Food & Drink

Dining in Vermont is a unique and delicious experience. The farming roots of the state are apparent in today’s cuisine, as several restaurants are making a concerted effort to reconnect dining with the land. Even if you don’t consider yourself a “Farm to Table Foodie,” your tummy will be smiling when you choose the restaurant that suits you with Golden Stage Inn’s guide to dining in Vermont!

Vermont is also the top state in the nation for breweries per capita, and award-winning distilleries and wineries are popping up across the Green Mountain State. Be sure to grab some VT maple syrup while you’re here, we always have a supply at our bed and breakfast.

Ludlow Farmers’ Market

strawberriesAt Golden Stage Inn, we incorporate wholesome, local ingredients into our breakfasts. Vermont is a mecca for local food. Buying from farmers’ markets is an adventure in and of itself! You can meet the people who grew and produced your food…and the vegetables, fruit, meat and dairy products are all extra fresh.


rhubarb and garlic scapes


The Ludlow Farmer’s market is a vibrant scene, and is a great deal of fun to just explore and wander around. It takes place on the front lawn of the Okemo Mountain School every Friday from 4-7 pm through October 9.





Market Vendors for 2015 are:

Abracadabra Coffee
Alpine Glo Farm LLC
Cabinfish Fiber Art
Cedar Hollow Farm
Coleman Brook Tavern at Okemo Mountain Resort
Crows Bakery and Opera House Cafe
Deep Meadow Farm
Earth Sky Time
Evening Song Farm
Fernleigh Cellars
Fox Glove Farms
Frame It in Skis
Gloria’s Pantrynasturtium salad
Goodman’s American Pie Wood Fired Pizza
Heleba Potato Farm
Irene Berry Massage Therapy & Berry Bee Farm
Knot Woodworking
Leaning Ladder Farm, LLC
The Lemonistas
Macora Farm
Mad River Distillers
Micah’s Dad Creations
Maple + More
Plew Farm
Rocky Meadow Farm
Smith Maple Crest Farm
Smokeshire Hill Top Farm
SNO Company
Springmore Farm
Susan Leader Pottery
Taking Root
Tisa Van Dine
Vermont Cannoli
The Vermont Croissant
Vermont Fresh Pasta
Wallingford Locker
Woodcock Farm Cheese Company
Wooly Bear Soaps and Sundries
Yoder Farm

Okemo’s Hops in the Hills Beer & Wine Festival

Did you know that Vermont has the most breweries per capita of any state in the USA?! Beer-lovers are flocking to Vermont to try both innovative and classic brews; but Vermont is also a leader in local and craft cider production, and has a growing presence of wineries and vineyards…

Okemo’s Hops in the Hills Beer & Wine Festival

If you’re itching to get a taste of the wide array of Vermont beer, the Hops in the Hills Beer & Wine Festival is two weekends away (and just a 15 minute drive from Golden Stage Inn)! It takes place from Friday, August 7 through Sunday, August 9 at the Jackson Gore Courtyard.

The Hops in the Hills festival, filled with great drinks and food, craft vendors, live music, and outdoor fun, is certainly a highlight of any summer vacation in Vermont. If you haven’t yet been to Okemo’s Adventure Zone, it will also be open all weekend during its normal hours.

Friday evening, 5 to 9 pm: Enjoy live music from East Coast Soul, starting at six. New this year is a four-course beer pairing dinner featuring local beer and local ingredients from Vermont farms. The dinner starts at 6:30 pm; check out the full menu here.

Saturday, noon to 8 pm: Local restaurants will compete for the title of “Okemo Valley Chicken Wing Champion”. Five dollars gets you five wings and one vote. Live music by Big Fez and the Surfmatics from 1-4 pm, and by Gang of Theives from 4:30 to 7:30 pm.

Sunday afternoon, 11 am to 5 pm: Live music by Seeking Homer from noon to 3 pm, and by CK3 from 3:30 to 5 pm.

