Chesterfield, New Hampshire
July 18th, 2013 by Judy Hueber
Last weekend a friend and I drove over to Manchester, Vermont to visit the Lincoln family home, known as Hildene. We enjoyed a leisurely drive up Route 30, stopping at antique shops along the way. We followed Route 7 South through Manchester, to the gates and long driveway through the woods to Hildene. The mansion was owned by Robert Todd Lincoln, who was the only one of President Lincoln’s sons to survive to adulthood, and his wife, Mary Harlan Lincoln. Robert Todd Lincoln spent his summers here with his family from 1905 until 1926, when he passed away.
We stopped in the Visitors Center and enjoyed a short film giving an overview of the property and its history and then walked up the path to the main house. We entered the foyer immediately engulfed in the sound of music coming from the home’s organ, setting the scene for a very interesting house tour. All of the furnishings in the home belonged to the Lincoln family, who lived in the house until 1970. The house has two wings flowing out from the foyer, with a sweeping staircase leading to the second floor. It was so interesting to walk through the rooms, many of which looked like the inhabitants had just left a moment ago. One of the rooms had not been freshened up or renovated, but left “as is”, and retained an air of faded elegance.
The back of the house has French doors which open onto a formal garden with a glorious view overlooking the hills and valley below. We wandered the paths of the garden, enjoying the blossoms as well as the expansive view.
We then walked the woodsy path that led to the restored Pullman railroad car that was part of the property and learned about the the Pullman Company, Robert Todd Lincoln’s role in it, and the role of Pullman Porters after the Civil War. Fascinating stuff!
The property also has a farm with a herd of Nubian goats and a cheese making operation that is an extension of the Lincoln family members interest in farming. The cheese is for sale in the gift shop and visitors can tour the goat farm as part of their visit. Hildene was well worth the trip: I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to explore Southern Vermont.
July 3rd, 2013 by Judy Hueber
This weekend, a friend and I took advantage of a leisurely summer afternoon to make a visit to Augustus St. Gaudens’ home and studios in Cornish, New Hampshire, a National Historic Site about 45 minutes’ drive from the Chesterfield Inn. We spent 3 hours there, wandering the property, touring the house, visiting his studio, and enjoying many pieces of his work. We started the day with a 20 minute film at the Visitor’s center , that gave us an overview of his life and the site. Augustus Saint Gaudens was one of America’s greatest sculptors and created many heroic monuments and bas-reliefs. Later in his life, he was one of the founders of the Cornish Colony, a group of artists and writers living in Cornish.
The views from the porch of the house were expansive, with rolling meadows, gardens, statues, and Mount Ascutney looming on the horizon. The gardens were designed to showcase the art work, and formed several rooms so that the works could be viewed in seclusion. The flowers were just gorgeous, in the gardens and in arrangements in the buildings; it seemed that the whole place smelled of roses!
This building housed many of Saint Gaudens’ bas-reliefs, as well as his studio, where our guide was kind enough to explain the process of bronzing, using objects such as molds and plaster casts from the studio to explain exactly how it was done.
We sat on the porch with our guide before touring the house and heard the story of Saint Gaudens’s life at Aspet, his name for the summer house that became his year round home towards the end of his life. The house is furnished with original furniture from the time that he and his family lived there. All in all it was a fascinating place to visit, with history and nature intertwined with art. A perfect summer outing while staying at our New Hampshire bed and breakfast!
June 12th, 2013 by Judy Hueber
Last weekend, while driving down Route 12 in Charlestown, New Hampshire, we noticed what looked like large kites with people hanging from them flying through the air. We quickly turned off the main road and into the Morningside Flight Park to check it out. The Park is set into the bottom and side of a steep hill with a platform for take off at the top of the hill. A driveway winds up the side of the hill to drop off the thrill seekers.
The Flight Park has something for everyone, from kayak tours to hang gliding to paragliding to a zip line through the tree tops of the forest. One thing that we learned is the difference between hang gliding and paragliding: hang gliding involves an airplane that takes you up in the sky and releases you. Paragliding is when you take off from the top of the hill under your own power and glide to the bottom of the hill.
The zip line involves being in a secure harness anchored to a secure cable that you slide along in the tree tops. It all looked like tons of fun and many thrills. The great thing about Morningside is that they offer instruction on all these New Hampshire activities. Morningside Flight Park is about 40 minutes drive from the Chesterfield Inn and is a perfect way to spend a sunny June afternoon!
February 11th, 2013 by Judy Hueber
Chocolate Cup with Berries
Chesterfield Inn is the perfect place to celebrate Valentine’s Day! Because of the calendar this year, the holiday will continue here from Thursday until Sunday, February 14, 15 and 16. So make a date with that special someone right now, and plan to come for overnight or for dinner at our romantic New Hampshire Inn!
