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The Mansion on Turner Hill

By: Kellie K. Speed

The Mansion on Turner Hill - Click to Enlarge Built in 1903 as a private residence, recreating an English country estate, Turner Hill is now being transformed into an intimate country inn and restaurant with a private championship golf course, spa and fitness center and private residences that will be completed in 2003. Located on 315 acres of perfectly manicured gardens and terraces surrounded by towering pines and ponds, the mansion now hosts private parties, corporate events and spectacular weddings while it awaits its grand refurbishment next year. 

Named after Captain Turner, the first recorded owner of the land in the 1600s, Charles and Ann Rice purchased the property in 1900 and built the grand estate. After three years of traveling to England and Italy to get some decorating ideas, Turner Hill was complete. For more than 40 years, the Rice family lived there with their extensive service staff and their three children.

The brunch series at Turner Hill is available for $30 per person every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and reservations are requested. Their upcoming events include regular Wednesday and Thursday night dinners from 6 to 9 p.m. for $40 per person. A murder mystery dinner series will be held April 19, May 10 and June 27 for $60 per person. The wine dinner series is held the first Tuesday of every month for $75 per person.

We visited the mansion recently for its Sunday brunch. Be sure to dress up for the formal restaurant as most people do not wear jeans.

We were greeted by a friendly hostess who seated us next to an enormous window overlooking the beautiful back garden. We requested a cup of coffee and fresh orange juice. Our server displayed a basket of rolls from cinnamon to walnut sticky buns. My husband and I indulged, selecting the sticky buns, overflowing with walnuts. Our server was happy to show us around the mansion. The living room's ornate hand-carved ceiling was breathtaking with peacock symbols seen throughout the house.

On display was a salad bar with everything from a sliced fruit salad, potato salad, chicken salad with apples, green bean salad and pasta salad. Adjacent to that was the smoked salmon display and sliced roast beef, ham, turkey and various cheeses. Entrees included a rock Cornish game hen with Basquaise sauce, roast tenderloin of beef with green peppercorn sauce, seafood in pernod sauce with rice and filet of salmon and tarragon cream. Don't forget to save room for the ala minute pancake and omelet station and of course, the Viennese table of mini desserts ranging from fresh fruit, cannolis, to strawberry cheesecake and German chocolate cake.

The brunch here is wonderful and reasonably priced at $30 per person for adults and $18 for children under 16.

For reservations or more information, call Turner Hill directly at 978-356-7070. For more information on the private homes at Turner Hill, call Robert Cole at 978-356-0090.

The Mansion on Turner Hill
251 Topsfield Road
Ipswich, MA 01938

Phone: 978-356-7070
Fax: 978-356-7123

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Kellie Speed - Click to enlarge

Kellie K. Speed is a freelance travel writer and restaurant reviewer. Her features have been published in various publications including The Boston Globe, Cahnersí Industrial Distribution and Graphic Arts Monthly magazines and Reno Air Approach.

Kellie has reviewed numerous first-class hotels and travel destinations, including Hawaii, California, Arizona, Bermuda and Mexico, to name a few. She has also traveled internationally to Ireland, England, France, Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic. Next year, she is planning a trip to Tahiti.

Since she is from Massachusetts, she will be providing reviews of local restaurants for Travel-Watch.

If you would like to email Kellie any suggestions or comments, please do so at


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