Charles Briggs was a cabinetmaker before he and his wife Bea bought this circa-1836 house along the Delaware River and restored it, and his skill at joinery is evident in the handcrafted armoires that hide TVs, the baths tucked into eaves, the handsome cabinets masking air conditioners. Decor is a mad mix of murals, antlers, luxe linens, maracas and farm implements, which sounds much more chaotic than the net effect — homey and not at all
museum-like. The tearoom shows off local artists’ works as well as the talents of chefs Karen Bean and Pat Ermeling; the basil/Swiss/tomato omelet and poached pear in a light cream sauce are as delectable as the cookies at tea.
On a recent trip, manager Richard Bauer told us to walk across the bridge to browse the charming shops at Milford, and to eat at the Milford Oyster House. (“The garlic salad and steamed oysters are Bea’s favorites.”) Listen to Richard.
Favorite moment: awakening just at dawn to the cries of a loon, in time to see the sun rise over a mist-curtained river strewn with cranes. Charles and Bea have been at this for 27 years, and their hospitality is as sure and true as the woodwork at this inn.
Book it: 1525 River Road, 610-982-5856, bridgetonhouse.com.
Rooms: 12, including 4 suites (1 is pet-friendly).
Rate per night: From $169 (weekday) to $429 (weekend); 2-night weekend
minimum, 3 on holidays.
Snacks: Afternoon tea; pre-dinner sherry and nibbles.
Meals on-site: Breakfast.
Don’t miss: The raspberry bars at teatime. No, the pumpkin bread. No, the iced orange cookies.
Souvenir: Homestead Coffee Roasters’ “Bridgeton House” blend.
While away the hours: The canal towpath is a weirdly alluring mix of hiking and eavesdropping; you pass by people’s backyards, get barked at by their dogs, and wind up having pastries on the patio of the Homestead General Store.