About New England Innkeeper

About New England Innkeeper2024-04-29T03:03:08+00:00
Charlene and Eric Taubert of New England Innkeper

Welcome to New England Innkeeper! We’re Charlene and Eric Taubert…

Recipes. Local flavors. Scenery. Home decor. Seasonal styles. Yankee hospitality. With our innkeeper’s concierge-style approach – and enough industry connections to offer readers a revealing behind-the-scenes view to some of the lesser-known New England delights that only locals know about – we strive to offer an intimate look at living the coziest of New England lifestyles!

From the Northeast’s vibrant cities, to the quiet streets of its quaint small towns; New England Innkeeper sincerely aims to introduce readers (from near and far) to the food culture, classic travel destinations, fun attractions, arts, culture, history, insider secrets, and more, that make this region so dear to the hearts of so many.

How did New England Innkeeper come to be? Our story began back in 2002, when we met amidst the classic colonial architecture and period furnishings of our workplace: the Publick House Historic Inn (1771) in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. From there, we embarked on a whirlwind adventure, working side-by-side at various inns, hotels, resorts, and restaurants across South Carolina, South Florida, Maine, and even sunny Sanibel Island (where we were married).

Then we stayed put for a little while in a tiny town that’s been referred to (many times) as one of the “Best Beach Towns in New England” — and even the “Number One Vacation Destination in the World! For over a decade, we honed our skills as innkeepers at the Hartwell House Inn of Ogunquit, Maine – regarded by respected lodging reviewers as one of the most romantic boutique inns in New England. We lived directly across the street in a 260+ year old home, the Historic Thompson Farmhouse (1750). At the Hartwell House Inn, we meticulously oversaw a talented and dedicated team of experienced industry professionals all passionately dedicated to exceeding guest expectations and upholding the legacy of timeless New England hospitality. This is the place where we truly refined our craft. Where the job became a full-blown, 24/7, year-round lifestyle. Where we became the New England Innkeepers.

Our guests woke each morning to the delightful scents of bacon mixing with the bouquet of fresh herbs from our backyard garden wafting through the inn. The breakfast menu, an innovative celebration of local and seasonal bounty, changed daily, offering made-to-order options. Guests started their day with Chef Eric’s hearty Maine Maple Ham and Vermont Cheddar Omelet or sometimes savored the decadence of Truffled Sunnyside Eggs. Fall brought the warmth of Great Pumpkin Pancakes, while Eric’s legendary Wild Maine Blueberry Pancakes were a year-round favorite.

Charlene’s irresistible baking, from her melt-in-your-mouth Coconut Pound Cake to her famous Apple Pie made with the inn’s own heirloom fruit, filled the air and enticed guests throughout the day. For breakfast and afternoon tea, Charlene put forth an ever-changing array of treats, tempting cookies, scones, banana breads, and her signature holiday offerings. Charlene also offered cooking and baking classes for interested guests, eager to share her knowledge and techniques. These interactive sessions were a delightful way for guests to learn new skills and create lasting memories in the heart of the inn’s kitchen.

Beyond delicious food, the Hartwell House Inn was a haven for creativity. Live music filled the air, with talented local musicians performing for our guests. We also nurtured artistic expression through our popular Artist-in-Residence program, where artists resided and created at the inn, offering guests the unique opportunity to interact with them during live demonstrations and workshops.

The changing seasons brought new opportunities to celebrate at the Hartwell House Inn. In the fall, the inn transformed into a spectacle of color during Ogunquitfest. Cornstalks and pumpkins adorned the front yard, while the interior embraced the warmth of earth tones. Charlene’s iconic hand-painted Peanuts Gang displays during Ogunquitfest drew crowds, stopped traffic, and captured hearts, even winning her a coveted first-place award.

