Spending a few nights at Twin Farms was the perfect January escape. Twin Farms provides a luxurious stay in Vermont’s stunning countryside, with a focus on outdoor activities, fine food and wine and, above all, rest and wellbeing. Set in 300 acres, 20 individual cottages and suites offer a wholesome, adult-only country retreat – just what I needed to sidestep the January blues and kickstart 2019 with a positive, restorative experience.
The lodge’s location, not far from Woodstock VT, is remote and surrounded by nature. A gorgeous main house sits in a clearing atop a hill with incredible views across hills and valleys that are thickly covered with forests. In the winter, the scenery is breathtaking, as a sugar-coating of snow decorates the trees. In summer, the region is verdant and full of life – it’s the perfect setting for exploring the great outdoors and enjoying a variety of activities.
Activities at Twin Farms change from season to season. Snow shoeing, cross country skiing and downhill skiing are all incredible experiences, following beautiful groomed trails through the trees and hopping on snowmobiles to race back to the top of runs to go again. The landscape here lends itself perfectly to hiking, running and mountain biking – all of which I’d recommend enjoying with one of Chef Rich’s popular picnic lunches packed up and ready to keep energy levels high. There are so many stunning settings here where you can stop and gaze across the countryside over a leisurely picnic. As an adult-only retreat, there are also lots of romantic excursions that you can take privately. The Copper Pond is completely picturesque and can be enjoyed year-round, whether for wild-swimming in summer, canoeing at twilight followed by a bottle of bubbly on shore, or ice-skating in mid-winter, keeping warm with hot toddies at the ready. In summer, lazy days are spent playing croquet on the lawn, enjoying long games of tennis or taking to the riverbank for a gentle morning of fly-fishing.
In winter, when you’ve been spending too much time cooped up indoors and desperate for more daylight hours, the body and mind can start to feel a little sluggish. I feel the best thing to do is to take action and be kind to yourself. Get lots of fresh air, spend time outdoors, eat well and pamper yourself. Twin Farms’ Bridge House Spa is a peaceful little getaway in the property grounds, featuring steam rooms and treatment rooms for massages and scrubs. Relax in the hot tub gazing through expansive glass windows at the winter scenes beyond; snowy forests and snow-covered hills that sparkle in the changing light. There’s also a gym, and in the summertime, yoga classes are held outside on a wooden platform, surrounded by trees.
As the evening settles in, stroll across the bridge to the Twin Farms’ Pub, a lively and relaxed space where you can sample local Vermont brews, listen to live music, play billiards or cosy up by an open fire to tackle a board game over a glass of wine. The firepit outside is also a lovely spot for stargazing!
With a general focus on wholesome experiences and wellbeing, Twin Farms really demonstrate this through their beautiful and creative culinary offerings. Food and wine menus and experiences are dreamt up especially by Chef Rich to be completely indulged in, with lots of fresh seasonal produce coming straight from the farm. Every meal is something to really look forward to - traditional Vermont breakfasts with seasonal farm fruits and homemade jams, gourmet picnic lunches ready to lay out in a beautiful setting anywhere in the vast grounds, mouth-watering platters of creamy farm cheeses, accompanied by sliced saucisson and pots of homemade honey, cocktails and canapes at sunset, or bonfires and s’mores after dark. Lunch is a particularly spoiling affair; a fixed menu of local delicacies with wine pairings chosen by sommelier, Kevin Ring. For an intimate dinner, I’d recommend the wine cellar, a lovely private space where we can arrange a special candle-lit evening – delicious wine pairings and cheese tastings can also be arranged.
Why not try a ‘Chef’s Table’ with Chef Rich - a wonderful culinary experience, learning about local seasonal ingredients, watching the master at work with a glass of Champagne in hand, then indulging in a delicious tasting menu. Must book in advance.
Guests stay in beautiful individual cottages and lodges, with king featherbeds, down pillows, log fires, hot tubs and extraordinary works of art (the hotel has an amazing private collection of contemporary works). There are different options to choose from – call our team to discuss the best accommodation for you. The Aviary is a gorgeous stand-alone cottage, incredibly designed, with floor to ceiling windows, bright and bold interiors complete with mid-century furnishings, wooden floors and walls, leather bed frames, modern sculptures and flooded with natural light. Small extra details make all the difference, such as squashy throws, freshly cut flowers beaming from their vases and plenty of books filling the shelves.
I love the stone fireplace and exposed wood beams of The Barn, a huge space designed in traditional Scandinavian style, with incredible views through 18ft-high cathedral windows. The Farmhouse at Copper Hill is home to four beautiful suites, each with a private entrance, whilst sharing a hot tub and gorgeous open-planned sitting area with a redbrick fireplace. The Lodge is perhaps my favourite option, including 2 suites, beautifully designed in peaceful blue and white tones, with lovely window seats to take in the views and gorgeous antique furniture, such as writing desks, which make it feel very homely and elegant.
N.B. For some serious R&R, escape to the Twin Farms’ Japanese Furo...
Every time I explore a new destination, whether it’s on an adventure holiday in Peru or a luxury beach escape in the Indian Ocean, I return home full of excitement to share the amazing sights I have seen. Through my own experiences I have developed a love of helping others experience the great wonders of the world; truly getting under the skin of the extraordinary destinations that are at your fingertips. Getting the details right, from which hotel is perfectly located for exploring away from the crowds, to which local guide is most knowledgeable on history or culture or art, is of paramount importance to me. I am constantly seeking out new and exciting experiences and exploring off the beaten track to ensure my clients are receiving the best and most honest first-hand advice.
Take a look at my travel diaries for food for thought on your next trip...