Wednesday, January 18, 2012

for the love of the weekend getaway - portland, maine edition

This past weekend some of my best friends from college and I went up to Portland, Maine for a little girls weekend away. Just a two hour drive from Boston it was the perfect destination to meet our friend Allison who moved back to Bangor, ME over the Summer. While I had been to this small city before it was many years ago and while I was also with my good friend Allison it was very much a different place. Let's just say there may or may have not been a club with tide on the walls with black lights emphasizing the glow of the tide and there may have been total eclipse of the heart playing which we thought should be a sing a long. Since we are older and more mature (yeah right) we did things a little more sophisticated this time around....below are the details of the weekend should you want a little getaway and live in the New England area!

We stayed at the charming Portland Harbor Hotel. the rooms are all remodeled and the staff super nice. The valet's were awesome and even drove us to our first nights dinner so we could wear our cute shoes without having to trek through the snow and likely wipe out on the ice covered sidewalks. Their car service is available to all guests but they were especially nice to let us all squeeze into one car.





Our first nights dinner was at this fabulous restaurant called Fore Street. The interior of the restaurant was so simply decorated yet had an industrial edge  too. I could have easily been convinced that I was in a downtown NYC resto with this revamped warehouse atmosphere. We scored a nice comfy booth and made ourselves at home with a rustic style dinner.


Afterwards we took the icy stairs down to the Irish Pub called Ri Ra's. While this is not anywhere near as cute as Fore Street it was a hella fun. Everything in this place is served in a pint glass including the shots (which means two cocktails later we were all feeling pretty darn good). It is also super cheap to boot, I thought the bartender had given me the wrong bill after a round that I had purchased was $24 for 5 girls. Needless to say lots of fun was had, but the morning after not so much. I know now to never take a pint of vodka soda without ordering top shelf vodka, the well liquor that we drank in too large of quantities totally determined the severity of our head pangs the next morning.
The hangover that ailed us all the next morning was pretty fierce but subsided at our three hour brunch at Blintliff's. This very informal cafe changed my life the next morning. We  had to wait for a table so we naturally ordered a round of drinks to keep ourselves busy. The blood marys are delish and the mimosas are the largest I have ever seen. The menu was enormous and so were the portions. Double bonus for the hellacious hangovers we all had. I slightly overdosed on an omlette the size of my arm. 


We decided to plant ourselves at brunch until close which had the manager of the resto having to give us the boot.  So we bundled up for the brutal cold and went shopping. Beware it's very dangerous to drink and shop but also very fun. Our first stop was at this adorable gift shop called Abacus. This little store had so many knick knacks, jewelry, and interesting items for the home that we spent a significant amount of time in it trying to take it all in. I love that their website also has almost all objects for sale on line. I am sooo making a mental note to shop here for a housewarming gift or stocking stuffers next Christmas.


their store window had the cutest little metallic piggy banks


my friend Michelle purchased this adorable mouse trap cheese board


I also loved this Maine pillow for the home


or this ducky mirror for a children's bathroom

our next stop & my favorite was an antique jeweler that was so nice to let us try on numerous vintage pieces of one of a kind jewles. I fell in love with everything art deco & my other friend in her mimosa haze almost bought herself a cocktail ring but we made her sleep on the decision
Stone Home Antiques


the jewelry I tried on, 1920's art deco three stone ring
 vintage crystal and diamond bracelet


vintage Tiffany's brooch - only $20K - total steal! - haha


Another stop for cute clothing was Zane where everything was displayed so uniquely on driftwood
for sale - custom coat racks out of salvaged wood


lots of feather earrings so cutely displayed on white driftwood


I spy an incognito animal print scarf


my friends were trying to convince me to buy the "tigress" tank below but I resisted since it looks mean and all I could hear was "eye of the tiger" in my head playing whenever I would wear it


all the shopping made us thirsty so it was time to stop for some more beveys at Gritty's


join their beer club and you get a mug hung from the ceiling & discount drinks every time your in


sugar stop on the way back to the hotel at Old Port Candy Company, the person working this particular evening was slower then a 90 year old woman but the candy was worth it


the second group of gals arrived & we all headed out to dinner at this fantastic Italian Restaurant called Cinque Terre, amazing pasta dishes & great service


the following morning we nursed our hangovers with carbs for the ride home at the Standard Baking Company which is owned by Fore Street. This place is heaven on earth - beware if you are dieting


If you aren't counting calories - get their morning roll with nuts. It might be the most delicious thing I have ever eaten. I saved half for the hubs so he didn't miss out & it was hard to do that!


the gals


Plan your trip to Portland Maine!

~Sleep~


~Shopping~




~Eat~






~Drink~



5 comments:

  1. I want to go back!!! So much fun. P.S. Where was I when you were trying on that vintage crystal and diamond bracelet?! Ooo-la-la :-)

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  2. Me too, let's go back tomorrow! You were in Abacus trying to get me to buy a $200 paper dog:)

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  3. Thanks for sharing! I'm planning a girls trip for my friends as well. We all live in different states now so we will be flying. Do you think we'll need to rent a car? Or is public transportation enough? And would you recommend staying anywhere else, or was that place perfect?

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    1. Hi Lindsay...so my two cents - I would take a cab from the airport (assuming it's Portland International)...then if you stay at the Portland Harbor Hotel (PHH), you'll have access to their complimentary town car service to anything within the downtown area (you don't really need to go beyond anyways if you're there just "touristing"). I have never used my car during my stay (I'm in driving distance to Portland) - so I wouldn't rent a car...everything is really in walking distance. As for the hotels, PHH is really my favorite. It's in a great spot, it's safe (the front entrance is only accessable with a guest card after a certain time at night), it's reasonably priced, and the rooms are really nice. I've stayed at others (i.e. the Hilton), and I think PHH is the best (I loathed the Hilton btw). Another one, that I haven't stayed at, but gets great reviews is the Portland Regency Hotel and Spa - it has an older look/feel, in comparison - but is in a great spot. Also, if you can get a reservation, try Vignola: http://vignolamaine.com (it's the sister restaurant to Cinque Terre, and is top notch...either of those would be fun for a group of girls). Have so much fun!!

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  4. I am not really sure about public transportation - check with your hotel to see if they have a car service or a shuttle service to get you from the airport and or around town, ours did & it was complimentary. Once your in the city you really dont need a car at all. We used my car once to drive to breakfast but that was it. Have fun!

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