Inn at Brunswick Station

LODGING-January/February 2012
By Melissa Coleman

Train or no train, this inn offers a new excuse to eat, drink, and stay the night in Brunswick

Next time I visit the Inn at Brunswick Station, it may be via the Amtrak Downeaster from Freeport. 

The long-awaited Portland-to-Brunswick leg with a stop in Freeport is expected to be up and running in 2012, enabling passengers to ride from Boston to Brunswick, and even connect to Rockland via Maine Eastern Railroad. While the exact arrival date is uncertain, Brunswick Station is ready and waiting.

It was no less exciting to arrive by car at the newly opened inn for a recent child-free visit with my husband. Completed in June, the modern colonial-style building developed by Bowdoin alum J. Hilary Rockett sits kitty-corner to the Bowdoin College campus and a few blocks from the heart of downtown Brunswick. The inn features 52 guest rooms and suites, a 1,900-square-foot event space that can hold 150, and a lively tavern that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Following a friendly welcome, we found our corner suite had a bathroom the size of most hotel rooms, a living room and kitchenette area with a flat-screen television, and a bedroom with a notably comfortable king bed.

After momentarily putting our feet up, we headed downstairs and through the handsome sitting area to dinner in the tavern. Early dusk attracted an amiable gathering of visiting Bowdoin parents, traveling businessmen, and friendly locals–the lively vibe already suggesting the humming gateway the tavern will become with the arrival of the train. A game was on above the bar, and our waitress made sure we knew about the carefully curated wine list and highly recommended Maine crab cakes, which in fact exceeded expectations. To supplement traditional favorites, chef Kevin Cunningham’s inclusion of local and fresh ingredients keeps the menu changing with the seasons. My husband enjoyed the filet mignon with smashed potatoes and I, the pan-seared sea scallops with lobster risotto. Walking into town for dessert offered us the requisite exercise after such indulgence.

Breakfast presented the difficult choice between Maine crab cake Benedict or lobster Benedict, but the chance to hang out in the tavern over a leisurely breakfast and newspaper capped a good night’s rest and helped us prepare for further Brunswick explorations. Next visit, it’ll be a great way to spend a morning while waiting for our train home.

Inn at Brunswick Station | 4 Noble St. | Brunswick | 207.837.6565 |  innatbrunswickstation.com