Category Archives: The Parsonage Inn News

Whale watching Cape Cod

April 28, 2017 by parsonageinn

whale watchingIt’s a magical moment when on your whale watching trip you see your first whale.  Their elegance and size are a sight to behold and an unforgettable experience.  After spending their winter break in the Caribbean the whales migrate north and the season begins in April when the Cape becomes home to right whales, Humpback, Finback, Minke whales and several dolphin species.  This means the waters around Cape Cod and the Stellwagen Bank are consistently ranked as one of the world’s top 10 whale watching destinations.

Whale watch tours regularly leave from both Barnstable and Provincetown harbors, last 3-4 hours and, depending on the time of year, whale sightings are virtually guaranteed. You’ll experience the beauty of the Outer Cape traveling along the National Seashore, viewing the beaches, lighthouses and the very tip of Cape Cod. The season runs from April until October and is a must.  Take a 4pm sailing from Provincetown on The Dolphin Fleet and enjoy a glorious sunset before returning to take a stroll down Provincetown’s Commercial street. Enjoy a drink at one of the many cafes, people watch and finish the evening with dinner in this lively and flamboyant town.

And it’s here right on our doorstep.

The environment and doing our bit

March 10, 2017 by parsonageinn

plastic-bottles-pollution-illegal-waste-disposal-F4R3GDPlease indulge us for just one moment.   We’re all concerned about our environment and we’re all trying to conserve resources.   We had the Inn fully insulated last year, installed a new energy efficient furnace and have seen a reduction in energy usage.  We recycle as much as possible, use locally grown produce and we even grow as much as we can in our three raised beds.  However we were horrified to read a recent United Nations report that states;

“that in the year 2050 99% of Seabirds will have ingested some form of plastic. This is possible because each year 8 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean”

For us living on the Cape this report hits home hard, however the challenge is, what can we do to make a difference?   We try hard to recyle, would love to compost our vegetables, but one very easy thing to do is reduce the amount of plastic water bottles recycled.  This may sound trivial, but when you consider that in the summer we typically recycle up to eight bottles a day, its amazing to think that amounts to 250 bottles a month, or 1000 over the summer season. It gives some perspective to the environmental problem, and that for us we could potentially reduce the amount of recycled plastic bottles by up to a 1000 bottles per year – amazing!

We added a fresh water fountain to the lounge last year and this year we plan to add an additional one on the second floor.  For our guests we simply ask them to bring their own re-usable bottles and take advantage of the fountains in the Inn.  We’ll even happily provide reusable bottles to guests who forget to bring their own.   Something as simple as this could reduce our recycling significantly, help the environment and save our guests some money.  We think it’s a no brainer, what do you think?

Parson Brown




Travel Magazine’s, America’s Happiest Seaside Town 2017

February 11, 2017 by parsonageinn


Coastal Living magazine’s readers have voted, the numbers are in and “America’s Happiest Seaside Town” has been selected.  The final shortlist included such celebrated towns as Camden Maine, Hilton Head Island South Carolina, Sarasota Florida and Dana Point California.   After a spirited campaign Orleans came in second, just behind winner Grand Haven Michigan.  What an absolute honor for the town, the Chamber of Commerce and all those who worked so hard to achieve it.


We think Coastal Living Magazine summarizes Orleans wonderfully.  “With 54 miles of coastline, this charming New England town bridges the upper arm of Cape Cod to capture Atlantic Ocean wilds to the east and Cape Cod Bay serenity to the west. In the summer, Orleans hums with its own Cape Cod Baseball League team, more than a dozen art galleries and a resident live theatre, and a rich and ample variety of restaurants. Whether strolling its historic cottage-lined streets or paddling its freshwater lakes, life is active, rich, and varied in this corner of the country.”

Here in East Orleans we have restaurants, gorgeous gift shops Adorn and Weekend,and a Farm Shop all within walking distance of the Inn.   And of course our beaches! Planning your summer vacation or perhaps thinking of a short spring break, please call, or check our availability online.

Parson Brown

2016, our memories and more

January 1, 2017 by parsonageinn

Looking forward to the New Year but before we turn the page, we wanted to look back on some great moments and  wonderful memories from 2016.
Our five minutes of fame
NECN interview  for vacation week

Our guests

Included a paralympian, couple celebrating their 62nd anniversary, former colleagues that we hadn’t seen in 35 years, numerous musicians and honeymooners. And of course our many regulars
Thank you all for staying with us.

Our Inn

Clockwise from left top, lovely watercolor of our new patio, painted by Karen Ryder in June,  an amazing hornets nest from our front yard, our new patio and of course our “A” Team, Charlie Jeff and Robyn.

Our glorious beaches

Clockwise left to right, sunrise on Nauset Beach, a typical winters day at Nauset Beach,  off roading at south beach and thanks to a guest, a beautiful sunset at Rock Harbor.

Our breakfasts

Clockwise left to right, great article in edibleCAPECOD, our weekly buffet breakfast, Jo’s homemade granola, click here for the recipe, lastly buttermilk pancakes with toasted almonds and macerated strawberries.

Lastly our family

Indulge us, these pictures speak for themselves!

