The Hungry Wanderers

Eating and exploring our way through the world

Posts Tagged ‘Bald Head Island’

Marsh Harbour Inn

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on January 4, 2010

While on our recent mini vacation to Bald Head Island with our friends Kath and Matt, we stayed at a lovely bed and breakfast – the Marsh Harbour Inn. (Or former bed and breakfast as it is now mostly a fractional ownership location per their website.)  Kath’s family has been visiting Bald Head Island for years and have stayed at the Marsh Harbor Inn a number of times.  Knowing how much her family loves staying there, we were looking forward to our accommodations.  As early as our arrival, we were very, very pleased with this location!

MHI is a 10,000 square foot location with rooms ranging from bedrooms with mini fridges to full kitchen suites.

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The rooms boast beautiful views of the marsh and the harbor.

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(The view from our room on the first floor; views from the third floor where Kath and Matt stayed were amazing!)

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The rooms were spacious and well appointed with comfortable beds and sitting areas.  The photos below are of our room, a corner unit on the first floor with its own balcony.  Kath and Matt stayed in a very spacious 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom suite with amazing views (as I’ve mentioned 😉  )

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While no longer a bed and breakfast, a full continental breakfast was provided each morning.  It included fresh fruit (very fresh and flavorful!), oatmeal, cereal, hard boiled eggs, yogurt, bagels, pastries, waffles, juice, milk, and coffee.

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There was a large dining room…

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… with great morning views of the marsh and nearby cottages.

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In addition to the daily breakfast, we were permitted unlimited access to the kitchen (as long as we cleaned up after ourselves!).  The four of us made dinner two nights and lunch two days in that large, functional kitchen.

The lobby is inviting…

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…and the attached living room is warm and cozy with a fireplace, board games, books, and sufficient seating.

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As the Husband mentioned in the Bald Head Island post, the island is car free.  MHI is very accommodating and provides golf carts for occupants’ use on the island.  This came in very handy many times!

Something that can’t be understated is the customer service.  Everyone at Marsh Harbour Inn is incredibly friendly and personable, and we enjoyed chatting with them whenever we had a chance to.  In particular, Doug made sure at every opportunity that we were having a wonderful experience.  Thank you Doug!

While not technically a bed and breakfast anymore, our experience at Marsh Harbour Inn makes us look forward to more.  We’ve never stayed at a bed and breakfast before and if they’re half as inviting as our experience here was, we’re sure to have a great time!  If you find yourself heading out to Bald Head Island for a week or a few days, we would recommend reaching out and seeing if there’s availability here.  We don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

Posted in Hotels, Travel | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Bald Head Island – New Year’s and New Travel

Posted by gingerbreadpirate on January 3, 2010

Marsh Harbour

For New Year’s, the Wife and I met up with our friends Kath and Matt on Bald Head Island.  We had never been before, but Kath has been enjoying the gifts of the island for several years.  We weren’t disappointed.

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There really is no infrastructure to bring cars to the island.  You get to the island via ferry from Southport, NC ($16/person, round trip).  Once you’re on the island, your transportation options include golf carts, which were included in the cost of the room at the Marsh Harbour Inn, bicycles, which can be rented on the island, and of course, the ankle express.  The island really isn’t that big.  It’s something like 3.5 miles wide by 5.5 miles long, but most of it is uninhabited marshland. 

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IMG_2792With the lack of vehicular congestion and distraction, we had plenty of time to kick back, relax, and enjoy our holiday. 

The layout of the island provides a wonderful feeling of seclusion, despite the fact that it’s not very big, and it’s really not all that secluded.  Houses freely line the streets, either hidden behind a tree line, or sitting out on the marsh, or looking out over the surrounding bodies of water.  It seems like the hourly ferry is always just arriving, or just departing.  The harbor isn’t big, but it’s certainly not sleepy.  Yet you succumb to a temporary state of repose, while the island quietly thrives around you.

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IMG_2751 Perhaps the highlight of the island, in terms of landmarks, is Old Baldy, the island’s lighthouse.  Located at the south end of Cape Fear, at the mouth of the Cape Fear River, it is North Carolina’s oldest lighthouse. 

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The weather was freezing when we left the island, but otherwise, the temperature was cool.  Keep in mind that we were there for New Year’s, so we were pleasantly surprised with the wholly-tolerable temperatures.  It was overcast for most of the days while we were there, but the clouds managed to break up just enough right before evening that we were able to get a couple nice shots of the sky.

IMG_2816 We had a gorgeous, nearly-full moon one night, that rose over the marsh.  I couldn’t help but set up the tripod, and snap a shot.  The moon was bright red, which was overexposed during the six-second exposure, but I thought the image came out pretty cool despite the overexposure. 

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Posted in Sites, Travel | Tagged: | 6 Comments »

Bald Head Island Club

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on January 2, 2010

Last night, to celebrate the end to our wonderful New Year vacation, Kath, Matt, the Husband and I headed to the Bald Head Island Club for a “fancy” dinner 🙂 (The Husband had to wear pants and not shorts = fancy dinner.)  We hopped in the golf cart, as bundled up as we could be (it’s cold here!), and headed on over for our 7pm reservation.

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Since the restaurant is in the country club, there was a large open space when we first entered.  A large bar/lounge was off to the right and the restaurant could be found straight back. (This is actually the view from the restaurant back into the lobby.)

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The four of us perused our menus and discussed (for quite a bit) whether or not to get a bottle of wine or to go with glasses (some were not in the mood for entire glasses).

