in and make your way along the creek and under the bridge at Route 6A and out into the marshes to meander deep into the estuary and explore the wildlife and plant life there. You can rent kayaks by the hour or check with Justin about one of his 2-hour guided tours of the Sandwich estuaries. He offers per person and per couple rates.

Shining Sea Bike Path
Bring your bike or rent one from Ecotourz and head for the Cape Cod Canal Bike Path. The 6 to 7mile ride along the canal will re-energize you mind, body, and spirit. If that isn't long enough for you, the head of the Shining Sea Bike Path is just up the road in North Falmouth. There is plenty of parking there and you can bike all the way to Falmouth or on down to Woods Hole if the spirit moves you. The path is 10 miles long so just make sure you have the legs to make your way back to where you parked.

If kayaks or bikes are not your cup of tea, there are wonderful hiking trails in Sandwich and East Sandwich. Murkwood in East Sandwich is just a mile and a half long and loops through woods and along the salt marsh. This is a great trail for beginning hikers or for the first outing of the season as it is fairly flat. It will only take you about an hour and then you will be ready for a hot cup of coffee and a brownie at Momo's on Route 6A.

Sandy Neck Beach
If you are hale and hearty and looking for a longer trek, head over to Sandy Neck for a hike along the beach. This barrier beach offers wonderful views of Cape Cod Bay as you make your way through the dunes. If you choose to hike along the back side of this spit, you will have beautiful views across to Barnstable Harbor. Stop by the Brown Jug in Sandwich Village and pick up sandwiches and snacks before you head out and be sure to dress warmly this time of the year because the wind off the bay can be quite cool.

After a day exploring, your will be ready for a hearty dinner and a good night's rest. Come stay at our inn and we will be happy to help you plan your outdoor adventure and are make reservations for you to enjoy dinner at one of Sandwich's great restaurants.

Jan Preus, the Innkeeper, chef, and artist in residence at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

2013 Season Beginning Soon

 We are sprucing up the inn and getting ready for guests as we open for our 11th season here in historic Sandwich Village on Cape Cod. There's an awful lot to do in the gardens as the winter was not kind to us. Charlie is always excited that it is burn season and he can pick up the downed branches and twigs from the winter storms and set flame to them....always somewhat scary for me to watch.

We love living on Cape Cod and enjoy all of the seasons, but spring is particularly exciting to observe as it unfolds from the long winter. As the weather warms, each day is a new visual adventure as trees take on that green haze of burgeoning leaves and flowers begin to show their new faces. Equally exciting is the opening of Heritage Museums & Gardens and new exhibits at the already open Sandwich Glass Museum. It will be a few weeks yet until the circa 1640 Dexter Grist Mill opens along with the Hoxie House (the oldest on Cape Cod).

1986 Chevrolet Corvette Indy
GM Heritage Collection
Photo courtesy of General Motors
The official opening of Heritage Museums & Gardens is April 13th. with an exhibit that we cannot wait to visit. It is called Driving Our Dreams: Imagination in Motion. Featured in this amazing exhibit will be concept cars that were imagined by some of the country's most creative designers. These are the folks who dream up what we will be driving tomorrow. We will post a follow-up blog with photos of our visit that we hope will entice you to plan your own.

Beginning on May 18th., is another in the series of outdoor are exhibits that began last year with Whimsical Garden Gates (one of this bloggers favorites of the year). This years' exhibit is Moving Landscapes featuring wind and human-powered sculptures created by a group of four artists. The opportunity to observe the results of this kind of creative collaboration is so exciting.

The primary and ever-changing exhibit at Heritage is, of course, the 100 acres of trees, shrubs, and flowers that surround the sweeping lawns spreading from the flume to the windmill and along the pathways that lead to amazing museums that are open all season and just beckoning a frolic. We are members at Heritage M&G and take advantage of every opportunity to visit. The pleasure of just strolling along the paths and enjoying the aroma of flowering plants leaves one with such a sense of well-being.

There is always something wonderful to experience at our famed Sandwich Glass Museum. This year is no exception. On exhibit now through July 21, 2013 is Portraits of Sandwich - Denizens of Cape Cod's Oldest Town, a collection of portraits of a bygone era focusing on 19th century Sandwich. Featured are glass factory workers, war heroes, artists, and local celebrities. Although not featured in this exhibit, a portrait of our own Charlotte Hall (Lottie) Chipman is on permanent display in the foyer of the oldest part of the museum. She donated the property to the Sandwich Historical Society in 1909 and was the last of the Hall family descendants to own our house.

