Traditional Scottish Country Dancing, which runs the gamut from fast and furious to slow and stately, is the norm at Scottish weddings, family reunions and modern cèilidhs (pronounced kay-lees). Children learn these dances from an early age and many schools, clubs, small towns, and pubs have regular cèilighs where everyone joins in the dancing.
Dances such as the “Gay Gordons”, ”Walls of Limerick” and ”The Stack of Barley” are dances which are named after famous regiments, historical battles and every day items. Other dances have more intriguing names such as the “Canadian Barn Dance”, “Eightsome Reel”, and “The Dashing White Sergeant”.
Celebrating the Scottish heritage of the MacLaren family, Peter encouraged me to join a Scottish Country Dance group in Edmonton shortly after we were married. Each week we would learn a new dance and enjoy dancing to the ones we previously learned.
The dance lessons have come in handy each January as dancing is an integral part of any Burns Supper. A Burns Supper is a gathering to celebrate the birth of Scottish poet Robert Burns. An important date to Scots around the world, this event embraces Scottish food, poetry, libations and dance.
To prepare for our upcoming Burns Supper (January 28, 2012) – as well as just for some fun – we are opening our Handsome Red Barn for Scottish Country Dance lessons. We are going to teach very simple dances and we invite you to join us on:
Wednesday evening, September 7th
From 7:00 to 9:00PM
Was $5 per person, now $10 and 100% of the proceeds go to the Mad River Valley Community Fund
Advance tickets required as space is limited.
Come on your own or with a friend. Refreshments. Wear flat shoes. Other Scottish Country Dance evenings are scheduled through out the year.
Both of these attractions are well worth a visit when you stay at West Hill House.
The 600 ft deep Rock of Ages granite quarry in nearby Barre is a favorite destination for our guests. It is reputed to be the largest such quarry in the world. With the scale of the geological formation it is estimated that at current production rates there is enough granite for 4,000 years! There is a Vistors’ Center where you can learn all about the quarry, the factory where you can see how monuments are carved, and of course the tour of the quarry itself which leaves every 45 minutes or so. Check out some photos in our photo album on Facebook.
The granite is on display in its finished form as beautiful monuments in nearby Hope Cemetery. This cemetery in Barre is an unusual tourist attraction but please do not pass this up – it doesn’t sound like a great side trip, but it is.
Many grave monuments were carved for their own family members by stonemasons, who worked at the Rock of Ages Quarry. Find the soccer ball, the biplane, the eighteen-wheeler, the stock car, and the cube on one of its points. There are family portraits including a husband and wife sitting up in bed and lots of intricately carved floral arrangements. Have a look at our photo album on Facebook.
The Quarry and Hope Cemetery are about 40 minutes from the B&B. The cemetery is open year round and the quarry is open from late May till mid October. A visit to the State Capital of Montpelier, the smallest State Capital in the US, is easily included in the day’s outing and is also well worth a visit.
On July 1st Anthony Princiotti conducted the Vermont Symphony Orchestra in the open air at Sugarbush offering “Symphony Royale” with music fit for a king…or a summer evening in Vermont! Handel’s fireworks began the program and Northstar’s fireworks concluded it, in this musical homage to royalty. The noble procession included Scheherazade’s Kalendar Prince, the King and Queen of Troy, and the King of Siam. The concert was in honor of Independence Day celebrating America’s freedom from monarchical rule with their own version of royalty, Duke Ellington! The performance was crowned by the majestic 1812 Overture and selections from Sousa, the March King, which were both accompanied by an amazing fireworks display with the finale captured in this short videoby Susan.
Intriguingly the concert, being on July 1st, was on Canada Day when Canadians celebrated their royalty with the visit of its newest couple, William and Catherine, who were at Parliament Hill in Ottawa to join Canadians country wide to celebrate the 144th anniversary of Confederation.
The holiday weekend in Warren is chock full of excitement this year, starting on Friday July 1st and running through to Monday July 4th. Plan to stay at West Hill House for all four nights and we will make all the arrangements you need to enjoy your visit at an all inclusive price!
July 1st. The Vermont Symphony Orchestra offers “Symphony Royale” with Anthony Princiotti, conducting music fit for a king…or a summer evening in Vermont! Handel’s fireworks begin the program and Northstar’s fireworks conclude it, in this musical homage to royalty. The noble procession includes Scheherazade’s Kalendar Prince, the King and Queen of Troy, and the King of Siam. In honor of Independence Day, we celebrate our freedom from monarchical rule with America’s own version of royalty, Duke Ellington! The performance will be crowned, as always, by the majestic 1812 Overture and selections from Sousa, the March King. The performance is being hosted at Sugarbush.
The gates open at 5:00 PM for an included barbecue dinner and the concert begins at 7:30 PM.
