The Shrub

They say that everything old becomes new again, and recently we have discovered the joys of making and drinking Shrubs. We’ve enjoyed it so much that you could say that the drink has been rescued, at least temporarily, from oblivion here at The Fireside. We’ve discovered that making and drinking a Shrub is another way to connect with our past and add new and interesting flavors to our lives.

At The Fireside, we dedicated nine days to making the syrup for a Shrub, by taking the infused approach. Although, this is a long process, at the end we are rewarded with a syrup that has a brighter, fresher flavor than that of quickly cooked versions. You can make a shrub in less than an hour, by making a syrup with the sugar and vinegar. Mix the two together, bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar and add the fruit, cooking for another 5 minutes or so.

As for the fruit, you can use pretty much anything. We use a mix of locally sourced berries as well as berries we locally forage ourselves. Whatever in-season local fruits we can get our hands on we will give a try. For sweetener, granulated sugar is most commonly used. We like to experiment with brown sugar, honey, maple syrup or a mixture of those – all organic, of course.

We’ve acquired a love of shrubs. The drinks vary in taste depending on what you use, and in the end, you have a wonderfully sweet, yet tart drink that is both refreshing and bright.

Here’s the outline of the recipe we use:

The Fireside’s Fruit Shrub – makes approximately 1 quart of syrup

3 – 4 cups Fresh fruit, berries left whole, other fruits cut into 1″ chunks
2 cups Sugar or your favorite sweetener
2 cups Vinegar, good quality, best bets are cider or wine vinegar

In a clean and sterilized half gallon canning jar – mix the fruit and the sugar, mashing the fruit lightly so that it releases its juices. Cover and allow to sit for 48 hours in a dark, room temperature place. Shake mixture once or twice to help dissolve the sugar.

After two days, add the vinegar and allow to sit for another seven days, in a dark, room temperature place.

After seven days, strain the liquid off of the fruit, pressing lightly on the fruit to help extract the juices. Strain again through a coffee filter or cheesecloth to get a clear liquid or thru a strainer for a more robust and full-bodied shrub.

At this point, the Shrub is ready to drink.  However, it’s best to refrigerate the shrub for a week or two. This will allow the vinegar to mellow a bit more and for the flavors to mature.

To serve – mix approximately 2 ounces of syrup with 6-8 ounces of water, either still or carbonated (you can also use club soda.) Add your favorite Gin, Vodka or Rum and serve over ice.

If this all seems like too much work – just come on down to The Fireside and enjoy!

It all begins on the farm


It all begins on a farm. The concept of farm to table might not be a new one, but the delicious availability of fresh food will never get old. Providing fresh food in a time of convenience provides a chance for people to get back in touch with its origins.  I had the chance to tour local farms and learn about the unique way farmers are giving back to the community, along with the partnership they have with The Resort at Port Ludlow. The experience opened my mind to the availability of natural resources that may have been lost in the last few decades. On the Olympic Peninsula, planting season has begun on all of the local farms. Surrounded by the beautiful Puget Sound waters and gorgeous mountain views, these farms are at the center of it all. The proximity to these farms to the Resort at Port Ludlow offers the perfect opportunity for Chef Dan and his team to offer farm to table dishes that will nourish your body.

Farms such as Finn River, Red Dog, SpringRain, Nash’s, and Mystery Bay all provide fresh, organic produce along with ethically grown meat, cheese, and eggs. These farmers provide tedious, labor-intensive work with a side of pride that exhibits in the plate you will receive at The Fireside restaurant. Our chefs are excited to bring the farm to table concept to your plate as they venture out every weekend to scout for the most available and abundant resources to make your meal. Once they arrive back at the kitchen a very carefully but artistically recipe is drafted that will make your mouth water.

At one of the recent Farm Suppers at the Fireside, a combination of produce and cheese from a variety of farms made up one of our most popular salads, The Finnriver Farm Beet Salad, which consists of fresh beets, beautiful microgreens, and goat cheese. Also for supper that night, fresh off the boat Neah Bay salmon accompanied this salad with a nettle pesto, and farm braised chard. Is your mouth watering yet? If not, come venture out and tour these farms to pick your own produce. The Inn at Port Ludlow offers a farm tour package that allows you to collect your own ingredients making a meal designed by our team of chefs just for you. Now that is a true farm to table experience! On your tour, you might catch a glimpse of the hardworking farming staff, and pick up a bottle of Finnriver hard cider to enjoy with your meal or meet some new friends while you enjoy your dinner. The Chimacum Valley is a beautiful, unique valley, filled with lovely surprises around every corner.

