Craving some “me” time? Want to treat your spouse/significant other to a romantic getaway? Then it’s time to discover a historic place that USA Today named the “Best Northeastern Small Town.” Take a drive to Lenox, Massachusetts, and enjoy relaxed elegance at the Kemble Inn. Think Champagne in blue jeans. While Bev is busy and in “camp-mode” at her full-time job, I took my hubby for a little R&R…
Post sponsored by Kemble Inn
It was 1881; the Gilded Age. Frederick Frelinghuysen, US Secretary of State, bought some land and built a summer home (you know, just a little shack in the hills…). Over the years it’s been owned by a few others and was a dormitory for Lenox School for Boys, then converted to an inn in 1993. Just shy of his 35th birthday, Scott Shortt purchased it for a cool $1.65 million in 2010. He’s spent over $2 million gutting and renovating the inn, and it certainly shows!
Proprietor Scott Shortt, with some help from his interior designer friend Evan Hughes, decorated the entire mansion. The artwork, furnishings, and mood in each suite (there are 10) creates a relaxed-elegance vibe. I loved our suite (#202) overlooking the lush Berkshires and sprawling lawn. You can see some before + after pics of Scott’s renovation here.
The entry/reception area invites guests to lounge, chat, and relax. And in the Lounge, with its fireplace, plush sofas, and leather chairs, it’s the perfect spot for getting into a great novel, playing a game of chess (I think we need a lesson!), enjoying a cocktail, or even a private dinner with friends.
Our Suite (202)
No need to call downstairs for extra pillows! They’ve thought of everything here. Plush white robes, chocolate chip cookies just waiting for us to gobble up after dinner (the way to my heart), and olfactory-pleasing Malin+Goetz products.
The Green Room
Once you’re settled in, head to The Green Room, the newest addition to the inn. With Ralph Lauren lighting, locally crafted wood bar, and Executive Bartender James Maston creating the perfect cocktails, this is a fabulous pre-dinner hangout space. Just like their website says, “Casual. Crafted. Cozy.” On pointe. PS – we were excited to see they use RIPE cocktail mixers (CT based business).
From noon to sunset 7-days a week, they’ll prepare a custom picnic for you to enjoy at one of the tables overlooking the lawn and rolling Berkshires. Choose your own cheeses, meats, nuts, veggies, and bread, and pair it with one of their craft cocktails like the Lawn Collins or Cranberry Lime Rickey. Dive into some SoCo Creamery ice cream if that’s more your flavor.
Table Six Restaurant
They had me at leopard print, a grand fireplace, and a collage of royal family artwork adorning the walls (Scott hails from Canada). Table Six was, of course, our restaurant of choice for dinner. We encourage the short commute downstairs. Give your taste buds a treat!
We devoured the Market Flatbread (prosciutto, parmigiana, arugula) paired with a nice Pinot Noir. My entree of choice was the petite filet of prime beef with black truffle butter (can’t ever resist anything truffle) served with a French bean and fennel salad. Michael selected the Atlantic halibut over roasted corn chowder and Swiss chard. Perfecto!
Breakfast on the veranda
The breakfast menu consists of an assortment of delectable dishes like Brioche French toast, Eggs Benedict, and my choice – the special of the day, avocado toast with poached eggs (much like truffles, I can’t resist a ripe avocado). Add some freshly brewed coffee and a serene view from the veranda to jump-start our day!
Things to do…
- Borrow one of the bikes the inn has for a spin around town!
- Visit the Norman Rockwell Museum just 12 minutes away. Through October 28th, check out the Keepers of the Flame exhibition that includes work by Wyeth and Parrish (one of my faves).
- Tour Ventforth Hall, a “summer home” built for J.P. Morgan’s sister Sarah.
- Have lunch at one of the many restaurants in the village – a quick 5-minute walk from Kemble Inn.
- Stroll Church, Franklin, Main and Housatonic Streets and enjoy the art galleries, boutiques, ice cream shops and restaurants!
- Enjoy the arts, and make your ears happy at Tanglewood.
- Lest ye forget Shakespeare & Company, right down the road from Kemble Inn!
- Book lovers must tour The Mount, Edith Wharton’s estate.
You should know…
During the off-season (November to mid-May) you can rent the WHOLE mansion for under $3K per night for 10 bedrooms, and 9 wood-burning fireplaces! Extremely affordable for groups of friends and family. We’re pretty sure you should book a family get-together for this fall/winter!
Thank you to Scott Shortt, James Baker, James Marston, and Mary!