Christmasy Charm, Gourmet Food, and Poetic Walks
I know this weekend’s storm is the first snow fall for my fellow New Yorkers, but we witnessed inches of the powdery white stuff a few weeks back while in Rhinebeck. It was a beautiful storm, but it did cause us to miss the main purpose of our visit: the Sinterklaas Parade. Fortunately, Rhinebeck had so much to offer and our B&B was so inviting, we didn’t even mind missing the main event. Plus, it just means we have a reason to return next year.
We stayed at Hideaway Suites, one of the most comfortable and excellent B&B we’ve ever slept in. The Chateau Suite offered a private deck, a fireplace (so great for the wintry nights) and a two person jacuzzi tub. Our hostess was incredibly kind and accommodating and left hot tea for us in a magical thermal container that kept water hot for hours and hours. The place struck a great balance between modern amenities and bed and breakfast charm. I highly highly recommend it, even if it is a brief and winding drive from the main town. We’ve never been so eager to return to a hotel room on any vacation.
Aside from romantic hideaway B&B’s, Rhinebeck also boasts some truly excellent food thanks to its proximity to the Culiary Institute. The first night we tried Arielle, the new kid on the block, that came with strong endorsements from two of our most picky friends. Everything was excellent – from the grilled and smoky octopus, to the expertly mixed dirty martini, from the veal scallopini to the lamb so bucco. A lemon tart finished the meal off perfectly.
The next day we ventured into the area’s most well known restaurant Terrapin, housed in a gorgeous craftsman church in the middle of town. We went during the day to the Bistro which offered great sandwiches (Jim had a sliced steak one) and small plates. We shared crispy artichokes, goat cheese wontons, garlic soup and lemongrass mussels. They also offered a drink after my own heart: a hot and dirty martini made with pickle juice and sriracha. It was heaven to drink it while watching the snow fall.
Though we missed the main parade, we still saw a few of the local celebrations for Sinterklaas (the Dutch Christmas) including street performers, street musicians, decorated windows, a cookie tree, and an illuminated book. It was a happy and quaint winter experience to be there.
Just so you don’t spend the entire time eating, drinking, and lazying around the fire, not too far from town there is the Poet’s Walk trail, a beautiful spot with gazebos, wooden and brick bridges, and lovely views of the Hudson. it was intensely blustery and freezing when we walked it, but so beautiful and peaceful, the rosy cheeks and ice cube toes were worth it.