Bryan Randa Acorn
Now through October, the work of hot glass artist Bryan Randa will be featured in an exhibit entitled  Life Forms. Mr. Randa's work has been influenced by nature from birds to aquatic life with the major focus of this exhibition being creatures from the ocean. What could be more appropriate for Cape Cod? Of course, Sandwich is currently home to Mr. Randa as, for the last nine years, he has resided here and apprenticed under David McDermott and Yukimi Matsumoto, two of Cape Cod's most gifted glass artists.
Debbie Tarsitano glass

Beginning August 1, 2013 will be an exhibition of works by glass artist Debbie Tarsitano detailing the evolution of her career from early oil painter to hot glass artist. Ms Tarsitano is featured in collections of major museums throughout the continent.

How fortunate, not only for those of us who reside here but for visitors alike, that our quaint and historic village is home to so many wonderful museums and gifted people. Come for a visit. Stay at our bed and breakfast and experience living history in the most special way.

Jan Preus, the Innkeeper, chef, and artist in residence at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Sandwich Lunch With a View

When spring comes to Cape Cod, we can have lovely and sunny days but it can remain a bit chilly until late April. The winter this year has been harsh so, when we have a sunny day, it is wonderful to get out of the inn and find a bright spot to have lunch or coffee and a sweet treat. A delightful place to do this is MoMo's Food Emporium in East Sandwich.

Today was one of those days. We bundled up and got in the car heading east on scenic Route 6A. The drive alone was wonderful, with the sun glistening off the water at almost high tide on Scorton Creek and all the little ponds along that stretch of road. The swans on one of the ponds were also enjoying the sunshine.

Hummingbird Cake at Momo's
We are so fortunate to live on this side of the Cape that meanders along Cape Cod Bay with such lovely views of the bay and salt marshes. All along the road are signs of spring in the purple and yellow of the crocuses and daffodils and the faint green color in the shrubs and trees as they begin to bud. It is such a wonderful feeling of renewal that causes a lifting of the spirits in a most joyous way.
Momo's Food Emporium is nestled along Route 6A between the road and the marshes in East Sandwich. As you step in the door, you almost forget that you came to have lunch when you see the cakes and pastries that fill the case in the front of the shop. My eye landed on a hummingbird cake and I began to salivate. Maybe later......First, deciding what to enjoy for lunch.

Charlie enjoying a sunny at Momo's
After ordering a cup of the Spicy Asian Chicken Soup and a sandwich, we looked for a table in the sunniest spot with a view and settled in. The soup was amazing and what a perfect lunch on a chilly day. The fresh and delicious ham and cheese sandwich we shared was on a very tasty multigrain bread with a wonderful texture. Momo's serves George Howell's Terrior Gourmet Coffee and it is really good. We sat in the sun enjoying the food and the view of the marshes along Scorton Creek. As I was about to nod off from a full tummy and warmth of the sun, I remembered that Hummingbird Cake and headed for the pastry case. On the way, I was distracted by the largest brownie I have ever seen. Having been seduced by a hunk of chocolate many times, I just had to have it and Charlie agreed to share it with me. I think he was worried I would try to eat the entire brownie, which I am sure I was capable of. It was a moist, chewy, chocolaty piece of heaven. Charlie is not a person who craves sweets as I do, but even he was emitting small humming noises as he savored the moment.

Momo's Food Emporium

Momo's is a lovely place for lunch but it is so much more. There are wonderful dishes to pick up for dinner, a nice selection of imported and specialty foods, and they cater parties and gatherings. Last Thanksgiving, I picked up all of the side dishes that I served for dinner here. What a treat that was. The works of local artisans are featured in the shop and Neila, the owner and chef,  conducts cooking classes. Be sure to peruse their website.

We always tell our guests they should stop in for a treat but we have decided to put this charming emporium on our list of regular places to frequent for either lunch or our afternoon snack..... they do, after all, have 4 C's Ice Cream.  Maybe we will see you there.

Jan Preus, the Innkeeper, chef, and artist in residence at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Cape Cod 2013 Theatre Season

Poster for Cotuit Center for the Arts
Theatre flourishes on Cape Cod, even during the winter months. Innkeeping keeps us so busy during the summer and fall that we seldom have the opportunity to venture far from Sandwich, nor do we have the time to indulge our passion for live performance. While there is wonderful theatre available throughout the Cape year round, it is in the off season months that we are able to experience one of our favorite forms of enrichment, community theatre.

Having spent some time in both the visual and performing arts, few appreciate the work and energy that goes into a live performance as much as I. I think I enjoy most sitting in a darkening theatre as the house lights go down, the stage lights bloom to life, and the performers take the stage. When  the music begins my heart races in anticipation. As the lyrics waft out over the audience, I am in heaven....and trying with all my might not to sing along.

