Celebrating Thanksgiving in Vermont

ThanksgivingThanksgiving is about great food and family fun. For this festive time, we’ve tried to find some fun things to eat and to do in Vermont. Here are our top choices:
1- Forget all the hard work and try one of these restaurants… if you are in Southern Vermont. I am relying on this article of Suzanne Donahue, who is suggesting three local restaurants with nice food and wonderful settings: the Four Chimneys Restaurant in Bennington; Arlington Inn in Arlington and the Ye Olde Tavern in Manchester Center. Let us know what you think!
2- Discover the 19th century traditions of Thanksgiving at the Billings Farm and Museum. Enjoy a visit with costumed guides and watch their demonstration of the preparation of a traditional 19th century Thanksgiving meal in the 1890 Farm House.
3- Sunday November 30, 7 pm, at the Unitarian Church of Montpelier. Attend a Gospel Choir concert in Montpelier… in the spirit of the Holidays. “The gospel choir and band combines soul, jazz, original and traditional gospel music to produce an exuberant sound”, they promise us.
4- Saturday November 29, 11 am in Randolph. Be kids again… or bring your grand-children to a delightful marionette show. The show “The Hobbit” is the newest production of the No Strings Marionette Company. The reviews are great!
5- Indulge with chocolate turkeys (for something new): Lake Champlain Chocolates has them for you.
6- Personally I prefer cheese to chocolate! Why not make your Thanksgiving supper special and discover some of Vermont artisan cheeses for the occasion? See our recent article for a list of Vermont award-winning cheeses.
7- And if you are in Putney, take part in the 30th annual Putney Crafts Tour, which happens there every Thanksgiving Week-end. The Vermont Shepherd cheese company is just one of the 27 participating “artists”!
8- And last, but not least, get some special wine for this Thanksgiving celebration. It seems that this “poor girl gourmet” blogger knows her wine and she is recommending the Apple Maple Wine and Cassis Wine from Putney Mountain Winery for Thanksgiving. Why not try it?

And on this note, happy, happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Things to do in Vermont – September 12-14

Vermont Granite Museum - BarreWith Fall approaching, the buzz here in Vermont is definitely about foliage, but we’ll have a special article on foliage activities in the next few days.
For this week-end, still lots of things to do for the pleasure of all:

11th annual Barre Granite Festival – Barre – Saturday September 13, 10am – 3pm – Stone carving, music, history lectures, photography exhibit, Chicken BBQ lunch, tours of the Hope Cemetery are all on the program! We are definitely going to check it out! Afterall, people come to Barre from far away to see the delightful granite sculptures of the Hope Cemetery and the granite quarries. And Barre is – to our knowledge – the only Vermont county with a published article in National Geography!
More information at: Vermont Granite Museum – Granite Festival

7th Annual Small Farms Food Fest and apple picking – Shelburne Orchards – Sunday September 14, 11am – 5pm – You can enjoy 80 acres of apple trees, 10 acres of which have organic apples, you can enjoy the panoramic views of Lake Champlain, and you can enjoy the special activities on that Fest day: live music, haybale maze and special foods. Sounds like a fun Sunday afternoon!
More information at: Shelburne Orchards and Small Farms Food Fest

14th Annual Burlington Latino Festival – Burlington – September 10-14 – Lots of Latino music. The main event is Saturday 13, at the Boathouse, downtown Burlington, starting at 10am, with music bands from 6pm to 10:00pm and even a boat cruise on the Spirit of Ethan Allen III at 10:30pm to 12:30am!
More information at: Burlington Latino Festival

42nd Annual Bennington Car Show – Bennington – September 12-14 – 100 acres of antique and muscle cars for antique cars’ lovers!
More information at: 42nd Annual Bennington Car Show

Puppets in the Green Mountains – 10 locations in Bellows Falls, Putney, and Brattleboro – September 12-21 – Looks like an amazing event. It is the 6th edition of this international festival of puppet theater, with 8 groups from 7 countries – Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, France, Sweden, Taiwan, and Vermont – 22 performances in total!
More information at: Puppets in the Green Mountains

Vermont Humanities Council events – Windsor – Sunday September 14 at 3pm – For history lovers like me, the Vermont Humanities Council is presenting 400 Miles Down the Connecticut River by Michael Tougias, author of fourteen books about New England.
More information at: Vermont Humanities

Lake Champlain through the lens – Lake Champlain Maritime Museum – September 6 to October 29 – A juried photography exhibit with participating professional and amateur photographers. Admission is included in the admission to the museum.
More information at: Lake Champlain through the lens

Hey, don’t forget to write to us with your comments!

