One the second weekend of December in the Mount Washington Valley there is a Cookie Tour taking place. For the last 13 years on this weekend, 15 Inns open their doors and their kitchens and serve up cookies to the several hundred guests who walk through.
This is one of the sweetest weekends you can imagine.
All of the 15 inns offer special packages so that you can stay at one of them and enjoy being right in the middle of things. Al and I stayed at the Riverbend Inn which I have to say is a great choice since not only is it lovely but it is located near one end of the tour.
Tickets for the two day tour are $27 each person. What you receive are a ticket which also has a listing of all the participating Inns. As you visit each Inn you have them stamp your ticket and at the last Inn you visit you receive a brass ornament if you have completed the entire tour. At each of the Inn you can pick up a very nice recipe card for the each of the cookies that they are offering.
In 2008 there was also a gingerbread contest and almost all the Inns had at least one entry on display. You voted for which one you think should be awarded first, second and third place. The problem is you have to do this at the end and it isn’t always easy to remember each of the entries. I took pictures to help me remember but I am still not sure I got it right.
Along with cookies most of the Inns offered something to drink. It could be coffee or tea, hot apple cider or hot chocolate. After the first couple of inns we were too full of cookies to eat the ones we got. Some of the Inn were aware that this was going to happen and provided plastic or paper bags, Some of the other participants carried their own with them, not a bad idea at all. Some of the inns even bagged them all up individually which we found to be a very nice option.
The offerings were coordinated so no two were offering the same cookies. Some were more amazing than others but I have never met a cookie I didn’t like. Al on the other hand is not a big cookie lover but my attitude was, more for me!
Beyond the cookies and drinks you also get to tour at least one room in the inn. This was as far as I was concerned the best part. Okay I am exaggerating but it was great. I saw a lot of rooms that made me want to spend some time at these Inns. We also took the time to talk to as many of the Innkeepers or Owners as possible. There is a real variety from down-home cozy to drop dead elegant, all different and all very interesting.
The Inns who participated in 2008 are:
Darby Field Inn in Albany;
the Bartlett Inn in Bartlett;
Riverbend Inn in Chocorua;
Inn at Crystal Lake and Pub in Eaton;
Admiral Peary House in Fryeburg, Maine;
Covered Bridge House in Glen;
Notchland Inn in Hart's Location;
the 1785 Inn and Glen Oaks Inn in Intervale;
Inn at Ellis River and Inn at Jackson both in Jackson;
Lake View Cottage in Madison;
Eastman Inn, Old Red Inn & Cottages and Wildflowers Inn in North Conway.
The dates for 2009 are December 12 and 13. Tickets for just the tour go on sale December 1 and go fast so order them early. To find out more visit their website at
While this was fun to do with Al, it would be even more fun as a girl friends weekend.