As we (im)patiently wait for snowflakes to fall, we’ve started dreaming about what we will do this winter. Skiing, ice skating and hot cocoa sipping, of course, but we’re also adding a sleigh ride to the list—there’s no better place to sing, “Jingle Bells”—after writing about the Mountain Top Inn & Resort in Chittenden, Vermont.
Photos courtesy of Mountain Top Inn and Resort
The Nordic Ski & Snowshoe Center, located in a renovated horse stable, offers horse drawn sleigh rides from 9:00AM to 5:00PM on Wednesdays through Sundays. If, however, you want to walk (not ride) in a winter wonderland, you can also try your hand at cross-country skiing. The center provides about 38 miles of trails.
What’s better than strolling along scenic trails while taking in the sights and sounds of central Virginia’s James River and Blackwater Creek Natural Area? Doing all of the above in the company of a curious canine, that’s what! At Craddock Terry Hotel in historic Lynchburg, Virginia, guests can sign up to take the hotel’s official greeter—a friendly wire fox terrier named Buster Brown—on walks through the neighborhood.
Photo courtesy of Wanda Mann
We recommend you have him take you on a tour of the inside of the hotel as well; it’s housed in the factory of what once was the fifth-largest shoe company in the world and is dotted with historical artifacts. But no matter where you walk, we’re sure Mr. Brown will lead you on an adventure.
Black Friday came and went, but if you’re anything like us you still have some shopping to do. Instead of the average mall finds, why not pick up something a little more unique? Head up to Niagara-on-the-Lake, stay at Harbour House Hotel and swing over to the locally owned Landmark Shops.
This selection of galleries and boutiques presents some of Canada’s finest crafts, apparel and gifts. Think: everything from local artisan cheeses to hand-made jewelry to Scottish and Irish gifts. It’s like a mall, only without the chain stores and overnight lines. It seems that Niagara-on-the-Lake isn’t all about ice wine (but it couldn’t hurt to pick up a few bottles anyway…).
Photos courtesy of The Landmark Shops
Clockwise from top left:
The Scottish Loft
California produces most of the country’s artichokes, so it’s no surprise that Californians take this thorny thistle seriously. Beyond the traditional tear-off-the-leaves-and-dip-them-in-something-delicious approach, there are stuffed chokes, grilled chokes, pasta with artichoke hearts, and countless other preparations. And even though the harvest peaks in spring, “arties” are on the menu year round.
Artichokes are particularly popular in Monterey, and visitors staying at the Monterey Plaza Hotel may even pass fields of artichokes as they drive down Highway 1 from Santa Cruz.
Artichokes can also be intimidating for the uninitiated. At first glance they don’t look, well, all that edible. So if you’re an artie newbie and don’t want to look like one, here’s a primer on proper way to attack an artichoke.
And now that you know what you’re doing, here are some places to enjoy artichokes in Monterey:
Montrio Bistro: Baby artichoke risotto fritters; fire-roasted artichoke with Mediterranean relish
The Sardine Factory: Fried artichoke rings with prawn cocktail and calamari puffs
The Whaling Station: Chilled artichokes with tomato remoulade and mayonnaise
To celebrate Thanksgiving, and all its fixins, we wanted to take a moment to give thanks to the glory of food. (And for those who want to praise edible treats year-round, there are plenty of places to find food-inspired vacations, like The Essex, Vermont’s Culinary Resort & Spa.)
Photo courtesy of the Essex, Vermont’s Culinary Resort & Spa
But before we take our first bite this holiday, we give you a (quick) ode to ingredients:
Turkey, please take a bow.
Butter, we melt with you.
Salt, you’re sensational.
Yams, we’re such fans.
Potatoes, you’re positively precious.
And Pumpkin, we’re all in.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Category: Wine & Dine
/ Tags: butter
, The Essex