Ensconced in history, bathed in charm and filled with quintessential New England ambiance The Deacon Timothy Pratt Bed and Breakfast Inn, in Old Saybrook is a destination spot for many visitors looking to experience all the character and vibe that a small town, historic enclave of coastal Connecticut has to offer.
For owner Eileen Sottile and her husband Paul Angelini, the endeavor of painstakingly restoring the old Inn and the adjacent James Pharmacy building was quite an undertaking, one the two New England natives decided they were up to together. With a former life, that required Sottile to call South Florida home and a corporate title of executive for over two decades, she says that returning to New England, pursuing her passion for real estate, and architecture, and once again living the everchanging seasons, the grounded historic roots and the legendary New England lifestyle has been something she has fallen in love with all over again.
“We have so much to offer here,” said Sottile. “The summer months are filled with activity, enjoying the beautiful coastline, the fresh seafood and the beautiful weather, but the rest of the seasons here are just as stunning, with the beautiful fall colors, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine’s Day are also special times to be in Old Saybrook. There is so much to do! Visitors can enjoy nature at its best, riding bikes and taking hikes or experience the arts at nearby theatres like The Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, or the Ivoryton Playhouse and the food is fantastic. Penny Lane Pub, which is in walking distance of the Inn, was just voted Best American Food in Middlesex County.”
She adds, “Old Saybrook and the surrounding towns are amazing, its no wonder this was Katherine Hepburn’s stomping ground. There is something new and surprising around every corner, we even have a cryogenic spa on Main Street. We really do have a little bit of everything you need right here.”
However, patrons at the Deacon don’t have to step outside their elegant rooms if rest and relaxation is the number one priority, because once inside the authentic Bed and Breakfast history abounds and the rest of the world seems to fall away. Purposely appointed with historic décor, the light-filled spaces give way to over two-hundred-year-old wide board hardwood floors, period trim throughout, newly renovated pristine bathrooms and historic fireplaces, as well as original built-ins in the main dining room.
With personality and purpose each room lays claim to its own uniqueness. There is The Library, The Gambrel, The Suite, The Tree Top and The Sunrise. There are also boutique rooms in the adjacent structure that are just as pleasing, they are the Katherine Hepburn Room. (Famous actress Katherine Hepburn had a home in the Fenwick part of Old Saybrook and often frequented James Pharmacy). The Anna James Room. (Anna Louise James was Connecticut’s first African American Pharmacist and she owned and operated James Pharmacy until 1967. She was the daughter of a former slave who escaped by way of the underground railroad). And, the Ann Petry Room. (Ann Petry was born in Old Saybrook and she wrote the first novel by an African-American woman to sell more than a million copies).
Impeccably kept each space also has luxurious linens and fair-trade toiletries. In addition, the wellness closet is always stocked with healthy snack choices such as nuts, berries, protein shakes and gluten-free goods.
Due to a skillful eye for detail and unsurpassed high standards for cleanliness and attention to personalized service and care, in 2018 the Deacon was accepted into the Select Registry family of properties; a diverse collection of independent, boutique Inns that deliver a high level of excellence and quality only a few can attain. It also has a rating of 9.5 on booking.com.
With the offering of afternoon tea, an adjacent café equipped with an abundant array of breakfast choices, a peaceful, shaded garden, complete with a fountain, guests at the Deacon can either linger on the premises, take or stroll up Main street, enjoy an ice cream at James Pharmacy or set out on adventure to surrounding towns. Whatever their choice, the Deacon affords it.
“I really enjoy this work,” says Sottile of her new vocation. “I want people to come and visit and experience not only how wonderful our Inn is, but how wonderful this part of Connecticut is. We have jewels everywhere here and I love sharing that with travelers whether they are just passing through or have set out to come here as a destination.”
For more information, or to book a room at The Deacon, visit www.thedeaconbnb.com.