Vermont Fall Scene

Experience the Shelburne Museum

April 30th, 2015 by Corey A. Edwards

Shelburne Museum Steamboat Ticonderoga

See the steamboat Ticonderoga at Shelburne Museum

Shelburne Museum, in Vermont’s scenic Lake Champlain valley, is one of the most diverse, unconventional, must-see museums in the US, containing over 150,000 works of art and Americana. Even the museum campus is notable: of its 39 buildings, 25 are historic buildings that were relocated to the Museum grounds as part of the collection!

The diverse collection of impressionist paintings, folk art, quilts, carriages, decoys, furniture, American paintings, toys and other 17th-to 20th-century artifacts at Shelburne Museum owe their collective exhibition to Electra Havemeyer Webb (1888-1960).

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All The Makings Of A Perfect Vermont Wedding

April 15th, 2015 by Corey A. Edwards

The Perfect Vermont Wedding!The perfect Vermont wedding – indoor or out, catered receptions and dinners, even the honeymoon or an elopement – can be yours, right here in the Mad River Valley at West Hill House B&B!

The Mad River Valley makes a stunningly beautiful setting for your Vermont wedding and West Hill House B&B is here, on the wooded slopes of Vermont’s Green Mountains, with years of wedding-expertise and a picture-perfect venue for your special day.

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Make It A Mad River Valley Spring

March 28th, 2015 by Corey A. Edwards

Mad River Valley Spring

You may call it optimism, what with snow still on the ground and all but the signs are unmistakeable: the weather is warming, green’s a-peeping, and the scent of maple sugar is in the air. We’re getting ready for another beautiful Mad River Valley spring and would love to share it with you!

There’s no denying that we love our Mad River Valley winters – the skiing, the sledding, the snowshoeing, the dog-sledding, the hot cocoa and warm fire to enjoy after a day in the great, snowy outdoors: what’s not to love – but a Mad River Valley spring … ! You’ve heard us sing the sugaring time soliloquy; while the scent of maple sugar boiling away is lovely and a big part of what we love about spring, it is hardly the breadth of it.

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Have Tesla, Can Travel – to our BEB!

March 20th, 2015 by Peter MacLaren

The Special Ontario Green Vehicle Tags

Ontario “Green Vehicle” tags

What “range anxiety”? On March 19th we welcomed Matt and his Tesla Model S85D at West Hill House B&B. Matt was making his inaugural trip in what is apparently the first 85D model—all wheel drive—delivered to an owner in Ontario, and perhaps in Canada.

Canada you say?  Yes, Matt lives in Toronto and he is heading to Boothbay Harbor in Maine. With a little bit of planning this is now an easy trip to make in a Tesla, with of course an overnight stop at our BEB—bed, electrons and breakfast!  You can read on our earlier Blog all about the official opening in December of our Tesla fast charging facility for our guests.

Matt contacted us at the beginning of February.  At that point he was awaiting imminent delivery of his Tesla Model S85D, and he told us he had plans to be a guest at a wedding in Maine on March 21st.  So what could be a better first road trip for his new wheels?

Toronto to Maine by Tesla

Plotting a course from Toronto to Boothbay Harbor

Matt's Tesla Model S 85D getting charged

Thumbs up from Matt charging his Model S85D

After checking the Tesla website he realized that our BEB was the perfect half-way stop-over point for his two-day trip. The Tesla Supercharger in Cornwall made for an easy drive to West Hill House B&B, and the next day the recently opened Supercharger at Hooksett NH could give him an electron boost on his way from us to his final destination.

His visit was also really exciting for us: a first opportunity to see the new all-wheel drive Tesla.

Not only that, but Matt gave Peter a short ride, and during that headed up a steep snow covered side road with no problem—we could have been in a Subaru, except it was all so quiet!

So the secret is out. “Have Tesla, can travel!”. With the greater than 200 mile/320 km range of the Model S85 even in winter (up to 275 miles/440 km in summer for the Model S85D), with the Superchargers in Canada (there is also one in Montreal by the way) and all over the US, there is no reason not to explore the country with your Tesla.  And now with all-wheel drive, even Vermont’s back roads are fair game!

A warm welcome, and lots of complimentary electrons, await you at West Hill House B&B – oops sorry, that is BEB! We can also help you plan a multi-desination road trip with overnight stops at other Select Registry BEBs. We shall hope to see you, and your Tesla, soon.

