Sunday, March 17, 2013

Talbot County, Maryland

Last fall we took a weekend trip to Talbot County, which is on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. It's a fantastic, easy, long weekend getaway from NYC since it's just a four hour drive (provided you time it correctly and don't hit traffic on I-95). We spent the most time in the towns of Oxford, Easton, and St. Michaels (all in close proximity to each other). Here are our discoveries, and let me add, Clara says she can't wait to go back, a huge endorsement, considering the hotel didn't have a pool, and there was no amusement park.

Inn at Perry Cabin: It’s a hotel you’d want to go to, even if it was in the middle of nowhere—great restaurant, inspired gardens, and lovely water views. And the d├ęcor is great—cozy, comfy, elegant. Fresh flowers everywhere (cut from their gardens)—in the rooms, public spaces…cozy public spaces with lovely furniture. Kayaks available for checking out the river out front, and bikes to go into town. Cookies made and put in the room every night, cooked by Mrs. Gussy, who has been making them for 24 years. Even if you don't stay here (it gets pricey) it's worth coming to just to check out their garden "rooms", (gardens that were designed to feel like rooms), and the secret passageway door in one of their public living room spaces. Dinner at the Sherwood Landing restaurant is fancy, and perhaps not worth going unless you have a sitter, not that they wouldn't be welcoming of families--it's just that it's expensive, and there are other people there for special occasions (so maybe going early would be an option)...They have a menu that lists each purveyor (mostly local) and a great wine list. We loved the crab cakes, and the Smith Island cake.

The Crab Claw is a family-run local favorite in St. Michaels, where you have to order the blue crab extravaganza. They bring them out, dump them on the table, and you get messy for an hour. They leave a brown bag for you to fill up. We loved it. Order the appetizer of pickles and cheese...sounds weird, but it is great. While you're waiting, you can walk around outside buy some duck treats from a candy machine to feed the ducks.

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is so good, it also is another reason in itself to come to this area. You can do a drop-in "be a boatbuilder for a day", see how a lighthouse keeper used to live, learn all about the crabbing industry, see a gazillion beautiful duck decoys, and there are tons of great boats to check out. We only spent a couple of hours there, the entrance fee covers two days, which I think is a good idea since there's so much to see and do.

Town of Oxford: It's a 10-15 minute drive from St. Michaels if you go through Easton, or you could take the Oxford-Bellevue ferry, which is the oldest continuous running car ferry in the country, since 1683. In Oxford (such a sweet sleepy little town to walk around) we had lunch at the Robert Morris Inn, which had a great British chef when we were there. We had oysters and burgers, and they were done perfectly. Afterwards we checked out the Sandaway B&B which looked really nice--on a sandy beach--and then we walked over to get an ice cream at the Scottish Highland Creamery. Delicious cones with flavors like coffee chocolate crunch and Pooh bear honeycomb. The tiny Oxford Museum can be gone through fast, and is worth a stop. We picked up these note cards there done by a local artist, John Moll.

Easton: Walk around the historical downtown and meander into the Garden and Historical Society--we loved the herb garden which had okra and purple beans. The Easton Antiques and Art Gallery had some great finds--and apparently, it has some epic soup being served back there. We didn't try it--we heard about it too late. The Hills Pharmacy looks like any old-school drugstore, but walk through to the back, and there's a tin-ceiling soda shop. The breakfast there was great.

St. Michaels' main street is called S. Talbot St.—it's nice to walk or bike around it—when we were there the local church had an amazing rummage sale, and on Saturday morning, there's a sweet farmer's market. Calico Toys and Games is a classic toy store which we spent a lot of time in, and the estate jewelry shop Guilford & Company had some amazing finds. We liked to have breakfast at the Key Lime Cafe (the scrambled eggs with lump crab were fantastic), and the key lime pie there is insane. (Yes, we all shared it at breakfast.) On your way out of town, if Big Al's has any lump crab available, grab some and a pack of ice, and bring it home.

1 comment:

  1. I love your images of the Inn at Perry Cabin's gardens! We've only stayed at the inn during the months of March & December when the gardens weren't quite as lush. I've always wanted to visit in the summer when the hydrangeas throughout the property are blooming. The next time we visit, we'll have to make sure we get to explore the Oxford area as well.