Downeast roadtrip day 2 – Newport and Portland

An early start, a sunny morning, and an excellent breakfast at the Corner Cafe provided the perfect beginning to the day. Suitably fortified, we pulled up outside the Breakers.

The Breakers

The summer home of the Vanderbilt family, built in 1893 for Cornelius II, the interior was both extravagant and beautiful. I was slightly annoyed that they neither let you take photos inside nor sell a glossy book about the house, but this link to the Vintage travel postcards blog has a few interior images. The self-guided audio tour was excellent, providing all sorts of interesting details about the house and the family, highlighting features such as the dining room chandeliers being wired for both electricity and gas, and the platinum leaf on wall panels in one of the downstairs salons.

There are several other historic mansions which one can tour, but we only had time for one. The Breakers is apparently one of the more opulent examples, but we were also attracted by the Vanderbilt connection – the portal on the front of our church in NY, St Bart’s, is actually a memorial to Cornelius II, as both he and his wife were active members of the congregation.

Emma in Tiverton

On the road once again, we stopped briefly at a gluten-free bakery, EvaRuth’s, to pick up a picnic lunch, which we ate in Tiverton RI, then driving on up I95 we pulled off at Taunton MA to refuel. I was completely charmed by the fact that the settlers of this area clearly came from the same part of England as I do, and in fact the landscape is not dissimilar either.

Familiar places...

Our home for the next two nights was another AirBnB apartment in south Portland, and although we never managed to be in and awake at the same time as our host he seemed very nice indeed (and his apartment certainly was)! The walk into the city centre was over a large bridge, from which the views were spectacular.

Portland, ME, from the bridge

It was early evening by the time we arrived, so dinner was top of the agenda, and we wandered over to a great waterfront pizza place, Flatbread. There was a wait to be seated, providing the perfect opportunity for drinks on the deck outside.

Pre-dinner drinks at Flatbread, Portland

The walk back to the apartment was rather lovely, too:

Portland by night

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