Elephants in Hope 20 May 2013, 12:41 pm
You probably don’t think of elephants when you think of Maine. Crashing waves, rocky shores, pine trees – all of those images come to mind easily – but elephants sound out of place.
Maine is home however to two Asian Elephants, Rosie and Opal, at Hope Elephants in Hope, Maine. Hope is just a six-mile drive from our Inn; you can visit the elephants and learn about wildlife conservation.
Hope Elephants was created to provide a home for injured, elderly, and abused elephants and is the only place in the U.S. where elephants receive daily physical and medical therapy, as well as nutritional support. All this care is provided by a dedicated team of professional elephant handlers and veterinarians.
Rosie and Opal have worked in the circus for 40+ years and have nerve, limb, and joint damage. Luckily, the organization has developed programs and treatments to alleviate their pain and improve their quality of life. They share an outdoor paddock with varied terrain including a mud wallow, shady trees, small hills to climb, and a barn with heated floors covered in 8 inches fine sand. These elephants are already on their way to a more promising future. If you’d like to visit the elephants be sure to plan ahead, you need to make reservations.
The next time you visit the Camden Harbour Inn, perhaps your “must do” list will look like this: kayak on Megunticook Lake, sail in Camden Harbor, hike Mt. Battie and visit Hope Elephants.
It’s a vacation you’re sure to remember.
An interview with our new Executive Chef, Jon Gaboric 10 May 2013, 12:17 pm
We’re happy to welcome Jon Gaboric to Natalie’s as our new Executive Chef. This is his first week here and he’s already been busy meeting area farmers, cheese makers and food suppliers to our restaurant.
A little bit of background: he earned his degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson and Wales University and just moved here from Austin, TX. His resume includes time spent at Hotel Residence, a Two Michelin Star top-rated hotel in Germany, at Vermont’s Three Clock Inn, at Sobani Restaurant and Wine Bar in Austin and he was founder and operating partner at Austin’s Wefuse Eatery. You may have seen him on Food Network’s Chef Wanted, which he won in 2012.
We thought we’d introduce you to our friends in Camden by sharing some casual interviews with them on our blog and it made sense to start with Jon.
Q. What drew you to Maine?
I really missed New England. I’ve lived in New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. It’s nice to come back to what I consider home after living in Texas. I have a young son, and I think it’s a really nice place for children to grow up, I’m glad to be able to raise my son here.
There is a lot of great energy and excitement here. I’m really looking forward to meeting more people and sampling more of the local food. There is a great connection here between the people who are producing the food and the people preparing it.
Q. What in particular appealed to you about Natalie’s?
It reminds me of Europe, and it’s driven by perfection, innovation, high standards. I think those are also elements of my personality and this is a great opportunity at this point in my career. I am very honored to be here and I think it’s a great challenge.
Q. What ingredient are you looking forward to working with here the most?
Definitely Maine seafood, it’s world renowned and it’s right here. I’ve always been a big lover of clams and mussels, anything that comes out of the water.
Q. What are some of the items you are considering for your first new menu in the restaurant?
Right now I’m really excited about creating the lobster tasting menu. It will be fun to be playful with that, maybe add some Asian influences, some ginger, coconut milk, ingredients like that, but still keep it within the realm of modern New England.
Q. What is your favorite dish to make at home?
I really enjoy braising, slow cooking meats until they fall apart. It’s hearty, wholesome comfort food, a lot of it stems from my childhood. Grilling is great too in the summer.
Q. What do you like best about cooking?
I think it’s the creative process. I enjoy thinking about food in a conceptual way and understanding flavors, textures, how things work together and how they work with the palate. I also like being part of a team, the collaborative process of making it happen in the kitchen. Working with a staff that gets as excited about the food as I do.
Q. What is your favorite food memory?
Traveling through Thailand and Singapore; that time is filled with incredible food memories for me. A lot of the street vendors, I remember red curry crab on a picnic table right next to the vendor on the street. I was exposed to a lot of different flavors.
Please join us in making Jon feel welcome. Stop by to say hello when you can.
