A Romantic Luxury Inn for Couples in Stowe Vermont

Vermont the Craft Beer Capitol

breweries in Stowe, VT

Thirsty?  Me too.  Let’s have a beer!

Well maybe one or two – not like [younger] days past when the good natured challenge “Have a beer and be somebody” couldn’t be passed up!

Today, like many, I prefer something with a more interesting taste than just a “nice lager.”  Fortunately, here in the area surrounding Stowe we are blessed with one of the best locations for high quality beers in America.  We have a lot from which to choose!

Six well-known Vermont Breweries To Visit

Below are some of our guests’ favorite breweries in Stowe, VT and northern VT area.

  • The Alchemist : Heady Topper; Waterbury, VT; Alas, they are not open to visitors, but you can find their store delivery schedule on their website, so that your wait in line will be less!
  • Magic Hat Brewing Company :  So. Burlington; Mon-Sat 10am = 7pm; Sun 12pm – 5pm.
  • Hill Farmstead Brewery : Greensboro VT; 12pm – 5pm Wed – Sat; closed Sunday – Tuesday.
  • Rock Art Brewery : Morrisville VT; 9am – 6pm Mon – Sat. Closed Sunday.  Tastings daily until 5:30pm.  Tours at 2pm and 4pm.
  • Vermont Pub and Brewery : Burlington, VT; Sun-Wed 11;30am – 1 am; Thurs – Sat 11:30am – 2 am.
  • Long Trail Brewing and Pub : Bridgewater Corners, VT.  Open 10am to 7pm daily.  Self-guided tours.

vermont breweriesStowe Brewers Festival 2015!!

Book your room at our luxurious Stowe bed and breakfast as soon as possible for what will likely be a sell-out crowd for the Stowe Brewers Festival 2015.  Festival tasting sessions August 14 & 15 and the Townwide Craft Beer Celebration runs August 10 – 16, 2015 in Stowe, Vermont!

Award-Winning Vermont Craft Beer

There are more than 2,700 craft breweries operating in the U.S., however “the best beer town in New England” is Waterbury, VT – nine miles from Stowe.  (Boston.com; Sep 2012).  Vermont also boasts the number one rated brewer in the world according to RateBeer:  Hill Farmstead Brewery about 40 minutes from Stowe in Greensboro, VT.  As a state, Vermont has become a craft beer focal point for the US.  In 2011 and 2012, the Brewer’s Association ranked Vermont as the state with the greatest number of breweries per capita.  Vermont ranks 3rd in craft beer industry output per adult and 4th in the U.S. with beer as a percentage of its state GDP (2.4%).

Apparently one of the reasons for the success of Vermont craft beers is the product itself.  Today, as in is found in the coffee, bread and several other food-related segments, tastes have changed. Beer drinkers today demand more authenticity, flavor, and diversity.  (Brewers Association).

In 2012, Jeff Baker wrote The Case for the Vermont IPA. In 2013, Gary Dzen of the Boston Globe called the style “East Coast IPAs”, but noted that Vermont “brewers have started something of their own IPA revolution, helping to loosely create the category of ‘East Coast IPAs’. While these beers can be as bitter as their counterparts out west, they’re generally less so, focusing on aromatics and perceived bitterness rather than actual pucker-factor. These brews are heavily dry-hopped and lighter on the palate, forgoing malt sweetness for levity in the quest for balance.”  In 2014, Jeff Baker restated his case saying Vermont IPAs are “bright golden and hazy (unfiltered typically) in appearance, soft in mouthfeel, dense with hop flavor and aroma, yet restrained in bitterness allowing for balance to occur between the hops and the malt.” (Wikipedia) 

Vermont beer tasting

So, Vermont began its claim to worldwide recognition:

  • 2005 Greg Noonan, owner of Vermont Pub & Brewery won the Brewers Association Russell Schehrer Award for innovation in craft brewing.
  • 2009 Steve Parkes, owner of the American Brewers Guild and Drop-in Brewery won the same award.
  • 2011 Hill Farmstead Brewery was named Best New Brewer in the World by RateBeer
  • 2012 Heady Topper was Best Beer in Vermont (RateBeer)
  • 2012 Lawson’s Finest Liquids’ Double Sunshine earns a perfect rating of 100 on RateBeer.com (produced within 30 minutes of Waterbury)
  • 2013 Hill Farmstead Brewery was named Best Brewer in the World (RateBeer)
  • 2013 Heady Topper named Best Beer in the World (Beer Advocate)
  • 2014 Hill Farmstead and Heady Topper named best in Vermont (RateBeer)
  • 2014 Lost Nation Brewery named Best new Brewery in Vermont (RateBeer)

Both John Kimmich (Alchemist – Heady Topper) and Shaun Hill (Hill Farmstead) plan to double production within the next year.  Hmmm.  (You mean you won’t have to wait in line anymore?) Thirsty for more?  Stop by the Prohibition Pig in Waterbury for lunch or dinner, featuring New England’s largest curated selection of craft beers and cocktails – the original site of Heady Topper!

 

Vermont’s 30 craft breweries:

 

 

Corned Beef Hash = Trendy Breakfast Recipe!

Hash is a dish consisting of diced or chopped meat, potatoes, and spices that are mixed together and then cooked either alone or with other ingredients such as onions. The name is derived from the French verb hacher (to chop). Corned beef hash became especially popular in some countries including in Britain and France during and after World War II as rationing limited the availability of fresh meat.

Although the exact beginnings of corned beef are unknown, it most likely came about when people began preserving meat through salt-curing.

Corned Beef Hash Recipe

Evidence of its legacy is apparent in numerous cultures, including Ancient Europe and the Middle East. The word corn derives from Old English, and is used to describe any small hard particles or grains. In the case of “corned beef”, the word may refer to the coarse granular salts used to cure the beef. (Wikipedia)

Hash has recently made a comeback as more than just a dish for leftovers or breakfasts of last resort.

