Monthly Archives: February 2013

How to Plan a Family Reunion in Maine: Start with the Venue

While everyone loves attending a family reunion, few people enjoy planning a family reunion. If you are the lucky member of your family given that big responsibility, it’s hard to know where to start. The right venue for your Maine family reunion needs to be able to accommodate all your guests and appeal to a wide range of ages and interests. It needs to be affordable, accessible.

1. Start with a destination everyone already wants to visit.
Boothbay Harbor, Maine has been one of the most popular Maine vacation destinations for hundreds of years, and is an ideal location for family reunions. At the historic Newagen Seaside Inn, you’ll see why—because you’ll see the breathtaking Maine coast from almost every guest room, suite and seaside cottage. In the traditional Maine coast hotel style, the Inn’s rambling embrace of the ocean makes the most of its panoramic ocean views of Southport Island. And with traditional Maine coast hotel hospitality, our family helps your family make the most of your Maine family reunion.

2. Make sure your Maine family reunion venue offers family-friendly activities and events.
Your Maine family reunion should be filled with all your favorite things to do in Maine. The signature events of a stay at our historic oceanfront inn are rooted in who we are, where we live and what we enjoy. They are authentic, timeless celebrations of life on the Maine coast and make wonderful, intergenerational family reunion activities. A Maine lobster bake, a Polar Dip or Fireside Tales are some of our favorite traditions, and we can’t wait to share them with you.

Your family will also enjoy rowing and sailing along the Maine coast, cycling and hiking our beautiful nature trails, candlepin bowling, table tennis and billiards in our rustic, wood-paneled Game Room. Our heated saltwater pool and two hardcourt tennis courts overlook the ocean, and signature white Adirondack chairs are scattered across our expansive lawns and gardens to remind you to take time to appreciate the panoramic ocean views. Minutes away in Boothbay Harbor, family members can play golf at the Boothbay Country Club, go whale watching in Maine, tour lighthouses and islands, fish, kayak, visit world-class museums and restaurants, enjoy concerts overlooking the ocean and much, much more.

3. Pick a Maine family reunion venue offering complimentary event planning services.
This is the smartest tip on the list, because it can help you cross off almost every other task. If you were elected to plan your family’s Maine family reunion, our professional event planner is here to help, free of charge!  Let us help you coordinate Maine transportation, event bookings, excursions, photographers, menus and more. You can take credit for planning the best Maine family reunion ever … while truly enjoying the best Maine family reunion ever.

Our emphasis on warm welcomes, simple pleasures and traditional activities and events make Newagen Seaside Inn an ideal Maine family reunion venue. Learn more about Maine Family Reunions at Newagen Seaside Inn.

Spicy Shrimp and Lobster Mango Bisque

Nothing says I love you like a thoughtful gift, a romantic dinner and a passionate kiss. Why not surprise your love with all three on Valentine’s Day including this delightful bisque?

While our focus is to take fresh Maine ingredients from earth and sea and local farms right to you table, our Executive Chef, Fiona Dunlap, has given us a pass. Our justification and inspiration: She just returned from a trip to Jamaica where mangoes are abundant and spicy foods are as common as white sandy beaches.

We hope you enjoy our Valentines Day inspired recipe which integrates savory, spirited Southerly ingredients and sweet delicious Maine shrimp and lobster to bring warm reminders of those perfect Maine summer days.

Sweet and Spicy Shrimp Mango Bisque

Prep Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 1 hour Servings: 12

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups onions, peeled and chopped

1/2 cup green bell peppers, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup red pepper, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup banana peppers, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup poblano peppers, seeded and chopped

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups plaintains, diced (about 2 plaintains, very ripe)

7 cups lobster stock

2 mangoes, very ripe (peeled, pitted and pureed in a blender)

1 1/2 pounds Lobster (about 4 Lobsters)

1 pound Maine shrimp (try to get the highest count)*

1/2 cup fresh parsley

3 tablespoons cajun seasoning (or seasoning salt)

2 tablespoons cajun seasoning (or seasoning salt)

1 teaspoon dried mustard (Coleman’s preferred)

*The count of shrimp (ex. 21-25) means that you can expect 21 – 25 shrimp per pound. Go for a higher count (small shrimp and thus more per pound) for easier to manage bites, and sweeter taste.

