The SpaceClover Nook is set next to a ravine complete with a creek that can become a torrent in the spring. It is a two-family house with a door between the kitchens. This bedroom is small and most suitable for kids, the budget conscious, and small people--the beds are short. It does not have air conditioning--YET--but it does have two window fans. Please don't book this room in the summer if AC is a must for you. The room on the driveway, which we share with the house next door, so it can be noisy during the daytime and on summer nights. The room shares a bathroom with the larger bedroom down the hall. It's suitable for a maximum of two people. I usually cannot accommodate last-minute bookings. Guest AccessGuests are welcome to use the kitchen for making beverages or to store food that must be refrigerated. The house has wireless Internet, but we do not have TV. When the weather is good, guests are welcome to use the garden and the back area. I hesitate to call it a patio because it is where I pot plants, but it is where we grill and build fires. We have a battered fire pit and plenty of wood.
I work at home, so my office is pretty much off limits, but everything is negotiable. Interaction with GuestsI will be in the house during your stay, so if any questions or problems arise, please let me know. I am happy to provide morning beverages for anyone who wants them. The NeighborhoodThis is an ethnically and culturally mixed neighborhood, and it is mixed zoning. Clover Nook once housed a beauty parlor; we found two of those old-fashioned hair dryers with the huge hoods in the basement. Toward the end of the street stands a collection of very small houses that were probably built to house mill employees. At the very end is the house where the songwriter Henry Clay Work was born. Among his best-known tunes are "Marching Through Georgia" and "My Grandfather's Clock." There is a statue of Work on Middletown's South Green, which is a few blocks from the house.
Downtown Restaurants (listed in order of distance, farthest away first)
Located at 574 Main Street, Tibetan Kitchen is an unassuming little place with great food. I have no idea whether it is authentic, but it’s certainly delicious. There is something for everyone here: curries, soups, dumplings, and more and lots of vegan and vegetarian options. BYOB (there is a corking fee). Bring patience—service can be slow and the place can get very busy, but the wait is well worth it. Also bring cash—no checks or credit cards are accepted. Closed Sundays.
Iguanas Ranas Taquería
Iguanas Ranas, 484 Main Street, is a family business that started small and keeps growing. I like everything I’ve had there but adore the fish tacos. The place gets noisy at night, so we usually go for lunch and try to get a table in the window. Full bar. Closed Sundays.
Café 56, at 102 Court Street, is one of our favorite Middletown restaurants. Open for breakfast and lunch, it features foods and culinary traditions from different countries and ethnicities. From the website: “The goal at Café 56 is to provide the customers with the experience of the different tastes from around the world.” The chef and owner is Sabrina Cortes, who is from Guatemala City. She also serves, buses tables, chats with everyone, and generally sees to everything.
Ed Thereault bakes scones, croissants (real ones), country buttermilk biscuits, cinnamon rolls, and a variety of coffee cakes and muffins every morning. He also creates delicious desserts; some of his specialties include the Café 56 red velveteen cake with caramel buttercream icing and a coconut lime cake. Closed Sundays.
Fiore II Restaurant
This Italian restaurant, at 332 Main Street, is very pretty inside and out. All the food looks wonderful, but I always end up ordering scampi and trying to talk someone into sharing a bowl of lobster bisque. Beer and wine are available. I don’t know whether other alcohol is served, but I’ll find out and revise this. Closed Mondays.
Amici Italian Grill
Amici’s, 280 Main Street, specializes in northern Italian cooking. It has a full bar and is often crowded, especially on weekend nights. Open every day for lunch and dinner.
Getting AroundMiddletown does have a bus system, and I have a schedule, but most people drive, walk, or bike. Parking is available in the driveway or on the street. Other Things to NoteRecently, two guests expressed concern that room doors cannot be locked and suggested that guests might feel more secure if they could lock their doors. I respect that, but we have no plans to put locks on the bedroom doors. This is a family home. We have never had a problem, and I am always here if guests are in the house. For people who want to be able to lock the bedroom door, a hotel might be a better choice.
A guest arrived and asked if we could recommend a good massage therapist. We said sure--ours. Lugging her table, Joan made a house call. Everyone was pleased, and Joan decided she would be happy to do it again. If anyone who books at Clover Nook would like to arrange a massage, I will pass along Joan's number after the booking, and Joan and the guest can make whatever arrangement they like.