Your Innkeeper’s Perfect Day in Brewster by the Bay

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.

This is the poolside porch at the Captain Freeman Inn, where guests often enjoy their breakfasts and where Shannon dreams of enjoying hers!

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.

Creme Brûlée French Toast

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 :)

This is the end of the Wing’s Island Trail at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History.

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!

Flax Pond at Nickerson State Park has some of the cleanest swimming water around!

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!

Watching the spectacular sunset at Paine’s Creek is awe inspiring!

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.

Head Chef Alain Hassan prepares another delicious entree at the Peddler’s Cafe & Bistro.

12 reasons to visit the Captain Freeman in May

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.

Many, many reasons to consider a May trip to Cape Cod. Experience the wonderful hospitality at one of our two inns, Brewster by the Sea and the Captain Freeman Inn.

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.

We love Cookies at the Captain Freeman!

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.

Enjoy!