10 Ways to RELAX in Port Ludlow

Let’s face it, with the start of a New Year we are all in a place where our minds are in TURBO “gotta get things done mode”. We’ve compiled lists, built vision boards, and have made some commitment whether it be to a gym or a book club – to take better care of ourselves. Personally, I’ve done all three to some extent and I’m exhausted  already.  Therefore, I think I’m going to start with RELAXING in 2018. Below are a list of 10 Ways that RELAXING can be done here at the Resort…Lucky for me – I’m already in Port Ludlow…

  1. Hike the waterfall trail or one of the many 30 miles in Port Ludlow
  2. Take a Yoga Class (Sunday and Wednesday) and breathe…
  3. Walk the halls of the Inn and get a self-guided Art and History lesson
  4. Hit a bucket of balls at the Driving Range
  5.  Soak in a jetted tub with locally sourced bath salts
  6. Visit FinnRiver Cidery and tasting room
  7. Explore the many nearby State Parks – search for seaglass…
  8. Have a winter cocktail at the Fireside with your favorite person
  9. Cozy up with a book in front of the fire
  10. Nourish your body with delicious farm-to-fork cuisine
Bathtub, Guest Room, Jetted Tub, Lodging, Resort
View of port ludlow resort on waterfront
Bird Watching on the Olympic Peninsula
View of port ludlow resort on waterfront

If there was ever a place to go bird watching, it is on the Olympic Peninsula.

Just a few nights ago I was enjoying an evening walk as I observed a bald eagle perched on a rooftop and blue herons majestically soaring overhead. And as I make my daily commute, I see Trumpeter Swans foraging in the Chimacum Valley farm fields. These gifts of Mother Nature are amazing sights, to say the least.

In addition to bald eagles and blue herons, expect to spot loons, ring-billed gulls, belted kingfishers, and northwestern crows to name a few. Over 300 species of birds live on the Olympic Peninsula and with so many birding opportunities available – here are a few of our favorites.

Get a new perspective out on Ludlow Bay

Ludlow Bay is the perfect place to kayak, paddleboard, birdwatch and enjoy Port Ludlow from a new perspective. From the comfort of your watercraft, enjoy Mother Nature at her finest. Relax and breathe in the fresh air as you watch the eagles soar and blue herons dive headfirst into the water in search for food.

Port Ludlow is also home to Purple Martins aka Pronge subis arboricola. Purple Martins are the largest member of the swallow family in the United States and nest in trees or gourds placed near the water to protect the species. Purple Martins west of the Rocky Mountains rely on human-supplied housing for survival. Keep your eyes out at the Port Ludlow Marina for gourds specifically placed for Purple Martins. A community member and Purple Martin enthusiast puts the gourds out yearly to protect the mosquito eating bird species.


The 14th annual Olympic Peninsula BirdFest is coming up in just a few weeks during the weekend of April 7th – 9th. The festival provides an opportunity for residents and visitors alike to see firsthand the variety of birds that live on the Olympic Peninsula. The festival features field trips to Sequim Bay, Port Angeles Harbor, Dungeness Spit, and more as well as presentations and workshops.

Mt. Walker

Mt. Walker is a fantastic place to birdwatch. Expect to see birds including Hermit and Townsend’s Warblers, Sooty Grouse, Gray and Steller’s Jays, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Northern Pygmy Owls, and more. And as a bonus – enjoy the panoramic views of Mt. Rainier, the Puget Sound, and even Seattle!

Bird Migration Cuise

Join Puget Sound Express for a bird migration cruise. The three-hour cruise will take you just outside of Port Townsend to Protection Island – a National Wildlife Refuge. Almost 70% of the nesting seabird population of Puget Sound and the Straits are located on the island. Protection Island also has one of the last two nesting colonies of tufted puffins in the Puget Sound area.

Wednesday Morning Bird Walks

Enjoy a Wednesday Morning Bird Walk at the Dungeness River Audubon Center in Sequim. These guided and informative walks teach visitors about the annual cycle of birds in the area. All ages and exercise levels are invited to attend.

Where is your favorite place to bird watch on the Olympic Peninsula? We would love to hear your stories and see your photos! Share with us on social media: Facebook: @portludlow and Instagram: @theresortatportludlow.

Written by: Kaitlin Chester

7 Reasons to Host your Group Event in Port Ludlow

7 Reasons to Host your Group Event in Port Ludlow

Warm and Authentic Staff

Groups are welcomed upon arrival and cared for during their stay. Our staff is committed to the success of your event. The Resort provides a high level of service and hospitality that keeps our guests returning year after year. Ask our Group Sales Team about customizing your meeting to highlight the best of our region and to ensure your team’s experience is memorable.

