Ever since I moved back into the city and sold my car, it is rare for me to get out of Boston, unless I am leaving by plane. Especially now that it is summer, I have been missing exploring places that are closer to home, so when The Hotel Portsmouth (a Lark Hotel) invited me to stay in Portsmouth for the night, I jumped at the chance to have a quick getaway to a new place!
Portsmouth, NH is located a little over an hour away from Boston, so it is the perfect place to escape to if you only have a night or two. Upon arrival, you will find a quintessentially quaint New England town. For this post I wanted to give you a glimpse at what my mini getaway entailed. I have rounded up everything from my favorite snapshots from The Hotel Portsmouth, to the best places to grab a bite to eat & shop downtown, as well everything I wore on my overnight trip (naturally). Keep scrolling to see more!
I really cannot recommend The Hotel Portsmouth enough. While the stay that I was provided there was complimentary, that in no way impacts my opinion surrounding the hotel. Everything was picture perfect!
Throughout the hotel, there is no shortage of wonderfully appointed common areas to relax in during your stay. In these spaces you can find plenty of comfy spots to relax and read a book, or sip on some coffee/tea. Don't worry if you forgot a book for your stay, as there are plenty scattered through the common rooms to choose from. You can even play some board games or chess if you like! They did a great job thinking of the little details that really give it that extra something special to make you feel right at home.
After a quick stop in the room to drop off our bags and unpack, it was time to start exploring the town! The hotel is located on a quiet street only a couple of blocks walking distance to the center of town where all of the action is. Within minutes we were right where we needed to be to get started with our evening!
Exploring Portsmouth in the Evening
The town of Portsmouth might not be massive, but that in no way means there are not plenty of things to keep you occupied. Simply walking around town, and even the surround streets, offers up one picturesque moment after another. For the purposes of our first night though, I will admit that I spent more time checking out the inside of stores and restaurants' menus, as opposed to ogling how cute the surrounding town actually was. Speaking of restaurants, onto my first set of recommendations...
I had to rely somewhat on recommendations I found through online research…we were only there for one night after all ;)
- Cava Tapas & Wine Bar - This was where we had dinner, and I am not exaggerating when I say I had the best scallops I’ve ever had here (pictured below)! Also be sure to get the short rib…you won’t be disappointed.
- Ceres Bakery - Recommended by the locals as a good breakfast spot :)
- Row 34 NH - If this is anything like the one in Boston, then it is sure to be amazing
- The Friendly Toast - Judging by the massive line outside of this place on Saturday morning, I’d venture to say that this place is worth the wait
- Vida Cantina - Recently voted the best Mexican restaurant in Portsmouth
- Black Trumpet Bistro - Everything served here is locally sourced (farm to table)
- Gelato Fiasco - This place was amazing. Each flavor was better than the next, but I settled with the blueberry pie and don't regret it one bit!
After dinner we were off for a night out! Off of a local's suggestion, we decided to head over to Bow Street. Here there are a bunch of restaurants/bars that all have back decks right on the water. What is great about this spot, is that all of these decks are connected, so you can hit a few different places without having to travel very far. I should point out that these places drew a younger and livelier crowd, if that is what you are more in the mood for. While there, we had the great fortune of meeting a few locals who showed us around town for the rest of the evening, and even gave us some great pointers of other places to check out for the rest of our stay (one of which is mentioned above)!
Getting out of bed the next morning was very, very hard to do. This had everything to do with how comfortable the beds are at The Hotel Portsmouth, and absolutely nothing to do with the cocktails from the night before. Kidding (kind of), but in all seriousness, I did not want to leave this heavenly cloud of a bed, but breakfast was calling!
The breakfast room has a little nook you can sit in that has windows on three sides, so you feel like you're eating outside (which we couldn't do because it was sadly raining). In addition to the lovely atmosphere, we were offered healthy breakfast options like smoothies and overnight oats, to get us going on the right track first thing in the morning!
I'd be lying if I did not tell you that I slipped back into bed post breakfast! After a bit more relaxing however, it was time to check out and get on with our day. It was sadly still a bit rainy when we were ready to head out, but the lovely folks at The Hotel Portsmouth were very accommodating and told us to hang out as long as we wanted! So, we headed back into my favorite room (the blue room) to hang out and wait for the rain to taper off some!
Portsmouth During The Day
Having done most of our damage shopping the day before, we wanted to spend the afternoon just wandering and taking in what Portsmouth had to offer. You really can have a great time just wandering through the small streets of the town, but in case you're the slightest bit like me and have retail needs to satisfy, then check out my favorite stores we found below...
- Birchrose + Co.
- Bobbles & Lace
- Byrne & Carlson Chocolatier
- Cotillion Bureau
- Lit Boutique
- Portsmouth Book & Bar
- SAULT New England
- Sea Bags
- Stock + Spice
- Stonewall Kitchen
And then just as quickly as we arrived, it was time to head home to Boston. I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I loved Portsmouth! I went into the trip not having done much prior research (a rarity for me) and without a lot of expectations, and it turned out to be wonderful. Isn't it funny how that happens sometimes...
One thing that definitely met and exceeded my expectations was The Hotel Portsmouth! I have known of the Lark Hotel group for some time now. Their properties always look like the perfect place to escape to, and the Hotel Portsmouth definitely fit the bill. A big thank you to everyone there for having us! I can't wait to visit the lovely town of Portsmouth, NH again!
Don't think that I forgot to include the details on my outfits for this trip. Keep scrolling for more on this!
Click on an image below to shop each piece directly :)
I linked some of the items that I am seen wearing in this post, in case you wanted to know where I got them. I can't recommend each of these items enough! I wear them all separately with other outfits all of the time, and the bag is the perfect weekender...and on sale!
All images by Emily Luongo and Mackenzie Lee