If you’ve lived in New Hampshire for more than a year, you’ve probably heard of Castle in the Clouds. Located in Moultonborough, NH, it’s one of my favorite places to take visiting friends (and if I’m being honest, it’s one of the easiest ways to visually explain to my parents why I love New Hampshire!)
Castle in the Clouds is indeed a castle built high up in the Ossipee Mountains. The drive or hike up the mountain is absolutely beautiful, regardless of the season. A trip to the Castle can be filled with feeding the giant rainbow trout, hiking, exploring the waterfalls, riding the trolley, and of course touring the castle. The guided part of the tour is an excellent cultural and history lesson of the area, as well as a fun look at how the first owner (Thomas Plant) looked at logistical problems we take for granted today. For example, how long would it take a fire truck to reach your secluded, mountainside castle in 1914?
After you’re done being a tourist (or googling local property values so you can build your own castle nearby), don’t miss the opportunity to stop for lunch at the Carriage House. I had visited the Castle multiple times with friends but never stopped, and I must say I’m sad that I missed out.
My parents and I visited on a sunny weekday in mid-September and were surprised by how many people were there! Most of the people at the restaurant were clearly locals from the Lakes Region, and I took that as a very good sign. We had a short wait for a table, which was fine because there was an art exhibit to browse in the old carriage house, as well as lots of old pictures of past owners enjoying the region.
Once we were seated at our table on the outside patio, time seemed to slow down. My parents probably planned to stay there all day, but they closed mid-afternoon. The views of the lakes were picture-perfect and dotted with reds and oranges of the surrounding trees starting to turn.
I brought them back down to earth so we could actually order our lunch (I’m a terrible person),
and the food and beer were excellent. I ordered the spinach and artichoke flatbread, which was really light and flavorful with a crispy-thin crust. I also got their soup of the day, which was butternut squash and apple. This was SO GOOD and I should have just asked them to bottle a gallon for me. I’m a sucker for fall soups, and this odd soup-and-pizza combination worked perfectly for the in-between summer and fall weather.
My dad thoroughly enjoyed his bacon cheeseburger and my mom’s chicken salad wrap was, quote, “Ok.” We’ll blame her not being used to the altitude for that comment.
So, if you’re looking for a fun place to enjoy this fall, I would highly recommend the Castle and the Carriage House Restaurant. The restaurant is open from 11:30 to 3:30 every day through October 23, and open for dinner (until 7:00 pm) on Mondays and Wednesdays. They do not take reservations, and rumor has it that they get quite busy in October.
I should mention that you do not need to pay the tour fee if you are only going to the restaurant, just be sure to drive up Ossipee Park Road instead of the main park entrance. You can also skip the tour of the home and take the scenic drive up the mountain for $10 a car! To find Castle in the Clouds, the main entrance is located at 455 Old Mountain Road, Moultonborough. If you don’t have time to make a trip up before October 23, be sure to check out their Facebook page for weekly updates of their beautiful foliage!
As always, email us at email@example.com to share your ideas of any New Hampshire related food/drink/venue/organization that you think should be featured in our “Eat Drink Play” blog posts!