A Cozy Weekend in Chappy — Weekend douillet à Chappy

Chappaquiddick martha vineyard

Friends, P. and I

We have to rush to be able to get on the ferry on time. The 90 minute drive that separates Boston from Woods Hole seems much longer as we get stuck in traffic leaving the city. But then, as soon as we are on route 3, things move faster. We feel relieved as we then know that we will make it on time for the Friday night 5 O’clock ferry that is taking us to the island of Martha’s Vineyard. We are keen as we are meeting four friends for a few days. We know it will be Heaven because it will involve great company, cooking together, long times spent reading and taking walks on the beach or on the numerous trails that can be found around the island. All the things we love doing. We are staying in Chappy. This is how people call Chappaquiddick, I am told, but I much prefer the short version as it is much easier for me to remember. My memory of names is hopeless, and I sense that this might never change. I am excited as this is my first time visiting Martha’s Vineyard.

Chappaquiddick martha vineyard

Chappaquiddick martha vineyard

Chappaquiddick martha vineyard

We take a first larger ferry, then a small one in order to get to Chappy. It is pitch dark outside when four hours after leaving Boston, we finally arrive at the house. This tall four-level gorgeous house is cozy and seems to domineer the whole area. I cannot wait to see what it looks like when we wake up. But deep inside, I already know somehow. Serene and quiet, with not a soul to be found around, just what we need for a relaxing weekend. There are no shops in Chappy, and we do not even have an Internet connection. This disconnect with the busy life we normally have feels great.

The best thing about going to the beach during the colder season is that you have it all by yourself. And I mean really for yourself. And how better can it get when you know that are going to share a few days with friends playing games and chatting away. Besides, we are lucky. Amongst the bunch of us, two are marvelous chefs. When I realize that they have brought with them a petit salé for us to eat on the first night, I am beaming with joy. This is comfort food at its best: green lentils, sausage, kale with spices. I try to recall when I ate one for the last time. Possibly some time at my parents’, a few years back. I try to eat slowly to savor every mouthful, but it is hard because I am really hungry. We all are. The wine definitely brings some brighter color to our cheeks and only after a few sips, we feel warmer inside. At that point, I get a sense that the evening will be long.

Chappaquiddick martha vineyard

Chappaquiddick martha vineyard

Petit salé (Green Lentil Soup with Sausage)

Chappaquiddick martha vineyard

Chappaquiddick martha vineyard

We do little and love it. Just as if time had slowed down all around us. There is no schedule and we end up eating at very odd times, which feels great. I even learn to play Snatch and Apples to Apples

And so we take long beach walks and manage to get a peak at a Chili Contest festival held in Oak Bluffs, have a late lunch in town before seeing a movie. On the second day, L. decides to make a fabulous Georgian lamb soup: lamb, tomatoes, rice, spices and sour cream. It reminds me of the lovely food eaten at Pirosmani’s , a Georgian restaurant in the 6th arrondissement of Paris.

Chappaquiddick martha vineyard

Chappaquiddick martha vineyard

Georgian Lamb Soup

Chappaquiddick martha vineyard

G. prepares pancakes for us too. They are light as a feather. I see ricotta and egg whites whipped firm added to the batter. Is this the secret? We are unable to move further than one meter away from the stove, like dogs waiting for every crumb falling from the table. J. especially.

Chappaquiddick martha vineyard

Chappaquiddick martha vineyard

Enough energy to push us out for a long walk.

Chappaquiddick martha vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard gets busy in the summer, way too busy I know that much. In many ways, I also know that P. and I are lucky to have had a glimpse of it at a time of year when Nature remains quiet, beautiful and peaceful. Two days spent on the island is of course too short of a time to appreciate its variety but the way we experienced it will make it a special memory. We had friends, Nature, and the ability to share our love for good and simple food. Pretty good, isn’t it? Of course, I also promised to myself to ask — or beg depending on how successful I am at my first try — for L’s lamb soup and G’s airy pancake recipes. They won’t get away with it.

Posted in Food & Travel | 49 Comments

49 comments

  1. Thank you for making me discover an area I am not familiar with, and 2 more games on top of that!
    Love petit sale and miss my dad’s greatly!
    Beautiful photography! Glad you could relax.

  2. tes photos sont une fois de plus bluffantes! ce week end a l’air magique, en tout cas, vous avez tous l’air heureux! quel plaisir de voir ça!

  3. Bea, THANK YOU FOR THIS!

    I really really really needed this right now. It put a smile on my face and for just one moment I felt as if I was there.

    Thank you thank you thank you!

  4. Ah, Chappy in winter….your photos transport me right back there, after an absence of too long. Thank you for sharing your visit.

  5. whenever i hear about Martha vineyard is the peak of summer when its crowded great to see the winter photos.

    I first had my first lentil soup w sausage when I was in France here in Greece they dont add meat,,,

  6. J’ai tout lu, tout admiré, les liens vers les bios, les restaurants, leurs menus, tes photos. Vraiment, un superbe week-end, on le sent. Il y a quelques années, je suis allée au bord de la mer en plein mois d’octobre. La plage était vide, il n’y avait que nous. C’était magnifique.

  7. Spending time away with friends is one of the best things in life. And isn’t Apples to Apples fun?
    Beautiful photos! I love the browns and the greys.

  8. What a lovely weekend you spent there! Just looking at your pictures and reading your post makes me relaxed. It feels so good.

