My husband and I stayed at The Pitcher Inn in Vermont for a long weekend and marveled at the great attention to detail in its architecture, service and hospitality. Dining at the inn doesn’t get any better than this. It is tranquil and the organic menu, along with perfection when it comes to service, was more than we were expecting.
This Relais & Chateux property is one of Vermont’s finest and it’s nestled right into the quaint town of Warren where skiing is at its best. You will not be let down here; rather you’ll be lifted by the whimsical themes throughout the inn and the character that emulates the state’s origin.
The room that we called home during our stay was The Ski Room, a spacious, comfortable and innovative setting with actual memorabilia from Mad River Glen in the 1960s. Upon entering the room, guests are greeted with a large mural with skiers on the mountain leading into a cozy sitting area with a large stone hearth and Ralph Lauren-style decor. The floorboards are made of wide-plank reclaimed wood. The king size bed is unusual with three toboggans overhead, acting as its headboard.
There are ski poles and skis from the 1960s. An actual ticket booth and picnic table are inside the room itself. On the walls are many black and white photographs of skiers enjoying the glory days at the glen. To book a room: The Rooms at The Inn, 275 Main Street Warren VT 05674, Tel: (802) 496-6350 or toll free (888) 867-4824.
The Mountain Room, which is on the third floor, is very spacious. There is a large stone hearth and a diorama of summertime in Vermont … vibrant mountain views and plenty of wild flowers, along with an eclectic collection of vintage hiking tools mounted on the wall. The slate bathroom is inviting due to its size and earthy feel.
The Colonial Room is very quaint and classic, but chic at the same time. The Toille d’ Joi theme is blue and white with matching drapes, furniture, and a king bed. There are beautiful oil portraits, and overall, the feel is a little more serious for a more sophisticated palate.
The Calvin Coolidge Room (so named because he was born in Vermont) offers a more serious atmosphere, with his portrait on the wall next to the king-size bed as you walk in. This room is one of the few that boasts a porch overlooking the Warren Store. The bathroom is impeccable, and the room itself is very stately.
I wish that I’d had a chance to see The Mallard and Hayloft rooms, but they’ll have to wait till our next trip. Supposedly, Mallard is fantastic, and Hayloft is the suite in the barn just outside the inn that holds two families. It is designed in a thoroughbred motif with saddles and bridles.
The School House Room was adorable, designed just like an old-fashioned schoolhouse from the turn of the century.
We later enjoyed teatime in the Robert Frost Library. We loved the delicious tea sandwiches and assortment of cookies. We later decided to cool off in the river on that hot July day for a refreshing swim. This is where we met up with our daughter who was just finishing up a theater camp at The Skinner Barn in Waitsfield, a restored dairy barn built in 1891 that is used for educational classes, cultural events, parties and receptions. Tel: (802) 496-4422, TheSkinnerBarn.com.
Dining at The Pitcher InnM
Dining at the inn was delightful, and everything was cooked to perfection. All of the ingredients that chef Sue Schickter uses are organic and purchased at local farms. We enjoyed the candlelit table setting, the antiques and multiple fireplaces in the room. The fine red wine from the extensive wine cellar was very impressive, and the service was impeccable. The company of my sister Georgette and her husband Cam made it that much more enjoyable. I ordered the lobster ravioli with a chanterelle lobster sauce. Tom ordered the wild striped bass with crushed fingerling potatoes, grilled leeks, and lemon brown butter. We shared dessert: homemade vanilla bean ice cream and apple strudel.
The restaurant was full, and everyone seemed to be having a wonderful time. I thought what a perfect place it would be for a fall wedding, and in fact I later found out that they have them often, with tents set up in the tree-lined parking lot, and that they are quite lavish! I can just see the horse and carriage returning from the church up the road … the autumn leaves, and oh, the photographs! The inn will hold up to 120 guests for a wedding and winter weddings are also very popular.