The Experience begins with the Journey

There are numerous ways to arrive in Port Ludlow. Your group may choose a leisurely ride aboard the Washington State Ferries, a seaplane excursion landing in the beautiful Port Ludlow Marina, or a scenic drive through Kitsap County. Port Ludlow is located less than 2-hours from Seattle, which makes it close enough to get to quickly, but feels far enough away to focus in the moment. Visit our Getting Here page for more information.

Waterfront, Meetings, Groups, Olympic Peninsula
Meeting Spaces

All of our meeting spaces feature floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase the natural light and beautiful scenery of the Olympic Peninsula. Take a 3-D tour of all of our meeting spaces here.

Activities, Activities, Activities

Begin your day with a round of golf at the Port Ludlow Golf Course, a kayak or stand-up paddle board excursion in Ludlow Bay, or a hike on one of Port Ludlow’s 30 miles of maintained trails. You will be refreshed and ready for your group’s meeting.

Bathtub, Guest Room, Jetted Tub, Lodging, Resort
Amenities on top of Amenities

The Resort offers complimentary on-site parking and Wi-Fi. You’ll be thrilled to end your day of meetings with a soak in your guest room’s jetted tub or enjoying a glass of local cider or wine by your fireplace.


The Resort’s Executive Chef Dan Ratigan and the culinary team have created fresh and sophisticated menus around the bounty of the local farms. Savor customized banquet menus featuring local, in-season ingredients from farms including Finnriver, Red Dog Farm, Mystery Bay, and more.

Award-Winning Wine

Andrew Weise, The Resort’s Sommelier, can provide perfectly paired wines and ciders for your group’s custom menus. The Resort’s wine program celebrates the grape and showcases its commitment to its extensive award-winning wines. Have the opportunity to venture off-site? Take a few of your fellow group members and explore the Olympic Peninsula Cider Route.

Winter Romance on the Olympic Peninsula
Winter Romance on the Olympic Peninsula

I recently stumbled across a word I had never seen before – apricity. Have you heard it before? It is rather obscure. Miriam Webster defines ‘apricity’ as “the warmth of sun in the winter”.

During this chilly season when the cold lingers and scarves become like a second skin, I find myself searching for the warmth of the sun. I find that warmth in the embrace of my special someone and through adventures with our amazing pup on the Olympic Peninsula.

This winter my fiancé and I have adventured on many, many snowy hikes accompanied by our loyal companion – Chimi the Cattle Dog, made wreaths from foliage foraged from the backyard, enjoyed late nights snuggled up by the fireplace with Finnriver cider and early mornings curled up under the covers with warm cups of coffee, and cooked our favorite comfort foods like tortilla soup and fettuccine alfredo. It has been a beautiful winter season and I look forward to even more winter excursions.

With Valentine’s Day is coming up, here are a few suggestions on how you too can celebrate winter romance and discover your warmth of sun…

  • Adventure to Olympic National Park and enjoy a skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing excursion at Hurricane Ridge
  • Celebrate the grape, and cider, during the Wine, Cider, & Chocolate Tour
  • Savor a delicious dinner at The Fireside – enjoy a memorable Valentine’s Day or a make Wednesdays extra special with Dinner For Two Night (every Wednesday in February)
  • Or simply, relax – cozy up with your favorite person next to the fireplace in your guestroom at the Inn at Port Ludlow

How to celebrate winter romance? How do you find the warmth of the sun during the winter? As always, we would love to hear your stories. Connect with us on Instagram (@theresortatportludlow), Facebook (@portludlow), or Twitter (@portludlow) with the hashtag #WinterRomanceinPL

Written by: Kaitlin Chester

Thanksgiving, Pie, Holidays, Resort Dining
Versatile Wines for the Holidays

First, let’s look at your menu. If it’s a buffet-style meal or a table like Thanksgiving, where dishes come in all varieties of savory and sweet with complex herbs and spices, you’ll want to serve lighter-bodied reds and fuller-bodied whites.

Thanksgiving, Pie, Holidays, Resort Dining

The reds should be easy on the tannins and very fruit-forward: think Beaujolais Villages, made from Gamay; an Oregon Pinot Noir or a Burgundy from France; Merlot from Washington state; Nebbiolo from Italy’s Piedmont region; a Bonarda from Argentina; a Dornfelder from Germany.

