My First Solo B&B: The Candleberry Inn
Cape Cod is bigger than most people realize–over 400 square miles, in fact. And because of its size, the cape is very diverse. From the bustling port town of Hyannis–where you’ll actually find an honest-to-goodness strip mall complete with a Starbucks–to the rolling dunes of the Cape Cod National Seashore on the east edge of the outer cape, Cape Cod has a little something for everyone.
But in my mind, Cape Cod is all about little clam shacks, art studios, and evening band concerts in the park. And you’ll find all of those things–and little else–in my favorite town on all of the cape, Brewster.
I had the good fortune to spend an entire week in Brewster back in 2006, and was thrilled to return there as part of my Cape Cod road trip last month. Imagine my delight when the reality of Brewster lived up to its memory; that so rarely happens. And, as an added bonus, I found my new home away from home on the cape–The Candleberry Inn.
To be honest, I was a bit concerned about the idea of staying at a B&B as a solo traveler. I spent last summer in several B&Bs from Maine to Nova Scotia, and I have to say that some were too stuffy or too cozy for my comfort, even when traveling with my husband. I pictured myself, all alone, being forced to make strained conversation with innkeepers in too-close quarters; I was understandably concerned.
Because it is the innkeepers who really make or break a B&B and I have to say–I’ve stayed at some broken ones. But Candleberry Inn has made it, and that is all thanks to Charlotte and Stu, the most pleasant, friendly, welcoming innkeepers anyone could ask for.
Allow me to paint you a picture for a moment–I spent the day on Nantucket. This involved an hour long ferry ride in both directions, a walking tour in the hot sun, a bus tour, and no time for lunch (because I was busy being on ferries and walking tours and bus tours). I was sunburned, windswept, and starving. I was more than a little crumpled from all of the various forms of transportation I’d taken that day. But I walked into the reception area of Candleberry Inn and was warmly greeted by Charlotte, who did not even flinch at my scattered, tangled demeanor.
We chatted for quite a bit before she pointed me towards my super-cute room on the second floor of the carriage house. It was removed enough from the main property to feel like my own private space, yet the room under the eaves of the carriage house was lovingly maintained and decorated in a way that told me yes, I was clearly staying in a B&B.
My room was called ‘The Treetops’, and when I woke the next morning I understood why–with the windows above the bed open, it really did feel like waking up among the branches of the trees swaying outside. If you’ve never awoken to the sound of rustling leaves and chirruping birds surrounding you, let me tell you–it is downright lovely. I wanted to stay in that room forever–and I would have if they’d let me. (Actually, I tried to stay longer, as you will see in my disclosure statement below).
Charlotte even gave me a recommendation for dinner, which I took. I had a lovely home-cooked meal (which I failed to take photos of or notes about, that’s how hungry I was) at the Brewster Inn and Chowder House, conveniently located maybe two hundred yards from the Inn. The Chowder House is a local’s hangout; so much so that it doesn’t even have a website I can link to in this post (though you can check out their adjacent bar property, The Woodshed, here.) In fact, it is such a local joint that guess who I ran into when I was there? My hosts, Charlotte and Stu and their daughter. I can’t tell you how at home it makes a traveler feel–especially a solo traveler–when someone waves to you and calls you by name across a restaurant dining room.
And speaking of meals, my breakfast at the inn the following morning was noteworthy as well. I was served a slice of quiche that was stuffed to the brim with vegetables (something you may need after all of those fried seafood meals) along with a huge, hot-from-the-oven blueberry muffin which I did not hesitate to slather with butter. I enjoyed this filling breakfast all while gazing out over the lovely gardens and occasionally chatting with Stu, who walked around to make sure all of his guests were happy and comfortable.
I was definitely happy and comfortable. Have I mentioned that I never wanted to leave? Thanks Charlotte and Stu, for the best B&B experience this solo traveler could hope for.
Candleberry Inn is located directly on my favorite route on the Cape, sleepy Route 6a, a hundred yards or so west of the Brewster General Store. You can find more information on their website or, if you’d like, ask me questions in the comments below. I’d be happy to share my input about any facet of my stay there.
Disclosure: I was hosted by the Candleberry Inn; however, all opinions are, as always, my own. And I just have to add here–while I did not pay for my one night in The Treetops room, I did use the free wifi to see if they had availability for that coming weekend. If they had–sadly, they did not–I would have gladly and without a second thought paid for two more nights and extended my Cape Cod trip. And I will be back as soon as humanly possible. I’ve loved Cape Cod for years, I’ve loved Brewster for years, and now I love the Candleberry Inn.