Top 10 Things To Do in the Berkshires in the Fall!

Cider Doughnuts make the top 10 things to do in the Berkshires

Governor Patrick’s favorite cider doughnuts.

 

Quinn woofs that fall is her favorite time of year in the Berkshires. The autumn light. The Berkshire blue sky. The leaves to romp in and especially any Apple Cider Doughnut crumbs that land on the floor!!!

 

Yes, foliage is the star attraction at this time of year, but there are also a cornucopia of festivals, theater, recreation, and harvest foods to enjoy.

 

 

 

With Quinn’s help, we have put together our TOP 10 LIST OF THINGS TO DO IN THE BERKSHIRES THIS FALL:

1. BRILLIANT FOLIAGE – take a hike or drive up Mt. Greylock, MA’s highest peak. From the summit you can see five states.

2. FESTIVALS GALORE! – Lenox’s 21st Annual Tub Parade, 9/15, the re-enactment of the Gilded Age “cottagers’” farewell to the summer season. Lenox’s 232rd Annual Apple Squeeze Weekend, 9/22-23, celebrating autumn and the harvest. The Berkshire Art Festival, 9/28-30, Lenox.

3. THEATER – Hitchock’s 39 Steps,Shakespeare & Co., Lenox. “The Puppetmaster of Lodz,” 9/13-10/7; Dr. Ruth, All the Way, 9/19-10/7;  and The Lord of the Flies,10/3-21. The Berkshire Theatre Group.

4. SPOOKY! - Melville, Haunted, 10/4-7, Arrowhead, Pittsfield. Friday Fright Tours,” The Mount, Lenox, through 10/26.

5. IN PERSON - Brel in the Berkshires, 9/20-23, Kenny Rogers, 9/27, Sandra Bernhard, Oct. 20. The Berkshire Theatre Group, Pittsfield.

6. FAIRS! - Country Fair at Hancock Shaker Village, 9/29-30, Pittsfield, celebrates the simple things, agricultural demos, local and regional crafts, a harvest of quilts, horse-drawn carriage rides and more.

7. THE ARTS - Museums and galleries abound, including the Frelinghuysen Morris House and Studio, Thurs/Fri/Sat through Columbus Day, modernist home of two celebrated abstract artists.

8. APPLE PICKING - Hilltop Orchards and Bartlett’s Orchard, Richmond.

9. APPLE CIDER DOUGHNUTS – MA Gov. Patrick’s favorites at Bartlett’s Orchard, Richmond.

And, we saved the Best for Last….

10. ELLEN”S PRIZE-WINNING APPLE CAKE!

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Savor a Sweet Harvest Summer Salad Recipe!

There’s still time to enjoy the flavors of summer with our Sweet Harvest Summer Salad Recipe! I was walking through Guido’s, our incomparable local marketplace last week and saw Guido’s Kitchen making a salad that caught my eye: Vegetable confetti. Our Labor Day Weekend guests at our Berkshires bed and breakfast chomped it up, and you will too!

harvest summer salad recipe from our berkshires bed and breakfast

Sweet Summer Corn, Beet, Tomato, and Basil Salad

3 ears of corn, husked

1 1/2 lbs. beets, trimmed and scrubbed

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered

2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil

extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

salt and pepper to taste

In a medium size pot, cover the beets completely with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and the beets until tender, about 30-40 minutes. Drain and let cool. Peel and cut the beets into small cubes.

To cut kernels from the cob, stand an ear in a large wide bowl, and with a sharp knife, carefully slice downward to release the kernels.

Add the tomatoes to the corn. Drizzle with the olive oil. Stir in the basil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the beets just before serving so that each ingredient maintains its color.

Enjoy!

Posted in Food, Recipes, Summer | Tagged , , , |

First Lady Dazzles The Berkshires

First Lady Michele Obama in Lenox Massachusetts 2012

First Lady Michele Obama wowed the overflow crowd of nearly 800 when she spoke at The Colonial Theatre in The Berkshires on Friday, August 3.
The “warm-up,” who was usually the main attraction, was a special performance by Berkshire resident James Taylor.
And then it was Michele’s turn to shine, and shine she did in a hot orange shift dress and an even more brilliant smile.
Speaking extemporaneously, she spoke from her heart about her husband and his many accomplishments and hopes for the future. When Michele spoke about family values, education, health care and women’s choices health care, the ability to retire with security, bringing the troops home from Iraq, and about the middle class not having to pay higher taxes than the wealthy, she was repeatedly interrupted by enthusiastic applause.

