July 13th, don’t miss what is sure to be a very special event in this year’s Tanglewood 2013 Season – a performance of Bernstein’s West Side Story score. Much more than a concert, it’s a live movie experience, with the newly remastered film shown as the orchestra plays along – complete with original vocals and dialogue.
West Side Story is a truly American interpretation of an old, old tale – of a love that cannot be, but which the lovers cannot turn away from. Leonard Bernstein’s score simultaneously evokes a specific time and place, but is also an unforgettable music experience that has made the story a classic. The film won ten Academy Awards following its 1961 release.
This will be the debut of conductor David Newman, with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The performance on the evening of July 13th will be preceded by a Saturday morning rehearsal at 10:30am. The rehearsal features the orchestra only -- the film will not be shown and the entire score will not be performed. It could be a very interesting experience, however, for fans of the score, or those who simply love a behind-the-scenes peek.
Tickets for this special performance are $20-$150 and tickets for the sneak-peek morning rehearsal at $10-$30. This will be a popular performance, so make sure to book your Hampton Terrace rooms well in advance – they will fill, and you don’t want to miss our breakfast as a part of your Tanglewood experience.
It's impossible to pick just one reason that Hampton Terrace and the Berkshires make for an unforgettable vacation experience...so here's a few:
Gilded Age charm: Hampton Terrace is a historic landmark that reflects the tastes and charms of an opulent age, the Gilded Age. The Gilded Age followed the Civil War and lasted until approximately the turn of the twentieth century. It was a time of tremendous industrial growth in the United States, and the families that benefited from the growth of the key industries of the era (like railroads, manufacturing and mining) left their mark on the Berkshires, in the beautiful homes that they built. Hampton Terrace is one of the “cottages” built in that era that remains to greet visitors. From claw-foot bathtubs to the intricate details throughout, you will experience the difference.
Ventfort Hall: Our neighbor, Ventfort Hall Museum, is another treasure of that time period, and gives you another window to Gilded Age beauty and history.
Modern amenities: Though Hampton Terrace is a Gilded Age cottage it is, indeed, a citizen of the 21st Century. We have free Wi-Fi for guests, a heated outdoor pool (seasonal), and all the amenities that you require to make your trip great.
Easy access: All the restaurants, shops, and attractions in Lenox are less than a two-block walk from our door. Farm–to-table cuisine? It’s here, at Nudel. French patisserie (for those moments when nothing but a French pastry will do)? Patisserie Lenox has you covered. Excellent professional theatre productions? Shakespeare & Co. serves up an evening of theatre, piping hot. And this is just a small sample of what Lenox has to offer.
Experience: An inn since 1937, we know what our guests like and, more importantly, what they don’t. Not only do we have a history of running an inn – but our history is one of doing it well.
Trip Advisor Reviews: We are one of top bed and breakfasts in the Berkshires, according to TripAdvisor.com, and we are number one among our Lenox peers.
A Breakfast You Have To Try: Every single day, we provide our guests with a breakfast that puts a Southern twist to the traditional New England breakfast. It may be the best comfort food you ever have! And with our roots in the South, we bring an authenticity to our Southern breakfast that you’re not likely to find just anywhere in New England.
We Make You A Local: We are always blogging to provide our guest with tips and events that are beyond the tourist traps that other places recommend. To truly know the Berkshires, Hampton Terrace helps you live the Berkshires. Every confirmation includes a list of insider tips to help you plan your stay and a dining guide that singles out the best places to eat. Make sure to check out our previous blog post, a preview of the best annual party in the Berkshires – and the Hampton Terrace special to accompany the night’s festivities.
Solid, High-End Shopping: A selection of boutiques in downtown Lenox are just steps from our front door, literally. The “downtown” area is less than two blocks from our front door. Plus, the Premium Outlets in Lee are 5 miles away – a 10 minute drive at the most – and many of the small towns nearby have wonderful downtown shopping districts.
Outstanding Culinary Options: This is where the Berkshires really shines. A
culinary renaissance has taken place in recent years and the Berkshires
boasts dining options to match (or surpass!) any major city. For example:
- Nudel is about two blocks away and it does not disappoint. Last year, the chef/owner, Bjorn, was nominated for a James Beard award and also for the Food & Wine People’s Choice award. Every day, Bjorn prints a new menu inspired by whatever ingredients he found at the markets and co-ops that morning.
- Spice Dragon: Opened as just Spice in 2006, and then Jae’s Spice, at the cost of $4.5 million, it was the centerpiece of Pittsfield’s downtown renewal. Ultimately, the original owner could not sustain the overhead. Now it is run by local Vietnamese brothers, one of whom won America’s Top Chef.
