The Berkshires is a region that experiences four distinct seasons. Each of those seasons offers sensory treasures to travelers.
New England fall is, of course, the stuff of legends, and here in the Berkshires, the mountains that make us great are lit afire with the vivid palette of fall leaf colors. There’s also plenty of time for hiking before the frostiness of winter sets in, and the weather is perfect for strolling, shopping, and more.
Winter offers its own gifts. Downhill and cross-country skiing, tubing, and other outdoor winter sports will keep you busy, and world-class restaurants will warm your belly. Museums, galleries and shops feed your soul when you aren’t on the slopes.
In the spring, the trees awaken from slumber and the hills come alive once again. The strong farm-to-table cuisine scene readies to serve you the freshest food available, while farmers are busy planting the local food that will delight you come summertime.
Ah yes, summertime.
Here are a few recommendations for feeding your senses as we enter this second half of the summer:
Tanglewood. Tanglewood is a legendary destination for so many reasons. Located right here in Lenox MA, for 75 years Tanglewood has attracted world-class talent, presenting world-class music throughout the summer. Tickets to excellent shows are still available through the
summer, but seats do fill, so it’s best to get your tickets in advance – and arrive early! Musical styles are diverse – Tanglewood is not just about classical music anymore. Harry Connick Jr. is among the upcoming acts that will take the Tanglewood stage later this season. This is a quintessential Berkshires experience that you should not miss.
Farmers’ Markets. Browse any of the several local markets for a taste of summer, straight from the tree, the vine, or the earth. Lenox’s Farmers’ Market is just a short walk from Hampton Terrace.
Dinner On The Patio. Outdoor dining – it’s what to do in the summertime. Café Lucia, here in Lenox, has a lovely outdoor garden for your fine dining enjoyment, and they intergrate local organic produce into their menu. Alta Wine Bar is another great place to enjoy the summer air and a delicious wine, while you dine. Check out their excellent reviews on Trip Advisor.
Trails and Views. Don’t leave the Berkshires without seeking out a spectacular view and soaking it in. Berkshires.org provides some suggested hikes of varying levels. Descriptions of these hikes also include suggestions as to which ones include a great view.
It’s not too late to book your late summer accommodations. Call or email us anytime with questions. We are happy to provide a personal rate quote guaranteed for 30 days.
Photo above, courtesy of the Cafe Lucia website.
Our friends at Tanglewood sure do know how to plan a party. They recently announced the lineup for Labor Day weekend and it looks like it’s going to be a great weekend. On Saturday, there are two great shows: jazz and classical composer and improviser Donal Fox at 1 p.m. and piano-man Harry Connick, Jr. at 7 p.m. Then, on Sunday, the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra will close out the season at 2:30 p.m.
Tickets are available for both concerts individually. You may also purchase an all-day lawn pass for $40, which is good for admission to the lawn for both performances. Lawn pass holders will be permitted to remain on the grounds between the shows.
We’re going to up the ante by offering an either/or special: book a three-night stay and receive a 20 percent discount. If you prefer a shorter stay, we’ll waive the traditional three-night holiday minimum and reserve a two-night weekend stay as long as your stay includes Saturday night.
Donal Fox performs his Scarlatti Jazz Suite Project at Ozawa Hall on August 31. Mr. Fox creates music that bends the boundaries of genre, fusing jazz, classical, Latin and original music in ways that, according to Downbeat Magazine confound “the genre police.” He takes the stage at 1 p.m. on Saturday, August 31.
Fox was the first African-American composer-in-residence with the St. Louis Symphony. In 2008, he was awarded the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters Academy Award in Music. The annual prize is awarded to composers of "exceptional accomplishment" and "outstanding artistic achievement." From 2009-2011, Fox was Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Multi-award winning performer, composer, and philanthropist Harry Connick Jr. plays the Shed at Tanglewood at 7 p.m. on August 31 (talk about a day packed with amazing music). Connick and his band will play this performance in support of his current album Every Man Should Know, an album that explores life and love. Exclusive VIP meet-and-greet packages are available for this performance. The VIP package includes a post-concert reception and the opportunity to meet Harry Connick Jr.