The First Lady knew that she was speaking to people who would vote to re-elect President Obama, but she urged each person to volunteer in one of the many grassroots efforts to try to change even one vote. She honestly predicted that the election will be a close one and how important each and every vote will be.

From her afternoon at The Colonial Theatre, the First Lady headed to a special fundraising dinner at the Berkshire weekend home of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.

Michele Obama inspired and created a warm memory for me and many others. Thank you, Michele, for visiting the Berkshires.

(No, Charley and Quinn were at home in air-conditioned comfort — it was 90+ after all), and besides, Charley isn’t quite ready for “prime time.”)

The Berkshires are a magical place. We offer a beautiful Lenox, Massachusetts bed and breakfast in the heart of the Berkshires.

Posted in Events |

A Most Wonderful Hug from Yo-Yo Ma in Lenox MA

Lenox MA

I was at Bistro Zinc in Lenox MA for lunch today when cellist extraordinaire Yo-Yo Ma came in with Boston Symphony Orchestra Director Mark Volpe. I never ever approach someone famous, respecting their privacy, BUT this time I just had to.

I proceeded to tell Yo-Yo Ma my story. When I started to lose my hearing, it was only natural that I no longer could hear music. For more than 10 years I didn’t hear music, but I went to Tanglewood concerts anyway, hoping to feel the music.

And then I got my first cochlear implant in 2000 and went to Tanglewood to give it a try with music. The very first musician I heard in more than 10 years was Yo-Yo Ma. He has had a special place in my heart ever since.

As I told him the story, he had tears in his eyes. And when I finished, he gave me a big hug. He is a very special person to me… and to millions of others.

Posted in Concerts, Lenox MA, Tanglewood | Tagged , , , , , , |

We’ve Got THE Winner!

The 2nd Annual Berkshire British Motor Car Festival was an overwhelming success this weekend! Thousands of residents and guests ogled the brilliantly polished British cars, old and new, Mini-Cooper to Rolls Royce, lining Lenox, MA’s main streets near our Berkshires bed and breakfast.

“Gee, that looks like the car I had in college,” was heard over and over again, especially when spying a Triumph or MG. The festival evoked many old memories and created new ones.

Saturday’s competition yielded many “best in class” winners as well as the coveted “Best in Show,” awarded to Birchwood Inn guest Dave Hutchinson and his red 1961 Triumph Italia 2000 Coupe.

The Italia 2000, also called the TR3, was manufactured between 1959 and 1962, combining Italian artistry and British craftsmanship. Due to the car’s expensive price tag of $5,000!!!, only 329 were produced and a handful of 30 or so were sold in the US. Dave has babied his TR3 for more than 30 years. It’s a real beauty!

Congratulations to the festival’s organizers, the participants, the many car fans, and of course, the grand prize winner Dave Hutchinson!

Berkshires Bed and Breakfast

"Best in Show" winner Dave Hutchinson, his wife Charlene, and his 1961 Italian 2000 Coupe.

 

Posted in Events, Lenox MA, The Berkshires | Tagged , , |

Chilling Out at our Berkshires Bed and Breakfast

Berkshires bed and breakfast

Chilled soups soothe on the hottest days of summer.

At our Berkshires bed and breakfast, we serve a fruit course to begin our award-winning breakfasts. One of the joys of the season is Honeydew Gazpacho, borrowed from my friend Lynnette Scofield at The William Henry Miller Inn in Ithaca, NY. Hot outside? This chilled soup is so cool!

One ripe honeydew
1/4-1/2 cup sugar
The juice and zest of two limes
Small cubes of watermelon and/or cantaloupe
Lemon croutons (we toast cubes from our Lemon Yogurt Bread)
More lemon zest

In a food processor, blend the honeydew, sugar, lime juice and zest. Pour this mixture into a blender to completely puree the fruit. Chill overnight.
We serve the “Gazpacho” in martini glasses, added the small melon cubes, croutons, and the extra lime zest.
If you are lucky, you’ll have some soup leftover. Add tequila and voila, Honeydew Margarita!

For more chilled fruit soup recipes, check out our Eight Broads
in the Kitchen blog
!

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The Start of a Beautiful Friendship

Berkshires bed and breakfast

Quinn and Charley are becoming good friends.

Thank you everyone for asking how I am enjoying retirement, how Charley is doing, and how we are getting along. At the risk of sounding like Sally Field, I just have to say, “You love me! You really love me!”

At first I thought retirement was overrated. So boring. Charley would go out with Ellen, and I would sit on my bed in the kitchen and wait for them to return. But now friends come and take me for long walks in Kennedy Park near our Berkshires B&B, and I am going out with Ellen for walks, rides in the car, and visits to my friends at Glad Rags and the post office.

