West Hill House B&B

Category Archives: Summer activities

Wine-ing? Yes, Keep on Wine-ing with Great Vermont Wine

May 15, 2017 by Susan

Wine is not something usually associated with Vermont. Maple syrup and craft beers top the list. Vermont is, however, becoming internationally known for its wine. Within an hour and a bit of West Hill House B&B there are numerous vineyards that welcome visitors and offer tasting opportunities. Two of our favorites are Lincoln Peak Vineyard and Boyden Valley Wine & Spirits.

Lincoln Peak Vineyard bottles on display in the tasting room.

Our West Hill House B&B mug made a visit to Lincoln Peak Vineyard. Photo: West Hill House B&B

Lincoln Peak Vineyard is on the route to Middlebury which is a great college town worth exploring. Evolving from an apple orchard to strawberry fields and ultimately to a vineyard, Lincoln Peak Vineyard is now one of the largest grape producers in Vermont. The vines came from a fellow vintner in Minnesota and are a winter-hardy grape variety that is happy in the Vermont climate.

Making a first batch of commercial wine in 2006, Lincoln Peak now produces over 25,000 bottles of wine a year all from grapes grown on their own vineyard. Entering the International Cold-Climate Wine Competitions for four years has garnered Lincoln Peak Vineyard three best-in-show awards along with several gold and double-gold medals.

Ripe grapes at Lincoln Peak Vineyard.

Mature wine grapes ready for picking at Lincoln Peak Vineyard. Photo: Sara Granstrom

Lincoln Peak Vineyard opens its 2017 season on May 20 offering visitors a chance to taste some of their 12 great wines with fun names like Starlight, Petite Pink and Ragtime. We stock two Lincoln Peak wines at West Hill House B&B, La Crescent and Marquette.

Like many Vermont enterprises, Boyden Valley Winery & Spirits evolved through a long family history. The Boyden family began farming 800 acres over 100 years ago. Purchased in 1914,  the Boyden family started with 28 head of dairy cows. Frederick and Phila Boyden along with their nine children planted the roots of what today is the thriving business.

Boyden Valley red wine ready for tasting

Boyden Valley red wine ready for tasting. Photo: Boyden Valley Winery

David, Mark and Stephanie are the 4th generation on the farm. David and his wife Linda, his siblings Mark and Stephanie and the rest of the team, oversee activities encompassing raising beef cattle and organic crops, tending 10,000 maple trees, raising cold climate grapes, making wine and more.

Boyden Valley Winery was one of the first licensed wineries in Vermont. Hardy cold climate vines were planted in 1996 and while waiting for them to mature, the Boydens began to craft fruit wines. Now they offer 20 award winning creative wines. They also took advantage of their other famous Vermont products, cream, apples and maple syrup and have created the most amazing cream liqueur, Vermont Ice Maple Cream Liqueur. The only thing they don’t produce on the property is the glass bottle the liqueur is in!

Boyden Valley Wine & Spirits tasting barn

Taste Boyden Valley Wine in their beautiful barn. Photo: Boyden Valley Wine & Spirits

Their tasting room is a beautiful barn and the family members and staff are not only very friendly but are knowledgeable about all aspects of wine production from the ground to bottle. The tasting room is open year round and special tasting events take place from time to time.

Vermont Ice Maple Cream Liqueur is a much loved constant in the bar at West Hill House B&B.

When you visit West Hill House B&B we will be happy to direct you to these and other near by vineyards. Remember to drink responsibly and have a designated driver.

Sunny Day Road Trip: Discovering Vermont Artisans

April 16, 2017 by Susan

A beautiful, warm and sunny mid-April day just begs to be enjoyed so, having no overnight guest to attend to, we set out to enjoy the afternoon and view the works of area artisans.

Our afternoon outing started in Middlebury, about 45 minutes from the B&B, where we stopped at the Vermont Coffee Company for coffee and some lunch. The Vermont Coffee Company is a small company that began slow-roasting small batches of coffee in 1979. As they note, “All the coffees we buy are organic and fair trade. While on their own these aren’t ‘quality standards’ they are standards for a higher quality of living for the farmers who grow the coffee.” (Open weekdays only, until 2PM.)

Vermont coffee Company logo.

Coffee roasting artisans create”Coffee made for friends”.

Our guests love the dark roast that we use for our breakfast coffee. Buy Vermont Coffee Company coffee, save the brown paper wrappers and trade them in for some cool stuff – a travel mug? Perhaps, but saving up for a special Vermont Teddy Bear with a “Friends” t-shirt won’t take too much longer!

