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Artist Talk with Kathleen Kolb

11/21/2022 8:24 pm

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Join us at The Pitcher Inn, in the Brook Room, on December 1, 2022, for dinner and an artist talk with painter Kathleen Kolb

Kathleen Kolb has been painting the Vermont landscape for decades. She is drawn not only to the natural landscape of the state but also to the architecture of its towns, and its rural working life. She captures the spirit of our communities as well as the beauty of the land. She is renowned for her ability to portray light, whether it is the early morning light, that of late afternoon, the low sun of winter or the brilliant one of summer.

In her artist talk Kolb will give a slide presentation and discuss her path to becoming an artist, her inspiration for subject matter, and her process. Examples of her work will be on view and available for purchase. Guests will have the opportunity to ask questions and to enjoy dinner following the talk at the inn’s acclaimed restaurant.

Who: Landscape painter Kathleen Kolb

What: An evening of fine art and fine dining, presented by Edgewater Gallery & The Pitcher Inn

When: Thursday, December 1, 2022, 5:30-8:30 pm

Where: The Pitcher Inn Brook Room

How: To register, including dinner at The Pitcher Inn, call the gallery at 802-458-0098 or send an email to info@edgewatergallery-vt.com. To make dinner reservations for the evening please call The Pitcher Inn at 802-496-6350. There is no cost for the talk and dinner is a la carte from the restaurant’s dinner menu.

Start the holiday season with an evening of fine art and fine dining!

CNT & Discoverer Blog Cite The Pitcher Inn as ‘Perfect’ Fall Getaway

09/19/2022 6:18 pm

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We’re always honored and grateful when others recognize what makes The Pitcher Inn so special. Recently, two media outlets cited the inn for its very particular appeal during the autumn months of September and October in Vermont.

Discoverer begins its round-up story: “Nothing beats the warmth and comfort of a fall evening spent by the fire. Thankfully, there are plenty of quaint and cozy inns around the world that embrace the autumn feeling and provide the perfect, intimate getaway. Whether you’re looking to snuggle up with a book by the fireplace or gaze upon colorful fall foliage during breakfast, the following inns will meet all your seasonal needs.”

And then leads with this about the inn: “Fall in Vermont is perfect for biking, hiking, picnicking, and of course, leaf peeping. Nestled between the scenic Green Mountains of Vermont in the charming village of Warren is The Pitcher Inn. While staying at The Pitcher Inn, all of those classic fall activities are easily accessible due to the property’s proximity to the Roxbury State Forest. Choose a one or two-bedroom suite in the “barn” or a room in the main house. Jet out on a fly fishing adventure or stay in and curl up next to one of the inn’s 14 fireplaces (Editor’s note: Now including wood stoves in some rooms.). Guests can also indulge in seasonal fare onsite at the onsite pub or private dining rooms.”

Discoverer puts us in good company with other similar properties in the United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, and Ireland.

Over at Condé Nast Traveler, Cassie Shortsleeve and Todd Plummer write in “See Vermont Fall Foliage in These 15 Beautiful Places” about what makes the state so distinctive in autumn, including the Mad River Valley. They write: “Vermonters will tell you to continue driving north on Route 100 toward the Mad River Valley, the region of Sugarbush Resort. The autumnal colors are there, of course, but so is the Mad River Taste Place, an artisanal market of Vermont food and drinks, charming country stores like the Warren Store, and some of the best tacos around in Waitsfield (we’re looking at you, Mad Taco). Can’t bring yourself to leave? Don’t. Relais & Châteaux’s The Pitcher Inn in Warren is a white-clapboard classic on the outside with individually themed rooms (think: the “ski room” and the “school room”).”

You can read the complete write-ups at the following links: Discoverer Blog and Condé Nast Traveler.

10 Things We Love to Do in the Fall in the Mad River Valley

08/21/2022 1:13 pm

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Robert Frost, a Vermont poet laureate, owned five farms in our brave little state and was deeply inspired by the landscape. One of his lesser known poems, “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” contemplates the ever-changing seasons…

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

As we say goodbye to a perfect Mad River Valley summer, our thoughts turn to fall and all there is to do. Herewith, our top ten list of autumn adventures.

10. Ride the single chair. Mad River Glen hosts foliage rides for just three weekends: September 25-26, October 1-2, October 8-9.

9. Visit the Waitsfield Farmers Market. The summer’s bounty is in and you can get your share at the once-a-week Saturday festival on the green in Waitsfield. We suggest indulging in Vermont-grown apples.

8. Shop Upstairs at the Warren Store. The colder nights mean it’s time to layer up and there’s no better place to do so than Upstairs at the Warren Store. Think Darn Tough socks and Smartwool base layers.

