We visited Manchester Vermont for several reasons. Manchester is the quintessential Vermont town with restaurants offering a wide range of cuisines, local breweries, art galleries, shopping, hiking and scenic rides.
It was only a few hours’ drive from Westchester NY and the start of a relaxing three-day getaway. The last hour of our drive was especially easy and peaceful as the busy interstate gave way to scenic country roads.
Driving between the granite pillars and iron gates you get your first glimpse of this historic building – it felt like we were home.
Truly the centerpiece of Manchester is the Lincoln Family Home – Hildene. The formal gardens, the restored Sunbeam Pullman train car, the goat farm, walking trails and the Dene are stretched over the 400-acre property. The mansion is beautifully maintained in the turn of the 20th century style. We felt like we stepped back in time. Built by Robert Todd Lincoln and has President Abraham Lincoln’s stovepipe hat on display.
Interestingly, Robert Todd Lincoln was law partners with Edward Isham who owned the Ormsby Hill property and summered in the building now known as The Inn at Ormsby Hill.
North on 7A and only two miles from the inn is Manchester’s retail area. We visited the Orvis Flagship Store and Outlet, Catbird Studio, Northshire Book Store, Mountain Goat and the other outlet stores on Route 30. We stopped for lunch at RoadRunner tucked away just off Main Street.
During breakfast at the inn another guest suggested that we visit the Southern Vermont Art Center to see “The Wee Worlds of Salley Mavor” and Ahley Bryant’s “The Spirit of Joy.”
Finally, dinner at the nearby Silver Fork where we had Wiener schnitzel with German Potato Salad and Swordfish with Gondulez Stew. We found out that reservations need to be made well in advance, yet but were lucky to get a call back for a last-minute cancelation.
We returned to The INN at Ormsby Hill for a relaxing evening by the fire in The Gathering Room.
The next day we hiked the Equinox Preservation Trust’s trail around the pond loop. The Mount Equinox Skyline Drive was already closed for the season so we missed out on driving up to the top…which we will do when we come back next August.
A trip to the Vermont Country Store in Weston is another step back in time visiting this general store. Across the street are other shops – the Weston Village Christmas Shop provided some holiday spirited shopping. Our Christmas decorations are now complete? (Well, I am sure we will return for more next visit.)
We dined at Chantecleer Restaurant in East Dorset (7 miles from the inn) – a remodeled dairy barn featuring a magnificent stone fireplace decorated with numerous roosters (thus the name Chantecleer – French for rooster.) The Roasted Long Island Duck and Whole Dover Sole were wonderfully delicious.
Later, we enjoyed some wine from the inn’s wine shoppe and planned the other things to do in the area for our next visit.
Matt and Ellen