Charley is great and enthusiastic about hearing sounds and alerting Ellen. And Charley doesn’t need a trapeze to fly through the air! He loves to fling his toys and then run and catch them, except when he flings the toys a little over exuberantly and they land in the sink.

He loves to play ball. I go out to watch him, but when I’ve had enough, I take the ball away from Charley and hide it. How else is the little terror has to learn who is numero uno at our Berkshires bed and breakfast?

He loves people and trips with Ellen. She reports that he is really very well-behaved in public. We just have to work on extending this to the private sector.

I have discovered that not only is Charley Ellen’s hearing dog but he’s mine, too! When Charley hears the stove time, the alarm clock, etc., he flings himself at Ellen (I just used to tap her lightly on the arm), takes her to the sound and gets a treat. Now I follow him and I get treats, too! This just may work out.

PS – How do you like Charley’s “natural” new hair styling?

Posted in Charley, Hearing Ear Dog, Quinn | Tagged , , , |

The British Are Coming… Again!

Lenox, MA Inn

Last year's British Motorcar Festival winner and his 1959 Lotus.

Last year’s British Motorcar Festival near our Lenox, MA inn was such an enormously successful event that it calls for an encore! This year’s Berkshire British Motorcar Festival hits the road June 15-17, 2012, in downtown historic Lenox and at Shakespeare & Co. just a couple of blocks from the center of town.

And you don’t have to have a British Motorcar to participate in the weekend events!

Friday:

  • Fun Rally, a 30-minute self-guided rally, back (but paved!) roads driving tour of the scenic Berkshire hills.
  • Registrants’ Reception, 4-6 pm, for registrants, car owners and vendors on Shakespeare & Co.’s grounds.
  • At 6:15 pm, the British Motorcar owners with festival credentials form a procession to downtown Lenox. This is my favorite event of the weekend with the cars all lined up on the village streets. No drooling on the cars permitted! Also you can enjoy the live British Tribute Band, and savor food and drink along the way.

Saturday:

  • The Concours d’Elegance, the judged competition.

Sunday:

  • And it’s not over yet! Sunday features a 60-minute scenic driving tour, led by a 1947 Bentley, starting at 8:30 am. Be still my heart!
  • British-themed Tailgate Picnic Competition.
  • British Car Corral so get your checkbooks out as this is an opportunity to buy or sell a British motorcar or motorcycle.

Throughout the weekend British companies and vendors will be selling all things British at the British Market Place & Auto Jumble.

Come and have a great weekend during your stay at our Lenox, MA Inn!

 

 

Posted in Berkshires, Events, Festivals | Tagged , , , |

Berkshire International Film Festival 2012 Showcases 70+ Independent Films

Berkshires Bed and Breakfast

The Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFF) continues to grow in popularity and in the number of films screened.
The 7th annual season is a celebration of the latest in independent feature, documentary, short, and family films. This year’s festival, with more than 70 films, runs from May 31 to June 3 in Great Barrington and Pittsfield.
The festival opens with the screening of the full-length documentary “Ethel” and will be presented by members of the Kennedy family, who will providing a special question and answer session.
Other festival highlights include the exclusive screening of “Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present,” with the producers and director present; and “Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters,” presented by the film’s director and the iconic local artist himself. Enjoy a romantic getaway and a good film during your stay at our Berkshires Bed and Breakfast!

 

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Eight Broads in the Kitchen

Nothing brings people together at our Berkshires B&B like food! Have I ever told you about the Eight Broads? If not, I have been remiss. Very much so.
Several years ago, eight innkeepers from across the US who share a passion for food – creating and eating – got together and created a food blog. They call themselves Eight Broads in the Kitchen – I am a Broad ex officio – and they put their best recipes, hints, and cooking/baking insights on this now very popular blog, www.eightbroadsinthekitchen.com.
In addition to the food blog, the Broads give food workshops at innkeeping conferences and write a food column for the International innkeepers’ magazine. A cookbook, of course, is in progress.
Despite their divergent backgrounds and personalities and the miles that separate them, over time the Broads have found that not only do they share this love for food but even more importantly they share a solid friendship. They form a support group for each other, sharing the ups and downs of life as well as innkeeping and even guests. No matter what life throws them, they offer Broad shoulders to each other. And they share a lot of laughs.
And they’ll share them with you at our Berkshires Inn!

Berkshires B&B Eight Broads

It's food, fun, and friendship for the Eight Broads in the Kitchen!

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