“October is our busiest month of the year,” says Karen Meyer, innkeeper of Three Chimneys Inn in Durham. The inland location makes it popular in the winter as well – 11 of the 23 rooms have gas fireplaces. “People love to be here in the winter, especially on a snowy night,” Meyer adds.
Three Chimneys has been an inn since December 1997, but the property goes way back – to 1649, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The beautifully renovated rooms have wood floors and original rough-hewn wooden beams. Each room has unique elements, and all have private baths. Some also have oversized two-person soaking tubs, and all have desks and free wifi. Many beds are high four-posters – a small step stool can give a boost. Comfy arm chairs are great for curling up with a book. The décor is rustic, historic, and whimsical – one room has a suit of armor, others have elk antlers and old-fashioned snow shoes.
The main house has seven guest rooms; the remainder are located in the 1795 Carriage House. A full breakfast is included with your stay, served at the ffrost Sawyer Tavern (the double ff, Meyer explains, was the old-style way of writing a capital F). Breakfast features tempting offerings like French toast, pancakes, frittatas, omelets; the meal is served as a buffet when the inn has more than 20 guests.
Dinner is worthwhile – Executive Chef David Masotta offers classic New England fare like Clam Chowder and Lobster Scampi, as well as hearty dishes like Maple Ancho Chili BBQ Ribs. Stop in during Restaurant Week next month for a bargain three-course lunch or dinner. Room rates range from $139 to $209, depending on the room and the season, with various packages available include golf or tickets at Seacoast Repertory Theatre.