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Artist Talk with Kathryn Milillo

03/13/2023 5:45 pm

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Vermont oil painter Kathryn Milillo is preparing for her solo exhibition at Edgewater Gallery on the Green in October 2023 and will join us at The Pitcher Inn, in the Brook Room, on March 30, 2023, for dinner and an artist talk.

Kathryn is drawn to the aging architecture of Vermont’s barns and farmhouses. She strives to honor their decaying but handsome presence.

In her artist talk Kathryn will share her journey to becoming a painter, as well as her inspiration, technique and approach to creating fine art.

“I am influenced in my painting choices by a background in English literature and graphic design,” says Kathryn. “Words like ‘grace,’ ‘refuge,’ and ‘abandonment’ are veins of gold to be mined. Playing with light and dark, color complements and negative spaces, I aim to create a visual poem.”

Who: Painter Kathryn Milillo

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

When: Thursday, March 30, 2023, 5:30-8:30 pm

Where: The Pitcher Inn Brook Room

How: To register, including dinner at The Pitcher Inn, call the Edgewater Gallery at 802-989-7419 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.

Merci, Montréal

02/07/2023 2:25 pm

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We’re heartened by a recent write-up about the inn in the Montréal Gazette, the only English language daily newspaper in Canada’s second-largest city. Travel writer Rochelle Lash reflects on her recent visit to the inn:

It’s a quintessential country inn, with a twist.

Warren, Vt. has been on the map since 1789, but it is the posh Pitcher Inn that has put the hamlet in the tourism spotlight for the past 25 years. It’s shining particularly brightly at the moment, with its new Canadian-at-par special for the month of February.

The Pitcher Inn is a quintessential Vermont country inn, with a twist. It is a white clapboard classic surrounded by snowy mountains, dense forests and rushing waters, but the textbook style ends there. The authentic, one-of-a-kind establishment is filled with handsome antiques, whimsical curios and rare craftsmanship.

Featuring vintage walls of stone and brick, plus 13 wood-burning fireplaces and stoves located throughout, the Pitcher Inn positively glows with warmth. With luxurious interiors, personal service and gourmet dining, it’s a great place for sporty getaways, special occasions or romance.

“Guests have said they feel as though they are enjoying a friend’s country home,” said Tracy Kelly, the maîtresse de maison. “It is a wonderful place to relax and unwind.”

What to do: I am fascinated by the town of Warren, which is tiny but totally fulfilling. Main Street is home to only four select enterprises. In addition to the sublime Pitcher Inn, they’re all must-stops: hearty soups and sandwiches and yummy pastries at the Warren Store, a dash of culture at Art in the Village, and treasure hunting at Someday resale boutique.

If you are compelled to swim or have a workout, guests can use the very complete Sugarbush Health and Racquet Club.

I wanted to spend all day lounging at the Pitcher Inn, but it’s hard to pass up Vermont’s exceptional sports. Sugarbush Resort is an Alterra Mountain Company area affiliated with Tremblant through the Ikon Pass. With 111 trails and 16 lifts on two towering peaks, it’s one of New England’s biggest and most adventurous ski areas. I set out on a bluebird day (that’s ski-speak for sunny with vivid blue skies) and happily tackled cruisers, glades and bumps.

Interiors: The Pitcher Inn is filled with fine collectibles, including vintage oils and photographs, and modern works curated by Edgewater Gallery of Middlebury, Vt., which also presents exhibitions and lectures.

The inn has nine spacious guest rooms (no children) and a couple of two-bedroom suites in an adjacent building (children welcome). Each has a Vermont theme, such as Trout, Mallard, Ski or Hayloft, with exceptionally detailed decor to match. You’ll find fishing flies, duck decoys and old ski maps, all turned into objets d’art. Two rooms are named for former U.S. presidents Calvin Coolidge and Chester Arthur, both Vermonters.

“One of my favourite rooms is School,” said George Dorsey, who recently bought the Pitcher Inn with his wife, Gale. “It has a beautiful porch and nostalgic elements of a rural schoolhouse.

“But throughout the building, the history is precious.”

The accommodations have deeply comfortable beds and down pillows. Some have fireplaces, or balconies overlooking a branch of the Mad River. The bathrooms are thoroughly modernized, and stocked with natural toiletries from Whisper Hill of Quechee, Vt. All have soaking tubs with jets, and many have high-tech steam showers.

Cuisine: Executive chef Jacob Ennis brings extensive experience from the Vanderbilt Grace in Newport, R.I. and several Relais & Châteaux properties, including the White Barn Inn in Kennebunkport and the Wauwinet in Nantucket.

The stately 275 Main is an elegant country dining room with fine landscape paintings, candles atop white tablecloths, elegant Windsor chairs and large windows. The menus change, but you might luck into steaks done on a wood-fired grill or meat roasted on a spit in the open fireplace. Other choices might be an elk burger, porchetta with chestnut stuffing or seared tuna.

Tracks is a woodsy tavern with massive stone walls, rustic furniture and a taxidermy zoo of snarling bobcats and wolverines. The casual menu might include a Cuban sandwich, a platter of smoked meat (prepared in house), cheese or charcuterie.

The ingredients are sourced from Vermont farms. Ennis tends bees and raises chickens, and his suppliers include foragers who stop by with surprises like forest mushrooms, sarsaparilla, ginger or ramps.

The Pitcher Inn will have a Valentine’s evening on Feb. 14, and it holds World Wine events almost monthly. Next up is France on March 16.

