Winter In Vermont
The four night LuxuryLink auction package for the Juniper Hill Inn proved to be the perfect pre-holiday escape destination (for two travelers from South Florida looking for fresh snow, quintessential Christmas decorations and unparalleled hospitality).
The Juniper Hill Inn is an impeccably restored Colonial Revival mansion sequestered atop the highest hill in historic Windsor, VT. The 15+ acre estate offers commanding views across a private frozen lake as well as majestic snowed covered Mount Ascutney in the distance.this is Vermont living at its best!
With over a 100 year history, the inn has been under the loving care of two dedicated and long suffering innkeepers, Robert Dean and Ari Nikki since 2002.
The two quietly admit the property is very much a work in progress but certainly not noticeable to the untrained eye.
One would hope their future plans will only improve on the tender and generous care they have lavished on this treasure.
Robert is not only a co-owner of the property, but acts as the Majordome, [/i]Matre d', and Social Director.when needed. Robert glides about the dining room, adroitly balancing the presentation and serving of a modestly priced Fat **bleep** Cabernet Sauvignon at one table while easing the cork from a vintage 1999 Dom Perignon at a neighboring table (Robert:We have a very extensive wine cellar, but we never pushonly suggest and recommend).
Robert is quietly whispers to one guest .the secret of the Roast Red Pepper Soup..no secret at all, we simply perfectly hand roast fresh red peppers before pureing and blend with our house blend of spices!
PleaseOh, please taste the home made cheese cake for desert.its one of my personal favorites and if you want.
Robert can also be coerced into private tours of the homeshowing off the suites where five US Presidents have stayed and explaining how security was assured at the time of construction (ask about it when you visit).
Ari, tends to most of the behind the scenes functions, making certain the 28 room (sixteen guest rooms) establishment operates seamlessly.
The common and guest rooms are furnished with personal items belonging to the co-owners (no mass produced hotel furnishings in sight).
The walls are covered with museum quality artwork (yes, that really is a Chagall hanging in the dining room) and original art pieces are displayed in every nook and cranny (yes, believe it or not.those are original bronze works by the legendary Harry Jackson).
Breakfast is always specialvery creative and of course, utilizing only the best local produced Vermont products.
If you are fortunate enough to be there on a weekend, try and book dinner reservations (not always easy, since there is only one sitting).
We had the Chevre Souffle stuff Tomato, Roast Red Pepper South, Grilled Vegetable Roulade with Goat Cheese (were vegetarians, but carnivores were offered Osso Bucco or Salmon Napolean) and Lydas Famous Cheesecake (Lyda is the feisty and fun chef).
How about a Vermont cheese plate consisting of some of our best small batch local cheeses from Sugarwoods Farms (lets support our local Vermont milk and cheese cooperative), and a glass fine wine or sherry by a roaring fire later in the evening.no problem, there are 18 fireplaces in the inn and always a fresh supply of dry kindling and seasoned logs ready to erupt into a romantic and comforting fire!
There are lots and lots of place to visit and things to see with a few miles drive.....one of the more interesting is Woodstock, VT, in decked out for the Holidays.
We were treated to a rare experience one evening, when Ari dimmed the lights in the great hall and invited us in for the christening of the tree!
Ari, who was born and spent his early youth in Finland, began lighting real candles in antique holders on the boughs of the tree (Ari pointed out the importance of selecting a proper pyramidal shaped tree to avoid fires..and to never, never walk away from the trees with the candles still burning.
Ari than reminisced childhood recollections of a traditional Finish Christmasthe family dinner and the special arrival of Santa Claus at his home each Christmas Eve. another world and another time.
Consider a visit to the Juniper Hill Inn.. the Spring brings all of the buds and plants back to life, Summer is lush and green with perfectly tended gardens and a swimming pool, Autumn is natural pallet of colors and fragrances.and Winter is a time for warm Hot Chocolate, homemade cookies and other treats and snuggling by the fireplaces no matter the season. your experience will be greatly enjoyed and long remembered.