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    Wedding Trip to Jackson, New Hampshire

    Our daughter was married this month and we took a small group up to the White Mountains to celebrate the event.? A great time was had by all, and they actually got married so it was a total success.? We spent parts of six days in the Jackson/North Conway area, so there are some wines and restaurants to talk about as well, not to mention two inns and a winery.? This will be the Cliff Note version, and we’ll expand on the travel page and break out some restaurants on the food page.? Some of the wines will get their own blog post as well.? Here’s the play by play.

    Tuesday April 16


    Church Landing – home of the Lakehouse Restaurant

    We headed out to Jackson with the kids, stopping in Meredith NH for lunch at the Lakehouse.? The Lakehouse is inside Church Landing, a large and very nice resort right on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee.? We enjoy lunch here and generally stop when we are traveling back and forth to the North Conway area.? The view from the bar is worth stopping in for, and the food is good too.? We have not had dinner here, but can vouch for the lunch menu, which although not extensive is all delicious.? If you are in the area and are hungry this is a good stop.? Another option is Mame’s, which is right down the road and has a more varied menu.? Either way you can’t go wrong.
    Meredith is a quiet little town off season and a much more bustling one in the summer months as tourists and vacation home owners flock in to enjoy the lake.? We rented a boat and went tubing a few years ago, and that was a blast.? This is a beautiful area, with the ski resorts just another our north.
    We got to the Wentworth Inn about 3:30.? The Wentworth is a large property on the Jackson Village loop which has rooms of all calibers, an on site restaurant and a small pub.? They host a lot of events, and would be hosting our

    The front door to the Wentworth

    The front door to the Wentworth

    daughter’s wedding in a few days.? It’s a luxury inn, with a very attentive staff (generally – more on that later) and an excellent location.? The falls cascade down just outside the door, and provide a soothing backdrop all day and night.? Whether you are here for hiking in the summer, skiing in the winter, or just to pass a few relaxing days Jackson is a great destination.? There are many other inn choices in the immediate area as well, and Cheri and I generally stay at the Inn at Thorn Hill.? We arrived on Tuesday for the Saturday wedding to relax a bit before things heated up.? This is something I highly recommend if you have the luxury of turning a wedding into a week long event.? It does take a lot of the stress out of it.


    Cheri and the kids at Maestro’s

    Dinner the first night was at Maestro’s, an Italian themed eatery on the main drag running out from North Conway toward Jackson.? Not a large restaurant, Maestro’s has a very comfy atmosphere and an inviting bar area.? We sat at a high top near the bar on a fairly quiet night.? The wine list had some very nice and out of the ordinary choices.? Cheri had a glass of Cabernet and I had a very interesting Malbec.? The cab was the 2010 Tutunjian Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile, and it had excellent fruit, a very long finish and medium body.? It wasn’t my favorite, but Cheri liked it.??? The Tutunjian runs about $8, and I would say it is a good value at that price.? The Malbec was the 2010 Tercos Malbec, from Argentina, which was full bodied, very long and had lots a deep, dark fruit.? It also was fairly heavy on the oak, which I don’t normally like, but this grew on me.? By the time I finished the glass I pronounced it quite good indeed.? This runs about $12 and is a good buy if you like oaky reds.
    Dinner was excellent, and the entrees we sampled included the traditional veal parmigiana, capellini, and salmon.? All

    Maestro's Restaurant

    Maestro’s Restaurant

    were good, and the red sauce here is among my favorites ever.? The only drawback was the time it took for the entrees to arrive, which seemed excessive considering the restaurant was not crowded.? The quality of the food made up for that, but I do have a worry that on a crowded night it could become excessively slow.? One aspect that might sway you to try Maestro’s is that most (if not all) of the food served is organic and locally sourced whenever possible.? We would certainly go back again.? More on the food page soon.

    Wednesday April 17


    The award wining Cupcakery

    After a fine breakfast at the Wentworth we went to the town offices and secured the wedding license.? Continuing on into North Conway we did some shopping, stopped in to check on the cake and strolled the main drag.? The cake and cupcakes for the wedding are from The White Mountain Cupcakery, fairly recent winners of the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars.? We ordered our cake prior to their victory, but it does add a bit of panache to the festivities.? Cathy, the owner of the Cupcake Factory, is just fabulous and we highly, highly recommend her if you are having an event in this area and need a cake or cupcakes.? We had both!? Early afternoon meant the ladies were off to the salon and spa and the men got to relax a bit.? Lunch was a quick sandwich from J-Town Deli, another great stop in the area and one which makes a really good sandwich.


    We had been looking forward to dinner at The Cider Company restaurant in Glen, NH.? This is one of our favorite places to eat as the food is always impeccable, and I mean just out of this world great.? I have had some of my favorite dishes ever Logoat this establishment, and this night was no exception.? It’s not the fanciest place in the world, and you’ll find locals in jeans sitting at the bar or at the tables, but it has a first class chef and a great atmosphere.? We had? calamari in a blood orange sauce, a grilled romaine salad with bacon and grilled grapes, as well as some tasty, tasty crab cakes.? That was before dinner.? At dinner there was monkfish, steak, and the most sublime pork loin in mustard sauce to grace the planet in quite a while.? This was unquestionably one of my favorite things ever.? The wine was a 2010 Lyeth Meritage, which you can read about at the post here.? While the wine list is not extensive is does have a broad selection, it’s just not deep in any category.? You can find something to pair with anything on the menu though.

