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The Weathertop Blog

For area events & inn specials, as well as posts on our favorite topics - food, wine & travel...

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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Weathertop News

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Enjoy A Vermont Gourmet Getaway

Vermont has such a great farm-to-table food culture that I'm not sure why it took us so long to come up with this getaway package...guess we're getting old...

If you've stayed with us before, you know how good the local produce can be. If not, our Vermont Gourmet Getaway can be your ticket to discovery. Essentially, it's a two-night getaway filled with all sorts of local delicacies. Click here to see the details.

With foliage season, and its many first-time visitors, just around the corner, it seemed like a good time to introduce this package.

Come for a visit and sample some of Vermont's finest offerings. We're also beginning to see some gold & red on the leaves...just sayin'...

SEE YOU SOON!

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No Hard Cider This Year

We've had a bumper crop of apples on our trees this year, but...

The news has gone viral on deer social media and several does have been devouring all the drops. For the last two days we've also had a nice four-point buck join them. Unfortunately, he's pretty skiddish, so these are the best shots I've been able to grab with a crappy cellphone camera. If he comes back, I'll try to get some better pics with a telephoto lens on a real camera.

STAY TUNED!

doe eating applesfour point buckskiddish buckbuck with doe

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Change Is Good - Part Two

Last winter season, we prepared a lot of dinners from our Asian Culinary Odyssey and Specialties For Two menus. Not only did our guests enjoy the experience, but we had a really great time preparing these specialty meals. We got our mojo workin' so much that we've made the decision to only offer these options going forward.

So the old standard menu is gone, but it is replaced by a custom dining experience you'll find nowhere else. Yes, it requires you to plan ahead, giving us at least one day's advance notice, but when you see what we deliver with four hands, no additional staff & a small commercial kitchen, you'll understand why. We now offer these dining options year-round, Monday - Saturday (schedule varies on some major holiday weekends, please enquire).

Check out these links to our latest menu for Specialties For Two and some of our suggestions for Asian Culinary Odyssey.

Come for a visit & enjoy a memorable evening at the "re-invented" Shameless Carnivore...

DINING IS MOST ENJOYABLE WITH FOUR FEET IN THE TROUGH!

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Change Is Good - Part One

Without getting into any tech details, we're just finishing up a major "behind the scenes" upgrade to our website. If at first glance you don't notice any difference, mission accomplished...we had no intention to change the look or feel.

But while we were at it, we decided to completely update the content. With only a few clicks, you can find answers to any questions you may have about Weathertop. Or you can spend as much time as you like and explore the latest shops, restaurants & events in and around The Mad River Valley. For repeat guests, or goal was to be a one-stop resource for planning your next Mad River Valley getaway, where you can always find something new & interesting to keep you coming back for more. For first timers, our goal was to provide enough reasons to choose The Mad River Valley over other Vermont destinations. We think the choice is pretty clear!

For repeat guests, the biggest change you will notice is our "re-invention" of The Shameless Carnivore, taking the evening dining experience to a new level. Details can be found on the website, but we'll also explain more in our Part Two post tomorrow.

Check out the new website & let us know what you think...

HAPPY SURFING!

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2016 - The Year Of The Project

I guess we could have also called the last 12 months The Year of Hey Let's Do This or The Year of Bumps, Bruises, Cuts & Calluses...

Late in the fall, we started tackling a number of "minor" projects that had been bugging us. When spring arrived early this year, in what is normally considered mid-winter, we opted to be productive and get them done. Needless to say, numerous minors added up to one major project. So much so that we even skipped our spring holiday in an effort to get everything done (can you believe it...).

While some finishing touches remain, and will probably take until the end of foliage season to complete, the vast majority of work is done. The completed list is as follows:

  • Guest room hallways were updated with new molding, wainscoting and fresh paint.
  • New flooring was installed in all guest bathroom.
  • Every guest room was brightened up with a fresh coat of paint.
  • The last two original (and well-worn...) bathtubs in the Taylor & Deere Rooms were replaced.
  • Plumbing & temperature control for the baseboard heating system was optimized.
  • The dining room was redecorated, including the installation of improved LED lighting.
  • A new well pump, with state-of-the-art constant pressure/flow control, was installed.
  • The lobby was given a facelift.
  • Landscaping was completed on our adjacent property.
  • The storage shed on our adjacent property received a fresh coat of paint.
  • Hydrangeas were planted along the drive for added curb-appeal.

There were probably a few more minor items not included on the list, but you get the idea.

Phew...I'm tired and need a vacation, but not until after foliage season...

But while it lasts...