Next stop was Bristol nestled at the foot of the Green Mountains just over the Gap from Warren. The town dates back to 1762. While many of the buildings date from a later time period, the entire downtown is a National Historic District. The town green has been a central part of village life throughout the town’s history. The Bristol Band has presented outdoor summer band concerts in the gazebo on the town green every Wednesday from June through Labor Day since shortly after the Civil War.

Art on Main sign.

A bright and beautiful shop.

Two beautiful shops on the main street in Bristol that are not to be missed bring to light the incredible talent of Vermont artisans.

Art On Main is a charming community supported artist cooperative showcasing the talents of artisans from around the state. This small gallery exhibits and sells an abundance of delightful creations, the work of over 80 artists both well known and newly emerging talent.

A wide variety of media are represented including hand thrown pottery, exquisite jewelry, textiles in various styles, woodenware, fine art, glass, small furniture items and photography.

The creations are attractively displayed making each item a treat for the eye. Numerous community events are scheduled throughout the year at Art On Main: rotating exhibits, featured artist series, open studio weekend, artist demonstrations and an emerging artists exhibit.

Huge elm lumber dwarfs Vermont Tree Goods artisan and owner John.

Giant slices from the ancient elm dwarf John, Vermont Tree Goods artisan and owner. Photo: Jon Varricchio

Vermont Tree Goods is an absolute joy to visit. This local company mills lumber and creates the most incredibly beautiful furniture from recycled heirloom trees that have reached the end of their growing years. Through the transformation into furniture, these magnificent beings extend their legacy by living on in homes and businesses. Using trees that are too large to fit into the usual lumber mill saws, Vermont Tree Goods artisans take the large trees and using their vision create what the tree wants to be made into.

From bedsteads to bookcases and tables to trivets, each piece of wood has a story. Each piece is hand crafted, natural-edged, Vermont grown and Vermont made. The pieces have timeless design and so stunningly finished that the grain of the wood cries out to be caressed. Unfortunately, in 2016, the largest elm in the entire northeast succumbed to Dutch Elm Disease. Fortunately however, at the end of its life Vermont Tree Goods and the Nature Conservancy worked together to continue the legacy of that beautiful tree and may lovely pieces have been created from the wood of this historic tree.

All the tables, benches and home goods crafted from this magnificent red elm by the VTG artisans are branded with the unique VT Elm logo, a silhouette of the tree.

Vermont Tree Goods hand made table.

A magnificent table handcrafted by artisans at Vermont Tree Goods. Photo: Vermont Tree Goods

We are proud that our guests are able to be part of this legacy as we have four teapot trivets made from this stately elm.

Peter enjoying afternoon tea.

Enjoying a sunny afternoon tea and baked goods at the Bristol Café.

Before heading back to West Hill House B&B we stopped at a favorite, the Bristol Café, to sit outside in the warm sunshine and enjoy a mug of tea and some home baked goodies.

With explorations over for the day we headed back home and across the Gap to Warren.

If you are ready to escape from your usual routines for a while, your explorations can be just around the corner. We invite you to come stay with us at West Hill House B&B, adjacent to the Sugarbush Resort and Golf Club and just a few miles from the town of Bristol. Let us work with you to plan your road trip in the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont.

Take A Vermont Golf Vacation!

June 27, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

Enjoy a Vermont Golf VacationThe Mad River Valley is the perfect destination for a Vermont golf vacation. There are many excellent courses in the area, including one designed by renowned golf course architect, Robert Trent Jones, Sr.!

West Hill House B&B, in Warren, VT is the perfect home base for your Vermont golf vacation. We’re within reasonable driving distance of a number of Vermont’s best golf courses. Why, Sugarbush Resort Golf Club is right next to our B&B!

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Green Mountain Stage Race 2016 – domestiques r us!

June 7, 2016 by Peter MacLaren

The Green Mountain Stage Race will take place September 2nd to 5th, 2016, offering, as always, 4 days of exciting and challenging racing in the mountains of Vermont. We are honored to have had many accomplished cyclists stay at West Hill House B&B for the Green Mountain Race and look forward to the event again this year!  In prior years our guests have monopolized the podium, probably because of Susan’s great breakfasts!

