We’re halfway through the signature six-course degustation menu at The Restaurant at Spicer Mansion in historic Mystic, Conn., and life is looking very good indeed.

The inn’s talented executive chef, Jennifer Backman, has already presented us with a plump East Beach Blonde oyster, Hudson Valley foie gras and Georges Bank sea scallops, all prepared to perfection.

Our table, one of only six in the intimate gray- toned dining room, is set with Italian linens, Christofle silverware and a Baccarat crystal lamp.

A beautiful flower arrangement in the center of the room complements the antique furniture, Persian rug, parquet flooring and classic maritime art decorating the walls.

Still to come: homemade ravioli stuffed with Hopkins Farm lamb; a choice of New York beef or Long Island duck for the main course; and a delicious ice cream sundae paired with a flourless chocolate cake, spearmint and cherries.

Book an escape to this new and delightful New England retreat, located about three hours by car from New York City and only two hours from Boston, and you should definitely plan to arrive hungry.

As with all luxury hotels that are part of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux portfolio, gourmet food and fine wines lie at the core of the guest experience, and dining at Spicer Mansion is no exception.

Opened in May 2016, the first luxury hotel in coastal Mystic, the mansion successfully blends refined hospitality with contemporary touches and an uncompromising level of service.

Dating back to 1853, and once the summer home?of renowned sea captain Elihu Spicer, the exquisitely restored property harkens back to America’s Gilded Age.

With only eight guest accommodations, three grand salons, the dining room, a speakeasy-style cocktail?bar, sun-splashed terrace and mature gardens, Spicer Mansion offers a very private residential ambience, an easy walk from Mystic’s bustling center.

No expense has been spared by the mansion’s owner, the Gates family of nearby Stonington, who ensured many of the home’s original details, including intricate parquet floors, hand-painted ceilings, plaster moldings and carved mahogany doors and balustrades, were carefully restored.

A formal hallway opens to three first-floor salons, used variously for continental breakfast, quiet reading and board games and cocktails.

A grand staircase sweeps up to a second level with five guest rooms and suites, and up again to another three accommodations on a third floor, crowned with an enclosed widow’s walk offering expansive views of the town and Mystic River.

The nicest rooms are on the second floor – including the signature Spicer Suite with its four-poster bed and separate sitting room – each a slice of Victorian grandeur complemented by the timeless pewter, blue and gray color palette carried throughout the hotel.

Each room comes with king-size Duxiana mattresses, Matouk bedding and cashmere throws, along with flatscreen TVs, iPads loaded with entertainment and Wi-Fi.

While The Restaurant at Spicer Mansion is only open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday, as well as Sunday brunch, guests can dine at several good restaurants in town or at Ocean House and Weekapaug Inn in nearby Westerly.

All three properties are under the direction of Ocean House Management LLC, and guests can charge any meals at the sister properties, as well as spa treatments at Ocean House, back to their rooms at Spicer Mansion.

The mansion also offers a number of bespoke guest experiences, called Spicer Moments, and two sleek BMW 7 series house cars for local excursions or exploring farther afield.

Despite all the inherent luxury, Backman’s degustation menu is the mansion’s undoubted highlight, a true culinary treat that’s definitely spicing things up in Mystic.

For more information, visit spicermansion.com.



Image Credits: Photo courtesy of Spicer Mansion.