West Hill House B&B

Category Archives: Summer activities

Who Done It? A weekend with Vermont mystery writer Archer Mayor

June 4, 2011 by Peter MacLaren

Archer Mayor Detective Mystery Red Herring

Red Herring

Vermont Author Archer Mayor

Archer Mayor

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.

The World’s most beautiful Marathon

November 21, 2010 by Peter MacLaren

Mad Marathon, July 10th 2011

Mad Marathon, July 10th 2011

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!

Check out the full details on the Mad Marathon website.

West Hill House is delighted to be a Sponsor of the Marathon. We are also providing the perfect package for participants:

  • Welcome bag upon arrival
  • Carb-loading dinner on Saturday evening – included compliments of West Hill House if you stay with us for 3 nights
  • Extend your ‘marathon’ visit, if you stay with us 3 nights the 4th night is on the house.

Please call us to book to take advantage of this special package.

Guest Blog: Columbus Day Weekend

November 17, 2010 by Peter MacLaren

Breakfast in the Sun Room at West Hill House

Breakfast in the Sun Room

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.)

Relaxing in the Hammock at West Hill House

Relaxing in the Hammock

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.

Guest Blog: Fall Foliage Photographic Opportunities

October 17, 2010 by Peter MacLaren

Hammock at West Hill House B&B

From guest Ruth Wanless: “West Hill House is a charming Vermont Inn set in the picturesque mountains of Vermont. I came to photograph the fall foliage and was not disappointed. The inn was surrounded in wonderful color and was near to attractions such as Moss Glen Falls, Kent Pond and the quaint villages of Warren and Waitsfield. Early morning walks along the road provided many photographic opportunities.”

“Susan and Peter are the perfect hosts, creating an atmosphere where guests wished to linger over morning coffee or gather in the comfortable great room to share a glass of wine.”

Ruth sent us a number of her photos. We show here her photo of the new location this year for our hammock, beside one of our ponds. It proved to be very popular on sunny afternoons!

Welcome to the King!

August 24, 2010 by Peter MacLaren

Ted King Cyclist - member of Cervélo Test Team

Ted King

West Hill House is delighted to be welcoming pro-cyclist Ted King.  Ted will be staying with us during his participation in this year’s Green Mountain Stage Race.

Ted is an Economics Major from Middlebury College, so while he currently lives in Spain he is coming back “home” for this year’s event in the Green Mountains.

He is a member of the Cervélo Test Team and was part of this year’s team in the Giro d’Italia.

Last year we were honored to have James Mattis, the 2008 US Pro National Champion, stay at West Hill House while he was competing in the stage race.  Check out our Cycling page for more details.

While your innkeepers Peter & Susan have never counted cycling as one of their activities we are passionate followers of the Tour de France each year. We really enjoyed watching the almost unprecedented excitement of the close contest in this year’s race between Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck.

The Long Trail’s 100th Birthday – and cake!

August 2, 2010 by Peter MacLaren

Long Trail 100th birthday cake provided by West Hill House B&B

Long Trail 100th birthday cake

Built by the Green Mountain Club between 1910 and 1930, The Long Trail is the oldest long-distance trail in the United States. The Long Trail follows the main ridge of the Green Mountains from the Massachusetts-Vermont line to the Canadian border as it crosses Vermont’s highest peaks. It was the inspiration for the Appalachian Trail, which coincides with it for one hundred miles in the southern third of the state.

To Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the start of the building of the trail, a month long Relay Hike up the entire Long Trail started on Saturday, July 17, 2010 with day hikes led by GMC Sections, board members, and local volunteers.

To ensure this is an end-to-end event, Prickles the Porcupine, the Trail Mascot, will be carried along each section and then handed off to be carried section by section all the way along the trail.

To mark the arrival of the Relay at the Lincoln Gap on August 2nd, West Hill House baked a cake. The arriving hikers enjoyed it along with water and soft drinks. Prickles of course had a photo op!

Mountain Biking at Sugarbush

July 24, 2010 by Peter MacLaren

Mountain Biking at Sugarbush, Warren, VT

Mountain Biking at Sugarbush

Sugarbush Resort has added to its network of legendary mountain bike trails! Whether you prefer high-speed downhill runs, North Shore-style free ride features in the park, long technical descents on your cross-county bike, or leisurely loop rides, Sugarbush Resort has it all. Check out the Mountain Bike Trail Map.

The trails are open every day from 10 till 4, and till 6 on Fridays and Saturdays. You can bring your own mountain bike or rent one here. And the good news is that you can ride the ski lift up the mountain with your bike and it’s all downhill from there – almost 1600ft of descent!

Also check out a selection of other Summer Activities that you can enjoy when you stay at West Hill House.

Cycling – 2010 Green Mountain Stage Race

July 14, 2010 by Peter MacLaren

2009 Green Mountain Stage Race in Vermont

2009 Green Mountain Stage Race

Thanks to all the racers who have booked with us for this year’s event.  We are now full for the weekend of the race. We wish all contestants the best of luck!

The 2010 Green Mountain Stage Race takes place from 3rd to 6th September 2010. It offers 4 days of exciting and challenging racing in the Green Mountains of Vermont. Race HQ is in Warren, very close to our B&B.

West Hill House is pleased to offer special arangements for racers:

  • Breakfast at the time you need it for your race schedule
  • Inside storage for your machines and accessories in our barn.  You can also use the barn for assembly and adjustments.
  • A 15% discount for stays of 3 or more nights

In 2009 we were honored to have James Mattis, the 2008 US Pro National Champion, stay at West Hill House while he was competing in the stage race.  Check out our Cycling page for more details.