 

High-end restaurants now offer sophisticated hashes and the first cookbook dedicated exclusively to a wide variety of hashes – Hashcapades — was self-published in 2012. (Wikipedia) Evidence for the revival of Hash can be found in almost any city in some very trendy restaurants: Sweet potato hash with crab at the Blue Water Grill in New York. Smoked Salmon Hash at Brix Tavern in Portland, Oregon; Haggis Hash Deluxe in Edinburgh; Roasted Sweet Potato Hash at Julians in Providence; or Smoked Brisket Cornbread Hash at Smoke Restaurant in Dallas. Hashcapades is also a blog.

At Stone Hill Inn we favor a Corned Beef Hash offering whose success results both from the meat selection and the meat preparation. Flavor is key but tender beef is the first priority. We like to start with about a three pound cut of corned beef which is more than enough to feed a full house of guests at breakfast (18 people) when combined with another entrée (e.g., Crème Brulee French Toast) at Stone Hill.

We begin with a recipe from the Williams-Sonoma kitchen library: Breakfasts & Brunches.
This is a 1997 Weldon Owen Inc. production.
Then we make some changes!!

Ingredients (We’ve doubled the ingredients since they are based on 1.5 pounds of beef and we are using 3 pounds.)

2.5 lb Yukon Gold or other waxy yellow potatoes; unpealed cut into ½”(12mm) cubes . We actually use more potatoes than this — we like to have an equal number of potato cubes as we have cubes of prepared corned beef.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large mild yellow onion, cut into ½” dice. We also like to add another small yellow onion.
2 green pepper (capsicum); seeded, deribbed and cut into ½” squares. We like to also add on or two yellow peppers.
2/3 cup (160 ml) milk
1 cup (40gm) finely chopped fresh parsley, plus sprigs for garnish
4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
4 tablespoons (2 fl oz -60ml) vegetable oil

The Magic. The preparation of the meat begins with the instructions on the package, but primarily we place the meat in a deep container on the stove and fill with water until the meat is completely covered. We bring this to a boil and then turn down to simmer for about three hours. Then we let the meat sit in the bath until cool, allowing it to continue to absorb flavors from the water. Wrap the meat and put in the refrigerator so it is ready for the final stages of CBH production. Don’t throw away this water – keep covered and you will use it to cook the potatoes in the morning.

Begin. Next morning: retrieve the beef from the fridge, trim off excess fat and begin to cube into ½” dice. Set aside.

Get the potatoes cooking. Place in a large saucepan with lightly salted cold water to cover. (We like to use the cold water remaining in the pot that cooked the beef for more flavor– you won’t need salt). Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until just tender enough to pierce with a fork. About 5-7 minutes. Do not overcook.
Meanwhile, in a nonstick frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and bell peppers and sauté until onion is tender-crisp: about 4-5 minutes. Set aside.

Mix. Drain the potatoes and place in a bowl. Add the onion and bell peppers; set the frying pan aside and do not wash. Now add the corned beef, milk, chopped parsley and chives. Toss to mix well, taking care not to mash the potato pieces. Season to taste with salt and ground pepper and toss again. Heat the vegetable oil in the reserved frying pan over medium heat; add the hash mixture and blend. Set aside.

To the Tables! You’re ready to take orders from the guests. Scoop out enough of the hash mixture for one serving and place into a small frying pan with some light vegetable oil. As this begins to warm, prepare the egg(s) that you will place on top of the reheated hash. We like the eggs Sunnyside up for looks and because the broken yolk mixes and adds flavor to the overall hash dish. However, any egg preparation will work. Just before adding the eggs, we like to sprinkle a small amount of freshly shredded sharp cheddar on top of the hash.

How we pitch it. This morning we are serving Corned Beef Hash. We take corned beef and cook it completely covered in water for three hours and then let it cool while still in the water to absorb all the flavors. We place the beef in the fridge overnight and in the morning we trim and cut into small cubes. Then we begin adding all the vegetables until it is a warm, fresh, flavorful mixture! Usually we serve it with one or two eggs right on top of the hash.

March – a magical time in Stowe, Vermont

March. It’s a magical time in Stowe and it starts this Sunday.

First of all: March average high temperature is 28 degrees – well above what we’ve been experiencing in February – perfect for “Spring” skiing (Spring and 28 degrees? We’re strong in Vermont)!

Stowe Vermont March SnowSnow? Already this year in Jan and Feb we’ve had more snow (135”) than in any of the last four years. This March? Last year was the biggest in over the last five years (73”). Overall March snowfall during last five years has been 207” while January has only been 199”. Look for more snow this March!!

So, it’s full speed ahead for winter sports. But there is much more taking place in Stowe during March!

 

Military Day Sunday March 29: Show your active duty Military ID and get a 15% discount at our Stone Hill Inn Bed and Breakfast for two or more nights. You can also get a stunning rate for skiing of only $77 for one adult for one day.

 

Trapp Lager Ski Marathon Saturday March 14: this will be a 25 or 50 kilometer classic ski marathon—part of the Swix new England Marathon Series. Live music, good, and Austrian style lager after the race!   (Must register by Wednesday March 11. (Call 1-800-826-7000 for questions) Racers that want to stay at Stone Hill Inn enjoy a 10% discount on lodging for two or more nights.

 

vermont dog sleddingDogsledding at Eden Mills continues all March: Jim and his Unchained Gang continue to gain favorable press because of the wonderful way Jim develops and nurtures his dogs. These loving hearties can’t wait to run and enjoy the exercise! Jim’s March schedule provides tours three times a day: 10:00; 12:30 and 3:00 throughout March.