7. Hike to Sunset Rock. This is a relatively easy hike, from Lincoln Gap in Warren south along the Long Trail. It takes about an hour out and back and rises just 500 vertical feet.

6. Visit the Bundy Modern. By appointment only but not to be missed. The current exhibit, “To Market,” features paintings by Shelley Reed and cut paper works by Randal Thurston, now until October 9.

5. Bike the backroads. Gravel biking is all the rage among the bikerati and we have plenty of options here in the valley. Or settle for a gentle ride around the village on one of our new Cannondale hybrid bikes.

4. Soar above the valley. Consider opting for our MRV Stay & Soar package and experience autumn 4,000 feet above the valley. Talk about color.

3. Picnic at Knoll Farm. The views south through the valley are the best. Either order pick up lunch at the Warren Store, or if you’re an inn guest, request a picnic lunch from the kitchen.

2. Take in the Madsonian Museum of Industrial Design on Bridge Street in Waitsfield. Quirky would be an understatement.

1. Dine at Tracks. If ever there was a reminder of winter to come, it’s the mural in Tracks of the nearby mountains, the ski trails dressed in their winter white. Oh, and the food’s damn fine, as well.

Come to the Mad River Valley this fall and find your adventure.

Your Ride Awaits

07/27/2022 8:52 pm

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It’s summertime. And in the Mad River Valley that means biketime.

We’re excited to offer inn guests free access to our new fleet of Cannondale Quick 6 house bikes. They’re comfy hybrid bikes (in small, medium and large) designed for easy riding. We’ll also provide you with a safety helmet and a bike lock.

If you’re just re-discovering your inner kid-passion for biking, you can keep it chill and take a short trip through the village to regain your bike legs.

Or go further afield. Right from our front door there is a spectacular 16-mile loop, north up Vermont 100 to Waitsfield, east across the Village covered bridge, and then south to Warren along the East Warren Road. Warning: there is some uphill climbing after the bridge but that is more than compensated for by the two-mile downhill cruise into Warren village and back to the inn. And did we mention the spectacular views of the Green Mountains?

This is just one, although one of our favorites, of many ride options in and around the valley.

Come ride with us and don’t worry about dragging along your bike. We’ve got you covered with bikes, helmets, locks and route maps.

We ask only that you reserve ahead by calling the front desk (802.496.6350) and sign the liability waiver before you hop on a bike.

Happy biking!

A Wonderful (and Wacky) Warren Tradition

06/17/2022 5:13 pm

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As one of the only states to form a republic before statehood in 1791, Vermont has an unusual take on independence. We Vermonters love it, revere it, and celebrate it like we’re still our own little country squeezed between the Yorkers (New York) to the west and the Yankees (New Hampshire) to the east.

And there’s no better example of celebrating that spirit of independence than the Warren 4th of July Parade that takes place right outside our door every year (well, almost; remember 2020?).

This year’s parade theme is Liberty, and that’s sure to mean some of the most creative, inventive floats this side of Disney.

Inn guests will have a front row seat to all the fun from the rockers and Adirondack chairs on our front porch, cheering the assorted players, from school kids to politicians to grand marshals, former inn owners Win Smith and Maggie Smith. In short, you won’t want to miss the excitement. Details and logistics can be found on the Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce website.

Also, our friends across Main Street at the Warren Store will be doing their part to celebrate with an ice cream cart and music following the parade from their upper porch.

You don’t want to miss this. Come as a spectator this year (we’re fully booked) and plan now to join us on the porch next year.

Dining Around the Inn

05/19/2022 1:53 pm

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One of our great joys over the last 25 years has been hosting gatherings of family and friends for all manner of celebrations, always around a table of the finest cuisine from the freshest ingredients Vermont (and Chef Jacob and our farm partners) has to offer.

Think weddings, rehearsal dinners, post-wedding brunches, birthdays, anniversaries, life achievements, passages like confirmations and bar (and bat) mitzvahs, even memorial celebrations. You name it, we have likely hosted it.

What knowing, long-time guests appreciate is the number and diversity of dining venues we have around the property. 

Most diners know us by the Main Dining Room overlooking Main Street, Freeman Brook and the back garden, where we host breakfast for house guests and dinner for all comers daily. (Reservations are always required.) Diners can choose indoors or out–in the garden or on the back porch, featuring newly-installed electric radiant heaters to keep you cozy.

Adjacent to the dining room is the Brook Room, our more formal white-table-cloth private dining room. We can accommodate up to 30 people comfortably, gathered around the hallmark fireplace and surrounded by art curated by our gallery friends at Edgewater Gallery. We have recently hosted our popular artists talks in the Brook Room but whatever soiree you can conceive, we can host.