We’ll have some very special Valentine’s Day desserts featured next week, such as Chocolate Mocha Mousse, Chocolate Cups with Fresh Raspberries and Strawberries, and Chocolate Tissimo Cake. If you’re not a chocolate lover, we’ll also have Maple Creme Brulee and Apple Cranberry Crisp.
Our special Valentine’s Day cocktails will include a Kir Royale , made with Prosecco, Chambord and raspberries, and our delicious Black Cherry Cosmo, garnished with brandy soaked cherries. You are welcome to enjoy a cocktail by the fire in the parlor before you go into the dining room.
If you can get away overnight, check out our Date Your Mate Package, which includes champagne, dinner for two and breakfast in bed! Romance is in the air this week at the Chesterfield Inn!
November 26th, 2012 by Judy Hueber
It was our pleasure to have The Red Chair with us at our romantic New Hampshire bed and breakfast this week. This slightly worn, bright red wooden chair is making its way around New England, traveling from inn to inn. It started from its home in Woods Hole at the Woods Hole Inn in July and will return to Woods Hole in mid-December. My job, as host of the chair for 3 days this week, was to take photos of the chair at the inn and in Chesterfield so that people could get an idea of where the chair had been.
My first photo was of the inn sitting in the field in front of the inn sign in the meadow in the front yard to the left of the pond. It was a cold November morning, and the trees and grass were all coated with a thin layer of frost, making the chair stand out even more.
I then moved the chair to the back of the inn, on the blue stone terrace, and snapped this photo. The terrace usually has several wrought iron tables and chairs with umbrellas on it, but the furniture has all been stored in the barn for the winter, so the chair was all alone out there.
We came inside to warm up for a few minutes, and then I packed the chair up into the car and drove 10 minutes up to the Madame Sherri Forest in West Chesterfield. The trails in the forest are beautifully laid out, and circle around the hilly landscape, climbing all the way up to Indian Pond, a beautiful pond hidden at the top of the hill but below the cliffs off the back of Mine Ledge. I carried the chair a short way up the trail, where it forks to the right and opens up so that you can see the ruins of Madame Sherri’s house. I was able to set the chair in the center near the stone staircase and take a nice photo.
November 1st, 2012 by Judy Hueber
I’m always surprised to find things that I don’t know about New Hampshire, even after living here for 25 years! As the image shows, New Hampshire is truly beautiful in the fall as we are known for our fall foliage, and we are enjoying every minute of it!
Here are some New Hampshire facts that I’d like to share with you: New Hampshire was the 9th state in the Union; it gained statehood on June 21, 1788. New Hampshire was the first of the original colonies to declare independence from England. Our house, attached to our Chesterfield NH inn, was built in the early 1780′s. The rest of the inn is not nearly as old, originally built as sheds and barns and dating back to the early 1900′s.
New Hampshire’s state motto is “Live Free or Die”. The motto comes from a statement written by the Revolutionary General John Stark, hero of the Battle of Bennington in Bennington, Vermont. Bennington is about 45 minutes away, across the Green Mountains on Route 9 in Vermont. Those of us who live here like to think of ourselves as independent, which means that we get a lot of visits from political candidates.
Augustus Saint-Gaudens from Cornish, New Hampshire was the first sculptor to design an American coin. You can visit his home, studios and sculpture gardens in Cornish, just an hour’s drive from the inn.
The first capital city of New Hampshire was in Exeter, but the capital was moved to Concord in 1808. The New Hampshire legislature still meets in their original chambers which are the oldest in the country. Concord also has the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, a planetarium named after Christa McAuliffe, the Concord teacher who died during the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986.
This is simply food for thought to provide our New Hampshire guests places to visit the next time they travel to our state and be sure to stay with us at our New Hampshire luxury inn.
September 26th, 2012 by Judy Hueber
Yesterday I drove out to a Westmoreland Sheep Farm, about 15 minutes from our romantic New Hampshire bed and breakfast, to meet Nancy Zeller, who owns Long Ridge Farm with her husband, Jack. I heard about Long Ridge Farm because we have guests who stay with us at Chesterfield Inn for NH lodging when they come to the Westmoreland farm for workshops on wool and natural dyeing.
As I drove up the dirt road and arrived at the 128 acre sheep farm at the top of the hill, I was struck by the beauty of the land and the simple red barns and sand colored houses on the property. The sheep grazing in the field next to the barn with sheep dogs and hens meandering the vast farmland added the perfect touch to the bucolic scene.
Nancy very graciously showed me around the farm. First the sheep, with a long conversation on why they all had coats on (to keep their fleece clean so that dirt and hay don’t become imbedded in the wool), and then the barn, her workshop, and the garden out back. Nancy and Jack raise CVM Romeldale sheep, which are a rare breed known for their exceptionally fine fleece. They rotate the sheep around the fields on the farm, grazing for a few days in each field before moving on to fresh grass. The sheep are also fed hay and grain.
