We’ve dreamed about it since June. We talked about it a lot and planned for it even more. They warned us that it doesn’t always happen…it’s only a sure thing in January and February, they said. However, we left Memphis planning to ride the train just like Bing and Rosemary and wake up Christmas morning to a White Christmas.
After flying to Hartford, Connecticut we took a train to White River Junction, Vermont. This is what city center looked like when we arrived.
Clearly, the snow had arrived before Christmas morning and yes, Virginia…there will be a White Christmas. Christmas Eve morning we were able to stroll a bit and actually see the train station where we arrived.
Our driver picked us up promptly at 11 AM and we were off to Twin Farms in Barnard, Vermont to celebrate Christmas and the 20th anniversary of the day we met. The roads were clear…well, clear for Vermont…in the South there would’ve been car pile-ups left and right. We were traveling nicely when Kyle said this is Quechee, Vermont…the home of Simon Pearce glass. I may or may not have squealed. And, Kyle being the incredible Guest Experience representative he is said, “it’s right there, we might as well drive by.” We didn’t stop but knowing where the magic happens made me love my pieces all the better. Here are shots with the some of the pieces we have.
A spring buffett uses the Norwich ice bucket, the Revere platter and the Norwich champagne chiller for food and flowers.
A Christmas centerpiece uses five of his Vermont Evergreen glass trees.
Now who said I was difficult to buy for. Picky, yes, as I only like the clear glass but difficult no…www.simonpearce.com 🙂
Our journey continued through numerous Currier and Ives scenes until we finally arrived at Twin Farms…just in time for lunch.
Oddly enough, the evening before. a server highly recommended the tuna. After a battery of questions I acquiesced…the only mistake on the entire trip. This, our first Twin Farms meal, was the first of the unbelievable moments. They had no way of knowing about the tuna snafu but it certainly felt like they were making up for it. The salad was would’ve been enough but then they brought out the most incredible sesame seared tuna with soba noodles, tempura mushrooms and dashi broth. The dessert…buckwheat beignets with mango foam, green tea crema, huckleberry compote and hazelnut dust certainly was a positive sign of things to come.
A display in the main house stopped me in my tracks. I think I took a photo every time I passed it. Again, I’m really not difficult to buy for…clean and simple stops my heart.
Not only did these Farmhouse Pottery simple tree forms stop me in my tracks but they accented them with stunning red amaryllis. Later in the visit Christmas goodies joined the grouping…it just couldn’t get any better; I thought.
The main house was lovely. Among the art is two original Jasper John works. One whimsically hung in the entry hall of “the john”. The other, a metal relief of a single light bulb hangs in the entry to the wine cellar…where there isn’t a ceiling fixture.
…but it was time to see our cottage; The Studio. We had seen it online, talked about it on the phone with multiple representatives but pictures and talk really don’t do it justice.
Did I mention we were adamant about having a White Christmas. We met guests who have enjoyed Christmas at Twin Farms for years and they told us this was the first time in six years they’ve had a truly White Christmas. The Studio is a 2215 square foot one bedroom home with a copper soaking tub in the master, a hot tub that feels likes it ‘s outdoors but it’s not and you get to sleep with masterpieces of Frank Stella, David Hockney and Roy Lichtenstein. Notice the gift under the tree. Yes, that was in the cottage when we came in from dinner on Christmas Eve. We saved it to open on Christmas morning. This was the first time we were like children and the second unbelievable moment. It was a pair of the Farmhouse Pottery trees. We really felt like they had noticed how much I liked them and gifted them accordingly. However, they like them, too and gave all the guests the same gift.
The other time we were like children was our snowventures. We took a breathtaking walk, went sledding and took a ride over hill and dell. Every experience gave us the opportunity to enjoy life to the fullest….the greatest gift of all!!!
And the food. Here are shots of the everyday food. These are the dishes served with no special occasion other that it’s time to eat.
Then, there was the Christmas Smorgasbord…fit for Royalty.
They even did a gingerbread display with all the guests names on it with the mileage from home to Twin Farms.
Then, there was the really special meal…the 20th anniversary breakfast…and I don’t even like breakfast. They visited this blog site you are reading now and found my post Sunday Breakfast where I mention my mom and biscuits that I attempted. Those biscuits are from my cousins blog Bake or Break. They made those biscuits just for us. I can’t say I’ve ever been so surprised…and honored.
The scrambled eggs with spinach and lobster and the mimosas in Simon Pearce flutes…WOW what a way to start our special day.
Then, there was the “how do they do that” over the top meal. Our anniversary dinner was in the wine cellar. Just the two of us with a dedicated server and sommelier.
Everything about it felt like I had designed it for us. They used service pieces similar to or exactly like pieces we own. Brandt loves eggs. I love lobster. The first course was eggs and lobster WITH shaved white truffles. I like pork belly. Brandt thinks it’s too fatty but he loves mango. The second course was pork belly with only the flavor fat gives over a mango crema…both of us loved it. Gnudi, wild mushrooms and more truffles in a bowl from a another local glass artist…Fossil Glass …the pasta and art were stunning. Then halibut (our favorite fish) with parsnip puree’ and finally a science project for dessert that defies explanation other than FABULOUS!!! We lost count of the wines but I do remember at the top of the meal and after a spectacular champagne, Kevin told us we would be having White, Red, Red, White…I guess that’s five total…each perfectly paired to elevate each dish to gastronomic perfection.
We departed Twin Farms with joy in our hearts for a Christmas created by the love of our friends who gave us the gift, great admiration for a charming staff devoted to every finite detail of the “guest experience” and recognition for how blessed we are in our omnipresent love for each other. We could never ask for a better Christmas.
However, we did have one more stop for a little song, dance and romance.
The finale to the trip was a stop in New York City where we saw SpongeBob Squarepants, The Christmas Spectacular and Bette Midler in Hello Dolly (at The Shubert where Brandt played in A Chorus Line). Additionally, we visited Tiffany’s and found new wedding bands. We bought rings in 2007 and used the same ones when we were lawfully married in 2015. However, the sweetest man in the world had the brilliant idea to get new ones to celebrate our 20 years. It was romantic, exciting and fun all at the same time. We ate New York pizza, had ham and egg on a roll, enjoyed tea at Fred’s, the tearoom in Barney’s, warmed up with omelettes, moules and frites at Rue 57 and had after-theatre dinner with the flops at Sardi’s and the legend’s at Joe Allen’s.
By now you must know….the house was lovely and a good time was had by all!!!