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Hampton Terrace Innkeeper Blog: Deals and Things to Do in Lenox and the Berkshires

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Build A Perfectly Romantic Skiing Weekend

  
  
  

Romance is an experience that knows no season. Our Romantic Getaway Weekend Package is designed to set the tone for you – starting at just $229/night. Just add some time on the slopes, or exploring the beautiful Berkshires countryside while cross-country skiing, and you’ve got the recipe for a winter-perfect romantic weekend.

The Romantic Getaway Weekend Package

This package is accessibly priced for you (starting at $229/night) – and we don’t mind if you pay half when you book and half when you arrive. The package also includes:

  • A $30 gift card for Nejaimes, our local wine/gourmet food shop
  • A candle-lit breakfast buffet
  • A comprehensive list of activities in the area during your stay (attached to your confirmation), as well as a list of guest-approved restaurants in the area
  • Free early check-in and late check-out (subject to availability)
  • An additional 30 percent discount when you book a third night
  • We can also adorn your room with flowers and a bottle of champagne, or arrange for an in-room massage.

Cross Country Info

The Western Mass Cross Country Ski Area Association is a terrific resource for those who love to enjoy the magic of the countryside on skis. Their site links to information about seven ski areas, events, has a map laying out the location of each area, and more. There are options for skiers of all levels and trails designed by award-winning trail designers.

Need to information about local weather? Obviously you can use internet sources for gauging the snow levels during your visit, but we’re also happy to answer any questions you may have from the ground level. We want your stay to be as fun as possible and we’re in the business of making sure you have what you need to make that happen. Call us anytime at Jiminy Peak, Berkshires skiing 800-203-0656.

Downhill, Tubing Destinations

•  Jiminy Peak has been teasing us via Facebook for a few weeks now. They’re making oodles of snow, and making sure the world knows about it – and it’s beautiful, not to mention romantic.

•  Bousquet Mountain claims to be the “best downhill skiing in the Berkshires” and has spawned five Olympic downhill skiers.

•  Butternut is not only a great ski area, but one of the sites of the annual Berkshires Jazz Festival (not a winter event, but one to keep an eye on).

•  Berkshire East, a family-run resort, gives you skiing in the winter and ziplining in the summer, at affordable prices.

Let us help you build the perfect weekend. We can give you a personalized rate quote, good for 30 days, to start it all off right. Give us a call at 800-203-0656 or contact us online.

Photo via the Jiminy Peak Facebook page...

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At The Mahaiwe: John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey, with Special Guest Bucky Pizzarelli

  
  
  
December 28th at 8p.m. John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey, a husband and wife duo, take the stage at the Mahaiwe for an evening of jazz and American song. The evening’s special guest, Bucky Pizzarelli, is a jazz guitarist and banjoist – as well as John’s father.

John Pizzarelli has been described as “madly creative” by the Los Angeles Times and “the genial genius of the guitar” by The Toronto Star. As for the family trio, the San Francisco Chronicle dubbed them “the First Family of Cool” and The New Yorker declared them “the von Trapps on Martinis.” The Grammy-nominated younger Pizzarelli was, of course, inspired by his father and took up the guitar at the age of 6. His career has spanned from clubs to Carnegie Hall, and included such highlights at playing Frank Sinatra’s 80th birthday show, and opening for a Sinatra tour. Pizzarelli is not afraid to embrace the pop elements of the jazzJohn Pizzarelli, Jessica Molaskey, Bucky Pizzarelli, Hampton Terrace, Berkshires Hotels, Berkshires B&B genre, and the classics of the American songbook.

Jessica Molaskey, singer actress, Broadway star, was summed up thusly by the New York Times: "...formidable talent, impeccable taste and acute wit." Her resume includes Broadway classics like Cats, Les Misérables, and Oklahoma – as well as the nationally broadcasted jazz radio show, Radio Deluxe.

Bucky Pizarelli’s career really gelled with his appointment as a staff musician at NBC in the 1950s. In the 1960s, he became a member of the Tonight Show Band. He’s played for presidents, and he’s played with legends. An unusual bit of trivia? He plays a 7-string guitar, music geeks. That means he can accompany himself with a bass line, if needed, while playing the guitar.

This show is essentially guaranteed to entertain, and with style – attendees are encouraged to arrive in New Year finery. Regular admission tickets range from $25 to $80. A $100 ticket gains you entrance to a post-show reception with the performers. You can make your reservation to the show now, online, at the Mahaiwe’s website.

Photo via the Mahaiwe's website...