Spring cleaning means renovations at Camden Harbour Inn 2 May 2013, 10:46 am
All of the remodeled bathrooms have new soaking tubs and flat screen TVs with DVD players. Several of the updated bathrooms have separate steam/rain showers as well as Philip Starck designer vanities and Victoria & Albert designer tubs.
Each bathroom has its own individual look with different tiles, colors and wall coverings, adding a little of that special flair to the rooms.
All of the bathrooms at the Camden Harbour Inn are prepared for guests with Molton Brown amenities, luxurious oversized Turkish towels and large recessed designer mirror cabinets for additional storage space.
Come relax at the Inn, flowers are popping up, the water is sparkling, the sun is shining and our staff is ready to serve you.
The Second City: Laughing Matters in Camden 13 Mar 2013, 11:37 am
We are very excited to bring some of America’s best comics to the stage in Camden. As sponsors of the Camden Opera House we have the very special opportunity to offer an entertaining and luxurious theater package, including orchestra seating, for matinee performance by The Second City on Sunday, March 24.
The Second City: Laughing Matters is a traveling show and features some of the best sketches, songs and improvisations that The Second City has been entertaining audiences with for over fifty years. They are famous for funny and the cast is certain to bring hilarity to a world in need of comical relief at a time when economic and political issues are lowering morale and reality shows are clogging up our televisions. With scripted and improvisational skits about the morning headlines and Second City’s “oldie-but-goodies,” you are sure to be in stitches throughout the entire show.
Orchestra seating is only available through The Second City Theater package. Spend a night in one of our exquisite guestrooms or suites and wake-up to our signature A La Carte Champagne Breakfast in the morning. After the 3pm show please join us for a VIP cocktail reception with a meet and greet with the cast of Second City. End your day with a divine three course dinner at our award-winning restaurant, Natalie’s.
Would you like to spend more time with us? Book an additional night with a 20% discount on the room rate of your selected room or suite.
For more information or to reserve this package, call 800-236-4266.
This promises to be a very funny and fun weekend!
Snowstorm Nemo in Camden 8 Feb 2013, 11:11 am
Nemo sounds like a silly name for the storm but the snow has been falling quickly for hours now. It’s beautiful outside and is appropriately timed for the weekend, the US National Toboggan Championships.
Here at the Camden Harbour Inn we’re proud to host the Royal Dutch Toboggan Team for the third year in a row. While they’ve never won for speed they do get a lot of attention, and honor, for their costumes. We got a peek at the costumes in store for this weekend’s activities last night. It’s hard to explain what they are, but there are puffy ornate jackets, hats that have a whistle with what looks like a bird on top and lots of brilliant blue feathers. We’ll take some pictures when the team is dressed up and share them on the blog.
The snow adds to the sense of winter coziness, the fire in the lounge burns brighter, the red chairs and lamps in the dining room glow with warmth. It looks like we’re truly ready for Valentine’s Day. WABI TV visited us last week to talk about Natalie’s as a romantic destination, the write up is here and they are working on getting the video clip up.
With so much snow in the forecast it looks like February will be a great time for cross country skiing, snow shoeing and downhill skiing too. Our Winter Wonderland two night package is perfect for a winter fun.
Snow brings out the playful side in many of us; we hope that you will have a chance to visit us this winter and enjoy some play time.
New Menu Coming Soon at Natalie’s 25 Jan 2013, 8:54 am
We’ve been on a little winter break, cleaning, light remodeling – and working on a new menu for Natalie’s.
Geoffroy Deconinck, our Executive Chef, has been drawn to and inspired by Camden’s location on the water since he first visited the area. He says it’s a gateway to the world, and loves to contemplate the ships that have visited our shores over the centuries. The ocean, and its connection to the world, as well as our Inn’s international flavor due to our Dutch heritage as well as the backgrounds of our staff members (Geoffroy is from Belgium, many of our employees are from Asia, Eastern Europe and other farflung destinations) has helped to serve as inspiration for our new menu.