Wine, Food, Dinner, Olympic Peninsula

For whites, a Kabinett Riesling (or an off-dry style). Riesling is perhaps the most versatile varietal wine out there; it has the weight and complexity to carry any meat-based or highly-flavored main dish, with the acidity to lift dishes heavy in fat, or laden with creamy, cheesy sauces. It plays beautifully with spicy dished, sweet desserts and salty snacks. A dry Gewürztraminer fits the bill beautifully, as well.  I would also reach for Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, a lilting, fresh Grüner Veltliner , and anything with bubbles, such as an elegant Lambrusco Grasparossa or a Cava from Spain, both inexpensive ways to add some “WOW” to your holiday table.

White Wine, Wine, Dining, Olympic Peninsula

But if the meal calls for a richer, heavier wine- say a beef or lamb roast-seek out a Bordeaux or Côtes du Rhône or a Northwest blend inspired by these French classics. Bordeaux blends feature Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and sometimes Petit Verdot; Côtes du Rhône-styles are often labeled as GSM: a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre. You cannot go wrong with a Washington state Syrah, a Barolo from Piedmont, Italy, or one of my favorite powerhouses: a Priorat from Spain’s Catalonia region, made from Garnacha (Grenache) and Cariñena (Carignan) grape varieties.

Red Wine, Wine Glass, Dinner, Waterfront Dining

And for dessert, you might want to have some Tawny Port or Pedro Ximénez (PX) Sherry on hand. These are desserts in a bottle in and of themselves (and outrageous with blue cheeses and salty nuts), but also pair gorgeously with holiday treats.

Written by: Julie Johnson

Q&A with Julie Johnson, Cellar Master

The Resort is pleased to announce our new Cellar Master, Julie Johnson.


Julie grew up in the Pacific Northwest and has a passion for traveling that brought her overseas to teach, learn, and explore abroad. In 2006, she attended culinary school in New Zealand and transitioned into the wine industry. Julie is an author and self-described hiker, yogi, and wine geek. We’re thrilled to welcome Julie as our Cellar Master at The Fireside.

Recently, I had the pleasure of conducting a Q&A with Julie.

Wine, Waterfront Dining, Resort, Olympic Peninsula

What sparked your interest in wine?

Julie: Paris. September 1991. I had just arrived in France to spend my senior year of college at a French university. I was eating dinner with some new friends at a Vietnamese restaurant near the Cité Universitaire and we ordered a bottle of Vouvray to share. I didn’t know that one sip of wine could make my heart soar. Sure, it was a late summer day in the City of Light. Sure, I’d just turned 21 and I was away from home and the United States for the first time. But I’ll never forget that first taste of the sublime.

I’m a writer as well as an oenophile. The stories told in the vineyard and in the bottle never cease to enchant me.

What is your favorite wine? Or, if you could have only one wine for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

Julie: Believe it or not, that’s an easy one to answer. Pierre Peters Blanc de Blancs. It’s what’s known as a “Grower Champagne”-look for the letters RM or the words Récoltant-Manipulant on the bottle. It means the wine has been created by the grower of the grapes, an unusual occurrence in the Champagne region. These are small batch, hand-crafted Champagnes that are often less expensive than wines from the bigger houses. And always amazing. I never, ever, tire of Champagne.

What is the most versatile wine?

Julie:  See, now I’ll sound like a broken record, but here it is: Sparkling wine goes with everything. Year-round, for any occasion. From nachos to oysters, steak to lamb to fried chicken to chocolate chip cookies to blueberry pie. We don’t drink sparkling wine often enough in the United States- there’s a mistaken notion that it’s for celebrations only. No wine is more food-friendly than wine with bubbles. I’m partial to Cava, Spain’s Méthode Champenoise, and the original sparkling wine, crafted in the Middle Ages in the Languedoc region of southern France­-Blanquette or Crémant de Limoux. But a divine Champagne can make an ordinary meal transcendent.

What are some of your favorite local wines?

Julie: One of my favorite red varietals, hands down, is Cabernet Franc. And one of the best Cabernet Francs I’ve tasted this side of the Loire is the Olympic Peninsula’s own Camaraderie Cellars.

Syncline Cellars in the Columbia Gorge focuses on Rhône varietals such as Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache Blanc, as well as a lovely Pinot Noir. Their wines express a sense of place that takes my breath away. The blend Subduction Red varies every year in variety content, but never in quality. And we’re always thrilled when Scintillation, Syncline’s Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine is released! It’s always in very limited quantities, so it doesn’t last long in our cellars (hint: we’ve got ONE bottle left as we await the next release!).

