“Pitcher” Perfect Weekend
As I much as I love the warm weather, there is something about New England in the winter that is so picturesque, cozy and serene. Our first two trips of 2017 have been to Vermont – the first over the long weekend in January to go skiing with friends in Stowe, and the second one this past weekend to stay at the Pitcher Inn in Warren, Vermont. Max surprised me with this stay so all I knew was when we were going, but nothing that was on the itinerary! We had been to Warren before to stop in at the institution across the street, The Warren Store, but never ventured further to notice the lovely property that is the Pitcher Inn.
Luckily this time around we had a full weekend to explore the gorgeous space (which mostly involved staying put because once you get to the Pitcher Inn, you don’t want to leave!). The Pitcher Inn started in 1997, but its history goes back long before when it was a Civil War era lodging house. Much of the charm of the Pitcher Inn comes from how it has weaved different period pieces into its decorations creating both the feel of a historic American boarding house and a quintessential Vermont home. American flags and vintage drugstore bottles decorate the hallways and antique tools surround the well-worn fireplaces throughout the inn.
The unique decorations do not stop in the common spaces though. Each bedroom is aptly named and meticulously decorated – the Mallard Room, School Room, Colonial Room and Trout Room are just a few examples. There are also two rooms named after two Vermont born presidents – Chester A. Arthur and Calvin Coolidge – and both are decorated to reflect the period in which they lived. Our room, the Mountain Room, was up on the third floor, offered a sitting room with a fireplace and provided the coziest accommodations we could have hoped for. Old snowshoes and skis of all varieties lined the wall which added to the snowy, mountain atmosphere of our weekend.
Our arrival on late Friday afternoon coincided with tea and ice cream sandwiches in the library. Considering tea, ice cream and libraries are three of my favorite things, I already knew this stay was going to be off to a great start.
It did not take us long to find Tracks Bar in the basement. The authentic space is perfect for a pre-dinner drink, late lunch or even dinner with the best spot being right in front of the fire (did I mention there are fires crackling everywhere?).
It was the perfect spot for us to warm our bones after the drive up from Boston and grab a pre-dinner drink before heading over to The Common Man, the only meal we ate off the property. A couple of miles down the road from the Pitcher Inn, the restaurant is in a refurbished barn complete with wooden beams and a fireplace. We were lucky enough to have a front row seat in front of the fire and had trouble deciding what to get from the inventive New American menu. The menu changes regularly and is a great place to grab dinner if you find yourself in the area.
The next morning started out with breakfast in the main dining room. Breakfast at the Pitcher Inn is a great affair and is not to be missed! Freshly baked muffins and coffee cake arrive from the chef before you even place your order and as you sit in the cozy dining room with fireplaces and a piano, you feel a bit like you have traveled back in time.
Although it was tempting to retreat back to our room after breakfast and curl up with a good book in front of the fire, we opted for some fresh air and went snowshoeing at Blueberry Lake. The lake is named for the blueberry bushes that bloom in the nicer weather, but we had to take everyone’s word for it as the area was covered in snow and continued to be throughout the weekend. Eleven trails cover 35km and we ventured on the long loop around, encountering only four other people (and two dogs) on the picturesque and peaceful trails. It is the perfect place to spend a couple of hours in the afternoon enjoying the peace and quiet.
Once we returned to the Pitcher Inn on Saturday afternoon, there was no leaving again! We indulged in tea in the library and spent the rest of the afternoon reading by the fire. Dinner was in the wine cellar and while the commute was very easy (two flights of stairs), dinner was even better. A five-course tasting menu with wine pairings to match closed out the perfect evening. The private dining spot can be booked for small groups and is worth checking if the reservation is available on the weekend you visit!
There is not much more I can say about how magical this stay was. The staff goes above and beyond to make you feel welcomed and at home. From letting us borrow their snowshoes to placing Robert Frost poems on our pillow each night to making sure the fires around the inn were always going, there was not a detail that went unnoticed. The only question remains, how soon can we return?
Have you ever been to Vermont in the winter? Is it somewhere you would like to go?