Winter brought its own magic. The exterior of the inn twinkled with Christmas lights and live garland, while the interior became a wonderland adorned with over 25 decorated trees. A whimsical Santa’s Workshop display (created by Charlene) brought smiles to guests’ faces, while the annual Christmas by the Sea parade found us hosting an exceedingly popular complimentary hot cocoa and cider social with Mrs. Claus and her elves – a heartwarming annual tradition that embodied the spirit of the season.

One of our most cherished events was the exclusive Hartwell House Inn New Year’s Eve Getaway. Over a magical few days, we would create a decadent, homemade dinner with Eric’s famous Ogunquit Lazy Lobster Newburg at the center. Live music and the beautifully decorated Inn set the stage for an unforgettable celebration. This event was so popular that guests booked years in advance.

Our dedication to excellence was recognized with accolades and awards. In 2014, the Hartwell House Inn was accepted into the Select Registry: Distinguished Inns of North America. The inn garnered consistent five-star online service ratings and was recognized as one of the “Top 12 Winter Escapes in the US” and featured as “Where To Stay” in AAA Magazine’s “Cozy Up To Winter in Ogunquit, Maine.” Portland Magazine named the inn as one of their best spots for a “Sexy Valentines Day,” and Down East Magazine highlighted it as the sole “Where To Stay” in an issue focused on the Southern Maine Arts scene.

Looking back, we are incredibly proud of what we accomplished at The Hartwell House Inn. For ten unforgettable years it was as if we lived inside a real-life Hallmark Channel movie. We poured our hearts into every detail, from Eric’s culinary artistry to Charlene’s decadent baking, from the live music-infused candlelit breakfasts to the meticulously decorated seasonal displays. The Hartwell House Inn became a place where food was celebrated, memories were made, creativity flourished, and meaningful moments were etched forever in our guests’ hearts. These are the true treasures we carry with us from our journey at the Hartwell House Inn AND part of what we’re now sharing here at New England Innkeeper.

A Global Perspective. A Local Focus.

We’re also passionate international travelers.

From the bustling cafes of Paris to the hidden trattorias of Rome (and well-beyond), our travels throughout Europe haven’t just been about sightseeing, they’ve been a masterclass in hospitality and the art of living well.

But well beyond the many Michelin-starred meals, Europe’s everyday food culture has also deeply inspired us. From simple delights like grabbing a sandwich from a Marché des Enfants stall in Paris to indulging in a luxurious truffle omelet brunch on the Champs-Élysées, each experience has been a lesson. We’ve warmed our hands with steaming cups of Alsatian Gluhwein at the Marché de Noël à Strasbourg, toasted with vintage Brut Champagne in the Unesco World Heritage-listed Crayères cellars of Veuve Clicquot in Reims, and shared tapas near Barcelona’s La Boqueria market before raising a glass of Cava on a rooftop bar. From professional chocolate training at the Ecole Ritz Escoffier to freshly baked Viennoiserie workshops at Le Cordon Bleu Paris; and from wandering open-air markets in Croatia to enjoying bright sunlight and baked feta with olives and honey (plus way more than our fair share of ouzo!) in the Greek Islands, every memory has taught us how food connects people and creates a unique sense of place.

Eric and Charlene Taubert of New England Innkeeper

We can’t wait to share not just recipes, but also the stories behind them!

Do you dream of fluffy pancakes on a cozy New England morning? Long to discover quaint towns and soak up the region’s charm? Then join us as we share the importance of fresh, seasonal ingredients, the art of beautiful presentation, and how to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere where every detail is considered.

New England is our native home, and we’ve explored every inch with a curious spirit. From the bustling streets of Boston to the charming harbor towns of Maine, we’ve hiked Vermont’s majestic mountains, kayaked on New Hampshire’s tranquil lakes, and unearthed hidden gems in Connecticut’s quaint shops. From vibrant festivals to cozy campgrounds, luxurious ski lodges to historic inns, we’ve experienced all that New England has to offer.

For years, as innkeepers, we’ve shared our insider tips – what to see, where to eat, and the hidden treasures of New England – with countless overnight guests. Now, we want to share those same secrets with you through New England Innkeeper!