Face Time: Portraits And Figures at the Clark Museum

  
  
  

The Berkshire Museum is not the only museum currently sharing the riches of its permanent collection here in the Berkshires. The Clark has a current exhibit that can engage you at the museum – or right at home. The Clark Museum has culled gems from its collection of portraits, figure drawings, and figure sculpture, to create a current exhibition they are calling “Face Time: Portraits And Figures In Paintings And Sculpture.

The works span from the years 1500 to 1900 and the exhibit features “fine works by Jacques-Louis David, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Thomas Gainsborough, Francisco de Goya y Lucientes,Clark Museum, Hampton Terrace, Berkshires Hotels Pierre-Auguste Renoir, John Singer Sargent, Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, and Auguste Rodin”.

A highly amusing feature of this exhibit is the accompanying response tool for visitors called “SIX”. SIX gives you six of the portraits of the collection on a touch screen at the museum – where you can enter your own interpretations of the artworks. The challenge presented is that you are limited to only six words for each interpretation. A poetic twist! Another twist? You can view the six at home, on your computer screen and submit your interpretations online, thus taking “The SIX Challenge” (http://www.clarkart.edu/sixhome/). You can also read other peoples’ interpretations (there’s some extremely clever ones in there) and use the “Grab A Word” feature to inspire you.

The Clark Museum was begun in the 1950s, from what began as the personal art collection of Sterling and Francine Clark – lifelong art collectors. Although it began as a personal collection, they had a strong desire to make the collection a public one – so an interactive exhibit like this seems highly fitting.

The exhibit runs from now until January 31, 2014. Visitor information such as hours and admission, can be gleaned from the Clark’s website.

This dapper photo is one of the "Six" featured on the Clark's website, for your interpretation enjoyment...

 

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Objectify: A Look Into The Permanent Collection at The Berkshire Museum

  
  
  

As with any museum, the Berkshire Museum holds an extensive permanent collection of artwork – and like any other museum, it’s simply not possible to display it all at once. The Berkshire Museum’s permanent collection boasts 50,000 member pieces, including art, artifact, and interesting natural specimens.

Objectify is “a major new exhibition”, culled from that diverse collection, and presentedobjectify in celebration of the Museum’s 110th anniversary.

This show has been intriguingly meta-curated and presented in the format of an exhibit in progress. The exhibit transforms from the first gallery to the last, from the aesthetic equivalent of a private viewing of the collection in storage, to an airy, contemporary presentation where works are given space to breath as individuals, and not just members of a collection. Selection of participating works was shaped around the idea “What will the next 100 years look like?”

As we discussed in an earlier blog post , the Berkshire Museum was founded on the enthusiasm, initiative, and initial collection of Zenas Crane, a third generation owner of the Crane & Company paper manufacturer, in 1903. Crane & Company still exists as a purveyor of papers and fine stationery, but also as the official paper supplier to the US Treasury. It seems fitting that a company with such a rich and long history, would have fueled the formation of what is now a century-old collection…indeed, what will the next 100 years bring, at the Berkshire Museum?

More information about visiting the Berkshire Museum is available at the website

 

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Berkshires Winter: Mushing with Hilltown Wilderness Adventures

  
  
  

Ever wondered what it might be like to travel via dog sled? Wonder no longer! When we say the Berkshires boast a variety of adventures to be had, both indoors and out, we couldn’t be more serious – and here’s an adventure you won’t find just anywhere: Dog sledding.

Hilltown Wilderness Adventures in West Chesterfield, MA, leads hiking and biking excursionsHilltown Wilderness Adventures, Hampton Terrace in the warmer months, fishing and kayaking too…but the winter means snow and snow means sledding, and sledding at Hilltown means sledding with their team of Alaskan Malamute mushers. They also do dry-land sledding in snowless times of the year. But can you imagine the rush of sailing through the snowy scenery, pulled by a team of enthusiastic canines?

The dry-land (snowless) mushing activities include, per the Hilltown website:

• Scenic ATV Fall Foliage Rides

• Dog “Cart” Rides

• Learn How to Bikejor (biking) or Cani-Cross (jogging) with a Dog Attached

• Racing “Rig” Rides

• Demonstrations

• Parties

The Hilltown Team is made up of an extremely handsome pack of Alaskan Huskies. Alaskan Huskies are considered to me more a type of dog, than a specific breed of dog – and this type of dog is famous for sled racing. They are a mixture of native, indigenous dogs, and more modern, European types of dog. They’re smaller than you might think, at only 40-60 lbs, and they come in every color of the canine rainbow, including classic looks that are attributed to Huskies, in shades of black/white or grey/white.

You can be a passenger behind these fine animals, or even learn to drive the team, it’s up to you. You’ll need to contact them directly, for rates and such, and you can do so through the Hilltown Wilderness Adventures website.

That fantastic photo of the dogs is also from the Hilltown Wilderness Adventures website.

 

Who says a romantic getaway can't include adventure...?

