Byron and I purchased our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast six years ago and decided to add the tag line “European Inn and Spa” as part of our initial branding and name change. The tag made sense since we had decided to become innkeepers while traveling the Fjords of Norway and admiring the old fashion Scandinavian customs we enjoyed during this very special trip. We knew that our main decor would be English Country and that our guests should experience the comfy feather like fiber beds we had enjoyed. Through the years many of our guests have asked us why European is in our name, and we would always talk about the food or decor. Our European guests would sometimes chuckle with this explanation as many of the bed and breakfasts in Europe are very pedestrian with shared baths and we are much more upscale. After a recent trip to New York City the whole idea of why we are European inspired became crystal clear to me; how ironic that this feeling was answered after visiting NYC. Brewster By The Sea Inn & Spa, A European Bed and Breakfast on Cape Cod is explained below the fold.
I was having dinner with our two daughters after a busy day of shopping and museums. We decided on a restaurant close to our hotel in Times Square since we were tired and it was so cold and windy. Once inside we realized it was french and were pleasantly surprised at the atmosphere and menu. We started talking about what made a hospitality business successful and I was truly amazed at our conversation. We kept coming back to a feeling…..in this restaurant we loved the color tones on the walls which were a deep yellow, we smiled at the old fashion mo-ped that welcomed us at the door and the old fashion suitcases that were stacked on a shelf. The wine was of course delicious, the waiter just a little bit rude (totally french!),and every bite of food was a delight to the senses. There was a beautiful bouquet of orchids in a unique vase, the restaurant was warm and the smells so comforting. We enjoyed a leisurely meal filled with laughter and fun conversation.
The next morning we decided to visit the same french restaurant for breakfast and as I ordered a Crouque Madame with a chocolate latte it all became crystal clear…….it’s all about the feelings. That is what makes us European inspired….it’s the feeling I remember of cuddling into crisp soft sheets with a soft feather bed that was so comfortable I never wanted to get out of bed in the morning. It’s the feeling of enjoying a great cup of coffee outdoors while listening to the songbirds. It’s the feeling of walking into a room that has soft yet rich color tones that creates such a relaxed feeling in our minds. It’s the joy of seeing a bouquet of fresh flowers. I remember so vividly a breakfast tea I had in Copenhagen with the mother of my former boss. She had visited the local bakery and flower market before our visit and had all of her best china out for a lavish tea with fresh scones and crisp crusty breads with jam. Her fireplace was lined with several tall vases filled with the fresh flowers and the sunshine was beaming through the windows in her modest flat. We sat for hours visiting about my boss, Jan’s childhood and all of the business that needed to be accomplished the next day drifted from my mind. This is what life is all about, and I think many Europeans embrace this feeling with a lot of old fashion values that sometimes get lost in our busy world.
Lastly, it’s the food that nourishes our body and soul that brings this feeling full circle. We strive to present to our guests the most flavorful yet healthy breakfasts and teas. We make everything homemade and always include plenty of fresh fruit. A recent addition to our breakfast menu is a Crouque Madame. Our daughter raved about this dish when she spent a year abroad in Paris. Our version includes a grilled country bread, black forest ham and Gruyere cheese sandwich topped with a sunny side egg……yum! As I get older I find that I value a meal that is light yet flavorful, using the freshest of ingredients. We love to recommend a local restaurant called the Brewster Fish House which is such a treasure right up the street from us. Everything is beautifully presented with local, in season ingredients when possible. Their lazy lobster entree and tuna tartar are to die for. We do appreciate other people’s thoughts on what makes a “European” experience or indeed even a “foreign” experience.
Brewster By The Sea B & B
716 Main Street
Brewster MA 02631 Cape Cod
Fine Lodging is in the Details
Donna & Byron