Vermont

Spring in Dorset, Vermont

Since the sun actually came out this past weekend, we decided to take a ride over to Dorset - one of our very favorite Vermont towns (no surprise there if you’ve been following along for a while!). We have our favorite stops when we’re in town (we’re looking at you, JK Adams!), and we were also itching to see something new this trip. That’s when I remembered a recommendation I’d heard a few years back - Merck Forest and Farmland Center. And folks, I think we have our new favorite Dorset area day trip itinerary. Read on for some favorites, in partnership with JK Adams!

JK Adams Tailgate Picnic Dorset VT

The Kitchen Store at JK Adams | We can’t pass through Dorset without stopping at JK Adams. You might remember me singing their praises on our apple picking trip last fall, but we were excited to stop in this trip with a different shopping list - picnic supplies! As you might’ve read in my Earth Day Instagram post, we’re trying to cut back significantly on single use products, so paper plates and plastic cups were definitely out. Thankfully, JK Adams had the perfect products to fit the bill, and bonus - we’ll be using them for a long time to come (in fact, maybe we should just keep most of them in a picnic basket in the Wagoneer for next trip!).

JK Adams The Kitchen Store Dorset VT

And, not only did they have the wares for our picnic, we couldn’t resist grabbing a bag-full of foodstuff here as well - from Shelburne Farms cheeses to artisan crackers and the most delicious dipping sauces and jams - they pretty much have it all!

Dorset Union Store | We couldn’t not stop at another of our favorites, Dorset Union Store, for the last few picnic essentials. Namely, their Ginger Molasses cookies. Four to be exact - and we may or may not have been down to three when we arrived at Merck Forest. We also picked up a couple of their sandwiches - the best - and hurried out of the store before we could be tempted by any more baked goods. Next time, we’re getting that cinnamon roll. And the berry pie. And the blueberry muffins. You get the idea.

Merck Forest and Farmland Center Vermont

Merck Forest and Farmland Center | The view as we drove up the hill on the approach to the Visitor’s Center was worth the trip alone, and we couldn’t believe what was waiting for us inside. A quick walk down Old Town Road revealed the gorgeous farm, and of course more of that amazing view. We immediately grabbed a picnic table overlooking Harwood Barn and the sheep and chickens below, and had a little snack before we set out on our walk. The Mini Maple Bar Board and Opinel No.8 Pocket Knife from JK Adams were the perfect size to carry in my tote, and made slicing up our apples an easy task. Pretty sure we’ll be taking this little cutting board on all of our hikes from now on, too, since Tom always makes me nervous trying to cut up our apples while he’s holding them in his hand - yikes!

JK Adams Serving Board

As per usual, I couldn’t tear myself away from the animals (sweet little lambs!) so we didn’t get very far. We mainly strolled Old Town Road and down to Page Pond (and quick note: many trails are closed until Memorial Day due to mud season, so check the map here). We were thrilled to find out that they also have rustic cabins you can reserve as well as camping, and we can’t wait to come back again to explore the rest of the property. Also, we hear Meet the Lambs Day is coming up on May 18, and we may just need to go back for that!

Tailgate | After a couple hours on the farm, our snacks beckoned us back to the Wagoneer. We found a little spot to pull over, pop down the tailgate, set up our old rickety chairs, and partake in a picnic with a view. We are not fancy food people by any means, so we typically just grab whatever looks good, and pile it onto our serving boards. Here’s what was on the menu (and the perfect pieces from JK Adams to serve it on or in!):

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- Veggies and hummus, brought from home stored in Kilner jars

- Crackers, cheese, fruit and dip, served on the Large Artisan Board (which, by the way, you can personalize - and they have so many great options!)

JK Adams Serving Boards

- Egg Salad Sandwiches from Dorset Union Store, served on the prettiest enamelware plates from JK Adams

- Ginger Molasses Cookies, served on the Round Artisan Board from JK Adams

- Bee’s Wrap for the leftovers, a great eco-friendly swap for plastic wrap!

- Water, which stayed cold in this Wagoneer inspired Corkcicle Canteen.

Corkcicle Canteen
Bees Wrap

- Gingham Tablecloth, which doubled as a blanket on this windy day!

- And a little light reading - we had to pick up this adorable book The Picnic at JK Adams - so much inspiration for our next picnic!

Vermont Picnic

I have to say, using the JK Adams serving boards and plates definitely made our picnic feel a little more put together, and even made our simple picnic fare feel just a bit fancy. The setting and this beautiful view didn’t hurt either, and we’re happy to be doing our small part for this pretty planet with our reusable picnic wares in place of single use products.

Until next time, Vermont!

JK Adams Serving Boards

Shop the post and other JK Adams favorites here!

This post was in partnership with our friends at JK Adams, a brand whose products we regularly use and love. All opinions expressed are my own.

