A Martha's Vineyard Gem of a B&B and Dinner too – The Charlotte Inn
On a recent trip we had a wonderful time at the CharlotteInn, (508-627-4151), a LL property in Edgartown, MA.
The title of a book about the Inn best sums up its ambience: Behind the Times on Purpose. On a side street in Edgartown lined with whaling captains huge white mansions that never let you forget its moneyed past or its moneyed presence this Edwardian building ushers you into a bygone era. Antique fixtures, furnishings and 19th century art of the fox hunt genre cram the three parlors and rooms of the main house, as well as the four other building.
Gery and Paula Conover, who have owned and lived at the inn since 1970, dont take reservations by e-mail. They prohibit cellphone use in public areas and do not accommodate groups or children younger than 14. The inn, a Relais & Chateaux property, still does not have its own web site (though you can view rooms at the site www.relaischateaux.com/carlotte). Reservations are hard to get for its 25 rooms. If its not broke, dont fix it, Mr. Conover said.
Little nooks, ponds and bench areas tucked into unlikely corners make the grounds feel larger than they are. Mr. Conover tends the gardens using antique tools.
The Chef, Chris Parsons, whose Catch restaurant in Winchester, Mass. Has garnered praise in the Boston area, took over the CharlotteInns restaurant in May renaming it Catch at the Terrace. The dining room is one of the most romantic settings for a meal on the island. Tall windows and a glassed-in patio area with ferns and fountains give it a greenhouse feel: the walls are chock-ablock with quirky antiques like a row of old wooden mailboxes.
Mr. Parsons, a fourth-generation fly fisherman, not surprisingly focuses on fish. Herb-roasted Atlantic cod surrounded by Menemsha lobster and Wellfleet clams, all afloat in a see of lemon-thyme broth, is excellent. He shows what he can do with local meats in a tender red-wine-braised lamb with chanterelle mushrooms and Macumber turnips.