 

This event is included in the Stone Hill Inn “Save $150 Activity Credit promotion” that runs throughout all of March. Guests that stay for at least three nights during the month of March are entitled to save $150 off the price of 15 different events that are listed on the Stone Hill Inn website.

 

Stowe VT food and wine MarchIn the Food and Wine category there will be several wine tastings during March:

March 4: Zinfandels from California

March 7: Loire Chenin Blanc

March 11: California Cabernet Sauvignons

March 14: Portuguese Reds

March 18: South of France Reds

March 21: Rhone Style Whites from California

 

snowshoeing in vermontNordicStyle Relay for Life Saturday March 21: Beginning at 6:00pm Cancer Survivors and their Caregivers take the first lap of the evening with teams joining in. Continuing during the evening at least one member from each team will be on the track as the NordicStyle Relay for Life continues. Form your own team or join another – Nordic ski, snowshoe, or walk the oval or enjoy one of the torch lit trails as money is raised to Capture a [cancer] Cure!

 

TRIP Dance Company Friday and Saturday March 20 & 21: 7:00pm at the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center. Stowe’s own TRIP Dance Company was recently awarded New York City Dance Alliance’s (NYCDA) most coveted “Critic’s Choice Award” for its original jazz number, “Mein Herr.” The 34 TRIP dancers from Stowe and other local areas are ages 9-18. This is the 13th year for TRIP.

 

Chocolate Making VermontChocolate Dipping Experience continues all of March. Like the smell of freshly made chocolate?  Think you could manage to dip your hands in warm chocolate for an hour?  When its over you each walk away with about a pound of handmade chocolate. This event is also included in the Stone Hill Inn “Save $150 Activity Credit” promotion referenced above.

 

Lauren Fox in Canyon Folkies: Over the Hills & Under the Covers March 7, 7:00pm Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center. Beginning in the mid-sixties in Laurel canyon (CA), Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, The Byrds, the Mamas & the Papas, the Eagles, and Crosby Stills all lived, created and collaborated there. Lauren’s performance of these “Canyon Folkies: Over the Hills & Under the Covers,” at Metropolitan Room, NYC, received critical acclaim from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.  She has performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater & Carnegie Hall, and is the 2012 recipient of the MAC and Bistro Award for Debut Artist, as well as the 2013 recipient of a Nightlife Award for Outstanding Cabaret Performer.

 

Stowe VT MusicFreeze a Peach: A Vermont Celebration of the Allman Brothers Band: Friday March 6, 9:00pm. The Rusty Nail. (A local bar/grille/entertainment) A Vermont-grown all-star band plays tribute to the Allman Brothers – two sets.

 

Comedian Jimmy Tingle Saturday March 14, 7:30pm, Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center. From 60 Minutes II and MSNBC, comedian and commentator Jimmy Tingle captures the sweet spot between Jon Stewart and jay Leno. His topical yet timeless comedy is as insightful as hilarious. He regularly appears on the Tonight Show, Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central and many other networks. Clean, funny, intelligent humor for all audiences.

 

Vermont Nordic SkiingBackcountry Skiing Challenge continues all of March. Stowe offers miles of high and low elevation backcountry ski touring.  Explore the scenic Sky Top Ridge – test your telemark on the Steeple, the Bruce, Tear Drop, Underhill trail.  Your mountain guides will show you the real reason why people call Stowe The Ski Capital of The East! Tours last between 4 and 6 hours. We can provide a 20% equipment rental discount for guests of Stone Hill Inn, if needed. Must be in good shape and have reasonable skiing skills (Alpine or Nordic). This event is also included in the Stone Hill Inn “Save $150 Activity Credit” promotion referenced above.

 

March. And you thought winter was over!!

 

Dog Sledding :: Stowe, VT

“Ready , hike.”

Football?

No.  Dog sledding.

Know much about dog sledding?  Neither did I.

Wanna go?  It sounds like fun but, if you are like me, you would first be concerned about the dogs.  You wonder about the discipline that must be applied to these creatures to get them to pull several hundred pounds in numbing cold for hours.  Perhaps you have seen pictures of dogs chained to their outside dog house when they aren’t running (very common), or you’re just concerned about the amount of time that they must remain outside – particularly in the winter!

Not at Eden Dog Sledding in Eden Mills, Vermont.  Jim Blair, in addition to being owner, musher and a national and international sled vermont dog sled tourdog racing champion, is recognized as a do-it-my-way innovator when it comes to the care and training of these Alaskan Huskies.  Jim calls them the Unchained Gang, because he has learned that letting teams of dogs live and play together (in enclosed areas) is good for their health, their disposition and makes them fun with the guests.  It takes time to learn which dogs like to be with which, but Jim thinks its well worth the effort.

Preparation for your ride.  Guests spend their first hour with Jim learning about the Alaskan Husky breed, the principles of the Unchained Gang, and why he believes in them.  Also during this hour you will meet each dog personally and then hitch them to your sled.

Barking dogs — they want to go!  They’re calling Jim to get on the trail.  Off you go!  You spend your next hour folded together under a thick blanket in one of Jim’s sleds.  Jim has over a 100 gorgeous acres and more than 10 miles of trails. (He grooms them every day; summer and winter.)  Snow is flying, dogs are barking, you can smell the freshness of unspoiled Vermont all around you!  If you love natural beauty and vistas, you’re having a stunning experience!

Once you have returned you help Jim feed the dogs and unhitch them.  Later you feed them treats.   Inside the large cabin Jim’s sister has a cup of hot chocolate and baked goods for you.  You note that there are several couches near the fireplace.   All the seats are taken by the parents of the dogs that just took you on your ride.  They don’t control the trails anymore; they control the couches!  Your team of dogs passes through on their way to one of the fenced areas where they can play.  Jim comments on the typical comments he hears from past guests:  “I’ll never forget this.”  “I love the dogs!”  “The dogs couldn’t have been more affectionate.”  “They seem never to tire and love the whole experience.”  We hear the same comments when they come back to Stone Hill!