Brewpubs of Vermont

September 3, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, Regional specialties

Bob Cafe Brewery
This article is a special contribution from Kurt Staudter, Vermont Brewers Association

The idea of pairing beer with food is perhaps the oldest preoccupation of mankind, but only in Vermont has the art reached its zenith. Greg Noonan of the Vermont Pub & Brewery in Burlington is credited with being a brewpub pioneer, and for almost twenty years is still on the cutting edge of blending great food and interesting brews. Just down the block is the Zero Gravity Brewery at American Flatbread where in addition to their own beers, they have a fantastic selection of other offerings in their Burlington Taproom. If you’re looking for a game of pool, another great brewpub in the Queen City is Three Needs.
Outside of Burlington along the spine of the Green Mountains, we have The Alchemist in Waterbury, The Shed Restaurant and Brewery in Stowe, The Bobcat Café in Bristol, and Stonecutters Brewhouse in Barre. All have many exciting menu items to pair with creative craft beers.
On either end of the state you can get a craft brew with award winning food: In the Northeast Kingdom in Lyndonville, The Trout River Brewery serve up flatbreads on Friday and Saturday night, and in Bennington Madison Brewing declares that they are a great restaurant that happened to brew beer. Windsor County boasts three great places to have a meal and a fresh brew: The Long Trail Brewery in Bridgewater Corners, a little more upscale is the Jasper Murdock’s Alehouse at the Norwich Inn, and lighter fare can be found at the Harpoon Brewery in Windsor.
Another Vermont original is McNeill’s Brewery in Brattleboro, where locals and visitors gather at long shared tables, and can snack on light finger food over a pint of one of their award winning ales. Hours of operation for all the pubs can be found at www.vermontbrewers.com.
So if you’re hungry and want some of the best craft beers in the country, visit one of the many extraordinary Vermont brewpubs. You’ll quickly understand why Vermont is the place where the good things to eat and drink come from, and as they say “Vermont brews Best!”
Related post: Harpoon Brewery – BBQ Competition

Labor Day Week-end – Things to do in Vermont

Swimming - Lake
Something for everyone, from fishing to outdoors sports, gastronomy, history, music and more!
9th Annual LCI Lake Champlain Bass Open – Sunday August 31 – Competitive bass fishing. You bring in your 6 best Champlain bass and there is $3,000 for the winner. The rumor is that it is one of the top 10 attended events in Vermont (dixit a fisherman).
More information at: Bass Open Tournament
5th Annual Plymouth Folk & Blues – Saturday August 30 and Sunday August 31 – 2 to 5 p.m. at the historic Plymouth Notch (President Calvin Coolidge Homestead). One of the Top 10 Fall Events, selected by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. Once again, a musical event in this pleasant country place, with local and nationally known musicians. The concerts are free and there is a BBQ at noon on Sunday at the Wilder House restaurant. Too many musician names to mention but there are people like Craig Bickhardt, a hugely successful songwriter who has written songs recorded by Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, B. B. King, Alison Krauss, and many others, Alastair Moock has won top honors at many of the country’s most prestigious contests and Nashville star Mare Wakefield, who has been called the sonic love child of Emmylou Harris and John Denver.
More information at: Plymouth Folk and Historic Vermont Sites
16th Annual Echo Lake Road Race: East Charleston – Saturday August 30 – 9 a.m. – You can choose your race: walk, run or bike, 5 or 10 miles on dirt roads around the lake.
More information at: Echo Lake Race
Presentation on Ethan Allen’s writing: South Woodstock – Saturday August 30 – 2 p.m. – For the history lovers, J. Kevin Graffagnino, Director of the Vermont Historical Society discussed the prolific and passionate writer, Ethan Allen, leader of the Green Mountain Boys and hero of the battle of Ticonderoga. An historic person difficult to miss if you are interested in the American Revolution history of the region.
More information at: Vermont Humanities
13th Annual Southern Vermont Garlic & Herb Festival: Bennington – Saturday August 30 and Sunday August 31 – 10-5 p.m. The Vermont Chamber of Commerce awarded this event as one of the Top 10 Summer Events in Vermont. We don’t always agree with their selection, but it is definitely a unique subject for a festival.
A number of restaurants offer a vast variety of garlic-inspired foods. Live music can also be enjoyed throughout the event.
More information at: www.lovegarlic.com