Waitsfield Farmers' Market
George Bernard Shaw
July 2nd. The renowned Waitsfield Farmers’ Market will be open from 9AM till 1PM. You will find fresh produce, flowers, seedlings, honey, wool, eggs, meat, cheese and other farm products. In addition you will find crafts made in Vermont, baked goods, and prepared food. There will also be live entertainment provided by local musicians. You will also find community groups such as the Vermont Festival of the Arts, Localvores, local libraries and fire departments.
Dinner on Saturday evening will be your choice from the many excellent nearby restaurants.
Still on July 2nd enjoy a performance by the excellent Valley Players of the classic George Bernard Shaw’s play “Arms and the Man”.
The play is set during the four-month-long Serbo-Bulgarian War that occurred between November 1885 and March 1886, this play is a satire on the absurdity of glorifying war, as well as a satire on the foolishness of basing your affections on idealistic notions of love. These themes brought reality and a timeless lesson to the comic stage. Consequently, once Shaw’s genius was recognized, Arms and the Man became one of Shaw’s most popular plays and has remained a classic ever since. The Performance starts at 7:30PM.
On Sunday July 3rd enjoy the Stars and Stripes Charity Airshow at Warren-Sugarbush airport featuring bi-plane aerobatics and other great stunts. This year there will be a model airplane demo, glider aerobatics and with both vintage plans and classic motorcycles on display. Check the video to see what you will be in for! Gates open at 11:00 a.m. and show starts at 1:00 p.m. All proceeds to benefit the Vermont National Guard Charitable Foundation, a nonprofit organization which serves to meet the emergency financial needs of the men and women of the Vermont National Guard and their families.
The Common Man
On Sunday evening we will make reservations for you at The Common Man Restaurant, in our view the best restaurant in the area. (It will be open specially for the Sunday of the holiday weekend.)
Over 150 years old, the soaring hand hewn rafters of the timbered interior are lit by crystal chandeliers, soft candlelight, and a huge open-hearth manor fireplace in season. (See the photo alongside.) Dining is elegantly casual and casually elegant, definitely romantic, and is applauded by Vermonters and visitors alike. The restaurant has earned scores of prestigious awards.
Then the pièce de resistance on Monday, the 63rd consecutive Warren 4th of July Parade.
The event celebrates independence with a wild, wacky, and wickedly fun parade, street dance, and family festivities! The theme is “ACT LIKE A LOCAL:_________” (blank to be filled in by the participants!). This is always an “interesting” event with political correctness being left at home as floats assembled by area denizens broadcast their point of view to visitors from far and wide! The Parade starts at 10AM. Live Music will begin following the parade with Jimmy Yozell at the Warren Store porch for the big street dance and Mad Mountain Scramblers at Brooks Field (elementary school), a short walk from the village.
The video was compiled by Sugarbush from last year’s parade.
On Monday evening West Hill House will provide an alfresco dinner sitting out on our Garden Terrace overlooking our gardens. Then in the evening about 9:45PM you can watch an amazing Fireworks display at Sugarbush.
Enjoy this exciting and unique long weekend with an all inclusive price from West Hill House, with four night packages starting at $999 per couple. The price includes tickets for all the events and meals described above, one of our beautiful well appointed en-suite queen-bedded guest rooms for four nights, and breakfast each morning of course. (Only extras are lunches, dinner at your choice of restaurant on Saturday evening and any alcoholic drinks.) We will also be happy to customize the weekend package to your preferences. Tickets for the various events are subject to availability.
Mystery fans seldom get to meet their favorite writer let alone sit down with him and talk about the secrets of the trade. On August 26 and 27, at the West Hill House B&B in Warren, VT, you will get that chance, with Vermont’s own detective mystery writer Archer Mayor.
The author wears many hats: medical examiner, cop, fire fighter, reporter, photographer … stir these all together, add a pinch of intrigue and one large helping of a mysterious murder and from these ingredients Archer Mayor has created Vermont’s own fiction super sleuth Joe Gunther. Joe is a local policeman, who is best described as kind and compassionate but sharp and intelligent, in short the kind of cop you hope shows up when you need one.
If you have never read an Archer Mayor mystery, go get one (or more). Red Herring is his latest in paper back.
All these events are being held in the Handsome Red Barn at West Hill House B&B in Warren, VT. The details are:
Friday evening, August 26 at 7 pm: Archer Mayor brings his personal experience as a medical examiner to the front with an enjoyable and informative talk, “Not CSI: Forensics – Truth or Fiction.” $10/person. Light refreshments provided.
Saturday afternoon, August 27 at 2 pm: aspiring writers will gather to attend a 2-hour workshop entitled “How Archer Does What He Does”. Attendees will gain insight into site, plot and character development. $30/person, $15 for students with ID. Light snack provided.
Saturday evening, August 27 at 7 pm: “Archer Mayor Let Loose”. This informal evening will be fun filled as Archer Mayor entertains with his insight, experience, humor and storytelling. Autographed book included. $25/person. Dessert buffet provided.
Advance tickets are required, space is limited. This is a sanctioned event of the Vermont Festival of the Arts. Call 802-496-7162 for tickets.