When we began to talk about the flavors of the world and the bounty of the ocean, and the connection to our Inn and the Dutch East India Trade (little known fact, our rooms are all named for ports of call, take a look), and Geoffroy’s unique use of spices from around the world, we realized that our menu didn’t explore these connections fully, in a way that our guests could see and enjoy.
Our new menu is filled with the dishes we’re known for, prepared with an emphasis on fresh, high quality ingredients grounded in modern French technique. Except now we are taking it a step further, and exploring how the spices used in the dishes connect us with the food and location. This journey, examining our menu and how we relate to it and to the flavors from our individual heritages, has been an exciting one.
We are looking forward to sharing the details of the menu with you, and hope that you will join us to explore the spices and inspirations of the world soon. The ocean is at the foot of the hill, and beyond that is the world.
We reopen on January 29.
Happy 2013! 2 Jan 2013, 11:56 am
As we look back on 2012 we’re truly grateful for all the wonderful guests we’ve had and new friends we’ve made here at the Camden Harbour Inn and Natalie’s. We hope you all have a wonderful 2013 and look forward to seeing you again!
We’ll be closed a lot of this month, it’s time to repaint, deep clean and make minor renovations. Make your reservations to join us in February as we move into 2013 with some great overnight packages, Valentine’s Day and the National Toboggan Championships. Ski season will be in full swing and we’ve got a great package to help you enjoy all the snow. Winter is beautiful here, don’t miss out.
Jumping ahead to March we’ll be participating in Maine Restaurant Week, March 1-10. It’s a great time to celebrate Maine’s restaurant community and we’re proud to say we’ve participated all five years it’s existed. Even more exciting for us is the fact that our bartender, Tom Laslavic, has won the People’s Choice and the Professional Cocktail honors at the Signature Event in past years. We don’t know what he’s planning to compete with this year, but we know he’s working on something tasty for the March 10 event.
2013 looks like it will be filled with lots of fun and adventure, jump in with us and enjoy!
Butter Poached Halibut at Natalie’s 21 Dec 2012, 11:21 am
One of our Executive Chef’s favorite ways to cook halibut is a seemingly simple method – he poaches it in beurre blanc. It’s delicious and helps to prevent the fish from drying out but patience and a watchful eye are crucial.
Chef Geoffroy Deconinck was recently on TV here in Maine to demonstrate the dish. The studio for the show Good Day Maine is in Portland, and the show airs live in the morning, so he was up bright and early to collect his ingredients and make the trip to the studio. Live TV goes by extremely quickly but he had a good time and everyone who tasted the dish raved about it.
If you’d like to try it, join us for Christmas or New Year’s Eve at Natalie’s, it’s one of the dishes available as our fish course. You can also watch the clip and get a sense of the preparation of the dish.
Chef Deconinck also shared a tip with the viewers: the delicate balance of textures and flavors is essential to a successful dish. His love of cooking, and his care for ingredients, shows clearly in this interview.
We hope that you will join us at Natalie’s and enjoy the results of the hard work in our kitchen, our passion for fine food, quality ingredients and excellent service.
Holiday Cocktails at Natalie’s 18 Dec 2012, 9:51 am
The snow is on its way and the holidays are upon us. Get your last minute shopping done in the adorable and festive shops in Camden and be sure to stop into Natalie’s to indulge in a Christmas treat of your own with one of our delicious three or seven course meals from our winter menu.
If you are looking for a new cocktail to toast to this holiday season, our ever so talented bar manager (named Maine’s top bartender 2012) Tom Laslavic has created up some wonderful cocktails to celebrate the season. Try his New Fashioned made with Maraschino Sherries, Herring Cherry Bitters, Makers Mark Bourbon, Limoncello, Brut Sparkling Wine and some crushed ice. This cocktail will most definitely spice up your night.
If you’re craving some fresh fruit, Tom’s got you covered. Dive into a Mountains Meet The Sea cocktail, which includes blueberries, sage and lemon with Back River Gin, St. Germain Elderberry Liquor, Honeymaker Dry Honey Mead and a splash of Prosecco. If perfection took a liquid form, this would be it.
