EAST MIDDLEBURY, VERMONT – Fall is my favorite season to visit Vermont. Foliage trips are at their peak, weather is perfect for hiking in the woods and forests are exploding with color of reds and oranges and yellows and green.
As they say in the country, all that fresh air will make you hungry. A personal favorite epicurean retreat is a visit with Joe, Tracy, Chef Donna and the gang at The Waybury Inn.
Older readers will remember The Waybury Inn as home of the Bob Newhart Show. For years travelers in the know have visited for mouth-watering farm-to-table fare. Guests enjoy house made everything, from hearty soup and sauces, to desserts and wedding cakes.
A nightly special menu might include brown trout caught earlier that morning near the falls of the Middlebury River, seasoned with herbs from Donna’s in-house garden. She buys her eggs, milk and cream from the farm down the way.
It is an inspired culinary experience set inside a meticulously clean and welcoming representation of a 19th Century New England country estate.
We entered into the rustic style pub on the basement level, then had an option to stay downstairs or venture into a more formal dining area on the main floor above. A glance around the dining room offered a view of exposed wooden beams, hard wood floors and country crafted furniture.
The rooms draw you in. Boots are stomped and in winter snow is tussled and coats and gloves and hats are hung by the hearth of a giant fire place. Experienced travelers will dress like locals, a pair of jeans, weather appropriate footwear and a flannel shirt or sweater are perfectly acceptable.
The Waybury Inn first became famous for being the first stage coast stop on the western side of the Green Mountains. It was a popular watering hole for Pony Express riders carrying the mail from Boston to Montreal. After negotiating the mountains travelers craved a warm meal, stiff drink and cozy bed, luxuries not often found on the trail.
The inn is nestled at the base of the Green Mountain National Forest. Popular activities include bicycle tours of the country roads and fly fishing trips to local rivers and streams. Shutterbugs will enjoy the rugged country and frequent sightings of deer, waterfowl and eagles.
Be sure to leave time for an afternoon hike before dinner. A spur of the Long Trail with a gentle climb to the top of Silent Cliff offers a majestic view of sunset over Middlebury Gap.
If you find yourself in the area, stop inside to say hello to Chef Donna and the Waybury Inn team. Or stay a while, the menu and hospitality will have you coming back for more. For more information, please visit http://wayburyinn.com/