Vermont Sled Dog toursThe dogs aren’t really tired.

This has just been a warm-up run for most Alaskan Huskies.  “When it comes down to sheer capacity for prolonged exercise,” says Ken Hinchcliff, an Australian veterinary physiologist who’s done more research on sled dogs than any other scientist, “there is no other animal, including humans, that comes close to competing.”  (Feb 15, 2010; Outside magazine).  Peak sled dogs have a VO2 max of 200 milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute.  (VO2 is a measure of oxygen consumption that reflects aerobic physical fitness and sustained endurance.)  Bicyclist Lance Armstrong (Tour de France winner) maxed at about 85.  Peak sled dogs when running as part of a team can run sub-four minute miles for 60 or 70 miles.  (Perhaps not every sled dog, but even the “ordinary” dogs have exceptional endurance by human standards!  When in peak condition the best of the sled dogs can increase the size of their heart by 50%)

Sled dogs are much more efficient than we are.  “On the level of genes and regulatory proteins, we’re surprisingly close [to sled dogs].”  Research competed by Hinchcliff and others reveals that – “sled dogs aren’t’ just extreme in their aerobic capacity; they possess a variety of souped-up systems.”  Sled dog muscle cells contain about 70 percent more energy-producing mitochondria than that of human cells.   Secondly, sled dogs don’t sweat; they dissipate heat through paws, noses, and tongues.  “Our human system of evaporative cooling may cool us off, but it costs us water, electrolytes, sugars and proteins.  Sled dogs conserve theirs by relying on a cool environment. “Lastly, human muscle relies on the burning of glucose (stored glycogen in muscles), but it burns HOT, so it is only good for short spurts.  Sled dogs burn fats which contain twice the caloric density vs carbohydrates and fats burn much “cooler,” so dogs can sustain muscle use for a much longer period of time.   Sled dogs, when training for big races, are often fed a diet that contains up to 60% fats.

“In other words, the human strategy for using energy becomes unsustainable much more quickly.  Even at slower paces, as in a marathon, we use up the muscles’ stores of glycogen in about three hours.  After a day’s rest, we’re still depleted.  Sled dogs just keep on going. “

Jim has been working with six different generations of dogs at his Eden Mills headquarters.  His concern for the dogs and the quality of the overall experience at Eden Dogsledding is why we like working with the Unchained Gang and why they are the number one event that we list among 15 different activities in guests can participate where Stone Hill Inn will pay the first $150 of the total fee!

Vermont snowshoeingSTOWE WINTER FUN SPECIAL : $150 ACTIVITY CREDIT

Book 3+ nights at our Stowe bed and breakfast and enjoy a $150 activity credit towards any of our great winter packages, including:

The promotion lasts until March 15, and you must complete an event to take advantage of the $150 Activity Credit.  Please call (802) 253-6282 to book this special offer! 

 

Elopements. Hundreds of Years in the Making!

Today, elopements are the fastest growing segment of the marriage industry.  It is said that today for every 10 weddings today there is one Stowe VT Elopement Packageselopement.  Data from the Internet site WhereToElope.com reveals that internet searches for elopements doubled between 2011 and 2013, and that 2014 will represent three times the searches that took place in 2011.  Elopements, it seems, are simply coming into their own.

Today couples elope for many reasons, including avoiding the cost of a traditional wedding and the hassles of guest list negotiations that involve close family members who may be divorced and don’t like each other?  Ugh!  Then there’s choosing attendants without making anyone angry, or resolving the issue of whose wedding is this –even if the parents are paying for it!

Lastly, given today’s more tolerant lifestyles, many couples who have lived together out of marriage for years may think of eloping as more than just a cost savings or a simplification of the marriage process.  Unlike passionate sometimes frivolous trips to Vegas in the ‘60’s, these couples find strength in their years of love for each other.  For them elopement often is an expression of commitment — to each other and to a successful life together.

hands-toastingIt hasn’t always been this way.  One of the biggest hurdles was defining what constituted a legal marriage and history shows us that both the Church and the leaders of nations weighed in.  For example, Western Europe during the early Middle Ages was conflicted about what constituted a legal marriage.  While they increasingly gravitated away from pagan customs to embrace Christian marriage customs, the spread of Roman culture within Europe brought a new set of rules for a valid marriage:  the consent of the couple wanting to marry was the only requirement.  Germanic laws, however, differed. They had three demands:  (1) a required purchase of the bride; (2) parental consent; and (3) consummation.  In 596 in Northern Europe Childebert, the Merovingian King, issued a decree that stipulated the death penalty for marriage abduction by force, and even if the woman agreed to marriage after the fact, if there was NO approval by her parents, the couple was sentenced to exile or death!!  Not much momentum for elopement here!  (These facts and those below are from a paper by Kirsti S. Thomas – Medieval and Renaissance Marriage:  Theory and Customs.)

Perhaps to reduce the confusion, Hincmar, the Archbishop of Rheims (845 – 882) declared that legitimate marriage must meet four conditions:  (1) The woman must be given by her father and dowered; (2) the marriage must be honored publicly (probably at the church); (3) The union was completed by sexual consummation; and (4) The partners had to be of equal and free rank and must give their consent.

Unwilling to risk the wrath of the church and or the ruling government, elopement had yet to become a cultural force.  However, it appears that Fall-Wedding-Couplearound the 12th century the Roman concept of requiring only couples consent to represent a legal marriage was gaining some traction throughout Europe.  (Love those Italians!).  Some of the rules about marriage seemed to be softening.

