36 Hours – Winter

 

 

FRIDAY
You’ve arrived in Kent.  After driving over the covered bridge onto route 7, meander along the Housatonic River and land in the center of town.

 5:00 pm:  Stop for a hot chocolate or cappuccino at Kent Coffee and Chocolate by the railroad tracks. Perhaps you decide on Thai or bubble tea instead.  Choose something special from the case of gourmet chocolates made on site.  Known for their unique truffles, try deciding between the popular sea salt, champagne or kahlua flavors.  Maybe go outside the box and try bacon, masala chai, or coconut lime. Peruse the gifts and goodies including nut-free and sugar-free options.  Breathe in the rich smells and feel yourself unwind!

6:15 pm:  Check in at the INN AT KENT FALLS. Voted best Bed and Breakfast in the state by Travel and Leisure 3 years in a row. Like staying in the country house of close friends. They have a pool and yoga studio.

7:00 pm:  Dinner at Fife N’ Drum,  a long-time Kent fixture, a visit to the Fife is not just about good food. They make a Caesar Salad table-side that keeps people coming back. There is usually live music on Friday nights. It has been a meeting place for creative types for decades.  Sit by the fire with a hot toddy or Irish coffee.

SATURDAY
9:00 am: The Villager. Have breakfast at the Villager, a small town diner with all the classics. The Villager is owned and run by the Hernandez family from Oaxiak, Mexico. You have to ask for Omar’s special hot sauce for your breakfast burrito

10:00 am:  RT FACTS DESIGN AND ANTIQUES. Housed in two Kent locations. You can see the monumental zinc eagle (ready for flight) and huge granite millstone table at the Main Street location from Route 7 just south of the light. The Main Street shop has been a secret source for designers for 25 years. What draws them is the mix of sleek contemporary pieces, designed and made right there, paired with interesting antique pieces. The weird and wonderful abound.

There are deep marble bathtubs, 20′ high stone mantelpieces, and big museum cabinets filled with unusual treasures. It all looks fresh when mixed in with leather tables, gleaming steel bases and big white elliptical gesso mirrors. With three buildings and garden spaces, the Main Street shop is buzzing. The team makes much of the on-trend furniture on site. Next, head over to the 7,000 square foot museum-like showroom with soaring ceilings. It is two blocks away but don’t skip it. This location has the “wow” factor. Sit in the oversized marble throne chair and gaze up at the big polished steel mobile floating above. Kids love seeing the “dinosaurs” (actually reconstructed cow and horse skeletons).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11:00 am: James Barron Gallery, Eckert Fine Art, and the Ober Gallery. Just outside the door of RT Facts Gallery are the spaces of three world-class art dealers. Come on the Second Saturday of fair-weather months and you will find them all open late, pouring wine and hosting musicians into the evening.  More galleries can be found in town, including the acclaimed Morrison Gallery.

12:00 pm: Main Street Kent.  Check out the boutique style shops offering local artists work, one-of-a-kind gifts, and clothing in the welcoming small town atmosphere that is Kent.  Stop in to the House of Books and pick up a book on the Appalachian Trail that passes through town.  Just a few paces down the sidewalk is Heron Gallery where one can find pottery, stylish kitchen ware, artisan clothing, and a charming children’s nook.  Cross the street to Foreign Cargo, and step into an exotic shop that is part retail and part museum.  Buy some boots at Sundog Shoe & Leather, or shop for antiques at Rolling River or Koblenz.  Spend an hour, or the rest of the afternoon!

1:00 pm: Swyft. Time to recharge. At Swyft you will feel you have been transported to a beautiful lodge in the Norwegian woods.  Sit at the bar and chat with Michael, the mixologist.  The small plates menu changes daily.  This is our favorite part.  Treat yourself to a little tasting menu and order a few to share while you taste the beers on tap, many of them local.  Try “Tempus” by OEM Brewers for which they snagged a rarely available keg. Feeling more exotic?  Go for “Voodoo Ranger” or any one of their other unique selections.

1:30 pm:  Kent Wine and Spirits. Just north of JP Giffords and more than just a wine shop, Kent Wine and Spirit is a gem. With 80 single malt scotches and 135+ types of beer and ales in stock, it’s the ideal place to feel adventurous and try something new. On the weekends you’ll find tastings of wine or specialty liquors, accompanied with insightful quips about the drinks’ origins or uniqueness from the charismatic staff. Grab a bottle of wine for later.

2:00 pm: Kent Falls State Park.  Cross the little covered footbridge over the stream and take in an ice-covered wonderland view of the falls.  Conditions permitting, hike up the rustic woodland staircase that winds around the falls offering key overlooks.

2:45 pm:  Mohawk Mountain.  A hidden gem in the foothills of the Berkshires, Mohawk mountain is run by the inventors of snow-making equipment.  They know what they’re doing and have a scenic, state park-adjacent setting to do it in.  Stay for night skiing.

6:30 pm:  Kingsley Tavern 

Kingsley Tavern, another Kent-rooted, family-run business that makes you feel at home. The beef cows are raised at the same home where the recipes are conceived. Order the pork belly Saigon sandwich with kimchi and enjoy it with one of their signature cocktails.

8:00 pm:  MAYFLOWER INN. The Mayflower Inn in of itself is an entire weekend destination. With an incredible spa and grounds for walking and snowshoeing, this is a luxurious place to spend the night in a big four-poster bed suite with a fireplace.

 

SUNDAY
8:00 am:  On your way through Washington Depot, stop at Washington Park Association a postage stamp-size park on your left and admire the 46′ long “Currents”, a river sculpture in granite by Mark Mennin. You will want to stop and lay in the ripples and run your palms along the smooth, hand-polished, undulating surface. Walk across town and be sure to peak into the windows of George Home. They won’t be open this early, but looking in is worth the walk.

8:15 am: Hidden Valley Restaurant. Sit at the counter and chat with the chefs and the locals. Chances are, they helped harvest or live near one of the farms from which the ingredients in your meal were sourced. The dining room is like a forest with branches of birch trees on the walls. Order the breakfast pizza with a sunny-side-up egg on top and one of their daily fresh-squeezed juices.

9:30 am:  Drive around Lake Waramaug. It’s almost a waste of time to try to describe. Just let the morning sun show you. This drive is imperative in the fall for “leaf-peepers”, the local term for visitors that come to town for the beautiful fall foliage.  Ready for more winter sport?  Strap on a pair of ice skates and soar over the winter ice of the lake.  You can access the lake from Lake Waramaug State Park located on the west side.

11:00 am:  Explore the shops in New Preston. Privet House for home goods and really beautiful brushes of every variety. Pergola, a boutique of unusual plants and gifts for the horticulturally-inclined.

12:00 pm: Hopkins Inn Winery.  Overlooking Lake Waramaug is the Hopkins Inn Vineyard and Winery.  The farm turned vineyard has been in the family for 225 years.  Sign up for a tour, pick up a gift for your wine enthusiast friend (and yourself) at the gift shop, or simply sit back and enjoy sampling award-winning wines at the wine bar in the Hayloft barn.  Pop over to the Inn for an amazing meal with a German flair.  Make a mental note to come stay here for a get-away weekend next summer.  The view for patio dining is breathtaking.

2:00 pm: Arethusa. Before heading back to the City, take a detour past Mount Tom Pond to Bantam where you can find a trio of shops featuring ingredients from the Arethusa farm. (Think it’s unusual that RT Facts has two shops in the same town? Arethusa has three.) Looking for a snack and a caffeine boost? Stop by Arethusa a Mano for a pastry and a latte made with milk from their cows. Feeling more than peckish? Arethusa Al Tavalo is a dairy farm-to-table restaurant drawing inspiration from classic Italian cuisine with local resources in mind. Want to see where the magic happens? Step over to Arethusa Dairy store, where they are scooping freshly churned ice cream. They sell cheeses and other products fresh from the farm a stones-throw away. Take a peek into the back room and see the gleaming tanks where the milk is being processed.

3:00 pm:  Bantam Bread. Just down the hill is Bantam Bread. Get the light and crispy-edged buttermilk biscuits to put your cheese on. Buy some store-made granola to take home and some fresh dog cookies for your buddy.  Head back south replete!

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