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One of the nicest things about living and working on Cape Cod in the summer is the availability and diversity of fresh, locally grown produce offered at Farmer’s Markets throughout the region. Rich and I try to use only the freshest of ingredients in our breakfast offerings, whether it be native berries for our muffins, fresh eggs and veggies for our omelets, jams and jellies for our popovers, or locally harvested shellfish for Rich’s Lobster Benedict or Hangtown Fry.
If you’re vacationing on Cape Cod this summer, be sure to frequent our Farmers Markets. No doubt there is one near you, no matter if you are staying with us at the High Pointe Inn, or renting a cottage on one of our beautiful beaches. And if you miss the one that’s closest to you, you can always try another one nearby. There is a Farmers Market everyday of the week, except Sunday, beginning June 1 and lasting until late in December. Hope to see you there!
The Mashpee Farmer’s Market
11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, the Village Green in Mashpee Commons, across from the new Mashpee Public Library. Opening Day is June 12. The market is managed by Hawks Wing Farm, a member of the New England Regional Foodshed Farmer’s Collaborative.
Bass River Farmers Market
8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursdays, at the Cape Cod Cultural Center, June 10 through the end of October. It has a petting zoo, an educators’ tent and a tie-in with a children’s program at the South Yarmouth library. It will feature farms as well as cultural center artists, and musicians.
Centerville/Marstons Mills Farmers Market
The fraternal (Masonic) lodge, 1987 Falmouth Road (Route 29); 2 to 4:00 p.m. Mondays June 14-Oct. 1
Peg Noonan Park, 300 Main St., Noon to 6 p.m. Thursdays, through Oct.14
Harwich Farmers’ Market
Brooks Academy Museum, Roue 39; 3 to 6 p.m. Thursdays , June 1-Sept.16
Mid-Cape Farmers Market
Hyannis Youth and Community Center, 141 Bassett Lane, Hyannis; 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Wednesdays, June 9-Sept. 8
21 Old Colony Way (across from Capt. Elmer’s); 8 .m. to noon Saturdays, through Nov. 27
Osterville Farmers Market
Osterville Historic Society, 155 West Bay Road; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays, June 4-Oct. 4
Provincetown Farmers Market
Ryder Street; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, through Dec. 4
Sandwich Farmers Market
The Village Green, Route 6A; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays, June 1-Oct. 26
1.) We’re just about an hour door-to-door from Boston, and only an hour and 15 minutes from Providence. Get out of the city for a couple days of rest and relaxation on the beach. Construction on the Sagamore Bridge is now complete, the new flyover bridge entry from Route 3 eliminates the old nightmare of rotary traffic coming onto the Cape, and Route 6A, the Old King’s Highway, is newly paved and a pleasure to drive.
2.) All our favorite clam shacks are open for the season, serving up succulent fried clams, scallops, shrimp, oysters, and onion rings. It’s not officially summer until you’ve had your first lobster or clam roll of the season.
3.) Four Seas Ice Cream opens for its 76th season this Saturday, May 22 with its annual 15% off sale of your favorite flavor. Come down and grad a pint or two to take home.
4.) Cape Cod Beer just sent out this great post on Facebook: “We just got off the phone with your boss. He/she wants you to leave early today and enjoy the weather with a fresh Craft Beer to celebrate American Craft Beer Week. We wouldn’t lie.” Come taste the difference with a locally brewed “Beach Blond”.
5.) Cape Cod Restaurant Week continues through the 23rd of May, and Provincetown Restaurant Week is just beginning. Try a great dining experience for a fraction of the price.
6.) The rhodies are blooming at Heritage Museum and Gardens. Take a stroll through their lovely manicured grounds and go for a whirl around an authentic carousel.
7.) The 14th Annual Nantucket Wine Festival is celebrating all things vino through May 23rd. Take the Steamship Authority’s Fast Ferry and be on the island in just a little over an hour. It’s a great day trip from the High Pointe Inn.
8.) The Harbor Your Arts Artist Shanties open for the season on Saturday, May 22. Support the arts and score a great piece of local artwork at affordable prices.
9.) Truro Vineyards host the Coastal Wine Trails Kick-Off event on Sunday, May 23rd from 1-3PM. Nine wineries from Southeastern New England will be sampling their wines for the afternoon.
10.) Anthony Everett, co-host of Channel 5’s Chronicle HD, featured Cape Cod this week on this nightly news magazine. If you love Cape Cod’s natural charms – but can do without summer’s cars and crowds – spring is prime time. He samples some extremely fresh, world famous oysters, gets a dramatic picture of how Mother Nature is changing the shape of the seashore, and finds a taste of France by way of Las Vegas. Watch all three parts of the episode and see what all the buzz is about.
