From Town & Country
Sweater weather is here, and it’s the perfect time to hit the road and take in the beauty of the autumn season. Nowhere is the foliage more spectacular than the Northeast. Whether you’re taking in the crisp fall air overlooking the Hudson River, hiking the majestic Berkshires Hills, or strolling the picturesque New England towns of Litchfield County, these three itineraries will send you on your way to the perfect long weekend.
Hudson, New York
Located two hours north of New York City on the Hudson River, Hudson is a one-of-a-kind city known for its galleries, shops, and restaurants, as well as street after street of architectural gems. As a center of creativity with a vibrant community of artists, Hudson is the perfect place for a weekend of discovery and inspiration.
Where to Stay
The Maker Hotel: A new hotel from Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg, the co-founders of beauty brand Fresh, The Maker is an intimate 11-room property housed in three historical buildings in the heart of Hudson. Glazman and Roytberg have curated an antique-filled sanctuary with a bohemian sensibility fusing design from 19th-century Industrial, La Belle Époque, Art Deco, and Mid-Century periods. Each room is named after a creative archetype (The Architect, The Writer, The Gardener) and no two are the same. Expect a highly personal style of luxury and comfort and surprising touches like a Fragrance Library where guests can sample Glazman’s personal collection of scents collected from around the world, and complimentary full-size Fresh products in each room. Rooms starting at $350.
What to Eat
The Maker Hotel’s cafe is open for breakfast and lunch offering fresh pastries, viennoiseries, soups and salads in a room right out of Austria. The Restaurant is a grand glass-ceilinged conservatory serving seasonal, contemporary, and delightfully light American fare.
Backbar, renowned chef Zac Pelaccio’s (Fatty Crab, Fish & Game) outdoor restaurant, offers a pan-Asian menu with an emphasis on dishes from Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Must haves include the Black Pepper Wings, the Dan Dan Noodles, and Sweet Potato Curry. Grab a beer, sit under one of the many covered tables, and you will feel transported to a sidewalk restaurant in Bangkok.
Kitty’s, a cheerful new cafe from chef and food stylist Lauren Schaefer, serves excellent egg sandwiches, outrageous rotisserie chicken, and sweet treats such as Sticky Ginger Tea Cake and Chocolate Chip Buckwheat Cookies. A perfect spot for breakfast, lunch, or an afternoon macchiato pick-me-up.
What to Do
Just 15 mins north of Hudson and situated on 300 acres in the town of Ghent, Art Omi is a sculpture and architecture park offering visitors the opportunity to experience a range of large-scale works in a singular outdoor environment. The fall foliage acts as a perfect backdrop for works from notable artists and architects such as Tony Cragg, Nari Ward, and Steven Holl.
Without a doubt one of the most beautiful buildings in America, Olana was the home of renowned Hudson River School painter Frederick Church. The villa, situated on top of a hill overlooking a wide swath of the river, is a unique blend of Victorian and Middle Eastern architectural motifs. The interiors of the main house look as they did in the 1890s with rooms filled with bronzes, paintings, sculptures and antique and artistic specimens collected by Church from all over the world. The 250-acre naturalistic landscape is considered one of the artist’s greatest works of art, and it exists today as one of the most intact artist-designed landscapes in the United States.
A relatively easy hike to High Falls is the perfect way to experience the autumn splendor. In addition to the fiery foliage, you will be rewarded with views of two waterfalls and glimpses of the area’s many native birds.
Where to Shop
The eight block stretch of Warren Street is the heart of Hudson and home to antique dealers, galleries, shops, and restaurants. Standouts include Finch, an expertly curated collection of vintage and contemporary items for the home; Artsee, a chic optical boutique/art gallery carrying frames from international eyewear designers; Kasuri, an emporium for avant-garde fashion brands like Yohji Yamamoto, Comme des Garcons, and Rick Owens, and Talbott and Arding, purveyors of fine cheeses, charcuterie and other larder must-haves
Long known for its cultural offerings, The Berkshires—the Massachusetts county that stretches from Williamstown in the north and Great Barrington in the south—shines brightest in the fall when its eponymous hills are ablaze with autumn color. Situated in between Boston and New York City, the Berkshires offers scenic landscapes, pastoral hikes, and an abundance of culture and art.
Where to Stay
The Inn at Kenmore Hall is a stunning country inn in Richmond, Mass., situated on 20 acres of woodlands, orchards, and gardens, with spectacular views of the rolling, green Berkshire Hills. Owned and operated by J.Crew’s former head of menswear, Frank Muytjens, and artist/entrepreneur, Scott Edward Cole, the 1792 building has been transformed into a luxurious and stylish oasis with wood burning fireplaces in each room and decoration that artfully blends modernity and antiquity. And in true bed and breakfast style, guests wake up to a scrumptious morning meal in a candlelit dining room with a roaring fire burning. Rooms starting at $450.
