Clapboard Inn with Orchid Greenhouse and Fine-Dining Restaurant
In 2001, Bob and Linda Aldrich both had established careers in medicine—he a cardiologist, she a cardiac rehabilitation nurse—when they decided to quit their jobs and fulfill their dream of operating an inn. They eventually settled into Inn at Weston, a white clapboard house set on 6 acres. Since then, they've incorporated their own character to the inn by adding a library, a deck, a gazebo, and an orchid greenhouse filled with more than 1,000 live orchids—one of the largest private collections in the northeast. The estate overflows with carefully maintained gardens where couples can enjoy a glass of wine or a good book.
In the dining room of the inn's fine-dining restaurant, a pianist plays as guests chat and clink glasses. Executive chef and former New England Culinary Institute instructor Michael Kennedy helms the kitchen, where chefs use local and seasonal ingredients to craft entrees such as seared duck breast ($27) and forest mushroom strudel ($23). The extensive wine list here helped the inn earn to an Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator. Cap off the night with a house-made dessert, such as apple-cinnamon crepes or chocolate-pomegranate crème brûlée.
The carriage-house rooms are contained within the main inn but have a separate entrance. Each of these rooms features a fireplace and a whirlpool tub as well as farmhouse-style décor, such as roosters in place of alarm clocks. A set of french doors opens onto a wooden deck overlooking the garden in both the Bolster and Follette rooms. The four rooms in the main inn also feature elegant area rugs and antique tables and dressers.
Weston, Vermont: Historical Town on the Outskirts of the Green Mountain National Forest
Inn at Weston sits right on the Main Street of Weston, a quaint village dating back to the 18th century and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Several historical buildings are clustered downtown: the 19th-century Farrar-Mansur House is filled with period décor, and an adjacent gristmill is still in operation, though neither are open for tours until July.
Just north of the gristmill on Main Street is a Vermont institution: the general store. The Vermont Country Store replicates the feel of an old-fashioned merchant, selling nostalgic toys such as Fisher-Price toy cameras and old-time sock monkeys. Shoppers can also peruse pajamas, handmade soaps, and gourmet chocolates. You can try free samples of snacks such as cheeses, smoked meats, or pinecones covered in maple syrup.