by Shannon Lane
Cape Cod is one of the most desirable wedding destinations in the world, and the newly remodeled Captain Freeman Inn is a perfect venue for intimate ceremonies on the beach or in our beautiful gardens. We specialize is small weddings and elopements that are highly customized, which means that each event is as unique as each couple we host.
Our first wedding of the 2012 season was for a wonderful Scottish couple named Elaine and Sandy. After 20 years together they finally decided to tie the knot, and we were honored that they selected us to help plan their special day. Traveling across the Atlantic to celebrate with them was their amazingly fun family, and boy did those Scots know how to celebrate! The gents all wore traditional Scottish kilts, sporrans and brogue shoes while the ladies donned some fabulous fascinators. They even had Scottish themed plaid confetti to throw at the happy couple when they were pronounced husband and wife!
Another happy couple to get married at our Inn this summer was Deana and Chris. To say that these two lovebirds were crazy about each other would be an understatement. They were so in love that I honestly wept as I watched them say their vows to each other (I wasn’t alone – Chris later told me that he had successfully managed to avoid crying himself until he saw me doing so, and then his own tears started flowing). Along with their family, they married on the beach, toasted with champagne and strawberries back at the Inn, and enjoyed fine Italian food at Buca’s Tuscan Roadhouse for their dinner reception.
As much as we love planning weddings, we also love hosting vow renewal ceremonies and this summer we were fortunate enough to do so for Erik and Aprile as they celebrated their 10 year anniversary. They chose the always beautiful Paine’s Creek beach as the setting for their special day, and this time around it was Byron who got teary-eyed listening to their touching and heartfelt vows. Not even the hot sand could put a damper on the happiness of the day, because Erik and Aprile just cooled their feet in the always refreshing Atlantic Ocean, wedding dress and all!
A true elopement is always such a romantic occasion, and Julia and Simon are a gorgeous German couple who decided to elope in secret here on Cape Cod before they have a larger wedding for their friends and family back home. They chose to have their ceremony at a beach in Harwichport and it was a perfect location for them, with the waves crashing at their bare feet. Even a group of children playing nearby wanted to get in on the action, and they managed to pose in many of the post wedding pictures with the glowing bride and grinning groom. Afterwards they headed to a romantic dinner for two at the Ocean House in Dennis, capping off a perfect day with a perfect dinner on the water!
by Shannon Lane
I am one of those lucky people who is fortunate enough to love both what I do for work and the people I get to work with here at the Captain Freeman Inn. I have so enjoyed getting to know each of them, so it only seems fair for me to share the joy and let you get to know them a bit too!
Lisa has been working as our Head Breakfast Chef, occasional Innkeeper and Housekeeper at the Captain Freeman Inn since it was purchased back in January 2011 (she had previously been doing Housekeeping over at our sister property, Brewster By The Sea). A native Cape Codder, Lisa lives with her boyfriend Bryan right here in Brewster at Sweetwater Forrest. Together they have three dogs, and Lisa also owns a horse that she rescued from the racetracks. She is an absolute genius in the kitchen, and especially loves making and decorating beautiful cakes for all of our guests’ special occasions. Someday she would love to go to veterinary school, but I selfishly don’t ever want her to leave us because I can’t even imagine this place without her smiling face :).
Nathan is our Property Manager, occasional Innkeeper and a general Jack of All Trades. Raised in Houston, he is a southern gentleman at heart who has temporarily relocated to New England for schooling. Nate does just about everything you can imagine around here, from landscaping to rewiring lamps to renovating bathrooms! He is currently attending UMass Dartmouth with a double major in Biology and Economics, which makes him an official smarty pants, and when not staying on campus during the school year he lives right here at the Inn. His sense of humor is appreciated by coworkers and guests alike, and his sharp intelligence has led to many interesting conversations in our guest lounge.
Corrine is our Main Housekeeper, and I like to call her Corrine the Machine because she is so good and so fast at what she does! Originally from Jamaica, she moved to the United States in 2009 to be close to her sister, niece and nephews. An Aunt Extraordinaire, Corrine loves to spend time at home with her family in Orleans playing games, going to the beach, and watching Disney movies. Her quiet demeanor and compassionate nature mask a wicked sense of humor, and we would be absolutely lost without her here.
Denise and Mitzi are the primary Housekeepers over at Brewster By The Sea, but we are lucky enough to be blessed with their company a few days each week when they help out here at the Captain Freeman Inn. They are both Jamaican residents who work on the Cape in the summertime, and between the two of them they could floor a room with laughter! Always up for a joke, a game, or a spontaneous dance party, their positive energy is positively contagious. Sometimes they will even cook a delicious Jamaican meal for the rest of the staff! They are both major assets to our team, and we are lucky to have them.