A Dorset Day Trip + A Homemade Pie with JK Adams

Maybe it’s the pretty white houses lining the streets, with American flags waving in the Vermont breeze... Or maybe it’s the mountains and valleys just beyond with the trees showing just a hint of red and gold leaves in the early autumn sun. Either way, it was clear from our first visit to Dorset, Vermont years ago that this was a special place we’d be coming back to again and again (lucky for us, it’s less than an hour away!). I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about Dorset a time or two (or ten), so I’m excited to share a couple of our fall favorites there in partnership with our friends at JK Adams.

Apple Picking at Mad Tom Orchard | Once you pick apples here, you may never pick anywhere else. The views from the orchard are incredible and the details are so charming (think hand painted signs on the trees, little red wagons, and an apple chart - written and illustrated by hand!). The owners, Tom and Sylvia Smith, are the very sweetest and we loved looking at the old photos of the orchard on the wall and hearing a bit of its history from Tom (his dad purchased the orchard in 1962, and they’ve since purchased it, pruned the old trees, and planted 1200 new ones!).

Mad Tom Orchard Dorset Vermont

We picked a basket of McIntosh, which are a favorite for baking (and appreciated that they let folks bring their own reusable baskets and bags to save on plastic!). Afterward, we lingered on an orchard bench with a cup of local cider and agreed that this is the best orchard we’ve ever been to.

Apple Picking Dorset Vermont

Before we left, we grabbed a half dozen donuts to snack on later (fresh from Mrs. Murphy’s in Manchester!), and I decided that I when I grow up, I want to live in a little red house with white apple shutters next to an orchard. It just doesn’t get much better.

Apple Picking Dorset Vermont

The Kitchen Store at JK Adams | A favorite stop when we’re in town, this visit was all about collecting the essentials to whip up a pie with our freshly picked apples.

JK Adams The Kitchen Store Dorset VT

Not only does JK Adams design and craft all of our favorite cutting and serving boards at their factory in Dorset, they also curate and stock the very best products for cooking, baking, and home right onsite at their Kitchen Store. I was in the market for a new pie dish and rolling pin, but couldn’t help but leave with a few more essentials for baking and entertaining on the porch this fall.

JK Adams The Kitchen Store

We’re huge fans of JK Adams for many reasons, but most of all for their commitment to hand-crafted, American made products, and their passion for creating heirloom pieces that can be used by families for years to come. One of my very favorite quotes from their website is, “disposable is not in our vocabulary”. As we’ve reduced our single use products, we’re finding ourselves prioritizing the purchase of fewer, high quality pieces that will last. Bonus points for their great design! If you’d like, you can see more about their mission and brand here (if you’re a fan of small, family-owned, American businesses like we are, their video will give you all the warm and fuzzies).

JK Adams The Kitchen Store Dorset

Dorset Farmers Market | We love to stop into the local farmers market when we’re traveling, and the Dorset Market was such a treat. From flowers to fresh produce and bread to local artisan goods, we could have easily spent all afternoon enjoying the atmosphere and live music here. Held at the HN Williams General Store during the warmer months, the market is just getting ready to move indoors to the woodworking shop at JK Adams for the fall and winter season beginning October 14.

Dorset Farmers Market

At Home: Bake an Apple Pie | As hard as it was to tear ourselves away from Dorset, we were excited to get home to put our apples and kitchen gear to use. And of course, the pups were on hand to welcome us home and take stock of what we brought them :)

JK Adams baking supplies

First things first, a pie is nothing without a good crust. I’m no expert, but I’ve tried a few recipes, and my favorite is this recipe from The Pioneer Woman. It’s quick, easy, and it comes out perfect every time. I love using the French Dowel Rolling Pin from JK Adams to roll the dough since it helps me to feel more in control of the process than when I’m using a pin with handles. That said, I may have to pick up the Lovely Rolling Pin to try next time, which has edges on the ends of the pin to ensure your dough gets rolled to an even thickness (which usually never happens for me!). The Maple Artisan Board was perfect for rolling out the dough and for keeping my mess off the countertop (because cleaning up after making a pie is always the worst part!).

JK Adams Rolling Pin and Artisan Board

Peeling apples is typically my least favorite step in any type of apple baking. However! We got this apple peeling machine a few years ago, and it is a game changer my friends. It peels, cores, and slices the apples in seconds. I’ve also somehow convinced Tom that this is his job, so it literally takes me no time at all ;) The dogs get excited whenever this little machine comes out of the cabinet, since they always get the leftover apple slices when we inevitably end up peeling too many. These boards from JK Adams are perfect for any further slicing (and for serving afterwards!).

Apple Pie Apple Peeler

For the filling, I mix the sliced apples with 1 cup + 2 tbsp of sugar, 3 tbsp cornstarch, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp nutmeg. Bake (in this pretty pie dish!) at 425 for the first 15 minutes, then at 375 for the remaining 45-50 minutes.

JK Adams baking

We served the pie with leftover apples and cider donuts from Mad Tom Orchard, and some cheese and crackers that we picked up at JK Adams (they have tons of picnic supplies, by the way!). The perfect end to a perfect day.