‘New Go-To Spot in Vermont’

02/03/2023 4:19 pm

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The winter 2023 edition of Edible Vermont profiles The Pitcher Inn in its “Last Bite” column. In case you missed it, here’s what Vermont’s foodie magazine has to say about dining at The Pitcher Inn.

There is a certain “what I am doing?” feeling when one moves, after 27 years, from New York City and heads back to the Green Mountain State. In this case, that worrisome person was me. Raised in Montpelier, I left for the lights of Manhattan shortly after college, never expecting to return. Enter Covid. I, along with thousands of others, felt chased out of Gotham. I moved full time into my 1800 weekend farmhouse purchased years before. I not only mourned my beloved city, but also the life I enjoyed daily and the culinary haunts that for years were my go-to spots for anniversary and birthday celebrations. I had lived blocks from Jean-Georges and Alain Ducasse eateries, exceptional bakeries, and cheese shops (I lived above a Dean & DeLuca for goodness sake). Dorothy, we’re not in Kansas anymore.

An avid foodie, I researched top dining spots in Vermont and one summer day hopped onto Route 100, a stunning, scenic drive, with my palate GPS headed toward the tiny hamlet of Warren, home of the gorgeous, rustic-chic Pitcher Inn. I knew it would be a perfect nest to soak in an evening of pampering and culinary explorations courtesy of Executive Chef Jacob Ennis who, prior to helming the inn’s 275 Main, worked in some of New England’s award-winning culinary destinations. His ethos is creating menus showcasing farm-fresh “locally anchored, ingredient-focused gastronomy to sustainable seafood such as mackerel and monkfish and showcasing wild game in the autumn.” And when I read that he makes his own burrata and mozzarella (so long NYC fromagers!) and jams harvested from the inn’s grapevines, I knew this would be my favorite eatery outside of my beloved Big Apple.

Chef Jacob had a few minutes to greet me, hand-presenting his dishes and explaining the ingredients and flavors I would experience—his secrets on how he delicately sears, sautés, and roasts each expertly crafted dish.. He also explained a new program, Fire to Fork, that he is launching for the cool seasons, where he roasts vegetables, meats, stocks, and soups in the heart of the restaurant’s fireplace. This type of old-school cooking is not often found these days. On top of his dreamy food and cheeses, another score!

Working alongside Chef Jacob is Chef de Cuisine Peter Heaney, a graduate of New England Culinary Institute who has worked for 25 years in some of the world’s finest kitchens, including top establishments in Montpellier, France and in Montreal (now I think “how cool that I am from Montpelier”). His style of cooking is classic French and takes advantage of the bounty of farm-fresh items in the Mad River region. Together, the two chefs create a flawless culinary pas de deux. In addition, the delectable desserts are homemade.

The nearly 500-bottle wine cellar touts a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence and is available for private dining. After feeling as though I had a foodie affair on some of my beloved NYC eateries, I had found my new go-to spot in Vermont. And I even snuck in a fireside Bhakta Spirits Armagnac après dinner at Tracks, the inn’s cozy tavern. Then it was a peaceful eve in Trout Room where visions of homemade burrata danced through my head.

Rebecca Widness is a part-time Vermont resident and luxury travel and hospitality public relations consultant.

Wine & Dine in Style

01/24/2023 1:40 pm

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Insider’s tip just in time for Valentine’s: The wine cellar at the inn (pictured above) is perhaps the most romantic of several romantic dining venues at The Pitcher Inn. So our romantic regulars tell us.

Picture yourself and your sweetie surrounded by more than a thousand bottles of racked wine from all over the world, some as rare as your love for each other.

You’ll enjoy a specially prepared menu from Chef Jacob Ennis and his team, curated specifically for the wines you choose, either a standard or a premium pairing. The latter gets you access to especially rare wines that we do not usually serve by the glass.

Chef is committed to sourcing most ingredients locally, or from the New England coast, in the case of seafood. If you have foodie favorites, let us know and Chef will build a menu just for you.

While the wine cellar can accommodate up to six people, four is ideal and two is very special.

Another way to enjoy the intimacy of our wine cellar include is a wine tasting before dinner in the dining room. Talk with our sommelier Tunney King and we’ll make the magic happen.

Ready for a romantic dinner to remember? Reach out and we’ll help you plan it.

Note: Because we’re so busy on Valentine’s Day in the dining room and Tracks, you’ll need to plan your romantic wine cellar dinner any day but Valentine’s.

The Season of Light: Our Favorite Time of Year

12/14/2022 4:55 pm

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Warren sparkles this time of year, and here at the inn we’re doing our part to spread the light. We just wrapped up our holiday decorating and we can’t be more excited about how magical the inn looks.

This year we’re spreading light and cheer with three holiday trees, decorated to the nines, with one in the lobby (our favorite sparkle), another in the main dining room (cheering dining guests), and one on the back porch next to the antique sleigh (a delight for children, especially).

We’re also excited by the lights adorning the front of the inn, complemented by the recent coat of new exterior paint (yes, it’s still white, brighter than ever, in fact) the inn got this fall.

And then there are the five lighted stars illuminating the front of the Warren Store, just across Main Street.

The holiday season isn’t just our favorite. We hear from many guests how much they love the Mad River Valley this time of year. There’s plenty to see and do, including, of course, the skiing and riding (fresh snow graced us recently), the Memory Tree near the Skatium in Waitsfield, various holiday pop-ups featuring local art and crafts, and plenty of lights illuminating the valley on these long December nights.

Enjoy the the photos here. But better still, come see for yourself. We look forward to seeing you this holiday season.

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.