Then there’s Tracks, our rustic but very comfortable tavern beside Freeman Brook. There’s the giant hearth with its roaring fire (in season, of course), the cozy bar with just four seats, the dramatic ski murals, and the Adirondack-style furniture that embraces you while enjoying a bespoke cocktail or a local brew. (If you’re feeling adventurous, you might also want to try a glass of our very rare Bhakta Spirits Armagnac.) Tracks also boasts an outdoor terrace for al fresco dining.

Hidden near Tracks is our most secretive dining venue, the Wine Cellar. Here, you and up to six of your besties can enjoy an evening of fine food and fun surrounded by our legendary wine collection. Chef Jacob likes to present a five-course tasting menu paired with wine for these very special evenings.

In the height of summer, on one of those dreamy, starry August evenings, the best dining venue might very well be the intimate Terrace for Two next to Freeman Brook at the very back of the garden. Here you and your lovely can enjoy each other, fine drink and food, and the soft sounds of the coursing brook. This has been the site of many a memorable anniversary dinner.

If none of these five dining options captures your fancy, we’re always happy to serve dinner in your room or suite. Yup, believe it or not, some guests just don’t want to leave the cocoon. And we’re happy to oblige.

Reach out to talk about how we might help you enjoy celebrating life at the inn in a way and place you haven’t considered.

‘Surprisingly unpretentious for one of Vermont’s most fashionable hideaways’

04/13/2022 1:31 pm

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Recently, we were happy to stumble across this thoughtful description of the inn in the book Buildings of Vermont by Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson, published by the University of Virginia Press.

The facade of the Pitcher Inn is surprisingly unpretentious for one of Vermont’s most fashionable hideaways and surprisingly staid for one of Vermont’s most notoriously unconventional architects. (David) Sellers, a pioneer of design/build architectural practice, is a longtime resident of Warren, with his office in the reworked Odd Fellows Hall on Brook Road.

The original inn was a local landmark assembled from four adjoining buildings and named for an owner’s collection of more than one thousand pitchers. When it burned in 1993, Sellers convinced retired Merrill Lynch executive and Warren booster Win Smith to rebuild the property. Within the original footprint he designed a rambling white facade, matching the rhythm and scale of the streetscape and utilizing motifs from local nineteenth-century vernacular. Borrowing from Vermont village iconography, he faced the two-story central element with double galleries.

But behind this conventional facade, the rest of the hotel reflects Sellers’s passion for improvisation, found objects, collaboration, and fine craftsmanship. Executing the public spaces and some suites himself, he turned to colleagues–including James Sanford,, Duncan Syme, Courtney Fisher, and Mac Rood–to design other spaces. He also brought in wood-carvers, furniture makers, mural painters, decorators, masons, and tile craftsmen to participate in the realization of an idiosyncratic vision that included such themes as Mallard Room, Trout Room, Mountain Room, Lodge Room, and the Stable. Interiors are furnished with an eclectic array of antiques (from a Louis Sullivan column to rare decoys), furniture (including original Gustav Stickley pieces), and artwork, and are finished in local materials that range from Verde Antique marble to birch-bark wainscoting and hand-selected tree trunks.

The results are imaginative and highly crafted, filled with details like a flying wooden mallard that swivels beneath a rooftop weathervane and a concrete floor imprinted with animal tracks. The inn as a whole consists of a series of unique individual spaces, giving the public the opportunity to experience the kind of work Sellers and his colleagues have otherwise lavished mainly on private houses around the state.

(Editor’s note: We have added a few paragraph breaks for ease of reading online.)

‘Conceptual Realist’ Kate Gridley to Speak at the Inn

03/10/2022 1:09 pm

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We’re keenly anticipating a visit later this month from Middlebury artist Kate Gridley. Kate is the third and final artist in the Edgewater Gallery Winter Lecture Series. She’ll be at the inn on March 31 (additional details below) to present “Tools of the Trade.”

Gridley’s talk will be about her process and some of the stories connected to particular paintings in her latest work, which focuses on antique tools, specifically a collection of tools on loan from the Henry Sheldon Museum in Middlebury. She writes; “While meditating on A.B. Smith’s tools, I have spent months looking into the beauties of form and function, diverse edges and patinas, the interplay of objects and shadows, that beautiful and mysterious realm of objective versus abstraction.”

The tools in Gridley’s latest work remind us a lot of the implements on display throughout the inn, especially those surrounding the grand hearth in our dining room. What better way to appreciate the tools of the past and their inherent beauty than through a painter’s interpretation of them.

