Posts Tagged Vermont

“Bed and something called, breakfast”

22 April 2014

Our family recently had the opportunity for a two night getaway to Boston (over the Easter weekend).  Great time, love Boston; diverse cultures, deep history, a proud sense of place for Bostonians and we were blessed with wonderful weather throughout our short two and a half day stay.  We also had our first experience at a Red Sox game at Fenway Park with the home team winning the game in a clutch, bottom-of-the-ninth-inning, kind of way.  Fenway was rocking and on our first visit!

We don’t travel outside of Stowe regularly as we truly enjoy what still feels like our new career as Innkeepers in our newly adopted town of Stowe, Vermont, but this trip helped me understand how important a local, friendly concierge can be to someone who is completely foreign to the area, to feel welcomed and appreciated for making an investment in this lodging establishment, and most importantly the value of a real breakfast.

Based on our personal budget needs and the special needs of those family members travelling together, we selected a franchise hotel brand near a commuter train station just west of Boston.  The location, near a commuter train line that provided easy in and out access to Boston was a prime decision maker for us.  Overall, we received about what you would expect from a mid/upper priced franchise hotel experience.  No major flaws, but nothing really to write home about or recommend to our friends either. 

The mattresses were fine, the bed linens were fine (though it would have been nice to have an extra blanket and pillows in the closet) the level of amenities in the bathroom was fine, etc.   The through-the-wall heater/ac unit was about as noisy as you would expect from these kind of devices, though, it was very efficient and I have to admit ultimately became somewhat effective as background noise to drown out the lawn mowing that started well before 8 a.m. on our last morning there.  Ultimately, everything (with one slight issue that I will leave for a separate story) was “fine.” 

Nothing really memorable about the entire experience and this at $200/night has me wondering.

I know we weren’t staying in a “Bed & Breakfast” type of lodging and the hotel truthfully advertised a complimentary “continental breakfast” but “continental breakfast” certainly can vary from passable food to “I’ll take a cup of hot tea/coffee to go please…”  In this case, it was passable as I made due with creating a toasted plain bagel, cream cheese and sliced hard-boiled egg sandwich from that which was presented to me in a series of baskets on a cloth draped banquet table with paper plates, plastic spoon and fork  (they were out of plastic knives on our last morning).  Trying to slice the hard-boiled egg and spread the cream cheese without a knife took some creativity.

So my question is, has breakfast lost its role in our fast paced society?  Why can’t a breakfast be as enjoyable, satisfying and yes, as memorable as a dinner?  Most certainly we all can tell you our favorite place to have a special dinner, but why is it that breakfast seems to be left out in our current culinary experiences?

The meal termed “Breakfast” means just that, to break our fast.  Thoughtfully considered I think that breakfast can, and should be, the most important meal of the day.  I think we have kind of lost that notion as you see television advertisements for “breakfast bars” and oh, my goodness, “Eggo Bites” that come in a bag that you pop in the microwave oven and eat on your way to school.  These Eggo Bites even have “maple flavor.”  Mmmm, mmm good.  Really, is that what breakfast has been reduced to in our society?

And I recognize that culturally, breakfast is experienced quite differently from guest to guest in their native homeland.  We have and do happily adjust our breakfast menus to that of our guests preferences, diet and allergies.  For instance, some of our guests like something “lighter” while our outdoor enthusiasts are looking for a fresh, hearty breakfast providing fuel to keep them energized while climbing, skiing, hiking, biking, etc. and are grateful for the attention we pay to this part of their lodging experience (extra buttermilk, blueberry pancakes please?, Absolutely!).

Since Breakfast is part of our lodging signature we happen to think it is critically important that breakfast is thought of as more than just a passable means of starting your day. I love to cook, and with all humility aside, I hope my passion is carried through to our guests from the variety and consideration of each day’s menu through and including the execution and presentation onto warm china plates that are all served with a bright, happy attitude each and every morning.  I want someone to recognize this isn’t your standard diner fare breakfast here at the “Brass Lantern Inn, Bed & Breakfast.”

Is it a long signature name; “Brass Lantern Inn, Bed & Breakfast,” for a lodging establishment?  Perhaps, but if we were just Brass Lantern Inn we could easily be lumped in with those franchise hotels that have “Inn” at the end of their names and that’s not the career and/or lifestyle I was looking for when we purchased this lovely Bed and Breakfast.

So many thoughts on this recent stay on the other side of the sheets and will post more thoughts on them soon as I’m sure we need to keep Google “happy” with our posts and keep that SEO strong and fresh!

Night all,

George

Left Turns in Stowe

2 April 2014

I love small towns on so many levels. Just one attribute of this peaceful, New England town that draws us closer to its heart ever day; left turns in Stowe, Vermont.

Moving here from a major metropolitan area of the Baltimore/Washington D.C. we were immediately struck by the courtesy and politeness of drivers with “green plates” (of course that would be Vermont). One of our frequent errands includes going to the Post Office, which, from the Brass Lantern Inn, requires a left turn off of Main Street onto Depot St. A driver with green plates, with several cars behind them, stopped in front of me, flashed their lights, and gave a nice little wave yielding the right of way.

Of course this is just one of those infectious courtesies that can be discovered in Stowe, Vermont. Like holding the door open for the next person behind, you immediately realize this is not the big city and to feel part of it your responses and actions should reflect those around you in similar regard.

Downtown Stowe is marked by the only “traffic light” in the town, a flashing red, three way, stop sign. I am consistently amazed at how efficient this system of traffic control is to our community’s needs. In fact, the nearest full red, yellow, green traffic light is a good 10 miles from here. And if there is ever even the slight discussion in town to add a light at a particularly busy crossing (“busy” being a relative term where you might have a back up of say 4 or 5 cars), you are met with some polite local response of “we like our small town feel just the way it is, thank you very much!”

