Winter Fun Getaway Packages – Skiing and Ice Climbing in Camden

Hartstone Inn Skiing

It is officially wintertime here at the Hartstone Inn.  The air is chilly and there’s snow on the ground.  That doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of outdoor fun to be had!  The Camden Snow Bowl is just a short distance away from us and it offers skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, skating, tubing and a toboggan chute.   Book one of our three winter getaway packages and enjoy all winter in Maine has to offer!

Down with Downhill Package

Available: December – March
Price: $102 in addition to room charge (double occupancy). Click here to check room availability.
Package details: The Down with Downhill package offers a romantic, two-night getaway with a gourmet twist. Down with Downhill welcomes with a multi-course breakfasts each morning, afternoon tea and cookies, a five-course feast for two prepared by award-winning chef-owner Michael Salmon, and two one-day lift tickets or snowshoe rentals at nearby Camden Snow Bowl.

Learn To Ski Package

Available: December – March
Price: $137 in addition to room charge (double occupancy). Click here to check room availability.
Package details: Have you always wanted to learn to ski?  Our “Learn to Ski” package includes everything you need – rental equipment, lift tickets and enrollment in a 1.5 hour group skiing lesson for two people at the Camden Snow Bowl.  Our package also includes two nights lodging, a gourmet five course dinner for two one night and a sumptuous two course breakfast each morning.   Enjoy Maine’s winter weather and learn something new at the same time!

Winter Ice Climbing Package

Available: January – March
Price: $307 in addition to room charge (double occupancy). Click here to check room availability.
Package details: Get ready to have fun, push your personal limits and create a lifetime experience. For beginner climbers and those with some experience there is good quality coastal climbing in the area at the beginner and intermediate levels. You will enjoy a gentle hike and receive an introduction to gear, harnesses, ropes and knots. Get experience using equipment and practice a variety of climbs from climbing low angle to steeper ice. Package includes a full day (6-7 hours) ice climbing for one (includes gear for the day). Add a partner for the climb or receive a pampering one-hour massage for an additional $50. Package also includes 2 nights lodging, sumptuous breakfasts and a five-course gourmet dinner for two at the Inn.

Camden, Maine Winterfest 2012

Saturday, January 28, 2012

From their website:

“The Camden Winterfest returns for its 10th annual community celebration of winter on Saturday January 28th,2012. Presented by The Camden Public Library and the Winterfest Committee along with local sponsors.

The centerpiece of Winterfest activity remains the Community Ice Carving Event.Community members transform ordinary blocks of ice into crystaline ice sculptures using the traditional tools of the ice-carving artisan. Chef Tim Pierce of the Samoset Resort donates his time to teaching the craft of ice sculpting.

With or without snow families are encouraged to come and play. A merry band of culinary volunteers serve a variety of delicious hot soups and light snacks donated by local restaurants. Children’s crafts will be in the Picker room.The warm rotunda of the library hosts live music by All That Jazz.

The Winterfest Committee has joined with a group of ice skating enthusiasts to create, in the Camden Amphitheatre, an ice skating rink for annual free, season-long use by the community!”

Schedule of events:

12:00pm – 12:30pm Opening ceremony

12:00pm – 3:00pm Hot food and drink outside

12:30pm – to closing: Open Skate

12:00pm – 2:45pm Ice Carving

1:00pm – 3:00pm Music by All That Jazz under the Rotunda

12:00pm – 2:00pm Children’s activities in the Picker room

2:45pm – 3:00pm Closing event

We hope to have a figure skating demonstration, please check back for the time.

Farnsworth Art Museum

On a snowy day like this one our guests are in for a treat, well several actually. Of course there are Michael’s homemade cookies set out in the afternoon with tea, to be enjoyed in the warmest of spaces (perhaps even in your own room by a fire), but there is also such beauty right outside the doors of the inn.  The nothing less than gorgeous spectacles of this quintessential small New England town blanketed by snow is quite the Norman Rockwell meets Andrew Wyeth picture. The historic windjammers slumbering in the harbor, wrapped in their tidy white blankets and now big fluffy comforters, the pretty little well kept homes, and all the trees branches weighted down as if saying hello to each passerby. This is where we live and we love it!  We love inviting you in to this wonderland year-round.

On a day when the snow has subsided and guests feel ready for a stretch beyond Camden, we point them in several directions including Rockland. The once sleepy working waterfront now bolds fashionable boutiques, a wine bar, artisan coffee bar (aka best place in Rockland to find new and old books), a traditional wooden boat building school, an art house movie theatre (foreign and mainstream films, live music, festivals…), and the Farnsworth Art Museum.