 

Directions

1. Boil lobsters, allow to cool, pick meat and chop (set aside) and use the shells to make your stock.

2. Combine the seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl.

3. Combine the onions, bell peppers, and chile peppers; then divide them in half.

4. Place half these vegetables in a small bowl near your stove so you can add them quickly in the next step.

5. Heat the oil in a heavy 5-quart pot over high heat until it is smoking hot (500 degrees), about 5 minutes.

6. Make a roux -add the flour and whisk constantly, making sure that the oil and flour are thoroughly combined, until the roux is a caramel color, about 2 minutes.

7. When making a roux – it is very important to keep stirring at all times and to keep all of the flour moving. (If you don’t, the flour will burn and the roux will be very bitter – useless. If you see little black specks in the roux, it has burned. If that happens, throw it out, clean the pot and begin again. If your roux seems to be browning too fast, take it off the stove and continue to whisk until it has cooled slightly, then returning it to the heat).

8. As soon as the roux is a caramel color, quickly add the combined onions and peppers, and 3 tablespoons of the seasoning mix.

9. Keep whisking constantly for 15 seconds, then remove the pot from the heat and continue to whisk until the roux has cooled down slightly, about 2 minutes. (The roux will continue to darken to a deep brown as you whisk.)

10. Return the pot to high heat, add the plantains and stir well to mix them with the roux.

11. Cook, stirring frequently, until the plantains take on a slightly darker color, about 4 – 5 minutes.

12. Carefully add 4 cups of stock and bring to a boil, whisking frequently and well to dissolve the roux.

13. At this point the liquid will have a yellowish-brown color and a soft seafood taste.

14. When the mixture boils, scrape the bottom well, then add the remaining vegetables, the remaining seasoning mix, and the remaining 3 cups of stock.

15. Cover and return to boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovering and stirring every few minutes, until the plaintains are soft and breaking into smaller pieces, about 12 minutes.

16. Whisk in the mango puree, re-cover, increase the heat to high and bring to full boil.

17. Stir in Lobster, shrimp and parsley, remove from heat immediately and serve over rice.

Modified from Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Shrimp Mango Bisque                            www.food.com/recipe/prudhommes-shrimp-mango-bisque-310554

Coastal Inspired Design: Maine Oceanview Hotel Rooms in Boothbay Harbor

To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Main Inn construction in 1943, nearly all guest rooms are being upgraded this winter. After purchasing Newagen in 2001, Scott and Corinne Larson, completely renovated the Inn and implemented four coastal-inspired color palettes. In that same tradition, Corinne and designer Jessie LaFalce have created four new designs. The cozy quilts, woven rugs in sea glass colors and local Maine art were all inspired – just as you will be – by the expansive ocean views.

So if you’re wondering where to stay in Maine, you’ll find your answer among our collection of newly designed ocean view rooms. Decorated in the casually elegant Maine cottage style, Newagen Seaside Inn’s ocean view rooms mix antique furnishings with modern luxuries and offer easy access to the inviting common areas through our historic coastal inn.

At the Newagen Seaside Inn, the Maine coast is always right outside your window and our Maine family is always at your service. Call today at 1-800-654-5242 to reserve your room, or just to chat. We look forward to hearing from you.

Five Ways to Save Money on A Wedding: Where Is It Okay to Cut Costs

At the historic Newagen Seaside Inn, our wedding planner Jessica Hans specializes in helping couples create the Maine destination seaside wedding of their dreams—and on their budget. To start planning your dream destination wedding on the Maine coast, contact us today!