ENJOY WHAT REMAINS OF SUMMER!

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Cocktails & Travel Memories

Saw a bottle of Cachaça on the shelf at Mehuron's yesterday and decided to buy it. While common in metro areas & S. America, I haven't seen it much up here in the north country. It brought back memories of a trip to Iguazu Falls, Brazil 20 years ago. While pondering the wonders of nature from a barstool overlooking the falls, my favorite bartender (that's what we called mixologists back then...) plied me with his twist on the traditional Caipirinha. As best I can replicate, this was his recipe for a Kicked-Up Caipirinha:

  • 2-3 oz. Cachaça, to taste (white rum will do in a pinch...)
  • 1 Lime, cut into wedges
  • 1 TBSP granulated sugar (raw is better...)
  • Fresh mint, a handful of leaves
  • Hot sauce, a few dashes

Muddle the lime, sugar, mint & hot sauce in a shaker; add the Cachaça & two cubes of ice; shake well then transfer to a glass filled with ice; garnish with more mint & lime.

The falls are pretty awesome whenever you see them, even in a drought year as it was when I was there. Having a few of these Caipirinhas took the awesomeness factor to a completely different level!

Novo Fogo Organic Silver CachaçaIguazu FallsIguazu Falls - Drought Year?

SAÚDE!

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Great Night For Q

It was such a lovely afternoon that I decided to break out the old smoker & kick back on the garden patio while waiting for our peeps to check-in. In addition to a dry-rubbed pork loin, I threw some fresh-picked garden peppers in the smoker. Not having done this before, I wasn't sure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised. After three hours time, they came out soft, juicy & lightly smoked. Served on crusty bread with Ploughgate Creamery cultured butter, they were a perfect complement to the pork.

Smoked Pork Loin & PeppersSmoked Carmen & Super-Hot Chili PeppersSmoked Garden Salsa Peppers

STILL SMOKIN' AFTER ALL THESE YEARS!

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What Does One Do?

After 24 years of marriage, what do a pair of innkeepers do on the anniversary of their wedding? This year is particularly special, since it falls on a Monday and we have no guests in house. Normally, we would be cooking for others, but not tonight...

So whaddup? Well, great food & wine!

Nothing fancy mind you. Just a flatbread...with wild mushroom, fresh truffles & fresh duck sausage. Add a great salad made with local greens and wash it down with a 22 year old Grand Cru Bordeaux. Simply elegant (if you love pizza & old Bordeaux...).

Anniversary Flatbread & Wine

As for love...well that's given...

Without intimate hope, faith & trust, a business like our's would NEVER be possible.

SO HERE'S TO LOVE, PIZZA, OLD BORDEAUX & 24 MORE GREAT YEARS!

 

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The Best Gift Of All

Today we received the best gift imaginable from a guest...

A great Trip Advisor review or a nice cash tip? Are you kidding...I could care less about such things. This gift was a family recipe. And these folks happen to be from Galilee, the northern region of Israel near Lebanon & Syria. The food in that region is an amalgam of all the regiosl cuisines & cultures. Their recipe is for Spinach Shakshuka. Any shakshuka I have ever tried was based upon tomato & pepper - not spinach. So I'm totally jazzed to try this one out. To be traditional, I need to get my hands on some goat milk, but I can't find any in the local markets (I did find goat butter though, which is also needed...). If anybody knows of a source, PLEASE let me know.

Once I get the goat milk thing sorted out, I'll try the recipe, take some photos and share it all.

HERE'S TO GOOD EATS!

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Fresh Herbs...Great Cocktails!

Here's a nifty little tip you can try out this afternoon (after 5 o'clock of course...).

If you have some herbs in your garden going to flower, there's an alternate use for those lovely little blossoms. Instead of making an aromatic bouquet or simply tossing them out, use them in your favorite cocktail! Muddled, shaken or stirred they provide a burst of aroma & flavor more intense than the herb's leaves. Mint & basil blossoms go particularly well with gin, vodka & white rum. So go ahead & experiment with your favorites. End the work week on a pleasant note...

ENJOY THE WEEKEND & CHEERS!

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What Am I Doing Right?

While our melon plants may not be doing very well in the container gardens, all of our pepper plants are doing extremely well. They need some serious staking, as their numbers are skyrocketing. Some are getting as big as the plant! Obviously much happier than the melons. Check these out:

Carmen Sweets & Super ChiliesGarden Salsa Hots & Long Red Cayennes

Why are they doing so well?

GOT NO IDEA, BUT I'LL TAKE 'EM!

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What Am I Doing Wrong?

The farmers of Muddy Boots CSA must have that magic touch...