Food & beverage details:

  • Food Vendors: The Common Kitchen Co., Outback Pizza, Squeels on Wheels, Good to Go!, Farmers & Foragers and Better Buzz Mobile Expresso Bar.
  • Breweries: Samuel Adams, Switchback Brewing Co., Otter Creek Brewing Co., The Shed Brewery, Brooklyn Brewery, Magic Hat Brewing Co., Roaring Brook Brewing, Hermit Thrush Brewery, Mystic Brewery, Finch’s Beer Co., Lagunitas Brewing Co., Havoc Mead, Groennfell Meadery, Davidson Brothers, Harpoon Brewery, Long Trail Brewing Co., Northshire Brewery, Victory Brewing, Foolproof Brewing Co., Rogue Ales & Spirits, Stone Brewing Co., von Trapp Brewery, Shipyard Brewing Co., and Sea Dog Brewing Co.
  • Cideries: Citizen’s Cider, Woodchuck Hard Cider, Urban Farm Fermantory, and Downeast Cider House.
  • Wineries: Clifford Bay (New Zealand), Chalone (CA), Lincourt (CA), Cooper Hill (OR), Valckenburg (Germany), De Bortoli (France), Fresh Tracks (VT), Eppa (NY), Nieto Senetiner (Argentina), Nobillo (New Zealand)
  • Purchase Hops in the Hills glasses and tickets in advance.

Harvest Pumpkin Soup with Garam Masala

IMG_6752Every winter, after Christmas passes, Golden Stage Inn welcomes guests with steaming afternoon soup to warm chilly bones from the cold.  The soup season is coming to a close, so lets send you off with a new recipe from this year.  This Harvest Pumpkin Soup recipe was created by Golden Stage Inn’s Marketing Assistant.  It is a perfect winter soup that brings out the nostalgic flavors of fall: pumpkin, apple and onion.  The spices in the Garam Masala mix lend to a particularly warming effect, enhanced by garlic, ginger and a touch of curry powder for heat.  You can buy Garam Masala spice mix at most grocery stores, or you can make your own with freshly ground spices.  The amount of curry powder used is perfect for those who aren’t “spicy eaters”, so if you like your soup spicy-hot, add more!  Another key ingredient is Wood’s boiled cider — an apple syrup that adds sweetness and acidity to the soup.  If you do not have boiled cider available, you can substitute one tablespoon maple syrup, one tablespoon apple cider, and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar.  Wood’s cider mill is not far from Golden Stage Inn and makes a great day trip during the cider-pressing and maple-sugaring seasons.  You can also find the product on King Arthur Flour’s website.

Harvest Pumpkin Soup with Garam Masala


2 1/4 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)

1/2 sugar pumpkin (if you would rather used canned pumpkin, I believe this would equal 2 cans.)

olive oil

1 onion

2 small apples (or one large apple)

2 cloves garlic

fresh ginger (use a thumb-sized amount)

2 teaspoons Garam Masala

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

3 tablespoons boiled cider

1 teaspoon salt


1. Prepare pumpkin by cutting it in half and seeding it.  Place the two halves on a baking tray with a bit of water, open sides down.  Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes, until soft.

2.  Chop onions and apples.  Finely dice ginger and garlic.

3. Warm stock in a medium-sized pot with 2 tablespoons of Woods’ boiled cider.  Scoop out a half of the cooked pumpkin, and add to the stock. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala over the mixture and stir to combine.  Cook on medium high heat until simmering, then turn heat to low and simmer until the other ingredients are ready.

4.  Warm olive oil in a pan over medium high heat.  Add onions and cook until translucent, then add apples and continue to cook.  When both apples and onions are soft, turn heat to low and add ginger, garlic, curry powder and 1/2 teaspoon garam masala.

5.  Add mixed sauteed ingredients to the pumpkin stock and stir.  Add salt.  Simmer on medium low for another 5 minutes.

6.  To puree the soup, I used an immersion blender.  If you do not have an immersion blender, you can use a stand-up blender or food processor.  Taste your soup and add extra curry powder, salt or garam masala if desired.

7.  Serve with a drizzle of boiled cider accenting each bowl.

Holiday Dining in Vermont – how to avoid the crowds.

Ludlow restaurants can get a bit overwhelming for families or even couples seeking some relaxation after a day of great skiing.  Christmas, New Year’s, Martin Luther King weekend and Presidents’ Day weekend are the area’s busiest times of the year for Vermont ski towns like Ludlow.  But a little bit of planning and strategy can go a long way in making dinnertime an enjoyable event.  Here are a few dining tips that we think should make your fantastic vacation even better.

Make Reservations

This is a great way to ensure your seat at a table without a wait, but there are a few tricks to making reservations, as well.  Some restaurants only take reservations for larger parties; for example, Stemwinder in Ludlow will only take reservations for groups of six or more.  Other restaurants might be booked for the holiday period far in advance.  The Downtown Grocery is a fine dining restaurant featuring local ingredients; if you want to try it out during the holiday season, call for a reservation immediately when planning your trip.  Another amazing locally-sourced dining experience is the Inn at Weathersfield.  While they welcome walk-ins, reservations are highly recommended during holidays and weekends, especially for large parties.

