Well, it has been quite an amazing 24 hours! As with most of you, we were hooked on the weather channel keeping up to date with the progress of Irene. Our trusty garden rain gauge measured 6″ of rain between 8:30 yesterday morning and the same time this morning. We forgot to put the gauge out on Saturday evening when the rain started. The winds were not too extreme so with the exception of a few limbs, all our trees are still with us.
Being on the mountain side, our B&B was certainly not hit as hard as those of you along the coast in the direct path or our friends and neighbors in the lower elevations in the towns of Waitsfield and Warren.
The Mad River Valley did get an enormous amount of flooding. The Mad River lived up to its name. The lovely Pitcher Inn’s kitchen and wine bar, Tracks, were flooded with 4′ of water and they are now digging out – literally. Many farmers lost their crops under copious amounts of water–hopefully their animals are all safe. All this after finally getting crops in following huge flooding in May. Lots of roads and bridges are washed out so travel is quite disrupted. Nearby towns including Montpelier, our state capital, were again inundated.
We trust that our guests and friends up and down the eastern seaboard–both in the US and Canada–are safe.
Prince William and Katherine did it in London. Prince Albert and Charlene did it in Monaco. And you too can do it …it’s not too late to have a summer 2011 wedding at West Hill House!
Whether an elopement with just the two of you or a small wedding with yourselves and an intimate group of friends, we are here to help you have a stress free wedding and one which won’t break the bank.
A beautiful garden to be married in, a handsome barn in which to dine and dance, an inviting bed and breakfast in which to relax, and a magnificent Vermont setting – what more could you ask for?
Make your dreams come true with a Vermont wedding this summer. We only need a couple of days to help you get everything organized.
Yankee, in the July/August 2011 magazine, ranked the Waitsfield Farmers’ Market as one of the 5 best Farmers’ Markets in New England. Here’s what they say…
Waitsfield Farmers’ Market
It seems that the entire population of the Mad River Valley turns out to partake in a boisterous round of festivities: face painting, arts and crafts, live music, picnicking, and more. More than 60 vendors; space is equally shared among agricultural, craft, and prepared-food booths. Mad River Green, off Main St. (Route 100), Waitsfield. Saturdays 9am-1pm, May-October. waitsfieldfarmersmarket.com
We agree! This weekend, whether you are here to attend the Vermont Symphony outdoor concert, the Warren July 4th parade, the air show or the fireworks at Sugarbush be sure you take in the fun and excitement of the Farmers’ Market. On this July 4th long weekend it will be the place to be if you are in the Mad River Valley on Saturday morning.
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.
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.
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.
Save on Gas. Travel with Friends.
Invite another couple or two other couples to join you for a gas-saving get-away at West Hill House Bed and Breakfast. Make a reservation for 2 or more nights, pay on one credit card, travel here in one vehicle and take advantage of our B&Bs Kick Gas, Gas Saver Special.
Three cousins visiting from France delighted us with this guest blog about their visit to the Mad River Valley. Nous disons, “Merci, Fanny, Audrey, et Valerie pour votre visite.”
Nous avons passé quelques jours au West Hill House chez Susan et Peter en août 2010. Et quel séjour au coeur des Green Mountains, dans le Vermont. Les hôtes sont charmants et très accueillants, heureux de nous faire partager leur passion pour leur magnifique région. La maison est très jolie et confortable, rappelant les maisons Américaines (exterieur), Canadiennes et Ecossaises (intérieur). Quant aux petits déjeuners de Susan : exquis !! Et en tant que Français, tout le monde sait à quel point nous aimons les mets de qualité!
Et pour finir deux grands chats adorables : Smoky et Snowball!
La région du Vermont vaut le détour : de belles randonnées dans les Green Montains, des baignades dans la rivière, beaucoup d’expositions d’artistes et artisans d’art, The Warren store à voir absolument (Magasin qui rappelle le magasin de Mr Olson dans la petite maison dans la prairie!!), vous pourrez y déguster de délicieux petits plats et trouver des objets insolites, The Store à Waitsfield (petite ville à quelque kilometres de Warren) où l’on vous accueille avec une tasse de thé ou de café, vous y trouverez tout le necessaire pour cuisiner : des ustensiles aux condiments. Cette région regorge de “red barn” = fermes typiques rouges, de ponts couverts, et de restaurants où nous avons toujours très bien mangé.
Bref, je gardais du Vermont un souvenir exceptionnel, 15 ans après mon premier voyage, j’ai retrouvé la même authenticité et le même accueil chaleureux.
