Well, guys, last weekend was absolutely incredible. Mal and I were invited to spend two, complimentary nights at Twin Farms, an all-inclusive, five-star resort and spa, in Barnard, Vermont. We had an amazing time– eating and drinking, spending time outside in nature, and chatting extensively with wine expert and educator, Kevin Zraly. Mal and I were very, very fortunate to have been invited as guests, and our time at Twin Farms is definitely an experience neither of us will ever forget.
Because of an unexpected snow storm on Thursday night, Mal’s school was canceled on Friday, so we drove up to Vermont as soon as we dug ourselves our of our driveway.
When we arrived at Twin Farms just a few hours later, we were warmly greeted and invited inside for a tour of the Main House while our bags were delivered to our room. Brenda, the Recreation Director, who has worked at Twin Farms for 18 years now, showed us around.
The Main House includes the Barn Room, which was gorgeous!
Each afternoon, tea, scones, and fresh fruit are offered here for guests.
Once Mal and I had a chance to explore the Main House, we were each offered a cocktail. A drink after a long, snowy drive? Yes, please!
Noreen, the bartender, immediately poured us a couple of drinks. Like Brenda, she’s been with Twin Farms for quite a long time””14 years! Almost everyone we met at Twin Farms has worked at the resort for many, many years, which definitely says something about it. It’s a great place with great people!
Once we had our drinks, Mal and I took a seat and relaxed in the Barn Room for awhile.
A little while later, it was time to see our accommodations for the weekend. Brenda took us to our cottage (yes, we had entire cottage to ourselves!), which was just a short walk from the Main House.
Each cottage at Twin Farms is decorated with a theme in mind. Mal and I stayed at the Perch Cottage, which was situated right above a stream and beaver dam, so the walls and dÃ©cor featured fish-inspired art and carvings.
Waiting for us on the desk was a complimentary copy of Kevin Zraly’s Windows on the World Complete Wine Course. (Kevin was visiting Twin Farms for a special wine weekend.)
Our cottage also included a number of complimentary snacks and beverages.
The French press and coffee was so good. Because we’re iced coffee freaks, Mal and I made French press iced coffee for Saturday morning almost as soon as we got settled.
Off the main room of the Perch Cottage was a huge closet and dressing area. (Twin Farms provides same-day laundry service.)
On the back of the cottage was a three-season porch, which overlooked the steam and beaver dam.
And, finally, there was an amazing bathroom!
Holy moly, it was huge! Brenda told us that the owner of Twin Farms loves big bathrooms when he travels, so all of the accommodations at the resort feature over-sized (and beautiful) bathrooms.
The shower alone was almost as big as our bathroom at home!
Mal and I loved the Out of the Woods products that were provided. They smelled so good… sage, juniper, lavender… just like a spa!
The cast iron tub was also something special. It was, of course, enormous, but we were also told it would hold the heat of a drawn bath for 5 hours.
Obviously, we needed to sit IN the tub to see just how huge it was!
Dinner was still a few hours away, but Mal and I were really hungry, so we called the Main House to see what food options were available to us. Noreen, the person on the other end of the line, offered to make us a sandwich and bring it to our cottage. Not even 15 minutes later, Mal and I were eating tuna sandwiches and veggies with a creamy pesto dipping sauce. We pretty much could have ordered anything we wanted, but Noreen suggested tuna salad with crudites, and it sounded delicious to us!
Everything was so fresh and flavorful, and we didn’t even need to leave our cottage!
We spent the next couple of hours hanging out and relaxing before heading back to the Main House for a special cocktail hour with Kevin Zraly.
The location of the Perch Cottage was great. It was right next to the gym and pub (our favorite places, obviously) and only a 5-minute walk to the Main House. Twin Farms provided a shuttle to and from all of the cottages, but Mal and I just ended up walking since it was so close to everything.
The cocktail hour was a special get-together with Kevin Zraly, but Twin Farms offers drinks every night in the Barn Room for their guests.
All sorts of delicious food options were served at the cocktail hour, including hot and cold passed appetizers as well as a huge cheese board with crackers and fruit.
During the cocktail hour, David Morris, Wine Director at Twin Farms, lead a “Judgement of Paris” wine tasting, where we had the chance to try four different wines and see how they compared.
The tasting was basically “new” wines (California and Washington) versus “old” wines (France and Italy), so it immediately reminded me of the movie “Bottle Shock,” which was exactly what David was going for because he even picked a bottle of Chateau Montelena (from the movie) to sample.
David was really friendly and loved teaching us about wine. He was so enthusiastic about each of the bottles, it made me even more excited to try them!
A little while later, it was time for dinner, which featured a number of food and wine pairings.
The food at Twin Farms was outstanding. Seriously, everything I ate throughout the weekend was fresh, flavorful, and interesting, but not overdone. The portions were small, but substantial, so you could easily enjoy all of the courses and taste a bunch of different foods without feeling stuffed by the end.
Dinner was a four-course meal, which started with a 65-degree egg over oats with braised leeks, garlic, and a cheddar-balsamic reduction. The next course was scallops with frisÃ©e, butternut squash, caramelized golden apples, and a Marcona sauce, which was sweet and nutty and totally tied the dish together. The main course was roasted chicken with a rutabaga puree, crispy kale, roasted turnip, and brown rice. Dessert was a chocolate pÃ¢tÃ© with spice cake, maple ice cream, and red currant caramel sauce. It was an amazing dinner, and I loved it all!
After dinner, Mal and I quickly returned to our cottage and then went immediately to the Japanese Furo for a soak in the 104-degree water inside.
A Japanese Furo is basically a bathhouse with an “unspoken rule:” women enter on the left and men enter on the right.
And then you can meet in the middle!
Mal and I spent awhile in the Furo before heading back to our room for the night.
More adventures to come! I still have so much to tell you guys!