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Wine and Beverages, Berkshires-style

  
  
  

Good food and fine drink should be among your highest priorities when you visit the Berkshires. Here are a gaggle of wineries, breweries and distillers that are open to the public, for those who enjoy touring this particular avenue of the good life.

Hudson Berkshire Beverage Trail – The Beverage Trail is a two-state beverage experience.Berkshire Mountain Distillers, Berkshire Hotels It is an association of beverage and local food producers, drawn together to tempt your taste buds. The Beverage Trail includes members Brookview Station Winery, Harvest Spirits Farm Distillery, Chatham Brewing, and Hudson-Chatham Winery, all in New York (just a jaunt over the border) and Furnace Brook Winery, of Richmond, MA (more on them in a moment). Here’s a map!

Furnace Brook Winery – Year-round wine tasting, daily, from 12-5 awaits. Both reds and whites are represented on their list of award-winning wines. Other tantalizing selections include mead, and apple ice wine.

Les Trois Emme Winery - Their reds and whites include an Old Vine Zinfandel with deep, rich flavor and hints of cocoa, and their Stingy Jack Pumpkin Wine, the perfect accompaniment to your holiday meals. It’s best to check their website directly for information about their hours and availability throughout the year. They also accommodate private wine-tastings, as well as special events such as weddings. Located in New Marlborough, MA.

Balderdash Cellars – Saturdays and Sundays from 1-5, in downtown Pittsfield, MA, the tasting room is open at this new addition to the vine scene (call for information about private tasting sessions). The grapes are from California, but the wine is all Berkshires. Their whites, rosés and reds bear whimsical names like “Truth Serum” and “Fruit of the Boot”. If Truth Serum lives up to its name, it could bear amusing results on a group tour.

Pioneer Valley Vineyard - Located in Hatfield, MA, the Burt Family has farmed in Western MA for 6 generations. Their wines include those not only of the grape, but of other fruit as well – with the most intriguing offering being a Tomato Wine. Yes…Tomato Wine. Tomato is a fruit, after all. The winery shop is open through December, on Saturdays and Sundays, from 12-5.

Berkshire Mountain Distillers – No round-up of beverage producers in the Berkshires would be complete without a mention of Berkshire Mountain Distillers (http://berkshiremountaindistillers.com/home/) . Berkshire Mountain Distillers are the producers of the New York Times #1 Gin, Greylock Gin. They also recently made news for producing a spirit from Samuel Adams Boston Lager. Vodka, rum, bourbon and corn whiskey…there’s a little something for everyone at Berkshire Mountain Distillers. Though you cannot purchase their spirits on site, you CAN find them at the Berkshire Brewing Company, another great place to stop on your beverage tour. Established in 1994, they’re located in South Deerfield, MA – and they give brewery tours every Saturday.

Please feel free to enjoy the spoils of your touring once you return to Hampton Terrace – our bar is a cozy, welcoming space made for just such occasions.

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Berkshire Mountain Bakery: A magical transformation of simple ingredients.

  
  
  

Does anything beat the smell of fresh-baked bread? There’s certainly not much that does, and Berkshire Mountain Bakery is the place to get your fresh-baked bread fix.

Since 1986, this European-style bread bakery has been transforming flour into magic.

Chocolate

 Traditional baking methods and sourdough leavening give their breads artisan quality.  Owner Richard Bourdon was originally a musician – but was called to baking on a whim, while studying music. He spent many years baking in a variety of European locations, learning his craft, before settling in Western MA – and growing his business from a one-man operation, to one with over a dozen employees, baking oodles of bread. Learn more about the bakery and their baking methods at the Berkshire Mountain Bakery website.

There’s more than bread to be discovered – they also produce cookies, and take-n-bakepizzas, as well as pre-baked crusts that you can use to make your own pizzas. Preview their tasty products here. Offerings include  savory Cheese and Herb, spicy Jalapeno & Cheese Ciabatta, surprising Cherry Pecan…and so many more.

The Housatonic, MA, bakery is open year-round, Monday through Saturday 8am to 7pm and Sundays from 8:30a.m. to 6p.m. Take a peek at this article from Saveur Magazine, December 2012 where they declare Berkshire Mountain’s loaves to be far more than merely delicious.

Stock up on delicious loaves...then come cozy up by the fire here at Hampton Terrace while you enjoy them...

Photo from the Berkshire Mountain Bakery website...

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Berkshires Specialties: Barrington Coffee Company

  
  
  

The Berkshires aren’t a place to come for a cookie cutter vacation experience. We are rich with unique natural environs, and many, many, unique, local businesses. Specialty shops abound – one of these, is Barrington Coffee Company, an artisan coffee roaster that calls Lee, MA, home.