N’hésitez plus, West Hill House et le Vermont sont des lieux que l’on n’oublie pas ! Pour ma part, je reviendrai en automne ou en hiver, cela doit être magique!
1 classic single chair lift
2 come or not to come – is there any question?!
3 hours from Boston (or maybe slightly more)
4 glorious seasons for romance, recreation and relaxation
5 beautiful ski areas: downhill, cross-country and back-country
6 great restaurants (or more – you decide) within ten minutes of the slopes
7 hours from NYC (or maybe a bit less)
8 AM, weekend fun-on-the-snow begins
9 B&Bs within ten minutes of Sugarbush (and some are much closer!)
A perfect “10” as a winter get-away!
If you are still undecided, please call and tell us why!
Last weekend we attended our local Thanksgiving Mad River Valley Farmers’ Market. There was a definite feeling of winter in the air so it was fortunate that this event was held indoors at the Inn at the Round Barn Farm.
What a variety of food, handicrafts and even some music! Locals and visitors alike wandered among the displays filling their bags with local fare.
Everything from beautiful handicrafts, to amazing cheeses made by Three Shepherds Cheese (we really liked the strong King Louis cheese), to chair massages from Mad River Massage (always relaxing), to a magnificent array of vegetables from local farms. The amazing displays pictured here are from David Hartshorns’ Santa Davida Farm.
Although this is our last Farmers’ Market for the year we invite you to come experience our winter wonderland – see our immediately prior blog entry about Ski Time in the Mad River Valley – then return next summer to visit our Summer Farmers’ Market held every Saturday morning from Memorial Day through to the end of October.
The Mad River Valley, encompassing the picturesque towns of Warren and Waitsfield, is the perfect place to ski in the North East. We have three amazing ski hills, Lincoln Peak and Mt Ellen at Sugarbush, and Mad River Glen. The two high speed quads at the base of each of the Sugarbush hills mean short lines even on busy days, and at Mad River Glen – while you may have to wait a bit longer on weekends and holidays – you get to ride the legendary single chair and enjoy skier only slopes. (There’s lots of variety at Sugarbush for riders.) Plus we have great cross country skiing, including right outside our door on the golf course, as well as two extensive networks of groomed trails nearby.
And there’s more. We are privileged to offer a wide selection of excellent owner-operated restaurants here in the valley. No chains, no franchises, no fast food. One of our favorites is Mint, a boutique vegetarian restaurant that even meat eaters will love. Then there is The Hyde Away with a wide menu selection of good value home cooking open 7 nights a week. The Terra Rossa Ristorante will more than satisfy lovers of Italian food, and you can watch pizzas being cooked in front of you in the classic brick oven. Then of course there is The American Flatbread, the mecca of taking pizza to another level, which is so popular you almost always have to line up to eat there, but it’s always worth it. Our overall favorite? The Common Man where you will always enjoy great food, great service and a unique atmosphere.
For non-skiers, our Artisans, anchored by the beautiful Artisans’ Gallery in Waitsfield, are almost always open during the day and welcome your visits, we have Vermont classics to visit like Ben & Jerry’s and Cabot Cheese, and to relax we can arrange a soothing massage at Mad River Massage.
If you’ve never been here, you are missing out! If you have, it’s time to come back. Call us and we’ll help you plan your visit, tell you about specials, and get you booked into the top rated B&B in the area (guess where!). Ask us about the newly opened Logan’s Loft in the barn for a one-week stay.
See you soon!
From guests Jessica & David:
We spent a long Columbus Day weekend enjoying the fall colors and exploring the area. The West Hill House met every expectation of what we wanted in a New England B&B. Susan and Peter went out of their way to make sure we enjoyed our stay. The WHH B&B was very clean, very cozy and Susan’s breakfasts were delicious.
The number of guests seemed just right (it was full up at 16 guests) and we enjoyed making new friends. The woodstoves in the common areas and the gas stoves in the bedrooms added to the ambiance, along with the decorative lighting throughout.
We travelled with another couple and the four of us are planning to return in the winter for a ski weekend.The West Hill House is about a 5-minute drive from Sugarbush. (Editor – actually about 2 minutes.)
We were surprised at the number of good restaurants in the area, and we enjoyed the farmer’s market, Sugarbush quad chairlift up Lincoln Peak, the Sugarbush zipline, and a glider ride at Sugarbush Soaring.
Editor: As you can see from their photos, our guests enjoyed great breakfasts and some nice relaxation in the hammock.