Touches of class set this Brewster inn apart
BREWSTER - Perhaps it was the mattress that made us feel we were sleeping on a cloud. Perhaps it was returning from dinner to chocolate truffles on the pillow and classical music playing softly. Or maybe it was the warm, moist towels brought to the table after a delicious breakfast of blueberry buttermilk pancakes and real maple syrup.
Whatever the reason, at Brewster by the Sea we felt positively pampered. And that was before the class in which my husband and I learned to give each other a relaxing massage without causing bodily injury.
Innkeepers Donna and Byron Cain say their goal is to create a European atmosphere, which they achieve with high-end bed linens, comfortable robes, homemade sweets with afternoon tea, and concierge-like assistance with planning activities and choosing restaurants. One guest noted that the only thing about the bed-and-breakfast that isn’t “European’’ is the bathrooms, which are spacious.
We were welcomed by Byron Cain and Harrison, an ebullient labradoodle. Cain showed us to our room, asked our preferences for breakfast, and recommended a walking trail that began across the street.
A regal, white farmhouse and a carriage house are set in a beautifully landscaped yard with a brick walkway and stone drive. A massive ash tree in front is more than 150 years old, Cain said. Shrubs and gardens surround the inground pool. Big, floppy blue hydrangeas were still blooming when we visited in late August, and the vegetable gardens were bursting with fruit.
In the first-floor Beach Blossom Room, soft green walls with white trim, a green plaid bed skirt, and floral comforter created a soothing ambience. Along with a queen-size white wrought iron bed, we had two swivel barrel chairs, a flat-screen television with a DVD player, and a desk and chair.
A large armoire in one corner contained extra pillows and blankets, an iron, and an ironing board. Two waffle robes hung on the back of the door.
On the desk we found a booklet of information about restaurants and activities in the area, a book on Cape Cod, crystal highball glasses on a cut glass tray, and a price list for the mattress toppers and bed linens. The innkeepers are so sure guests will love the beds - mattresses topped with a fiber featherbed alternative - they offer them for sale. We were tempted.
The bathroom was large and spotless. It had a shower, whirlpool tub for one, hair dryer, and night-light. The white enamel faucets and diamond-pattern black-and-white floor tiles created a sense of retro elegance. Gilchrist & Soames toiletries were stocked in a pretty glass-front cabinet mounted on the wall, and there was quite a variety: facial and exfoliating soaps, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, body butter, bath salts, a shower cap, shoe buffer, and sewing kit.
Breakfast is served in the main house, or on the poolside patio in good weather. We started with raspberry parfait, a granola, raspberry, and yogurt concoction garnished with mint that was refreshing and not too sweet. Next came the pancakes, with bacon. Our hosts saw us off with a gift bag containing homemade cookies, sea shells, and the words to “Old Cape Cod.’’
Brewster by the Sea offers massages and facials on site. In summer, treatments take place in the poolside gazebo, and in winter, a first-floor guest room is converted into a mini-spa.
We had signed up for couples massage with instruction. Each of us took a turn on the massage table while the therapist instructed the other in basic strokes and areas to avoid, such as the spine and carotid artery. She showed us how to use the backs of our hands, fists, and forearms. While I was performing the massage strokes, she encouraged me to relax and move my shoulders and hips.
“When you develop a rhythm,’’ she said, “administering a massage becomes almost as satisfying and therapeutic as receiving one.’’
Even without the massage, our stay at Brewster by the Sea would have been good therapy.
Ellen Albanese can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.