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Founded in 1756, this stunningly renovated inn and restaurant, nestled in several wooded acres along the Boston Post Road, deftly mixes meticulous 18th century architectural and interior design details with a bold contemporary aesthetic punctuated by eye-catching wall canvasses and small objets d'art throughout. Not surprisingly, the property hosts several dozen weddings yearly and wisely exploits its close proximity to the scenic Lieutenant River as a draw. We've placed several guests there since 2016 (we live a few blocks away) and everyone has departed happy and eager to return. Truly a lovely place.
Do NOT not risk having my experience.. I specifically chose this venue because promised to handle everything and appeared to have excellent staff and experience. I went through a year of preparation with two different coordinators only for none of my plans to be found on the day of. My coordinator had been there a long time but she quit. Then her replacement was great but unfortunately had an injury and could not be there the day of my wedding. The Inn assured her everything was under control. It was chaos, no one showed up for my rehearsal or for the meeting the morning of to set up decor and review plans for the day. Instead of getting ready and exchanging gifts and sharing memories with my family and friends, I was running around looking for any staff that worked there and explaining to my bridal party and family why we were standing around in the heat and no one from the Inn was showing up. The entire timeline was delayed. They wouldn’t let my vendors into the building so I lost paid hours of hair and makeup, photography and they wouldn’t allow my florist to set up decor which I’d paid her to do. They had no record of all the meal choices I submitted so they took all 85 guests’ orders, which made the dinner and reception even later- I had to give up the bouquet toss and even song dedications we’d asked for. I had random staff asking me to explain things to them and multiple people complained about staff being rude. I was even approached by staff asking me who I was and why my dog was there (I had paid a 300 dollar fee in advance to have my small 14 pound dog with me) and telling me they had no idea what the plans were for my wedding but that someone would be there soon who could help. I still do not know who was supposed to show up to handle the coordinators responsibilities. It’s been one month since my wedding and two weeks since I emailed the owners reasonably hoping to address my concerns and I’ve not gotten any response. I have never shared any kind of negative review before, but I would hate to see another bride have the experience that I did. I absolutely fell in love with this venue when I saw it but I would have rather held my wedding somewhere else and actually enjoyed my one day that I do not get back.
The key we were given to the front door of the inn did not work. We came back at 1 am after a delightful evening of celebrating with family. We tried the key for 45 minutes with no luck. We called and texted the number outside the inn on a sign (innkeepers #) and received a recording that it was not a number in service.At 2am had to go back to family's home to disturb them, so we could stay there for the remainder of the pm. (it was either that or sleep in our car) Next morning upon returning to the inn we went for breakfast. although I had requested a vegan option for breakfast and non dairy milk for coffee, nothing was available. The cook said she never received notification, although they confirmed my request prior to arrival. My partner said the eggs were cold and everything was low, while no one appeared to be replenishing food. Coffee mugs and silver wear basically gone. Upon speaking with the inn keeper about our issues, he did not appear very sincere or apologetic. He never even offered to try and get me something for breakfast. Regarding his phone number on the sign outside the door, he looked at it and said (412) that should be (413) regarding the area code!!!!!!!!!! Kind of an important fact to get right. The cook told me that they had some trouble with keys sticking, but no one took the time to check the key with us or before giving it to us to make sure it worked. I got a refund for the stay, which is good, since we never even slept there. i wasn't happy with how i was treated by the owner, and I would not stay here again, or recommend the place to anyone.
It started when I arrived after hours and nobody bothered to tell my my room key was taped to the door? Really, that includes a key to the main entrance which, to me, would definitely question the safety of other guests staying there with keys taped to the door. I woke up after my first night there in a room with peeling wallpaper, paint peeling on the ceiling and a sewer stench when showering. The grossest part was that I found two very long hairs on my pillow case, I am a guy with short hair, so guess what, they didn't change the pillowcases at the very least......gross right? Worse yet is the thought that they most likely didn't change the sheets either. This is unforgivable. The room looked like it has not been touched in decades. The once jewel of Old Lyme and the CT shore has been turned into a lump of coal by the current owners. Other guests mentioned similar concerns. I left as soon as I could secure other lodgings. The staff is not even friendly for the most part. The continental breakfast was cold one day and the strata served another day was like a salt lick. Gross. I spoke to the owners and voiced my concerns when I left but they did nothing and gave me no assurances nor did they discount my stay. I will be taking this up with my credit card company, what was promised was definitely not delivered upon. Stay elsewhere. The food may be good for dinner but that is about it (I did not eat there), The decor looks like a grandmother gone wild. Fake flowers, junk everywhere, sponge painted walls, meh. This used to be a very high end place to stay, it no longer is worth bothering with. Sad to see it fall into a state of neglect. I will never stay here again.
