Few innkeepers know Greenport as well as Stirling House owner Clay Sauer.
From his childhood days summering in the village, Sauer said he has always known that he would live and work in the community. After training to become a baker at the French Culinary Institute and working in marketing in New York City, 14 years ago he decided to switch gears.
He returned to Greenport and later opened Stirling House. Although it is one of the longest running bed and breakfasts on the North Fork, Clay said he is always trying to offer something new to his guests.
“I like making guests feel like how I would want to feel on vacation,” Sauer said. “I am as available as they need me and invisible as they want me. I want guests to feel at ease.”
Furnished with items from his travels and décor that is reflective of his French heritage, there is a Parisian air to the three-bedroom inn.
Set up like a boutique hotel, all the rooms have private bathrooms, free WiFi, flat screen TVs, iPod docks and self controlled heat and air conditioning.
There is even a garden level room for those looking to avoid stairs.
You’ll be able to get your trip to wine country started as soon as you step in the door. Stirling House is one of the few that has a license to sell and serve wine. All the suites are complete with complimentary vino.
When your inn owner’s hobby is baking your know you’re in for a treat. And, when your inn owner is a trained chef you may want to pack a bigger pair of pants.
For starters, all baked goods are made from scratch and made with fresh, local ingredients. A typical breakfast may include chèvre and fresh herb and cheese frittatas with warm salsa or orange pecan French bread French toast with a Grand Marnier reduction.
Breakfast is served at 9 a.m. and guests may eat inside and outside.
“Guests choose where they eat,” he said. “I put the food down and they sit wherever.”
“It is all about the porch” at Stirling House, Sauer said.
The wraparound porch is a big hit among guests, who often enjoy a glass of local wine while looking out onto Greenport Harbor.
However, there are plenty of shops, restaurants and bars just a quick walk away when guests are looking to adventure outside the home.
Sauer regularly teams up with area businesses to offer guests special deals. For example the “wine time” package includes a two night stay, a tour of four wineries and two dinners for two at a variety of local eateries.