7.20.2011

A Weekend In Quechee, Vermont


A couple weekends ago, Jeff and I ventured up to Quechee, Vermont, for a wedding. Neither of us had been to Quechee before, and we had no idea how gorgeous it is.

We got up there on Friday afternoon, after a small detour to King Arthur Flour. It's pretty much impossible for me to get that close to the store and not stop in.


We checked in at the Quechee Inn at Marshland Farm, where we would be staying and the wedding would be held, and then we did a little driving around to check out the area. We found the Cabot store at the nearby Quechee Gorge Village and bought some wine, cheese, and crackers to snack on and share with friends back at the inn. We also ventured down to Woodstock to see what was there but found all of the shops closed up for the night, so we headed back to the inn.


Later, we went out for dinner and then gathered for a pre-wedding soiree outside on the lawn at the inn, complete with a small fire for making s'mores. The bride and groom had arranged a little get together so all those staying at the inn could mingle and get to know each other before the wedding. I thought it was such a fun idea.

The next morning, the day of the wedding, we had a lot of free time to check out the area. After having some breakfast at the inn, we drove over to the Quechee Gorge and wandered around some trails that led to different vantage points. It was so nice to breathe in the Vermont air and be surrounded by nature.

This is the view from the bridge over the gorge




Dam overlook




Bottom of the gorge
Once we left the gorge, we drove around again and this time found a bakery to stop at. The Trap Door Bakehouse & Cafe was situated in a gorgeous house right by the water. I wasn't super hungry since we had breakfast not too long before, but I had to try something, so I got a small piece of opera cake there. The decadent cake had chocolate layers on the top and bottom and was filled with coffee-soaked sponge cake layers.



Then we went back to the inn and sat outside for a while. It felt so nice to just soak up a little sun and relax, something I don't do often enough.


It got to be about lunchtime, and we decided to grab lunch at Simon Pearce with one of my friends and her boyfriend. I had been hearing about Simon Pearce for quite some time and knew I didn't want to leave the area without eating there.


The glass blowing and pottery shop and restaurant is housed in a restored mill. A nearby covered bridge makes the whole setting completely picturesque.




We spent some time wandering around the shop marveling at the beautiful pottery and glass. Inside the restaurant, everything is served in Simon Pearce glasses or on Simon Pearce pottery.

We were lucky enough to get a seat out on the terrace overlooking the falls.



Simon Pearce was offering a few special drinks that day, and one, the blueberry lemonade fizz, caught our attention.



I absolutely loved the presentation in the Simon Pearce glass with the mint sprig on top, and we all found the drink refreshing and delicious.

Don't I look so relaxed?

The waiter brought out some bread. He called those small bread nuggets buttermilk scones. I didn't think they had the texture of scones at all, but they were tasty. The brown bread was sort of like a pumpernickel.


My friend ordered the cheese platter as an appetizer, and I helped her by sampling some of the cheeses and that vibrant strawberry mostarda.


I got an order of the crisp Maple Brook Farm cheddar bites, which came with a tomato chutney. The chutney was sweet and spicy at the same time and was just the right complement to the cheddar bites.


For lunch, Jeff ordered the caesar salad and asked for grilled chicken on it. We were all a little confused by the presentation at first. On top was a parmesan whipped cream. Jeff kept it to the side, but my friend also got the caesar salad, and she cut up her lettuce and stirred the cream in, and it nicely coated all of the lettuce along with the dressing.


I went with the spinach salad, which came topped with smoked bacon, a farm egg, blue cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette. I wished there was a teensy bit more balsamic, but other that that I truly enjoyed this salad. The egg was finely crumbled, and I liked it that way much more than just a chopped egg. The yolk and white were more incorporated this way.


Simon Pearce uses tons of local, seasonal ingredients and even has a whole list of farms and local companies it supports on its menu. This was really evident in the dishes I tried.


If you're passing through Quechee, I would definitely recommend stopping at Simon Pearce for the sights, the glassware, and the food.

Simon Pearce Restaurant on Urbanspoon

After lunch, we had to head back to get ready for the wedding, which started at 5. The ceremony was absolutely beautiful, and we had a fabulous time at the reception. It was one of those weddings where everything just looked perfect, and the bride was absolutely stunning.


Whether you're headed up there for a wedding or not, I think Quechee is a hidden gem worthy of a weekend stay. I felt incredibly recharged after our stay there and wished we had a little more time to hang around the area and explore.

Where have you gone recently that has left you feeling rejuvenated?

17 comments:

  1. Hi! Loved your post and shared the link on our Facebook page! Looks like you had a wonderful time!

    ~wendy

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  2. I love Quechee! We ran a half marathon up there, and it was so beautiful!

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  3. I felt the same way about Laconia, NH and the resort we stayed in this past weekend. Quechee / Woodstock, VT is one of my favorite places pretty much ever! I am so glad you got to explore it. I haven't been to Simon Pearce since I was a kid though. I just loved your review and all your area explorations.

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  4. Sounds like the perfect weekend giveaway. I've never been there.

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  5. This weekend sounds like just what you needed! My weekend in Connecticut helped me get away from the whole stress of packing...even if I ended up being more stressed out when I got home!

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  6. We spent our honeymoon right near Queechee (in Woodstock) but our meal at Simon Pearce was one of the highlights of the trip. Well, that at the KAF store, of course :)

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  7. I love Queechee! I was only up there briefly for a 1/2 marathon but it was so beautiful. Next time I must get lunch at simon Pearce. Those cheddar bites look so yummy. A trip to Maine, where I'm headed this weekend, always recharges me.

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  8. Swoooon. I love VT. I need to go back there asap. I've never been to Quechee but I've been wanting to go for years because one of the farmer's diners is there. The whole weekend looked magnificent!

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  9. Quechee? My goodness it is beautiful; never heard of it but now when we are anywhere near there we'll be taking advantage of all your interesting traveler's tidbits! Really enjoyed my visit here, I'll be back often!
    KC
    KCintheKitchen

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  10. Quechee is one of my favorite places! I spent a lot of weekends up there as a kid. The Simon Pearce glass blowing was a favorite attraction of mine - as was the gorge. Looks like you had an amazing weekend and a meal at Simon Pearce on the terrace with a view of the covered bridge to boot!

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  11. I spent last Christmas in Quechee! Loved it there. We also went to Simon Pearce and our server also told us that those were scones. We should've corrected them! hehe

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  12. I'm loving everything about this trip!! Ever since hte KA trip I've really realized how badly I want to explore VT more!! Now I'm thinking maybe for our anniversary :)

    Let me know if u need help planning the Portsmouth thing. The only weekend I;m away is that 19-21 in August for the healthy living summit!

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  13. what a cute little place!! glad you were able to getaway and relax :)

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  14. I've never heard of that place. It looks beautiful. I'm always looking for weekend hike getaways. Thanks!

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  15. What a blast from the past! I grew up in the town next to Quechee and actually worked at the Quechee Inn for 7 years (high school & part of college). Next time you go, I reccomend Dana's for breakfast, it is right next to the Gorge. It is only open during the summer, and one of the things I really miss about home. Glad you had such a wonderful time!

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  16. What a fun and relaxing weekend! I imagine Vermont is a beautiful location for a wedding

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  17. I went up to Quechee one year for my birthday. It is so different and beautiful in January.

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