Last week my mother and I made an all-too quick trip down to Salisbury, Connecticut. Our visit was postponed a day because of Tuesday’s blizzard and then cut short by another because of Friday’s snowstorm, but we still managed to fall in love with this area of Litchfield County in seemingly no time at all. The village of Salisbury is absolutely charming, with bucolic horse farms scattered along winding country roads, and classic homes and shops filling the quaint downtown. It’s an area I can see myself returning to time and time again.
Located right in the center of the charming village of Salisbury, Connecticut, the White Hart opened its 19th century doors for business late this past summer after being closed for four years. The inn’s clean, classic elegance was accented by hardwoods, bold art, and strong patterns. Its rooms were lovely and luxurious, and everyone we encountered on staff was delightful. Photographing the details of the sitting room and reception area, including artwork by Jasper Johns & Frank Stella, was an absolute pleasure. Read more about our stay at the White Hart here.
We walked around downtown after our dinner at the White Hart’s Tap Room, selecting which shops we’d like to visit the next day, and At Home in the Country made it to the top of our list. This darling shop is filled with great gifts, home accessories, and even works of art, like the beautiful paintings I spied by Joan Badner, an artist with ties to Maine.
Northwestern Connecticut has an abundance of state parks, land trusts, and trail systems, (the Appalachian Trail runs through Salisbury) so it’s only fitting that the town has an equally impressive outdoors store to match its environmental charm. With brands like Patagonia, Filson, and Smartwool, Peter Becks has an excellent selection of both technical gear and lifestyle apparel.
Tucked in the back of Salisbury Wines, Joie de Livres is a gallery of books, many of which are collectible fine art tomes. So many titles caught my eyes, I could have spent hours browsing the fantastic collection, and the fact that it is literally inside a wine shop had me dreaming up my own version of a store filled with two of the things I love most in this world – art books & good wine.
Visiting a wine shop while traveling will always be one of my favorite travel rituals, as I love seeing what other shops in different areas have to offer. Salisbury Wines was written up on Find.Eat.Drink., a travel app that Michael & I swear by, so not stopping in as my mother and I walked past the shop on Main Street was simply not an option. I was more than happy to pick up a bottle of Banshee – a favorite from our trip to Sonoma – on my way out the door.
Another Find.Eat.Drink. recommendation I insisted we visit (even though we were still full from breakfast at the White Hart), Salisbury Breads has an abundance of freshly baked breads, pastries, pies, soups, and even gluten-free treats – not to mention that distinct, heavenly aroma that all wonderful bakeries have in common. The croissants looked exceptionally tasty to me, but we opted for two of the smaller apple pastries to tide us over on our ride to Hudson.
If our trip hadn’t been cut short, we would have had dinner at The Woodland in nearby Lakeville, sipped tea at Harney & Sons in Millerton, and explored one of the many trail systems in the area. Needless to say, I’m hoping to plan a return trip to Salisbury with Michael & Orvis – there’s just so much to see and do. Of course, I’d appreciate any tips you all might have on exploring Northwestern Connecticut for our next visit.
All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.2 Comments - Leave a comment
Although our trip was postponed by one snowstorm and cut short by another, my mother and I had a splendid visit to the newly reopened White Hart Inn last week. Located right in the center of the charming village of Salisbury, Connecticut, the White Hart opened its 19th century doors for business late this past summer after being closed for four years. The owners, a group of investors with ties to the surrounding Litchfield & Columbia counties, hope that the inn will once again serve as a gathering place for the Salisbury community, and if the scene at the inn’s Tap Room on a random Wednesday night in January is any indication, they’re well on their way to achieving this goal – we settled into the last available seats at the cozy pub for a delicious, comforting dinner after we arrived. When the inn’s formal dining room, headed by Chef Annie Wayte, opens this Friday, I’m certain the White Hart will become even more of a fixture for the area.
The inn’s clean, classic elegance was accented by hardwoods, bold art, and strong patterns. Its rooms were lovely and luxurious, and everyone we encountered on staff was delightful. Photographing the details of the sitting room and reception area, including artwork by Jasper Johns & Frank Stella, was an absolute pleasure.