  9. hi bea! what stunning pictures you’ve take of the vineyard. i have family there and it’s been way too long…

    the soups look fantastic, YUM

  10. Such a beautiful, heartwarming post. And you capture that crisp clear winter light so perfectly.

    P.S. I love all your hats!!!

  11. I just learned of your site and I’m enjoying the comments, recipes and beautiful pictures. Thank you ou merci, continuez les bonnes nouvelles et bonnes choses. Antoinette

  12. Your pictures are awesome and Chappy looks like a very cozy place! You must have had a very good time there…

  13. A sense that the evening will be long but not long enough to get all the talk and laughing done. I love the beach in winter! We spent Christmas 2005 at a cabin on Lake Michigan! It is so different from the crowd and noise of summer. Beautiful solitude and quiet when you are with good people. What wonderful friends you have! Hope you get the soups and share.

  14. Belles photos. Je ne comprenais pas pourquoi les gens restaient dans leur voiture en regardant la mer enneigées un café chaud à la main. j’ai vite compris surtout sur le ferry avec le vent glacial. Je n’ai jamais eu aussi froid aux oreilles. C’est un endroit magnifique. Dans le même coin, J’ai bien aimé Hyannis Port , et Nantucket. merci pour le voyage.

  15. Bea – I think I’ve got a pretty good hartcho recipe at home (that’s the Georgian lamb soup with rice & tomatoes:) – happy to share it with you. And my fave local Georgian restaurant in Tallinn is also called Pirosmani:)

  16. waouh tu donnes envie de vous rejoindre !!
    Superbe week-end.
    Si je peux me permettre une question : sur la deuxième photo, as-tu retouché l’eau pour qu’elle ait ces reflets argentés si prononcés ou n’est-ce que le contraste naturel ?
    A ce propos, lorsque tu utilises des fonds pour tes photos culinaires, que choisis-tu comme matière ? Du feutre ? …
    Merci

  17. What a fun weekend! I love the ocean in the wintertime. Your food is beautiful as always.

  18. Un superbe week-end, cela fait rêver …Moi aussi, j’ai tout lu, est-ce que j’aurai un bon point ou, encore mieux, une image ? ;-)

  19. I love your fantastic recipes and wonderful photos, and now I’ve been allowed to share your wonderful weekend away at Chappy (which I’ve never heard of before) and more wonderful photos, food and words which shared beautifully your weekend with your great (and great looking) friends. More of the same please. Don’t stop with any of it.

  20. Oops – I have heard of Chappaquiddick, of course, I just meant I hadn’t heard the short name!

  21. Thanks for sharing this post! It was wonderful and definitely transported me, even for a few moments, to the place full of peace, nature, good friends, and good food…we all need weekends like this! Ahh…eating, reading, chatting, long walks…thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures Bea :)

  22. Ahh–I feel like I went on that trip myself! The pictures are marvelous–and the food is perfect. Thanks for taking me on a vacation in my mind! :)

  23. I have just found you through a comment you left somewhere. blog~surfing!
    I love going on your little trip…especially because I was warm and dry! Hate I missed the food though.
    I am making a link so I can take more trips…

  24. Wow bea, your pictures are so amazing. I am taken with how you managed to make a seemingly cold day so inviting! Your composition is impeccable! Looks like you all had a lot of fun too!

  25. Bea – what a lovely weekend you had and I absolutely love the colours of the pictures, they are beautiful and make me happy.

  26. Oh, it’s been much too long since I have visited Martha’s Vineyard. Just hearing you mention the MA highways and the ferry made me nostalgic for home (I’m originally from RI)!
    Your beautifully written entry and your spectacular photos have just transported me there. Thank you, Bea.

  27. Thank you so much for all of your sweet comments. I am glad you enjoyed the ride. If I managed to bring some warmth and smiles, then I am happy. You made my day too!

    Merci à tous de vos très gentils commentaires Si je vous ai un peu fait rêver, alors je suis heureuse! Thalie, non la photo n’a pas été retouchée, la couleur est comme cela. ;-) il y avait du gel et de la neige!

    Pille, oh yes, the recipe please pretty please ;-)
    Maybe it is time for some of you who know so well the place to take a trip ;-) Come on!

  28. c’est magnifique… ca donne envie d’y aller….
    les plages en hiver sont beaucoup plus magiques qu’en été je trouve et tes photos le montrent très bien!

  29. Superbe ballade Béa, merci à toi de nous avoir fait partager ce moment privilégié de découverte et d’amitié !

    Amicalement blog,
    Ingrid

  30. Ohhh, gorgeous photos and what a wonderful weekend you described. Lovely! I love the beach in winter, it has that special, cold light.

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  32. Sounds like you had a great time! The photos are wonderful, they even made me hungry at times. I’ll be sure to try that pancake recipe if you ever get your hands on it!

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  34. hello, i want to say that your blog is so amazing :) and very pretty, very pretty pictures u have here. and this article is written so nice :)

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  35. Merci :),
    I used to live in that house – once called the Chappy Hilton because it was forever full of travelling friends. And the house is no stranger to wonderful food. My parents (father born in Paris) had many who would come from France to live for the summer – Rosello, chef/owner of a restaurant outside Paris known for souffle Grand Marnier, and Papa Druz who lived with us for two summers and taught us all how to cook, par exemple … thanks for the photos and memories ..

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