Here's a photo of the beautiful cantaloupe we received in our basket this week:

Muddy Boots CSA Cantaloupe

Now here are some photos of the melon plants in our container garden:

Our Melon PlantsWill We Ever See Melons?

WHADDUP WITH THAT?

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Dead Arm Shiraz - Very Much Alive

With last night's pleasantly cool weather, I decided to make a comforting stew of lamb shanks & white beans. This dish called for a big red wine, so my choice was:

  • d'Arenberg "The Dead Arm" Shiraz, McLaren Vale GI, Australia, 2005

"The Dead Arm" is a super-concentrated Shiraz. If you would like more info on why, and how it got named, click here. This is a full-bodied wine, deep purple in color, with a nose & palate chock-full of blackberry, licorice & spice. After 8 years in bottle, it's throwing some sediment, so I recommend decanting. Just be careful - if enjoyed too quickly, at 14.5% alcohol, it will rapidly start to boogie-woogie 'round your brain...

"The Dead Arm" is a special wine, and priced accordingly, but d'Arenberg makes a wide range of exceptional wines to suit any budget. Give any of them a try and you shouldn't be disappointed. But if opportunity knocks, go for "The Dead Arm"!

The Dead ArmA Lovely d'Arenberg Shiraz

CHEERS!

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Peak Lily Season 2015

Yes, it's here! The lilies in our gardens are at their peak, just about two months ahead of Vermont's more famous peak season (when exactly is peak foliage???).

If you're a glass half-full kind of person, we still have half of summer left to go...

Weathertop's Lilies

GET OUTSIDE AND ENJOY IT!

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VT Music Fest - You In?

Don't forget! This coming Saturday is Vermont Music Fest - a day filled with great music, delicious food & fun activities for the entire family. Will we see you there?

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Cocktail Time!

Had a slow night at The Shameless Carnivore since all of our guests either attended or performed at Tweed River Music Festival. After completing a big project, I decided to treat myself to a cocktail, but wanted something a little different. What I ended up with was this refreshing twist on a Negroni:

  • 1 ounce Gin
  • 1 ounce Elderflower liqueur
  • 1 ounce Campari
  • 2 ounces Mango juice

For the elderflower, St. Germain would have been great, but I had cheaper stuff on hand which worked just fine. Also used Newman's Own Mango-Orange juice since that was in the fridge. Chilled in a shaker and served with an ice cube in a martini glass. The end product was pleasantly bitter, floral, herbal & tropical fruity all at the same time. At least I liked it...

Mikey's Tropical Negroni

CHEERS! 

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Lantern Lodge North...Remember When?

Just in time for Throwback Thursday, we found this set of keys squirreled away on a shelf in our garage.

Lantern Lodge North was the original name given to what is now Weathertop Mountain Inn, back in the mid to late 70s. Info going back to those days is pretty fuzzy. We don't even have any photos from that time period, other than these keys.

Lantern Lodge North, aka Weathertop Mountain Inn

If anyone has stories or photos of the inn from those days to share, we would love to hear or see them!

HELP US UNLOCK THE PAST...

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Night Landings Now Possible

OK, admit it. How many of you have passed by our driveway at night and had to turn around? Yeah, Route 17 is very dark at night...

That should no longer be a problem with our new driveway lights! Better yet, they are energy efficient (LED) and Dark Sky Friendly™. When I started this project, I hadn't a clue that this group existed. But they do and we did. If you're interested in learning what they're all about...click here...

driveway lighting inndriveway lighting roadway

So if you ever miss our driveway again...

YA SHOULDN'T BE DRIVIN'...just sayin'...

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Naughty Or Nice?

We recently had a guest who looked very familiar, but hadn't stayed with us before. Just yesterday, we received a nice letter from him which included his business card:

Business Card © W. A. Bizon, 2015

SWEET...

Perhaps it was the extra slice of bacon we gave him at breakfast? Now we just have to wait 5 months to see what it all means.

CAN'T WAIT TO FIND OUT!

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Enhancing The Guest Experience

Of all the projects we've undertaken at Weathertop Mountain Inn lately, the one most likely to be noticed by our guests is the refrigerator upgrade in the guest rooms.

Now, guests have sufficient fridge capacity to hold 60 cans of Heady Topper, and the freezer is larger enough to hold 12 pints of Ben & Jerry's latest flavors, with room to spare for another dozen Cherry Garcia Pops! How's that for an upgrade?

But don't take our word for it. Come visit Weathertop Mountain Inn & The Mad River Valley this summer and prove it to yourself...

HOPING TO SEE YOU SOON!

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