In the late 1930s, two journalists from New York traveled to Litchfield, Connecticut, in search of a quiet vacation home where they could both focus on their writing. After transforming a small barn into their living space, however, William Harris and Jane Grant found themselves distracted from work by the surrounding countryside's rich foliage. They soon decided to devote themselves to horticulture, first in their own garden and later in the nursery that would become White Flower Farm. The couple's inquisitive and intelligent approach to gardening led them to seek out and educate themselves on new plant species, original design ideas, and modernized practices. As the couple developed a strong, local following of passionate horticulturists, their nursery business thrived, passing into the hands of the current owner, Eliot Wadsworth, in 1976.
Although its current staff nears 100 people, White Flower Farm still strives to maintain a personal touch with thoughtful customer service and the use of hands-on growing techniques. Five hundred varieties of plants grow in its 32 greenhouses under horticulturalists' constant care, and plants are packed carefully before they're shipped year-round to gardens across the country.
Within the stately Litchfield Inn, Bantam Bistro's executive chef Jonathan Gyles lends Italian flair to gourmet American dishes crafted from local and organic ingredients, such as mushrooms from Mountaintop Mushrooms and cheese from Cato Corner Farm. The expansive menu includes dazzling charcuterie platters, fillets of Atlantic salmon and tails of Maine lobster, and pastas such as bucatini and agnolotti. Barkeeps pour sips of more than 118 wines and muddle peaches into Bantam's signature take on the classic old fashioned, whose amber tones glow in the flickering light of tabletop candles in leaf-etched votives. The dining room’s brick-lined fireplace gives chefs a cozy place to store canapés shaped like Christmas stockings, and sparkling chandeliers twinkle above Sunday brunch dishes nestled inside pristine silver chafing dishes.
Vintage Twist Antiques curates a selection of antiques and heirlooms priced between $10 and $1,000. Waterford crystal, fine china, and vintage furniture are just a few categories of goods that the store's buyer seeks out. Shoppers can also find vintage jewelry, pottery, and artwork.
Within TerryAllen Farms' indoor riding arena, dressage ring, or two outdoor rings, chief horseback riding instructor Samantha Borkoski can be found coaching adults and youngsters alike on the finer points of Hunter/Jumper riding and equitation. After competing as a member of the Intercollegiate Riding Team at Southern Virginia College, Samantha refocused her abilities in order to teach others in lesson programs, whether outright beginners picking up the basics or avid equestrians working toward competing in events or preparing for the extinction of cars. She also conducts summer and vacation riding programs throughout the year, and invites school-aged students to try out for the facility's competitive team, which participates in Interscholastic Equestrian Association events.