I recently took a mini much needed weekday trip to Woodstock, Vermont. I had never been before, but this time of year is great for taking a few days away when you can. Living in Manhattan can be exciting, but I find taking a few days away every month or two is needed in order to stay sane in the city that never sleeps. I had the pleasure of staying two nights, one at the historic Lincoln Inn and Restaurant and the second night at the Ardmore Inn. During the day I made stops at local distilleries, Cabot Cheese shops, a farm, and two breweries. The beauty of owning a business in Vermont is that everyone buys local and supports small business.
On the way to the first b&b, I stopped by King Arthur Flour and Vermont Spirits. King Arthur offers an array of baking classes: both sweet and savory. The facility is huge with an in house cafe, school, and store where you will find all the baking essentials you would ever need; it’s truly a bakers heaven. Vermont Spirits was a fun stop after tasting the entire Cabot Cheese line at the Cabot Creamery store. Vermont Spirits produces a line of vodka, bourbon, brandy, gin, and whiskey. At the tasting room and distillery, you can taste any of the spirits, where the knowledgeable and passionate tasting room manager will win you over with his personality.
The Lincoln Inn & Restaurant is a quaint six bedroom b&b full of history and style. It’s owned and operated by Mara Mehlman, a lovely woman with a ton of personality and passion for hospitality. Her partner and Executive Chef, Jevgenija Saromova is the culinary artist and master behind the exquisite menu. Chef, Jevgenija is a one of a kind, Michelin Star trained chef that will wow you with her creative, locally sourced, and globally inspired menu. The accommodations are comfortable and when you stay, breakfast is included. The breakfast here is delicious and consists of fresh fruit or yogurt with house made granola, along with eggs, sausage, bacon, and home fries. The Lincoln Inn is an affordable luxury that you will want to stay at!
HERE is where you can read about my incredible dining experience where I enjoyed a delicious six course Chef’s Table Dinner, paired with wine in the Paul Newman dining room.
After a relaxing stay and breakfast at The Lincoln Inn, it was time to head up north to Stowe. I stopped by Stowe Cider to visit the tasting room and try some unique and refreshing Vermont hard cider. All of the cider is on tap and also sold by the growler and by the bottle. Stowe is very popular during skiing season, and is about an hour and twenty minute drive from Woodstock. The ciders change seasonally and range from super dry to sweet. My favorites were the Tips Up, High and Dry, Bourbon Barrel Aged, and a Black Currant Cider (limited offering). The tasting room is open daily and is active all year long.
After my refreshing cider visit, it was time to drive a minute down the road to the well-known craft brewery: The Alchemist! I was so excited to be able to visit one of the best craft breweries in Vermont, that doesn’t distribute nation wide. You can only buy the beer in Vermont, and it’s delicious. Jennifer and John are a husband and wife team that own the brewery and have a large beer fan base. Here I met with Kenny, who is head of all the canning of the beer, and has been with the company for 12 years. He is extremely passionate about the brand, and tasted me on the Focal Banger, Heady Topper, and Crusher. At the brewery you can taste the beers on tap, which change out every so often. The well-known ones are Heady Topper and Focal Banger, which are refreshing, bold, and really smooth. I enjoyed Crusher a lot as well, but it was being switched out for the Beelzebub American Imperial Stout, which is coffee driven, dark, and oh so smooth!
After a day of exploring Stowe, it was time to head back to Woodstock to check into the darling Ardmore Inn. This b&b is in the town of Woodstock, and is a victorian style house with large rooms and beautiful antique furniture. I stayed in The Chris Bohjalian Room, which is located on the first floor. It has a beautiful bathroom with a luxurious jacuzzi tub, tile shower, and high four post bed. The lounge and dining areas have plenty of books to read, games to play, and complimentary hot cider and chocolate chip cookies.
For dinner, I was excited to visit a local Vermont restaurant: The Worthy Kitchen. This lively local spot brings in quite the crowds, due to their local farm inspired new American style menu and casual, tavern style atmosphere. The food here is quite good, and I enjoyed the warm Asiago Cheese Dip with Tortilla Chips, Buttermilk Fried Chicken, and Worthy Burger. They are known for their burgers and craft beer, however the buttermilk fried chicken was awesome! This spot is great for families, large parties, and is a must visit if you’re staying in Woodstock for a day or two.
After a great nights sleep in one of the beautiful rooms at The Ardmore Inn, breakfast was served by Charlotte, the Innkeeper. She keeps bringing out fresh coffee while also cooking breakfast, and is extremely attentive. First I enjoyed a fresh baked scone, which came piping hot out of the oven; it was very comforting. After the scone came a delicious baked apple, also fresh from the oven and a nice morning sweet treat. For my main breakfast, I enjoyed the Vermont Scramble with Bacon and Potatoes, while my mother had the Grand Marnier French Toast, which was also wonderful.
Our last day in Vermont before heading back to Manhattan entailed a delicious cheese tasting at Sugarbush Farm and then a visit to Harpoon Brewery. Sugarbush Farms produces maple syrup and a wide array of cheeses. It’s a fun stop while in Woodstock, and is great for families as well as people of all ages. My favorites were the Smoked Cheese, Aged Cheddar Cheese, and Dark Amber Maple Syrup.
After a morning of cheese, syrup, and beautiful Vermont views, it was time for some beer. Harpoon Brewery is a great visit and a must see if you’re over 21 and enjoy a wide range of beer styles as well as cider. I met with the Head Brewer, Scott who is passionate and charming. I enjoyed tasting the large selection of beers on tap that they offer, including the seasonal Winter Warmer, Cranberry Cider, Barleywine, IPA, Vanilla Bean Porter, UFO, and Stout. The location where it all began is in Windsor, VT where not only will you find a great brewery and tap room, but they also have a great restaurant on site that serves warm fresh baked pretzels and beer cheese, pulled pork tacos, fried brussels sprouts, and sandwiches. The food is delicious, and during the warmer months people can enjoy the fire pit outside with a cold beer on a beautiful Vermont night. Unlike The Alchemist, Harpoon Brewery is distributed nationally and can be found in many retailers and restaurants.
Thinking about planning a weekend or weekday getaway? This time of year is great for those who enjoy cold weather, snow filled activities, spa retreats, and of course beer and cider tastings!