For tickets to these special performances, and for more information about the VIP reception package for the Harry Connick Jr. show, call SymphonyCharge at 617-266-1200 or 888-266-1200 (Mon-Fri, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sat 12 noon to 6 p.m.) or visit www.tanglewood.org for tickets.
They’ve got the music and we’ve got your rooms – ready upon arrival – for your Labor Day Weekend vacation.
*Photo via the Tanglewood website.
Tanglewood continues to expand its brand with another pop show in its roster. August 19th at 7pm, Josh Ritter, and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals come to the Koussevitzky Music Shed at Tanglewood’s storied Lenox campus.
The show opens with Josh Ritter, singer, songwriter, guitarist, and author. Ritter is in the midst of a bit of a musical rebirth. Historically he has written his work on the guitar, but his more recent works move beyond the guitar and result in a complex collection of songs featuring a rainbow of instruments – piano, horns and strings, conspiring to tell an indelicate story. As the musician himself says (via the Tanglewood website):
"The air of gravitas around me was getting oppressive. For some reason it seemed like there was a premium being placed on earnestness and that can be pretty stifling. There was a lot of talk about true love and righteous indignation. I wanted to write about gunslingers and missile silos."
This should prove an intriguing opening to a night that is guaranteed to rock. If you’ve seen a Grace Potter and the Nocturnals live show, you know the electricity they generate – and that Grace Potter herself is an iconic stage presence. If you have not – prepare yourself for an evening of driving American rock, with just a little pop softness mixed in, and hooks that give you no choice but to come along for the ride.
Their current album, in archetypical fashion, was the result of a soul-searching road trip. Touring hadn’t really allowed Potter to experience the landscape. This trip allowed her to take it all in – and translate it into a full album, with a story to tell.
Tickets for their August 19th performance are $23.50 to $52.50, and are available online at the Tanglewood website.
As always if you are planning to make it to this great show – plan ahead to make sure you get the best accommodations. Summer is very busy in the Berkshires and extremely busy at Hampton Terrace. We are just a 3 minute drive, or a short walk from the venue – and a great place to fall into some sweet rock and roll dreams after the show.
A sweet selection of the pop-world’s tastiest offerings are included in this year’s Tanglewood lineup: Barenaked Ladies, the Ben Folds Five and Guster.
Barenaked Ladies, a legendary Canadian export, are touring in support of their most recent (and 11th) album “All In Good Time”. They have recently shrunk, from a quintet to a quartet, and return to their roots on this album with the same producer who produced their first album – Michael Philip Wojewoda. The material on the new album grew out of a difficult year for their lead singer, Ed Robertson. An arrest, a plane crash, the death of a parent. Weaving pop music from the threads in these dark corners of life was a welcome challenge for Robinson.
The “Ladies” are joined on this tour by the Ben Folds Five, a band followed by fans who border on obsessed even 10 years since they broke up. It’s easy to see why – their musicality, lyrics, quirk and piano-driven song-craft are inventive, catchy, and honest. They have reconvened on this album with the hope that fans can listen like they are hearing them for the first time. More likely, fans will come to it ready to love them all over again. Even listeners who may not be naturally inclined to love pop music will appreciate their clever musicality.
Rounding out this pop-triumvirate: Guster. Another band with a loyal following, pop cred, thoughtful song-smithing and wide appeal.
This stop of the Last Summer On Earth Tour includes a downloadable copy of the new Barenaked Ladies album with each ticket purchased. Tickets are $27.50-$79.50 through the BSO website. This should be a great show for a summer evening.
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.
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.
Yo-Yo Ma is not only a world-class musician and probably the most recognizable classical musician of his generation, but he also calls the Berkshires home. It’s not surprise then, that we caught this piece from him in the New York Times.
Interestingly and inspiringly, he claims that his love of Tanglewood and the Berkshires was ignited by a summer he spent here teaching and coaching young musicians. He also extols the virtues of the overall Tanglewood experience, the synergy of music and nature in this beautiful setting.
He also name drops some of his favorite Berkshires locations, including our neighbor, Venfort Hall, and reminds readers that the Berkshires aren’t all about summer, there are things to do here in the winter as well (has he been reading our blog?!).