Parson Brown


Hiking the Cape Cod nature trails

November 23, 2016 by parsonageinn

20150227_143117Whether you’re a serious walker, or just the occasional hiker, come the fall and winter, Cape Cod offers a rich variety of stunning hiking trails to enjoy.  Wrap up well, experience the views, winters crispness and come back to the Parsonage Inn, relax in the lounge with a hot chocolate (or wine!) in front of a real fire.

Our winter hiking favorites include:

Nauset Beach


Just up the road from us, miles of sand, sea and waves.  Look out for seals and surfers throughout winter.

Rock Harbor Beach


Our favorite for walking our dog Ziggy, go when the tides out and walk for miles, experience spectacular sunsets and stunning ice flows.

Fort Hill


Just ten minutes from us, Fort Hill looks out on National Seashore, Coast Guard Lighthouse and the marshes.  Like the Cedar Swamp, Fort Hill has a boardwalk that meanders through a swampy area. Trail markers identify native wildlife.

White Cedar Swamp


     Hiking through White Cedar Swamp

In this hauntingly beautiful walk near Marconi Beach, you’ll walk over a boardwalk through a quiet forest, reminiscent of something out of a Grimm Fairy Tale.

Wings Island, Museum of Natural History


Just 15 minutes from the Parsonage Inn, a glorious walk that passes through the coastal pitch pine woodlands, across a salt marsh, to Wing’s Island.  Finally descending through a salt marsh swale to the barrier beach and tidal pools of Cape Cod Bay. A microcosm of the Cape’s landscape.

Kent’s Point


Two minutes from us and located just off of Monument Road in Orleans,  Kent’s Point has stunning views of Pleasant Bay, especially at the end of the walk, where people can sit at a bench on the top of a hill and enjoy this view.



Right around the corner from us and a favorite to walk for Ziggy.   Looks out on the backside of Nauset spit, the marshes and out towards Tonset and Fort Hill.  Walk around the bay and through the Orleans Conservation Trust marked pathways. Un-spoilt and always deserted.


Parson Brown


Things to do on the Cape this Fall and Holiday Season

September 19, 2016 by parsonageinn

As we move into the Fall and the kids are back at school, it’s the perfect time to take a short break on the Cape. Whether it’s relaxing on the beach with space to spare, biking the trails, or eating at some wonderful local restaurants, the Fall months are a delight and it’s all here, without the crowds.

Addison Art Gallery

Many of you know we love the art work at Addison Art Gallery in Orleans.  We have a Susan Overstreet painting of the Inn in our dining room and love the work of Paul Schulenberg.  September sees a series of events and exhibitions at the Gallery and an exciting plein air event in October.  click here for details.

 Restaurant Week

 restaurant-weekCape Cod Restaurant Week takes place Monday, October 10 through Sunday, October 16! During Restaurant Week, many of Orleans best restaurants and some of our favorites offer three and four course exhibition menus.  Click here for details

 The Orleans Food and Music Festival, ClamBQ, Saturday October 1.


The ClamBQ!

The Orleans Food & Music Festival! will be held Saturday Oct. 1, 2016 at Eldredge Park, Orleans Cape Cod! Fun for all the family.  Click here

2016 Art of Cooking – Tuesday, October 25th


A delicious food and wine tasting event featuring 6 top Cape Cod chefs preparing and serving signature dishes in 6 beautiful Orleans kitchens. Five chefs will be presenting at the Art of Cooking for the first time and includes deserts from Steve and Becky at Nauset Farms. Wine pairings will be provided by our favorite wine store Heather & Robert Shortsleeve of Main Street Wine & Gourmet. Click here

Monty Python’s SPAMALOT, October 6th – November 6th, Academy Playhouse, Orleans 


Monty Python’s Spamalot is a musical comedy adapted from the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Like the film, it is a highly irreverent parody of the Arthurian Legend. Click here


Wellfleet, OysterFest October 15 – 16


The Wellfleet OysterFest is an annual celebration of the town’s famous oysters, clams and its deep-rooted shellfishing traditions. Wellfleet’s town center comes alive for this two-day family festival that brings together locals and visitors. A Fall weekend full of food, art, music, fun and games. Click here

With so much to see and enjoy, join us on the Cape this Fall and check our own specials.

Parson Brown

Considering travel insurance

July 26, 2016 by parsonageinn

Thankfully with the internet and online capability, Woody Allen’s famous quote “There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman?”  has lost some of it’s relevance.  It’s one of those age old dilemma’s when planning a vacation, should one consider trip insurance, or not.   Murphy’s Law states “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”, so is it worth it, and what’s the risk?

If you are mulling over the pro’s and con’s think about, how long are you staying for, are you flying to your destination, your family situation, elderly relatives, and any previous personal experiences.   Last minute cancelations can result in significant loss of income to an Inn. So most Inn’s have anything between 15 – 30 day cancelation policy.  It’s a sensitive issue for both parties, for the Inn a loss of income particularly if it’s a short season, for the guest, an unwelcome expense, especially when there’s generally a real issue that’s caused the cancelation.

