Every so often, those of us who have a penchant for overnighting at unique inns and celebrated bed and breakfasts will discover a property, a lodging experience so enchanting, that it leaves an indelible impression on the place within us where great memories reside.
The Captain’s House Inn, in Chatham Massachusetts, is one such property.
Travel writers, journalists, history buffs, vocal bloggers and quiet guests all agree…there’s something special about this 16 room inn on Cape Cod.
Arriving at the Captains’ House Inn is an experience of coastal flowers against white fences, a sturdy looking old New England structure, dark shutters and a red brick driveway, ocean air and rustling leaves while sunlight and shadows play against the weathered shingles of the out-buildings.
If you’re a tough sell and the exterior bliss doesn’t properly bewitch you, the quiet elegance on the inside of this circa 1839 Sea Captain’s home surely will. Antiques, period wallpaper, reproduction furnishings, wood burning fireplaces and inviting decanters of ports and sherry all perfectly complement a level of service and hospitality fit for the most discriminating traveler.
Innkeepers, Jill and James Meyer, have left none of your precious and cherished vacation moments of relaxation and vacation comfort to chance. Thoughtful amenities, luxurious toiletries, common sense Yankee practicalities — The Captain’s House Inn deftly blends the old and new, accented with notes of English elegance and traditional Cape Cod.
Then there’s the food…sweet and savory hot breakfasts, fresh muffins, coffee cakes, fresh fruit, smoked salmon, homemade granola – and absolutely no stay at the Captain’s House Inn is complete without partaking in their signature afternoon cream tea brewed in eclectic teapots and served with lemon squares, red velvet cake, strudel bars and famous scones.
Whether you’re looking for a super-romantic week in Chatham, or own a company and want to host an executive level corporate conference in an unforgettable setting…the Captain’s House Inn is perfectly-equipped and has a staff with the experience to anticipate your needs before, even, you know what they are.
A Conversation With the Innkeeper
I recently had a chance to engage in a quick discussion with Jill Meyer, one of the Innkeepers at the Captain’s House Inn. Here are some of the Cape Cod Innkeeping Secrets she shared with me:
Tell us what is special about The Captain’s House Inn?
The Captains House Inn is a four diamond property with sixteen beautifully appointed rooms just minutes from downtown Chatham. What really sets us apart, though, is the exceptional level of service we are consistently complimented on. Our staff includes a team of British interns who are all studying hospitality and come to work at the inn for a year. They are enthusiastic about learning the business and catering to all guests needs without question. We also include English cream tea in our room rates as well as an upgrade to a traditional English high tea for a nominal charge. Our English touches coupled with high end service and standards in a luxurious and personal setting are what bring guests back time and time again.
What’s the best thing about being an Innkeeper on Cape Cod?
I consider myself extremely lucky to be able to live in Chatham on Cape Cod. Not only is it a beautiful, scenic place to live and run a business, but living here is like a throwback in time. In the summer, there are band concerts in town weekly with big band performers and families gathering for free, old fashioned fun. There are dozens of family run businesses so there is a small town vibe that you just don’t find much of these days. My enthusiasm and love of where I live reflects in the concierge information I am able to provide my guests and having Chatham as a destination in and of itself makes promoting and marketing my property that much easier.
What is your favorite Cape Cod restaurant?
That is a tough question. There are so many exceptional restaurants on the Cape so it is difficult to choose just one. When guests book with us, we send a list of our favorites so they can look over menus before they arrive and we can book advance reservations for them. Of those listed on our list, my personal favorite is Buca’s Tuscan Roadhouse in Harwich. The food is consistently excellent, the atmosphere feels like you are in Italy, and the service is impeccable. I always feel like I am getting value for my money and my guests are always delighted with this choice. The menu also features locally caught seafood prepared in a Northern Italian style in addition to “land” options and the best bruschetta around. I also have to mention three very close runners up – Fin Seafood in Dennis, Cape Sea Grille in Harwich Port, and Pisces in Chatham all of which are chef owned and use locally sourced ingredients. The creativity and freshness in all three restaurants’ preparations is excellent and I also get consistently positive feedback from guests.
What is your favorite Cape Cod Beach?
Innkeepers don’t go to the beach! On the rare occasion that I do, though, I love Monomoy Wildlife Refuge. It is not so much a lounging beach as a walking beach, but when the tide is out, you can walk for ages. It is nice and peaceful and quiet which is rare during beach season on the Cape. I also really like Newcomb Hollow Beach in Wellfleet. Even though you have to walk down a steep dune to get down to the beach, it is a beautiful spot on the National Seashore and after an afternoon in the sun, you can cool off with a drink and raw bar at the hopping Beachcomber up the dune.
Where would you send guests looking for something incredible to do on their Cape Cod vacation?
Many guests enjoy a whale watch with Dolphin Fleet out of Provincetown as it is rare to see whales anywhere and it is rare that a boat goes out without a sighting. One of my personal favorite things to do on the Cape, though, is ride the Cape Cod Rail Trail on my bike. It is a beautiful scenic trail going all the way from Chatham to Wellfleet. You can stop along the way for lunch or ice cream or to stroll on Coast Guard Beach. Free of cars and designed exclusively for pedestrians and bikers, it is a relatively flat path where bikers can enjoy the beauty of the Cape. You also really can’t miss a visit to Chatham fish pier in the late afternoon to watch the fishermen bring in their catch and the seals come up to the docks trying to catch whatever might fall overboard. After living here for nine years, I never tire of watching this ritual.
Do you have a recipe you would like to share with our readers?
Since we have an English feel, I have to share our chef’s scone recipe:
Captains House Inn Traditional Scones
Oven Temperature: 350°
Yield: 10 – 12 scones
Cutter: #3 Plain Circular Edge Cutter
- 2 Cups – All Purpose Flour
- 1 Tbsp – Baking Powder
- 3 Tbsp – Sugar
- ½ Cup – Butter
- 2 – Large Eggs
- 1/8 Cup – Heavy Cream
Ingredients – Egg Wash
- 1 – Egg
- A Little Heavy Cream
- Sift the dry ingredients into the mixer and cut in the butter until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
- Add the eggs and then the cream a little at a time. Do not over moisten the dough.
- Roll the dough LIGHTLY to a ¾” thickness and use a #3 plain circular edge cutter to shape the scones.
- Place the scones on a greased cookie sheet and brush them lightly with egg wash (beat the two egg wash ingredients together).
- Bake for 15 minutes at 350° until they have risen and are lightly browned.
Serve the scones with raspberry jam and freshly whipped cream. (decorate with sliced fresh strawberries if available)
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