Monti-Al-Mare, meaning from the mountains to the sea is my favorite red to pour from Cellardoor Winery, and describes Camden, Maine perfectly. Camden has always been special to me, as I grew up jumping in the back of the Volvo to “take a drive down the coast”. The notion that I took growing up in Maine for granted is not new, but my appreciation for Camden was renewed over my recent summer getaway. I have stayed at many Lark Hotels properties and have always been impressed, but driving into The Whitehall felt like arriving home.
The old fashioned charm of this property, blended with the modern camp decor gives you a luxury Maine experience. The Whitehall creates an environment meant for relaxation. A place to enjoy things like reading a book on the shaded front porch, sipping a glass of wine by the fire, or giving it your all and letting your competitive juices flow on the shuffleboard court. It is a refreshing feeling to stay somewhere that you don’t feel the need to wake up and rush out the door! Once we managed to drag ourselves out of the plush white bed linens, the screened in porch was the perfect place to enjoy a delicious breakfast. Complete with a glass of fresh pressed OJ, and nice strong coffee!
Ready to take on the day we hit the trail of Maiden’s Cliff overlooking Megunticook Lake. This hike can be steep at times, but well worth the view (and possibility of being sore the next day!). If kayaking is more up your alley, scoop up some rentals from Maine Sport Outfitters and start paddling! Packing a picnic for lunch is the way to go, scoop up sandwiches and a bottle of Moxie (maybe some waters) from the Megunticook Market and head to Laite Memorial Park.
Our trip to Camden happened to coincide with National Lighthouse Day! It is always so interesting to hear stories from a time when digital navigation and phones didn’t exist to help seamen navigate their way through the night, but whom they had to rely on to show them the way. Until the responsibility was assumed by the Coast Guard, the Rockland Breakwater was tended to by a keeper and assistant keeper who had to spend time away from their families because the four bedroom dwelling was too small for two families! The walk out to the lighthouse is beautiful and allows you glimpse into the working waters of Maine.
After returning to The Whitehall to freshen up we asked the innkeepers for recommendations for an aperitif and dinner, and they were right on target. We arrived at The View just in time to scoop up the last comfy chairs on the rooftop patio and catch sunset. The “Sunfire” jalapeño tequila cocktail was just what we were looking for! So light and refreshing, the perfect thing to have in hand while watching the boats navigate their way around one another in the harbor. When we got to our table at Fresh & Co for dinner on the outdoor patio we were ravishing! What we did not know, was that we would be dreaming about the vegetarian polenta dish for weeks to come. The combination of fried polenta, local greens, roasted vegetables, and fresh goat cheese created a dreamy plate that we were sad to see cleared from the table.
Attempting to keep our night alive we ventured to Natalie’s for a nightcap. We cozied ourselves up to the bar for an espresso martini (decaf of course)! Our bartender tended to us carefully, even let us be the first to sample a recent batch of Limoncello! As we arrived home, walking over the tree roots in the parking lot, we felt as though we were walking back into a summer home that was just for us. As a Mainer who lives away, an experience like this is invaluable. We thoroughly enjoyed our time on a lark, and can’t wait to return to The Whitehall.
Until next time, stay gangster.