Magical Mystic: The Whaler’s Inn, Connecticut

by Jul 2, 2023
Photo Credit: Whaler’s Inn

I’ve been visiting Connecticut, USA since I was a child. We have family over there and we’re lucky that we have endless accommodation options – a cousin in Brooklyn, a Great Aunt near New Haven and friends with beach houses by the coast.

Yet when we were offered the opportunity to stay at The Whaler’s Inn and sample dinner at The Shipwright’s Daughter we leapt at the chance for a little escape – a holiday within a holiday.

The magical little town of Mystic is set around a calm spot of water lined with hand crafted wooden boats and a shoreline dotted with houses steeped in history.

The Whaler’s Inn is as close to the centre of town as it seems possible to get. We dropped the car off, checked in and spent the rest of the visit on foot exploring everything this place had to offer – this is the ideal place for those who like to simply wander.

Our room (Room 74, Hoxie House) looked right out over the water with the Bascule Bridge directly in front of us – we could even watch it from our bed as it rose up to let boats pass through. For those who want to avoid the bells that sound as the bridge rises, you can opt for a room in one of the buildings further back from the river – either Noank House or Stonington House.

Design here is sophisticated seaside chic. There’s a strong nautical theme throughout – we had oars hung above our four poster bed, there are sail flags and framed paintings of ships, knot work and anchors dotted around – and then there’s the stunning farm to fork restaurant named The Shipwright’s Daughter.

Since we were on holiday (and had been travelling with two kids) we were keen to let others make decisions for us. KJ our server worked his magic bringing us endless creations from Executive Chef David Standridge’s exceptional menu.

Photo Credit: Lisa Nichols

Absolute highlights for us included the Mortadella Monkfish Toast, the Squid Ink pasta, and the Local John Dory cooked a la plancha. Part of the James Beard Foundation ‘Smart Catch’ programme we found the name of the Fishing Vessel that had caught the fish under each of the large dishes.  

Photo Credit: Lisa Nichols

We strolled across the bridge as the sun set after dinner – enjoying the calm of this little seaport town before it really ramped up for its summer season. Back at the room we treated ourselves to the vast air jet soak bath tub (rooms in the Hoxie House all come with these alongside gas fire places for cooler months).

The fresh air had worked its magic and we slept deeply. Breakfast was slick and just as foodie as our dinner. I had possibly my favourite iced coffee of all time- the ‘Bee’s Knees’ complete with Raw Ginger Infused Honey and Oat Milk – and a three egg omelette served with chicken fat potatoes and kale.

Getting in our car to rejoin the rest of the holiday we felt utterly spoilt and keen to spread the word about this very special place.  

About Emily Eaves

Co Founder and Editor at To Work or Play, Emily has been Freelance Copywriting for over 10 years. She is passionate about food, drink, travel, design and finding ways to keep her two children out of trouble.

With a background in Luxury Restaurant and Hotel PR, Emily moved from London to Dorset in 2019. She now spends weekends at the beach and daydreams about her vegetable garden.