Nancy’s studio was filled with gorgeous wool, yarn, fleece, and all kinds of different projects that she was working on. Color was a big party of everything, so vibrant and in so many shades. I was taken by her work with indigo, which she had growing in her garden. The blues that she created were beautiful and shimmered on that fabric. Nancy has several workshops that happen at the farm during the year. You can see her entire workshop schedule online.
The Farm is open for tours on the weekend of October 6 and 7 as a part of the River Valley Artisans Tour, so you too can enjoy this fabulous farm like I did!
September 19th, 2012 by Judy Hueber
Sunrise at Spofford Lake, Chesterfield, NH
Spofford Lake is just 3 miles away from our Romantic New Hampshire Bed and Breakfast and this favorite among New Hampshire lakes holds a special place in the hearts of many people who have whiled away long lazy summer days at Ware’s Grove Beach. Spofford is not the biggest lake in New Hampshire, but it is one of the prettiest, and it is situated just off of Route 9 in the village of Spofford. The lake has a circumference of about 6 miles and covers 1.1 square miles. Ware’s Grove is a sandy beach on the south side of the lake and is open to the public for swimming, with a life guard on duty from Memorial Day until Labor Day. There are picnic tables, grills, and bathrooms for the public.
Spofford Lake also has a boat ramp for people who want to go boating in motor boats. The boat ramp is on the south side of the lake. Come early, the parking is very limited! Or, bring your kayak or canoe and explore the lake with paddle power. One of our favorite things to do when our kids were little was to canoe over to Pierce’s Island, in the middle of the lake but still a very short paddle. The kids would run around the paths on the island and we would enjoy a picnic lunch on the rocks on the shoreline.
Spofford Lake is a beautiful place to enjoy the fall foliage, with the beautiful colors of the leaves on the tree-lined hills surrounding the lake reflected in the water. Put it on your list for this year’s foliage trip!
August 6th, 2012 by Judy Hueber
We’ve got a new place to go! An incredible Vermont brewery & restaurant opens in Brattleboro! As innkeepers at the Chesterfield Inn, a stunning New Hampshire Bed and Breakfast who have lived here for 25 years, we are always very excited to when a new restaurant opens nearby.
Whetstone Station, owned by our friends Tim and Amy Brady and David Hiler, opened in early July. They serve 14 local and regional craft beers, have an affordable yet inspiring menu, and have incredible views. So far, only the upper deck is open for fair weather, but with the hot dry summer that we’ve had, that has worked perfectly.
Whetstone Station is a restaurant and brewery, and sits right on the banks of the Connecticut River in downtown Brattleboro. The deck has a big bar, and lots of tables with umbrellas. We were there on a warm summer night, and enjoyed the gorgeous view of the river, as we sipped our drinks. Many rave about the huge local and craft beer selection, the many interesting wines by the glass, and the full bar with frozen margaritas. There is something for everyone!
As of August 6th they will be open 7 days a week from 11:30am till at least 10pm (later on weekends) with a full menu.
We enjoyed our dinner, sampling the Surf and Turf Satays, Crispy Brie, Whetstone Wedge Salad, the Mahi Mahi Tacos, and the Beer Braised Short Ribs. The food was fresh, flavorful, and made with local ingredients. Service was attentive and pleasant. It was a terrific night out and we can’t wait to go back!
May 30th, 2012 by Judy Hueber
This weekend is the annual parade that has become a 4-day extravaganza in Brattleboro, Vermont, just 10 minutes from our New Hampshire Bed and Breakfast, in West Chesterfield. The Strolling of the Heifers started 11 years ago as a parade focused on local farms and farming and has grown every year. It starts with the Slow Living Summit on Wednesday through Friday and continues with the Gallery Walk on Friday, with a street festival, a fashion show highlighting the collection at Twice Upon a Time, one of our fabulous second hand stores, and free music and street entertainment. The winners of the New England Bread Baking Competition will be announced that evening as well.
Saturday brings us the parade, with over 100 heifers, as well as a few mules, goats, and alpacas. The parade is on Main Street and culminates at the Brattleboro Common and the Brattleboro Retreat campus where there will be music, cheese and yogurt tasting, and many different kinds of food to sample for lunch. There will also be an antique tractor show, goat racing, and local entertainment on 4 stages. On Sunday, the Tour de Heifer will leave from Lilac Ridge Farm in West Brattleboro. The Tour is a bike ride that can be 60, 30, or 10 miles, and passes many of our local farms along the way.
It’s a full weekend of activities, so make your reservations now at our New Hampshire Bed and Breakfast Inn.