Words cannot describe the beauty of these two romantic B & B Inns, nor adequately describe the hospitality which we received there.
Both the Hancock Inn in Hancock NH and the Notchland Inn in the White Mountain State Forest are Select Registry inns.
It's been a brand and a directory you can count on for over three decades. The Select Registry, Distinguished Inns of North America, is the go-to guide to exceptional travel and lodging for 35 years. If you want to live like royalty and make your next trip unforgettable, we can not praise these properties enough.
The difference between a B&B and a "Select Registry" B&B
Select Registry is a portfolio of more than 300 premier inns, bed and breakfasts, and boutique hotels throughout North America. The most important distinction between a Select Registry property any other lodging is their quality assurance process. Each property has passed unannounced, rigorous, 200-point quality assurance inspections to earn and maintain Select Registry membership. No other hospitality organization goes to such lengths to provide travelers with guaranteed quality, exceptional service, and an unforgettable lodging experience.
Yankee Magazine's Editors have named The Hancock Inn the best historic inn of New Hampshire in their 2014 travel awards issue. It is located in a quaint New England village complete with a town green with a bandstand, a Meeting house with a white-steeple in which hangs a bell cast by Paul Revere to ring in the hour.
Yankee Magazine also calls this village "a gem", and a fresh coating of snow gave the place a Currier & Ives vibe in winter during our visit last week. This is perhaps the most beautiful of all New England villages.
Hancock even boasts an excellent and free, monthly newspaper called Hancock Happenings, see here. This is the Monadnock region which is famous for it's miles of x-country ski trails as well as nearby Crotchet Mountain Ski Area.
It was a great choice for us. We were very fortunate to have arrived on an evening when a local arts group was hosting a Christmas concert literally down the sidewalk at the meeting house featuring fantastic young local artists.
The Christmas Concert (on the right) at the meeting house featured the Norway Pond Festival Singers, the Norway Pond Junior Minstrels and the Village Bell Ringers plus a wonderful, very young, "Fiddlin' Quinn Eastburn" and his dad Chris.
We enjoyed the "Innkeepers Supper" served on the nights of the concerts - very modestly priced and excellent!"
The John Hancock suite features walls which are a continuous hard-painted Rufus Porter-style mural of the of the town.
Shown above, clockwise from the top, left, we started with perhaps the best chowder we've ever tasted - in New Hampshire a hundred miles from from the nearest salt water - Seven Fish Chowder $10. We followed this with Weston Family Farm Lamb - grilled loin & merguez stuffed belly chickpea puree & roasted cauliflower - $28, and finished with a marvelous dessert called Sticky Toffee Pudding - salted caramel sauce & whipped cream - $9.
The next evening we had the "Innkeeper's Sunday Supper" See the menus here.
The Chef is Rob Grant and the Sous Chef, Jason Havener.
Like The Notchland Inn below, Hancock Inn boasts a beautiful dog, a golden retriever named Potter, who is one of the friendliest animals we've ever met.
The Hancock Inn is one of the oldest bed and breakfasts in New England and has been in continuous operation since 1789
When Pat and I arrived at the Notchland Inn in Hart's Location NH, we increased the town's population by 1/2 a percent - there are 40 other residents in this wilderness village nestled in the middle of the White Mountain National Forest.
This was last week, a few days before Christmas, and our second morning at Notchland found the ground covered in snow.
Hart's Location is a couple miles north of Attatash ski area on Route 302, and a ten mile drive from North Conway's fabulous factory outlet shopping.
We stayed in the Kinsman Suite with its working, wood-burning fireplace
This spacious room was more like a studio apartment, and like all the suiotes it has a wood-burning fireplace, a comfortable easy chair, a couch, a king-size bed and WiFi.
It also boasts an enormous 3-person Jacuzzi to sit in watching the logs ablaze in the real, wood-burning fireplace.
Notchland's sumptuous breakfasts are first rate, and included eggs, meats, pancakes and freshly baked muffins.
This part of New Hampshire literally teems with things to do. See this list of activities from skiing, hiking, tax-free shopping here.
Like the Hancock Inn above, Notchland also has a couple wonderful dogs.
The two Bernese Mountain Dogs are Gypsy (pictured on right) and Crawford - named for the notch itself of course.
See a sample dinner menu.