    Thursday April 18th

    This was more of a down day for us, so we took a ride through the mountains and did a big circle around Mount Washington.? This meant going north through Pinkham Notch and then south back through Crawford Notch.? Crawford Notch is absolutely beautiful, and we had a very nice red fox stop at the side of the road to say hello.? Since we were driving by we stopped in at the Mount Washington Hotel to let the kids see the place.? Cheri and I have had lunch here a couple of times, but never stayed over.? This was a bit of a let down, as the hotel is under, and I believe almost finished with, massive renovations.? The only place serving food was the bar, and it was about 50 degrees throughout the entire main floor.? But we kept our coats on, got some drinks, and watched the mountain for a little while.? The views here are great.? Also, judging by the parts of the hotel we say that were finished, this is going to be quite an amazing building.? We have no idea what the rooms are like though.

    When we got back to Conway we hit Settler’s Green, the outlet shopping center in town.? It’s not the biggest one you’ll find

    Some of the Stores at Settler's Green

    Some of the Stores at Settler’s Green

    (as we live near Wrentham Outlets in Wrentham, Ma, and that is BIG) but for some reason I find some of my best bargains there.? The Banana Republic always has something that comes home with me.? We power shopped for a bit and then went back for an late afternoon cocktail while we waited for a few people to arrive.

    You know a restaurant is really, really good when you go back two days in a row.? We had the brother and grandmother of the bride join us Thursday night, and we took them to…… the Cider Company Restaurant!? This was more Cheri than me, but I certainly didn’t complain.? I had a Korean Pork sandwich, and the same grilled romaine salad (just as good as the night before).? Cheri had the pork loin in mustard sauce, and it was really this dish that drove us there.? She had to have it after tasting mine the previous evening.? Wine was a good 2010 Catena Malbec, with nice fruit and a long finish.? This is a very good young, juicy wine.

    Friday April 19

    All the rest of the guests were arriving this day, so we took a little more time to stroll North Conway.? The main drag is quaint, and has iconic old time New England type establishments.? Zeb’s is one.? If you go to North Conway you have to go to ImageZeb’s, which has a ton of food and sundries from all over New England.? Another of our favorites in the Essence of Art on Seavey Street, which sells art, pottery and textiles created on premises by a talented group of challenged individuals.? We have several pieces on display in our house.? Surprisingly enough, there is also a winery on the street, actually off the street but the path to it is on the main drag.? You have to be careful not to miss it.? Vintner’s Cellar produces a staggering array of wines from grape concentrate imported from all over the world.? Alex was with Cheri and myself, and between the three of us we tried13 different reds and whites.? These included some fruit infused grape wines, but also a Valpollicella, Malbec, Nebbiolo, Cab/Shiraz, French Cabernet, Reisling and a New Zealand Pinot to name a few.? Most were quite tasty.? There will be a more detailed review on the Tasting Notes page soon.? All you need to know is we brought home half a case, and most of them were really nice.? Definitely worth a stop in.


    The wine cellar at Thorn Hill

    Friday night was the welcome reception at the Inn at Thorn Hill, one of our favorite places.? This is a beautiful inn with views of Mount Washington, built completely new after a fire ravaged the old inn some 15 years ago.? We’ve been going activitiesthere for years, and it represents elegant luxury, good food and good value.? It’s the kind of place you can hole up in and totally relax.? Ibby and Jim are the innkeepers and are very accomodating.? The wine list is huge, and the Inn is very involved with wine, hosting several wine dinner weekends throughout the year.? We were a member of their wine club a few years ago, but haven’t been frequently enough in recent years to maintain that.

    They put on a great spread for the wedding guests and everyone had a great time.? We’ll do a travel piece on the Inn at Thorn Hill soon, but if you’re interested check them out at their website here.

    Saturday April 20

    This was all about the wedding.? I took the groom into North Conway for a straight razor shave in the morning, and then spent the rest of the day checking in on preparations for the ceremony.? There were a few anxious hours as the Wentworth was not exactly pulling it together in a timely manner.? Fortunately it did come together with some direct intervention, and I’d have to say the entire wedding was nearly perfect.? The food was excellent throughout, and the wine during the cocktail hour was exceptional.? That wine was my double magnum of 2004 Altesino Brunello, which was sublime.? So elegant, the fruit was pure and the wine was just flat out delicious.? There were people asking for more of this all night, but it could not last forever.? I consider the wine a complete success.? Sometime soon I’ll do a blog on the wine experience this provided, but I’ll wait until we get the pictures so I can share a few.

    Sunday April 21

    Fly away day, or drive away day, and after breakfast we packed and hit the road.? We had to stop by the White Mountain Cupcakery to return some display pieces we had borrowed, and got to say goodbye to Cathy.? Then it was lots of highway.

    Summary: Wow.? What a great week this was and how wonderful is it when you celebrate your only daughter’s wedding in such a relaxing and fun way.? I highly recommend a small and elegant wedding if you have that option.? We wouldn’t do it any other way.? Much more coming on the travel, food and wine tasting pages in the next week or two.


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