The Genealogy Bank (Gena Philibert-Ortega) traces the word elope back to 1338 as the act of a wife leaving her husband to run off with her lover.  This meaning continued until 1800 when it evolved to simply running away to marry each other rather than escaping a spouse.  Elopement was taking shape.  England for a long time had a difficult set of marriage procedures that took weeks to implement in order to be legally married, thus putting a damper on the elopement idea.  However during this time Scotland became fertile ground for eloping.  Scotland, required only that couples consent in front of friends and then consummate the marriage.  Thus hundreds of couples began crossing the border to a small hamlet called Gretna Green near the border.

In time Gretna Green has become famous, garnering the same reputation in Europe for elopements as has Elkton, MD or Las Vegas!  Today one in six weddings in Scotland take place in Gretna Green, as they host over 5,000 weddings each year.  “Gretna Green” has become accepted as normal slang for a place where one elopes: “let’s find a Gretna Green and get married.” Additional evidence that it is embedded in the culture of both England and Scotland is from Jane Austen who referenced Gretna Green by name in both Pride and Prejudice and Love and Friendship.

While it has taken centuries, elopements today are an accepted marriage process for couples of all ages.  Freed from its former image as a secretive ceremony performed in haste, elopements today have become much more of a planned occasion.  It is not unusual for couples at Stone Hill to plan an elopement three to six months from the date of their service.

Elopements continue to evolve.  In addition to sharing intimate moments, today’s elopement protagonists tell us that they also want to create memories—to celebrate life – together.  Thus we have created two different Vermont elopement packages that can be augmented by several exciting adventures!

vermont elopementSimple Elegance Elopement Package: $1,225

• 2 nights’ accommodations at our Vermont bed and breakfast
• Choice of ceremony venues on the property
• Officiant for your ceremony
• Bridal bouquet and boutonniere
• Signature candlelit turn-down service

Read More >> 

weddings in vermontRoses and Memories Elopement Package: $1,965

• 3 nights’ accommodations at our Stowe, VT bed and breakfast
• One dozen red roses and chocolate truffles on your arrival
• Choice of ceremony venues on the property
• Officiant for your ceremony
• One dozen red roses and chocolate truffles on your arrival
• Custom Bridal bouquet and boutonniere
• Personalized wedding cake and decorated table for “cutting the cake” ceremony
• Wedding celebration dinner at Michael’s on the Hill
• Signature candlelit turn-down service
• Two Stone Hill Inn commemorative wine glasses

Read More >> 

vermont hot air balloonUnforgettable Package Adventure Enhancements

This package begins with the Roses and Memories package but then is completely designed by you!  Simply find one or more of the memory-making Adventure Enhancements below to make your Vermont elopement Unforgettable!

Read More >>

Evenings! The Second Act

Six weeks ago The Stone Hill Inn inaugurated Evenings! a series of packages that combine the magic of the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center with the Phoenix Table & Bar, a new restaurant in Stowe.  This pairing brings together two organizations committed, each in their own way, to performing arts excellence.  Evenings! blends Spruce with its excellent performance reputation and intimate mountain venue, with Phoenix Table & Bar with a fresh, hip, contemporary scene enhanced by the innovative offerings from chefs Jack and Josh.

Our first Evenings! – Itzhak Perlman — was wildly successful.  The theater was sold out and within a week from the time we launched our first Evenings! package three guests committed – one claimed the last two available seats!!  Swan Lake is already half sold out due to the reputation of The State Ballet Theatre of Russia and their last year’s, sold out performance of Sleeping Beauty.

January 31, 2015; 7:30pm: The State Ballet Theatre of Russia performs Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake

Swan Lake BalletThe Evenings! Package includes:

  • A two night stay in any of our Luxury rooms (King bed with fireplace; bath with double Jacuzzi fireplace & shower).  Corner rooms, if available, are available at a premium of $20/night.
  • Linda’s three-course breakfast each morning
  • Two tickets to the January 31st Swan Lake Ballet performance at the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center*.
  • A voucher for $50 towards dinner for two at the Phoenix Table and Bar restaurant before the performance.

Total Package cost is $875.  Please, you must call to make a reservation.  (802-253-6282)

*Tickets and seating based on availability, please hurry as this as selling out quickly. Once tickets are purchased they cannot be refunded. This package may not be combined with any other offer or promotion.

The State Ballet Theatre of Russia is composed of more than fifty dancers.  Among the new breed of Russian ballet academies and companies, theItzhak Perlman Concert principal dancers are competition winners and trained in St. Petersburg, The Bolshoi Ballet, Mariinsky Ballet, Grogorovich Ballet, Russian Ballet directed by V. Gordeyev, Cairo Ballet, and the Tchaikovsky Ballet Theatre.  This is their fourth US tour and hails from Ufa, famed dancer Rudolf Nureyev’s home town.  The company has performed in 13 countries outside of Russia since 1995.

Some consider Swan Lake the world’s most beloved Russian folk tale.   Here we find Siegfried, a young Prince, full of bright spirit and enthusiasm, but seems to have little interest in his royal role. He clearly cares more for socializing, merry events and sporting activities, as shown when he is celebrating his 21st birthday with his best friend, Benno and his tutor, Wolfgang. When his mother, the Queen tells him he must soon marry, he refuses because he has not yet found a woman of his preference. His favorite hobby is hunting, so to end his birthday celebrations, he and Benno head into the forest on a hunting expedition with their companions. However, everything takes an ironic twist on this expedition, for deep in the forest, Siegfried and his friends arrive at a lake, where Siegfried spots a beautiful swan wearing a crown. But before he can shoot it, the swan transforms into the most beautiful girl he has ever seen.  She tells him her story, explaining that she is under a spell of the evil sorcerer Von Rothbart.