Stemwinder Restaurant Ludlow VT

A view of the Stemwinder bar from the upstairs seating!  Image from

Seek Out New Restaurants

Perhaps you can beat the holiday dining crowd – and the trends – by eating at a newly opened establishment.  There are a few new restaurants in the area that are worth a visit.

Homestyle Hostel offers a community dinner with homemade entrees every night at 7:00 pm.  They request advance notice of 24 hours if you’ll be joining them.  This is more of a family-style meal than a restaurant experience, but rest assured that the food is hearty and fresh, with friendly company.  There is also a coffee bar, open from 8 am to 8 pm, and beer and wine are served from noon to 8 pm.

Mojo Cafe is a really fun spot to check out.  The name of the restaurant was inspired by The Doors, and the orange interior is decked out with rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia.  The food is creative Tex-Mex fusion, offering tacos, Po’ Boys, gumbo, enchiladas and creative appetizers.  Order a local brew on tap or a glass of wine.  Mojo is open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch and dinner (closed between 2 pm and 4 pm).  While it is a new restaurant, word is getting out and the space is small, so ordering carry-out might be a safer path to take.  (For more on ordering take-out, see below!)

Finally, The Free Range in Chester, VT is a 20 minute drive from Golden Stage Inn, and is located right in the quaint village green.  This is more of your typical New England fare, open Wednesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner, with brunch served on Sundays.

homestyle hostel salad

A fresh salad from Homestyle Hostel in Ludlow, VT.  Image from

Order Take-Out

If you’re staying at our bed & breakfast, you’ll already know how comfortable it is to eat at the Inn once you’ve had breakfast in the solarium. Maybe ordering take-out wouldn’t quite work when staying at a hotel or motel, but at our B&B, you are welcome to use the common spaces on the first floor whenever you like. You may use our utensils and wine glasses to complete your dining experience.  There are a couple great places for take-out in the area, but as with reservations, your best bet is to call early. Call in your order at the end of your ski day, but well before you want to pick it up.  You’ll have time to head back to the Inn, take a hot shower, enjoy a bowl of homemade soup, and then pick up your supper by the time your belly starts to rumble!  Our Inn is BYOB, so grab a bottle of wine at Wine and Cheese Depot, or find beer and liquor at Singleton’s or Brewfest Beverage Company.

For a pizza night, place your order at Goodman’s American Pie early in the day.  Goodman’s is certainly the best pizza around, so during the holidays you should place your order before 4 pm.  Better yet, leave your order with Mike or Julie in the morning, and they’ll take care of placing the order for you (a great idea if you’re tearing up the slopes all day!).  After 4 pm, there is usually an hour wait time or more for a take-out pie.  (Goodman’s does have eat-in available too, and they now offer beer and wine.)

Other nearby places for take-out include Harry’s Cafe, Sam’s Steakhouse, Mr. Darcy’s, DJ’s, and The Killarney.  See our full list of Southern Vermont restaurants here, and peruse our dining guide in the sitting room when you arrive.

Avoid “Rush Hour”

Maybe you forgot to make reservations.  Or maybe you want to dine at two of our favorite restaurants Mr. Darcy’s or Sam’s Steakhouse (who do not take reservations).  Most area restaurants open at 5pm.  Try being there by 6 or 6:30 and you should be able to be seated promptly, leaving yourself plenty of time for a relaxing meal.  If early dinners aren’t your style, , try waiting til 8:30 or so.  The crowds should have already done their thing and you can kick back and do yours!

Enjoying meals together should be a treasured part of your vacation.  Hopefully with these tips and a little bit of advanced planning, your dinner time can be as special as the rest of your trip.


Christmas Eve Smorgasbord 2014

Each year, Golden Stage Inn decks the halls for Christmas Eve festivities.  Innkeeper Julie celebrates her Swedish heritage with her family, and all are invited to participate in the feast.  Appetizers and beverages start the evening off.  Traditional Swedish dishes are served in a buffet-style dinner, followed by an array of desserts.  It is truly an evening of light and laughter!  Guests are invited to participate for $25 per person.  Dinner is served around 7, but arrive earlier for appetizers and mingling!  For more information, please read 2013’s blog post about the Christmas Eve Swedish Smorgasbord at Golden Stage Inn.  Here are a few photos from last year’s Smorgasbord:

Swedish Smorgasboard with decor at the Golden Stage Inn

Swedish decorations and tablecloth.

Delicious almond cake and apple cake

Santa Lucia offers Swedish desserts of apple cake and almond cake.  “God Jul,” as the napkin says, is pronounced “Good Yule” and means Merry Christmas!

Page 1 of 41234