Farewell to the BEB

Farewell from Matt to West Hill House BEB

 

 

Meet The Mad River Rocket Sled

March 14th, 2015 by Corey A. Edwards

Mad River Rocket

Catching air on a Mad River Rocket.

Born in Warren, Vermont, the Mad River Rocket Sled has gone from humble beginnings to becoming the foundation of a popular, new winter sport: back-country sledding.

The allure of the great outdoors – no matter the season – can be particularly hard to ignore when you live somewhere as beautiful and appealing as Vermont’s Mad River Valley and outdoor recreation is a great platform for creativity. It’s how so many of our favorite, outdoor pastimes came to be. That’s certainly true of the Mad River Rocket!

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Very Yummy Granola

March 9th, 2015 by Susan

Stirring it up:

Our guests love this granola. It takes little time to prepare and packs a good measure of fiber into your daily diet. Granola is great sprinkled on fruit, eaten as breakfast cereal or used  as a topping for a fruit crisp or ice cream!

Tastes as good as it looks.

Tastes as good as it looks.

Very Yummy Granola

  • 4 cups oats (not quick oats)
  • 1 cup corn flakes
  • 1 cup grape nut flakes
  • 1 cup coconut
  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ to ½ cup real maple syrup or honey
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • ¾ cup golden raisins
  • ¾ cup Craisins

Mix all dry ingredients together in big a bowl, except raisins, craisins and dates and any other dried fruit you use—they will be added later.

Mix liquids together and pour over dry ingredients.

Stir well until completely moistened.

Spread evenly on a large jelly roll pan which you have lined with parchment paper or very lightly sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake in 350°F oven for about 25 minutes, but keep an eye on it as it will go from toasted to burnt, quickly.

Stir 3 or 4 times during cooking – this is important so that the oats toast evenly,  you want them to be golden brown.

Add fruits after baking is done and while the oat mixture is still warm.

Cool completely then store in an air-tight container.

Experiment with ingredient, more nuts, different dried fruits, chocolate chips, wheat germ, ground flax… remember to adjust the amount of syrup and oil when you add dry ingredients. Dice larger pieces of dried fruit such as apricots, peaches or the like, into raisin sized bits.

Have fun and enjoy the fruits, nuts and oats of your labour.

Dishing it out:

Growing up, granola was a staple in our home. My dad had his special recipe and for years I thought this was the only taste for granola. Not that Dad’s recipe wasn’t good, actually it was quite wonderful, it’s just that I guessed it was the recipe everyone used. I was soon set straight on that one, and when I cook,  Dad’s words echo in my mind, “Be creative and never be afraid to experiment.” His granola recipe?  He was creative and made it up himself. Thanks Dad!

Maple No Mistake: It’s Sugaring Festival Time

February 28th, 2015 by Corey A. Edwards

Sugaring Time Festival 2015

It may be hard to believe right now but, soon, warm days and cool nights will start the flow of sugar maple sap and it’ll be sugaring time in the Mad River Valley – not only that but Sugaring Festival time!

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Mad River Valley Cross Country Skiing

January 31st, 2015 by Corey A. Edwards

Mad River Valley Cross Country SkiingWhen old man winter blows his snows, the only thing to do is grab your hat and mittens and head out into it and enjoy it while it lasts. Vermont is a winter-sports wonderland and the Mad River Valley cross country skiing options are excellent!

Take a look:

Ole’s Cross Country Ski Center
2355 Airport Road, Warren, VT
www.olesxc.com
Ole’s Cross Country Center offers some of the best Mad River Valley cross country skiing and snowshoeing. With 30 miles of moderately rolling groomed trails, skiers of all abilities can comfortably ski and enjoy both panoramic views and the rare quiet of the deep woods.

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Mad River Valley Valentine’s Day Getaway

January 17th, 2015 by Corey A. Edwards

Mad River Valley Valentine's Day

With February just around the corner, love is in the air and now is the time to plan your West Hill House B&B, Mad River Valley Valentine’s Day Getaway!

February is for lovers, as they say, and we here at West Hill House B&B in Warren, VT are not immune to affairs of the heart. On the contrary, we truly enjoy helping you to express and celebrate your love. With that in mind, we have created a number of specials, packages, and add-ons designed to make your Mad River Valley Valentine’s Day getaway the best it can possibly be!

To help you celebrate this special date we are offering a Valentine’s Weekend Special.  It includes our Romance package, dinner at The Common Man, and more for a three-night weekend at an all inclusive price. (SOLD OUT! However we would be delighted to work with you to customize a similar getaway at some other time.)