What’s involved in organizing coverage?  Thankfully there’s a range of companies and plans available.  Plans can be adapted to individual needs and premiums range between 5% – 10%  of the cost and can cover flight cancellations, hotel costs and certain medical costs.

There’s a plethora of companies providing coverage, a couple to look at;

insuremytrip.com is a company we’ve suggested, but they are certainly not alone

allianzeAllianz comes with  strong reputation and solid background


csaCSA comes personally recommended by one of our guests,  who have had a need to use the policy in the past.


So “we have you covered”.  Travel insurance is certainly not necessary for everyone, but if you worry about the unexpected, it offers peace of mind.

Parson Brown

Concerts, live music and plays, it’s Summer on the Cape

July 17, 2016 by parsonageinn

Speak to anyone on the Cape and the chances are they will be an artist, a musician, an actor or a writer. We are truly spoilt for choice year round, but in the summer there is rich program of concerts, plays and events most evenings.  And we even have one of Massachusetts few remaining drive-in  theatres just up the road in Wellfleet.

Great beaches, our favorites are Nauset and Skaket Beaches, fun bike trails,  great local restaurants (so many to chose from) and vibrant arts.

Monday evening concerts at the Gazebo on Nauset Beach.

Nauset-Beach-Concerts 2016

Thursday evening concerts at Orleans village green.

orleans village green concerts 2016

Tuesday and Wednesday evening concerts, 2016 Cape Cod Jazz Festival

Wequassett Resort and Golf Club

July 19th – Aoife O’Donovan   –   July 20th – Allnighters

July 26th – Tony DeSare   –   July 27th – Juilliard Jazz Ensemble

August 2nd – Dr. Michael White   –   August 3rd – All Star Band

August 9th – Sherma Andrews   –   August 10th – Suzanne Vega

August 16th – Mark Greel   –   August 17th – Grace Kelly

August 23rd – Donny McCaslin   –   August 24th – Marc Cohn

August 30th – Sarah Swain   –   August 31st – Mary C.

Academy Playhouse, East Orleans

August/September dates coming soon.


Cape Rep Theatre, Brewster

Hairspray August 3 to September 3, a heartwarming story set to a rousing 1960’s dance style rhythm and blues score. Hairspray is the winner of eight Tony Awards

hairspray 2016

Finally when you add Cotuit Center for the Arts and performing arts center of Truro to this list we really do have an extraordinary selection of events and concerts to chose from.

For these events and many more click here for the Orleans Chamber of Commerce full list of summer activities, concerts and plays in our gorgeous town.  Happy summer!

Parson Browne

Jo’s famous “Homemade granola”

June 17, 2016 by parsonageinn

I think you’re now very aware of our passion for fresh produce. We shop almost daily, grow as much as we can in our raised veggie beds, and we source much of the rest from our local greengrocer, or right across the road at Nauset Farms. Our guests are constantly asking for the recipes and in particular for Jo’s homemade granola. So after some very careful consideration, she has decided to “spill the beans”.  It has evolved over the last couple of years as we have strived to make that perfect combination of healthy and tasty!.

It’s really an easy recipe to prepare, so here we go.

  • 1/2 cup of coconut oilDSC_1221
  • 1/2 cup of maple syrup
  • 4 cups of rolled oats (not instant)
  • Add spices to taste, cinnamon, and nutmeg
  • 2 cups of seeds and nuts (we’ll use a combination of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds,almonds, walnuts, pecans)
  • 1 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 cups of dried fruit (we’ll typically use a combination of cranberries, cherries, raisins, sultanas, apricots)

Heat the oven to 300f.  Melt the coconut oil and maple syrup in a sauspan and stir .  Mix all the ingredients except the dried fruit in a large bowl. Add the melted syrup to the bowl and mix well to coat the ingredients.  Spread the ingredients on parchment paper on a large baking tray.  Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, the smell is delicious!  Remove and allow to cool.  Add the remaining dried fruit, crunch everything up, fill your air tight container and enjoy.

Parson Brownfavicon


10 best things to do on the Cape (before you die!)

May 3, 2016 by parsonageinn

It’s clearly the season of the “10 best things”, so with so much to choose from on the Cape, spectacular beaches and landmarks, wonderful natural resources and fabulous restaurants, we thought we’d add our own experiences and Cape Cod favorites.

1    Herring Run

This annual “pilgrimage” takes place from late April for about six weeks.  Herrings are anadromous, meaning that although they spend most of their lives in the ocean, they return to the same fresh water ponds or lakes where theyDSC_0405 were born to spawn. Schools of herring navigate up the streams and brooks to their spawning grounds.  They gather in shallow ponds before continuing their leaping up the waterfalls and “ladders” to their final destination.  Meeting them on the way up are hungry sea gulls.  One such spot on route is Pains Creek directly across from Stony Creek Grist Mill and just 15 minutes from us.  Not to be missed!

2   Whale Watching

whale watchingIt’s a magical moment to observe your first whale.  Whale watch tours regularly leave from both Barnstable and Provincetown harbors, last 3-4 hours and, depending on the time of year, whale sightings are virtually guaranteed. The season runs from April until October and is a must.  Arrive back in Provincetown and enjoy an evening and dinner in this lively and flamboyant town.