JK Adams Apple Pie

Shop the post and other JK Adams favorites:

This post was in partnership with our friends at JK Adams, a brand whose products we regularly use and love. All opinions expressed are my own.

A Weekend in Vermont's Mad River Valley

Having never been to the Mad River Valley, we weren’t quite sure what to expect as we rolled along (or shall I say squeaked along - in the Wagoneer) toward the village of Warren. As soon as we turned onto Vermont's Route 100, we knew we were in for a treat. We fell in love with Warren almost immediately, as we passed by a covered bridge and a barn before pulling up to The Pitcher Inn, just across the street from the local general store. With all of my favorite things in one little place, I could tell this was going to be a perfect weekend. Read on to see our top picks from this trip, and if you have any recommendations for our next trip, we'd love to hear!

Mad River Valley Travel Guide

STAY

The Pitcher Inn

The Pitcher Inn | Nestled in the heart of the village next to a hillside brook, the Inn is what dreams are made of. Filled to the brim with character, each of the eleven rooms have a different theme - some playful, some historic, but all gorgeous in their own way. There are no shortage of cozy nooks to relax in - from the front and back porches, to the Adirondack chairs on back lawn, to the balcony we were lucky enough to have in our room. Even the dining room had a comfy leather couch to relax on while we finished our drinks.  

Coolidge Room Pitcher Inn

We stayed in the Coolidge Room, with the former President keeping watch from above the nightstand. Our balcony looked out over the village and was perfect for enjoying a glass of wine as the sun began to set. The light in this little valley was magical, and we couldn't help but linger in all of the outdoor spaces, enjoying the sound of the brook flowing by. We're already dreaming about a trip here in the fall - I can only imagine how beautiful the foliage will be (and how cozy the wood burning fireplaces would be in the cooler weather!).  

Coolidge Room Porch
Pitcher Inn Adirondack Chairs

EAT + DRINK

Breakfast | The Pitcher Inn | Included with the stay at the Inn, we loved waking up each morning to spend an hour lingering over our breakfast in the dining room (though we wished the weather were just a touch warmer, so that we could have enjoyed it outside on the porch!). The warm muffins to start were such a treat, and we loved all the healthy options (though we were seriously tempted by the French toast and pancakes each day - next time!). 

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Lunch | Warren Store | The place to go for sandwiches + chips come lunchtime. Head to the back of the store to place your order (and don't forget a cookie for dessert), and take it outside to eat overlooking the brook. You won't regret it. 
On our list for next time: The Mad Taco

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Sweets | The Sweet Spot | A coffee shop, a bakery, an ice cream shop, and a bar - all rolled into one. So basically, a dream! We stopped here in the early afternoon, and enjoyed cookies and drinks (local craft beer and rosé!) on their patio overlooking the covered bridge. It just doesn't get much better than that.
On our list for next time: Canteen Creemee

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Dinner | American Flatbread | One of the highlights of our trip, for sure - American Flatbread is a must. I'm going to go ahead and call it the best pizza I've ever had (we got the sundried tomato and mushroom). Plus (and this is a big plus), it's located on a farm complete with red barns, lush green fields, Adirondack chairs and bonfires to enjoy in the evening. It does get busy on weekends, so your best bet is to arrive early to put your name your name on the list and enjoy your drinks on the lawn while the sun sets behind the trees. 

American Flatbread

Dinner | 275 Main | Located at The Pitcher Inn, we loved being able to spend the entire evening on property - from enjoying a bottle of rosé on our balcony, to a delicious dinner in the dining room, and on to drinks on the back lawn. Our picks: the Cavatelli pasta (get a double portion!), and the Halibut. And don't leave without dessert! Perfection.
On our list for next time: Mint and Peasant

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Cocktails | Tracks | The coziest tavern, located downstairs in The Pitcher Inn, Tracks was the perfect place to grab a pre or post-dinner drink. We claimed the Adirondack chairs on the back lawn to enjoy our drinks most of the time, but the comfy seating around the fireplace inside was perfect when the evening got a bit too chilly.
Our drinks of choice: the A&M Manhattan + a glass of rosé, of course.  

Pitcher Inn Warren Vermont

DO

Drive | With amazing mountain views in every direction, there are certainly no shortage of scenic drives around these parts. We picked up a map from The Warren Store that showed all of the scenic routes in the area, and enjoyed a sunny afternoon cruising along the dirt back roads. Big red barns, rolling hills, and a lot of conversation about how we could most definitely live here. 
Don't miss: the drive down Common Road. Stop by Mountain Valley Farm for fresh eggs and honey and enjoy the amazing mountain views beyond. 

