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      Photos by Skip Broom

  The Bee and Thistle Inn was originally built as a residence in 1756. First opened to the public in the ‘30s, it grew in reputation as an excellent if somewhat stuffy  dining  establishment.  That was before Linnea and David Russo took the place over. Under the Russos a relaxed and contemporary vibe has been laid on top of the historical ambience.

The Bee and Thistle Inn
The Bee and Thistle Inn The  Zagat rated restaurant has become a local favorite. With Old Lyme being famed as an artist’s colony since the late nineteenth century, it made perfect sense to incorporate works by local artists into the décor of the dining room, guest quarters, and on the five acres of bucolic grounds along the placid Lieutenant River.

The Bee and Thistle Inn

  On a visit this past November the dining room featured photographs by Adrien Broom, who is becoming well known worldwide for her rhapsodic images that work between fairy tale fantasy and edgy reality.
Lost Thoughts by Adrien Broom
Lost Thoughts by Adrien Broom

Conch Shells at the Bee and Thistle InnHanging mussel shells at The Bee and Thistle Inn

  On the grounds, down towards the river, we encountered a pair of five foot tall conch shells crafted from fibreglass by Chan Davis. This is a favorite spot for wedding photos. Hanging from an historic black walnut tree, a dozen of Davis’s two foot long replica mussel shells swung in the afternoon breeze.
The Bee and Thistle Inn with the Jefferson River in the foreground
The Lieutenant River flows behind the Bee and Thistle Inn.

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Header photo by Skip Broom, HP Broom Housewright, Inc.