The photo is from the 2009 event, and is from the race website.

Go Fly A Kite!

July 7, 2010 by Peter MacLaren

Kite flying at West Hill House B&B

Build & decorate your kite

Remember when you were a kid and you made and flew your first kites? Why not relive that fun or share it with a youngster. From July 9 -18  the Mad River Valley is home to the Vermont Festival of the Great Outdoors where we shall be celebrating with all kinds of outdoor activities.

Here at West Hill House we are going to have two afternoons of kite building:

  • Dates: July 14 & 15. 1pm – 3pm
  • Fun for ages 8 and up. Under 16 requires an adult partner. 
  • Reservations required: price $18. 
  • Workshop limited to 15 participants. Join us for fun and then… Go Fly a Kite!
  • Kite building for beginners is what we are focusing on.

Participants will be making two small paper kites and putting together and decorating a larger sled kite made out of Tyvek, a non-tearing, waterproof plastic paper which can be decorated with markers and crayons. We are reeeeeeally hoping for a nice gentle wind that afternoon so that we can test our kites.

Many other events are happening during these 10 days so there is fun for everyone… hiking, kayaking, bird watching, tennis,  cycling,  a family day with swimming and a scavenger hunt – all sorts of great things to do outdoors.

Call us to register for the kite building event (802) 496-7162 and check out www.vtoutdoorsfest.com for more festival activities.

The Perfect Summer Day

July 3, 2010 by Peter MacLaren

Today is stunningly beautiful. Blue sky, a few wispy clouds, a nice gentle breeze and about 79’F.  This morning before I started breakfast for our guests I took a few minutes to sit on the front porch with a cup of tea. I  gazed over the beautiful orange lilies and enjoyed the song birds,  the sound of the busy woodpecker,  the wind through the leaves and the antics of a couple of chipmunks chasing each other up and down one of the huge sugar maples in the front yard.

What a great way to start the day and what better place to relax and spend summer days than right here. The hammock is waiting for you…


Celebrate July 4th weekend in Warren

June 16, 2010 by Peter MacLaren

We have two great events over the July 4th weekend for our guests to enjoy.

Stars & Stripes Airshow, Warren VT 3rd July 2010

Stars & Stripes Airshow

On Saturday July 3rd enjoy the Stars and Stripes Charity Airshow featuring bi-plane aerobatics and other great stunts. 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. Tickets are complimentary for our guests – advance booking is highly recommended. Starts at 1PM – don’t be late!

Warren, VT 4th of July

Warren 4th of July Parade

Then on Sunday July 4th we have the famous Warren July 4th parade. For the 62nd consecutive year, Warren will celebrate its independence with a wild, wacky, and wickedly fun parade, street dance, and family festivities! Parade starts at 10 AM.

These events are always unique, with little deference to political correctness. This year’s theme is “Life, Liberty, & the Pursuit of Healthiness”. The parade typically proceeds down Main Street, then takes the right on Brook Road – floats pull off the road, or continue up to Brooks Field parking lot…where, after the parade, fun & festivities abound on the field until mid-afternoon. Included in the afternoon fun will be a Scottish Highland Games demonstration at Brooks Field. Now THAT is fun!

Summer Picnic Treat

June 13, 2010 by Peter MacLaren

Stirring it up! We had a BBQ on the long weekend in May, a day I always think of as the first day of summer. In my books, watermelon is the quintessential summer fruit so of course it had to be included in the menu, but watermelon with a twist.

Watermelon & English Cucumber Salad

A cool and crisp summer salad.

  • 1T apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1 sm clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2  large watermelon
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 cup  feta cheese
  • 5-6 sprigs of mint, save some whole leaves for garnish and finely chop the remainder
  • 1/4t. salt
  • a few grinds of fresh pepper

Mix the first three ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside to allow the flavors to blend.

Cut the watermelon in half width-wise then cut slices about 1″ thick. Remove rind and cut into bite-sized chunks. (If you wish to  serve the salad in a melon bowl, cut the melon either width-wise or length-wise and remove melon flesh with a melon baller. Scrape out remainder of the flesh with a large spoon then turn over the “bowl” and trim a small piece off the underside of the rind so the “bowl” sits flat.)

The skin on an English cucumber is edible so wash the cuke and trim the ends off. Cut the cuke into bite- sized chunks.

Place the melon, cuke,  feta cheese, and chopped mint in the serving vessel, sprinkle with salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss.

Place whole mint leaves on top and either serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until serving. It is not a good idea to make this too far in advance of serving as watermelon tends to loose a lot of juice as it sits.

Dishing it out! Many, many years ago we lived two doors down from a family with 5 boys roughly the ages of the four of us. Often on hot summer weekends the two families would pack up food and kiddos and go off to the mountains for a picnic. Watermelon was always for dessert and cooled in a nearby stream while we all enjoyed our lunch. Upon arriving at the picnic ground we would park the cars and the 7 younger kids would race off to find the perfect picnic table leaving the oldest offspring and adults to lug the food. On one memorable occasion I guess my dad was carrying a bit too much as the watermelon slipped from his grasp and landed with a resounding kerthump on the ground splitting open and  laying the juicy fruit at our feet. Needless to say lunch started with dessert that day!!