Or you can choose the West Hill House B&B Romance Package, for only $75 in addition to the cost of the room of your choice, which includes:

  • Six Roses in your room, awaiting your arrival
  • A Bottle of Bubbly for two
  • Two Champagne Flutes
  • and some delectable Lake Champlain Chocolates

You are more than welcome to take the roses and flutes home with you. The champagne flutes make a nice keepsake, reminding you of the wonderful Mad River Valley Valentine’s Day you spent together!

A romantic dinner may be one of the most universal ways of enjoying time together with that special someone in your life – and we have a special with just that in mind:

Add Dinner to your Mad River Valley Valentine’s Day getaway for one or more evenings and enjoy the reward of fine dining AND savings. We’ve teamed up with two of the best restaurants in the area to give you a fantastic, 3-course dining experience that wont break the bank. Taxes and gratuities for dinner are included in the price while beverages are additional.

Seating is still available at The Common Man for Valentine’s Day evening, but will doubtless sell out soon. It features a wide range of selections on their menu for you to choose your three courses from – and the romantic ambiance of an historic barn will go a long way towards making your evening the best it can be. The Common Man is just a few minutes drive from West Hill House B&B, adding convenience into the mix.

West Hill House B&B also has a number of delightful add-ons for your Mad River Valley Valentine’s Day:

You can have a Bouquet of Flowers awaiting you in your room. We’re also more than happy to wrap them up for you to take home, should you so desire.

How about some champagne? Our Champagne on Ice Package nets you a bottle of our house French bubbly on ice, in your room and ready to serve in two, beautiful champagne flutes that are yours to keep. Upgrades from our house champagne to Duval-Leroy or Moet et Chandon are also available.

For pricing and more details about our Mad River Valley Valentine’s Day getaway specials, please visit our specials page. Be sure to mention the special, package, or add-ons you’re interested in at time of booking and, if there’s something else you’d like, please don’t hesitate to inquire!

Icelandic Vínarterta – A Shortbread Style Cake

January 14th, 2015 by Susan

At breakfast on January first I presented our guests with my variation of  the Icelandic dessert Vínarterta, a Shortbread and Prune Jam Layer Cake. If you want to learn more about our amazing Icelandic Experience check our January 5, 2015 blog.

So, with thanks to the Icelandic cooks for the inspiration which I gained from the Vínarterta recipe and apologies to Icelandic cooks for the changes I made to their much enjoyed special occasion cake, as promised, here is my recipe.

The Spread

  • 5 oz dried apricots,  finely chopped
  • 7 oz, dried figs,  finely chopped
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 T. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. ground cloves
  • 3/4 c. cranberry juice

Put these ingredients into a blender and puree. Add a bit of water or more cranberry juice if this seems too thick to puree. The resulting spread should be on the thick side. This will make enough spread for the dessert as well as a good amount which can be kept for toast, muffins or filling for a small genoise cake.

The Cake

  • 3 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. ground cardamom
  • 1 c. (two sticks) butter slightly softenedThe West Hill House B&B version of Vínarterta.
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c. whole milk

Mix the flour, baking powder and cardamom together in a bowl and set aside.  In a larger bowl, by hand or with a mixer, cream the sugar and butter until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients and milk alternately, mixing between additions. Transfer the dough to a floured board and knead for about one minute. Break dough into balls about the size of a large walnut. With a floured rolling pin, roll out each ball on the floured board, to a thin circle (about 1/6″ thick) and about 4″ across. Carefully lift the dough and place it on a parchment covered jelly roll pan and chill for at least one hour. I  covered my pans with plastic wrap and chilled them overnight. This dough is not like a cake dough, it is more like we’d call shortbread.

Bake chilled dough on the parchment lined pan in a 375° oven for about 20 minutes. Keep an eye on it though!

Cool then spread with the fig and apricot jam and top with a slice of pear and enjoy.

Icing  (I didn’t use icing on my presentation)

  • 2 c. icing sugar
  • 1/4 c. brewed coffee, chilled

The traditional method of preparing this cake is to baking circles 7″ across, cooling them then spreading a very thick jam on each layer except the top layer. Stack the jam covered circles and pour the icing over top of the whole thing and chill it until the icing is firm. Slice and serve. Friends in Iceland tell me that using a thick jam between the cake layers should make the cake pretty sturdy and able to be cut neatly. My next try at this will be to make Vínarterta in the traditional way. Wish  me luck!

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