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New Hampshire Local Secrets 2010

New Hampshire Local Secrets 2010
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by in May 2010

Best Dinner at the Farm
BUNTEN FARMHOUSE KITCHEN, Orford
Chris Bunten grew up in this handsome brick farmstead before working in restaurants nationwide and marrying classically trained chef Bruce Balch. Today, the couple turn super-rich milk from their Devon cattle into butter, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream, served with other local ingredients. 1322 Route 10. 603-353-9252; www.thebuntenfarm.com

Best Cafe
CASTLE IN THE CLOUDS CARRIAGE HOUSE CAFE & PATIO, Moultonborough
The flowery terrace seems suspended somewhere between the sky and Lake Winnipesaukee, part of a spectacular 5,500-acre mountaintop estate; its mansion is a popular tourist attraction. Admission to the big house is extra; locals know it’s unnecessary if you’re just coming to the cafe. 455 Old Mountain Road (Route 171). 603-476-5900; castleintheclouds.org

Best Cultural Experience
SAINT-GAUDENS NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE, Cornish
Mount Ascutney forms a lovely backdrop to the sweeping lawns of Aspet, summer home of the late sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. It’s a splendid site for summer Sunday-afternoon picnics, followed by music in the Little Studio. July and August concerts are free with admission. 139 Saint-Gaudens Road (off Route 12A). 603-675-2175; nps.gov/saga

Best Little Golf Club
HOOPER GOLF CLUB, Walpole
Walpole’s summer hotels have vanished, but this highly rated vintage nine-hole hilltop course survives. The venue’s handsome 1788 clubhouse, once known as the Watkins Tavern, offers lunch and dinner. 166 Prospect Hill Road. 603-756-4080; hoopergolfclub.com

Best Hangout
EATON VILLAGE STORE, Eaton Center
Combining the local post office, general store, and only lunch counter for miles around, it’s also an unusually hospitable oasis, with good burgers and a blackboard menu of sandwiches “particular to the premises,” such as turkey, bacon, and cranberry with a “schmear of mayo.” Orchestrating the flow of food, coffee, and gossip, manager Phil Kelly is more than equal to the task. Route 153. 603-447-2403; www.evps.org

Best Hardware-Store Dining
THE DALEY CAFE AT THE OTHER STORE, Tamworth Village
Sharing space with Indian Mound Hardware, Kate Thompson’s delightful eatery offers a view of the Swift River and turns local ingredients into great soups, salads, sandwiches, and pies. Thursday pre-theater dinner (BYOB) if you’re heading over to watch The Barnstormers. 77 Main St. 603-323-8872

Best Cycle to the Water
BREWSTER BEACH, CARRY BEACH, ALBEE BEACH, WENTWORTH STATE PARK, Wolfeboro
Avoid parking headaches by biking to four fine public beaches in the Granite State’s lake country. From the village it’s 4 miles to Brewster Beach and 6 to Carry Beach on Lake Winnipesaukee. Then hit the Cotton Valley Trail, which leads 4 miles to Albee Beach and 10 to Wentworth State Park, both on Lake Wentworth. Get directions and rental bikes at The Nordic Skier. 47 North Main St. 603-569-3151; nordicskiersports.com

Best Retro Venue
RED RIVER THEATRES, Concord
Housed in the capital city’s newest office building, this theatre shows an eclectic mix of first-run and period pieces, often with workshops, panel discussions, and receptions with filmmakers and actors. 11 South Main St. 603-224-4600; redrivertheatres.org

Best Short Hike
ROLLINS STATE PARK, Warner
The old carriage road ascends 300 vertical feet in half a mile, and from there it’s a quick scramble to the summit of Mount Kearsarge, with its 360-degree view of white villages, blue lakes, and patchwork pastures. Kearsarge Mountain Road (off Route 103). 603-456-3808; nhstateparks.org

Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

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