So, if you are traveling through Stowe and need to make that left turn, don’t be surprised if someone flashes their lights and gives you a friendly wave. And don’t forget to pass along the courtesy. – George

Mid-Winter Report from Stowe, Vermont

26 January 2014

We have had quite the range of weather conditions here in Stowe so far this winter season. Starting out with several good dumps of snow in late November and early December, we were again skiing well before Thanksgiving 2013.

The season started out so promising and even with a few rainy weekends in late December, early January, our guests have certainly pulled a wonderful time out of each stay.

As one guest told us, “It’s never the wrong weather, only the wrong clothes.” We think that is a great motto to consider in northern Vermont, especially during the transition periods of each of our wonderful four seasons. With so many outdoor activities to choose from and some amazing scenery as your backdrop, and while we do everything we can to make your room a sanctuary, we recommend getting out and experiencing our unique location.

Downhill skiing at Stowe Mountain Resort has clearly benefited from the Mountain’s $8.5 million investment over the past two years in snowmaking equipment. We have experienced some wonderful ski days, everything from spring-like conditions to cover-all-exposed-skin-surfaces types of conditions and can report a great time was had by all with each trip to the mountain.

The Stowe Arena, our new, fully enclosed ice arena (that will also be used for “turf” sports in spring/summer) opened in December to rave reviews (locals and visitors). Hockey is huge here in northern Vermont and while you are sure to see lots of this activity in the new arena there are daily open ice skating sessions each day to allow our guests to get out on the ice.

With all that there is to do in Stowe, in any of our seasons, it’s important to also remember the benefits of Rest and Relaxation! Remember we do our best to provide that warm, inviting home away from home atmosphere in your guest room and our common areas. We understand if you just want to curl up in front of the fireplace and read a book, take a nap, and just relax. We get it!

Oh, and don’t forget to follow/Like us on the Brass Lantern Inn, Bed and Breakfast Facebook page as we keep you updated on the seasonal scenery and any last minute specials and packages.

Vermont and the Town of Stowe by the Numbers

28 July 2013

Vermont is known as the “Green Mountain State” and rightly so when your consider some of the following stats –

• There are 223 mountains in Vermont with Mt. Mansfield topping out at almost 4,400 ft. elevation and within view of our back porch and most of our guest rooms
• While one of the smallest states in area, 9,200 square miles, our state truly earns that “green” status when you consider that 76% of scenic state is forested

Have a desire to get outside? Check out just a few stats regarding some of our outdoor options –

• 5.5 miles of paved bike path, the “Stowe Rec Path,” from the center of our idyllic New England Town center to the base of Mt. Mansfield. Stunning views all along the way
• 50 + miles of Mountain Bike Trails within the Stowe area alone. We can also direct you to Mountain Bike Riding Centers nearby in the Northeast Kingdom
• For the kayakers/canoeists – there are over 7,000 miles of rivers and streams with connections to the 740 mile long Northern Forest Canoe Trail
• Hiking your passion? Take on sections or the entire 273 miles of the Long Trail stretching from our southern border with Massachusetts to our neighbors to the north in Canada

More of a Winter person? Oh, do we have that covered –

• 287 inches – total amount of natural snowfall on Mt. Mansfield for the 2012-13 winter
• Stowe Mountain Resort provides 485 acres with 39 miles of skiable terrain so get out early and plan to stay late to get it all in
• Like to glide on skies (as in cross country)? Take on the Catamount Trail, a 300 mile, state long trail

And did you know? -

• Vermont is the second least populated state in the country (625,000 residents, about the same amount of people in the city limits of our old hometown, Baltimore, MD)
• The 6th largest lake in the country is in Vermont – yep, Lake Champlain is just a short, scenic 45 minute drive away from Stowe
• There are more than 30 breweries in Vermont and 5 of those are within a 5 to 10 mile radius of our Inn
• Stowe is 250 years old – being chartered in 1763 by Royal Governor Benning Wentworth originally as part of the “New Hampshire Colony”

This and so many other features of Vermont add up to one amazing place to experience a vacation you know you deserve! Please let us know how we can be of service and we look forward to welcoming you to Stowe.

Well, Welcome Back Winter!

1 December 2012

We have fortunately had an early return to winter here in Stowe, Vermont. Ok, for our southern friends, or family that may say, “what do you mean, fortunate?”, we offer the following explanation.

Of course if you have followed us in previous blogs you already know that we specifically selected Stowe, Vermont and the Brass Lantern Inn as our home base for this latest leg of our journey through life due in part to the distincly beautiful and wonderful four seasons of northern Vermont.

And an early arrival of snow this year allows us to enjoy some of our favorite things, such as:

flannel lined jeans, early Christmas presents in the shape of snowshoes, freshly tuned downhill skis, skiing before Thanksgiving!, sharing Christmas Cookies with our guests, chatting with our guests around the fireplace, hiking to Moss Glen Falls to see the everchanging ice sculpture by Mother Nature, hot chocolate at the “Octagon House” at the top of the quad chair (seriously, this hot chocolate alone is worth the ride up!), shoveling snow (I know, weird), skiing (or did I already say that?), helping our guests plan the “perfect play day outside”, a good book, a comfortable chaise lounge and snow falling softly just beyond our window…

These are just a few of our favorites and we are absolutely sure that we can help you discover your own favorites here at the Brass Lantern Inn as your choice of lodging in Stowe, Vermont. We invite you to see for yourself what we have found as a perfect place for the quintessential winter wonderland experience.

Don’t forget to check out the “View our Current Specials” section of this blog as we have some new early winter specials for your consideration!

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year, 2013. We’ll see you outside!

Warmest Wishes,
Mary Anne and George

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