In the weeks leading up to the trip to King Arthur, I emailed and called numerous B&Bs and hotels in the Norwich area. I never realized how hard it is to find accommodations for nine guests! Finally, I reached Brita at the Norwich Bed & Breakfast. She had three rooms that she thought would work for us. As it turns out, there are only three rooms at the Norwich B&B, so we lucked out and got the whole place to ourselves!
We left King Arthur after a long day of classes and eating and drove a few minutes down the road to the B&B. Just before we reached it, we turned onto a dirt road and started to see amazing views of the Vermont skyline. I think it was just what we city girls needed!
Our caravan of three cars pulled in, and Brita, who runs the inn with her husband, came out and greeted us and showed us around. After we called dibs on our rooms and unloaded our cars, we all freshened up and changed for dinner and then gathered in Alicia, Jen, and Katie's room. Theirs was the biggest and had some couches where we could all hang out.
Meghan pulled out a bottle of wine, and Kristen located some "wine" glasses. We had a pre-dinner aperitif to relax and unwind a little from our long day.
Then we piled into two cars and drove a couple of minutes down the road to Carpenter & Main. Alicia had called earlier in the week, and the restaurant happily set up a 3-course menu for us (for $40 each). We reasoned that this would be easier than all ordering separately and trying to split a bill among nine of us.
We started with an amuse bouche of white bean cassoulet compliments of the chef.
We were all served warm rolls with butter as well.
For my first course, I chose the country pate served with a King Arthur batard. It does not photograph well at all, but it was quite good. I love eating pate with a little mustard to kick up the flavor.
For my entree I immediately selected the crab and leek agnolotti with artichokes and red pepper coulis. Every now and then I jump at the chance to eat shellfish since Jeff is allergic, and I try not to have it when I'm around him. The agnolotti did not disappoint.
Dessert was an easy pick as well: panna cotta. I actually read a disappointing statement about panna cotta the other day. Andrew Knowlton, the BA foodist, dismissed it as an overplayed dessert that "neither really pleases nor offends." This panna cotta was beyond pleasing. The texture was spot on, and since the panna cotta was made with buttermilk, it had just a hint of tang to it. The oven-roasted nectarines paired with it added a touch of sweetness. The brown sugar cookies, however, were too hard, and I didn't eat those. Soft, chewy brown sugar cookies would have been better.
It was really fun being able to sit at a table together, eat a nice dinner, and share our thoughts on the day we had.
The Next Morning
Kristen, Michelle, and I shared a room, and we all got up bright and early to take some pictures of the B&B and the Vermont scenery. We even got to take the innkeepers' dog Zoe with us.
We wandered back in when the smell of bacon wafting over from the B&B's kitchen could no longer be ignored, and we met the rest of the girls for breakfast.
The blueberry stuffed French toast and crispy bacon fueled us up for the drive home.
We took a few last pictures outside, and then we packed up and hit the road.
It really was a memorable, fun-filled weekend. I made some new friends and spent quality time with old friends. I'm so happy the trip came together and that we learned so much and had such a good time!
I encourage you to read everyone else's posts (Alicia, Bridget, Elina, Jen, Katie, Kerstin, Kristen, Meghan, and Michelle). We all had the same experience, but we all took different pieces away from it.
And if you missed my earlier posts, here are links to all the posts in the "King Arthur Series."
Trekking To Vermont
A Trip To The King Arthur Flour Company Facilities In Norwich, Vermont
King Arthur Flour: What You Need To Know
Baking Class At King Arthur, Part 1
Baking Class At King Arthur, Part 2
What was your favorite road trip? Where is your favorite place to stay?