The Best B&B Getaways: The Gables
67 miles from Philadelphia (1 hour and 45 minutes by car)
At this lemon-lime-and-raspberry-sherbet-painted B&B a block from the ocean, you sit down to breakfast on a gingerbread porch lined with huge baskets of pink petunias and dig into chef Matthew Buzzell’s French toast soufflé or organic eggs in a suave Benedict involving prosciutto and béchemel. At dinnertime, feast on Buzzell’s five-course prix fixe, which might feature smoked salmon, roasted beet salad with local goat cheese, handmade gnocchi, a petite beef Wellington, and chocolate molten lava cake with silken house-made coffee gelato. (There are à la carte options, too.) And then walk upstairs to the library, choose a book, and retire to your room, to read in your bed, beneath a luxe satin comforter, or on the velvet chaise heaped with embroidered pillows, or, best of all, in the vast Jacuzzi in the marble-tiled bathroom, where gauzy-sheer curtains let in the sea breeze, the robes are terry-lined charmeuse, and the towels are so plush, you may get lost in them.
Book it: 212 Centre Street, 609-492-3553, gableslbi.com.
Rate per night: $275 to $375 in-season (May 15th-October 16th), $195 to $275 off-season; 2-night minimum in season.
Snacks: Oh yeah. Warm powdered-sugar-dusted cookies (oatmeal raisin, chocolate chip, peanut butter) and mini muffins (bran, blueberry, cranberry) appear like magic in the library, along with Pellegrino.
Meals on-site: Breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner.
Insider tip: Dinner may be the best thing about the place — which is saying a lot.
Bonus: If it’s warm enough to hit the beach, owner Sondra Beninati provides beach tags, beach chairs, pretty beach towels — and, perennially, muffins for the drive home.
Don’t forget: Flip-flops. Sweater weather or no, a barefoot walk on the beach is a must.
While away the hours: There’s seductive shopping (handmade jewelry, nautical antiques) at the mall on 9th Street and North Bay Avenue. And the Surflight Theatre is practically next door; you can see its singing, dancing waitstaff as you take a postprandial stroll.