3    National Seashore, Nauset Beach

The  Cape Cod National Seashore was created by President Kennedy in 1961, encompasses 43,607 acres, includes DSC_0798ponds, woods and 40 miles of seashore along the Atlantic-facing eastern shore of Cape Cod.  I know we’re biased but our favorite has to be our own Nauset Beach, but closely followed by Fort Hill, Head of the Meadow and Race Point Beach. Spot the seals and surfers.

4    Bike the rail trail

With miles of trails and Orleans almost the center of the former rail trail, enjoy some of the most beautiful sights, bike trailskettle ponds, cranberry bogs, numerous coffee shops and for the more adventurous many of the beaches directly from the trail.  And with two great bikes rental stores in Orleans right on the trail, it’s a great way to enjoy the Cape and all it has to offer.

5    Sunset at Rock Harbor, musical accompaniment

To many perhaps the best sunset on Cape Cod. Rock Harbor is where the fishing and charter boats reside and theDSC_0948 incoming channel is uniquely lined with young pine trees. With miles of tidal flats, it’s a wonderful spot for families. Each evening the car park fills with visitors eager to experience sunset often accompanied by a steel drum band and ends with a round of applause.

6    Theatre and productions

The Cape is famous for its range and variety of local theatres, as well as an eclectic music scene. Our two localPlayhousepainting-o_002-252x300 theatres Academy Playhouse just a 10 minute walk from the Inn and the Cape Rep Theatre in Brewster, provide a variety of productions, including for 2016, Wizard of Oz, A Chorus Line and Hairspray. And, we haven’t mentioned local theatre in Dennis, Chatham and Wellfleet, all less than 30 minutes from the Inn.  There really is something for everyone.

7    Seal tour plus sunset and blue moon tour

DSC_0826Leave from meeting house pond (five minute walk from the Inn), experience a salt water river and its habitat, view the dunes of the Cape Cod National Seashore, Pleasant Bay, and Chatham Lighthouse before experiencing the seals in their habitat and swimming in groups.  Enjoy a quiet evening cruise and experience a spectacular sunset over Pleasant Bay and see a full moon rising over the dunes of Nauset Beach.  These and others are available through Blue Claw Boat Tours.

8    Ice cream, ice cream and more ice cream

On a hot summer’s day what’s better than a large homemade ice cream cone? Cape Cod offers homemade ice cream that is to die for, wonderful flavor selections.  We can’t fail to mention Sundae School, just 50 yards from us, or Ice Cream Café and Local Scoop in Orleans.

9    White cedar swamp

This remarkable trail off of Marconi Beach descends through a stunted oak and pine forest before leading onto a DSC_0006raised boardwalk that loops through a unique Atlantic White Cedar Swamp before returning through a sanded road.  It’s just over a mile, take a camera.

10    Lighthouse tour

Last but certainly not least a lighthouse tour is a must. There are 14 lighthouses here on the chatham lighthouseCape, most are open during the season for tours and offer interesting stories and tales from their past and remain today as reminders of that bygone era.   Our favorites include Chatham Light, Nauset Light and Race Point Light.

11    6A The Old Kings Highway

Sorry but we just had to add an eleventh! Route 6A, just 5 minutes from us, winds its way through some of the oldest villages in America, including Bourne, Sandwich, Barnstable, Yarmouth, Dennis, Brewster and 6aOrleans. Many of the homes and churches along this tree-shaded road are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. An abundance of art galleries, antique shops, and great restaurants provides something for everyone.

 Whatever your plans are for 2016, and whatever your “10 best things” are, have a wonderful break and enjoy your surroundings, there is so much to see around us.
Parson Brown



Fresh organic breakfast on the Cape every morning

April 17, 2016 by parsonageinn

If you didn’t already know it, or perhaps you might have already guessed, we have a passion for fresh and wherever possible organic produce for our guests. As Jo says,” no processed foods, everything freshly prepared and shopped each day to ensure we only have the freshest, finest ingredients”.  So to ensure a fresh organic breakfastDSC_0590 every morning, our eggs are delivered each week, freshly laid at Lake Farm Gardens here in Orleans,  bread either freshly baked by Jo, or from one of our favorite bakers including PB Boulangerie and fruit and veggies from Phoenix Fruit.  And lastly let’s not forget our friends at Nauset Farms, directly opposite us who have a wonderful selection of produce.

With this all in place Jo can then produce delicious, organic, colorful, healthy, dishes fit for a king. Guests are always asking for recipes and we’re happy to provide, but here’s a sample of some of those dishes.

Bircher muesli with organic fresh fruit

Bircher muesli with organic fresh fruit


Bircher muesli, a delicious combination of rolled oats, shredded apples, apple juice and greek yogurt, topped with homemade granola and fresh fruits. Named after Dr. Bircher a 19th century Swiss doctor, who gave this to his patients as a healthy start to their day.






One of our favorites.  Thin herb baked omelette, stuffed with either smoked salmon or bacon, avocado, Dijon mustard and lemon soured cream,  on toasted ciabatta bread, finished with either freshly sliced tomatoes, or freshly made mango salsa.



