NEWS&VIEWS by Jacqueline Bennett

Posts from the “Travel” Category

Beautiful Backdrop for Saybrook Point Labor Day Car Show

Posted on September 2, 2014

Write-Up & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett   Over the Labor Day Weekend I stumbled upon the 6th Annual Labor Day Car Show at the Saybrook Point Inn & Spa in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.   Having reported on many a car show in the Greater Hartford area, including my favorite – Wednesday night Cruise Nights at Bart’s Drive-In in Windsor – I was curious to see if  I spotted any familiar vehicles. Admission was free as I strolled through the Old Saybrook event. Participants paid a $10 registration fee.                                   As far as I could tell I had not seen these entries before. Classics, rods, antiques and a…

Destination: The Andrea – Misquamicut Beach Westerly, Rhode Island

Posted on June 7, 2014

Write-Up & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb What has been carried over from the former Hotel Andrea and restaurant is one of the most appealing aspects – a beautiful stone fireplace. For anyone who remembers what stood before Hurricane Sandy decimated the site two years ago, the replacement Andrea Seaside Restaurant & Beach Bar is a stark comparison. The good news is that any remnant, whatsoever abides, of what has been one of the most popular spots along the Atlantic Avenue strip. The Andrea was never elegant but it was pleasing, a curious combination of upscale elements blended with honky-tonk. Gone is the multi-story hotel and the familiar summertime sight of colorful, beach towels drying over balcony rails outside the guest rooms. Gone is…

A Glance at Connecticut’s State Park Beaches

Posted on May 5, 2014

Write-up & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb Late spring tranquility and solitude along Connecticut’s state park beaches will soon give way to wall-to-wall people on colorful blankets, or in sand chairs soaking up the sun and enjoying the surf.  Here’s a glance at some and what they have to offer. HAMMONASSET STATE PARK, this two mile beach on 1288 Boston Post Road in Madison is the state’s largest. A popular vacation camping site, it has 550 grassy campsites, according to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection which oversees the state park system. Generally, campsites are booked well in advance. Hammonasset  has a boardwalk, swimming, saltwater fishing, bicycling, carry-in boating, walking trails, concessions, showers, picnicking and Meig’s Point Nature Center. A variety of restaurants…

Destination: Main Street Grille, Niantic Connecticut

Posted on May 4, 2014

031Write-Up & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb

Formerly Constantine’s, Main Street Grille now operated by Teddy Ignatiadis, is located in the center of Niantic village. The  front entrance is on Main and a rear upstairs deck overlooks the water of Niantic Bay. Handicapped access is a lower level rear entrance. Inside, the main dining area has long patio doors in the back, and there are plenty of windows in a smaller front dining area and adjacent bar, offering an outside view from pretty much any spot in the restaurant.

Delectable Lobster Bisque with huge chuncks of lobster.

Delectable Lobster Bisque with a huge chunk of lobster.


With warmer weather finally having arrived after a long, hard winter in New England, and, with summer just around the corner, this was a day to enjoy seafood. An especially tasty selection was the Lobster Bisque, with a large chunk of lobster which was positively delectable! The grilled salmon, served with an artistic dripping of white sauce, and the scallops were both cooked to perfection. Each came with two sides of the diner’s choice from a wide selection of sides – the chosen mashed sweet potato at a $1 more, sauteed mushrooms, onions and peppers mix and cole slaw all got positive reviews. For the landlubber in the group, the teriyaki chicken was also good. Dinners were served with an uneventful basket of  white rolls – three rolls in the basket, refilled at no additional charge upon request.

The bar.

Another view of the bar.

In the bar, a wall of local history photos.

In the bar, a wall of local history photos.

Scallops with sauteed mushroom mix and coleslaw.

Scallops with sauteed mushroom mix and coleslaw.


Salmon and mashed sweet potato.

Salmon and mashed sweet potato.


Many dishes on the typical American cuisine menu are prepared with individualizing touches and they offer a Sunday Brunch.

Didn’t make it to dessert, however they have it, including creme brulee which is not found everywhere, and a variety of after dinner dessert drinks.

Decor is soft colors and ocean themed framed prints. In the bar is an interesting wall filled with a long row of local history photos.

The food at Main Street Grille is tasty, the prices for entrees range from $11 – $30, sandwiches and burgers $9-$16, soups, salads and appetizers $3-$12. The atmosphere is relaxed – it’s worthy of a return visit – 252 Main Street, 860-739-5300.

