Camden Named One of America’s Prettiest Small Town Vacations



TripAdvisor recently named Camden as one of “America’s Prettiest Small Town Vacations”, “Whoever said that bigger is better never set foot in these postcard-perfect small towns.  Regarding their list, they said  – “…discover gems across the country, from Camden and Cooperstown on the East Coast to Avalon and Port Angeles out West. ” 

They’ve opened up voting to TripAdvisor members to determine which is the #1 prettiest town in America! 

You know who has our vote – Camden!


Announcing Our Newest European Foodie Trip Destination…Sicily!

We’re excited to announce our newest European Foodie Destination… Sicily!  Once you are in the country there’s no need to worry about confirmations, parking, tickets, reservations – we will take care of everything!  The itineraries marry our love of terrific food, culinary adventure and great company. If you have the desire to learn something new, would like to explore beautiful villages, meet local producers and like to cook (or just eat), then this may be the perfect fit for you.

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We will be meeting at the Catania Airport and begin our tour from there.  Throughout the week our itinerary will cover the highlights Vally of Noto – including:

* Ispica’s Palazzo Gambuzza and the surrounding countryside famous for organic farming
* Touring Scicli and learn about the regions famous cannoli.
* Explore Modica and taste the chocolate the city is known for.
* Learn about Sicilian Cheese and taste a few varieties of wines.  Did you know that Sicily has more vineyards than any other region in Italy?
* How does Sicilian Olive oil compare to other regions?
* What do they grow in all of the greenhouses?  What are the Sicilian secrets for sundried tomatoes?
* What’s the difference between Gelato and Ice cream?  (There will be lots of tasting!)

Foodie Adventure excursions and dates through 2017 can be found at



image003 Breakfast Recipe Challenge

We are so excited!  Chef Michael’s recipe for Wild Mushroom and Gruyere Soufflé with a Thyme Cream was selected as a finalist in’s Breakfast Recipe Challenge.  Round one is the Savory Sixteen and our match-up against another finalist goes live on Facebook today.  You can place your vote today only here!

Photo Credit: Justin Walker

Wild Mushroom and Gruyere Soufflé with a Thyme Cream
serves 4

1 pound black trumpet mushrooms (or other mushrooms)
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 eggs, separated
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 pinches ground white pepper
1 pinch freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup grated gruyere cheese

1. Trim and clean the mushrooms, using a soft bristle brush. Melt 1 Tablespoon butter in a
sauté pan set over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, and cook for 5 minutes,
stirring regularly. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Generously butter four 1 1/2 cup soufflé dishes, using the remaining butter, covering the
entire surface area on the inside of the cups, including the rim.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
4. Place the egg yolks in a medium-sized mixing bowl and whisk them for 1 minute. Add
the flour, sour cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Mix in well. Fold in the grated gruyere
and the sautéed mushrooms.
5. In an electric mixer fitted with a whisk, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar to stiff
peaks. With a large rubber spatula, gently fold half of the egg whites into the base.
Continue folding in the remaining egg whites. Gently pour the batter into the prepared
soufflé dishes, filling them 4/5 of the way full. Be careful not to drip the batter on the
rims, or the soufflés may not rise evenly.
6. Bake in the center of a 350-degree oven for 35 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.
Remove from the oven, place on a small serving plate and hurry the soufflés to the
table. Pour the Thyme Cream into a hole you poke in the top of the soufflé at the table.
Eat immediately.

Thyme Cream

1 teaspoon canola oil
1 Tablespoon finely chopped shallots
1/2 cup cleaned black trumpet mushrooms (or other mushrooms)
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and ground white pepper

1. Heat a small saucepan over a medium burner. Add the canola oil and sauté the shallots
for 30 seconds, stirring. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes, stirring.
2. Deglaze with the white wine and reduce until the pan is dry, being careful not to brown
the mixture.
3. Add the heavy cream and reduce the mixture by half, until a nice sauce consistency is

Win a Getaway at the Hartstone Inn in Woman's Day Magazine

Woman’s Day magazine is offering a chance to win a vacation to the Hartstone Inn and much more!

From Woman’s Day magazines website:

“One lucky winner will receive a three-day, two-night stay for two people in the suite of their choice at the Hartstone Inn, an award-winning culinary destination in Camden, Maine. The winner will have the opportunity to become Chef for a Day alongside Hartstone’s chef/owner Michael Salmon in the inn’s AAA Four-Diamond Award kitchen during a private, one-on-one cooking class, assisting in preparations for that evening’s five-course dinner. The winner and their guest will be pampered that evening in the dining room, while enjoying the elegant dinner they helped prepare.

The prize package also includes: two multi-course breakfasts each morning; a two-hour sailing cruise on the breathtaking Penobscot Bay aboard the historic, 57-foot Schooner Surprise; two of the inn’s gourmet Lobster Roll Lunch Pails, including twin Maine Lobster rolls and the state’s famous Whoopie Pie to enjoy on the cruise; adelicious dinner for two at the acclaimed In Good Company Restaurant, Rockland, Maine; admission for two to The Farnsworth Museum, showcasing three generations of the First Family of American Art with a comprehensive collection of Maine-related artwork by N.C. Wyeth, his son Andrew Wyeth and Andrew’s son Jamie Wyeth; lunch for two at the nearby, waterfront Thomaston at the Slipway Restaurant, serving fresh Maine seafood; use of one of the inn’s iPads preloaded with activities and custom driving tours along Mid-Coast Maine’s spectacular coastline; Hartstone’s custom aprons; and a copy of Chef Salmon’s cookbook, Signature Recipes from the Hartstone Inn (Approx. retail value: $1,600);

The historic Hartstone Inn is a AAA Four Diamond Award Hotel and Restaurant recognized by The American Culinary Federation with the Achievement of Excellence Award. Located in the heart of Camden village, the luxurious Hartstone treats guests to delicious cuisine, charming harbor views and fun outdoor adventures.