DSC_0549Yummy and decadant. White chocolate brioche French toast, with berry compote and of course real maple syrup.  Sometimes we’ll mix it up with a creamy orange sauce, freshly sliced oranges, a dollop of mascarpone cream and a side of bacon! An organic but truely extravagant breakfast.



DSC_0339Last year we introduced a European style buffet breakfast and it has proved to be really popular.  We intend to extend this to two days a week this year.  It includes Jo’s homemade granola, fresh organic fruit, a selection of artisan cheeses, nitrate free hams, and freshly baked bread.  Jo’s spelt bread is a wonderful addition and interestingly people with a gluten intolerance are often able to eat it.  There is a hot dish too, including things like asparagus and cheese popover, or frittata’s and of course homemade muffins.DSC_0610

Our other favorite savory hot dish is smashed potato hash, with roasted peppers and onions, on a bed of homegrown spinach, topped with poached farm egg, hollandaise sauce and sprouted pea-shoots. Organic, healthy and delicious.

We serve breakfast on our patio each day where guests can enjoy a freshly prepared organic breakfast alfresco.

Parson Brown



“Going organic?”, we always have been!

February 28, 2016 by parsonageinn

“Going organic” is an expression that is constantly thrown around today and whenever possible our breakfasts have always featured organic or homegrown products. We believe this is a better option for your health and more eco friendly option in terms of the environment and the treatment of animals. Organic options are more readily available now

Fresh farm eggs from Lake Farm

Fresh farm eggs from Lake Farm Gardens

and consumers have become more aware of the potential risks of pesticides, growth hormones, nitrates and a vast array of other chemicals. Whether its organic free range eggs from our local farm, or organic fruit and veggies from our local greengrocer Phoenix Fruit, we believe that what makes our breakfasts special and delicious is the quality of ingredients that we use.

Nitrates in pork, chicken and beef and their potential ill effects have been a major topic of discussion in the last few months. As Innkeepers we are constantly vigilant to any health risks in food and for years now have used organically raised, nitrate free pork products. Happy pigs hopefully makes for happy guests! “It is important to us and to you that we have the freshest ingredients with no, or minimal chemical byproducts”, adds Jo.

Our raised veggie beds in the back garden have been a huge success, allowing us to introduce fresh herbs, veggies and greens from our back garden straight to the plate. More often that not, we pick fresh herbs the morning we

Bircher muesli with organic fresh fruit

Bircher muesli with organic fresh fruit

serve the food, it couldn’t get any better than that! There is something very satisfying seeing the fruits of our labor growing. We are learning what works well and what doesn’t, and this year we plan on planting delicious rhubarb and more strawberries as well as continuing with our other herbs and veggies.

Regular bread is a prime example of food that is often full of chemicals and sweetners. In our view apart from honey in certain breads, bread doesn’t need to contain sugar.  We always buy fresh wholewheat and wherever we can organic. As English chef Jamie Oliver once said about ingredients, “if you can’t pronounce it, and it reads like a NASA space project, you shouldn’t eat it”.  It is with this in mind that we have gone one step further and started baking our own bread using back to the old days, spelt flour. Spelt flour is used as regular flour but is more nutritious, with the added benefit of being much more tolerable to people with gluten

Organic spelt flour crusty loaf, with homemade Seville orange marmalade

Organic spelt flour crusty loaf, with homemade Seville orange marmalade

intolerances. As Jo often reminds us,”Homemade bread needs no more than four ingredients to get a beautiful crispy loaf that is simple and delicious”.  And an added bonus is the gorgeous smell originating from the kitchen.

But what would fresh bread be without homemade marmalade on top? One day and 18 pounds of seville oranges later, Jo and I (alright I have embelished, it was only Jo) have prepared the most delicious fresh orange marmalade to go with our home baked bread. Just one more reason to make the trip up to us this summer!

The importance of “going organic” cannot be ignored and it is something we have embraced. We love to know that we are cooking delicious organic breakfasts made from the freshest, healthiest foods. We cannot wait for you all to try our fresh baked bread hot out the oven and our fresh new produce picked straight from the garden!

Parson Brown

Planning the perfect Valentines weekend

January 27, 2016 by parsonageinn

A special Valentines

It’s that time of the year again to plan for the perfect romantic Valentines weekend. What better than looking at aEXTERIOR15 break centrally located on the Lower Cape, near to Orleans, Chatham and just a 30 minute drive to Provincetown Town.  All have their unique charms and romantic attractions offering everything from, wonderful galleries and art exhibitions, specialist coffee shops offering homemade chocolate, to “Paint the Town Chocolate” in Chatham.

