Sometimes you just need a night away to reset… and that is exactly what we did this past weekend! When I saw the Lark Hotels had two properties in Portsmouth, I knew exactly where to run away for the night. Portsmouth, a quick 50 minute car ride from Boston, is a place I have spent many an afternoon but never an overnight. I certainly have been missing out. Here are just a few of my musts in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
The Hotel Portsmouth is a B&B dream. Built in 1881 by a wealthy ship merchant, this gem located at 40 Court Street showcases quintessential Queen Anne Victorian architecture. The mansion opened as an inn in 1985. Fast forward to 2014, the property underwent an extensive and historically sensitive renovation prior to its official opening at The Hotel Portsmouth. We stayed in a King Suite on the 3rd Floor with ample space. The bed was cozy, the pillows heavenly and the morning light perfection. And the nautical decor reminded me of my little island (the yellow phone almost came home with me). Our only complaint was that the bathroom was a little small for a suite.
The Ale House Inn is the second Lark property in Portsmouth. The next time we escape to “Live Free” land, we are staying here!
Several former New Yorkers have made their way north to add a bit of edge to the food scene in Portsmouth and neighboring Kittery, Maine. My top picks include:
Row 34 – The sister restaurant to her namesake here in Boston. Their oysters are always delicious and the chocolate mouse for dessert, you can’t go wrong! Oh and the corn bread. Order the corn bread!
Bubby’s – A New York style deli in the heart of a historical port. The challah french toast was worth every sinful bite. My girl opted for the bagel egg sandwich, which was equally as good. Their whole menu is available for take-out too.
The Friendly Toast – A Portsmouth, New Hampshire institution. Luckily, their third location just opened around the corner from Melrose Place so it will now be our weekly breakfast spot!
Street 360 -While at dinner at Row 34 we kindly ask both our waitress and the host where to go for Sunday brunch. Without skipping a beat, they all agreed on Street. Sadly we couldn’t squeeze but it is on the top of our list for our next visit. Looks like Lena Dunham is a fan too!
Lil’s Cafe – Just across Memorial Bridge and the Piscataqua River is Kittery Maine, home of Lil’s Cafe, which proudly brews Maine’s own Tandem Coffee Roasters. With a wonderful selection of pastries, sweet treats and sandwiches, Lil’s is the kind of cafe I wish I had in my neighborhood.
The Wallingford Dram – A speakeasy in Kittery that should not be missed. The owner and founder hails from NYC, where he worked with Tom Colicchio at Craft and Frank and Frank behind Frankies 457 in Brooklyn. Having grown up in neighboring NH, he always knew he would make his way home. And how glad we are he did.
Black Trumpet – On my list for next time!
Gus and Ruby Letterpress – A dream of a paper shop that is near impossible to leave empty handed. I dare you to try!
Folk – Located right next to Lil’s cafe, this store is one not to miss. The curated collection of goods is impressive. Japanese writing instruments, Ace + Jig, and locally made ceramics. Folk is the place to find a gift for that someone special or you.