Shop | We didn't leave too much time for shopping this trip, but we did make sure to pop into The Store, which was filled with the best collection of kitchenware (and a great selection of antiques upstairs!). Of course, we also made multiple trips to The Warren Store, just across the street from the Inn. An amazing craft beer selection, and an upstairs filled with gifts and Vermont made treasures. 
On our list for next time4orty Bridge, Waitsfield Farmer's MarketEast Warren Community Market

Hike | Without a lot of time for a longer hike, we were in the market for a trail with a little effort and a big view. Sunset Ledge fit the bill perfectly. We packed up some drinks and some Jack's Snax trail mix from The Warren Store and set off on a (mostly easy, aside from a few steep switchbacks to start) hike to the viewpoint. About 30 minutes later, we emerged from the trees to an amazing view (and all to ourselves!). Known for it's sunsets - and I can see why - it's gorgeous at any time of day.  
On our list for next time: Stetson Hollow or Bobbin Mill (you can get directions from the front desk!)

Sunset Rock Warren Vermont

On our list for next time: canoeing at Blueberry Lake, a visit to Von Trapp Farmstead

IN MY BAG

Would love to hear your Mad River Valley favorites! We loved it so much we're talking about making another trip back in the late summer or fall :)

Until next time, Vermont!

A huge thank you to The Pitcher Inn for welcoming us as their guests.  As always, all opinions are my own. 

 

A Woodstock Weekend with Dooney and Bourke

It should come as no surprise that one of our favorite spring getaways (okay, really any season) is heading to Woodstock, Vermont. A quick 90 minute trip brought us to the doorstep of the Woodstock Inn, and we couldn’t have been happier to see the smallest hints of spring when we arrived. Although we were a liiittle early for the tulips (they should pop up within the next week or two, if you’re going!), we still lucked out with an entire afternoon of sunshine and 65 degree temps. So basically heaven after the winter we’ve had.

For this trip, I was excited to put my Dooney and Bourke duffle to use for the first time. I’m typically a weekender bag kind of girl, but I always end up needing to use another tote or two to fit the bulkier stuff, like shoes, hair dryer, etc. The medium duffle was the perfect size for everything - no extra bags needed (and for those of you that pack a bit more efficiently, they do have a smaller version here!). We’ll definitely be putting this beauty to good use on all of the long weekend travels we have planned this summer!

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We’ve gotten comfortable in our well-loved routine in Woodstock, since it’s one of those places that feels like home to us. Here are some highlights from this trip (much the same as others..see posts here and here!), and as always, I’d love to hear any of your favorites that we should fit in next time. 

STAY

Woodstock Inn | One of our all time favorite places to rest our heads in New England, it also houses two of our favorite restaurants in town - The Red Rooster and Richardson's Tavern. Can't wait to head back this summer to claim a white Adirondack chair on the front lawn and sip Rosé for the afternoon. 
Don't leave without: spending a morning at The Spa. We missed it this trip, and I'm still kicking myself. 

EAT + DRINK

The Mill at Simon Pearce | A staple on our trips to this area, this time we opted for a couple of seats at the bar and enjoyed our drinks and Vermont Cheddar Soup with a view of the gorgeous glassware displayed in the shop (...speaking of the shop, we have this glass pup which is one of our favorites!)
Don't leave without: heading downstairs to the workshop to watch the glassblowing up close (and stepping outside to grab a photo of the waterfall flowing under the covered bridge!). 

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SEE + STROLL

Covered Bridges | Our favorite to stroll over by far is Middle Bridge, just across the Village Green from the Woodstock Inn. This trip, we finally stopped to snap a few photos at the Taftsville Covered Bridge - one of the oldest covered bridges in Vermont! 

Woodstock Covered Bridge
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Village Green | And of course, it wouldn't be a trip to Woodstock without a stroll around the Village Green and the neighborhoods beyond, dreaming about which one we'd pick if we ever moved here. 

Woodstock Village Green

SHOP

Woodstock Farmer's Market | Typically our last stop on the way out of town, this time we grabbed some fresh flowers (they have the best selection!), and a big bag of maple kettle corn for the ride home. 
Don't leave without: a second bag of maple kettle corn. You're going to need it ;)

South Woodstock Country Store

South Woodstock Country Store | We've never been down to South Woodstock, so we made a point to take a ride there this trip. We stumbled upon the cutest country store nestled amongst old Federalist homes in a historic little village. 
Don't leave without: spending a half hour on the front porch, enjoying a homemade cookie or two. 

South Woodstock Country Store Porch

My prettiest companion this trip was this bag in Saddle from Dooney and Bourke. The perfect size to fit my camera along with my wallet and phone, while still leaving room for anything we bought around town. I’ve long admired Dooney and Bourke for their classic American style, so this was the perfect compliment to carry around one of our favorite New England towns. Shop this style and some of my other favorites below:

Until next time, Woodstock!

Many thanks to Dooney and Bourke for sponsoring this post. I’ve loved Dooney since getting my first bag in high school, and have long admired their classic American style, New England roots, and commitment to quality (hence why there are so many vintage Dooney and Bourke bags in great shape!). All opinions expressed are my own.  

A Weekend in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom

With a name like the Kingdom, it’s no surprise that 36 hours isn’t even close to enough time to do or see it all in this gorgeous corner of Vermont. This region is known for it’s unspoiled beauty, and the quiet, uncommercialized nature of this area is what I loved most about it. When you want a coffee or a quick bite, you’re not headed for Starbucks or McDonalds - you’re popping into the country store or bellying up to the counter at local diner. 