For a holiday-appropriately colorful and flavorful cocktail, request a Pom Cosmo, made with vodka, Grand Marnier and pomegranate juice.
Did you take one sip too many? Don’t worry, there’s a bed waiting for you at the Camden Harbour Inn. Make your day trip into a mini vacation and book a one-night stay or check out our holiday or New Year’s Eve packages.
You will leave feeling more refreshed than you have all year. You deserve it!
1 lemon wedge
1 sugar packet
2 Maraschino Cherries
Splash Herring Cherry Bitters
2 oz Makers Mark Bourbon
Brut Sparkling Wine
Method: Crush ice. Pour the sugar packet on the lemon wedge and splash with Herring Cherry Brandy. Muddle with Maraschino cherries in a rocks glass. Add limoncello, Markers Mark Bourbon stir. Add crushed ice and top with sparkling wine.
A tasteful take on the Old Fashioned that will provide sparkle and add fun to the holidays.
1 oz Cointreau
2 1/2 oz Premium Vodka
1/4 oz Grand Marnier
1/2 oz POM pomegranate
1/2 oz Cranberry Juice
Mix ingredients, shake with ice: pour in cocktail glass and garnish with fresh orange peel
Mountains Meet The Sea
3 large sage leaves
1 1/2 oz Back River Gin
1/2 oz St. Germain Elderberry Liquor
2 oz Honeymaker Dry Honey Mead
Splash w/ Prosecco
Directions: Muddle blueberries, sage and lemon, add gin, elderberry liquor and mead
Shake and double strain into chilled snifter,(no ice) splash with Prosecco
Here’s to a joyous holiday season!
Crisp, cold air in Camden 30 Nov 2012, 9:10 am
Winter has truly arrived although we’ve only seen a few white flakes blowing in the wind. No snow on the ground yet, but we know it will come. Everyone has pulled out their hats and scarves, adding a festive air to their attire.
This weekend is the Christmas by the Sea, and our special dinner at Cellardoor Winery, so it’s a busy and fun weekend for us and our guests. The town is already bustling with excitement.
Our front desk has been busy with requests for New Year’s Eve dinner and for overnight stays at the Inn. We look forward to seeing some guests return and to seeing some new faces.
Since we opened five years ago, our restaurant Natalie’s has become a popular spot to ring in the New Year. We have a fun party for our dinner guests with live music, hors d’oeuvres and of course champagne at midnight. It’s a great way to ring in the New Year.
We have two seatings for dinner, the first is at 5:30 with a special three course menu for $67 per person:
Pig’s Trotter in a Biscuit
Preserved Winter Truffle Sauce
Carrots Chervil Peluches
Poached Beurre Blanc Watercress Puree Rutabaga Shellfish Sauce
Seared Root Vegetable Gratin Creamy Spinach Bordelaise Sauce
Berries Almond Pomegranate
Warm Chocolate Cake
For people who wish to truly indulge, we we offer an eight course meal at 8 p.m. It is $109 per person and includes Grand Finale Count Down Party with Ann Delaney and Band.
Oysters Meyer Lemon Foam
Pig’s Trotter in a Biscuit Preserved Winter Truffle Sauce
Potage Crecy, Carrots and Chervil Peluches
Beef Ravioli Brussels Sprouts Tomato Confit Parmesan
Barley Risotto Red Wine Shitake Celeriac Truffle Scent
Local Crab Lasagnette, Mussels Madras Curry Root Vegetables
Poached Halibut Beurre Blanc Watercress Puree Rutabaga Shellfish Sauce
Seared Beef Tenderloin Winter Vegetables Gratin Creamy Spinach Bordelaise Sauce
Dark Chocolate Mousse Cranberries Whipped White Chocolate
Nougat Glace Berries Almonds Pomegranate
If you are interested in spending some time at the Inn we have a wonderful two night package that includes the New Year’s Eve dinner, a massage for two, a la carte breakfast daily (and who can resist lobster eggs benedict, or Belgian waffles?) and much more.
Give us a call soon to reserve your room and make your start to 2013 truly special.