Come and stay at West Hill House B&B on the Friday and Saturday night and attend all three events for $50 per person plus the cost of your room.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Susan MacLaren
West Hill House B&B Warren, VT
August 26 & 27, 2011
Vermont mystery writer Archer Mayor wears many hats: medical examiner, cop, fire fighter, reporter, photographer …stir these all together, add a pinch of intrigue and one large helping of a mysterious murder and Archer Mayor has created Vermont’s own fiction super sleuth Joe Gunther. Come meet Vermont’s own mystery writer Archer Mayor on August 26 and 27, 2011 at West Hill House B&B in Warren, VT.
Friday evening, August 26: Archer Mayor brings his personal experience as a medical examiner to the front with an enjoyable and informative talk, “Not CSI, Forensics – Truth or Fiction.” $10/person. Light refreshments provided.
Saturday afternoon, August 27: aspiring writers will gather to attend a 2-hour workshop entitled “How Archer Does What He Does”. Attendees will gain insight into site, plot and character development. $30/person, $15 for students with ID. Light snack provided.
Saturday evening, August 27: “Archer Mayor Let Loose” This informal evening will be fun filled as Archer Mayor shares his insight, experience, humor and storytelling prowess to entertain his fans. $35/person. Dessert buffet provided.
All events are held in the Handsome Red Barn at West Hill House B&B in Warren, VT. Advance tickets are required, space is limited. This is a sanctioned event of the Vermont festival of the Arts. Stay at West Hill House B&B on the Friday and Saturday night and attend all three events for $50 plus the cost of your room.
Contact Susan MacLaren for further details. firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-496-7162
While we post regularly to our blog here, you can also follow us on our Facebookpage. Often we duplicate postings but usually there is more on Facebook than here on the blog.
For example we just posted a photo album from our Burns Supper, held for the first time in our newly renovated Handsome Red Barn. (Click on the photo to see the full album.) About 25 local residents and B&B guests joined in the festivities, celebrating the 252nd birthday of the great Scottish poet Robert Burns who was born on January 25th 1759.
In addition to pipe music, we enjoyed Haggis with the traditional fixings, Scottish Trifle, some Burns poetry then Scottish Country Dancing led by Don and Martha Kent. A good time was had by all. Be sure to come next year!
So “like” us on Facebook to keep up with ALL the news!
On January 22nd 2011 we will be holding a Burns Supper to celebrate the 252nd anniversary of the birth, on January 25th 1759, of this great Scottish Poet.
A Burns Supper is a significant tradition in Scotland and among Scots around the world. The evening will consistent of traditional Scottish fair including Haggis (which really is worth trying!) and Scottish Trifle.
The Haggis will be piped in by local piper Amos Horn and will be addressed in the traditional manner by Peter:
Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the puddin-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang’s my arm. …
Scottish Dancing after dinner will be led by dance instructors Martha & Don Kent.
This year the Burns Supper will be held in our newly renovated handsome Red Barn so we have room for a total of 30 guests. We expect a sell-out so don’t wait till the last minute to book. Tickets must be purchased by January 14th.
The Burns Supper is just $39 per person (plus tax), and it is sure to be a memorable evening. Stay two nights and we will include the supper at the reduced rate of $60 per couple.
December 16, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Peter MacLaren
WARREN, VERMONT. The West Hill House B&B is among a group of Vermont’s finest country inns and bed and breakfasts offering free stays this winter to members of the Vermont National Guard, who are returning home from a one-year tour of duty in Afghanistan. Eighteen Vermont Select Registry members are participating in the program.
The West Hill House B&B is a member of Select Registry, Distinguished Inns of North merica – which represents top-quality inns in the United States and Canada. It is located right next door to the top rated Sugarbush Ski resort, and just minutes from the uniqueMad River Glen ski area.
Nearly 1,500 Vermont National Guard soldiers are returning home from Afghanistan after participating in the Vermont Guard’s largest mobilization since World War II. The first soldiers returned home before Thanksgiving, and the rest are expected home by Christmas.
West Hill House B&B is offering a free two-night stay to any returning Guard member and significant other during the months of January, February and March 2011 (except Presidents Week from February 20th to 24th). The offer applies to stays on Sunday through Thursday nights. Discounted ski passes are also available.
We all enjoy the peace, tranquility and beauty of Vermont, and we are honored to share it with those who have volunteered to leave here for a year to protect the peace in a very different environment.
Vermont Guardsmen wanting to take advantage of the offer need only to contact Susan or Peter MacLaren at West Hill House B&B at 802-496-7162 or email us at email@example.com.
The First Annual Mad Marathon is scheduled for July 10, 2011 in the gorgeous Mad River Valley, located in Central Vermont.
You will be running through this extraordinary rural community on 26.2 miles of back and dirt roads, with breathtaking views of the Green Mountains, rolling farm lands, quaint villages, historical barns, covered bridges and fields of our famous Vermont cows!