As a Cape Cod girl it’s rare for me to head north to Maine. It’s beautiful here. The rugged coastline, waves crashing over the rocks – it’s chaotic, it’s hypnotic, it’s captivating. Like watching a fish in a bowl, the dancing waves, and sea spray, make me feel calm, unhurried, and it’s clear to anyone that knows me, I am neither. Rush, rush, rush, but as I sit in the Cliff House’s atrium space overlooking the Atlantic ocean, and watching staff as they prepare for a wedding later today, I feel in no hurry to get back to Boston.
First opened in 1872, the Cliff House was founded by what can only be described as an enterprising woman – Elsie Jane Weare. Mother to 7 children, caregiver to her sick husband, Captain Theodore Weare, Elsie decided to purchase 70 acres of waterfront property on Bald Head Cliff, and build the Inn. How hard could that have been? Oh by the way she ran it too. It makes me feel a bit lazy to think of all that she accomplished. The Resort reports that her brother, Captain Charles Perkins, built the original inn, using wood from his mill in Ogunquit. Very enterprising indeed.
Room with a view . it’s in the details.
In August of 2016, the Cliff House reopened in its entirely new incarnation. As a gal in construction I spend a lot of time looking at the details, the intersections between floor and wall, ceiling and soffit, the jigs and jogs that provide interest, but also an opportunity to reveal deficiencies in construction, and poor craftsmanship. I got down on the floor, looked behind the doors, tested the functionality of the library ladder, the strength of the wrought iron piping that provides the track for the intricate rope screen separating bar from restaurant. I tried to find fault with the windows and their installation – what is wrong with me? I could not. It’s beautifully executed. The craftsmanship is flawless, and the people here are lovely.
I am blessed to work for a company – a family – that invests so much in their employees. This Cliff House retreat was scheduled as a get-away for our Director’s Group. We could have met at my boss Lisa Wexler’s home. We do on occasion, and it is lovely there, but she selects locations like this, both as a way to thank us for our hard work, and to take us out of our every day setting. It does the trick, it makes you feel very present. So much so, I don’t want to return to my other reality!
Cliff House . 591 Shore Road . Cape Neddick . ME . 207.361.1000. To being present. I recommend you book your visit immediately, and whether you choose to indulge in a fresh cold pressed green juice, or a cleverly crafted cocktail, my guess is you won’t be disappointed.