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The views along the hilly country roads in East Burke (Darling Hill Road in particular!) were so picturesque that we found ourselves wishfully searching the real estate listings over drinks the first night. Not only that, but we enjoyed great food, met some wonderful locals, and scored some great finds from local antique shops (at really good prices!). We’ve only just scratched the surface here, and there were so many things we wished we had time for this trip. All the more reason to start planning the next! 

Read on for a few favorites from our weekend...

W H E R E  T O  S T A Y

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Inn at Mountain View Farm | Four barns, a big yellow farmhouse, and a Farm Animal Sanctuary with the sweetest horses, goats, cows you’ve ever met (not to mention Emma the donkey!). The Farm is what my dreams are made of, and we could not have loved it more. 

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Mountain View Farm operates as a bed and breakfast from May - October, and lucky for us, rents suites during the winter season. We stayed in the Peacham Suite in the farmhouse, with a cozy fireplace and perfect view of the aptly named Great Barn. Next door, the stately brick creamery building houses more guest rooms, as well as the parlor where breakfast is served in the warmer months. And speaking of warmer months, we can’t wait to return this summer to enjoy cocktails in the Adirondack chairs, overlooking the barns.   

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W H A T  T O  D O

Everything. And nothing. To be honest, I could probably just spend a weekend enjoying the peace and quiet on the grounds of the Farm. But if you’re in the mood to explore a bit, here are a few of the towns we explored and things we did this trip:

Peacham Cafe | Peacham: Depending on where you’re coming from, you’ll have a chance to drive through a plethora of charming little towns and villages on your way north. A little research and a few recommendations turned up Peacham (population 732!), a quintessential Vermont village that was the perfect welcome for our trip into the Northeast Kingdom. Historic homes line the street, with church steeples and red barns dotting the landscape. In the center of town is the Peacham Cafe, where we enjoyed a great lunch surrounded by the friendliest locals. 

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Main Street | St. Johnsbury: We had multiple recommendations to check out the Fairbanks Museum, and while we didn’t have time this trip, we did want to peek at what St. J had to offer! A quick drive down Main Street and loop around Railroad Street turned up lots of classic Victorian charm (the mansions!) mixed with what looked like a fun downtown scene. A few spots that caught our eye: Kingdom Taproom, St. Johnsbury Antiques, Antique Annex, Dog Mountain

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Lake Willoughby | Westmore: Often compared to a Norwegian fjord, this beautiful lake is just 15 minutes from the Inn. After grabbing a coffee in town, we took a quick drive up and around the lake, watching as the ice fisherman made their way out onto the lake with their shelters. The water is crisp and clear in the summer, and we can't wait to come back to paddle the lake (rent kayaks and canoes here) and hike Mount Pisgah in the warmer months. 

Antique Shopping | Lyndonville: We loved exploring the village of Lyndonville (especially their version of the Painted Ladies overlooking the park!), as well as popping into some of the local shops, including Antiques & Emporium and Green Mountain Books & Prints

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On our list for next time: Fat biking + snowshoeing on the Kingdom Trails, skiing at Burke Mountain, and heading north to explore the town of Newport (which we got many recommendations for!).

W H E R E  T O  E A T

Burke Publick House | East Burke: We enjoyed some local craft beers at the bar as we watched the skiers file in in after a day at Burke Mountain. They’ve got a cool, friendly rustic atmosphere with live tunes and all the sports games you can stay tuned into.  

Juniper's | Lyndon:  Classy, casual atmosphere with an great dinner and dessert menu (Mountain of Cookies sundae!) and an amazing view to boot! Looking forward to coming back and grabbing a table on the patio this summer!  

Cafe Lotti | East Burke: Great coffee = road trip necessity. Café Lotti didn't disappoint with a variety of specialty coffees. Hot or iced, they’ve got you covered. (Tom grades the Mocha espresso an A+). 

Miss Lyndonville Diner | Lyndonville: If you're looking for a good old fashioned diner breakfast, this is the place! We bellied up to the counter for omelets, and of course, a side of pancakes to share. 

Auntie Dee Dees | East Burke: A must! Fresh bread and sweet treats, quite literally home made (the bakery is attached to her house!). Get here early - these goodies sell fast! We grabbed some cookies and a lemon bar for the ride home, but the cinnamon buns and bread looked amazing. 

Northeast Kingdom Country Store | East Burke: Right downtown in East Burke, the country store was built in the mid 1800’s and has been recently renovated into an amazing spot for a bite to eat and local shopping (pottery, crafts, antiques, maple syrup, wine...!). 

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On our List for Next Time: Burke Mountain Confectionery - we heard great things about the truffles!

Until next time, Mountain View Farm! You'll see us again this summer, for sure! 

*This trip was in partnership with the Vermont Department of Tourism.  Thank you to the Inn at Mountain View Farm for welcoming us as their guests.  As always, all opinions are my own.  

