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Long Winter Weekend Guide

Email sent: Feb 6, 2014 1:21 pm
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Long Winter Weekend Guide

Presidents' Day is around the corner. Although a seemingly rando holiday, I think we all appreciate the time off. But what to do with it... Below: ideas. And while we are on the subject (and not in a political way), Mr. President, you are kind of dreamy.

Love,
gp

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3-Day Getaways

Presidents' Day Weekend may loom, but for those of us who have failed to make a plan, all is not lost. We've rounded up a handful of excellent hotels and resorts—all within striking distance of the big cities on their respective coasts—that still have availability.

East Coast

Blantyre Lenox

Lenox, MA
16 Blantyre Rd. | 413.637.3556

Originally built in 1901, Blantyre was modeled after the owner's family's ancestral Scottish castle, complete with ivy-covered turrets, towers, and gargoyles. It didn't become a hotel until 1981, when the house was restored by Ann Fitzpatrick Brown—and reinstated as a tribute to the Gilded Age.

Blantyre Lenox

Driving Time:  3 hours from NYC | 2 hours from Boston

The Rooms:  The décor here is fittingly lush—i.e., exactly what you'd expect to find in an English country manor. You're supposed to spend your days relaxing in overstuffed armchairs by the fire, before descending to the dining room for long, formal dinners come evening.

Winter-Appeal:  High season here is spring through fall (in fact, the hotel was only winterized in 2005), though if you come during the colder months, you'll find a quieter stay.

What To Pack:  Long-underwear and a down jacket: The resort provides equipment for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice-skating , which are all available on-site. The dining room calls for jackets for gentlemen and something a bit dressy for ladies.

Don't Miss:  The Warming Hut, a small cabin on the property outfitted with comfy reading chairs, a pool table, and an outdoor fire pit for making smores.

The Food:  Pressed linens, fine china, heavy silver, and live music underline the overwhelming feeling that you might have stepped back in time. In fact, the evening begins with champagne and canapés in the sitting room before you'll even be offered a menu.

Extra-Credit:  The Edith Wharton House, an Estate the writer built, then lived and wrote in for many years, is just a mile away and open daily for visits. If you're willing to go two miles, you'll find The Shakespeare & Company playhouse, which hosts evening performances on weekends.

Click here to see more east coast destinations…

West Coast

Auberge du Soleil

Rutherford, CA
180 Rutherford Hill Rd. | 707.963.1211

Set up on a hill above an endless—and undulating—vista of vineyards, Auberge du Soleil has been maintaining the luxury standard in Napa for 30 years.

Auberge du Soleil

Driving Time:  1.5 hours from San Francisco

The Rooms:  Though it's since spawned two sister hotels (Solage and Calistoga Range), Auberge du Soleil is the reigning patriarch in Napa Valley, particularly when it comes to old-school indulgences and creature comforts (the other two spots are a bit more modern and laidback). Here, the cottage-like rooms are organized into private little villages (they all feature patios and terraces).

The Food:  With two Michelin Stars, Auberge's main, global-inflected restaurant draws a crowd that swells well beyond hotel guests—the Japanese breakfast is particularly dreamy.

Don't Miss:  While hotel treatments often aren't that great (particularly for their generally inflated price-tags), this was one of the best massages we've ever had, particularly because it was followed by a soak in the outdoor bathtub.

Head Out:  You're in Napa! Quintessa Winery, one of our favorites, is just across the street.

Click here to see more west coast destinations…

Kids Corner

During a three-day weekend at home with the kiddos, even your most foolproof sources of entertainment can start to wear thin. To make time fly, we tapped Anorak Magazine, one of the most imaginative kids publications in stores. Below, they created boredom-busting craft and activity ideas you can do with the kids (click the images to download the PDFs) for those moments when restlessness sets in.

Make Your Own Fort

Make Your Own Fort

Ages 3 – 6

Fishy Hanging Mobile

Fishy Hanging Mobile

Ages 3 – 5

Make Your Own Papercut Print

Make Your Own Papercut Print

Ages 5 – 9

Make Your Own Shopping Bag

Make Your Own Shopping Bag

Ages 6 – 10

Illustrations: Tsz Wan, Owen Gildersleeve and Katey Jean Harvey.

Slow Food

We came up with a handful of recipes that are simple but take time to make—perfect for a long weekend when you have the extra day, but still want to take it easy in the kitchen.

Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork

This seems like a lot of ingredients but the recipe is actually easy. Once it's in the oven, you can let it hang out for hours. The result is a sweet, smoky, falling apart piece of meat—that doesn't require any refined sugar. Slather on the sauce and serve on our gluten-free buns with our bread + butter pickles.

Click here to see the recipe…

Pulled Turkey

Pulled Turkey

After a day of testing in the goop kitchen, GP figured out a way to get the lean turkey tasting as delicious as the pork. Roast the legs at a high temperature before braising to crisp the skin and intensify the flavor.

Click here to see the recipe…

Easiest Gluten-Free Buns

Gluten Free Buns

These are simple, hassle-free gluten-free buns, which call for just a handful of ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.

Click here to see the recipe…

Bread + Butter Pickles

Gluten Free Buns

We love a good bread + butter pickle. They're super easy to make, but it takes about a day before they're ready to eat. Our recipe works with carrots and radishes as well.

Click here to see the recipe…

Beet-Cured Gravlax

Beet Cured Gravlax

This takes a couple of days but is as easy as sprinkling salt onto a piece of fish. The grated beets give the salmon a beautiful red color.

Click here to see the recipe…

Valentine's Day Gift Resources

Our Favorite Independent Jewelry Shops

Opinion may be split about Valentine's Day, but we need the thinnest wisp of an excuse to supplement our jewelry collection. Whether you're dropping hints—or more inclined to pick something up for yourself—here are some of our favorite stateside jewelry spots that all sell online (and the pieces we'd love to have from each one).

Favourite Jewelery Shops

Click here to see the list…

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