George

A great getaway awaits you in Bath. That’s right, Bath. Perhaps you’ve driven by the city many times on U.S. Route 1 and never stopped. What a pity. With a vibrant downtown, great restaurants, one of our favorite inns and the fascinating Maine Maritime Museum — well, we just love this place.

And love it we did for two days at the end of February. We stayed at the Inn at Bath, where owner Elizabeth Knowlton knows how to pamper her guests with things like ceramic heated cups for your early morning coffee. This was our second stay here, and Elizabeth greeted us like long lost friends, which we now are.

What do I like the most at the Inn at Bath? Well, that container of peanut butter cups at the bottom of the stairway up to our room is pretty special. The artwork is stunning. Our large room included a comfortable couch, a small desk and a huge, super-comfortable bed.

The spectacular dining room, featuring everything from the carving of a heron to a beautiful chandelier, is inspiring. And so are the great breakfasts cooked by Elizabeth. Don’t I wish I’d visited her when she owned a sporting camp in Montana and cooked all the meals there.

You can walk from the inn to the downtown, filled with locally owned shops. My favorite (no surprise here) is The Mustard Seed Bookstore, where I signed up to do a book talk later this spring. The store includes tables where customers can enjoy hot tea while checking out the books. Nice!

The Starlight Cafe was a real find for lunch, a small, customer-friendly place where owners Justin and Angie serve delicious breakfasts and lunches all day. Justin, an avid sportsman, had even tied a few flies for me, while lamenting that he has little time these days to hunt and fish. My hot and spicy roast beef sandwich with sharp cheddar, grilled onions, tomatoes and horseradish sauce on sourdough bread was wonderful. We will be stopping here for lunch again soon.

That morning we’d enjoyed a fascinating tour of the maritime museum, where our volunteer tour guide, Richard Spear, seemed to have a story for every item. Katie Meyers, the museum’s marketing and communications manager, told us about an impressive schedule of special events and activities here. We made plans to return for a river cruise this summer. They also offer great programs for kids. In fact, the day we visited, junior high school students from Woolwich were there building a boat.

Linda

I was so looking forward to another visit to the Inn at Bath. This Greek Revival home has interesting architectural features and has been lovingly decorated by Elizabeth. You’ll find a long, beautiful table already set for breakfast when you pass through the dining room. One wall of this room features windows and plants that are happy. A set of antique china, red walls, colorful paintings and white crown molding make this room special.

Comfortable, inviting furniture and a warm fire drew us into one of the living rooms, where we happily read and relaxed for a few hours while visiting with Elizabeth. We learned that she is taking a carving class, learning to carve small, graceful birds, some of which decorate the kitchen entry. Books and movies are available, and Elizabeth will guide you to many great “must-sees” in Bath.

I really wanted to check out Now You’re Cooking — A Cook’s Emporium, downtown. This is a cook’s dream. Three rooms are filled with every cooking gadget and accessory you could imagine. I had not seen many of the items they have in stock. This is heaven for the serious cook, or the place you go to shop for one.

I liked the Starlight Cafe the minute I entered. You’ll find the owners hard at work in the open kitchen churning out great home-cooked food. Angie makes the soups and pastries and Justin does the rest. Lunch offers were a variety of grilled sandwiches ($8), such as the delicious one George ordered, and nice salads ($8-$9).

I love their build-your-own-sandwich offering: $7 for a whole or $4 for a half sandwich. You can also order a combination plate for $8: a half sandwich and cup of soup, half sandwich and side salad, or side salad and cup of soup. I went with a cup of the curried chickpea soup. It was packed with vegetables and the clear, spicy broth was the star. My, oh my, that was good. My fresh-roasted turkey sandwich with veggies and spicy mayo was delectable.

It was a cozy community space where trivia cards are on your table, and customers come to visit or simply read a book while they enjoy a meal. Another reason not to drive by Bath!

Visit George’s website — georgesmithmaine.com — for book reviews, outdoor news and all Travelin’ Maine(rs) columns, found listed by town in the “Best of Maine” section.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.