48 Hours in Manchester, Vermont

As much as we love how quick and easy it is to day trip over to the Manchester area of Vermont, we have never really been able to get out and explore as much as we’d like.  We were so excited to spend a couple nights there last weekend (check out the video recap here) and would love to share a few favorites with you in this mini travel guide!  

Where to Stay

Hill Farm Inn //  I hesitate to even tell you this because Hill Farm Inn is one of those gems that I’d (selfishly) like to keep hidden. :)

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Just outside Manchester in the town of Sunderland, this beautiful property sits on a hill (hence the name) overlooking the valley and mountains beyond. The main house and inn date back to 1790(!!), and are beautifully updated to feel modern but still maintain that cozy farmhouse vibe.  

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An added bonus (and if you’re anything like me, the best part) is the big red barn on property, housing the resident pigs, goats, and sheep.  They were our first stop every morning before walking the trail down to the Battenkill River (which, by the way, is the perfect thing to do to burn some calories before the amazing breakfast back at the Inn).  The lovely Innkeeper Mariah also just so happens to be a fantastic chef, and whips up everything from homemade granola to pumpkin bread and french toast with Vermont maple syrup.    

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Hill Farm is the kind of place that makes you want to sit and stay awhile.  For someone like me that is constantly planning the next activity, this is the perfect place to just be.

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What to Do

There’s plenty to do nearby (though cozying up by the fire at Hill Farm the entire time is a perfectly good choice too!).  Here are a few of our favorites from this trip:

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Get Lost!  My favorite part of any road trip is venturing off the beaten path.  The best views are typically on the back roads, and we just turn down any road that looks promising.  Between Manchester, Dorset, Arlington, and Sunderland, you're bound to find plenty of old barns, covered bridges, historic homes, and country stores (check out the West Arlington Covered Bridge and the Dorset Union Store, pictured here!). 

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Visit Hildene  Tour the gorgeous estate of Robert Todd Lincoln (son of Abraham Lincoln!) - don't miss the gardens and of course, the farm!

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Shopping  The Manchester outlets are just minutes up the road and have all the favorites (J. Crew Factory, Loft, Brooks Brothers, etc), and don't miss Northshire Bookstore (grab coffee and a cinnamon roll at Spiral Press next door!).  

On our list for next trip:  A visit to Merck Forest and Farm, a cruise up Skyline Drive, hike and picnic at Equinox Pond, a jaunt to nearby Weston and the Vermont Country Store.

Where to Eat

Hill Farm Inn  Included in (and one of the best parts!) of the stay here.  You definitely won’t need lunch after this spread!

Copper Grouse  Part of the Taconic hotel in town, this came highly recommended.  Cocktails by the fire to start, and the coziest atmosphere inside (not to mention the food!).  Topped off with Brown Sugar Molasses Cheesecake, this is a must.   

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Dorset Inn  Our second night, this was a top pick from Innkeeper Mariah at Hill Farm and it did not disappoint.  The food was perfect and the small town atmosphere sitting at the bar in the tavern was even better.  

Mother Myrick's If you’re looking for a little dessert to take back to the Inn after dinner, this is our pick.  The Buttercrunch is a must and don't leave without a Lemon Lulu Cake (grab a six pack of minis to go!).

On our list for next trip:  Ye Olde Tavern (we've eaten here in the past and loved it), Silver Fork, Al Ducci's Market, Dorset Rising, Barrows House

As perfect as the trip to Hill Farm Inn was in the fall for the sunny days and chilly evenings by the fire, I can only imagine how cozy this place will be in the winter with a fresh blanket of snow on the ground.  If you're looking for me in January, you know where I’ll be ;)  And if you have any suggestions for the Manchester area, I’d love to hear!

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Until next time, Hill Farm Inn!

In my bag this trip:   Bag / Travel CasesPlaid Shirt / Bean Boots / Gingham Shirt / Black Watch Flannel / Plaid Shirtdress

*This trip was in partnership with Vermont Department of Tourism.  A huge thank you to Hill Farm Inn and Copper Grouse for welcoming us as their guests.  As always, all opinions are my own.

24 Hours in Bennington, Vermont | A Mini Travel Guide

If you follow along on Instagram, you know the affinity Tom and I have for Vermont.  And if you know us in “real life”, you may be one of the many people who’ve asked when we’re moving there.  It’s hard not to love (but we won’t be leaving our beloved hometown of Glens Falls in upstate NY any time soon!).  Lucky for us, we can have our cake and eat it too with the Vermont border just a quick 45 minute drive from our back door.  

While we tend to frequent Woodstock and Manchester, we know there are plenty of hidden Vermont gems yet to be explored - Bennington being one!  It was our first time, and it definitely won’t be the last (we may be headed back sooner than later to pick up a couple of antique pieces we can’t stop thinking about!).  If you’re looking to explore a new Vermont town, read on for the scoop on Bennington (...and if you’d like to see, we made a short video of some of our favorites from the trip using my favorite app - scroll to the bottom or click here to watch!).