Ahhhh, that is all we can reveal of the Swan Lake plot!  Some of you already know the ending, but it isn’t the ending as much as how a truly Stowe VT romantic getawayacclaimed company can bring it to life and capture minds and hearts – something at which the State Ballet of Russia excels!

The première of Swan Lake took place on Friday, 4 March 1877, as a benefit performance for the ballerina Pelageya Karpakova (also known as Polina Karpakova), who performed the role of Odette, with the Bolshoi Theatre’s Première danseur Victor Gillert as Prince Siegfried. Karpakova likely also danced the part Odile, although it is not known for certain.

The Russian ballerina Anna Sobeshchanskaya — for whom the original (1877) role of Odette was intended — was pulled from the première performance when a governing official in Moscow complained about her, stating that she had accepted several pieces of expensive jewelry from him, only to then marry a fellow danseur and sell the pieces for cash. Sobeshchanskaya was replaced by Pelageya Karpakova who danced the rôle of the Swan Queen until the former was reinstated by Petipa.  (A story within the story!)

We are very excited about Evenings! because in addition to being a unique offering within Stowe, it also represents the beginning of a new dimension in guest experience for the Stone Hill Inn.  Yum!

As many of you know our mission at Stone Hill is:  “Provide unexpected opportunities to celebrate life…together.”  In this quest we pic_extras_4shall source, vet, and partner with a broad variety of local and regional vendors, artists, and suppliers so as to provide unique opportunities for couples to explore, learn, be challenged and make memories while here in multi-dimensional Stowe, Vermont.  Our goal?  Be the Best-in-Stowe at providing memory-making opportunities to celebrate life…together!

During the first five months of 2015, beginning with Swan Lake Evenings! in January, we shall introduce one new, life-celebration package each month, each tied to the appropriate season within Stowe.  Each package will, of course, be anchored by a stay at Stone Hill of at least two nights, and based upon what we have learned from a few thousand guests over our past 3+ years, we shall focus upon four categories of guest activity:

  1. Romance
  2. Food
  3. Arts and Culture
  4. Adventure

Doesn’t this sound tasty?  There will also be additional Evenings! packages throughout 2015.  Excellent.  We look forward to celebrating life with you!

The Inauguration of “Evenings!”

Itzhak Perlman ConcertFor about two years (we complete our third year at Stone Hill Inn next week – Halloween), we have been trying to find a way to bring the magic of the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center to our guests.  This is a stunning facility built seven years ago that holds 420 people all of which have an excellent view and are relatively close to the stage.  Only a few years old it presents itself as a lovely, comfortable and highly functional environment for a broad selection of stage and screen performances.  While it is located adjacent to and built in the style of the large mountain lodge at the base of Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak, it is independent from the Lodge financially, so they are on their own.  As a result they have learned to provide excellent, albeit usually not headlining, stage talent to travel to the top of a mountain so they can entertain a permanent Stowe population of less than 5,000.  They are doing a wonderful job.

Recently several paths have come together to make it possible for the Stone Hill Inn to finally bring this talent to our guests on a regular basis.  This has been a journey that the management of the SPPAC fully endorsed and many times cheered from the sidelines hoping that we would emerge with a plan.  So….

Welcome to “Evenings!”

The concept is simple – even cliché – dinner and a show, but we’ve wrapped it up with a two-night stay at our Stowe bed and breakfast – the 8th Stowe Lodging Packageshighest rated Inn or B&B among all 21,000 in the U.S. according to Trip Advisor.  We hope to have at least four of these packages each year.

Our first Evening is with Itzhak Perlman – who IS a headliner!  This is his fourth annual Stowe Fall Residency and his exceptional Perlman Music Program  (PMP) which offers unparalleled musical training to young string players of rare and special talent. With a world-class faculty led by Itzhak Perlman and vibrant programs in Shelter Island, New York City, Florida, Israel, and Vermont, PMP is developing the future leaders of classical music within a nurturing and supportive community.

The other key component of Evenings is dinner.   There is a new restaurant in Stowe: Phoenix Table & Bar.  Contemporary, fresh, hip, excellent food, and unlike most restaurants in Stowe, it serves until 10:00pm.   While the facility is new and opened less than a year ago, its owners and chefs are not.  Chefs Jack Pickett and Joshua Bard are names recognized by everyone in the Stowe hospitality business.  Their last restaurant – the very successful Frida’s Taqueria and Grill– benefitted from their ability to constantly innovate, create new tastes, and their dissatisfaction with anything ordinary.  Jack and Joshua, as you will find when you sample both their food and the restaurant’s environment, are as much in the performing arts business as the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center!  A fabulous pairing.

The first Evenings Package: Itzhak Perlman, November 8, 2014 at 7:30pm

Perlman Music ProgramThis year’s Perlman program includes PMP alumni ensembles that perform chamber music masterworks, and, of course, Maestro Itzhak Perlman conducts the PMP String Orchestra, in a stunning Celebration Concert. Drawn from all over the world, PMP alumni are young professional artists with diverse a career, whose spirited music-making excites and inspires audiences around the globe.

Now in its fourth year, the Fall Residency in Stowe, Vermont has brought a new dimension to The Perlman Music Program. Students and faculty enjoy four days of orchestra and chamber music study in preparation for a Celebration Concert in the beautiful Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center.

The Itzhak Perlman Evenings Package includes:

  • A two night stay in any of our Luxury rooms (King bed with fireplace; bath with double Jacuzzi fireplace & shower). Corner rooms are available at a premium of $25/night.
  • Linda’s three-course breakfast each morning
  • Two $45 tickets to the November 8th Itzhak Perlman performance at the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center. (If $45 tickets are not available we shall substitute $38 seats.)  The concert begins at 7:30pm
  • A voucher for $50 towards dinner for two at the Phoenix Table and Bar restaurant either before or after the performance.

