The Inn at Lambertville Station accomplished the damn near impossible: It kept my husband happy while I shopped in the antiques and home stores on both sides of the bridge. Okay, maybe cable TV played a large role, but so did our spacious “San Francisco” suite, with Mission-style gas fireplace, dainty but comfy sofa, and broad ball-and-claw-foot oak table by the window where he could spread out his newspapers for the kind of extensive, all-morning reading I don’t always allow him at home. Consider the 45-room inn on the Delaware River a kind of B&B-plus; antiques, yes, but without the claustrophobia that can settle in with smaller, more “intimate” places.
Our weekend there oscillated between lounging and exploring; we slept in, took a jog on the canal paths, and ate at the Lambertville Station, a restored 1867 station house just across from the inn. We stuck to simple pleasures, like the lump crabcakes and roasted rack of lamb. But this month, the restaurant ups the adventure quotient with its annual wild – game season, serving elk, caribou and alligator through March. Another option is Rick’s, the local institution bought last year by chef Alex Cormier, who has kept Italian comfort food on the menu, but added more eclectic plates, like pork shank osso buco, and foie gras French toast with pumpkin bread.
Of course, the point of the trip was more shopping than eating (my point, anyway). Having just bought a house, I wanted to check out Blue Raccoon’s New Hope space, and peruse the shabby-chic digs at Grass Roots, among other stops. There’s also a new favorite in town: Monkey Hill (located in Blue Raccoon’s former spot), owned by Bruce Imber and Jobert Abueva, who until recently sold their inspired mix of antiques and hand-crafted accents out of ABC Carpet and Home in New York City. And yes, my husband even joined me in browsing for Art Deco sconces at Cockamamies and coffee tables at Blue Raccoon, though I did have to resort to bribes of chocolates at the Chocolate Box, on Union Street, and beer at the hotel’s laid-back honor bar, off the lobby.
The current winter getaway package, $95 for a one-night Sunday-through-Friday stay, includes a bottle of wine at check-in, and breakfast — a steaming basket of just-baked goodies delivered to your room.
»The Inn at Lambertville Station, 11 Bridge Street, Lambertville; 609-397-4400. Rooms from $125 to $305.
»Lambertville Station Restaurant, 11 Bridge Street, 609-397-8300;
lambertvillestation.com. Dinner for two, about $85 with wine.
»Rick’s Restaurant, 19 South Main Street; 609-397-0051. BYOB; dinner for two about $55.
»The Chocolate Box, 39 North Union Street, Lambertville; 609-397-1920.
»Monkey Hill, 6 Coryell Street, Lambertville; 609-397-3332.
»Blue Raccoon, 550 Union Square, New Hope; 215-862-1200.