All I knew is that I wanted to spend the last night of my 20’s in New Hope. It has become our favorite town over the years, mainly due to the restaurants and bars. I booked the evening of July 1st at a bed and breakfast called Porches. It was by complete accident. Everywhere else was booked solid, for both that night and the coming weekend. This place had one room left. We actually found it on Airbnb. Though I booked through their actual website since I’ve never done Airbnb before, that was the kind of happenstance that led to what would become a magical experience. I had debated doing two nights, and in just an hour or so, I changed my mind and went to add a second night at Porches. In just that brief span, the place was sold out. One night it would be.
I’ve never stayed at a bed and breakfast before. While I have eaten in many historic taverns, I’ve never actually slept anywhere historic (save for falling asleep during an overnight paranormal investigation at the museum I work at). This building was built in 1810 and served as a granary. Its close proximity to the canal and towpath illustrates the kind of importance to shipping and production that the town of New Hope once had in the eastern United States. We pulled onto the property, never having known it existed. It was tucked away, down a narrow path. You had to know it was there— you could not merely just pass it.
We got out of the car and were immediately greeted by Lisa, the owner of Porches. She told us that our room was ready (it was an hour before check-in) and guided us to it. We were staying in room six of the main house. Located at the end of the house, upon entering the room there was a small hallway, a couple of steps down, and then as it happens, that half of the house was divided into a suite-like room. The bathroom was on the left (toilet was separate, in a “water closet”) with the bedroom on the right. Our room came with a private balcony which we did not get to use due to a coming rain storm. All other rooms have access to the spacious wrap-around porch that serves as the inn’s namesake.
The fireplace, we were told, would be working in the fall and winter. But on these hot days, I was very happy to notice the air conditioning on full blast. Lisa was extremely knowledgeable about the property and area, and when I inquired if the building was haunted, she said that while she did not believe in ghosts, some guests over the years have reported experiences. Lisa also owns the nearby Aaron Burr house, and has only owned Porches for about a year. She had fallen in love with the property, and when the then-owner made it available for sale, she jumped at the opportunity.
After getting situated, we walked into town for afternoon cocktails at Greenhouse. Upon completion, it began to rain and we made a quick dash back to Porches. It was then that the skies opened up for a torrential thunderstorm. I sat on the porch, listening to the rumble of thunder and watching the rain fall into the extensive garden that abuts the house and towpath. It was a relaxing experience, enough to take away all your troubles in the world.
A couple of hours later, the rain ceased and we managed a quick walk through the garden before heading back into town for what would be my pre-birthday dinner. We ate at Martine’s (review to come soon) and then returned to Porches where I had a cigar on the porch. The rain began to fall again. The porch was dimly it, while a strand of lights gently illuminated the bushes in front. We noticed Lisa walking towards us from one of the other buildings on the property, and I asked her if it was indeed alright to be smoking. She said it was and that she would bring me an ash tray. She also said how happy it made her to see us enjoying and making use of the porch.
On her way inside, she asked if there was anything else we needed. I jokingly asked if there was any whiskey I could purchase off her for an after-dinner drink. Lisa said she would go to her personal bar and bring me back a bottle and I could leave her whatever amount I wanted. She emerged shortly after with bottles of Johnnie Walker Black Label and Forty Creek Barrel Select Canadian Whiskey, as well as a Stella Artois for Justin. We said goodnight and probably remained out there for another hour.
The next morning, we got to sample the complimentary breakfast that came with our stay. A lovingly prepared selection included a warm croissant with two kinds of jam (strawberry rhubarb and tart cherry), sausage, a scrambled egg bake, homemade yogurt with granola, and a not-pictured baked banana. There was also orange juice and coffee. Served on the downstairs porch next to the garden, it was quite a way to start the day.
Justin and I left there feeling that we could have easily stayed another night. This place was paradise. The location was within a few minutes walking distance of everything, yet it seemed so secluded. It was quiet and peaceful. Tranquil. The hospitality of our host and her staff enhanced everything even more. These are people that clearly love their job and making their guests happy. There is no other way for them to provide the service they did.
I hope you will take the time to “discover” Porches like Justin and I did. As avid visitors to New Hope for many years, we were surprised not only to find a place like this existed, but that it was so excellently managed. Check out their website for more information and to book yourself a little piece of paradise.