My husband and I spent two lovely nights at The Bee & Thistle It’s a charming Inn. Every room is different, so you can choose which one you would like to stay in by looking at the choices. A breakfast is offered every morning and The staff is very friendly. The grounds are lovely. Very cozy. Comfortable beds and extremely immaculate. We recommend this Inn with high ratings.
It has been quite awhile since we’ve been here for dinner. It’s an hour drive for us. I suggested to friends who live 10 minutes away that we meet for dinner. They let’s do it on a Thursday...they have a great special. Dinner for two: 2 appetizers, 2 entree, two desserts and a complimentary bottle of wine for $75 plus tax and tip per couple! The chef decides on two selections of each course from the regular menu for you to choose from. We started in the lounge where the bar is...and were informed it was still happy hour. There were people eating in there...one group of four people seemed to be sharing larger appetizers & enjoying happy hour! Our table was in the main dining room in front of a gas fireplace, which felt perfect on a chilly evening. Our meals made each of us very happy. Hearty spring green salad: GOAT CHEESE / FENNEL / RADISH / CITRUS VINAIGRETTE or carrot with ginger soup & crème fraîche. Lovely Faroe Island Salmon and Hanger Steak. Bread pudding and strawberry shortcake were our choices. I believe the menu varies some from week to week with some choices always on the menu. The service was outstanding in the lounge and the dining room. Very helpful and extremely pleasant staff. We couldn’t have had a better evening catching up with friends than we did at The Bee and Thistle Inn.
just spent a cold Saturday night and had dinner at The Bee and Thistle. The house is beautiful. The dining room cosy with gas fires to sit in front of. Service was top notch. The food was terrific. Well prepared and inventive. I do suggest smaller portions! We could barely finish and had no room for what looked like very good desserts. We stayed in room 3. King size bed. As mentioned in other reviews, the fireplaces are more electric heaters and gas in the dining and common areas. Not the same effect as a crackling wood fire. Bedding is good quality.
We stayed here for a weekend getaway. First the bad. The Inn is charming but I will say I was shocked to discover that the fireplaces were all gas. They didn’t even have blowers on them so they did nothing to warm the main rooms. We were hoping for charm, warmth and smell of a wood burning fire. We had been hoping to hang out in front of fireplace reading our books -but we couldn’t hang out in any of the main rooms because they were freezing even with the gas fireplaces. As for the good- the restaurant is incredible. Food and attention to detail was amazing. Staff couldn’t have been nicer. We appreciate all the quirks of these very old inns and found it charming. We would stay again- but not in cold weather.
I have stayed at Lynn and Michael's lovely B & B several times in the past few years as my son and his family live nearby. I always book Joe's retreat - a 1 bedroom suite with a full kitchen and beautiful modern bathroom. I have stayed here winter and summer and each visit has been as enjoyable as the last. Although this is a wonderful venue - inside and out and very convenient being just a few blocks from Commercial drive - it is the hosts wonderful hospitality that puts it at the top of my list. For example, I was there over New Years, and became quite sick towards the end of my visit. As I was asking about the possibility of a later check-out time because of being not well, they went overboard offering all kinds of help - getting medication for me, and offering to share their homemade soup supper. I find the prices reasonable and look forward to my next visit - hopefully by this summer. Rosemary McCarthy Montreal, QC January, 2109
I love the Bee and Thistle! The Chestnut Grille has always been consistently fantastic, but this year, finally had a chance to take advantage of the winter package, including the Royal Tea (really lovely), 2 tickets to the Florence Griswold museum next door, an overnight stay in a lovely, comfortable bed and room and a wonderful breakfast in the morning. Being there is like visiting an old friend's wonderful house, just cozying up somewhere, having great conversations and food... Met some nice people, including the wonderful, 5 star staff, including Jackie and Tosh and some great guests at the bar. Just lovely, a wonderful 24 hours, completely relaxing, as though we were away for a week. The Inn was decorated beautifully for the holidays and every detail of our stay was perfection~
Bee and Thistle Inn places you next to Florence Griswold Museum and within a 10-minute drive of Essex Steam Train. This 3.5-star inn has 10 guestrooms and offers conveniences like free breakfast, free in-room WiFi, and free self parking.
Free full breakfast is served each morning from 8 AM to 9:30 AM. Enjoy a bite to eat at the inn's fine-dining restaurant, or relax with a drink at the bar/lounge. Order from room service to satisfy your hunger without leaving your room.
Guests can expect to find free WiFi. Beds sport premium bedding and the bathroom offers free toiletries.
Guests of Bee and Thistle Inn enjoy access to free WiFi in public areas, spa treatment rooms, and coffee in a common area. There's free parking if you drive. The front desk has multilingual staff that can help with concierge services and luggage storage. Other amenities at this spa inn include free newspapers, a picnic area, and a garden.