Chesterfield, New Hampshire
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!
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 29th, 2010 by Judy Hueber
Sam's in Brattleboro 1940
One of the best things about Brattleboro , Vermont, which is 2 miles from the Inn, is Sam’s Outdoor Outfitters (Check out their web site at: http://www.samsoutdooroutfitters.com ). Sam’s is a Brattleboro landmark, and has occupied its half block of Main Street since the 1930′s. It was opened by the Borofsky family and is still is owned by the third generation of the Borofsky’s.
Sam’s is a great place to shop, for locals as well as people traveling through town. I have a friend from New Jersey who stops at Sam’s every time he visits us, to look for that one piece of fleece that he has to have. The prices are reasonable and the selection is great. Sam’s has everything from hiking boots to Carharrt jeans to fishing poles to ski jackets to long underwear to waders to yoga pants to guns. They have winter clothes for the entire family, as well as kayaks, canoes, cross country skis and snowshoes. In the summer, there are short and shirts of all kinds, as well as bathing suits and sandals. The store has multiple levels, connected by stairs, and rambles through the building. The popcorn machine , providing fresh popcorn to all customers on a self serve basis, is in the center of the store. The popcorn is a very helpful distraction when shopping with kids!
This weekend is Sam’s Pre-inventory sale and everything in the store is at least 20% off. I was delighted to find a pair of Merrill Gore-tex hiking boots at 20% off among the huge selection of women’s hiking boots and walking shoes in the basement of Sam’s. Then I climbed the stairs up to the men’s hunting section, past the popcorn machine, and down a couple of steps to the women’s clothing section. I tried on a Patagonia parka that was half price but the wrong color, and then found an alpaca sweater with a rolled collar that was 40% off. I managed to stop there, but keep thinking of the Smartwool sox that I should have gotten-maybe I’ll go back for another look this weekend!
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?
April 27th, 2009 by Judy Hueber
One of my favorite things about Chesterfield is just up Welcome Hill from the Chesterfield Inn. As you come from Brattleboro, Vermont on Route 9, you’ll come to an intersection where, if you turn right on Cross Road, you’ll end up at the inn. If you turn left onto Welcome Hill Road, you’ll see the old cemetery, the Burying Ground, dating from 1772, with its weather beaten tombstones still standing in the rocky New Hampshire soil.
Follow the road up the steep hill, until it turns to dirt, and you’ll come to what the locals call The Daffodil Garden. It’s on the right side of the road, and on the side of the hill that slopes down to a wooded stream. The garden is part of someone’s yard, but they’ve been generous enough to notice that people come up the hill just to see the garden, so they’ve made the public welcome. There’s a place to pull over and park your car, and two park benches overlooking the garden, so you can sit and enjoy the flowers. The handwritten sign at the top of the path that leads into the garden says: “Please remember: no dogs, no running children, no picking (of course), open from 9 AM to 8PM.” There’s even a bound guest book to record your name and thoughts, protected from the rain by two metal trays and a rock to keep it all from blowing away.
The garden is a riot of spring flowers, in bright colors: yellow forsythia, yellow and white and orange daffodils, yellow narcissus, white dogwood, and pink azaleas, all connected by a meandering path that winds around the clumps of blooms. I like to come up when I have a minute to myself and just sit in the dappled light, letting the colors blur a bit as I listen to the birds sing and bask in our long awaited springtime!
April 7th, 2009 by Judy Hueber
Today we are the Brattleboro Blog! The Chesterfield Inn, although located in New Hampshire, is a short 10 minute drive across the Connecticut River to Main Street, Brattleboro. A Brattleboro vacation can be spent in town or on the river, the mountains, or the rambling trails in the woods. Brattleboro is a very vibrant place, with lots going on and many nooks and crannies to explore.
If you are considering visiting Brattleboro, Vermont, here are ten places to visit while you’re here.
1. Amy’s Bakery: a must for a latte and an almond horn, a baguette or for lunch.
2. Vermont Artisan Designs: chock full of the finest art and objects crafted by Vermont artisans.
3. The Book Cellar: a real independent book store, with great selection and fabulous customer service.
4. Latchis Theater: 4 screens in a a Art Deco building with movies and live shows.
5.Grafton Cheese Company: cheese factory and a shop full of edible delights
6. Brattleboro Food Coop: the place to meet the locals; much more than a grocery store.
7. Farmer’s Market: Saturdays on Route 9 in West Brattleboro in the warm months. Farmers, food and fun!
8. Walker Farm; a heavenly oasis for flowers and plants as well as fresh, organic produce seasonally.
9. Tom and Sally’s Chocolate: on Route 30, for the best chocolate and fancy candies in town.
10. Brattleboro Retreat Trails to the Retreat Tower: a wonderful walk in the woods to the tower that overlooks Brattleboro.
We’d be happy to tailor an itinerary for you to use while you’re here if you give us some idea of your interests. Just speak to anyone at the front desk!
March 16th, 2009 by Judy Hueber
It’s maple sugaring season in New Hampshire, a sure sign that spring is on the way! The weather dictates when sugar season begins, since for the sap to run there must be temperatures above freezing in the daytime and below freezing at night. This New England tradition was begun by the Native Americans, and continues to this day. Sugar houses can be found all over rural New Hampshire, with operations both large and small. New Englanders love their maple syrup, and enjoy it on pancakes, french toast, and ice cream.
When the temperatures are high enough for the frozen sap in the trees to thaw, the sap melts, and pressure builds up in the tree until the sap begins to run. Maple syrup makers tap the trees by drilling holes in them, collect the sap, and boil it down into syrup. Trees are tapped and a bucket set on the trunk of the tree to catch the sap. The farmer then goes from tree to tree in the sugarbush emptying the buckets into a larger bucket to transport back to the sugar house to boil down. (In larger operations, the taps are set up so that the sap runs into tubing that runs between the trees and collects the sap at a central point, saving time and labor).
Once the sap is back transported to the sugar house, it is boiled down over a very hot wood fire, until the water evaporates away and syrup is formed. If you visit a sugar house when they are boiling, when the syrup is finished, they offer around little paper cups of syrup so that you can taste the freshest maple syrup you will ever have. When our children were young, we visited a sugar house each spring so that they could see the syrup being made and have a taste. Another big treat, called Sugar on Snow, is to pour the hot maple syrup on packed snow, where it hardens like taffy and you can twirl it up and eat it, followed by a bite of dill pickle to cut the sweetness. Yum! Our local sugarhouses are open and boiling, so come on up and try some!
The maple syrup that we serve at the Inn comes from a local farm in Chesterfield owned by the Mitchell family. Peter Mitchell and his dad make syrup every year, and have it down to a fine science. Bill Mitchell has been making syrup for 70 years, since he was a boy, and it is delicious!