Over the past 25 years, and with the rise of Starbucks as a national phenomenon, Americans have become much more aware of the world of coffee, not just the grounds to be found in an airtight can. Just as Starbucks rose to become an international phenomenon, smaller, local roasters have emerged as connoisseurs and educators, keepers of the artisan coffee flame.

Barrington Coffee Company, are indeed, bean connoisseurs. Since 1993 they have been roasting internationally-sourced beans to perfection. They hold cuppings at their roastery inIMG 5043 575x700 Lee, MA (they also have a café in Boston) and you can purchase product to take home in the roastery store. Essentially, it’s a culinary souvenir that you can share with friends and family back home.

The Berkshire Blend is a great one to start with – in their words, it is:

“Bold and luxurious, this coffee combines the dense body that is found in the finest Indonesian coffees with the up front liveliness of coffees from the Americas. It yields a uniquely complex cup with hints of fruit and a sweet chocolatey smooth finish.”

When the descriptions start to sound like the fruits of a wine-tasting, you know you’ve met real coffee people. Indeed, coffee tasting is a similar type of experience. A treat for those who are already coffee lovers, but surprising and fun as well, for those new to the discovery of fresh, artisan roasted coffee.

Savor the flavors of the Berkshires!

 

Photo via the Berkshire Coffee Company website.

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Berkshire Museum Festival of Trees 2013

  
  
  

Berkshire Museum’s Festival of Trees may be an annual event, but it’s never exactly the same. This year’s theme is “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.” Trees are decorated by local businesses and organizations and come together at the Berkshire Museum to create a magical forest of beautiful trees to celebrate the season. This year’s fest runs from November 23 to January 2, with a glittering, festive holiday party on November 22 – aberkshirefestoftreespic beautiful kickoff to the holiday season in the Berkshires.

The Museum celebrates its 110th anniversary this year: 110 years of collective experiences, interactive exhibits, creativity, art, history and natural science. It is not specifically an art museum, or a natural history museum, but rather an intentional mix of the two – from its inception. Zenus Crane, the third-generation of the Crane & Company paper company, cultivated the museum’s first collections, beginning in 1903. Collected pieces are diverse, and range from Egyptian mummies, to modern American artists. Recent acquisitions include many pieces by artists with special connections to the Berkshires.

The Museum is also home to the Little Cinema, a cozy, independent film theater that showcases the latest in independent cinema from all over the world.

It is these collections, and this mission that the Festival of Trees supports. Tickets to the party and the festival, are available online at the event website. It’s not too early to be thinking about the nearing holiday seasons – the events you don’t want to miss – and the rooms you may want to book in advance, to assure you of their availability.

 

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Taste The Berkshires: Fall Activities and Flavors

  
  
  

Nobody does Fall like New England does Fall. Fall is a time of year to celebrate so many things: The harvest. The end of summer. The coming of winter. It’s also time to pull out favorite scarves and sweaters, and woolly socks.

Visiting the Berkshires at this time of year – you get to experience the things that Fall brings. Carve locally grown pumpkins. Get lost in a corn maze. Pick an apple and eat it straight from the tree. Browse arts and crafts at fall festivals. Picnic in the crisp Fall air.

Many area farms welcome you to share in the Fall experience:

Ioka Valley Farm offers corn mazes, hayrides, pumpkin racing and more, until October 27. For the uninitiated, corn mazes are exactly what they sound like – corn fields are honed intoCricket Creek Farm, Hampton Terrace Bed & Breakfast mazes higher than the human head, and your task is to find your way back out again. And pumpkin racing – where you decorate a pumpkin, put it in a race car, and race it around the pumpkin racing track, of course.

Pick your own temptation, straight from the tree – at Richmond’s Bartlett Orchards. Apple-picking is in the air, and there’s no fresher apple than the one you picked yourself. New England boasts a wide variety of apple types, and Barlett Orchards features a robust collection: McIntosh, Cortland, Gala, Macoun, Empire, Liberty, Mutsu, Red Delicious, Ida Red, Jonagold. The most current information available about activities, events and available fruit varieties at the orchard can be found at their Facebook page. Also: CIDER DONUTS. Do not miss the cider donuts.

Cricket Creek Farm actually offers something a little different from the typical Fall farm offerings – but fruit and cheese make a delicious pairing. This grass-based dairy farm features rich meats and cheeses in their farm store, both products produced on-site and some from other local farms, too. They stock their shop with the traveling shopper in mind – they sell insulated totes to keep your treats fresh on the road. 

When you bring your delicious discoveries back to Hampton Terrace, make yourself at home in the common areas of the inn as you savor the flavors of the Berkshires – our home is your home.

Moo! Photo from the Cricket Creek Farm website...

 

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