Hartstone Inn – Camden, Maine

Sometimes, particularly during the off season, we like to take a short trip along Highway 1 to Camden and stay overnight at the Hartstone Inn. The rooms are comfortable and clean, the staff is welcoming.Most everything in town is in walking distance which is not so important in the off season but is really nice during the busy times. But the rooms and location aside, for us the thing that sets the Inn apart is the food.

The owners, Mary Jo and Michael Salmon, are passionate about food and they have created a dining a European style dining experience that rival the best restaurants anywhere. They use fresh local ingredients and each evening the offer several dining choices including a five course Chef’s Tasting Menu. We have always selected the tasting dinner and have never been disappointed.

This is the dinner menu we had for our stay. It was difficult to get good pictures in such low light without disturbing the other diners but all five courses were beautifully presented and delicious.

In the morning, they offer breakfast prepared with as much care and attention to detail as the dinner the night before. Breakfast and dinner were included in the package we purchased but check the website for prices and offerings.

If you want to have a bit of an adventure you can sign on for a one on one “Chef for a Day” cooking lesson with Michael or, you can join a “Chef for a Weekend” class where you will join others to work on a meal with Michael.

If you’re adventurous and can plan far enough ahead you can join one of the European week long tours where you can learn something new, explore the villages, and meet and cook like the locals where the dishes you are cooking originated. These tours are booked far in advance and a full schedule can be found on their website.

For us the Hartstone Inn is a perfect place to stay and highly recommend it.

Link: www.hartstoneinn.com

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