Tom and I later retired to Tracks, the lounge downstairs, and tried our hand at the shuffleboard table. There’s also a billiards table. We had so much fun sipping cognac and taking in the surroundings. The atmosphere is exotic with photographs of mountain lions and other wild animals including taxidermy on the walls. There’s also a gigantic mural of Sugarbush Mountain and its ski trails. The rush of the river sweeping over the falls outside added to the ambience.
Breakfast at The Pitcher Inn
Waking to the aroma of fresh coffee each morning, and being attended to by cheerful staff members, only enhanced my experience. The breakfast menu was so inviting (and included in the cost of the room) and the service was amazing; the fresh-squeezed orange juice and coffee was poured every few minutes. It was such a nice quiet atmosphere, and the food irresistible. The Eggs Benedict was perfect. They also offer homemade granola with Greek yogurt and banana-chocolate-chip pancakes.
Spa, Fitness and the Warren Store
You can work out each day at The Shark at Sugarbush; just ask one of the knowledgeable women at the inn’s front desk for a pass. I loved the gym there. They had plenty to offer – tennis, weight room, pool and sauna.
Then we made our way over to the Warren Store across the street, where everything can be charged to your room. They carry all the necessities and much more. You can’t come home without bringing gifts to loved ones … especially Vermont maple syrup! On the second floor, you’ll discover that you can also buy jewelry, hand-knit sweaters, clothing, hats, and much more.
Later that day we visited the farmers’ market. That was very educational. After speaking to a woman for an hour about her business, Tom tried to convince me that we were going to be raising lamb. I tried to explain to him that I have spent my entire life rescuing animals, and I am not going to start farming them! My daughter spent a good amount of time learning about the different grades of maple syrup. She shared with us that Fancy is the best and Grade B is the least desirable.
Flatbreads and Youth Hostel
We dined at Flatbreads just down the road. It is a coal-fired pizza restaurant that was so jam-packed and fun that both the kids and the adults equally enjoyed themselves. The nice part about returning to the inn was being greeted by Ari, who is always so friendly and positive, and finding the chocolate truffles in a dish next to the bed.
After a fantastic night’s rest we woke up to a phone call to meet my sister and daughter at a local swimming hole and then have a fabulous breakfast at the Youth Hostel, again just “down the road.” Who wouldn’t love bread pudding French toast? The owner, Sarah Wright, is very nice and gave my daughter and me a tour of her place. It was quaint and creatively decorated and the price of the rooms was very reasonable. Hostel Tevere, Tel: (802) 496-9222,.
Baci Art Gallery and Studio
Baci Art Gallery and Studio is located next to the Pitcher Inn at 247 Main Street. It has colorful animal paintings and custom portraits and children’s art classes. The website is GeorgettePaintings.com and happens to be run by my sister and fellow Johnny Jet writer Georgette! Her husband, Cam is also involved and has some amazing Santa Fe-style tables that he builds and hand sands to a smooth finish. They are open Thursday through Saturday and by appointment.
The Pitcher Inn is a perfect romantic getaway and I have never heard my husband rave about a restaurant’s food like this before! We both travel extensively and fell in love with the inn. I look forward to returning in six months during the winter months, skiing Sugarbush Mountain and returning in the evening to have a fabulous dinner await us and later have a crackling fire in our own room. This can be your special romantic adventure as well.
See you next time!
Carol Calicchio has been traveling for over 25 years and has a background in photography. Her passions are her family and traveling. She is a mother of two and has been married to Tom Calicchio for 17 years. Carol graduated from the New York School of Interior Design. She is an Allied member of the American Society of Interior Design (ASID) and is a board member at the Delray Beach Sandoway House. Carol loves to read and enjoys many outdoor sports including tennis, golf, skiing and horseback riding. Carol loves animals and has been an active member of the Humane Society. In the past, she has also helped find homes for many homeless animals on her Adopt-A-Pet TV segment.
Note: This trip was sponsored in part by The Pitcher Inn.
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