Last fall, we took advantage of Cape Cod’s Restaurant Week to sample a couple of new-to-us restaurants and revisit a few old favorites to check out their new menus. Longtime friends, Jerry and Joann, came along for the ride on this tour de force for professional eaters such as ourselves. For $25-$35 per person we dined on sumptuous offerings from the Roadhouse Café one night and the hearty fare at the Old Yarmouth Inn another. Entrées were prefaced by a soup, salad, or appetizer choice, and summed up with yummy desserts. It was a gastronomic affair that went easy on the pocketbook, so we were delighted to learn that Restaurant Week will be returning to the Cape in May, accompanied by similar affairs in Sandwich and Provincetown. If you are looking for a reason to come to Cape Cod from now through the 27th of the month, trying great restaurants at a significant savings would be my hands-down favorite excuse. We sure didn’t have to twist Jerry and Joann’s arms to encourage a return visit to the Inn during Cape Cod Restaurant week.
The gustatory celebration in Sandwich runs from Sunday, May 16 through Friday, May 21 and includes a sampling of pubs, diners, family restaurants, casual and fine dining establishments. To preview their special menus visit their website.
Cape Cod Restaurant Week’s Spring 2010 edition takes place from Monday, May17th through Sunday, May 23rd! Participating restaurants are offering a special 3-course exhibition menu for a fixed price of just $25 or $35 (tax & gratuity not included). For more information and a list of participating restaurants visit their website.
Not to be outdone, Provincetown’s 2nd Annual Spring Restaurant Week & Gallery Stroll runs from May 21 through the 27th, with 27 participating restaurants offering three-course prix-fixe menus ranging from $25 to $35. Click here or more information and a list of participating restaurants.
Rich and I met Doug and Dianne Langeland, publishers of Edible Cape Cod, a magazine dedicated to celebrating the abundance of local foods, on a day cruise to Nantucket a few years back. Our friend Ali scored the winning bid on the trip at a fund-raising auction and invited us, along with the Langelands, and Todd and Beth Marcus, owners of Cape Cod Beer, to join her and her partner, Tommy, aboard a classic Trumpy yacht owned and captained by director Dan Adams. It was an early September day that could not have been more beautiful…clear blue skies, warm sunshine, and smooth sailing. Doug and Dianne brought champagne, and Beth and Todd, a growler of Cape Cod beer, of course. We opted for wine.
It was a convivial group, to be sure, made even more so by the liquid refreshments. We drank champagne on the way over, and beer on the return trip. Wine accompanied lunch, which was served onboard the vessel by the ship’s crew while docked at the marina in Nantucket, after which we all dispersed for various adventures in town. The day was magical, and fast friendships were formed as a result.
We were all fairly new business owners on Cape Cod at the time. Doug and Dianne had recently launched Edible Cape Cod, and Todd and Beth started Cape Cod Beer around the same time we opened the High Pointe Inn. Tommy and Alice had just returned to the Lamb and Lion Inn after transitioning their former inn in upstate New York to its new owners. Amazingly enough, we are all still here, each successful in our own way and supportive of each other in so many ways.
For example, our good friend, Tommy Dott, author extraordinaire and fellow innkeeper who writes for Edible Cape Cod, published an article in the Spring 2010 edition of the magazine that showcases the High Pointe Inn and other B&Bs on Cape Cod who support the “Buy Fresh, Buy Local” movement. In it he describes how many of us have embraced the concept of culinary tourism and made a concerted effort to integrate all things local into our ever-expanding menu of guest services, whether it be an authentic Cape Cod adventure like shell fishing, or simply taking advantage of the local farmers’ markets held throughout the Cape during the growing season to flavor our breakfast offerings. Featured in the article is Rich’s Hangtown Fry recipe, an off-beat but delicious omelet filled with, among other things, fried oysters. It might be an acquired taste for some, but for a lover of the bivalve, it is the breakfast of champions.
Tommy was honored recently by Edible Cape Cod as a “local hero” for his contributions to the magazine, many of which shed light on the unsung heroes and humble entrepreneurs all over Cape Cod that help make it such a remarkable place to live and work, as well as visit. At the function held at the Naked Oyster and hosted by Doug and Dianne, we bumped into Beth Marcus, drinking of course, an IPA from Cape Cod Beer. We reminisced about our voyage to Nantucket that fateful day, and how far we had all come. Assembled as we were to honor our local heroes, I felt honored to be among the hardworking farmers, restauranteurs, brewers, confectioners, authors, and innkeepers that work so hard to create something honest and unadulterated for those of us who are lucky enough to live and work here on Cape Cod, and those who have the good fortune to visit.