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W H E R E  T O  S T A Y

The Four Chimneys Inn:  This inn is quintessential Vermont with its lush expansive lawn, meandering brick path and stately white exterior (all tucked behind a charming old stone wall!).  The best of both worlds, you instantly feel miles away and yet you're walking distance to the Bennington Monument and Old First Church, and minutes away from antique shops and downtown restaurants.  

Bennington Vermont Four Chimneys Inn

Our room (Room 10) was perfect with the adorable blue and white wallpaper, an old door repurposed as a headboard, and a bright and airy sunroom overlooking the lawn.  Each of the eleven rooms is unique, and I'm already thinking about Room 1 with its big seven-bay window overlooking the foliage in the fall, and the wood burning fireplace in Room 2 for a winter stay.  

Bennington Four Chimneys Inn Room
Four Chimneys Inn Bennington hotel

Breakfast was delicious (and so many choices!), and the staff were so very kind.  We can't wait to go back!

W H A T  T O  D O

Stroll through Old Bennington:  Just around the corner from the Four Chimneys is the village of Old Bennington.  A stretch of beautiful historic homes line the street starting with the Old First Church and cemetery (where Robert Frost is buried) and leading up the hill to the Bennington Battle Monument.  At the monument, take the elevator up to the top for gorgeous views of the hills and valleys of Vermont, New York, and Massachusetts - already thinking about the view in the fall.

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old bennington vermont house
bennington monument

Go Hunting for Covered Bridges: Is any trip to Vermont complete without laying eyes on one of these beauties?  Lucky for us, there are 5 within striking distance of Bennington (here is a good overview on all five).  We visited 3 on this trip, all within a few minutes of the Four Chimneys Inn.  Our favorite of the three was Henry Bridge - it's tucked a bit further away from the main roads than the others, and also has a park and picnic area overlooking the bridge (perfect for an impromptu cider donut picnic).

covered bridge bennington vermont
covered bridges bennington

Visit Bennington Potters:  Take a tour, meet the potters, and shop the gorgeous stoneware and pottery in their beautifully curated home goods store.  I wanted one of everything, and the colors were so good.  

bennington potters

Get Mini Cider Donuts at The Apple Barn:  A must.  We picked up two dozen and they were gone in an embarrassing amount of time.  We missed berry picking by just a few days, but their blueberry fields are open for picking now!

Tour the Park-McCullough House:  We arrived a bit late to tour the House, but luckily the grounds are open until dusk, and we had the gorgeous gardens and wrap around porch to ourselves.  There is an adorable carriage house on property which hosts concerts and theatre and we would've loved to stay for that evening's show.  Next time for sure!  

park mccullough house bennington vermont

Antique Shopping:  There are no shortage of antique shops in Bennington, and we probably could have used another day to see everything.  Our favorite was Green Mountain Antiques (bonus points for the cute shop dog!), and there were rooms upon rooms (...upon rooms!) of treasures at Camelot Village

On our list for next time:  Bennington Museum, Covered Bridge Museum, Hemmings Motor News Vehicle Display

W H E R E  T O  E A T

Aside from the delicious breakfast at Four Chimneys Inn, of course... 

South Street Cafe:  Went in for a coffee, left with a coffee and a warm cinnamon roll (fresh out of the oven!) which we devoured within 1 minute of returning to the Jeep.  Delicious.

south street cafe bennington vermont

Allegro:  With only one night in town, we wanted to make sure we went to the place in Bennington.  A little online research and a lot of recommendations from locals once we arrived pointed us toward Allegro and it did not disappoint.  We had delicious pasta and wine, and enjoyed a great atmosphere with most folks at nearby tables lingering over drinks for a long while after their meals.  

allegro bennington vermont restaurant

Powers Market:  Just like covered bridges, I can't leave a Vermont town without a visit to the local country store.  A quick search turned up Powers Market, and turns out it is the oldest country store in Vermont, having been built in 1840.  We ordered a grilled cheese, sat on the porch, and never wanted to leave.

powers market bennington

Vermont Confectionery & Dairy Bar:  Affectionately known as the sweetest place in Vermont, this is home to the very best maple creams I've ever had.  Do yourself a favor and get a pound before you head home, and if you plan on sharing, get another ;)  

On our list for next time:  Madison Brewing Company, Pangaea, The Grille at Mt. Anthony Country Club

So long for now, Bennington!  We'll be back for more of your charm (and your cider donuts and maple creams) very soon.

A short video with some of our favorite moments from the trip, if you'd like to see!

*This travel guide was in partnership with Vermont Tourism and The Four Chimneys Inn.  Thank you to The Four Chimneys Inn for welcoming us as their guests.  As always, all opinions are my own.  

Woodstock, Vermont Guide

It's no secret that I love the little town of Woodstock, Vermont.  So when the kind folks over at One Kings Lane asked if I'd be their virtual tour guide through my favorite Vermont town, I jumped at the chance.  What resulted was a guide perfectly put together by their team and filled with all the little places that make Woodstock my happy place.  Reading back through it made me want to jump in the car this weekend, so what are you waiting for?!  Head on over to One Kings Lane to read the full post and plan your trip!  