Andrew Wyeth, Mischief Night, 1994, watercolor. © Andrew Wyeth. Private Collection

The Farnsworth Art Museum offers an unparalleled opportunity to enjoy a comprehensive collection of American art related to Maine. With 20,000 square feet of gallery space and over 10,000 works in the collection, there is always something new on view at the Farnsworth. In addition to an extensive collection of work by three generations of Wyeths, the museum houses the nation’s second-largest collection of works by premier 20th-century sculptor Louise Nevelson. There is often contemporary work on display by such Maine luminaries as Robert Indiana, Alex Katz, and Kenneth Noland. Spend a few hours at the museum and then be sure to help yourself to coffee at Atlantic Baking Company or Rock City Books & Coffee (hint, both have yummy pastries good for dunking in coffee).

Jo Ellen Designs

One of the places we recommend to guests is the super smart shop Jo Ellen Designs at 21 Main Street in Camden, conveniently located across from Glendarragh Lavender.  Owner Jo Ellen Stammen was a fine artist and children’s book illustrator. Her training and success – 15 published titles, including a Caldecott nomination and Christopher Award – are evident in the creative way she and her daughter Jessica (also an artist, featured in the Traditional Home article) arrange the displays of irresistible items including wool hand hooked rugs, candles, and one-of-a-kind home accents.

We love the seasonal window displays, they are beautiful!


Top photo Delicious Musings. Bottom photo the Maine.

Glendarragh Lavender

One of the benefits to staying at the Hartstone or Hideaway is our proximity to the shops in downtown Camden. Guests often walk down to the harbor to see the boats and stroll about Camden visiting shops selling books, hand knit pieces, gourmet food items, toys, clothes, jewelry, antiques, souvenirs, and home goods. We will be profiling a few of our favorite things to do in the area over the next few weeks, including some of the local shops we are happy to support.

Inside Glendarragh Lavender at 22 Main Street in Camden,  one can almost imagine standing on a craggy cliff a short drive or longer walk from a row of cozy pubs where fish and chips and a large glass of Guinness await consumption. Lorie Costigan has captured some of Ireland in her pretty boutique with Irish tweed caps, hats, scarves, and bags from Hanna Hats in Donegal,and lavender creams, soaps, balms, and oils  sourced not from Ireland (though they well could have been), but her family’s farm in nearby Appleton. Dried lavender bundled up with pretty ribbon welcomes visitors into the shop. Beautiful antique wooden dressers and tables function as display bases.

New Year's Eve Dinner 2010

Our sold out New Year’s Eve dinner last night was so much fun.  Chef Michael and Chef Zeph experimented with new flavors and received rave reviews from the guests.  For all of you who missed it, we have posted the menu and pictures of each course.  Happy New Year! We are looking forward to making new memories in 2011! 

New Year’s Eve

Friday, December 31, 2010
7:00 p.m. seating

Slow Cooked Quail Egg with a Black Truffle & Parmesan Crouton

Lobster Carpaccio with Osetra Caviar, Frisee and a Yuzu Emulsion

Seared Maine Scallop with Squid Ink Pasta, Sea Urchin Roe and
Fried Basil

Smoked Berkshire Pork Dumpling with a Barbecue Jus,
Kohlrabi Slaw and Pickled Watermelon Rind

Caramelized Onion Soup with Duck Confit and Foie Gras Toast

Poached Halibut with a Black Trumpet Mousseline, Crispy Veal Sweetbreads
and Asparagus

Strawberry Champagne Sorbet

Herb Crusted Double Lamb Chop with a Pinot Noir Reduction
and a Leek & Hazelnut Brioche Pudding

Garlic Grilled Beef Tenderloin with a Roasted Shallot & Balsamic Glaze.
Scalloped Potatoes & Parsnips with Gorgonzola

Chocolate Textures
Dark Chocolate Cake, White Chocolate Mousse, Aerated Chocolate,
Hot Chocolate-Cognac Shot and Valhrona “Powder”





Gourmet Specialties on a Budget

Going out to eat can sometimes take as much, if not more, effort than sitting down for a home-cooked meal. Hiring a babysitter, getting a reservation, deciding what to wear, making the reservation, and then mentally ticking off all those dollar signs (bottle of wine, check, appetizer, check, salad, check, main course, check, dessert, check, after dinner drink question mark, tip, check…). Regardless of the logistics and the expense, eating out can be justified by the pure experience of having a talented chef, friendly wait staff, and intricate dishes with layer after layer of undeniable flavor.  Let’s not forget there is no sink full of pots and pans awaiting rubber gloves either. Is dining out a luxury, it can be depending on the cost associated with it. What that means is maybe, in today’s financial times, adjusting how much one eats out. Instead of dinner out several times a month, maybe it is a once a week occasion.

Chef Michael Salmon realized the need for people to stretch their dollars and thus created the cooking class “Gourmet Specialties on a Budget.”  Chef Michael makes gourmet approachable. He brings it into your home and practically sits it down on your dining room table.  Think of the times you have said or thought “Who cooks like that?” in response to a recipe in a cookbook or food magazine.  After this class maybe you!


