About 20 minutes northwest of Portsmouth at the edge of the university town of Durham, this is a wonderful retreat. The main section of the inn dates to 1649, but later additions and renovations have given it more of a regal Georgian feel. All of the units are above average in size, and have been lushly decorated with four-poster or canopied beds, mahogany armoires, and cool patterned carpets. Most rooms sport chunky brick fireplaces, with either gas or Duraflame logs; these and the exposed wooden beams give the place a rustic historicity. Recent renovations uncovered a 100-year-old signature of a former owner on a previously hidden mantle; they also installed new bathroom fixtures in many rooms, painted the exterior paint job, and more—the place feels fresh. Five rooms on the ground-floor level beneath the restored barn have private entrances, Jacuzzis, and gas fireplaces; these tend to be a bit more cavelike than the other units, but luxurious and romantic. This is a popular place for weddings on summer weekends, and is always booked up long in advance of University of New Hampshire events such as graduation, football games, and homecoming weekend. Book well ahead at those times.