There is so much to enjoy in Orleans and for the third year we have partnered with local businesses to put together that romantic break, a perfect celebration for new loves, honeymooners, or forever loves, looking for that special getaway. This year we are offering two options;

  1. Book our standard low season rates, enjoy a romantic weekend at the Parsonage, do as little or much as you like and book your dinners at one of Orleans many outstanding restaurants.
  2. Select our Valentines Special, chose either the two or three day option and enjoy a romantic package that includes;
    • Friday arrival happy hour (5.30pm – 7pm), wine and nibbles. Relax and unwind in front of a crackling fire in our lounge, catch up with other guests and enjoy a glass of wine (or two!)
    • A selection of indulgent chocolates in your room
    • Gourmet breakfast’s, including mimosa’s on the 14th.
    • Enjoy an afternoon of “Art with Heart” at AddisonArt, together with a $50 gift certificate towards any regularlyAAGLogoText_sm priced artwork at the gallery.  February 13, 2pm-5pm.
    • A welcoming glass of prosecco followed by a three course Valentines dinner and coffee at Nauset Beach Club.  This wonderful Italian restaurant is a favorite with our guests, less than a nbc-logo-w-center2five minute walk from the Inn, and a perfect spot to enjoy classic Italian cuisine and a relaxing stroll home.

Paint the Town “Red”

Orleans is a town alive all season.

  • Hot chocolate or capuccino’s at places like Hot Chocolate Sparrow, or Sunbird
  • Great casual lunches at Corner Store, or one of our favorites, Nauset Farms
  • Outstanding restaurants, too many to mention!
  • Beautiful local gift shops like Adorn, weekend, Cape Coddle, Oceania, Left Bank Gallery and East Wind Trade, offer the perfect temptations.

Join us for a very special Valentines weekend. Our cozy, relaxing and historic Inn is the perfect retreat for guests looking to enjoy a break on the Cape.

Contact us today, or book directly online.

Parson Brown


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Shop Local – the current buzzword

February 24, 2015 by parsonageinn

It’s interesting to experience the rise of the shop local campaigns over the last couple of years.   Moving to the Cape from Annapolis MD three years ago, we had the enormous Annapolis Mall just a short 10 minute drive away and our “go to” supermarkets tended to be Trader Joe’s and Wholefoods Store,shop local where we bought in bulk for the week, and felt good that the produce was predominately organic, grass fed and cage free!  At that time we worried that we’d miss those stores and their convenience, but were consoled to see a Trader Joe’s and last year a Wholefoods open in Hyannis.  However what we have discovered is that we still love those stores, but our buying habits have changed dramatically.  We are spoilt for local choice in Orleans and the Lower Cape.  Lake Farm Gardens delivers our fresh organic eggs each week, our bread is freshly baked from PB Boulangerie, Phoenix Fruit provides that traditional greengrocer feel, organic fruit and veggies,  Main Street Wine and Gourmet ensures we can wash down our organic dishes with fine wines, and we actually have our own local Whole Food store. Everything else can be found at Nauset Farms  right across the road from us and  Friends Marketplace.   We now shop every couple of days and do you know what, we have almost no waste, know everything is fresh and it does make a difference!

However to be true to the “Shop Local” spirit, it’s really more than this. Stores, restaurants and local businesses need to be artisans and passionate about their businesses. In the last three years we have witnessed a remarkable change in this area. We are already fortunate to have great stores like Sparrows, Addison Art, Weekend, Sundae School and Bird Watchers General Store, but Sunbird is a great new spot in Orleans for coffee and fresh lunches,  Chequessett Chocolate’s in Truro uses organic cacao beans to produce exquisite hand crafted chocolate. And if you need to unwind and relax, then a visit to supple Apothecary   is the perfect treatment sanctuary. Lastly a new store Adorn is opening directly opposite us in East Orleans and promises to offer local accessories and jewelry.

So there you have it, not a major high street brand in sight, just local artisans doing what they do best. And apologies for the list of other wonderful businesses I know I have omitted!Parsonage Inn Oct 2012 kite surfers bayside

Incidentally did I mention the wonderful Nauset and Skaket beaches, bike trials, whale watching and an abundance of natural wonders?

With spring and summer just round the corner and vacations at the planning stage, welcome to the Cape, enjoy our unique environment and if we at the Parsonage Inn can be part of that, then we too are blessed!

Parson Browne

The “King’s Lumber”

August 6, 2014 by parsonageinn

For many of you who have stayed with us, you’ll no doubt be aware of our gorgeous original 1770’s pumpkin pine floors.  We love showing them off and reminding guests that the lady who restored them insists that, if your guests are going “out on the town” in heals, they must wear their flops to the door !

We were aware that some of the floors planks were really wide, but until recently, and during  discussion with our local Rockland Trust Branch Manager, we hadn’t really appreciated their significance.   The preservation of trees for ship building and the mast trade was so important to England that ownership of the large trees was written into the Massachusetts Bay Charter of 1691.
For better providing and furnishing of Masts for our Royal Navy wee do hereby reserve to us Our Heires and Successors ALL trees of the diameter of 24 inches and upward of 12 inches from the ground, growing upon any soils or tracts of land within our said Province or Territory not heretofore granted to any private persons. We doe restrains forbid all persons whatsoever from felling, cutting or destroying any such trees without the the Royall Lycence from us Our Heires and Successors first had and obteyned vpon penalty of Forfeiting One Hundred Pounds sterling vnto Ous Our Heires and Successors for every such Tree soe felled cult or destroyed without such Lycence ” Such became known as The Kings Lumber!
The picture represents The Kings Broad Arrow and signifies the tree was the property of the King.
So back to the Parsonage, several of our flooring planks in The Haven and Witterings are 20 inches, with a couple more than 22 inches.  Considering the clause above, previous owners in the 17th and 18th century must have either hid them well or were fortunate to avoid penalties.
We really are privileged to have these gorgeous floors and will maintain and preserve them, however if you should ever see some “redcoats” around the Inn, its probably just His Majesty’s soldiers reclaiming their rights under the terms of the Kings Lumber!

