Chesterfield, New Hampshire
February 11th, 2011 by Judy Hueber
One of the ways that New Englanders survive our long, snowy winters is to embrace the cold weather and go outside and play in it! The Brattleboro Winter Carnival has a 55 year tradition of playing in the snow, and the tradition continues this year starting on Friday, January 19th. Winter Carnival activities go on all week, and include outdoor activities for all ages.
Harris Hill Ski Jump
Don’t miss the Harris Hill Ski Jump competition! The ski jumping happens on February 19th and 20th this year, and watching the breathtaking ski jumping off of the 90 meter Harris Hill is an experience not to be missed. Join the crowd at the bottom of the hill, and cheer on the international participants as they fly (yes, they really do!) off of Harris Hill. So put on your snow pants and Sorels and enjoy the show!
After an afternoon of outdoor activities, come back and sit by the fire and enjoy some hot chocolate or even an Irish coffee at The Chesterfield Inn, our Bed & Breakfast near Brattleboro. Then maybe a quick nap, and dinner at our romantic New Hampshire restaurant while watching the snow fall, for the perfect end to a wintry New England day.
January 5th, 2011 by Judy Hueber
Chesterfield Inn Winter Morning
After last week’s snow storm, we have nice snow cover and it’s the perfect time to head out into the woods! If you’d like to go snow shoeing, you can bring your own snow shoes or rent them at Burrow’s Specialized Sports in Brattleboro, Vermont. There is no need to leave Chesterfield if you want to go snow shoeing: we have Pisgah Park, Friedsam Forest and the Madame Sherri Forest, all with great trails and all right in Chesterfield. We can supply trail maps at the front desk.
If you’d like to go cross country skiing, take your skis (you can rent those at Burrows Specialized Sports as well! ) over to the Brattleboro Outing Club trails at the Brattleboro Country Club on Upper Dummerston Road in Brattleboro. For more extensive trails and snow making, try Grafton Ponds in Grafton , VT, which is just a 40 minute drive from the inn.
For down hill skiing, we are an hour or less from Mount Snow, Stratton, Okemo, and Bromley Mountains. You can rent skis, boots, and poles at all of the ski resorts. Granite Gorge, just outside Keene, NH, is a great place to take kids for tubing,as well as skiing and snow boarding.
So dig out your ski jacket, find your skis and snow shoes and pile into the car for a weekend of outdoor activities. At the end of the day, you can relax in front of the fire at our romantic New Hampshire Inn with a glass of wine, enjoy a delicious dinner in our candlelit dining room, and sleep like a baby in one of our king sized beds!
November 2nd, 2010 by Judy Hueber
Ready for a New Hampshire getaway? One of the best things about staying at our romantic New Hampshire inn is that we are just across the river from Brattleboro, Vermont! Get away from it all this weekend, and enjoy what Brattleboro has to offer!
I was curious to see what was planned for the weekend of November 5, 6, and 7 and checked the Brattleboro Reformer to see what our very vibrant arts community was up to. This is a sampling of what I found:
November 5: a concert at the New England Youth Theater featuring Scott Ainslee and Sparky and Rhonda Rucker playing traditional music, with history and stories interwoven.
November 5, 6, 7: Vermont Theater Company presents a production of “The Heiress” based on the Henry James novel “Washington Square”.
November 6: From 10:00 to 1:00, Karen Becker offers water color painting class at a studio in Westminster , Vermont.
November 7: Rock River Studio offers a Visual Memoir workshop, on how to create a personal art book using photos, artwork and mementos.
November 7: An all Bach concert will be presented on Sunday afternoon at the Congregational Church, featuring Susan Dedell, Clark Anderson on organ and Jennifer Hansen singing. Sure to be gorgeous and to end your getaway on a high note!
Early November is a great time to visit with the New Hampshire fall colors still vibrant, and the air crisp, and the fire glowing in the fireplace at night.
You can check on line at the Brattleboro Reformer to see what’s going on anytime. Who knows, maybe there will be something that you can’t miss!
September 14th, 2010 by Judy Hueber
One of the nicest things about Brattleboro is the way that the town center hugs the Connecticut River, nestled at the foot of Mount Wantastiquet. Mount Wantastiquet, being across the river, is in New Hampshire, and is a great place to hike without a long drive to get there. The trail head is just a ten minute drive from the Chesterfield Inn.