Planning a return trip with Michael & Orvis – the inn is dog-friendly (!) – is high on my list of things to do this year. There’s so much more of Northwestern Connecticut I’d love to see, and two of our favorite areas to visit in New England, the Berkshires & Hudson Valley are just a stone’s throw away. Hopefully next time the weather will cooperate a little more, and we’ll be able to thoroughly enjoy all that the White Hart and surrounding area have to offer, but until then, I’ll just keep on smiling, thinking about all of the delightful parts I already had the chance to experience.
All photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.2 Comments - Leave a comment
Last week Meredith and I had the amazing opportunity to attend a private dinner celebrating two of our local favorites – the staff party of Hunt & Alpine at Piccolo. When Andrew and Briana reached out to us about documenting their annual party and joining them for a custom, goat-centric menu by Damien and Ilma, the arm-twisting was minimal and we excitedly added the date to our calendar.
Although the space at Piccolo is always warm, cozy, and inviting, having the tables pulled together in one large family-style setting and watching everyone gather around the counter for drinks and conversation made it feel like we were having a dinner at the home of good friends. We’ve never had a dish from Piccolo that hasn’t been phenomenal, but Damien, Luke, and Ilma truly outdid themselves with the menu that evening. From the charred goat heart ‘tartare’, to the wild snails with black trumpet mushrooms and pancetta, and the chocolate sea salt budino with warm goats milk espuma, we found ourselves wanting more and more of every last dish.
The meal aside, the Hunt + Alpine “family” is a delightful collection of people – almost all of whom we were officially meeting for the first time, but every last one made us feel like we’d been a part of the crew forever. The conversation, laughter, and shared experience was unforgettable, and undoubtedly something we’ll remember for a very long time. Seeing one group of individuals, whose work we’ve always admired and respected, come together to celebrate around the food and drink of another outstanding team was inspiring to say the least. “Thank you” just doesn’t seem to even begin to cover our gratitude.
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In the midst of a whirlwind early summer this past year, it looks as though we never got around to posting about the quick girls trip I took with my mother to New York last May – what a shame! It all works out though, because I’m happy to be reliving the warmth and colors of spring in New York during the middle of winter, aren’t you? While my mother spent a day working with a client, I was happy to wander around the Village, photographing charming stoops, popping into cute shops, and having some delicious meals. Here are a few highlights from our trip last spring!
The Marlton’s rooms, branding, and restaurant, Margaux, are all packed with a quirky personality that perfectly balances style and expression. I loved every moment of my stay there. Read more about our time at The Marlton here.
Dining at Cafe Cluny has been high on my list since reading about it on Cup of Jo ages ago. It was our first meal in the city during this trip, and easily one of the tastiest. Our meal reminded me of one of Michael’s favorite restaurant critiques – the food was simple, yet perfectly prepared. The charming atmosphere and the meandering walks we enjoyed to and from Cafe Cluny only added to our experience.
While my mother was working with a client in the city, I moseyed around the Village before I ended up at the delightful oyster bar, Jeffrey’s Grocery. The weather was just right for a glass of rose, a heaping salade Niçoise, and plenty of people watching!
I walked down to the Mermaid Oyster Bar for a snack before I had to head uptown to a client meeting of my own – the happy hour specials here are not to be missed, neither are the shrimp & avocado sliders!
A recommendation from Mackenzie’s blog, Cafe Gitane, inside The Jane Hotel, was a perfect spot for us to spend our final morning in New York. We swapped stories from the day we spent apart and watched the rain come down while feasting on the most comforting of breakfast foods – baked eggs and pain au chocolat.
What are some of your favorite spots in the West Village/Greenwich Village? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below. I have my heart set on trying Rosemary’s, Palma, Red Farm, Perla, or Claudette for our next visit. But returning to Buvette would also be a treat! Read more about our past trips down to New York here.
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Earlier this week, Meredith and I had the opportunity to drop by Portland’s newest wine shop – Maine & Loire. We’ve been anxiously anticipating their opening ever since meeting the co-owners, Peter and Orenda, and having the opportunity to hear about their ideas and inspiration for the shop. Concentrating on organic and natural wines, many of which are new to Maine, just about every hand-selected bottle from their selection is unique. Bright and open, with friendly, casual branding, the shop itself feels much more relaxed than most other wine stores. Meredith and I spent plenty of time browsing the selection of bottles – many with humorous and helpful handwritten notes – and found ourselves with a handful of new French and Italian wines to try over the coming weeks. When you visit, be sure to introduce yourself to the owners for a fantastic recommendation, and check out their Instagram feed for new wines as they arrive… you can bet that we’ll be glued to it for our next bottle!
