mayberley bed

Shop Local – the current buzzword

February 24th, 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 6th, 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 26th, 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 23rd, 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 12th, 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 10th, 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. 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. where you can “immerse yourself in all your culinary fantasies”.
  • Wellfleet Oyster Festival, October 19 – 20. 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.   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 29th, 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, 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.

Not just a pretty face!

July 19th, 2013 by parsonageinn

It’s an interesting thought, but when one considers a break on the Cape, plans or activities that immediately spring to mind might include; the wonderful beaches and dunes, the salty air, fabulous trails, spectacular sunsets, or an abundance of fish restaurants.

Perhaps the arts should be added to that list. Whether it’s an outdoor and often free music concert during the summer season, or a variety of drama theatres, the Lower Cape has something for everyone.

The Nauset Beach Concert Series offers everything from acoustic, to rock, to reggae, every Monday night, running to August 26 at the Gazebo on the beach.

Step back in time and spend an evening at an original drive-in theatre.

One of the highlights of the summer season has to be the 24th Annual Cape Cod Five Pops in the Park where the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra perform classics under the direction of Jung-Ho Pak, Artistic Director and Conductor.

For those who are looking for drama, you’re spoilt for choice, with theatres in Dennisport, Brewster, Chatham and Wellfleet. However on our doorstep and just a 10 minute walk from the Parsonage Inn is the Academy Playhouse Summer performances include, Chicago and Les Miserables. A perfect end to a perfect day.

Join us at the Parsonage Inn, where we’re not just a pretty face.

Parsonage Inn website re-launched!

July 19th, 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, 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