Due to its close proximity to Rocky Neck State Park, the population of downtown Niantic swells during the summer. The village has a few other restaurants, ice cream and frozen yogurt spots, a funky-looking downtown theater – a rarity nowadays- and a popular used book store called the Book Barn.




Destination: Brown’s Harvest in Windsor, CT a Delightful Autumn Tradition

Posted on October 27, 2013

Story & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb There could not be a more delightful destination this time of year then Brown’s Harvest in Windsor, Connecticut. The pumpkin patch attracts visitors from throughout Connecticut and beyond. In fact, many people say an autumn stop at Brown’s is an annual tradition. “I’ve been bringing them here since they were little tykes,” Rich Massaro of Windsor Locks said about his son and daughter Zack and Lexi during their October 26 visit to Brown’s. “I like the hayrides and picking out pumpkins,” noted Lexi. Eleven- month–old Lucas Smith’s parents live in Enfield and brought him to the farm to pick out baby’s first pumpkin. Meanwhile, Fernando of Manchester came with his 4-year-old daughter Makayla who was having her…

Large Turnout at Old Sturbridge Village for $5 Friday

Posted on August 24, 2013

Write-Up & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb Well before doors opened at 9:30 a.m. yesterday morning, long lines of visitors waited outside to take advantage of $5 Friday at Old Sturbridge Village living history museum in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. Sunny skies and comfortable temperatures cooperated to drawn in the large crowd. Once inside, visitors were able to immerse themselves in what life was like in a New England village circa the 1830s, from farming sheep and cattle to horse-drawn rides, oxen at work, an old schoolhouse, Meeting Houses, a “Hartford to Worcester” stagecoach ride, a shoemaker at work, water-powered carding and grist mills and much more. Meeting Houses were a focal point of New England villages. In addition to the Center Meeting House with an…

Old Sturbridge Village Offers $5 Friday on August 23

Posted on August 13, 2013

Interested in stepping back in time? Old Sturbridge Village (OSV) is offering visitors a chance to do so on August 23, at a reduced ticket rate called “$5 Friday.” This will be the third and last $5 Friday for the 2013 summer. The opportunity is being made possible by the Southbridge Credit Union, according to the OSV website. Admission is usually $24 for adults, $22 for seniors, $8 for ages 3-17 and free for age 2 and under – although this season OSV is also offering free admission for ages 17 and under throughout the month of August. A living history museum, at OSV visitors can experience what life was like in America centuries ago by visiting the blacksmith, potter, and farm animals such…

Dawn Breaking Over Hyannis Port

Posted on August 8, 2013

As I write this dawn is breaking over Hyannis Port. It is a sight I have seen firsthand many times and am wistful for this morning. I never tire of it. It soothes me. Regardless what turmoil may be stirring, if I transport myself to Hyannis Marina awaiting the sunrise and early arrival of the ferry boats from Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard – I am calm. Soon enough the cruise lines will start to depart, or make their way into the harbor. Passengers with backpacks slung over their shoulders-disembark. Another day begins….

National Hot Dog Day is Tuesday! July 23, 2013

Posted on July 22, 2013

Write-Up & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb Long, short, plump, skinny, all-beef or not, hot dogs are an American favorite. So much so that the iconic food has its own day – National Hot Dog Day will be celebrated on Tuesday, July 23. Virtually every American community has a special spot where a unique version of the hot dog is served. In Connecticut, one of the best can be found at Bart’s Drive In Restaurant at 55 Palisado Avenue in Windsor, located on the banks of the Farmington River and just a few miles from the capital city of Hartford. Bart’s Famous Hot Dogs are prepared on the Magic Grill that has been pleasing palates in Central Connecticut and beyond for more than sixty-five…

Mystic Seaport to Launch “America’s Last Surviving Wooden Whaleship” – Charles W. Morgan

Posted on July 15, 2013

Write-Up & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb Visitors continue to climb aboard the Charles W. Morgan for an up-close look at its restoration in the final days before a July 21 launch of “America’s last surviving wooden whaleship” by Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic, Connecticut. Yesterday, a steady stream of visitors of all ages ascended the wooden stairs leading to the Morgan to get a  firsthand look at the historic vessel that is slated to embark on its 38th voyage in the spring of 2014 and make its way to historic ports throughout New England. According to the story of the Morgan provided by Mystic Seaport, a maritime museum, the 19th Century whaling ship was designated a National Historic Landmark by the United States secretary of the interior in…