Snow is here…

…and we hope it’s here to stay! We’ve received a few flurries and snowshowers, in addition to some rain and sunny days. We are certainly ready for a heaping dose of snow, and with what we’ve had so far it seems like we’re in for a good winter ahead! Check out some powdery dustings at the Inn back in November, as well as our front yard view of Okemo’s already ski-able trails:

 

 

 

Holiday Shopping Without the Stress

Along with supporting local arts, The Golden Stage Inn has much pride in our local businesses. We try to source our foods and products from small businesses in the area as often as we can. Lucky for us, this is a fairly easy task because Vermont has legislation that makes it tough for chain stores to open in the Green Mountain State. I believe I’ve seen two McDonalds during my entire time wandering the state, and certainly never a single Walmart, Target, or mall! As a way of encouraging guests to visit these mom-and-pop stores, we have set up a promotion that allows you to get holiday shopping done in a stress-free – dare I say delightful – way. Check out the I Hate Malls  package to see what sort of savings and complimentary treats are currently available at the Inn. Meanwhile, take a peek at our smorgasbord review of Ludlow’s small businesses and gift shops that provide an eclectic diversity of offerings for seasonal shoppers in Vermont.

 

Blue Sky Trading Company is one of my top two favorite gift shops in Ludlow…mostly because everything (and I mean everything) inside the store appeals to my taste. They offer a few Vermont Products, most notably the slate coasters from Vermont Stoneworks and fine natural candles for Bennington Candle. Even if you wander in with no money, as I did, the stunning visuals of colorful scarves, seasonal photography and creative earrings may keep you occupied and exploring for several minutes, and Greg or Betsy will likely strike up a conversation with you in the meantime.

 

The Silver Spoon Gallery is my other top Ludlow shopping destination. When I walked in for the first time, I expected to spend my time quietly staring at do-not-touch paintings and statues way out of my price range. While there are indeed some amazing pieces of art that I didn’t even think about laying my hands on (including pieces by Robert Sydorowich featured on the Inn’s first floor!), the Gallery is an accessible, almost participatory New England-based artisan and craft store. I found myself unashamedly laughing out loud at the custom magnets and cards in one room. The best part is – many of the products are totally affordable! I bought two hilarious refrigerator magnets from Maine for my dad, handmade Hawaiian soap for my aunt, and the Silver Spoon’s own cutlery earrings (for myself…oops). The owner brings his own crafts, which usually involve cutlery in unexpected ways, to fairs and festivals across New England. When he meets artists he finds particularly compelling, he offers to sell their products in his store. So not only does The Silver Spoon exhibit the owners own imaginative flare, it showcases his personal taste when it comes to offering a well-selected array of appealing products.

 

Right next-door to the Silver Spoon Gallery is the Wine and Cheese Depot. I don’t need to go into any more detail about how well wine and cheese are received at any point in the year, only to mention that many of the cheeses and a few of the wines and hard ciders are Vermont-sourced and produced. Across the road is Tina’s Fun Stuff to Wear clothing and accessories store. I have yet to go inside, but I’ll bet the name speaks for itself. Other stores within walking distance include Chrisandra’s Home and Furniture, a small pet boutique, Chaos Casbah and Chapter XIV Bookstore. Within a five minute drive is The Fletcher Farm School, a dynamic organization whose VT crafts gift shop is just one facet of what it has to offer.

 

Stay tuned for more profiles of nearby towns with abundant locally owned businesses – up next week: Chester!

Featured Artist: Robert Sydorowich

We are blessed this winter to be displaying several watercolors and oils by talented Vermont impressionist Robert Sydorowich. His landscapes depict Andover, VT, where he has resided for over 40 years, as well as surrounding towns such as Weathersfield, Windsor, Shrewsbury, Ludlow, Wallingford, Plymouth, Weston, Quechee, Waitsfield, and Salem. In his own words, his creations strive to be “simple, focused, capturing the truth of the moment.” His work is featured in galleries across the state, in New York City, and even in London, as well as his own gallery in Andover. While his gallery, a converted 1000-square-foot barn, is in hibernation for the snowy months to come, a few of his paintings have found a temporary home in the Golden Stage’s living room and dining room, and the Inn’s walls are practically shivering with delight to be so beautifully adorned!

These gorgeous landscapes that our guests can now enjoy from the comfort of the indoors are reminiscent of the scenic country roads wandering to and from the Inn. Cows graze peacefully, ice-covered creeks wind between evergreen trees, snow-covered hills shelter silos and barns, and shadowy mountains undulate before lavender winter skies. Even the rusty, smoky colors of Stick Season become idyllic when interpreted by Robert Sydorowich’s paintbrush. [Stick Season, for those who may be hearing the term for the first time, is that period after the fall colors but before the winter snow, when deciduous trees are bare to the bones. Though this may sound bleak at first glance, many rejoice in November’s comforts: cider-pressing, root-crop and winter squash harvests, wool sweaters, pre-Christmas shopping, and the first wood-stove fires of the year!]