We’ve just received the latest releases from Washington State’s acclaimed Long Shadows, a winemaker’s dream project. Long Shadows brings together some the world’s top winemakers and gives them access to the best of Washington’s grapes. These winemakers craft unforgettable wines that showcase the diversity and majesty of Washington state terroir.  The wines will cellar for years and we invite you to take a bottle home for your collection, but sharing a bottle over a meal at The Fireside will make for an unforgettable dining experience!


Welcome to the Port Ludlow team, Julie!

Interested in learning more about wine? Make your reservations for the Buty Wine Dinner with winemaker, Nina Buty on January 20th or enjoy a glass of wine at The Fireside from our award-winning wine list and ask Julie your questions firsthand.

For reservations for the Buty Wine Dinner or a meal at The Fireside, contact the restaurant directly at 360.437.7412.

Written by: Julie Johnson & Kaitlin Chester

Olympic Peninsula, Resort, Lodging, Inn, Hotel
6 Reasons Corporate Businesses Love Port Ludlow
1) Complimentary Business Amenities

Enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi, parking, and meeting spaces with floor-to-ceiling windows inviting in the natural light and beautiful scenery of Port Ludlow – the gateway to the Olympic Peninsula.

2) Golf & Marina
Water Sports, Marina, Olympic Peninsula

Wiggle your toes in Ludlow Bay from a kayak or stand-up paddle board or swing into our 18-hole golf course designed by golf course architect Robert Muir Graves with a championship layout, rolling fairways, abundant wildlife, and incredible views of Ludlow Bay and the Olympic Mountains.

3) Hiking

Did you know Port Ludlow is home to 26 miles of maintained hiking trails? Some of our favorites include the Ludlow Falls Interpretive Loop, Timberton Loop, and Teal Lake Loop. “Forest Therapy” (it’s a real thing, trust us…) is a great way of assisting with work-life balance.

4) Farm-to-Table Dining

Treat your senses to a meal at The Fireside and savor the bounty of the local farms, artisan meats and cheeses, and celebrate the best of the Pacific Northwest. The dinner menu changes daily to reflect the best our region has to offer with local, in-season ingredients. Farm-to-Table is not a trend, it is our way of life!

5) Cider & Wine
Cider, Farms, Olympic Peninsula

The Fireside’s award-winning wine list features many of the local wineries and cideries. For those seeking adventure, treat yourself the Olympic Peninsula Cider Loop. Nationally recognized wines and ciders treat the senses regardless of the season.

6) Location, Location, Location
Seaplane, Orca, Marina, Travel

Located at the gateway to the Olympic Peninsula, Port Ludlow is just 45 minutes from the Bainbridge Island Ferry or just 15 minutes via Kenmore Air.

Pet Friendly Paradise on the Olympic Peninsula

No matter where you look in Port Ludlow you are bound to see both guests and residents enjoying the sights of Mother Nature with their canine companions. Whether that is throwing sticks on the beach, hiking some of the 26 miles of maintained trails, out on a watercraft on Ludlow Bay, or taking minute to breathe the beauty of the Olympic Peninsula– we truly love four legged friends.

chimgirlIn fact, 1/3rd of the guest rooms at the Inn at Port Ludlow are pet friendly. Pet guests are welcomed at check-in by having their name placed on our VIP (Very Important Pets) board and given a locally-made, all-natural dog treat – heavy on the bacon…unequivocally a dog’s favorite.

Pet Friendly, Inn, Resort, Lodging, Olympic Peninsula

In fact, dogs and their owners have spoken and have named The Resort a Fido’s Favorite award from BringFido.com. This award recognizes hotels, inns, and bed & breakfast that achieve superior pet-friendliness ratings from BringFido’s 12 million annual reviewers. The Resort has received a “perfect” (5 out of 5 bones) rating!

USA Today’s 10Best teamed up with BringFido to nominated 20 of the top pet-friendly hotels in the U.S. and The Resort is honored to be a nominee. We are the only location in Washington to be nominated for this competition!

We kindly request that you visit this link: http://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-pet-friendly-hotel-2016/the-resort-at-port-ludlow-port-ludlow-wash/ and vote for Port Ludlow. Feel free to share this link with your friends, family, and neighbors and make The Resort at Port Ludlow the 2016 Best Pet Friendly Hotel! Voting is open now through October 10th.


We love seeing photos of dogs and their owners enjoying all that Port Ludlow and the Olympic Peninsula has to offer, so please send us your pictures of you and your pet on your Port Ludlow adventure to marketing@portludlowresort.com.

Written by: Kaitlin Chester

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