Mini-Road Trip to Wintry Vermont

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2008/02/21 23:03:31 (permalink)

Mini-Road Trip to Wintry Vermont

This is just a mini-mini report. Warning label: contains severe Roadfood disappointment!
But lots of good food & scenery, I think.

I avoided the Presidents' Day/MA School Vacation Week crowd by driving to Vermont last Monday (to stay in a condo at Quechee with my goddaughter & family). It wasn't a Roadfood trip at all, or wasn't really meant to be... except that before I went I did a little checking and found three places written up that were right there!!! One seemed to be (summer) seasonal, but of the others my friends already liked one and knew of the other. On with the story...

Driving through the snow in the pouring rain is tricky.... Fog City!!! Not much scenery heading up I-93 & 89 into NH from MA, even when I detoured on Rt 9>114>103>11>12 in NH (Sunapee area). However, I chose a route that went near the Saint-Gaudens Historic Site (knowing it was not likely to be open, but wanting to nose around) and I was pleasantly surprised!

First, here is the Connecticut River from Cornish, NH on that lovely day (then my camera battery died and I realized my spares were at home!)

And I discovered right there the longest covered bridge in the U.S.! (Doh! How did I not know?!) And it was gorgeous in the mist and with a frozen chunky icy river beneath. (Pictures at end on the way home!)

Next up, Windsor VT and I spotted a great old diner, but I didn't pass through at the right time needing food. Save for another day. (Photo taken on the way home)

When I arrived in Quechee it was getting dark, so we weren't far from dinner. My friends knew & liked Simon Pearce in Quechee, reviewed here by Jane & Michael:
It was like the review and at the same time VERY unlike the review. Except for desserts, none of the menu items mentioned for lunch were available for dinner (and I think only the shepherd's pie is still on the menu). My biggest disappointment was that we got the brown bread mentioned in the review, but not the soda bread biscuits, just basic French bread pieces. Also it was a very pricey and fancy place. Not too great for kids, though there were a surprising number there, and a decent kids' menu. All that said, it was absolutely GREAT food. I don't presume to call it "Roadfood" (at $50 a meal, plus) but I know my friends WJ & BB will disagree... and that's okay!

With no batteries I couldn't take photos, but I have "stolen" a few off the web.

That round table is actually where we sat!

They are really known for their glass-making and it *is* gorgeous!

The following day I took off for Woodstock VT to cross-country ski (& snowshoe). Here is where I had my great disappointment. I had taken a hint from Buffetbuster & printed out the reviews of the places I wanted to go. The top of my list for the trip was Wasp's in Woodstock. It's reviewed here:
I drove through town at 11am just to make sure I knew where it was before I took a couple hours to ski & return for lunch at 1pm. And there it was, newly painted and looking like JUST the ticket, with a clear as daylight "OPEN" sign on the front door. Excellent, methinks. So I go ski. I finish up my morning at 1pm as planned and head on back to Wasp's. And what happened?? I GOT TRAVELLIN MANNED!!!!!!! It was hard to park but I managed and walked up to a "CLOSED" sign. I was totally heartbroken. I was craving a good grilled cheese, and worse I had no alternate plan! Here is a photo of the sadly shut cafe:

Okay, I admit that I did read the review note after that said "Always call ahead!" for hours. But WHO would think they'd be open at 11am on a weekday but closed by 1pm?!?!?! Heavy, heavy sigh.

Faced with a growing hunger, I consulted my handy tourist-mappy-thing (do you know the ones?? in New England all the touristy towns espec VT have them, they are cartoon-like drawings of towns with ad sponsors shown etc). Anyway I spotted a "Woodstock Farmer's Market & Deli", and I struck out for that. GOOD choice!!!!!!!!! It was a lovely place, bursting with yummy looking food (raw or prepared) and I got a great sandwich of turkey & slaw & Russian dressing & Swiss on rye. But even better were the baked goodies. See below...

Molasses Ginger Cookie (I got new batteries right before this), and

Coffee Cake (oops, I squished it before I took the picture!)

And I really enjoyed scenic Woodstock, here are some shots around the green:

So all's well that ends well... right?? After lunch I snowshoed up Mt Tom (sooooo tiring, and the crusty snow made it extra difficult). I headed home late that afternoon but I did manage to get moving in the afternoon light and caught the covered bridge on the way home.

The Longest Covered Bridge

Bridge entrance from NH side

Bridge Sign

Side of Bridge

Actually not a bad trip, short & enjoyable! Thanks for reading. (and p.s. if anyone wants to see yet more covered bridges, I have a few of those... just say & I'll post 'em...)

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