We also found this handy piece in Vanity Fair, also featuring Yo-Yo and his comments on the Berkshires where “there are more trees than people”. We agree with him, this is a great place to relax!
The Tanglewood 75th anniversary concert on Saturday, 7/14, featuring Yo-Yo Ma, John Williams and other notables (many with homes in the Berkshires), was filmed for CBS' Great Performances, will be aired August 10 – don’t miss it. That show will include a 12-minute video on the history of Tanglewood. It will give you a change to see what the experience of Tanglewood is like for those of you who have never been (without actually having to come and see it…though clearly, we think you should come see it).
These neighborhood notables could choose to live anywhere in the world, but they choose to live here in our Berkshires back yard because of the natural beauty and the cultural synergy. This is a spot on Earth that you need to see in your lifetime. Come stay with us here at Hampton Terrace to experience the magic.
A very cool deal at the Clark Museum for Tanglewood fans – they offer a Tanglewood ticket package.
When you purchase this special package, you get two admissions to the Clark Museum, and two Tanglewood lawn tickets. There are some restrictions as to which Tanglewood shows are eligible for this offer, but they are specified on the website so you can plan ahead.
The Clark is offering fascinating exhibits this summer about Northern China. Unearthed, Recent Archaeological Discoveries from Northern China, runs from now until October 21, Through Shen-kan: Sterling Clark in China runs from now until September 16, and Then and Now: Photographs of Northern China runs from now until September 16.
Unearthed includes many artifacts never allowed outside of China previously, on loan from a variety of Chinese agencies who are generously sharing these precious artifacts with the Clark.
Sterling Clark was, among other things, a founder of the museum (in order to house his extensive art collection) and the Through Shen-kan exhibit chronicles his scientific expedition to Northern China in 1908 and 1909.
Then And Now compares and contrasts the photographs from Sterling Clark’s 1908 trip with modern photographs from 100 years later, captured by Chinese photographer Li Ju.
In addition to these special exhibits, of course, there are also the museum’s permanent collections…what a great way to enjoy two of the Berkshires’ cultural gems.
Susan and I went to see James Taylor at Tanglewood last night. We’ve seen JT at least 15 times and this was the best performance we’ve ever seen for a lot of reasons.
First, he had an all-star band backing him up (picrure 1 below). There were huge names all over the stage.
Second, he seemed more animated than usual. He always puts on a great show, but this felt special. You could tell. Is it that this is Tanglewood’s 75th anniversary season? I don’t know but there was something exciting in the air last night.
And, the fact that Taylor Swift just dropped in out of nowhere as a guest, indicated to us that this was being filmed. It was pretty obvious that people were going to see this again.
James Taylor has a special connection to Tanglewood. Not only does he live right here in Lenox, but his wife Kim was the marketing director at Tanglewood for years.
Speaking of Kim, she joined him on stage last night for a song, as did his twin sons, Rufus and Henry (picture 4 below).
Between the regular show and the encores, he invited everyone to come on down. Susan and I worked our way down and ended up about six feet from the stage (picture 3 below). Check out the Berkshire Eagle review of the show for more info and some additional pictures.
JT is also performing tonight and tomorrow night. It's beautiful weather for a show on the lawn (picture 2 below). They haven’t announced the special guest but we’re sure it’s going to be special.
Summer isn’t just about the weekends, it’s three months of beautiful days for getaways. We have mid-week specials to make your weekdays: Special.
But let’s come back to those details and talk about what’s here during the week. All of the great restaurants and cultural attractions that make the Berkshires famous for weekend getaways are still here during the week. Even Tanglewood, our fabled summer festival has mid-week offerings.
Thursday, June 28th at 8pm, for example, you can experience the Mark Morris Dance Group. The legendary dancer/choreographer’s troupe will perform at Ozawa Hall, right here in Lenox. You can purchase your tickets ahead, online.
You can also check availability here at Hampton Terrace online. For multiple-night stays Sunday through Thursday, all rooms in the mansion or the Wynnstay Cottage are $199/night and King Suites are $275/night. If you have any questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.