1. Plan a Maine destination wedding.
No one wants to miss your special day. Invitation lists grow quickly, and just as quickly consume your budget with per person menu/bar costs. If there’s no way to cut your third cousin’s three children from your list, consider moving your wedding away from home. Destination weddings—like an oceanfront Maine wedding at Newagen — mean the guests that accept your wedding invitation are the guests who most want to be there. Destination weddings winnow your guest list to your nearest and dearest with no hurt feelings … just great savings!

2. Choose an off-peak or weekday date for your Maine wedding.
Couples never want to talk about Mondays. Or May. But when they see just how much they can save, they change their mind. It’s not just that the Newagen Seaside Inn can offer discounts at these times. Everyone can. Maine wedding photographers, florists, bands, and DJs might be slammed on a Saturday in July, but willing to bargain in June or work for much less on Wednesdays. Imagine getting every vendor you want for a discount. That’s the kind of opportunity a weekday wedding offers. At Newagen, we can make any day of any month special and spectacular … and save you money.

3. Let nature inspire your wedding decorations.
Brides and grooms can spend so much on flowers, place settings, and draperies to make a venue beautiful. But if your wedding venue is already breathtaking, you’ll save so much money on wedding decorations. We see this all the time at the historic Newagen Seaside Inn. Our gorgeous views of the Maine coast are picture-perfect backdrops to wedding parties, wedding receptions and wedding pictures … at no extra charge. Browse our Maine wedding photo gallery to see what I mean!

4.  Consider hosting your Maine wedding in one location with value-added services.
Instead of paying multiple site fees for a Maine wedding rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony, cocktail hour, wedding reception, after party or brunch, find a location able to host it all at one price. You’ll save on transporting your wedding party and guests from location to location. At the Newagen Seaside Inn, bridal parties have the entire Inn to themselves on their wedding day, and can take advantage of our Event Lawn, Restaurant, Pub, Pine Room and more. Choosing a venue able to provide essentials like tables, chairs, linens, china, glassware and silverware can save your wedding budget thousands of dollars in rental costs. Newagen also includes wedding planning and event planning services, saving you thousands of dollars … and hassles.

5. Eat local, and ask about bar service options.
Wedding coordinators know requesting local specialties for your wedding menu guarantees the freshest ingredients, but it also saves you money. On an oceanfront Maine destination wedding, Lobster is a bargain! Prices for Maine lobster, a wedding staple, are lower than anywhere else in the country. Sweet Maine shrimp or Maine haddock can also be fresh, delicious, and inexpensive options that your guests will see as indulgences!

Having the flexibility to have a full open bar, beer and wine only bar, cash bar or some combination of these at your Maine wedding reception or Maine wedding after party can significantly help bring down the cost of your Maine wedding. A signature drink may limit the number of mixed drinks that served but still allow guests a delicious liquor option – and give you another chance to personalize your special day. Limiting cocktails to the cocktail hour alone and then serving beer and wine only for the reception may also be a fitting choice that may reduce bar costs at your Maine wedding.

To start planning your Maine wedding at the Newagen Seaside Inn, contact us today.

The Blizzard of 2013: A View from Newagen Seaside Inn

Newagen in the Snow

The Blizzard of 2013, aka Nemo, will go down as the most significant snow event in 35 years since the famous storm of 1978. The inspiration for the storm is not the Pixar film, but Captain Nemo, from the Jules Verne book “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.” Meteorologists predicted a near perfect nor’easter (if there is such a thing) with two areas of low pressure resulting in hurricane force winds, extreme snow fall and an astronomical high tide on Saturday morning with 35 foot waves. We hope those in the northeast are safe and well.

 

 

Newagen, located at the tip of Southport Island overlooking Cape Newagen, is no stranger to winter storms, and this one certainly lived up to the hype. The snow drifts were over 5 feet high in some places, the front door was inaccessible and the back lawn looked more like Antarctica. We were reminded why we are not open in the winter! That, and a seasonal water supply…

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