A Getaway to Watch Hill, R.I
So once upon a time, in my old life, going away for a couple of nights with the hubster was no big deal. Heck, it was kind of expected and part of "what we did." Now it's a treat that comes few and far between. As in a delicious 3 scoop sundae after you have been eating carb-less and sugar free for three weeks. Whaaat?! Two whole mornings where neither one of us is up early with the kids! The reality is you should continue to date your spouse even after you have children. It's good for you individually, and as a couple, which then trickles down to this kids. Everybody wins. So Trevor and I were trying to plan a couple of nights where we could get child care covered by Team Grandparents and go somewhere relatively close, just in case we needed to get home quickly. I had never been to Watch Hill, Rhode Island. Misqusmicut, yes; Newport, yes; but no Watch Hill! What kind of Connecticuter am I?! So I consulted the person who best knows travel and all things travel fabulous, my sister-in-law Tina. Of course she had been there and had a whole list of suggestions for me starting with Ocean House. However, with standard room rates around a thousand bucks a night it was not within our weekend getaway budget, but we did have an amazing breakfast there. More on that to come. So I'm going to give you a run down of the cozy, charming, and fabulous destination of Watch Hill, R.I. and why, in my opinion, it truly is the perfect quick getaway for any busy couple.
First of all, we live in central Connecticut and Watch Hill, located in the town of Westerly, R.I is only an hour and 15 minute ride for us. My first impression of this quaint coastal village was that it reminded me of Newport, yet on a much smaller scale. It is much cozier and less commercialized. My research began with where to stay. My goal was to find a place that offered convenience, location and affordability. Needless to say there are very few options that fit that bill. We ended up staying at a place called Watch Hill Court. The location, which is 20 Bay Street, overlooks Watch Hill Bay and was in walking distance to all of the area points of interest for us. This place has old cottagey charm. Nothing fancy, but quaint and makes you really feel at home, and yet right at the beach! The price point was under $300 a night, for their weekday rate which was great compared to all other options in that area which were $650 and up (yikes!) Kaylin, the manager, was extremely helpful and accommodating. They had extra parking spots so they let our friends park their car there for the day while we all went to the beach.
On our way into Watch Hill we wanted to stop and grab some sandwiches for the beach. We stopped at the infamous area restaurant, The Cooked Goose. The wait to get hot sandwiches to go was 30 minutes! But we ordered cold so it was much faster. This place is fantastic. They also have the most amazing homemade cookies, we grabbed two of those as well. So off we were to go meet up with some friends who were going to spend our first day and evening with us, but were not staying the night.
I had done a little research and thought that East Beach was our best option. It is free to get in, very large AND we literally sat in front of Taylor Swift's house, BONUS! We parked at our hotel and walked around the corner to East Beach for the day. If you are planning to only go for the day, we did see some parking lots along the way and parking will run you around $35 for the day. There are also other beaches with public restrooms and lifeguards, but East Beach was not one of them. If I were to take my children I would have opted for Carousel Beach, which does charge admission ($9), but offers more facilities. So, my review of East Beach is that it was gorgeous. We looked to the right and there was the light house, to the left and there was the Triple Five Star Diamond rated hotel, the Ocean House, and then of course mansions in between. The only thing to warn you of are the Watch Hill seagulls. These damn birds are AGGRESSIVE. I was sitting eating my delicious egg salad sandwich with bacon from The Cooked Goose and the seagull swooped down, snatched it right out of my hand, and scratched my leg with its claws! Throughout the day we watched many a sandwich and snack get looted by these pesky gulls. So beware!
After our beach day we left, went back to Watch Hill Court and showered up for dinner. The boys went down to put our name in at Olympia Tea Room, which is a very popular establishment that fills up fast around dinner time. Although the place gets great reviews I honestly was only moderately impressed. The view is beautiful, we sat outside and saw the sunset over Watch Hill Bay, and of course got to people watch all of the beachgoers make their way back to their cars and hotels. For appetizers we ordered the mussels which were flavorful, but very small and the fried calamari which was good, but nothing mind blowing. For dinner, my husband ordered the pasta bolognese which was again good, but not great. It was definitely a meat sauce, but lacked the richness and slightly creamy texture that a true, slow cooked bolognese has. *Side note - if you want THE BEST bolognese and perhaps also the best italian food I have ever had, Mama Luisa's in Newport, R.I. will blow your mind. But, I digress. So, Trevor had some bolognse in need of a little work, I had braised short ribs that lacked flavor and were drowning in fat. I actually had to switch halfway through with my husband and go for his "lighter" pasta option because the ribs were too heavy. A friend of ours ordered the pork which was the best meal out of the group. Our server was clearly very busy, but also clearly in a rush and quite frankly very rude at times. She delivered our hot dishes of food and did not warn anyone they were hot. When our friend said to her "wow you could have warned me this dish was so hot." Her response was "oh come on its not that hot, you're tough." So needless to say I would not give high recommendations to Olympia Tea Room, but it was convenient and did have a nice view.
We did indulge in some homemade ice cream down the street at the St. Clair Annex. It was delicious. Highly recommend the pistachio, be aware they only take cash!
Day 2 was a relaxing beach day for just Trevor and I. However, before we headed over to Taylor's (hehe) we did go for breakfast at the Cooked Goose. Trevor had the homemade corned beef hash, and a biscuit and gravy meal. All very good. Gravy could have been a little creamier and plentiful, but sausage had good flavor. I had the lobster eggs benedict, also very good. Fantastic, attentive and friendly server. Would definitely recommend.
For dinner that night I scheduled us for the weekly pig roast that the Weekapaug Inn holds on Monday nights during the summer. It is a buffet style, pre-fix menu and offers all kinds of seasonal dishes in addition to the pig. And for an added bonus they have s'mores by the fire until 10pm. Oh yeah and unlimited beer and wine is included in the price of dinner. It is a pretty swanky upscale place amidst a neighborhood of exquisite "beach houses" aka mansions. But the waitstaff was very friendly as were the other diners, most of whom were staying there. We had a lovely evening there and the food was fantastic. I hope to go back again!
Our last morning we woke up late, got ready and decided to walk around town a bit and grab breakfast. We dressed pretty nicely so I said to Trevor lets go have breakfast at Ocean House. So we did. It was STUNNING. Last time I experienced that kind of luxury was when we were on our honeymoon at the Waldorf Astoria in Rome. The meal was good. I had buckwheat pancakes with fresh berries and a goat cheese chantilly cream and honey drizzle. The ratio of pancake, to berries to cream needed some work, but the waitress was very accommodating in bringing more cream and honey. Trevor had a breakfast burrito that was also very good. I had a peach bellini, because why not? All I can say about this place is wow, I hope to see you again soon Ocean House, wink wink.
So then we packed things up and headed home. We made a pit stop and walked around Mystic, CT for a bit and grabbed a late lunch at another one of my favorite restaurants, The Pita Spot. It is a Lebanese, Mediterranean Grill and the best Mediterranean food I have had since being in Greece and Turkey. It is authentic and delicious. The LaLa chicken is my favorite. We love bringing the kids to Mystic Aquarium because then we have an excuse to stop at The Pita Spot!
So all in all, our two night getaway to Watch Hill was absolutely wonderful. It was just what we needed to recharge and spend some quality time together. By the way, Ocean House and Weekapaug Inn have all kinds of fun events (for the whole family) throughout the fall and winter. Check out the events schedule here and don't miss out!