- Wheatleigh/Blantyre for meals completely over the top - ambiance and price to match. These are two of the more castle-like Berkshire Cottages that have become resort hotels, with rooms at $1,000 and up. Both are now open year-round and feature price-fix menus at roughly $80 to $165/person depending on whether you get three courses or six. Both feature prominent chefs and impeccable staff. The drive is less than 5 minutes to either. Wheatleigh also offers an a la carte option if you eat in their Library.
- Chocolate Springs Café: Located in the new Lenox Commons, several blocks north of the village, this café is a MUST stop for dessert and coffee. The chef, formerly of Wheatleigh, has been named one of the Top Ten Chocolate Makers in the U.S. by Saveur Magazine.
These are just a few of the many fantastic restaurants that we spotlight in the Dining Guide we send to all guests to help plan their stay.
In addition to the shopping and dining, The Berkshires are a fine-arts lover’s dream. There is:
Or, if travelers are more interested in relaxation there is:
- World-class spa at Canyon Ranch, less than a mile away
- World-class yoga at Kripalu, about two miles from Hampton Terrace
- Fantastic golf at Cranwell Resort, a little more than two miles away
When you stay at Hampton Terrace, you will never have to wonder what's happening in the Berkshires.
We've always promised we'll let you know when cool stuff is going on in the Berkshires. Mark your calendars. The – hands down – coolest party of the year is March 9 and, incidentally, Susan and I are chairing the event. The annual fundraising event for the IS183 Art School is an outrageous affair every year.
Previous themes included "Anime Hothouse", "Hair Ball" and "Radioactive Bodega". Last year's party was the "Buckaroo Bollywood Ball.” Of course, we have a great special for you at Hampton Terrace that weekend…but more on that in a moment.
Confirmed partygoers are already planning their outfits for the event, as every year they try to devise costumes that will be more elaborate than last year's. Some will be dressed for the party at the creative center of the universe in space-suits and skinny ties, others in retro-swing dresses and pin curls beneath gamma-ray protecting helmets. Those needing more inspiration can see pictures and ideas at the event’s website.
IS183’s annual galas have evolved into ephemeral, large-scale participatory art events, as scores of volunteers contribute time and creativity to construct a one-night-only multimedia installation, and this year will be no exception. Projections by Drew Suto will flow around dancers electro-swinging until 1 a.m. thanks to music by JTD Productions, featuring a contemporary mash-up of house and dance music with jazz and big band.
We’re so excited about the event, we’d like to invite as many of our friends to attend as possible. Anyone who books a two-night stay at Hampton Terrace for the weekend will receive two complimentary tickets to join Susan and I at the dance party (a $100 value).
If you want to attend a party hosted by Don Draper in outer space, you won't want to miss this one. Type BigBang in the "arrival time" field when you book online to have your dance party tickets waiting for you when you arrive. If you’d like to enjoy more of the event, tickets at all levels can be purchased online at www.is183.org, or call 413-298-5252 x100.
No sooner have the tickets gone on sale for Tanglewood 2013 than they have already added more great performances from popular artists: The Steve Miller Band and NPR’s “Wait Wait. Don’t Tell Me!”
Fresh from Tanglewood headquarters “One of rock music's all-time greats, the Steve Miller Band has sold more than 30 million records in a career spanning more than 40 years.” We all know songs like “The Joker” – and now you can see them live.
NPR fans, you won’t want to miss “Wait Wait. Don't Tell Me!
The Oddly Informative News Quiz”, Saturday, August 29, at 8pm, also at Tanglewood’s Shed.
According to the official Tanglewood release “Now in its 15th season, the Peabody Award-winning show, “Wait Wait. Don't Tell Me!”, uses current stories (from the global to the ridiculous) for questions and comedy.” Host Peter Sagal, is accompanied by a hilarious and extremely clever ensemble of regulars and guests who make current events into instant comedy while-you-watch. Easily enjoyable for those not already familiar with the show, too -- which makes it a great choice for a group outing.
February 11 at 10am, Tanglewood donors can call SymphonyCharge at 617-266-1200 or 888-266-1200 (Mon-Fri, 10am-6pm, Sat 12 noon-6pm) or go online to tanglewood.org for tickets for the Steve Miller Band or Wait Wait. Limit of 8 tickets per performance, per donor. As thanks for your support, there is no per ticket fee until February 19. Tickets go on sale to the public on Tuesday, February 19.
Big names and big performances are schedule for this summer’s Tanglewood Festival, and tickets are on sale NOW. Audra MacDonald, John Williams, Joshua Bell, Yo-yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, and a thoroughly all-star roster of featured conductors and soloists join the Boston Symphony Orchestra in bringing you the best of Mozart, Verdi and Wagner (in celebration of the bicentennial celebrations of their birth), and many more.
