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Wonderful New England scenery and cuisine highlight the 1761 Old Mill in Westminster, Mass.

by Eric Hurwitz. Article updated 5/18.2021.

1761 Old Mill restaurant in Westminster, Massachusetts
1761 Old Mill in Westminster.

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When in search of scenic, beautiful, historic New England travel destinations, the 1761 Old Mill Restaurant, Cracker Barrel Pub and Country Store stands as of the the few landlocked dining spots topping the list.

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.

Waterfall, side of restaurant at the Old Mill in Westminster, Mass.
Waterfall, side of restaurant.

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.

Scenic stream and covered bridge at the Old Mill restaurant in Westminster, Mass.
Stream, covered bridge at the Old Millt.

If there was no restaurant here, the scenery, alone, would be enough to satisfy the New England traveler.

Waterfall at the 1761 Old Mill Restaurant in Westminster, Mass.

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 the authentic side of traditional New England. It all starts with the one of the covered bridge entrances, front porch outside dining porch and other exterior places to eat with wonderful water views and good settings for social distancing dining.

Covered bridge entrance at the Old Mill
Covered bridge entrance/exit.

Waterfall at the 1761 Old Mill Restaurant in Westminster, Mass.
Dining on the front porch.

Outfoor dining by the brook at the 1761 Old Mill Restaurant in Westminster, Mass.
Dining by the brook.

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.

Roaring fireplace at the Old Mill restaurant in Westminster, Mass.
Roaring fireplace at the front lobby.

Each of the several quaint dining rooms provide 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. 

Sunday brunch at the Old Mill in Westminster, Mass.
Dining room at the Old Mill

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 including homemade corn fritters and pecan rolls, carved ham and roast beef stations, scrambled eggs and bacon.

Sunday brunch at the Old Mill in Westminster, Mass.
Sunday brunch at the Old Mill. Photo source: Old Mill Facebook page.

But the made-from-scratch desserts, cakes and pastries could very well be filling the plates first! Dessert table at the Old Mill Sunday brunch at the Old Mill in Westminster, Mass..
Homemade at the Old Mill. Photo source: Old Mill Facebook page.

When dining off the regular menu, things start off in grand New England style with the aforementioned corn fritters and homemade rolls, including the pecan version -- accompanied by soft, whipped butter and maple syrup. It's easy to fill up on these so be careful!

Homemade corn fritters and pecan roll  from the Old Mill restaurant in Westminster, Mass.
Corn fritters and pecan rolls

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.

Chicken pie  from the Old Mill restaurant in Westminster, Mass.
Chicken pie from the Old Mill

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. 

The Old Mill Sizzler Platter from the 1761 Old Mill in Westminster, Mass.
Old Mill Sizzler Platter. Photo source: Old Mill Facebook page.

For seafood, go with the baked stuffed haddock with a seafood stuffing and topped with a lobster Newburg sauce -- phenomenal! The baked scallops are a winner, also -- tender, juicy and flavorful.

Baked scallops from the Old Mill restaurant in Westminster, Mass.
Baked scallops.

After 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 (temporarily closed; limited merchandise available at front lobby area) with stone floors and comforting music in the background.

Gift shop at the Old Mill restaurant in Westminster, Mass.
Gift shop.

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.

The 1761 Old Mill has been in the Foster family since 1946 and shows no sign of wear and tear -- quite remarkable for a restaurant in business this long and located in an ancient structure. The traditional New England fare continues quite wonderfully and, additionally, the chance to order baked goods to take home like the pecan rolls and corn fritters serve as a chance to take home a taste of the Old Mill experience. Additionally, the 1761 Old Mill offers seasonal events including live music and dinner theater, as well as accommodating weddings, showers, bereavements, banquets and other events.

Whether serving as the center of a New England day or a sidebar to exploring largely rural north-central New England and the Mohawk Trail, the 1761 Old Mill represents true, traditional New England dining and scenic beauty.

1761 Old Mill Restaurant, Route 2A, Westminster MA. Tel. 978-874-5941. Facebook page:

The 1761 Old Mill restaurant in Westminster MA

1761 Old Mill restaurant, Westminster MA

Near the Old Mill: Great Wolf Lodge in Fitchburg. Features an indoor water park and four onsite restaurants!

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Books by Publisher Eric Hurwitz

Massachusetts Town Greens -- Discover New England's first travel attractions: town commons.

The Best Diners in New England -- If you love classic diners, New England has them! In my book, I write in detail on 50 top local diners.

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All this, and blogs too! Also, please check out our authentic, informative and entertaining New England travel blogs with original content: The Thrifty New England Traveler (New England travel ideas on a budget), The New England Travel and Vacation Gazette (more original New England travel articles), and Old School Boston (warm memories of Boston and New England from back in the day).

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