Nestled on the northern shore of Pleasant Lake, the Oak & Grain dining room is blessed with expanding views across the lake to Mt. Kearsarge. We imagine our forefathers were as inspired by the setting when choosing this location as our guests are today when they dine with us. From our earliest years as Lakeside Farm, we have always retained a strong connection to the land. In the 1860’s, William Messer founded The Red Gables Inn and converted the original farm house, beginning the tradition of hospitality that has endured for almost 150 years. These are the roots from which Oak & Grain has sprouted. Over the years, the restaurant at our New Hampshire inn has taken various forms, and in the last 20 years built a strong reputation for fine dining with the highest quality food and service, becoming New London’s #1 rated restaurant. With our goal of ever improving the guest experience, we asked one key question, “What does the future hold for dining at the Inn at Pleasant Lake?”
To demonstrate our commitment, we decided it was time for the restaurant to have an identity and a name as distinctive as the experience we provide. We wanted a name that would reflect the rich history of the inn, speak to the beautiful setting of the dining experience, and most of all, embrace our philosophy of the food itself. So we looked to our history and we engaged our loyal guests for their ideas as well.
Our guests offered several ideas based on the Inn’s and the town’s history, which helped validate our thinking on the approach. As we researched Major William Messer, we found that his last name means “Keeper of the Harvest”, which really spoke to us, since we are passionate about New England Farms and New England food, and eager to share that passion with our guests. We loved the idea of the harvest being part of our name, but this seemed insufficient. As the research continued, we found a version of the Messer coat of arms with an oak tree on a golden field of wheat. This felt like fate as we had recently renovated the dining room with a central theme of dramatically grained white oak. Oak & Grain jumped right out of the history book – a wonderful representation of our new atmosphere, focus on the freshest food, and respect for our history.
The symbolism of both the oak and the grain also adds meaning to the identity with characteristics we revere. The Oak stands for endurance, strength and connection to the earth, reflecting our 150-year tradition of hospitality. Grain is symbolic of the bounty of the harvest and our commitment to bringing our guests food grown locally, at the peak of season, from our neighbors and surrounding communities. The commitment to our New England roots is embedded in the new name.
World class service that makes you feel at home. A setting and atmosphere that is comfortable and refreshing. Cuisine that is authentic as well as inspired. Every aspect of the Oak & Grain dining experience is designed to delight our guests and create unforgettable memories.