Archive for the ‘Attractions & Events’ Category

Fall In Love with Vermont

May 21st, 2012 by Peter MacLaren

Total relaxation at West Hill House

  • Does adventure mean exploring quiet back roads, hiking beautiful forested trails, jumping into cool river swimming holes, kayaking down splashing rivers or  sailing on pristine lakes?
  • Would you get a thrill out of soaring over the hilltops in a glider? Does the thrill of the hunt mean looking for treasures at antique shops and purchasing produce at  farmers’ markets?
  • Do you enjoy the excitement of country fairs? Are you fascinated watching artisans at work?
  • Do you search for enticing shops in quaint villages?
  • Does relaxation at the end of the day mean enjoying the hospitality of a bed and breakfast?
  • Are you a fan of opera, art exhibits, five-star dining or quick lunches in little cafés?
  • Want to add to your birding list?
  • Does relaxation mean contemplating life while sitting in a beautiful garden or gently swaying in a hammock?

Answer “Yes” to any of these questions and you may not know it, but you’ve already fallen in love with Vermont. All this and more is part of our way if life in the magnificent state of Vermont.

Whether your summer takes you to Bennington in the south, Warren and Sugarbush in the Mad River Valley in the center of the state or to the spectacular scenery of the Northeast Kingdom, we invite you to come to Vermont for romance, relaxation and recreation. Vermont has it all – see you soon.

Summer fun on the Winooski River

Summer fun on the Winooski River

Picnic by the pond

May 21st, 2012 by Peter MacLaren

West Hill House Bed and Breakfast

Grace & Charlie enjoy a picnic.

A basket filled with Vermont cider, cheeses, crackers, home made cookies and other goodies brings smiles to Grace and Charlie who welcomed the warm spring weather with a picnic by our pond. Spring has indeed sprung in the Mad River Valley. Signs of the season are all around us; chipmunks are sunning themselves on the rocks, peepers are singing our guests to sleep each evening and our beautiful gardens are coming back to life with brilliant daffodils now in bloom. We won’t even mind a few April showers. Sugarbush has opened the golf course, folks are out walking and cycling as well as hiking on the many local Green Mountain trails.

Though we can’t guarantee that there will be warm picnic weather when you come, we can guarantee that a warm welcome awaits you.

See you soon!

National Parks Week April 21-29

May 21st, 2012 by Peter MacLaren

In Vermont we are proud of our woodlands, our mountains and our waterways. In fact, the mission of our Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation is to practice and encourage a high quality of stewardship of Vermont’s environment by managing forests for sustainable use and by providing and promoting opportunities for compatible outdoor recreation. This mission echos the concern for the environment expressed by John Muir in the late 1800′s as he explored the vast magnificence of the natural wonders of the US west.

John Muir, a Scottish born American naturalist was an early advocate of the preservation of the American wilderness. His many writings tell of his adventures in nature and especially his love of the Sierra Nevada. An outspoken supporter and active defender of  nature preservation,  his enthusiasm for nature was boundless.

An early advocate of the idea of national parks, Muir petitioned the US Congress to pass the Nation Park bill which, when passed in 1890, brought about the creation of both Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. Today the name John Muir graces numerous trails, glaciers, camp-grounds and monuments in national park lands. Founded by Muir, The Sierra Club continues to be one of the most active and important conservation groups today.

If you watched the Ken Burns documentary on the National Parks you will remember the first part focuses on the life of John Muir.

Today in the United States, this Scottish born naturalist is referred to as the “Father of the National Parks”. Thank a Scot and go out and enjoy a national park this week.  April 21-29 isNational Parks Week .

Father of the National Parks John Muir

"Father of the National Parks" John Muir April 21, 1838- December 24, 1914

 

A Gem of a Restaurant

March 28th, 2012 by Peter MacLaren

A kitchen with space to work.

Today Peter and I (Susan) had a marvelous lunch at MINT, a local vegetarian restaurant in Waitsfield.