Each of the air-conditioned guestrooms combines carefully chosen furnishings and original artwork to create an ambience of lavish comfort and romance. Among the pampering touches: soft robes, fluffy featherbeds, fine linens, down quilts and pillows, gas fireplaces, Jacuzzi tubs and MP3 players. Guests can also use one of the Hartstone’s iPads preloaded with area activities and custom driving tours to explore the town during their stay.

This acclaimed culinary retreat serves up breathtaking views and multi-course breakfasts on the sunny dining room porch. In the late afternoon, guests can indulge in Hartstone’s specialty martinis and complimentary hors d’oeuvres and sneak away for some solitude in the property’s English-style gardens. Fine crystal and china, international award-winning cuisine, and a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence wine cellar are the ingredients for truly memorable dining experiences.

Hartstone Inn is located in mid-coastal Maine steps from Camden Harbor with its fleet of historic Windjammers ready to take guests on scenic tours of lighthouses, marine wildlife and secluded islands. This central location puts guests close to art galleries, antique shops, beaches, kayaking, golf, hiking and biking. Nearby Camden Hills State Park and the surrounding mountains offer miles of trails for outdoor enthusiasts, showcasing dramatic seascapes and panoramic views of the pristine countryside.

Hartstone is a member of Select Registry Distinguished Inns of North America, representing 400 of the finest country inns, B&Bs and small hotels across North America. For more information, visit

Advance reservations are required. Airfare is not included in the prize package; accommodations are subject to availability, and major holidays are excluded.”

Entry period: Friday June 10 2011 – Wednesday August 10 2011

Enter the contest and view more details here!

Win a Maine Dream Vacation

What fun this would be to win and it supports a good cause!  The Hartstone Inn is proud to be a sponsor! 

Details directly from their website:

Win a $6,000 Maine Dream Vacation!
Maine’s Midcoast: where Maine’s coast and mountains come together to create one of the most beautiful places on earth. Breathtaking hilltop vistas reveal quaint New England villages and beautiful harbors nestled along the shores of Penobscot Bay. Iconic New England’s harbor Camden sits at the foot of stately Mt Battie, its waters full of windjammers and its welcoming streets lined with a refreshing mix of classic small town and sophistication. Art and inspiration abound in Rockland along with Maine’s most famous foodstuff: welcome to the Lobster Capital of the World! And while Camden and Rockland are the largest communities of Maine’s lobster coast you could almost claim to experience everything Maine has to offer between them both and the villages and harbors that dot the hills and peninsulas of this Jewel of the Maine Coast. The beach side ambiance of Lincolnville, the craggy coast of Port Clyde, the golf links and antique stores of Rockport, and the small town nostalgia of Thomaston only hint at the exploration and adventures that await you here.

Discerning travelers from across the globe head to Camden and Rockland year-round to enjoy the ever-changing palette of nature and our small town charm. Now you and a companion could be joining them this September 13-16, 2011 thanks to this incredible Maine dream vacation prize package!

Enjoy three nights in a suite at the world famous AAA 4 diamond Camden Harbour Inn—dine each night at a different award winning restaurant: The Hartstone Inn, Camden; Primo, Rockland; and Natalie’s, Camden—and choose from one of the following private, concierge experiences each day:

Spa services at Beauty Mark Spa, Camden; a biplane tour over Penobscot Bay, courtesy of the Owls Head Transportation Museum; Golf at the Samoset Resort, Rockport; a sail and picnic aboard the Schooner Olad, Camden; a ‘backstage tour’ of the Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland; a private winemaker’s tour with lunch of Cellardoor Winery, Lincolnville; personal cooking class with Chef Kerry Altiero of Café Miranda, Rockland; a personal hike in the Camden Hills with Registered Maine Guide and editor of Down East magazine Paul Doiron and birder/trails expert Kristin Lindquist of Coastal Mountains Land Trust.

Round-trip airfare for two to Boston, MA* and then on to Rockland, Maine courtesy of Cape Air—Complimentary Rental Car—$500 in spending money courtesy of Machias Savings Bank.

Proceeds help support the community service programs of Youthlinks, connecting the teens of Midcoast Maine to their communities and expanding their aspirations through services and enrichment, and the community development work of the Camden-Rockport-Lincolnville Chamber of Commerce. Youthlinks is a program of Broadreach Family & Community Services.

Each $50 donation will receive one raffle ticket.  Only 500 tickets available.  Must be 18 or older to win.

Winning ticket to be drawn July 15th, 2011.” 

Click here to view their website and donate to  win!

Follow us on Facebook and Win!

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!  Keep up with what’s new at the Inn and in the Camden area.   We post everything from photos and recipes to special Facebook & Twitter only discounts and deals!5u84f48n3

Become a fan of the Hartstone Inn on Facebook and automatically be entered into our contest!  When we hit 250 fans we will randomly select one fan to win a $250 Hartstone Inn gift certificate!   We have 148 fans right now – only 102 to go!  Tell all your friends!