Thanksgiving - Best Places to have Thanksgiving dinner

Plimoth Plantation - Plymouth, MA
Plimoth Plantation, a bicultural museum, offers powerful personal encounters with history built on thorough research about the Wampanoag People and the Colonial English community in the 1600s. Our exhibits, programs, live interpreters, and historic settings encourage a new level of understanding about present-day issues affecting communities around the world.
 
Each year, nearly half a million modern-day "Pilgrims" come from all over the world to step almost four centuries back in time and become part of the living history experience at Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Through its primary living history exhibits, the 1627 English Village and the Wampanoag (Wampanoag) Homesite, Plimoth Plantation seeks to re-create the people, time and place of 17th-century Plymouth. Specially trained staff members, painstaking research, period costumes and dialect, authentically reproduced buildings and artifacts are some of the vital components of this unique experience. On the third of the museum's main sites, Mayflower II (a full-scale reproduction of a 17th-century vessel), visitors learn about the Pilgrims' 1620 ocean crossing, as well as about construction techniques of both a 17th-century ship and its 21st -century counterpart.

 
The Four Chimneys Inn and Restaurant - Bennington, Vermont
If you're looking for an elegant holiday meal in a historical setting, the Four Chimneys Restaurant in Bennington, Vermont is definitely the place for you. The Four Chimneys Inn was originally built in 1783, burned to the ground in 1910, and was then lovingly rebuilt and restored as the gorgeous traditional stone structure you see today. Many famous people have eaten at the Four Chimneys Restaurant over the years, including Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Walt Disney, and Norman Rockwell. And it's no wonder! The Four Chimneys dining room features a huge fireplace, antiques galore, and a wonderful candlelit ambiance.
 
The Four Chimneys holiday menu includes wonderful appetizers such as Sweet Potato Bisque, Smoked Salmon Mousse with toasted pumpkin seeds, and Seared Foie-Gras with pumpkin flan and apple-pear chutney. As far as the main course goes, you can have a Traditional Turkey Dinner with wild mushroom stuffing, cranberry chutney, and garlic-thyme mashed potatoes. Or if you're not a turkey fan, you might choose the Prime Rib, Steamed Stuffed Acorn Squash (a highly-recommended vegetarian dish), or Apple Cider Grilled Salmon. Plenty of decadent holiday dessert choices and after-dinner coffees are offered, as well.
  

 
High Hampton Inn - Cashiers, NC
Now in its 40th year, the focus of High Hampton's Thanksgiving House Party is the holiday feast, with turkey and dressing, baked ham, pumpkin and pecan pie, and dozens of supporting players. But the Wednesday-to-Sunday party also includes complimentary golf and tennis, boating, guided hikes, donkey cart rides and other kids' activities, a magic show, square dancing, clogging, Christmas wreath- and ornament-making, and apple cider from an 1860s press.
 
Camden Harbour Inn - Camden, Maine
Upon arrival you are welcomed with a glass of sparkling champagne and hors d oevres and after a good night sleep you will wake up by the smell of fresh pastries and coffee while overlooking the harbor or Penobscot Bay. A gourmet breakfast including a choice of hot entrees prepared by our pastry chef is offered in the restaurant overlooking the harbor and mountains or could be served in the comfort of your room daily.
 
Perhaps it would be a nice suggestion to make a historical walk through town, a map with background on Camden s beautiful buildings will be provided as part of your package. On Thanksgiving Day, the inn makes reservations for you at their award winning restaurant, Natalie s. Executive Chef Lawrence Klang has created a superb 5 course menu based on the modern French cuisine with wonderful choices including the classic turkey with traditional sides.
 
Blue Willow Inn
- Social Circle, GA
What has become the American tradition of Thanksgiving actually stems from the feast held in the autumn of 1621 by the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag to celebrate the colony's first successful harvest. Our modern celebration is centered on the turkey, but the first Thanksgiving brought together the foods and the traditions of both the English settlers and the Native Americans. The First Thanksgiving display at the Blue Willow Inn, the only of its kind outside of Plymouth, Massachusetts, will reflect this marriage of cultures. A period table, constructed out of rough-cut lumber, will be adorned with settings and decorations typical of the early 1600s in New England. Also on exhibit will be a replica saber, musket gun, Indian spear and hatchet, a 150-year old wheel barrow, a cook fire with pot on steal frame, and an old bible and cross. The feast itself will be representative of the first Thanksgiving and will include venison, wild turkey, squash, corn, gourds, berries, nuts, cranberries, lobster, fish and the like. “A replication of the first Thanksgiving ties in perfectly with the essence of The Blue Willow Inn. “We designed the Inn as a way to transport our visitors back to simpler time and this authentic replication will allow us to experience the holiday as it was originally intended.” The Blue Willow Inn partnered with Joseph Hurt Studios on the feast’s design and display. Known for their work in building displays and replications of this type, Joseph Hurt Studios ensured that every detail was represented down to the red lights that mimic the fire under the pot. Joseph Hurt’s Creation and Natural History Museum is located in the Blue Willow Village just behind and adjacent to the Blue Willow Inn Restaurant.


An Authentic Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

Be sure to read up on Information on the First Thanksgiving. This was a celebration of the first harvest had by Pilgrims in the US, and was a festival with the 50 or so Pilgrims plus just under 100 native Americans. The food therefore was a mix of what the English settlers knew about and/or brought with them, plus what the native Americans brought in to the feast.
 
A letter written by one of the pilgrims mentions that they served venison (wild deer) and wild fowl - probably turkey, duck and goose. Rabbit would also have been served. Other traditional items served at an English feast would have included cornbread and pudding. Cheese was a tasty treat. Vegetables would have included corn, onions and pumpkin. They did NOT eat corn on the cob at the time, the corn was only suitable for dishes and meal. Fish was usually not served at great feasts because it was too "common", but there might have been some lobster or cod.
 
Note that the first Thanksgiving would not have had sweet desserts, and there was no popcorn at the time. Feasters were usually too stuffed by the end of the meal to think about eating anything else!
 
As you might imagine when cooking for 150+ people, the meal was not high on intricate cooking. However, the food was very tasty, as both the English and the native Americans knew about how to plan for large parties. There were no forks at the time - just knives and spoons, and plates were usually wooden. Here are some suggestions for recipes with a 1600s flair. Note that the early pilgrims did NOT have pigs so anything involving ham or bacon would be inappropriate. Also note that cranberry was not introduced until many years later.
 
Cornbread - admired by both the English and Native Americans
English Cheese Pie - cheese was important to the English
Venison - five deer were brought by the Native Americans
Wild Turkey - Native Americans and English alike enjoyed this meal
Garlic and Onions - staples of the diet
Pumpkin Pudding - there wasn't pumpkin pie at the time
Indian Pudding - can be served as a warm or cold desser