Antonio is our resident Handyman, and he can honestly do just about anything! Painting, landscaping, tiling, plumbing, electrical wiring, furniture repairing – you name it, Antonio does it. Born in Colombia, he has been living in the United States for the past 20 years and working hard to put his children through school and, he hopes, to eventually move his entire family here to be with him. His work ethic is unparalleled, and the fact that he does it all with a huge grin lighting up his face makes me respect him even more.
Our newest team member is Emily, and she has been hired as an occasional Breakfast Chef, Server and Housekeeper. Recently married, she and her husband live right here in Brewster and during the off season she works as a substitute teacher for the Brewster Elementary School system. She has been a most welcome addition to our summer staff, and her coconut cupcakes are already a guest favorite!
Last, but certainly not least, we have Donna and Byron Cain, Owners of this beautiful establishment. They are two of the most warm, genuine, compassionate and well-intentioned people I have ever met. Byron is originally from Wyoming, and his previous career as a geophysicist allowed him to travel the world from China to Nigeria to Colombia. Donna was born in the Berkshires and she spent many years catering in that area before becoming a furniture buyer in Houston. Luckily for all of us, they decided to leave their “normal jobs” back in 2003 to open their first Bed & Breakfast, Brewster By The Sea. After mastering the art of Innkeeping there, they decided to purchase their second B&B, the Captain Freeman Inn, in January 2011 and have lovingly restored this beautiful property ever since.
by Shannon Lane
I grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Brewster for my high school and college years. Coming home now after 10 years in the Boston area has brought back a flood of great memories, and recently I’ve been dreaming about what my perfect day in this beautiful town would be like.
It would honestly start here on the Captain Freeman Inn’s poolside screened-in porch, eating one of Lisa and Donna’s delectable breakfast creations. Fresh squeezed orange juice and a cup of Harney & Sons Earl Grey Tea would definitely be involved, as would fresh pineapple with dried cranberries, Crème Brûlée French Toast and a couple of slices of hickory smoked bacon. Yummers! To complete the perfect breakfast experience, I would enjoy one of our warm, lavender and grapefruit scented hand towels draped over my welcoming face.
After that I would head over to the John Wing Hiking Trail at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History. This is one of my favorite walks, as it passes through the coastal pitch pine woodlands, across a salt marsh to Wing’s Island, and finally descends through a salt marsh swale to the barrier beach and tidal pools of Cape Cod Bay. It is truly a microcosm of the Cape’s landscape, highlighting the natural and human development which has shaped this fragile land from geological times to the present. The tidal flats and creeks are home to a variety of fish, crabs, shellfish, worms, and snails as well as many seaside plants, grasses and trees. I discover something new every time I walk there, and always leave with a smile on my face
From there I would bike along the Cape Cod Rail Trail to Nickerson State Park for a quick swim in Flax Pond. This is one of the cleanest and loveliest bodies of water I have ever encountered, a 48 acre natural kettlehole pond sitting along 1.1 miles of undeveloped shoreline protected within the confines of Nickerson State Park. The water transparency is excellent, aquatic vegetation is scant and the bottom is composed primarily of soft, light sand. All of this combined makes for a perfect swimming experience, with no worries of unwelcome critters or dark, mysterious algae preventing you from diving right into the refreshingly cool waters. You can even rent canoes, kayaks, and paddle boats there through Jack’s Boat Rental!
Next I would drive on over to Paine’s Creek Beach to watch the sunset. In my most humble opinion, this is the prettiest place in the world to watch a sunset! There’s as good a western view as you can get here on Cape Cod, and the landscape seems to reflect the light as if by magic. Words cannot describe how peaceful and beautiful this experience can be but the amazing picture below, taken by our very own and very talented Byron Cain, should give you a sense of it!
Finally, to cap off my perfect Brewster day I would enjoy dinner at the Peddler’s Café on Thad Ellis Road. This is undoubtedly the best hidden gem I have found in 25 years of eating on the Cape. From the moment you walk through the front door you are transported to an intimate French Bistro where food is meant to be enjoyed to its fullest and guests are encouraged to take their time savoring every delicious flavor they encounter. The smells alone are intoxicating, but the first bite that hits your mouth will have you literally moaning with pleasure! The service is welcoming and personal, the ambiance warm and romantic, and the wine list surprisingly expansive.
By Donna Cain, Innkeeper and Owner
We absolutely are in love with Cape Cod and enjoy living here year round. My husband and I own two lovely inns in Brewster, the Captain Freeman Inn and Brewster by the Sea Inn and Spa. We have been busy over the past 8 years restoring both properties and enjoy welcoming guests to this lovely area. I especially enjoy Cape Cod in the spring……there is something about the warm sunshine, seeing all of the flowers and plants come to life that touches my soul. I find a new energy that fuels me through our busy season and the holidays toward the end of the year. May is just a few days away, and we decided to run a special at both inns for the full month. Come stay with us 3 or more days and you will receive a $50 coupon toward your stay and also enjoy a lovely spring bouquet of flowers in your room that you can later take home . We have also lowered our mid week prices from Sunday – Thursday to make your Cape Cod getaway a pleasant surprise to your pocketbook! Now, on to a few reasons for you to start planning your trip:
1. The whales are back and many guests have taken beach chairs and binoculars to Race Point Beach in P’Town where many have seen the whales with their naked eye. It’s fun to grab a Lobster Roll lunch on the way that you can enjoy on the beach.