In addition to the sterling performances of classical music, trademark of any Tanglewood season, this season also promises popular music, dance, and radio performances you won’t soon forget.
A Prairie Home Companion returns to Tanglewood this season on June 29th, for an evening of music, humor and fun with renowned story-teller, Garrison Keillor and company.
Grateful Dead fans, rejoice. On June 22nd, the Boston Pops Orchestra performs a Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration, featuring “original compositions as well as timeless standards”.
After 15 years, Jackson Browne returns to Tanglewood, for a special July 4th concert to be followed by a fireworks display.
On July 13th, the Boston Symphony Orchestra tackles a live performance of West Side Story, pairing Bernstein’s iconic score with the newly, re-mastered film, shown in high definition.
These are just the highlights of what we anticipate will be another unforgettable summer in the Berkshires. Book now for best availability of tickets to the shows – as well as lodging. We are here to answer any questions that you may have regarding room availability and accommodations here at Hampton Terrace. We look forward to your visit.
James Taylor is popping up in the headlines recently, with a couple of interesting and completely different stories.
It was reported earlier this month that musician James Taylor had found a novel use for social media. He took to Facebook to help a church purchase a pipe organ. Apparently, the musician had seen a recent news article, featuring the congregation of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Jeffersonville, IN, and its desire to complete the renovation of their church, with the installation of a pipe organ. The church had been nicknamed the “James Taylor” church because it had been damaged by rain floods three times since 1937 (most recently in ’07 and ’09) and by fire in 1981. They were given a pipe organ to accomplish their goal, but did not have the $45,000 needed to transport and install it.
Taylor’s assistant contacted the church, and Taylor took to Facebook to publicize the church’s project, to a rapid and enthusiastic response (1300 likes and 200 shares in under 24 hours). Taylor has also donated a piece of autographed music from his own collection – for the church to auction off as a fundraiser. The featured song? Fire and Rain, of course.
It has also been announced that he is a featured performer scheduled to appear at Obama’s second inauguration. He joins a roster that includes Beyoncé, and Kelly Clarkson. Interestingly, all of the performers were selected personally by the President. It’s hard not to wonder if the first family may have made some suggestions of their own. The inauguration festivities take place all through the weekend until the public inauguration ceremony on Monday, January 21st. CBS will be covering the event.
The mission of the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, in Stockbridge, MA, is “To empower people and communities to realize their full potential through the transformative wisdom and practice of yoga.” They have a variety of yoga-centered focused on helping you achieve health in both your body and your mind, programs for seekers of balanced living – just a seven-minute drive from Hampton Terrace.
January is a busy month at Kripalu, with programs for the body and the mind scheduled throughout the month. January 11 though 13, “Pilgrim On The Path of Love” is a celebration of the hundredth birthday of Swami Kripalu, the founder of their center’s teachings. The weekend will include a variety of workshops in yoga, lectures, and kirtan sessions. A potpourri of current and founding teachers will lead you on a journey to connect Kripalu’s present to its past.
January 21-25 it’s Digestive Health: A Holistic Approach, with instructors Kathie Madonna Swift, Annie B. Kay, and the Healthy Living Faculty (it also reprises in April). According to the course web page:
“This innovative Kripalu program helps you address your GI challenges and restore your health. Come learn the connection between GI health, immune imbalance, inflammation, and common symptoms, such as pain, depression, fatigue, and rashes that often have their origins in the gut."
January 25-27, The Great Work Of Your Life: The Yoga Of the Bhagavad Gita will lead you to “…explore karma yoga, the yoga of action, learning to act in the world in such a way that God becomes “the Doer” of our deeds. Each day will include at least an hour and a half of asana practice in addition to lecture, discussion, and other exercises aimed at allowing us to experience how life itself is a profound spiritual practice.”
Are you planning a visit to Kripalu? Interested in off-site accommodations? Give us a call at 800-203-0656 to check on room availability, or go to our website for a personalized, online quote. It’s a quick seven-minute drive from their home to ours.
The Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival is America’s longest-running dance festival, and attracts performers representing the international dance community. Though the festival takes place throughout the summer of 2013, the time to plan for it is now. Tickets go on sale to members and subscribers of the festival in January, and to the public in April.
On January 16th, the 2013 artist pages for the festival will post online for your planning convenience. Feel free to contact us here at Hampton Terrace at any time in your travel planning, either by phone (800.203.0656) or check availability online at our homepage.
The preview listings of performances are available now at their website (http://www.jacobspillow.org/festival/) and include such highlights as:
• JUNE 19-23, DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM The preeminent American dance company opens the Festival with The Lark Ascending by Alvin Ailey, George Balanchine's masterwork Agon, and more.