Lodging for the GMSR

We know how to be great domestiques and here are a few other perks to consider:

  • We have a large barn (our Handsome Red Barn) where there is room for you to set up and make adjustments
  • We have indoor storage for your bikes in the barn, and we’ll be happy to store them for you if you ship them ahead
  • Guests rave about how comfortable our beds are
  • We provide breakfast at the time you need it for your race schedule
  • If you stay with us for the race for three or more nights we offer a 15% discount

AND: If you are first in your class as of the end of the 3rd day of racing, that night will be compliments of the B&B!
ITT-500M-to-go

Registering for the GMSR

You can register for the race online or by mail to: Green Mountain Stage Race, LLC P.O. Box 1172 Waitsfield VT 05673. Then book your room online here at West Hill House B&B or give us a call at 802-496-7162.

Biking all summer long!

In addition to the GMSR there is great cycling and mountain biking in the Mad River Valley all summer.  Please checkout our Cycling page and the Road & Mountain Biking page on the Mad River Valley website.

Green Mountain Hikes

May 29, 2016 by Peter MacLaren

Hedgehog Brook Trailhead with Bruce

Bruce with guests at Hedgehog Brook Trailhead

2016 is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the National Park Service and this summer West Hill House B&B and Vermont based ‘Wonder Walks’ are taking to heart the challenge given by the US National Park Service to help you explore Vermont’s Green Mountains. Did you know that the US National Parks originated with the advocacy of Scotsman John Muir?

In our state we are fortunate to have the Green Mountain National Forest, and to honor this anniversary we encourage guests to discover and explore the magnificent mountains, forests, waterfalls and trails in our own backyard, including the famed Long Trail. Bruce Acciavatti* owner of ‘Wonder Walks’ and experienced guide will personally guide you on a customized Green Mountain discovery adventure.

We shall be happy to customize two, three or four day hiking packages for you.

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Calling All B&B First timers…

May 17, 2016 by Peter MacLaren

Guests Marie & Matt McCrary

Guests Marie & Matt McCrary

We all know you always remember your first time and West Hill House B&B is out to be the place for “B&B virgins” to try their first B&B getaway.

All B&B first-timers are invited to enter the “B&B Virgins” contest to evolve to becoming an inn-convert.  All you have to do is tell us why you’ve never stayed at a B&B and what you hope it’ll be like. Then explain why we should pick you by filling out an easy form. Then as a B&B first-timer you may just be on your way to your first B&B getaway.

Two B&B newbies will be awarded with a complimentary two-day getaway each month in June, July and August.  West Hill House B&B is out to turn hotel, motel, campground and vacation rental fans into inngoers this summer!

Good news! If you have stayed at an AirBnB you can still enter, as that was not the REAL B&B experience!

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Hot? Cool Off With a Mad River Kayak Tour!

July 27, 2015 by Corey A. Edwards

Mad River Kayak TourWhy is the Mad River mad? It isn’t – but if you want to be happy, try a guided Mad River Kayak tour with Clearwater Sports through West Hill House B&B!

Getting out of doors this time of year in Vermont’s Mad River Valley is the obvious choice for really enjoying life – and what calls strongest on a hot, summer day than a chance to be out on some cool, flowing water? Not much.

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Carrot Greens Salad

June 23, 2015 by Susan

Stirring it up: Last week was the first week for our Community Supported Agriculture share for this year and it got me thinking about carrot greens.  Carrot greens are most often thrown away during meal prep but I thought there had to be a use for them. I searched the internet, got some inspiration from a number of websites then opened the fridge and built a salad. I used various quantities of veggies untill it looked and tasted good.  Quantities are to the best of my memory!

Sooo good!

Carrot Greens Salad

  • 1 1/2 – 2 c. cleaned & chopped carrot greens
  • 1 c. black beans, pre cooked or canned
  • 1 – 1 1/2 c. garbanzo beans (aka chick peas), pre cooked or canned
  • 3 med carrots, diced
  • 4-5 stems parsley, fresh & chopped
  • 1 scallion thinly sliced
  • 5-6 mint leaves, fresh & chopped
  • 1 1/2 c. quinoa, cooked & cooled
  • 4-5 green peas in the pod, fresh and thinly sliced

Dressing

  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • 3T. red wine vinegar
  • 1 small clove garlic, crushed or 1/4 t. dry garlic bits (not powder)
  • 2-3 T. lemon juice, fresh
  • 2 t. sugar

Prepare all the vegetables and place them in a large bowl along with the cooled quinoa. Prepare the dressing by putting all the ingredients in a small jar and, with the lid on,  shaking it well. Pour the dressing over the veggies about 10 minutes prior to serving and lightly toss the salad. Be sure to adjust the quantities and veggies to your liking! It tastes great the following day too and the carrot greens are still fresh looking. Bon appétit!

