Wednesday April 23rd 2014

27 wonderful ways to stay warm this winter. Wow!

By: Shannon Bryan

Fire pit tables! Genius! Dine outside at Linda Bean’s, Freeport, with the help of some warming table-top flames. I sure hope they serve marshmallows. Shannon Bryan photo

Fire. It’s a classic way to warm up. And so … pretty … to stare at …

And seeing as winter isn’t letting up on the frigid temperatures, even though most of us started looking ahead to spring about six weeks ago, it helps to know where the local heat sources are. So, keep chanting “It can’t last forever” and take advantage of these ways to stay warm:

Outdoor fire:

There’s nothing like sipping a warming drink or tucking into a good meal by a roaring fire. Outdoor fires are few and far between in the heart of winter, but Linda Bean’s Maine Kitchen in Freeport and Old Wines Wine Bar, Kennebunk have cool fire-pit tables to keep you warm in the snow.

The lounge at Inn by the Sea. Courtesy photo

Indoor fire:

If you’d rather be inside, there are fireplaces/woodstoves to warm your hide while you eat and drink at:
RiRa, Portland
Bull Feeney’s, Portland
20 Milk Street at the Portland Regency Hotel, Portland
East Ender, Portland
DiMillo’s, Portland
The Cafe, Portland
Snow Squall, South Portland
Inn by the Sea, Cape Elizabeth
158 Pickett Street Cafe, South Portland
Foreside Tavern, Falmouth
Portland Pie Company, Scarborough
Cape Neddick Inn, Cape Neddick
Abbondante, Kennebunk
The Thistle Inn, Boothbay Harbor

In fact, there are lots of ways to beat the chill around here.

Some heat-seeking suggestions from locals who know:

I couldn’t wait to get to Pai Men Miyake for excellent craft beers and perfectly steaming hot ramen. — Don Littlefield

“The bar at DiMillo’s has a mighty fine fireplace. And soup from Kamasouptra is a given. Beer & cheddar or sweet potato corn chowder are my faves.” — Jane Stevens

“Drinking a single malt scotch by the fireplace at Pat’s Cafe.” — Kevin Montminy

“1. sit by the fire at The East Ender and order a Bailey’s Irish Cream 2. cozy up with hot choc at Katy Made 3. a warm bowl of vegan butternut squash soup (made with local ingredients) at ROOST House of Juice. I could go on and on, but those are my favorites!” — Claire Jeffers

Portland Harbor Hotel bar has an awesome fireplace.” — James Johnson

“I set myself on fire but that’s not for everyone.” — Nichole Jandreau

“I love the saunas at USM’s Sullivan complex … .and the airport Holiday Inn has a hot tub for ‘guests’ (whatever that means)” – Nick Callanan

“The Cheddar-Ale Soup we sell at Sebago – made by Kamasouptra with our Runabout Red Ale! My favorite winter meal!” – Elise Loschiavo

“Day passes at the Regency Spa – sauna, hot tub.” – Sarah Curtis Long

Portland Power Yoga…the yoga is hot and the yogis are hotter” – Diana Ichton Nelson
There’s also hot yoga to be had at Greener Postures in SoPo and Falmouth.

“The only thing keeping me from turning into an icicle is the sauna/steamroom at the YMCA.” – Greta Rybus
(A day pass is $12.)

“Steam room at the Bay Club, third floor OCC.” – Jim Peak

We’d also add that de-icing your feet at Soakology in Portland always sounds like an inviting idea.

Got another suggestion? Post it in the comments.