Restaurants, Travel

Loving winter in Kennebunkport, Maine

Kennebunkport

In summer, Kennebunkport is what many people from other parts of the country picture when they think “Maine.” The quaint village of white clapboard houses and oceanfront estates, with a gaggle of restaurants, gift shops, galleries and boutique hotels snuggled up against a tidal river is perfectly picturesque — and in July and August, has the throngs of visitors to prove it.

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Breakfast at David’s KPT: Open-faced Croque Madame with a fried egg.

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Hash and eggs at David’s KPT.

David Turin cooking at James Beard House

Chef David Turin of David’s KPT, David’s 388 in South Portland, David’s and David’s Opus Ten in Portland.

Unlike some other popular Maine summer communities, Kennebunkport does not completely close up shop after Columbus Day. The ice cream stands and seafood shacks may be shuttered tight against the snow, but there are still plenty of reasons to visit, even now, in the middle of winter.

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Kennbunkport harbor, with The Boathouse Hotel to the left.

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Scalawags in Kennebunkport is a popular shop for all things dog (and cat).

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Sarah Canning-Bridgham in her store Castle Cottage Home at the Galleries at Morning Walk in Kennebunk.

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More finds at Castle Cottage Home.

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The bridge over the Kennebunk River.

The village’s quieter, off-season charms are the focus of #lovekpt, which touts Kennebunkport as “New England’s Most Romantic Town.” The promotion, continuing through February, features events, special offers and discounts at 41 restaurants, shops, hotels and inns.

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All-natural bodycare at Minka in Dock Square, Kennebunkport.

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Michelle Rose of Minka designs the jewelry, handbags and bodycare products; her husband, Christopher Larochelle, does the artwork.

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Michelle Rose of Minka. One of her husband’s paintings is behind her.

Last Saturday, we tagged along with fellow food and travel writers for part of a media weekend hosted by the creators of #lovekpt — destinationkennebunkport.com and the Kennebunkport Resort Collection. The day included lunch at David’s KPT at The Boathouse Hotel, a crafting class at Fish House Designs at the Galleries at Morning Walk, cocktails and snacks at One Dock’s first ice bar, and an extraordinary private dinner by chef Justin Walker of Earth at Hidden Pond.

Love is all around in Kennebunkport.

Love is all around in Kennebunkport.

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We all had the change to create a folk-art fish at Fish House Designs at the Galleries at Morning Walk.

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The ice bar at One Dock. If you’re wondering those happy people are toasting chunks of graham cracker-crusted chocolate bread pudding and marshmallows, with caramel and chocolate sauces for dipping.

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Cocktails, food and fun at the ice bar.

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The first course of chef Justin Walker’s dinner: Peeky-toe crab, umeboshi, kafir lime, serrano, sea urchin emulsion

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Wood fired broccoli with avocado, white asparagus kimchee, beef jerky dust and crispy garlic

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Ricotta gnudi with Abe’s acorn squash, pecorino, black truffle and maple-apple concentrate

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Aged duck with creamed kale, turnips, carrots, beets, agro dolce and autumn olives

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Carmela gelato, vanilla, salty cremoux, cajatia, peanut brittle-cone streusel

dinner

The setting for our dinner was The Lodge on the Cove in Kennebunkport.

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Chef Justin Walker and Danielle Johnson Walker.

 Note: We were not paid to promote or participate in the above events, but meals and activities were complimentary.

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