2. We have always recommended the Heritage Gardens and Museum in Sandwich to our guests. This year there is an added attraction of a Norman Rockwell exhibit that will be opening on May 5th. After your tour of the lovely property enjoy a high tea at the Dunbar Tea House right next to the museum.
3. We are blessed to have a wonderful state park right here in Brewster called Nickerson State Park. Our favorite trail is to the back of the park where you can enjoy a lovely walk around a pristine lake. The park also has wonderful hilly bike trails.
4. We love Wellfleet and have found a great new trail out to the “Great Island” where you can walk the beach or venture into the forest. Afterwards, enjoy a “Wellfleet Oyster” at the Wicked Oyster restaurant.
5. May is the perfect time to grab or rent a bike so that you can enjoy the beautiful cycling on the Cape Cod Railroad Bike trail. You can easily petal by cranberry bogs, stop for an ice cream or ride to the National Seashore. This path is great for novice or out of shape bikers (like myself) since it is flat and well surfaced.
6. I love Lobster Rolls and finally all of the Clam shacks are opening for the season. The Yankee Magazine just voted Arnold’s in Eastham one of the 12 best places to get a lobster. My favorite thing to do is to get a lobster roll to go and grab some beach chairs and relax on the beach with that delicious lobster roll….ummmmmm!
7. Marconi beach on the National Seashore is still our favorite. Each of the beaches on Cape Cod is unique and wonderful but there is something really special about Marconi!
8. We love Lavender at both of our inns and have a homemade lavender and grapefruit spray in our guest rooms. The Lavender Farm is in Harwich and is a great place to visit in the spring. Her plants are robust and reasonably priced, and we love to walk the many acres of lavender plants on the farm.
9. The Osprey couple that comes back to Brewster year after year have returned and are busy preparing their nest at the Natural History Museum.It’s really fun to walk on the boardwalk and watch them in flight.
10. We love the Brewster Fish House restaurant in town but always dread the long wait in the summer for our guests. This time of year they are only closed on Mondays and most nights there is just a short wait.
11. Flowers, flowers, flowers…….we have already placed all of our outdoor furniture and both pools will be opening soon. We also refurbished and decorated the gazebo at Brewster by the Sea so guests can relax in the new wicker while they read or enjoy a glass of wine. The Hydrangeas are fully budded and all of the flowers in the perennial garden are starting to bloom.
12. Last but not least is shopping. The Cape is a wonderful place to find unique art, pottery or jewelry. Most of the galleries, boutiques and antique shops are now opening.
If you are booking on line for a 3 night or more stay in May, mention the password “Harrison” to receive the $50 coupon and the wonderful spring bouquet of flowers.
by Donna Cain, Innkeeper and Owner
At both of our Brewster, Cape Cod Inns, Brewster by the Sea and Captain Freeman Inn we always have plenty of cookies on hand. Our house cookie is an old fashion molasses cookie that has been in our family for many years. We often joke with our guests that we make 1,000′s of this cookie a year. It’s actually a little addictive since the flavor is so comforting.
Every afternoon we serve a different sweet as our afternoon tea. Today’s cookie was a wonderful light cookie that we found in an old cookbook at the Captain Freeman called Mrs. Field’s Cookie Book, published in 1992. We thought it worthy to publish on our blog.
Lemon Chocolate Chip Buttons
2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground coriander
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. pure lemon extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 300
Combine dry ingredients
In large bowl, cream together butter and sugar with a stand mixer. Add eggs and lemon extract and beat well. Scrape down sides of bowl.
Add the flour mixture and add chocolate chips and mix lightly until combined. Do not over mix.
Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets, 1 1/2 inches apart.
Bake for 15 minutes. Do not brown. Immediately transfer with a spatula to a cooling rack.
By Donna Cain, Innkeeper and Owner
We just completed our first season of Italian cooking schools (with a little french thrown in:) at the Captain Freeman Inn, and as owners, we could not be more pleased. This past weekend we had a sold out group for our Naples class.
My husband and I always look forward to cooking school weekends, as we join the class for wine tasting, good cheer and company and get to taste all of the the food made earlier in the class. This weekend we enjoyed a wonderful antipasto platter (while sampling different wines) that included Bruschetta with truffle oil and fresh Parmigiano Reggiano, truffle cheese and a knock your socks off Pinot Grigio white wineArtisan Salami.
