Beautiful bountiful breakfasts from Distinctive Inns of New England

This blog was inspired by a recent photo shoot at Grafton Inn in Grafton, Vermont, one of the 12 Distinctive Inns of New England (DINE).  When reviewing the photos, it occurred to us that even breakfast food can be a work of art.  No one knows breakfast better than innkeepers, but when it comes to taking it to the next level, DINE innkeepers are masters.  We say it over and over again…there’s a reason the acronym for Distinctive Inns of New England is DINE.

Come for a romantic getaway to any of the 12 Distinctive Inns of New England and you’ll start each day out with a beautiful and bountiful breakfast. Just to give you a taste of what’s in store, we’ll share some of our favorite breakfast recipes here, followed by a photo gallery of wonderful breakfast spreads to get you excited.  Let’s go.

Apricot Stuffed French Toast from Captain Jefferds Inn. Serves 16 (two pieces of toast per serving)


2 –  1 pound loafs crusty French bread

8 oz.  cream cheese, softenedApricot French Toast from Captain Jefferds Inn

1/2 cup part skim milk Ricotta cheese

1/2 cup apricot preserves

3/4 cup chopped dried apricots

5 eggs

1¼ cups milk

½ tsp. vanilla

¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

Dash ground nutmeg

2 Tbsp. Butter or margarine

Orange Syrup


Cut the French bread into diagonal slices about ½ inch thick.   In a small mixing bowl beat together the softened cream cheese, ricotta cheese, dried apricots and apricot preserves.  Spoon about 1 Tbsp. of  the cheese mixture into each pocket. (The stuffed bread slices may be prepared the day before serving and refrigerated overnight in a tightly sealed plastic bag.)

In a mixing bowl beat the eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg until combined. Melt the butter on a preheated, 350° F. griddle. Dip the stuffed bread slices into egg mixture and cook until golden brown, turning once. Serve with orange syrup.

ORANGE SYRUP: makes ¾ cup

½ cup butter

½ cup sugar

3 oz. (1/3 cup) frozen orange juice concentrate

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.  Heat over low heat, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted.  Do not boil.  Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes.  Using a rotary beater, beat until slightly thickened.  Serve warm over the French toast.

Layered Stuffed Morning Mushrooms from Gateways Inn

Serves 8


8 large Portabella mushroom caps, stems removed

12 ounces fresh spinach, wilted

8 jumbo eggs

½ cup half and half

1½ cups shredded sharp cheddar

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

4 tsp butter

2 TBS fresh

chopped chives

Salt and pepper to taste

Roasted red peppers (recipe below)

red peppers for Gateways Inn portobello egg recipeDirections:

Roasted Red Peppers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cut 4 deveined and seeded peppers into strips. Place in glass baking dish. Sprinkle thinly sliced cloves of garlic from ½ a head of garlic over the peppers. Drizzle about 1/3 cup of good quality extra virgin olive oil over the mixture along with the juice of 2 large lemons. Roast, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are soft but not browning. Can be stored in fridge for up to 10 days.

For the mushrooms:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Brush the outside of the mushroom cap with a little olive oil and roast about 15 minutes.

Line the inside of the mushroom cap with a layer of the wilted spinach, then a layer of the roasted red peppers and set aside.

For the eggs:

Beat together the eggs, half and half, chives and salt and pepper. Melt the butter in a large skillet and scramble the egg mixture adding in ¾ of the shredded cheddar. Scoop a nice mound of egg onto each

mushroom cap over the other layers. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar and sprinkle with parmesan. Return to oven just to melt cheese and serve.

 Homemade Carrot Muffin Recipe from Chesterfield Inn


1/2 c. pecans or walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
2 c. grated raw carrot (2 to 3 peeled carrots)
1 large apple, peeled and grated
carrots and walnuts in Chesterfield Inn's carrot muffins2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/4c. Granulated white sugar
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 c. coconut
3 large eggs
3/4 c safflower or canola oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in center of oven. Place fluted paper liners in 18 muffin cups.

Toast the pecans or walnuts for about 8 minutes and until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop coarsely.

Peel and finely grate the carrots and apple. Set aside.

In large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in the nuts and coconut. Set aside.

In separate bowl whisk together the eggs, oil and vanilla. Fold the wet ingredients, along with the grated carrot and apple, into the flour mixture, stirring just until moistened. Evenly divide the batter between the prepared muffins cups and bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. After about 10 minutes remove the muffins from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

1/4 c unsalted butter, room temperature
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
3 tbsp. powder sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Beat the butter and cream cheese until very smooth with no lumps. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until fully incorporated and smooth. Beat in the vanilla.

And don’t miss a gallery of gastronomic goodness – breakfast is served at DINE inns.

Breakfast at Rabbit Hill Inn

A delicious breakfast is served at Rabbit Hill Inn

breakfast buffet served at Inn at Harbor Hill Marina

Breakfast buffet at Inn at Harbor Hill Marina

Breakfast bowl from Grafton Inn, Grafton, VT

A delicious breakfast bowl served at Grafton Inn in Grafton, VT

Eggs Italiano at Captains House Inn

Delicious Eggs Italiano, a specialty served at Captain’s House Inn

Breakfast served in-room at Chesterfield Inn

Breakfast in Bed at Chesterfield Inn

breakfast table at Captain's House Inn

A colorful breakfast is served at Captain Jefferds Inn

Breakfast buffet at Harbor Light Inn

Everything you could want is served on the breakfast buffet at Harbor Light Inn

To view more recipes from DINE inns, click here. Next time you’re in the mood for a beautiful, bountiful breakfast, leave it to your favorite DINE inn.  Book direct at any of the member inns.

In New Hampshire:  Manor on Golden Pond in Holderness & Chesterfield Inn in West Chesterfield

In Connecticut: Inn at Harbor Hill Marina in Niantic

In Vermont:  Rabbit Hill Inn in Lower Waterford & Grafton Inn in Grafton

In Massachusetts:  Harbor Light Inn in Marblehead, Gateways Inn & Restaurant in Lenox, Deerfield Inn in Historic Deerfield and Captain’s House Inn in Chatham on Cape Cod.

In Connecticut: Inn at Harbor Hill Marina in Niantic

Maine:  Captain Jefferds Inn in Kennebunkport & Camden Maine Stay Inn in Camden.