I often meet a friend there for a quick hike in the summer or fall (the trail is generally too wet in the spring with the snow melt rushing down the mountain. ) We meet at the bottom of the mountain , just behind the Hinsdale Walmart, where there is a small parking area. From Main Street in Brattleboro, go over the bridge to Hinsdale and take the first left on Mountain Road, a dirt road that ends at the parking area. Depending on your pace, you can get up and down Wantastiquet in less than 2 hours.
The trail follows switchbacks that start to climb immediately. There is a stream that cascades down the side of the mountain, so you can hear rushing water all the way up. The trail, an old quarry road, is wide enough for mountain bikers and is about 2 miles long. Just when you think you’ve had enough, the trail levels out along the ridge of the mountain, and you’ll see a short detour that leads to a rock outcropping with a small monument and an expansive view of the Connecticut River Valley, the town of Brattleboro and the Green Mountains in the distance. You see the ski areas Mount Snow, Stratton , and Bromley, as well as the rolling hills of Massachusetts to the south. The trail continues on to Mine Ledge, to the Madame Sherri Forest and then to Pisgah Park, but we usually stop to look at the view and then head down, back the way we came.
August 22nd, 2010 by Judy Hueber
This summer, I was very happy to discover that the Clark Museum of Art in Williamstown , Massachusetts, is only an hour and 20 minutes drive from the Chesterfield Inn. It was close enough for me to jump in the car on a Sunday afternoon and drive there for a much needed art infusion. The drive itself was a pleasant diversion. I drove west on Route 9 through West Brattleboro, Vermont, and across the rolling hills to Wilmington and then Bennington, Vermont. In Bennington, I headed south on Route 7 and soon Mount Greylock loomed on the horizon and I knew that I was in Williamstown.
I followed the signs to the Clark Institute of Art and parked. I had visited the museum many years ago and remembered their outstanding collection of French Impressionist art. My plan was to wander the galleries and bask in the gorgeous colors and shimmering shapes of the Impressionist artists.
However, before I entered the main museum building, I stopped at the Stone Hill Center, a separate building on the Clark campus. I was immediately drawn into the world of Juan Munoz, a contemporary sculptor. All I can say, is “don’t miss this exhibit”-it will be at the museum until October 17.
I then continued down a wooded path to the main museum and was happily surprised to see the featured exhibit “Picasso Looks at Degas”. This will be shown until September 12 and is well worth the trip. Stunning paintings and unexpected parallels between the artists can be seen throughout.
The rest of the afternoon was spent wandering the permanent collection, until closing time , when I reluctantly left the museum, promising myself to return soon. I made plans to drive over on a September Sunday, when the leaves are turning in the higher elevations with beauty that rivals Impressionist paintings.
June 14th, 2010 by Judy Hueber
The terrace on a summer evening
On these beautiful summer nights in New Hampshire, we invite you to enjoy drinks and dinner on our terrace. We have a few wrought iron tables with chairs and green umbrellas on the blue stone terrace where you can settle in, have a cocktail or a glass of wine, and watch the sun set. Dinner is served on the terrace, from 5:30 until 9:00.
I had the pleasure of entertaining some friends for dinner on the terrace last week, and they thought it was the nicest outdoor dining in the area. The rolling hills, the lush meadow, and the gorgeous sunset all combined with delicious food make for a wonderful evening!
January 5th, 2010 by Judy Hueber
Driveway at Dusk
I love the beginning of January
when the door slams shut on the old year
and we have a chance to start again.
Low time for New England innkeepers,
we order new sheets,
cook comfort food for our families,
Here I sit with my tuxedo cat,
warm by the fire
while the wind whips the snow into a dervish outside the window.
The Christmas tree leans against the porch in a snow drift
enjoying its second life as a bird feeder.
Each day I venture outside for my walk,
bundled up in my green Christmas scarf
breathing deeply the smell of the crisp clean air,
looking at the snow with the navy blue shadows
where the the meadow meets the woods.
The sky is heavy with snow,
slate gray behind the pines,
I hurry inside
as snowflakes fall in my hair.