Total Package cost is $785 not including taxes; you must call us at Stone Hill to make a reservation. (802-253-6282)

Seating is very limited at this time; we recommend booking as soon as possible.  We shall endeavor to secure your seats while you are on the phone with us. Once seats are purchased they may not be refunded. This package may not be combined with any other offer or promotion.

Perhaps Itzhak is not your cup of tea?  But what do you think of the Evenings concept?  We would appreciate any thoughts you have about the Evenings concept and the pairing between the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center and the Phoenix Table & Bar restaurant!  Just drop us a quick email!

Thanks ~ Linda and George

Stowe’s Top Five Things To Do During Your (Winter) Honeymoon

  1. Hot air balloon ride with champagne at Above Reality Ballooning.  Jeff is a wonderful and very responsible Captain.  He’s also a
    Justice of the Peace and does weddings in the balloon! Balloons go during winter and summer.
  2. Make a wish while standing next to Bingham Falls.  Winter transforms the series of five different falls into ice sculptures created by thick layers of ice that disguise the rocks that shape the falls.  Everything becomes white.  Thick Ice shapes form; mist is always rising.  Lovely, albeit slippery.  Watch where you walk!  Bring your camera.
  3. Dog sledding at Edens.   You get to know each dog, actually harness them, and with tails wagging and excited barks you’ll sense how anxious they are to get started! Two of you with blankets in a warm sled with your guide/musher to ferry you through the spectacular  snow country of northern Vermont!
  4. Take a sleigh ride over the hills and through the woods.  Just a few minutes from Stone Hill is a comfortable horse-drawn sleigh with
    thick blankets and an experienced driver.  While only  a 30 minute voyage, you will feel transported to a different time and certainly to a significantly different place in comparison with the eastern cities from which you likely hail.  Giddeup!
  5. Share Linda’s Crème Brule’ French toast made especially for you in the shape of a heart.  Crème Brule’ French toast is the most requested of the sweet breakfast items that we serve.  Using a porcelain, heart-shaped dish, we create this delight the night before; let cool in the refrigerator; heat it when you arrive for breakfast, and serve with warmed Vermont Maple syrup!
Vermont Honeymoon at Stone Hill Inn

Dara and Rich from Sommerville, MA, and Rhode Islanders Tina and Jeff completed the trio of Honeymooners. Such a treat for us to watch all three enjoy themselves while enjoying Stowe and the charming, natural beauty of Vermont. As is typical of early September in Stowe, the weather was wonderful and the restaurants and events were not crowded. Perfect!

So far this year we’ve celebrated 16 honeymoons at the Stone Hill Inn.  Josh and Ashley from Boothbay, ME (pictured left) were one of most recent couples.  Their Vermont honeymoon included massages, canoeing, hot air ballooning, and ziplining from the Plan Your Stay section of our website, and several hikes in the Mansfield forests.  They also worked  our Stowe Dining section pretty hard as well!

“Honeymoon”– where does the expression come from?  It appears that nobody is absolutely sure, however the Merriam-Webster dictionary reports the etymology is from “the idea that the first month of marriage is the sweetest” (1546).   Of course it is a very special when your focus is simply having fun together, and your days are filled with tenderness and pleasure for each other.  A celebration of life.

The Winter Honeymoon Package includes a three-night stay in a Luxury guest room, (king bed, sitting area, and fireplace. A large bath with double Jacuzzi tub, rubber duck, fireplace, and shower).  It also includes these opportunities to celebrate life together!  

  • A tandem relaxation massage in the comfort of your own guest room in front of the fireplace.
  • Dog sledding at Eden’s (given snow is available) – get introduced to and help hitch up the dogs.  Spend 45 minutes in a cozy two-person sled while you marvel at beautiful snow-covered VT.
  • Dinner at Michael’s on the Hill ( a $120 certificate – gratuities not included)
  • A horse-drawn, romantic sleigh ride — just the two of you.
  • Make chocolate together at Laughing Moon Chocolates.  With your fingers filled with warm chocolate, you will laugh and become intoxicated with the chocolate aromas as you prepare and dip your own chocolate.  Each of you will make about a pound of chocolate.
  • Share a specially made Crème Brule’ French toast in the shape of a heart for your first morning breakfast
  • Rose petal turn-down the first night you arrive.
  • Two engraved Stone Hill Inn wine glasses

Total price before taxes for the Winter Honeymoon Package is $2,145.00. Package prices change during peak seasons (2/13-2/21; 9/19-10/18; 12/18-1/2). Corner rooms (Fiddlehead and West Branch) are available at a premium of $50 over the three days.
 

Artichoke and Goat Cheese Strata : Another Classic Stone Hill Inn Breakfast

Artichoke and Goat Cheese Strata

The strongest flavor in this distinctively tasty breakfast results from a vegetable that is related to variety of species of thistle (scolymus – commonly referred to as the golden thistle).  Now, right away, doesn’t that sound tasty?  (ugh!)  Yes, but studies have shown this vegetable to aid digestion, hepatic and gall bladder function, raise the ratio of HDL to LDL and strong in antioxidants.  (No it is not cod liver oil!)  It was also used as a food among the ancient Greeks and Romans in the 1500’s.  Native to the Mediterranean area, its initial processing includes removing all but 0.2–0.4” of the stem along with about a quarter of scales so as to delete its residual thorns.  (Fortunately when you purchase them in the store, this has already been done.)   With such a history, no wonder they have such a unique taste.  What is it?  An artichoke (Cynara scolymus)!   We love them and they have become a delicious addition to Stone Hill Inn Breakfasts!

