Saturday, August 30, 2014

Making Your Bucket List

Our friends at WMUR-TV have once again come to the forefront- this time, simply by asking viewers what New Hampshire activities or places they would put on their 'bucket list'.

And, as usual the Lakes Region is among the leaders.

You can see a coyote at the Squam Lake 
Natural Science Center. (from SLNSC website.)

First, most people agree that you and your family can learn a lot by visiting the Squam Lake Science Center

Secondly, most concur that everyone needs to take at least one trip on the Mount Washington every year.

And we will witness that everyone should have a good meal at Hart's Turkey Farm at least once per summer.

And, finally, no one should leave the Planet Earth - or, the Granite State, without spending a day or two at the Laconia Motorcycle Week.

Nothing missing here - except moving to the Lakes Region.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Best Farmers Markets in NH?... Right Here.

The WMUR-TV team has recently asked their viewers to name the best farmers markets in the state.

And you shouldn't be surprised that among the top 10 were three Lakes Region markets.

No. 10 is Laconia's.

No. 8 is Tilton's.

And right up there at No. 2 is the one based in tiny little Tamworth. Like many things in the Lakes Region, you have to look more than once to see the beauty.

 Like many things in the Lakes Region, you have to look more than once to see the beauty. 


Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Best Eats in New Hampshire

Our friends at New Hampshire magazine have just rated the best places to have a breakfast in the state.

And it's no surprise which Gilford place made the list.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Getting da Business

More good Lakes Region news...

This time from Inc., the financial magazine. Seems like several local businesses are listed among the Top 5,000 Fastest Growing Companies in America.

  • No. 2,174 – Mainstay Technologies, Belmont. Three-year growth: 183 percent. 2010 revenue: $1.7 million. 2013 revenue: $4.8 million. Employees: 39.

 • No. 3,481 – Smartware Group, Center Harbor. Three-year growth: 95 percent. 2010 revenue: $1.7 million. 2013 revenue: $3.4 million. Employees: 27.

Thanks to our colleagues at the New Hampshire Business Review for bringing this to our attention.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Take Your Shot

My friend Scot Langdon has an announcement:
"Scot & Mary Langdon of Long Hill Photography & Grab Your Bag Travel, are planning a New Hampshire Lakes Region Photo Tour, Oct 18/19 2014.
Small group, 10 Spots only for this wonderful Trip,  (All details, pricing, photos and contact information are located here >>"

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Your faithful correspondent has written another story about what's great in the Lakes Region on the NHPR website here. Enjoy

Monday, July 14, 2014

Best of Lakes Region, Part II, Et Al

We told you some weeks back about Lakes Region winners in New Hampshire magazine’s annual “Beat of New Hampshire ” issue.

Well, those were the choices of the editors.

Now it's time to hear the Voice of the People: the results of the magazine’s Readers Poll – as well as some other interesting tidbits left over  from the July issue of the magazine.

The Best Outdoor Dining in NH - from the Town Docks website.

Statewide, readers said the best Outdoor Dining spot in New Hampshire is the Town Docks in Meredith. (It’s owned and operated by the Common Man Family of Restaurant, which is based in Ashland.)

They named the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook in Gilford the best Large Music Venue in the state. (No surprise.) And they chose  Biedermans' Deli and Pub in Plymouth the best deli and the best place to get sandwich.

Then, reviewing the results get complicated.

For instance, the Common Man was picked for serving the Best Crab Cakes among "local chains" in the state. Then, it tied with its neighbor in Laconia, Fratello’s Italian Grille, for best Outdoor Dining in the “local chain” category – but the Common Man restaurant that won is based in Claremont, and the Fratello’s winner is in Manchester. (The Common Man also picked up top statewide honors for Best Diner with the Tilt'n Diner and the Best Children's Menu at its Airport Diner in Manchester.)

And that wasn't all. 

There were several other "local"l restaurants the readers picked, but there were frequently named, not under the general all-state category, but under the “local chain”, “regional chain” or “national chain” designations.

For instance, T-Bones Great American Eatery, which has a restaurant with a great view in Laconia, was named the place to taste the menu of the state’s best chef: “Chef Nichole”. And it was named tops among “local chains” in several other areas including best hamburger, best french fries, best onion rings, best wings and best children’s menu. (We can testify that their burgers, fries and rings are superior.) Meanwhile, its sister adjoining restaurant, Cactus Jack's, was picked by readers for serving overall Best Chili in New Hampshire.

The Weathervane Seafood Restaurant, which operates a “Lobster in the Rough” eatery in Weirs Beach, was named best seafood restaurant among “regional chains” as well as being cited for serving the best clam chowder, fried clams, lobster roll and onion rings in that designation.

Sal's Pizza in Belmont serves some of the state's best pizza, say NH magazine readers - from the company's website.

Johnson’s Dairy Bar in New Durham was voted tops for ice cream among the "regional chains." (There's only one other Johnson's, in Northwood.) Sal’s Pizza in the Belknap Mall won for best pizza among "regional chains", the 99 Restaurant that sits on Rte. 3 in Tilton won for best burger among the state's "regional chains", and the League of New Hampshire Craftsman stores in Meredith and Sandwich were among the group voted best overall “local chain” gift shops in the state.

Actually, the popular magazine's Readers Poll is always  a little ‘tilted’. Every reader gets one vote, and since most people in New Hampshire live south of Concord, some of the best places in the state - in the Lakes Region - are unknown to them.

Perhaps to compensate for the tilt, the magazine also named top regional winners. So the Lakes Region's Favorite Restaurant pick was Hart’s Turkey Farm in Meredith – and although it has plenty of competition, it’s hard to argue with the choice of the established local legend. The Favorite Ice Cream was Kellerhaus in Weirs Beach – another longstanding traditional winner. And the Best Coffee House was the Meredith Bay Coffee House.

Meanwhile, one more winner will be of interest to Lakes Region food buffs.

The state’s best Irish Pub, according to the readers, is the Holy Grail in Epping. The Holy Grail of the Lakes Region will be opening in Laconia sometime this fall or early winter.


And how did we miss this the first time? The magazine's editors named the "City on the Lakes" its “City on the Rise":Laconia has had its ups and downs over the years, but the city seems poised for a big revival with some great shops and restaurants plus new ones coming (like the Holy Grail Irish Restaurant & Pub going into the old Evangelic Baptist Church in Veterans Square). There’s lots of downtown development afoot and an embrace of the region’s multicultural community as Laconia takes advantage of its great historic “bone structure” for shopping and tourism.”

And a couple of other "misses" from the editors' list: 

Hermit Woods Winery was an editors choice.

Fruit Wines: "Hermit Woods Winery, now in Meredith, offers a surprising selection of fruit wines that are designed to be enjoyed with meals. Unlike most varieties that are terribly sweet or thick,  the dark berry fruits wines here compare to grape wines. Winemaker Ken Hardcastle finds organic fruit from elderberries to black currants to blueberries to create a delicately balanced blend. Their 2012 Hermitage is fermented dry and barrel-aged to create a Bordeaux-style character — fruit forward, but so much more."

BLT: Squam Lake Inn in Holderness "has a BLT to beat the band. The bacon is thick and smoky, the tomato is tasty and the lettuce is, well, lettuce. It's all mounted on a delightful sourdough bread for lunch. For dinner, find it loaded with lobster. The bacon version is also available at the Squam Lake Marketplace, formerly the Holderness General Store. P.S. Grab a dozen pistachio cookies for the road – they'll be gone before you hit I-93."