In the wake of  tropical storm Irene, which flooded the restaurant with 5 feet of muddy water, MINT has been reborn through the hard work of  it’s owners Savitri and Iliyan. The restaurant now boasts a new layout, including an open kitchen, comfortably cushioned chairs and a colorful, relaxing and inviting ethnic decor with much of the decoration having been done by the owners themselves.

Thinking we would just stop for a pot of one of their many tea varieties, we were enticed by the menu and chose lunch instead; mushroom and flava bean soup, a tomato-mozzarella sandwich, and yes, a pot of tea, White Darjeeling. The soup was as tasty as it was aromatic (I should have ordered a large bowl!) and was accompanied by a lightly grilled slice of hearty artisan bread.

A tempting tart.

A small salad of mixed greens was served with our toasty warm sandwich making it hard to decide which to start on first. Tea of any kind hits the spot with me so enjoying a pot of perfectly steeped tea at the end of our meal was delightful. Unfortunately time was ticking away and we had to forego dessert but the Pumpkin and Chocolate tart with Belgian chocolate and crunchy crust sounded awfully good!

The lunch and dinner menus are inventive and delectable so don’t expect a vegetarian menu of plain-old pasta with tomato sauce. Using an abundance of local produce allows the creativity of both Iliyan and Savitri to shine through in both menu and presentation.

Whether an omnivore or vegetarian your appetite is surely to be tempted and satisfied at MINT,  it is a gem of a restaurant in the heart of the Green Mountains.

Tell them Susan and Peter sent you!

Photos taken from the MINT website.

Church Street Burlington

March 23rd, 2012 by Peter MacLaren

The Church Street Marketplace, Downtown Burlington Vermont’s award-winning open air mall, is a hub of activity where you’ll find historical architecture, year-round festivals, street entertainers, music, over 100 places to shop and dine, and even quiet places to ponder.

Church Street is a great place to visit when you come to West Hill House, in particular during the summer months.

Susan and Peter had the opportunity of spending a couple of hours there on March 22nd, during a day of record setting temperatures in the 80s F, above 25 C. The gorgeous weather allowed us to take the photographs below.

Church Street, Burlington

Looking north on Church Street

"Big" Joe Burrell

Caption for "Big" Joe Burrell

One of the many café's and restaurants


Bear sculpture in front of City Hall


Spring crocuses

Ben & Jerry's - of course

Winter Wonders

March 5th, 2012 by Peter MacLaren

Icy Falls on Rt.100

 

Winter is one of the most beautiful seasons in Vermont, a real treat for the eyes. Snow covered mountains, evergreen trees laden with heavy snow, thick morning frost on bare tree branches, fresh animal tracks in the snow and brilliant stars in the clear winter night skies are truly awe inspiring.

One of the coolest winter sights of winter can be found along the Vermont highways where tiny streams which spill over the rock-cuts turn into giant white pillars of ice. In the winter sunshine they glisten brightly and at night, in the  headlights of passing cars, they take on a ghostly glow. When the warm spring weather arrives these icy falls will be one of the last vestiges of a Vermont winter.

Valentine’s Day – Romance is in the snow!

January 31st, 2012 by Peter MacLaren

Sleigh Ride in the Mad River Valley Vermont

Sleigh Ride in the Mad River Valley

A picture postcard Valentine’s Day package awaits you…

A snow covered landscape, a beautiful room with a double Jacuzzi tub in its ensuite bathroom, a sleigh ride to whisk you through the snow, and a delicious dinner at The Common Man restaurant.

We have two all inclusive packages:

  • The Logan Suite for any 3 nights including the 14th of February  - just $999 inclusive
  • The Mountain Room for any 2 nights including the 14th of February – just $649 inclusive

Extra nights can be added at our regular rates less 10%.

Your package includes:

The Logan Suite Master Bathroom at West Hill House

The Logan Suite Master Bathroom

  • Your beautiful room and a delicious breakfast each morning
  • A wondrous sleigh ride with views over the Mad River Valley
  • Dinner at The Common Man Restaurant on the 14th
  • 6 Roses – that you can take home with you
  • A bottle of Champagne and two souvenir Champagne flutes
  • Lake Champlain chocolates
  • And most of all – a peaceful get-away among the snow covered Green Mountains of Vermont
Please plan ahead as these packages will doubtless sell out quickly.