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While seemingly the entirety of the blogging universe is in a post-New Year’s calorie-cutting frenzy, Meredith and I rocked this past weekend as we typically prefer to do – with good food and drink, and a few Orvis snuggles. After a dim sum brunch at Empire and a little wine perusing at Browne Trading Co. on Saturday, we spent a good chunk of the rest of the weekend in the kitchen, making new batches of sea salt chocolate chip cookies, buttermilk pancakes, chicken marbella, and buttermilk ice cream. With the changes we’ve been making to the kitchen and the warmth of the oven, it’s tough to drag ourselves to another room, but at least we were able to share some of our creations with friends at dinner last night.
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Neither Michael nor I have been to Savannah since we were children, so it’s high on our list of places to visit together someday, especially with reminders like these photos from Ann Street Studio.
I look forward to the yearly book recaps our friend Abby writes each January. She read 167 books last year alone!
Always looking for an excuse to turn on the oven during a cold spell, we whipped up these Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies last night – they were just as good as they sound. I also have my eyes on preparing these sweet potatoes from the same cookbook, Date Night In.
Happy weekend, friends!1 Comment - Leave a comment
Escaping to a warmer climate has been on my mind all week during this horrendously cold spell here in Maine. Since many of you in similar climates have braved the same temperatures, I thought revisiting last year’s Winter Getaway Daydreaming post and coming up with another list of warm destinations might be a welcome distraction from the cold.
El Blok, the newest hotel on the small Puerto Rican island of Vieques, is high on my list of places I would love to visit with Michael, namely to sample the cuisine of the hotel restaurant headed by James Beard nominated chef, Jose Enrique. Of course, the island destination and stylish design only adds to El Blok’s draw.
Belize’s Turtle Inn, owned by Francis Ford Coppola, keeps popping up on my radar these days. I could definitely get behind the idea of showering outdoors in a private garden, couldn’t you?
I’m not quite sure I can imagine a more beautifully luxurious escape than spending a few days at the recently re-opened and rebranded stunning Cheval Blanc property on St. Barts.
I hadn’t heard of Saba, a tiny island in the Dutch Antilles, until I came across a mention of the Queen’s Gardens Resort in an AFAR article. The island itself reminds me of the lovely, seemingly untouched Nevis we visited a few years ago.
Harbour Island has been on my travel bucket list for a few years now. If we ever make it down to this charming island in the Bahamas, known for its pink sand beaches, I’d have my eyes on The Landing, The Saltbox, or the soon to open Bahama House Inn.
What warm weather destinations are on your radar? We’d love to hear some of your favorite spots or dream-worthy vacations below!1 Comment - Leave a comment
A few weeks ago, Meredith and I found ourselves needing a good excuse to leave the house and do some last minute Christmas shopping, so we did what all food-loving Portlanders should and decided to make a brunch date out of it. We already have a number of go-to brunch spots in town, but given that every other experience we’ve had at Central Provisions – from drinks through dessert – has been outstanding, we thought we’d see if the same held true for my own favorite meal of the day, the coveted breakfast-lunch tweener spot. To be honest, it wasn’t even a contest. Warm and gooey skillet cornbread, crispy and savory scrapple, and a ham and cheese slider that absolutely blew my mind helped make our meal one of the best brunches I can remember, moving Central Provisions right to the top of our favorite Portland brunches, alongside Piccolo and a handful of others. Now, it’s only a matter of finding another flimsy excuse to return soon…
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Our Christmas celebrations this year were just as we prefer – low key & delicious. We took the opportunity to enjoy some tasty meals and catch up with some of our favorite people, but the highlight of our week was celebrating Orvis’s 8th birthday the day after Christmas. We began the festivities with a family run that ended at the beach and then hopped in the car to head up to the birthday boy’s favorite spot – our family’s farm in Wiscasset. We spent the rest of the day walking the property with Orvis and playing fetch with him, before taking a stroll around town.
With each year that passes, we realize how absolutely amazing our time has been with Orvis, and become sadly more aware of the finite amount of time that remains. Taking a full day to celebrate him – doing the things he loves most – fills our hearts with happiness, and we have to admit that after watching him gallop around the farm, he seemed more like an 8-month old puppy than the adult dog he is.
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