A stay at the Granville House, an intimate five-room inn within a historic 1825 house in Great Barrington, Mass., is like visiting your coolest friend’s country home. The innkeepers, Terry and Terri Coughlin, alumni of Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, have created a deeply personal space with an eclectic mix of period antiques, mid-century modern furnishings, inspiring artwork, and thoughtful personal touches. Guests are treated to a relaxed kind of luxury including a jukebox and pool table in the parlor and rocking chairs on the large wraparound porch. And true to the inn’s commitment to being a good neighbor, Granville House is reinvesting a portion of proceeds to various organizations that support the special needs community in the Berkshire region. Rooms start at $200.
What to Eat
Michelin-starred chef Daniel Boulud has brought Café Boulud, his beloved Upper East Side institution, to Blantyre in Lenox, Mass. As one of the original 12 Gilded Age mansions in the Berkshires, this Relais and Châteaux property makes the perfect backdrop for the menu of autumnal French-inspired classics with a seasonal focus on ingredients from local farms, vegetable-driven creations, and Asian and Middle Eastern flavors.
Mark Firth left Brooklyn, where he owned the legendary Diner and Marlow & Sons, for Great Barrington, Mass. to open The Prairie Whale, an excellent farm to table restaurant that takes full advantage of the region’s farmers, cheesemakers, and foragers. The extra crunchy fried chicken and the impossibly fluffy pancakes are both best in class. As are the Bloody Marys.
The charming tapas bar Brava in Lenox offers a comprehensive menu of Spanish small plate classics such as Shrimp in Garlic Sauce, Patatas Bravas, and Grilled Lamb Chops in addition to excellent salads and hand-made pizzas. Proprietor and world-class oenophile, Whitney Asher, will happily guide you through the award-winning wine list of over 100 wines, 40 of which are available by the glass.
Located on Main Street in storybook Stockbridge, Mass., The Red Lion Inn has been welcoming guests since 1773. The iconic historic inn is quintessential New England and having a cocktail or a mug of hot cider on its front porch is an absolute must after a day of leaf peeping.
What to Do
The Clark, a well-respected museum set on 140 acres of beautiful landscape, is home to an extraordinary collection of European and American paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, photographs, and decorative arts from the Renaissance to the early 20th century with particular depth in the works of American masters Winslow Homer, George Inness, and John Singer Sargent. In addition to the classical white marble main building from 1955, the campus includes a stunning addition with a reflecting pool from Japanese architect Tadao Ando. Ground/work, the museum’s first outdoor exhibition of site-specific installations, is free to the public, and not to be missed.
Hancock Shaker Village is a must-visit destination of 750 acres, 20 historic Shaker buildings, and over 22,000 Shaker artifacts that demonstrate the history, industry, life, and traditions of the Shakers and their achievements and contributions to the American way of life and design history. Standouts include the magnificent 1826 Round Stone Barn and the 1830 Brick Dwelling.
Edith Wharton’s legendary home, The Mount, is a master class in classical architecture, landscape design, and interior decoration. A tour of the house, gardens, and fifty acre grounds will give visitors a taste of Gilded Age life and also a dramatic view of the Berkshire foliage fireworks.
Where to Shop
Charles H. Baldwin & Sons, a 133-year old family business, is known for its famous Madagascar Vanilla extract. The historic shop in the charming village of West Stockbridge, Mass., is stocked with other signature items such as their Maple Table Syrup, Bloody Mary Mix, and Worcestershire Sauce, as well as specialty baking items.
McKimmie Co., a home & lifestyle shop in Lenox, Mass. specializing in imported textiles, apparel, and unique home accessories. The colorful and cozy selection of throws and blankets from Scotland, England, and Ireland are perfect for fireside lounging this fall.
Matt Rubiner is a cheesemonger extraordinaire and his Great Barrington shop, Rubiner’s, is beloved by major foodies such as Town & Country contributing editor Ruth Reichl, for its encyclopedic selection of cheeses, charcuterie, and specialty food items from around the world. The shop also features an equally well-rounded offering of natural wines and artisanal beers making it the perfect spot to go if you are looking for a picnic to bring on a hike or a tasty souvenir to take home.
Twigs, a boutique with locations in Lenox and Great Barrington, perfectly captures the laid back vibe of the Berkshires. From flowy Ulla Johnson dresses to the chic classic basics from Nili Lotan, Twigs is a one-stop shop for all your fall weekend wardrobe essentials.