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P.S. - If you love the vintage farmhouse style as much as I do, the team also put together a collection of Vermont inspired finds that you can shop here!  

Wintry Weekend in Woodstock

Every year, before Christmas, I get the itch to get out of town for a night or two to see another town decked out for the holidays.  It's also a good time for Tom and I to get away from the (sometimes stressful!) holiday prep, and just spend some time relaxing.  We didn't have quite as much time this year, but we did sneak in a quick 24 hour trip to Vermont, and it did not disappoint. 

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This trip, for the first time, we decided to head off the beaten path a short way to check out Plymouth Notch, Vermont.  This charming little town is the birthplace of Calvin Coolidge, and it is perfectly preserved.  From the general store, to the church, to the cheese factory - everything looks like it did in the early 20th century.  We were bummed to see the Visitors Center was closed that day, but we still enjoyed a gorgeous walk and then went to warm up and sample some Vermont cheese at Plymouth Artisan Cheese (the Smoked was our favorite)!   

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plymouth notch vermont
plymouth vermont post office

Back on the road, we were more than ready for lunch, so we made our way to Simon Pearce in Quechee and as luck would have it, they were still serving brunch (yess!) AND we scored a table windowside overlooking the covered bridge and the waterfall. 

simon pearce restaurant

Pretty sure I've said this before, but if you go, get the Vermont cheddar soup.  It's the best.  We also got the quiche, which was amazing, followed by the maple crème brulee AND some eggnog ice cream.  It's vacation, right?    

woodstock vermont

After making our way back to Woodstock, we walked around town a bit before checking into the Woodstock Inn for the night - our favorite hotel in town!  Cozy rooms, a giant fireplace in the lobby, and two great restaurants.  If you're looking for another great option, we've also stayed at On the River Inn (just a bit out of town, situated on the river - great rooms, décor, and food!). 

woodstock inn vermont

The next morning we awoke to a few inches of fresh snow, and it was still coming down!  We jumped out of bed (well, I did anyway ;)), put on our boots and went for a wintry walk before breakfast at The Red Rooster.  Pretty sure I didn't wipe the smile off my face for our entire stroll around town.

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woodstock vermont
woodstock vermont
woodstock vermont

With our two big pups waiting for us at home, we had to get out of town shortly after breakfast.  We took one more cruise around town, and had to stop when we saw this bright red barn covered in snow.  

woodstock vermont barn snow

When we have a bit more time, we love to stop in to Farmhouse Pottery (you'll want one of everything), go snowshoeing at the Nordic Adventure Center, or hike Mount Tom.  Top on my list for our next trip is a Sleigh Ride at Billings Farm!  Any other suggestions for our next trip?

covered bridge vermont

See you oh so soon, Vermont!

In my bag this trip: Black Puffer Jacket / Fair Isle Sweater / Bean Boots / Camp Socks

Leaf Peeping in Vermont

Over the weekend, we headed east into Vermont for a little lunch date and a lot of leaf peeping! 

The destination was Woodstock, but with the whole morning to burn, we took the long way and headed through Dorset, Manchester, and Grafton on the way.

We’ve been to Dorset plenty of times since it’s less than an hour from our front door, and it’s just the most adorable little town.  We didn’t stop on this trip (well, except for a few snaps) but when we’re in the area we love The Dorset Inn (grab a drink at the bar and sit by the fire!). 

Cruising from Manchester to Grafton, I slammed on the breaks when I saw this beauty, made even prettier by the foliage behind it!

This was my first time through Grafton, and it definitely won’t be the last.  It’s quaint and charming, and I’m thinking it would be the perfect place to visit when there’s a blanket of snow on the ground as well.  The Grafton Inn is the place to stay in town, and looks perfect.  

We grabbed lunch at Simon Pearce in Queechee (get the Vermont cheddar soup!), and spent the rest of the afternoon strolling through Woodstock admiring the foliage. 

Woodstock is perfect at any time of year, but fall just might be my favorite.  (Although I’m already planning a trip back before the holidays!). 

Until next time, pretty little town.

Postcard from East Burke, Vermont

This past weekend we snuck away to Vermont for a wedding...

..and it was one of the prettiest venues I've seen in quite a long time. 

Feast your eyes upon The Inn at Mountain View Farm in East Burke, VT.  If you're into classic red barns and mountain views, this place is for you.  I can't even imagine how pretty this place will be in the fall, and I just might have to plan a trip back. 

While we didn't stay on property, we got to peek around the inn and farmhouse, and it was solovely.  As for what else to do in the Northeast Kingdom?  Visit Lake Willoughby - take a quick hike around the shore like we did, or hike up Mount Pisgah for a view from above.  You can also rent kayaks or canoes at the campground at the southern end of the lake.  If I were to go back though, I might just call dibs on those white Adirondack chairs overlooking the barns and call it a day.