As you delve into New England Innkeeper, remember – you’re getting a glimpse into the hearts and minds of passionate individuals dedicated to sharing their love for this special corner of the world, and for life itself.

So, pull up a chair, grab a hot cup of strong coffee, and get ready to experience the magic of New England with your new innkeeper friends!

What To Expect at New England Innkeeper

New England Innkeeper offers an intimate look at living the coziest of New England lifestyles!

As you’d probably imagine, we’ll shine a strong light on the recipes of New England Innkeepers. There’ll be plenty of eye candy breakfast offerings – plus the best baked pastries, cakes, and cookies for tea time.

And, sure, we’ll talk about the quintessential Yankee offerings: steaming bowls of clam chowder, succulent lobster rolls, and the molasses-glazed sweetness of Boston baked beans.

But we’ll also move much further afield and ask you to forget everything you thought you knew about New England cuisine!

Expect to be surprised by the vibrant flavors brought by successive waves of immigrants who arrived in New England over the past few centuries. Portuguese fishermen introduced salt cod dishes and vibrant soups, while Italians established a love for pasta and fresh bread. Vietnamese immigrants added pho and Southeast Asian flair, and the Caribbean influence shines through jerk seasoning and plantains. This multicultural tapestry extends to unexpected places, with Indian curries and Ethiopian stews finding a comfortable home alongside traditional fare.

We’ll celebrate the deep respect New Englanders have for the land and the sea. Explore the connection between seasons and menus, where spring brings asparagus and fiddleheads, summer explodes with berries, and autumn inspires apple cider donuts. We’ll delve into the farm-to-table movement, highlighting local farms, fishermen, breweries, vineyards, cheesemakers, and more – the backbone of New England’s culinary scene.

Join us as we explore cherished restaurants and bakeries, both widely known and hidden gems. We’ll peek into neighborhood favorites and uncover the stories behind the chefs and producers who make New England food so special. From fresh seafood to decadent chocolates and maple syrup, get ready for a delicious journey through the heart of New England.

We’ll peek into cherished family-run bakeries and off-the-beaten-path neighborhood eateries with mouthwatering word-of-mouth reputations. We’ll also explore the farms, breweries, fromagers, beekeepers, and all the other passionate producers who contribute to the magic of New England food culture – PLUS the kitchen shops with all the tools you need to recreate these culinary adventures at home.

Our Team

Charlene M. Taubert
Charlene M. TaubertPublisher
Hospitality professional. Pastry chef. Artist. Passionate traveler. Actively pursuing a doctorate degree.
Eric J. Taubert
Eric J. TaubertPublisher
Chef. Artist. Fine art photographer. Writer. Marketing executive. Vintage cast iron enthusiast.

On New England

Ah, New England. An amalgam of picket fences and crumbling bricks; Ivy League schools and dropped Rs; social tolerance and the Salem witch trials, Henry David Thoreau and Stephen King, P-town rainbows and mill-town rust; Norman Rockwell and Aerosmith; lobster and Moxie; plus the simmering aromas of a million melting pot cuisines originally brought here by immigrants from everywhere else searching for new ways to live.

It’s a place where rapidly-growing progressive cities full of the ‘wicked smaaht’ coexist alongside blight-inflicted Industrial Revolution landscapes full of the ‘wicked poor’. A place of forested mountains, roaring rivers, crystalline lakes, urban sprawl, and a trillion dollar stores. A place of seasonal tourism beach towns where the wild, rank scent of squishy seaweed casts its cryptic spell along the vast and spindrift-misted seacoast, while the polished yachts of the elite glisten like rare jewels on the horizon, just out of reach.

Where there are fiery autumn hues and leaves that need raking. Powder snow ski slopes and icy windshields that need scraping. Crisp daffodil mornings and mud season. Beach cottage bliss and endless miles of soul-sucking summer traffic .

Perceived together, the dissonant nuances of New England stir the imagination in compelling and chromatic whorls.

Eric J. Taubert, New England Innkeeper

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