Located roughly halfway between Ocean City and Baltimore lies one of Maryland’s most charming towns… Oxford. Even the name sounds adorable, and with charming, tree-lined streets, cobblestone sidewalks, waterfront homes and a population of less than 1000, Oxford truly is one of a kind. The town has a special place in our hearts because of its true small town charm. Unlike other waterfront towns that have been taken over by condominiums and chain restaurants, Oxford has successfully preserved its history, charm and originality. Admittedly, it had been a few years since we had paid a visit Oxford, having found ourselves bypassing the exit as we bee-lined for St. Michaels time and time again, so we were pleasantly surprised when we discovered our latest obsession.
Two things in town you don’t want to miss- The Robert Morris Inn and The Scottish Highland Creamery. The Robert Morris Inn boasts a unique historic restaurant that is popular up and down the East Coast. The restaurant has a dining room, patio, veranda and a river terrace all available to eat in. (Just take your pick!) In addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner, there is also brunch available every Sunday morning, as well as an impressive wine list. Just a few of the summer menu items to make your mouth water are: crab salad crostini, crab spring rolls and chilled gazpacho. Basically, whatever comes in fresh that day, it’s normal to be eating the fish the local watermen caught and brought up on the dock that day for dinner at the Robert Morris Inn.
For those of you with a sweet tooth, there is another Oxford staple you can’t miss out on known as The Scottish Highland Creamery. They provide over 600 hand crafted, gourmet ice creams/sorbets flavors made gelato style with all natural ingredients. This one is a little tricky to find, just look behind Schooner’s (another Oxford staple) and it’s behind it by the boat ramp. Some of the specialty flavors include Mexican vanilla, double Belgian chocolate, tiramisu, birthday cake, egg nog, pumpkin pie (O.M.G!!!), dulce de leche, fresh crushed strawberry and lemon sorbet.
Oxford truly charmed us in a way we never thought possible! But what blew our minds even more? Our tour of the Combsberry Inn. Located a few miles down the road, (a gravel road to be exact) is an adorable and downright breathtaking Bed & Breakfast. Built in 1730, it’s truly a historic piece of art. Where to start? Well how about with one of ShoreBread’s favorite parts – the barn located in the front part of the property. The rustic-themed structure accommodates groups of 30-40, making it the perfect setting for a wedding or family reunion. With lights strung on the wooded ceilings and an old carriage strategically parked within, we saw serious potential for a romantic backdrop. Who’s getting married soon?!
With 6 different options for accommodations, there is truly something for everyone. The main house boasts 4 bedrooms, each with its own bathroom and easy access to all the properties amenities. In addition, the property has separate houses for more guests, the Oxford Cottage and the Carriage House. The property is located on an impressive span of 35 acres, evoking a feeling of peace and serenity unlike any other. “It’s a lot of city people who are looking to get out of town for the weekend,” said Abby Rose, Innkeeper of Combsberry. “It’s a great place for people who are looking to get away and escape for a few days.”
In the main house, a full breakfast is offered for all the guests in the beautifully restored kitchen. The newest part of the kitchen is about 100 years old and was easily one of our favorite rooms in the house (discussing those delicious breakfast options might have had something to do with it!). The kitchen has a unique dining area overlooking the canal with a collection of individual tables for the guests to dine at as they please. Next, you walk through the dining room that includes a huge fireplace and original flooring from 1730. A living room and library follow that boast a great hang out space. “This is a great gathering spot during the summer months, but it’s also perfect in the winter with the cozy fireplace,” said Rose.
The beautiful garden is next to the library and adjacent to the main house; all we needed was a book and we could have spent the afternoon out there! The garden is also perfect for cocktail hours at weddings or just to share a bottle of wine with your significant other at sunset. The master suite- known as the Magnolia Suite (the name comes from the spectacular tree outside on the private deck – in fact there are 19 throughout the property) boasts a beautiful view, a spacious master bath and a spacious private deck. The other rooms in the main house are the Waterford and the Victoria Garden- each beautiful and unique in their own way.
The Combsberry Inn is a place for everyone, especially your private functions. They hold many corporate retreats, baby and bridal showers, honey moons, anniversaries, proposals and of course beautiful weddings. If you’re not traveling or planning an event, simply head to the Inn for a weekend getaway for a chance to relax and soak up the country charm.
Plenty of events happen in town that would make your stay even more enjoyable (for the busy bodies) such as the Eagle Man and the Iron Man in Cambridge, the Waterfowl Festival in Easton and holiday weekends. “A lot of people will sneak off to Oxford or St. Michaels for the day to explore,” said Rose. “Although, many of the guests like to relax on site and sit outside with some wine and cheese.”
We were equally as impressed by the great location, both secluded and accessible at the same time. The property is about 20-25 minutes away from St Michaels, 30 minutes from Cambridge and exactly one hour from Annapolis. You’re truly in the middle of all the great spots the Eastern Shore has to offer.
Fun facts about Combsberry Inn:
- On-site activities include: canoes, kayaks, hammocks, fishing poles and crab pots.
- Handmade drapes throughout the main house
- Water Kronkite used to spend time here
- Original hospital buggy in the barn
- 19 magnolia trees on the property
- One of the two houses in all of Maryland with an outdoor staircase
- Boat accessible
- Scenes from Wedding Crashers and Failure to Launch were filmed here
- Not children friendly (sorry parents, but you’ll thank us when you finally get that weekend away!)