• JUNE 26-30, COMPAGNIE KÄFIG The sold-out hip-hop show of 2012 returns! Experience the virtuosity, humor, and irresistible energy of this unique production from Brazil and France. Also: LEO What if the laws of gravity ceased to exist? From Berlin, imaginative movement, physical theatre, and fantastical video. A gem for all ages.
• JULY 3-7, CEDAR LAKE CONTEMPORARY BALLET Sleek, strong, and daringly athletic--the dancers of Cedar Lake are phenomenal talents. The New York Times calls them "the country's most innovative contemporary ballet troupe."
Plan now – and relax when you arrive, having reserved your rooms and planned your activities in advance!
We all think that we "know" Vincent Van Gogh, the Dutch painter known for his explosive use of color and, unfortunately, for the story about his poor ear (he only removed a piece of the legendary ear). Even the most casual art fans can conjure images of masterpieces such asThe Potato Eaters, Starry Night, and Sunflowers instantly. Van Gogh became both one of the most famous painters who ever lived, and a template for stereotypes about artists and madness. It is certainly challenging to discuss his work without, at some point, mention of his struggles.
Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, MA bring the troubled artist to life with their production of Vincent, a stage play that interestingly, was written by Leonard Nimoy. Nimoy originally performed this intimate play, based on the letters written between Van Gogh and his brother, Theo. The story is told much from the perspective of Theo, though James Briggs, the star of this production, does in fact become the troubled artist himself as well.
This production runs as follows, through December 30th: Wed/Thurs at 7pm; Fri/Sat at 8pm; Sun at 4pm; Matinees Sat 12/22 and 12/29 at 4pm. Tickets are $30.
Barrington Stage Company is a professional theater that places emphasis on the production of excellent modern theater and new work. It is nationally-recognized for the high quality of its productions.
Are you a Van Gogh fan? Visit “The Van Gogh Gallery” online for more fascinating information about the artist, his life, his work, his struggles. (Photo credit to the Van Gogh Gallery)
Sometimes one plus one equal four…which was the case when Christine Skandis of Skandis Fine Wines and I began discussing the possibility of a wine tasting at the inn. Christine, a former guest, imports rare wines from Italy, and actually discovered Hampton Terrace while participating in the Tanglewood Wine Festival. She contacted me about a return trip to the Berkshires. Meanwhile, I thought that the (University of) Virginia Club, located in the Yale Club of New York City, might be a great venue to host the event – and a way to get her, and by association, Hampton Terrace, introduced to a larger audience.
I have been a member of the Yale Club since 1996….a quintessential Gilded Age-era private club, located on Vanderbilt Avenue, next to Grand Central. There are tens of thousands of Yale Club members, including membership eligibility for those who also graduated from Virginia and Dartmouth. I contacted Nellie Black, Social Chairman of the Virginia Club, and the event ended up on the Yale Club calendar for November 29th, in the Rooftop Dining Room.
Attendance was limited to 60, and by the time the evening rolled around, there was a waiting list. I opened the evening by welcoming everyone, on behalf of Hampton Terrace, and giving away a weekend stay. Cathy Thomas, of Nashville, Tennessee was the excited winner.
Christine then introduced her six wine choices, each paired with a delicious food pairing by the Award-Winning Yale Club chefs. They included (1) Brie Cheese, Dried Cranberry & Pecan Powder, (2) Mini-Polenta Cake with Truffle, Grilled Asparagus and Shaved Parmesan. (3) Seared Scallop Slider with Nutty Brown Butter, Toasted Brioche and Cucumber, and (4) a Mini-Creme Brûlée with Raspberry. Wow.
The first wine was a sparkling Erbaluce di Caluso to set the palate. Then Christine offered a non -sparkling version of the same white wine. Then, two reds, Canaveses Rosso, and Canavese Barbera. Finally, a dessert wine, Erbaluce di Passito.
I personally liked the wines very much. The whites had a hint of mineral, making them different from what I am used to - which is the point. If a rare, heirloom wine tastes the same as everything else…what is the point? But I usually drink red, and I found both choices to be excellent.
Christine said she was "very pleased with the evening and the enthusiasm and compliments we received from the Yale Club members regarding my heirloom wine tasting." She went on to say that the Yale Club has asked her to consider pairing her wines with an actual dinner, and others at the tasting suggested she do similar events at the Harvard, Metropolitan and University Clubs. So, this might be
the beginning of something big.
Meanwhile, Skandis Fine Wines cannot be found in retail outlets. The Yale Club asked her about the possibility of adding her wines to their wine list, so you may be able to find them there in the near future. For now, though, to enjoy her limited-supply wines, you would need to access them through her website
And now, we're back in the Berkshires. Heading to our part of the world soon? Contact us for a free rate quote.