The 1761 Old Mill in Westminster, Mass., is, without a doubt, one of the most scenic, special restaurants in New England.
The first sight of this former 1761 saw mill creates a visual wonderland of traditional New England charm that wonderfully saturates the senses -- even though it is hard to decide where to look first. The elongated rustic restaurant, the sweet-smelling waterfall, the pond graced by ducks, and walk-through covered footbridges with babbling brooks underneath help create a classic New England setting at this rustic, rural dining spot. If there was no restaurant here, the scenery, alone, would be enough to satisfy the New England traveler.
The beautiful waterfall at the Old Mill.
For those who can never get enough of authentic New England travel experiences, however, the quaint scenes continue right into the restaurant -- and regional favorite foods to bring one right into a true taste of New England. The lobby features a seasonal roaring fireplace while the front room, to the right, has a lovely view of the pond through some lovely old-fashioned windows. The Cracker Barrel Lounge provides a cozy, informal setting -- the idyllic type of place a traveler would hope to experience in New England when looking for a relaxing, regional setting for food and drinks. Ultimately, every step of the way through the 1761 Old Mill feels like a special, one-of-a-kind dining experience that never gets old. I know, having first dined here as a kid in 1972 and always remembering the joys of a Sunday morning brunch, Sunday evening all-you-can-eat lobster buffet and, outside, feeding the ducks with day-old bread graciously given to us by staff.
The Sunday night lobster buffet went away many years ago,
but the Sunday morning brunch and the chance to feed the ducks still
remain traditional favorite things to do at the Old Mill. The
brunch is still the best I have been to in New England with the
homemade corn fritters and pecan rolls, carved ham and roast beef
stations, scrambled eggs, bacon and made-from-scratch desserts, cakes
and pastries first filling the plates (yes, plates!) first.
Lunch and dinner recommendations include the mouthwatering
burgers, hearty New England clam chowder, roast country duck with a
pecan apple stuffing (choice of orange sauce or country gravy), and the
chicken vegetable pie with tender chicken,
fresh vegetables and a tremendous, flaky crust. The Old Mill Sizzler is
a great choice, too, with a thick cut of prime rib grilled with
peppers, onions and mushrooms on a hot sizzle platter, with teriyaki
sauce. For seafood, go with the baked stuffed haddock with a
seafood stuffing and topped with a lobster Newburg sauce -- phenomenal!
sampling the excellent homemade deserts like apple crisp or carrot
cake, head down some narrow, creaky stairs and you'll find a
candle-scented, old-fashioned gift shop with stone floors and
comforting music in the background.
For many of the aforementioned reasons, the 1761 Old Mill has gained popularity as a special occasion place. I remember my mom and dad always bringing family and friends to the Old Mill as a go-to place. I followed in that tradition, as our morning-after-the-wedding get together took place at the Old Mill for the Sunday brunch. Twenty years later after that memorable weekend, some family members from various parts of the country -- who had never been to the Old Mill before -- still reminisce fondly about their wonderful experience.
of the covered footbridges at the 1761 Old Mill in Westminster.
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