New England Living TV Spotlights Harwich

The Cape Sea Grille, The Nines Art Gallery and Hemeon’s Farm are among some of the places highlighted in the lifestyle show, which aired this month on CBS Boston.

By Lisa Cavanaugh | Photography by Eric Brust-Akdemir

Whenever New England Living TV host Parker Kelley selects a home to feature on her show, it needs to be exquisite in some fashion, from incredible design to a fantastic location. But more important, the homeowners should be excited about sharing their life with viewers. When Kelley discovered a spectacular Harwich home on the Herring River, owned by a New Jersey-based couple, she knew it was a perfect fit for an episode.

“The series is definitely destination-oriented,” says Kelley, “but what matters the most is that it is a celebration of people being together, eating delicious food, exploring their community and sharing their home with friends and family.”

The featured home is an ideal example of that concept. When Cecile and Howard Curtin built their new multi-level Harwich house in 2014, they included more than 1,000 square feet of deck to take advantage of the amazing water views and provide plenty of space for entertaining. “We actually made the house smaller so we could accommodate more outside space,” says Cecile. “We threw our daughter’s engagement party there a couple of years ago on a beautiful September evening. It was just perfect to be able to sit outside at night.”

The house is artfully designed, with a gracious mix of clean, contemporary and traditional touches. “Our family didn’t have a history of coming to the Cape, but I have so many reminders of them here in the house with us,” says Cecile, who keeps her mother’s thimble collection from around the world in her bedroom and cherishes her father-in-law’s copper beer mugs and her grandfather’s World War II navy hat. “Everybody is around us all the time,” she says with a smile.

Although Cecile was a bit nervous about being on television, Kelley made her feel at ease. “As soon as Parker walked through the door, she made me so comfortable, like I was a long-lost friend,” she says. “The whole crew were super nice. I had a great experience.”

In addition to showcasing the house, Kelley and her crew also filmed Cecile and Howard as they shared some of their favorite places in and around Harwich. They visited The Nines Art Gallery where Cecile has purchased works of art and befriended the owners, painter Lauren DiFerdinando and woodworker and photographer Luther Bates. Cecile also insisted that Kelley try clam pie from Marion’s Pie Shop, a place where she and her husband regularly buy savory and fruit pies. “His favorite is raspberry and mine is peach strawberry, so we have to get two,” says Cecile with a smile.

A highlight of the filming was an intimate dinner at home for friends (including DiFerdinando and Bates), prepared by chef Doug Ramler of the Cape Sea Grille, one of the couple’s favorite restaurants. “We bring our family there to show off the best of Cape Cod cuisine,” says Cecile. So Kelley followed Doug and his wife, Jennifer, as they crafted a sublime multi-course menu of fresh local seafood dishes paired with fine wines from Cranberry Liquors.

Together, Kelley and Doug visited Hemeon’s Farm on Bank Street to pick produce with owner Brent Hemeon, traveled to Chatham Fish & Lobster where Bruce Scott helped them choose halibut and bay scallops, and took a field trip to East Dennis Oyster Farm, owned by John and Stephanie Lowell. There they harvested, shucked and tasted the oysters that Doug would feature at the dinner.

“It was such a beautiful property,” says Kelley, “and even though the water was freezing cold, it was a great experience for me.”

“I loved interacting with Parker and it was fun going all around town with her,” says Doug. He feels that Cape Cod is a homey, familial place, and that attitude meshed well with the New England Living TV crew. “Our restaurant guests mean the world to us and we felt that same relaxed welcome from Parker and her crew.”

While Doug served squash soup, fresh oysters, scallops and pan-seared halibut, and a delectable apple tart, Jennifer poured and spoke knowledgeably about the vintages that were selected with assistance from Cranberry Liquors owner Joe Della Morte. The gathered diners were amazed by the meal. “Howard and I had no idea how fabulous it would be,” says Cecile. “We all were just blown away by the experience.”

The chance to share these kinds of moments is what continues to energize Kelley in her work as a television host and storyteller. “I hope that this show helps inspire people to have family over more often, have dinner with friends more often, visit new places and really appreciate where they live.”

New England Living TV’s Harwich episode aired on WBZ / CBS Boston on May 13. View more episodes from Season 2.

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