Whenever Rich and I travel we like to bring back something unique and unusual, something we would never find on Cape Cod, to remember our trip by. On many occasions that has been native art or a local craft item. We have Aboriginal art from Australia, batik from Bali, and Inuit art from our latest trip to British Columbia. In my former life working on board cruise ships, I collected tee shirts from all over the world. Unfortunately, tee shirts do not have lasting value, as I found out after multiple washings.
At any rate, guests of our Cape Cod bed and breakfast inn often ask where to shop for locally made items. Having spent the past seven years searching the length and breath of Cape Cod seeking items to carry in my own little gift cupboard at the inn, I have a fairly comprehensive list of shops that I think my guests might enjoy. Though not an exhaustive list by any stretch, the following is a sample of unique and unusual gift items you might consider bringing home with you to remember your Cape Cod vacation.
Cape Cod Specialty Foods, 11 Cranberry Highway, Sagamore
Just over the bridge from the “mainland” in Sagamore, you’ll find Cape Cod Specialty Foods. For a true taste of Cape Cod try their Bog Beans, native cranberries covered in chocolate, or the old-fashioned Cape Cod Fudge that they make on the premises in antique copper pots.
Pairpoint Glass, 851 Sandwich Rd., Sagamore
Pairpoint Glass, the oldest operating glassworks in America, has a worldwide reputation for fine hand-blown glass and crystal. One of the last U.S. companies to manufacture cranberry glass, each item is crafted individually by local artisans.
McDermott Glass Studio, 272 Cotuit Rd., East Sandwich
This glassworks studio is known for its unique glass items created by owner David McDermott, whose work has been commissioned by six U.S. Presidents. His wife, Yukimi Matsumoto, designs more contemporary pieces, which are also on display.
Oak & Ivory, 1112 Main St., Osterville
If you’re looking for authentic Nantucket Lightship baskets, they are made right on the premises at Oak & Ivory. Also on display are traditional Sailors Valentines. In the 19th century, sailors used to fashion intricately symmetrical designs out of tiny seashells to bring home to loved ones after long days at sea. These beautiful art pieces are extraordinary examples of fine craftsmanship.
West Barnstable Tables, 2454 Meetinghouse Way, West Barnstable
Right around the corner from our inn, owners of this fine woodworking establishment create one-of-a-kind furniture pieces from antique lumber salvaged from dismantled buildings, boats, and other items. Also on display are quirky lamps and tables crafted from cherry, birdseye maple, and black walnut.
Cape Cod Braided Rug, 4 Great Western Rd., Harwich
This showroom features an extensive selection of artfully braided wool rugs in an array of styles and colors. Cape Cod Braided Rug produced the first machine made rugs in the United States based on the braiding process used for manufacturing shoelaces. Tours are offered at the manufacturing facility in Harwich, where the machinery and process have changed little over the company’s nearly 100-year history.
Cape Wind & Weather, 335 Lower County Rd., Harwich
Guests often comment on the wind and weather instruments we have in our Great Room.
Made by Cape Wind & Weather of brushed silver or polished brass, they measure wind speed, wind direction, and barometric pressure. Their unique Cape Cod Tide Keeper indicates Atlantic Coast high and low tides. As a student of weather, Rich insisted on having them to assist our guests.
Summer House Soaps, Barnstable
Made from all natural ingredients, Summer House Soaps are handmade locally in small batches using a cold-process method that best preserves the beneficial qualities of the ingredients. Featuring a variety of unique and interesting scents like summer hydrangea, beach plum, and vineyard lilac, I carry a small selection in my small gift cupboard at the inn.
Flying Pig Pottery, 410 Woods Hole Rd., Woods Hole
You’ll find a number of local potters on Cape Cod, but one of my favorites is Flying Pig Pottery. Children’s illustrator Tessa Morgan decorates white stoneware with dark blue sgraffito, an ancient technique where the paint is actually scratched to give pieces depth and character. Inspired by the marine life surrounding Cape Cod as well as whimsical creatures of the imagination such as mermaids, flying pigs, and dancing fish, her bold designs are truly original.
So if you are looking for a well-made, one-of-a-kind memento to bring back home with you, Cape Cod offers a plethora of local artisans and family-owned businesses to suit your fancy. With so many unusual items to choose from, you’ll find it nearly impossible to go home empty-handed.