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We finally decided to get a bottle and what a great decision it was! We went with the Gemtree Vineyards Tadpole Shiraz.  The entire table raved about how good this was!! I haven’t had a Shiraz in a long, long time and I’m glad that Matt and I decided on this.  One bottle worked out well, as well, based on everyone’s wine desires for the evening 🙂

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To start, there was a consensus that soup would be ordered.  (We were still cold from the golf cart ride and needed to warm up!)  There was along as Cheddar & Ale Soup that was calling our names.  However, when the Husband learned that the soup of the day was Tomato Basil, as I shared my Cheddar & Ale with him, he definitely had to have the Tomato Basil.  Kath and Matt decided to share a bowl while the Husband and I each went with a cup.  Kath appropriately described ours as “fondue-like” which, as you know, is something that I liked 🙂 The Husband really liked his Tomato Basil as well.  We were off to a good start!

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In between the soup and entree courses, the Husband also decided to get a Wedge Salad.  Luckily this salad wasn’t drenched in blue cheese dressing (like the last time) and he could enjoy the variety of flavors.  Kath and Matt each enjoyed a small taste as well.

On to the entrees! After realizing we both were planning on the same thing, Kath and I discussed ordering different items so that we could taste each other’s entree.  Luckily the husbands did the same so there were a lot of tastings!

I went with the Rosemary-Skewered Scallops over Spinach Fettucine.  The scallops were very flavorful and cooked perfectly (in my opinion) and I found that the “skewers” were rosemary branches and very cool!  It came with a blood orange light cream sauce (if I remember correctly), which unfortunately gave little to no flavor for the pasta.  However, the spinach fettuccine itself was quite fresh.

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The Husband went with the Shrimp and Grits.  It included Grit Cakes instead of the usual mound at the bottom.  It was unique and flavorful way to present the grits.  He decided to save half as leftovers for some time this weekend.  (I tried his Grit Cake but let him have all of his shrimp 😉 )

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Kath ordered the Crab Stuffed Flounder with Hollandaise.  I had a bite and it was very good! Matt ordered the Breaded Catfish.  He also shared this with me (thanks guys!) and it was amazingly salty! He ended up having to take the breading off the second half of the fish as it was unbearable.

Even though we had consumed what felt like a lot of food, we discussed ordering a dessert to share amongst the four of us.  Kath and I decided on the Pumpkin Cheesecake.  It was made fresh at the club and included fresh whipped cream and crumbled ginger snaps.  This was a sweet way to end our dinner and our vacation!

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We  are headed back to Charlotte now from Bald Head Island 😦 Thanks to Kath and Matt for inviting us out! It was a great mini vacation to celebrate the new year!  With the start of 2010, the Husband and I have some fun trips planned and those that are in the planning process.  Stay tuned as we recap those and ask for suggestions for things to do and places to eat in our upcoming excursions! We’ll also be catching up on the end of 2009 in the coming weeks 🙂

Posted in Restaurants, Specialty, Travel | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Eb & Flo’s Steam Bar

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!! As many of you know, the Husband and I are currently vacationing on Bald Head Island, NC with our friends Kath and Matt.  We took off slightly early on Wednesday and mad the approximate 4 hour drive from Charlotte to arrive just in time for the 7pm ferry to get to the island and to have a late dinner.  So far, it’s been a wonderful vacation and New Year celebration!  I’ve had a chance to play with the new camera and the Husband will hopefully be getting a post up about how beautiful this place is!

Kath, Matt, the Husband and I decided to cook some meals at the Inn and enjoy some meals out during this trip, trying to make a healthy (relatively speaking!) balance while we’re here.  Wednesday night we made dinner at the Inn while Thursday we went out to lunch at Eb & Flo’s Steam Bar.  We made dinner at the Inn last night and plan to have lunch in while we go out to the Club for dinner tonight 🙂

I’d seen Eb & Flo’s Steam Bar on Kath’s blog before (her family vacations here a handful of times per year) and the Husband and I were looking forward to some fresh seafood!

We’re staying at the Marsh Harbor Inn so Eb & Flo’s is a quick, short walk away.

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The weather when we first arrived had been cold and cloudy so when we headed to lunch, we were quite excited for the sun to start to appear! The restaurant had a beautiful view over the harbor.

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We headed inside and looked around deciding where to sit (seat yourself place).

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The bar area was full so we took a seat in the front room.  I loved the motif of the restaurant!

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Going into the restaurant we had a general idea of what we were going to have.  We looked through the menu anyway just to be sure.

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To start, we decided to get a pitcher of 1554 and split it four ways (more like 3 – Kath and I went with a half glass each to start!).  It was super tasty!

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First on the list of must haves was the Fried Okra appetizer.  Yum-o!

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On Kath and Matt’s recommendation, we decided to get a Steamer Pot to get a good sample of fresh, steamed seafood!  The four of us decided to split the Large pot.  The kitchen was awesome and divided it into two pots for us so it was easier for the couples to share!  The pot came with shrimp, crab legs, oysters, clams, crawfish, potatoes, kielbasa, and corn on the cob.

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In addition to splitting the pots, Kath and I each got a side salad while the Husband got the Lobster Bisque.  I had a bite and it was good!

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For dessert 😉 the Husband went with a Carolina Brewing IPA.

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All in all, it was great lunch! Good food with good friends on a good vacation 🙂 Looking forward to trying out a fancier meal tonight!  Hope everyone is having a great start to 2010!

us at eb & flo's

(Thanks Kath for the photo!)

Posted in Restaurants | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »