The Berkshires are a beautiful destination, and the Berkshire Visitors Bureau is dedicated to telling the world all about it. The Berkshires Dream Auction is an event to support that work, and it’s chock full of must-haves that you’ll want to check out. 260 fabulous items have been donated to this auction – 260 items that you can bid on!
Online bidding runs until June 23, 2013. Bid on vacation getaways, golf, spa and theatre experiences to donated items guaranteed to delight and surprise. Tell your friends, family, community. Let the bidding begin! It just so happens that one of the items that you can bid on is a “Weekend Stay for Two at Hampton Terrace Bed & Breakfast”. The value of our Hampton Terrace package is $511 and the current bid is $225. A $280 Williamstown Theatre Festival Package is currently at $145...a beautiful Tibetan sterling silver bracelet worth $125 has $52 in bids so far. Get bidding now for some great steals!
Every bid you make supports the Berkshires of Western MA. All proceeds benefit the Berkshire Marketing Fund. So you can bid on all the great items you want, knowing you are helping the Berkshire Visitors Bureau promote the Berkshires as a premier travel destination for the economic well being of all its businesses and residents.
The auction only lasts for a short time, however – this coming Sunday is the deadline. Get your bids in NOW!
Last year was the inaugural one for what will now be an annual event: The Berkshire Cycling Classic. June 9th, the second annual Berkshire Cycling Classic comes to Lenox. The race will begin and end on Church Street and will be followed by a post-event reception in the center of town for cyclists. This race is more than just a race, however, and the event includes activities scheduled in Lenox during the day as well.
The event website shows a map for the 100 or 130 km race (your choice). Cyclists will speed through the towns of Stockbridge, South Lee, West Otis, Sandisfield, New Marlborough, Sheffield, Alford and more. You can be a participant – or, really embrace the role of spectator, taking in sights along the race route, or indulging in the Lenox-based race events.
For more information, or to register for this event, visit berkshirecyclingclassic.com.
Now for a completely different type of wheeled vehicle event: On Friday, June 14th, Lenox hosts the Lenox Motorcar Classic from 6-9 pm. Classic cars and trucks will be seen on the streets and come to rest for display at the closed-to-traffic portion of Main Street. A collection of vintage military vehicles and fire trucks will be a part of the festivities as well, in addition to some non-auto related events: Local band Whiskey City is slated to perform in the adjacent Library Reading Park, and food and drink will be available. Raffle tickets priced at $20 are available now if you call 637-3646. The grand prize is a day at the Skip Barber Driving School, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Lenox Fire Department.
Both of these events are just a short walk from the Hampton Terrace threshold, thanks to our extremely convenient location. If you ever have questions about events such as these, or any other Berkshires events that you may need some local guidance on, don’t hesitate to call us – that’s why we’re here!
With the release of the 2013 season for the Williamstown Theatre Festival, the buzz for this year’s festival has begun. As always, this year’s festival looks to be a rich soup of fresh faces, veteran talent, and shows both known and anticipated.
June 26, the festival kicks off with a modern production of a Marx Brothers’ classic: Animal Crackers. Music, dancing and screwball comedy combine to engage the audience in a search for a thief.
Another 20th century classic, Pygmalion, runs from July 17 to July 27. George Bernard Shaw’s play is, of course, the one that later became the musical film My Fair Lady. What happens when you take a lower class girl from her flower-selling cart and transform her into a lady? On a bet? To say that extremely witty hilarity ensues would almost belittle what is a smart and truly pointed examination of class.
The Bridges of Madison County is a classic of another kind – a bestselling novel, interpreted for the stage. Love and passion are meant for the stage, and this play delves into these matters, with a woman who must choose whether she will follow her heart. What does the play have that the book does not? Music. The stage allows for the addition of a completely new dimension to a story that has already been enjoyed by millions of readers.
There will be (as always, truly) a number of familiar faces on stage this summer throughout the WTF season: Actors of television, Broadway and film. Heather Lind, who starred on Broadway opposite Al Pacino in “The Merchant of Venice” will appear as Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion. The Animal Crackers’ cast includes “Jonathan Brody, who has appeared on Broadway in ‘Monty Python's Spamalot’ and ‘Titanic,’ as well as the off-Broadway ‘Naked Boys Singing;’ Adams Chanler-Berat, of Broadway's ‘Peter and the Starcatcher;’ Mara Davi, who recently appeared on television's ‘Smash’ and in the movie ‘New Year's Eve;’ and Renée Elise Goldsberry, who has appeared as Olivia Warner on Fox's ‘The Following’ and as Geneva Pine on "The Good Wife," according to the North Adams Transcript.
And fully-produced plays are not the only activities at WTF. An evening with Lewis Black, and a timely reading of “Scott and Zelda” are also among the season’s offerings.
For more information visit the Williamstown Theatre Festival website. Their blog is also a fun read throughout the season.
A romantic getaway is not just flowers and wine – it is an experience (that of course may happen to include flowers and wine). A romantic getaway creates a special experience for you and your special person to enjoy. It will relax, rejuvenate, and maybe even entertain. It will engage your senses, as you give you and your loved one time to detach from the mundane.
Here at Hampton Terrace, we understand how important it is to take time for romance – and happily, we are nestled in a special place that is rich in all of the elements that a true romantic getaway requires.
The rising, gentle peaks of the Berkshires are the first to greet you when you arrive. They are the canvases upon which nature expresses the dramatic nature of the New England seasons. In winter, white peaks beckon you to join them on the slopes. In Fall, the mountainsides erupt into one of the great wonders of the world – trees that glow in colors straight from a jewel box, reds, oranges, yellows. And of course in the summer, lush greens invite you to picnic on the grass, hike the ancient woods, and stroll the town at night, sipping wine and touring the culinary globe.
Hampton Terrace has your plush, cozy bed, your private room, and a special gift card to our local, Lenox wine shop, Nejaimes. In-room massage? We can arrange that for you. Wine and flowers to set the tone for your special trip? Call ahead, they’ll be ready for you when you arrive.
And that’s just your arrival.
Once your bags are settled in your room and you’ve had a chance to test the coziness of the big, fluffy bed, it’s time to explore the neighborhood. Within a short walk, guests at Hampton Terrace find the lovely town of Lenox to explore.
French cuisine is renowned the world over for its elegance, richness, and exquisite flavor. Patisserie Lenox is an authentic French patisserie just a short walk from your room at Hampton Terrace. Rich chocolate, decadent cakes, flaky croissant, and so much more. French pastries are moist, flavorful, and unforgettable. Enjoy something there, and bring a little something back to your room for later.
Ready to explore?
Lenox itself is a rich collection of art galleries, antique shops, and unique stores. Discover a must-have treasure together at Coffman’s Antiques. Find that perfect piece of contemporary art for your home at the Wit Gallery. Inspire your sense of humor at the Tom Fiorini Sculpture Garden. Take in a collection of the region’s finest visual art at the Lenox Gallery of Fine Art.
Your stomachs will tell you when it’s time for dinner. The Berkshires are home to a strong farm-to-table movement and Nudel are masters of their genre. Chef Bjorn Somlo was nominated for a Best New Chef award in 2012 by Food & Wine Magazine. His pasta bar draws its ingredients from local sources and transforms food into an experience. There’s a reason his fans are ardent and enthusiastic.
Don’t forget to stop at Nejaimes, the wine shop, with your certificate, before you settle in for the evening. Located appropriately right near the patisserie, they stock a dense selection of fine wines and other beverages. Perhaps pair your wine with the delicious pastry you picked up at Patisserie Lenox?
Once you’ve returned from town, your Jacuzzi tub is here for you at the Inn, in your private oasis of relaxation.
After a great night’s sleep spent sinking deeper into relaxation mode, you’ll likely awaken to the savory smells of whatever we are cooking that morning in the kitchen, and we will have a private candlelit breakfast ready for you. Breakfast is no cookie cutter affair at Hampton Terrace. You’ll have a different selection each morning of your visit, sweets, savories, and vegetarian options are available.
And that’s just day one. The Berkshires have so much more to offer you, as you explore the all-too-rare experience of true relaxation and romance.
In April, we paired up with our friends at Oasis Day Spa, the #1 spa in New York City and Westchester County, for a contest.
Bruce generously offered a FREE day of beauty to one of our Facebook friends or email subscribers. Your day would include a massage, facial and manicure, worth nearly $300. And anyone who entered received a 15% discount on any 60-minute spa service at any of Oasis’ locations in 2013.
We at Hampton Terrace offered anyone who entered a $50 credit off a two-night stay at Hampton Terrace, and a free two-night getaway (midweek or weekend) at Hampton Terrace to one Oasis fan or subscriber.
That lucky winner is Lauren! Lauren has booked a special anniversary weekend with us for this fall, and we’ll be delighted to greet her in person with some Berkshires hospitality.
Modern day visitors to the Berkshires follow in a tradition that was established at the end of the 19th Century, by Society players of the Northeast, who called this place home – at least during the summer!
Hampton Terrace is one of the “cottages” built by money industrialists and their social brethren in the post-Civil War era known as the Gilded Age. Dozens of these cottages, many of them quite opulent, and hardly what we would call a cottage these days, are still occupied or in-use. Hampton Terrace of course, is occupied as an inn – and has been since the 1930’s. Our property knows a longer history, however, as it was the site of Lenox’s first blacksmith shop.
Our neighbor, Ventfort Hall is occupied 7-days/week, year round, as a museum to the Gilded Age. Currently on display there, are the exquisite Gilded Age Fashions of the “Les Petites Dames Du Mode” (The Little Ladies of Fashion) exhibit. The exhibit features 59 “petites dames” or doll models sporting women’s fashions from 1855 to 1914. It is the culmination of 40 years of work, byt John R. Burbidge, designer and creator and retired Senior Designer for the famed bridal house of Priscilla of Boston. The fashions will evoke a sense memory that you didn’t even know you had – for the “feel” of the era.
Ventfort Hall was originally the residence of George Hale Morgan and Sarah Spencer Morgan. The Morgans, who moved into the house in the early 1890s, were well-known New Yorkers, and members of a prominent banking family. The fortune that Sarah inherited from her banker father funded the construction of her grand home. After the death of its original inhabitants, the property went through a series of incarnations including life as a rental property (to families with names like Vanderbilt), a summer ballet camp, and a small hotel, until it was rescued for preservation and life as a museum.
Another of our Gilded Age neighbors? The Mount. Edith Wharton’s Berkshires home. The Mount is a property that hosts a variety of types of event. If you book a wedding there and need lodging for guests, we couldn’t be closer. Other events include literary events, Wharton-centered lectures and presentations, a summer lecture series, private library tours…and the gardens, the gardens are an absolute must-see. This year, the estate is celebrating the 100th birthday of Edith Wharton’s novel “The Custom Of the Country”. It is a unique celebration – an online serial, to replicate the original manner of publication of the work, in installments. “In addition to Wharton’s delightful prose, we will include commentary from Wharton Scholars, Mount staff, and others giving context and definition to one of Wharton’s most debated works.” – The Mount Website
This former residence of John S. Barnes, and Susan Hayes Barnes, was built in 1882. Captain Barnes was a Civil War naval officer. Their grand home is another Lenox destination. Though the home began its life saddled with contentious energy bred between Captain Barnes and his builder (said builder alleged that the Captain was rather unpleasant to work with), it is now a piece of the tranquil Cranwell Resort, home to a most luxurious spa, resort, golf and fitness center.
This formerly grand 1894 Lenox residence is now but a ghost, replaced by a place for spirit and reflection. It began its life as a residence to Anson Phelps Stokes and his wife, Helen Louise Phelps Stokes. Anson Phelps Stokes was an investment banker and Anglophile. Even the naming of the family followed English aristocratic tradition, by giving each of the children both of the names, Phelps and Stokes, without a hyphen, for a rather stately result.
Though Mrs. Phelps Stokes put much of her own design authority into the decorating of the home, the family did not spend a long time is residence there – Mr. Phelps Stokes had injured a leg while horseback riding, and had that leg amputated. The amputation prevented him from enjoying his country estate as much as he would have liked and so the house eventually fell into new hands. The last private resident of the home was Andrew Carnegie. Upon his death it was sold to a Jesuit order, while called the structure home until it burned down in 1956. A new building was created by the order, and that building is now home to Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, a peaceful place to explore the mind-body connection.
CREATE YOUR OWN GILDED AGE TOUR
The Berkshires of Western Massachusetts website offers suggestions for an excellent, “Gilded Age”-themed tour experience of the Berkshires.
THE WINTHROP ESTATE
The Winthrop Estate, also located here in Lenox, MA is another property that may be of interest to those wishing to soak in the very feel of the Gilded Age. The Estate was originally a country retreat for the US Ambassador to Denmark, in 1875. However, its next residents were ones with an established history in the state of Massachusetts. Early Winthrop family history includes ancestor John Winthrop becoming the founding governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Robert Winthrop was the Winthrop to inhabit the Estate, along with his wife Kate (whose father was the first president of what is now known as CitiBank). Because it is not a museum or dedicated to an alternate use, visitors are able to tour and experience the home as a country home, as its original inhabitants did.
The Barrington Stage Company, just one of the excellent theater companies that call the Berkshires home, has announced their upcoming 2013 Season. This season’s shows explore ethnicity, race and life as only theater can: Up close, personal, and in the moment. The upcoming season will be a busy one. Here’s a few highlights of the upcoming season:
Chaim Potok’s The Chosen explores facets of Jewish life in New York City during World War II, through the friendship of two boys of very different Jewish households. After the July 23rd performance, the cast will be available during a free talk-back session with the audience following the performance. July 18th to August 3rd are the running dates for this show.
Much Ado About Nothing is one of Shakespeare’s Classic Comedies, of course. It is a battle of the sexes fought with witty and hilarious insults. This show, features a talk-back session as well, following the August 13th performance. Barrington Stage Company says “See why many call Much Ado the precursor to the screwball comedy.” This play runs from August 8th to August 25th.
Tony and Pulitzer Prize-Winning Clybourne Park is a comedic and smart play, “a provocative and wickedly funny play about race, real estate and American values” (Barrington Stage Company). Playwright Bruce Norris’s script crackles with honesty. The show runs from September 26th to October 13th.
Bashir Lazhar is the play that inspired the movie 2012 Oscar-nominated film Monsieir Lazhar. Canadian playwright Evelyne de la Cheneliere tells “the story of a French-Algerian political refugee who is hurriedly hired as the teacher at an elementary school in Montreal for a class of distressed students. His unorthodox teaching methods draw him into surprisingly explosive territory.” (Barrington Stage Company) The cast talk-back session for this show is Tuesday, May 28, after the 7:30pm performance.
New play fans will not want to miss the 10 x 10 New Play Festival. This is just one part of the larger 10 x 10 Upstreet Arts Festival that is now in its second year in Pittsfield (just a few minutes’ drive from Hampton Terrace). Theater, film, poetry, music, visual are and much more are celebrated during this festival – another do not miss event!
You can get more information about the upcoming season (including even more shows) and purchasing tickets at the Barrington Stage Company Website. Right now you can purchase season passes starting at $60 for Mainstage Passes and $224 for Combo Passes which allow you access to even more programming.
It’s impossible to experience the Berkshires without noticing the most defining geographic features: The mountain peaks that rise above it all. As winter thaws away and spring comes to roost, roads and trails leading to these majestic treasures will be ready to greet you soon. Time to read up, and plan your tours!
The 3,941 foot peak of Mt. Greylock is the tallest in the Berkshires. It is visible for 60 to 90 miles around, greeting visitors to the region with a quiet, but authoritative beauty. It is full of hikes, drives, and views that are part of what give the Berkshires their fame. It is such an icon, that it has its own gin: Greylock Gin, from Berkshire Mountain Distillers. Greylock Gin received a #1 rating from the New York Times.
Learn a little more about hiking Mt. Greylock, visiting Mt. Greylock, or driving Mt. Greylock.
Berlin Mountain is another prominent presence, with a peak at 2,818ft. It straddles the Western border of Massachusetts and the Eastern border of New York state. Beautiful views of the Hudson Valley await hikers. A variety of trails on the mountain are shared by bikers, hikers, skiers, snowmobilers. The views make the hike worthwhile.
At 2,621 feet, Brodie Mountain is another of our peaks, and just southwest of Mt. Greylock. Formerly a popular ski area, it is currently awaiting its next incarnation.
1,739 ft is the height for Monument Mountain. It is a 2.5-mile long quartzite ridgeline, located in Great Barrington and Stockbridge, and it features hiking trails.
Tekoa Mountain is another hiking possibility, a relatively friendly, though steep, hike, with a dramatic view as payoff at the end. At 1,121 ft, though not technically a mountain, it’s a nice day trip. Located in the towns of Russell and Montgomery.
Check out some off-season photos here. You may want to try the Tekoa Mountain Unkamits Path Trail or the Woronoco Ma Trail.
If hiking is your thing, you’ll also want to check out Berkshires Hiking. They provide online information about the Taconic Crest Trail (a prominent hiking trail through the Berkshires and along the NY border into VT).
The Berkshires of Western Massachusetts website also offers links to great leads on outdoor adventures of all kinds.
And as always, we are happy to point you in the direction of whatever resources you may need, when you a planning your Berkshires vacation. Just give us a call (1-800-203-0656)!
Darlingside are a home-grown treat for music fans. Based in Northhampton, MA, this string-rock quintet raises the bar for musicianship among their pop-rock peers, making music at the intersection of rock, classical, and folk music. The band just released their debut full-length album ‘Pilot Machines’ and are currently shaking rafters along the eastern seaboard with their vibrant live shows.
Pilot Machines, was recorded with producer Nathaniel Kunkel (Sting, Crosby/Nash, Maroon 5). Darlingside takes their audience on a meticulously-crafted journey into and back out of a song, a journey through layers of sound. Mandolin, cello, guitar, drums, a vibrating chorus of vocals and the songwriting efforts of each of five members make for a rich sonic experience.
April 13th they appear on home turf at Mass MoCA, always a hotbed of the up and coming.
Enjoy a sampling of their music at their website. Tickets for this hometown appearance are available at the Mass MoCA website.
The way we post about all of the highlights of Tanglewood, you’d think the Berkshires are a one-event kind of place, but there’s much more to the Berkshires than JUST a certain fabulous internationally-renowned music festival.
Coming to the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center on Friday, April 26, Cirque Shanghai brings their breathtaking acrobatic artistry to the Berkshires for your viewing enjoyment. The Chinese acrobatics tradition is an old one, dating back to the Han Dynasty, more than 2,000 years ago. “Bai xi,” or “100 amazing acts,” was the first name for these performance spectacles, and the performers were thought to have limitless talents, because they knew so many tricks. Classic feats are curated into a modern production that should prove genuinely amazing and highly entertaining. The scenery, the costumes, and of course the acrobatics, are designed to delight.
And then there’s the Mahaiwe itself – a treasure left from the days of vaudeville, it was built in 1905 and is one of the oldest surviving theaters in the country. Like many of its era, once the golden days of vaudeville came to a close, the Mahaiwe was repurposed, transformed into a movie theater in 1930. It was reborn as a performing arts center in the modern sense, in 2002, and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
A unique and fascinating show in a unique and historical theater, in the world-famous Berkshires.