 

At this Bed & Breakfast, we do our best to support and advocate the abundance of local artistic talent available year-round. Robert Sydorowich will especially appeal to those of you who take an interest in art that reflects the natural world while giving you a full sense of what it means to call Vermont home. You can see two of the pieces featured at the Golden Stage Inn at Robert Sydorowich’s website, entitled Winter Reflections and Nancy Brook. The remaining paintings housed here cannot be viewed online, but there are several images on his website that depict scenes you’d be certain to see during a winter stay in the Okemo Valley region! These include maple syrup taps; a covered bridge; views of Okemo; and – most importantly – a cozy stove warming a sleepy cat and a pot of tea.

If you live in the area, we encourage you to seek out Robert Sydorowich’s fantastic impressionism in person, whether at a gallery near you or at our own first-floor-turned-art-gallery. This past fall, Sydorowich was featured in the Vermont Open Studio Weekend in conjunction with 130 other artisans and craftspeople. Hopefully he will be a part of the Spring 2014 Open Studio Tour as well, since it will be the Vermont Craft Council’s 20th year putting on this incredible promotion for VT crafts and art!

 

Haunted House Insanity at Golden Stage Inn

At our Vermont Bed and Breakfast, we just barely finished wrapping up Halloween decorations (just in time to start wrapping those holiday presents, I suppose!). Halloween is always a big to-do at the Inn – this year we had over 90 trick-or-treaters stop by! And for any of you from the big cities who may not be impressed, that’s quite a claim for lil’ ol’ Cavendish, VT.

The tradition of transforming the Inn into a haunted house was passed on from the previous innkeepers, Sandy and Peter. With the help of generous donations of Halloween costumes and decor and energetic volunteers, we successfully continue to spook and startle trick-or-treaters of all ages. Sadly, however, the century-old ghosts that are rumored to wander in and out of the building have yet to make their presence known on October 31st. We’re still working with them on that…they are a bit harder to train than the ever-loyal inn dog, Nelly.

This year the humble Inn practically put on a disguise of its own, masking the front door with a fog tunnel and admitting guests into a terror-filled madhouse. Once you crossed the threshold, you were no longer in a quaint New England home…you had dared to enter The Cavendish Insane Asylum! We spook-ers dressed as crazy patients, gorillas, torture victims, and doctors gone off their rockers. The first floor overflowed with high-pitched laughter, animal roars, odd thumps and screams, and one of the doctors yelling “I hate his guts!” as she pulled her patient’s entrails from his stomach. I especially enjoyed popping out from behind doors in my blood-stained night gown, or sneaking up behind parents who thought their kids would be the only ones to jump!

Don’t worry, we toned it down for the little ones…

We’re looking ahead to next year’s haunted house – perhaps a carnival gone wrong or a witch’s cult headquarters? Let us know if you have any great ideas for themes, costumes, or spook-tacular tricks and treats! Until then, we’ll stay in the present and enjoy the jam-packed holiday festivities steadily approaching on our calendars.

 

Sophi Veltrop, Marketing Assistant for the Golden Stage Inn

The Vermont Golden Honey Festival – Sept 14, 2013

Just a few more days and we’ll be hosting the Vermont Golden Honey Festival!  Over a dozen vendors will be gathering at our Vermont Bed and Breakfast on September 14, 2013 to offer their Vermont-themed and honeybee-themed products.  Co-hosted by Golden Stage Inn Bed and Breakfast of Proctorsville and Goodman’s American Pie of Ludlow, this event is sure to please!

Why a Vermont Golden Honey Festival?  Vermont’s state insect is the honeybee after all, so it already seems a perfect match.  But as hobby beekeepers, we also have an added incentive.  The honeybee is often feared, or — maybe worse – overlooked and disregarded.  Although honeybees have received a lot of press lately for their dire circumstances, still not enough people realize just how awesome and important these bees are.  Responsible for nearly one of every three bites of food we eat, the honeybee provides us with so much more than honey.

At the festival, in addition to browsing the vendor booths for freshly baked bread and quilted crafts, books and photography, flowers, handmade stationery, and so much more, visitors will also have the opportunity to hear brief talks on beekeeping, mead making, fiber arts projects, and comic strip creation.  Goodman’s American Pie will be making their first public appearance with their all-new portable beehive pizza oven.  Honey-crust and honey-themed pizzas anyone?  It’s sure to be delicious!  There will even be a table for kids (of all ages) to make a simple craft.  Admission is free.  The festival runs from 10am through 4pm.  Check out our festival page on facebook for updates.

If you’re anywhere near the Okemo Valley in Vermont this weekend, be sure to swing by the Vermont Golden Honey Festival at Golden Stage Inn.

We can’t wait to see you! – Julie-Lynn, Innkeeper, Golden Stage Inn

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