During what has been an awful winter, we were looking for a way to have some fun and checked out the Cotuit Center for the Arts website to see what was currently available in the gallery and the theatre. We were pleased to see that the current production is Rogers and Hammerstein's A Grand Night for Singing. Little did we know just what a treat we were in for. Our anticipation was such that we arrived an hour early so that we were insured the perfect seats, and we got them without too much pushing and shoving. A real stroke of luck was that we were also able to spend the waiting time viewing their current art exhibit, Making Waves.

One of the wonderful things about small, community theaters is the intimacy between audience and performers. The main performance space at the Cotuit Center for the Art is magical. Patrons sit in comfortable seats at bistro tables. The fact that wine and treats are available is a real plus for oenophiles like us.

Cotuit Center Grand Night for Singing Cast
Director Melinda Gallant and Music Director Henry Buck selected a talented group of singers and created a wonderful production for this 2013 season. Just prior to the opening of the show, center Executive Director David Kuehn took the stage to welcome the audience and invite folks to become members. His bid was charmingly and creatively  presented to the tune of My Favorite Things.
The talented cast was led by veteran performers Maria Marisco and Stephan Colella and rounded out by Laura Shea, Elisabeth Moore, and Anthony Teixeira. The four-person orchestra was the perfect balance for the singers, never overpowering nor underwhelming; of particular importance as the singers were not using microphones.

From the opening number, The Carousel Waltz,  to the closing medley of Impossible and I Have Dreamed, and with only a couple of missteps, the performances of all five singers were captivating. The missteps were handled so well and with such humor that one would think they were planed.
 All five cast members presented their individual numbers wonderfully and with great emotion. I particularly enjoyed the ensemble pieces as these five voices blended so well and, at times, produced a vibration that was exhilarating.

I am sure everyone in the audience had their favorites, as did I. While I thought all five cast members gave terrific performances, Maria Marasco dazzled. The consummate actor, her stunning soprano voice and perfect phrasing, as well as her obvious love of performing, were a joy to experience. Another stand out performance was Anthony Teixeira. This young performer has an abundance of talent. The performance we attended was first rate. The night seemed to fly by leaving the audience wanting more.

I am thrilled that we will have the opportunity to see this production again as A Grand Night For Singing will be performed on the stage or our newly renovated Sandwich Town Hall, conveniently located just across the street from our bed and breakfast inn, on Saturday, March 9, 2013.

Check out the photos on Facebook.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Visit Cape Cod

It is difficult to believe that January is almost over, but here we are. It is a time for introspection and for planning. We hope you are giving some thought to a visit to Cape Cod this year. If you are, we hope you will come to Sandwich for a truly wonderful vacation or, if time only allows, for a quick get-away. We love helping guests celebrate anniversaries and birthdays.

 You may think it is a bit premature to be planning a trip here this early in the year but, if you want to visit in the warmer months, you should give some thought to making those accommodations reservations now. Sandwich is a hugely popular place for weddings and planning ahead is important if you are to have a wonderful place to stay while you are here.

If you are attending a wedding in Sandwich this year, you may have already seen the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center listed on a "save the date" card.  Many brides who have chosen one of the beautiful  settings in Sandwich for their wedding send out these cards to people who will be attending encouraging them to make their lodging reservations as soon as possible. If you have any questions, we hope you will give us a call. We would be happy to help you in any way that we can.

If you are a first time visitor to Cape Cod, there is a wealth of information on our website about the Cape and Sandwich. As our lovely and quaint little village is the oldest in the area, there is much historic and wonderful here. Our inn is nestled historic Town Hall Square and is just across the street from the world renowned Sandwich Glass Museum and the recently renovated Sandwich Town Hall. Just up the street you will find the 1600s Dexter Grist Mill, which operates grinding corn during the summer months, and the Hoxie House, the oldest home on Cape Cod. Just a short walk up the hill is Heritage Museums & Gardens, surely the Crown Jewel of Cape Cod. Exploring these wonderful places will fill a day for you quite easily.

Sandwich is a great place to choose as a base when you are planning your vacation. You can easily day-trip to the islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard from here. If you are going to Nantucket on the 9 am ferry, we will happily send along a take-away breakfast for you to enjoy on the hour-long ferry ride over to the island. Be sure to check out the packages we have put together for you convenience in visiting these lovely islands.

We offer several packages that may be helpful to you in arranging you visit here. We have a "Whale Watch" package that offers two locations from which to depart and a "Sandwich by the See" package that has tickets to some of the most wonderful attractions in Sandwich and is a wonderful package for a great three-day get-away.

A trip to the Cape would not be complete without a stroll on the beach. We have lovely beaches here and our Sandwich Boardwalk was recently named one to the most beautiful in the world. Best of all, it is just a short walk from our bed and breakfast inn.

Come for a visit. Our promise to us is a pristine and charming place to stay and the warmest hospitality on the Cape....Your Innkeepers, Jan & Charlie.