Litchfield County, Connecticut
A favorite of New York’s fashion, media, and finance cognoscenti who prefer low-key quiet chic, Litchfield County in northwest Connecticut is a perfect weekend getaway. With its pristinely preserved colonial towns, majestic landscape, and wide offering of stylish shops and restaurants, this region provides the perfect autumn respite.
Where to Stay
The venerable Mayflower Inn & Spa set on 58 bucolic acres in Washington, Conn., and now part of the Auberge Resort Collection, has been beautifully transformed by New York designer Celerie Kemble. Known for her sense of whimsy and artful mix, Kemble has redesigned all the rooms and suites and the entirety of the inn’s historic main house, including The Garden Room, Mayflower’s new fine dining restaurant. The 20,000 square foot spa is a sanctuary in the woods offering treatments like Reiki and sound therapy in addition to the traditional massages and facials. And the inn’s calendar of activities which include cocktail-making classes and outdoor yoga in the Shakespeare Garden, will make it hard for guests to want to venture off the property.
What to Eat
April Bloomfield is in residence for the fall season at The Garden Room at Mayflower Inn & Spa. Bloomfield’s four-course tasting menu celebrates elegant rusticity, featuring the finest ingredients from local Connecticut farms prepared with an English sensibility. Highlights include her signature steak tartare, a perfectly spiced cauliflower Tikka Masala, a succulent grilled heritage pork loin, and the British favorite, sticky toffee pudding.
Arethusa al tavalo, a fine American dining restaurant in Bantam, Conn., is part of the Arethusa dairy and farm mini-empire founded by George Malkemus, former president of Manolo Blahnik U.S., and Sarah Jessica Parker’s partner in her eponymous shoe brand. While the menu can change daily, you can expect the offerings to highlight the farm’s award-winning dairy products and the bounty of the region’s many farms. Save room for dessert because the homemade ice creams, especially the almond and toasted coconut, are out of this world.
Led by acclaimed British chef Annie Wayte, The Tap Room at The White Hart Inn in Salisbury, Conn., offers a menu of comfort food that leans on Wayte’s informal style and dedication to ingredient-driven cuisine. Must haves include the addictive potato chips with sour cream and sea trout Roe, the velvety roasted carrot hummus, the juicy Whippoorwill Burger with Grafton cheddar, and a local cheese plate.
What to Do
With 238 acres of unspoiled natural beauty consisting of farmland, wetlands, meadows, woodlands, and rocky ridges, Macricostas Preserve in New Preston, Conn., is one of the area’s most majestic natural refuges. For those looking for a gentler hike, there are paths through wildflower fields and a hayfield right out of a Wyeth painting. More ambitious trekkers willing to climb up the 1,250 foot elevation to Waramaug’s Rock will be rewarded with a spectacular overlook providing panoramic views of Lake Waramaug and the surrounding countryside.
The picture-perfect small town of Kent, Conn. is the art center of Litchfield County with a dozen plus galleries to peruse. Notable venues include Kenise Barnes Fine Art, which will be showing a new group of paintings by Brooklyn artist Mary Judge, and Craven Contemporary, which focuses on cutting-edge photography and also features painting and sculpture by artists such as Mickalene Thomas, Jonas Wood, and Alex Katz.
A favorite of in-the-know locals like Alexi and Seth Meyers, Averill Farm—a tenth generation family farm in Washington Depot, Conn.—is the perfect place to partake in good old fashioned autumn fun. You can pick apples and pears in their 260-acre orchard or sample one of their many ciders and fresh baked pies. And while chef Cassandra Purdy and her team at Pizza for the People aren’t serving their famous wood-fired pizzas onsite this year, you can grab a frozen one for the road.
Where to Shop
Guy Wolff’s hand-thrown clay flower pots are beloved by famous gardeners like Martha Stewart and Oprah Winfrey. His cozy Guy Wolff Pottery shop in Bantam, Conn. is a two-room farmhouse from 1761 and includes a workshop in the back where you can watch him throwing pots all day.
Housed in a handsome red-brick building in the center of Washington Depot, the Hickory Stick Bookshop has been a fixture in the community for over 60 years. The staff has over a century of experience collectively and can help you explore the titles, many from local authors, in this charming space that reminds you why you love a local book store.
Former New York fashion executive Martha Fish opened Milton Market in Litchfield as an “everyday luxury general store.” Housed in a dramatic space that was a former blacksmith, her stylishly curated assortment includes beautiful hand-blown glassware, luxurious blankets from Swans Island in Maine, and work from many local craftsmen and artisans.
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