Hope you enjoy the long week-end! And as usual, we would love to hear from you: suggestions, questions, comments…

Fun Things to Do in Vermont

Swimming - LakeThere are lots of fun things to do in Vermont in the summer. Here is for starters:
– Go to one of the 89 swimming holes – ponds and rivers – listed on this website. Make sure to watch their slideshow, it gives you a great idea of the look of the different places (names are on the photos). Great for a hot day!
– Go to one of many outdoor concerts of the Vermont Mozart Festival or the Lake Champlain Bluegrass Festival;
– Watch antique cars at the 51st Annual Antique & Classic Car Meet, in Stowe on August 8-10;
– Eat a maple cremee: you got to have one if you are in Vermont in the summer… Make sure you get the ones made with real maple syrup and not just the flavor! We’ll give you some addresses soon, but for now, let’s mention Morse Farm, up County Road, near Montpelier, that’s the place everyone knows;
– Go to the Harpoon Brewery BBQ competition in Windsor on July 26-27; 40 teams from all the country will compete!
– Get a Vermont Brewery Challenge – Official Passport and visit all 18 great micro-breweries in the state of Vermont; Get a stamp at each and you can win prizes!
– Go and watch the Challenge Race at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, near Vergennes on July 20; it’s a 3-mile race of around 50 small boats. Should be fun. Around 200 spectators usually attend. And may be even more fun, on Saturday 19 (today!) there is a duct tape boat construction and race there!
– Attend your first Thunder Road night in Barre (not NASCAR racing but close!) – every Thursday and occasionally on week-ends;
– And if you are into American Revolution history, go to one of the reenactments/encampments which take place at different historic sites along the summer: the Battle of Hubbardton early July, Mount Independence encampment this week-end, Bennington in August…
What do you think? Fun enough?… Anything fun we should add to this list, leave us a comment and tell us about it!!

Things to do in Vermont – July 18-20

Tiger LiliesSummer is definitely here and Vermont is still booming with activities and festivals. Anywhere you stay, you can enjoy music or historic narrations or military reenactments or food festivals!
So, as you plan the upcoming week-end, here are a few events we noticed:
Vermont Mozart Festival is in full swing with both adults and kids concerts this week-end;
25th anniversary week-end of Billings Farms, Woodstock – July 20 – with lots of activities planned. The Vermont Fiddle Orchestra will perform at 1 pm, and Robert Resnik & Friends at 3 pm. There will be free ice cream and cookies throughout the day. And Governor Jim Douglas will be there (2 pm)!
Mount Independence reenactment and encampment “Soldiers Atop the Mount” – it’s the major activity of the summer for the site;
7th Annual Killington Wine Festival – July 17-20
Vermont Brewers Festival – July 18-19 – Rumor is that the Brewers Festival in Quebec is better but…
30th Annual Middlebury Summer Festival on-the-green – July 13-19 – Vermont Public Radio (VPR) gave a nice preview last Saturday of some interesting musicians participating to the event, such as some celtic and some Quebec traditional music groups;
Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, near Vergennes, has a fun small boat race on Sunday (3 miles rowing or paddling) attracting around 50 participants and a small crowd of roughly 200;
Vermont Summer Festival Horseshow – 2nd week-end of competition. Interestingly, the Northshire Digital Arts Center holds a digital photography contest for all attendees and participants of the horseshows. Check rules and prizes here.
David Maxwell – Bennington Center for the Arts – The concert will be recorded for a future album. The organizers say that critics and fans think David Maxwell is one of the finest blues pianists alive.
Marlboro Music – Marlboro College, Malboro – We don’t know the event, but the organizers are quoting the Time to have said that it is “the most exciting chamber music in the U.S.”
We’ll be posting more details in the next couple of days. Make sure to come back and visit us.
Also, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment on one of these events if you got a chance to attend!