Second course included an amazing roasted red pepper and fresh lemon salad and the final course a Pizza Margherita that comes with a wonderful story and my fav- Shrimp, Arugula and Pancetta Pizza. The evening ended with a wonderful Zamboli fruit dish with coffee. We always ask all of our guests how they enjoyed their stay at the Freeman, and we have we have been totally amazed at the responses from our cooking school students. All have rave reviews of the information and tips learned in class from our talented instructor Carol Edmondson. Carol believes in using fresh, local ingredients and the class is filled with good information on where to find these items. She also comes with years of experience and makes the class playful and fun.
We have already scheduled our classes at the Freeman for next year….mostly Italian with a little French mixed in!
November 10- Florence, Tuscany
February 9- Naples, Campagnia
February 23- Rome
March 7- Palermo, Sicily
March 23-Avignon, Provence
and my favorite
April 6- April in Paris
Wishing everyone a fun filled summer and hoping to see you in one of our classes next season. Bon Appetit!
By Donna Cain, Innkeeper and Owner
The Captain Freeman Inn will open it’s doors to the public on Sunday, April 29th from 2-4 for an Open House and Inn tour as part of the Brewster in Bloom festivities that weekend. The inn has completed many winter renovations which guests can see during the tour.
Ann Paus, a Brewster resident and talented harpist will be playing classical and celtic music for guests touring the inn Sunday afternoon. The inn will also be serving homemade Petit Fours and herbal ice tea for guests to enjoy while they listen to the beautiful music as they tour the inns guests rooms, common areas and gardens.
Anne will be playing her harp for guests staying at the Captain Freeman Inn over the summer on Saturdays during breakfast hours. Her music is a perfect compliment to the lovely, grand sea captain’s home.
Brewster in Bloom has many wonderful events over the weekend including a 5 K Brew Run, parade, High Tea at the Candleberry Inn and Brewster Band concert at the Baptist church. Check out all of the events at the Brewster Chamber website.
Look forward to seeing everyone on Sunday!
by Donna Cain, Innkeeper and owner
Beth Colt, owner and innkeeper of the Woods Hole Inn was inspired by a little red chair that she found in her local swap shop. Over the cold winter months she took a picture of this red chair perched out on a frozen pond in Woods Hole and posted it on Facebook. This simple image journeyed all over cyberspace, and landed in the in-box of a California-based photographer, who was inspired to come visit the Woods Hole Inn in the off season. Since then the red chair has become a symbol, a metaphor for connections made across invisible boundaries. For Beth, the red chair was an invitation to come explore yourself in a quiet and beautiful place. It is an open seat at the table of relaxation. It is the beckoning hand of civilization, marking the edge of the wildness of nature. It is the dialogue between artists and innkeepers, dreamers and shop-girls, lost travelers and those that welcome them into warm beds.
Beth decided to share her symbolic chair with many other innkeepers so that the many beautiful parts of Cape Cod can be seen in a unique prospective. And so this spring, the red chair will travel from Woods Hole to Provincetown and back. The journey will be chronicled on a web site that Beth is updating. In each B&B, the red chair will be treated as an honored guest. Innkeepers all over Cape Cod and the Islands will share with you the unique landscape that the red chair will be fortunate enough to enjoy.
And so, the little red chair came to the Captain Freeman for a very brief visit. Resting on the beautiful wrap around porch, overlooking the center of Brewster, life does go at a slower pace. The chairs travels in Brewster can be seen on Byron’s blog and future travels can be seen on Beth’s blog.
Here’s to taking life at a much slower pace and cherishing the special moments with friends and family.
Happy Easter everyone!
by Shannon Lane
The official Brewster In Bloom festivities don’t kick off until April 26th, but driving down Main Street one would think they have already begun! Between the bursts of yellow daffodils and forsythia, the bustling of locals taking advantage of unseasonably warm weather, and the lighthearted songs of our native birds returning home after spending their winters down south, there is no doubt that spring has sprung on Cape Cod.
At the Stony Brook Grist Mill, the herring have already begun their annual trip from the ocean to freshwater known as the Herring Run. Never ones to let the fish have all the fun, the endangered North Atlantic Right Whales have also been spotted early this year playing off the shores of Race Point Beach in Provincetown. Turtles have begun their spring mating and egg laying in the marshes of the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History’s walking trails.
Even the local gardeners seem eager to get a start on their spring planting! Many of them have been seen basking in the sun as they work on getting their yards summer ready and their gardens farm fresh, and we’re no exception here at the Captain Freeman Inn. Antonio, our trusty and wonderful handyman, has been hard at work getting the grounds of our property ready for the busy season ahead. So for those of you looking to enjoy all the natural beauty that Cape Cod has to offer without the chaos of our summer crowds, now is the time to visit!