December 16th, 2009 by Judy Hueber
I love the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day because we cooks have license to use cranberries liberally. After the holidays fresh cranberries are not as widely available, so sometimes I stockpile them so I can extend the season a little bit. There’s something about the dark ruby color of the berries, as well as their tart flavor that sweetens when they are dried or cooked that makes them so appealing to me.
One of my favorite things to make for breakfast is our Cranberry Cream Scones. They are soft, flaky and delicious-a great way to start the day! Here’s the recipe:
Chesterfield Inn Cream Scones
1 cup unsifted flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
4 Tablespoons cold butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Lemon Glaze: juice of half a lemon and enough confectioner’s sugar to make a glaze
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine dry ingredients. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Combine eggs, cranberries, and heavy cream; stir into flour mixture with a fork, then mix with your hands just enough to combine. Divide dough in half.; shape into rounds about 1 1/2 inches thick. Cut each round into fifths and separate wedges slightly on ungreased baking sheet. Brush with egg wash.
Bake for 15 minutes. While the scones are baking, mix up the lemon glaze. Note: it’s easy to over bake these, so remove them from the oven even if you think they’re not done. Let cool, drizzle with lemon glaze.
Another of my favorites for the holidays is a cranberry relish that my friend Betsy Bates taught me years ago. When you see how easy this is, and how delicious, you’ll never buy canned cranberry sauce again! All you need is:
1 bag fresh cranberries
1 jar orange marmalade
1/2 cup orange juice, and more if needed
Put the cranberries in a saucepan, add the marmalade and orange juice. Cook on low heat until the cranberries pop, and everything has melded together nicely. let cool. Refrigerate until needed. Keeps for at least in a covered refrigerated container.
August 1st, 2009 by Judy Hueber
One of the best parts of my job as Innkeeper of the Chesterfield Inn is choosing the wines featured on our wine list! I’ve worked on the wine list for years, as it evolves and changes with trends and our guests’ taste. People who stay and dine with us tell me about wines, I taste wines and read about wines, and the list evolves!
In the last year, we have begun a program that features 4 or 5 wines each month. I’m particularly taken with our Summer Wine Specials, which are all from New Zealand and Australia, and I’d like to tell you about them. We have two red wines. The first is a Cabernet Sauvignon from the Barossa Valley in Australia called The Cover Drive from Jim Barry. Jim Barry is a small, quality oriented winery, and this wine is the result of careful wine making. The flavor is dense with rich fruit and the wine has a wonderful nose. The other red wine that we are featuring is from Yalumba Vineyards, also in Barossa, and is a Shiraz/Viognier blend. The Shiraz is blended with Viognier to bring out the color and aroma. The result is a light, fruity wine, with jammy flavors.
For white wines, we have an Un-oaked Chardonnay from Tohu, a vineyard in New Zealand. This is a full bodied chardonnay without the heaviness of oak, with peachy and lemon overtones. Of course, we must have a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc in the mix, and the Sauvignon Blanc is Harbor Town, from Marlborough. The wine is made by Alan Scott from some of New Zealand’s finest Sauvignon Blanc vineyards. It has a rich , intense flavor. Then we have a Reisling from Yalumba Vineyard, which is dry with lush tropical friut overtones. This wine is a perennial award winner with a host of food pairing possibilities.
These wines are all delicious. We’d love to share them with you-maybe out on the terrace at sunset?
June 2nd, 2009 by Judy Hueber
We now have Walpole Creamery ice cream on our dessert menu at the Chesterfield Inn! The Walpole Creamery is located right on Route 12 in Walpole, which is about a 20 minute drive north of the inn. Their ice cream is made entirely from scratch, using all natural ingredients, and hormone free milk from Walpole farms. You can visit the Walpole Creamery from noon to 8:00 PM daily and sample any of their delicious flavors.
We serve their Sweet Cream ice cream with all of our desserts as the house “a la mode”. It’s just delicious on the Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp! Or, if you like, you can have your Sweet Cream in a marbled white and dark chocolate cup with chocolate or caramel sauce. We also offer one of the other flavors as a monthly special. This month the special flavor is Chocolate Chocolate Chip. It’s fabulous!