New Hampshire is glorious at any time of year but you’d better make sure you’ve a cozy place to stay if you visit during the freezing winter months. It’s just as well there are so many B&Bs to provide just that. If it’s the seafaring city of Portsmouth you’re looking to explore, or mountains and state parks inland, there are some brilliant options here.
There’s loads to do in the area around the Adair Country Inn. Nearby Littleton, halfway between Montreal and Boston, has an amazing choice of trails or head to Franconia for the self-guided Franconia ArtWalk, which takes you past gardens, sculptures, paintings, mosaics and architecture, amid beautiful mountain and river views. The trails in the Adair estate are great too, laid out by the sons of Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of Central Park in New York. Enjoy fine food in the fireside dining room – try the pumpkin ravioli with vanilla spice cream, caramelized onions and local goat cheese.
The Portsmouth Brewing Co. building, formerly a beer warehouse that opened in 1880, houses the Ale House Inn. Wooden kegs once stood in the 10 rooms of this boutique hotel, which features red-brick-walled communal spaces and a contemporary, loft-like feel. It’s right by the waterfront and within walking distance of dozens of restaurants. Portsmouth is full of breweries to visit as well – off High Street is Earth Eagle Brewings, where you can try beers made with botanicals such as marshmallow and licorice root.
They don’t make sails here anymore, but boutique stays in the heart of Portsmouth they do very well. The Sailmaker’s House was the waterfront shop of John Holbrook, who bought it in 1822 before it was sold in 1902 as a residence and later an inn. The original section of the inn was built in 1801 and the slanted pine floors, perennial gardens, original windows and narrow stairways are maintained. All 10 rooms have private baths and Matouk bed linens and towels. You don’t have to walk far to see the sea – Prescott Park is a great place to do it, with walkways, fountains and performances in the summer to enjoy.
The building that houses this B&B was first constructed in 1880 as the annex to a much larger Sunset Hill House. Nowadays there are 28 rooms with views of the White Mountains of New Hampshire or Green Mountains of Vermont – from the master suites you can see both. There are 70 acres (28ha) of gardens and a swimming pool to explore, while Sunset Hill Golf Club, the oldest course in the state, is across the road. Chef Ed Paradise uses only local ingredients in his dishes – the poached salmon in white clam sauce is recommended.
Another great base for exploring Portsmouth, Martin Hill Inn is a 10-minute walk from Market Square in downtown. The two early 19th-century buildings are constructed in distinct styles – the main house is Greek Revival while the Guest House is known locally as a “gable-entry New Englander.” The guest rooms are named after well-known local ships – there’s the Typhoon Room and the Sea Witch Suite, for example. The two-course full breakfast is one to savor, made from locally grown and sourced ingredients.
If you wish it could be Christmas every day, then this Jackson inn is for you. That means appropriately named rooms in the Main House – from Mr & Mrs Clause, to Blitzen and Star of the East – with the option of suites, cottages and family studios sleeping up to eight. There’s also an Aveda spa on the lower level of the Carriage House, which includes six treatment rooms, pools indoor and out, a hot tub, relaxation lounge and fitness center.
This is a real country B&B in a mid-19th-century farmhouse located in the small town of Jaffrey, not far from Peterborough. There are just the 10 guest rooms and suites, all with private bathrooms, and there’s a full country breakfast on offer. This bucolic spot enjoys lovely views of Mount Monadnock, which you can take in from the hammock under the apple tree. There’s hiking, swimming, kayaking and cross-country skiing nearby, with a host of trails in Mount Monadnock State Park.