The menu for “Gourmet Specialties on a Budget” (February 5 or 6)

  • Mozzarella and Charred Bell Pepper Bruschetta
  • Roasted Tomato Soup with Chopped Basil
  • Sweet Potato Crusted Salmon
  • Tarte Tatin of Pears

Weekend packages are $325/$515 and include two nights lodging, breakfast each morning, afternoon cookies and tea, a gourmet candelit dinner for two and enrollment for one in the cooking class. Additional enrollment into the cooking class is $45 per person. Classes are held Saturdays and Sundays from 1 -3 in the afternoon.

p.s. this is an excellent Christmas present!!!

Budget Travel Article

The December 2008/January 2009 issue of Budget Travel Magazine names the Hartstone Inn as one of it’s “40 Best Deals of the Month.”

The Hartstone Inn is featured in a section titled “Down with Downhill! When you get tired of the slopes, these packages include other wintertime activities.”

The package listed is our 2 night getaway which includes a multi course breakfast each morning, afternoon tea and cookies, five course dinner for two and 2 one-day lift tickets (or snowshoe rentals) at the Camden Snow Bowl. We also have happy hour cocktails each afternoon by the fire and serve complimentary hors d’ouevres.

The rates are as follows:
$360 Orchid, Victorian Charm, Tally- Ho, Lemon Verbena, Viola or Sweet Woodruff
$385 Magnolia, Tea Cup, Mansard, Lark’s Nest, Rose Hip
$450 Sunflower, French Thyme, Arbor, Manor, Cottage, Carriage, Garden, Mt. Battie, Lavender
Click here to view a summary of the article online

Nineteen days till Spring?

With these huge bursts of snow, it’s hard to believe that the First Day of Spring (Thursday, March 20, 2008) is only 19 days away! Up to 10 inches of snow is expected today, and possibly a little more tomorrow. Last week I was purchasing seeds for my Spring vegetable garden and today the idea of garden planting seems absurd.
This is a great opportunity to take advantage of the winter sports available in the Camden area – skiing (down hill and cross country), snow shoeing, relaxing in front of the fireplace with a book and some hot cocoa, or join us for one of our cooking classes.
The Camden Snow Bowl is open Tuesday – Saturday until 7 p.m. and Sunday until 4 p.m. Closed on Monday except for holidays and vacation weeks. For current conditions, prices, a live web cam and further information, visit the Camden Snow Bowl online at:
Check out our winter packages at:, and plan a trip up to see us in the snow. Back to garden planning.

Camden Snow Bowl

The Camden Snow Bowl is a community owned ski and recreation area and is located four miles from the Hartstone Inn and Hideaway. From the summit of 1300′ Ragged Mountain, home to the Snow Bowl’s trails, skiers and riders have an incredible view of the Atlantic Ocean. It is a view quite unlike any other in the east. The Camden Snow Bowl really is “where the mountains meet the sea”.
In addition to alpine skiing and snowboarding, there are many other winter activities available at the Snow Bowl. A snow tubing slope provides fun for all family members, ice skating on Hosmer pond and a thrilling 400′ toboggan chute. The National Toboggan Championships are held here the first weekend of February. There is also a cross country ski and snowshoeing trail available.
Four lifts serve 850′ of vertical. One chairlift, two T-Bars and a surface lift in the beginner area service the ten trails and a terrain park. All trails lead back to a classic A-frame lodge where you will find all services. The Camden Snow Bowl has a ski and snowboard school, full rental shop, an active youth racing program and a fully qualified ski patrol. Coastal Maine sees its share of big winter storms, but we have a snowmaking system that covers 45% of our area to ensure plenty of skiing and riding. Most trails are groomed daily.

The Camden Snow Bowl is open Tuesday – Saturday until 7 p.m. and Sunday until 4 p.m. Closed on Monday except for holidays and vacation weeks.

For current conditions, prices, a live web cam and further information, visit the Camden Snow Bowl online at:

Mountain Facts
Trails: 11
Lifts: 4 (1 Chairlift, 2 T-Bars, 1 surface lift)
Terrain: 20% Easiest, 60% Intermediate, 20% Difficult
Evening Skiing on: Clipper, Muscle Ridge, Windjammer, Foxy and the Terrain Park
Longest Run: 1 mile/1.6 km – Spinnaker
Terrain Parks: 1
Glades: 3
Skiable Acres: 80
Snowmaking On: 36 acres/45% of ski area
Vertical Drop: 943 feet
Base Elevation: 150 feet above sea level
Top Elevation: 1093 feet above sea level
Annual Snowfall: 72 inches
Tubing Hill: 2 lanes
Toboggan Chute: 400 feet long
Ice Skating on Hosmer Pond