 

Artichoke and Goat Cheese Strata

  • 10 ounces of artichoke hearts (or I 10 ounce package of frozen artichoke hearts thawed)
  • 1/3 cup (about 1 ½ ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • ½ loaf country-style white bread (we like to use sourdough) cut into 1-inch cubes (about 5 cups)
  • ¾ cup (3 ounces) crumbled goat cheese, divided
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried herbs de Provence
  • 1 ¾ cups 1% low-fat milk
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • Cooking spray

Begin

Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add olive oil; swirl to coat.  Add shallots and cook for two minutes, stirring frequently.  Stir in artichoke hearts and garlic; cook for eight minutes or until artichoke hearts begin to brown – stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and stir in herbs de Province.  Cool 10 minutes.

Mix

Combine milk, black pepper, salt and eggs in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Add the yummy Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and bread; toss gently to combine.    Stir in artichoke mixture.  While you let this stand for 20 minutes, preheat oven to 375 degrees.

The Magic

Spoon half of bread mixture into an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle with half of goat cheese, and top with remaining bread mixture.  Sprinkle remaining half of goat cheese over the top.  Bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes or until browned and bubbly!!

To the Tables

Our breakfast service usually lasts for about two hours, and guests often arrive depending upon the activities in Stowe they have planned for the day.  Thus everyone is rarely available when the strata initially comes out of the oven.  So we remove the strata from the oven to avoid its drying out, and we warm a piece when requested by the guest.  We plate the strata with a small mixture of fresh lettuce and cherry tomatoes flavored with a light oil dressing – adding toast and meat accompaniment, as requested.

How we pitch it

Our breakfast this morning includes a wonderful combination of flavors – an artichoke/goat cheese strata.  We form a base of sourdough bread in a baking dish and add a mixture of artichoke hearts, goat cheese, and some additional herbs so as to enhance its naturally Mediterranean flavor.  We bake that in the oven until browned and serve warm with along with a small salad.

British Invasion Car Show : September 19th-21st

British Invasion Stowe VT

It was Christmas 15 years ago.  We had just purchased a new home within the past year, everyone was employed, and we were British Invasion Stowe VTlooking forward to its second Christmas.  Our current car was seriously old and becoming more expensive with each 1000 miles.  Somehow a picture of a new car that we had never seen slipped across Linda’s desk producing an immediate plea from Linda to swap old for new!  Of course the price was problematic.

The car was absolutely lovely. Even I liked it (all except the price.) Christmas was coming so I, like all males, continued to protest the price and the frivolousness of such a purchase while quietly considering the possibility and looking for a solution.   So, Christmas morning Linda’s brother – on cue – drove the new car down our driveway wrapped with a huge red ribbon and bow on top.  Linda vaulted out the front door in robe and slippers to view the car you see below – a 2000 Jaguar S Type – the first of its kind in the US.  Built in Birmingham, England and designed by Geoff Lawson, the key designer for Jaguar.  We still have this car and Linda still drives it to Shaw’s grocery store to get Yogurt, fresh fruit, and dozens of other ingredients for those fabulous breakfasts she designs at our charming Stowe bed and breakfast.

 

British Invasion Car Show So, this September 19-21 you are likely to find us attending and reviewing many of the entries into the 24th annual Stowe British Invasion car show.  This is North America’s largest British Classic Sports Car and Motorcycle Event!  Its mission is to provide a “Three Day Celebration and Salutation to the Great British Motorcar and all manner of other things British.”  It includes participants primarily from the US and Canada with over 600 cars on field, and approximately 1000 total.

 

The 24th annual Stowe British Invasion Car Show:

Registrant’s Reception- Friday 5-7pm
The official kick-off reception for this year’s British Invasion is to be held under the tent at the STOWE EVENTS FIELD. This event is open to all Pre-Registered participants in the British Invasion Weekend, Car owners and Vendors alike.

Stowe Main Street Party- Friday 6:30-9:30pm
Come and join the celebration of things British as Main Street will be awash with people in a festive mood and, of course, lots of British Motorcars.  Enjoy live music, food, and beverage service.  The local shops and restaurants will also remain open.  Main Street will be closed to through traffic and reserved for British Motorcar parking on Friday evening.

Concours d’Elegance- Judging on Saturday
The Concours d’Elegance is a “Judged” competition that attracts exceptional show cars.  Requirements: must be British, over 15 years old, and may NOT be replicas. Judging of entrants in the Concours d’Elegance competition will be based on a 100-point system, similar to the Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) judging rules. Criteria for judging includes mechanical operation, paint, interior, woodworking, undercarriage, chrome, engine compartment, and authenticity. A minimum of 90 points is required for 1st place, 85 for 2nd place and 75 for 3rd place. In case of a tie score, multiple awards will be presented. All entrants will receive participation ribbons.The Concours d’Elegance is a pre-registered ONLY event.

 

British Pub Saturday & SundayBritish Invasion Car Show Vermont

Our British Pub will be open to present fine English ales, wine and perhaps a mixed drink or two.

Tailgate Picnic Competition- Sunday

A display of creativity, good food, and things British. This event has become a “Classic” and perhaps one of the best Tailgate Competitions on the East Coast! Awards will be given for “Most Elegant”, “Most Creative”, “Most British”, “Best Costume”, “Best Tasting”, and “Most Humorous”.

 

British Market Place & Auto Jumble- Friday noon to Sunday
A collection of British Companies and vendors selling British, and British like products and services. Hard to find car spares, motoring accessories, motoring teddy bears, British candy, Regalia, Barbour jackets, and more.

British Car Corral – Friday noon to Sunday
An opportunity to buy or sell a British Motor Car or Motorcycle.

Come join us at the show.  One of the judges of the Concours d’Elegance will be staying at the Stone Hill Inn with us!