Kate Gridley works from her studio in Middlebury, Vermont, and calls herself a conceptual realist. She is a skilled portrait and still life painter whose portrait of the Honorable Governor Jim Douglas hangs in the Vermont State House. After graduating from Williams College, Gridley studied painting in New York and then Florence, Italy, where her focus was on renaissance painting techniques. Her work is held in public and private collections and can be seen at the Vermont State House, the New Hampshire State House, the Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary Building in Washington, the Middlebury College Museum of Art, and Norwich University, among others. Gridley’s illustrations have appeared in numerous publications.

Who: Conceptual realist painter Kate Gridley
What: Edgewater Gallery Winter Lecture Series “Tools of the Trade,” including a talk and a la carte dinner
When: Thursday, March 31, 2022, 5 pm
Where: The Pitcher Inn Dining Room
How: Call either The Pitcher Inn (802.496.6250) or Edgewater Gallery (802.458.0098) for reservations. Please note that space is limited and the last Winter Series event sold out. Also, attendees are required to show proof of vaccination and wear masks when not seated.

 

Why We’re Encouraging Our Guests to Purchase Travel Insurance

02/18/2022 4:26 pm

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It’s a topsy-turvy world, especially for the hospitality business. No doubt you have noticed. Perhaps your favorite restaurant has closed or curtailed hours or switched up its menu.

Here at The Pitcher Inn we’re facing the same challenges as other small hotels and restaurants. And we’re doing our best to meet them. We’re paying staff more and we’re trying flex schedules to meet their needs–as well as yours.

One of the most perplexing challenges for guests–and for us–has been uncertainty surrounding travel. We are a small business with a fairly restrictive cancellation policy. We require a 100% deposit when you make your reservation. If you cancel your visit 60 days prior to arrival, we offer a 90% refund. Between 30 and 60 days, we offer a 50% refund. Less than 30 days, 10%. We think this is a fair approach, all things considered.

But for some guests this has been a burden. To lessen that burden, we have partnered with RentalGuardian, backed by Nationwide, to offer two levels of travel insurance. And we’re encouraging guests, especially those planning a multi-night stay, to seriously consider and purchase travel insurance.

RentalGuardian’s Standard Travel Protection is available for 7% of the cost of your trip and covers up to 30 travel-interruption situations, including an auto accident en route to the inn or the unexpected death of a pet. The Cancel for Any Reason Travel Protection option costs a bit more, 10.8%, and covers additional situations like illness, injury and natural disasters.

You can learn more about the two options here, or by conferring with one of our guest assistants when you make your reservation. If you’re reserving online, via pitcherinn.com, we’ll give you the option of purchasing insurance upon completing and paying for your reservation. Guests are welcome to purchase travel insurance from another insurer, as well.

We’re doing our best to meet your needs first as well as run our business soundly. And we always welcome your feedback on this and other policies. Thanks for your continued patronage. We look forward to seeing you in this beautiful valley soon.

Give the Gift of Vermont This Holiday Season

12/15/2021 7:25 pm

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Pearl S. Buck said about Vermont, “It’s a country unto itself.”

We couldn’t agree more. (Younger readers may not recognize Buck as the acclaimed 20th century author of The Good Earth. She knows a country when she sees one.)

And after two years (!) the pandemic has us all re-considering everything, from work (the great resignation) to family (can we safely gather?) to how we spend our money. On this last point we are finding more and more people seeking experiences, not more things.

That’s why we offer a modest suggestion: Instead of giving another sweater or pair of gloves, how about giving the gift of Vermont–and all that it offers?

If there is a loved one in your life that has yet to experience Vermont (or would love to return), maybe she needs a little incentive. That’s why we’re suggesting a Pitcher Inn gift certificate as the ideal holiday gift this year.

Why Vermont? It’s the “something’s-different-here” feeling you get as soon as you cross the border. It’s our people and their indomitable spirit. It’s the hill farms with their open fields and scattered Holsteins. It’s the focus on quality, whether dairy products (thinking of a certain ice cream) from Waterbury, glassware from Quechee, jewelry from Middlebury, or crafts or art or beer or spirits from all over our brave little state. The list is literally endless.

We can’t think of a better place to experience all that Vermont has to offer than the Mad River Valley, smack dab in the middle of the state, and our very own inn, in the picturesque village of Warren that so epitomizes small-town Vermont.

The inn is the embodiment of Vermont in so many ways. Each of our 11 rooms and suites is a tribute to some part of Vermont’s past (and present in some cases), including Ski, which celebrates one of our favorite ways to get through winter, Trout, which honors our fishing tradition, and Calvin Coolidge, which pays homage to our 30th president.

Besides the immersion in Vermont, your loved one will also appreciate our luxurious linens, steam showers, fireplaces (or wood stoves), our five-star cuisine, and our overall sense of hygge (look it up).

Why not give the gift of the country we call Vermont this holiday season? Call 802.496.6350.