Next time I might add about 1/2 c. corn kernels and 1 med tomato, diced. I served this with a side of a couple of slices of Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar cheese. This salad was a great meal in itself.

Dishing it out: As a child I was sometimes called “carrot top” by those out to tease me but seriously, I had red hair and a carrot top is green.  Obviously those folks had no idea what they were talking about and, thus far in my life, I’ve never seen anyone with naturally green hair!

CSA first share of the season.

CSA first share of the season.

That being said, we love the carrot greens we get from Muddy Boots CSA and we love being part of the Muddy Boots CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) which is a collaborative venture of  Kingsbury Market Garden, Wood’s Market Garden and Burnt Rock Farm.  It also includes dairy products from several of the local farms including Von Trapp Farmstead and Ploughgate Creamery at Bragg Hill Farm. Our week one share was a marvelous selection of absolutely fresh produce including brie cheese, luscious tomatoes, tasty shallots, crisp carrots and cucumber, crunchy kale, dried black beans, beautiful lettuce, pungent basil, deep red beets, and more. How could you not like any of it, or waste any of it which is why I wondered about the carrot greens. Carrot Greens Salad, what a perfect way to celebrate the wonderful farms and hard working farmers this 4th of July or on Canada Day if you are north of the border!

Snore and Soar with Sugarbush Soaring and West Hill House B&B!

May 30, 2015 by Corey A. Edwards

Sugarbush SoaringSo you’ve come to Vermont’s Mad River Valley and you’re looking for the best way to take in its resplendent beauty. How about from the air with Sugarbush Soaring?

Now, before we get too much farther into this idea, I think I should point out that “soaring” in this context is not being used as a synonym for flying but, rather indicates that Sugarbush Soaring operates gliders and that the gliding community uses “soaring” to differentiate their mode of travel from those who go “flying” in motorized aircraft.

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Green Mountain Stage Race 2014

August 8, 2014 by Katie Pate

The Green Mountain Stage Race will take place August 29 – September 1, 2014, offering, as always, 4 days of exciting and challenging racing in the mountains of Vermont. We are honored to have had many accomplished cyclists stay at West Hill House B&B for the Green Mountain Race and look forward to the event again this year!

Lodging for the Green Mountain Stage Race

ITT-500M-to-goIf you are coming into town for the race and need lodging in the Mad River Valley, here are a few perks to staying with us you might consider:

  • We have a large barn (our Handsome Red Barn) where there is room for you to set up and make adjustments
  • We have indoor storage for your bikes
  • We provide breakfast at the time you need it for your race schedule
  • If you stay with us for the race for three or more nights we offer a 15% discount

AND: If you are staying with us and finish in the top three in your class on any of the first three stages we will comp your room for that night! 

Registering for the Green Mountain Stage Race

You can register for the race online or by mail to: Green Mountain Stage Race, LLC P.O. Box 1172 Waitsfield VT 05673.

Recreational Cycling in the Mad River Valley

While future Olympians partake in races here, anyone can enjoy the beautiful vistas from our quiet back country roads, perfect for cycling. We can help you with everything you need to get your cycling trip underway. Bikes are available for rent at the Sugarbush Adventure Gear Shop, a few miles down the road, and we can provide you with maps and directions for miles of well-maintained blacktop routes.

If you would like to mountain bike, Sugarbush offers biking on some of their ski routes in the summer months.

Canoeing and Kayaking Mad River Valley

April 28, 2014 by Corey A. Edwards

Kayaking Mad River Valley

As the weather continues to warm, the foliage begins to green, and the Winooski and Mad rivers begin to swell, thoughts turn to canoeing and kayaking Mad River Valley.

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We’re back, again! 2014 running of the World’s Most Beautiful Marathon

September 17, 2013 by Peter MacLaren

The Fourth Annual Mad Marathon and Mad Half are scheduled for July 6th, 2014 in the gorgeous Mad River Valley, located in Central Vermont. Registration is already open.

 Mad Marathon 2014 SponsorshipYou will be running through this extraordinary rural community on 26.2 miles of country roads, with breathtaking views of the Green Mountains, rolling farm lands, quaint villages, historical barns, covered bridges and fields of our famous Vermont cows!

Check out the full details on the Mad Marathon website.

West Hill House B&B is delighted to be a Sponsor of the Marathon for the fourth consecutive year, and we already have our sponsorship certificate on the dining room wall. (We are running out of space!)

Regrettably we are ALREADY sold out for the weekend of the Marathon, however please check the Marathon Lodging page for other options.  Plan ahead as accommodation is hard to find closer to the date.

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