Organic produce and “Back to Basics”

May 26, 2014 by parsonageinn

We often hear the expression of “talk the talk” to “walk the walk”.   Jo and I are both passionate about our food, offering dishes freshly prepared and inspired by local, seasonal and wherever possible organic produce and ingredients.  We really do believe it makes a difference, both taste wise and more importantly from a health perspective.  Just ask our kids and they will repeat almost parrot fashion Jo’s urging, or they would say nagging, to “make healthy choices”!organic logo

We’re now into our second season as Innkeepers and we’re trying to continue and expand that philosophy.   Thankfully there is a new found awareness about the importance of what we eat.  We’re blessed with several local stores offering a range of organic products and we find shopping every couple of days, may be a little more expensive but guarantees freshness and frankly supports those local business.

  • Nauset Farm Shop is immediately opposite us and offers a gorgeous range of fresh products and a deli counter to die for.
  • Phoenix Fruit in Orleans is like greengrocers used to be in the past. Fresh, local and organic, with a range of produce from Cape turnips to fresh galangal a thai specialality similar to ginger.DSC_0579
  • Lake Farm Gardens just up the road provide us with freshly laid organic farm eggs.   They truly are special, the yokes a deep yellow and the taste how I remembered as a child!  We are fortunate that Judy is able to give us the quantity we needed as she provides eggs to Phoenix Fruit and can also be seen at the Farmers Market in Orleans each weekend.   We return the favor by providing our veggie and fruit cuttings back to Judy (the egg lady) to feed the chickens!

DSC_0582We’re also thrilled that this spring, our son Charlie helped build two raised veggie beds in our back garden.  We have filled them with organic top soils and already are reaping the rewards to guests.  All of our arugula, spinach and most of the fresh herbs are picked fresh each day.  We have enough lettuce to feed an army, and we’re looking forward to planting summer veggies shortly.  And, apart from the health benefits, it really is fun watching them grow and harvest them.  Jo says she doesn’t, but I swear she talks to them each morning!

No horrid “high fructose corn syrup”, or nasty “nitrates” in sight!

Enjoy homemade granola (muesli) with of course organic 1% milk, seasonal fruits, organic savory frittata’s on a bed of baby spinach and arugula, and shortly home grown roasted cherry tomatoes and peppers.  We’re taking the bold step of “talking the talk”, and “walking the walk”, and bringing the term “farm to table”, just one step closer.

Have a happy and healthy summer season!

Parson Brown







The Lower Cape “herring run” Brewster

April 23, 2014 by parsonageinn

DSC_0405This annual “pilgrimage” takes place from mid April for about a month and indirectly announces the beginning of warmer weather.  Last year we experienced it for the first time, I am not sure what we were expecting, but I can say we were not prepared for what we witnessed.

Herrings are anadromous, meaning that although they spend most of their lives in the ocean, they return to the same fresh water ponds or lakes where they were born to spawn. By mid April those ponds have a water temperature of around 55f and the schools of herring navigate up the streams and brooks to their spawning grounds.  On the way and at many spots on route, they gather in shallow ponds before continuing their leaping up the waterfalls and “ladders” to their final destination.  One such spot on route is Pains Creek directly across from Stony Creek Grist Mill.  This all seems fine for the herring, tiring yes, but really a piece of cake, right, that is until you introduce the seagulls into the equation.  DSC_0398Waiting in the shallow ponds and approaching almost in fighter formation, the gulls dive bomb and gorge themselves on the herring, flicking them in the air and swallowing head first in one motion!   It’s an extraordinary sight.  Thousands of herrings patiently waiting their turns and the squawking and squabbling gulls.

Heading down 6A, the Old King’s Highway from Orleans and through Brewster you take a left at the fork by the sign for Stony Brook Road. Less than a mile up the road, you’ll see the spot.

You won’t be disappointed!

Planning your summer on the Cape

March 12, 2014 by parsonageinn

footprints on the beachWith March finally here we can say with some certainty that this winter is one for the record books.  Snow and lots of it, freezing temperatures and lots of them!

But March means Spring, daylight time is rapidly lengthening, temperatures are rising (55f today!) and all around us businesses seem to be getting a fresh lick of paint.  Nauset Farm Shop will be re-opening in a couple of weeks, completely renovated, Zia’s likewise is expanding, and there is an air of anticipation.

There is truly an abundance of things to do and see in New England.

Here on the Cape we are spoilt for choice.

  Our beaches and the National Seashore are up there with the best,

our natural environment, includes bird watching, whale watching, seal watching,

our choice of restaurants including both established and several new eateries, offer everything from casual to fine dining experiences,

and finally a rich history of the Arts, for example, Orlean’s fine galleries, its Academy Playhouse and live music

We’re spoilt for choice!