Great Vermont Ski and Stay Packages

January 18th, 2012 by Peter MacLaren

For the 2011-12 Ski Season we are once again offering our guests great prices AND flexibility for skiing at Sugarbush – immediately adjacent to the B&B with door-to-door shuttle service, Mad River Glen – a few minutes drive away, and the option to also ski on Olé’s Cross Country Ski trails just down the road from the B&B.

Ski & Stay “Passport*” packages for Sugarbush & Mad River Glen start at $110 per person per day, plus tax (2-night minimum weekdays, 3-night minimum weekends) and we’ll be pleased to customize a package with your choice of room and days of skiing.

The best value packages are:

  • 4-day inclusive weekday package including Ski the Valley “Passports*” for two for 4 consecutive week-days of skiing and 4 week-nights of B&B
  • 3-day inclusive weekend package including Ski the Valley “Passports*” for two for 3 days & nights.

Pricing for both packages, including taxes, is just:

  • Queen Room Package: $899
  • King Room Package: $999
  • Suite Package: $1,049

Our King Room ensuite bathrooms have double Jacuzzi tubs.

You can add another weekday day (or more) at Mad River Glen to any package for just $35 per person per day if you stay an extra night at our regular rates. The Lincoln Peak base at Sugarbush is just two minutes away by free shuttle bus from our front door and you can come back anytime during the day.

*The Passport also includes skiing at Ole’s cross country resort, and specials and freebies at some restaurants and stores.

Check our Winter Activities page for more information on a winter holiday at West HIll House.

Offers are good for one pair of ski tickets per night stayed. Note ski conditions cannot be guaranteed! (The packages are not available on Presidents Week, and weekend packages require a minimum of 3 days & nights. Note that 7 days advance notice is required for all Ski the Valley passport packages.)

Photo credit Sugarbush and EKrylov.

The Pot of Gold

December 3rd, 2011 by Peter MacLaren

November Rainbow

We’ve found it! The Pot of Gold is in the Mad River Valley!

November brought us 11″ (28cm) of snow for our Thanksgiving Day guests to enjoy and 60°F (15°C) weather a few days later. November also brought us this magnificent rainbow on the 30th. While we can’t guarantee you a rainbow or a pot of gold when you visit West Hill House B&B, Sugarbush or Mad River Glen, we can guarantee you beautiful scenery and warm Mad River Valley hospitality.

White Christmas in Vermont

November 28th, 2011 by Peter MacLaren

Christmas finery

Picture yourself doing your Christmas shopping and enjoying Christmas music in the quiet serenity of the green mountains of Vermont.

Saturday, December 3 marks the 13th annual Country Christmas Open House in the Mad River Valley. Over 30 local shops and services are offering special discounts which will make your pocketbook happy and may offer free refreshments which will make your tummy happy. Pick up a punch card at any merchants displaying the Participating Merchant sign then visit 5 businesses and have your card punched at each. When you leave your card with the 5th business it will be entered for a prize drawing. Check out the list of participating merchants and services.

On Friday, December 9 The Vermont Symphony Orchestra presents Holiday Pops “Fun and Games”  at the Barre Opera House, just under one hour from West Hill House. Favorite Christmas music with a twist as they take a look at the youthful side of the holiday. Fun for everyone. Tickets required.

Thursday, December 15 the Warren United Church will host the Vermont Symphony’s Brass Quintet and Counterpoint for a perfect mix of brass and voices to ring in the season. Free admission although tickets are required.(802-496-9714).

And of course the area also offers skiing and riding at Sugarbush, skiing at Mad River Glen, and cross country skiing at Ole’s and Blueberry Lake. Dog sled rides, sledding, skating, and moonlight snowshoe tours are just some of the other ways to enjoy a white Christmas in Vermont – oh and you can also curl up with a warm beverage and watch the movie White Christmas.

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