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.
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!
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.
March 20th, 2012 by Judy Hueber
“From the first call to make the reservation, to the accommodation of a breakfast table for nine family members, our stay was beyond perfect!”
Consider our New Hampshire luxury inn as a relaxing destination for a family reunion or get together, a place without the distraction of daily life, where you and your family can enjoy each others company and have a little fun! We have 15 beautiful guest rooms that can accommodate family members, from suites with pullout couches in the living rooms, to rooms with two beds, and we also have rollaway beds and porta-cribs.
Or consider taking the entire Johanna Wetherby building, which has 4 rooms with queen beds, fireplaces and private terraces, as well as a wraparound porch with wicker chairs to curl up in for long conversations. When was the last time you had coffee in the morning sitting on the porch with your brother or sister?
After breakfast, there are plenty of things to do in New Hampshire, from hiking to shopping, and our New Hampshire inn has a small porch dining room that would be perfect for a group of 10 or 12 people for dinner.
Call and reserve now for your family get together!
January 13th, 2012 by Judy Hueber
It seems that winter has finally arrived in Southern New Hampshire and Vermont! Yesterday’s snowstorm dropped 6 inches of fluffy snow on our barren landscape, making everything look better. Now we have more options for outdoor play this weekend! Previously we were able to hike in the woods around our New Hampshire Bed and Breakfast, just like it was still November, or go ice-skating on ice that had never had snow on it. That was pretty great!
This weekend, we can snowshoe in Pisgah Park, Friedsam Forest or the Madame Sherri Forest in Chesterfield, and have the woods all to ourselves. The snow has covered the trees and made the forest into a winter wonderland that sparkles all around in the sunshine.
For cross-country skiing, I would suggest the ski center at Grafton Ponds in Grafton, Vermont. Grafton Ponds has been making snow on its lower loop all season and has been a popular place for all of the local racers to go to train. Now they have snow in the woods and plenty of trails open. They also have a ski shop for rentals and a lodge where you can enjoy a cup of hot cocoa. You can check their Facebook page for info on the ski conditions.
Downhill skiers have of course also benefited from the new snow. The downhill ski areas have been making snow and this new snow will only improve conditions. The ski areas closest to our New Hampshire Luxury Inn are Mount Snow, Stratton, Bromley and Killington, all about an hour’s drive.
November 19th, 2011 by Judy Hueber
We’ve got a new place to send you when you’re looking for things to do in the area. Kringle Candle Company opened in 2009 in Bernardston, Massachusetts, a short 20 minute drive from our New Hampshire bed and breakfast.
Kringle Candle is owned by Mick Kittredge III, the son of the Mike Kittredge who founded the famous Yankee Candle in Deerfield, Massachusetts. The candle shop specializes in scented candles, with 36 scents, such as peppermint twist, Nantucket rose, gingerbread, and frosted cake. The candles are all white, for the purest light, in beautiful glass containers that can be re-purposed for many things once the candle been finished. They also have votives, tea lights, fire starters, and home decor items.
Kringle owns 200 acres of property in Bernardston, and on the property you’ll find the Kringle store, bulit in 2010, and the newly opened Christmas Barn and The Farm Table restaurant, opened in late October 2011. The Christmas Barn is a two story former dairy barn filled with Christmas decorations, Christmas trees, toys, gifts, and more candles. The Farm Table restaurant is in a 200 year old house, beautifully renovated and decorated, where you can enjoy brunch, lunch daily and dinner as well. They have a full bar and wine list and feature local fare. Enjoy a visit during your stay at our New Hampshire luxury inn!
October 12th, 2011 by Judy Hueber
Yesterday, I escaped for a quick foliage getaway between breakfast and lunch. It was sunny and crisp, with morning fog from the river burning off quickly. My friends picked me up, with dogs in tow, for a hike up Putney Mountain. We drove up Route 5, enjoying the beautiful colors of the leaves along the roadside, into the village of Putney, and then out to the Putney School and to the Putney Mountain Trail Head.
There was just one car in the parking lot, a great sign for a quiet walk in the woods. We hiked up the well-marked trail, about a mile, to the lookout area at the top of the Mountain. There were 2 women sitting in chairs, using binoculars to look for birds. They were up there for the day, basking in the sunshine, counting birds for the Putney Mountain bird count. We spent a few minutes at the top, figuring out which mountains were which to the East and West. We could see Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire, and in Vermont we had a clear view of Mount Snow, Haystack, Stratton, and Bromley. The hills were gorgeous shades of red, yellow and orange mixed with the dark green of the evergreens.
After the quick downhill hike, we retired to Green Mountain Orchard just past the Putney School, for homemade cinnamon and sugar donuts and apple cider. If we had wanted to, we could have walked into the orchard and picked several varieties of apples to take home. It was tempting, especially when I saw the 6 apple pies that they had just taken out of the oven! I love making apple pies in October! It was just great to be out in the fresh air on a beautiful warm autumn day, enjoying the scenery with friends before heading back to Chesterfield Inn.
September 14th, 2011 by Judy Hueber
Gaines Farm Corn Maze
It seems that Summer is officially over and Fall has arrived at Chesterfield Inn! I know this because the Gaines Farm Corn Maze opens this Saturday. For those of you who haven’t ever experienced it, a corn maze is a maze cut through the corn stalks in a corn field, with dead ends, winding paths, and, finally a way out. The challenge is to make your way through the maze without getting lost, and finding your way out on the other side!
I grew up on a dairy farm in Hardwick, Massachusetts, and as children we used to play in the cornfields. We never had anything as sophisticated as a corn maze, but we would play between the rows, in our own little world. You see, the corn stalks grew over 7 feet tall, so that once you entered the cornfield no one on the outside of the field could see you. It was perfect for us and we spent hours playing games between the giant rows of corn.
The Gaines Farm corn maze covers 7 acres of cornfield, and the corn has grown to heights of up to 10 feet. The pattern of the maze, as you can see here, is a tribute to the 250th anniversary of the town of Guilford, Vermont, which is about 20 minutes drive from our New Hampshire Bed and Breakfast. The corn maze opens this Saturday, September 17 and will be open weekends until October 30. Admission to the maze is $7 and includes entrance to the baby animal barn, pumpkin bowling, and many other activities. Fun for kids of all ages!
August 26th, 2011 by Judy Hueber
On Saturday and Sunday, September 24 and 25, a group of artists whose studios are located in Brattleboro, Marlboro and Dummerston, Vermont are hosting an open studio tour. These artists enjoy living and making art in this beautiful corner of Southern Vermont, a place where artists are welcome and supported by the local community. These artists invite you to come by their studios and get an idea of what their creative process is like.
You can choose between Kris McDermet‘s hooked and braided rugs, Doug Cox‘s handmade violins, Malcolm Wright‘s woodfired pottery and clay and bronze sculpture, Petria Mitchell’s and Jim Giddings’ paintings, and Josh and Marta Bernbaum‘s blown glass. You can download a map and make your way around the hills to the artists’ studios. All of these artists’ work is rooted in the natural beauty that surrounds them, as well as the culturally sophisticated town of Brattleboro.
So, plan a weekend away and make your home base the Chesterfield Inn. You can drive up Friday night, enjoy a delicious dinner at the inn, sleep until you wake up, enjoy a famous breakfast at our New Hampshire Inn and head out on the tour. What a great way to spend the day, exploring the back roads, looking at art, and actually meeting the artists in their studios!