We recently stayed several days at the Putnam House B&B. Located on a hilltop in scenic Sutton, Massachusetts, the house is a restored 1737 New England farmhouse with attached (huge!) barn which has been painstakingly restored to its former beauty. With the exception of necessary updates such as a modern kitchen (but still with the old floors and barnboard walls) the house looks much like it would have in the 18th century. We stayed in the Carriage House, which connects the main house and the enormous red barn. This suite consists of a comfy bedroom with queen bed, full bath, dining area and living room, and a small kitchen. Attached is a large solarium filled with tropical plants. Innkeeper Margaret Bowden and husband Martyn provide a homey, comfortable atmosphere in their guest rooms. The furnishings are a mix of colonial and eclectic, generously sprinkled with pewter, pottery, artwork, seashells and assorted whimsies -- obviously the product of a lifetime of collecting little treasures. Everywhere there are books - art books, literature, essays, and history. Three rescued dogs also make their home with the Bowdens, but their presence is not obtrusive.
Margaret serves up a breakfast to die for, or perhaps from. This is no chain-hotel "Continental breakfast" of stale mini-muffins and dry cereal! A typical breakfast begins with baked fruit, fresh-squeezed orange juice, spiced cider, and a big pot of hot chocolate made from scratch. Then comes a rich egg casserole loaded with fresh veggies and herbs she grew herself, savory homemade sausages, and assorted muffins, also studded with fresh raspberries from the bushes growing just outside the solarium in the stonewall-surrounded back garden. She even accommodated my gluten sensitivity with an assortment of specially baked treats and gluten free toast. The food is wonderful, filling, and nutritious. With a breakfast like this every day, lunch is no longer a necessity.
Unlike some so-called B&B's where the owners never even make an appearance, the Bowdens have lived in this house for 40 years. They are very familiar with the area and points of interest, and love to share information about the surrounding area and its history, especially their beautiful home. They graciously gave us a tour of the house and explained in detail the exhaustive renovations which brought back each room as close as possible to its original design and appearance. A professor at Clark University, Martyn is also a history buff and a writer, as well as heavily involved in the local soccer scene. Margaret enjoys birdwatching, gardening, and - obviously - cooking. They are a charming and delightful couple.
The accommodations are comfortable, the food superb, and the innkeepers friendly and engaging. We will definitely return here on a future stay.