October 3rd, 2013 by Loryn Dion
Normally, the beginning of the work week for any nine-to-five worker goes the same way: coffee, exhaustion and melancholy over the end of the weekend. This week was different. I felt quite rejuvenated and ready for the week ahead. Why, you ask? During the Vermont Fine Furniture and Woodworking Festival this past weekend in Woodstock, Vermont (blog post to follow soon) I was able to stay at the lovely Fan House, a bed and breakfast in Barnard, Vermont.
Now, I should say that with being an FFA member, I am well-versed in hotel stays. I actually enjoy staying in hotels and take pleasure in having a little break away from my own bed. But this was my first time staying at a B&B, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Do I have to check in? (you don’t.) Should I bring my own towels? (You don’t.) What I received was much better than anything I could have hoped for. Beautifully decorated rooms, luxurious linens, countless amenities and locally-sourced, delicious meals in the morning make the Fan House the perfect getaway for a weekend in the Green Mountains. Or should I say colorful mountains because with fall foliage just beginning, the hills surrounding Barnard were alive with shades of red, orange and yellow.
Sara Widness, steward of the Fan House, was welcoming and kind, a great example of Vermont hospitality that I’ve come to love. I grew up in the city, so being welcomed into a strangers home for the weekend and having them make my bed and serve me meals was a very new experience. Sara was a pleasure to talk with in the morning during breakfast and had great knowledge about the “must-see” places in the area. The Fan House felt like being at home. It was comfortable and peaceful, which was exactly what I needed this weekend.
Each room has it’s own antique feel with comfy quilts, artfully-aged furniture and subtle decor. The three upstairs bedrooms each have their own private bathrooms so I slept peacefully through the night without any interruptions. Each morning during our planned breakfasts, I met and conversed with people who were all travelling to Vermont for different purposes. One morning we sat and enjoyed Sara’s wonderful corn pancakes and oatmeal with yogurt and then ventured outside to enjoy the sun rising over the red hills. I also got to meet (and play with) Sara’s canine housemate, Happy Chappy, who served as a joyous greeter to The Fan House. But to all of those non-dog-lovers, Chappy stays in his own part of the house and only comes out if the rest of the guests are okay with his company.
In summary, The Fan House made a fan out of me. I don’t think I could ever look at a hotel room the same way again.