Jo and I are constantly amDSC_0812azed at the number of people who have been coming to the Cape, often for generations.  It seems that once you have experienced summers here on the Cape, you become hooked and it becomes an annual event, passed down, generation to generation. Summer cottages that have been “in the family” for 40 or 50 years.   We experienced this directly last year where grandparents stayed with us, while their children and grandchildren stayed at the family home.  It was a win/win, the grandparents were able to enjoy Jo’s delicious breakfast, relax, read the newspaper in the mornings, then go home and enjoy their families during the day.

Here on the Lower Cape there is something for everyone, whether it’s Harwich, Chatham, Orleans or Eastham.  The key is location, location, location and it’s all here.

Wherever your final location is, have a wonderful summer, and enjoy everything that we have in New England and specifically Cape Cod.



Blog by Parson Brown!



Fall is for Festivals on Cape Cod!

September 10, 2013 by parsonageinn

Think of Cape Cod and perhaps you imagine the outdoors, gorgeous weather,the national seashore, abundant wildlife, sailing, biking and of course wonderful restaurants.  However all this does not end on Labor Day, in fact on the contrary, some of the best weather can be found in September and October, the beaches are not crowded, the bike trails are not like the “beltways’ or “turnpikes”, and you can eat without queuing for an hour!

footprints on the beach at fall festivals


Add to the mix a wonderful variety of Fall Festivals and you have the perfect recipe for a short break.

  • Nauset Surf ‘n Music Festival, September 26 – 28.  http://orleanscapecod.org/nauset-surf-n-music-festival/ Featuring award winning surf films, an authentic Cape Cod Clambake, lots of local live music and art exhibitions near iconic Nauset Beach!
  • Provincetown Food & Wine Festival, October 4 – 6.  http://www.festandfestivals.com/ where you can “immerse yourself in all your culinary fantasies”.
  • Wellfleet Oyster Festival, October 19 – 20.  http://www.wellfleetoysterfest.org/ two day event brings together locals and visitors alike for a weekend full of hometown flavor and big time fun
  • Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra, Take Off 2013/2014 season. http://www.capesymphony.org/   a series of autumn and winter concerts with something for everyone.

So what’s stopping you.   If you only want beaches and bikes, check the weather reports and head on out to the Cape and enjoy all the fall festivals we have to offer.  And if you’re looking for a quiet, romantic and cozy place to relax, with gorgeous breakfasts served personally on the patio (weather permitting) look no further than us at The Parsonage Inn.

Jo-Anne and Richard


Wide-eyed and speechless!

August 29, 2013 by parsonageinn

There is literally nothing to compare the sight of humpback whales gently swimming alongside your boat and then gracefully diving.  Apart from the gasps from fellow whale watchers, it really does leave you speechless.

After our first season at the Inn and some wonderful recommendations from our guests, we were finally able to experience for ourselves the joys of whale watching from Provincetown.   And we weren’t disappointed! Nothing prepares you for the first sighting of a humpback whale blowing and its tail as it dives.  We booked on the 2.15 trip and after a very foggy hour getting out to the primary viewing area off the Stellwagen Bank, the fog cleared and we were treated to an hour of sightings, several whales only 50 feet from the boat.  At one time three large humpback whales were casually swimming together and you could clearly see their long white pectoral fins.

The typical whale watching season runs from April until mid October and the variety of whales seen depends on the time of the season.   Right whales arrive early in the season and at this time of the year August/September you can expect to see humpback whales and increasingly dolphins as you head into October.

There is still time this year to experience these remarkable mammals.  There are multiple daily departures from Provincetown which is a short 30 minute drive from the Parsonage Inn.  We’re happy to look at schedules and organize bookings.  We used whalewatch.com, but there are several to choose from. Finish the evening people watching on the main street and dining at one of Provincetown’s many fine restaurants.

Come spend a weekend on the Cape (at the Parsonage Inn of course!) and have a truly unique experience.

Parsonage Inn website re-launched!

July 19, 2013 by parsonageinn

Dear Guests,

We are Jo-Anne and Richard Hoad, innkeepers of the Parsonage Inn on Cape Cod, and we are thrilled to announce the launch of the new website for our Inn.

As the new Innkeepers of The Parsonage Inn on Cape Cod, the list of urgent projects and renovations was daunting and at times overwhelming. Once we had the room design clear in our minds and work underway, menus ready for testing with friends and family, the vital and in many ways the crucial part of the jigsaw puzzle was getting our message out to guests through our website. Our old website was developed back in 1998 and served the Inn well. However, it was showing signs of age and was difficult to manage and update.

We believed a new approach was needed for our website, one that inspired and captured the essence of the Inn. Each of the rooms has a unique feel, offering a bright, fresh, slightly more contemporary feel. We also wanted to retain that warm, cozy feel of our historic home. Our new website needed to encompass those attributes.


Together with photographer Beth Campbell, InsideOut Solutions embraced the challenge and we are thrilled with the end result. As our kids would say, “It’s awesome!”

Go to our website http://parsonageinn.com/, see the rooms, experience the breakfasts online, and come visit Cape Cod. We would love to meet you!

Hope to see you soon,
Jo-Anne and Richard Hoad
Innkeepers of the Parsonage Inn at Cape Cod